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Sample records for neurons enhances approach

  1. Male mice ultrasonic vocalizations enhance female sexual approach and hypothalamic kisspeptin neuron activity.

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    Asaba, Akari; Osakada, Takuya; Touhara, Kazushige; Kato, Masahiro; Mogi, Kazutaka; Kikusui, Takefumi

    2017-08-01

    Vocal communication in animals is important for ensuring reproductive success. Male mice emit song-like "ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs)" when they encounter female mice, and females show approach to the USVs. However, it is unclear whether USVs of male mice trigger female behavioral and endocrine responses in reproduction. In this study, we first investigated the relationship between the number of deliveries in breeding pairs for 4months and USVs syllables emitted from those paired males during 3min of sexual encounter with unfamiliar female mice. There was a positive correlation between these two indices, which suggests that breeding pairs in which males could emit USVs more frequently had more offspring. Further, we examined the effect of USVs of male mice on female sexual behavior. Female mice showed more approach behavior towards vocalizing males than devocalized males. Finally, to determine whether USVs of male mice could activate the neural system governing reproductive function in female mice, the activation of kisspeptin neurons, key neurons to drive gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons in the hypothalamus, was examined using dual-label immunocytochemistry with cAMP response element-binding protein phosphorylation (pCREB). In the arcuate nucleus (Arc), the number of kisspeptin neurons expressing pCREB significantly increased after exposure to USVs of male as compared with noise exposure group. In conclusion, our results suggest that USVs of male mice promote fertility in female mice by activating both their approaching behavior and central kisspeptin neurons. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Mini Review: Biomaterials for Enhancing Neuronal Repair

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    Cangellaris, Olivia V.; Gillette, Martha U.

    2018-04-01

    As they differentiate from neuroblasts, nascent neurons become highly polarized and elongate. Neurons extend and elaborate fine and fragile cellular extensions that form circuits enabling long-distance communication and signal integration within the body. While other organ systems are developing, projections of differentiating neurons find paths to distant targets. Subsequent post-developmental neuronal damage is catastrophic because the cues for reinnervation are no longer active. Advances in biomaterials are enabling fabrication of micro-environments that encourage neuronal regrowth and restoration of function by recreating these developmental cues. This mini-review considers new materials that employ topographical, chemical, electrical, and/or mechanical cues for use in neuronal repair. Manipulating and integrating these elements in different combinations will generate new technologies to enhance neural repair.

  3. Optogenetic Stimulation of Prefrontal Glutamatergic Neurons Enhances Recognition Memory.

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    Benn, Abigail; Barker, Gareth R I; Stuart, Sarah A; Roloff, Eva V L; Teschemacher, Anja G; Warburton, E Clea; Robinson, Emma S J

    2016-05-04

    Finding effective cognitive enhancers is a major health challenge; however, modulating glutamatergic neurotransmission has the potential to enhance performance in recognition memory tasks. Previous studies using glutamate receptor antagonists have revealed that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) plays a central role in associative recognition memory. The present study investigates short-term recognition memory using optogenetics to target glutamatergic neurons within the rodent mPFC specifically. Selective stimulation of glutamatergic neurons during the online maintenance of information enhanced associative recognition memory in normal animals. This cognitive enhancing effect was replicated by local infusions of the AMPAkine CX516, but not CX546, which differ in their effects on EPSPs. This suggests that enhancing the amplitude, but not the duration, of excitatory synaptic currents improves memory performance. Increasing glutamate release through infusions of the mGluR7 presynaptic receptor antagonist MMPIP had no effect on performance. These results provide new mechanistic information that could guide the targeting of future cognitive enhancers. Our work suggests that improved associative-recognition memory can be achieved by enhancing endogenous glutamatergic neuronal activity selectively using an optogenetic approach. We build on these observations to recapitulate this effect using drug treatments that enhance the amplitude of EPSPs; however, drugs that alter the duration of the EPSP or increase glutamate release lack efficacy. This suggests that both neural and temporal specificity are needed to achieve cognitive enhancement. Copyright © 2016 Benn et al.

  4. PERSPECTIVE: Electrical activity enhances neuronal survival and regeneration

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    Corredor, Raul G.; Goldberg, Jeffrey L.

    2009-10-01

    The failure of regeneration in the central nervous system (CNS) remains an enormous scientific and clinical challenge. After injury or in degenerative diseases, neurons in the adult mammalian CNS fail to regrow their axons and reconnect with their normal targets, and furthermore the neurons frequently die and are not normally replaced. While significant progress has been made in understanding the molecular basis for this lack of regenerative ability, a second approach has gained momentum: replacing lost neurons or lost connections with artificial electrical circuits that interface with the nervous system. In the visual system, gene therapy-based 'optogenetics' prostheses represent a competing technology. Now, the two approaches are converging, as recent data suggest that electrical activity itself, via the molecular signaling pathways such activity stimulates, is sufficient to induce neuronal survival and regeneration, particularly in retinal ganglion cells. Here, we review these data, discuss the effects of electrical activity on neurons' molecular signaling pathways and propose specific mechanisms by which exogenous electrical activity may be acting to enhance survival and regeneration.

  5. Neuronal oscillations enhance stimulus discrimination by ensuring action potential precision

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schaefer, Andreas T; Angelo, Kamilla; Spors, Hartwig

    2006-01-01

    generated membrane potential oscillations dramatically improve action potential (AP) precision by removing the membrane potential variance associated with jitter-accumulating trains of APs. This increased AP precision occurred irrespective of cell type and--at oscillation frequencies ranging from 3 to 65 Hz......Although oscillations in membrane potential are a prominent feature of sensory, motor, and cognitive function, their precise role in signal processing remains elusive. Here we show, using a combination of in vivo, in vitro, and theoretical approaches, that both synaptically and intrinsically......, membrane potential oscillations dramatically enhance the discriminatory capabilities of individual neurons and networks of cells and provide one attractive explanation for their abundance in neurophysiological systems....

  6. Noise-enhanced coding in phasic neuron spike trains.

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    Ly, Cheng; Doiron, Brent

    2017-01-01

    The stochastic nature of neuronal response has lead to conjectures about the impact of input fluctuations on the neural coding. For the most part, low pass membrane integration and spike threshold dynamics have been the primary features assumed in the transfer from synaptic input to output spiking. Phasic neurons are a common, but understudied, neuron class that are characterized by a subthreshold negative feedback that suppresses spike train responses to low frequency signals. Past work has shown that when a low frequency signal is accompanied by moderate intensity broadband noise, phasic neurons spike trains are well locked to the signal. We extend these results with a simple, reduced model of phasic activity that demonstrates that a non-Markovian spike train structure caused by the negative feedback produces a noise-enhanced coding. Further, this enhancement is sensitive to the timescales, as opposed to the intensity, of a driving signal. Reduced hazard function models show that noise-enhanced phasic codes are both novel and separate from classical stochastic resonance reported in non-phasic neurons. The general features of our theory suggest that noise-enhanced codes in excitable systems with subthreshold negative feedback are a particularly rich framework to study.

  7. Volitional enhancement of firing synchrony and oscillation by neuronal operant conditioning: interaction with neurorehabilitation and brain-machine interface.

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    Sakurai, Yoshio; Song, Kichan; Tachibana, Shota; Takahashi, Susumu

    2014-01-01

    In this review, we focus on neuronal operant conditioning in which increments in neuronal activities are directly rewarded without behaviors. We discuss the potential of this approach to elucidate neuronal plasticity for enhancing specific brain functions and its interaction with the progress in neurorehabilitation and brain-machine interfaces. The key to-be-conditioned activities that this paper emphasizes are synchronous and oscillatory firings of multiple neurons that reflect activities of cell assemblies. First, we introduce certain well-known studies on neuronal operant conditioning in which conditioned enhancements of neuronal firing were reported in animals and humans. These studies demonstrated the feasibility of volitional control over neuronal activity. Second, we refer to the recent studies on operant conditioning of synchrony and oscillation of neuronal activities. In particular, we introduce a recent study showing volitional enhancement of oscillatory activity in monkey motor cortex and our study showing selective enhancement of firing synchrony of neighboring neurons in rat hippocampus. Third, we discuss the reasons for emphasizing firing synchrony and oscillation in neuronal operant conditioning, the main reason being that they reflect the activities of cell assemblies, which have been suggested to be basic neuronal codes representing information in the brain. Finally, we discuss the interaction of neuronal operant conditioning with neurorehabilitation and brain-machine interface (BMI). We argue that synchrony and oscillation of neuronal firing are the key activities required for developing both reliable neurorehabilitation and high-performance BMI. Further, we conclude that research of neuronal operant conditioning, neurorehabilitation, BMI, and system neuroscience will produce findings applicable to these interrelated fields, and neuronal synchrony and oscillation can be a common important bridge among all of them.

  8. A hidden Markov model approach to neuron firing patterns.

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    Camproux, A C; Saunier, F; Chouvet, G; Thalabard, J C; Thomas, G

    1996-11-01

    Analysis and characterization of neuronal discharge patterns are of interest to neurophysiologists and neuropharmacologists. In this paper we present a hidden Markov model approach to modeling single neuron electrical activity. Basically the model assumes that each interspike interval corresponds to one of several possible states of the neuron. Fitting the model to experimental series of interspike intervals by maximum likelihood allows estimation of the number of possible underlying neuron states, the probability density functions of interspike intervals corresponding to each state, and the transition probabilities between states. We present an application to the analysis of recordings of a locus coeruleus neuron under three pharmacological conditions. The model distinguishes two states during halothane anesthesia and during recovery from halothane anesthesia, and four states after administration of clonidine. The transition probabilities yield additional insights into the mechanisms of neuron firing.

  9. Grin1 receptor deletion within CRF neurons enhances fear memory.

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    Georgette Gafford

    Full Text Available Corticotropin releasing factor (CRF dysregulation is implicated in mood and anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD. CRF is expressed in areas engaged in fear and anxiety processing including the central amygdala (CeA. Complicating our ability to study the contribution of CRF-containing neurons to fear and anxiety behavior is the wide variety of cell types in which CRF is expressed. To manipulate specific subpopulations of CRF containing neurons, our lab has developed a mouse with a Cre recombinase gene driven by a CRF promoter (CRFp3.0Cre (Martin et al., 2010. In these studies, mice that have the gene that encodes NR1 (Grin1 flanked by loxP sites (floxed were crossed with our previously developed CRFp3.0Cre mouse to selectively disrupt Grin1 within CRF containing neurons (Cre+/fGrin1+. We find that disruption of Grin1 in CRF neurons did not affect baseline levels of anxiety, locomotion, pain sensitivity or exploration of a novel object. However, baseline expression of Grin1 was decreased in Cre+/fGrin1+ mice as measured by RTPCR. Cre+/fGrin1+ mice showed enhanced auditory fear acquisition and retention without showing any significant effect on fear extinction. We measured Gria1, the gene that encodes AMPAR1 and the CREB activator Creb1 in the amygdala of Cre+/fGrin1+ mice after fear conditioning. Both Gria1 and Creb1 were enhanced in the amygdala after training. To determine if the Grin1-expressing CRF neurons within the CeA are responsible for the enhancement of fear memory in adults, we infused a lentivirus with Cre driven by a CRF promoter (LV pCRF-Cre/fGrin1+ into the CeA of floxed Grin1 mice. Cre driven deletion of Grin1 specifically within CRF expressing cells in the CeA also resulted in enhanced fear memory acquisition and retention. Altogether, these findings suggest that selective disruption of Grin1 within CeA CRF neurons strongly enhances fear memory.

  10. An ontological approach to describing neurons and their relationships

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    David J. Hamilton

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The advancement of neuroscience, perhaps the most information rich discipline of all the life sciences, requires basic frameworks for organizing the vast amounts of data generated by the research community to promote novel insights and integrated understanding. Since Cajal, the neuron remains a fundamental unit of the nervous system, yet even with the explosion of information technology, we still have few comprehensive or systematic strategies for aggregating cell-level knowledge. Progress toward this goal is hampered by the multiplicity of names for cells and by lack of a consensus on the criteria for defining neuron types. However, through umbrella projects like the Neuroscience Information Framework and the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility, we have the opportunity to propose and implement an informatics infrastructure for establishing common tools and approaches to describe neurons through a standard terminology for nerve cells and a database (a Neuron Registry where these descriptions can be deposited and compared. This article provides an overview of the problem and outlines a solution approach utilizing ontological characterizations.

  11. Optogenetically enhanced axon regeneration: motor versus sensory neuron-specific stimulation.

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    Ward, Patricia J; Clanton, Scott L; English, Arthur W

    2018-02-01

    Brief neuronal activation in injured peripheral nerves is both necessary and sufficient to enhance motor axon regeneration, and this effect is specific to the activated motoneurons. It is less clear whether sensory neurons respond in a similar manner to neuronal activation following peripheral axotomy. Further, it is unknown to what extent enhancement of axon regeneration with increased neuronal activity relies on a reflexive interaction within the spinal circuitry. We used mouse genetics and optical tools to evaluate the precision and selectivity of system-specific neuronal activation to enhance axon regeneration in a mixed nerve. We evaluated sensory and motor axon regeneration in two different mouse models expressing the light-sensitive cation channel, channelrhodopsin (ChR2). We selectively activated either sensory or motor axons using light stimulation combined with transection and repair of the sciatic nerve. Regardless of genotype, the number of ChR2-positive neurons whose axons had regenerated successfully was greater following system-specific optical treatment, with no effect on the number of ChR2-negative neurons (whether motor or sensory neurons). We conclude that acute system-specific neuronal activation is sufficient to enhance both motor and sensory axon regeneration. This regeneration-enhancing effect is likely cell autonomous. © 2018 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Enhancement of a robust arcuate GABAergic input to gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons in a model of polycystic ovarian syndrome.

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    Moore, Aleisha M; Prescott, Mel; Marshall, Christopher J; Yip, Siew Hoong; Campbell, Rebecca E

    2015-01-13

    Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the leading cause of female infertility, is associated with an increase in luteinizing hormone (LH) pulse frequency, implicating abnormal steroid hormone feedback to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons. This study investigated whether modifications in the synaptically connected neuronal network of GnRH neurons could account for this pathology. The PCOS phenotype was induced in mice following prenatal androgen (PNA) exposure. Serial blood sampling confirmed that PNA elicits increased LH pulse frequency and impaired progesterone negative feedback in adult females, mimicking the neuroendocrine abnormalities of the clinical syndrome. Imaging of GnRH neurons revealed greater dendritic spine density that correlated with increased putative GABAergic but not glutamatergic inputs in PNA mice. Mapping of steroid hormone receptor expression revealed that PNA mice had 59% fewer progesterone receptor-expressing cells in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARN). To address whether increased GABA innervation to GnRH neurons originates in the ARN, a viral-mediated Cre-lox approach was taken to trace the projections of ARN GABA neurons in vivo. Remarkably, projections from ARN GABAergic neurons heavily contacted and even bundled with GnRH neuron dendrites, and the density of fibers apposing GnRH neurons was even greater in PNA mice (56%). Additionally, this ARN GABA population showed significantly less colocalization with progesterone receptor in PNA animals compared with controls. Together, these data describe a robust GABAergic circuit originating in the ARN that is enhanced in a model of PCOS and may underpin the neuroendocrine pathophysiology of the syndrome.

  13. Enhanced activation of RVLM-projecting PVN neurons in rats with chronic heart failure.

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    Xu, Bo; Zheng, Hong; Patel, Kaushik P

    2012-04-15

    Previous studies have indicated that there is increased activation of the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) in rats with chronic heart failure (CHF); however, it is not clear if the preautonomic neurons within the PVN are specifically overactive. Also, it is not known if these neurons have altered responses to baroreceptor or osmotic challenges. Experiments were conducted in rats with CHF (6-8 wk after coronary artery ligation). Spontaneously active neurons were recorded in the PVN, of which 36% were antidromically activated from the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM). The baseline discharge rate in RVLM-projecting PVN (PVN-RVLM) neurons from CHF rats was significantly greater than in sham-operated (sham) rats (6.0 ± 0.6 vs. 2.6 ± 0.3 spikes/s, P neurons by 80% in CHF rats compared with 37% in sham rats. Fifty-two percent of spontaneously active PVN-RVLM neurons responded to changes in the mean arterial pressure (MAP). The changes in discharge rate in PVN-RVLM neurons after a reduction in MAP (+52 ± 7% vs. +184 ± 61%) or an increase in MAP (-42 ± 8% vs. -71 ± 6%) were significantly attenuated in rats with CHF compared with sham rats. Most PVN-RVLM neurons (63%), including all barosensitive PVN-RVLM neurons, were excited by an internal carotid artery injection of hypertonic NaCl (2.1 osmol/l), whereas a smaller number (7%) were inhibited. The increase in discharge rate in PVN-RVLM neurons to hypertonic stimulation was significantly enhanced in rats with CHF compared with sham rats (134 ± 15% vs. 92 ± 13%). Taken together, these data suggest that PVN-RVLM neurons are more active under basal conditions and this overactivation is mediated by an enhanced glutamatergic tone in rats with CHF. Furthermore, this enhanced activation of PVN-RVLM neurons may contribute to the altered responses to baroreceptor and osmotic challenges observed during CHF.

  14. Enhancement of synchronized activity between hippocampal CA1 neurons during initial storage of associative fear memory.

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    Liu, Yu-Zhang; Wang, Yao; Shen, Weida; Wang, Zhiru

    2017-08-01

    Learning and memory storage requires neuronal plasticity induced in the hippocampus and other related brain areas, and this process is thought to rely on synchronized activity in neural networks. We used paired whole-cell recording in vivo to examine the synchronized activity that was induced in hippocampal CA1 neurons by associative fear learning. We found that both membrane potential synchronization and spike synchronization of CA1 neurons could be transiently enhanced after task learning, as observed on day 1 but not day 5. On day 1 after learning, CA1 neurons showed a decrease in firing threshold and rise times of suprathreshold membrane potential changes as well as an increase in spontaneous firing rates, possibly contributing to the enhancement of spike synchronization. The transient enhancement of CA1 neuronal synchronization may play important roles in the induction of neuronal plasticity for initial storage and consolidation of associative memory. The hippocampus is critical for memory acquisition and consolidation. This function requires activity- and experience-induced neuronal plasticity. It is known that neuronal plasticity is largely dependent on synchronized activity. As has been well characterized, repetitive correlated activity of presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons can lead to long-term modifications at their synapses. Studies on network activity have also suggested that memory processing in the hippocampus may involve learning-induced changes of neuronal synchronization, as observed in vivo between hippocampal CA3 and CA1 networks as well as between the rhinal cortex and the hippocampus. However, further investigation of learning-induced synchronized activity in the hippocampus is needed for a full understanding of hippocampal memory processing. In this study, by performing paired whole-cell recording in vivo on CA1 pyramidal cells (PCs) in anaesthetized adult rats, we examined CA1 neuronal synchronization before and after associative fear

  15. Identification of nonviable genes affecting touch sensitivity in Caenorhabditis elegans using neuronally enhanced feeding RNA interference.

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    Chen, Xiaoyin; Cuadros, Margarete Diaz; Chalfie, Martin

    2015-01-09

    Caenorhabditis elegans senses gentle touch along the body via six touch receptor neurons. Although genetic screens and microarray analyses have identified several genes needed for touch sensitivity, these methods miss pleiotropic genes that are essential for the viability, movement, or fertility of the animals. We used neuronally enhanced feeding RNA interference to screen genes that cause lethality or paralysis when mutated, and we identified 61 such genes affecting touch sensitivity, including five positive controls. We confirmed 18 genes by using available alleles, and further studied one of them, tag-170, now renamed txdc-9. txdc-9 preferentially affects anterior touch response but is needed for tubulin acetylation and microtubule formation in both the anterior and posterior touch receptor neurons. Our results indicate that neuronally enhanced feeding RNA interference screens complement traditional mutageneses by identifying additional nonviable genes needed for specific neuronal functions. Copyright © 2015 Chen et al.

  16. Neurotensin enhances glutamatergic EPSCs in VTA neurons by acting on different neurotensin receptors.

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    Bose, Poulomee; Rompré, Pierre-Paul; Warren, Richard A

    2015-11-01

    Neurotensin (NT) is an endogenous neuropeptide that modulates dopamine and glutamate neurotransmission in several limbic regions innervated by neurons located in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). While several studies showed that NT exerted a direct modulation on VTA dopamine neurons less is known about its role in the modulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission in this region. The present study was aimed at characterising the effects of NT on glutamate-mediated responses in different populations of VTA neurons. Using whole cell patch clamp recording technique in horizontal rat brain slices, we measured the amplitude of glutamatergic excitatory post-synaptic currents (EPSCs) evoked by electrical stimulation of VTA afferents before and after application of different concentrations of NT1-13 or its C-terminal fragment, NT8-13. Neurons were classified as either Ih(+) or Ih(-) based on the presence or absence of a hyperpolarisation activated cationic current (Ih). We found that NT1-13 and NT8-13 produced comparable concentration dependent increase in the amplitude of EPSCs in both Ih(+) and Ih(-) neurons. In Ih(+) neurons, the enhancement effect of NT8-13 was blocked by both antagonists, while in Ih(-) neurons it was blocked by the NTS1/NTS2 antagonist, SR142948A, but not the preferred NTS1 antagonist, SR48692. In as much as Ih(-) neurons are non-dopaminergic neurons and Ih(+) neurons represent both dopamine and non-dopamine neurons, we can conclude that NT enhances glutamatergic mediated responses in dopamine, and in a subset of non-dopamine, neurons by acting respectively on NTS1 and an NT receptor other than NTS1. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Enhancer SINEs Link Pol III to Pol II Transcription in Neurons

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    Cristina Policarpi

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Spatiotemporal regulation of gene expression depends on the cooperation of multiple mechanisms, including the functional interaction of promoters with distally located enhancers. Here, we show that, in cortical neurons, a subset of short interspersed nuclear elements (SINEs located in the proximity of activity-regulated genes bears features of enhancers. Enhancer SINEs (eSINEs recruit the Pol III cofactor complex TFIIIC in a stimulus-dependent manner and are transcribed by Pol III in response to neuronal depolarization. Characterization of an eSINE located in proximity to the Fos gene (FosRSINE1 indicated that the FosRSINE1-encoded transcript interacts with Pol II at the Fos promoter and mediates Fos relocation to Pol II factories, providing an unprecedented molecular link between Pol III and Pol II transcription. Strikingly, knockdown of the FosRSINE1 transcript induces defects of both cortical radial migration in vivo and activity-dependent dendritogenesis in vitro, demonstrating that FosRSINE1 acts as a strong enhancer of Fos expression in diverse physiological contexts. : Spatiotemporal regulation of gene expression requires the interaction between promoters and distally located enhancers. Policarpi et al. identify a subset of SINEs that functions as enhancers for activity-dependent neuronal genes. The enhancer SINE FosRSINE1 regulates Fos transcription and is necessary for both activity-dependent dendritogenesis and proper brain development. Keywords: neuroscience, epigenetics, transcription, enhancers, SINEs, neuronal activity, neuronal development

  18. CAMKII activation is not required for maintenance of learning-induced enhancement of neuronal excitability.

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    Ori Liraz

    Full Text Available Pyramidal neurons in the piriform cortex from olfactory-discrimination trained rats show enhanced intrinsic neuronal excitability that lasts for several days after learning. Such enhanced intrinsic excitability is mediated by long-term reduction in the post-burst after-hyperpolarization (AHP which is generated by repetitive spike firing. AHP reduction is due to decreased conductance of a calcium-dependent potassium current, the sI(AHP. We have previously shown that learning-induced AHP reduction is maintained by persistent protein kinase C (PKC and extracellular regulated kinase (ERK activation. However, the molecular machinery underlying this long-lasting modulation of intrinsic excitability is yet to be fully described. Here we examine whether the CaMKII, which is known to be crucial in learning, memory and synaptic plasticity processes, is instrumental for the maintenance of learning-induced AHP reduction. KN93, that selectively blocks CaMKII autophosphorylation at Thr286, reduced the AHP in neurons from trained and control rat to the same extent. Consequently, the differences in AHP amplitude and neuronal adaptation between neurons from trained rats and controls remained. Accordingly, the level of activated CaMKII was similar in pirifrom cortex samples taken form trained and control rats. Our data show that although CaMKII modulates the amplitude of AHP of pyramidal neurons in the piriform cortex, its activation is not required for maintaining learning-induced enhancement of neuronal excitability.

  19. Nanoparticle-mediated transcriptional modification enhances neuronal differentiation of human neural stem cells following transplantation in rat brain.

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    Li, Xiaowei; Tzeng, Stephany Y; Liu, Xiaoyan; Tammia, Markus; Cheng, Yu-Hao; Rolfe, Andrew; Sun, Dong; Zhang, Ning; Green, Jordan J; Wen, Xuejun; Mao, Hai-Quan

    2016-04-01

    Strategies to enhance survival and direct the differentiation of stem cells in vivo following transplantation in tissue repair site are critical to realizing the potential of stem cell-based therapies. Here we demonstrated an effective approach to promote neuronal differentiation and maturation of human fetal tissue-derived neural stem cells (hNSCs) in a brain lesion site of a rat traumatic brain injury model using biodegradable nanoparticle-mediated transfection method to deliver key transcriptional factor neurogenin-2 to hNSCs when transplanted with a tailored hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogel, generating larger number of more mature neurons engrafted to the host brain tissue than non-transfected cells. The nanoparticle-mediated transcription activation method together with an HA hydrogel delivery matrix provides a translatable approach for stem cell-based regenerative therapy. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Ablation of NMDA receptors enhances the excitability of hippocampal CA3 neurons.

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    Fumiaki Fukushima

    Full Text Available Synchronized discharges in the hippocampal CA3 recurrent network are supposed to underlie network oscillations, memory formation and seizure generation. In the hippocampal CA3 network, NMDA receptors are abundant at the recurrent synapses but scarce at the mossy fiber synapses. We generated mutant mice in which NMDA receptors were abolished in hippocampal CA3 pyramidal neurons by postnatal day 14. The histological and cytological organizations of the hippocampal CA3 region were indistinguishable between control and mutant mice. We found that mutant mice lacking NMDA receptors selectively in CA3 pyramidal neurons became more susceptible to kainate-induced seizures. Consistently, mutant mice showed characteristic large EEG spikes associated with multiple unit activities (MUA, suggesting enhanced synchronous firing of CA3 neurons. The electrophysiological balance between fast excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission was comparable between control and mutant pyramidal neurons in the hippocampal CA3 region, while the NMDA receptor-slow AHP coupling was diminished in the mutant neurons. In the adult brain, inducible ablation of NMDA receptors in the hippocampal CA3 region by the viral expression vector for Cre recombinase also induced similar large EEG spikes. Furthermore, pharmacological blockade of CA3 NMDA receptors enhanced the susceptibility to kainate-induced seizures. These results raise an intriguing possibility that hippocampal CA3 NMDA receptors may suppress the excitability of the recurrent network as a whole in vivo by restricting synchronous firing of CA3 neurons.

  1. An SU-8-based microprobe with a nanostructured surface enhances neuronal cell attachment and growth

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    Kim, Eunhee; Kim, Jin-Young; Choi, Hongsoo

    2017-12-01

    Microprobes are used to repair neuronal injury by recording electrical signals from neuronal cells around the surface of the device. Following implantation into the brain, the immune response results in formation of scar tissue around the microprobe. However, neurons must be in close proximity to the microprobe to enable signal recording. A common reason for failure of microprobes is impaired signal recording due to scar tissue, which is not related to the microprobe itself. Therefore, the device-cell interface must be improved to increase the number of neurons in contact with the surface. In this study, we developed nanostructured SU-8 microprobes to support neuronal growth. Nanostructures of 200 nm diameter and depth were applied to the surface of microprobes, and the attachment and neurite outgrowth of PC12 cells on the microprobes were evaluated. Neuronal attachment and neurite outgrowth on the nanostructured microprobes were significantly greater than those on non-nanostructured microprobes. The enhanced neuronal attachment and neurite outgrowth on the nanostructured microprobes occurred in the absence of an adhesive coating, such as poly- l-lysine, and so may be useful for implantable devices for long-term use. Therefore, nanostructured microprobes can be implanted without adhesive coating, which can cause problems in vivo over the long term.

  2. Delay-enhanced coherence of spiral waves in noisy Hodgkin-Huxley neuronal networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Qingyun; Perc, Matjaz; Duan Zhisheng; Chen Guanrong

    2008-01-01

    We study the spatial dynamics of spiral waves in noisy Hodgkin-Huxley neuronal ensembles evoked by different information transmission delays and network topologies. In classical settings of coherence resonance the intensity of noise is fine-tuned so as to optimize the system's response. Here, we keep the noise intensity constant, and instead, vary the length of information transmission delay amongst coupled neurons. We show that there exists an intermediate transmission delay by which the spiral waves are optimally ordered, hence indicating the existence of delay-enhanced coherence of spatial dynamics in the examined system. Additionally, we examine the robustness of this phenomenon as the diffusive interaction topology changes towards the small-world type, and discover that shortcut links amongst distant neurons hinder the emergence of coherent spiral waves irrespective of transmission delay length. Presented results thus provide insights that could facilitate the understanding of information transmission delay on realistic neuronal networks

  3. PDF and cAMP enhance PER stability in Drosophila clock neurons

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    Li, Yue; Guo, Fang; Shen, James; Rosbash, Michael

    2014-01-01

    The neuropeptide PDF is important for Drosophila circadian rhythms: pdf01 (pdf-null) animals are mostly arrhythmic or short period in constant darkness and have an advanced activity peak in light–dark conditions. PDF contributes to the amplitude, synchrony, as well as the pace of circadian rhythms within clock neurons. PDF is known to increase cAMP levels in PDR receptor (PDFR)-containing neurons. However, there is no known connection of PDF or of cAMP with the Drosophila molecular clockworks. We discovered that the mutant period gene perS ameliorates the phenotypes of pdf-null flies. The period protein (PER) is a well-studied repressor of clock gene transcription, and the perS protein (PERS) has a markedly short half-life. The result therefore suggests that the PDF-mediated increase in cAMP might lengthen circadian period by directly enhancing PER stability. Indeed, increasing cAMP levels and cAMP-mediated protein kinase A (PKA) activity stabilizes PER, in S2 tissue culture cells and in fly circadian neurons. Adding PDF to fly brains in vitro has a similar effect. Consistent with these relationships, a light pulse causes more prominent PER degradation in pdf01 circadian neurons than in wild-type neurons. The results indicate that PDF contributes to clock neuron synchrony by increasing cAMP and PKA, which enhance PER stability and decrease clock speed in intrinsically fast-paced PDFR-containing clock neurons. We further suggest that the more rapid degradation of PERS bypasses PKA regulation and makes the pace of clock neurons more uniform, allowing them to avoid much of the asynchrony caused by the absence of PDF. PMID:24707054

  4. Human iPSC-Derived Endothelial Cells and Microengineered Organ-Chip Enhance Neuronal Development

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    Samuel Sances

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Human stem cell-derived models of development and neurodegenerative diseases are challenged by cellular immaturity in vitro. Microengineered organ-on-chip (or Organ-Chip systems are designed to emulate microvolume cytoarchitecture and enable co-culture of distinct cell types. Brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs share common signaling pathways with neurons early in development, but their contribution to human neuronal maturation is largely unknown. To study this interaction and influence of microculture, we derived both spinal motor neurons and BMECs from human induced pluripotent stem cells and observed increased calcium transient function and Chip-specific gene expression in Organ-Chips compared with 96-well plates. Seeding BMECs in the Organ-Chip led to vascular-neural interaction and specific gene activation that further enhanced neuronal function and in vivo-like signatures. The results show that the vascular system has specific maturation effects on spinal cord neural tissue, and the use of Organ-Chips can move stem cell models closer to an in vivo condition. : Sances et al. combine Organ-Chip technology with human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived spinal motor neurons to study the maturation effects of Organ-Chip culture. By including microvascular cells also derived from the same patient line, the authors show enhancement of neuronal function, reproduction of vascular-neuron pathways, and specific gene activation that resembles in vivo spinal cord development. Keywords: organ-on-chip, spinal cord, iPSC, disease modeling, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, microphysiological system, brain microvascular endothelial cells, spinal motor neurons, vasculature, microfluidic device

  5. Endogenous fields enhanced stochastic resonance in a randomly coupled neuronal network

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deng, Bin; Wang, Lin; Wang, Jiang; Wei, Xi-le; Yu, Hai-tao

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • We study effects of endogenous fields on stochastic resonance in a neural network. • Stochastic resonance can be notably enhanced by endogenous field feedback. • Endogenous field feedback delay plays a vital role in stochastic resonance. • The parameters of low-passed filter play a subtle role in SR. - Abstract: Endogenous field, evoked by structured neuronal network activity in vivo, is correlated with many vital neuronal processes. In this paper, the effects of endogenous fields on stochastic resonance (SR) in a randomly connected neuronal network are investigated. The network consists of excitatory and inhibitory neurons and the axonal conduction delays between neurons are also considered. Numerical results elucidate that endogenous field feedback results in more rhythmic macroscope activation of the network for proper time delay and feedback coefficient. The response of the network to the weak periodic stimulation can be notably enhanced by endogenous field feedback. Moreover, the endogenous field feedback delay plays a vital role in SR. We reveal that appropriately tuned delays of the feedback can either induce the enhancement of SR, appearing at every integer multiple of the weak input signal’s oscillation period, or the depression of SR, appearing at every integer multiple of half the weak input signal’s oscillation period for the same feedback coefficient. Interestingly, the parameters of low-passed filter which is used in obtaining the endogenous field feedback signal play a subtle role in SR

  6. Nucleus accumbens neurons encode Pavlovian approach behaviors: evidence from an autoshaping paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, Jeremy J; Wheeler, Robert A; Roitman, Mitchell F; Carelli, Regina M

    2006-03-01

    Environmental stimuli predictive of appetitive events can elicit Pavlovian approach responses that enhance an organism's ability to track and secure natural rewards, but may also contribute to the compulsive nature of drug addiction. Here, we examined the activity of individual nucleus accumbens (NAc) neurons during an autoshaping paradigm. One conditioned stimulus (CS+, a retractable lever presented for 10 s) was immediately followed by the delivery of a 45-mg sucrose pellet to a food receptacle, while another stimulus (CS-, a separate retractable lever presented for 10 s) was never followed by sucrose. Approach responses directed at the CS+ and CS- were recorded as lever presses and had no experimental consequence. Rats (n = 9) selectively approached the CS+ on more than 80% of trials and were surgically prepared for electrophysiological recording. Of 76 NAc neurons, 57 cells (75%) exhibited increases and/or decreases in firing rate (i.e. termed 'phasically active') during the CS+ presentation and corresponding approach response. Forty-seven percent of phasically active cells (27 out of 57) were characterized by time-locked but transient increases in cell firing, while 53% (30 out of 57) showed a significant reduction in firing for the duration of the CS+. In contrast, the same excitatory subpopulation exhibited smaller increases in activity relative to CS- onset, while the inhibitory subpopulation showed no change in firing during the CS- period. The magnitude and prevalence of cue-related neural responses reported here indicates that the NAc encodes biologically significant, repetitive approach responses that may model the compulsive nature of drug addiction in humans.

  7. Brain pericyte-derived soluble factors enhance insulin sensitivity in GT1-7 hypothalamic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Hiroyuki; Takata, Fuyuko; Matsumoto, Junichi; Machida, Takashi; Yamauchi, Atsushi; Dohgu, Shinya; Kataoka, Yasufumi

    2015-02-20

    Insulin signaling in the hypothalamus plays an important role in food intake and glucose homeostasis. Hypothalamic neuronal functions are modulated by glial cells; these form an extensive network connecting the neurons and cerebral vasculature, known as the neurovascular unit (NVU). Brain pericytes are periendothelial accessory structures of the blood-brain barrier and integral members of the NVU. However, the interaction between pericytes and neurons is largely unexplored. Here, we investigate whether brain pericytes could affect hypothalamic neuronal insulin signaling. Our immunohistochemical observations demonstrated the existence of pericytes in the mouse hypothalamus, exhibiting immunoreactivity of platelet-derived growth factor receptor β (a pericyte marker), and laminin, a basal lamina marker. We then exposed a murine hypothalamic neuronal cell line, GT1-7, to conditioned medium obtained from primary cultures of rat brain pericytes. Pericyte-conditioned medium (PCM), but not astrocyte- or aortic smooth muscle cell-conditioned medium, increased the insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of Akt in GT1-7 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. PCM also enhanced insulin-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor β without changing its expression or localization in cytosolic or plasma membrane fractions. These results suggest that pericytes, rather than astrocytes, increase insulin sensitivity in hypothalamic neurons by releasing soluble factors under physiological conditions in the NVU. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Enhancing excitability of dopamine neurons promotes motivational behaviour through increased action initiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boekhoudt, Linde; Wijbrans, Ellen C; Man, Jodie H K; Luijendijk, Mieneke C M; de Jong, Johannes W; van der Plasse, Geoffrey; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J; Adan, Roger A H

    2018-01-01

    Motivational deficits are a key symptom in multiple psychiatric disorders, including major depressive disorder, schizophrenia and addiction. A likely neural substrate for these motivational deficits is the brain dopamine (DA) system. In particular, DA signalling in the nucleus accumbens, which originates from DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), has been identified as a crucial substrate for effort-related and activational aspects of motivation. Unravelling how VTA DA neuronal activity relates to motivational behaviours is required to understand how motivational deficits in psychiatry can be specifically targeted. In this study, we therefore used designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADD) in TH:Cre rats, in order to determine the effects of chemogenetic DA neuron activation on different aspects of motivational behaviour. We found that chemogenetic activation of DA neurons in the VTA, but not substantia nigra, significantly increased responding for sucrose under a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement. More specifically, high effort exertion was characterized by increased initiations of reward-seeking actions. This effect was dependent on effort requirements and instrumental contingencies, but was not affected by sucrose pre-feeding. Together, these findings indicate that VTA DA neuronal activation drives motivational behaviour by facilitating action initiation. With this study, we show that enhancing excitability of VTA DA neurons is a viable strategy to improve motivational behaviour. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  9. Distal axotomy enhances retrograde presynaptic excitability onto injured pyramidal neurons via trans-synaptic signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagendran, Tharkika; Larsen, Rylan S; Bigler, Rebecca L; Frost, Shawn B; Philpot, Benjamin D; Nudo, Randolph J; Taylor, Anne Marion

    2017-09-20

    Injury of CNS nerve tracts remodels circuitry through dendritic spine loss and hyper-excitability, thus influencing recovery. Due to the complexity of the CNS, a mechanistic understanding of injury-induced synaptic remodeling remains unclear. Using microfluidic chambers to separate and injure distal axons, we show that axotomy causes retrograde dendritic spine loss at directly injured pyramidal neurons followed by retrograde presynaptic hyper-excitability. These remodeling events require activity at the site of injury, axon-to-soma signaling, and transcription. Similarly, directly injured corticospinal neurons in vivo also exhibit a specific increase in spiking following axon injury. Axotomy-induced hyper-excitability of cultured neurons coincides with elimination of inhibitory inputs onto injured neurons, including those formed onto dendritic spines. Netrin-1 downregulation occurs following axon injury and exogenous netrin-1 applied after injury normalizes spine density, presynaptic excitability, and inhibitory inputs at injured neurons. Our findings show that intrinsic signaling within damaged neurons regulates synaptic remodeling and involves netrin-1 signaling.Spinal cord injury can induce synaptic reorganization and remodeling in the brain. Here the authors study how severed distal axons signal back to the cell body to induce hyperexcitability, loss of inhibition and enhanced presynaptic release through netrin-1.

  10. Modafinil enhances thalamocortical activity by increasing neuronal electrotonic coupling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbano, Francisco J.; Leznik, Elena; Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2007-01-01

    Modafinil (Provigil, Modiodal), an antinarcoleptic and mood-enhancing drug, is shown here to sharpen thalamocortical activity and to increase electrical coupling between cortical interneurons and between nerve cells in the inferior olivary nucleus. After irreversible pharmacological block of connexin permeability (i.e., by using either 18β-glycyrrhetinic derivatives or mefloquine), modafinil restored electrotonic coupling within 30 min. It was further established that this restoration is implemented through a Ca2+/calmodulin protein kinase II-dependent step. PMID:17640897

  11. Central GLP-2 enhances hepatic insulin sensitivity via activating PI3K signaling in POMC neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Xuemei; Zhou, Fuguo; Li, Xiaojie; Chang, Benny; Li, Depei; Wang, Yi; Tong, Qingchun; Xu, Yong; Fukuda, Makoto; Zhao, Jean J.; Li, Defa; Burrin, Douglas G.; Chan, Lawrence; Guan, Xinfu

    2013-01-01

    Glucagon-like peptides (GLP-1/2) are co-produced and highlighted as key modulators to improve glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity after bariatric surgery. However, it is unknown if CNS GLP-2 plays any physiological role in the control of glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. We show that mice lacking GLP-2 receptor (GLP-2R) in POMC neurons display glucose intolerance and hepatic insulin resistance. GLP-2R activation in POMC neurons is required for GLP-2 to enhance insulin-mediated suppression of hepatic glucose production (HGP) and gluconeogenesis. GLP-2 directly modulates excitability of POMC neurons in GLP-2R- and PI3K-dependent manners. GLP-2 initiates GLP-2R-p85α interaction and facilitates PI3K-Akt-dependent FoxO1 nuclear exclusion in POMC neurons. Central GLP-2 suppresses basal HGP and enhances insulin sensitivity, which are abolished in POMC-p110α KO mice. Thus, CNS GLP-2 plays a key physiological role in the control of hepatic glucose production through activating PI3K-dependent modulation of membrane excitability and nuclear transcription of POMC neurons in the brain. PMID:23823479

  12. Central GLP-2 enhances hepatic insulin sensitivity via activating PI3K signaling in POMC neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Xuemei; Zhou, Fuguo; Li, Xiaojie; Chang, Benny; Li, Depei; Wang, Yi; Tong, Qingchun; Xu, Yong; Fukuda, Makoto; Zhao, Jean J; Li, Defa; Burrin, Douglas G; Chan, Lawrence; Guan, Xinfu

    2013-07-02

    Glucagon-like peptides (GLP-1/GLP-2) are coproduced and highlighted as key modulators to improve glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity after bariatric surgery. However, it is unknown if CNS GLP-2 plays any physiological role in the control of glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. We show that mice lacking GLP-2 receptor (GLP-2R) in POMC neurons display glucose intolerance and hepatic insulin resistance. GLP-2R activation in POMC neurons is required for GLP-2 to enhance insulin-mediated suppression of hepatic glucose production (HGP) and gluconeogenesis. GLP-2 directly modulates excitability of POMC neurons in GLP-2R- and PI3K-dependent manners. GLP-2 initiates GLP-2R-p85α interaction and facilitates PI3K-Akt-dependent FoxO1 nuclear exclusion in POMC neurons. Central GLP-2 suppresses basal HGP and enhances insulin sensitivity, which are abolished in POMC-p110α KO mice. Thus, CNS GLP-2 plays a key physiological role in the control of HGP through activating PI3K-dependent modulation of membrane excitability and nuclear transcription of POMC neurons in the brain. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. ENHANCING WRITING SKILL THROUGH WRITING PROCESS APPROACH

    OpenAIRE

    M. Zaini Miftah

    2015-01-01

    The study is aimed at developing the implementation of Writing Process Approach (WPA) to enhance the students’ skill in writing essay. The study employed Classroom Action Research. The subjects of the study were 15 university students enrolled in the writing class. The data were gained from writing task, observation and field notes. The findings show that the implementation of WPA with the proper model procedures developed can enhance the students’ skill in writing essay. Before the strategy ...

  14. Thermo-responsive polymeric nanoparticles for enhancing neuronal differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Hye In; Cho, Ann-Na; Jang, Jiho; Kim, Dong-Wook; Cho, Seung-Woo; Chung, Bong Geun

    2015-10-01

    We report thermo-responsive retinoic acid (RA)-loaded poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-co-acrylamide (PNIPAM-co-Am) nanoparticles for directing human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) fate. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance analysis confirmed that RA was efficiently incorporated into PNIAPM-co-Am nanoparticles (PCANs). The size of PCANs dropped with increasing temperatures (300-400 nm at room temperature, 80-90 nm at 37°C) due to its phase transition from hydrophilic to hydrophobic. Due to particle shrinkage caused by this thermo-responsive property of PCANs, RA could be released from nanoparticles in the cells upon cellular uptake. Immunocytochemistry and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis demonstrated that neuronal differentiation of hiPSC-derived neuronal precursors was enhanced after treatment with 1-2 μg/ml RA-loaded PCANs. Therefore, we propose that this PCAN could be a potentially powerful carrier for effective RA delivery to direct hiPSC fate to neuronal lineage. The use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has been at the forefront of research in the field of regenerative medicine, as these cells have the potential to differentiate into various terminal cell types. In this article, the authors utilized a thermo-responsive polymer, Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM), as a delivery platform for retinoic acid. It was shown that neuronal differentiation could be enhanced in hiPSC-derived neuronal precursor cells. This method may pave a way for future treatment of neuronal diseases. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. miR-34b/c Regulates Wnt1 and Enhances Mesencephalic Dopaminergic Neuron Differentiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto De Gregorio

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Summary: The differentiation of dopaminergic neurons requires concerted action of morphogens and transcription factors acting in a precise and well-defined time window. Very little is known about the potential role of microRNA in these events. By performing a microRNA-mRNA paired microarray screening, we identified miR-34b/c among the most upregulated microRNAs during dopaminergic differentiation. Interestingly, miR-34b/c modulates Wnt1 expression, promotes cell cycle exit, and induces dopaminergic differentiation. When combined with transcription factors ASCL1 and NURR1, miR-34b/c doubled the yield of transdifferentiated fibroblasts into dopaminergic neurons. Induced dopaminergic (iDA cells synthesize dopamine and show spontaneous electrical activity, reversibly blocked by tetrodotoxin, consistent with the electrophysiological properties featured by brain dopaminergic neurons. Our findings point to a role for miR-34b/c in neuronal commitment and highlight the potential of exploiting its synergy with key transcription factors in enhancing in vitro generation of dopaminergic neurons. : In this article, Bellenchi and colleagues show that the microRNA miR-34b/c is expressed in FACS-purified Pitx3-GFP+ neurons and promotes dopaminergic differentiation by negative modulating Wnt1 and the downstream WNT signaling pathway. Induced dopaminergic cells, expressing miR-34b/c, synthesize dopamine and show the electrophysiological properties featured by brain dopaminergic neurons. Keywords: microRNA, dopamine, mESC, miR34b/c, epiSC, transdifferentiation, Wnt1, Wnt pathway, reprogramming

  16. Embryonic stem cells and prospects for their use in regenerative medicine approaches to motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christou, Y A; Moore, H D; Shaw, P J; Monk, P N

    2007-10-01

    Human embryonic stem cells are pluripotent cells with the potential to differentiate into any cell type in the presence of appropriate stimulatory factors and environmental cues. Their broad developmental potential has led to valuable insights into the principles of developmental and cell biology and to the proposed use of human embryonic stem cells or their differentiated progeny in regenerative medicine. This review focuses on the prospects for the use of embryonic stem cells in cell-based therapy for motor neurone disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that specifically affects upper and lower motor neurones and leads ultimately to death from respiratory failure. Stem cell-derived motor neurones could conceivably be used to replace the degenerated cells, to provide authentic substrates for drug development and screening and for furthering our understanding of disease mechanisms. However, to reliably and accurately culture motor neurones, the complex pathways by which differentiation occurs in vivo must be understood and reiterated in vitro by embryonic stem cells. Here we discuss the need for new therapeutic strategies in the treatment of motor neurone disease, the developmental processes that result in motor neurone formation in vivo, a number of experimental approaches to motor neurone production in vitro and recent progress in the application of stem cells to the treatment and understanding of motor neurone disease.

  17. Intracellular Methamphetamine Prevents the Dopamine-induced Enhancement of Neuronal Firing*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, Kaustuv; Sambo, Danielle; Richardson, Ben D.; Lin, Landon M.; Butler, Brittany; Villarroel, Laura; Khoshbouei, Habibeh

    2014-01-01

    The dysregulation of the dopaminergic system is implicated in multiple neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders such as Parkinson disease and drug addiction. The primary target of psychostimulants such as amphetamine and methamphetamine is the dopamine transporter (DAT), the major regulator of extracellular dopamine levels in the brain. However, the behavioral and neurophysiological correlates of methamphetamine and amphetamine administration are unique from one another, thereby suggesting these two compounds impact dopaminergic neurotransmission differentially. We further examined the unique mechanisms by which amphetamine and methamphetamine regulate DAT function and dopamine neurotransmission; in the present study we examined the impact of extracellular and intracellular amphetamine and methamphetamine on the spontaneous firing of cultured midbrain dopaminergic neurons and isolated DAT-mediated current. In dopaminergic neurons the spontaneous firing rate was enhanced by extracellular application of amphetamine > dopamine > methamphetamine and was DAT-dependent. Amphetamine > methamphetamine similarly enhanced DAT-mediated inward current, which was sensitive to isosmotic substitution of Na+ or Cl− ion. Although isosmotic substitution of extracellular Na+ ions blocked amphetamine and methamphetamine-induced DAT-mediated inward current similarly, the removal of extracellular Cl− ions preferentially blocked amphetamine-induced inward current. The intracellular application of methamphetamine, but not amphetamine, prevented the dopamine-induced increase in the spontaneous firing of dopaminergic neurons and the corresponding DAT-mediated inward current. The results reveal a new mechanism for methamphetamine-induced dysregulation of dopaminergic neurons. PMID:24962577

  18. Enhancing Endogenous Nitric Oxide by Whole Body Periodic Acceleration Elicits Neuroprotective Effects in Dystrophic Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, Jose R; Uryash, A; Kolster, J; Estève, E; Zhang, R; Adams, J A

    2018-03-26

    We have previously shown that inadequate dystrophin in cortical neurons in mdx mice is associated with age-dependent dyshomeostasis of resting intracellular Ca 2+ ([Ca 2+ ] i ) and Na + ([Na + ] i ), elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, increase in neuronal damage and cognitive deficit. In this study, we assessed the potential therapeutic properties of the whole body periodic acceleration (pGz) to ameliorate the pathology observed in cortical neurons from the mdx mouse. pGz adds small pulses to the circulation, thereby increasing pulsatile shear stress to the vascular endothelium, which in turn increases production of nitric oxide (NO). We found [Ca 2+ ] i and [Na + ] i overload along with reactive oxygen species (ROS) overproduction in mdx neurons and cognitive dysfunction. mdx neurons showed increased activity of superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, malondialdehyde, and calpain as well as decreased cell viability. mdx neurons were more susceptible to hypoxia-reoxygenation injury than WT. pGz ameliorated the [Ca 2+ ] i , and [Na + ] i elevation and ROS overproduction and further increased the activities of superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and reduced the malondialdehyde and calpains. pGz diminished cell damage and elevated [Ca 2+ ] i during hypoxia-reoxygenation and improved cognitive function in mdx mice. Moreover, pGz upregulated the expression of utrophin, dystroglycan-β and CAPON, constitutive nitric oxide synthases, prosaposin, brain-derived neurotrophic, and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factors. The present study demonstrated that pGz is an effective therapeutic approach to improve mdx neurons function, including cognitive functions.

  19. Probing the dynamics of identified neurons with a data-driven modeling approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Nowotny

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available In controlling animal behavior the nervous system has to perform within the operational limits set by the requirements of each specific behavior. The implications for the corresponding range of suitable network, single neuron, and ion channel properties have remained elusive. In this article we approach the question of how well-constrained properties of neuronal systems may be on the neuronal level. We used large data sets of the activity of isolated invertebrate identified cells and built an accurate conductance-based model for this cell type using customized automated parameter estimation techniques. By direct inspection of the data we found that the variability of the neurons is larger when they are isolated from the circuit than when in the intact system. Furthermore, the responses of the neurons to perturbations appear to be more consistent than their autonomous behavior under stationary conditions. In the developed model, the constraints on different parameters that enforce appropriate model dynamics vary widely from some very tightly controlled parameters to others that are almost arbitrary. The model also allows predictions for the effect of blocking selected ionic currents and to prove that the origin of irregular dynamics in the neuron model is proper chaoticity and that this chaoticity is typical in an appropriate sense. Our results indicate that data driven models are useful tools for the in-depth analysis of neuronal dynamics. The better consistency of responses to perturbations, in the real neurons as well as in the model, suggests a paradigm shift away from measuring autonomous dynamics alone towards protocols of controlled perturbations. Our predictions for the impact of channel blockers on the neuronal dynamics and the proof of chaoticity underscore the wide scope of our approach.

  20. Neural Plasticity: Single Neuron Models for Discrimination and Generalization and AN Experimental Ensemble Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munro, Paul Wesley

    A special form for modification of neuronal response properties is described in which the change in the synaptic state vector is parallel to the vector of afferent activity. This process is termed "parallel modification" and its theoretical and experimental implications are examined. A theoretical framework has been devised to describe the complementary functions of generalization and discrimination by single neurons. This constitutes a basis for three models each describing processes for the development of maximum selectivity (discrimination) and minimum selectivity (generalization) by neurons. Strengthening and weakening of synapses is expressed as a product of the presynaptic activity and a nonlinear modulatory function of two postsynaptic variables--namely a measure of the spatially integrated activity of the cell and a temporal integration (time-average) of that activity. Some theorems are given for low-dimensional systems and computer simulation results from more complex systems are discussed. Model neurons that achieve high selectivity mimic the development of cat visual cortex neurons in a wide variety of rearing conditions. A role for low-selectivity neurons is proposed in which they provide inhibitory input to neurons of the opposite type, thereby suppressing the common component of a pattern class and enhancing their selective properties. Such contrast-enhancing circuits are analyzed and supported by computer simulation. To enable maximum selectivity, the net inhibition to a cell must become strong enough to offset whatever excitation is produced by the non-preferred patterns. Ramifications of parallel models for certain experimental paradigms are analyzed. A methodology is outlined for testing synaptic modification hypotheses in the laboratory. A plastic projection from one neuronal population to another will attain stable equilibrium under periodic electrical stimulation of constant intensity. The perturbative effect of shifting this intensity level

  1. Optogenetic activation of dorsal raphe serotonin neurons enhances patience for future rewards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazaki, Kayoko W; Miyazaki, Katsuhiko; Tanaka, Kenji F; Yamanaka, Akihiro; Takahashi, Aki; Tabuchi, Sawako; Doya, Kenji

    2014-09-08

    Serotonin is a neuromodulator that is involved extensively in behavioral, affective, and cognitive functions in the brain. Previous recording studies of the midbrain dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) revealed that the activation of putative serotonin neurons correlates with the levels of behavioral arousal [1], rhythmic motor outputs [2], salient sensory stimuli [3-6], reward, and conditioned cues [5-8]. The classic theory on serotonin states that it opposes dopamine and inhibits behaviors when aversive events are predicted [9-14]. However, the therapeutic effects of serotonin signal-enhancing medications have been difficult to reconcile with this theory [15, 16]. In contrast, a more recent theory states that serotonin facilitates long-term optimal behaviors and suppresses impulsive behaviors [17-21]. To test these theories, we developed optogenetic mice that selectively express channelrhodopsin in serotonin neurons and tested how the activation of serotonergic neurons in the DRN affects animal behavior during a delayed reward task. The activation of serotonin neurons reduced the premature cessation of waiting for conditioned cues and food rewards. In reward omission trials, serotonin neuron stimulation prolonged the time animals spent waiting. This effect was observed specifically when the animal was engaged in deciding whether to keep waiting and was not due to motor inhibition. Control experiments showed that the prolonged waiting times observed with optogenetic stimulation were not due to behavioral inhibition or the reinforcing effects of serotonergic activation. These results show, for the first time, that the timed activation of serotonin neurons during waiting promotes animals' patience to wait for a delayed reward. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Enhancement of neurite outgrowth in neuron cancer stem cells by growth on 3-D collagen scaffolds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Chih-Hao [Department of Electrical Engineering, I-Shou University, Taiwan, ROC (China); Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan, ROC (China); Department of Biomedical Engineering, I-Shou University, Taiwan, ROC (China); Kuo, Shyh Ming [Department of Biomedical Engineering, I-Shou University, Taiwan, ROC (China); Liu, Guei-Sheung [Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne (Australia); Chen, Wan-Nan U. [Department of Biological Science and Technology, I-Shou University, Taiwan, ROC (China); Chuang, Chin-Wen [Department of Electrical Engineering, I-Shou University, Taiwan, ROC (China); Liu, Li-Feng, E-mail: liulf@isu.edu.tw [Department of Biological Science and Technology, I-Shou University, Taiwan, ROC (China)

    2012-11-09

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Neuron cancer stem cells (NCSCs) behave high multiply of growth on collagen scaffold. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Enhancement of NCSCs neurite outgrowth on porous collagen scaffold. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer 3-D collagen culture of NCSCs shows an advance differentiation than 2-D culture. -- Abstract: Collagen is one component of the extracellular matrix that has been widely used for constructive remodeling to facilitate cell growth and differentiation. The 3-D distribution and growth of cells within the porous scaffold suggest a clinical significance for nerve tissue engineering. In the current study, we investigated proliferation and differentiation of neuron cancer stem cells (NCSCs) on a 3-D porous collagen scaffold that mimics the natural extracellular matrix. We first generated green fluorescence protein (GFP) expressing NCSCs using a lentiviral system to instantly monitor the transitions of morphological changes during growth on the 3-D scaffold. We found that proliferation of GFP-NCSCs increased, and a single cell mass rapidly grew with unrestricted expansion between days 3 and 9 in culture. Moreover, immunostaining with neuronal nuclei (NeuN) revealed that NCSCs grown on the 3-D collagen scaffold significantly enhanced neurite outgrowth. Our findings confirmed that the 80 {mu}m porous collagen scaffold could enhance attachment, viability and differentiation of the cancer neural stem cells. This result could provide a new application for nerve tissue engineering and nerve regeneration.

  3. Enhancement of neurite outgrowth in neuron cancer stem cells by growth on 3-D collagen scaffolds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Chih-Hao; Kuo, Shyh Ming; Liu, Guei-Sheung; Chen, Wan-Nan U.; Chuang, Chin-Wen; Liu, Li-Feng

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Neuron cancer stem cells (NCSCs) behave high multiply of growth on collagen scaffold. ► Enhancement of NCSCs neurite outgrowth on porous collagen scaffold. ► 3-D collagen culture of NCSCs shows an advance differentiation than 2-D culture. -- Abstract: Collagen is one component of the extracellular matrix that has been widely used for constructive remodeling to facilitate cell growth and differentiation. The 3-D distribution and growth of cells within the porous scaffold suggest a clinical significance for nerve tissue engineering. In the current study, we investigated proliferation and differentiation of neuron cancer stem cells (NCSCs) on a 3-D porous collagen scaffold that mimics the natural extracellular matrix. We first generated green fluorescence protein (GFP) expressing NCSCs using a lentiviral system to instantly monitor the transitions of morphological changes during growth on the 3-D scaffold. We found that proliferation of GFP-NCSCs increased, and a single cell mass rapidly grew with unrestricted expansion between days 3 and 9 in culture. Moreover, immunostaining with neuronal nuclei (NeuN) revealed that NCSCs grown on the 3-D collagen scaffold significantly enhanced neurite outgrowth. Our findings confirmed that the 80 μm porous collagen scaffold could enhance attachment, viability and differentiation of the cancer neural stem cells. This result could provide a new application for nerve tissue engineering and nerve regeneration.

  4. Neuron-astrocyte interaction enhance GABAergic synaptic transmission in a manner dependent on key metabolic enzymes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Przemysław eKaczor

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available GABA is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult brain and mechanisms of GABAergic inhibition have been intensely investigated in the past decades. Recent studies provided evidence for an important role of astrocytes in shaping GABAergic currents. One of the most obvious, but yet poorly understood, mechanisms of the cross-talk between GABAergic currents and astrocytes is metabolism including neurotransmitter homeostasis. In particular, how modulation of GABAergic currents by astrocytes depends on key enzymes involved in cellular metabolism remains largely unknown. To address this issue, we have considered two simple models of neuronal cultures: nominally astrocyte-free neuronal culture (NC and neuronal-astrocytic co-cultures (ANCC and miniature Inhibitory Postsynaptic Currents (mIPSCs were recorded in control conditions and in the presence of respective enzyme blockers. We report that enrichment of neuronal culture with astrocytes results in a marked increase in mIPSC frequency. This enhancement of GABAergic activity was accompanied by increased number of GAD65 and vGAT puncta, indicating that at least a part of the frequency enhancement was due to increased number of synaptic contacts. Inhibition of glutamine synthetase (with MSO strongly reduced mIPSC frequency in ANCC but had no effect in NC. Moreover, treatment of ANCC with inhibitor of glycogen phosphorylase (BAYU6751 or with selective inhibitor of astrocytic Krebs cycle,fluoroacetate, resulted in a marked reduction of mIPSC frequency in ANCC having no effect in NC. We conclude that GABAergic synaptic transmission strongly depends on neuron-astrocyte interaction in a manner dependent on key metabolic enzymes as well as on the Krebs cycle.

  5. New approaches for solving old problems in neuronal protein trafficking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourke, Ashley M; Bowen, Aaron B; Kennedy, Matthew J

    2018-04-10

    Fundamental cellular properties are determined by the repertoire and abundance of proteins displayed on the cell surface. As such, the trafficking mechanisms for establishing and maintaining the surface proteome must be tightly regulated for cells to respond appropriately to extracellular cues, yet plastic enough to adapt to ever-changing environments. Not only are the identity and abundance of surface proteins critical, but in many cases, their regulated spatial positioning within surface nanodomains can greatly impact their function. In the context of neuronal cell biology, surface levels and positioning of ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors play essential roles in establishing important properties, including cellular excitability and synaptic strength. Here we review our current understanding of the trafficking pathways that control the abundance and localization of proteins important for synaptic function and plasticity, as well as recent technological advances that are allowing the field to investigate protein trafficking with increasing spatiotemporal precision. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Enhancement of synaptic transmission induced by BDNF in cultured cortical neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Jun; Gong, Hui; Zeng, Shaoqun; Li, Yanling; Luo, Qingming

    2005-03-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), like other neurotrophins, has long-term effects on neuronal survival and differentiation; furthermore, BDNF has been reported to exert an acute potentiation of synaptic activity and are critically involved in long-term potentiation (LTP). We found that BDNF rapidly induced potentiation of synaptic activity and an increase in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration in cultured cortical neurons. Within minutes of BDNF application to cultured cortical neurons, spontaneous firing rate was dramatically increased as were the frequency and amplitude of excitatory spontaneous postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). Fura-2 recordings showed that BDNF acutely elicited an increase in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]c). This effect was partially dependent on [Ca2+]o; The BDNF-induced increase in [Ca2+]c can not be completely blocked by Ca2+-free solution. It was completely blocked by K252a and partially blocked by Cd2+ and TTX. The results demonstrate that BDNF can enhances synaptic transmission and that this effect is accompanied by a rise in [Ca2+]c that requires two route: the release of Ca2+ from intracellular calcium stores and influx of extracellular Ca2+ through voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels in cultured cortical neurons.

  7. Sociodrama approach for enhancing nuclear safety

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choi, K. S.; Kim, C. B.; Ha, Y. H.

    2004-01-01

    A role playing or sociodrama has been experimentally conducted among residents from 4 NPP sites in Korea and KINS employees as a psychological approach for enhancing nuclear safety and improving public communication and public confidence in regulator in Dec. 2004. In this paper, the results were analyzed and presented and future plan and area of further study were suggested. This socio-psychological approach can be used as a new communication method for improving mutual understanding between residents and NPP operators at sites. It can be also used to solve conflicts among stakeholders and interest groups in nuclear industry

  8. ENHANCING WRITING SKILL THROUGH WRITING PROCESS APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Zaini Miftah

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The study is aimed at developing the implementation of Writing Process Approach (WPA to enhance the students’ skill in writing essay. The study employed Classroom Action Research. The subjects of the study were 15 university students enrolled in the writing class. The data were gained from writing task, observation and field notes. The findings show that the implementation of WPA with the proper model procedures developed can enhance the students’ skill in writing essay. Before the strategy was implemented, the percentage of the students achieving the score greater than or equal to C (56-70 was 40.00% (6 students of the class. However, after the strategy was implemented in Cycle I, it enhanced enough to 60.00% (9 students of the class, but this result did not meet the criteria of success set up in the study. Next, in Cycle II it increased slightly to 86.67% (13 students of the class. Thus, the enhancement of the students’ skill in writing essay can be reached but it should follow the proper model procedures of the implementation of WPA developed. Keywords: writing process approach, writing skill, essay writing

  9. Glutamate transporter activity promotes enhanced Na+/K+-ATPase -mediated extracellular K+ management during neuronal activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Brian R; Holm, Rikke; Vilsen, Bente

    2016-01-01

    , in addition, Na+ /K+ -ATPase-mediated K+ clearance could be governed by astrocytic [Na+ ]i . During most neuronal activity, glutamate is released in the synaptic cleft and is re-absorbed by astrocytic Na+ -coupled glutamate transporters, thereby elevating [Na+ ]i . It thus remains unresolved whether...... the different Na+ /K+ -ATPase isoforms are controlled by [K+ ]o or [Na+ ]i during neuronal activity. Hippocampal slice recordings of stimulus-induced [K+ ]o transients with ion-sensitive microelectrodes revealed reduced Na+ /K+ -ATPase-mediated K+ management upon parallel inhibition of the glutamate transporter......+ affinity to the α1 and α2 isoforms than the β2 isoform. In summary, enhanced astrocytic Na+ /K+ -ATPase-dependent K+ clearance was obtained with parallel glutamate transport activity. The astrocytic Na+ /K+ -ATPase isoform constellation α2β1 appeared to be specifically geared to respond to the [Na+ ]i...

  10. Wnt1 from cochlear schwann cells enhances neuronal differentiation of transplanted neural stem cells in a rat spiral ganglion neuron degeneration model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Ya; Zhang, Peng-Zhi; Sun, Dong; Mi, Wen-Juan; Zhang, Xin-Yi; Cui, Yong; Jiang, Xing-Wang; Mao, Xiao-Bo; Qiu, Jian-Hua

    2014-04-01

    Although neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation is widely expected to become a therapy for nervous system degenerative diseases and injuries, the low neuronal differentiation rate of NSCs transplanted into the inner ear is a major obstacle for the successful treatment of spiral ganglion neuron (SGN) degeneration. In this study, we validated whether the local microenvironment influences the neuronal differentiation of transplanted NSCs in the inner ear. Using a rat SGN degeneration model, we demonstrated that transplanted NSCs were more likely to differentiate into microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2)-positive neurons in SGN-degenerated cochleae than in control cochleae. Using real-time quantitative PCR and an immunofluorescence assay, we also proved that the expression of Wnt1 (a ligand of Wnt signaling) increases significantly in Schwann cells in the SGN-degenerated cochlea. We further verified that NSC cultures express receptors and signaling components for Wnts. Based on these expression patterns, we hypothesized that Schwann cell-derived Wnt1 and Wnt signaling might be involved in the regulation of the neuronal differentiation of transplanted NSCs. We verified our hypothesis in vitro using a coculture system. We transduced a lentiviral vector expressing Wnt1 into cochlear Schwann cell cultures and cocultured them with NSC cultures. The coculture with Wnt1-expressing Schwann cells resulted in a significant increase in the percentage of NSCs that differentiated into MAP2-positive neurons, whereas this differentiation-enhancing effect was prevented by Dkk1 (an inhibitor of the Wnt signaling pathway). These results suggested that Wnt1 derived from cochlear Schwann cells enhanced the neuronal differentiation of transplanted NSCs through Wnt signaling pathway activation. Alterations of the microenvironment deserve detailed investigation because they may help us to conceive effective strategies to overcome the barrier of the low differentiation rate of transplanted

  11. Enhanced NMDA receptor-mediated intracellular calcium signaling in magnocellular neurosecretory neurons in heart failure rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Javier E; Potapenko, Evgeniy S

    2013-08-15

    An enhanced glutamate excitatory function within the hypothalamic supraoptic and paraventricluar nuclei is known to contribute to increased neurosecretory and presympathetic neuronal activity, and hence, neurohumoral activation, during heart failure (HF). Still, the precise mechanisms underlying enhanced glutamate-driven neuronal activity in HF remain to be elucidated. Here, we performed simultaneous electrophysiology and fast confocal Ca²⁺ imaging to determine whether altered N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-mediated changes in intracellular Ca²⁺ levels (NMDA-ΔCa²⁺) occurred in hypothalamic magnocellular neurosecretory cells (MNCs) in HF rats. We found that activation of NMDA receptors resulted in a larger ΔCa²⁺ in MNCs from HF when compared with sham rats. The enhanced NMDA-ΔCa²⁺ was neither dependent on the magnitude of the NMDA-mediated current (voltage clamp) nor on the degree of membrane depolarization or firing activity evoked by NMDA (current clamp). Differently from NMDA receptor activation, firing activity evoked by direct membrane depolarization resulted in similar changes in intracellular Ca²⁺ in sham and HF rats. Taken together, our results support a relatively selective alteration of intracellular Ca²⁺ homeostasis and signaling following activation of NMDA receptors in MNCs during HF. The downstream functional consequences of such altered ΔCa²⁺ signaling during HF are discussed.

  12. β-Adrenergic enhancement of neuronal excitability in the lateral amygdala is developmentally gated.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fink, Ann E; LeDoux, Joseph E

    2018-05-01

    Noradrenergic signaling in the amygdala is important for processing threats and other emotionally salient stimuli, and β-adrenergic receptor activation is known to enhance neuronal spiking in the lateral amygdala (LA) of juvenile animals. Nevertheless, intracellular recordings have not yet been conducted to determine the effect of β-adrenergic receptor activation on spike properties in the adult LA, despite the potential significance of developmental changes between adolescence and adulthood. Here we demonstrate that the β-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol (15 μM) enhances spike frequency in dorsal LA principal neurons of juvenile male C57BL/6 mice and fails to do so in strain- and sex-matched adults. Furthermore, we find that the age-dependent effect of isoproterenol on spike frequency is occluded by the GABA A receptor blocker picrotoxin (75 μM), suggesting that β-adrenergic receptors downregulate tonic inhibition specifically in juvenile animals. These findings indicate a significant shift during adolescence in the cellular mechanisms of β-adrenergic modulation in the amygdala. NEW & NOTEWORTHY β-Adrenergic receptors (β-ARs) in amygdala are important in processing emotionally salient stimuli. Most cellular recordings have examined juvenile animals, while behavioral data are often obtained from adults. We replicate findings showing that β-ARs enhance spiking of principal cells in the lateral amygdala of juveniles, but we fail to find this in adults. These findings have notable scientific and clinical implications regarding the noradrenergic modulation of threat processing, alterations of which underlie fear and anxiety disorders.

  13. Ethanol enhances GABA-induced 36Cl-influx in primary spinal cord cultured neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ticku, M.K.; Lowrimore, P.; Lehoullier, P.

    1986-01-01

    Ethanol has a pharmacological profile similar to other centrally acting drugs, which facilitate GABAergic transmission. GABA is known to produce its effects by increasing the conductance to Cl- ions. In this study, we have examined the effect of ethanol on GABA-induced 36Cl-influx in primary spinal cord cultured neurons. GABA produces a concentration-dependent, and saturable effect on 36Cl-influx in these neurons. Ethanol potentiates the effect of GABA on 36Cl-influx in these neurons. GABA (20 microM) increased the 36Cl-influx by 75% over the basal value, and in the presence of 50 mM ethanol, the observed increase was 142%. Eadie-Hoffstee analysis of the saturation curves indicated that ethanol decreases the Km value of GABA (10.6 microM to 4.2 microM), and also increases the Vmax. Besides potentiating the effect of GABA, ethanol also appears to have a direct effect in the absence of added GABA. These results suggest that ethanol enhances GABA-induced 36Cl-influx and indicate a role of GABAergic system in the actions of ethanol. These results also support the behavioral and electrophysiological studies, which have implicated GABA systems in the actions of ethanol. The potential mechanism(s) and the role of direct effect of ethanol is not clear at this time, but is currently being investigated

  14. Enhanced neuronal glucose transporter expression reveals metabolic choice in a HD Drosophila model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besson, Marie Thérèse; Alegría, Karin; Garrido-Gerter, Pamela; Barros, Luis Felipe; Liévens, Jean-Charles

    2015-01-01

    Huntington's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by toxic insertions of polyglutamine residues in the Huntingtin protein and characterized by progressive deterioration of cognitive and motor functions. Altered brain glucose metabolism has long been suggested and a possible link has been proposed in HD. However, the precise function of glucose transporters was not yet determined. Here, we report the effects of the specifically-neuronal human glucose transporter expression in neurons of a Drosophila model carrying the exon 1 of the human huntingtin gene with 93 glutamine repeats (HQ93). We demonstrated that overexpression of the human glucose transporter in neurons ameliorated significantly the status of HD flies by increasing their lifespan, reducing their locomotor deficits and rescuing eye neurodegeneration. Then, we investigated whether increasing the major pathways of glucose catabolism, glycolysis and pentose-phosphate pathway (PPP) impacts HD. To mimic increased glycolytic flux, we overexpressed phosphofructokinase (PFK) which catalyzes an irreversible step in glycolysis. Overexpression of PFK did not affect HQ93 fly survival, but protected from photoreceptor loss. Overexpression of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), the key enzyme of the PPP, extended significantly the lifespan of HD flies and rescued eye neurodegeneration. Since G6PD is able to synthesize NADPH involved in cell survival by maintenance of the redox state, we showed that tolerance to experimental oxidative stress was enhanced in flies co-expressing HQ93 and G6PD. Additionally overexpressions of hGluT3, G6PD or PFK were able to circumvent mitochondrial deficits induced by specific silencing of genes necessary for mitochondrial homeostasis. Our study confirms the involvement of bioenergetic deficits in HD course; they can be rescued by specific expression of a glucose transporter in neurons. Finally, the PPP and, to a lesser extent, the glycolysis seem to mediate the hGluT3

  15. Enhanced neuronal glucose transporter expression reveals metabolic choice in a HD Drosophila model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie Thérèse Besson

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by toxic insertions of polyglutamine residues in the Huntingtin protein and characterized by progressive deterioration of cognitive and motor functions. Altered brain glucose metabolism has long been suggested and a possible link has been proposed in HD. However, the precise function of glucose transporters was not yet determined. Here, we report the effects of the specifically-neuronal human glucose transporter expression in neurons of a Drosophila model carrying the exon 1 of the human huntingtin gene with 93 glutamine repeats (HQ93. We demonstrated that overexpression of the human glucose transporter in neurons ameliorated significantly the status of HD flies by increasing their lifespan, reducing their locomotor deficits and rescuing eye neurodegeneration. Then, we investigated whether increasing the major pathways of glucose catabolism, glycolysis and pentose-phosphate pathway (PPP impacts HD. To mimic increased glycolytic flux, we overexpressed phosphofructokinase (PFK which catalyzes an irreversible step in glycolysis. Overexpression of PFK did not affect HQ93 fly survival, but protected from photoreceptor loss. Overexpression of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD, the key enzyme of the PPP, extended significantly the lifespan of HD flies and rescued eye neurodegeneration. Since G6PD is able to synthesize NADPH involved in cell survival by maintenance of the redox state, we showed that tolerance to experimental oxidative stress was enhanced in flies co-expressing HQ93 and G6PD. Additionally overexpressions of hGluT3, G6PD or PFK were able to circumvent mitochondrial deficits induced by specific silencing of genes necessary for mitochondrial homeostasis. Our study confirms the involvement of bioenergetic deficits in HD course; they can be rescued by specific expression of a glucose transporter in neurons. Finally, the PPP and, to a lesser extent, the glycolysis seem to

  16. Molecular fingerprinting of principal neurons in the rodent hippocampus: A neuroinformatics approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, D J; White, C M; Rees, C L; Wheeler, D W; Ascoli, G A

    2017-09-10

    Neurons are often classified by their morphological and molecular properties. The online knowledge base Hippocampome.org primarily defines neuron types from the rodent hippocampal formation based on their main neurotransmitter (glutamate or GABA) and the spatial distributions of their axons and dendrites. For each neuron type, this open-access resource reports any and all published information regarding the presence or absence of known molecular markers, including calcium-binding proteins, neuropeptides, receptors, channels, transcription factors, and other molecules of biomedical relevance. The resulting chemical profile is relatively sparse: even for the best studied neuron types, the expression or lack thereof of fewer than 70 molecules has been firmly established to date. The mouse genome-wide in situ hybridization mapping of the Allen Brain Atlas provides a wealth of data that, when appropriately analyzed, can substantially augment the molecular marker knowledge in Hippocampome.org. Here we focus on the principal cell layers of dentate gyrus (DG), CA3, CA2, and CA1, which together contain approximately 90% of hippocampal neurons. These four anatomical parcels are densely packed with somata of mostly excitatory projection neurons. Thus, gene expression data for those layers can be justifiably linked to the respective principal neuron types: granule cells in DG and pyramidal cells in CA3, CA2, and CA1. In order to enable consistent interpretation across genes and regions, we screened the whole-genome dataset against known molecular markers of those neuron types. The resulting threshold values allow over 6000 very-high confidence (>99.5%) expressed/not-expressed assignments, expanding the biochemical information content of Hippocampome.org more than five-fold. Many of these newly identified molecular markers are potential pharmacological targets for major neurological and psychiatric conditions. Furthermore, our approach yields reasonable expression

  17. Estimation of the neuronal activation using fMRI data: An observer-based approach

    KAUST Repository

    Laleg-Kirati, Taous-Meriem

    2013-06-01

    This paper deals with the estimation of the neuronal activation and some unmeasured physiological information using the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) signal measured using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). We propose to use an observer-based approach applied to the balloon hemodynamic model. The latter describes the relation between the neural activity and the BOLD signal. The balloon model can be expressed in a nonlinear state-space representation where the states, the parameters and the input (neuronal activation), are unknown. This study focuses only on the estimation of the hidden states and the neuronal activation. The model is first linearized around the equilibrium and an observer is applied to this linearized version. Numerical results performed on synthetic data are presented.

  18. Minocycline enhances inhibitory transmission to substantia gelatinosa neurons of the rat spinal dorsal horn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, H-Z; Ma, L-X; Lv, M-H; Hu, T; Liu, T

    2016-04-05

    Minocycline, a second-generation tetracycline, is well known for its antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and antinociceptive effects. Modulation of synaptic transmission is one of the analgesic mechanisms of minocycline. Although it has been reported that minocycline may suppress excitatory glutamatergic synaptic transmission, it remains unclear whether it could affect inhibitory synaptic transmission, which also plays a key role in modulating pain signaling. To examine the effect of minocycline on synaptic transmission in rat spinal substantia gelatinosa (SG) neurons, we recorded spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs) using whole-cell patch-clamp recording at a holding potential of 0 mV. Bath application of minocycline significantly increased the frequency but not the amplitude of sIPSCs in a reversible and concentration-dependent manner with an EC50 of 85. The enhancement of inhibitory synaptic transmission produced by minocycline was not affected by the glutamate receptor antagonists CNQX and D-APV or by the voltage-gated sodium channel blocker tetrodotoxin (TTX). Moreover, the potency of minocycline for facilitating sIPSC frequency was the same in both glycinergic and GABAergic sIPSCs without changing their decay phases. However, the facilitatory effect of minocycline on sIPSCs was eliminated in a Ca(2+)-free Krebs solution or by co-administration with calcium channel blockers. In summary, our data demonstrate that baseline inhibitory synaptic transmission in SG neurons is markedly enhanced by minocycline. This may function to decrease the excitability of SG neurons, thus leading to a modulation of nociceptive transmission. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  19. Noise Enhances Action Potential Generation in Mouse Sensory Neurons via Stochastic Resonance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onorato, Irene; D'Alessandro, Giuseppina; Di Castro, Maria Amalia; Renzi, Massimiliano; Dobrowolny, Gabriella; Musarò, Antonio; Salvetti, Marco; Limatola, Cristina; Crisanti, Andrea; Grassi, Francesca

    2016-01-01

    Noise can enhance perception of tactile and proprioceptive stimuli by stochastic resonance processes. However, the mechanisms underlying this general phenomenon remain to be characterized. Here we studied how externally applied noise influences action potential firing in mouse primary sensory neurons of dorsal root ganglia, modelling a basic process in sensory perception. Since noisy mechanical stimuli may cause stochastic fluctuations in receptor potential, we examined the effects of sub-threshold depolarizing current steps with superimposed random fluctuations. We performed whole cell patch clamp recordings in cultured neurons of mouse dorsal root ganglia. Noise was added either before and during the step, or during the depolarizing step only, to focus onto the specific effects of external noise on action potential generation. In both cases, step + noise stimuli triggered significantly more action potentials than steps alone. The normalized power norm had a clear peak at intermediate noise levels, demonstrating that the phenomenon is driven by stochastic resonance. Spikes evoked in step + noise trials occur earlier and show faster rise time as compared to the occasional ones elicited by steps alone. These data suggest that external noise enhances, via stochastic resonance, the recruitment of transient voltage-gated Na channels, responsible for action potential firing in response to rapid step-wise depolarizing currents.

  20. Direct Conversion of Equine Adipose-Derived Stem Cells into Induced Neuronal Cells Is Enhanced in Three-Dimensional Culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Gayle F; Hilbert, Bryan J; Trope, Gareth D; Kalle, Wouter H J; Strappe, Padraig M

    2015-12-01

    The ability to culture neurons from horses may allow further investigation into equine neurological disorders. In this study, we demonstrate the generation of induced neuronal cells from equine adipose-derived stem cells (EADSCs) using a combination of lentiviral vector expression of the neuronal transcription factors Brn2, Ascl1, Myt1l (BAM) and NeuroD1 and a defined chemical induction medium, with βIII-tubulin-positive induced neuronal cells displaying a distinct neuronal morphology of rounded and compact cell bodies, extensive neurite outgrowth, and branching of processes. Furthermore, we investigated the effects of dimensionality on neuronal transdifferentiation, comparing conventional two-dimensional (2D) monolayer culture against three-dimensional (3D) culture on a porous polystyrene scaffold. Neuronal transdifferentiation was enhanced in 3D culture, with evenly distributed cells located on the surface and throughout the scaffold. Transdifferentiation efficiency was increased in 3D culture, with an increase in mean percent conversion of more than 100% compared to 2D culture. Additionally, induced neuronal cells were shown to transit through a Nestin-positive precursor state, with MAP2 and Synapsin 2 expression significantly increased in 3D culture. These findings will help to increase our understanding of equine neuropathogenesis, with prospective roles in disease modeling, drug screening, and cellular replacement for treatment of equine neurological disorders.

  1. Neurotrophin-3 Enhances the Synaptic Organizing Function of TrkC-Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase σ in Rat Hippocampal Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ammendrup-Johnsen, Ina; Naito, Yusuke; Craig, Ann Marie; Takahashi, Hideto

    2015-09-09

    Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and its high-affinity receptor TrkC play crucial trophic roles in neuronal differentiation, axon outgrowth, and synapse development and plasticity in the nervous system. We demonstrated previously that postsynaptic TrkC functions as a glutamatergic synapse-inducing (synaptogenic) cell adhesion molecule trans-interacting with presynaptic protein tyrosine phosphatase σ (PTPσ). Given that NT-3 and PTPσ bind distinct domains of the TrkC extracellular region, here we tested the hypothesis that NT-3 modulates TrkC/PTPσ binding and synaptogenic activity. NT-3 enhanced PTPσ binding to cell surface-expressed TrkC and facilitated the presynapse-inducing activity of TrkC in rat hippocampal neurons. Imaging of recycling presynaptic vesicles combined with TrkC knockdown and rescue approaches demonstrated that NT-3 rapidly potentiates presynaptic function via binding endogenous postsynaptic TrkC in a tyrosine kinase-independent manner. Thus, NT-3 positively modulates the TrkC-PTPσ complex for glutamatergic presynaptic assembly and function independently from TrkC kinase activation. Our findings provide new insight into synaptic roles of neurotrophin signaling and mechanisms controlling synaptic organizing complexes. Significance statement: Although many synaptogenic adhesion complexes have been identified in recent years, little is known about modulatory mechanisms. Here, we demonstrate a novel role of neurotrophin-3 in synaptic assembly and function as a positive modulator of the TrkC-protein tyrosine phosphatase σ complex. This study provides new insight into the involvement of neurotrophin signaling in synapse development and plasticity, presenting a molecular mechanism that may underlie previous observations of short- and long-term enhancement of presynaptic function by neurotrophin. Given the links of synaptogenic adhesion molecules to autism and schizophrenia, this study might also contribute to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of

  2. Postsynaptic Depolarization Enhances GABA Drive to Dorsomedial Hypothalamic Neurons through Somatodendritic Cholecystokinin Release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crosby, Karen M; Baimoukhametova, Dinara V; Bains, Jaideep S; Pittman, Quentin J

    2015-09-23

    Somatodendritically released peptides alter synaptic function through a variety of mechanisms, including autocrine actions that liberate retrograde transmitters. Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a neuropeptide expressed in neurons in the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus (DMH), a region implicated in satiety and stress. There are clear demonstrations that exogenous CCK modulates food intake and neuropeptide expression in the DMH, but there is no information on how endogenous CCK alters synaptic properties. Here, we provide the first report of somatodendritic release of CCK in the brain in male Sprague Dawley rats. CCK is released from DMH neurons in response to repeated postsynaptic depolarizations, and acts in an autocrine fashion on CCK2 receptors to enhance postsynaptic NMDA receptor function and liberate the retrograde transmitter, nitric oxide (NO). NO subsequently acts presynaptically to enhance GABA release through a soluble guanylate cyclase-mediated pathway. These data provide the first demonstration of synaptic actions of somatodendritically released CCK in the hypothalamus and reveal a new form of retrograde plasticity, depolarization-induced potentiation of inhibition. Significance statement: Somatodendritic signaling using endocannabinoids or nitric oxide to alter the efficacy of afferent transmission is well established. Despite early convincing evidence for somatodendritic release of neurohypophysial peptides in the hypothalamus, there is only limited evidence for this mode of release for other peptides. Here, we provide the first evidence for somatodendritic release of the satiety peptide cholecystokinin (CCK) in the brain. We also reveal a new form of synaptic plasticity in which postsynaptic depolarization results in enhancement of inhibition through the somatodendritic release of CCK. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3513160-11$15.00/0.

  3. Cognitive phase transitions in the cerebral cortex enhancing the neuron doctrine by modeling neural fields

    CERN Document Server

    Kozma, Robert

    2016-01-01

    This intriguing book was born out of the many discussions the authors had in the past 10 years about the role of scale-free structure and dynamics in producing intelligent behavior in brains. The microscopic dynamics of neural networks is well described by the prevailing paradigm based in a narrow interpretation of the neuron doctrine. This book broadens the doctrine by incorporating the dynamics of neural fields, as first revealed by modeling with differential equations (K-sets).  The book broadens that approach by application of random graph theory (neuropercolation). The book concludes with diverse commentaries that exemplify the wide range of mathematical/conceptual approaches to neural fields. This book is intended for researchers, postdocs, and graduate students, who see the limitations of network theory and seek a beachhead from which to embark on mesoscopic and macroscopic neurodynamics.

  4. Blocking miRNA Biogenesis in Adult Forebrain Neurons Enhances Seizure Susceptibility, Fear Memory, and Food Intake by Increasing Neuronal Responsiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiorenza, Anna; Lopez-Atalaya, Jose P; Rovira, Victor; Scandaglia, Marilyn; Geijo-Barrientos, Emilio; Barco, Angel

    2016-04-01

    The RNase Dicer is essential for the maturation of most microRNAs, a molecular system that plays an essential role in fine-tuning gene expression. To gain molecular insight into the role of Dicer and the microRNA system in brain function, we conducted 2 complementary RNA-seq screens in the hippocampus of inducible forebrain-restricted Dicer1 mutants aimed at identifying the microRNAs primarily affected by Dicer loss and their targets, respectively. Functional genomics analyses predicted the main biological processes and phenotypes associated with impaired microRNA maturation, including categories related to microRNA biology, signal transduction, seizures, and synaptic transmission and plasticity. Consistent with these predictions, we found that, soon after recombination, Dicer-deficient mice exhibited an exaggerated seizure response, enhanced induction of immediate early genes in response to different stimuli, stronger and more stable fear memory, hyperphagia, and increased excitability of CA1 pyramidal neurons. In the long term, we also observed slow and progressive excitotoxic neurodegeneration. Overall, our results indicate that interfering with microRNA biogenesis causes an increase in neuronal responsiveness and disrupts homeostatic mechanisms that protect the neuron against overactivation, which may explain both the initial and late phenotypes associated with the loss of Dicer in excitatory neurons. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Glut2-dependent glucose-sensing controls thermoregulation by enhancing the leptin sensitivity of NPY and POMC neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mounien, Lourdes; Marty, Nell; Tarussio, David; Metref, Salima; Genoux, David; Preitner, Frédéric; Foretz, Marc; Thorens, Bernard

    2010-06-01

    The physiological contribution of glucose in thermoregulation is not completely established nor whether this control may involve a regulation of the melanocortin pathway. Here, we assessed thermoregulation and leptin sensitivity of hypothalamic arcuate neurons in mice with inactivation of glucose transporter type 2 (Glut2)-dependent glucose sensing. Mice with inactivation of Glut2-dependent glucose sensors are cold intolerant and show increased susceptibility to food deprivation-induced torpor and abnormal hypothermic response to intracerebroventricular administration of 2-deoxy-d-glucose compared to control mice. This is associated with a defect in regulated expression of brown adipose tissue uncoupling protein I and iodothyronine deiodinase II and with a decreased leptin sensitivity of neuropeptide Y (NPY) and proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons, as observed during the unfed-to-refed transition or following i.p. leptin injection. Sites of central Glut-2 expression were identified by a genetic tagging approach and revealed that glucose-sensitive neurons were present in the lateral hypothalamus, the dorsal vagal complex, and the basal medulla but not in the arcuate nucleus. NPY and POMC neurons were, however, connected to nerve terminals from Glut2-expressing neurons. Thus, our data suggest that glucose controls thermoregulation and the leptin sensitivity of NPY and POMC neurons through activation of Glut2-dependent glucose-sensing neurons located outside of the arcuate nucleus.

  6. Optimal autaptic and synaptic delays enhanced synchronization transitions induced by each other in Newman–Watts neuronal networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Baoying; Gong, Yubing; Xie, Huijuan; Wang, Qi

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • Optimal autaptic delay enhanced synchronization transitions induced by synaptic delay in neuronal networks. • Optimal synaptic delay enhanced synchronization transitions induced by autaptic delay. • Optimal coupling strength enhanced synchronization transitions induced by autaptic or synaptic delay. - Abstract: In this paper, we numerically study the effect of electrical autaptic and synaptic delays on synchronization transitions induced by each other in Newman–Watts Hodgkin–Huxley neuronal networks. It is found that the synchronization transitions induced by synaptic delay vary with varying autaptic delay and become strongest when autaptic delay is optimal. Similarly, the synchronization transitions induced by autaptic delay vary with varying synaptic delay and become strongest at optimal synaptic delay. Also, there is optimal coupling strength by which the synchronization transitions induced by either synaptic or autaptic delay become strongest. These results show that electrical autaptic and synaptic delays can enhance synchronization transitions induced by each other in the neuronal networks. This implies that electrical autaptic and synaptic delays can cooperate with each other and more efficiently regulate the synchrony state of the neuronal networks. These findings could find potential implications for the information transmission in neural systems.

  7. Reproductive experience modified dendritic spines on cortical pyramidal neurons to enhance sensory perception and spatial learning in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jeng-Rung; Lim, Seh Hong; Chung, Sin-Cun; Lee, Yee-Fun; Wang, Yueh-Jan; Tseng, Guo-Fang; Wang, Tsyr-Jiuan

    2017-01-27

    Behavioral adaptations during motherhood are aimed at increasing reproductive success. Alterations of hormones during motherhood could trigger brain morphological changes to underlie behavioral alterations. Here we investigated whether motherhood changes a rat's sensory perception and spatial memory in conjunction with cortical neuronal structural changes. Female rats of different statuses, including virgin, pregnant, lactating, and primiparous rats were studied. Behavioral test showed that the lactating rats were most sensitive to heat, while rats with motherhood and reproduction experience outperformed virgin rats in a water maze task. By intracellular dye injection and computer-assisted 3-dimensional reconstruction, the dendritic arbors and spines of the layer III and V pyramidal neurons of the somatosensory cortex and CA1 hippocampal pyramidal neurons were revealed for closer analysis. The results showed that motherhood and reproductive experience increased dendritic spines but not arbors or the lengths of the layer III and V pyramidal neurons of the somatosensory cortex and CA1 hippocampal pyramidal neurons. In addition, lactating rats had a higher incidence of spines than pregnant or primiparous rats. The increase of dendritic spines was coupled with increased expression of the glutamatergic postsynaptic marker protein (PSD-95), especially in lactating rats. On the basis of the present results, it is concluded that motherhood enhanced rat sensory perception and spatial memory and was accompanied by increases in dendritic spines on output neurons of the somatosensory cortex and CA1 hippocampus. The effect was sustained for at least 6 weeks after the weaning of the pups.

  8. Reduced Hyperpolarization-Activated Current Contributes to Enhanced Intrinsic Excitability in Cultured Hippocampal Neurons from PrP(-/-) Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Jing; Stemkowski, Patrick L; Gandini, Maria A; Black, Stefanie A; Zhang, Zizhen; Souza, Ivana A; Chen, Lina; Zamponi, Gerald W

    2016-01-01

    Genetic ablation of cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) has been linked to increased neuronal excitability and synaptic activity in the hippocampus. We have previously shown that synaptic activity in hippocampi of PrP-null mice is increased due to enhanced N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) function. Here, we focused on the effect of PRNP gene knock-out (KO) on intrinsic neuronal excitability, and in particular, the underlying ionic mechanism in hippocampal neurons cultured from P0 mouse pups. We found that the absence of PrP(C) profoundly affected the firing properties of cultured hippocampal neurons in the presence of synaptic blockers. The membrane impedance was greater in PrP-null neurons, and this difference was abolished by the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channel blocker ZD7288 (100 μM). HCN channel activity appeared to be functionally regulated by PrP(C). The amplitude of voltage sag, a characteristic of activating HCN channel current (I h), was decreased in null mice. Moreover, I h peak current was reduced, along with a hyperpolarizing shift in activation gating and slower kinetics. However, neither HCN1 nor HCN2 formed a biochemical complex with PrP(C). These results suggest that the absence of PrP downregulates the activity of HCN channels through activation of a cell signaling pathway rather than through direct interactions. This in turn contributes to an increase in membrane impedance to potentiate neuronal excitability.

  9. Enhanced Early Neuronal Processing of Food Pictures in Anorexia Nervosa: A Magnetoencephalography Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren R. Godier

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Neuroimaging studies in Anorexia Nervosa (AN have shown increased activation in reward and cognitive control regions in response to food, and a behavioral attentional bias (AB towards food stimuli is reported. This study aimed to further investigate the neural processing of food using magnetoencephalography (MEG. Participants were 13 females with restricting-type AN, 14 females recovered from restricting-type AN, and 15 female healthy controls. MEG data was acquired whilst participants viewed high- and low-calorie food pictures. Attention was assessed with a reaction time task and eye tracking. Time-series analysis suggested increased neural activity in response to both calorie conditions in the AN groups, consistent with an early AB. Increased activity was observed at 150 ms in the current AN group. Neuronal activity at this latency was at normal level in the recovered group; however, this group exhibited enhanced activity at 320 ms after stimulus. Consistent with previous studies, analysis in source space and behavioral data suggested enhanced attention and cognitive control processes in response to food stimuli in AN. This may enable avoidance of salient food stimuli and maintenance of dietary restraint in AN. A later latency of increased activity in the recovered group may reflect a reversal of this avoidance, with source space and behavioral data indicating increased visual and cognitive processing of food stimuli.

  10. Menthol Enhances Nicotine Reward-Related Behavior by Potentiating Nicotine-Induced Changes in nAChR Function, nAChR Upregulation, and DA Neuron Excitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Brandon J; Wall, Teagan R; Henley, Beverley M; Kim, Charlene H; McKinney, Sheri; Lester, Henry A

    2017-11-01

    Understanding why the quit rate among smokers of menthol cigarettes is lower than non-menthol smokers requires identifying the neurons that are altered by nicotine, menthol, and acetylcholine. Dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) mediate the positive reinforcing effects of nicotine. Using mouse models, we show that menthol enhances nicotine-induced changes in nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed on midbrain DA neurons. Menthol plus nicotine upregulates nAChR number and function on midbrain DA neurons more than nicotine alone. Menthol also enhances nicotine-induced changes in DA neuron excitability. In a conditioned place preference (CPP) assay, we observed that menthol plus nicotine produces greater reward-related behavior than nicotine alone. Our results connect changes in midbrain DA neurons to menthol-induced enhancements of nicotine reward-related behavior and may help explain how smokers of menthol cigarettes exhibit reduced cessation rates.

  11. Chlorotoxin-mediated disinhibition of noradrenergic locus coeruleus neurons using a conditional transgenic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salbaum, J Michael; Cirelli, Chiara; Walcott, Elisabeth; Krushel, Les A; Edelman, Gerald M; Tononi, Giulio

    2004-07-30

    The noradrenergic locus coeruleus (LC) has been implicated in the promotion of arousal, in focused attention and learning, and in the regulation of the sleep/waking cycle. The complex biological functions of the central noradrenergic system have been investigated largely through electrophysiological recordings and neurotoxic lesions of LC neurons. Activation of LC neurons through electrical or chemical stimulation has also led to important insights, although these techniques have limited cellular specificity and short-term effects. Here, we describe a novel method aimed at stimulating the central noradrenergic system in a highly selective manner for prolonged periods of time. This was achieved through the conditional expression of a transgene for chlorotoxin (Cltx) in the LC of adult mice. Chlorotoxin is a component of scorpion venom that partially blocks small conductance chloride channels. In this manner, the influence of GABAergic and glycinergic inhibitory inputs on LC cells is greatly reduced, while their ability to respond to excitatory inputs is unaffected. We demonstrate that the unilateral induction of Cltx expression in the LC is associated with a concomitant ipsilateral increase in the expression of markers of noradrenergic activity in LC neurons. Moreover, LC disinhibition is associated with the ipsilateral induction of the immediate early gene NGFI-A in cortical and subcortical target areas. Unlike previous gain of function approaches, transgenic disinhibition of LC cells is highly selective and persists for at least several weeks. This method represents a powerful new tool to assess the long-term effects of LC activation and is potentially applicable to other neuronal systems.

  12. Barbed channels enhance unidirectional connectivity between neuronal networks cultured on multi electrode arrays

    Science.gov (United States)

    le Feber, Joost; Postma, Wybren; de Weerd, Eddy; Weusthof, Marcel; Rutten, Wim L. C.

    2015-01-01

    Cultured neurons on multi electrode arrays (MEAs) have been widely used to study various aspects of neuronal (network) functioning. A possible drawback of this approach is the lack of structure in these networks. At the single cell level, several solutions have been proposed to enable directed connectivity, and promising results were obtained. At the level of connected sub-populations, a few attempts have been made with promising results. First assessment of the designs' functionality, however, suggested room for further improvement. We designed a two chamber MEA aiming to create a unidirectional connection between the networks in both chambers (“emitting” and “receiving”). To achieve this unidirectionality, all interconnecting channels contained barbs that hindered axon growth in the opposite direction (from receiving to emitting chamber). Visual inspection showed that axons predominantly grew through the channels in the promoted direction. This observation was confirmed by spontaneous activity recordings. Cross-correlation between the signals from two electrodes inside the channels suggested signal propagation at ≈2 m/s from emitting to receiving chamber. Cross-correlation between the firing patterns in both chambers indicated that most correlated activity was initiated in the emitting chamber, which was also reflected by a significantly lower fraction of partial bursts (i.e., a one-chamber-only burst) in the emitting chamber. Finally, electrical stimulation in the emitting chamber induced a fast response in that chamber, and a slower response in the receiving chamber. Stimulation in the receiving chamber evoked a fast response in that chamber, but no response in the emitting chamber. These results confirm the predominantly unidirectional nature of the connecting channels from emitting to receiving chamber. PMID:26578869

  13. Barbed channels enhance unidirectional connectivity between neuronal networks cultured on multi electrode arrays.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joost eLe Feber

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Cultured neurons on multi electrode arrays (MEAs have been widely used to study various as-pects of neuronal (network functioning. A possible drawback of this approach is the lack of structure in these networks. At the single cell level, several solutions have been proposed to ena-ble directed connectivity, and promising results were obtained. At the level of connected sub-populations, a few attempts have been made with promising results. First assessment of the de-signs’ functionality, however, suggested room for further improvement.We designed a two chamber MEA aiming to create a unidirectional connection between the net-works in both chambers (‘emitting’ and ‘receiving’. To achieve this unidirectionality, all inter-connecting channels contained barbs that hindered axon growth in the opposite direction (from receiving to emitting chamber. Visual inspection showed that axons predominantly grew through the channels in the promoted direction . This observation was confirmed by spontaneous activity recordings. Cross-correlation between the signals from two electrodes inside the channels suggested signal propagation at ≈2 m/s from emitting to receiving chamber. Cross-correlation between the firing patterns in both chambers indicated that most correlated activity was initiated in the emitting chamber, which was also reflected by a significantly lower fraction of partial bursts (e. a one-chamber-only burst in the emitting chamber. Finally, electrical stimulation in the emitting chamber induced a fast response in that chamber, and a slower response in the receiving chamber. Stimulation in the receiving chamber evoked a fast response in that chamber, but no response in the emitting chamber. These results confirm the predominantly unidirectional nature of the connecting channels from emitting to receiving chamber.

  14. Approaches to Enhance Sensemaking for Intelligence Analysis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    McBeth, Michael

    2002-01-01

    ..., and to apply persuasion skills to interact more productively with others. Each approach is explained from a sensemaking perspective and linked to Richard Heuer's Psychology of Intelligence Analysis...

  15. Sigma-1 receptor enhances neurite elongation of cerebellar granule neurons via TrkB signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Yuriko; Fujita, Yuki; Shibata, Kumi; Mori, Megumi; Yamashita, Toshihide

    2013-01-01

    Sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R) is an integral membrane protein predominantly expressed in the endoplasmic reticulum. Sig-1R demonstrates a high affinity to various synthetic compounds including well-known psychotherapeutic drugs in the central nervous system (CNS). For that, it is considered as an alternative target for psychotherapeutic drugs. On the cellular level, when Sig-1R is activated, it is known to play a role in neuroprotection and neurite elongation. These effects are suggested to be mediated by its ligand-operated molecular chaperone activity, and/or upregulation of various Ca(2+) signaling. In addition, recent studies show that Sig-1R activation induces neurite outgrowth via neurotrophin signaling. Here, we tested the hypothesis that Sig-1R activation promotes neurite elongation through activation of tropomyosin receptor kinase (Trk), a family of neurotrophin receptors. We found that 2-(4-morpholinethyl)1-phenylcyclohexanecarboxylate (PRE-084), a selective Sig-1R agonist, significantly promoted neurite outgrowth, and K252a, a Trk inhibitor, attenuated Sig-1R-mediated neurite elongation in cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs). Moreover, we revealed that Sig-1R interacts with TrkB, and PRE-084 treatment enhances phosphorylation of Y515, but not Y706. Thus, our results indicate that Sig-1R activation promotes neurite outgrowth in CGNs through Y515 phosphorylation of TrkB.

  16. Glutamate reduces glucose utilization while concomitantly enhancing AQP9 and MCT2 expression in cultured rat hippocampal neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabio eTescarollo

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate has been reported to have a major impact on brain energy metabolism. Using primary cultures of rat hippocampal neurons, we observed that glutamate reduces glucose utilization in this cell type, suggesting alteration in mitochondrial oxidative metabolism. The aquaglyceroporin AQP9 and the monocarboxylate transporter MCT2, two transporters for oxidative energy substrates, appear to be present in mitochondria of these neurons. Moreover, they not only co-localize but they interact with each other as they were found to co-immunoprecipitate from hippocampal neuron homogenates. Exposure of cultured hippocampal neurons to glutamate 100 µM for 1 hour led to enhanced expression of both AQP9 and MCT2 at the protein level without any significant change at the mRNA level. In parallel, a similar increase in the protein expression of LDHA was evidenced without an effect on the mRNA level. These data suggest that glutamate exerts an influence on neuronal energy metabolism likely through a regulation of the expression of some key mitochondrial proteins.

  17. Adipose-derived stromal cells enhance auditory neuron survival in an animal model of sensory hearing loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schendzielorz, Philipp; Vollmer, Maike; Rak, Kristen; Wiegner, Armin; Nada, Nashwa; Radeloff, Katrin; Hagen, Rudolf; Radeloff, Andreas

    2017-10-01

    A cochlear implant (CI) is an electronic prosthesis that can partially restore speech perception capabilities. Optimum information transfer from the cochlea to the central auditory system requires a proper functioning auditory nerve (AN) that is electrically stimulated by the device. In deafness, the lack of neurotrophic support, normally provided by the sensory cells of the inner ear, however, leads to gradual degeneration of auditory neurons with undesirable consequences for CI performance. We evaluated the potential of adipose-derived stromal cells (ASCs) that are known to produce neurotrophic factors to prevent neural degeneration in sensory hearing loss. For this, co-cultures of ASCs with auditory neurons have been studied, and autologous ASC transplantation has been performed in a guinea pig model of gentamicin-induced sensory hearing loss. In vitro ASCs were neuroprotective and considerably increased the neuritogenesis of auditory neurons. In vivo transplantation of ASCs into the scala tympani resulted in an enhanced survival of auditory neurons. Specifically, peripheral AN processes that are assumed to be the optimal activation site for CI stimulation and that are particularly vulnerable to hair cell loss showed a significantly higher survival rate in ASC-treated ears. ASC transplantation into the inner ear may restore neurotrophic support in sensory hearing loss and may help to improve CI performance by enhanced AN survival. Copyright © 2017 International Society for Cellular Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Enhancing quantitative approaches for assessing community resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuang, W. C.; Garmestani, A.S.; Eason, T. N.; Spanbauer, T. L.; Fried-Peterson, H. B.; Roberts, C.P.; Sundstrom, Shana M.; Burnett, J.L.; Angeler, David G.; Chaffin, Brian C.; Gunderson, L.; Twidwell, Dirac; Allen, Craig R.

    2018-01-01

    Scholars from many different intellectual disciplines have attempted to measure, estimate, or quantify resilience. However, there is growing concern that lack of clarity on the operationalization of the concept will limit its application. In this paper, we discuss the theory, research development and quantitative approaches in ecological and community resilience. Upon noting the lack of methods that quantify the complexities of the linked human and natural aspects of community resilience, we identify several promising approaches within the ecological resilience tradition that may be useful in filling these gaps. Further, we discuss the challenges for consolidating these approaches into a more integrated perspective for managing social-ecological systems.

  19. Enhanced Portfolio Performance Using a Momentum Approach to Annual Rebalancing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D. Mattei

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available After diversification, periodic portfolio rebalancing has become one of the most widely practiced methods for reducing portfolio risk and enhancing returns. Most of the rebalancing strategies found in the literature are generally regarded as contrarian approaches to rebalancing. A recent article proposed a rebalancing approach that incorporates a momentum approach to rebalancing. The momentum approach had a better risk adjusted return than either the traditional approach or a Buy-and-Hold approach. This article identifies an improvement to the momentum approach and then examines the impact of transactions costs and taxes on the portfolio performance of four active rebalancing approaches.

  20. Enhanced Portfolio Performance Using a Momentum Approach to Annual Rebalancing

    OpenAIRE

    Michael D. Mattei

    2018-01-01

    After diversification, periodic portfolio rebalancing has become one of the most widely practiced methods for reducing portfolio risk and enhancing returns. Most of the rebalancing strategies found in the literature are generally regarded as contrarian approaches to rebalancing. A recent article proposed a rebalancing approach that incorporates a momentum approach to rebalancing. The momentum approach had a better risk adjusted return than either the traditional approach or a Buy-and-Hold app...

  1. Mirror neurons, procedural learning, and the positive new experience: a developmental systems self psychology approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, N S; Gales, M; Shane, E; Shane, M

    2000-01-01

    In summary, we are impressed with the existence of a mirror neuron system in the prefrontal cortex that serves as part of a complex neural network, including afferent and efferent connections to the limbic system, in particular the amygdala, in addition to the premotor and motor cortex. We think it is possible to arrive at an integration that postulates the mirror neuron system and its many types of associated multimodal neurons as contributing significantly to implicit procedural learning, a process that underlies a range of complex nonconscious, unconscious, preconscious and conscious cognitive activities, from playing musical instruments to character formation and traumatic configurations. This type of brain circuitry may establish an external coherence with developmental systems self psychology which implies that positive new experience is meliorative and that the intentional revival of old-old traumatic relational configurations might enhance maladaptive procedural patterns that would lead to the opposite of the intended beneficial change. When analysts revive traumatic transference patterns for the purpose of clarification and interpretation, they may fail to appreciate that such traumatic transference patterns make interpretation ineffective because, as we have stated above, the patient lacks self-reflection under such traumatic conditions. The continued plasticity and immediacy of the mirror neuron system can contribute to positive new experiences that promote the formation of new, adaptive, implicit-procedural patterns. Perhaps this broadened repertoire in the patient of ways of understanding interrelational events through the psychoanalytic process allows the less adaptive patterns ultimately to become vestigial and the newer, more adaptive patterns to emerge as dominant. Finally, as we have stated, we believe that the intentional transferential revival of trauma (i.e., the old-old relational configuration) may not contribute to therapeutic benefit. In

  2. Progress and challenges in bioinformatics approaches for enhancer identification

    KAUST Repository

    Kleftogiannis, Dimitrios A.

    2017-02-03

    Enhancers are cis-acting DNA elements that play critical roles in distal regulation of gene expression. Identifying enhancers is an important step for understanding distinct gene expression programs that may reflect normal and pathogenic cellular conditions. Experimental identification of enhancers is constrained by the set of conditions used in the experiment. This requires multiple experiments to identify enhancers, as they can be active under specific cellular conditions but not in different cell types/tissues or cellular states. This has opened prospects for computational prediction methods that can be used for high-throughput identification of putative enhancers to complement experimental approaches. Potential functions and properties of predicted enhancers have been catalogued and summarized in several enhancer-oriented databases. Because the current methods for the computational prediction of enhancers produce significantly different enhancer predictions, it will be beneficial for the research community to have an overview of the strategies and solutions developed in this field. In this review, we focus on the identification and analysis of enhancers by bioinformatics approaches. First, we describe a general framework for computational identification of enhancers, present relevant data types and discuss possible computational solutions. Next, we cover over 30 existing computational enhancer identification methods that were developed since 2000. Our review highlights advantages, limitations and potentials, while suggesting pragmatic guidelines for development of more efficient computational enhancer prediction methods. Finally, we discuss challenges and open problems of this topic, which require further consideration.

  3. Progress and challenges in bioinformatics approaches for enhancer identification

    KAUST Repository

    Kleftogiannis, Dimitrios A.; Kalnis, Panos; Bajic, Vladimir B.

    2017-01-01

    Enhancers are cis-acting DNA elements that play critical roles in distal regulation of gene expression. Identifying enhancers is an important step for understanding distinct gene expression programs that may reflect normal and pathogenic cellular conditions. Experimental identification of enhancers is constrained by the set of conditions used in the experiment. This requires multiple experiments to identify enhancers, as they can be active under specific cellular conditions but not in different cell types/tissues or cellular states. This has opened prospects for computational prediction methods that can be used for high-throughput identification of putative enhancers to complement experimental approaches. Potential functions and properties of predicted enhancers have been catalogued and summarized in several enhancer-oriented databases. Because the current methods for the computational prediction of enhancers produce significantly different enhancer predictions, it will be beneficial for the research community to have an overview of the strategies and solutions developed in this field. In this review, we focus on the identification and analysis of enhancers by bioinformatics approaches. First, we describe a general framework for computational identification of enhancers, present relevant data types and discuss possible computational solutions. Next, we cover over 30 existing computational enhancer identification methods that were developed since 2000. Our review highlights advantages, limitations and potentials, while suggesting pragmatic guidelines for development of more efficient computational enhancer prediction methods. Finally, we discuss challenges and open problems of this topic, which require further consideration.

  4. Enhanced astroglial GABA uptake attenuates tonic GABAA inhibition of the presympathetic hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus neurons in heart failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandit, Sudip; Jo, Ji Yoon; Lee, Sang Ung; Lee, Young Jae; Lee, So Yeong; Ryu, Pan Dong; Lee, Jung Un; Kim, Hyun-Woo; Jeon, Byeong Hwa; Park, Jin Bong

    2015-08-01

    γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) generates persistent tonic inhibitory currents (Itonic) and conventional inhibitory postsynaptic currents in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) via activation of GABAA receptors (GABAARs). We investigated the pathophysiological significance of astroglial GABA uptake in the regulation of Itonic in the PVN neurons projecting to the rostral ventrolateral medulla (PVN-RVLM). The Itonic of PVN-RVLM neurons were significantly reduced in heart failure (HF) compared with sham-operated (SHAM) rats. Reduced Itonic sensitivity to THIP argued for the decreased function of GABAAR δ subunits in HF, whereas similar Itonic sensitivity to benzodiazepines argued against the difference of γ2 subunit-containing GABAARs in SHAM and HF rats. HF Itonic attenuation was reversed by a nonselective GABA transporter (GAT) blocker (nipecotic acid, NPA) and a GAT-3 selective blocker, but not by a GAT-1 blocker, suggesting that astroglial GABA clearance increased in HF. Similar and minimal Itonic responses to bestrophin-1 blockade in SHAM and HF neurons further argued against a role for astroglial GABA release in HF Itonic attenuation. Finally, the NPA-induced inhibition of spontaneous firing was greater in HF than in SHAM PVN-RVLM neurons, whereas diazepam induced less inhibition of spontaneous firing in HF than in SHAM neurons. Overall, our results showed that combined with reduced GABAARs function, the enhanced astroglial GABA uptake-induced attenuation of Itonic in HF PVN-RVLM neurons explains the deficit in tonic GABAergic inhibition and increased sympathetic outflow from the PVN during heart failure. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  5. Persistent attenuation and enhancement of the earthworm main muscle contraction generator response induced by repeated stimulation of a peripheral neuron

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y.C. Chang

    1998-10-01

    Full Text Available Responses evoked in the earthworm, Amynthas hawayanus, main muscle contraction generator M-2 (postsynaptic mechanical-stimulus-sensitive neuron by threshold mechanical stimuli in 2-s intertrial intervals (ITI were used as the control or unconditioned responses (UR. Their attenuation induced by decreasing these intervals in non-associative conditioning and their enhancement induced by associating the unconditioned stimuli (US to a train of short (0.1 s hyperpolarizing electrical substitutive conditioning stimuli (SCS in the Peri-Kästchen (PK neuron were measured in four parameters, i.e., peak numbers (N and amplitude (averaged from 120 responses, sum of these amplitudes (SAMP and the highest peak amplitude (V over a period of 4 min. Persistent attenuation similar to habituation was induced by decreasing the control ITI to 0.5 s and 2.0 s in non-associative conditioning within less than 4 min. Dishabituation was induced by randomly pairing one of these habituated US to an electrical stimulus in the PK neuron. All four parameters of the UR were enhanced by forward (SCS-US, but not backward (US-SCS, association of the US with 25, 100 and 250-Hz trains of SCS with 40-ms interstimulus intervals (ISI for 4 min and persisted for another 4 min after turning off the SCS. The enhancement of these parameters was proportional to the SCS frequencies in the train. No UR was evoked by the SCS when the US was turned off after 4 min of classical conditioning.

  6. Implantation of Neuronal Stem Cells Enhances Object Recognition without Increasing Neurogenesis after Lateral Fluid Percussion Injury in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura B. Ngwenya

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive deficits after traumatic brain injury (TBI are debilitating and contribute to the morbidity and loss of productivity of over 10 million people worldwide. Cell transplantation has been linked to enhanced cognitive function after experimental traumatic brain injury, yet the mechanism of recovery is poorly understood. Since the hippocampus is a critical structure for learning and memory, supports adult neurogenesis, and is particularly vulnerable after TBI, we hypothesized that stem cell transplantation after TBI enhances cognitive recovery by modulation of endogenous hippocampal neurogenesis. We performed lateral fluid percussion injury (LFPI in adult mice and transplanted embryonic stem cell-derived neural progenitor cells (NPC. Our data confirm an injury-induced cognitive deficit in novel object recognition, a hippocampal-dependent learning task, which is reversed one week after NPC transplantation. While LFPI alone promotes hippocampal neurogenesis, as revealed by doublecortin immunolabeling of immature neurons, subsequent NPC transplantation prevents increased neurogenesis and is not associated with morphological maturation of endogenous injury-induced immature neurons. Thus, NPC transplantation enhances cognitive recovery early after LFPI without a concomitant increase in neuron numbers or maturation.

  7. Enhancing action of LSD on neuronal responsiveness to serotonin in a brain structure involved in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zghoul, Tarek; Blier, Pierre

    2003-03-01

    Potent serotonin (5-HT) reuptake inhibitors are the only drugs that consistently exert a therapeutic action in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Given that some hallucinogens were reported to exert an anti-OCD effect outlasting their psychotomimetic action, possible modifications of neuronal responsiveness to 5-HT by LSD were examined in two rat brain structures: one associated with OCD, the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and another linked to depression, the hippocampus. The effects of concurrent microiontophoretic application of LSD and 5-HT were examined on neuronal firing rate in the rat OFC and hippocampus under chloral hydrate anaesthesia. In order to determine whether LSD could also exert a modification of 5-HT neuronal responsiveness upon systemic administration, after a delay when hallucinosis is presumably no longer present, it was given once daily (100 microg/kg i.p.) for 4 d and the experiments were carried out 24 h after the last dose. LSD attenuated the firing activity of OFC neurons, and enhanced the inhibitory effect of 5-HT when concomitantly ejected on the same neurons. In the hippocampus, LSD also decreased firing rate by itself but decreased the inhibitory action of 5-HT. The inhibitory action of 5-HT was significantly greater in the OFC, but smaller in the hippocampus, when examined after subacute systemic administration of LSD. It is postulated that some hallucinogens could have a beneficial action in OCD by enhancing the responsiveness to 5-HT in the OFC, and not necessarily in direct relation to hallucinosis. The latter observation may have theoretical implications for the pharmacotherapy of OCD.

  8. Selective Enhancement of Synaptic Inhibition by Hypocretin (Orexin) in Rat Vagal Motor Neurons: Implications for Autonomic Regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Scott F.; Williams, Kevin W.; Xu, Weiye; Glatzer, Nicholas R.; Smith, Bret N.

    2012-01-01

    The hypocretins (orexins) are hypothalamic neuropeptides implicated in feeding, arousal, and autonomic regulation. These studies were designed to determine the actions of hypocretin peptides on synaptic transmission in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve (DMV). Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were made from DMV neurons in transverse slices of rat brainstem. Some of the neurons were identified as gastric-related by retrograde labeling after inoculation of the stomach wall with pseudorabies virus 152, a viral label that reports enhanced green fluorescent protein. Consistent with previous findings, hypocretins caused an inward current (6–68 pA) in most neurons at holding potentials near rest. In addition, the frequency of spontaneous IPSCs was increased in a concentration-related manner (up to 477%), with little change in EPSCs. This effect was preserved in the presence of tetrodotoxin, suggesting a presynaptic site of action. Hypocretins increased the amplitude of IPSCs evoked by electrical stimulation of the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) but not evoked EPSCs. Hypocretin-induced increases in the frequency of IPSCs evoked by photoactivation of caged glutamate within the NTS were also observed. Identical effects of the peptides were observed in identified gastric-related and unlabeled DMV neurons. In contrast to some previous studies, which have reported primarily excitatory actions of the hypocretins in many regions of the CNS, these data support a role for hypocretin in preferentially enhancing synaptic inhibition, including inhibitory inputs arising from neurons in the NTS. These findings indicate that the hypocretins can modulate and coordinate visceral autonomic output by acting directly on central vagal circuits. PMID:12736355

  9. Overexpression of Rat Neurons Nitric Oxide Synthase in Rice Enhances Drought and Salt Tolerance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Cai

    Full Text Available Nitric oxide (NO has been shown to play an important role in the plant response to biotic and abiotic stresses in Arabidopsis mutants with lower or higher levels of endogenous NO. The exogenous application of NO donors or scavengers has also suggested an important role for NO in plant defense against environmental stress. In this study, rice plants under drought and high salinity conditions showed increased nitric oxide synthase (NOS activity and NO levels. Overexpression of rat neuronal NO synthase (nNOS in rice increased both NOS activity and NO accumulation, resulting in improved tolerance of the transgenic plants to both drought and salt stresses. nNOS-overexpressing plants exhibited stronger water-holding capability, higher proline accumulation, less lipid peroxidation and reduced electrolyte leakage under drought and salt conditions than wild rice. Moreover, nNOS-overexpressing plants accumulated less H2O2, due to the observed up-regulation of OsCATA, OsCATB and OsPOX1. In agreement, the activities of CAT and POX were higher in transgenic rice than wild type. Additionally, the expression of six tested stress-responsive genes including OsDREB2A, OsDREB2B, OsSNAC1, OsSNAC2, OsLEA3 and OsRD29A, in nNOS-overexpressing plants was higher than that in the wild type under drought and high salinity conditions. Taken together, our results suggest that nNOS overexpression suppresses the stress-enhanced electrolyte leakage, lipid peroxidation and H2O2 accumulation, and promotes proline accumulation and the expression of stress-responsive genes under stress conditions, thereby promoting increased tolerance to drought and salt stresses.

  10. Sonochemical approaches to enhanced oil recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramov, Vladimir O; Abramova, Anna V; Bayazitov, Vadim M; Altunina, Lyubov K; Gerasin, Artyom S; Pashin, Dmitriy M; Mason, Timothy J

    2015-07-01

    Oil production from wells reduces with time and the well becomes uneconomic unless enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods are applied. There are a number of methods currently available and each has specific advantages and disadvantages depending on conditions. Currently there is a big demand for new or improved technologies in this field, the hope is that these might also be applicable to wells which have already been the subject of EOR. The sonochemical method of EOR is one of the most promising methods and is important in that it can also be applied for the treatment of horizontal wells. The present article reports the theoretical background of the developed sonochemical technology for EOR in horizontal wells; describes the requirements to the equipment needed to embody the technology. The results of the first field tests of the technology are reported. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Artificial neuron-glia networks learning approach based on cooperative coevolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesejo, Pablo; Ibáñez, Oscar; Fernández-Blanco, Enrique; Cedrón, Francisco; Pazos, Alejandro; Porto-Pazos, Ana B

    2015-06-01

    Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks (ANGNs) are a novel bio-inspired machine learning approach. They extend classical Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) by incorporating recent findings and suppositions about the way information is processed by neural and astrocytic networks in the most evolved living organisms. Although ANGNs are not a consolidated method, their performance against the traditional approach, i.e. without artificial astrocytes, was already demonstrated on classification problems. However, the corresponding learning algorithms developed so far strongly depends on a set of glial parameters which are manually tuned for each specific problem. As a consequence, previous experimental tests have to be done in order to determine an adequate set of values, making such manual parameter configuration time-consuming, error-prone, biased and problem dependent. Thus, in this paper, we propose a novel learning approach for ANGNs that fully automates the learning process, and gives the possibility of testing any kind of reasonable parameter configuration for each specific problem. This new learning algorithm, based on coevolutionary genetic algorithms, is able to properly learn all the ANGNs parameters. Its performance is tested on five classification problems achieving significantly better results than ANGN and competitive results with ANN approaches.

  12. Morphine treatment enhances glutamatergic input onto neurons of the nucleus accumbens via both disinhibitory and stimulating effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Kejing; Sheng, Huan; Song, Jiaojiao; Yang, Li; Cui, Dongyang; Ma, Qianqian; Zhang, Wen; Lai, Bin; Chen, Ming; Zheng, Ping

    2017-11-01

    Drug addiction is a chronic brain disorder characterized by the compulsive repeated use of drugs. The reinforcing effect of repeated use of drugs on reward plays an important role in morphine-induced addictive behaviors. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is an important site where morphine treatment produces its reinforcing effect on reward. However, how morphine treatment produces its reinforcing effect on reward in the NAc remains to be clarified. In the present study, we studied the influence of morphine treatment on the effects of DA and observed whether morphine treatment could directly change glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the NAc. We also explored the functional significance of morphine-induced potentiation of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the NAc at behavioral level. Our results show that (1) morphine treatment removes the inhibitory effect of DA on glutamatergic input onto NAc neurons; (2) morphine treatment potentiates glutamatergic input onto NAc neurons, especially the one from the basolateral amygdala (BLA) to the NAc; (3) blockade of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the NAc or ablation of projection neurons from BLA to NAc significantly decreases morphine treatment-induced increase in locomotor activity. These results suggest that morphine treatment enhances glutamatergic input onto neurons of the NAc via both disinhibitory and stimulating effect and therefore increases locomotor activity. © 2016 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  13. GABAergic Neuron-Specific Loss of Ube3a Causes Angelman Syndrome-Like EEG Abnormalities and Enhances Seizure Susceptibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Judson, Matthew C; Wallace, Michael L; Sidorov, Michael S; Burette, Alain C; Gu, Bin; van Woerden, Geeske M; King, Ian F; Han, Ji Eun; Zylka, Mark J; Elgersma, Ype; Weinberg, Richard J; Philpot, Benjamin D

    2016-04-06

    Loss of maternal UBE3A causes Angelman syndrome (AS), a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with severe epilepsy. We previously implicated GABAergic deficits onto layer (L) 2/3 pyramidal neurons in the pathogenesis of neocortical hyperexcitability, and perhaps epilepsy, in AS model mice. Here we investigate consequences of selective Ube3a loss from either GABAergic or glutamatergic neurons, focusing on the development of hyperexcitability within L2/3 neocortex and in broader circuit and behavioral contexts. We find that GABAergic Ube3a loss causes AS-like increases in neocortical EEG delta power, enhances seizure susceptibility, and leads to presynaptic accumulation of clathrin-coated vesicles (CCVs)-all without decreasing GABAergic inhibition onto L2/3 pyramidal neurons. Conversely, glutamatergic Ube3a loss fails to yield EEG abnormalities, seizures, or associated CCV phenotypes, despite impairing tonic inhibition onto L2/3 pyramidal neurons. These results substantiate GABAergic Ube3a loss as the principal cause of circuit hyperexcitability in AS mice, lending insight into ictogenic mechanisms in AS. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. The L444P Gba1 mutation enhances alpha-synuclein induced loss of nigral dopaminergic neurons in mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Migdalska-Richards, Anna; Wegrzynowicz, Michal; Rusconi, Raffaella; Deangeli, Giulio; Di Monte, Donato A; Spillantini, Maria G; Schapira, Anthony H V

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Mutations in glucocerebrosidase 1 (GBA1) represent the most prevalent risk factor for Parkinson’s disease. The molecular mechanisms underlying the link between GBA1 mutations and Parkinson’s disease are incompletely understood. We analysed two aged (24-month-old) Gba1 mouse models, one carrying a knock-out mutation and the other a L444P knock-in mutation. A significant reduction of glucocerebrosidase activity was associated with increased total alpha-synuclein accumulation in both these models. Gba1 mutations alone did not alter the number of nigral dopaminergic neurons nor striatal dopamine levels. We then investigated the effect of overexpression of human alpha-synuclein in the substantia nigra of aged (18 to 21-month-old) L444P Gba1 mice. Following intraparenchymal injections of human alpha-synuclein carrying viral vectors, pathological accumulation of phosphorylated alpha-synuclein occurred within the transduced neurons. Stereological counts of nigral dopaminergic neurons revealed a significantly greater cell loss in Gba1-mutant than wild-type mice. These results indicate that Gba1 deficiency enhances neuronal vulnerability to neurodegenerative processes triggered by increased alpha-synuclein expression. PMID:28969384

  15. Enhanced differentiation of neural stem cells to neurons and promotion of neurite outgrowth by oxygen-glucose deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qin; Yang, Lin; Wang, Yaping

    2015-06-01

    Stroke has become the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Hypoxic or ischemic insults are crucial factors mediating the neural damage in the brain tissue of stroke patients. Neural stem cells (NSCs) have been recognized as a promising tool for the treatment of ischemic stroke and other neurodegenerative diseases due to their inducible pluripotency. In this study, we aim to mimick the cerebral hypoxic-ischemic injury in vitro using oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) strategy, and evaluate the effects of OGD on the NSC's neural differentiation, as well as the differentiated neurite outgrowth. Our data showed that NSCs under the short-term 2h OGD treatment are able to maintain cell viability and the capability to form neurospheres. Importantly, this moderate OGD treatment promotes NSC differentiation to neurons and enhances the performance of the mature neuronal networks, accompanying increased neurite outgrowth of differentiated neurons. However, long-term 6h and 8h OGD exposures in NSCs lead to decreased cell survival, reduced differentiation and diminished NSC-derived neurite outgrowth. The expressions of neuron-specific microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP-2) and growth associated protein 43 (GAP-43) are increased by short-term OGD treatments but suppressed by long-term OGD. Overall, our results demonstrate that short-term OGD exposure in vitro induces differentiation of NSCs while maintaining their proliferation and survival, providing valuable insights of adopting NSC-based therapy for ischemic stroke and other neurodegenerative disorders. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Enhanced Sensitivity to Rapid Input Fluctuations by Nonlinear Threshold Dynamics in Neocortical Pyramidal Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mensi, Skander; Hagens, Olivier; Gerstner, Wulfram; Pozzorini, Christian

    2016-02-01

    The way in which single neurons transform input into output spike trains has fundamental consequences for network coding. Theories and modeling studies based on standard Integrate-and-Fire models implicitly assume that, in response to increasingly strong inputs, neurons modify their coding strategy by progressively reducing their selective sensitivity to rapid input fluctuations. Combining mathematical modeling with in vitro experiments, we demonstrate that, in L5 pyramidal neurons, the firing threshold dynamics adaptively adjust the effective timescale of somatic integration in order to preserve sensitivity to rapid signals over a broad range of input statistics. For that, a new Generalized Integrate-and-Fire model featuring nonlinear firing threshold dynamics and conductance-based adaptation is introduced that outperforms state-of-the-art neuron models in predicting the spiking activity of neurons responding to a variety of in vivo-like fluctuating currents. Our model allows for efficient parameter extraction and can be analytically mapped to a Generalized Linear Model in which both the input filter--describing somatic integration--and the spike-history filter--accounting for spike-frequency adaptation--dynamically adapt to the input statistics, as experimentally observed. Overall, our results provide new insights on the computational role of different biophysical processes known to underlie adaptive coding in single neurons and support previous theoretical findings indicating that the nonlinear dynamics of the firing threshold due to Na+-channel inactivation regulate the sensitivity to rapid input fluctuations.

  17. Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Enhance Neuronal Differentiation in Cultured Rat Neural Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masanori Katakura

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs can induce neurogenesis and recovery from brain diseases. However, the exact mechanisms of the beneficial effects of PUFAs have not been conclusively described. We recently reported that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA induced neuronal differentiation by decreasing Hes1 expression and increasing p27kip1 expression, which causes cell cycle arrest in neural stem cells (NSCs. In the present study, we examined the effect of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA and arachidonic acid (AA on differentiation, expression of basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors (Hes1, Hes6, and NeuroD, and the cell cycle of cultured NSCs. EPA also increased mRNA levels of Hes1, an inhibitor of neuronal differentiation, Hes6, an inhibitor of Hes1, NeuroD, and Map2 mRNA and Tuj-1-positive cells (a neuronal marker, indicating that EPA induced neuronal differentiation. EPA increased the mRNA levels of p21cip1 and p27kip1, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, which indicated that EPA induced cell cycle arrest. Treatment with AA decreased Hes1 mRNA but did not affect NeuroD and Map2 mRNA levels. Furthermore, AA did not affect the number of Tuj-1-positive cells or cell cycle progression. These results indicated that EPA could be involved in neuronal differentiation by mechanisms alternative to those of DHA, whereas AA did not affect neuronal differentiation in NSCs.

  18. Apelin-13 enhances arcuate POMC neuron activity via inhibiting M-current.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong Kun Lee

    Full Text Available The hypothalamus is a key element of the neural circuits that control energy homeostasis. Specific neuronal populations within the hypothalamus are sensitive to a variety of homeostatic indicators such as circulating nutrient levels and hormones that signal circulating glucose and body fat content. Central injection of apelin secreted by adipose tissues regulates feeding and glucose homeostasis. However, the precise neuronal populations and cellular mechanisms involved in these physiological processes remain unclear. Here we examine the electrophysiological impact of apelin-13 on proopiomelanocortin (POMC neuron activity. Approximately half of POMC neurons examined respond to apelin-13. Apelin-13 causes a dose-dependent depolarization. This effect is abolished by the apelin (APJ receptor antagonist. POMC neurons from animals pre-treated with pertussis toxin still respond to apelin, whereas the Gβγ signaling inhibitor gallein blocks apelin-mediated depolarization. In addition, the effect of apelin is inhibited by the phospholipase C and protein kinase inhibitors. Furthermore, single-cell qPCR analysis shows that POMC neurons express the APJ receptor, PLC-β isoforms, and KCNQ subunits (2, 3 and 5 which contribute to M-type current. Apelin-13 inhibits M-current that is blocked by the KCNQ channel inhibitor. Therefore, our present data indicate that apelin activates APJ receptors, and the resultant dissociation of the Gαq heterotrimer triggers a Gβγ-dependent activation of PLC-β signaling that inhibits M-current.

  19. Optofluidic Approaches for Enhanced Microsensor Performances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Genni Testa

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Optofluidics is a relatively young research field able to create a tight synergy between optics and micro/nano-fluidics. The high level of integration between fluidic and optical elements achievable by means of optofluidic approaches makes it possible to realize an innovative class of sensors, which have been demonstrated to have an improved sensitivity, adaptability and compactness. Many developments in this field have been made in the last years thanks to the availability of a new class of low cost materials and new technologies. This review describes the Italian state of art on optofluidic devices for sensing applications and offers a perspective for further future advances. We introduce the optofluidic concept and describe the advantages of merging photonic and fluidic elements, focusing on sensor developments for both environmental and biomedical monitoring.

  20. Triptolide Promotes the Clearance of α-Synuclein by Enhancing Autophagy in Neuronal Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Guanzheng; Gong, Xiaoli; Wang, Le; Liu, Mengru; Liu, Yang; Fu, Xia; Wang, Wei; Zhang, Ting; Wang, Xiaomin

    2017-04-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is an aging-associated neurodegenerative disease with a characteristic feature of α-synuclein accumulation. Point mutations (A53T, A30P) that increase the aggregation propensity of α-synuclein result in familial early onset PD. The abnormal metabolism of α-synuclein results in aberrant level changes of α-synuclein in PD. In pathological conditions, α-synuclein is degraded mainly by the autophagy-lysosome pathway. Triptolide (T10) is a monomeric compound isolated from a traditional Chinese herb. Our group demonstrated for the first time that T10 possesses potent neuroprotective properties both in vitro and in vivo PD models. In the present study, we reported T10 as a potent autophagy inducer in neuronal cells, which helped to promote the clearance of various forms of α-synuclein in neuronal cells. We transfected neuronal cells with A53T mutant (A53T) or wild-type (WT) α-synuclein plasmids and found T10 attenuated the cytotoxicity induced by pathogenic A53T α-synuclein overexpression. We observed that T10 significantly reduced both A53T and WT α-synuclein level in neuronal cell line, as well as in primary cultured cortical neurons. Excluding the changes of syntheses, secretion, and aggregation of α-synuclein, we further added autophagy inhibitor or proteasome inhibitor with T10, and we noticed that T10 promoted the clearance of α-synuclein mainly by the autophagic pathway. Lastly, we observed increased autophagy marker LC3-II expression and autophagosomes by GFP-LC3-II accumulation and ultrastructural characterization. However, the lysosome activity and cell viability were not modulated by T10. Our study revealed that T10 could induce autophagy and promote the clearance of both WT and A53T α-synuclein in neurons. These results provide evidence of T10 as a promising mean to treat PD and other neurodegenerative diseases by reducing pathogenic proteins in neurons.

  1. [Approach to the relationship between the changes of the content of free zinc in hippocampus and ischemic neuronal damage].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Zhu-Juan; Zheng, Jian; He, Ying

    2002-08-01

    To make approach to the relationship between the changes of free zinc and ischemic neuronal damage in hippocampus after forebrain ischemia/reperfusion. The models of forebrain ischemia/reperfusion were established in rats. The contents of free Zn2+ were measured by TSQ fluorescence method. The Zn2+ chelator (CaEDTA) was injected into lateral ventricles in order to evaluate the effect of free Zn2+ on ischemic neuronal damage. (1) Zn2+ fluorescence in the hilus of dentate gyrus, CA3 region and the stratum radiatum and stratum oriens of CA1 decreased slightly at forty-eight hours after reperfusion. From seventy-two hours to ninety-six hour after reperfusion, the decreased fluorescence gradually returned to the normal level, but some fluorescence dots were found in pyramidal neurons of CA1 and the hilus of dentate gyrus. Seven days after reperfusion, all the changes of the fluorescence almost recovered. (2) The cell membrane-impermeable Zn2+ chelator CaEDTA could reduce the intracellular concentration of free Zn2+ and reduced neuronal damage after forebrain ischemia/reperfusion. (1) The synaptic vesicle Zn2+ released and then translocated into postsynaptic neurons after forebrain ischemia/reperfusion and played a role in ischemic neuronal damage. (2) The cell membrane-impermeable chelator CaEDTA could provide neuroprotection.

  2. Ancient Exaptation of a CORE-SINE Retroposon into a Highly Conserved Mammalian Neuronal Enhancer of the Proopiomelanocortin Gene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bumaschny, Viviana F; Low, Malcolm J; Rubinstein, Marcelo

    2007-01-01

    The proopiomelanocortin gene (POMC) is expressed in the pituitary gland and the ventral hypothalamus of all jawed vertebrates, producing several bioactive peptides that function as peripheral hormones or central neuropeptides, respectively. We have recently determined that mouse and human POMC expression in the hypothalamus is conferred by the action of two 5′ distal and unrelated enhancers, nPE1 and nPE2. To investigate the evolutionary origin of the neuronal enhancer nPE2, we searched available vertebrate genome databases and determined that nPE2 is a highly conserved element in placentals, marsupials, and monotremes, whereas it is absent in nonmammalian vertebrates. Following an in silico paleogenomic strategy based on genome-wide searches for paralog sequences, we discovered that opossum and wallaby nPE2 sequences are highly similar to members of the superfamily of CORE-short interspersed nucleotide element (SINE) retroposons, in particular to MAR1 retroposons that are widely present in marsupial genomes. Thus, the neuronal enhancer nPE2 originated from the exaptation of a CORE-SINE retroposon in the lineage leading to mammals and remained under purifying selection in all mammalian orders for the last 170 million years. Expression studies performed in transgenic mice showed that two nonadjacent nPE2 subregions are essential to drive reporter gene expression into POMC hypothalamic neurons, providing the first functional example of an exapted enhancer derived from an ancient CORE-SINE retroposon. In addition, we found that this CORE-SINE family of retroposons is likely to still be active in American and Australian marsupial genomes and that several highly conserved exonic, intronic and intergenic sequences in the human genome originated from the exaptation of CORE-SINE retroposons. Together, our results provide clear evidence of the functional novelties that transposed elements contributed to their host genomes throughout evolution. PMID:17922573

  3. Ancient exaptation of a CORE-SINE retroposon into a highly conserved mammalian neuronal enhancer of the proopiomelanocortin gene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea M Santangelo

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available The proopiomelanocortin gene (POMC is expressed in the pituitary gland and the ventral hypothalamus of all jawed vertebrates, producing several bioactive peptides that function as peripheral hormones or central neuropeptides, respectively. We have recently determined that mouse and human POMC expression in the hypothalamus is conferred by the action of two 5' distal and unrelated enhancers, nPE1 and nPE2. To investigate the evolutionary origin of the neuronal enhancer nPE2, we searched available vertebrate genome databases and determined that nPE2 is a highly conserved element in placentals, marsupials, and monotremes, whereas it is absent in nonmammalian vertebrates. Following an in silico paleogenomic strategy based on genome-wide searches for paralog sequences, we discovered that opossum and wallaby nPE2 sequences are highly similar to members of the superfamily of CORE-short interspersed nucleotide element (SINE retroposons, in particular to MAR1 retroposons that are widely present in marsupial genomes. Thus, the neuronal enhancer nPE2 originated from the exaptation of a CORE-SINE retroposon in the lineage leading to mammals and remained under purifying selection in all mammalian orders for the last 170 million years. Expression studies performed in transgenic mice showed that two nonadjacent nPE2 subregions are essential to drive reporter gene expression into POMC hypothalamic neurons, providing the first functional example of an exapted enhancer derived from an ancient CORE-SINE retroposon. In addition, we found that this CORE-SINE family of retroposons is likely to still be active in American and Australian marsupial genomes and that several highly conserved exonic, intronic and intergenic sequences in the human genome originated from the exaptation of CORE-SINE retroposons. Together, our results provide clear evidence of the functional novelties that transposed elements contributed to their host genomes throughout evolution.

  4. Docosahexaenoic acid prevents paraquat-induced reactive oxygen species production in dopaminergic neurons via enhancement of glutathione homeostasis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Hyoung Jun; Han, Jeongsu; Jang, Yunseon; Kim, Soo Jeong; Park, Ji Hoon; Seo, Kang Sik [Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Jeong, Soyeon; Shin, Soyeon; Lim, Kyu [Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Infection Signaling Network Research Center, Chungnam National University, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Heo, Jun Young, E-mail: junyoung3@gmail.com [Brainscience Institute, Chungnam National University, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Kweon, Gi Ryang, E-mail: mitochondria@cnu.ac.kr [Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Infection Signaling Network Research Center, Chungnam National University, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-01-30

    Highlights: • DHA prevents PQ-induced dopaminergic neuronal loss via decreasing of excessive ROS. • DHA increases GR and GCLm derivate GSH pool by enhancement of Nrf2 expression. • Protective mechanism is removal of PQ-induced ROS via DHA-dependent GSH pool. • DHA may be a good preventive strategy for Parkinson’s disease (PD) therapy. - Abstract: Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels are reduced in the substantia nigra area in Parkinson’s disease patients and animal models, implicating docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as a potential treatment for preventing Parkinson’s disease and suggesting the need for investigations into how DHA might protect against neurotoxin-induced dopaminergic neuron loss. The herbicide paraquat (PQ) induces dopaminergic neuron loss through the excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We found that treatment of dopaminergic SN4741 cells with PQ reduced cell viability in a dose-dependent manner, but pretreatment with DHA ameliorated the toxic effect of PQ. To determine the toxic mechanism of PQ, we measured intracellular ROS content in different organelles with specific dyes. As expected, all types of ROS were increased by PQ treatment, but DHA pretreatment selectively decreased cytosolic hydrogen peroxide content. Furthermore, DHA treatment-induced increases in glutathione reductase and glutamate cysteine ligase modifier subunit (GCLm) mRNA expression were positively correlated with glutathione (GSH) content. Consistent with this increase in GCLm mRNA levels, Western blot analysis revealed that DHA pretreatment increased nuclear factor-erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) protein levels. These findings indicate that DHA prevents PQ-induced neuronal cell loss by enhancing Nrf2-regulated GSH homeostasis.

  5. Docosahexaenoic acid prevents paraquat-induced reactive oxygen species production in dopaminergic neurons via enhancement of glutathione homeostasis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Hyoung Jun; Han, Jeongsu; Jang, Yunseon; Kim, Soo Jeong; Park, Ji Hoon; Seo, Kang Sik; Jeong, Soyeon; Shin, Soyeon; Lim, Kyu; Heo, Jun Young; Kweon, Gi Ryang

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • DHA prevents PQ-induced dopaminergic neuronal loss via decreasing of excessive ROS. • DHA increases GR and GCLm derivate GSH pool by enhancement of Nrf2 expression. • Protective mechanism is removal of PQ-induced ROS via DHA-dependent GSH pool. • DHA may be a good preventive strategy for Parkinson’s disease (PD) therapy. - Abstract: Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels are reduced in the substantia nigra area in Parkinson’s disease patients and animal models, implicating docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as a potential treatment for preventing Parkinson’s disease and suggesting the need for investigations into how DHA might protect against neurotoxin-induced dopaminergic neuron loss. The herbicide paraquat (PQ) induces dopaminergic neuron loss through the excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We found that treatment of dopaminergic SN4741 cells with PQ reduced cell viability in a dose-dependent manner, but pretreatment with DHA ameliorated the toxic effect of PQ. To determine the toxic mechanism of PQ, we measured intracellular ROS content in different organelles with specific dyes. As expected, all types of ROS were increased by PQ treatment, but DHA pretreatment selectively decreased cytosolic hydrogen peroxide content. Furthermore, DHA treatment-induced increases in glutathione reductase and glutamate cysteine ligase modifier subunit (GCLm) mRNA expression were positively correlated with glutathione (GSH) content. Consistent with this increase in GCLm mRNA levels, Western blot analysis revealed that DHA pretreatment increased nuclear factor-erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) protein levels. These findings indicate that DHA prevents PQ-induced neuronal cell loss by enhancing Nrf2-regulated GSH homeostasis

  6. Phase transition approach to bursting in neuronal cultures: quorum percolation models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monceau, P.; Renault, R.; Métens, S.; Bottani, S.; Fardet, T.

    2017-10-01

    The Quorum Percolation model has been designed in the context of neurobiology to describe bursts of activity occurring in neuronal cultures from the point of view of statistical physics rather than from a dynamical synchronization approach. It is based upon information propagation on a directed graph with a threshold activation rule; this leads to a phase diagram which exhibits a giant percolation cluster below some critical value mC of the excitability. We describe the main characteristics of the original model and derive extensions according to additional relevant biological features. Firstly, we investigate the effects of an excitability variability on the phase diagram and show that the percolation transition can be destroyed by a sufficient amount of such a disorder; we stress the weakly averaging character of the order parameter and show that connectivity and excitability can be seen as two overlapping aspects of the same reality. Secondly, we elaborate a discrete time stochastic model taking into account the decay originating from ionic leakage through the membrane of neurons and synaptic depression; we give evidence that the decay softens and shifts the transition, and conjecture than decay destroys the transition in the thermodynamical limit. We were able to develop mean-field theories associated with each of the two effects; we discuss the framework of their agreement with Monte Carlo simulations. It turns out that the the critical point mC from which information on the connectivity of the network can be inferred is affected by each of these additional effects. Lastly, we show how dynamical simulations of bursts with an adaptive exponential integrateand- fire model can be interpreted in terms of Quorum Percolation. Moreover, the usefulness of the percolation model including the set of sophistication we investigated can be extended to many scientific fields involving information propagation, such as the spread of rumors in sociology, ethology, ecology.

  7. Progranulin functions as a neurotrophic factor to regulate neurite outgrowth and enhance neuronal survival

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    P. van Damme (Damme); A. van Hoecke (Annelies); D. Lambrechts (Diether); P. Vanacker (Peter); E. Bogaert (Elke); J.C. van Swieten (John); P. Carmeliet (Peter); L. van den Bosch (Ludo); W. Robberecht (Wim)

    2008-01-01

    textabstractRecently, mutations in the progranulin (PGRN) gene were found to cause familial and apparently sporadic frontotemporal lobe dementia (FTLD). Moreover, missense changes in PGRN were identified in patients with motor neuron degeneration, a condition that is related to FTLD. Most mutations

  8. Learning Enhances Intrinsic Excitability in a Subset of Lateral Amygdala Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sehgal, Megha; Ehlers, Vanessa L.; Moyer, James R., Jr.

    2014-01-01

    Learning-induced modulation of neuronal intrinsic excitability is a metaplasticity mechanism that can impact the acquisition of new memories. Although the amygdala is important for emotional learning and other behaviors, including fear and anxiety, whether learning alters intrinsic excitability within the amygdala has received very little…

  9. Forebrain mineralocorticoid receptor overexpression enhances memory, reduces anxiety and attenuates neuronal loss in cerebral ischaemia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lai, Maggie; Horsburgh, Karen; Bae, Sung-Eun; Carter, Roderick N.; Stenvers, Dirk J.; Fowler, Jill H.; Yau, Joyce L.; Gomez-Sanchez, Celso E.; Holmes, Megan C.; Kenyon, Christopher J.; Seckl, Jonathan R.; Macleod, Malcolm R.

    2007-01-01

    The nuclear mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), a high-affinity receptor for glucocorticoids, is highly expressed in the hippocampus where it underpins cognitive, behavioural and neuroendocrine regulation. Increased neuronal MR expression occurs early in the response to cellular injury in vivo and in

  10. MiR-34b/c Regulates Wnt1 and Enhances Mesencephalic Dopaminergic Neuron Differentiation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Gregorio, Roberto; Pulcrano, Salvatore; De Sanctis, Claudia; Volpicelli, Floriana; Guatteo, Ezia; von Oerthel, Lars; Latagliata, Emanuele Claudio; Esposito, Roberta; Piscitelli, Rosa Maria; Perrone-Capano, Carla; Costa, Valerio; Greco, Dario; Puglisi-Allegra, Stefano; Smidt, Marten P.; di Porzio, Umberto; Caiazzo, Massimiliano; Mercuri, Nicola Biagio; Li, Meng; Bellenchi, Gian Carlo

    2018-01-01

    The differentiation of dopaminergic neurons requires concerted action of morphogens and transcription factors acting in a precise and well-defined time window. Very little is known about the potential role of microRNA in these events. By performing a microRNA-mRNA paired microarray screening, we

  11. Top-down inputs enhance orientation selectivity in neurons of the primary visual cortex during perceptual learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samat Moldakarimov

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Perceptual learning has been used to probe the mechanisms of cortical plasticity in the adult brain. Feedback projections are ubiquitous in the cortex, but little is known about their role in cortical plasticity. Here we explore the hypothesis that learning visual orientation discrimination involves learning-dependent plasticity of top-down feedback inputs from higher cortical areas, serving a different function from plasticity due to changes in recurrent connections within a cortical area. In a Hodgkin-Huxley-based spiking neural network model of visual cortex, we show that modulation of feedback inputs to V1 from higher cortical areas results in shunting inhibition in V1 neurons, which changes the response properties of V1 neurons. The orientation selectivity of V1 neurons is enhanced without changing orientation preference, preserving the topographic organizations in V1. These results provide new insights to the mechanisms of plasticity in the adult brain, reconciling apparently inconsistent experiments and providing a new hypothesis for a functional role of the feedback connections.

  12. Enhanced cocaine-induced locomotor sensitization and intrinsic excitability of NAc medium spiny neurons in adult but not adolescent rats susceptible to diet-induced obesity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oginsky, Max F.; Maust, Joel D.; Corthell, John T.; Ferrario, Carrie R.

    2015-01-01

    Rationale Basal and diet-induced differences in mesolimbic function, particularly within the nucleus accumbens (NAc), may contribute to human obesity; these differences may be more pronounced in susceptible populations. Objectives We determined whether there are differences in cocaine-induced behavioral plasticity in rats that are susceptible vs. resistant to diet-induced obesity, and basal differences in the striatal neuron function in adult and adolescent obesity-prone and obesity-resistant rats. Methods Susceptible and resistant outbred rats were identified based on “junk-food” diet-induced obesity. Then, the induction and expression of cocaine-induced locomotor sensitization, which is mediated by enhanced striatal function and is associated with increased motivation for rewards and reward-paired cues, were evaluated. Basal differences in mesolimbic function were examined in selectively bred obesity-prone and obesity-resistant rats (P70-80 and P30-40) using both cocaine induced locomotion and whole-cell patch clamping approaches in NAc core medium spiny neurons (MSNs). Results In rats that became obese after eating “junk-food”, the expression of locomotor sensitization was enhanced compared to non-obese rats, with similarly strong responses to 7.5 and 15 mg/kg cocaine. Without diet manipulation, obesity-prone rats were hyper-responsive to the acute locomotor-activating effects of cocaine, and the intrinsic excitability of NAc core MSNs was enhanced by ~60% at positive and negative potentials. These differences were present in adult, but not adolescent rats. Post-synaptic glutamatergic transmission was similar between groups. Conclusions Mesolimbic systems, particularly NAc MSNs, are hyper-responsive in obesity-prone individuals; and interactions between predisposition and experience influence neurobehavioral plasticity in ways that may promote weight gain and hamper weight loss in susceptible rats. PMID:26612617

  13. Channel noise enhances signal detectability in a model of acoustic neuron through the stochastic resonance paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liberti, M; Paffi, A; Maggio, F; De Angelis, A; Apollonio, F; d'Inzeo, G

    2009-01-01

    A number of experimental investigations have evidenced the extraordinary sensitivity of neuronal cells to weak input stimulations, including electromagnetic (EM) fields. Moreover, it has been shown that biological noise, due to random channels gating, acts as a tuning factor in neuronal processing, according to the stochastic resonant (SR) paradigm. In this work the attention is focused on noise arising from the stochastic gating of ionic channels in a model of Ranvier node of acoustic fibers. The small number of channels gives rise to a high noise level, which is able to cause a spike train generation even in the absence of stimulations. A SR behavior has been observed in the model for the detection of sinusoidal signals at frequencies typical of the speech.

  14. Silicon nanowires enhanced proliferation and neuronal differentiation of neural stem cell with vertically surface microenvironment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Qiuting; Fang, Lipao; Wei, Jiyu; Xiao, Guipeng; Lv, Meihong; Ma, Quanhong; Liu, Chunfeng; Wang, Wang

    2017-09-01

    Owing to its biocompatibility, noncytotoxicity, biodegradability and three-dimensional structure, vertically silicon nanowires (SiNWs) arrays are a promising scaffold material for tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and relevant medical applications. Recently, its osteogenic differentiation effects, reorganization of cytoskeleton and regulation of the fate on stem cells have been demonstrated. However, it still remains unknown whether SiNWs arrays could affect the proliferation and neuronal differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs) or not. In the present study, we have employed vertically aligned SiNWs arrays as culture systems for NSCs and proved that the scaffold material could promote the proliferation and neuronal differentiation of NSCs while maintaining excellent cell viability and stemness. Immunofluorescence imaging analysis, Western blot and RT-PCR results reveal that NSCs proliferation and neuronal differentiation efficiency on SiNWs arrays are significant greater than that on silicon wafers. These results implicate SiNWs arrays could offer a powerful platform for NSCs research and NSCs-based therapy in the field of neural tissue engineering.

  15. Dexamethasone enhances necrosis-like neuronal death in ischemic rat hippocampus involving μ-calpain activation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Müller, Georg Johannes; Hasseldam, Henrik; Rasmussen, Rune Skovgaard

    2014-01-01

    - and necrosis-like cell death morphologies in CA1 of rats treated with dexamethasone prior to TFI (DPTI). In addition, apoptosis- (casp-9, casp-3, casp-3-cleaved PARP and cleaved α-spectrin 145/150 and 120kDa) and necrosis-related (calpain-specific casp-9 cleavage, μ-calpain upregulation and cleaved α......Transient forebrain ischemia (TFI) leads to hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cell death which is aggravated by glucocorticoids (GC). It is unknown how GC affect apoptosis and necrosis in cerebral ischemia. We therefore investigated the co-localization of activated caspase-3 (casp-3) with apoptosis......-spectrin 145/150kDa) cell death mechanisms were investigated by Western blot analysis. DPTI expedited CA1 neuronal death from day 4 to day 1 and increased the magnitude of CA1 neuronal death from 66.2% to 91.3% at day 7. Furthermore, DPTI decreased the overall (days 1-7) percentage of dying neurons displaying...

  16. Forskolin suppresses delayed-rectifier K+ currents and enhances spike frequency-dependent adaptation of sympathetic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis I Angel-Chavez

    Full Text Available In signal transduction research natural or synthetic molecules are commonly used to target a great variety of signaling proteins. For instance, forskolin, a diterpene activator of adenylate cyclase, has been widely used in cellular preparations to increase the intracellular cAMP level. However, it has been shown that forskolin directly inhibits some cloned K+ channels, which in excitable cells set up the resting membrane potential, the shape of action potential and regulate repetitive firing. Despite the growing evidence indicating that K+ channels are blocked by forskolin, there are no studies yet assessing the impact of this mechanism of action on neuron excitability and firing patterns. In sympathetic neurons, we find that forskolin and its derivative 1,9-Dideoxyforskolin, reversibly suppress the delayed rectifier K+ current (IKV. Besides, forskolin reduced the spike afterhyperpolarization and enhanced the spike frequency-dependent adaptation. Given that IKV is mostly generated by Kv2.1 channels, HEK-293 cells were transfected with cDNA encoding for the Kv2.1 α subunit, to characterize the mechanism of forskolin action. Both drugs reversible suppressed the Kv2.1-mediated K+ currents. Forskolin inhibited Kv2.1 currents and IKV with an IC50 of ~32 μM and ~24 µM, respectively. Besides, the drug induced an apparent current inactivation and slowed-down current deactivation. We suggest that forskolin reduces the excitability of sympathetic neurons by enhancing the spike frequency-dependent adaptation, partially through a direct block of their native Kv2.1 channels.

  17. Forskolin suppresses delayed-rectifier K+ currents and enhances spike frequency-dependent adaptation of sympathetic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angel-Chavez, Luis I; Acosta-Gómez, Eduardo I; Morales-Avalos, Mario; Castro, Elena; Cruzblanca, Humberto

    2015-01-01

    In signal transduction research natural or synthetic molecules are commonly used to target a great variety of signaling proteins. For instance, forskolin, a diterpene activator of adenylate cyclase, has been widely used in cellular preparations to increase the intracellular cAMP level. However, it has been shown that forskolin directly inhibits some cloned K+ channels, which in excitable cells set up the resting membrane potential, the shape of action potential and regulate repetitive firing. Despite the growing evidence indicating that K+ channels are blocked by forskolin, there are no studies yet assessing the impact of this mechanism of action on neuron excitability and firing patterns. In sympathetic neurons, we find that forskolin and its derivative 1,9-Dideoxyforskolin, reversibly suppress the delayed rectifier K+ current (IKV). Besides, forskolin reduced the spike afterhyperpolarization and enhanced the spike frequency-dependent adaptation. Given that IKV is mostly generated by Kv2.1 channels, HEK-293 cells were transfected with cDNA encoding for the Kv2.1 α subunit, to characterize the mechanism of forskolin action. Both drugs reversible suppressed the Kv2.1-mediated K+ currents. Forskolin inhibited Kv2.1 currents and IKV with an IC50 of ~32 μM and ~24 µM, respectively. Besides, the drug induced an apparent current inactivation and slowed-down current deactivation. We suggest that forskolin reduces the excitability of sympathetic neurons by enhancing the spike frequency-dependent adaptation, partially through a direct block of their native Kv2.1 channels.

  18. Enhanced Peptide Detection Toward Single-Neuron Proteomics by Reversed-Phase Fractionation Capillary Electrophoresis Mass Spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Sam B.; Lombard-Banek, Camille; Muñoz-LLancao, Pablo; Manzini, M. Chiara; Nemes, Peter

    2018-05-01

    The ability to detect peptides and proteins in single cells is vital for understanding cell heterogeneity in the nervous system. Capillary electrophoresis (CE) nanoelectrospray ionization (nanoESI) provides high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) with trace-level sensitivity, but compressed separation during CE challenges protein identification by tandem HRMS with limited MS/MS duty cycle. Here, we supplemented ultrasensitive CE-nanoESI-HRMS with reversed-phase (RP) fractionation to enhance identifications from protein digest amounts that approximate to a few mammalian neurons. An 1 to 20 μg neuronal protein digest was fractionated on a RP column (ZipTip), and 1 ng to 500 pg of peptides were analyzed by a custom-built CE-HRMS system. Compared with the control (no fractionation), RP fractionation improved CE separation (theoretical plates 274,000 versus 412,000 maximum, resp.), which enhanced detection sensitivity (2.5-fold higher signal-to-noise ratio), minimized co-isolation spectral interferences during MS/MS, and increased the temporal rate of peptide identification by up to 57%. From 1 ng of protein digest (organization. [Figure not available: see fulltext.

  19. Enhancement of delayed-rectifier potassium conductance by low concentrations of local anaesthetics in spinal sensory neurones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olschewski, Andrea; Wolff, Matthias; Bräu, Michael E; Hempelmann, Gunter; Vogel, Werner; Safronov, Boris V

    2002-01-01

    Combining the patch-clamp recordings in slice preparation with the ‘entire soma isolation' method we studied action of several local anaesthetics on delayed-rectifier K+ currents in spinal dorsal horn neurones.Bupivacaine, lidocaine and mepivacaine at low concentrations (1–100 μM) enhanced delayed-rectifier K+ current in intact neurones within the spinal cord slice, while exhibiting a partial blocking effect at higher concentrations (>100 μM). In isolated somata 0.1–10 μM bupivacaine enhanced delayed-rectifier K+ current by shifting its steady-state activation characteristic and the voltage-dependence of the activation time constant to more negative potentials by 10–20 mV.Detailed analysis has revealed that bupivacaine also increased the maximum delayed-rectifier K+ conductance by changing the open probability, rather than the unitary conductance, of the channel.It is concluded that local anaesthetics show a dual effect on delayed-rectifier K+ currents by potentiating them at low concentrations and partially suppressing at high concentrations. The phenomenon observed demonstrated the complex action of local anaesthetics during spinal and epidural anaesthesia, which is not restricted to a suppression of Na+ conductance only. PMID:12055132

  20. A mammalian conserved element derived from SINE displays enhancer properties recapitulating Satb2 expression in early-born callosal projection neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kensuke Tashiro

    Full Text Available Short interspersed repetitive elements (SINEs are highly repeated sequences that account for a significant proportion of many eukaryotic genomes and are usually considered "junk DNA". However, we previously discovered that many AmnSINE1 loci are evolutionarily conserved across mammalian genomes, suggesting that they may have acquired significant functions involved in controlling mammalian-specific traits. Notably, we identified the AS021 SINE locus, located 390 kbp upstream of Satb2. Using transgenic mice, we showed that this SINE displays specific enhancer activity in the developing cerebral cortex. The transcription factor Satb2 is expressed by cortical neurons extending axons through the corpus callosum and is a determinant of callosal versus subcortical projection. Mouse mutants reveal a crucial function for Sabt2 in corpus callosum formation. In this study, we compared the enhancer activity of the AS021 locus with Satb2 expression during telencephalic development in the mouse. First, we showed that the AS021 enhancer is specifically activated in early-born Satb2(+ neurons. Second, we demonstrated that the activity of the AS021 enhancer recapitulates the expression of Satb2 at later embryonic and postnatal stages in deep-layer but not superficial-layer neurons, suggesting the possibility that the expression of Satb2 in these two subpopulations of cortical neurons is under genetically distinct transcriptional control. Third, we showed that the AS021 enhancer is activated in neurons projecting through the corpus callosum, as described for Satb2(+ neurons. Notably, AS021 drives specific expression in axons crossing through the ventral (TAG1(-/NPY(+ portion of the corpus callosum, confirming that it is active in a subpopulation of callosal neurons. These data suggest that exaptation of the AS021 SINE locus might be involved in enhancement of Satb2 expression, leading to the establishment of interhemispheric communication via the corpus callosum

  1. Methamphetamine facilitates female sexual behavior and enhances neuronal activation in the medial amygdala and ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holder, Mary K; Hadjimarkou, Maria M; Zup, Susan L; Blutstein, Tamara; Benham, Rebecca S; McCarthy, Margaret M; Mong, Jessica A

    2010-02-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) abuse has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Users of MA report dramatic increases in sexual drive that have been associated with increased engagement in risky sexual behavior leading to higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies. The ability of MA to enhance sexual drive in females is enigmatic since related psychostimulants like amphetamine and cocaine appear not to affect sexual drive in women, and in rodents models, amphetamine has been reported to be inhibitory to female sexual behavior. Examination of MA's effects on female sexual behavior in an animal model is lacking. Here, using a rodent model, we have demonstrated that MA enhanced female sexual behavior. MA (5mg/kg) or saline vehicle was administered once daily for 3 days to adult ovariectomized rats primed with ovarian steroids. MA treatment significantly increased the number of proceptive events and the lordosis response compared to hormonally primed, saline controls. The effect of MA on the neural circuitry underlying the motivation for sexual behavior was examined using Fos immunoreactivity. In the medial amygdala and the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus, nuclei implicated in motivated behaviors, ovarian hormones and MA independently enhance the neuronal activation, but more striking was the significantly greater activation induced by their combined administration. Increases in dopamine neurotransmission may underlie the MA/hormone mediated increase in neuronal activation. In support of this possibility, ovarian hormones significantly increased tyrosine hydroxylase (the rate limiting enzyme in dopamine synthesis) immunoreactivity in the medial amygdala. Thus our present data suggest that the interactions of MA and ovarian hormones leads to changes in the neural substrate of key nuclei involved in mediating female sexual behaviors, and these changes may underlie MA's ability to enhance these behaviors. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All

  2. Binaural speech enhancement using a codebook based approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kavalekalam, Mathew Shaji; Christensen, Mads Græsbøll; Boldt, Jesper B.

    2016-01-01

    term predictor (STP) parameters using a codebook based approach, when we have access to binaural noisy signals. The estimated STP parameters are subsequently used for enhancement in a dual channel scenario. Objective measures indicate, that the proposed method is able to improve the speech...

  3. Estimation of the neuronal activation using fMRI data: An observer-based approach

    KAUST Repository

    Laleg-Kirati, Taous-Meriem; Arabi, Hossein; Tadjine, Mohamed; Zayane, Chadia

    2013-01-01

    This paper deals with the estimation of the neuronal activation and some unmeasured physiological information using the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) signal measured using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). We propose to use

  4. ASIC channel inhibition enhances excitotoxic neuronal death in an in vitro model of spinal cord injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzone, Graciela L; Veeraraghavan, Priyadharishini; Gonzalez-Inchauspe, Carlota; Nistri, Andrea; Uchitel, Osvaldo D

    2017-02-20

    In the spinal cord high extracellular glutamate evokes excitotoxic damage with neuronal loss and severe locomotor impairment. During the cell dysfunction process, extracellular pH becomes acid and may activate acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) which could be important contributors to neurodegenerative pathologies. Our previous studies have shown that transient application of the glutamate analog kainate (KA) evokes delayed excitotoxic death of spinal neurons, while white matter is mainly spared. The present goal was to enquire if ASIC channels modulated KA damage in relation to locomotor network function and cell death. Mouse spinal cord slices were treated with KA (0.01 or 0.1mM) for 1h, and then washed out for 24h prior to analysis. RT-PCR results showed that KA (at 0.01mM concentration that is near-threshold for damage) increased mRNA expression of ASIC1a, ASIC1b, ASIC2 and ASIC3, an effect reversed by the ASIC inhibitor 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI). A KA neurotoxic dose (0.1mM) reduced ASIC1a and ASIC2 expression. Cell viability assays demonstrated KA-induced large damage in spinal slices from mice with ASIC1a gene ablation. Likewise, immunohistochemistry indicated significant neuronal loss when KA was followed by the ASIC inhibitors DAPI or amiloride. Electrophysiological recording from ventral roots of isolated spinal cords showed that alternating oscillatory cycles were slowed down by 0.01mMKA, and intensely inhibited by subsequently applied DAPI or amiloride. Our data suggest that early rise in ASIC expression and function counteracted deleterious effects on spinal networks by raising the excitotoxicity threshold, a result with potential implications for improving neuroprotection. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Activation of Wnt Signaling in Cortical Neurons Enhances Glucose Utilization through Glycolysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cisternas, Pedro; Salazar, Paulina; Silva-Álvarez, Carmen; Barros, L Felipe; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C

    2016-12-09

    The Wnt signaling pathway is critical for a number of functions in the central nervous system, including regulation of the synaptic cleft structure and neuroprotection against injury. Deregulation of Wnt signaling has been associated with several brain pathologies, including Alzheimer's disease. In recent years, it has been suggested that the Wnt pathway might act as a central integrator of metabolic signals from peripheral organs to the brain, which would represent a new role for Wnt signaling in cell metabolism. Energy metabolism is critical for normal neuronal function, which mainly depends on glucose utilization. Brain energy metabolism is important in almost all neurological disorders, to which a decrease in the capacity of the brain to utilize glucose has been linked. However, little is known about the relationship between Wnt signaling and neuronal glucose metabolism in the cellular context. In the present study, we found that acute treatment with the Wnt3a ligand induced a large increase in glucose uptake, without changes in the expression or localization of glucose transporter type 3. In addition, we observed that Wnt3a treatment increased the activation of the metabolic sensor Akt. Moreover, we observed an increase in the activity of hexokinase and in the glycolytic rate, and both processes were dependent on activation of the Akt pathway. Furthermore, we did not observe changes in the activity of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase or in the pentose phosphate pathway. The effect of Wnt3a was independent of both the transcription of Wnt target genes and synaptic effects of Wnt3a. Together, our results suggest that Wnt signaling stimulates glucose utilization in cortical neurons through glycolysis to satisfy the high energy demand of these cells. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  6. A Note on Some Numerical Approaches to Solve a θ˙ Neuron Networks Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samir Kumar Bhowmik

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Space time integration plays an important role in analyzing scientific and engineering models. In this paper, we consider an integrodifferential equation that comes from modeling θ˙ neuron networks. Here, we investigate various schemes for time discretization of a theta-neuron model. We use collocation and midpoint quadrature formula for space integration and then apply various time integration schemes to get a full discrete system. We present some computational results to demonstrate the schemes.

  7. Short-term increases in transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 mediate stress-induced enhancement of neuronal excitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weitlauf, Carl; Ward, Nicholas J; Lambert, Wendi S; Sidorova, Tatiana N; Ho, Karen W; Sappington, Rebecca M; Calkins, David J

    2014-11-12

    Progression of neurodegeneration in disease and injury is influenced by the response of individual neurons to stressful stimuli and whether this response includes mechanisms to counter declining function. Transient receptor potential (TRP) cation channels transduce a variety of disease-relevant stimuli and can mediate diverse stress-dependent changes in physiology, both presynaptic and postsynaptic. Recently, we demonstrated that knock-out or pharmacological inhibition of the TRP vanilloid-1 (TRPV1) capsaicin-sensitive subunit accelerates degeneration of retinal ganglion cell neurons and their axons with elevated ocular pressure, the critical stressor in the most common optic neuropathy, glaucoma. Here we probed the mechanism of the influence of TRPV1 on ganglion cell survival in mouse models of glaucoma. We found that induced elevations of ocular pressure increased TRPV1 in ganglion cells and its colocalization at excitatory synapses to their dendrites, whereas chronic elevation progressively increased ganglion cell Trpv1 mRNA. Enhanced TRPV1 expression in ganglion cells was transient and supported a reversal of the effect of TRPV1 on ganglion cells from hyperpolarizing to depolarizing, which was also transient. Short-term enhancement of TRPV1-mediated activity led to a delayed increase in axonal spontaneous excitation that was absent in ganglion cells from Trpv1(-/-) retina. In isolated ganglion cells, pharmacologically activated TRPV1 mobilized to discrete nodes along ganglion cell dendrites that corresponded to sites of elevated Ca(2+). These results suggest that TRPV1 may promote retinal ganglion cell survival through transient enhancement of local excitation and axonal activity in response to ocular stress. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3415369-13$15.00/0.

  8. Supraphysiological Doses of Performance Enhancing Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids Exert Direct Toxic Effects on Neuron-like Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Robert Basile

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS are lipophilic hormones often taken in excessive quantities by athletes and bodybuilders to enhance performance and increase muscle mass. AAS exert well known toxic effects on specific cell and tissue types and organ systems. The attention that androgen abuse has received lately should be used as an opportunity to educate both athletes and the general population regarding their adverse effects. Among numerous commercially available steroid hormones, very few have been specifically tested for direct neurotoxicity. We evaluated the effects of supraphysiological doses of methandienone and 17-α-methyltestosterone on sympathetic-like neuron cells. Vitality and apoptotic effects were analyzed, and immunofluorescence staining and western blot performed. In this study, we demonstrate that exposure of supraphysiological doses of methandienone and 17-α-methyltestosterone are toxic to the neuron-like differentiated pheochromocytoma cell line PC12, as confirmed by toxicity on neurite networks responding to nerve growth factor and the modulation of the survival and apoptosis-related proteins ERK, caspase-3, poly (ADP-ribose polymerase and heat-shock protein 90. We observe, in contrast to some previous reports but in accordance with others, expression of the androgen receptor (AR in neuron-like cells, which when inhibited mitigated the toxic effects of AAS tested, suggesting that the AR could be binding these steroid hormones to induce genomic effects. We also note elevated transcription of neuritin in treated cells, a neurotropic factor likely expressed in an attempt to resist neurotoxicity. Taken together, these results demonstrate that supraphysiological exposure to the AAS methandienone and 17-α-methyltestosterone exert neurotoxic effects by an increase in the activity of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway and alterations in neurite networks.

  9. Coding and decoding with adapting neurons: a population approach to the peri-stimulus time histogram.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naud, Richard; Gerstner, Wulfram

    2012-01-01

    The response of a neuron to a time-dependent stimulus, as measured in a Peri-Stimulus-Time-Histogram (PSTH), exhibits an intricate temporal structure that reflects potential temporal coding principles. Here we analyze the encoding and decoding of PSTHs for spiking neurons with arbitrary refractoriness and adaptation. As a modeling framework, we use the spike response model, also known as the generalized linear neuron model. Because of refractoriness, the effect of the most recent spike on the spiking probability a few milliseconds later is very strong. The influence of the last spike needs therefore to be described with high precision, while the rest of the neuronal spiking history merely introduces an average self-inhibition or adaptation that depends on the expected number of past spikes but not on the exact spike timings. Based on these insights, we derive a 'quasi-renewal equation' which is shown to yield an excellent description of the firing rate of adapting neurons. We explore the domain of validity of the quasi-renewal equation and compare it with other rate equations for populations of spiking neurons. The problem of decoding the stimulus from the population response (or PSTH) is addressed analogously. We find that for small levels of activity and weak adaptation, a simple accumulator of the past activity is sufficient to decode the original input, but when refractory effects become large decoding becomes a non-linear function of the past activity. The results presented here can be applied to the mean-field analysis of coupled neuron networks, but also to arbitrary point processes with negative self-interaction.

  10. Royal Jelly Reduces Cholesterol Levels, Ameliorates Aβ Pathology and Enhances Neuronal Metabolic Activities in a Rabbit Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongming Pan

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is the most common form of dementia characterized by aggregation of amyloid β (Aβ and neuronal loss. One of the risk factors for AD is high cholesterol levels, which are known to promote Aβ deposition. Previous studies have shown that royal jelly (RJ, a product of worker bees, has potential neuroprotective effects and can attenuate Aβ toxicity. However, little is known about how RJ regulates Aβ formation and its effects on cholesterol levels and neuronal metabolic activities. Here, we investigated whether RJ can reduce cholesterol levels, regulate Aβ levels and enhance neuronal metabolic activities in an AD rabbit model induced by 2% cholesterol diet plus copper drinking water. Our results suggest that RJ significantly reduced the levels of plasma total cholesterol (TC and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C, and decreased the level of Aβ in rabbit brains. RJ was also shown to markedly ameliorate amyloid deposition in AD rabbits from Aβ immunohistochemistry and thioflavin-T staining. Furthermore, our study suggests that RJ can reduce the expression levels of β-site APP cleaving enzyme-1 (BACE1 and receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE, and increase the expression levels of low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP-1 and insulin degrading enzyme (IDE. In addition, we found that RJ remarkably increased the number of neurons, enhanced antioxidant capacities, inhibited activated-capase-3 protein expression, and enhanced neuronal metabolic activities by increasing N-acetyl aspartate (NAA and glutamate and by reducing choline and myo-inositol in AD rabbits. Taken together, our data demonstrated that RJ could reduce cholesterol levels, regulate Aβ levels and enhance neuronal metabolic activities in AD rabbits, providing preclinical evidence that RJ treatment has the potential to protect neurons and prevent AD.

  11. Optogenetic activation of septal cholinergic neurons suppresses sharp wave ripples and enhances theta oscillations in the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandecasteele, Marie; Varga, Viktor; Berényi, Antal; Papp, Edit; Barthó, Péter; Venance, Laurent; Freund, Tamás F; Buzsáki, György

    2014-09-16

    Theta oscillations in the limbic system depend on the integrity of the medial septum. The different populations of medial septal neurons (cholinergic and GABAergic) are assumed to affect different aspects of theta oscillations. Using optogenetic stimulation of cholinergic neurons in ChAT-Cre mice, we investigated their effects on hippocampal local field potentials in both anesthetized and behaving mice. Cholinergic stimulation completely blocked sharp wave ripples and strongly suppressed the power of both slow oscillations (0.5-2 Hz in anesthetized, 0.5-4 Hz in behaving animals) and supratheta (6-10 Hz in anesthetized, 10-25 Hz in behaving animals) bands. The same stimulation robustly increased both the power and coherence of theta oscillations (2-6 Hz) in urethane-anesthetized mice. In behaving mice, cholinergic stimulation was less effective in the theta (4-10 Hz) band yet it also increased the ratio of theta/slow oscillation and theta coherence. The effects on gamma oscillations largely mirrored those of theta. These findings show that medial septal cholinergic activation can both enhance theta rhythm and suppress peri-theta frequency bands, allowing theta oscillations to dominate.

  12. Enhancement of information transmission with stochastic resonance in hippocampal CA1 neuron models: effects of noise input location.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawaguchi, Minato; Mino, Hiroyuki; Durand, Dominique M

    2007-01-01

    Stochastic resonance (SR) has been shown to enhance the signal to noise ratio or detection of signals in neurons. It is not yet clear how this effect of SR on the signal to noise ratio affects signal processing in neural networks. In this paper, we investigate the effects of the location of background noise input on information transmission in a hippocampal CA1 neuron model. In the computer simulation, random sub-threshold spike trains (signal) generated by a filtered homogeneous Poisson process were presented repeatedly to the middle point of the main apical branch, while the homogeneous Poisson shot noise (background noise) was applied to a location of the dendrite in the hippocampal CA1 model consisting of the soma with a sodium, a calcium, and five potassium channels. The location of the background noise input was varied along the dendrites to investigate the effects of background noise input location on information transmission. The computer simulation results show that the information rate reached a maximum value for an optimal amplitude of the background noise amplitude. It is also shown that this optimal amplitude of the background noise is independent of the distance between the soma and the noise input location. The results also show that the location of the background noise input does not significantly affect the maximum values of the information rates generated by stochastic resonance.

  13. Wnts enhance neurotrophin-induced neuronal differentiation in adult bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells via canonical and noncanonical signaling pathways.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hung-Li Tsai

    Full Text Available Wnts were previously shown to regulate the neurogenesis of neural stem or progenitor cells. Here, we explored the underlying molecular mechanisms through which Wnt signaling regulates neurotrophins (NTs in the NT-induced neuronal differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs. NTs can increase the expression of Wnt1 and Wnt7a in hMSCs. However, only Wnt7a enables the expression of synapsin-1, a synaptic marker in mature neurons, to be induced and triggers the formation of cholinergic and dopaminergic neurons. Human recombinant (hrWnt7a and general neuron makers were positively correlated in a dose- and time-dependent manner. In addition, the expression of synaptic markers and neurites was induced by Wnt7a and lithium, a glycogen synthase kinase-3β inhibitor, in the NT-induced hMSCs via the canonical/β-catenin pathway, but was inhibited by Wnt inhibitors and frizzled-5 (Frz5 blocking antibodies. In addition, hrWnt7a triggered the formation of cholinergic and dopaminergic neurons via the non-canonical/c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK pathway, and the formation of these neurons was inhibited by a JNK inhibitor and Frz9 blocking antibodies. In conclusion, hrWnt7a enhances the synthesis of synapse and facilitates neuronal differentiation in hMSCS through various Frz receptors. These mechanisms may be employed widely in the transdifferentiation of other adult stem cells.

  14. Fractional Gaussian noise-enhanced information capacity of a nonlinear neuron model with binary signal input

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Feng-Yin; Kang, Yan-Mei; Chen, Xi; Chen, Guanrong

    2018-05-01

    This paper reveals the effect of fractional Gaussian noise with Hurst exponent H ∈(1 /2 ,1 ) on the information capacity of a general nonlinear neuron model with binary signal input. The fGn and its corresponding fractional Brownian motion exhibit long-range, strong-dependent increments. It extends standard Brownian motion to many types of fractional processes found in nature, such as the synaptic noise. In the paper, for the subthreshold binary signal, sufficient conditions are given based on the "forbidden interval" theorem to guarantee the occurrence of stochastic resonance, while for the suprathreshold binary signal, the simulated results show that additive fGn with Hurst exponent H ∈(1 /2 ,1 ) could increase the mutual information or bits count. The investigation indicated that the synaptic noise with the characters of long-range dependence and self-similarity might be the driving factor for the efficient encoding and decoding of the nervous system.

  15. Optimization of nonlinear controller with an enhanced biogeography approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Salem

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper is dedicated to the optimization of nonlinear controllers basing of an enhanced Biogeography Based Optimization (BBO approach. Indeed, The BBO is combined to a predator and prey model where several predators are used with introduction of a modified migration operator to increase the diversification along the optimization process so as to avoid local optima and reach the optimal solution quickly. The proposed approach is used in tuning the gains of PID controller for nonlinear systems. Simulations are carried out over a Mass spring damper and an inverted pendulum and has given remarkable results when compared to genetic algorithm and BBO.

  16. A principled dimension-reduction method for the population density approach to modeling networks of neurons with synaptic dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ly, Cheng

    2013-10-01

    The population density approach to neural network modeling has been utilized in a variety of contexts. The idea is to group many similar noisy neurons into populations and track the probability density function for each population that encompasses the proportion of neurons with a particular state rather than simulating individual neurons (i.e., Monte Carlo). It is commonly used for both analytic insight and as a time-saving computational tool. The main shortcoming of this method is that when realistic attributes are incorporated in the underlying neuron model, the dimension of the probability density function increases, leading to intractable equations or, at best, computationally intensive simulations. Thus, developing principled dimension-reduction methods is essential for the robustness of these powerful methods. As a more pragmatic tool, it would be of great value for the larger theoretical neuroscience community. For exposition of this method, we consider a single uncoupled population of leaky integrate-and-fire neurons receiving external excitatory synaptic input only. We present a dimension-reduction method that reduces a two-dimensional partial differential-integral equation to a computationally efficient one-dimensional system and gives qualitatively accurate results in both the steady-state and nonequilibrium regimes. The method, termed modified mean-field method, is based entirely on the governing equations and not on any auxiliary variables or parameters, and it does not require fine-tuning. The principles of the modified mean-field method have potential applicability to more realistic (i.e., higher-dimensional) neural networks.

  17. Portfolio optimization in enhanced index tracking with goal programming approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siew, Lam Weng; Jaaman, Saiful Hafizah Hj.; Ismail, Hamizun bin

    2014-09-01

    Enhanced index tracking is a popular form of passive fund management in stock market. Enhanced index tracking aims to generate excess return over the return achieved by the market index without purchasing all of the stocks that make up the index. This can be done by establishing an optimal portfolio to maximize the mean return and minimize the risk. The objective of this paper is to determine the portfolio composition and performance using goal programming approach in enhanced index tracking and comparing it to the market index. Goal programming is a branch of multi-objective optimization which can handle decision problems that involve two different goals in enhanced index tracking, a trade-off between maximizing the mean return and minimizing the risk. The results of this study show that the optimal portfolio with goal programming approach is able to outperform the Malaysia market index which is FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index because of higher mean return and lower risk without purchasing all the stocks in the market index.

  18. A unified approach for the spatial enhancement of sound

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Joung-Woo; Jang, Ji-Ho; Kim, Yang-Hann

    2005-09-01

    This paper aims to control the sound field spatially, so that the desired or target acoustic variable is enhanced within a zone where a listener is located. This is somewhat analogous to having manipulators that can draw sounds in any place. This also means that one can somehow see the controlled shape of sound in frequency or in real time. The former assures its practical applicability, for example, listening zone control for music. The latter provides a mean of analyzing sound field. With all these regards, a unified approach is proposed that can enhance selected acoustic variables using multiple sources. Three kinds of acoustic variables that have to do with magnitude and direction of sound field are formulated and enhanced. The first one, which has to do with the spatial control of acoustic potential energy, enables one to make a zone of loud sound over an area. Otherwise, one can control directional characteristic of sound field by controlling directional energy density, or one can enhance the magnitude and direction of sound at the same time by controlling acoustic intensity. Throughout various examples, it is shown that these acoustic variables can be controlled successfully by the proposed approach.

  19. Muscarinic Long-Term Enhancement of Tonic and Phasic GABAA Inhibition in Rat CA1 Pyramidal Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domínguez, Soledad; Fernández de Sevilla, David; Buño, Washington

    2016-01-01

    Acetylcholine (ACh) regulates network operation in the hippocampus by controlling excitation and inhibition in rat CA1 pyramidal neurons (PCs), the latter through gamma-aminobutyric acid type-A receptors (GABAARs). Although, the enhancing effects of ACh on GABAARs have been reported (Dominguez et al., 2014, 2015), its role in regulating tonic GABAA inhibition has not been explored in depth. Therefore, we aimed at determining the effects of the activation of ACh receptors on responses mediated by synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAARs. Here, we show that under blockade of ionotropic glutamate receptors ACh, acting through muscarinic type 1 receptors, paired with post-synaptic depolarization induced a long-term enhancement of tonic GABAA currents (tGABAA) and puff-evoked GABAA currents (pGABAA). ACh combined with depolarization also potentiated IPSCs (i.e., phasic inhibition) in the same PCs, without signs of interactions of synaptic responses with pGABAA and tGABAA, suggesting the contribution of two different GABAA receptor pools. The long-term enhancement of GABAA currents and IPSCs reduced the excitability of PCs, possibly regulating plasticity and learning in behaving animals. PMID:27833531

  20. Characterization of energy and neurotransmitter metabolism in cortical glutamatergic neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells: A novel approach to study metabolism in human neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldana, Blanca I; Zhang, Yu; Lihme, Maria Fog; Bak, Lasse K; Nielsen, Jørgen E; Holst, Bjørn; Hyttel, Poul; Freude, Kristine K; Waagepetersen, Helle S

    2017-06-01

    Alterations in the cellular metabolic machinery of the brain are associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Novel human cellular disease models are essential in order to study underlying disease mechanisms. In the present study, we characterized major metabolic pathways in neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC). With this aim, cultures of hiPSC-derived neurons were incubated with [U- 13 C]glucose, [U- 13 C]glutamate or [U- 13 C]glutamine. Isotopic labeling in metabolites was determined using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, and cellular amino acid content was quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography. Additionally, we evaluated mitochondrial function using real-time assessment of oxygen consumption via the Seahorse XF e 96 Analyzer. Moreover, in order to validate the hiPSC-derived neurons as a model system, a metabolic profiling was performed in parallel in primary neuronal cultures of mouse cerebral cortex and cerebellum. These serve as well-established models of GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons, respectively. The hiPSC-derived neurons were previously characterized as being forebrain-specific cortical glutamatergic neurons. However, a comparable preparation of predominantly mouse cortical glutamatergic neurons is not available. We found a higher glycolytic capacity in hiPSC-derived neurons compared to mouse neurons and a substantial oxidative metabolism through the mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. This finding is supported by the extracellular acidification and oxygen consumption rates measured in the cultured human neurons. [U- 13 C]Glutamate and [U- 13 C]glutamine were found to be efficient energy substrates for the neuronal cultures originating from both mice and humans. Interestingly, isotopic labeling in metabolites from [U- 13 C]glutamate was higher than that from [U- 13 C]glutamine. Although the metabolic profile of hiPSC-derived neurons in vitro was

  1. Coconut oil protects cortical neurons from amyloid beta toxicity by enhancing signaling of cell survival pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nafar, F; Clarke, J P; Mearow, K M

    2017-05-01

    Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that has links with other conditions that can often be modified by dietary and life-style interventions. In particular, coconut oil has received attention as having potentially having benefits in lessening the cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer's disease. In a recent report, we showed that neuron survival in cultures co-treated with coconut oil and Aβ was rescued compared to cultures exposed only to Aβ. Here we investigated treatment with Aβ for 1, 6 or 24 h followed by addition of coconut oil for a further 24 h, or treatment with coconut oil for 24 h followed by Aβ exposure for various periods. Neuronal survival and several cellular parameters (cleaved caspase 3, synaptophysin labeling and ROS) were assessed. In addition, the influence of these treatments on relevant signaling pathways was investigated with Western blotting. In terms of the treatment timing, our data indicated that coconut oil rescues cells pre-exposed to Aβ for 1 or 6 h, but is less effective when the pre-exposure has been 24 h. However, pretreatment with coconut oil prior to Aβ exposure showed the best outcomes. Treatment with octanoic or lauric acid also provided protection against Aβ, but was not as effective as the complete oil. The coconut oil treatment reduced the number of cells with cleaved caspase and ROS labeling, as well as rescuing the loss of synaptophysin labeling observed with Aβ treatment. Treatment with coconut oil, as well as octanoic, decanoic and lauric acids, resulted in a modest increase in ketone bodies compared to controls. The biochemical data suggest that Akt and ERK activation may contribute to the survival promoting influence of coconut oil. This was supported by observations that a PI3-Kinase inhibitor blocked the rescue effect of CoOil on Aβ amyloid toxicity. Further studies into the mechanisms of action of coconut oil and its constituent medium chain fatty acids are warranted

  2. Sugammadex-Enhanced Neuronal Apoptosis following Neonatal Sevoflurane Exposure in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maiko Satomoto

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In rodents, neonatal sevoflurane exposure induces neonatal apoptosis in the brain and results in learning deficits. Sugammadex is a new selective neuromuscular blockade (NMB binding agent that anesthesiologists can use to achieve immediate reversal of an NMB with few side effects. Given its molecular weight of 2178, sugammadex is thought to be unable to pass through the blood brain barrier (BBB. Volatile anesthetics can influence BBB opening and integrity. Therefore, we investigated whether the intraperitoneal administration of sugammadex could exacerbate neuronal damage following neonatal 2% sevoflurane exposure via changes in BBB integrity. Cleaved caspase-3 immunoblotting was used to detect apoptosis, and the ultrastructure of the BBB was examined by transmission electron microscopy. Exposure to 2% sevoflurane for 6 h resulted in BBB ultrastructural abnormalities in the hippocampus of neonatal mice. Sugammadex alone without sevoflurane did not induce apoptosis. The coadministration of sugammadex with sevoflurane to neonatal mice caused a significant increase (150% in neuroapoptosis in the brain compared with 2% sevoflurane. In neonatal anesthesia, sugammadex could influence neurotoxicity together with sevoflurane. Exposure to 2% sevoflurane for 6 h resulted in BBB ultrastructural abnormalities in the hippocampus of neonatal mice.

  3. Galanin enhances systemic glucose metabolism through enteric Nitric Oxide Synthase-expressed neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Abot

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Decreasing duodenal contraction is now considered as a major focus for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, identifying bioactive molecules able to target the enteric nervous system, which controls the motility of intestinal smooth muscle cells, represents a new therapeutic avenue. For this reason, we chose to study the impact of oral galanin on this system in diabetic mice. Methods: Enteric neurotransmission, duodenal contraction, glucose absorption, modification of gut–brain axis, and glucose metabolism (glucose tolerance, insulinemia, glucose entry in tissue, hepatic glucose metabolism were assessed. Results: We show that galanin, a neuropeptide expressed in the small intestine, decreases duodenal contraction by stimulating nitric oxide release from enteric neurons. This is associated with modification of hypothalamic nitric oxide release that favors glucose uptake in metabolic tissues such as skeletal muscle, liver, and adipose tissue. Oral chronic gavage with galanin in diabetic mice increases insulin sensitivity, which is associated with an improvement of several metabolic parameters such as glucose tolerance, fasting blood glucose, and insulin. Conclusion: Here, we demonstrate that oral galanin administration improves glucose homeostasis via the enteric nervous system and could be considered a therapeutic potential for the treatment of T2D. Keywords: Galanin, Enteric nervous system, Diabetes

  4. Current approaches to enhance CNS delivery of drugs across the brain barriers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu CT

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Cui-Tao Lu,1 Ying-Zheng Zhao,2,3 Ho Lun Wong,4 Jun Cai,5 Lei Peng,2 Xin-Qiao Tian1 1The Second Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province, People’s Republic of China; 2Hainan Medical College, Haikou City, Hainan Province, People’s Republic of China; 3College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Wenzhou Medical University, Zhejiang Province, People’s Republic of China; 4School of Pharmacy, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 5Departments of Pediatrics and Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, University of Louisville School of Medicine Louisville, KY, USA Abstract: Although many agents have therapeutic potentials for central nervous system (CNS diseases, few of these agents have been clinically used because of the brain barriers. As the protective barrier of the CNS, the blood–brain barrier and the blood–cerebrospinal fluid barrier maintain the brain microenvironment, neuronal activity, and proper functioning of the CNS. Different strategies for efficient CNS delivery have been studied. This article reviews the current approaches to open or facilitate penetration across these barriers for enhanced drug delivery to the CNS. These approaches are summarized into three broad categories: noninvasive, invasive, and miscellaneous techniques. The progresses made using these approaches are reviewed, and the associated mechanisms and problems are discussed. Keywords: drug delivery system, blood–brain barrier (BBB, central nervous system, brain-targeted therapy, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF

  5. Novel approaches to microbial enhancement of oil recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kryachko, Yuriy

    2018-01-20

    Microbially enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) was shown to be feasible in a number of laboratory experiments and field trials. However, it has not been widely used in the oil industry because necessary conditions cannot always be easily established in an oil reservoir. Novel approaches to MEOR, which are based on newly discovered biosurfactant-mediated MEOR-mechanisms, are discussed in this review. Particularly, the possibility of combining MEOR with chemical enhancement of oil recovery in heterogeneous oil reservoirs, which involves rock surface wettability shifts and emulsion inversions, is discussed. In wider (centimeter/millimeter-scale) rock pores, the activity of (bio)surfactants and microbial cells attached to oil may allow releasing trapped oil blobs through oil-in-water emulsification. After no more oil can be emulsified, the addition of alkali or surfactants, which turn rock surface oil-wet, may help release oil droplets trapped in narrow (micrometer-scale) pores through coalescence of the droplets and water-in-oil emulsification. Experiments demonstrating the possibility of (bio)surfactant-mediated enhancement of immiscible gas-driven oil recovery are also reviewed. Interestingly, very low (bio)surfactant concentrations were shown to be needed for enhancement of immiscible gas-driven oil recovery. Some possible side effects of MEOR, such as unintended bioplugging and microbially influenced corrosion (MIC), are discussed as well. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Enhancing Critical Thinking Via a Clinical Scholar Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, Vicki; McComb, Sara A; Kirkpatrick, Jane M

    2017-11-01

    Safety, quality improvement, and a systems perspective are vital for nurses to provide quality evidence-based care. Responding to the call to prepare nurses with these perspectives, one school of nursing used a clinical scholar approach, enhanced by systems engineering to more intentionally develop the ability to clinically reason and apply evidence-based practice. A two-group, repeated-measures control trial was used to determine the effects of systems engineering content and support on nursing students' clinical judgment and critical thinking skills. Findings indicated this approach had a positive effects on student's clinical judgment and clinical reasoning skills. This approach helped students view health care issues from a broader perspective and use evidence to guide solution development, enhancing the focus on evidence-based practice, and quality improvement. Intentional integration of an evidence-based, systems perspective by nursing faculty supports development of nurses who can function safely and effectively in the current health care system. [J Nurs Educ. 2017;56(11):679-682.]. Copyright 2017, SLACK Incorporated.

  7. Adjustable typography: an approach to enhancing low vision text accessibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arditi, Aries

    2004-04-15

    Millions of people have low vision, a disability condition caused by uncorrectable or partially correctable disorders of the eye. The primary goal of low vision rehabilitation is increasing access to printed material. This paper describes how adjustable typography, a computer graphic approach to enhancing text accessibility, can play a role in this process, by allowing visually-impaired users to customize fonts to maximize legibility according to their own visual needs. Prototype software and initial testing of the concept is described. The results show that visually-impaired users tend to produce a variety of very distinct fonts, and that the adjustment process results in greatly enhanced legibility. But this initial testing has not yet demonstrated increases in legibility over and above the legibility of highly legible standard fonts such as Times New Roman.

  8. MCH and apomorphine in combination enhance action potential firing of nucleus accumbens shell neurons in vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F Woodward Hopf

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The MCH and dopamine receptor systems have been shown to modulate a number of behaviors related to reward processing, addiction, and neuropsychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and depression. In addition, MCH and dopamine receptors can interact in a positive manner, for example in the expression of cocaine self-administration. A recent report (Chung et al., 2011a showed that the DA1/DA2 dopamine receptor activator apomorphine suppresses pre-pulse inhibition, a preclinical model for some aspects of schizophrenia. Importantly, MCH can enhance the effects of lower doses of apomorphine, suggesting that co-modulation of dopamine and MCH receptors might alleviate some symptoms of schizophrenia with a lower dose of dopamine receptor modulator and thus fewer potential side effects. Here, we investigated whether MCH and apomorphine could enhance action potential firing in vitro in the nucleus accumbens shell (NAshell, a region which has previously been shown to mediate some behavioral effects of MCH. Using whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology, we found that MCH, which has no effect on firing on its own, was able to increase NAshell firing when combined with a subthreshold dose of apomorphine. Further, this MCH/apomorphine increase in firing was prevented by an antagonist of either a DA1 or a DA2 receptor, suggesting that apomorphine acts through both receptor types to enhance NAshell firing. The MCH/apomorphine-mediated firing increase was also prevented by an MCH receptor antagonist or a PKA inhibitor. Taken together, our results suggest that MCH can interact with lower doses of apomorphine to enhance NAshell firing, and thus that MCH and apomorphine might interact in vivo within the NAshell to suppress pre-pulse inhibition.

  9. Pyruvate incubation enhances glycogen stores and sustains neuronal function during subsequent glucose deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shetty, Pavan K; Sadgrove, Matthew P; Galeffi, Francesca; Turner, Dennis A

    2012-01-01

    The use of energy substrates, such as lactate and pyruvate, has been shown to improve synaptic function when administered during glucose deprivation. In the present study, we investigated whether prolonged incubation with monocarboxylate (pyruvate or lactate) prior rather than during glucose deprivation can also sustain synaptic and metabolic function. Pyruvate pre-incubation(3-4h) significantly prolonged (>25 min) the tolerance of rat hippocampal slices to delayed glucose deprivation compared to control and lactate pre-incubated slices, as revealed by field excitatory post synaptic potentials (fEPSPs); pre-incubation with pyruvate also reduced the marked decrease in NAD(P)H fluorescence resulting from glucose deprivation. Moreover, pyruvate exposure led to the enhancement of glycogen stores with time, compared to glucose alone (12 μmol/g tissue at 4h vs. 3.5 μmol/g tissue). Prolonged resistance to glucose deprivation following exogenous pyruvate incubation was prevented by glycogenolysis inhibitors, suggesting that enhanced glycogen mediates the delay in synaptic activity failure. The application of an adenosine A1 receptor antagonist enhanced glycogen utilization and prolonged the time to synaptic failure, further confirming this hypothesis of the importance of glycogen. Moreover, tissue levels of ATP were also significantly maintained during glucose deprivation in pyruvate pretreated slices compared to control and lactate. In summary, these experiments indicate that pyruvate exposure prior to glucose deprivation significantly increased the energy buffering capacity of hippocampal slices, particularly by enhancing internal glycogen stores, delaying synaptic failure during glucose deprivation by maintaining ATP levels, and minimizing the decrease in the levels of NAD(P)H. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Muscle-Derived GDNF: A Gene Therapeutic Approach for Preserving Motor Neuron Function in ALS

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-08-01

    other disease monitoring strategies ( Beam walking , Electrical impedance myography (EIM) and MRI) were not performed. We considered that the multiple...core: Beam walking and data analysis performed by Svendsen lab staff • Reagents and supplies were not all purchased • Reduced experimental load...function has been shown in acute models of motor neuron injury and in transgenic mouse models of ALS using various delivery strategies by a number

  11. Statistical approach in search for optimal signal in simple olfactory neuronal models

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pokora, Ondřej; Lánský, Petr

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 214, 1-2 (2008), s. 100-108 ISSN 0025-5564 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LC554; GA AV ČR(CZ) 1ET400110401 Grant - others:GA MŠk(CZ) LC06024 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50110509 Keywords : Fisher information * olfactory neuron Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics Impact factor: 1.148, year: 2008

  12. An integrate-over-temperature approach for enhanced sampling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Yi Qin

    2008-02-14

    A simple method is introduced to achieve efficient random walking in the energy space in molecular dynamics simulations which thus enhances the sampling over a large energy range. The approach is closely related to multicanonical and replica exchange simulation methods in that it allows configurations of the system to be sampled in a wide energy range by making use of Boltzmann distribution functions at multiple temperatures. A biased potential is quickly generated using this method and is then used in accelerated molecular dynamics simulations.

  13. Dynamical System Approach for Edge Detection Using Coupled FitzHugh-Nagumo Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shaobai; Dasmahapatra, Srinandan; Maharatna, Koushik

    2015-12-01

    The prospect of emulating the impressive computational capabilities of biological systems has led to considerable interest in the design of analog circuits that are potentially implementable in very large scale integration CMOS technology and are guided by biologically motivated models. For example, simple image processing tasks, such as the detection of edges in binary and grayscale images, have been performed by networks of FitzHugh-Nagumo-type neurons using the reaction-diffusion models. However, in these studies, the one-to-one mapping of image pixels to component neurons makes the size of the network a critical factor in any such implementation. In this paper, we develop a simplified version of the employed reaction-diffusion model in three steps. In the first step, we perform a detailed study to locate this threshold using continuous Lyapunov exponents from dynamical system theory. Furthermore, we render the diffusion in the system to be anisotropic, with the degree of anisotropy being set by the gradients of grayscale values in each image. The final step involves a simplification of the model that is achieved by eliminating the terms that couple the membrane potentials of adjacent neurons. We apply our technique to detect edges in data sets of artificially generated and real images, and we demonstrate that the performance is as good if not better than that of the previous methods without increasing the size of the network.

  14. A mechanistic based approach for enhancing buccal mucoadhesion of chitosan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meng-Lund, Emil; Muff-Westergaard, Christian; Sander, Camilla

    2014-01-01

    Mucoadhesive buccal drug delivery systems can enhance rapid drug absorption by providing an increased retention time at the site of absorption and a steep concentration gradient. An understanding of the mechanisms behind mucoadhesion of polymers, e.g. chitosan, is necessary for improving the muco......Mucoadhesive buccal drug delivery systems can enhance rapid drug absorption by providing an increased retention time at the site of absorption and a steep concentration gradient. An understanding of the mechanisms behind mucoadhesion of polymers, e.g. chitosan, is necessary for improving...... the mucoadhesiveness of buccal formulations. The interaction between chitosan of different chain lengths and porcine gastric mucin (PGM) was studied using a complex coacervation model (CCM), isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) and a tensile detachment model (TDM). The effect of pH was assessed in all three models...... and the approach to add a buffer to chitosan based drug delivery systems is a means to optimize and enhance buccal drug absorption. The CCM demonstrated optimal interactions between chitosan and PGM at pH 5.2. The ITC experiments showed a significantly increase in affinity between chitosan and PGM at pH 5...

  15. Loss of Kdm5c Causes Spurious Transcription and Prevents the Fine-Tuning of Activity-Regulated Enhancers in Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marilyn Scandaglia

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available During development, chromatin-modifying enzymes regulate both the timely establishment of cell-type-specific gene programs and the coordinated repression of alternative cell fates. To dissect the role of one such enzyme, the intellectual-disability-linked lysine demethylase 5C (Kdm5c, in the developing and adult brain, we conducted parallel behavioral, transcriptomic, and epigenomic studies in Kdm5c-null and forebrain-restricted inducible knockout mice. Together, genomic analyses and functional assays demonstrate that Kdm5c plays a critical role as a repressor responsible for the developmental silencing of germline genes during cellular differentiation and in fine-tuning activity-regulated enhancers during neuronal maturation. Although the importance of these functions declines after birth, Kdm5c retains an important genome surveillance role preventing the incorrect activation of non-neuronal and cryptic promoters in adult neurons.

  16. A Hybrid Fuzzy Time Series Approach Based on Fuzzy Clustering and Artificial Neural Network with Single Multiplicative Neuron Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ozge Cagcag Yolcu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Particularly in recent years, artificial intelligence optimization techniques have been used to make fuzzy time series approaches more systematic and improve forecasting performance. Besides, some fuzzy clustering methods and artificial neural networks with different structures are used in the fuzzification of observations and determination of fuzzy relationships, respectively. In approaches considering the membership values, the membership values are determined subjectively or fuzzy outputs of the system are obtained by considering that there is a relation between membership values in identification of relation. This necessitates defuzzification step and increases the model error. In this study, membership values were obtained more systematically by using Gustafson-Kessel fuzzy clustering technique. The use of artificial neural network with single multiplicative neuron model in identification of fuzzy relation eliminated the architecture selection problem as well as the necessity for defuzzification step by constituting target values from real observations of time series. The training of artificial neural network with single multiplicative neuron model which is used for identification of fuzzy relation step is carried out with particle swarm optimization. The proposed method is implemented using various time series and the results are compared with those of previous studies to demonstrate the performance of the proposed method.

  17. Physical exercise prevents stress-induced activation of granule neurons and enhances local inhibitory mechanisms in the dentate gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoenfeld, Timothy J; Rada, Pedro; Pieruzzini, Pedro R; Hsueh, Brian; Gould, Elizabeth

    2013-05-01

    Physical exercise is known to reduce anxiety. The ventral hippocampus has been linked to anxiety regulation but the effects of running on this subregion of the hippocampus have been incompletely explored. Here, we investigated the effects of cold water stress on the hippocampus of sedentary and runner mice and found that while stress increases expression of the protein products of the immediate early genes c-fos and arc in new and mature granule neurons in sedentary mice, it has no such effect in runners. We further showed that running enhances local inhibitory mechanisms in the hippocampus, including increases in stress-induced activation of hippocampal interneurons, expression of vesicular GABA transporter (vGAT), and extracellular GABA release during cold water swim stress. Finally, blocking GABAA receptors in the ventral hippocampus, but not the dorsal hippocampus, with the antagonist bicuculline, reverses the anxiolytic effect of running. Together, these results suggest that running improves anxiety regulation by engaging local inhibitory mechanisms in the ventral hippocampus.

  18. Chronic Ca2+ influx through voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels enhance delayed rectifier K+ currents via activating Src family tyrosine kinase in rat hippocampal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yoon-Sil; Jeon, Sang-Chan; Kim, Dong-Kwan; Eun, Su-Yong; Jung, Sung-Cherl

    2017-03-01

    Excessive influx and the subsequent rapid cytosolic elevation of Ca 2+ in neurons is the major cause to induce hyperexcitability and irreversible cell damage although it is an essential ion for cellular signalings. Therefore, most neurons exhibit several cellular mechanisms to homeostatically regulate cytosolic Ca 2+ level in normal as well as pathological conditions. Delayed rectifier K + channels (I DR channels) play a role to suppress membrane excitability by inducing K + outflow in various conditions, indicating their potential role in preventing pathogenic conditions and cell damage under Ca 2+ -mediated excitotoxic conditions. In the present study, we electrophysiologically evaluated the response of I DR channels to hyperexcitable conditions induced by high Ca 2+ pretreatment (3.6 mM, for 24 hours) in cultured hippocampal neurons. In results, high Ca 2+ -treatment significantly increased the amplitude of I DR without changes of gating kinetics. Nimodipine but not APV blocked Ca 2+ -induced I DR enhancement, confirming that the change of I DR might be targeted by Ca 2+ influx through voltage-dependent Ca 2+ channels (VDCCs) rather than NMDA receptors (NMDARs). The VDCC-mediated I DR enhancement was not affected by either Ca 2+ -induced Ca 2+ release (CICR) or small conductance Ca 2+ -activated K + channels (SK channels). Furthermore, PP2 but not H89 completely abolished I DR enhancement under high Ca 2+ condition, indicating that the activation of Src family tyrosine kinases (SFKs) is required for Ca 2+ -mediated I DR enhancement. Thus, SFKs may be sensitive to excessive Ca 2+ influx through VDCCs and enhance I DR to activate a neuroprotective mechanism against Ca 2+ -mediated hyperexcitability in neurons.

  19. Activation of pyramidal neurons in mouse medial prefrontal cortex enhances food seeking behavior while reducing impulsivity in the absence of an effect on food intake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel McAllister Warthen

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC is involved in a wide range of executive cognitive functions, including reward evaluation, decision-making, memory extinction, mood, and task switching. Manipulation of the mPFC has been shown to alter food intake and food reward valuation, but whether exclusive stimulation of mPFC pyramidal neurons, which form the principle output of the mPFC, is sufficient to mediate food rewarded instrumental behavior is unknown. We sought to determine the behavioral consequences of manipulating mPFC output by exciting pyramidal neurons in mouse mPFC during performance of a panel of behavioral assays, focusing on food reward. We found that increasing mPFC pyramidal cell output using Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADD enhanced performance in instrumental food reward assays that assess food seeking behavior, while sparing effects in affect and food intake. Specifically, activation of mPFC pyramidal neurons enhanced operant responding for food reward, reinstatement of palatable food seeking, and suppression of impulsive responding for food reward. Conversely, activation of mPFC pyramidal neurons had no effect on unconditioned food intake, social interaction, or behavior in an open field. Furthermore, we found that behavioral outcome is influenced by the degree of mPFC activation, with a low drive sufficient to enhance operant responding and a higher drive required to alter impulsivity. Additionally, we provide data demonstrating that DREADD stimulation involves a nitric oxide synthase dependent pathway, similar to endogenous muscarinic M3 receptor stimulation, a finding that provides novel mechanistic insight into an increasingly widespread method of remote neuronal control.

  20. A Variational Approach to Enhanced Sampling and Free Energy Calculations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrinello, Michele

    2015-03-01

    The presence of kinetic bottlenecks severely hampers the ability of widely used sampling methods like molecular dynamics or Monte Carlo to explore complex free energy landscapes. One of the most popular methods for addressing this problem is umbrella sampling which is based on the addition of an external bias which helps overcoming the kinetic barriers. The bias potential is usually taken to be a function of a restricted number of collective variables. However constructing the bias is not simple, especially when the number of collective variables increases. Here we introduce a functional of the bias which, when minimized, allows us to recover the free energy. We demonstrate the usefulness and the flexibility of this approach on a number of examples which include the determination of a six dimensional free energy surface. Besides the practical advantages, the existence of such a variational principle allows us to look at the enhanced sampling problem from a rather convenient vantage point.

  1. Recent approaches for enhancing sensitivity in enantioseparations by CE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Hernández, Laura; García-Ruiz, Carmen; Luisa Marina, María; Luis Crego, Antonio

    2010-01-01

    This article reviews the latest methodological and instrumental improvements for enhancing sensitivity in chiral analysis by CE. The review covers literature from March 2007 until May 2009, that is, the works published after the appearance of the latest review article on the same topic by Sánchez-Hernández et al. [Electrophoresis 2008, 29, 237-251]. Off-line and on-line sample treatment techniques, on-line sample preconcentration strategies based on electrophoretic and chromatographic principles, and alternative detection systems to the widely employed UV/Vis detection in CE are the most relevant approaches discussed for improving sensitivity. Microchip technologies are also included since they can open up great possibilities to achieve sensitive and fast enantiomeric separations.

  2. Novel approaches for an enhanced geothermal development of residential sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schelenz, Sophie; Firmbach, Linda; Shao, Haibing; Dietrich, Peter; Vienken, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    An ongoing technological enhancement drives an increasing use of shallow geothermal systems for heating and cooling applications. However, even in areas with intensive shallow geothermal use, planning of geothermal systems is in many cases solely based on geological maps, drilling databases, and literature references. Thus, relevant heat transport parameters are rather approximated than measured for the specific site. To increase the planning safety and promote the use of renewable energies in the domestic sector, this study investigates a novel concept for an enhanced geothermal development of residential neighbourhoods. This concept is based on a site-specific characterization of subsurface conditions and the implementation of demand-oriented geothermal usage options. Therefore, an investigation approach has been tested that combines non-invasive with minimum-invasive exploration methods. While electrical resistivity tomography has been applied to characterize the geological subsurface structure, Direct Push soundings enable a detailed, vertical high-resolution characterization of the subsurface surrounding the borehole heat exchangers. The benefit of this site-specific subsurface investigation is highlighted for 1) a more precise design of shallow geothermal systems and 2) a reliable prediction of induced long-term changes in groundwater temperatures. To guarantee the financial feasibility and practicability of the novel geothermal development, three different options for its implementation in residential neighbourhoods were consequently deduced.

  3. Optimization of pillar electrodes in subretinal prosthesis for enhanced proximity to target neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores, Thomas; Lei, Xin; Huang, Tiffany; Lorach, Henri; Dalal, Roopa; Galambos, Ludwig; Kamins, Theodore; Mathieson, Keith; Palanker, Daniel

    2018-06-01

    Objective. High-resolution prosthetic vision requires dense stimulating arrays with small electrodes. However, such miniaturization reduces electrode capacitance and penetration of electric field into tissue. We evaluate potential solutions to these problems with subretinal implants based on utilization of pillar electrodes. Approach. To study integration of three-dimensional (3D) implants with retinal tissue, we fabricated arrays with varying pillar diameter, pitch, and height, and implanted beneath the degenerate retina in rats (Royal College of Surgeons, RCS). Tissue integration was evaluated six weeks post-op using histology and whole-mount confocal fluorescence imaging. The electric field generated by various electrode configurations was calculated in COMSOL, and stimulation thresholds assessed using a model of network-mediated retinal response. Main results. Retinal tissue migrated into the space between pillars with no visible gliosis in 90% of implanted arrays. Pillars with 10 μm height reached the middle of the inner nuclear layer (INL), while 22 μm pillars reached the upper portion of the INL. Electroplated pillars with dome-shaped caps increase the active electrode surface area. Selective deposition of sputtered iridium oxide onto the cap ensures localization of the current injection to the pillar top, obviating the need to insulate the pillar sidewall. According to computational model, pillars having a cathodic return electrode above the INL and active anodic ring electrode at the surface of the implant would enable six times lower stimulation threshold, compared to planar arrays with circumferential return, but suffer from greater cross-talk between the neighboring pixels. Significance. 3D electrodes in subretinal prostheses help reduce electrode-tissue separation and decrease stimulation thresholds to enable smaller pixels, and thereby improve visual acuity of prosthetic vision.

  4. Three colossal neurons: a new approach to an old classroom demonstration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holloway, Steven R

    2013-01-01

    Research suggests that the key to optimal student learning, regardless of class size, is engaging students in active learning. It is my contention that to truly understand neural processing, one must not only understand the activities of the neuron as a living cell, but also how that cell works within the context of a neural network. The demonstration exercise described herein combines techniques expressed in three previously published articles, with certain modifications, allowing as few as 15 and as many as about 200 students to actively participate in the endeavor. Moreover, test scores from 158 students were examined, showing that students who participated in the demonstration performed significantly better on exam questions than students who did not take part.

  5. A simple approach to ignoring irrelevant variables by population decoding based on multisensory neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, HyungGoo R.; Pitkow, Xaq; Angelaki, Dora E.

    2016-01-01

    Sensory input reflects events that occur in the environment, but multiple events may be confounded in sensory signals. For example, under many natural viewing conditions, retinal image motion reflects some combination of self-motion and movement of objects in the world. To estimate one stimulus event and ignore others, the brain can perform marginalization operations, but the neural bases of these operations are poorly understood. Using computational modeling, we examine how multisensory signals may be processed to estimate the direction of self-motion (i.e., heading) and to marginalize out effects of object motion. Multisensory neurons represent heading based on both visual and vestibular inputs and come in two basic types: “congruent” and “opposite” cells. Congruent cells have matched heading tuning for visual and vestibular cues and have been linked to perceptual benefits of cue integration during heading discrimination. Opposite cells have mismatched visual and vestibular heading preferences and are ill-suited for cue integration. We show that decoding a mixed population of congruent and opposite cells substantially reduces errors in heading estimation caused by object motion. In addition, we present a general formulation of an optimal linear decoding scheme that approximates marginalization and can be implemented biologically by simple reinforcement learning mechanisms. We also show that neural response correlations induced by task-irrelevant variables may greatly exceed intrinsic noise correlations. Overall, our findings suggest a general computational strategy by which neurons with mismatched tuning for two different sensory cues may be decoded to perform marginalization operations that dissociate possible causes of sensory inputs. PMID:27334948

  6. Enhanced excitatory input to MCH neurons during developmental period of high food intake is mediated by GABA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ying; van den Pol, Anthony N.

    2010-01-01

    In contrast to the local axons of GABA neurons of the cortex and hippocampus, lateral hypothalamic neurons containing melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) and GABA send long axons throughout the brain and play key roles in energy homeostasis and mental status. In adults, MCH neurons maintain a hyperpolarized membrane potential and most of the synaptic input is inhibitory. In contrast, we found that developing MCH neurons received substantially more excitatory synaptic input. Based on gramicidicin-perforated patch recordings in hypothalamic slices from MCH-GFP transgenic mice, we found that GABA was the primary excitatory synaptic transmitter in embryonic and neonatal ages up to postnatal day 10. Surprisingly, glutamate assumed only a minor excitatory role, if any. GABA plays a complex role in developing MCH neurons, with its actions conditionally dependent on a number of factors. GABA depolarization could lead to an increase in spikes either independently or in summation with other depolarizing stimuli, or alternately, depending on the relative timing of other depolarizing events, could lead to shunting inhibition. The developmental shift from depolarizing to hyperpolarizing occurred later in the dendrites than in the cell body. Early GABA depolarization was based on a Cl− dependent inward current. An interesting secondary depolarization in mature neurons that followed an initial hyperpolarization was based on a bicarbonate mechanism. Thus during the early developmental period when food consumption is high, MCH neurons are more depolarized than in the adult, and an increased level of excitatory synaptic input to these orexigenic cells is mediated by GABA. PMID:19955372

  7. Enhanced excitatory input to melanin concentrating hormone neurons during developmental period of high food intake is mediated by GABA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ying; van den Pol, Anthony N

    2009-12-02

    In contrast to the local axons of GABA neurons of the cortex and hippocampus, lateral hypothalamic neurons containing melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) and GABA send long axons throughout the brain and play key roles in energy homeostasis and mental status. In adults, MCH neurons maintain a hyperpolarized membrane potential and most of the synaptic input is inhibitory. In contrast, we found that developing MCH neurons received substantially more excitatory synaptic input. Based on gramicidin-perforated patch recordings in hypothalamic slices from MCH-green fluorescent protein transgenic mice, we found that GABA was the primary excitatory synaptic transmitter in embryonic and neonatal ages up to postnatal day 10. Surprisingly, glutamate assumed only a minor excitatory role, if any. GABA plays a complex role in developing MCH neurons, with its actions conditionally dependent on a number of factors. GABA depolarization could lead to an increase in spikes either independently or in summation with other depolarizing stimuli, or alternately, depending on the relative timing of other depolarizing events, could lead to shunting inhibition. The developmental shift from depolarizing to hyperpolarizing occurred later in the dendrites than in the cell body. Early GABA depolarization was based on a Cl(-)-dependent inward current. An interesting secondary depolarization in mature neurons that followed an initial hyperpolarization was based on a bicarbonate mechanism. Thus during the early developmental period when food consumption is high, MCH neurons are more depolarized than in the adult, and an increased level of excitatory synaptic input to these orexigenic cells is mediated by GABA.

  8. Enhanced tolerance against early and late apoptotic oxidative stress in mammalian neurons through nicotinamidase and sirtuin mediated pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chong, Zhao Zhong; Maiese, Kenneth

    2008-08-01

    Focus upon therapeutic strategies that intersect between pathways that govern cellular metabolism and cellular survival may offer the greatest impact for the treatment of a number of neurodegenerative and metabolic disorders, such as diabetes mellitus. In this regard, we investigated the role of a Drosophila nicotinamidase (DN) in mammalian SH-SY5Y neuronal cells during oxidative stress. We demonstrate that during free radical exposure to nitric oxide generators DN neuronal expression significantly increased cell survival and blocked cellular membrane injury. Furthermore, DN neuronal expression prevented both apoptotic late DNA degradation and early phosphatidylserine exposure that may serve to modulate inflammatory cell activation in vivo. Nicotinamidase activity that limited nicotinamide cellular concentrations appeared to be necessary for DN neuroprotection, since application of progressive nicotinamide concentrations could abrogate the benefits of DN expression during oxidative stress. Pathways that involved sirtuin activation and SIRT1 were suggested to be vital, at least in part, for DN to confer protection through a series of studies. First, application of resveratrol increased cell survival during oxidative stress either alone or in conjunction with the expression of DN to a similar degree, suggesting that DN may rely upon SIRT1 activation to foster neuronal protection. Second, the overexpression of either SIRT1 or DN in neurons prevented apoptotic injury specifically in neurons expressing these proteins during oxidative stress, advancing the premise that DN and SIRT1 may employ similar pathways for neuronal protection. Third, inhibition of sirtuin activity with sirtinol was detrimental to neuronal survival during oxidative stress and prevented neuronal protection during overexpression of DN or SIRT1, further supporting that SIRT1 activity may be necessary for DN neuroprotection during oxidative stress. Implementation of further work to elucidate the

  9. Professional and personal enhancement: a pragmatic approach in dental education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deivanayagam, Kandaswamy; K, Anbarasi

    2016-06-01

    Students of health education are often offended by the transitions and challenges they face while encountering diverse people, ideas and academic workloads. They may be offended because of reasons not only related to their societal background but also to their basic competence in managing transitions. In the Asian scenario, students enter the first year of professional education in their late teen age along with the definition of self which was created by their parents. There are different issues that arise in this age group that may positively shape or negatively affect the personalities of students. They need to achieve a sense of balance between personal and professional traits on their own. Several students are often unable to cultivate the expected required qualities, which leads to an abject state of mind and hinder their progress. We identified the most common personal and professional hurdles in the lives of dental students and we provided experiential solutions to overcome the hurdles by using a sociable approach through an integrated, continuing education program. Designing and implementing a cohesive, amalgamated and inspiring personal and professional enhancement action program for dental students. Feedback from students reflected that the needs and expectations of students vary with academic phase. In addition students expressed that this program series inculcated some positive skills, and overall, they are satisfied with the utility of the program. Personal and professional enhancement of students in accordance with individual needs as well as with expected requirements needs a committed administrative action plan. Our results in this context are encouraging and can be considered for application in dental institutions.

  10. Estradiol attenuates ischemia-induced death of hippocampal neurons and enhances synaptic transmission in aged, long-term hormone-deprived female rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomoko Inagaki

    Full Text Available Transient global forebrain ischemia causes selective, delayed death of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, and the ovarian hormone 17β-estradiol (E2 reduces neuronal loss in young and middle-aged females. The neuroprotective efficacy of E2 after a prolonged period of hormone deprivation is controversial, and few studies examine this issue in aged animals given E2 treatment after induction of ischemia.The present study investigated the neuroprotective effects of E2 administered immediately after global ischemia in aged female rats (15-18 months after 6 months of hormone deprivation. We also used electrophysiological methods to assess whether CA1 synapses in the aging hippocampus remain responsive to E2 after prolonged hormone withdrawal. Animals were ovariohysterectomized and underwent 10 min global ischemia 6 months later. A single dose of E2 (2.25 µg infused intraventricularly after reperfusion significantly increased cell survival, with 45% of CA1 neurons surviving vs 15% in controls. Ischemia also induced moderate loss of CA3/CA4 pyramidal cells. Bath application of 1 nM E2 onto brain slices derived from non-ischemic aged females after 6 months of hormone withdrawal significantly enhanced excitatory transmission at CA1 synapses evoked by Schaffer collateral stimulation, and normal long-term potentiation (LTP was induced. The magnitude of LTP and of E2 enhancement of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials was indistinguishable from that recorded in slices from young rats.The data demonstrate that 1 acute post-ischemic infusion of E2 into the brain ventricles is neuroprotective in aged rats after 6 months of hormone deprivation; and 2 E2 enhances synaptic transmission in CA1 pyramidal neurons of aged long-term hormone deprived females. These findings provide evidence that the aging hippocampus remains responsive to E2 administered either in vivo or in vitro even after prolonged periods of hormone withdrawal.

  11. Regulatory approach to enhanced human performance during accidents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Palla, R.L. Jr.

    1990-01-01

    It has become increasingly clear in recent years that the risk associated with nuclear power is driven by human performance. Although human errors have contributed heavily to the two core-melt events that have occurred at power reactors, effective performance during an event can also prevent a degraded situation from progressing to a more serious accident, as in the loss-of-feedwater event at Davis-Besse. Sensitivity studies in which human error rates for various categories of errors in a probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) were varied confirm the importance of human performance. Moreover, these studies suggest that actions taken during an accident are at least as important as errors that occur prior to an initiating event. A program that will lead to enhanced accident management capabilities in the nuclear industry is being developed by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and industry and is a key element in NRC's integration plan for closure of severe-accident issues. The focus of the accident management (AM) program is on human performance during accidents, with emphasis on in-plant response. The AM program extends the defense-in-depth principle to plant operating staff. The goal is to take advantage of existing plant equipment and operator skills and creativity to find ways to terminate accidents that are beyond the design basis. The purpose of this paper is to describe the NRC's objectives and approach in AM as well as to discuss several human performance issues that are central to AM

  12. Enhancing Road Safety Behaviour Using a Psychological and Spiritual Approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghous Mohd Tarmizi

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Main causes of accident is due to driver itself that is influenced by their bad attitude while driving. Human attitude is closely related to the human psychology. Apart from that, spiritual aspect also influence human attitude. Hence, this study carried out to improve driver safety using a new approach through psychology and spiritual factors. Objectives of this study are to identify then analyze factors of psychological and spiritual that contribute towards safety driving. A self-administered questionnaire were distributed among 256 respondents from various type of background. An analysis descriptive statistics show demographic and experience of respondents. Chi-square analysis showed only education level and traffic summon are significant to safety driving. Furthermore, correlation analysis shows psychological factors has strong linear relationship on attitude of drivers towards safety driving while spiritual factor, the perception of the spiritual and practices, both have a strong relationship to safety driving. Regression analysis demonstrates boths psychological and spiritual factors have strong evidence and significant relationship with safety driving. Thus, it can be identified that spiritual psychological factors encourage drivers to drive more safely and reduce road accidents. Therefore, this study propose useful guidelines to related agencies in order to enhance safety among drivers to be able drive safely on the road.

  13. SpikeTemp: An Enhanced Rank-Order-Based Learning Approach for Spiking Neural Networks With Adaptive Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jinling; Belatreche, Ammar; Maguire, Liam P; McGinnity, Thomas Martin

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents an enhanced rank-order-based learning algorithm, called SpikeTemp, for spiking neural networks (SNNs) with a dynamically adaptive structure. The trained feed-forward SNN consists of two layers of spiking neurons: 1) an encoding layer which temporally encodes real-valued features into spatio-temporal spike patterns and 2) an output layer of dynamically grown neurons which perform spatio-temporal classification. Both Gaussian receptive fields and square cosine population encoding schemes are employed to encode real-valued features into spatio-temporal spike patterns. Unlike the rank-order-based learning approach, SpikeTemp uses the precise times of the incoming spikes for adjusting the synaptic weights such that early spikes result in a large weight change and late spikes lead to a smaller weight change. This removes the need to rank all the incoming spikes and, thus, reduces the computational cost of SpikeTemp. The proposed SpikeTemp algorithm is demonstrated on several benchmark data sets and on an image recognition task. The results show that SpikeTemp can achieve better classification performance and is much faster than the existing rank-order-based learning approach. In addition, the number of output neurons is much smaller when the square cosine encoding scheme is employed. Furthermore, SpikeTemp is benchmarked against a selection of existing machine learning algorithms, and the results demonstrate the ability of SpikeTemp to classify different data sets after just one presentation of the training samples with comparable classification performance.

  14. SCM-198 Ameliorates Cognitive Deficits, Promotes Neuronal Survival and Enhances CREB/BDNF/TrkB Signaling without Affecting Aβ Burden in AβPP/PS1 Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhen-Yi Hong

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available SCM-198 is an alkaloid found only in Herba leonuri and it has been reported to possess considerable neuroprotective effects in animal models of ischemic stroke, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease (AD. In this study, we demonstrated for the first time that 3-month oral SCM-198 treatment could significantly improve both recognition and spatial memory, inhibit microgliosis and promote neuronal survival in amyloid-β protein precursor and presenilin-1(AβPP/PS1 double-transgenic mice without affecting amyloid-β (Aβ burden. In addition, decreases in cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB phosphorylation, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF and tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB phosphorylation were attenuated by SCM-198 both in vivo and in primary cortical neurons, which could be blocked by protein kinase A (PKA inhibitors, suggesting the involvement of upstream PKA in enhancing the BDNF/TrkB/CREB signaling by SCM-198. Our results indicate that SCM-198, a drug that could promote neuronal survival and enhance BDNF/TrkB/CREB signaling, has beneficial effects on behavioral and biochemical alterations without affecting Aβ burden in AβPP/PS1 mice and might become a potential drug candidate for AD treatment in the future.

  15. SCM-198 Ameliorates Cognitive Deficits, Promotes Neuronal Survival and Enhances CREB/BDNF/TrkB Signaling without Affecting Aβ Burden in AβPP/PS1 Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Zhen-Yi; Yu, Shuang-Shuang; Wang, Zhi-Jun; Zhu, Yi-Zhun

    2015-08-07

    SCM-198 is an alkaloid found only in Herba leonuri and it has been reported to possess considerable neuroprotective effects in animal models of ischemic stroke, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study, we demonstrated for the first time that 3-month oral SCM-198 treatment could significantly improve both recognition and spatial memory, inhibit microgliosis and promote neuronal survival in amyloid-β protein precursor and presenilin-1(AβPP/PS1) double-transgenic mice without affecting amyloid-β (Aβ) burden. In addition, decreases in cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) phosphorylation were attenuated by SCM-198 both in vivo and in primary cortical neurons, which could be blocked by protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitors, suggesting the involvement of upstream PKA in enhancing the BDNF/TrkB/CREB signaling by SCM-198. Our results indicate that SCM-198, a drug that could promote neuronal survival and enhance BDNF/TrkB/CREB signaling, has beneficial effects on behavioral and biochemical alterations without affecting Aβ burden in AβPP/PS1 mice and might become a potential drug candidate for AD treatment in the future.

  16. Mice lacking the transcriptional regulator Bhlhe40 have enhanced neuronal excitability and impaired synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly A Hamilton

    Full Text Available Bhlhe40 is a transcription factor that is highly expressed in the hippocampus; however, its role in neuronal function is not well understood. Here, we used Bhlhe40 null mice on a congenic C57Bl6/J background (Bhlhe40 KO to investigate the impact of Bhlhe40 on neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. Bhlhe40 KO CA1 neurons had increased miniature excitatory post-synaptic current amplitude and decreased inhibitory post-synaptic current amplitude, indicating CA1 neuronal hyperexcitability. Increased CA1 neuronal excitability was not associated with increased seizure severity as Bhlhe40 KO relative to +/+ (WT control mice injected with the convulsant kainic acid. However, significant reductions in long term potentiation and long term depression at CA1 synapses were observed in Bhlhe40 KO mice, indicating impaired hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Behavioral testing for spatial learning and memory on the Morris Water Maze (MWM revealed that while Bhlhe40 KO mice performed similarly to WT controls initially, when the hidden platform was moved to the opposite quadrant Bhlhe40 KO mice showed impairments in relearning, consistent with decreased hippocampal synaptic plasticity. To investigate possible mechanisms for increased neuronal excitability and decreased synaptic plasticity, a whole genome mRNA expression profile of Bhlhe40 KO hippocampus was performed followed by a chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-Seq screen of the validated candidate genes for Bhlhe40 protein-DNA interactions consistent with transcriptional regulation. Of the validated genes identified from mRNA expression analysis, insulin degrading enzyme (Ide had the most significantly altered expression in hippocampus and was significantly downregulated on the RNA and protein levels; although Bhlhe40 did not occupy the Ide gene by ChIP-Seq. Together, these findings support a role for Bhlhe40 in regulating neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity in

  17. The effect of Bobath approach on the excitability of the spinal alpha motor neurones in stroke patients with muscle spasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansari, N N; Naghdi, S

    2007-01-01

    A clinical study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of the Bobath approach on the excitability of the spinal alpha motor neurones in patients with poststroke spasticity. Ten subjects ranging in age from 37 through 76 years (average 60 years) with ankle plantarflexor spasticity secondary to a stroke were recruited and completed the trial. They had physiotherapy according to Bobath concept for ten treatment sessions, three days per week. Two repeated measures, one before and another after treatment, were taken to quantify clinical efficacy. The effect of this type of therapy on the excitability of alpha motor neurones (aMN) was assessed by measuring the latency of the Hoffmann reflex (H-reflex) and the Hmax/Mmax ratio. The original Ashworth scale and ankle range of motion were also measured. The mean HmaxlMmax ratio on the affected side at baseline was high in the study patients. However, there were no statistically significant differences in the HmaxlMmax ratio or in the H-reflex latency between the baseline values and those recorded after therapy intervention. Before treatment, the HmaxlMmax ratio was significantly higher in the affected side than in the unaffected side. However, it was similar at both sides after treatment. Following treatment, the significant reduction in spasticity was clinically detected as measured with the original Ashworth scale. The ankle joint active and passive range of motion was significantly increased. In conclusion, Bobath therapy had a statistically significant effect on the excitability of the aMN in the affected side compared to the unaffected side in stroke patients with muscle spasticity.

  18. Enhancement of high glucose-induced PINK1 expression by melatonin stimulates neuronal cell survival: Involvement of MT2 /Akt/NF-κB pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onphachanh, Xaykham; Lee, Hyun Jik; Lim, Jae Ryong; Jung, Young Hyun; Kim, Jun Sung; Chae, Chang Woo; Lee, Sei-Jung; Gabr, Amr Ahmed; Han, Ho Jae

    2017-09-01

    Hyperglycemia is a representative hallmark and risk factor for diabetes mellitus (DM) and is closely linked to DM-associated neuronal cell death. Previous investigators reported on a genome-wide association study and showed relationships between DM and melatonin receptor (MT), highlighting the role of MT signaling by assessing melatonin in DM. However, the role of MT signaling in DM pathogenesis is unclear. Therefore, we investigated the role of mitophagy regulators in high glucose-induced neuronal cell death and the effect of melatonin against high glucose-induced mitophagy regulators in neuronal cells. In our results, high glucose significantly increased PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) and LC-3B expressions; as well it decreased cytochrome c oxidase subunit 4 expression and Mitotracker™ fluorescence intensity. Silencing of PINK1 induced mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation and mitochondrial membrane potential impairment, increased expressions of cleaved caspases, and increased the number of annexin V-positive cells. In addition, high glucose-stimulated melatonin receptor 1B (MTNR1B) mRNA and PINK1 expressions were reversed by ROS scavenger N-acetyl cysteine pretreatment. Upregulation of PINK1 expression in neuronal cells is suppressed by pretreatment with MT 2 receptor-specific inhibitor 4-P-PDOT. We further showed melatonin stimulated Akt phosphorylation, which was followed by nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) phosphorylation and nuclear translocation. Silencing of PINK1 expression abolished melatonin-regulated mitochondrial ROS production, cleaved caspase-3 and caspase-9 expressions, and the number of annexin V-positive cells. In conclusion, we have demonstrated the melatonin stimulates PINK1 expression via an MT 2 /Akt/NF-κB pathway, and such stimulation is important for the prevention of neuronal cell apoptosis under high glucose conditions. © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Pineal Research

  19. Human Nav1.8: enhanced persistent and ramp currents contribute to distinct firing properties of human DRG neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Chongyang; Estacion, Mark; Huang, Jianying; Vasylyev, Dymtro; Zhao, Peng; Dib-Hajj, Sulayman D.

    2015-01-01

    Although species-specific differences in ion channel properties are well-documented, little has been known about the properties of the human Nav1.8 channel, an important contributor to pain signaling. Here we show, using techniques that include voltage clamp, current clamp, and dynamic clamp in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, that human Nav1.8 channels display slower inactivation kinetics and produce larger persistent current and ramp current than previously reported in other species. DRG neurons expressing human Nav1.8 channels unexpectedly produce significantly longer-lasting action potentials, including action potentials with half-widths in some cells >10 ms, and increased firing frequency compared with the narrower and usually single action potentials generated by DRG neurons expressing rat Nav1.8 channels. We also show that native human DRG neurons recapitulate these properties of Nav1.8 current and the long-lasting action potentials. Together, our results demonstrate strikingly distinct properties of human Nav1.8, which contribute to the firing properties of human DRG neurons. PMID:25787950

  20. Genetic Deletion of Neuronal PPARγ Enhances the Emotional Response to Acute Stress and Exacerbates Anxiety: An Effect Reversed by Rescue of Amygdala PPARγ Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domi, Esi; Uhrig, Stefanie; Soverchia, Laura; Spanagel, Rainer; Hansson, Anita C; Barbier, Estelle; Heilig, Markus; Ciccocioppo, Roberto; Ubaldi, Massimo

    2016-12-14

    PPARγ is one of the three isoforms of the Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors (PPARs). PPARγ is activated by thiazolidinediones such as pioglitazone and is targeted to treat insulin resistance. PPARγ is densely expressed in brain areas involved in regulation of motivational and emotional processes. Here, we investigated the role of PPARγ in the brain and explored its role in anxiety and stress responses in mice. The results show that stimulation of PPARγ by pioglitazone did not affect basal anxiety, but fully prevented the anxiogenic effect of acute stress. Using mice with genetic ablation of neuronal PPARγ (PPARγ NestinCre ), we demonstrated that a lack of receptors, specifically in neurons, exacerbated basal anxiety and enhanced stress sensitivity. The administration of GW9662, a selective PPARγ antagonist, elicited a marked anxiogenic response in PPARγ wild-type (WT), but not in PPARγ NestinCre knock-out (KO) mice. Using c-Fos immunohistochemistry, we observed that acute stress exposure resulted in a different pattern of neuronal activation in the amygdala (AMY) and the hippocampus (HIPP) of PPARγ NestinCre KO mice compared with WT mice. No differences were found between WT and KO mice in hypothalamic regions responsible for hormonal response to stress or in blood corticosterone levels. Microinjection of pioglitazone into the AMY, but not into the HIPP, abolished the anxiogenic response elicited by acute stress. Results also showed that, in both regions, PPARγ colocalizes with GABAergic cells. These findings demonstrate that neuronal PPARγ is involved the regulation of the stress response and that the AMY is a key substrate for the anxiolytic effect of PPARγ. Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma (PPARγ) is a classical target for antidiabetic therapies with thiazolidinedione compounds. PPARγ agonists such as rosiglitazone and pioglitazone are in clinical use for the treatment of insulin resistance. PPARγ has recently attracted

  1. Mediating the potent ROS toxicity of acrolein in neurons with silica nanoparticles and a natural product approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    White-Schenk, Désirée.; Shi, Riyi; Leary, James F.

    2014-03-01

    Acrolein, a very reactive aldehyde, is a culprit in the biochemical cascade after primary, mechanical spinal cord injury (SCI), which leads to the destruction of tissue initially unharmed, referred to as "secondary injury". Additionally, in models of multiple sclerosis (MS) and some clinical research, acrolein levels are significantly increased. Due to its ability to make more copies of itself in the presence of tissue via lipid peroxidation, researchers believe that acrolein plays a role in the increased destruction of the central nervous system in both SCI and MS. Hydralazine, an FDAapproved hypotensive drug, has been shown to scavenge acrolein, but its side effects and short half life at the appropriate dose for acrolein scavenging must be improved for beneficial clinical translation. Therefore, a nanomedical approach has been designed using silica nanoparticles as a porous delivery vehicle hydralazine. The silica particles are formed in a one-step method that incorporates poly(ethylene) glycol (PEG), a stealth molecule, directly onto the nanoparticles. As an additional avenue for study, a natural product in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has been explored for its ability to react with acrolein, disabling its reactive capabilities. Upon demonstration of attenuating acrolein, EGCG's delivery may also be improved using the nanomedical approach. The current work exposes the potential of using silica nanoparticles as a delivery vehicle and EGCG's antioxidant capabilities in B35 neuroblastoma cells exposed to acrolein. We also measure nanotoxicity to individual rat neurons using high-throughput image scanning cytometry.

  2. Bidirectional coupling between astrocytes and neurons mediates learning and dynamic coordination in the brain: a multiple modeling approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John J Wade

    Full Text Available In recent years research suggests that astrocyte networks, in addition to nutrient and waste processing functions, regulate both structural and synaptic plasticity. To understand the biological mechanisms that underpin such plasticity requires the development of cell level models that capture the mutual interaction between astrocytes and neurons. This paper presents a detailed model of bidirectional signaling between astrocytes and neurons (the astrocyte-neuron model or AN model which yields new insights into the computational role of astrocyte-neuronal coupling. From a set of modeling studies we demonstrate two significant findings. Firstly, that spatial signaling via astrocytes can relay a "learning signal" to remote synaptic sites. Results show that slow inward currents cause synchronized postsynaptic activity in remote neurons and subsequently allow Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity based learning to occur at the associated synapses. Secondly, that bidirectional communication between neurons and astrocytes underpins dynamic coordination between neuron clusters. Although our composite AN model is presently applied to simplified neural structures and limited to coordination between localized neurons, the principle (which embodies structural, functional and dynamic complexity, and the modeling strategy may be extended to coordination among remote neuron clusters.

  3. Cyclophosphamide-induced cystitis reduces ASIC channel but enhances TRPV1 receptor function in rat bladder sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dang, Khoa; Bielefeldt, Klaus; Gebhart, G F

    2013-07-01

    Using patch-clamp techniques, we studied the plasticity of acid-sensing ion channels (ASIC) and transient receptor potential V1 (TRPV1) channel function in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons retrogradely labeled from the bladder. Saline (control) or cyclophosphamide (CYP) was given intraperitoneally on days 1, 3, and 5. On day 6, lumbosacral (LS, L6-S2) or thoracolumbar (TL, T13-L2) DRG were removed and dissociated. Bladders and bladder DRG neurons from CYP-treated rats showed signs of inflammation (greater myeloperoxidase activity; lower intramuscular wall pH) and increased size (whole cell capacitance), respectively, compared with controls. Most bladder neurons (>90%) responded to protons and capsaicin. Protons produced multiphasic currents with distinct kinetics, whereas capsaicin always triggered a sustained response. The TRPV1 receptor antagonist A-425619 abolished capsaicin-triggered currents and raised the threshold of heat-activated currents. Prolonged exposure to an acidic environment (pH range: 7.2 to 6.6) inhibited proton-evoked currents, potentiated the capsaicin-evoked current, and reduced the threshold of heat-activated currents in LS and TL bladder neurons. CYP treatment reduced density but not kinetics of all current components triggered by pH 5. In contrast, CYP-treatment was associated with an increased current density in response to capsaicin in LS and TL bladder neurons. Correspondingly, heat triggered current at a significantly lower temperature in bladder neurons from CYP-treated rats compared with controls. These results reveal that cystitis differentially affects TRPV1- and ASIC-mediated currents in both bladder sensory pathways. Acidification of the bladder wall during inflammation may contribute to changes in nociceptive transmission mediated through the TRPV1 receptor, suggesting a role for TRPV1 in hypersensitivity associated with cystitis.

  4. Cocoa Enriched Diets Enhance Expression of Phosphatases and Decrease Expression of Inflammatory Molecules in Trigeminal Ganglion Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cady, Ryan J.; Durham, Paul L.

    2010-01-01

    Activation of trigeminal nerves and release of neuropeptides that promote inflammation are implicated in the underlying pathology of migraine and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. The overall response of trigeminal nerves to peripheral inflammatory stimuli involves a balance between enzymes that promote inflammation, kinases, and those that restore homeostasis, phosphatases. The goal of this study was to determine the effects of a cocoa-enriched diet on the expression of key inflammatory proteins in trigeminal ganglion neurons under basal and inflammatory conditions. Rats were fed a control diet or an isocaloric diet enriched in cocoa for 14 days prior to an injection of noxious stimuli to cause acute or chronic excitation of trigeminal neurons. In animals fed a cocoa-enriched diet, basal levels of the mitogen-activated kinase (MAP) phosphatases MKP-1 and MKP-3 were elevated in neurons. Importantly, the stimulatory effects of acute or chronic peripheral inflammation on neuronal expression of the MAPK p38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) were significantly repressed in response to cocoa. Similarly, dietary cocoa significantly suppressed basal neuronal expression of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) as well as stimulated levels of the inducible form of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), proteins implicated in the underlying pathology of migraine and TMJ disorders. To our knowledge, this is first evidence that a dietary supplement can cause upregulation of MKP, and that cocoa can prevent inflammatory responses in trigeminal ganglion neurons. Furthermore, our data provide evidence that cocoa contains biologically active compounds that would be beneficial in the treatment of migraine and TMJ disorders. PMID:20138852

  5. Enhancing Critical Thinking by Teaching Two Distinct Approaches to Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyck, Bruno; Walker, Kent; Starke, Frederick A.; Uggerslev, Krista

    2012-01-01

    The authors explore the effect on students' critical thinking of teaching only one approach to management versus teaching two approaches to management. Results from a quasiexperiment--which included a survey, interviews, and case analysis--suggest that compared with students who are taught only a conventional approach to management (which…

  6. Role of estrogen replacement therapy in memory enhancement and the prevention of neuronal loss associated with Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpkins, J W; Green, P S; Gridley, K E; Singh, M; de Fiebre, N C; Rajakumar, G

    1997-09-22

    Recent evidence supports a role for estrogens in both normal neural development and neuronal maintenance throughout life. Women spend 25-33% of their life in an estrogen-deprived state and retrospective studies have shown an inverse correlation between dose and duration of estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) and incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD), suggesting a role for estrogen in the prevention and/or treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. To explore these observations further, an animal model was developed using ovariectomy (OVX) and ovariectomy with estradiol replacement (E2) in female Sprague-Dawley rats to mimic postmenopausal changes. Using an active-avoidance paradigm and a spatial memory task, the effects of estrogen deprivation were tested on memory-related behaviors. OVX caused a decline in avoidance behavior, and estrogen replacement normalized the response. In the Morris water task of spatial memory, OVX animals showed normal spatial learning but were deficient in spatial memory, an effect that was prevented by estrogen treatment. Together these data indicate that OVX in rats results in an estrogen-reversible impairment of learning/memory behavior. Because a plethora of information has been generated that links decline in memory-related behavior to dysfunction of cholinergic neurons, the effects of estrogens on cholinergic neurons were tested. We demonstrated that OVX causes a decrease in high affinity choline uptake and choline acetyltransferase activity in the hippocampus and frontal cortex; ERT reverses this effect. Further, we showed that estrogens promote the expression of mRNA for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF), 2 neurotrophic substances that have been shown to ameliorate the effects of age and injury on cholinergic neurons. Tissue culture models were used to evaluate whether estrogen treatment increases the survival of neurons when exposed to a variety of insults. 17-beta-Estradiol (beta-E2) protects

  7. Phosphorylation of Ser1928 mediates the enhanced activity of the L-type Ca2+ channel Cav1.2 by the β2-adrenergic receptor in neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Hai; Patriarchi, Tommaso; Price, Jennifer L; Matt, Lucas; Lee, Boram; Nieves-Cintrón, Madeline; Buonarati, Olivia R; Chowdhury, Dhrubajyoti; Nanou, Evanthia; Nystoriak, Matthew A; Catterall, William A; Poomvanicha, Montatip; Hofmann, Franz; Navedo, Manuel F; Hell, Johannes W

    2017-01-24

    The L-type Ca 2+ channel Ca v 1.2 controls multiple functions throughout the body including heart rate and neuronal excitability. It is a key mediator of fight-or-flight stress responses triggered by a signaling pathway involving β-adrenergic receptors (βARs), cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), and protein kinase A (PKA). PKA readily phosphorylates Ser 1928 in Ca v 1.2 in vitro and in vivo, including in rodents and humans. However, S1928A knock-in (KI) mice have normal PKA-mediated L-type channel regulation in the heart, indicating that Ser 1928 is not required for regulation of cardiac Ca v 1.2 by PKA in this tissue. We report that augmentation of L-type currents by PKA in neurons was absent in S1928A KI mice. Furthermore, S1928A KI mice failed to induce long-term potentiation in response to prolonged theta-tetanus (PTT-LTP), a form of synaptic plasticity that requires Ca v 1.2 and enhancement of its activity by the β 2 -adrenergic receptor (β 2 AR)-cAMP-PKA cascade. Thus, there is an unexpected dichotomy in the control of Ca v 1.2 by PKA in cardiomyocytes and hippocampal neurons. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  8. Cannabidiol attenuates OGD/R-induced damage by enhancing mitochondrial bioenergetics and modulating glucose metabolism via pentose-phosphate pathway in hippocampal neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shanshan Sun

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Deficient bioenergetics and diminished redox conservation have been implicated in the development of cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury. In this study, the mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effects of cannabidiol (CBD, a nonpsychotropic compound derived from Cannabis sativa with FDA-approved antiepilepsy properties, were studied in vitro using an oxygen–glucose-deprivation/reperfusion (OGD/R model in a mouse hippocampal neuronal cell line. CBD supplementation during reperfusion rescued OGD/R-induced cell death, attenuated intracellular ROS generation and lipid peroxidation, and simultaneously reversed the abnormal changes in antioxidant biomarkers. Using the Seahorse XFe24 Extracellular Flux Analyzer, we found that CBD significantly improved basal respiration, ATP-linked oxygen consumption rate, and the spare respiratory capacity, and augmented glucose consumption in OGD/R-injured neurons. The activation of glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase and the preservation of the NADPH/NADP+ ratio implies that the pentose-phosphate pathway is stimulated by CBD, thus protecting hippocampal neurons from OGD/R injury. This study is the first to document the neuroprotective effects of CBD against OGD/R insult, which depend in part on attenuating oxidative stress, enhancing mitochondrial bioenergetics, and modulating glucose metabolism via the pentose-phosphate pathway, thus preserving both energy and the redox balance.

  9. Cannabidiol attenuates OGD/R-induced damage by enhancing mitochondrial bioenergetics and modulating glucose metabolism via pentose-phosphate pathway in hippocampal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Shanshan; Hu, Fangyuan; Wu, Jihong; Zhang, Shenghai

    2017-04-01

    Deficient bioenergetics and diminished redox conservation have been implicated in the development of cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury. In this study, the mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effects of cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychotropic compound derived from Cannabis sativa with FDA-approved antiepilepsy properties, were studied in vitro using an oxygen-glucose-deprivation/reperfusion (OGD/R) model in a mouse hippocampal neuronal cell line. CBD supplementation during reperfusion rescued OGD/R-induced cell death, attenuated intracellular ROS generation and lipid peroxidation, and simultaneously reversed the abnormal changes in antioxidant biomarkers. Using the Seahorse XF e 24 Extracellular Flux Analyzer, we found that CBD significantly improved basal respiration, ATP-linked oxygen consumption rate, and the spare respiratory capacity, and augmented glucose consumption in OGD/R-injured neurons. The activation of glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase and the preservation of the NADPH/NADP + ratio implies that the pentose-phosphate pathway is stimulated by CBD, thus protecting hippocampal neurons from OGD/R injury. This study is the first to document the neuroprotective effects of CBD against OGD/R insult, which depend in part on attenuating oxidative stress, enhancing mitochondrial bioenergetics, and modulating glucose metabolism via the pentose-phosphate pathway, thus preserving both energy and the redox balance. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. 78 FR 35323 - Solicitation for a Cooperative Agreement-Gender-Informed Research (Women): Enhanced Approaches to...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-12

    ...--Gender-Informed Research (Women): Enhanced Approaches to Project Development AGENCY: National Institute... deliverables from this solicitation will be based on research and theory and are meant to provide a medium to...- Informed Research (Women): Enhanced Approaches to Project Development.'' The package must include: a cover...

  11. Enhanced recovery after bariatric surgery – a modern approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bekkhan Bayalovich Khatsiev

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Guidelines for enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS are widely used and their efficiency was clearly demonstrated by numerous studies. Number of publications on this topic in bariatric surgery is significantly lower compared with other fields of surgery. However, the data accumulated allow to compose recommendations based on studies with high level of evidence. Authors review existing methods of enhanced recovery in their implementation into bariatric surgery. Enhanced recovery methods can be used to optimize all stages of perioperative care and include data on preoperative preparation, maintenance of electrolyte balance, prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting, sufficient analgesia and safe discharge form hospital. Suggested guidelines for bariatric surgery are implied to be used by a multidisciplinary team.

  12. Enhancing the Teaching-Learning Process: A Knowledge Management Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhusry, Mamta; Ranjan, Jayanthi

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the need for knowledge management (KM) in the teaching-learning process in technical educational institutions (TEIs) in India, and to assert the impact of information technology (IT) based KM intervention in the teaching-learning process. Design/methodology/approach: The approach of the paper is…

  13. Granularity of the mirror neuron system: A complex endeavor. Comment on "Grasping synergies: A motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism" by A. D'Ausilio et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swinnen, S. P.; Alaerts, K.

    2015-03-01

    The review paper by D'Ausilio and coauthors [3] is very timely and addresses one of the long-standing issues with respect to the coding features of mirror neurons. Through the history of mirror neuron research, there has been some controversy with respect to the level of granularity of the mirror neuron system, as studied in animal and human systems. While some researchers have suggested that abstract (high level) features of movement are coded, others have claimed evidence for more muscle specific (low level) coding properties (for an example, see [1,2]). D'Ausilio et al. [3] take a strong position in their review, suggesting a convergence between basic mechanisms of movement control and the mirror neuron system. Their suggestion is inspired by Bernstein's influential work on the so-called degrees of freedom problem. Even though a goal can in principle be reached in an infinite number of ways, consistent and stereotypical patterns of kinematics and muscle activation are often observed [4]. This has led to the notion of movement synergies as the basic building blocks for movement control. Even though it is essentially possible to contract isolated muscles or even motor units, Bernstein suggested that control of complex movement relies on movement synergies or coordinative structures, referring to a group of muscles that behave as a functional unit. This reduces the computational demands of the central nervous system considerably by assigning more responsibility to the lower levels of the movement control system. Bernstein's approach has inspired the dynamical systems perspective that has focused on a better understanding of complex biological systems such as interlimb coordination in humans [8]. For example, the upper limbs behave as a coordinative structure whereby simultaneous activation of the homologous muscle groups constitutes the default or preferred coordination mode that has to be defied when alternative patterns of coordination need to be performed or

  14. Enhanced astrocytic nitric oxide production and neuronal modifications in the neocortex of a NOS2 mutant mouse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yossi Buskila

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: It has been well accepted that glial cells in the central nervous system (CNS produce nitric oxide (NO through the induction of a nitric oxide synthase isoform (NOS2 only in response to various insults. Recently we described rapid astroglial, NOS2-dependent, NO production in the neocortex of healthy mice on a time scale relevant to neuronal activity. To explore a possible role for astroglial NOS2 in normal brain function we investigated a NOS2 knockout mouse (B6;129P2-Nos2(tm1Lau/J, Jackson Laboratory. Previous studies of this mouse strain revealed mainly altered immune responses, but no compensatory pathways and no CNS abnormalities have been reported. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To our surprise, using NO imaging in brain slices in combination with biochemical methods we uncovered robust NO production by neocortical astrocytes of the NOS2 mutant. These findings indicate the existence of an alternative pathway that increases basal NOS activity. In addition, the astroglial mutation instigated modifications of neuronal attributes, shown by changes in the membrane properties of pyramidal neurons, and revealed in distinct behavioral abnormalities characterized by an increase in stress-related parameters. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results strongly indicate the involvement of astrocytic-derived NO in modifying the activity of neuronal networks. In addition, the findings corroborate data linking NO signaling with stress-related behavior, and highlight the potential use of this genetic model for studies of stress-susceptibility. Lastly, our results beg re-examination of previous studies that used this mouse strain to examine the pathophysiology of brain insults, assuming lack of astrocytic nitrosative reaction.

  15. Feedforward motor information enhances somatosensory responses and sharpens angular tuning of rat S1 barrel cortex neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khateb, Mohamed; Schiller, Jackie; Schiller, Yitzhak

    2017-01-06

    The primary vibrissae motor cortex (vM1) is responsible for generating whisking movements. In parallel, vM1 also sends information directly to the sensory barrel cortex (vS1). In this study, we investigated the effects of vM1 activation on processing of vibrissae sensory information in vS1 of the rat. To dissociate the vibrissae sensory-motor loop, we optogenetically activated vM1 and independently passively stimulated principal vibrissae. Optogenetic activation of vM1 supra-linearly amplified the response of vS1 neurons to passive vibrissa stimulation in all cortical layers measured. Maximal amplification occurred when onset of vM1 optogenetic activation preceded vibrissa stimulation by 20 ms. In addition to amplification, vM1 activation also sharpened angular tuning of vS1 neurons in all cortical layers measured. Our findings indicated that in addition to output motor signals, vM1 also sends preparatory signals to vS1 that serve to amplify and sharpen the response of neurons in the barrel cortex to incoming sensory input signals.

  16. Vector-free and transgene-free human iPS cells differentiate into functional neurons and enhance functional recovery after ischemic stroke in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Osama Mohamad

    Full Text Available Stroke is a leading cause of human death and disability in the adult population in the United States and around the world. While stroke treatment is limited, stem cell transplantation has emerged as a promising regenerative therapy to replace or repair damaged tissues and enhance functional recovery after stroke. Recently, the creation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS cells through reprogramming of somatic cells has revolutionized cell therapy by providing an unlimited source of autologous cells for transplantation. In addition, the creation of vector-free and transgene-free human iPS (hiPS cells provides a new generation of stem cells with a reduced risk of tumor formation that was associated with the random integration of viral vectors seen with previous techniques. However, the potential use of these cells in the treatment of ischemic stroke has not been explored. In the present investigation, we examined the neuronal differentiation of vector-free and transgene-free hiPS cells and the transplantation of hiPS cell-derived neural progenitor cells (hiPS-NPCs in an ischemic stroke model in mice. Vector-free hiPS cells were maintained in feeder-free and serum-free conditions and differentiated into functional neurons in vitro using a newly developed differentiation protocol. Twenty eight days after transplantation in stroke mice, hiPS-NPCs showed mature neuronal markers in vivo. No tumor formation was seen up to 12 months after transplantation. Transplantation of hiPS-NPCs restored neurovascular coupling, increased trophic support and promoted behavioral recovery after stroke. These data suggest that using vector-free and transgene-free hiPS cells in stem cell therapy are safe and efficacious in enhancing recovery after focal ischemic stroke in mice.

  17. Enhancing Literacy and Curriculum Using Digitalized Collections and Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukenbill, Bill

    2010-01-01

    Digitized collections offer a wealth of resources for improving a wide variety of literacies that promote critical thinking skills, instruction and curriculum enhancements. Digitized collections and processes are increasing rapidly in their development and availability and as such introduce issues such as public access, copyright laws, limitations…

  18. Activation of D2 dopamine receptor-expressing neurons in the nucleus accumbens increases motivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares-Cunha, Carina; Coimbra, Barbara; David-Pereira, Ana; Borges, Sonia; Pinto, Luisa; Costa, Patricio; Sousa, Nuno; Rodrigues, Ana J.

    2016-01-01

    Striatal dopamine receptor D1-expressing neurons have been classically associated with positive reinforcement and reward, whereas D2 neurons are associated with negative reinforcement and aversion. Here we demonstrate that the pattern of activation of D1 and D2 neurons in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) predicts motivational drive, and that optogenetic activation of either neuronal population enhances motivation in mice. Using a different approach in rats, we further show that activating NAc D2 neurons increases cue-induced motivational drive in control animals and in a model that presents anhedonia and motivational deficits; conversely, optogenetic inhibition of D2 neurons decreases motivation. Our results suggest that the classic view of D1–D2 functional antagonism does not hold true for all dimensions of reward-related behaviours, and that D2 neurons may play a more prominent pro-motivation role than originally anticipated. PMID:27337658

  19. A model based approach in observing the activity of neuronal populations for the prediction of epileptic seizures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chong, M.S.; Nesic, D.; Kuhlmann, L.; Postoyan, R.; Varsavsky, A.; Cook, M.

    2010-01-01

    Full text: Epilepsy is a common neurological disease that affects 0.5-1 % of the world's population. In cases where known treatments cannot achieve complete recovery, seizure prediction is essential so that preventive measures can be undertaken to prevent resultant injury. The elcctroencephalogram (EEG) is a widely used diagnostic tool for epilepsy. However, the EEG does not provide a detailed view of the underlying seizure causing neuronal mechanisms. Knowing the dynamics of the neuronal population is useful because tracking the evolution of the neuronal mechanisms will allow us to track the brain's progression from interictal to ictal state. Wendling and colleagues proposed a parameterised mathematical model that represents the activity of interconnected neuronal populations. By modifying the parameters, this model is able to reproduce signals that are very similar to the real EEG depicting commonly observed patterns during interictal and ictal periods. The transition from non-seizure to seizure activity, as seen in the EEG. is hypothesised to be due to the impairment of inhibition. Using Wendling's model, we designed a deterministic nonlinear estimator to recover the average membrane potential of the neuronal populations from a single channel EEG signal. for any fixed and known parameter values. Our nonlinear estimator is analytically proven to asymptotically converge to the true state of the model and illustrated in simulations. We were able to computationally observe the dynamics of the three neuronal populations described in the model: excitatory, fast and slow inhibitory populations. This forms a first step towards the prediction of epileptic seiwres. (author)

  20. A seesaw-type approach for enhancing nonlinear energy harvesting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Huaxia; Wang, Zhemin; Du, Yu; Zhang, Jin; Ma, Mengchao; Zhong, Xiang

    2018-05-01

    Harvesting sustainable mechanical energy is the ultimate objective of nonlinear energy harvesters. However, overcoming potential barriers, especially without the use of extra excitations, poses a great challenge for the development of nonlinear generators. In contrast to the existing methods, which typically modify the barrier height or utilize additional excitations, this letter proposes a seesaw-type approach to facilitate escape from potential wells by transfer of internal energy, even under low-intensity excitation. This approach is adopted in the design of a seesaw-type nonlinear piezoelectric energy harvester and the energy transfer process is analyzed by deriving expressions for the energy to reveal the working mechanism. Comparison experiments demonstrate that this approach improves energy harvesting in terms of an increase in the working frequency bandwidth by a factor of 60.14 and an increase in the maximum output voltage by a factor of 5.1. Moreover, the output power is increased by a factor of 51.3, which indicates that this approach significantly improves energy collection efficiency. This seesaw-type approach provides a welcome boost to the development of renewable energy collection methods by improving the efficiency of harvesting of low-intensity ambient mechanical energy.

  1. Two approaches for enhancing the hydrogenation properties of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Wintec

    ties of Pd. In the first approach, metal thin film (Cu, Ag) has been deposited over Pd and hydrogenation properties of ... Firstly, the critical temperature of miscibility gap for the α to β phase ... diffraction (GAXRD) studies have been done. 18. The.

  2. Using Sustainability Themes and Multidisciplinary Approaches to Enhance STEM Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Michael; Pfaff, Thomas; Hamilton, Jason; Erkan, Ali

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to report on the Multidisciplinary Sustainability Education Project (MSEP) as a framework using sustainability-themed education modules to introduce students to the need for multidisciplinary approaches to solving twenty-first-century problems while retaining traditional course strengths and content.…

  3. Enhancement of biodiversity in energy farming: towards a functional approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Londo, M.; Dekker, J.

    1997-01-01

    When biomass is a substantial sustainable energy source, and special energy crops are grown on a large scale, land use and the environment of agriculture will be affected. Of these effects, biodiversity deserves special attention. The enhancement of biodiversity in energy farming via standard setting is the overall purpose of this project. In this study, the potential functionality of biodiversity in energy farming is proposed as a way of operationalising the rather abstract and broad concept of biodiversity. Functions of biodiversity are reviewed, and examples of functions are worked out, based on the current literature of nature in energy farming systems. (author)

  4. Enhancing leadership at a nuclear power plant - a systematic approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jupiter, P.

    1989-01-01

    The increasing use of advanced technology, greater regulatory oversight, and critical public scrutiny create numerous pressures for leaders within nuclear power plant systems (NPPSs). These large, complex industrial installations have unusually high expectations imposed for safety and efficiency of operation - without the luxury of trial-and-error learning. Industry leaders assert that enhanced leadership and management can substantially improve the operating performance of a nuclear power plant. The need has been voiced within the nuclear industry for systematic and effective methods to address leadership and management issues. This paper presents a step-by-step model for enhancing leadership achievement within NPPS, which is defined as the combined structural, equipment, and human elements involved in a plant's operation. Within the model, key areas for which the leader is responsible build upon each other in sequential order to form a solid strategic structure; teachable actions and skills form an ongoing cycle for leadership achievement. Through the model's continued and appropriate functioning, a NPPS is likely to maintain its viability, productivity, and effectiveness for the full licensed term of a plant

  5. Hybrid Enhanced Epidermal SpaceSuit Design Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessup, Joseph M.

    A Space suit that does not rely on gas pressurization is a multi-faceted problem that requires major stability controls to be incorporated during design and construction. The concept of Hybrid Epidermal Enhancement space suit integrates evolved human anthropomorphic and physiological adaptations into its functionality, using commercially available bio-medical technologies to address shortcomings of conventional gas pressure suits, and the impracticalities of MCP suits. The prototype HEE Space Suit explored integumentary homeostasis, thermal control and mobility using advanced bio-medical materials technology and construction concepts. The goal was a space suit that functions as an enhanced, multi-functional bio-mimic of the human epidermal layer that works in attunement with the wearer rather than as a separate system. In addressing human physiological requirements for design and construction of the HEE suit, testing regimes were devised and integrated into the prototype which was then subject to a series of detailed tests using both anatomical reproduction methods and human subject.

  6. Auditing energy use -a systematic approach for enhancing energy efficiency

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ardhapnrkar, P.M.; Mahalle, A.M.

    2005-01-01

    Energy management is a critical activity in the developing as well as developed countries owing to constraints in the availability of primary energy resources and the increasing demand for energy from the industrial and non-industrial users. Energy consumption is a vital parameter that determines the economic growth of any country. An energy management system (EMS) can save money by allowing greater control over energy consuming equipment. The foundation for the energy program is the energy audit, which is the systematic study of factory or building to determine where and how well energy is being used. It is the nucleus of any successful energy saving program -it is tool, not a solution. Conventional energy conservation methods are mostly sporadic and lack a coordinated plan of action. Consequently only apparent systems are treated without the analysis of system interaction. Energy audit on the other hand, involves total system approach and aims at optimizing energy use efficiently for the entire plant. In the present paper a new approach to pursue energy conservation techniques is being discussed. The focus is mainly on the methodology of energy audit, energy use analysis, relating energy with the production, and reducing energy losses, etc. It is observe that with this systematic approach, if adopted, which consists of three essential segments namely capacity utilization fine-tuning of the equipment and technology up-gradation can result in phenomenal savings in the energy, building competitive edge for the industry. This approach along with commitment can provide the right impetus to reap the benefits of energy conservation on a sustained basis. (author)

  7. Protein kinase A-dependent Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase Activation Mediates the Enhancement of Baroreflex Response by Adrenomedullin in the Nucleus Tractus Solitarii of Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ho I-Chun

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Adrenomedullin (ADM exerts its biological functions through the receptor-mediated enzymatic mechanisms that involve protein kinase A (PKA, or neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS. We previously demonstrated that the receptor-mediated cAMP/PKA pathway involves in ADM-enhanced baroreceptor reflex (BRR response. It remains unclear whether ADM may enhance BRR response via activation of nNOS-dependent mechanism in the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS. Methods Intravenous injection of phenylephrine was administered to evoke the BRR before and at 10, 30, and 60 min after microinjection of the test agents into NTS of Sprague-Dawley rats. Western blotting analysis was used to measure the level and phosphorylation of proteins that involved in BRR-enhancing effects of ADM (0.2 pmol in NTS. The colocalization of PKA and nNOS was examined by immunohistochemical staining and observed with a laser confocal microscope. Results We found that ADM-induced enhancement of BRR response was blunted by microinjection of NPLA or Rp-8-Br-cGMP, a selective inhibitor of nNOS or protein kinase G (PKG respectively, into NTS. Western blot analysis further revealed that ADM induced an increase in the protein level of PKG-I which could be attenuated by co-microinjection with the ADM receptor antagonist ADM22-52 or NPLA. Moreover, we observed an increase in phosphorylation at Ser1416 of nNOS at 10, 30, and 60 min after intra-NTS administration of ADM. As such, nNOS/PKG signaling may also account for the enhancing effect of ADM on BRR response. Interestingly, biochemical evidence further showed that ADM-induced increase of nNOS phosphorylation was prevented by co-microinjection with Rp-8-Br-cAMP, a PKA inhibitor. The possibility of PKA-dependent nNOS activation was substantiated by immunohistochemical demonstration of co-localization of PKA and nNOS in putative NTS neurons. Conclusions The novel finding of this study is that the signal transduction cascade that

  8. A general approach toward enhancement of pseudocapacitive performance of conducting polymers by redox-active electrolytes

    KAUST Repository

    Chen, Wei; Xia, Chuan; Baby, Rakhi Raghavan; Alshareef, Husam N.

    2014-01-01

    A general approach is demonstrated where the pseudocapacitive performance of different conducting polymers is enhanced in redox-active electrolytes. The concept is demonstrated using several electroactive conducting polymers, including polyaniline

  9. A developmental approach of imitation to study the emergence of mirror neurons in a sensory-motor controller

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaussier Philippe

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Mirror neurons have often been considered as the explanation of how primates can imitate. In this paper, we show that a simple neural network architecture that learns visuo-motor associations can be enough to let low level imitation emerge without a priori mirror neurons. Adding sequence learning mechanisms and action inhibition allows to perform deferred imitation of gestures demonstrated visually or by body manipulation. With the building of a cognitive map giving the capability of learning plans, we can study in our model the emergence of both low level and high level resonances highlighted by Rizzolatti et al.

  10. Heat transfer enhancement in nanofluids. A numerical approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fariñas Alvariño, P; Sáiz Jabardo, J M; Arce, A; Llamas Galdo, M I

    2012-01-01

    The aim of the reported investigation is to asses the effect of brownian and thermophoretic diffusion in nanofluids convective heat transfer. In order to capture these effects, a new equation for particles distribution had to be consider. Momentum and energy equations have been reformulated in order to include brownian and thermophretic diffusion. These modes of diffusion have been suggested extensively in the literature but their effect on momentum and energy transport has not yet been numerically analyzed. In order to obtain a solution for the modified set of governing equations, a new CFD solver had to be devised. The new solver has been applied to a case study involving hydrodynamic and thermally developing laminar flow regime in a pipe. Pure base fluid solutions have been used to asses the accuracy of the model. Numerical nanofluid solutions compare reasonably well with both experimental results obtained elsewhere and the Churchill and Ozoe correlation. The observed heat transfer enhancement by the nanofluid has been attributed to its transport properties rather than to another transport mechanism.

  11. A team approach in palliative care: enhancing outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrader, Susan L; Horner, Arlene; Eidsness, LuAnn; Young, Sandy; Wright, Chris; Robinson, Michael

    2002-07-01

    While most Americans envision a "good death" as one occurring quickly and painlessly at home surrounded by loved ones, many people do not die in this fashion. Palliative care focuses on holistic treatment of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment, and strives to improve quality of life for patients and families at end-of-life (EOL). This hospital-based study examines the extent to which a palliative care consultant team makes a difference in EOL for patients and families. Data were collected from a convenience sample of 50 hospitalized patients referred to an interdisciplinary palliative care consulting team at a South Dakota tertiary hospital during 2001. Various palliative care interventions were introduced during the course of hospitalization, and data were collected two days later to see if quality of life had improved. Statistically significant improvements were found in pain levels, non-pain symptom management, numerous psychosocial measures of quality of life, change in code status, and perceptions of communication and treatment during hospitalization. The study demonstrates that consultations with a palliative care team are beneficial and enhance the EOL experience for patients and families.

  12. Spatial resolution enhancement of satellite image data using fusion approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lestiana, H.; Sukristiyanti

    2018-02-01

    Object identification using remote sensing data has a problem when the spatial resolution is not in accordance with the object. The fusion approach is one of methods to solve the problem, to improve the object recognition and to increase the objects information by combining data from multiple sensors. The application of fusion image can be used to estimate the environmental component that is needed to monitor in multiple views, such as evapotranspiration estimation, 3D ground-based characterisation, smart city application, urban environments, terrestrial mapping, and water vegetation. Based on fusion application method, the visible object in land area has been easily recognized using the method. The variety of object information in land area has increased the variation of environmental component estimation. The difficulties in recognizing the invisible object like Submarine Groundwater Discharge (SGD), especially in tropical area, might be decreased by the fusion method. The less variation of the object in the sea surface temperature is a challenge to be solved.

  13. Variational Approach to Enhanced Sampling and Free Energy Calculations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valsson, Omar; Parrinello, Michele

    2014-08-01

    The ability of widely used sampling methods, such as molecular dynamics or Monte Carlo simulations, to explore complex free energy landscapes is severely hampered by the presence of kinetic bottlenecks. A large number of solutions have been proposed to alleviate this problem. Many are based on the introduction of a bias potential which is a function of a small number of collective variables. However constructing such a bias is not simple. Here we introduce a functional of the bias potential and an associated variational principle. The bias that minimizes the functional relates in a simple way to the free energy surface. This variational principle can be turned into a practical, efficient, and flexible sampling method. A number of numerical examples are presented which include the determination of a three-dimensional free energy surface. We argue that, beside being numerically advantageous, our variational approach provides a convenient and novel standpoint for looking at the sampling problem.

  14. Quantifiable and objective approach to organizational performance enhancement.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scholand, Andrew Joseph; Tausczik, Yla R. (University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX)

    2009-10-01

    This report describes a new methodology, social language network analysis (SLNA), that combines tools from social language processing and network analysis to identify socially situated relationships between individuals which, though subtle, are highly influential. Specifically, SLNA aims to identify and characterize the nature of working relationships by processing artifacts generated with computer-mediated communication systems, such as instant message texts or emails. Because social language processing is able to identify psychological, social, and emotional processes that individuals are not able to fully mask, social language network analysis can clarify and highlight complex interdependencies between group members, even when these relationships are latent or unrecognized. This report outlines the philosophical antecedents of SLNA, the mechanics of preprocessing, processing, and post-processing stages, and some example results obtained by applying this approach to a 15-month corporate discussion archive.

  15. Specific Intensity Direct Current (DC) Electric Field Improves Neural Stem Cell Migration and Enhances Differentiation towards βIII-Tubulin+ Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Huiping; Steiger, Amanda; Nohner, Mitch; Ye, Hui

    2015-01-01

    Control of stem cell migration and differentiation is vital for efficient stem cell therapy. Literature reporting electric field–guided migration and differentiation is emerging. However, it is unknown if a field that causes cell migration is also capable of guiding cell differentiation—and the mechanisms for these processes remain unclear. Here, we report that a 115 V/m direct current (DC) electric field can induce directional migration of neural precursor cells (NPCs). Whole cell patching revealed that the cell membrane depolarized in the electric field, and buffering of extracellular calcium via EGTA prevented cell migration under these conditions. Immunocytochemical staining indicated that the same electric intensity could also be used to enhance differentiation and increase the percentage of cell differentiation into neurons, but not astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. The results indicate that DC electric field of this specific intensity is capable of promoting cell directional migration and orchestrating functional differentiation, suggestively mediated by calcium influx during DC field exposure. PMID:26068466

  16. Is dignity therapy feasible to enhance the end of life experience for people with motor neurone disease and their family carers?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bentley Brenda

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Development of interventions that address psychosocial and existential distress in people with motor neurone disease (MND or that alleviate caregiver burden in MND family carers have often been suggested in the research literature. Dignity therapy, which was developed to reduce psychosocial and existential distress at the end of life, has been shown to benefit people dying of cancer and their families. These results may not be transferable to people with MND. The objectives of this study are to assess the feasibility, acceptability and potential effectiveness of dignity therapy to enhance the end of life experience for people with motor neurone disease and their family carers. Methods/design This is a cross-sectional study utilizing a single treatment group and a pre/post test design. The study population will comprise fifty people diagnosed with MND and their nominated family carers. Primarily quantitative outcomes will be gathered through measures assessed at baseline and at approximately one week after the intervention. Outcomes for participants include hopefulness, spirituality and dignity. Outcomes for family carers include perceived caregiver burden, hopefulness and anxiety/depression. Feedback and satisfaction with the intervention will be gathered through a questionnaire. Discussion This detailed research will explore if dignity therapy has the potential to enhance the end of life experience for people with MND and their family carers, and fill a gap for professionals who are called on to address the spiritual, existential and psychosocial needs of their MND patients and families. Trial registration ACTRN Trial Number: ACTRN12611000410954

  17. The Emotional Intelligence Approach for Enhancing Skills in Leadership

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radu Herman

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available An appreciated manager coordinates efficiently the team and both his abilities to be a leader and assume his decisions is crucial for the success of the project. In the empirical study “O nouă abordare asupra învățării practice” several conclusions show that some leadership problems were related to the prioritization of the objectives, an efficient coordination of the members by the leaders, fear in assuming the leadership, not defending the leadership position and tension within the group when facing competition. As a leader, a certain state of mind is required to solve a long-term goal, to have a consistent behavior and adapt a certain leadership style to motivate in a specific situation the members of a team. In an emotional intelligence approach, controlling the afflictions of the mind means reducing the barriers towards being “able to”manifest a leadership style. The aim of this article is to argue that the quest of developing leadership skills can become useless when the leader fells into an inappropriate state of mind.

  18. Multi-disciplinary approach for enhancing orthodontic esthetics - case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalia, Ajit; Mirdehghan, Nasim; Khandekar, Sonali; Patil, Wasu

    2015-01-01

    In contemporary dental care, an increasing number of adult patients are now seeking orthodontic treatment with the primary motive of improvement in appearance and achievement of esthetic smile. Proper recognition of the dental and facial defects at the outset of treatment is the most important key to esthetic success and is essential in satisfying the patient's needs. By following the rules of Golden proportion smiles can be made attractive, harmonious, symmetrical, and proportionate. Consisted of 22-year-old girl who came for treatment of crowding in maxillary and mandibular arches, abnormal overjet and overbite and had unesthetic peg lateral. Non-extraction therapy was carried out since the patient had good soft tissue drape, alignment was achieved by expanding the arches and moving teeth in ideal axial inclination. Esthetic smile was attained using composite buildup of upper right peg lateral and minor adjunctive surgery (full thickness periodontal graft) on lower right central incisor. The present case report orchestrates interrelationship between various branches of dentistry and orthodontics. It exhibits how multidisciplinary approach can be used to achieve ideal dental esthetics in a 22-year-old girl who was successfully treated for peg shaped lateral incisor, gingival recession, and unesthetic smile.

  19. Numerical approach for enhanced oil recovery with surfactant flooding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sadegh Keshtkar

    2016-03-01

    concentration and performance variable (cumulative oil recovery are studied. Finally, the comparison of oil recovery between water-flooding and surfactant-flooding was done. The results showed higher oil recovery with changes in capillary number when the partition coefficient is greater than unity. Increasing oil viscosity resulted in decreasing the oil recovery by changing in fractional flow. Moreover, it was concluded that the oil recovery was enhanced by increasing surfactant injection concentration. The oil recovery was increased when surfactant was injected to the system and this result was obtained by comparing water-flooding and surfactant-flooding.

  20. The tyrosine kinase receptor Tyro3 enhances lifespan and neuropeptide Y (Npy neuron survival in the mouse anorexia (anx mutation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis Y. Kim

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Severe appetite and weight loss define the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, and can also accompany the progression of some neurodegenerative disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Although acute loss of hypothalamic neurons that produce appetite-stimulating neuropeptide Y (Npy and agouti-related peptide (Agrp in adult mice or in mice homozygous for the anorexia (anx mutation causes aphagia, our understanding of the factors that help maintain appetite regulatory circuitry is limited. Here we identify a mutation (C19T that converts an arginine to a tryptophan (R7W in the TYRO3 protein tyrosine kinase 3 (Tyro3 gene, which resides within the anx critical interval, as contributing to the severity of anx phenotypes. Our observation that, like Tyro3−/− mice, anx/anx mice exhibit abnormal secondary platelet aggregation suggested that the C19T Tyro3 variant might have functional consequences. Tyro3 is expressed in the hypothalamus and other brain regions affected by the anx mutation, and its mRNA localization appeared abnormal in anx/anx brains by postnatal day 19 (P19. The presence of wild-type Tyro3 transgenes, but not an R7W-Tyro3 transgene, doubled the weight and lifespans of anx/anx mice and near-normal numbers of hypothalamic Npy-expressing neurons were present in Tyro3-transgenic anx/anx mice at P19. Although no differences in R7W-Tyro3 signal sequence function or protein localization were discernible in vitro, distribution of R7W-Tyro3 protein differed from that of Tyro3 protein in the cerebellum of transgenic wild-type mice. Thus, R7W-Tyro3 protein localization deficits are only detectable in vivo. Further analyses revealed that the C19T Tyro3 mutation is present in a few other mouse strains, and hence is not the causative anx mutation, but rather an anx modifier. Our work shows that Tyro3 has prosurvival roles in the appetite regulatory circuitry and could also provide useful insights towards the development of interventions

  1. Game-Enhanced Simulation as an Approach to Experiential Learning in Business English

    Science.gov (United States)

    Punyalert, Sansanee

    2017-01-01

    This dissertation aims to integrate various learning approaches, i.e., multiple literacies, experiential learning, game-enhanced learning, and global simulation, into an extracurricular module, in which it remodels traditional ways of teaching input, specifically, the lexical- and grammatical-only approaches of business English at a private…

  2. Conditional Viral Tract Tracing Delineates the Projections of the Distinct Kisspeptin Neuron Populations to Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) Neurons in the Mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yip, Siew Hoong; Boehm, Ulrich; Herbison, Allan E; Campbell, Rebecca E

    2015-07-01

    Kisspeptin neurons play an essential role in the regulation of fertility through direct regulation of the GnRH neurons. However, the relative contributions of the two functionally distinct kisspeptin neuron subpopulations to this critical regulation are not fully understood. Here we analyzed the specific projection patterns of kisspeptin neurons originating from either the rostral periventricular nucleus of the third ventricle (RP3V) or the arcuate nucleus (ARN) using a cell-specific, viral-mediated tract-tracing approach. We stereotaxically injected a Cre-dependent recombinant adenovirus encoding farnesylated enhanced green fluorescent protein into the ARN or RP3V of adult male and female mice expressing Cre recombinase in kisspeptin neurons. Fibers from ARN kisspeptin neurons projected widely; however, we did not find any evidence for direct contact with GnRH neuron somata or proximal dendrites in either sex. In contrast, we identified RP3V kisspeptin fibers in close contact with GnRH neuron somata and dendrites in both sexes. Fibers originating from both the RP3V and ARN were observed in close contact with distal GnRH neuron processes in the ARN and in the lateral and internal aspects of the median eminence. Furthermore, GnRH nerve terminals were found in close contact with the proximal dendrites of ARN kisspeptin neurons in the ARN, and ARN kisspeptin fibers were found contacting RP3V kisspeptin neurons in both sexes. Together these data delineate selective zones of kisspeptin neuron inputs to GnRH neurons and demonstrate complex interconnections between the distinct kisspeptin populations and GnRH neurons.

  3. Single neuron computation

    CERN Document Server

    McKenna, Thomas M; Zornetzer, Steven F

    1992-01-01

    This book contains twenty-two original contributions that provide a comprehensive overview of computational approaches to understanding a single neuron structure. The focus on cellular-level processes is twofold. From a computational neuroscience perspective, a thorough understanding of the information processing performed by single neurons leads to an understanding of circuit- and systems-level activity. From the standpoint of artificial neural networks (ANNs), a single real neuron is as complex an operational unit as an entire ANN, and formalizing the complex computations performed by real n

  4. Caprylic triglyceride as a novel therapeutic approach to effectively improve the performance and attenuate the symptoms due to the motor neuron loss in ALS disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Wei; Varghese, Merina; Vempati, Prashant; Dzhun, Anastasiya; Cheng, Alice; Wang, Jun; Lange, Dale; Bilski, Amanda; Faravelli, Irene; Pasinetti, Giulio Maria

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder of motor neurons causing progressive muscle weakness, paralysis, and finally death. ALS patients suffer from asthenia and their progressive weakness negatively impacts quality of life, limiting their daily activities. They have impaired energy balance linked to lower activity of mitochondrial electron transport chain enzymes in ALS spinal cord, suggesting that improving mitochondrial function may present a therapeutic approach for ALS. When fed a ketogenic diet, the G93A ALS mouse shows a significant increase in serum ketones as well as a significantly slower progression of weakness and lower mortality rate. In this study, we treated SOD1-G93A mice with caprylic triglyceride, a medium chain triglyceride that is metabolized into ketone bodies and can serve as an alternate energy substrate for neuronal metabolism. Treatment with caprylic triglyceride attenuated progression of weakness and protected spinal cord motor neuron loss in SOD1-G93A transgenic animals, significantly improving their performance even though there was no significant benefit regarding the survival of the ALS transgenic animals. We found that caprylic triglyceride significantly promoted the mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate in vivo. Our results demonstrated that caprylic triglyceride alleviates ALS-type motor impairment through restoration of energy metabolism in SOD1-G93A ALS mice, especially during the overt stage of the disease. These data indicate the feasibility of using caprylic acid as an easily administered treatment with a high impact on the quality of life of ALS patients.

  5. Caprylic triglyceride as a novel therapeutic approach to effectively improve the performance and attenuate the symptoms due to the motor neuron loss in ALS disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Zhao

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a neurodegenerative disorder of motor neurons causing progressive muscle weakness, paralysis, and finally death. ALS patients suffer from asthenia and their progressive weakness negatively impacts quality of life, limiting their daily activities. They have impaired energy balance linked to lower activity of mitochondrial electron transport chain enzymes in ALS spinal cord, suggesting that improving mitochondrial function may present a therapeutic approach for ALS. When fed a ketogenic diet, the G93A ALS mouse shows a significant increase in serum ketones as well as a significantly slower progression of weakness and lower mortality rate. In this study, we treated SOD1-G93A mice with caprylic triglyceride, a medium chain triglyceride that is metabolized into ketone bodies and can serve as an alternate energy substrate for neuronal metabolism. Treatment with caprylic triglyceride attenuated progression of weakness and protected spinal cord motor neuron loss in SOD1-G93A transgenic animals, significantly improving their performance even though there was no significant benefit regarding the survival of the ALS transgenic animals. We found that caprylic triglyceride significantly promoted the mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate in vivo. Our results demonstrated that caprylic triglyceride alleviates ALS-type motor impairment through restoration of energy metabolism in SOD1-G93A ALS mice, especially during the overt stage of the disease. These data indicate the feasibility of using caprylic acid as an easily administered treatment with a high impact on the quality of life of ALS patients.

  6. Safety Culture Enhancement Project. Final Report. A Field Study on Approaches to Enhancement of Safety Culture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lowe, Andrew; Hayward, Brent

    2006-08-01

    This report documents a study with the objective of enhancing safety culture in the Swedish nuclear power industry. A primary objective of this study was to ensure that the latest thinking on human factors principles was being recognised and applied by nuclear power operators as a means of ensuring optimal safety performance. The initial phase of the project was conducted as a pilot study, involving the senior management group at one Swedish nuclear power-producing site. The pilot study enabled the project methodology to be validated after which it was repeated at other Swedish nuclear power industry sites, providing a broad-ranging analysis of opportunities across the industry to enhance safety culture. The introduction to this report contains an overview of safety culture, explains the background to the project and sets out the project rationale and objectives. The methodology used for understanding and analysing the important safety culture issues at each nuclear power site is then described. This section begins with a summary of the processes used in the information gathering and data analysis stage. The six components of the Management Workshops conducted at each site are then described. These workshops used a series of presentations, interactive events and group exercises to: (a) provide feedback to site managers on the safety culture and safety leadership issues identified at their site, and (b) stimulate further safety thinking and provide 'take-away' information and leadership strategies that could be applied to promote safety culture improvements. Section 3, project Findings, contains the main observations and output from the project. These include: - a brief overview of aspects of the local industry operating context that impinge on safety culture; - a summary of strengths or positive attributes observed within the safety culture of the Swedish nuclear industry; - a set of identified opportunities for further improvement; - the aggregated results of the

  7. Safety Culture Enhancement Project. Final Report. A Field Study on Approaches to Enhancement of Safety Culture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lowe, Andrew; Hayward, Brent (Dedale Asia Pacific, Albert Park VIC 3206 (Australia))

    2006-08-15

    This report documents a study with the objective of enhancing safety culture in the Swedish nuclear power industry. A primary objective of this study was to ensure that the latest thinking on human factors principles was being recognised and applied by nuclear power operators as a means of ensuring optimal safety performance. The initial phase of the project was conducted as a pilot study, involving the senior management group at one Swedish nuclear power-producing site. The pilot study enabled the project methodology to be validated after which it was repeated at other Swedish nuclear power industry sites, providing a broad-ranging analysis of opportunities across the industry to enhance safety culture. The introduction to this report contains an overview of safety culture, explains the background to the project and sets out the project rationale and objectives. The methodology used for understanding and analysing the important safety culture issues at each nuclear power site is then described. This section begins with a summary of the processes used in the information gathering and data analysis stage. The six components of the Management Workshops conducted at each site are then described. These workshops used a series of presentations, interactive events and group exercises to: (a) provide feedback to site managers on the safety culture and safety leadership issues identified at their site, and (b) stimulate further safety thinking and provide 'take-away' information and leadership strategies that could be applied to promote safety culture improvements. Section 3, project Findings, contains the main observations and output from the project. These include: - a brief overview of aspects of the local industry operating context that impinge on safety culture; - a summary of strengths or positive attributes observed within the safety culture of the Swedish nuclear industry; - a set of identified opportunities for further improvement; - the aggregated

  8. The classification of motor neuron defects in the zebrafish embryo toxicity test (ZFET) as an animal alternative approach to assess developmental neurotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muth-Köhne, Elke; Wichmann, Arne; Delov, Vera; Fenske, Martina

    2012-07-01

    Rodents are widely used to test the developmental neurotoxicity potential of chemical substances. The regulatory test procedures are elaborate and the requirement of numerous animals is ethically disputable. Therefore, non-animal alternatives are highly desirable, but appropriate test systems that meet regulatory demands are not yet available. Hence, we have developed a new developmental neurotoxicity assay based on specific whole-mount immunostainings of primary and secondary motor neurons (using the monoclonal antibodies znp1 and zn8) in zebrafish embryos. By classifying the motor neuron defects, we evaluated the severity of the neurotoxic damage to individual primary and secondary motor neurons caused by chemical exposure and determined the corresponding effect concentration values (EC₅₀). In a proof-of-principle study, we investigated the effects of three model compounds thiocyclam, cartap and disulfiram, which show some neurotoxicity-indicating effects in vertebrates, and the positive controls ethanol and nicotine and the negative controls 3,4-dichloroaniline (3,4-DCA) and triclosan. As a quantitative measure of the neurotoxic potential of the test compounds, we calculated the ratios of the EC₅₀ values for motor neuron defects and the cumulative malformations, as determined in a zebrafish embryo toxicity test (zFET). Based on this index, disulfiram was classified as the most potent and thiocyclam as the least potent developmental neurotoxin. The index also confirmed the control compounds as positive and negative neurotoxicants. Our findings demonstrate that this index can be used to reliably distinguish between neurotoxic and non-neurotoxic chemicals and provide a sound estimate for the neurodevelopmental hazard potential of a chemical. The demonstrated method can be a feasible approach to reduce the number of animals used in developmental neurotoxicity evaluation procedures. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. 17β-Estradiol Enhances ASIC Activity in Primary Sensory Neurons to Produce Sex Difference in Acidosis-Induced Nociception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Zu-Wei; Liu, Ting-Ting; Ren, Cuixia; Gan, Xiong; Qiu, Chun-Yu; Ren, Ping; Rao, Zhiguo; Hu, Wang-Ping

    2015-12-01

    Sex differences have been reported in a number of pain conditions. Women are more sensitive to most types of painful stimuli than men, and estrogen plays a key role in the sex differences in pain perception. However, it is unclear whether there is a sex difference in acidosis-evoked pain. We report here that both male and female rats exhibit nociceptive behaviors in response to acetic acid, with females being more sensitive than males. Local application of exogenous 17β-estradiol (E2) exacerbated acidosis-evoked nociceptive response in male rats. E2 and estrogen receptor (ER)-α agonist 1,3,5-Tris(4-hydroxyphenyl)-4-propyl-1H-pyrazole, but not ERβ agonist 2,3-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)-propionitrile, replacement also reversed attenuation of the acetic acid-induced nociceptive response in ovariectomized females. Moreover, E2 can exert a rapid potentiating effect on the functional activity of acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), which mediated the acidosis-induced events. E2 dose dependently increased the amplitude of ASIC currents with a 42.8 ± 1.6 nM of EC50. E2 shifted the concentration-response curve for proton upward with a 50.1% ± 6.2% increase of the maximal current response to proton. E2 potentiated ASIC currents via an ERα and ERK1/2 signaling pathway. E2 also altered acidosis-evoked membrane excitability of dorsal root ganglia neurons and caused a significant increase in the amplitude of the depolarization and the number of spikes induced by acidic stimuli. E2 potentiation of the functional activity of ASICs revealed a peripheral mechanism underlying this sex difference in acetic acid-induced nociception.

  10. Sea-anemone toxin ATX-II elicits A-fiber-dependent pain and enhances resurgent and persistent sodium currents in large sensory neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klinger Alexandra B

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gain-of-function mutations of the nociceptive voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.7 lead to inherited pain syndromes, such as paroxysmal extreme pain disorder (PEPD. One characteristic of these mutations is slowed fast-inactivation kinetics, which may give rise to resurgent sodium currents. It is long known that toxins from Anemonia sulcata, such as ATX-II, slow fast inactivation and skin contact for example during diving leads to various symptoms such as pain and itch. Here, we investigated if ATX-II induces resurgent currents in sensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglion (DRGs and how this may translate into human sensations. Results In large A-fiber related DRGs ATX-II (5 nM enhances persistent and resurgent sodium currents, but failed to do so in small C-fiber linked DRGs when investigated using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. Resurgent currents are thought to depend on the presence of the sodium channel β4-subunit. Using RT-qPCR experiments, we show that small DRGs express significantly less β4 mRNA than large sensory neurons. With the β4-C-terminus peptide in the pipette solution, it was possible to evoke resurgent currents in small DRGs and in Nav1.7 or Nav1.6 expressing HEK293/N1E115 cells, which were enhanced by the presence of extracellular ATX-II. When injected into the skin of healthy volunteers, ATX-II induces painful and itch-like sensations which were abolished by mechanical nerve block. Increase in superficial blood flow of the skin, measured by Laser doppler imaging is limited to the injection site, so no axon reflex erythema as a correlate for C-fiber activation was detected. Conclusion ATX-II enhances persistent and resurgent sodium currents in large diameter DRGs, whereas small DRGs depend on the addition of β4-peptide to the pipette recording solution for ATX-II to affect resurgent currents. Mechanical A-fiber blockade abolishes all ATX-II effects in human skin (e.g. painful and itch

  11. Simulation-based comparison of two approaches frequently used for dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zwick, Stefan; Brix, Gunnar; Tofts, Paul S.; Strecker, Ralph; Kopp-Schneider, Annette; Laue, Hendrik; Semmler, Wolfhard; Kiessling, Fabian

    2010-01-01

    The purpose was to compare two approaches for the acquisition and analysis of dynamic-contrast-enhanced MRI data with respect to differences in the modelling of the arterial input-function (AIF), the dependency of the model parameters on physiological parameters and their numerical stability. Eight hundred tissue concentration curves were simulated for different combinations of perfusion, permeability, interstitial volume and plasma volume based on two measured AIFs and analysed according to the two commonly used approaches. The transfer constants (Approach 1) K trans and (Approach 2) k ep were correlated with all tissue parameters. K trans showed a stronger dependency on perfusion, and k ep on permeability. The volume parameters (Approach 1) v e and (Approach 2) A were mainly influenced by the interstitial and plasma volume. Both approaches allow only rough characterisation of tissue microcirculation and microvasculature. Approach 2 seems to be somewhat more robust than 1, mainly due to the different methods of CA administration. (orig.)

  12. Enhanced sensitivity to ethanol-induced inhibition of LTP in CA1 pyramidal neurons of socially isolated C57BL/6J mice: role of neurosteroids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe eTalani

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Ethanol (EtOH–induced impairment of long-term potentiation (LTP in the rat hippocampus is prevented by the 5α-reductase inhibitor finasteride, suggesting that this effect of EtOH is dependent on the increased local release of neurosteroids such as 3α,5α-THP that promote GABA–mediated transmission. Given that social isolation (SI in rodents is associated with altered plasma and brain levels of such neurosteroids as well as with an enhanced neurosteroidogenic action of EtOH, we examined whether the inhibitory effect of EtOH on LTP at CA3-CA1 hippocampal excitatory synapses is altered in C57BL/6J mice subjected to SI for 6 weeks in comparison with group-housed (GH animals. Extracellular recording of fEPSPs as well as patch-clamp analysis were performed in hippocampal slices prepared from both SI and GH mice. Consistent with previous observations, recording of fEPSPs revealed that the extent of LTP induced in the CA1 region of SI mice was significantly reduced compared with that in GH animals. EtOH (40 mM inhibited LTP in slices from SI mice but not in those from GH mice, and this effect of EtOH was abolished by co-application of 1 µM finasteride. Current-clamp analysis of CA1 pyramidal neurons revealed a decrease in action potential frequency and an increase in the intensity of injected current required to evoke the first action potential in SI mice compared with GH mice, indicative of a decrease in neuronal excitability associated with SI. Together, our data suggest that SI results in reduced levels of neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. Furthermore, the increased sensitivity to the neurosteroidogenic effect of EtOH associated with SI likely accounts for the greater inhibitory effect of EtOH on LTP in SI mice. The increase in EtOH sensitivity induced by SI may be important for the changes in the effects of EtOH on anxiety and on learning and memory associated with the prolonged stress attributable to social

  13. Add-on Therapy With the α-Blockers Tamsulosin and Naftopidil Improves Voiding Function by Enhancing Neuronal Activity in Prostatic Hyperplasia Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ko, Il-Gyu; Hwang, Lakkyong; Jin, Jun-Jang; Kim, Sang-Hoon; Han, Jin Hee; Jeon, Jung Won; Cho, Sung Tae

    2018-03-01

    Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) impacts quality of life in men by causing lower urinary tract symptoms. α1-Adrenoceptor (α1-AR) blockers improve lower urinary tract symptoms. We investigated the efficacy of add-on therapy with α1-AR blockers on BPH rats. Rats in the drug-treated groups were orally administered each drug once a day for 30 days after orchiectomy. To induce BPH, rats were castrated and testosterone (20 mg/kg) was injected subcutaneously once per day for 30 days. Cystometry was conducted to measure voiding contraction pressure and the interval contraction time, immunohistochemistry was performed to measure c-Fos and nerve growth factor (NGF) expression in the neuronal voiding centers, and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase histochemistry was used to measure nitric oxide synthase (NOS) expression. Orchiectomy and testosterone injection decreased voiding contraction pressure and the interval contraction time, suggesting BPH symptoms. Voiding contraction pressure and the interval contraction time were greater in the group that received the combination treatment (tamsulosin with naftopidil) than in the tamsulosin monotherapy or naftopidil monotherapy groups. c-Fos, NGF, and NOS expression in the neuronal voiding centers was enhanced by BPH induction. c-Fos, NGF, and NOS expression was suppressed by the combination treatment (tamsulosin with naftopidil) to a greater extent than was the case for tamsulosin monotherapy or naftopidil monotherapy. Combination therapy of tamsulosin and naftopidil showed greater efficacy for the treatment of BPH than tamsulosin monotherapy or naftopidil monotherapy; therefore, combination therapy can be considered as a novel therapeutic method for BPH.

  14. Msh2 acts in medium-spiny striatal neurons as an enhancer of CAG instability and mutant huntingtin phenotypes in Huntington's disease knock-in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Kovalenko

    Full Text Available The CAG trinucleotide repeat mutation in the Huntington's disease gene (HTT exhibits age-dependent tissue-specific expansion that correlates with disease onset in patients, implicating somatic expansion as a disease modifier and potential therapeutic target. Somatic HTT CAG expansion is critically dependent on proteins in the mismatch repair (MMR pathway. To gain further insight into mechanisms of somatic expansion and the relationship of somatic expansion to the disease process in selectively vulnerable MSNs we have crossed HTT CAG knock-in mice (HdhQ111 with mice carrying a conditional (floxed Msh2 allele and D9-Cre transgenic mice, in which Cre recombinase is expressed specifically in MSNs within the striatum. Deletion of Msh2 in MSNs eliminated Msh2 protein in those neurons. We demonstrate that MSN-specific deletion of Msh2 was sufficient to eliminate the vast majority of striatal HTT CAG expansions in HdhQ111 mice. Furthermore, MSN-specific deletion of Msh2 modified two mutant huntingtin phenotypes: the early nuclear localization of diffusely immunostaining mutant huntingtin was slowed; and the later development of intranuclear huntingtin inclusions was dramatically inhibited. Therefore, Msh2 acts within MSNs as a genetic enhancer both of somatic HTT CAG expansions and of HTT CAG-dependent phenotypes in mice. These data suggest that the selective vulnerability of MSNs may be at least in part contributed by the propensity for somatic expansion in these neurons, and imply that intervening in the expansion process is likely to have therapeutic benefit.

  15. Coherence resonance in globally coupled neuronal networks with different neuron numbers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ning Wei-Lian; Zhang Zheng-Zhen; Zeng Shang-You; Luo Xiao-Shu; Hu Jin-Lin; Zeng Shao-Wen; Qiu Yi; Wu Hui-Si

    2012-01-01

    Because a brain consists of tremendous neuronal networks with different neuron numbers ranging from tens to tens of thousands, we study the coherence resonance due to ion channel noises in globally coupled neuronal networks with different neuron numbers. We confirm that for all neuronal networks with different neuron numbers there exist the array enhanced coherence resonance and the optimal synaptic conductance to cause the maximal spiking coherence. Furthermoremore, the enhancement effects of coupling on spiking coherence and on optimal synaptic conductance are almost the same, regardless of the neuron numbers in the neuronal networks. Therefore for all the neuronal networks with different neuron numbers in the brain, relative weak synaptic conductance (0.1 mS/cm 2 ) is sufficient to induce the maximal spiking coherence and the best sub-threshold signal encoding. (interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology)

  16. Enhancing Competency in English: The Covert Approach a Complementary to the Overt Approach in Teaching Grammar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hussein Islam Abdullah

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Over the years, there has been a decline in the competency of the English Language in Malaysian schools. Many parties among them the Ministry of Education, relevant NGOs, academicians and people have expressed concern over the matter. The Education Ministry through its transformational policy has taken several measures to overcome the matter. It is employing appropriate strategies to solve the problems. The focus is on learning and teaching strategies as well as the content of the language. There is no doubt that grammar is a very important component in acquiring the language in primary and secondary schools. The English teachers mostly use the communicative approach in teaching grammar. This is in line with the KBSR syllabus in mid 1980s which emphasized on the communicative method. Teachers’ training and materials such as textbooks cater for the covert method. However, some tend to ignore the structural approach which is equally effective and meaningful to increase the level of the students’ proficiency which was popular in the 1960s. The paper discusses on the two different approaches used – the covert and overt approaches – their strengths as well as weaknesses. Application of both approaches is also taken into consideration giving a better view of how grammar should be taught in schools.

  17. A self-organizing state-space-model approach for parameter estimation in hodgkin-huxley-type models of single neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitrios V Vavoulis

    Full Text Available Traditional approaches to the problem of parameter estimation in biophysical models of neurons and neural networks usually adopt a global search algorithm (for example, an evolutionary algorithm, often in combination with a local search method (such as gradient descent in order to minimize the value of a cost function, which measures the discrepancy between various features of the available experimental data and model output. In this study, we approach the problem of parameter estimation in conductance-based models of single neurons from a different perspective. By adopting a hidden-dynamical-systems formalism, we expressed parameter estimation as an inference problem in these systems, which can then be tackled using a range of well-established statistical inference methods. The particular method we used was Kitagawa's self-organizing state-space model, which was applied on a number of Hodgkin-Huxley-type models using simulated or actual electrophysiological data. We showed that the algorithm can be used to estimate a large number of parameters, including maximal conductances, reversal potentials, kinetics of ionic currents, measurement and intrinsic noise, based on low-dimensional experimental data and sufficiently informative priors in the form of pre-defined constraints imposed on model parameters. The algorithm remained operational even when very noisy experimental data were used. Importantly, by combining the self-organizing state-space model with an adaptive sampling algorithm akin to the Covariance Matrix Adaptation Evolution Strategy, we achieved a significant reduction in the variance of parameter estimates. The algorithm did not require the explicit formulation of a cost function and it was straightforward to apply on compartmental models and multiple data sets. Overall, the proposed methodology is particularly suitable for resolving high-dimensional inference problems based on noisy electrophysiological data and, therefore, a

  18. STORIES OF TECHNOLOGY-ENHANCEMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION – A CRITICAL APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trine Fossland

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available There is a large body of research on technology-enhanced learning, but questions related to the educational effectiveness of technology use still needs to be questioned. In this paper, I argue that digital innovators’ stories about technology enhancement may constitute a rich source for understanding this complex educational phenomenon both in relation to teachers’ daily practices and the implementation of ICT in higher education at large. Based on biographical interviews with “digital innovators”, the aim of this paper is to investigate how [their] digital competence is used to enhance teaching and learning in higher education. This paper asks; how do digital innovators approach the use of ICT to enhance students’ learning and what are the organisational conditions for this approach? The findings suggests that technology-enhancement is linked to nine key characteristics: different educational models, authenticity, pedagogical added values, meaningful student activities, changing approaches to feedback, assessment and connection with the outside world, as well as holistic planning, supportive leaders and strong micro-cultures. This paper proposes a more nuanced understanding of the term technology enhanced learning and suggests strategies for educational development and further investigations related to this phenomenon in higher education.

  19. Teachers' learning on the workshop of STS approach as a way of enhancing inventive thinking skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngaewkoodrua, Nophakun; Yuenyong, Chokchai

    2018-01-01

    To improve science teachers to develop the STS lesson plans for enhancing the students' inventive thinking skills, the workshop of improving science teachers to develop the STS lesson plans for enhancing the Inventive thinking skills were organized. The paper aimed to clarify what teachers learn from the workshop. The goal of the activity of the workshop aimed to: 1) improve participants a better understanding of the relationship between the Inquiry based learning with STS approach, 2) understand the meaning and importance of the STS approach and identify the various stages of Yuenyong (2006) STS learning process, 3) discuss what they learned from the examples of Yuenyong (2006) lesson plan, 4) develop some activities for each stage of Yuenyong (2006) STS approach, and 5) ideas of providing STS approach activities for enhancing inventive thinking skills. Participants included 3 science teachers who work in Khon Kaen, Thailand. Methodology regarded interpretive paradigm. Teachers' learning about pedagogy of enhancing the students' inventive thinking skills will be interpreted through participant observation, teachers' tasks, and interview. The finding revealed that all participants could demonstrate their ideas how to generate the STS lesson plans as a way of enhancing inventive thinking skills. Teachers could mention some element of inventive thinking skills which could be generated on their STS learning activities.

  20. Comparison between goal programming and cointegration approaches in enhanced index tracking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Weng Siew; Jamaan, Saiful Hafizah Hj.

    2013-04-01

    Index tracking is a popular form of passive fund management in stock market. Passive management is a buy-and-hold strategy that aims to achieve rate of return similar to the market return. Index tracking problem is a problem of reproducing the performance of a stock market index, without purchasing all of the stocks that make up the index. This can be done by establishing an optimal portfolio that minimizes risk or tracking error. An improved index tracking (enhanced index tracking) is a dual-objective optimization problem, a trade-off between maximizing the mean return and minimizing the tracking error. Enhanced index tracking aims to generate excess return over the return achieved by the index. The objective of this study is to compare the portfolio compositions and performances by using two different approaches in enhanced index tracking problem, which are goal programming and cointegration. The result of this study shows that the optimal portfolios for both approaches are able to outperform the Malaysia market index which is Kuala Lumpur Composite Index. Both approaches give different optimal portfolio compositions. Besides, the cointegration approach outperforms the goal programming approach because the cointegration approach gives higher mean return and lower risk or tracking error. Therefore, the cointegration approach is more appropriate for the investors in Malaysia.

  1. Relationship between neuronal network architecture and naming performance in temporal lobe epilepsy: A connectome based approach using machine learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munsell, B C; Wu, G; Fridriksson, J; Thayer, K; Mofrad, N; Desisto, N; Shen, D; Bonilha, L

    2017-09-09

    Impaired confrontation naming is a common symptom of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). The neurobiological mechanisms underlying this impairment are poorly understood but may indicate a structural disorganization of broadly distributed neuronal networks that support naming ability. Importantly, naming is frequently impaired in other neurological disorders and by contrasting the neuronal structures supporting naming in TLE with other diseases, it will become possible to elucidate the common systems supporting naming. We aimed to evaluate the neuronal networks that support naming in TLE by using a machine learning algorithm intended to predict naming performance in subjects with medication refractory TLE using only the structural brain connectome reconstructed from diffusion tensor imaging. A connectome-based prediction framework was developed using network properties from anatomically defined brain regions across the entire brain, which were used in a multi-task machine learning algorithm followed by support vector regression. Nodal eigenvector centrality, a measure of regional network integration, predicted approximately 60% of the variance in naming. The nodes with the highest regression weight were bilaterally distributed among perilimbic sub-networks involving mainly the medial and lateral temporal lobe regions. In the context of emerging evidence regarding the role of large structural networks that support language processing, our results suggest intact naming relies on the integration of sub-networks, as opposed to being dependent on isolated brain areas. In the case of TLE, these sub-networks may be disproportionately indicative naming processes that are dependent semantic integration from memory and lexical retrieval, as opposed to multi-modal perception or motor speech production. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  2. Vasculo-Neuronal Coupling: Retrograde Vascular Communication to Brain Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ki Jung; Ramiro Diaz, Juan; Iddings, Jennifer A; Filosa, Jessica A

    2016-12-14

    Continuous cerebral blood flow is essential for neuronal survival, but whether vascular tone influences resting neuronal function is not known. Using a multidisciplinary approach in both rat and mice brain slices, we determined whether flow/pressure-evoked increases or decreases in parenchymal arteriole vascular tone, which result in arteriole constriction and dilation, respectively, altered resting cortical pyramidal neuron activity. We present evidence for intercellular communication in the brain involving a flow of information from vessel to astrocyte to neuron, a direction opposite to that of classic neurovascular coupling and referred to here as vasculo-neuronal coupling (VNC). Flow/pressure increases within parenchymal arterioles increased vascular tone and simultaneously decreased resting pyramidal neuron firing activity. On the other hand, flow/pressure decreases evoke parenchymal arteriole dilation and increased resting pyramidal neuron firing activity. In GLAST-CreERT2; R26-lsl-GCaMP3 mice, we demonstrate that increased parenchymal arteriole tone significantly increased intracellular calcium in perivascular astrocyte processes, the onset of astrocyte calcium changes preceded the inhibition of cortical pyramidal neuronal firing activity. During increases in parenchymal arteriole tone, the pyramidal neuron response was unaffected by blockers of nitric oxide, GABA A , glutamate, or ecto-ATPase. However, VNC was abrogated by TRPV4 channel, GABA B , as well as an adenosine A 1 receptor blocker. Differently to pyramidal neuron responses, increases in flow/pressure within parenchymal arterioles increased the firing activity of a subtype of interneuron. Together, these data suggest that VNC is a complex constitutive active process that enables neurons to efficiently adjust their resting activity according to brain perfusion levels, thus safeguarding cellular homeostasis by preventing mismatches between energy supply and demand. We present evidence for vessel-to-neuron

  3. The enhancement of students' mathematical self-efficacy through teaching with metacognitive scaffolding approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prabawanto, S.

    2018-05-01

    This research aims to investigate the enhancement of students’ mathematical self- efficacy through teaching with metacognitive scaffolding approach. This research used a quasi- experimental design with pre-post respon control. The subjects were pre-service elementary school teachers in a state university in Bandung. In this study, there were two groups: experimental and control groups. The experimental group consists of 60 students who acquire teaching mathematics under metacognitive approach, while the control group consists of 58 students who acquire teaching mathematics under direct approach. Students were classified into three categories based on the mathematical prior ability, namely high, middle, and low. Data collection instruments consist of mathematical self-efficacy instruments. By using mean difference test, two conclusions of the research: (1) there is a significant difference in the enhancement of mathematical self-efficacy between the students who attended the course under metacognitive scaffolding approach and students who attended the course under direct approach, and (2) there is no significant interaction effect of teaching approaches and ability level based on the mathematical prior ability toward enhancement of students’ mathematical self-efficacy.

  4. Enhanced ergonomics approaches for product design: a user experience ecosystem perspective and case studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Wei

    2014-01-01

    This paper first discusses the major inefficiencies faced in current human factors and ergonomics (HFE) approaches: (1) delivering an optimal end-to-end user experience (UX) to users of a solution across its solution lifecycle stages; (2) strategically influencing the product business and technology capability roadmaps from a UX perspective and (3) proactively identifying new market opportunities and influencing the platform architecture capabilities on which the UX of end products relies. In response to these challenges, three case studies are presented to demonstrate how enhanced ergonomics design approaches have effectively addressed the challenges faced in current HFE approaches. Then, the enhanced ergonomics design approaches are conceptualised by a user-experience ecosystem (UXE) framework, from a UX ecosystem perspective. Finally, evidence supporting the UXE, the advantage and the formalised process for executing UXE and methodological considerations are discussed. Practitioner Summary: This paper presents enhanced ergonomics approaches to product design via three case studies to effectively address current HFE challenges by leveraging a systematic end-to-end UX approach, UX roadmaps and emerging UX associated with prioritised user needs and usages. Thus, HFE professionals can be more strategic, creative and influential.

  5. The enhancement of students' mathematical problem solving ability through teaching with metacognitive scaffolding approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prabawanto, Sufyani

    2017-05-01

    This research aims to investigate the enhancement of students' mathematical problem solving through teaching with metacognitive scaffolding approach. This research used a quasi-experimental design with pretest-posttest control. The subjects were pre-service elementary school teachers in a state university in Bandung. In this study, there were two groups: experimental and control groups. The experimental group consists of 60 studentswho acquire teaching mathematicsunder metacognitive scaffolding approach, while the control group consists of 58 studentswho acquire teaching mathematicsunder direct approach. Students were classified into three categories based on the mathematical prior ability, namely high, middle, and low. Data collection instruments consist of mathematical problem solving test instruments. By usingmean difference test, two conclusions of the research:(1) there is a significant difference in the enhancement of mathematical problem solving between the students who attended the course under metacognitive scaffolding approach and students who attended the course under direct approach, and(2) thereis no significant interaction effect of teaching approaches and ability level based on the mathematical prior ability toward enhancement of students' mathematical problem solving.

  6. Enhancement of building operations: A successful approach towards national electrical demand management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Mulla, A.; Maheshwari, G.P.; Al-Nakib, D.; ElSherbini, A.; Alghimlas, F.; Al-Taqi, H.; Al-Hadban, Y.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • Enhanced building operations were applied for eight large government buildings in Kuwait. • The enhanced building operations led to demand savings of 8.90 MW during the national peak hour. • Nationwide guidelines were developed for implementing the enhanced operations in similar government buildings in Kuwait. • The peak electrical demand reduction is likely to be 488 MW by the year 2030. - Abstract: An approach for managing electrical demand through enhanced building operations in hot climates is evaluated and demonstrated in this paper. The approach focuses on implementing enhanced operations in government buildings, since they are easier to implement and administer. These enhanced operations included early reduction of cooling supply before the end of the occupancy period, improved time-of-day control after occupancy period and reduced lighting. A total of eight government buildings with different construction and system characteristics were selected for implementing these enhanced operations. These buildings have a total air-conditioning area of 4.39 × 10 5 m 2 and a combined peak electrical demand of 29.3 MW. The enhanced operations resulted in demand savings of 8.90 MW during the national peak hour. Temperatures build up inside the buildings were monitored and found to be within acceptable ranges. Guidelines for nationwide implementation in similar buildings were developed based on the results of this work. Implementation is estimated to reduce demand by 488 MW by the year 2030, which amounts to capital savings of $585 million. These projected values would be important to adopt energy efficient policies for the country. Additional reductions in energy and fuel consumption are added benefits, which would result in large financial and environmental savings to the country. Moreover, the enhanced building operations would be an important tool to avoid any blackouts by properly reducing the peak electrical demand as well as operating the

  7. Metabolic reprogramming during neuronal differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agostini, M; Romeo, F; Inoue, S; Niklison-Chirou, M V; Elia, A J; Dinsdale, D; Morone, N; Knight, R A; Mak, T W; Melino, G

    2016-09-01

    Newly generated neurons pass through a series of well-defined developmental stages, which allow them to integrate into existing neuronal circuits. After exit from the cell cycle, postmitotic neurons undergo neuronal migration, axonal elongation, axon pruning, dendrite morphogenesis and synaptic maturation and plasticity. Lack of a global metabolic analysis during early cortical neuronal development led us to explore the role of cellular metabolism and mitochondrial biology during ex vivo differentiation of primary cortical neurons. Unexpectedly, we observed a huge increase in mitochondrial biogenesis. Changes in mitochondrial mass, morphology and function were correlated with the upregulation of the master regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis, TFAM and PGC-1α. Concomitant with mitochondrial biogenesis, we observed an increase in glucose metabolism during neuronal differentiation, which was linked to an increase in glucose uptake and enhanced GLUT3 mRNA expression and platelet isoform of phosphofructokinase 1 (PFKp) protein expression. In addition, glutamate-glutamine metabolism was also increased during the differentiation of cortical neurons. We identified PI3K-Akt-mTOR signalling as a critical regulator role of energy metabolism in neurons. Selective pharmacological inhibition of these metabolic pathways indicate existence of metabolic checkpoint that need to be satisfied in order to allow neuronal differentiation.

  8. Approaches to ICT-Enhanced Teaching in Technical and Vocational Education: A Phenomenographic Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Md. Shahadat Hossain; Markauskaite, Lina

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a study undertaken from a phenomenographic perspective, which examines teachers' approaches to information communication technology (ICT)-enhanced teaching in vocational tertiary education. Twenty-three teachers from three Australian Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions participated in…

  9. WOWW: A Solution Orientated Approach to Enhance Classroom Relationships and Behaviour within a Primary Three Class

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernie, Lynne; Cubeddu, Daniela

    2016-01-01

    A Working on What Works (WOWW) approach was utilised over six sessions in a mainstream Scottish primary class to enhance classroom relationships and behaviours. The aim of the intervention was to manage everyday classroom problems within a natural classroom environment. WOWW incorporates positive psychology and implements a solution-focused…

  10. Does the Consecutive Interpreting Approach enhance medical English communication skills of Japanese-speaking students?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iizuka, Hideki; Lefor, Alan K

    2018-04-19

    To determine if the Consecutive Interpreting Approach enhances medical English communication skills of students in a Japanese medical university and to assess this method based on performance and student evaluations.  This is a three-phase study using a mixed-methods design, which starts with four language reproduction activities for 30 medical and 95 nursing students, followed by a quantitative analysis of perfect-match reproduction rates to assess changes over the duration of the study and qualitative error analysis of participants' language reproduction. The final stage included a scored course evaluation and free-form comments to evaluate this approach and to identify effective educational strategies to enhance medical English communication skills. Mean perfect-match reproduction rates of all participants over four reproduction activities differed statistically significantly (repeated measures ANOVA, pEnglish communication skills are enhanced using this approach. Participants expressed positive feedback regarding this instruction method. This approach may be effective to enhance the language skills of non-native English-speaking students seeking to practice medicine in English speaking countries.

  11. Activation of mGluR5 induces spike afterdepolarization and enhanced excitability in medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens by modulating persistent Na+ currents

    Science.gov (United States)

    D’Ascenzo, Marcello; Podda, Maria Vittoria; Fellin, Tommaso; Azzena, Gian Battista; Haydon, Philip; Grassi, Claudio

    2009-01-01

    The involvement of metabotropic glutamate receptors type 5 (mGluR5) in drug-induced behaviours is well-established but limited information is available on their functional roles in addiction-relevant brain areas like the nucleus accumbens (NAc). This study demonstrates that pharmacological and synaptic activation of mGluR5 increases the spike discharge of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the NAc. This effect was associated with the appearance of a slow afterdepolarization (ADP) which, in voltage-clamp experiments, was recorded as a slowly inactivating inward current. Pharmacological studies showed that ADP was elicited by mGluR5 stimulation via G-protein-dependent activation of phospholipase C and elevation of intracellular Ca2+ levels. Both ADP and spike aftercurrents were significantly inhibited by the Na+ channel-blocker, tetrodotoxin (TTX). Moreover, the selective blockade of persistent Na+ currents (INaP), achieved by NAc slice pre-incubation with 20 nm TTX or 10 μm riluzole, significantly reduced the ADP amplitude, indicating that this type of Na+ current is responsible for the mGluR5-dependent ADP. mGluR5 activation also produced significant increases in INaP, and the pharmacological blockade of this current prevented the mGluR5-induced enhancement of spike discharge. Collectively, these data suggest that mGluR5 activation upregulates INaP in MSNs of the NAc, thereby inducing an ADP that results in enhanced MSN excitability. Activation of mGluR5 will significantly alter spike firing in MSNs in vivo, and this effect could be an important mechanism by which these receptors mediate certain aspects of drug-induced behaviours. PMID:19433572

  12. A proposed approach for enhancing design safety assurance of future plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oh, Kyu Myeng; Ahn, Sang Kyu; Lee, Chang Ju; Kim, Inn Seock

    2010-01-01

    This paper provides various insights from a detailed review of deterministic approaches typically applied to ensure design safety of nuclear power plants (NPPs) and risk-informed approaches proposed to evaluate safety of advanced reactors such as Generation IV reactors. Also considered herein are the risk-informed safety analysis (RISA) methodology suggested by Westinghouse as a means to improve the conventional accident analysis, together with the Technology Neutral Framework recently suggested by the U.S. NRC for safety evaluation of future plants. These insights from the comparative review of deterministic and risk-informed approaches could be used in further enhancing the methodology for design safety assurance of future plants

  13. Using neurotechnologies to develop virtues: a Buddhist approach to cognitive enhancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, James

    2013-01-01

    Recently, Fenton (2009) has argued that Buddhist ethics can accommodate the use of attention-enhancing drugs, and Walker (2006 , 2009) has argued that future neurotechnologies may be used to enhance happiness and virtue. This paper uses a Western Buddhist perspective, drawing on many Buddhist traditions, to explore how emerging neurotechnologies may be used to suppress vices and enhance happiness and virtue. A Buddhist approach to the authenticity of technologically-mediated spiritual progress is discussed. The potential utility and dangers of mood manipulation for a Buddhist understanding of liberation are outlined. Then the ten paramitas of Theravadan Buddhism are explored to frame an exploration of the potential genes, neurochemicals and brain structures that could be targeted as part of a program of neurotechnological moral enhancement.

  14. Enhanced diffusion under alpha self-irradiation in spent nuclear fuel: Theoretical approaches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferry, Cecile; Lovera, Patrick; Poinssot, Christophe; Garcia, Philippe

    2005-01-01

    Various theoretical approaches have been developed in order to estimate the enhanced diffusion coefficient of fission products under alpha self-irradiation in spent nuclear fuel. These simplified models calculate the effects of alpha particles and recoil atoms on mobility of uranium atoms in UO 2 . They lead to a diffusion coefficient which is proportional to the volume alpha activity with a proportionality factor of about 10 -44 (m 5 ). However, the same models applied for fission lead to a radiation-enhanced diffusion coefficient which is approximately two orders of magnitude lower than values reported in literature for U and Pu. Other models are based on an extrapolation of radiation-enhanced diffusion measured either in reactors or under heavy ion bombardment. These models lead to a proportionality factor between the alpha self-irradiation enhanced diffusion coefficient and the volume alpha activity of 2 x 10 -41 (m 5 )

  15. A general approach toward enhancement of pseudocapacitive performance of conducting polymers by redox-active electrolytes

    KAUST Repository

    Chen, Wei

    2014-12-01

    A general approach is demonstrated where the pseudocapacitive performance of different conducting polymers is enhanced in redox-active electrolytes. The concept is demonstrated using several electroactive conducting polymers, including polyaniline, polypyrrole, and poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene). As compared to conventional electrolytes, the redox-active electrolytes, prepared by simply adding a redox mediator to the conventional electrolyte, can significantly improve the energy storage capacity of pseudocapacitors with different conducting polymers. The results show that the specific capacitance of conducting polymer based pseudocapacitors can be increased by a factor of two by utilization of the redox-active electrolytes. In fact, this approach gives some of the highest reported specific capacitance values for electroactive conducting polymers. Moreover, our findings present a general and effective approach for the enhancement of energy storage performance of pseudocapacitors using a variety of polymeric electrode materials. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Understanding enhanced tourist experiences through technology: a brief approach to the Vilnius case

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilona Beliatskaya

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The present research investigates the notion of enhanced tourist experiences through technology shedding light on co-creation practices and empowerment of customers. Neuhofer and Buhalis (2013 introduced a novel concept of technology-enhanced tourist experiences by generating a joint comprehension of new era of experiences which conjoin the elements of experiences, co-creation and technology. Being one of rather promoting cities in online environment Vilnius represents an interesting case of successive adoption of smart technologies in order to enhance tourist experiences and facilitate customer empowerment in Vilnius tourism domain. This study aims to determine technology-enhanced tourist experiences in order to measure factors of customer empowerment on the example of international incoming tourists to Vilnius (Lithuania. The mix-methods approach (qualitative online content and functionality analysis and quantitative survey was justified as being the most appropriate for the purpose of this research with intention to find a basis for applying of technology-enhanced tourist experiences in Vilnius tourism marketplace. The paper concludes with the definition of current level of ICTs application to enhance tourist experience co-creation and a discussion of practical implications of technology-enhanced tourist experiences development.

  17. Spatiotemporal PET Imaging of Dynamic Metabolic Changes After Therapeutic Approaches of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, Neuronal Stem Cells, and a Chinese Patent Medicine in Stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hong; Song, Fahuan; Xu, Caiyun; Liu, Hao; Wang, Zefeng; Li, Jinhui; Wu, Shuang; YehuaShen; Chen, Yao; Zhu, Yunqi; Du, Ruili; Tian, Mei

    2015-11-01

    This study aimed to use spatiotemporal PET imaging to investigate the dynamic metabolic changes after a combined therapeutic approach of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), neuronal stem cells (NSCs), and Chinese patent medicine in a rat model of cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. Cerebral ischemia was established by the middle cerebral artery occlusion approach. Thirty-six male rats were randomly assigned to 1 of the 6 groups: control phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), Chinese patent medicine (Qing-kai-ling [QKL]), induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), combination of iPSCs and QKL, neuronal stem cells (NSCs), and combination of NSCs and QKL. Serial (18)F-FDG small-animal PET imaging and neurofunctional tests were performed weekly. Autoradiographic imaging and immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent analyses were performed at 4 wk after stem cell transplantation. Compared with the PBS control group, significantly higher (18)F-FDG accumulations in the ipsilateral cerebral infarction were observed in 5 treatment groups from weeks 1-4. Interestingly, the most intensive (18)F-FDG accumulation was found in the NSCs + QKL group at week 1 but in the iPSCs + QKL group at week 4. The neurofunctional scores in the 5 treatment groups were significantly higher than that of the PBS group from week 3 to 4. In addition, there was a significant correlation between the PET imaging findings and neurofunctional recovery (P PET imaging with (18)F-FDG demonstrated dynamic metabolic and functional recovery after iPSCs or NSCs combined with QKL in a rat model of cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. iPSCs or NSCs combined with Chinese medicine QKL seemed to be a better therapeutic approach than these stem cells used individually. © 2015 by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Inc.

  18. Parvalbumin+ Neurons and Npas1+ Neurons Are Distinct Neuron Classes in the Mouse External Globus Pallidus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, Vivian M; Hegeman, Daniel J; Cui, Qiaoling; Kelver, Daniel A; Fiske, Michael P; Glajch, Kelly E; Pitt, Jason E; Huang, Tina Y; Justice, Nicholas J; Chan, C Savio

    2015-08-26

    Compelling evidence suggests that pathological activity of the external globus pallidus (GPe), a nucleus in the basal ganglia, contributes to the motor symptoms of a variety of movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Recent studies have challenged the idea that the GPe comprises a single, homogenous population of neurons that serves as a simple relay in the indirect pathway. However, we still lack a full understanding of the diversity of the neurons that make up the GPe. Specifically, a more precise classification scheme is needed to better describe the fundamental biology and function of different GPe neuron classes. To this end, we generated a novel multicistronic BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) transgenic mouse line under the regulatory elements of the Npas1 gene. Using a combinatorial transgenic and immunohistochemical approach, we discovered that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons in the GPe represent two nonoverlapping cell classes, amounting to 55% and 27% of the total GPe neuron population, respectively. These two genetically identified cell classes projected primarily to the subthalamic nucleus and to the striatum, respectively. Additionally, parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons were distinct in their autonomous and driven firing characteristics, their expression of intrinsic ion conductances, and their responsiveness to chronic 6-hydroxydopamine lesion. In summary, our data argue that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons are two distinct functional classes of GPe neurons. This work revises our understanding of the GPe, and provides the foundation for future studies of its function and dysfunction. Until recently, the heterogeneity of the constituent neurons within the external globus pallidus (GPe) was not fully appreciated. We addressed this knowledge gap by discovering two principal GPe neuron classes, which were identified by their nonoverlapping expression of the

  19. Parvalbumin+ Neurons and Npas1+ Neurons Are Distinct Neuron Classes in the Mouse External Globus Pallidus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, Vivian M.; Hegeman, Daniel J.; Cui, Qiaoling; Kelver, Daniel A.; Fiske, Michael P.; Glajch, Kelly E.; Pitt, Jason E.; Huang, Tina Y.; Justice, Nicholas J.

    2015-01-01

    Compelling evidence suggests that pathological activity of the external globus pallidus (GPe), a nucleus in the basal ganglia, contributes to the motor symptoms of a variety of movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Recent studies have challenged the idea that the GPe comprises a single, homogenous population of neurons that serves as a simple relay in the indirect pathway. However, we still lack a full understanding of the diversity of the neurons that make up the GPe. Specifically, a more precise classification scheme is needed to better describe the fundamental biology and function of different GPe neuron classes. To this end, we generated a novel multicistronic BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) transgenic mouse line under the regulatory elements of the Npas1 gene. Using a combinatorial transgenic and immunohistochemical approach, we discovered that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons in the GPe represent two nonoverlapping cell classes, amounting to 55% and 27% of the total GPe neuron population, respectively. These two genetically identified cell classes projected primarily to the subthalamic nucleus and to the striatum, respectively. Additionally, parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons were distinct in their autonomous and driven firing characteristics, their expression of intrinsic ion conductances, and their responsiveness to chronic 6-hydroxydopamine lesion. In summary, our data argue that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons are two distinct functional classes of GPe neurons. This work revises our understanding of the GPe, and provides the foundation for future studies of its function and dysfunction. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Until recently, the heterogeneity of the constituent neurons within the external globus pallidus (GPe) was not fully appreciated. We addressed this knowledge gap by discovering two principal GPe neuron classes, which were identified by their nonoverlapping

  20. Motor Neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, Jorn

    2017-01-01

    Motor neurons translate synaptic input from widely distributed premotor networks into patterns of action potentials that orchestrate motor unit force and motor behavior. Intercalated between the CNS and muscles, motor neurons add to and adjust the final motor command. The identity and functional...... in in vitro preparations is far from complete. Nevertheless, a foundation has been provided for pursuing functional significance of intrinsic response properties in motoneurons in vivo during motor behavior at levels from molecules to systems....

  1. Neurons on the couch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marić, Nadja P; Jašović-Gašić, Miroslava

    2010-12-01

    A hundred years after psychoanalysis was introduced, neuroscience has taken a giant step forward. It seems nowadays that effects of psychotherapy could be monitored and measured by state-of-the art brain imaging techniques. Today, the psychotherapy is considered as a strategic and purposeful environmental influence intended to enhance learning. Since gene expression is regulated by environmental influences throughout life and these processes create brain architecture and influence the strength of synaptic connections, psychotherapy (as a kind of learning) should be explored in the context of aforementioned paradigm. In other words, when placing a client on the couch, therapist actually placed client's neuronal network; while listening and talking, expressing and analyzing, experiencing transference and counter transference, therapist tends to stabilize synaptic connections and influence dendritic growth by regulating gene-transcriptional activity. Therefore, we strongly believe that, in the near future, an increasing knowledge on cellular and molecular interactions and mechanisms of action of different psycho- and pharmaco-therapeutic procedures will enable us to tailor a sophisticated therapeutic approach toward a person, by combining major therapeutic strategies in psychiatry on the basis of rational goals and evidence-based therapeutic expectations.

  2. Intranasal PRGF-Endoret enhances neuronal survival and attenuates NF-κB-dependent inflammation process in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anitua, Eduardo; Pascual, Consuelo; Pérez-Gonzalez, Rocio; Orive, Gorka; Carro, Eva

    2015-04-10

    Parkinson's disease is a common neurodegenerative disorder of unknown pathogenesis characterized by the loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. Oxidative stress, microglial activation and inflammatory responses seem to contribute to the pathogenesis. Recent data showed that growth factors mediate neuroprotection in rodent models of Parkinson's disease, modulating pro-inflammatory processes. Based on our recent studies showing that plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF-Endoret) mediates neuroprotection as inflammatory moderator in Alzheimer's disease, in the present study we examined the effects of plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF-Endoret) in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-lesioned mouse as a translational therapeutic approach for Parkinson's disease. We found substantial neuroprotection by PRGF-Endoret in our model of Parkinson's disease, which resulted in diminished inflammatory responses and improved motor performance. Additionally, these effects were associated with robust reduction in nuclear transcription factor-κB (NF-κB) activation, and nitric oxide (NO), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) expression in the substantia nigra. We propose that PRGF-Endoret can prevent dopaminergic degeneration via an NF-κB-dependent signaling process. As the clinical safety profile of PRGF-Endoret is already established, these data suggest that PRGF-Endoret provides a novel neuroprotective strategy for Parkinson's disease. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Evaluation of Fused Synthetic and Enhanced Vision Display Concepts for Low-Visibility Approach and Landing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Randall E.; Kramer, Lynda J.; Prinzel, Lawrence J., III; Wilz, Susan J.

    2009-01-01

    NASA is developing revolutionary crew-vehicle interface technologies that strive to proactively overcome aircraft safety barriers that would otherwise constrain the full realization of the next generation air transportation system. A piloted simulation experiment was conducted to evaluate the complementary use of Synthetic and Enhanced Vision technologies. Specific focus was placed on new techniques for integration and/or fusion of Enhanced and Synthetic Vision and its impact within a two-crew flight deck during low-visibility approach and landing operations. Overall, the experimental data showed that significant improvements in situation awareness, without concomitant increases in workload and display clutter, could be provided by the integration and/or fusion of synthetic and enhanced vision technologies for the pilot-flying and the pilot-not-flying. Improvements in lateral path control performance were realized when the Head-Up Display concepts included a tunnel, independent of the imagery (enhanced vision or fusion of enhanced and synthetic vision) presented with it. During non-normal operations, the ability of the crew to handle substantial navigational errors and runway incursions were neither improved nor adversely impacted by the display concepts. The addition of Enhanced Vision may not, of itself, provide an improvement in runway incursion detection without being specifically tailored for this application.

  4. Maternal creatine supplementation affects the morpho-functional development of hippocampal neurons in rat offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartini, S; Lattanzi, D; Ambrogini, P; Di Palma, M; Galati, C; Savelli, D; Polidori, E; Calcabrini, C; Rocchi, M B L; Sestili, P; Cuppini, R

    2016-01-15

    Creatine supplementation has been shown to protect neurons from oxidative damage due to its antioxidant and ergogenic functions. These features have led to the hypothesis of creatine supplementation use during pregnancy as prophylactic treatment to prevent CNS damage, such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Unfortunately, very little is known on the effects of creatine supplementation during neuron differentiation, while in vitro studies revealed an influence on neuron excitability, leaving the possibility of creatine supplementation during the CNS development an open question. Using a multiple approach, we studied the hippocampal neuron morphological and functional development in neonatal rats born by dams supplemented with 1% creatine in drinking water during pregnancy. CA1 pyramidal neurons of supplemented newborn rats showed enhanced dendritic tree development, increased LTP maintenance, larger evoked-synaptic responses, and higher intrinsic excitability in comparison to controls. Moreover, a faster repolarizing phase of action potential with the appearance of a hyperpolarization were recorded in neurons of the creatine-treated group. Consistently, CA1 neurons of creatine exposed pups exhibited a higher maximum firing frequency than controls. In summary, we found that creatine supplementation during pregnancy positively affects morphological and electrophysiological development of CA1 neurons in offspring rats, increasing neuronal excitability. Altogether, these findings emphasize the need to evaluate the benefits and the safety of maternal intake of creatine in humans. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Superconductivity. Quasiparticle mass enhancement approaching optimal doping in a high-T(c) superconductor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramshaw, B J; Sebastian, S E; McDonald, R D; Day, James; Tan, B S; Zhu, Z; Betts, J B; Liang, Ruixing; Bonn, D A; Hardy, W N; Harrison, N

    2015-04-17

    In the quest for superconductors with higher transition temperatures (T(c)), one emerging motif is that electronic interactions favorable for superconductivity can be enhanced by fluctuations of a broken-symmetry phase. Recent experiments have suggested the existence of the requisite broken-symmetry phase in the high-T(c) cuprates, but the impact of such a phase on the ground-state electronic interactions has remained unclear. We used magnetic fields exceeding 90 tesla to access the underlying metallic state of the cuprate YBa2Cu3O(6+δ) over a wide range of doping, and observed magnetic quantum oscillations that reveal a strong enhancement of the quasiparticle effective mass toward optimal doping. This mass enhancement results from increasing electronic interactions approaching optimal doping, and suggests a quantum critical point at a hole doping of p(crit) ≈ 0.18. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  6. Focusing on changing clinical practice to enhance rational prescribing--collaboration and networking enable comprehensive approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helin-Salmivaara, Arja; Huupponen, Risto; Klaukka, Timo; Hoppu, Kalle

    2003-10-01

    Most western societies are enhancing rational pharmacotherapy to get best value for the constantly increasing expenditure on drugs. Government bodies and the medical profession took joint responsibility for the education programme for rational prescribing, launched in Finland at the end of the 1990s. The goals were to enhance critical thinking, and when appropriate, change prescribing behaviour. Various approaches that included evidence-based continuing medical education (CME), implementing clinical guidelines, delivering information, and providing prescribing feedback were used simultaneously. The commitment of the stakeholders and participants has been strong and the approaches have succeeded even though there is no clear outcome measure. The Government has recently decided to continue and widen the process, which started as a pilot programme, on a tight budget.

  7. Mine detection using SF-GPR: A signal processing approach for resolution enhancement and clutter reduction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karlsen, Brian; Jakobsen, Kaj Bjarne; Larsen, Jan

    2001-01-01

    Proper clutter reduction is essential for Ground Penetrating Radar data since low signal-to-clutter ratio prevent correct detection of mine objects. A signal processing approach for resolution enhancement and clutter reduction used on Stepped-Frequency Ground Penetrating Radar (SF-GPR) data is pr....... The clutter reduction method is based on basis function decomposition of the SF-GPR time-series from which the clutter and the signal are separated....

  8. Brain-specific enhancers for cell-based therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visel, Axel; Rubenstein, John L.R.; Chen, Ying-Jiun; Pennacchio, Len A.; Vogt, Daniel; Nicholas, Cory; Kriegstein, Arnold

    2018-04-24

    Herein are described a set of novel specific human enhancers for specific forebrain cell types used to study and select for human neural progenitor cells. This approach enables the ability to generate interneurons from human ES, iPS and iN cells, making them available for human transplantation and for molecular/cellular analyzes. These approaches are also directly applicable to generating other neuronal cell types, such as cortical and striatal projection neurons, which have implications for many human diseases.

  9. Capture of microtubule plus-ends at the actin cortex promotes axophilic neuronal migration by enhancing microtubule tension in the leading process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchins, B Ian; Wray, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Microtubules are a critical part of neuronal polarity and leading process extension, thus microtubule movement plays an important role in neuronal migration. However, the dynamics of microtubules during the forward movement of the nucleus into the leading process (nucleokinesis) is unclear and may be dependent on the cell type and mode of migration used. In particular, little is known about cytoskeletal changes during axophilic migration, commonly used in anteroposterior neuronal migration. We recently showed that leading process actin flow in migrating GnRH neurons is controlled by a signaling cascade involving IP3 receptors, CaMKK, AMPK, and RhoA. In the present study, microtubule dynamics were examined in GnRH neurons. Failure of the migration of these cells leads to the neuroendocrine disorder Kallmann Syndrome. Microtubules translocated forward along the leading process shaft during migration, but reversed direction and moved toward the nucleus when migration stalled. Blocking calcium release through IP3 receptors halted migration and induced the same reversal of microtubule translocation, while blocking cortical actin flow prevented microtubules from translocating toward the distal leading process. Super-resolution imaging revealed that microtubule plus-end tips are captured at the actin cortex through calcium-dependent mechanisms. This work shows that cortical actin flow draws the microtubule network forward through calcium-dependent capture in order to promote nucleokinesis, revealing a novel mechanism engaged by migrating neurons to facilitate movement.

  10. Enhanced Visualization of Hematoxylin and Eosin Stained Pathological Characteristics by Phasor Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Teng; Lu, Yuan; Liu, Shaoxiong; Lin, Danying; Qu, Junle

    2017-09-05

    The phasor approach to fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) is used to identify different types of tissues from hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained basal cell carcinoma (BCC) sections. The results suggest that working directly on the phasor space with the clustering assignment achieves immunofluorescence like simultaneous five or six-color imaging by using multiplexed fluorescence lifetimes of H&E. The phase approach is of particular effectiveness for enhanced visualization of the abnormal morphology of a suspected nidus. Moreover, the phasor approach to H&E FLIM data can determine the actual paths or the infiltrating trajectories of basophils and immune cells associated with the preneoplastic or neoplastic skin lesions. The integration of the phasor approach with routine histology proved its available value for skin cancer prevention and early detection. We therefore believe that the phasor analysis of H&E tissue sections is an enhanced visualization tool with the potential to simplify the preparation process of special staining and serve as color contrast aided imaging in clinical pathological examination.

  11. [Mirror neurons].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubia Vila, Francisco José

    2011-01-01

    Mirror neurons were recently discovered in frontal brain areas of the monkey. They are activated when the animal makes a specific movement, but also when the animal observes the same movement in another animal. Some of them also respond to the emotional expression of other animals of the same species. These mirror neurons have also been found in humans. They respond to or "reflect" actions of other individuals in the brain and are thought to represent the basis for imitation and empathy and hence the neurobiological substrate for "theory of mind", the potential origin of language and the so-called moral instinct.

  12. Atorvastatin enhances neurite outgrowth in cortical neurons in vitro via up-regulating the Akt/mTOR and Akt/GSK-3β signaling pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Ying; Sui, Hai-juan; Dong, Yan; Ding, Qi; Qu, Wen-hui; Yu, Sheng-xue; Jin, Ying-xin

    2012-01-01

    Aim: To investigate whether atorvastatin can promote formation of neurites in cultured cortical neurons and the signaling mechanisms responsible for this effect. Methods: Cultured rat cerebral cortical neurons were incubated with atorvastatin (0.05–10 μmol/L) for various lengths of time. For pharmacological experiments, inhibitors were added 30 min prior to addition of atorvastatin. Control cultures received a similar amount of DMSO. Following the treatment period, phase-contrast digital images were taken. Digital images of neurons were analyzed for total neurite branch length (TNBL), neurite number, terminal branch number, and soma area by SPOT Advanced Imaging software. After incubation with atorvastatin for 48 h, the levels of phosphorylated 3-phosphoinoside-dependent protein kinase-1 (PDK1), phospho-Akt, phosphorylated mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), phosphorylated 4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1), p70S6 kinase (p70S6K), and glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) in the cortical neurons were evaluated using Western blotting analyses. Results: Atorvastatin (0.05–10 μmol/L) resulted in dose-dependent increase in neurite number and length in these neurons. Pretreatment of the cortical neurons with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitors LY294002 (30 μmol/L) and wortmannin (5 μmol/L), Akt inhibitor tricribine (1 μmol/L) or mTOR inhibitor rapamycin (100 nmol/L) blocked the atorvastatin-induced increase in neurite outgrowth, suggesting that atorvastatin promoted neurite outgrowth via activating the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway. Atorvastatin (10 μmol/L) significantly increased the levels of phosphorylated PDK1, Akt and mTOR in the cortical neurons, which were prevented by LY294002 (30 μmol/L). Moreover, atorvastatin (10 μmol/L) stimulated the phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 and p70S6K, the substrates of mTOR, in the cortical neurons. In addition, atorvastatin (10 μmol/L) significantly increased the phosphorylated GSK-3β level in the cortical

  13. BlastNeuron for Automated Comparison, Retrieval and Clustering of 3D Neuron Morphologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Yinan; Long, Fuhui; Qu, Lei; Xiao, Hang; Hawrylycz, Michael; Myers, Eugene W; Peng, Hanchuan

    2015-10-01

    Characterizing the identity and types of neurons in the brain, as well as their associated function, requires a means of quantifying and comparing 3D neuron morphology. Presently, neuron comparison methods are based on statistics from neuronal morphology such as size and number of branches, which are not fully suitable for detecting local similarities and differences in the detailed structure. We developed BlastNeuron to compare neurons in terms of their global appearance, detailed arborization patterns, and topological similarity. BlastNeuron first compares and clusters 3D neuron reconstructions based on global morphology features and moment invariants, independent of their orientations, sizes, level of reconstruction and other variations. Subsequently, BlastNeuron performs local alignment between any pair of retrieved neurons via a tree-topology driven dynamic programming method. A 3D correspondence map can thus be generated at the resolution of single reconstruction nodes. We applied BlastNeuron to three datasets: (1) 10,000+ neuron reconstructions from a public morphology database, (2) 681 newly and manually reconstructed neurons, and (3) neurons reconstructions produced using several independent reconstruction methods. Our approach was able to accurately and efficiently retrieve morphologically and functionally similar neuron structures from large morphology database, identify the local common structures, and find clusters of neurons that share similarities in both morphology and molecular profiles.

  14. The competitor-introduced Ggamma recruitment system, a new approach for screening affinity-enhanced proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukuda, Nobuo; Ishii, Jun; Tanaka, Tsutomu; Kondo, Akihiko

    2010-04-01

    We have developed a new approach based on the Ggamma recruitment system to screen affinity-enhanced proteins by expressing a binding competitor. The previously established Ggamma recruitment system is a yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) system that utilizes G-protein signaling, and is based on the fact that membrane localization of the G-protein gamma subunit (Ggamma) is essential for signal transduction in yeast. In the original Y2H system, an engineered Ggamma that lacks membrane localization upon deletion of the lipid modification site (Ggamma(cyto)) is produced, and a candidate protein with an artificial lipidation site and its counterpart fused with Ggamma(cyto) are expressed. As protein-protein interactions bring Ggamma(cyto) towards the plasma membrane, G-protein signaling can be activated, and the interaction is detected by various cellular responses as the readout. In the current study, we expressed a third cytosolic protein that competes with the candidate protein to specifically isolate affinity-enhanced mutants from a mutation library of the candidate protein. Enhancing the affinity of the protein candidate guides the counterpart-Ggamma(cyto) fusion protein towards the plasma membrane and activates signaling. Using mutants of the Z domain derived from Staphylococcus aureus protein A as candidate proteins or competitors, and the Fc portion of human immunoglobulin G (IgG) as the counterpart, we demonstrate that affinity-enhanced proteins can be effectively screened from a library containing a 10 000-fold excess of non-enhanced proteins. This new approach, called the competitor-introduced Ggamma recruitment system, will be useful for efficient discovery of rare valuable candidates hidden among excess ordinary ones.

  15. An enhanced performance through agent-based secure approach for mobile ad hoc networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bisen, Dhananjay; Sharma, Sanjeev

    2018-01-01

    This paper proposes an agent-based secure enhanced performance approach (AB-SEP) for mobile ad hoc network. In this approach, agent nodes are selected through optimal node reliability as a factor. This factor is calculated on the basis of node performance features such as degree difference, normalised distance value, energy level, mobility and optimal hello interval of node. After selection of agent nodes, a procedure of malicious behaviour detection is performed using fuzzy-based secure architecture (FBSA). To evaluate the performance of the proposed approach, comparative analysis is done with conventional schemes using performance parameters such as packet delivery ratio, throughput, total packet forwarding, network overhead, end-to-end delay and percentage of malicious detection.

  16. Brains are not just neurons. Comment on “Toward a computational framework for cognitive biology: Unifying approaches from cognitive neuroscience and comparative cognition” by Fitch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huber, Ludwig

    2014-09-01

    This comment addresses the first component of Fitch's framework: the computational power of single neurons [3]. Although I agree that traditional models of neural computation have vastly underestimated the computational power of single neurons, I am hesitant to follow him completely. The exclusive focus on neurons is likely to underestimate the importance of other cells in the brain. In the last years, two such cell types have received appropriate attention by neuroscientists: interneurons and glia. Interneurons are small, tightly packed cells involved in the control of information processing in learning and memory. Rather than transmitting externally (like motor or sensory neurons), these neurons process information within internal circuits of the brain (therefore also called 'relay neurons'). Some specialized interneuron subtypes temporally regulate the flow of information in a given cortical circuit during relevant behavioral events [4]. In the human brain approx. 100 billion interneurons control information processing and are implicated in disorders such as epilepsy and Parkinson's.

  17. Improvement of neuromuscular synaptic phenotypes without enhanced survival and motor function in severe spinal muscular atrophy mice selectively rescued in motor neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ximena Paez-Colasante

    Full Text Available In the inherited childhood neuromuscular disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, lower motor neuron death and severe muscle weakness result from the reduction of the ubiquitously expressed protein survival of motor neuron (SMN. Although SMA mice recapitulate many features of the human disease, it has remained unclear if their short lifespan and motor weakness are primarily due to cell-autonomous defects in motor neurons. Using Hb9(Cre as a driver, we selectively raised SMN expression in motor neurons in conditional SMAΔ7 mice. Unlike a previous study that used choline acetyltransferase (ChAT(Cre+ as a driver on the same mice, and another report that used Hb9(Cre as a driver on a different line of conditional SMA mice, we found no improvement in survival, weight, motor behavior and presynaptic neurofilament accumulation. However, like in ChAT(Cre+ mice, we detected rescue of endplate size and mitigation of neuromuscular junction (NMJ denervation status. The rescue of endplate size occurred in the absence of an increase in myofiber size, suggesting endplate size is determined by the motor neuron in these animals. Real time-PCR showed that the expression of spinal cord SMN transcript was sharply reduced in Hb9(Cre+ SMA mice relative to ChAT(Cre+ SMA mice. This suggests that our lack of overall phenotypic improvement is most likely due to an unexpectedly poor recombination efficiency driven by Hb9(Cre . Nonetheless, the low levels of SMN were sufficient to rescue two NMJ structural parameters indicating that these motor neuron cell autonomous phenotypes are very sensitive to changes in motoneuronal SMN levels. Our results directly suggest that even those therapeutic interventions with very modest effects in raising SMN in motor neurons may provide mitigation of neuromuscular phenotypes in SMA patients.

  18. Enhancing evidence informed policymaking in complex health systems: lessons from multi-site collaborative approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langlois, Etienne V; Becerril Montekio, Victor; Young, Taryn; Song, Kayla; Alcalde-Rabanal, Jacqueline; Tran, Nhan

    2016-03-17

    There is an increasing interest worldwide to ensure evidence-informed health policymaking as a means to improve health systems performance. There is a need to engage policymakers in collaborative approaches to generate and use knowledge in real world settings. To address this gap, we implemented two interventions based on iterative exchanges between researchers and policymakers/implementers. This article aims to reflect on the implementation and impact of these multi-site evidence-to-policy approaches implemented in low-resource settings. The first approach was implemented in Mexico and Nicaragua and focused on implementation research facilitated by communities of practice (CoP) among maternal health stakeholders. We conducted a process evaluation of the CoPs and assessed the professionals' abilities to acquire, analyse, adapt and apply research. The second approach, called the Policy BUilding Demand for evidence in Decision making through Interaction and Enhancing Skills (Policy BUDDIES), was implemented in South Africa and Cameroon. The intervention put forth a 'buddying' process to enhance demand and use of systematic reviews by sub-national policymakers. The Policy BUDDIES initiative was assessed using a mixed-methods realist evaluation design. In Mexico, the implementation research supported by CoPs triggered monitoring by local health organizations of the quality of maternal healthcare programs. Health programme personnel involved in CoPs in Mexico and Nicaragua reported improved capacities to identify and use evidence in solving implementation problems. In South Africa, Policy BUDDIES informed a policy framework for medication adherence for chronic diseases, including both HIV and non-communicable diseases. Policymakers engaged in the buddying process reported an enhanced recognition of the value of research, and greater demand for policy-relevant knowledge. The collaborative evidence-to-policy approaches underline the importance of iterations and continuity

  19. Human Na(v)1.8: enhanced persistent and ramp currents contribute to distinct firing properties of human DRG neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Chongyang; Estacion, Mark; Huang, Jianying; Vasylyev, Dymtro; Zhao, Peng; Dib-Hajj, Sulayman D; Waxman, Stephen G

    2015-05-01

    Although species-specific differences in ion channel properties are well-documented, little has been known about the properties of the human Nav1.8 channel, an important contributor to pain signaling. Here we show, using techniques that include voltage clamp, current clamp, and dynamic clamp in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, that human Na(v)1.8 channels display slower inactivation kinetics and produce larger persistent current and ramp current than previously reported in other species. DRG neurons expressing human Na(v)1.8 channels unexpectedly produce significantly longer-lasting action potentials, including action potentials with half-widths in some cells >10 ms, and increased firing frequency compared with the narrower and usually single action potentials generated by DRG neurons expressing rat Na(v)1.8 channels. We also show that native human DRG neurons recapitulate these properties of Na(v)1.8 current and the long-lasting action potentials. Together, our results demonstrate strikingly distinct properties of human Na(v)1.8, which contribute to the firing properties of human DRG neurons.

  20. Free Energy Calculations using a Swarm-Enhanced Sampling Molecular Dynamics Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burusco, Kepa K; Bruce, Neil J; Alibay, Irfan; Bryce, Richard A

    2015-10-26

    Free energy simulations are an established computational tool in modelling chemical change in the condensed phase. However, sampling of kinetically distinct substates remains a challenge to these approaches. As a route to addressing this, we link the methods of thermodynamic integration (TI) and swarm-enhanced sampling molecular dynamics (sesMD), where simulation replicas interact cooperatively to aid transitions over energy barriers. We illustrate the approach by using alchemical alkane transformations in solution, comparing them with the multiple independent trajectory TI (IT-TI) method. Free energy changes for transitions computed by using IT-TI grew increasingly inaccurate as the intramolecular barrier was heightened. By contrast, swarm-enhanced sampling TI (sesTI) calculations showed clear improvements in sampling efficiency, leading to more accurate computed free energy differences, even in the case of the highest barrier height. The sesTI approach, therefore, has potential in addressing chemical change in systems where conformations exist in slow exchange. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  1. Prenatal exposure to an NMDA receptor antagonist, MK-801 reduces density of parvalbumin-immunoreactive GABAergic neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex and enhances phencyclidine-induced hyperlocomotion but not behavioral sensitization to methamphetamine in postpubertal rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abekawa, Tomohiro; Ito, Koki; Nakagawa, Shin; Koyama, Tsukasa

    2007-06-01

    Neurodevelopmental deficits of parvalbumin-immunoreactive gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic interneurons in prefrontal cortex have been reported in schizophrenia. Glutamate influences the proliferation of this type of interneuron by an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-receptor-mediated mechanism. The present study hypothesized that prenatal blockade of NMDA receptors would disrupt GABAergic neurodevelopment, resulting in differences in effects on behavioral responses to a noncompetitive NMDA antagonist, phencyclidine (PCP), and a dopamine releaser, methamphetamine (METH). GABAergic neurons were immunohistochemically stained with parvalbumin antibody. Psychostimulant-induced hyperlocomotion was measured using an infrared sensor. Prenatal exposure (E15-E18) to the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 reduced the density of parvalbumin-immunoreactive neurons in rat medial prefrontal cortex on postnatal day 63 (P63) and enhanced PCP-induced hyperlocomotion but not the acute effects of METH on P63 or the development of behavioral sensitization. Prenatal exposure to MK-801 reduced the number of parvalbumin-immunoreactive neurons even on postnatal day 35 (P35) and did not enhance PCP-induced hyperlocomotion, the acute effects of METH on P35, or the development of behavioral sensitization to METH. These findings suggest that prenatal blockade of NMDA receptors disrupts GABAergic neurodevelopment in medial prefrontal cortex, and that this disruption of GABAergic development may be related to the enhancement of the locomotion-inducing effect of PCP in postpubertal but not juvenile offspring. GABAergic deficit is unrelated to the effects of METH. This GABAergic neurodevelopmental disruption and the enhanced PCP-induced hyperlocomotion in adult offspring prenatally exposed to MK-801 may prove useful as a new model of the neurodevelopmental process of pathogenesis of treatment-resistant schizophrenia via an NMDA-receptor-mediated hypoglutamatergic mechanism.

  2. Enhanced index tracking modeling in portfolio optimization with mixed-integer programming z approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siew, Lam Weng; Jaaman, Saiful Hafizah Hj.; Ismail, Hamizun bin

    2014-09-01

    Enhanced index tracking is a popular form of portfolio management in stock market investment. Enhanced index tracking aims to construct an optimal portfolio to generate excess return over the return achieved by the stock market index without purchasing all of the stocks that make up the index. The objective of this paper is to construct an optimal portfolio using mixed-integer programming model which adopts regression approach in order to generate higher portfolio mean return than stock market index return. In this study, the data consists of 24 component stocks in Malaysia market index which is FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index from January 2010 until December 2012. The results of this study show that the optimal portfolio of mixed-integer programming model is able to generate higher mean return than FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index return with only selecting 30% out of the total stock market index components.

  3. Neurokinin-1 receptor blocker CP-99 994 improved emesis induced by cisplatin via regulating the activity of gastric distention responsive neurons in the dorsal motor nucleus of vagus and enhancing gastric motility in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, X; Xu, L; Guo, F; Luo, W; Gao, S; Luan, X

    2017-10-01

    Nowadays, chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) is still common in patients with cancer. It was reported that substance P mediated CINV via neurokinin-1 (NK 1 ) receptor and antagonists of NK 1 receptor has been proved useful for treating CINV but the mechanism are not fully understood. This study aimed to examine the role of NK 1 receptor blocker, CP-99 994, when administrated into dorsal motor nucleus of vagus (DMNV), on the cisplatin-induced emesis in rats and the possible mechanism. Rats' kaolin intake, food intake, and bodyweight were recorded every day; gastric contraction activity was recorded in conscious rats through a force transducer implanted into the stomach; gastric emptying was monitored using the phenol red method; single unit extracellular firing in the DMNV were recorded. DMNV microinjection of CP-99 994 reduced the changes of increased kaolin consumption and suppressed food intake in cisplatin-treated rats; enhanced the gastric contraction activity dose-dependently in control and cisplatin-treated rats but enhanced gastric emptying only in cisplatin-treated rats; reduced the firing rate of gastric distention inhibited (GD-I) neurons but increased the firing rate of GD excited (GD-E) neurons in the DMNV. The effects of CP-99 994 on gastric motility and neuronal activity were stronger in cisplatin-treated rats than those of control rats. Our results suggested that CP-99 994 could improve emesis induced by cisplatin by regulating gastric motility and gastric related neuronal activity in the DMNV. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. A fuzzy genetic approach for network reconfiguration to enhance voltage stability in radial distribution systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sahoo, N.C. [Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Multimedia University, Jalan Ayer Keroh Lama, Bukit Beruang, 75450 Melaka (Malaysia); Prasad, K. [Faculty of Information Science and Technology, Multimedia University, Jalan Ayer Keroh Lama, Bukit Beruang, 75450 Melaka (Malaysia)

    2006-11-15

    This paper presents a fuzzy genetic approach for reconfiguration of radial distribution systems (RDS) so as to maximize the voltage stability of the network for a specific set of loads. The network reconfiguration involves a mechanism for selection of the best set of branches to be opened, one from each loop, such that the reconfigured RDS possesses desired performance characteristics. This discrete solution space is better handled by the proposed scheme, which maximizes a suitable optimizing function (computed using two different approaches). In the first approach, this function is chosen as the average of a voltage stability index of all the buses in the RDS, while in the second approach, the complete RDS is reduced to a two bus equivalent system and the optimizing function is the voltage stability index of this reduced two bus system. The fuzzy genetic algorithm uses a suitable coding and decoding scheme for maintaining the radial nature of the network at every stage of genetic evolution, and it also uses a fuzzy rule based mutation controller for efficient search of the solution space. This method, tested on 69 bus and 33 bus RDSs, shows promising results for the both approaches. It is also observed that the network losses are reduced when the voltage stability is enhanced by the network reconfiguration. (author)

  5. A fuzzy genetic approach for network reconfiguration to enhance voltage stability in radial distribution systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sahoo, N.C.; Prasad, K.

    2006-01-01

    This paper presents a fuzzy genetic approach for reconfiguration of radial distribution systems (RDS) so as to maximize the voltage stability of the network for a specific set of loads. The network reconfiguration involves a mechanism for selection of the best set of branches to be opened, one from each loop, such that the reconfigured RDS possesses desired performance characteristics. This discrete solution space is better handled by the proposed scheme, which maximizes a suitable optimizing function (computed using two different approaches). In the first approach, this function is chosen as the average of a voltage stability index of all the buses in the RDS, while in the second approach, the complete RDS is reduced to a two bus equivalent system and the optimizing function is the voltage stability index of this reduced two bus system. The fuzzy genetic algorithm uses a suitable coding and decoding scheme for maintaining the radial nature of the network at every stage of genetic evolution, and it also uses a fuzzy rule based mutation controller for efficient search of the solution space. This method, tested on 69 bus and 33 bus RDSs, shows promising results for the both approaches. It is also observed that the network losses are reduced when the voltage stability is enhanced by the network reconfiguration

  6. Contributions of dopamine-related genes and environmental factors to highly sensitive personality: a multi-step neuronal system-level approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunhui Chen

    Full Text Available Traditional behavioral genetic studies (e.g., twin, adoption studies have shown that human personality has moderate to high heritability, but recent molecular behavioral genetic studies have failed to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL with consistent effects. The current study adopted a multi-step approach (ANOVA followed by multiple regression and permutation to assess the cumulative effects of multiple QTLs. Using a system-level (dopamine system genetic approach, we investigated a personality trait deeply rooted in the nervous system (the Highly Sensitive Personality, HSP. 480 healthy Chinese college students were given the HSP scale and genotyped for 98 representative polymorphisms in all major dopamine neurotransmitter genes. In addition, two environment factors (stressful life events and parental warmth that have been implicated for their contributions to personality development were included to investigate their relative contributions as compared to genetic factors. In Step 1, using ANOVA, we identified 10 polymorphisms that made statistically significant contributions to HSP. In Step 2, these polymorphism's main effects and interactions were assessed using multiple regression. This model accounted for 15% of the variance of HSP (p<0.001. Recent stressful life events accounted for an additional 2% of the variance. Finally, permutation analyses ascertained the probability of obtaining these findings by chance to be very low, p ranging from 0.001 to 0.006. Dividing these loci by the subsystems of dopamine synthesis, degradation/transport, receptor and modulation, we found that the modulation and receptor subsystems made the most significant contribution to HSP. The results of this study demonstrate the utility of a multi-step neuronal system-level approach in assessing genetic contributions to individual differences in human behavior. It can potentially bridge the gap between the high heritability estimates based on traditional

  7. Mult-Pollutant Control Through Novel Approaches to Oxygen Enhanced Combustion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Richard Axelbaum; Pratim Biswas

    2009-02-28

    Growing concerns about global climate change have focused effortss on identifying approaches to stabilizing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. One approach utilizes oxy-fuel combustion to produce a concentrated flue gas that will enable economical CO{sub 2} capture by direct methods. Oxy-fuel combustion rewuires an Air Separation Unit (ASU) to provide a high-purity stream of oxygen as well as a Compression and Purification Unit (CPU) to clean and compress the CO{sub 2} for long term storage. Overall plant efficiency will suffer from the parasitic load of both the ASU and CPU and researchers are investigating techniques to enhance other aspects of the combustion and gas cleanup proceses to improve the benefit-to-cost ratio. This work examines the influence of oxy-fuel combustion and non-carbon based sorbents on the formation and fate of multiple combustion pollutants both numerically and experimentally.

  8. STORYLINE APPROACH AS ENHANCEMENT OF LEARNING FOREIGN LANGUAGE AND CHARACTER BUILDING AT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frimadhona Syafri

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Using stories in teaching foreign language, it forces the teacher to be crative and innovative to encourage the young learners to enjoy reading stories. The teacher has to be smart to select which one approaches or methods which can enhance learning foreign language and character building in the teaching foreign language process.The storyline approach was specifically designed for the use at primary schools. The storyline method (Storyline for teaching children at primary schools was mainly developed in 1967 by a team of teachers from Jordanhill College of Education (now known as University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. The primary schools in Scotland use a curriculum that involves integration of new topics, such as environmental studies and expressive arts, in their teaching foreign language process. This method could be one of alternative method that be applied in teaching foreign language to Elementary School or English Courses for Children in Indonesia.

  9. An Islanding Microgrid Power Sharing Approach Using Enhanced Virtual Impedance Control Scheme

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    He, Jinwei; Li, Yun Wei; Guerrero, Josep M.

    2013-01-01

    In order to address the load sharing problem in islanding microgrids, this paper proposes an enhanced distributed generation (DG) unit virtual impedance control approach. The proposed method can realize accurate regulation of DG unit equivalent impedance at both fundamental and selected harmonic...... and PCC harmonic voltage compensation are achieved without using any fundamental and harmonic components extractions. Experimental results from a scaled single-phase microgrid prototype are provided to validate the feasibility of the proposed virtual impedance control approach....... frequencies. In contrast to conventional virtual impedance control methods, where only a line current feed-forward term is added to the DG voltage reference, the proposed virtual impedance at fundamental and harmonic frequencies is regulated using DG line current and point of common coupling (PCC) voltage...

  10. Subgroup-Elimination Transcriptomics Identifies Signaling Proteins that Define Subclasses of TRPV1-Positive Neurons and a Novel Paracrine Circuit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isensee, Jörg; Wenzel, Carsten; Buschow, Rene; Weissmann, Robert; Kuss, Andreas W.; Hucho, Tim

    2014-01-01

    Normal and painful stimuli are detected by specialized subgroups of peripheral sensory neurons. The understanding of the functional differences of each neuronal subgroup would be strongly enhanced by knowledge of the respective subgroup transcriptome. The separation of the subgroup of interest, however, has proven challenging as they can hardly be enriched. Instead of enriching, we now rapidly eliminated the subgroup of neurons expressing the heat-gated cation channel TRPV1 from dissociated rat sensory ganglia. Elimination was accomplished by brief treatment with TRPV1 agonists followed by the removal of compromised TRPV1(+) neurons using density centrifugation. By differential microarray and sequencing (RNA-Seq) based expression profiling we compared the transcriptome of all cells within sensory ganglia versus the same cells lacking TRPV1 expressing neurons, which revealed 240 differentially expressed genes (adj. p1.5). Corroborating the specificity of the approach, many of these genes have been reported to be involved in noxious heat or pain sensitization. Beyond the expected enrichment of ion channels, we found the TRPV1 transcriptome to be enriched for GPCRs and other signaling proteins involved in adenosine, calcium, and phosphatidylinositol signaling. Quantitative population analysis using a recent High Content Screening (HCS) microscopy approach identified substantial heterogeneity of expressed target proteins even within TRPV1-positive neurons. Signaling components defined distinct further subgroups within the population of TRPV1-positive neurons. Analysis of one such signaling system showed that the pain sensitizing prostaglandin PGD2 activates DP1 receptors expressed predominantly on TRPV1(+) neurons. In contrast, we found the PGD2 producing prostaglandin D synthase to be expressed exclusively in myelinated large-diameter neurons lacking TRPV1, which suggests a novel paracrine neuron-neuron communication. Thus, subgroup analysis based on the elimination

  11. Enhancing mitochondrial calcium buffering capacity reduces aggregation of misfolded SOD1 and motor neuron cell death without extending survival in mouse models of inherited amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parone, Philippe A; Da Cruz, Sandrine; Han, Joo Seok; McAlonis-Downes, Melissa; Vetto, Anne P; Lee, Sandra K; Tseng, Eva; Cleveland, Don W

    2013-03-13

    Mitochondria have been proposed as targets for toxicity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive, fatal adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the selective loss of motor neurons. A decrease in the capacity of spinal cord mitochondria to buffer calcium (Ca(2+)) has been observed in mice expressing ALS-linked mutants of SOD1 that develop motor neuron disease with many of the key pathological hallmarks seen in ALS patients. In mice expressing three different ALS-causing SOD1 mutants, we now test the contribution of the loss of mitochondrial Ca(2+)-buffering capacity to disease mechanism(s) by eliminating ubiquitous expression of cyclophilin D, a critical regulator of Ca(2+)-mediated opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore that determines mitochondrial Ca(2+) content. A chronic increase in mitochondrial buffering of Ca(2+) in the absence of cyclophilin D was maintained throughout disease course and was associated with improved mitochondrial ATP synthesis, reduced mitochondrial swelling, and retention of normal morphology. This was accompanied by an attenuation of glial activation, reduction in levels of misfolded SOD1 aggregates in the spinal cord, and a significant suppression of motor neuron death throughout disease. Despite this, muscle denervation, motor axon degeneration, and disease progression and survival were unaffected, thereby eliminating mutant SOD1-mediated loss of mitochondrial Ca(2+) buffering capacity, altered mitochondrial morphology, motor neuron death, and misfolded SOD1 aggregates, as primary contributors to disease mechanism for fatal paralysis in these models of familial ALS.

  12. Enhanced GABA action on the substantia gelatinosa neurons of the medullary dorsal horn in the offspring of streptozotocin-injected mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Hoang Thi Thanh; Bhattarai, Janardhan Prasad; Park, Soo Joung; Lee, Jeong Chae; Cho, Dong Hyu; Han, Seong Kyu

    2015-07-01

    Peripheral neuropathy is a frequent complication of diabetes mellitus and a common symptom of neuropathic pain, the mechanism of which is complex and involves both peripheral and central components of the sensory system. The lamina II of the medullary dorsal horn, called the substantia gelatinosa (SG), is well known to be a critical site for processing of orofacial nociceptive information. Although there have been a number of studies done on diabetic neuropathy related to the orofacial region, the action of neurotransmitter receptors on SG neurons in the diabetic state is not yet fully understood. Therefore, we used the whole-cell patch clamp technique to investigate this alteration on SG neurons in both streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice and offspring from diabetic female mice. STZ (200 mg/kg)-injected mice showed a small decrease in body weight and a significant increase in blood glucose level when compared with their respective control group. However, application of different concentrations of glycine, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate on SG neurons from STZ-injected mice did not induce any significant differences in inward currents when compared to their control counterparts. On the other hand, the offspring of diabetic female mice (induced by multiple injections of STZ (40 mg/kg) for 5 consecutive days) led to a significant decrease in both body weight and blood glucose level compared to the control offspring. Glycine and glutamate responses in the SG neurons of the offspring from diabetic female mice were similar to those of control offspring. However, the GABA response in SG neurons of offspring from diabetic female mice was greater than that of control offspring. Furthermore, the GABA-mediated responses in offspring from diabetic and control mice were examined at different concentrations ranging from 3 to 1,000 μM. At each concentration, the GABA-induced mean inward currents in the SG neurons of offspring from diabetic female mice were

  13. A new enhanced index tracking model in portfolio optimization with sum weighted approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siew, Lam Weng; Jaaman, Saiful Hafizah; Hoe, Lam Weng

    2017-04-01

    Index tracking is a portfolio management which aims to construct the optimal portfolio to achieve similar return with the benchmark index return at minimum tracking error without purchasing all the stocks that make up the index. Enhanced index tracking is an improved portfolio management which aims to generate higher portfolio return than the benchmark index return besides minimizing the tracking error. The objective of this paper is to propose a new enhanced index tracking model with sum weighted approach to improve the existing index tracking model for tracking the benchmark Technology Index in Malaysia. The optimal portfolio composition and performance of both models are determined and compared in terms of portfolio mean return, tracking error and information ratio. The results of this study show that the optimal portfolio of the proposed model is able to generate higher mean return than the benchmark index at minimum tracking error. Besides that, the proposed model is able to outperform the existing model in tracking the benchmark index. The significance of this study is to propose a new enhanced index tracking model with sum weighted apporach which contributes 67% improvement on the portfolio mean return as compared to the existing model.

  14. Modeling the heterogeneous traffic correlations in urban road systems using traffic-enhanced community detection approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Feng; Liu, Kang; Duan, Yingying; Cheng, Shifen; Du, Fei

    2018-07-01

    A better characterization of the traffic influence among urban roads is crucial for traffic control and traffic forecasting. The existence of spatial heterogeneity imposes great influence on modeling the extent and degree of road traffic correlation, which is usually neglected by the traditional distance based method. In this paper, we propose a traffic-enhanced community detection approach to spatially reveal the traffic correlation in city road networks. First, the road network is modeled as a traffic-enhanced dual graph with the closeness between two road segments determined not only by their topological connection, but also by the traffic correlation between them. Then a flow-based community detection algorithm called Infomap is utilized to identify the road segment clusters. Evaluated by Moran's I, Calinski-Harabaz Index and the traffic interpolation application, we find that compared to the distance based method and the community based method, our proposed traffic-enhanced community based method behaves better in capturing the extent of traffic relevance as both the topological structure of the road network and the traffic correlations among urban roads are considered. It can be used in more traffic-related applications, such as traffic forecasting, traffic control and guidance.

  15. Firing dynamics of an autaptic neuron

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Heng-Tong; Chen Yong

    2015-01-01

    Autapses are synapses that connect a neuron to itself in the nervous system. Previously, both experimental and theoretical studies have demonstrated that autaptic connections in the nervous system have a significant physiological function. Autapses in nature provide self-delayed feedback, thus introducing an additional timescale to neuronal activities and causing many dynamic behaviors in neurons. Recently, theoretical studies have revealed that an autapse provides a control option for adjusting the response of a neuron: e.g., an autaptic connection can cause the electrical activities of the Hindmarsh–Rose neuron to switch between quiescent, periodic, and chaotic firing patterns; an autapse can enhance or suppress the mode-locking status of a neuron injected with sinusoidal current; and the firing frequency and interspike interval distributions of the response spike train can also be modified by the autapse. In this paper, we review recent studies that showed how an autapse affects the response of a single neuron. (topical review)

  16. Chitosan and chitosan chlorhydrate based various approaches for enhancement of dissolution rate of carvedilol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shete Amol S

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background and the purpose of the study Carvedilol nonselective β-adrenoreceptor blocker, chemically (±-1-(Carbazol-4-yloxy-3-[[2-(o-methoxypHenoxy ethyl] amino]-2-propanol, slightly soluble in ethyl ether; and practically insoluble in water, gastric fluid (simulated, TS, pH 1.1, and intestinal fluid (simulated, TS without pancreatin, pH 7.5 Compounds with aqueous solubility less than 1% W/V often represents dissolution rate limited absorption. There is need to enhance the dissolution rate of carvedilol. The objective of our present investigation was to compare chitosan and chitosan chlorhydrate based various approaches for enhancement of dissolution rate of carvedilol. Methods The different formulations were prepared by different methods like solvent change approach to prepare hydrosols, solvent evaporation technique to form solid dispersions and cogrind mixtures. The prepared formulations were characterized in terms of saturation solubility, drug content, infrared spectroscopy (FTIR, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC, powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD, electron microscopy, in vitro dissolution studies and stability studies. Results The practical yield in case of hydrosols was ranged from 59.76 to 92.32%. The drug content was found to uniform among the different batches of hydrosols, cogrind mixture and solid dispersions ranged from 98.24 to 99.89%. There was significant improvement in dissolution rate of carvedilol with chitosan chlorhdyrate as compare to chitosan and explanation to this behavior was found in the differences in the wetting, solubilities and swelling capacity of the chitosan and chitosan salts, chitosan chlorhydrate rapidly wet and dissolve upon its incorporation into the dissolution medium, whereas the chitosan base, less water soluble, would take more time to dissolve. Conclusion This technique is scalable and valuable in manufacturing process in future for enhancement of dissolution of poorly water soluble

  17. Unequal Probability Marking Approach to Enhance Security of Traceback Scheme in Tree-Based WSNs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Changqin; Ma, Ming; Liu, Xiao; Liu, Anfeng; Zuo, Zhengbang

    2017-06-17

    Fog (from core to edge) computing is a newly emerging computing platform, which utilizes a large number of network devices at the edge of a network to provide ubiquitous computing, thus having great development potential. However, the issue of security poses an important challenge for fog computing. In particular, the Internet of Things (IoT) that constitutes the fog computing platform is crucial for preserving the security of a huge number of wireless sensors, which are vulnerable to attack. In this paper, a new unequal probability marking approach is proposed to enhance the security performance of logging and migration traceback (LM) schemes in tree-based wireless sensor networks (WSNs). The main contribution of this paper is to overcome the deficiency of the LM scheme that has a higher network lifetime and large storage space. In the unequal probability marking logging and migration (UPLM) scheme of this paper, different marking probabilities are adopted for different nodes according to their distances to the sink. A large marking probability is assigned to nodes in remote areas (areas at a long distance from the sink), while a small marking probability is applied to nodes in nearby area (areas at a short distance from the sink). This reduces the consumption of storage and energy in addition to enhancing the security performance, lifetime, and storage capacity. Marking information will be migrated to nodes at a longer distance from the sink for increasing the amount of stored marking information, thus enhancing the security performance in the process of migration. The experimental simulation shows that for general tree-based WSNs, the UPLM scheme proposed in this paper can store 1.12-1.28 times the amount of stored marking information that the equal probability marking approach achieves, and has 1.15-1.26 times the storage utilization efficiency compared with other schemes.

  18. Neurons other than motor neurons in motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruffoli, Riccardo; Biagioni, Francesca; Busceti, Carla L; Gaglione, Anderson; Ryskalin, Larisa; Gambardella, Stefano; Frati, Alessandro; Fornai, Francesco

    2017-11-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is typically defined by a loss of motor neurons in the central nervous system. Accordingly, morphological analysis for decades considered motor neurons (in the cortex, brainstem and spinal cord) as the neuronal population selectively involved in ALS. Similarly, this was considered the pathological marker to score disease severity ex vivo both in patients and experimental models. However, the concept of non-autonomous motor neuron death was used recently to indicate the need for additional cell types to produce motor neuron death in ALS. This means that motor neuron loss occurs only when they are connected with other cell types. This concept originally emphasized the need for resident glia as well as non-resident inflammatory cells. Nowadays, the additional role of neurons other than motor neurons emerged in the scenario to induce non-autonomous motor neuron death. In fact, in ALS neurons diverse from motor neurons are involved. These cells play multiple roles in ALS: (i) they participate in the chain of events to produce motor neuron loss; (ii) they may even degenerate more than and before motor neurons. In the present manuscript evidence about multi-neuronal involvement in ALS patients and experimental models is discussed. Specific sub-classes of neurons in the whole spinal cord are reported either to degenerate or to trigger neuronal degeneration, thus portraying ALS as a whole spinal cord disorder rather than a disease affecting motor neurons solely. This is associated with a novel concept in motor neuron disease which recruits abnormal mechanisms of cell to cell communication.

  19. Biotechnological Approaches to Enhance Halotolerance and Photosynthetic Efficacy in the Cyanobacterium, Fremyella diplosiphon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabatabai, Ben

    Growing concerns over dwindling energy supplies linked to nonrenewable fossil fuels have driven profound interest in biofuels as a clean and sustainable alternative. Cyanobacteria are a promising source of third-generation biofuel due to their fast generation time and high net biomass conversion. In this study, the effect of salinity stress on Fremyella diplosiphon, a model organism for studying photosynthetic pathways, was investigated and nanobiotechnological approaches undertaken to enhance its halotolerance and photosynthetic efficacy. Heat-induced mutagenesis resulted in a mutant strain that could survive in 20 g L-1 sodium chloride (NaCl) with no loss in pigmentation. To further enhance F. diplosiphon halotolerance, expression plasmids harboring the hlyB and mdh genes were overexpressed in the wild type resulting in two transformants that thrived in 35 g L-1 NaCl, the average salinity of sea water. In addition, no significant reduction in photosynthetic efficacy was detected in the halotolerant strains relative to the wild type. Total lipid content and fatty acid methyl ester composition of wild type and halotolerant strains were assessed for their potential as a production-scale biofuel agent. Methyl palmitate, the methyl ester of hexodeconoate (C16:0), was found to be most abundant in the wild type and transformants accounting for 60-70% of total FAMEs produced. Efforts to enhance the photosynthetic efficiency of the strains revealed that gold nanoparticle-derived surface plasmon resonance augmented culture growth and pigment accumulation. Cell-nanoparticles interactions were visualized using scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Our findings address two key challenges that cyanobacterial biofuel agents need to overcome: enhanced halotolerance and photosynthetic efficacy to minimize freshwater input and artificial light supply. These innovations have paved the way for an efficient cyanobacterial cultivation system for large-scale production of

  20. Attitudes Toward Combining Psychological, Mind-Body Therapies and Nutritional Approaches for the Enhancement of Mood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lores, Taryn Jade; Henke, Miriam; Chur-Hansen, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Context • Interest has been rising in the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for the promotion of health and treatment of disease. To date, the majority of CAM research has focused on exploring the demographic characteristics, attitudes, and motivations of CAM users and on the efficacy of different therapies and products. Less is known with respect to the psychological characteristics of people who use CAM. Previous research has not investigated the usefulness of integrating mind-body therapies with natural products in a combined mood intervention. Objective • The study intended to investigate attitudes toward a proposed new approach to the treatment of mood, one that integrates psychological mind-body therapies and natural nutritional products. Design • Participants completed an online survey covering demographics, personality traits, locus of control, use of CAM, attitudes toward the proposed psychonutritional approach, and mood. Setting • This study was conducted at the University of Adelaide School of Psychology (Adelaide, SA, Australia). Participants • Participants were 333 members of the Australian general public, who were recruited online via the social-media platform Facebook. The majority were women (83.2%), aged between 18 and 81 y. Outcome Measures • Measures included the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale Form B, the Ten-Item Personality Inventory, and the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale. Results • Participants were positive about the proposed approach and were likely to try it to enhance their moods. The likeliness of use of the combined approach was significantly higher in the female participants and was associated with higher levels of the personality trait openness and an internal health locus of control, after controlling for all other variables. Conclusions • Interest exists for an intervention for mood that incorporates both psychological and nutritional approaches. Further research into the

  1. Single-cell axotomy of cultured hippocampal neurons integrated in neuronal circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomis-Rüth, Susana; Stiess, Michael; Wierenga, Corette J; Meyn, Liane; Bradke, Frank

    2014-05-01

    An understanding of the molecular mechanisms of axon regeneration after injury is key for the development of potential therapies. Single-cell axotomy of dissociated neurons enables the study of the intrinsic regenerative capacities of injured axons. This protocol describes how to perform single-cell axotomy on dissociated hippocampal neurons containing synapses. Furthermore, to axotomize hippocampal neurons integrated in neuronal circuits, we describe how to set up coculture with a few fluorescently labeled neurons. This approach allows axotomy of single cells in a complex neuronal network and the observation of morphological and molecular changes during axon regeneration. Thus, single-cell axotomy of mature neurons is a valuable tool for gaining insights into cell intrinsic axon regeneration and the plasticity of neuronal polarity of mature neurons. Dissociation of the hippocampus and plating of hippocampal neurons takes ∼2 h. Neurons are then left to grow for 2 weeks, during which time they integrate into neuronal circuits. Subsequent axotomy takes 10 min per neuron and further imaging takes 10 min per neuron.

  2. Neuronal Differentiation Modulated by Polymeric Membrane Properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morelli, Sabrina; Piscioneri, Antonella; Drioli, Enrico; De Bartolo, Loredana

    2017-01-01

    In this study, different collagen-blend membranes were successfully constructed by blending collagen with chitosan (CHT) or poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) to enhance their properties and thus create new biofunctional materials with great potential use for neuronal tissue engineering and regeneration. Collagen blending strongly affected membrane properties in the following ways: (i) it improved the surface hydrophilicity of both pure CHT and PLGA membranes, (ii) it reduced the stiffness of CHT membranes, but (iii) it did not modify the good mechanical properties of PLGA membranes. Then, we investigated the effect of the different collagen concentrations on the neuronal behavior of the membranes developed. Morphological observations, immunocytochemistry, and morphometric measures demonstrated that the membranes developed, especially CHT/Col30, PLGA, and PLGA/Col1, provided suitable microenvironments for neuronal growth owing to their enhanced properties. The most consistent neuronal differentiation was obtained in neurons cultured on PLGA-based membranes, where a well-developed neuronal network was achieved due to their improved mechanical properties. Our findings suggest that tensile strength and elongation at break are key material parameters that have potential influence on both axonal elongation and neuronal structure and organization, which are of fundamental importance for the maintenance of efficient neuronal growth. Hence, our study has provided new insights regarding the effects of membrane mechanical properties on neuronal behavior, and thus it may help to design and improve novel instructive biomaterials for neuronal tissue engineering. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  3. Estrogen enhances expression of the complement C5a receptor and the C5a-agonist evoked calcium influx in hormone secreting neurons of the hypothalamus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farkas, Imre; Varju, Patricia; Szabo, Emese; Hrabovszky, Erik; Okada, Noriko; Okada, Hidechika; Liposits, Zsolt

    2008-01-01

    In the present study we examined presence of the complement C5a receptor (C5aR) in hypothalamic neurosecretory neurons of the rodent brain and effect of estrogen on C5aR expression. Whole cell patch clamp measurements revealed that magnocellular neurons in the supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei of hypothalamic slices of the rats responded to the C5aR-agonist PL37-MAP peptide with calcium ion current pulses. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) producing neurons in slices of the preoptic area of the mice also reacted to the peptide treatment with inward calcium current. PL37-MAP was able to evoke the inward ion current of GnRH neurons in slices from ovariectomized animals. The amplitude of the inward pulses became higher in slices obtained from 17beta-estradiol (E2) substituted mice. Calcium imaging experiments demonstrated that PL37-MAP increased the intracellular calcium content in the culture of the GnRH-producing GT1-7 cell line in a concentration-dependent manner. Calcium imaging also showed that E2 pretreatment elevated the PL37-MAP evoked increase of the intracellular calcium content in the GT1-7 cells. The estrogen receptor blocker Faslodex in the medium prevented the E2-evoked increase of the PL37-MAP-triggered elevation of the intracellular calcium content in the GT1-7 cells demonstrating that the effect of E2 might be related to the presence of estrogen receptor. Real-time PCR experiments revealed that E2 increased the expression of C5aR mRNA in GT1-7 neurons, suggesting that an increased C5aR synthesis could be involved in the estrogenic modulation of calcium response. These data indicate that hypothalamic neuroendocrine neurons can integrate immune and neuroendocrine functions. Our results may serve a better understanding of the inflammatory and neurodegeneratory diseases of the hypothalamus and the related neuroendocrine and autonomic compensatory responses.

  4. Ensemble of Chaotic and Naive Approaches for Performance Enhancement in Video Encryption

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeyamala Chandrasekaran

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Owing to the growth of high performance network technologies, multimedia applications over the Internet are increasing exponentially. Applications like video conferencing, video-on-demand, and pay-per-view depend upon encryption algorithms for providing confidentiality. Video communication is characterized by distinct features such as large volume, high redundancy between adjacent frames, video codec compliance, syntax compliance, and application specific requirements. Naive approaches for video encryption encrypt the entire video stream with conventional text based cryptographic algorithms. Although naive approaches are the most secure for video encryption, the computational cost associated with them is very high. This research work aims at enhancing the speed of naive approaches through chaos based S-box design. Chaotic equations are popularly known for randomness, extreme sensitivity to initial conditions, and ergodicity. The proposed methodology employs two-dimensional discrete Henon map for (i generation of dynamic and key-dependent S-box that could be integrated with symmetric algorithms like Blowfish and Data Encryption Standard (DES and (ii generation of one-time keys for simple substitution ciphers. The proposed design is tested for randomness, nonlinearity, avalanche effect, bit independence criterion, and key sensitivity. Experimental results confirm that chaos based S-box design and key generation significantly reduce the computational cost of video encryption with no compromise in security.

  5. Enhanced electrokinetic remediation of lead-contaminated soil by complexing agents and approaching anodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Tao; Zou, Hua; Ji, Minhui; Li, Xiaolin; Li, Liqiao; Tang, Tang

    2014-02-01

    Optimizing process parameters that affect the remediation time and power consumption can improve the treatment efficiency of the electrokinetic remediation as well as determine the cost of a remediation action. Lab-scale electrokinetic remediation of Pb-contaminated soils was investigated for the effect of complexant ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and acetic acid and approaching anode on the removal efficiency of Pb. When EDTA was added to the catholyte, EDTA dissolved insoluble Pb in soils to form soluble Pb-EDTA complexes, increasing Pb mobility and accordingly removal efficiency. The removal efficiency was enhanced from 47.8 to 61.5 % when the EDTA concentration was increased from 0.1 to 0.2 M, showing that EDTA played an important role in remediation. And the migration rate of Pb was increased to 72.3 % when both EDTA and acetic acid were used in the catholyte. The "approaching anode electrokinetic remediation" process in the presence of both EDTA and acetic acid had a higher Pb-removal efficiency with an average efficiency of 83.8 %. The efficiency of electrokinetic remediation was closely related to Pb speciation. Exchangeable and carbonate-bounded Pb were likely the forms which could be removed. All results indicate that the approaching anode method in the presence of EDTA and acetic acid is an advisable choice for electrokinetic remediation of Pb-contaminated soil.

  6. An innovative approach to enhance methane hydrate formation kinetics with leucine for energy storage application

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Veluswamy, Hari Prakash; Kumar, Asheesh; Kumar, Rajnish; Linga, Praveen

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • Innovative combinatorial hybrid approach to reduce nucleation stochasticity and enhance hydrate growth. • Methane hydrate growth curves are similar in UTR and STR configurations in presence of leucine. • Amalgamation of stirred (STR) and unstirred (UTR) configuration is demonstrated. • Reliable method for scale up and commercial production of Solidified Natural Gas (SNG). - Abstract: Natural gas storage in clathrate hydrates or solidified natural gas (SNG) offers the safest, cleanest and the most compact mode of storage aided by the relative ease in natural gas (NG) recovery with minimal cost compared to known conventional methods of NG storage. The stochastic nature of hydrate nucleation and the slow kinetics of hydrate growth are major challenges that needs to be addressed on the SNG production side. A deterministic and fast nucleation coupled with rapid crystallization kinetics would empower this beneficial technology for commercial application. We propose a hybrid combinatorial approach of methane hydrate formation utilizing the beneficial aspect of environmentally benign amino acid (leucine) as a kinetic promoter by combining stirred and unstirred reactor operation. This hybrid approach is simple, can easily be implemented and scaled-up to develop an economical SNG technology for efficient storage of natural gas on a large scale. Added benefits include the minimal energy requirement during hydrate growth resulting in overall cost reduction for SNG technology.

  7. An enhanced nonlinear damping approach accounting for system constraints in active mass dampers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venanzi, Ilaria; Ierimonti, Laura; Ubertini, Filippo

    2015-11-01

    Active mass dampers are a viable solution for mitigating wind-induced vibrations in high-rise buildings and improve occupants' comfort. Such devices suffer particularly when they reach force saturation of the actuators and maximum extension of their stroke, which may occur in case of severe loading conditions (e.g. wind gust and earthquake). Exceeding actuators' physical limits can impair the control performance of the system or even lead to devices damage, with consequent need for repair or substitution of part of the control system. Controllers for active mass dampers should account for their technological limits. Prior work of the authors was devoted to stroke issues and led to the definition of a nonlinear damping approach, very easy to implement in practice. It consisted of a modified skyhook algorithm complemented with a nonlinear braking force to reverse the direction of the mass before reaching the stroke limit. This paper presents an enhanced version of this approach, also accounting for force saturation of the actuator and keeping the simplicity of implementation. This is achieved by modulating the control force by a nonlinear smooth function depending on the ratio between actuator's force and saturation limit. Results of a numerical investigation show that the proposed approach provides similar results to the method of the State Dependent Riccati Equation, a well-established technique for designing optimal controllers for constrained systems, yet very difficult to apply in practice.

  8. Directed neuronal differentiation of human embryonic stem cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noggle Scott A

    2003-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We have developed a culture system for the efficient and directed differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (HESCs to neural precursors and neurons. HESC were maintained by manual passaging and were differentiated to a morphologically distinct OCT-4+/SSEA-4- monolayer cell type prior to the derivation of embryoid bodies. Embryoid bodies were grown in suspension in serum free conditions, in the presence of 50% conditioned medium from the human hepatocarcinoma cell line HepG2 (MedII. Results A neural precursor population was observed within HESC derived serum free embryoid bodies cultured in MedII conditioned medium, around 7–10 days after derivation. The neural precursors were organized into rosettes comprised of a central cavity surrounded by ring of cells, 4 to 8 cells in width. The central cells within rosettes were proliferating, as indicated by the presence of condensed mitotic chromosomes and by phosphoHistone H3 immunostaining. When plated and maintained in adherent culture, the rosettes of neural precursors were surrounded by large interwoven networks of neurites. Immunostaining demonstrated the expression of nestin in rosettes and associated non-neuronal cell types, and a radial expression of Map-2 in rosettes. Differentiated neurons expressed the markers Map-2 and Neurofilament H, and a subpopulation of the neurons expressed tyrosine hydroxylase, a marker for dopaminergic neurons. Conclusion This novel directed differentiation approach led to the efficient derivation of neuronal cultures from HESCs, including the differentiation of tyrosine hydroxylase expressing neurons. HESC were morphologically differentiated to a monolayer OCT-4+ cell type, which was used to derive embryoid bodies directly into serum free conditions. Exposure to the MedII conditioned medium enhanced the derivation of neural precursors, the first example of the effect of this conditioned medium on HESC.

  9. Metabolic approaches to enhance transdermal drug delivery. 1. Effect of lipid synthesis inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, J C; Guy, R H; Thornfeldt, C R; Gao, W N; Feingold, K R; Elias, P M

    1996-06-01

    application of conventional, chemical penetration enhancers, cause a further boost in drug delivery, attributable to the ability of these agents to alter both permeability barrier homeostasis and thermodynamics. This biochemical/metabolic approach provides a novel means to enhance transdermal drug delivery in conjunction with the concurrent or prior use of chemical enhancers.

  10. Enhanced Flight Vision Systems and Synthetic Vision Systems for NextGen Approach and Landing Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, Lynda J.; Bailey, Randall E.; Ellis, Kyle K. E.; Williams, Steven P.; Arthur, Jarvis J., III; Prinzel, Lawrence J., III; Shelton, Kevin J.

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic Vision Systems and Enhanced Flight Vision System (SVS/EFVS) technologies have the potential to provide additional margins of safety for aircrew performance and enable operational improvements for low visibility operations in the terminal area environment with equivalent efficiency as visual operations. To meet this potential, research is needed for effective technology development and implementation of regulatory standards and design guidance to support introduction and use of SVS/EFVS advanced cockpit vision technologies in Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) operations. A fixed-base pilot-in-the-loop simulation test was conducted at NASA Langley Research Center that evaluated the use of SVS/EFVS in NextGen low visibility approach and landing operations. Twelve crews flew approach and landing operations in a simulated NextGen Chicago O'Hare environment. Various scenarios tested the potential for using EFVS to conduct approach, landing, and roll-out operations in visibility as low as 1000 feet runway visual range (RVR). Also, SVS was tested to evaluate the potential for lowering decision heights (DH) on certain instrument approach procedures below what can be flown today. Expanding the portion of the visual segment in which EFVS can be used in lieu of natural vision from 100 feet above the touchdown zone elevation to touchdown and rollout in visibilities as low as 1000 feet RVR appears to be viable as touchdown performance was acceptable without any apparent workload penalties. A lower DH of 150 feet and/or possibly reduced visibility minima using SVS appears to be viable when implemented on a Head-Up Display, but the landing data suggests further study for head-down implementations.

  11. An enhanced approach for biomedical image restoration using image fusion techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karam, Ghada Sabah; Abbas, Fatma Ismail; Abood, Ziad M.; Kadhim, Kadhim K.; Karam, Nada S.

    2018-05-01

    Biomedical image is generally noisy and little blur due to the physical mechanisms of the acquisition process, so one of the common degradations in biomedical image is their noise and poor contrast. The idea of biomedical image enhancement is to improve the quality of the image for early diagnosis. In this paper we are using Wavelet Transformation to remove the Gaussian noise from biomedical images: Positron Emission Tomography (PET) image and Radiography (Radio) image, in different color spaces (RGB, HSV, YCbCr), and we perform the fusion of the denoised images resulting from the above denoising techniques using add image method. Then some quantive performance metrics such as signal -to -noise ratio (SNR), peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR), and Mean Square Error (MSE), etc. are computed. Since this statistical measurement helps in the assessment of fidelity and image quality. The results showed that our approach can be applied of Image types of color spaces for biomedical images.

  12. A System on Chip approach to enhanced learning in interdisciplinary robotics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Anders Stengaard; Falsig, Simon

    2011-01-01

    the framework in an embedded systems course and various student projects, and have found that it greatly enhance the students abilities to control hardware from software, and dramatically reduce the time spent on software $\\leftrightarrow$ hardware interfacing. As the framework is also scalable, it can support......p, li { white-space: pre-wrap; } To sustain interdisciplinary teaching and learning in the rapidly growing and diversifying field of robotics, we have successfully employed FPGA based System on Chip (SoC) technology to provide abstraction between high level software and low level IO/ and control...... hardware. Our approach is to provides students with a simple FPGA based framework for hardware access, and hardware I/O development, which is independent of computer platform and programming language, and enable the students to add to, or change I/O hardware in accordance with their skills. We have tested...

  13. Metabolomic approach to identifying bioactive compounds in berries: advances toward fruit nutritional enhancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Derek; McDougall, Gordon J; Sungurtas, Julie; Verrall, Susan; Graham, Julie; Martinussen, Inger

    2007-06-01

    Plant polyphenolics continue to be the focus of attention with regard to their putative impact on human health. An increasing and ageing human population means that the focus on nutrition and nutritional enhancement or optimisation of our foodstuffs is paramount. Using the raspberry as a model, we have shown how modern metabolic profiling approaches can be used to identify the changes in the level of beneficial polyphenolics in fruit breeding segregating populations and how the level of these components is determined by genetic and/or environmental control. Interestingly, the vitamin C content appeared to be significantly influenced by environment (growth conditions) whilst the content of the polyphenols such as cyanidin, pelargonidin and quercetin glycosides appeared much more tightly regulated, suggesting a rigorous genetic control. Preliminary metabolic profiling showed that the fruit polyphenolic profiles divided into two gross groups segregating on the basis of relative levels of cyanidin-3-sophoroside and cyanidin-3-rutinoside, compounds implicated as conferring human health benefits.

  14. The Impacts of 'Problem-Based Learning’ Approach in Enhancing Critical Thinking Skills to Teaching Literature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mairas Abd Rahman

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Teaching can be challenging task especially when the students are categorized as reluctant readers, low self-motivated and lack of critical thinking skills. Therefore, this study focuses on a successful problem-based learning approach on university course called ‘Literature for Language Purposes' taken by Bachelor of English with Communication students at a local Malaysian university. The aim of this study is to investigate the impacts of carrying out problem-based learning in teaching literature. The project involved 55 undergraduates and part of their major course assignments was to organize and participate in an annual English language drama competition. The data was collected through students’ reflective journals, researchers’ reflective journals, response from end of semester questionnaire given and, lecturers’ evaluation on FILA tables. The findings show that problem-based learning is suitable and beneficial in teaching and enhancing critical thinking skills.

  15. Campus Sexual Misconduct: Restorative Justice Approaches to Enhance Compliance With Title IX Guidance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koss, Mary P; Wilgus, Jay K; Williamsen, Kaaren M

    2014-07-01

    Campus response to sexual violence is increasingly governed by federal law and administrative guidance such as the 1972 Title IX, the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), and the 2013 Violence Against Women Act. Educational institutions are directed to expand disciplinary responses and establish coordinated action to eliminate sexual violence and remedy its effects. Compliance fosters a quasi-criminal justice approach not suited to all sexual misconduct and inconsistent with developing practice in student conduct management. This article envisions restorative justice (RJ) enhancements to traditional student conduct processes that maintain compliance, expand options, empower victim choice, and increase responsiveness to DCL aims. The article (1) defines sexual violence and sexual harassment within the DCL scope, (2) elaborates the DCL position on permissible alternative resolutions and differentiates mediation from RJ, (3) sequences action steps from case report to finalization, including both restorative and traditional justice pathways; and (4) discusses building support for innovation beginning with existing campus response. © The Author(s) 2014.

  16. Detection of small surface defects using DCT based enhancement approach in machine vision systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Fuqiang; Wang, Wen; Chen, Zichen

    2005-12-01

    Utilizing DCT based enhancement approach, an improved small defect detection algorithm for real-time leather surface inspection was developed. A two-stage decomposition procedure was proposed to extract an odd-odd frequency matrix after a digital image has been transformed to DCT domain. Then, the reverse cumulative sum algorithm was proposed to detect the transition points of the gentle curves plotted from the odd-odd frequency matrix. The best radius of the cutting sector was computed in terms of the transition points and the high-pass filtering operation was implemented. The filtered image was then inversed and transformed back to the spatial domain. Finally, the restored image was segmented by an entropy method and some defect features are calculated. Experimental results show the proposed small defect detection method can reach the small defect detection rate by 94%.

  17. A Visual Arts Education pedagogical approach for enhancing quality of life for persons with dementia (innovative practice).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tietyen, Ann C; Richards, Allan G

    2017-01-01

    A new and innovative pedagogical approach that administers hands-on visual arts activities to persons with dementia based on the field of Visual Arts Education is reported in this paper. The aims of this approach are to enhance cognition and improve quality of life. These aims were explored in a small qualitative study with eight individuals with moderate dementia, and the results are published as a thesis. In this paper, we summarize and report the results of this small qualitative study and expand upon the rationale for the Visual Arts Education pedagogical approach that has shown promise for enhancing cognitive processes and improving quality of life for persons with dementia.

  18. A Relationship between Reduced Nucleus Accumbens Shell and Enhanced Lateral Hypothalamic Orexin Neuronal Activation in Long-Term Fructose Bingeing Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rorabaugh, Jacki M.; Stratford, Jennifer M.; Zahniser, Nancy R.

    2014-01-01

    Fructose accounts for 10% of daily calories in the American diet. Fructose, but not glucose, given intracerebroventricularly stimulates homeostatic feeding mechanisms within the hypothalamus; however, little is known about how fructose affects hedonic feeding centers. Repeated ingestion of sucrose, a disaccharide of fructose and glucose, increases neuronal activity in hedonic centers, the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core, but not the hypothalamus. Rats given glucose in the intermittent access model (IAM) display signatures of hedonic feeding including bingeing and altered DA receptor (R) numbers within the NAc. Here we examined whether substituting fructose for glucose in this IAM produces bingeing behavior, alters DA Rs and activates hedonic and homeostatic feeding centers. Following long-term (21-day) exposure to the IAM, rats given 8–12% fructose solutions displayed fructose bingeing but unaltered DA D1R or D2R number. Fructose bingeing rats, as compared to chow bingeing controls, exhibited reduced NAc shell neuron activation, as determined by c-Fos-immunoreactivity (Fos-IR). This activation was negatively correlated with orexin (Orx) neuron activation in the lateral hypothalamus/perifornical area (LH/PeF), a brain region linking homeostatic to hedonic feeding centers. Following short-term (2-day) access to the IAM, rats exhibited bingeing but unchanged Fos-IR, suggesting only long-term fructose bingeing increases Orx release. In long-term fructose bingeing rats, pretreatment with the Ox1R antagonist SB-334867 (30 mg/kg; i.p.) equally reduced fructose bingeing and chow intake, resulting in a 50% reduction in calories. Similarly, in control rats, SB-334867 reduced chow/caloric intake by 60%. Thus, in the IAM, Ox1Rs appear to regulate feeding based on caloric content rather than palatability. Overall, our results, in combination with the literature, suggest individual monosaccharides activate distinct neuronal circuits to promote feeding behavior

  19. A relationship between reduced nucleus accumbens shell and enhanced lateral hypothalamic orexin neuronal activation in long-term fructose bingeing behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacki M Rorabaugh

    Full Text Available Fructose accounts for 10% of daily calories in the American diet. Fructose, but not glucose, given intracerebroventricularly stimulates homeostatic feeding mechanisms within the hypothalamus; however, little is known about how fructose affects hedonic feeding centers. Repeated ingestion of sucrose, a disaccharide of fructose and glucose, increases neuronal activity in hedonic centers, the nucleus accumbens (NAc shell and core, but not the hypothalamus. Rats given glucose in the intermittent access model (IAM display signatures of hedonic feeding including bingeing and altered DA receptor (R numbers within the NAc. Here we examined whether substituting fructose for glucose in this IAM produces bingeing behavior, alters DA Rs and activates hedonic and homeostatic feeding centers. Following long-term (21-day exposure to the IAM, rats given 8-12% fructose solutions displayed fructose bingeing but unaltered DA D1R or D2R number. Fructose bingeing rats, as compared to chow bingeing controls, exhibited reduced NAc shell neuron activation, as determined by c-Fos-immunoreactivity (Fos-IR. This activation was negatively correlated with orexin (Orx neuron activation in the lateral hypothalamus/perifornical area (LH/PeF, a brain region linking homeostatic to hedonic feeding centers. Following short-term (2-day access to the IAM, rats exhibited bingeing but unchanged Fos-IR, suggesting only long-term fructose bingeing increases Orx release. In long-term fructose bingeing rats, pretreatment with the Ox1R antagonist SB-334867 (30 mg/kg; i.p. equally reduced fructose bingeing and chow intake, resulting in a 50% reduction in calories. Similarly, in control rats, SB-334867 reduced chow/caloric intake by 60%. Thus, in the IAM, Ox1Rs appear to regulate feeding based on caloric content rather than palatability. Overall, our results, in combination with the literature, suggest individual monosaccharides activate distinct neuronal circuits to promote feeding behavior

  20. Nanostructured Tip-Shaped Biosensors: Application of Six Sigma Approach for Enhanced Manufacturing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahng, Seong-Joong; Kim, Jong-Hoon; Chung, Jae-Hyun

    2016-12-23

    Nanostructured tip-shaped biosensors have drawn attention for biomolecule detection as they are promising for highly sensitive and specific detection of a target analyte. Using a nanostructured tip, the sensitivity is increased to identify individual molecules because of the high aspect ratio structure. Various detection methods, such as electrochemistry, fluorescence microcopy, and Raman spectroscopy, have been attempted to enhance the sensitivity and the specificity. Due to the confined path of electrons, electrochemical measurement using a nanotip enables the detection of single molecules. When an electric field is combined with capillary action and fluid flow, target molecules can be effectively concentrated onto a nanotip surface for detection. To enhance the concentration efficacy, a dendritic nanotip rather than a single tip could be used to detect target analytes, such as nanoparticles, cells, and DNA. However, reproducible fabrication with relation to specific detection remains a challenge due to the instability of a manufacturing method, resulting in inconsistent shape. In this paper, nanostructured biosensors are reviewed with our experimental results using dendritic nanotips for sequence specific detection of DNA. By the aid of the Six Sigma approach, the fabrication yield of dendritic nanotips increases from 20.0% to 86.6%. Using the nanotips, DNA is concentrated and detected in a sequence specific way with the detection limit equivalent to 1000 CFU/mL. The pros and cons of a nanotip biosensor are evaluated in conjunction with future prospects.

  1. Cyclic Dipeptide Shuttles as a Novel Skin Penetration Enhancement Approach: Preliminary Evaluation with Diclofenac.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yousuf Mohammed

    Full Text Available This study demonstrates the effectiveness of a peptide shuttle in delivering diclofenac into and through human epidermis. Diclofenac was conjugated to a novel phenylalanyl-N-methyl-naphthalenylalanine-derived diketopiperazine (DKP shuttle and to TAT (a classical cell penetrating peptide, and topically applied to human epidermis in vitro. DKP and TAT effectively permeated into and through human epidermis. When conjugated to diclofenac, both DKP and TAT enhanced delivery into and through human epidermis, though DKP was significantly more effective. Penetration of diclofenac through human epidermis (to receptor was increased by conjugation to the peptide shuttle and cell penetrating peptide with enhancement of 6x by DKP-diclofenac and 3x by TAT-diclofenac. In addition, the amount of diclofenac retained within the epidermis was significantly increased by peptide conjugation. COX-2 inhibition activity of diclofenac was retained when conjugated to DKP. Our study suggests that the peptide shuttle approach may offer a new strategy for targeted delivery of small therapeutic and diagnostic molecules to the skin.

  2. Cyclic Dipeptide Shuttles as a Novel Skin Penetration Enhancement Approach: Preliminary Evaluation with Diclofenac

    Science.gov (United States)

    Namjoshi, Sarika; Giralt, Ernest; Benson, Heather

    2016-01-01

    This study demonstrates the effectiveness of a peptide shuttle in delivering diclofenac into and through human epidermis. Diclofenac was conjugated to a novel phenylalanyl-N-methyl-naphthalenylalanine-derived diketopiperazine (DKP) shuttle and to TAT (a classical cell penetrating peptide), and topically applied to human epidermis in vitro. DKP and TAT effectively permeated into and through human epidermis. When conjugated to diclofenac, both DKP and TAT enhanced delivery into and through human epidermis, though DKP was significantly more effective. Penetration of diclofenac through human epidermis (to receptor) was increased by conjugation to the peptide shuttle and cell penetrating peptide with enhancement of 6x by DKP-diclofenac and 3x by TAT-diclofenac. In addition, the amount of diclofenac retained within the epidermis was significantly increased by peptide conjugation. COX-2 inhibition activity of diclofenac was retained when conjugated to DKP. Our study suggests that the peptide shuttle approach may offer a new strategy for targeted delivery of small therapeutic and diagnostic molecules to the skin. PMID:27548780

  3. Towards realistic design of wind dams: An innovative approach to enhance wind potential

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tajeddin, Alireza; Fazelpour, Farivar

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • An innovative methodology to increase the wind potential. • Introducing new generation of wind dams and underground wind farms. • Reducing the environmental impacts of employing conventional wind farms. • An efficient method to employ low wind speeds. - Abstract: In an attempt to discover alternative energy sources to fossil fuels which are being depleted on the increase, Renewable Energy Sources (RES) have gained considerable attention in recent years. RESs are also represented as clean sources; emitting comparatively lower Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) emissions; thus, they are climate friendly. Among RESs, wind energy is one of the most abundant and increasingly cost-competitive energy resources, and it is becoming the fastest growing source of electricity in the world. Regarding the improvement of wind power, one of the key aspects that must be considered is achieving enhanced reliability and efficiency at once. In this paper, we introduced and applied an innovative method to make wind dam which is a new approach to wind farms’ site selection for production of electricity. The proposed method enhances the wind potential by means of a natural or artificial barrier such as a hill, and is supported by analytical expressions and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models. A systematic case study has been designed at a site near the city of Tehran, Iran, and an analytical method has been applied that includes meteorological data analysis, CFD modeling along with energy power and economic assessment.

  4. AgRP neurons regulate development of dopamine neuronal plasticity and nonfood-associated behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietrich, Marcelo O; Bober, Jeremy; Ferreira, Jozélia G; Tellez, Luis A; Mineur, Yann S; Souza, Diogo O; Gao, Xiao-Bing; Picciotto, Marina R; Araújo, Ivan; Liu, Zhong-Wu; Horvath, Tamas L

    2012-01-01

    It is not known whether behaviors unrelated to feeding are affected by hypothalamic regulators of hunger. We found that impairment of Agouti-related protein (AgRP) circuitry by either Sirt1 knockdown in AgRP-expressing neurons or early postnatal ablation of these neurons increased exploratory behavior and enhanced responses to cocaine. In AgRP circuit–impaired mice, ventral tegmental dopamine neurons exhibited enhanced spike timing–dependent long-term potentiation, altered amplitude of miniature postsynaptic currents and elevated dopamine in basal forebrain. Thus, AgRP neurons determine the set point of the reward circuitry and associated behaviors. PMID:22729177

  5. Altering neuronal excitability to preserve network connectivity in a computational model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Willem de Haan

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Neuronal hyperactivity and hyperexcitability of the cerebral cortex and hippocampal region is an increasingly observed phenomenon in preclinical Alzheimer's disease (AD. In later stages, oscillatory slowing and loss of functional connectivity are ubiquitous. Recent evidence suggests that neuronal dynamics have a prominent role in AD pathophysiology, making it a potentially interesting therapeutic target. However, although neuronal activity can be manipulated by various (non-pharmacological means, intervening in a highly integrated system that depends on complex dynamics can produce counterintuitive and adverse effects. Computational dynamic network modeling may serve as a virtual test ground for developing effective interventions. To explore this approach, a previously introduced large-scale neural mass network with human brain topology was used to simulate the temporal evolution of AD-like, activity-dependent network degeneration. In addition, six defense strategies that either enhanced or diminished neuronal excitability were tested against the degeneration process, targeting excitatory and inhibitory neurons combined or separately. Outcome measures described oscillatory, connectivity and topological features of the damaged networks. Over time, the various interventions produced diverse large-scale network effects. Contrary to our hypothesis, the most successful strategy was a selective stimulation of all excitatory neurons in the network; it substantially prolonged the preservation of network integrity. The results of this study imply that functional network damage due to pathological neuronal activity can be opposed by targeted adjustment of neuronal excitability levels. The present approach may help to explore therapeutic effects aimed at preserving or restoring neuronal network integrity and contribute to better-informed intervention choices in future clinical trials in AD.

  6. Enhancing Membrane Protein Identification Using a Simplified Centrifugation and Detergent-Based Membrane Extraction Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yanting; Gao, Jing; Zhu, Hongwen; Xu, Jingjing; He, Han; Gu, Lei; Wang, Hui; Chen, Jie; Ma, Danjun; Zhou, Hu; Zheng, Jing

    2018-02-20

    Membrane proteins may act as transporters, receptors, enzymes, and adhesion-anchors, accounting for nearly 70% of pharmaceutical drug targets. Difficulties in efficient enrichment, extraction, and solubilization still exist because of their relatively low abundance and poor solubility. A simplified membrane protein extraction approach with advantages of user-friendly sample processing procedures, good repeatability and significant effectiveness was developed in the current research for enhancing enrichment and identification of membrane proteins. This approach combining centrifugation and detergent along with LC-MS/MS successfully identified higher proportion of membrane proteins, integral proteins and transmembrane proteins in membrane fraction (76.6%, 48.1%, and 40.6%) than in total cell lysate (41.6%, 16.4%, and 13.5%), respectively. Moreover, our method tended to capture membrane proteins with high degree of hydrophobicity and number of transmembrane domains as 486 out of 2106 (23.0%) had GRAVY > 0 in membrane fraction, 488 out of 2106 (23.1%) had TMs ≥ 2. It also provided for improved identification of membrane proteins as more than 60.6% of the commonly identified membrane proteins in two cell samples were better identified in membrane fraction with higher sequence coverage. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD008456.

  7. Quantifying black carbon light absorption enhancement with a novel statistical approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Cheng; Wu, Dui; Zhen Yu, Jian

    2018-01-01

    Black carbon (BC) particles in the atmosphere can absorb more light when coated by non-absorbing or weakly absorbing materials during atmospheric aging, due to the lensing effect. In this study, the light absorption enhancement factor, Eabs, was quantified using a 1-year measurement of mass absorption efficiency (MAE) in the Pearl River Delta region (PRD). A new approach for calculating primary MAE (MAEp), the key for Eabs estimation, is demonstrated using the minimum R squared (MRS) method, exploring the inherent source independency between BC and its coating materials. A unique feature of Eabs estimation with the MRS approach is its insensitivity to systematic biases in elemental carbon (EC) and σabs measurements. The annual average Eabs550 is found to be 1.50 ± 0.48 (±1 SD) in the PRD region, exhibiting a clear seasonal pattern with higher values in summer and lower in winter. Elevated Eabs in the summertime is likely associated with aged air masses, predominantly of marine origin, along with long-range transport of biomass-burning-influenced air masses from Southeast Asia. Core-shell Mie simulations along with measured Eabs and absorption Ångström exponent (AAE) constraints suggest that in the PRD, the coating materials are unlikely to be dominated by brown carbon and the coating thickness is higher in the rainy season than in the dry season.

  8. QUALITY ENHANCEMENT IN MAINTENANCE PLANNING THROUGH NON-IDENTICAL FMECA APPROACHES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nilesh Pancholi

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to investigate the scope of reliability improvement of aluminium wire rolling mill. This paper addresses the performance reliability of continuous process industry of interest to many applications in maintenance planning where multi-attribute decision making (MADM approaches are very useful. The paper addresses the process of discriminating critical components through substantial shop-floor failure data. The research work narrates a method for evaluating risk priority number (RPN traditionally. Moreover, the maintainability criticality index (MCI for each failure cause of identified critical components is evaluated through two disparate MADM failure models: technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS and preference section index (PSI to overcome the limitations of more traditional approaches. The primary findings of this research work are to enhance quality in planning the maintenance activities of critical components of targeted process industry through traditional as well as non-traditional failure analysis models. The research work is focused on potential failure causes of critical components like; bearings, gears, and shafts of aluminium wire rolling mill which are commonly representing the most critical components in a large range of industrial processes including aluminium wires. The proposed work will illustrate the working lives of components and associated failures. It will help to elucidate maintenance issues of major process industries and recommended deliverable keys.

  9. Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Guided Biopsy of Undetermined Abdominal Lesions: A Multidisciplinary Decision-Making Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng Mao

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim. To investigate the value of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS guided biopsy of undetermined abdominal lesions in multidisciplinary treatment (MDT decision-making approach. Methods. Between Jan 2012 and Dec 2015, 60 consecutive patients (male, 37; female, 23; mean age, 51.3 years ± 14.6 who presented with undetermined abdominal lesions were included. CEUS and core needle percutaneous biopsy was performed under real-time CEUS guidance in all lesions. Data were recorded and compared with conventional ultrasound (US guidance group (n=75. All CEUS findings and clinical data were evaluated in MDT. Results. CEUS enabled the delimitation of more (88.3% versus 41.3% and larger (14.1 ± 10.7 mm versus 32.3 ± 18.5 mm nonenhanced necrotic areas. More inner (20.0% versus 6.7% and surrounding (18.3% versus 2.7% major vessels were visualized and avoided during biopsies. CEUS-guided biopsy increased the diagnostic accuracy from 93.3% to 98.3%, with correct diagnosis in 57 of 60 lesions (95.0%. The therapeutic plan was influenced by CEUS guided biopsies findings in the majority of patients (98.3%. Conclusion. The combination of CEUS guided biopsy and MDT decision-making approach is useful in the diagnostic work-up and therapeutic management.

  10. Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Guided Biopsy of Undetermined Abdominal Lesions: A Multidisciplinary Decision-Making Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Feng; Dong, Yi; Ji, Zhengbiao; Cao, Jiaying; Wang, Wen-Ping

    2017-01-01

    Aim. To investigate the value of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) guided biopsy of undetermined abdominal lesions in multidisciplinary treatment (MDT) decision-making approach. Methods. Between Jan 2012 and Dec 2015, 60 consecutive patients (male, 37; female, 23; mean age, 51.3 years ± 14.6) who presented with undetermined abdominal lesions were included. CEUS and core needle percutaneous biopsy was performed under real-time CEUS guidance in all lesions. Data were recorded and compared with conventional ultrasound (US) guidance group ( n = 75). All CEUS findings and clinical data were evaluated in MDT. Results. CEUS enabled the delimitation of more (88.3% versus 41.3%) and larger (14.1 ± 10.7 mm versus 32.3 ± 18.5 mm) nonenhanced necrotic areas. More inner (20.0% versus 6.7%) and surrounding (18.3% versus 2.7%) major vessels were visualized and avoided during biopsies. CEUS-guided biopsy increased the diagnostic accuracy from 93.3% to 98.3%, with correct diagnosis in 57 of 60 lesions (95.0%). The therapeutic plan was influenced by CEUS guided biopsies findings in the majority of patients (98.3%). Conclusion. The combination of CEUS guided biopsy and MDT decision-making approach is useful in the diagnostic work-up and therapeutic management.

  11. An Energy-Efficient Approach to Enhance Virtual Sensors Provisioning in Sensor Clouds Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemos, Marcus Vinícius de S; Filho, Raimir Holanda; Rabêlo, Ricardo de Andrade L; de Carvalho, Carlos Giovanni N; Mendes, Douglas Lopes de S; Costa, Valney da Gama

    2018-02-26

    Virtual sensors provisioning is a central issue for sensors cloud middleware since it is responsible for selecting physical nodes, usually from Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) of different owners, to handle user's queries or applications. Recent works perform provisioning by clustering sensor nodes based on the correlation measurements and then selecting as few nodes as possible to preserve WSN energy. However, such works consider only homogeneous nodes (same set of sensors). Therefore, those works are not entirely appropriate for sensor clouds, which in most cases comprises heterogeneous sensor nodes. In this paper, we propose ACxSIMv2, an approach to enhance the provisioning task by considering heterogeneous environments. Two main algorithms form ACxSIMv2. The first one, ACASIMv1, creates multi-dimensional clusters of sensor nodes, taking into account the measurements correlations instead of the physical distance between nodes like most works on literature. Then, the second algorithm, ACOSIMv2, based on an Ant Colony Optimization system, selects an optimal set of sensors nodes from to respond user's queries while attending all parameters and preserving the overall energy consumption. Results from initial experiments show that the approach reduces significantly the sensor cloud energy consumption compared to traditional works, providing a solution to be considered in sensor cloud scenarios.

  12. Quantifying black carbon light absorption enhancement with a novel statistical approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Wu

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Black carbon (BC particles in the atmosphere can absorb more light when coated by non-absorbing or weakly absorbing materials during atmospheric aging, due to the lensing effect. In this study, the light absorption enhancement factor, Eabs, was quantified using a 1-year measurement of mass absorption efficiency (MAE in the Pearl River Delta region (PRD. A new approach for calculating primary MAE (MAEp, the key for Eabs estimation, is demonstrated using the minimum R squared (MRS method, exploring the inherent source independency between BC and its coating materials. A unique feature of Eabs estimation with the MRS approach is its insensitivity to systematic biases in elemental carbon (EC and σabs measurements. The annual average Eabs550 is found to be 1.50 ± 0.48 (±1 SD in the PRD region, exhibiting a clear seasonal pattern with higher values in summer and lower in winter. Elevated Eabs in the summertime is likely associated with aged air masses, predominantly of marine origin, along with long-range transport of biomass-burning-influenced air masses from Southeast Asia. Core–shell Mie simulations along with measured Eabs and absorption Ångström exponent (AAE constraints suggest that in the PRD, the coating materials are unlikely to be dominated by brown carbon and the coating thickness is higher in the rainy season than in the dry season.

  13. Approach to design of future FBRs with enhanced safety and economy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raghupathy, S.; Balasubramaniyan, V.; Puthiyavinayagam, P.; Selvaraj, P.; Chellapandi, P.; Chetal, S.C.; Raj, Baldev

    2009-01-01

    After the techno economic demonstration of FBR technology through PFBR, it is essential to achieve high economic competitiveness with enhanced safety on par with other power generation options. Towards this, design studies were made with the objectives of identifying means to achieve enhanced safety, design features for improving economy, conceptualise the plant layout, ways to reduce construction time and to achieve higher capacity factor. This paper describes the outcome of the above studies and the approach to the design of future FBRs with enhanced safety and economy. High economic competitiveness and public acceptance are essential for commercial deployment of fast reactors. India has a well-laid out three phase nuclear power programme with Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) utilizing natural uranium as fuel in the first phase and fast breeder reactors (FBRs) using plutonium and thorium in the second and third phases. Deploying FBRs on a commercial scale is vital for India in order to utilize the vast thorium reserves and to meet the long term energy needs of the country. As a first step, a 40 MWt, 13.5 MWe Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) was constructed and has been in operation since 1985. Operation of FBTR has given valuable operating experience with critical systems of FBRs including sodium systems and has given confidence to undertake the design of 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR). Construction of PFBR is currently under progress and is expected to be completed by 2010. It is planned to construct four more oxide fuelled FBRs of 500 MWe capacity by 2020 and metal fuelled FBRs of 1000 MWe thereafter. Enhanced safety is proposed to be achieved through improvements in shut down systems, adopting in-vessel primary sodium purification concept, improving the reliability of decay heat removal system, shifting component decontamination activities to a separate building located outside the reactor containment building, providing additional

  14. Stochastic resonance in small-world neuronal networks with hybrid electrical–chemical synapses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Jiang; Guo, Xinmeng; Yu, Haitao; Liu, Chen; Deng, Bin; Wei, Xile; Chen, Yingyuan

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: •We study stochastic resonance in small-world neural networks with hybrid synapses. •The resonance effect depends largely on the probability of chemical synapse. •An optimal chemical synapse probability exists to evoke network resonance. •Network topology affects the stochastic resonance in hybrid neuronal networks. - Abstract: The dependence of stochastic resonance in small-world neuronal networks with hybrid electrical–chemical synapses on the probability of chemical synapse and the rewiring probability is investigated. A subthreshold periodic signal is imposed on one single neuron within the neuronal network as a pacemaker. It is shown that, irrespective of the probability of chemical synapse, there exists a moderate intensity of external noise optimizing the response of neuronal networks to the pacemaker. Moreover, the effect of pacemaker driven stochastic resonance of the system depends largely on the probability of chemical synapse. A high probability of chemical synapse will need lower noise intensity to evoke the phenomenon of stochastic resonance in the networked neuronal systems. In addition, for fixed noise intensity, there is an optimal chemical synapse probability, which can promote the propagation of the localized subthreshold pacemaker across neural networks. And the optimal chemical synapses probability turns even larger as the coupling strength decreases. Furthermore, the small-world topology has a significant impact on the stochastic resonance in hybrid neuronal networks. It is found that increasing the rewiring probability can always enhance the stochastic resonance until it approaches the random network limit

  15. Ablation of kappa-opioid receptors from brain dopamine neurons has anxiolytic-like effects and enhances cocaine-induced plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van't Veer, Ashlee; Bechtholt, Anita J; Onvani, Sara; Potter, David; Wang, Yujun; Liu-Chen, Lee-Yuan; Schütz, Günther; Chartoff, Elena H; Rudolph, Uwe; Cohen, Bruce M; Carlezon, William A

    2013-07-01

    Brain kappa-opioid receptors (KORs) are implicated in states of motivation and emotion. Activation of KORs negatively regulates mesolimbic dopamine (DA) neurons, and KOR agonists produce depressive-like behavioral effects. To further evaluate how KOR function affects behavior, we developed mutant mice in which exon 3 of the KOR gene (Oprk1) was flanked with Cre-lox recombination (loxP) sites. By breeding these mice with lines that express Cre-recombinase (Cre) in early embryogenesis (EIIa-Cre) or only in DA neurons (dopamine transporter (DAT)-Cre), we developed constitutive KOR knockouts (KOR(-/-)) and conditional knockouts that lack KORs in DA-containing neurons (DAT-KOR(lox/lox)). Autoradiography demonstrated complete ablation of KOR binding in the KOR(-/-) mutants, and reduced binding in the DAT-KOR(lox/lox) mutants. Quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qPCR) studies confirmed that KOR mRNA is undetectable in the constitutive mutants and reduced in the midbrain DA systems of the conditional mutants. Behavioral characterization demonstrated that these mutant lines do not differ from controls in metrics, including hearing, vision, weight, and locomotor activity. Whereas KOR(-/-) mice appeared normal in the open field and light/dark box tests, DAT-KOR(lox/lox) mice showed reduced anxiety-like behavior, an effect that is broadly consistent with previously reported effects of KOR antagonists. Sensitization to the locomotor-stimulating effects of cocaine appeared normal in KOR(-/-) mutants, but was exaggerated in DAT-KOR(lox/lox) mutants. Increased sensitivity to cocaine in the DAT-KOR(lox/lox) mutants is consistent with a role for KORs in negative regulation of DA function, whereas the lack of differences in the KOR(-/-) mutants suggests compensatory adaptations after constitutive receptor ablation. These mouse lines may be useful in future studies of KOR function.

  16. Developing a Dual-Level Capabilities Approach: Using Constructivist Grounded Theory and Feminist Ethnography to Enhance the Capabilities Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Kia M. Q.

    2014-01-01

    In this study, a dual-level capabilities approach to development is introduced. This approach intends to improve upon individual-focused capabilities approaches developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum. Based upon seven months of ethnographic research in the Afro-descendant, autochthonous Garifuna community of Honduras, constructivist grounded…

  17. Mirror neurons: From origin to function

    OpenAIRE

    Cook, R; Bird, G; Catmur, C; Press, C; Heyes, C

    2014-01-01

    This article argues that mirror neurons originate in sensorimotor associative learning and therefore a new approach is needed to investigate their functions. Mirror neurons were discovered about 20 years ago in the monkey brain, and there is now evidence that they are also present in the human brain. The intriguing feature of many mirror neurons is that they fire not only when the animal is performing an action, such as grasping an object using a power grip, but also when the animal passively...

  18. The Relevance of AgRP Neuron-Derived GABA Inputs to POMC Neurons Differs for Spontaneous and Evoked Release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rau, Andrew R; Hentges, Shane T

    2017-08-02

    Hypothalamic agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons potently stimulate food intake, whereas proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons inhibit feeding. Whether AgRP neurons exert their orexigenic actions, at least in part, by inhibiting anorexigenic POMC neurons remains unclear. Here, the connectivity between GABA-releasing AgRP neurons and POMC neurons was examined in brain slices from male and female mice. GABA-mediated spontaneous IPSCs (sIPSCs) in POMC neurons were unaffected by disturbing GABA release from AgRP neurons either by cell type-specific deletion of the vesicular GABA transporter or by expression of botulinum toxin in AgRP neurons to prevent vesicle-associated membrane protein 2-dependent vesicle fusion. Additionally, there was no difference in the ability of μ-opioid receptor (MOR) agonists to inhibit sIPSCs in POMC neurons when MORs were deleted from AgRP neurons, and activation of the inhibitory designer receptor hM4Di on AgRP neurons did not affect sIPSCs recorded from POMC neurons. These approaches collectively indicate that AgRP neurons do not significantly contribute to the strong spontaneous GABA input to POMC neurons. Despite these observations, optogenetic stimulation of AgRP neurons reliably produced evoked IPSCs in POMC neurons, leading to the inhibition of POMC neuron firing. Thus, AgRP neurons can potently affect POMC neuron function without contributing a significant source of spontaneous GABA input to POMC neurons. Together, these results indicate that the relevance of GABAergic inputs from AgRP to POMC neurons is state dependent and highlight the need to consider different types of transmitter release in circuit mapping and physiologic regulation. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons play an important role in driving food intake, while proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons inhibit feeding. Despite the importance of these two well characterized neuron types in maintaining metabolic homeostasis, communication between these

  19. VCE-003.2, a novel cannabigerol derivative, enhances neuronal progenitor cell survival and alleviates symptomatology in murine models of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Alonso, Javier; Paraíso-Luna, Juan; Navarrete, Carmen; Del Río, Carmen; Cantarero, Irene; Palomares, Belén; Aguareles, José; Fernández-Ruiz, Javier; Bellido, María Luz; Pollastro, Federica; Appendino, Giovanni; Calzado, Marco A; Galve-Roperh, Ismael; Muñoz, Eduardo

    2016-07-19

    Cannabinoids have shown to exert neuroprotective actions in animal models by acting at different targets including canonical cannabinoid receptors and PPARγ. We previously showed that VCE-003, a cannabigerol (CBG) quinone derivative, is a novel neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory cannabinoid acting through PPARγ. We have now generated a non-thiophilic VCE-003 derivative named VCE-003.2 that preserves the ability to activate PPARγ and analyzed its neuroprotective activity. This compound exerted a prosurvival action in progenitor cells during neuronal differentiation, which was prevented by a PPARγ antagonist, without affecting neural progenitor cell proliferation. In addition, VCE-003.2 attenuated quinolinic acid (QA)-induced cell death and caspase-3 activation and also reduced mutant huntingtin aggregates in striatal cells. The neuroprotective profile of VCE-003.2 was analyzed using in vivo models of striatal neurodegeneration induced by QA and 3-nitropropionic acid (3NP) administration. VCE-003.2 prevented medium spiny DARPP32(+) neuronal loss in these Huntington's-like disease mice models improving motor deficits, reactive astrogliosis and microglial activation. In the 3NP model VCE-003.2 inhibited the upregulation of proinflammatory markers and improved antioxidant defenses in the brain. These data lead us to consider VCE-003.2 to have high potential for the treatment of Huntington's disease (HD) and other neurodegenerative diseases with neuroinflammatory traits.

  20. Long-term streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats leads to severe damage of brain blood vessels and neurons via enhanced oxidative stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hongying; Fan, Shourui; Song, Dianping; Wang, Zhuo; Ma, Shungao; Li, Shuqing; Li, Xiaohong; Xu, Mian; Xu, Min; Wang, Xianmo

    2013-02-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate pathophysiological alterations and oxidative stress in various stages of streptozotocin (STZ)‑induced diabetes mellitus (DM) in rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (120) were randomized into DM and control groups. Body mass, plasma glucose, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) levels, as well as aldose reductase (AR) activities, in brain tissue and serum were determined. Electron microscopy was used to observe neuron and vessel changes in the brain. In STZ‑treated rats, blood glucose, low density lipoproteins, triglycerides and total cholesterol levels increased 1.43‑3.0‑fold and high density lipoprotein, HbA1c and insulin sensitivity index increased 1.1‑1.23‑fold compared with control. At week 16 following treatment, DM rat serum H2O2 concentration was increased, indicating oxidative stress and mRNA levels of GPx and SOD were 2‑fold higher than the control. Protein GPx and SOD levels were reduced (PNeuron cells and blood vessels in the DM rat brains became increasingly abnormal over time with altered Golgi bodies, mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum cisterns, concurrent with SOD inactivation and AR protein accumulation. Disease progression in rats with STZ‑induced DM included brain pathologies with vascular and neuron cell abnormalities, associated with the reduction of SOD, CAT and GPx activities and also AR accumulation.

  1. Spoken language identification based on the enhanced self-adjusting extreme learning machine approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiun, Sabrina; AL-Dhief, Fahad Taha; Sammour, Mahmoud A. M.

    2018-01-01

    Spoken Language Identification (LID) is the process of determining and classifying natural language from a given content and dataset. Typically, data must be processed to extract useful features to perform LID. The extracting features for LID, based on literature, is a mature process where the standard features for LID have already been developed using Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCC), Shifted Delta Cepstral (SDC), the Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM) and ending with the i-vector based framework. However, the process of learning based on extract features remains to be improved (i.e. optimised) to capture all embedded knowledge on the extracted features. The Extreme Learning Machine (ELM) is an effective learning model used to perform classification and regression analysis and is extremely useful to train a single hidden layer neural network. Nevertheless, the learning process of this model is not entirely effective (i.e. optimised) due to the random selection of weights within the input hidden layer. In this study, the ELM is selected as a learning model for LID based on standard feature extraction. One of the optimisation approaches of ELM, the Self-Adjusting Extreme Learning Machine (SA-ELM) is selected as the benchmark and improved by altering the selection phase of the optimisation process. The selection process is performed incorporating both the Split-Ratio and K-Tournament methods, the improved SA-ELM is named Enhanced Self-Adjusting Extreme Learning Machine (ESA-ELM). The results are generated based on LID with the datasets created from eight different languages. The results of the study showed excellent superiority relating to the performance of the Enhanced Self-Adjusting Extreme Learning Machine LID (ESA-ELM LID) compared with the SA-ELM LID, with ESA-ELM LID achieving an accuracy of 96.25%, as compared to the accuracy of SA-ELM LID of only 95.00%. PMID:29672546

  2. Enhanced ionic conductivity of AgI nanowires/AAO composites fabricated by a simple approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Lifeng; Alexe, Marin; Lee, Woo; Goesele, Ulrich; Lee, Seung-Woo; Li Jingbo; Rao Guanghui; Zhou Weiya; Lee, Jae-Jong

    2008-01-01

    AgI nanowires/anodic aluminum oxide (AgI NWs/AAO) composites have been fabricated by a simple approach, which involves the thermal melting of AgI powders on the surface of the AAO membrane, followed by the infiltration of the molten AgI inside the nanochannels. As-prepared AgI nanowires have corrugated outer surfaces and are polycrystalline according to scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observations. X-ray diffraction (XRD) shows that a considerable amount of 7H polytype AgI exists in the composites, which is supposed to arise from the interfacial interactions between the embedded AgI and the alumina. AC conductivity measurements for the AgI nanowires/AAO composites exhibit a notable conductivity enhancement by three orders of magnitude at room temperature compared with that of pristine bulk AgI. Furthermore, a large conductivity hysteresis and abnormal conductivity transitions were observed in the temperature-dependent conductivity measurements, from which an ionic conductivity as high as 8.0 x 10 2 Ω -1 cm -1 was obtained at around 70 deg. C upon cooling. The differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) result demonstrates a similar phase transition behavior as that found in the AC conductivity measurements. The enhanced ionic conductivity, as well as the abnormal phase transitions, can be explained in terms of the existence of the highly conducting 7H polytype AgI and the formation of well-defined conduction paths in the composites.

  3. Enhanced ionic conductivity of AgI nanowires/AAO composites fabricated by a simple approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Li-Feng; Lee, Seung-Woo; Li, Jing-Bo; Alexe, Marin; Rao, Guang-Hui; Zhou, Wei-Ya; Lee, Jae-Jong; Lee, Woo; Gösele, Ulrich

    2008-12-10

    AgI nanowires/anodic aluminum oxide (AgI NWs/AAO) composites have been fabricated by a simple approach, which involves the thermal melting of AgI powders on the surface of the AAO membrane, followed by the infiltration of the molten AgI inside the nanochannels. As-prepared AgI nanowires have corrugated outer surfaces and are polycrystalline according to scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observations. X-ray diffraction (XRD) shows that a considerable amount of 7H polytype AgI exists in the composites, which is supposed to arise from the interfacial interactions between the embedded AgI and the alumina. AC conductivity measurements for the AgI nanowires/AAO composites exhibit a notable conductivity enhancement by three orders of magnitude at room temperature compared with that of pristine bulk AgI. Furthermore, a large conductivity hysteresis and abnormal conductivity transitions were observed in the temperature-dependent conductivity measurements, from which an ionic conductivity as high as 8.0 × 10(2) Ω(-1) cm(-1) was obtained at around 70 °C upon cooling. The differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) result demonstrates a similar phase transition behavior as that found in the AC conductivity measurements. The enhanced ionic conductivity, as well as the abnormal phase transitions, can be explained in terms of the existence of the highly conducting 7H polytype AgI and the formation of well-defined conduction paths in the composites.

  4. Spoken language identification based on the enhanced self-adjusting extreme learning machine approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albadr, Musatafa Abbas Abbood; Tiun, Sabrina; Al-Dhief, Fahad Taha; Sammour, Mahmoud A M

    2018-01-01

    Spoken Language Identification (LID) is the process of determining and classifying natural language from a given content and dataset. Typically, data must be processed to extract useful features to perform LID. The extracting features for LID, based on literature, is a mature process where the standard features for LID have already been developed using Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCC), Shifted Delta Cepstral (SDC), the Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM) and ending with the i-vector based framework. However, the process of learning based on extract features remains to be improved (i.e. optimised) to capture all embedded knowledge on the extracted features. The Extreme Learning Machine (ELM) is an effective learning model used to perform classification and regression analysis and is extremely useful to train a single hidden layer neural network. Nevertheless, the learning process of this model is not entirely effective (i.e. optimised) due to the random selection of weights within the input hidden layer. In this study, the ELM is selected as a learning model for LID based on standard feature extraction. One of the optimisation approaches of ELM, the Self-Adjusting Extreme Learning Machine (SA-ELM) is selected as the benchmark and improved by altering the selection phase of the optimisation process. The selection process is performed incorporating both the Split-Ratio and K-Tournament methods, the improved SA-ELM is named Enhanced Self-Adjusting Extreme Learning Machine (ESA-ELM). The results are generated based on LID with the datasets created from eight different languages. The results of the study showed excellent superiority relating to the performance of the Enhanced Self-Adjusting Extreme Learning Machine LID (ESA-ELM LID) compared with the SA-ELM LID, with ESA-ELM LID achieving an accuracy of 96.25%, as compared to the accuracy of SA-ELM LID of only 95.00%.

  5. Optimal investment for enhancing social concern about biodiversity conservation: a dynamic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Joung Hun; Iwasa, Yoh

    2012-11-01

    To maintain biodiversity conservation areas, we need to invest in activities, such as monitoring the condition of the ecosystem, preventing illegal exploitation, and removing harmful alien species. These require a constant supply of resources, the level of which is determined by the concern of the society about biodiversity conservation. In this paper, we study the optimal fraction of the resources to invest in activities for enhancing the social concern y(t) by environmental education, museum displays, publications, and media exposure. We search for the strategy that maximizes the time-integral of the quality of the conservation area x(t) with temporal discounting. Analyses based on dynamic programming and Pontryagin's maximum principle show that the optimal control consists of two phases: (1) in the first phase, the social concern level approaches to the final optimal value y(∗), (2) in the second phase, resources are allocated to both activities, and the social concern level is kept constant y(t) = y(∗). If the social concern starts from a low initial level, the optimal path includes a period in which the quality of the conservation area declines temporarily, because all the resources are invested to enhance the social concern. When the support rate increases with the quality of the conservation area itself x(t) as well as with the level of social concern y(t), both variables may increase simultaneously in the second phase. We discuss the implication of the results to good management of biodiversity conservation areas. 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved

  6. Enhanced defence in depth: a fundamental approach for innovative nuclear systems recommended by INPRO

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuczera, B.; Juhn, P.E.

    2004-01-01

    In May 2001, the IAEA initiated the 'International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO)'. Having in mind that nuclear power will be an important option for meeting future electricity needs, the scope of INPRO covers nuclear reactors expected to come into service in the next fifty years, together with their associated fuel cycles. This article deals with enhanced defence in depth (DID) strategy that is recommended by INPRO. This strategy is twofold: first, to prevent accidents and second, if prevention fails, to limit their potential consequences and prevent any evolution to more serious conditions. Accident prevention is the first priority. For innovative nuclear systems, the effectiveness of preventive measures should be enhanced compared with existing systems. DID is generally structured in 5 levels of protection, including successive barriers preventing the release of radioactive material to the environment. These levels are: 1) prevention of abnormal operation and failures, 2) control of abnormal operation and detection of failures, 3) control of accidents within the design basis, 4) control of severe plant conditions, including prevention and mitigation of the consequences of severe accidents, and 5) mitigation of radiological consequences of significant release of radioactive materials. In the area of nuclear safety, INPRO has set 5 principles: 1) incorporate DID as a part of the safety approach and make the 5 levels of DID more independent from each other than in current installations; 2) prevent, reduce or contain releases of radioactive or hazardous materials in any normal or abnormal plant operation; 3) incorporate increased emphasis on inherent safety characteristics and passive safety features; 4) include research and development work to bring the capability of computer codes used for the safety of innovative nuclear systems to the standard of codes used for the safety of current reactors; and 5) include a holistic life

  7. Teaching psychomotor skills to beginning nursing students using a web-enhanced approach: a quasi-experimental study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salyers, Vincent L

    2007-01-01

    To begin to address the problem of psychomotor skills deficiencies observed in many new graduate nurses, a skills laboratory course was developed using a web-enhanced approach. In this quasi-experimental study, the control group attended weekly lectures, observed skill demonstrations by faculty, practiced skills, and were evaluated on skill performance. The experimental group learned course content using a web-enhanced approach. This allowed students to learn course material outside of class at times convenient for them, thus they had more time during class to perfect psychomotor skills. The experimental group performed better on the final cognitive examination. Students in the traditional sections were more satisfied with the course, however. It was concluded that a web-enhanced approach for teaching psychomotor skills can provide a valid alternative to traditional skills laboratory formats.

  8. Enhancing sewage sludge dewaterability by bioleaching approach with comparison to other physical and chemical conditioning methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Fenwu; Zhou, Jun; Wang, Dianzhan; Zhou, Lixiang

    2012-01-01

    The sewage sludge conditioning process is critical to improve the sludge dewaterability prior to mechanical dewatering. Traditionally, sludge is conditioned by physical or chemical approaches, mostly with the addition of inorganic or organic chemicals. Here we report that bioleaching, an efficient and economical microbial method for the removal of sludge-borne heavy metals, also plays a significant role in enhancing sludge dewaterability. The effects of bioleaching and physical or chemical approaches on sludge dewaterability were compared. The conditioning result of bioleaching by Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans and Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans on sludge dewatering was investigated and compared with the effects of hydrothermal (121 degrees C for 2 hr), microwave (1050 W for 50 sec), ultrasonic (250 W for 2 min), and chemical conditioning (24% ferric chloride and 68% calcium oxide; dry basis). The results show that the specific resistance to filtration (SRF) or capillary suction time (CST) of sludge is decreased by 93.1% or 74.1%, respectively, after fresh sludge is conditioned by bioleaching, which is similar to chemical conditioning treatment with ferric chloride and calcium oxide but much more effective than other conditioning approaches including hydrothermal, microwave, and ultrasonic conditioning. Furthermore, after sludge dewatering, bioleached sludge filtrate contains the lowest concentrations of chroma (18 times), COD (542 mg/L), total N (TN, 300 mg/L), NH4(+)-N (208 mg/L), and total P (TP, 2 mg/L) while the hydrothermal process resulted in the highest concentration of chroma (660 times), COD (18,155 mg/L), TN (472 mg/L), NH4(+)-N (381 mg/L), and TP (191 mg/L) among these selected conditioning methods. Moreover, unlike chemical conditioning, sludge bioleaching does not result in a significant reduction of organic matter, TN, and TP in the resulting dewatered sludge cake. Therefore, considering sludge dewaterability and the chemical properties of sludge

  9. Long descending cervical propriospinal neurons differ from thoracic propriospinal neurons in response to low thoracic spinal injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stelzner Dennis J

    2010-11-01

    -regulation in the genes examined, including genes for neurotrophic/growth factor receptors as well as for several growth factors. There was a lack of a significant regenerative response, with the exception of an up-regulation of Atf3 and early up-regulation of Hspb1 (Hsp27, both involved in cell stress/neuroprotection as well as axonal regeneration. There was no indication of a cell death response over the first month post-injury. In addition, there appear to be significant phenotypic differences between uninjured TPS and LDPT neurons, which may partly account for the differences observed in their post-axotomy responses. The findings in this current study stand in stark contrast to the findings from our previous work on TPS neurons. This suggests that different approaches will be needed to enhance the capacity for each population of propriospinal neuron to survive and undergo successful axonal regeneration after SCI.

  10. A Novel Approach To Mineral Carbonation: Enhancing Carbonation While Avoiding Mineral Pretreatment Process Cost

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Michael J. McKelvy; Andrew V. G. Chizmeshya; Kyle Squires; Ray W. Carpenter; Hamdallah Bearat

    2006-06-21

    Known fossil fuel reserves, especially coal, can support global energy demands for centuries to come, if the environmental problems associated with CO{sub 2} emissions can be overcome. Unlike other CO{sub 2} sequestration candidate technologies that propose long-term storage, mineral sequestration provides permanent disposal by forming geologically stable mineral carbonates. Carbonation of the widely occurring mineral olivine (e.g., forsterite, Mg{sub 2}SiO{sub 4}) is a large-scale sequestration process candidate for regional implementation, which converts CO{sub 2} into the environmentally benign mineral magnesite (MgCO{sub 3}). The primary goal is cost-competitive process development. As the process is exothermic, it inherently offers low-cost potential. Enhancing carbonation reactivity is key to economic viability. Recent studies at the U.S. DOE Albany Research Center have established that aqueous-solution carbonation using supercritical CO{sub 2} is a promising process; even without olivine activation, 30-50% carbonation has been achieved in an hour. Mechanical activation (e.g., attrition) has accelerated the carbonation process to an industrial timescale (i.e., near completion in less than an hour), at reduced pressure and temperature. However, the activation cost is too high to be economical and lower cost pretreatment options are needed. Herein, we report our second year progress in exploring a novel approach that offers the potential to substantially enhance carbonation reactivity while bypassing pretreatment activation. As our second year progress is intimately related to our earlier work, the report is presented in that context to provide better overall understanding of the progress made. We have discovered that robust silica-rich passivating layers form on the olivine surface during carbonation. As carbonation proceeds, these passivating layers thicken, fracture and eventually exfoliate, exposing fresh olivine surfaces during rapidly

  11. A semantically rich and standardised approach enhancing discovery of sensor data and metadata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kokkinaki, Alexandra; Buck, Justin; Darroch, Louise

    2016-04-01

    The marine environment plays an essential role in the earth's climate. To enhance the ability to monitor the health of this important system, innovative sensors are being produced and combined with state of the art sensor technology. As the number of sensors deployed is continually increasing,, it is a challenge for data users to find the data that meet their specific needs. Furthermore, users need to integrate diverse ocean datasets originating from the same or even different systems. Standards provide a solution to the above mentioned challenges. The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has created Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) standards that enable different sensor networks to establish syntactic interoperability. When combined with widely accepted controlled vocabularies, they become semantically rich and semantic interoperability is achievable. In addition, Linked Data is the recommended best practice for exposing, sharing and connecting information on the Semantic Web using Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs), Resource Description Framework (RDF) and RDF Query Language (SPARQL). As part of the EU-funded SenseOCEAN project, the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) is working on the standardisation of sensor metadata enabling 'plug and play' sensor integration. Our approach combines standards, controlled vocabularies and persistent URIs to publish sensor descriptions, their data and associated metadata as 5 star Linked Data and OGC SWE (SensorML, Observations & Measurements) standard. Thus sensors become readily discoverable, accessible and useable via the web. Content and context based searching is also enabled since sensors descriptions are understood by machines. Additionally, sensor data can be combined with other sensor or Linked Data datasets to form knowledge. This presentation will describe the work done in BODC to achieve syntactic and semantic interoperability in the sensor domain. It will illustrate the reuse and extension of the Semantic Sensor

  12. Trading Water Conservation Credits: A Coordinative Approach for Enhanced Urban Water Reliability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzales, P.; Ajami, N. K.

    2016-12-01

    Water utilities in arid and semi-arid regions are increasingly relying on water use efficiency and conservation to extend the availability of supplies. Despite spatial and institutional inter-dependency of many service providers, these demand-side management initiatives have traditionally been tackled by individual utilities operating in a silo. In this study, we introduce a new approach to water conservation that addresses regional synergies—a novel system of tradable water conservation credits. Under the proposed approach, utilities have the flexibility to invest in water conservation measures that are appropriate for their specific service area. When utilities have insufficient capacity for local cost-effective measures, they may opt to purchase credits, contributing to fund subsidies for utilities that do have that capacity and can provide the credits, while the region as whole benefits from more reliable water supplies. While similar programs have been used to address water quality concerns, to our knowledge this is one of the first studies proposing tradable credits for incentivizing water conservation. Through mathematical optimization, this study estimates the potential benefits of a trading program and demonstrates the institutional and economic characteristics needed for such a policy to be viable, including a proposed web platform to facilitate transparent regional planning, data-driven decision-making, and enhanced coordination of utilities. We explore the impacts of defining conservation targets tailored to local realities of utilities, setting credit prices, and different policy configurations. We apply these models to the case study of water utility members of the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency. Preliminary work shows that the diverse characteristics of these utilities present opportunities for the region to achieve conservation goals while maximizing the benefits to individual utilities through more flexible coordinative efforts.

  13. Degree of synchronization modulated by inhibitory neurons in clustered excitatory-inhibitory recurrent networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Huiyan; Sun, Xiaojuan; Xiao, Jinghua

    2018-01-01

    An excitatory-inhibitory recurrent neuronal network is established to numerically study the effect of inhibitory neurons on the synchronization degree of neuronal systems. The obtained results show that, with the number of inhibitory neurons and the coupling strength from an inhibitory neuron to an excitatory neuron increasing, inhibitory neurons can not only reduce the synchronization degree when the synchronization degree of the excitatory population is initially higher, but also enhance it when it is initially lower. Meanwhile, inhibitory neurons could also help the neuronal networks to maintain moderate synchronized states. In this paper, we call this effect as modulation effect of inhibitory neurons. With the obtained results, it is further revealed that the ratio of excitatory neurons to inhibitory neurons being nearly 4 : 1 is an economic and affordable choice for inhibitory neurons to realize this modulation effect.

  14. Heart Rate Variability (HRV biofeedback: A new training approach for operator’s performance enhancement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Auditya Purwandini Sutarto

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The widespread implementation of advanced and complex systems requires predominantly operators’ cognitive functions and less importance of human manual control. On the other hand, most operators perform their cognitive functions below their peak cognitive capacity level due to fatigue, stress, and boredom. Thus, there is a need to improve their cognitive functions during work. The goal of this paper is to present a psychophysiology training approach derived from cardiovascular response named heart rate variability (HRV biofeedback. Description of resonant frequency biofeedback - a specific HRV training protocol - is discussed as well as its supported researches for the performance enhancement. HRV biofeedback training works by teaching people to recognize their involuntary HRV and to control patterns of this physiological response. The training is directed to increase HRV amplitude that promotes autonomic nervous system balance. This balance is associated with improved physiological functioning as well as psychological benefits. Most individuals can learn HRV biofeedback training easily which involves slowing the breathing rate (around six breaths/min to each individual’s resonant frequency at which the amplitude of HRV is maximized. Maximal control over HRV can be obtained in most people after approximately four sessions of training. Recent studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of HRV biofeedback to the improvement of some cognitive functions in both simulated and real industrial operators.

  15. Trapping of microwave radiation in hollow polypyrrole microsphere through enhanced internal reflection: A novel approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panigrahi, Ritwik; Srivastava, Suneel K.

    2015-01-01

    In present work, spherical core (polystyrene, PS)/shell (polypyrrole, PPy) has been synthesized via in situ chemical oxidative copolymerization of pyrrole (Py) on the surface of sulfonated PS microsphere followed by the formation of hollow polypyrrole (HPPy) shell by dissolving PS inner core in THF. Thereafter, we first time established that such fabricated novel art of morphology acts as a conducting trap in absorbing electromagnetic (EM) wave by internal reflection. Further studies have been extended on the formation of its silver nanocomposites HPPy/Ag to strengthen our contention on this novel approach. Our investigations showed that electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding efficiency (SE) of HPPy (34.5-6 dB) is significantly higher compared to PPy (20-5 dB) in the frequency range of 0.5-8 GHz due to the trapping of EM wave by internal reflection. We also observed that EMI shielding is further enhanced to 59-23 in 10 wt% Ag loaded HPPy/Ag-10. This is attributed to the simultaneous contribution of internal reflection as well as reflection from outer surface. Such high EMI shielding capacity using conducting polymers are rarely reported.

  16. Maximum Entropy Approach in Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farsani, Zahra Amini; Schmid, Volker J

    2017-01-01

    In the estimation of physiological kinetic parameters from Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DCE-MRI) data, the determination of the arterial input function (AIF) plays a key role. This paper proposes a Bayesian method to estimate the physiological parameters of DCE-MRI along with the AIF in situations, where no measurement of the AIF is available. In the proposed algorithm, the maximum entropy method (MEM) is combined with the maximum a posterior approach (MAP). To this end, MEM is used to specify a prior probability distribution of the unknown AIF. The ability of this method to estimate the AIF is validated using the Kullback-Leibler divergence. Subsequently, the kinetic parameters can be estimated with MAP. The proposed algorithm is evaluated with a data set from a breast cancer MRI study. The application shows that the AIF can reliably be determined from the DCE-MRI data using MEM. Kinetic parameters can be estimated subsequently. The maximum entropy method is a powerful tool to reconstructing images from many types of data. This method is useful for generating the probability distribution based on given information. The proposed method gives an alternative way to assess the input function from the existing data. The proposed method allows a good fit of the data and therefore a better estimation of the kinetic parameters. In the end, this allows for a more reliable use of DCE-MRI. Schattauer GmbH.

  17. A MultiAir®/MultiFuel Approach to Enhancing Engine System Efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reese, Ronald [Chrysler Group LLC., Auburn Hills, MI (United States)

    2015-05-20

    FCA US LLC (formally known as Chrysler Group LLC, and hereinafter “Chrysler”) was awarded an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funded project by the Department of Energy (DOE) titled “A MultiAir®/MultiFuel Approach to Enhancing Engine System Efficiency” (hereinafter “project”). This award was issued after Chrysler submitted a proposal for Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA- 0000079, “Systems Level Technology Development, Integration, and Demonstration for Efficient Class 8 Trucks (SuperTruck) and Advanced Technology Powertrains for Light-Duty Vehicles (ATP-LD).” Chrysler started work on this project on June 01, 2010 and completed testing activities on August 30, 2014. Overall objectives of this project were; Demonstrate a 25% improvement in combined Federal Test Procedure (FTP) City and Highway fuel economy over a 2009 Chrysler minivan; Accelerate the development of highly efficient engine and powertrain systems for light-duty vehicles, while meeting future emissions standards; and Create and retain jobs in accordance with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

  18. Application of enhanced discrete differential evolution approach to unit commitment problem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yuan Xiaohui; Su Anjun; Nie Hao; Yuan Yanbin; Wang Liang

    2009-01-01

    This paper proposes a discrete binary differential evolution (DBDE) approach to solve the unit commitment problem (UCP). The proposed method is enhanced by priority list based on the unit characteristics and heuristic search strategies to handle constraints effectively. The implementation of the proposed method for UCP consists of three stages. Firstly, the DBDE based on priority list is applied for unit scheduling when neglecting the minimum up/down time constraints. Secondly, repairing strategies are used to handle the minimum up/down time constraints and decommit excess spinning reserve units. Finally, heuristic unit substitution search and gray zone modification algorithm are used to improve optimal solution further. Furthermore, the effects of two crucial parameters on performance of the DBDE for solving UCP are studied as well. To verify the advantages of the method, the proposed method is tested and compared to the other methods on the systems with the number of units in the range of 10-100. Numerical results demonstrate that the proposed method is superior to other methods reported in the literature.

  19. Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopic studies on aspirin : An experimental and theoretical approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Premkumar, R.; Premkumar, S.; Parameswari, A.; Mathavan, T.; Benial, A. Milton Franklin, E-mail: miltonfranklin@yahoo.com [Department of Physics, N.M.S.S.V.N College, Madurai-625019, Tamilnadu, India. (India); Rekha, T. N. [PG and Research Department of Physics, Lady Doak College, Madurai-625 002, Tamilnadu, India. (India)

    2016-05-06

    Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) studies on aspirin molecule adsorbed on silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were investigated by experimental and density functional theory approach. The AgNPs were synthesized by the solution-combustion method and characterized by the X-ray diffraction and high resolution-transmission electron microscopy techniques. The averaged particle size of synthesized AgNPs was calculated as ∼55 nm. The normal Raman spectrum (nRs) and SERS spectrum of the aspirin were recorded. The molecular structure of the aspirin and aspirin adsorbed on silver cluster were optimized by the DFT/ B3PW91 method with LanL2DZ basis set. The vibrational frequencies were calculated and assigned on the basis of potential energy distribution calculation. The calculated nRs and SERS frequencies were correlated well with the observed frequencies. The flat-on orientation was predicted from the nRs and SERS spectra, when the aspirin adsorbed on the AgNPs. Hence, the present studies lead to the understanding of adsorption process of aspirin on the AgNPs, which paves the way for biomedical applications.

  20. A new approach to enhance the performance of decision tree for classifying gene expression data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassan, Md; Kotagiri, Ramamohanarao

    2013-12-20

    Gene expression data classification is a challenging task due to the large dimensionality and very small number of samples. Decision tree is one of the popular machine learning approaches to address such classification problems. However, the existing decision tree algorithms use a single gene feature at each node to split the data into its child nodes and hence might suffer from poor performance specially when classifying gene expression dataset. By using a new decision tree algorithm where, each node of the tree consists of more than one gene, we enhance the classification performance of traditional decision tree classifiers. Our method selects suitable genes that are combined using a linear function to form a derived composite feature. To determine the structure of the tree we use the area under the Receiver Operating Characteristics curve (AUC). Experimental analysis demonstrates higher classification accuracy using the new decision tree compared to the other existing decision trees in literature. We experimentally compare the effect of our scheme against other well known decision tree techniques. Experiments show that our algorithm can substantially boost the classification performance of the decision tree.

  1. Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopic studies on aspirin : An experimental and theoretical approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Premkumar, R.; Premkumar, S.; Parameswari, A.; Mathavan, T.; Benial, A. Milton Franklin; Rekha, T. N.

    2016-01-01

    Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) studies on aspirin molecule adsorbed on silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were investigated by experimental and density functional theory approach. The AgNPs were synthesized by the solution-combustion method and characterized by the X-ray diffraction and high resolution-transmission electron microscopy techniques. The averaged particle size of synthesized AgNPs was calculated as ∼55 nm. The normal Raman spectrum (nRs) and SERS spectrum of the aspirin were recorded. The molecular structure of the aspirin and aspirin adsorbed on silver cluster were optimized by the DFT/ B3PW91 method with LanL2DZ basis set. The vibrational frequencies were calculated and assigned on the basis of potential energy distribution calculation. The calculated nRs and SERS frequencies were correlated well with the observed frequencies. The flat-on orientation was predicted from the nRs and SERS spectra, when the aspirin adsorbed on the AgNPs. Hence, the present studies lead to the understanding of adsorption process of aspirin on the AgNPs, which paves the way for biomedical applications.

  2. Three approaches for estimating recovery factors in carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, Mahendra K.

    2017-07-17

    PrefaceThe Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 authorized the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to conduct a national assessment of geologic storage resources for carbon dioxide (CO2) and requested the USGS to estimate the “potential volumes of oil and gas recoverable by injection and sequestration of industrial carbon dioxide in potential sequestration formations” (42 U.S.C. 17271(b)(4)). Geologic CO2 sequestration associated with enhanced oil recovery (EOR) using CO2 in existing hydrocarbon reservoirs has the potential to increase the U.S. hydrocarbon recoverable resource. The objective of this report is to provide detailed information on three approaches that can be used to calculate the incremental recovery factors for CO2-EOR. Therefore, the contents of this report could form an integral part of an assessment methodology that can be used to assess the sedimentary basins of the United States for the hydrocarbon recovery potential using CO2-EOR methods in conventional oil reservoirs.

  3. Enhancing Care of Aged and Dying Prisoners: Is e-Learning a Feasible Approach?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loeb, Susan J; Penrod, Janice; Myers, Valerie H; Baney, Brenda L; Strickfaden, Sophia M; Kitt-Lewis, Erin; Wion, Rachel K

    Prisons and jails are facing sharply increased demands in caring for aged and dying inmates. Our Toolkit for Enhancing End-of-life Care in Prisons effectively addressed end-of-life (EOL) care; however, geriatric content was limited, and the product was not formatted for broad dissemination. Prior research adapted best practices in EOL care and aging; but, delivery methods lacked emerging technology-focused learning and interactivity. Our purposes were to uncover current training approaches and preferences and to ascertain the technological capacity of correctional settings to deliver computer-based and other e-learning training. An environmental scan was conducted with 11 participants from U.S. prisons and jails to ensure proper fit, in terms of content and technology capacity, between an envisioned computer-based training product and correctional settings. Environmental scan findings focused on content of training, desirable qualities of training, prominence of "homegrown" products, and feasibility of commercial e-learning. This study identified qualities of training programs to adopt and pitfalls to avoid and revealed technology-related issues to be mindful of when designing computer-based training for correctional settings, and participants spontaneously expressed an interest in geriatrics and EOL training using this learning modality as long as training allowed for tailoring of materials.

  4. Screening for EIA in India: enhancing effectiveness through ecological carrying capacity approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajaram, T; Das, Ashutosh

    2011-01-01

    Developing countries across the world have embraced the policy of high economic growth as a means to reduce poverty. This economic growth largely based on industrial output is fast degrading the ecosystems, jeopardizing their long term sustainability. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has long been recognized as a tool which can help in protecting the ecosystems and aid sustainable development. The Screening guidelines for EIA reflect the level of commitment the nation displays towards tightening its environmental protection system. The paper analyses the screening process for EIA in India and dissects the rationale behind the exclusions and thresholds set in the screening process. The screening process in India is compared with that of the European Union with the aim of understanding the extent of deviations from a screening approach in the context of better economic development. It is found that the Indian system excludes many activities from the purview of screening itself when compared to the EU. The constraints responsible for these exclusions are discussed and the shortcomings of the current command and control system of environmental management in India are also explained. It is suggested that an ecosystem carrying capacity based management system can provide significant inputs to enhance the effectiveness of EIA process from screening to monitoring. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. The National Children's Study: Recruitment Outcomes Using an Enhanced Household-Based Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaisdell, Laura L; Zellner, Jennifer A; King, Alison A; Faustman, Elaine; Wilhelm, Mari; Hudak, Mark L; Annett, Robert D

    2016-06-01

    Ten National Children's Study (NCS) study locations with diverse demographic characteristics used an enhanced household-based recruitment (EHBR) approach to enroll preconceptional and pregnant women. Study centers used different types and dosages of community outreach and engagement (COE) activities and supplemental strategies. The goal of the study was to determine whether variability in enumeration and recruitment outcomes correlated with study location characteristics or types and dosages of COE activities (number of COE events, number of advance household mailings, total media expenditures, and total COE expenditures). Each of the sites provided data on COE activities, protocol implementation, supplemental recruitment activities, location demographic characteristics, and enumeration/recruitment outcomes. COE activities varied across sites in breadth and scope. Numerous strategies were used, including media advertising, social media, participation in community-wide events, presentations to stakeholders, and creation of advisory boards. Some sites included supplemental recruitment efforts. EHBR sites enrolled 1404 women at the initial pregnancy screening. No significant relationships were found between study location demographic characteristics or between the types and dosages of COE activities and recruitment outcomes. Probability sampling for a long-term study requires a positive image with stakeholders and within communities; this requirement may be especially true for door-to-door recruitment. EHBR sites successfully recruited a representative sample of preconceptional and pregnant women. Sites reported implementing similar COE activities but with varying dosage and cost; however, analyses did not support a benefit of COE strategies on study recruitment. Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  6. IGF-1: elixir for motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papanikolaou, Theodora; Ellerby, Lisa M

    2009-08-13

    Modulation of testosterone levels is a therapeutic approach for spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), a polyglutamine disorder that affects the motor neurons. The article by Palazzolo et al. in this issue of Neuron provides compelling evidence that the expression of insulin growth hormone is a potential therapeutic for SBMA.

  7. Kalman filter for speech enhancement in cocktail party scenarios using a codebook-based approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kavalekalam, Mathew Shaji; Christensen, Mads Græsbøll; Gran, Fredrik

    2016-01-01

    Enhancement of speech in non-stationary background noise is a challenging task, and conventional single channel speech enhancement algorithms have not been able to improve the speech intelligibility in such scenarios. The work proposed in this paper investigates a single channel Kalman filter based...... trained codebook over a generic speech codebook in relation to the performance of the speech enhancement system....

  8. Reconceptualizing Individual Differences in Self-Enhancement Bias: An Interpersonal Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwan, Virginia S. Y.; John, Oliver P.; Kenny, David A.; Bond, Michael H.; Robins, Richard W.

    2004-01-01

    Self-enhancement bias has been studied from 2 perspectives: L. Festinger's (1954) social comparison theory (self-enhancers perceive themselves more positively than they perceive others) and G. W. Allport's (1937) self-insight theory (self-enhancers perceive themselves more positively than they are perceived by others). These 2 perspectives are…

  9. Enhanced

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin I. Bayala

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Land Surface Temperature (LST is a key parameter in the energy balance model. However, the spatial resolution of the retrieved LST from sensors with high temporal resolution is not accurate enough to be used in local-scale studies. To explore the LST–Normalised Difference Vegetation Index relationship potential and obtain thermal images with high spatial resolution, six enhanced image sharpening techniques were assessed: the disaggregation procedure for radiometric surface temperatures (TsHARP, the Dry Edge Quadratic Function, the Difference of Edges (Ts∗DL and three models supported by the relationship of surface temperature and water stress of vegetation (Normalised Difference Water Index, Normalised Difference Infrared Index and Soil wetness index. Energy Balance Station data and in situ measurements were used to validate the enhanced LST images over a mixed agricultural landscape in the sub-humid Pampean Region of Argentina (PRA, during 2006–2010. Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (EOS-MODIS thermal datasets were assessed for different spatial resolutions (e.g., 960, 720 and 240 m and the performances were compared with global and local TsHARP procedures. Results suggest that the Ts∗DL technique is the most adequate for simulating LST to high spatial resolution over the heterogeneous landscape of a sub-humid region, showing an average root mean square error of less than 1 K.

  10. A combined approach for the enhancement and segmentation of mammograms using modified fuzzy C-means method in wavelet domain

    OpenAIRE

    Srivastava, Subodh; Sharma, Neeraj; Singh, S. K.; Srivastava, R.

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, a combined approach for enhancement and segmentation of mammograms is proposed. In preprocessing stage, a contrast limited adaptive histogram equalization (CLAHE) method is applied to obtain the better contrast mammograms. After this, the proposed combined methods are applied. In the first step of the proposed approach, a two dimensional (2D) discrete wavelet transform (DWT) is applied to all the input images. In the second step, a proposed nonlinear complex diffusion based uns...

  11. Long-term subregion-specific encoding of enhanced ethanol intake by D1DR medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renteria, Rafael; Buske, Tavanna R; Morrisett, Richard A

    2018-03-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a critical component of the mesocorticolimbic system and is involved in mediating the motivational and reinforcing aspects of ethanol consumption. Chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure is a reliable model to induce ethanol dependence and increase volitional ethanol consumption in mice. Following a CIE-induced escalation of ethanol consumption, NMDAR (N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor)-dependent long-term depression in D1 dopamine receptor expressing medium spiny neurons of the NAc shell was markedly altered with no changes in plasticity in D1 dopamine receptor medium spiny neurons from the NAc core. This disruption of plasticity persisted for up to 2 weeks after cessation of ethanol access. To determine if changes in AMPA receptor (AMPAR) composition contribute to this ethanol-induced neuroadaptation, we monitored the rectification of AMPAR excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). We observed a marked decrease in the rectification index in the NAc shell, suggesting the presence of GluA2-lacking AMPARs. There was no change in the amplitude of spontaneous EPSCs (sEPSCs), but there was a transient increase in sEPSC frequency in the NAc shell. Using the paired pulse ratio, we detected a similar transient increase in the probability of neurotransmitter release. With no change in sEPSC amplitude, the change in the rectification index suggests that GluA2-containing AMPARs are removed and replaced with GluA2-lacking AMPARs in the NAc shell. This CIE-induced alteration in AMPAR subunit composition may contribute to the loss of NMDAR-dependent long-term depression in the NAc shell and therefore may constitute a critical neuroadaptive response underlying the escalation of ethanol intake in the CIE model. © 2017 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  12. The Two-Level Theory of verb meaning: An approach to integrating the semantics of action with the mirror neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemmerer, David; Gonzalez-Castillo, Javier

    2010-01-01

    Verbs have two separate levels of meaning. One level reflects the uniqueness of every verb and is called the "root". The other level consists of a more austere representation that is shared by all the verbs in a given class and is called the "event structure template". We explore the following hypotheses about how, with specific reference to the motor features of action verbs, these two distinct levels of semantic representation might correspond to two distinct levels of the mirror neuron system. Hypothesis 1: Root-level motor features of verb meaning are partially subserved by somatotopically mapped mirror neurons in the left primary motor and/or premotor cortices. Hypothesis 2: Template-level motor features of verb meaning are partially subserved by representationally more schematic mirror neurons in Brodmann area 44 of the left inferior frontal gyrus. Evidence has been accumulating in support of the general neuroanatomical claims made by these two hypotheses-namely, that each level of verb meaning is associated with the designated cortical areas. However, as yet no studies have satisfied all the criteria necessary to support the more specific neurobiological claims made by the two hypotheses-namely, that each level of verb meaning is associated with mirror neurons in the pertinent brain regions. This would require demonstrating that within those regions the same neuronal populations are engaged during (a) the linguistic processing of particular motor features of verb meaning, (b) the execution of actions with the corresponding motor features, and (c) the observation of actions with the corresponding motor features. 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Commercial Flight Crew Decision-Making during Low-Visibility Approach Operations Using Fused Synthetic/Enhanced Vision Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, Lynda J.; Bailey, Randall E.; Prinzel, Lawrence J., III

    2007-01-01

    NASA is investigating revolutionary crew-vehicle interface technologies that strive to proactively overcome aircraft safety barriers that would otherwise constrain the full realization of the next-generation air transportation system. A fixed-based piloted simulation experiment was conducted to evaluate the complementary use of Synthetic and Enhanced Vision technologies. Specific focus was placed on new techniques for integration and/or fusion of Enhanced and Synthetic Vision and its impact within a two-crew flight deck on the crew's decision-making process during low-visibility approach and landing operations. Overall, the experimental data showed that significant improvements in situation awareness, without concomitant increases in workload and display clutter, could be provided by the integration and/or fusion of synthetic and enhanced vision technologies for the pilot-flying and the pilot-not-flying. During non-normal operations, the ability of the crew to handle substantial navigational errors and runway incursions were neither improved nor adversely impacted by the display concepts. The addition of Enhanced Vision may not, unto itself, provide an improvement in runway incursion detection without being specifically tailored for this application. Existing enhanced vision system procedures were effectively used in the crew decision-making process during approach and missed approach operations but having to forcibly transition from an excellent FLIR image to natural vision by 100 ft above field level was awkward for the pilot-flying.

  14. The Effectiveness of the Brain Based Teaching Approach in Enhancing Scientific Understanding of Newtonian Physics among Form Four Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saleh, Salmiza

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of Brain Based Teaching Approach in enhancing students' scientific understanding of Newtonian Physics in the context of Form Four Physics instruction. The technique was implemented based on the Brain Based Learning Principles developed by Caine & Caine (1991, 2003). This brain compatible…

  15. Enhanced phytoextraction of germanium and rare earth elements - a rhizosphere-based approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiche, Oliver

    2016-04-01

    Germanium (Ge) and rare earth elements (REEs) are economically valuable raw materials that have become an integral part of our modern high tech society. While most of these elements are not actually rare in terms of general amounts in the earth's crust, they are rarely found in sufficient abundances in single locations for their mining to be economically viable. The average concentration of Ge in soils is estimated at 1.6 μg g-1. The REEs comprise a group of 16 elements including La, the group of lanthanides and Y that are abundant in the earth crust with concentrations varying from 35 μg g-1 (La), 40 μg g-1 (Nd), 6 μg g-1 (Gd) and 3.5 μg g-1 (Er) to 0.5 μg g-1 in Tm. Thus, a promising chance to improve supply of these elements could be phytomining. Unfortunately, bioavailability of Ge and REEs in soils appears to be low, in particular in neutral or alkaline soils. A sequential dissolution analysis of 120 soil samples taken from the A-horizons of soils in the area of Freiberg (Saxony, Germany) revealed that only 0.2% of total Ge and about 0.5% of La, Nd, Gd and Er of bulk concentrations were easily accessible by leaching with NH4-acetate (pH 7). Most of the investigated elements were bound to Fe-/Mn-oxides and silicates and were therefore only poorly available for plant uptake. Here we report an environmentally friendly approach for enhanced phytoextraction of Ge and REEs from soils using mixed cultures of plant species with efficient mechanisms for the acquisition of nutrients in the rhizosphere. The rhizosphere is characterized as the zone in soil sourrounding a plant root that consists of a gradient in chemical, physical and biological soil properties driven by rhizodeposits like carboxylates and protons. Some species like white lupin (Lupinus albus) are able to excrete large amounts of organic acid anions(predominantly citrate and malate) and show a particularly high potential for the acidification of the rhizosphere. In our experiments, mixed cultures

  16. Design Approaches for Enhancing Photovoltaic Performance of Silicon Solar Cells Sensitized by Proximal Nanocrystalline Quantum Dots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shafiq, Natis

    Energy transfer (ET) based sensitization of silicon (Si) using proximal nanocrystal quantum dots (NQDs) has been studied extensively in recent years as a means to develop thin and flexible Si based solar cells. The driving force for this research activity is a reduction in materials cost. To date, the main method for determining the role of ET in sensitizing Si has been optical spectroscopic studies. The quantitative contribution from two modes of ET (namely, nonradiative and radiative) has been reported using time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) spectroscopy coupled with extensive theoretical modelling. Thus, optical techniques have established the potential for utilizing ET based sensitization of Si as a feasible way to develop novel NQD-Si hybrid solar cells. However, the ultimate measure of the efficiency of ET-based mechanisms is the generation of electron-hole pairs by the impinging photons. It is therefore important to perform electrical measurements. However, only a couple of studies have attempted electrical quantification of ET modes. A few studies have focused on photocurrent measurements, without considering industrially relevant photovoltaic (PV) systems. Therefore, there is a need to develop a systematic approach for the electrical quantification of ET-generated charges and to help engineer new PV architectures optimized for harnessing the full advantages of ET mechanisms. Within this context, the work presented in this dissertation aims to develop an experimental testing protocol that can be applied to different PV structures for quantifying ET contributions from electrical measurements. We fabricated bulk Si solar cells (SCs) as a test structure and utilized CdSe/ZnS NQDs for ET based sensitization. The NQD-bulk Si hybrid devices showed ˜30% PV enhancement after NQD deposition. We measured external quantum efficiency (EQE) of these devices to quantify ET-generated charges. Reflectance measurements were also performed to decouple contributions of

  17. NCBO Ontology Recommender 2.0: an enhanced approach for biomedical ontology recommendation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Romero, Marcos; Jonquet, Clement; O'Connor, Martin J; Graybeal, John; Pazos, Alejandro; Musen, Mark A

    2017-06-07

    Ontologies and controlled terminologies have become increasingly important in biomedical research. Researchers use ontologies to annotate their data with ontology terms, enabling better data integration and interoperability across disparate datasets. However, the number, variety and complexity of current biomedical ontologies make it cumbersome for researchers to determine which ones to reuse for their specific needs. To overcome this problem, in 2010 the National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO) released the Ontology Recommender, which is a service that receives a biomedical text corpus or a list of keywords and suggests ontologies appropriate for referencing the indicated terms. We developed a new version of the NCBO Ontology Recommender. Called Ontology Recommender 2.0, it uses a novel recommendation approach that evaluates the relevance of an ontology to biomedical text data according to four different criteria: (1) the extent to which the ontology covers the input data; (2) the acceptance of the ontology in the biomedical community; (3) the level of detail of the ontology classes that cover the input data; and (4) the specialization of the ontology to the domain of the input data. Our evaluation shows that the enhanced recommender provides higher quality suggestions than the original approach, providing better coverage of the input data, more detailed information about their concepts, increased specialization for the domain of the input data, and greater acceptance and use in the community. In addition, it provides users with more explanatory information, along with suggestions of not only individual ontologies but also groups of ontologies to use together. It also can be customized to fit the needs of different ontology recommendation scenarios. Ontology Recommender 2.0 suggests relevant ontologies for annotating biomedical text data. It combines the strengths of its predecessor with a range of adjustments and new features that improve its reliability

  18. A computationally inexpensive CFD approach for small-scale biomass burners equipped with enhanced air staging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buchmayr, M.; Gruber, J.; Hargassner, M.; Hochenauer, C.

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • Time efficient CFD model to predict biomass boiler performance. • Boundary conditions for numerical modeling are provided by measurements. • Tars in the product from primary combustion was considered. • Simulation results were validated by experiments on a real-scale reactor. • Very good accordance between experimental and simulation results. - Abstract: Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is an upcoming technique for optimization and as a part of the design process of biomass combustion systems. An accurate simulation of biomass combustion can only be provided with high computational effort so far. This work presents an accurate, time efficient CFD approach for small-scale biomass combustion systems equipped with enhanced air staging. The model can handle the high amount of biomass tars in the primary combustion product at very low primary air ratios. Gas-phase combustion in the freeboard was performed by the Steady Flamelet Model (SFM) together with a detailed heptane combustion mechanism. The advantage of the SFM is that complex combustion chemistry can be taken into account at low computational effort because only two additional transport equations have to be solved to describe the chemistry in the reacting flow. Boundary conditions for primary combustion product composition were obtained from the fuel bed by experiments. The fuel bed data were used as fuel inlet boundary condition for the gas-phase combustion model. The numerical and experimental investigations were performed for different operating conditions and varying wood-chip moisture on a special designed real-scale reactor. The numerical predictions were validated with experimental results and a very good agreement was found. With the presented approach accurate results can be provided within 24 h using a standard Central Processing Unit (CPU) consisting of six cores. Case studies e.g. for combustion geometry improvement can be realized effectively due to the short calculation

  19. An Approach to Enhancement of the Safety Culture of Nuclear Power Plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Yong Hee [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-05-15

    The culture of an organization is very complex to study and evaluate, but it is possible to examine the specific norms that figure out the culture for the safety of a system. This paper describes an initiation plan to study the safety culture issue in Korean NPPs. Recently there happened successively events that turned out to be socially prominent in Korea. Many issues on the safety culture aspect of NPPs have been raised including the types of errors such as violations, an intended concealment of safety-related information, counterfeit items, forgery process in procurement, and so on. Those were investigated in detail for the root causes of these issues as human and organizational errors and for the countermeasures to prevent those events. They are integrated into a correspondent long-term plan including the establishment of a fundamental infrastructure of safety culture management for operating NPPs in Korea. A monitoring system with analysis functions utilizing system dynamics simulation and data mining is proposed to be incorporated into a safety culture management system. Additionally, a set of training and support programs are to be developed for the enhancement of some selected competence of the operating personnel in Korean NPPs. The safe operation of NPPs requires the typical safety culture characteristics of the high reliability organization (HRO). The culture of an organization is very complex to study and evaluate, but it is possible to examine the specific norms that figure out the culture for the safety of a system. This paper describes an integrated systems approach as an initiating plan to study the safety culture issue in Korean NPPs.

  20. An Approach to Enhancement of the Safety Culture of Nuclear Power Plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Yong Hee

    2014-01-01

    The culture of an organization is very complex to study and evaluate, but it is possible to examine the specific norms that figure out the culture for the safety of a system. This paper describes an initiation plan to study the safety culture issue in Korean NPPs. Recently there happened successively events that turned out to be socially prominent in Korea. Many issues on the safety culture aspect of NPPs have been raised including the types of errors such as violations, an intended concealment of safety-related information, counterfeit items, forgery process in procurement, and so on. Those were investigated in detail for the root causes of these issues as human and organizational errors and for the countermeasures to prevent those events. They are integrated into a correspondent long-term plan including the establishment of a fundamental infrastructure of safety culture management for operating NPPs in Korea. A monitoring system with analysis functions utilizing system dynamics simulation and data mining is proposed to be incorporated into a safety culture management system. Additionally, a set of training and support programs are to be developed for the enhancement of some selected competence of the operating personnel in Korean NPPs. The safe operation of NPPs requires the typical safety culture characteristics of the high reliability organization (HRO). The culture of an organization is very complex to study and evaluate, but it is possible to examine the specific norms that figure out the culture for the safety of a system. This paper describes an integrated systems approach as an initiating plan to study the safety culture issue in Korean NPPs

  1. Determining Coastal Hazards Risk Perception to Enhance Local Mitigation Planning through a Participatory Mapping Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bethel, M.; Braud, D.; Lambeth, T.; Biber, P.; Wu, W.

    2017-12-01

    Coastal community leaders, government officials, and natural resource managers must be able to accurately assess and predict a given coastal landscape's sustainability and/or vulnerability as coastal habitat continues to undergo rapid and dramatic changes associated with natural and anthropogenic activities such as accelerated relative sea level rise (SLR). To help address this information need, a multi-disciplinary project team conducted Sea Grant sponsored research in Louisiana and Mississippi with traditional ecosystem users and natural resource managers to determine a method for producing localized vulnerability and sustainability maps for projected SLR and storm surge impacts, and determine how and whether the results of such an approach can provide more useful information to enhance hazard mitigation planning. The goals of the project are to develop and refine SLR visualization tools for local implementation in areas experiencing subsidence and erosion, and discover the different ways stakeholder groups evaluate risk and plan mitigation strategies associated with projected SLR and storm surge. Results from physical information derived from data and modeling of subsidence, erosion, engineered restoration and coastal protection features, historical land loss, and future land projections under SLR are integrated with complimentary traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) offered by the collaborating local ecosystem users for these assessments. The data analysis involves interviewing stakeholders, coding the interviews for themes, and then converting the themes into vulnerability and sustainability factors. Each factor is weighted according to emphasis by the TEK experts and number of experts who mention it to determine which factors are the highest priority. The priority factors are then mapped with emphasis on the perception of contributing to local community vulnerability or sustainability to SLR and storm surge. The maps are used by the collaborators to benefit

  2. The Capabilities Approach: Fostering contexts for enhancing mental health and wellbeing across the globe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Ross G; Imperiale, Maria Grazia; Perera, Em

    2016-05-05

    Concerted efforts have been made in recent years to achieve equity and equality in mental health for all people across the globe. This has led to the emergence of Global Mental Health as an area of study and practice. The momentum that this has created has contributed to the development, implementation and evaluation of services for priority mental disorders in many low- and middle-income countries.This paper discusses two related issues that may be serving to limit the success of mental health initiatives across the globe, and proposes potential solutions to these issues. First, there has been a lack of sophistication in determining what constitutes a 'good outcome' for people experiencing mental health difficulties. Even though health is defined and understood as a state of 'wellbeing' and not merely an absence of illness, mental health interventions tend to narrowly focus on reducing symptoms of mental illness. The need to also focus more broadly on enhancing subjective wellbeing is highlighted. The second limitation relates to the lack of an overarching theoretical framework guiding efforts to reduce inequalities and inequities in mental health across the globe. This paper discusses the potential impact that the Capabilities Approach (CA) could have for addressing both of these issues. As a framework for human development, the CA places emphasis on promoting wellbeing through enabling people to realise their capabilities and engage in behaviours that they subjectively value. The utilization of the CA to guide the development and implementation of mental health interventions can help Global Mental Health initiatives to identify sources of social inequality and structural violence that may impede freedom and individuals' opportunities to realise their capabilities.

  3. Simultaneously saccharification and fermentation approach as a tool for enhanced fossil fuels biodesulfurization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paixão, Susana M; Arez, Bruno F; Roseiro, José C; Alves, Luís

    2016-11-01

    Biodesulfurization can be a complementary technology to the hydrodesulfurization, the commonly physical-chemical process used for sulfur removal from crude oil. The desulfurizing bacterium Gordonia alkanivorans strain 1B as a fructophilic microorganism requires fructose as C-source. In this context, the main goal of this work was the optimization of a simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) approach using the Zygosaccharomyces bailii strain Talf1 crude enzymes with invertase activity and sucrose as a cheaper fructose-rich commercial C-source (50% fructose) towards dibenzothiophene (DBT) desulfurization by strain 1B. The determination of optimal conditions, for both sucrose hydrolysis and DBT desulfurization was carried out through two sequential experimental uniform designs according to the Doehlert distribution for two factors: pH (5.5-7.5) and temperature (28-38 °C), with the enzyme load of 1.16 U/g/L; and enzyme load (0-4 U/g/L) and temperature (28-38 °C), with pH at 7.5. Based on 2-hydroxybiphenyl production, the analysis of the response surfaces obtained pointed out for pH 7.5, 32 °C and 1.8 U/g/L as optimal conditions. Further optimized SSF of sucrose during the DBT desulfurization process permitted to attain a 4-fold enhanced biodesulfurization. This study opens a new focus of research through the exploitation of sustainable low cost sucrose-rich feedstocks towards a more economical viable bioprocess scale-up. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Can pluralistic approaches based upon unknown languages enhance learner engagement and lead to active social inclusion?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahm, Rebecca

    2017-08-01

    One way to foster active social inclusion is to enable students to develop a positive attitude to "foreignness". Creating a situation where mainstream students are less wary of foreign languages and cultures, and where newcomers feel their linguistic background is being valued, provides favourable conditions for the inclusion of these newcomers in the classroom and in society. However, language classrooms in French schools rarely take any previously acquired linguistic knowledge into account, thus unconsciously contributing to the rift between multilingual learners (e.g. 1st- and 2nd-generation immigrant children, refugees, children of parents with different mother tongues) and French learners. Native French learners' first experience of learning another language is usually when English is added as a subject to their curriculum in primary school. In some schools in France, English lessons now include the simulation of multilingual situations, designed in particular for the French "quasi-monolingual" students to lose their fear of unknown languages and "foreignness" in general. But the overall aim is to help both groups of learners become aware of the positive impact of multilingualism on cognitive abilities. However, to achieve long-term effects, this awareness-raising needs to be accompanied by maximum engagement on the part of the students. This article explores an instructional strategy termed Pluralistic Approaches based upon Unknown Languages (PAUL), which was designed to develop learning strategies of quasi-monolingual students in particular and to increase learner engagement more generally. The results of a small-scale PAUL study discussed by the author seem to confirm an increase in learner engagement leading to an enhancement of learning outcomes. Moreover, PAUL seems indeed suitable for helping to prepare the ground for social inclusion.

  5. Transdermal and transbuccal drug delivery systems: enhancement using iontophoretic and chemical approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Longsheng; Silva, Sérgio M C; Damaj, Bassam B; Martin, Richard; Michniak-Kohn, Bozena B

    2011-12-12

    We investigated the enhancement effect of chemical enhancers and iontophoresis on the in vitro transdermal and transbuccal delivery of lidocaine HCl (LHCl), nicotine hydrogen tartrate (NHT), and diltiazem HCl (DHCl) using porcine skin and buccal tissues. Dodecyl 2-(N,N-dimethylamino) propionate (DDAIP), dodecyl-2-(N,N-dimethylamino) propionate hydrochloride (DDAIP HCl), N-(4-bromobenzoyl)-S,S-dimethyliminosulfurane (Br-iminosulfurane), and azone (laurocapram) were used as chemical enhancers. The study results showed that the application of iontophoresis at either 0.1 mA or 0.3 mA significantly enhanced transdermal and transmucosal delivery of LHCl, NHT and DHCl. It was also demonstrated that iontophoresis had a more pronounced enhancement effect on transdermal delivery than on transbuccal delivery of LHCl, NHT and DHCl. In addition, DDAIP HCl was found to be the most effective enhancer for transbuccal delivery of LHCl and NHT. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Enhanced Attenuation: A Reference Guide On Approaches To Increase The Natural Treatment Capacity Of A System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vangelas, K

    2006-01-30

    The objective of this document is to explore the realm of enhancements to natural attenuation processes for cVOCs and review examples that have been proposed, modeled, and implemented. We will identify lessons learned from these case studies to confirm that enhancements are technically feasible and have the potential to achieve a favorable, cost-effective contaminant mass balance. Furthermore, we hope to determine if opportunities for further improvement of the enhancements exist and suggest areas where new and innovative types of enhancements might be possible.

  7. ENHANCED ATTENUATION: A REFERENCE GUIDE ON APPROACHES TO INCREASE THE NATURAL TREATMENT CAPACITY OF A SYSTEM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Looney, B; Michael Heitkamp, M; Gary Wein (NOEMAIL), G; Karen Vangelas, K; Karen-M Adams, K; Tom Early; Bob Borden; David Major; W. Jody Waugh; Todd Wiedemeier; Claire H. Sink

    2006-08-10

    The objective of this document is to explore the realm of enhancements to natural attenuation processes for cVOCs and review examples that have been proposed, modeled, and implemented. We will identify lessons learned from these case studies to confirm that enhancements are technically feasible and have the potential to achieve a favorable, cost-effective contaminant mass balance. Furthermore, we hope to determine if opportunities for further improvement of the enhancements exist and suggest areas where new and innovative types of enhancements might be possible.

  8. Caprylic Triglyceride as a Novel Therapeutic Approach to Effectively Improve the Performance and Attenuate the Symptoms Due to the Motor Neuron Loss in ALS Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Zhao, Wei; Varghese, Merina; Vempati, Prashant; Dzhun, Anastasiya; Cheng, Alice; Wang, Jun; Lange, Dale; Bilski, Amanda; Faravelli, Irene; Pasinetti, Giulio Maria

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder of motor neurons causing progressive muscle weakness, paralysis, and finally death. ALS patients suffer from asthenia and their progressive weakness negatively impacts quality of life, limiting their daily activities. They have impaired energy balance linked to lower activity of mitochondrial electron transport chain enzymes in ALS spinal cord, suggesting that improving mitochondrial function may present a therapeutic approac...

  9. Emergence of canine distemper virus strains with modified molecular signature and enhanced neuronal tropism leading to high mortality in wild carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Origgi, F C; Plattet, P; Sattler, U; Robert, N; Casaubon, J; Mavrot, F; Pewsner, M; Wu, N; Giovannini, S; Oevermann, A; Stoffel, M H; Gaschen, V; Segner, H; Ryser-Degiorgis, M-P

    2012-11-01

    An ongoing canine distemper epidemic was first detected in Switzerland in the spring of 2009. Compared to previous local canine distemper outbreaks, it was characterized by unusually high morbidity and mortality, rapid spread over the country, and susceptibility of several wild carnivore species. Here, the authors describe the associated pathologic changes and phylogenetic and biological features of a multiple highly virulent canine distemper virus (CDV) strain detected in and/or isolated from red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), Eurasian badgers (Meles meles), stone (Martes foina) and pine (Martes martes) martens, from a Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), and a domestic dog. The main lesions included interstitial to bronchointerstitial pneumonia and meningopolioencephalitis, whereas demyelination--the classic presentation of CDV infection--was observed in few cases only. In the brain lesions, viral inclusions were mainly in the nuclei of the neurons. Some significant differences in brain and lung lesions were observed between foxes and mustelids. Swiss CDV isolates shared together with a Hungarian CDV strain detected in 2004. In vitro analysis of the hemagglutinin protein from one of the Swiss CDV strains revealed functional and structural differences from that of the reference strain A75/17, with the Swiss strain showing increased surface expression and binding efficiency to the signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM). These features might be part of a novel molecular signature, which might have contributed to an increase in virus pathogenicity, partially explaining the high morbidity and mortality, the rapid spread, and the large host spectrum observed in this outbreak.

  10. The requirement for enhanced CREB1 expression in consolidation of long-term synaptic facilitation and long-term excitability in sensory neurons of Aplysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Rong-Yu; Cleary, Leonard J.; Byrne, John H.

    2011-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that the transcriptional activator CREB1 is important for serotonin (5-HT)-induced long-term facilitation (LTF) of the sensorimotor synapse in Aplysia. Moreover, creb1 is among the genes activated by CREB1, suggesting a role for this protein beyond the induction phase of LTF. The time course of the requirement for CREB1 synthesis in the consolidation of long-term facilitation was examined using RNA interference (RNAi) techniques in sensorimotor co-cultures. Injection of CREB1 small-interfering RNA (siRNA) immediately or 10 h after 5-HT treatment blocked LTF when measured at 24 h and 48 h after treatment. In contrast, CREB1 siRNA did not block LTF when injected 16 h after 5-HT treatment. These results demonstrate that creb1 expression must be sustained for a relatively long time in order to support the consolidation of LTF. In addition, LTF is also accompanied by a long-term increase in the excitability (LTE) of sensory neurons (SNs). Because LTE was observed in the isolated SN after 5-HT treatment, this long-term change was intrinsic to that element of the circuit. LTE was blocked when CREB1 siRNA was injected into isolated SNs immediately after 5-HT treatment. These data suggest that 5-HT-induced CREB1 synthesis is required for consolidation of both LTF and LTE. PMID:21543617

  11. Chronic restraint stress promotes learning and memory impairment due to enhanced neuronal endoplasmic reticulum stress in the frontal cortex and hippocampus in male mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Rong-Rong; Hu, Wen; Yin, Yan-Yan; Wang, Yu-Chan; Li, Wei-Ping; Li, Wei-Zu

    2015-02-01

    Chronic stress has been implicated in many types of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). In our previous study, we demonstrated that chronic restraint stress (CRS) induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) overproduction and oxidative damage in the frontal cortex and hippocampus in mice. In the present study, we investigated the effects of CRS (over a period of 8 weeks) on learning and memory impairment and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in the frontal cortex and hippocampus in male mice. The Morris water maze was used to investigate the effects of CRS on learning and memory impairment. Immunohistochemistry and immunoblot analysis were also used to determine the expression levels of protein kinase C α (PKCα), 78 kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78), C/EBP-homologous protein (CHOP) and mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF). The results revealed that CRS significantly accelerated learning and memory impairment, and induced neuronal damage in the frontal cortex and hippocampus CA1 region. Moreover, CRS significantly increased the expression of PKCα, CHOP and MANF, and decreased that of GRP78 in the frontal cortex and hippocampus. Our data suggest that exposure to CRS (for 8 weeks) significantly accelerates learning and memory impairment, and the mechanisms involved may be related to ER stress in the frontal cortex and hippocampus.

  12. The role of rosemary extract in degeneration of hippocampal neurons induced by kainic acid in the rat: A behavioral and histochemical approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naderali, Elahe; Nikbakht, Farnaz; Ofogh, Sattar Norouzi; Rasoolijazi, Homa

    2018-01-01

    Systemic Kainic Acid (KA) administration has been used to induce experimental temporal lobe epilepsy in rats. The aim of this study was to evaluate the neuroprotective effect of rosemary extract (RE, 40% Carnosic acid) against KA-induced neurotoxicity in hippocampus and impaired learning and memory. Animals received a single dose of KA (9.5 mg/kg) intraperitoneally (i.p.) (KA group) and were observed for 2 h and were scored from 0 (for normal, no convulsion) to 5 (for continuous generalized limbic seizures). RE (100 mg/kg, orally) was administered daily for 23 days, starting a week before KA injection (KA+RE group). Neuronal degeneration in hippocampus was demonstrated by using Fluoro-Jade B immunofluorescence. The number of pyramidal cells in hippocampus was evaluated by Nissl staining. Also, the Morris Water Maze and Shuttle box have been used to assess spatial memory and passive avoidance learning, respectively. Our results revealed that, after treatment with RE, neuronal loss in CA1 decreased significantly in the animals in KA+RE group. The Morris water navigation task results revealed that spatial memory impairment decreased in the animals in KA+RE group. Furthermore, results in Shuttle box test showed that passive avoidance learning impairment significantly, upgraded in the animals in KA+RE group. These results suggest that RE may improve the spatial and working memory deficits and also neuronal degeneration induced by toxicity of KA in the rat hippocampus, due to its antioxidant activities.

  13. Optimizing NEURON Simulation Environment Using Remote Memory Access with Recursive Doubling on Distributed Memory Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shehzad, Danish; Bozkuş, Zeki

    2016-01-01

    Increase in complexity of neuronal network models escalated the efforts to make NEURON simulation environment efficient. The computational neuroscientists divided the equations into subnets amongst multiple processors for achieving better hardware performance. On parallel machines for neuronal networks, interprocessor spikes exchange consumes large section of overall simulation time. In NEURON for communication between processors Message Passing Interface (MPI) is used. MPI_Allgather collective is exercised for spikes exchange after each interval across distributed memory systems. The increase in number of processors though results in achieving concurrency and better performance but it inversely affects MPI_Allgather which increases communication time between processors. This necessitates improving communication methodology to decrease the spikes exchange time over distributed memory systems. This work has improved MPI_Allgather method using Remote Memory Access (RMA) by moving two-sided communication to one-sided communication, and use of recursive doubling mechanism facilitates achieving efficient communication between the processors in precise steps. This approach enhanced communication concurrency and has improved overall runtime making NEURON more efficient for simulation of large neuronal network models.

  14. Optimizing NEURON Simulation Environment Using Remote Memory Access with Recursive Doubling on Distributed Memory Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danish Shehzad

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Increase in complexity of neuronal network models escalated the efforts to make NEURON simulation environment efficient. The computational neuroscientists divided the equations into subnets amongst multiple processors for achieving better hardware performance. On parallel machines for neuronal networks, interprocessor spikes exchange consumes large section of overall simulation time. In NEURON for communication between processors Message Passing Interface (MPI is used. MPI_Allgather collective is exercised for spikes exchange after each interval across distributed memory systems. The increase in number of processors though results in achieving concurrency and better performance but it inversely affects MPI_Allgather which increases communication time between processors. This necessitates improving communication methodology to decrease the spikes exchange time over distributed memory systems. This work has improved MPI_Allgather method using Remote Memory Access (RMA by moving two-sided communication to one-sided communication, and use of recursive doubling mechanism facilitates achieving efficient communication between the processors in precise steps. This approach enhanced communication concurrency and has improved overall runtime making NEURON more efficient for simulation of large neuronal network models.

  15. Long-lasting enhancement of synaptic excitability of CA1/subiculum neurons of the rat ventral hippocampus by vasopressin and vasopressin(4-8)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gispen, W.H.; Chepkova, A.N.; French, P.; Wied, D. de; Ontskul, A.H.; Ramakers, G.M.J.; Skrebitski, V.G.; Urban, I.J.A.

    1995-01-01

    Vasopressin (VP) is axonally distributed in many brain structures, including the ventral hippocampus. Picogram quantities of VP injected into the hippocampus improve the passive avoidance response of rats, presumably by enhancing memory processes. Vasopressin is metabolized by the brain tissue into

  16. Timing control by redundant inhibitory neuronal circuits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tristan, I., E-mail: itristan@ucsd.edu; Rulkov, N. F.; Huerta, R.; Rabinovich, M. [BioCircuits Institute, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0402 (United States)

    2014-03-15

    Rhythms and timing control of sequential activity in the brain is fundamental to cognition and behavior. Although experimental and theoretical studies support the understanding that neuronal circuits are intrinsically capable of generating different time intervals, the dynamical origin of the phenomenon of functionally dependent timing control is still unclear. Here, we consider a new mechanism that is related to the multi-neuronal cooperative dynamics in inhibitory brain motifs consisting of a few clusters. It is shown that redundancy and diversity of neurons within each cluster enhances the sensitivity of the timing control with the level of neuronal excitation of the whole network. The generality of the mechanism is shown to work on two different neuronal models: a conductance-based model and a map-based model.

  17. Timing control by redundant inhibitory neuronal circuits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tristan, I.; Rulkov, N. F.; Huerta, R.; Rabinovich, M.

    2014-01-01

    Rhythms and timing control of sequential activity in the brain is fundamental to cognition and behavior. Although experimental and theoretical studies support the understanding that neuronal circuits are intrinsically capable of generating different time intervals, the dynamical origin of the phenomenon of functionally dependent timing control is still unclear. Here, we consider a new mechanism that is related to the multi-neuronal cooperative dynamics in inhibitory brain motifs consisting of a few clusters. It is shown that redundancy and diversity of neurons within each cluster enhances the sensitivity of the timing control with the level of neuronal excitation of the whole network. The generality of the mechanism is shown to work on two different neuronal models: a conductance-based model and a map-based model

  18. Parkin Mutations Reduce the Complexity of Neuronal Processes in iPSC-derived Human Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Yong; Jiang, Houbo; Hu, Zhixing; Fan, Kevin; Wang, Jun; Janoschka, Stephen; Wang, Xiaomin; Ge, Shaoyu; Feng, Jian

    2015-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by the degeneration of nigral dopaminergic (DA) neurons and non-DA neurons in many parts of the brain. Mutations of parkin, an E3 ubiquitin ligase that strongly binds to microtubules, are the most frequent cause of recessively inherited Parkinson’s disease. The lack of robust PD phenotype in parkin knockout mice suggests a unique vulnerability of human neurons to parkin mutations. Here, we show that the complexity of neuronal processes as measured by total neurite length, number of terminals, number of branch points and Sholl analysis, was greatly reduced in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived TH+ or TH− neurons from PD patients with parkin mutations. Consistent with these, microtubule stability was significantly decreased by parkin mutations in iPSC-derived neurons. Overexpression of parkin, but not its PD-linked mutant nor GFP, restored the complexity of neuronal processes and the stability of microtubules. Consistent with these, the microtubule-depolymerizing agent colchicine mimicked the effect of parkin mutations by decreasing neurite length and complexity in control neurons while the microtubule-stabilizing drug taxol mimicked the effect of parkin overexpression by enhancing the morphology of parkin-deficient neurons. The results suggest that parkin maintains the morphological complexity of human neurons by stabilizing microtubules. PMID:25332110

  19. Life context of pharmacological academic performance enhancement among university students--a qualitative approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hildt, Elisabeth; Lieb, Klaus; Franke, Andreas Günter

    2014-03-07

    Academic performance enhancement or cognitive enhancement (CE) via stimulant drug use has received increasing attention. The question remains, however, whether CE solely represents the use of drugs for achieving better academic or workplace results or whether CE also serves various other purposes. The aim of this study was to put the phenomenon of pharmacological academic performance enhancement via prescription and illicit (psycho-) stimulant use (Amphetamines, Methylphenidate) among university students into a broader context. Specifically, we wanted to further understand students' experiences, the effects of use on students and other factors, such as pressure to perform in their academic and private lives. A sample of 18 healthy university students reporting the non-medical use of prescription and illicit stimulants for academic performance enhancement was interviewed in a face-to-face setting. The leading questions were related to the situations and context in which the students considered the non-medical use of stimulants. Based on the resultant transcript, two independent raters identified six categories relating to the life context of stimulant use for academic performance enhancement: Context of stimulant use beyond academic performance enhancement, Subjective experience of enhancement, Timing of consumption, Objective academic results, Side effects, Pressure to perform. The answers reveal that academic performance enhancement through the use of stimulants is not an isolated phenomenon that solely aims at enhancing cognition to achieve better academic results but that the multifaceted life context in which it is embedded is of crucial relevance. The participants not only considered the stimulants advantageous for enhancing academic performance, but also for leading an active life with a suitable balance between studying and time off. The most common reasons given for stimulant use were to maximize time, to increase motivation and to cope with memorizing

  20. Creatine Enhances Transdifferentiation of Bone Marrow Stromal Cell-Derived Neural Stem Cell Into GABAergic Neuron-Like Cells Characterized With Differential Gene Expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darabi, Shahram; Tiraihi, Taki; Delshad, AliReza; Sadeghizadeh, Majid; Taheri, Taher; Hassoun, Hayder K

    2017-04-01

    Creatine was reported to induce bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC) into GABAergic neuron-like cells (GNLC). In a previous study, creatine was used as a single inducer for BMSC into GNLC with low yield. In this study, BMSC-derived neurospheres (NS) have been used in generating GABAergic phenotype. The BMSC were isolated from adult rats and used in generating neurospheres and used for producing neural stem cells (NSC). A combination of all-trans-retinoic acid (RA), the ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), and creatine was used in order to improve the yield of GNLC. We also used other protocols for the transdifferentiation including RA alone; RA and creatine; RA and CNTF; and RA, CNTF, and creatine. The BMSC, NSC, and GNLC were characterized by specific markers. The activity of the GNLC was evaluated using FM1-43. The isolated BMSC expressed Oct4, fibronectin, and CD44. The NS were immunoreactive to nestin and SOX2, the NSC were immunoreactive to nestin, NF68 and NF160, while the GNLC were immunoreactive to GAD1/2, VGAT, GABA, and synaptophysin. Oct4 and c-MYC, pluripotency genes, were expressed in the BMSC, while SOX2 and c-MYC were expressed in the NSC. The activity of GNLC indicates that the synaptic vesicles were released upon stimulation. The conclusion is that the combination of RA, CNTF, and creatine induced differentiation of neurosphere-derived NSC into GNLC within 1 week. This protocol gives higher yield than the other protocols used in this study. The mechanism of induction was clearly associated with several differential pluripotent genes.

  1. Colloidal approach to dispersion and enhanced deaggregation of aqueous ferrite suspensions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandanas, Michael Patrick M.

    The role of solution and surface chemistry on deaggregation of calcined ferrites during attrition (stirred-media) milling of aqueous suspensions were investigated. Suspensions of commercially calcined Fe2O 3 powder (d50 ˜ 5.0 mum) were milled at different solid loadings and suspension pH. The drift of suspension pH, from pH 2.5 to pH 7.0, during solid loading experiments accounted for the observed reagglomeration with milling time. The observed deaggregation rates during pH stat milling, in the acidic region, can be related to (i) elevated solubility and (ii) enhanced dispersion via surface charge. Proton adsorption density during pH stat milling at different pH values is also comparable to existing potentiometric titration plots and can be related to deaggregation rates. A passivation-dispersion approach for dispersing manganese zinc ferrite (MnxZn(1 - x)Fe2O4) powder is presented. Addition of oxalic acid can help control dissolution reactions from particle surfaces and is subsequently dispersed with polyethyleneimine (PEI). Fully dissociated oxalic acid (pK1 = 1.2, pK2 = 4.3) solutions reacted with MnxZn(1 - x)Fe 2O4 leads to the formation of a uniform negative charge on the particle surface, resulting from the sparingly soluble salt formed on the surface. The resulting rheological data for passivation/dispersion of relatively high solid MnxZn(1 - x)Fe2O 4 suspensions (˜80 w/o, (˜40 v/o)) demonstrate improved colloid stability with improved rheological properties. Using the passivation dispersion scheme developed, deaggregation of commercially calcined MnxZn(1 - x)Fe2O4 powders during attrition milling was investigated. Reagglomeration is apparent when using a typical treatment, 2 w/w of a sulfonated based naphthalene condensate, during deaggregation of the calcined MnxZn(1 - x)Fe 2O4. However, is not observed for select oxalate/PEI treatments. The determined ideal treatment is 2 w/w oxalate and 3 w/w PEI based on the particle size and rheological

  2. ENHANCING BPK RI’S AUDIT DESIGN FOR PEOPLE’S WELFARE: A PRACTICAL APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I Kadek Suartama

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The 2016-2020 Strategic Plan of BPK RI necessitates audits to be conducted to advance people’s welfare at the greatest extent possible as a reflection of growing maturity of BPK RI as an accountability organization. This would require BPK RI to be able to examine and evaluate whether government’s development programs under RPJMN have achieved the desired outcomes or impact of increasing people’s welfare. This paper aimed to find a practical approach to enhance BPK RI’s audit design in order to be able to contribute to the optimization of people’s welfare as required under the new vision of Renstra 2016- 2020. The authors use their experience on the recent formulation of ‘BPK RI’s Audit Policy 2016- 2020’ (Kebijakan Pemeriksaan 2016-2020, in which the authors are actively involved. The authors also use reviews of existing audit design and study on relevant theoretical and academic literatures that provide the overarching study framework. The study concluded that BPK audits should be designed toward national development programs in RPJMN 2015-2019 which correlate directly with or possessing great leverage in the achievement of welfare indicators. KEYWORDS Welfare, Audit Design, Planning, RPJMN ABSTRAK Renstra BPK 2016-2020 mensyaratkan pemeriksaan-pemeriksaan BPK dilaksanakan sedemikian rupa sehingga dapat mendorong terwujudnya pembangunan untuk sebesar-besar kemakmuran rakyat sebagai refleksi dari peningkatan kematangan BPK. Pemeriksaan BPK diharapkan mampu menilai dan mengevaluasi apakah program-program pembangunan yang didesain atau ditetapkan dalam RPJMN telah mencapai outcome maupun dampak yang diinginkan yaitu meningkatkan kesejahteraan masyarakat. Studi ini bertujuan untuk mencari pendekatan praktis untuk memperkuat desain audit BPK agar dapat berperan untuk meningkatkan kesejahteraan rakyat seperti yang disyaratkan dalam Rentstra 2016-2020. Penulis menggunakan pengalaman profesional dalam membangun formula Kebijakan

  3. Enhancing sediment flux control and natural hazard risk mitigation through a structured conceptual planning approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simoni, S.; Vignoli, G.; Mazzorana, B.

    2017-08-01

    Sediment fluxes from mountain rivers contribute to shape the geomorphologic features of lowland rivers and to establish the physical basis for an optimal set of ecosystem functions and related services to people. Through significant public funding, the hydro-morphological regimes of mountain rivers in the European Alps have been progressively altered over the last century, with the aim to provide a safe dwelling space, to boost transport, mobility and to support economic growth. We claim that the underlying planning weaknesses contribute to determine these inefficient resource allocations, since flood risk is still high and the ecosystem services are far from being optimal. Hence, with the overall aim to enhance sediment flux control and hazard risk mitigation in such heavily modified alpine streams, we propose a structured design workflow which guides the planner through system analysis and synthesis. As a first step the proposed workflow sets the relevant planning goals and assesses the protection structure functionality. Then a methodology is proposed to achieve the goals. This methodology consists in characterising the hydrologic basin of interest and the sediment availability and determining the sediment connectivity to channels. The focus is set on the detailed analysis of existing river cross sections where the sediment continuity is interrupted (e.g. slit and check dams). By retaining relevant sediment volumes these structures prevent the reactivation of hydro-morphological and associated ecological functionalities. Since their actual performance can be unsatisfying with respect to flood risk mitigation (e.g. mainly old structures), we introduce specific efficiency indicators as a support for the conceptual design stage to quantify effects related to sediment flux control and risk management. The proposed planning approach is then applied to the Gadria system (stream, slit dam, retention basin and culvert), located in South Tyrol, Italy. This case study

  4. Taurine Protected Against the Impairments of Neural Stem Cell Differentiated Neurons Induced by Oxygen-Glucose Deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Bo; Liu, Huazhen; Gu, Zeyun; Liu, Sining; Ji, Cheng

    2015-11-01

    Cell transplantation of neural stem cells (NSCs) is a promising approach for neurological recovery both structurally and functionally. However, one big obstacle is to promote differentiation of NSCs into neurons and the followed maturation. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the protective effect of taurine on the differentiation of NSCs and subsequent maturation of their neuronal lineage, when exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD). The results suggested that taurine (5-20 mM) promoted the viability and proliferation of NSCs, and it protected against 8 h of OGD induced impairments. Furthermore, 20 mM taurine promoted NSCs to differentiate into neurons after 7 days of culture, and it also protected against the suppressive impairments of 8 h of OGD. Consistently, taurine (20 mM) promoted the neurite sprouting and outgrowth of the NSC differentiated neurons after 14 days of differentiation, which were significantly inhibited by OGD (8 h). At D21, the mushroom spines and spine density were promoted or restored by 20 mM taurine. Taken together, the enhanced viability and proliferation of NSCs, more differentiated neurons and the promoted maturation of neurons by 20 mM taurine support its therapeutic application during stem cell therapy to enhance neurological recovery. Moreover, it protected against the impairments induced by OGD, which may highlight its role for a more direct therapeutic application especially in an ischemic stroke environment.

  5. Genetic deletion of GPR52 enhances the locomotor-stimulating effect of an adenosine A2A receptor antagonist in mice: A potential role of GPR52 in the function of striatopallidal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishiyama, Keiji; Suzuki, Hirobumi; Maruyama, Minoru; Yoshihara, Tomoki; Ohta, Hiroyuki

    2017-09-01

    G protein-coupled receptor 52 (GPR52) is largely co-expressed with dopamine D 2 receptor (DRD2) in the striatum and nucleus accumbens, and this expression pattern is similar to that of adenosine A 2A receptor (ADORA2A). GPR52 has been proposed as a therapeutic target for positive symptoms of schizophrenia, based on observations from pharmacological and transgenic mouse studies. However, the physiological role of GPR52 in dopaminergic functions in the basal ganglia remains unclear. Here, we used GPR52 knockout (KO) mice to examine the role of GPR52 in dopamine receptor-mediated and ADORA2A-mediated locomotor activity and dopamine receptor signaling. High expression of GPR52 protein in the striatum, nucleus accumbens, and lateral globus pallidus of wild type (WT) littermates was confirmed by immunohistochemical analysis. GPR52 KO and WT mice exhibited almost identical locomotor responses to the dopamine releaser methamphetamine and the N-methyl-d-aspartate antagonist MK-801. In contrast, the locomotor response to the ADORA2A antagonist istradefylline was significantly augmented in GPR52 KO mice compared to WT mice. Gene expression analysis revealed that striatal expression of DRD2, but not of dopamine D 1 receptor and ADORA2A, was significantly decreased in GPR52 KO mice. Moreover, a significant reduction in the mRNA expression of enkephalin, a marker of the activity of striatopallidal neurons, was observed in the striatum of GPR52 KO mice, suggesting that GPR52 deletion could enhance DRD2 signaling. Taken together, these results imply the physiological relevance of GPR52 in modulating the function of striatopallidal neurons, possibly by interaction of GPR52 with ADORA2A and DRD2. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Automated computation of arbor densities: a step toward identifying neuronal cell types

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uygar eSümbül

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The shape and position of a neuron convey information regarding its molecular and functional identity. The identification of cell types from structure, a classic method, relies on the time-consuming step of arbor tracing. However, as genetic tools and imaging methods make data-driven approaches to neuronal circuit analysis feasible, the need for automated processing increases. Here, we first establish that mouse retinal ganglion cell types can be as precise about distributing their arbor volumes across the inner plexiform layer as they are about distributing the skeletons of the arbors. Then, we describe an automated approach to computing the spatial distribution of the dendritic arbors, or arbor density, with respect to a global depth coordinate based on this observation. Our method involves three-dimensional reconstruction of neuronal arbors by a supervised machine learning algorithm, post-processing of the enhanced stacks to remove somata and isolate the neuron of interest, and registration of neurons to each other using automatically detected arbors of the starburst amacrine interneurons as fiducial markers. In principle, this method could be generalizable to other structures of the CNS, provided that they allow sparse labeling of the cells and contain a reliable axis of spatial reference.

  7. Paper-based microfluidic approach for surface-enhanced raman spectroscopy and highly reproducible detection of proteins beyond picomolar concentration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, Arindam; Jana, Nikhil R

    2015-01-14

    Although microfluidic approach is widely used in various point of care diagnostics, its implementation in surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS)-based detection is challenging. This is because SERS signal depends on plasmonic nanoparticle aggregation induced generation of stable electromagnetic hot spots and in currently available microfluidic platform this condition is difficult to adapt. Here we show that SERS can be adapted using simple paper based microfluidic system where both the plasmonic nanomaterials and analyte are used in mobile phase. This approach allows analyte induced controlled particle aggregation and electromagnetic hot spot generation inside the microfluidic channel with the resultant SERS signal, which is highly reproducible and sensitive. This approach has been used for reproducible detection of protein in the pico to femtomolar concentration. Presented approach is simple, rapid, and cost-effective, and requires low sample volume. Method can be extended for SERS-based detection of other biomolecules.

  8. Neuronal Migration Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Understanding Sleep The Life and Death of a Neuron Genes At Work In The Brain Order Publications ... birth defects caused by the abnormal migration of neurons in the developing brain and nervous system. In ...

  9. Motor Neuron Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... and other neurodegenerative diseases to better understand the function of neurons and other support cells and identify candidate therapeutic ... and other neurodegenerative diseases to better understand the function of neurons and other support cells and identify candidate therapeutic ...

  10. Integrating transformative learning and action learning approaches to enhance ethical leadership for supervisors in the hotel business

    OpenAIRE

    Boonyuen Saranya; Charungkaittikul Suwithida; Ratana-ubol Archanya

    2016-01-01

    Ethical leadership is now increasingly focused in leadership development. The main purpose of this study is to explore two methods of adult learning, action learning and transformative learning, and to use the methods to enhance ethical leadership. Building ethical leadership requires an approach that focuses on personal values, beliefs, or frames of references, which is transformative learning. Transformative learning requires a series of meetings to conduct critical discourse and to follow ...

  11. Enhanced dynamic data-driven fault detection approach: Application to a two-tank heater system

    KAUST Repository

    Harrou, Fouzi; Madakyaru, Muddu; Sun, Ying; Kammammettu, Sanjula

    2018-01-01

    on PCA approach a challenging task. Accounting for the dynamic nature of data can also reflect the performance of the designed fault detection approaches. In PCA-based methods, this dynamic characteristic of the data can be accounted for by using dynamic

  12. An enhanced matrix-free edge-based finite volume approach to model structures

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Suliman, Ridhwaan

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available application to a number of test-cases. As will be demonstrated, the finite volume approach exhibits distinct advantages over the Q4 finite element formulation. This provides an alternative approach to the analysis of solid mechanics and allows...

  13. Design approaches for enhancing the engineering feasibility of tokamak power reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shannon, T.E.; Steiner, D.

    1977-01-01

    The design approach developed in the ORNL Fusion Power Demonstration Study is reviewed. The design concepts having greatest impact on reactor feasibility by the application of current or near term technology are described briefly. These are: blanket structural material, blanket coolant, power conversion system, and pulsed electrical system. Concepts relative to the approach taken to simplify the overall reactor design are listed

  14. Keblish's lateral surgical approach enhances patellar tilt in valgus knee arthroplasty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Roberto Tonelli Filho

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: To compare the clinical and radiological outcomes of conventional medial and lateral approaches for total knee replacement in the valgus osteoarthritic knee. METHODS: In this randomized controlled trial, 21 patients with valgus knee osteoarthritis were randomized to total knee replacement through medial or lateral approach. The primary outcome was radiographic patellar tilt. Secondary outcomes were visual analog scale of pain, postoperative levels of hemoglobin, and clinical aspect of the operative wound. RESULTS: There were no differences between the groups regarding other clinical variables. Mean lateral tilt of the patella was 3.1 degrees (SD ± 5.3 in the lateral approach group and 18 degrees (SD ± 10.2 in the medial approach group (p = 0.02. There were no differences regarding the secondary outcomes. CONCLUSION: Lateral approach provided better patellar tilt following total knee replacement in valgus osteoarthritic knee.

  15. Novel Acoustic Feedback Cancellation Approaches In Hearing Aid Applications Using Probe Noise and Probe Noise Enhancement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guo, Meng; Jensen, Søren Holdt; Jensen, Jesper

    2012-01-01

    . In many cases, this bias problem causes the cancellation system to fail. The traditional probe noise approach, where a noise signal is added to the loudspeaker signal can, in theory, prevent the bias. However, in practice, the probe noise level must often be so high that the noise is clearly audible...... and annoying; this makes the traditional probe noise approach less useful in practical applications. In this work, we explain theoretically the decreased convergence rate when using low-level probe noise in the traditional approach, before we propose and study analytically two new probe noise approaches...... the proposed approaches much more attractive in practical applications. We demonstrate this through a simulation experiment with audio signals in a hearing aid acoustic feedback cancellation system, where the convergence rate is improved by as much as a factor of 10....

  16. A Discrete Population of Neurons in the Lateral Amygdala Is Specifically Activated by Contextual Fear Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Yvette M.; Murphy, Mark

    2009-01-01

    There is no clear identification of the neurons involved in fear conditioning in the amygdala. To search for these neurons, we have used a genetic approach, the "fos-tau-lacZ" (FTL) mouse, to map functionally activated expression in neurons following contextual fear conditioning. We have identified a discrete population of neurons in the lateral…

  17. Using Social Networks and ICTs to Enhance Literature Circles: A Practical Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Andrea

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to describe and demonstrate how social networks such as "Facebook" and "Goodreads", and information and communication technologies (ICTs) tools like laptops and iPods can support and enhance literature circles. The innovation described is implemented by the library and aims to promote reading for…

  18. An Enhanced Genetic Approach to Composing Cooperative Learning Groups for Multiple Grouping Criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Gwo-Jen; Yin, Peng-Yeng; Hwang, Chi-Wei; Tsai, Chin-Chung

    2008-01-01

    Cooperative learning is known to be an effective educational strategy in enhancing the learning performance of students. The goal of a cooperative learning group is to maximize all members' learning efficacy. This is accomplished via promoting each other's success, through assisting, sharing, mentoring, explaining, and encouragement. To achieve…

  19. Structure of health-enhancing behavior in adolescence: a latent-variable approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donovan, J E; Jessor, R; Costa, F M

    1993-12-01

    The structure of the interrelations among a variety of health-enhancing behaviors was examined using structural equation modeling analyses of questionnaire data from 1,280 middle school students and 2,219 high school students. The health-enhancing behaviors included seat belt use, adequate hours of sleep, attention to healthy diet, adequate exercise, low sedentary behavior, and regular toothbrushing. In the middle school sample, all of the health-enhancing behaviors correlated significantly but modestly with each other, except for sleep with toothbrushing. In the high school sample, all but three of the 15 correlations among the behaviors were significant. The results further show that a single underlying factor can account for the modest correlations among these health-enhancing behaviors in both samples. The generality of the single-factor model was also established for male, female, White, Hispanic, and Black students at each school level. These findings provide some support for the existence of health-related lifestyles in adolescence.

  20. Using the Student Lifecycle Approach to Enhance Employability: An Example from Criminology and Criminal Justice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bates, Lyndel; Hayes, Hennessey

    2017-01-01

    Universities are increasingly focusing on the employability of students after they graduate from their studies. While practicums is one way of enhancing students' employability, the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice embeds employability throughout its degree programs using a range of strategies. These methods are based on the student…

  1. A Multiple Case Study Approach to Explore Generational Theory to Enhance Online Continuing Nursing Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foecke, Jan

    2017-01-01

    Nurses are expected to participate in ongoing professional development, whether that is higher education to obtain another degree or continuing nursing education (CNE) to enhance knowledge or skills, maintain licensure, and/or maintain certification. Because there are generational differences that can affect adult education, learning preferences…

  2. The Cube and the Poppy Flower: Participatory Approaches for Designing Technology-Enhanced Learning Spaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casanova, Diogo; Mitchell, Paul

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents an alternative method for learning space design that is driven by user input. An exploratory study was undertaken at an English university with the aim of redesigning technology-enhanced learning spaces. Two provocative concepts were presented through participatory design workshops during which students and teachers reflected…

  3. An interdisciplinary approach to identify adaptation strategies that enhance flood resilience and urban liveability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rogers, B. C.; Bertram, N.; Gunn, Alex

    This paper provides guidance on how to identify and design the most suitable climate adaptation strategies for enhancing the liveability and flood resilience of urban catchments. It presents findings from a case study of Elwood, a coastal Melbourne suburb regularly affected by flooding. The resea...

  4. Enhancing Students' Speaking Skills through Peer Team Teaching: A Student Centered Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vani, V. Vijaya

    2016-01-01

    The present paper attempts to establish that peer team teaching of a prescribed English lesson of 1st year B.Tech course by the students will provide more opportunities to enhance their public speaking skills. This kind of classroom activity will also help them to develop their vocabulary, reading skills, team working skills, etc. It is assumed…

  5. Retrograde Neuroanatomical Tracing of Phrenic Motor Neurons in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandeweerd, Jean-Michel; Hontoir, Fanny; De Knoop, Alexis; De Swert, Kathleen; Nicaise, Charles

    2018-02-22

    Phrenic motor neurons are cervical motor neurons originating from C3 to C6 levels in most mammalian species. Axonal projections converge into phrenic nerves innervating the respiratory diaphragm. In spinal cord slices, phrenic motor neurons cannot be identified from other motor neurons on morphological or biochemical criteria. We provide the description of procedures for visualizing phrenic motor neuron cell bodies in mice, following intrapleural injections of cholera toxin subunit beta (CTB) conjugated to a fluorophore. This fluorescent neuroanatomical tracer has the ability to be caught up at the diaphragm neuromuscular junction, be carried retrogradely along the phrenic axons and reach the phrenic cell bodies. Two methodological approaches of intrapleural CTB delivery are compared: transdiaphragmatic versus transthoracic injections. Both approaches are successful and result in similar number of CTB-labeled phrenic motor neurons. In conclusion, these techniques can be applied to visualize or quantify the phrenic motor neurons in various experimental studies such as those focused on the diaphragm-phrenic circuitry.

  6. Dcc regulates asymmetric outgrowth of forebrain neurons in zebrafish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingxia Gao

    Full Text Available The guidance receptor DCC (deleted in colorectal cancer ortholog UNC-40 regulates neuronal asymmetry development in Caenorhabditis elegans, but it is not known whether DCC plays a role in the specification of neuronal polarity in vertebrates. To examine the roles of DCC in neuronal asymmetry regulation in vertebrates, we studied zebrafish anterior dorsal telencephalon (ADt neuronal axons. We generated transgenic zebrafish animals expressing the photo-convertible fluorescent protein Kaede in ADt neurons and then photo-converted Kaede to label specifically the ADt neuron axons. We found that ADt axons normally project ventrally. Knock down of Dcc function by injecting antisense morpholino oligonucleotides caused the ADt neurons to project axons dorsally. To examine the axon projection pattern of individual ADt neurons, we labeled single ADt neurons using a forebrain-specific promoter to drive fluorescent protein expression. We found that individual ADt neurons projected axons dorsally or formed multiple processes after morpholino knock down of Dcc function. We further found that knock down of the Dcc ligand, Netrin1, also caused ADt neurons to project axons dorsally. Knockdown of Neogenin1, a guidance receptor closely related to Dcc, enhanced the formation of aberrant dorsal axons in embryos injected with Dcc morpholino. These experiments provide the first evidence that Dcc regulates polarized axon initiation and asymmetric outgrowth of forebrain neurons in vertebrates.

  7. Automatically tracking neurons in a moving and deforming brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey P Nguyen

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Advances in optical neuroimaging techniques now allow neural activity to be recorded with cellular resolution in awake and behaving animals. Brain motion in these recordings pose a unique challenge. The location of individual neurons must be tracked in 3D over time to accurately extract single neuron activity traces. Recordings from small invertebrates like C. elegans are especially challenging because they undergo very large brain motion and deformation during animal movement. Here we present an automated computer vision pipeline to reliably track populations of neurons with single neuron resolution in the brain of a freely moving C. elegans undergoing large motion and deformation. 3D volumetric fluorescent images of the animal's brain are straightened, aligned and registered, and the locations of neurons in the images are found via segmentation. Each neuron is then assigned an identity using a new time-independent machine-learning approach we call Neuron Registration Vector Encoding. In this approach, non-rigid point-set registration is used to match each segmented neuron in each volume with a set of reference volumes taken from throughout the recording. The way each neuron matches with the references defines a feature vector which is clustered to assign an identity to each neuron in each volume. Finally, thin-plate spline interpolation is used to correct errors in segmentation and check consistency of assigned identities. The Neuron Registration Vector Encoding approach proposed here is uniquely well suited for tracking neurons in brains undergoing large deformations. When applied to whole-brain calcium imaging recordings in freely moving C. elegans, this analysis pipeline located 156 neurons for the duration of an 8 minute recording and consistently found more neurons more quickly than manual or semi-automated approaches.

  8. Effects Comparison of Different Resilience Enhancing Strategies for Municipal Water Distribution Network: A Multidimensional Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xudong Zhao

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Water distribution network (WDN is critical to the city service, economic rehabilitation, public health, and safety. Reconstructing the WDN to improve its resilience in seismic disaster is an important and ongoing issue. Although a considerable body of research has examined the effects of different reconstruction strategies on seismic resistance, it is still hard for decision-makers to choose optimal resilience enhancing strategy. Taking the pipeline ductile retrofitting and network meshed expansion as demonstration, we proposed a feasible framework to contrast the resilience enhancing effects of two reconstruction strategies—units retrofitting strategy and network optimization strategy—in technical and organizational dimension. We also developed a new performance response function (PRF which is based on network equilibrium theory to conduct the effects comparison in integrated technical and organizational dimension. Through the case study of municipal WDN in Lianyungang, China, the comparison results were thoroughly shown and the holistic decision-making support was provided.

  9. The enhanced greenhouse signal versus natural variations in observed climate time series: a statistical approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schoenwiese, C D [J.W. Goethe Univ., Frankfurt (Germany). Inst. for Meteorology and Geophysics

    1996-12-31

    It is a well-known fact that human activities lead to an atmospheric concentration increase of some IR-active trace gases (greenhouse gases GHG) and that this influence enhances the `greenhouse effect`. However, there are major quantitative and regional uncertainties in the related climate model projections and the observational data reflect the whole complex of both anthropogenic and natural forcing of the climate system. This contribution aims at the separation of the anthropogenic enhanced greenhouse signal in observed global surface air temperature data versus other forcing using statistical methods such as multiple (multiforced) regressions and neural networks. The competitive natural forcing considered are volcanic and solar activity, in addition the ENSO (El Nino/Southern Oscillation) mechanism. This analysis will be extended also to the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) and anthropogenic sulfate formation in the troposphere

  10. A Simple Approach for Enhancing the Output Performance of Solar-Pumped Solid-State Lasers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dawei Liang

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available A simple truncated fused silica elliptical cavity is proposed to enhance the output performance of solar-pumped solid-state lasers. The imaging property of the truncated elliptical cavity ensures an enhanced absorption distribution within an Nd:YAG rod. Optimum pumping parameters are found through ZEMAX nonsequential ray-tracing and LASCAD laser cavity analyses. Compared with the output laser performance of a 3D-compound parabolic concentrator-2D-compound parabolic concentrator (3D-CPC-2D-CPC cavity, the truncated cavity provides 11% more multimode and 72.7% more TEM00 laser powers. A laser beam of high beam quality can be produced efficiently. The standard tracking error for multimode laser power is also reduced to only 4.0% by the truncated cavity.

  11. The enhanced greenhouse signal versus natural variations in observed climate time series: a statistical approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schoenwiese, C.D. [J.W. Goethe Univ., Frankfurt (Germany). Inst. for Meteorology and Geophysics

    1995-12-31

    It is a well-known fact that human activities lead to an atmospheric concentration increase of some IR-active trace gases (greenhouse gases GHG) and that this influence enhances the `greenhouse effect`. However, there are major quantitative and regional uncertainties in the related climate model projections and the observational data reflect the whole complex of both anthropogenic and natural forcing of the climate system. This contribution aims at the separation of the anthropogenic enhanced greenhouse signal in observed global surface air temperature data versus other forcing using statistical methods such as multiple (multiforced) regressions and neural networks. The competitive natural forcing considered are volcanic and solar activity, in addition the ENSO (El Nino/Southern Oscillation) mechanism. This analysis will be extended also to the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) and anthropogenic sulfate formation in the troposphere

  12. Enhancing MINIX 3 Input/Output performance using a virtual machine approach

    OpenAIRE

    Pessolani, Pablo Andrés; González, César Daniel

    2010-01-01

    MINIX 3 is an open-source operating system designed to be highly reliable, flexible, and secure. The kernel is extremely small and user processes, specialized servers and device drivers run as user-mode insulated processes. These features, the tiny amount of kernel code, and other aspects greatly enhance system reliability. The drawbacks of running device drivers in usermode are the performance penalties on input/output ports access, kernel data structures access, interrupt indirect manage...

  13. AR-based Technoself Enhanced Learning Approach to Improving Student Engagement

    OpenAIRE

    Jin, L.; Huang, W.; Wen, Z.

    2016-01-01

    The emerging technologies have expanded a new dimension of self – ‘technoself’ driven by socio-technical innovations and taken an important step forward in pervasive learning. Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) research has increasingly focused on emergent technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) for augmented learning, mobile learning, and game-based learning in order to improve self-motivation and self-engagement of the learners in enriched multimodal learning environments. These researc...

  14. Distinct neuronal activation patterns are associated with PCP-induced social withdrawal and its reversal by the endocannabinoid-enhancing drug URB597.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matricon, Julien; Seillier, Alexandre; Giuffrida, Andrea

    2016-09-01

    The fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitor, URB597, an endocannabinoid enhancing drug, reverses social withdrawal in the sub-chronic PCP rat model of schizophrenia, but reduces social interaction (SI) in controls. To identify the anatomical substrates associated with PCP-induced social withdrawal and the contrasting effects of URB597 on SI in PCP- versus saline-treated rats, we analyzed SI-induced c-Fos expression in 28 brain areas relevant to schizophrenia and/or social behavior following vehicle or URB597 administration. In saline-treated rats, SI was accompanied by changes in c-Fos expression in the infralimbic and orbitofrontal cortices, dorsomedial caudate putamen, ventrolateral nucleus of the septum, dorsolateral periaqueductal gray (dlPAG) and central amygdala. Except for the dlPAG, these changes were not observed in PCP-treated rats or in saline-treated rats receiving URB597. In the dorsomedial part of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (dmBNST), SI-induced c-Fos expression was observed only in PCP-treated rats. Interestingly, URB597 in PCP-treated rats restored a similar c-Fos expression pattern as observed in saline-treated rats: activation of the orbitofrontal cortex, inhibition of the central amygdala and suppression of activation of the dmBNST. These data suggest that orbitofrontal cortex, central amygdala and dmBNST play a critical role in the reversal of PCP-induced social withdrawal by URB597. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  15. Introduction of water footprint assessment approach to enhance water supply management in Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moni, Syazwan N.; Aziz, Edriyana A.; Malek, M. A.

    2017-10-01

    Presently, Water Footprint (WF) Approach has been used to assess the sustainability of a product's chain globally but is lacking in the services sector. Thus, this paper aims to introduce WF assessment as a technical approach to determine the sustainability of water supply management for the typical water supply treatment process (WSTP) used in Malaysia. Water supply is one of the pertinent services and most of WF accounting begins with data obtained from the water supply treatment plant. Therefore, the amount of WF will be accounted for each process of WSTP in order to determine the water utilization for the whole process according to blue, green and grey WF. Hence, the exact amount of water used in the process can be measured by applying this accounting method to assess the sustainability of water supply management in Malaysia. Therefore, the WF approach in assessing sustainability of WSTP could be implemented.

  16. A combined approach for the enhancement and segmentation of mammograms using modified fuzzy C-means method in wavelet domain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Subodh; Sharma, Neeraj; Singh, S K; Srivastava, R

    2014-07-01

    In this paper, a combined approach for enhancement and segmentation of mammograms is proposed. In preprocessing stage, a contrast limited adaptive histogram equalization (CLAHE) method is applied to obtain the better contrast mammograms. After this, the proposed combined methods are applied. In the first step of the proposed approach, a two dimensional (2D) discrete wavelet transform (DWT) is applied to all the input images. In the second step, a proposed nonlinear complex diffusion based unsharp masking and crispening method is applied on the approximation coefficients of the wavelet transformed images to further highlight the abnormalities such as micro-calcifications, tumours, etc., to reduce the false positives (FPs). Thirdly, a modified fuzzy c-means (FCM) segmentation method is applied on the output of the second step. In the modified FCM method, the mutual information is proposed as a similarity measure in place of conventional Euclidian distance based dissimilarity measure for FCM segmentation. Finally, the inverse 2D-DWT is applied. The efficacy of the proposed unsharp masking and crispening method for image enhancement is evaluated in terms of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and that of the proposed segmentation method is evaluated in terms of random index (RI), global consistency error (GCE), and variation of information (VoI). The performance of the proposed segmentation approach is compared with the other commonly used segmentation approaches such as Otsu's thresholding, texture based, k-means, and FCM clustering as well as thresholding. From the obtained results, it is observed that the proposed segmentation approach performs better and takes lesser processing time in comparison to the standard FCM and other segmentation methods in consideration.

  17. Phospholipase A2 activation as a therapeutic approach for cognitive enhancement in early-stage Alzheimer disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaeffer, Evelin L; Forlenza, Orestes V; Gattaz, Wagner F

    2009-01-01

    Alzheimer disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia in the elderly and has no known cure. Evidence suggests that reduced activity of specific subtypes of intracellular phospholipases A2 (cPLA2 and iPLA2) is an early event in AD and may contribute to memory impairment and neuropathology in the disease. The objective of this study was to review the literature focusing on the therapeutic role of PLA2 stimulation by cognitive training and positive modulators, or of supplementation with arachidonic acid (PLA2 product) in facilitating memory function and synaptic transmission and plasticity in either research animals or human subjects. MEDLINE database was searched (no date restrictions) for published articles using the keywords Alzheimer disease (mild, moderate, severe), mild cognitive impairment, healthy elderly, rats, mice, phospholipase A(2), phospholipid metabolism, phosphatidylcholine, arachidonic acid, cognitive training, learning, memory, long-term potentiation, protein kinases, dietary lipid compounds, cell proliferation, neurogenesis, and neuritogenesis. Reference lists of the identified articles were checked to select additional studies of interest. Overall, the data suggest that PLA2 activation is induced in the healthy brain during learning and memory. Furthermore, learning seems to regulate endogenous neurogenesis, which has been observed in AD brains. Finally, PLA2 appears to be implicated in homeostatic processes related to neurite outgrowth and differentiation in both neurodevelopmental processes and response to neuronal injury. The use of positive modulators of PLA2 (especially of cPLA2 and iPLA2) or supplementation with dietary lipid compounds (e.g., arachidonic acid) in combination with cognitive training could be a valuable therapeutic strategy for cognitive enhancement in early-stage AD.

  18. Big Data-Based Approach to Detect, Locate, and Enhance the Stability of an Unplanned Microgrid Islanding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jiang, Huaiguang; Li, Yan; Zhang, Yingchen; Zhang, Jun Jason; Gao, David Wenzhong; Muljadi, Eduard; Gu, Yi

    2017-10-01

    In this paper, a big data-based approach is proposed for the security improvement of an unplanned microgrid islanding (UMI). The proposed approach contains two major steps: the first step is big data analysis of wide-area monitoring to detect a UMI and locate it; the second step is particle swarm optimization (PSO)-based stability enhancement for the UMI. First, an optimal synchrophasor measurement device selection (OSMDS) and matching pursuit decomposition (MPD)-based spatial-temporal analysis approach is proposed to significantly reduce the volume of data while keeping appropriate information from the synchrophasor measurements. Second, a random forest-based ensemble learning approach is trained to detect the UMI. When combined with grid topology, the UMI can be located. Then the stability problem of the UMI is formulated as an optimization problem and the PSO is used to find the optimal operational parameters of the UMI. An eigenvalue-based multiobjective function is proposed, which aims to improve the damping and dynamic characteristics of the UMI. Finally, the simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness and robustness of the proposed approach.

  19. Mirror neurons: from origin to function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Richard; Bird, Geoffrey; Catmur, Caroline; Press, Clare; Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-04-01

    This article argues that mirror neurons originate in sensorimotor associative learning and therefore a new approach is needed to investigate their functions. Mirror neurons were discovered about 20 years ago in the monkey brain, and there is now evidence that they are also present in the human brain. The intriguing feature of many mirror neurons is that they fire not only when the animal is performing an action, such as grasping an object using a power grip, but also when the animal passively observes a similar action performed by another agent. It is widely believed that mirror neurons are a genetic adaptation for action understanding; that they were designed by evolution to fulfill a specific socio-cognitive function. In contrast, we argue that mirror neurons are forged by domain-general processes of associative learning in the course of individual development, and, although they may have psychological functions, they do not necessarily have a specific evolutionary purpose or adaptive function. The evidence supporting this view shows that (1) mirror neurons do not consistently encode action "goals"; (2) the contingency- and context-sensitive nature of associative learning explains the full range of mirror neuron properties; (3) human infants receive enough sensorimotor experience to support associative learning of mirror neurons ("wealth of the stimulus"); and (4) mirror neurons can be changed in radical ways by sensorimotor training. The associative account implies that reliable information about the function of mirror neurons can be obtained only by research based on developmental history, system-level theory, and careful experimentation.

  20. Enhancing Project-Based Learning in Software Engineering Lab Teaching through an E-Portfolio Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macias, J. A.

    2012-01-01

    Project-based learning is one of the main successful student-centered pedagogies broadly used in computing science courses. However, this approach can be insufficient when dealing with practical subjects that implicitly require many deliverables and a great deal of feedback and organizational resources. In this paper, a worked e-portfolio is…

  1. Strongly enhanced flow effect from Landau-Vlasov versus Vlasov-Uehling-Uhlenbeck approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gregoire, C.; Remaud, B.; Sebille, F.; Schuck, P.

    1988-01-01

    The simulation of the collision integral in the Landau-Vlasov approach for heavy ion collisions is examined. It turns out that quantities like the nucleon mean free path can be compared with parallel ensemble models. Convergency of results with time step and sampling is clearly established. Quadratic quantities, like the internal pressure, are found to be strongly underestimated in parallel ensemble models

  2. Cross-Cultural Peer Mentoring: One Approach to Enhancing White Faculty Adjustment at Black Colleges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louis, Dave A.

    2015-01-01

    White faculty members at Black colleges in the United States face numerous social obstacles. Exploring the experiences of White faculty members at four historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and their adjustment to a minority status assists the comprehension of issues surrounding this subgroup. Utilizing a phenomenological approach,…

  3. Perceptual Training Methods Compared: The Relative Efficacy of Different Approaches to Enhancing Sport-Specific Anticipation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abernethy, Bruce; Schorer, Jorg; Jackson, Robin C.; Hagemann, Norbert

    2012-01-01

    The comparative efficacy of different perceptual training approaches for the improvement of anticipation was examined using a goalkeeping task from European handball that required the rapid prediction of shot direction. Novice participants (N = 60) were assigned equally to four different training groups and two different control groups (a placebo…

  4. Enhanced dynamic data-driven fault detection approach: Application to a two-tank heater system

    KAUST Repository

    Harrou, Fouzi

    2018-02-12

    Principal components analysis (PCA) has been intensively studied and used in monitoring industrial systems. However, data generated from chemical processes are usually correlated in time due to process dynamics, which makes the fault detection based on PCA approach a challenging task. Accounting for the dynamic nature of data can also reflect the performance of the designed fault detection approaches. In PCA-based methods, this dynamic characteristic of the data can be accounted for by using dynamic PCA (DPCA), in which lagged variables are used in the PCA model to capture the time evolution of the process. This paper presents a new approach that combines the DPCA to account for autocorrelation in data and generalized likelihood ratio (GLR) test to detect faults. A DPCA model is applied to perform dimension reduction while appropriately considering the temporal relationships in the data. Specifically, the proposed approach uses the DPCA to generate residuals, and then apply GLR test to reveal any abnormality. The performances of the proposed method are evaluated through a continuous stirred tank heater system.

  5. Enhanced lipase recovery through RSM integrated differential evolutionary approach from the fermented biomass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vijay Kumar Garlapati

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this work was to apply a modeling integrated optimisation approach for a complex, highly nonlinear system for an extracellular lipase extraction process. The model was developed using mutation, crossover and selection variables of Differential Evolution (DE based on central composite design of Response Surface Methodology. The experimentally validated model was optimized by DE, a robust evolutionary optimization tool. A maximum lipase activity of 134.13 U/gds (more than 36.28 U/gds compared to one variable at a time approach was observed with the DE-stated optimum values of 25.01% dimethyl sulfoxide concentration, 40 mM buffer, 128.52 min soaking time and 35ºC with the DE control parameters, namely number of population, generations, crossover operator and scaling factor as 20, 50, 0.5 and 0.25, respectively. The use of DE approach improved the optimization capability and decision speed, resulting in an improved yield of 36.28 U/gds compared to the one variable at a time approach for the extracellular lipase activity under the non-optimized conditions. The developed mathematical model and optimization were generic in nature, which seemed to be useful for the scale-up studies of maximum recovery of lipase from the fermented biomass.

  6. A Mindtool-Based Collaborative Learning Approach to Enhancing Students' Innovative Performance in Management Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Chih-Hsiang; Hwang, Gwo-Jen; Kuo, Fan-Ray; Huang, Iwen

    2013-01-01

    Educators have indicated that creative teaching is the most important educational activity; nevertheless, most existing education systems fail to engage students in effective creative tasks. To address this issue, this study proposes a mind map based collaborative learning approach for supporting creative learning activities and enhancing…

  7. Approaches to Enhancing Cyber Resilience: Report of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Workshop IST-153

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-04-01

    2017, at the University of Bundeswehr. Despite continual progress in managing risks in the cyber domain, anticipation and prevention of all possible...participants of the workshop saw as particularly important: 1) fundamental properties of cyber resilience, 2) approaches to measuring and modeling cyber...resilience. 15. SUBJECT TERMS cybersecurity, cyber resilience, risk management , cyber metrics, mission modeling, systems engineering, dynamic defense

  8. Enhancing the Motor Skills of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Pool-Based Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jihyun; Porretta, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) often experience difficulties with motor skill learning and performance. The pool is a unique learning environment that can help children with ASDs learn or improve aquatic skills, fitness, and social skills. A pool-based approach is also aligned with the elements of dynamic systems theory, which…

  9. Enhancing Aid Effectiveness in Education through a Sector-Wide Approach in Cambodia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hattori, Hiroyuki

    2009-01-01

    Since 2001 the government of Cambodia has striven to advance policy-led education reform based on a sector-wide approach. This paper critically reviews the status and progress of Cambodia's education reform from the perspective of the aid's effectiveness. The paper looks at the performance of the sector reform in the three priority areas…

  10. A software product line approach to enhance a meta-scheduler middleware

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scheidt, Rafael F; Schmidt, Katreen; Pessoa, Gabriel M; Viera, Matheus A; Dantas, Mario

    2012-01-01

    Software Projects in general tend to get more software reuse and componentization in order to reduce time, cost and new products resources. The need for techniques and tools to organize projects of higher quality in less time is one of the greatest challenges of Software Engineering. The Software Product Line is proposed to organize and systematically assist the development of new products in series at the same domain. In this context, this paper is proposed to apply the Software Product Line approach in Distributed Computing Environments. In projects that involve Distributed Environments, each version of the same product can generate repeatedly the same artifacts in a product that evolves its characteristics; however there is a principal architecture with variations of components. The goal of the proposed approach is to analyze the actual process and propose a new approach to develop new projects reusing the whole architecture, components and documents, starting with a solid base and creating new products focusing in new functionalities. We expect that with the application of this approach give support to the development of projects in Distributed Computing Environment.

  11. Neuronal Rac1 Is Required for Learning-Evoked Neurogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Matthew P.; Freewoman, Julia; Cord, Branden; Babu, Harish; Brakebusch, Cord

    2013-01-01

    Hippocampus-dependent learning and memory relies on synaptic plasticity as well as network adaptations provided by the addition of adult-born neurons. We have previously shown that activity-induced intracellular signaling through the Rho family small GTPase Rac1 is necessary in forebrain projection neurons for normal synaptic plasticity in vivo, and here we show that selective loss of neuronal Rac1 also impairs the learning-evoked increase in neurogenesis in the adult mouse hippocampus. Earlier work has indicated that experience elevates the abundance of adult-born neurons in the hippocampus primarily by enhancing the survival of neurons produced just before the learning event. Loss of Rac1 in mature projection neurons did reduce learning-evoked neurogenesis but, contrary to our expectations, these effects were not mediated by altering the survival of young neurons in the hippocampus. Instead, loss of neuronal Rac1 activation selectively impaired a learning-evoked increase in the proliferation and accumulation of neural precursors generated during the learning event itself. This indicates that experience-induced alterations in neurogenesis can be mechanistically resolved into two effects: (1) the well documented but Rac1-independent signaling cascade that enhances the survival of young postmitotic neurons; and (2) a previously unrecognized Rac1-dependent signaling cascade that stimulates the proliferative production and retention of new neurons generated during learning itself. PMID:23884931

  12. Cholesterol up-regulates neuronal G protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channel activity in the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukiya, Anna N; Durdagi, Serdar; Noskov, Sergei; Rosenhouse-Dantsker, Avia

    2017-04-14

    Hypercholesterolemia is a well known risk factor for the development of neurodegenerative disease. However, the underlying mechanisms are mostly unknown. In recent years, it has become increasingly evident that cholesterol-driven effects on physiology and pathophysiology derive from its ability to alter the function of a variety of membrane proteins including ion channels. Yet, the effect of cholesterol on G protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels expressed in the brain is unknown. GIRK channels mediate the actions of inhibitory brain neurotransmitters. As a result, loss of GIRK function can enhance neuron excitability, whereas gain of GIRK function can reduce neuronal activity. Here we show that in rats on a high-cholesterol diet, cholesterol levels in hippocampal neurons are increased. We also demonstrate that cholesterol plays a critical role in modulating neuronal GIRK currents. Specifically, cholesterol enrichment of rat hippocampal neurons resulted in enhanced channel activity. In accordance, elevated currents upon cholesterol enrichment were also observed in Xenopus oocytes expressing GIRK2 channels, the primary GIRK subunit expressed in the brain. Furthermore, using planar lipid bilayers, we show that although cholesterol did not affect the unitary conductance of GIRK2, it significantly enhanced the frequency of channel openings. Last, combining computational and functional approaches, we identified two putative cholesterol-binding sites in the transmembrane domain of GIRK2. These findings establish that cholesterol plays a critical role in modulating GIRK activity in the brain. Because up-regulation of GIRK function can reduce neuronal activity, our findings may lead to novel approaches for prevention and therapy of cholesterol-driven neurodegenerative disease. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  13. A Human-Centered Approach to Enhance Urban Resilience, Implications and Application to Improve Outdoor Comfort in Dense Urban Spaces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ata Chokhachian

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The concept of resilience in urban design and decision-making is principally focused on change instead of resistance over an adaptive process. For cities, this concept in a broader scale means how to withstand unforeseen events that will fundamentally amend the city’s wellbeing, rather than being stabilized and protected. The same concept is applicable for outdoor comfort as an adaptive approach to compensate extreme heat waves and health risk conditions. This chapter presents methods, tools, and applications to enhance urban resilience at a micro scale looking for correlations between environmental factors and human behavior in terms of outdoor comfort.

  14. Agrobacterium rhizogenes mediated transformation of Rhodiola sp. – an approach to enhance the level of bioactive compounds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møller Hansen, Martin; Lauridsen, Uffe Bjerre; Hegelund, Josefine Nymark

    Agrobacterium rhizogenes mediated transformation of Rhodiola sp. – an approach to enhance the level of bioactive compounds. Martin Møller Hansen1, Uffe Bjerre Lauridsen2, Josefine Nymark Hegelund3, Renate Müller4, Jihong Liu Clarke5, Henrik Lütken6 University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science...... to wild type roots. The purpose of this study is to obtain HRs containing rol-genes from Rhodiola sp. for future sustainable production in bioreactors. Materials and Methods Whole stems of R. rosea and two accessions of R. pachyclados were sterilized with ethanol and NaOCl. The stems were then cut...

  15. A simple approach to enhance the performance of complex-coefficient filter-based PLL in grid-connected applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ramezani, Malek; Golestan, Saeed; Li, Shuhui

    2018-01-01

    In recent years, a large number of three-phase phase-locked loops (PLLs) have been developed. One of the most popular ones is the complex coefficient filterbased PLL (CCF-PLL). The CCFs benefit from a sequence selective filtering ability and, hence, enable the CCF-PLL to selectively reject/extract...... disturbances before the PLL control loop while maintaining an acceptable dynamic behavior. The aim of this paper is presenting a simple yet effective approach to enhance the standard CCF-PLL performance without requiring any additional computational load....

  16. Biotechnological approaches to enhance salidroside, rosin and its derivatives production in selected Rhodiola spp. in vitro cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grech-Baran, Marta; Sykłowska-Baranek, Katarzyna; Pietrosiuk, Agnieszka

    Rhodiola (Crassulaceae) an arctic-alpine plant, is extensively used in traditional folk medicine in Asian and European countries. A number of investigations have demonstrated that Rhodiola preparations exhibit adaptogenic, neuroprotective, anti-tumour, cardioprotective, and anti-depressant effects. The main compounds responsible for these activities are believed to be salidroside, rosin and its derivatives which became the target of biotechnological investigations. This review summarizes the results of the diverse biotechnological approaches undertaken to enhance the production of salidroside, rosin and its derivatives in callus, cell suspension and organ in vitro cultures of selected Rhodiola species.

  17. Feasibility of a novel participatory multi-sector continuous improvement approach to enhance food security in remote Indigenous Australian communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brimblecombe, J; Bailie, R; van den Boogaard, C; Wood, B; Liberato, S C; Ferguson, M; Coveney, J; Jaenke, R; Ritchie, J

    2017-12-01

    Food insecurity underlies and compounds many of the development issues faced by remote Indigenous communities in Australia. Multi-sector approaches offer promise to improve food security. We assessed the feasibility of a novel multi-sector approach to enhance community food security in remote Indigenous Australia. A longitudinal comparative multi-site case study, the Good Food Systems Good Food for All Project, was conducted (2009-2013) with four Aboriginal communities. Continuous improvement meetings were held in each community. Data from project documents and store sales were used to assess feasibility according to engagement, uptake and sustainability of action, and impact on community diet, as well as identifying conditions facilitating or hindering these. Engagement was established where: the community perceived a need for the approach; where trust was developed between the community and facilitators; where there was community stability; and where flexibility was applied in the timing of meetings. The approach enabled stakeholders in each community to collectively appraise the community food system and plan action. Actions that could be directly implemented within available resources resulted from developing collaborative capacity. Actions requiring advocacy, multi-sectoral involvement, commitment or further resources were less frequently used. Positive shifts in community diet were associated with key areas where actions were implemented. A multi-sector participatory approach seeking continuous improvement engaged committed Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal stakeholders and was shown to have potential to shift community diet. Provision of clear mechanisms to link this approach with higher level policy and decision-making structures, clarity of roles and responsibilities, and processes to prioritise and communicate actions across sectors should further strengthen capacity for food security improvement. Integrating this approach enabling local decision-making into

  18. Gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of the knee: an experimental approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Sirun; Shen, Si; Zhu, Tianyuan; Liang, Wenbin; Huang, Li; Chen, Hanfang; Wu, Hejia

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for monitoring cartilage degeneration. This is a proof-of-concept study in an animal model. Adult New Zealand rabbits were randomly stratified into five groups. Papain was injected intra-articularly in the right knee in four groups to establish the stages of cartilage degeneration. The left knee and group 5 served as controls. Bilateral MRI was performed 24 h after the initial injection of papain, and 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months following three papain injections. Injection of the contrast agent was followed by bilateral MRI examination immediately upon injection, and at 2 and 4 h post-injection. Signal intensities of articular cartilage and peripheral soft tissues were obtained before animals were sacrificed. Post-mortem bilateral cartilage specimens were studied histologically. Histopathology results verified the staged degeneration of papain-treated articular cartilage. Differences in cartilage signal intensity were significant for the staged model using a special three-dimensional MRI method (P 0.05). Contrast-enhanced MRI examination may be a viable tool for early diagnosis of osteoarticular disease. Prospective studies are warranted to evaluate the potential for clinical application. (orig.)

  19. Enhancing the accuracy of subcutaneous glucose sensors: a real-time deconvolution-based approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerra, Stefania; Facchinetti, Andrea; Sparacino, Giovanni; Nicolao, Giuseppe De; Cobelli, Claudio

    2012-06-01

    Minimally invasive continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) sensors can greatly help diabetes management. Most of these sensors consist of a needle electrode, placed in the subcutaneous tissue, which measures an electrical current exploiting the glucose-oxidase principle. This current is then transformed to glucose levels after calibrating the sensor on the basis of one, or more, self-monitoring blood glucose (SMBG) samples. In this study, we design and test a real-time signal-enhancement module that, cascaded to the CGM device, improves the quality of its output by a proper postprocessing of the CGM signal. In fact, CGM sensors measure glucose in the interstitium rather than in the blood compartment. We show that this distortion can be compensated by means of a regularized deconvolution procedure relying on a linear regression model that can be updated whenever a pair of suitably sampled SMBG references is collected. Tests performed both on simulated and real data demonstrate a significant accuracy improvement of the CGM signal. Simulation studies also demonstrate the robustness of the method against departures from nominal conditions, such as temporal misplacement of the SMBG samples and uncertainty in the blood-to-interstitium glucose kinetic model. Thanks to its online capabilities, the proposed signal-enhancement algorithm can be used to improve the performance of CGM-based real-time systems such as the hypo/hyper glycemic alert generators or the artificial pancreas.

  20. TECHNOLOGY-ENHANCED TEACHING: A REVOLUTIONARY APPROACH TO TEACHING ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberth Alberth

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The online course offerings have grown exponentially globally since the turn of the 21st century - be they as a primary mode of instruction or as a supplement to traditional face-to-face classroom instruction, and this phenomenon is most noticeable in higher education. More recently, the new technology has also been integrated into the English as a Foreign Language,henceforth called EFL, classrooms. This article argues that the notion of technology-enhanced language learning is not just an intriguing idea – it is a necessity, for it has a great potential to offer in facilitating the development of English language proficiency of EFL learners through computer-mediated communication. Additionally, it contends that the new technology can potentially address most, if not all, of the shortcomings inherent to the EFL classroom including, but not limited to, lack of exposure to the target language, lack of practice, and lack of learning resources. Theoretical implications of technology-enhanced language teaching and learning will also be explored.

  1. Novel approach for productivity enhancement of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) production by Cupriavidus necator DSM 545.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berezina, Nathalie

    2013-01-25

    In the global context of increased concerns for our environment, the use of bioplastics as a replacement for existing petroleum-based polymers is an important challenge. Indeed, bioplastics hardly meet economical and technical constraints. One, of the most promising among currently studied bioplastics, is the polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA). To circumvent the economical issue for this particular biopolymer one solution can be the enhancement of the overall productivity by the improvement of the nutritional medium of the microorganism producing the biopolymer. Thus, several nutrition media, supplemented or not with sodium glutamate, were tested for the growth and the PHA production by Cupriavidus necator DSM 545 strain. The most efficient for the biomass and the PHA production improvement were found to be the Luria broth (LB) and the Bonnarme's media, both supplemented with 10 g/L sodium glutamate. Hence the overall productivity was 33 times enhanced comparing to traditional cultivation methods. These results open a new route for the PHA production by C. necator which appears to be more suitable on a rich, or enriched, medium with no limiting factors. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Pulsed magnetic field: a contemporary approach offers to enhance plant growth and yield of soybean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radhakrishnan, Ramalingam; Ranjitha Kumari, Bollipo Diana

    2012-02-01

    The possible involvement of pulsed magnetic field (PMF) pretreatment in development and yield of soybean was investigated. Seeds were subjected to 20 days with 1500 nT at 10.0 Hz of PMF for 5 h per day. PMF pretreatment increased the plant height, fresh and dry weight, and protein content with the changes of protein profile in 8 days old seedlings. In addition, activity of enzymes such as β-amylase, acid phosphatase, polyphenol oxidase and catalase was enhanced while α-amylase, alkaline phosphatase, protease and nitrate reductase activities declined due to PMF exposure. However, a considerable increment of Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn, Mg, K and Na contents with reduced level of Ca was found in PMF treated seedlings. The number of leaves, pods, seeds and length of pods, and weight of seeds were also remarkably higher in PMF treatment in contrast to controls. The results suggest that pretreatment of PMF plays important roles in improvement of crop productivity of soybean through the enhancement of protein, mineral accumulation and enzyme activities which leads to increase the growth and yield. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  3. A Novel Approach to Mineral Carbonation: Enhancing Carbonation While Avoiding Mineral Pretreatment Process Cost

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andrew V. G. Chizmeshya; Michael J. McKelvy; Kyle Squires; Ray W. Carpenter; Hamdallah Bearat

    2007-06-21

    Known fossil fuel reserves, especially coal, can support global energy demands for centuries to come, if the environmental problems associated with CO{sub 2} emissions can be overcome. Unlike other CO{sub 2} sequestration candidate technologies that propose long-term storage, mineral sequestration provides permanent disposal by forming geologically stable mineral carbonates. Carbonation of the widely occurring mineral olivine (e.g., forsterite, Mg{sub 2}SiO{sub 4}) is a large-scale sequestration process candidate for regional implementation, which converts CO{sub 2} into the environmentally benign mineral magnesite (MgCO{sub 3}). The primary goal is cost-competitive process development. As the process is exothermic, it inherently offers low-cost potential. Enhancing carbonation reactivity is key to economic viability. Recent studies at the U.S. DOE Albany Research Center have established that aqueous-solution carbonation using supercritical CO{sub 2} is a promising process; even without olivine activation, 30-50% carbonation has been achieved in an hour. Mechanical activation (e.g., attrition) has accelerated the carbonation process to an industrial timescale (i.e., near completion in less than an hour), at reduced pressure and temperature. However, the activation cost is too high to be economical and lower cost pretreatment options are needed. We have discovered that robust silica-rich passivating layers form on the olivine surface during carbonation. As carbonation proceeds, these passivating layers thicken, fracture and eventually exfoliate, exposing fresh olivine surfaces during rapidly-stirred/circulating carbonation. We are exploring the mechanisms that govern carbonation reactivity and the impact that (1) modeling/controlling the slurry fluid-flow conditions, (2) varying the aqueous ion species/size and concentration (e.g., Li+, Na+, K+, Rb+, Cl-, HCO{sub 3}{sup -}), and (3) incorporating select sonication offer to enhance exfoliation and carbonation. Thus

  4. CRISPR Epigenome Editing of AKAP150 in DRG Neurons Abolishes Degenerative IVD-Induced Neuronal Activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stover, Joshua D; Farhang, Niloofar; Berrett, Kristofer C; Gertz, Jason; Lawrence, Brandon; Bowles, Robby D

    2017-09-06

    Back pain is a major contributor to disability and has significant socioeconomic impacts worldwide. The degenerative intervertebral disc (IVD) has been hypothesized to contribute to back pain, but a better understanding of the interactions between the degenerative IVD and nociceptive neurons innervating the disc and treatment strategies that directly target these interactions is needed to improve our understanding and treatment of back pain. We investigated degenerative IVD-induced changes to dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neuron activity and utilized CRISPR epigenome editing as a neuromodulation strategy. By exposing DRG neurons to degenerative IVD-conditioned media under both normal and pathological IVD pH levels, we demonstrate that degenerative IVDs trigger interleukin (IL)-6-induced increases in neuron activity to thermal stimuli, which is directly mediated by AKAP and enhanced by acidic pH. Utilizing this novel information on AKAP-medi