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Sample records for significantly increased functional

  1. Gas revenue increasingly significant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Megill, R.E.

    1991-01-01

    This paper briefly describes the wellhead prices of natural gas compared to crude oil over the past 70 years. Although natural gas prices have never reached price parity with crude oil, the relative value of a gas BTU has been increasing. It is one of the reasons that the total amount of money coming from natural gas wells is becoming more significant. From 1920 to 1955 the revenue at the wellhead for natural gas was only about 10% of the money received by producers. Most of the money needed for exploration, development, and production came from crude oil. At present, however, over 40% of the money from the upstream portion of the petroleum industry is from natural gas. As a result, in a few short years natural gas may become 50% of the money revenues generated from wellhead production facilities

  2. Combining modularity, conservation, and interactions of proteins significantly increases precision and coverage of protein function prediction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sers Christine T

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background While the number of newly sequenced genomes and genes is constantly increasing, elucidation of their function still is a laborious and time-consuming task. This has led to the development of a wide range of methods for predicting protein functions in silico. We report on a new method that predicts function based on a combination of information about protein interactions, orthology, and the conservation of protein networks in different species. Results We show that aggregation of these independent sources of evidence leads to a drastic increase in number and quality of predictions when compared to baselines and other methods reported in the literature. For instance, our method generates more than 12,000 novel protein functions for human with an estimated precision of ~76%, among which are 7,500 new functional annotations for 1,973 human proteins that previously had zero or only one function annotated. We also verified our predictions on a set of genes that play an important role in colorectal cancer (MLH1, PMS2, EPHB4 and could confirm more than 73% of them based on evidence in the literature. Conclusions The combination of different methods into a single, comprehensive prediction method infers thousands of protein functions for every species included in the analysis at varying, yet always high levels of precision and very good coverage.

  3. Significance and properties of internucleon correlation functions

    OpenAIRE

    Suzuki, Y.; Horiuchi, W.

    2008-01-01

    We show that a nuclear Hamiltonian and a set of internucleon correlation functions is in a one-to-one correspondence. The correlation functions for $s$-shell nuclei interacting via the two-nucleon interaction of AV8$^\\prime$ type are calculated to exhibit the importance of tensor correlations as well as short-range central correlation. The asymptotic behavior of the correlation functions is also discussed.

  4. Sixteen-Day Bedrest Significantly Increases Plasma Colloid Osmotic Pressure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargens, Alan R.; Hsieh, S. T.; Murthy, G.; Ballard, R. E.; Convertino, V. A.; Wade, Charles E. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    Upon exposure to microgravity, astronauts lose up to 10% of their total plasma volume, which may contribute to orthostatic intolerance after space flight. Because plasma colloid osmotic pressure (COP) is a primary factor maintaining plasma volume, our objective was to measure time course changes in COP during microgravity simulated by 6 deg. head-down tilt (HDT). Seven healthy male subjects (30-55 years of age) were placed in HDT for 16 days. For the purpose of another study, three of the seven subjects were chosen to exercise on a cycle ergometer on day 16. Blood samples were drawn immediately before bedrest on day 14 of bedrest, 18-24 hours following exercise while all subjects were still in HDT and 1 hour following bedrest termination. Plasma COP was measured in all 20 microliter EDTA-treated samples using an osmometer fitted with a PM 30 membrane. Data were analyzed with paired and unpaired t-tests. Plasma COP on day 14 of bedrest (29.9 +/- 0.69 mmHg) was significantly higher (p less than 0.005) than the control, pre-bedrest value (23.1 +/- 0.76 mmHg). At one hour of upright recovery after HDT, plasma COP remained significantly elevated (exercise: 26.9 +/- 0.87 mmHg; no exercise: 26.3 +/- 0.85 mmHg). Additionally, exercise had no significant effect on plasma COP 18-24 hours following exercise (exercise: 27.8 +/- 1.09 mmHg; no exercise: 27.1 +/- 0.78 mmHg). Our results demonstrate that plasma COP increases significantly with microgravity simulated by HDT. However, preliminary results indicate exercise during HDT does not significantly affect plasma COP.

  5. Significance in the increase of women psychiatrists in Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ha Kyoung; Kim, Soo In

    2008-01-01

    The number of female doctors has increased in Korea; 18.9% (13,083) of the total medical doctors registered (69,097) were women in 2006, compared to 13.6% (2,216) in 1975. The proportion of female doctors will jump up by 2010 considering that nearly 40% of the medical students are women as of today. This trend has had strong influence on the field of psychiatry; the percentage of women psychiatrists rose from 1.6 (6)% to 18% (453), from 1975 to 2006 and now women residents comprise 39% (206) of all. This is not only a reflection of a social phenomenon of the increase in professional women but also attributed to some specific characteristics of the psychiatry. Psychiatric practice may come more natural to women. While clinical activities of women psychiatrists are expanding, there are few women leaders and much less women are involving in academic activities in this field as yet. Though there is less sexual discrimination in the field of psychiatry, women psychiatrists are still having a lot of difficulties in balancing work and family matters. Many women psychiatrists also report they've ever felt an implied discrimination in their careers. In this study, we are to identify the characteristics of women psychiatrists and to explore the significance of the increase in women psychiatrists in Korea and the situation in which they are.

  6. Functional significance of cardiac reinnervation in heart transplant recipients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwaiblmair, M; von Scheidt, W; Uberfuhr, P; Ziegler, S; Schwaiger, M; Reichart, B; Vogelmeier, C

    1999-09-01

    There is accumulating evidence of structural sympathetic reinnervation after human cardiac transplantation. However, the functional significance of reinnervation in terms of exercise capacity has not been established as yet; we therefore investigated the influence of reinnervation on cardiopulmonary exercise testing. After orthotopic heart transplantation 35 patients (mean age, 49.1 +/- 8.4 years) underwent positron emission tomography with scintigraphically measured uptake of C11-hydroxyephedrine (HED), lung function testing, and cardiopulmonary exercise testing. Two groups were defined based on scintigraphic findings, indicating a denervated group (n = 15) with a HED uptake of 5.45%/min and a reinnervated group (n = 20) with a HED uptake of 10.59%/min. The two study groups did not show significant differences with regard to anthropometric data, number of rejection episodes, preoperative hemodynamics, and postoperative lung function data. The reinnervated group had a significant longer time interval from transplantation (1625 +/- 1069 versus 800 +/- 1316 days, p exercise (137 +/- 15 versus 120 +/- 20 beats/min, p = .012), peak oxygen uptake (21.0 +/- 4 versus 16.1 +/- 5 mL/min/kg, p = .006), peak oxygen pulse (12.4 +/- 2.9 versus 10.2 +/- 2.7 mL/min/beat, p = .031), and anaerobic threshold (11.2 +/- 1.8 versus 9.5 +/- 2.1 mL/min, p = .046) were significantly increased in comparison to denervated transplant recipients. Additionally, a decreased functional dead space ventilation (0.24 +/- 0.05 versus 0.30 +/- 0.05, p = .004) was observed in the reinnervated group. Our study results support the hypothesis that partial sympathetic reinnervation after cardiac transplantation is of functional significance. Sympathetic reinnervation enables an increased peak oxygen uptake. This is most probably due to partial restoration of the chronotropic and inotropic competence of the heart as well as an improved oxygen delivery to the exercising muscles and a reduced ventilation

  7. Increasing the statistical significance of entanglement detection in experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungnitsch, Bastian; Niekamp, Sönke; Kleinmann, Matthias; Gühne, Otfried; Lu, He; Gao, Wei-Bo; Chen, Yu-Ao; Chen, Zeng-Bing; Pan, Jian-Wei

    2010-05-28

    Entanglement is often verified by a violation of an inequality like a Bell inequality or an entanglement witness. Considerable effort has been devoted to the optimization of such inequalities in order to obtain a high violation. We demonstrate theoretically and experimentally that such an optimization does not necessarily lead to a better entanglement test, if the statistical error is taken into account. Theoretically, we show for different error models that reducing the violation of an inequality can improve the significance. Experimentally, we observe this phenomenon in a four-photon experiment, testing the Mermin and Ardehali inequality for different levels of noise. Furthermore, we provide a way to develop entanglement tests with high statistical significance.

  8. Increasing the statistical significance of entanglement detection in experiments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jungnitsch, Bastian; Niekamp, Soenke; Kleinmann, Matthias; Guehne, Otfried [Institut fuer Quantenoptik und Quanteninformation, Innsbruck (Austria); Lu, He; Gao, Wei-Bo; Chen, Zeng-Bing [Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale and Department of Modern Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei (China); Chen, Yu-Ao; Pan, Jian-Wei [Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale and Department of Modern Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei (China); Physikalisches Institut, Universitaet Heidelberg (Germany)

    2010-07-01

    Entanglement is often verified by a violation of an inequality like a Bell inequality or an entanglement witness. Considerable effort has been devoted to the optimization of such inequalities in order to obtain a high violation. We demonstrate theoretically and experimentally that such an optimization does not necessarily lead to a better entanglement test, if the statistical error is taken into account. Theoretically, we show for different error models that reducing the violation of an inequality can improve the significance. We show this to be the case for an error model in which the variance of an observable is interpreted as its error and for the standard error model in photonic experiments. Specifically, we demonstrate that the Mermin inequality yields a Bell test which is statistically more significant than the Ardehali inequality in the case of a photonic four-qubit state that is close to a GHZ state. Experimentally, we observe this phenomenon in a four-photon experiment, testing the above inequalities for different levels of noise.

  9. EXPERIMENTAL AND CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF RENAL FUNCTIONAL RESERVE DETERMINATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jernej Pajek

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available Background. Renal functional reserve (RFR is defined as the temporary increase in glomerular filtration rate (GFR which follows the ingestion of proteins or infusion of aminoacids. This renal vasodilatatory response is probably mediated by several mechanisms, with nitric oxide being one of the most important mediators. In the last years significant progress in measuring renal functional reserve has been achieved on the basis of improvements in methods for accurate and timely appropriate GFR measurement. The method of GFR measurement using the sinistrin clearence calculation after bolus injection of sinistrin is increasingly employed.Conclusions. The article presents the latest results of experiments with RFR using this method and compares them with older reports. RFR is affected by several patophysiological processes: arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, deteriorating function of transplanted kidney. The results and impact of RFR determination in this conditions are described. Finally, potential for further research of RFR in atherosclerotic vascular disease is considered. Accurate determination of RFR is important for detection of early renal hemodynamic abnormalities, which can be influenced by therapeutic interventions and in this way the progression of renal functional deterioration could be prevented or at least slowed.

  10. Regularities of socially significant functions formation in pupils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hrebniak N.P.

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The article focused on the results of carried out research of the functional state of the pupils’ organism in a process of edu­cational activity. It has been shown that formative influence of activity is manifested on the different levels of develop­ment of socially important functions: the actual developmental zone (priority development of indicators, which have the main significance in the activity and the proximal developmental zone (tendency of activation of the key functions.

  11. Polynomial regression analysis and significance test of the regression function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao Zhengming; Zhao Juan; He Shengping

    2012-01-01

    In order to analyze the decay heating power of a certain radioactive isotope per kilogram with polynomial regression method, the paper firstly demonstrated the broad usage of polynomial function and deduced its parameters with ordinary least squares estimate. Then significance test method of polynomial regression function is derived considering the similarity between the polynomial regression model and the multivariable linear regression model. Finally, polynomial regression analysis and significance test of the polynomial function are done to the decay heating power of the iso tope per kilogram in accord with the authors' real work. (authors)

  12. Evaluation of Significance of Diffusely Increased Bilateral Renal Uptake on Bone Scan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sung, Mi Sook; Yang, Woo Jin; Byun, Jae Young; Park, Jung Mi; Shinn, Kyung Sub; Bahk, Yong Whee [Catholic University College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    1990-03-15

    Unexpected renal abnormality can be detected on bone scan using {sup 99m}Tc-MDP. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the diagnostic significance of diffusely increased bilateral renal uptake on bone scan. 1,500 bone scan were reviewed and 43 scans which showed diffusely increased bilateral renal uptake were selected for analysis. Laboratory findings for renal and liver function tests including routine urinalysis were reviewed in 43 patients. 26 of 43 case showed abnormality in urinalysis and renal function study. 20 of 43 cases showed abnormal liver function study and 3 of these cases were diagnosed as hepatorenal syndrome later. 13 of those 20 cases had liver cirrhosis with or without hepatoma. 12 of 43 cases showed abnormality both in renal and liver function studies. 2 of 43 cases showed diffusely increased bilateral renal uptake after chemotherapy for cancer but not on previous scans before chemotherapy. 2 of 43 cases showed hypercalcaemia and 8 of 43 cases had multifocal bone uptake due to metastasis or benign bone lesion. But the latter showed no hypercalcaemia at all. There was no significant correlation between increased renal uptake and MDP uptake in soft tissue other than kidneys. This study raised the possibility that the impaired liver and/or renal function may result in diffuse increase of bilateral renal uptake of MDP of unknown mechanism. It seems to need further study on this correlation.

  13. Evaluation of Significance of Diffusely Increased Bilateral Renal Uptake on Bone Scan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sung, Mi Sook; Yang, Woo Jin; Byun, Jae Young; Park, Jung Mi; Shinn, Kyung Sub; Bahk, Yong Whee

    1990-01-01

    Unexpected renal abnormality can be detected on bone scan using 99m Tc-MDP. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the diagnostic significance of diffusely increased bilateral renal uptake on bone scan. 1,500 bone scan were reviewed and 43 scans which showed diffusely increased bilateral renal uptake were selected for analysis. Laboratory findings for renal and liver function tests including routine urinalysis were reviewed in 43 patients. 26 of 43 case showed abnormality in urinalysis and renal function study. 20 of 43 cases showed abnormal liver function study and 3 of these cases were diagnosed as hepatorenal syndrome later. 13 of those 20 cases had liver cirrhosis with or without hepatoma. 12 of 43 cases showed abnormality both in renal and liver function studies. 2 of 43 cases showed diffusely increased bilateral renal uptake after chemotherapy for cancer but not on previous scans before chemotherapy. 2 of 43 cases showed hypercalcaemia and 8 of 43 cases had multifocal bone uptake due to metastasis or benign bone lesion. But the latter showed no hypercalcaemia at all. There was no significant correlation between increased renal uptake and MDP uptake in soft tissue other than kidneys. This study raised the possibility that the impaired liver and/or renal function may result in diffuse increase of bilateral renal uptake of MDP of unknown mechanism. It seems to need further study on this correlation.

  14. Functional significance of SPINK1 promoter variants in chronic pancreatitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derikx, Monique H M; Geisz, Andrea; Kereszturi, Éva; Sahin-Tóth, Miklós

    2015-05-01

    Chronic pancreatitis is a progressive inflammatory disorder of the pancreas, which often develops as a result of genetic predisposition. Some of the most frequently identified risk factors affect the serine protease inhibitor Kazal type 1 (SPINK1) gene, which encodes a trypsin inhibitor responsible for protecting the pancreas from premature trypsinogen activation. Recent genetic and functional studies indicated that promoter variants in the SPINK1 gene might contribute to disease risk in carriers. Here, we investigated the functional effects of 17 SPINK1 promoter variants using luciferase reporter gene expression assay in four different cell lines, including three pancreatic acinar cell lines (rat AR42J with or without dexamethasone-induced differentiation and mouse 266-6) and human embryonic kidney 293T cells. We found that most variants caused relatively small changes in promoter activity. Surprisingly, however, we observed significant variations in the effects of the promoter variants in the different cell lines. Only four variants exhibited consistently reduced promoter activity in all acinar cell lines, confirming previous reports that variants c.-108G>T, c.-142T>C, and c.-147A>G are risk factors for chronic pancreatitis and identifying c.-52G>T as a novel risk variant. In contrast, variant c.-215G>A, which is linked with the disease-associated splice-site mutation c.194 + 2T>C, caused increased promoter activity, which may mitigate the overall effect of the pathogenic haplotype. Our study lends further support to the notion that sequence evaluation of the SPINK1 promoter region in patients with chronic pancreatitis is justified as part of the etiological investigation. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  15. Mycorrhizal symbioses of Salix repens : diversity and functional significance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heijden, van der E.W.

    2000-01-01

    This thesis investigates the significance of different mycorrhizal fungi, belonging to different functional types (arbuscular mycorrhiza-AM and ectomycorrhiza-EcM), in Salix repens . A comparison between above-ground and below-ground observations on ectomycorrhizal

  16. Development and functional significance of dorsal air bags in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Histological examination of the air bags showed that they were integumentary structures composed of an outer epidermis and an inner dermis. The air bags were not connected to the respiratory system. The body temperature (Tb) of Monteiro's Hornbill nestlings increased significantly with increasing age. Comparisons of ...

  17. Development and functional significance of dorsal air bags in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study describes the morphology and investigates the possible function of the air bags found on the nestlings of Monteiro's Hornbill Tockus monteiri. These air bags increased in size with age and mass of the nestling until 14 d of age, and then decreased in size. By 20 d of age, the air bags were absent. Histological ...

  18. Nicotine increases brain functional network efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wylie, Korey P; Rojas, Donald C; Tanabe, Jody; Martin, Laura F; Tregellas, Jason R

    2012-10-15

    Despite the use of cholinergic therapies in Alzheimer's disease and the development of cholinergic strategies for schizophrenia, relatively little is known about how the system modulates the connectivity and structure of large-scale brain networks. To better understand how nicotinic cholinergic systems alter these networks, this study examined the effects of nicotine on measures of whole-brain network communication efficiency. Resting state fMRI was acquired from fifteen healthy subjects before and after the application of nicotine or placebo transdermal patches in a single blind, crossover design. Data, which were previously examined for default network activity, were analyzed with network topology techniques to measure changes in the communication efficiency of whole-brain networks. Nicotine significantly increased local efficiency, a parameter that estimates the network's tolerance to local errors in communication. Nicotine also significantly enhanced the regional efficiency of limbic and paralimbic areas of the brain, areas which are especially altered in diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. These changes in network topology may be one mechanism by which cholinergic therapies improve brain function. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. Significant increase of Echinococcus multilocularis prevalencein foxes, but no increased predicted risk for humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maas, M.; Dam-Deisz, W.D.C.; Roon, van A.M.; Takumi, K.; Giessen, van der J.W.B.

    2014-01-01

    The emergence of the zoonotic tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis, causative agent ofalveolar echinococcosis (AE), poses a public health risk. A previously designed risk mapmodel predicted a spread of E. multilocularis and increasing numbers of alveolar echinococ-cosis patients in the province of

  20. Functionally significant, rare transcription factor variants in tetralogy of Fallot.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Töpf

    Full Text Available Rare variants in certain transcription factors involved in cardiac development cause Mendelian forms of congenital heart disease. The purpose of this study was to systematically assess the frequency of rare transcription factor variants in sporadic patients with the cardiac outflow tract malformation tetralogy of Fallot (TOF.We sequenced the coding, 5'UTR, and 3'UTR regions of twelve transcription factor genes implicated in cardiac outflow tract development (NKX2.5, GATA4, ISL1, TBX20, MEF2C, BOP/SMYD1, HAND2, FOXC1, FOXC2, FOXH, FOXA2 and TBX1 in 93 non-syndromic, non-Mendelian TOF cases. We also analysed Illumina Human 660W-Quad SNP Array data for copy number variants in these genes; none were detected. Four of the rare variants detected have previously been shown to affect transactivation in in vitro reporter assays: FOXC1 p.P297S, FOXC2 p.Q444R, FOXH1 p.S113T and TBX1 p.P43_G61del PPPPRYDPCAAAAPGAPGP. Two further rare variants, HAND2 p.A25_A26insAA and FOXC1 p.G378_G380delGGG, A488_491delAAAA, affected transactivation in in vitro reporter assays. Each of these six functionally significant variants was present in a single patient in the heterozygous state; each of the four for which parental samples were available were maternally inherited. Thus in the 93 TOF cases we identified six functionally significant mutations in the secondary heart field transcriptional network.This study indicates that rare genetic variants in the secondary heart field transcriptional network with functional effects on protein function occur in 3-13% of patients with TOF. This is the first report of a functionally significant HAND2 mutation in a patient with congenital heart disease.

  1. Increasing vaginal progesterone gel supplementation after frozen-thawed embryo transfer significantly increases the delivery rate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alsbjerg, Birgit; Polyzos, Nikolaos P; Elbaek, Helle Olesen

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the reproductive outcome in patients receiving frozen-thawed embryo transfer before and after doubling of the vaginal progesterone gel supplementation. The study was a retrospective study performed in The Fertility Clinic, Skive Regional Hospital, Denmark....... A total of 346 infertility patients with oligoamenorrhoea undergoing frozen-thawed embryo transfer after priming with oestradiol and vaginal progesterone gel were included. The vaginal progesterone dose was changed from 90mg (Crinone) once a day to twice a day and the reproductive outcome during the two...... rate (8.7% versus 20.5%, respectively; P=0.002). Doubling of the vaginal progesterone gel supplementation during frozen-thawed embryo transfer cycles decreased the early pregnancy loss rate, resulting in a significantly higher delivery rate. This study evaluated the reproductive outcome of 346 women...

  2. Automaticity of walking: functional significance, mechanisms, measurement and rehabilitation strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J Clark

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Automaticity is a hallmark feature of walking in adults who are healthy and well-functioning. In the context of walking, ‘automaticity’ refers to the ability of the nervous system to successfully control typical steady state walking with minimal use of attention-demanding executive control resources. Converging lines of evidence indicate that walking deficits and disorders are characterized in part by a shift in the locomotor control strategy from healthy automaticity to compensatory executive control. This is potentially detrimental to walking performance, as an executive control strategy is not optimized for locomotor control. Furthermore, it places excessive demands on a limited pool of executive reserves. The result is compromised ability to perform basic and complex walking tasks and heightened risk for adverse mobility outcomes including falls. Strategies for rehabilitation of automaticity are not well defined, which is due to both a lack of systematic research into the causes of impaired automaticity and to a lack of robust neurophysiological assessments by which to gauge automaticity. These gaps in knowledge are concerning given the serious functional implications of compromised automaticity. Therefore, the objective of this article is to advance the science of automaticity of walking by consolidating evidence and identifying gaps in knowledge regarding: a functional significance of automaticity; b neurophysiology of automaticity; c measurement of automaticity; d mechanistic factors that compromise automaticity; and e strategies for rehabilitation of automaticity.

  3. The significance and possibility of functional food production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitrijević-Branković Suzana I.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Abundant knowledge of the significance of food quality for all human living functions as well as growing human population and the occurrence of world "hidden hunger", directed food producers toward new production processes of and new product development that must satisfy the specific needs of different categories of consumers. The differences are reflected in sex age, religious affiliation, activity, health, social status etc. "Organic", "natural, minimal processing, functional (and often called "therapeutical" food nowadays represents the key interest of nutritionists, physicians and food producers. Such food should have a beneficial influence on human health, besides satisfying the nutritive and energetic necessities, by protective, prophylactic and healing performance. This paper discusses facts about the influence of food on human health, problems of malnutrition in developing and developed countries, presents states of food production in the world and in Yugoslavia, legislation and regulations on nourishment and food production, the disadvantages of former concepts of development of this production and possible directions of future trends with a particular review on functional food production.

  4. Endothelial function and dysfunction: clinical significance and assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaghayegh Haghjooyejavanmard

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available

    • Over the past two decades, investigators have increasingly recognized the importance of the endothelium as a centralregulator of vascular and body homeostasis. The endothelial lining represents an organ of 1.5 kg in an adult, which is distributed throughout the body. The endothelium is versatile and multifunctional. In addition to its role as a selective permeability barrier, it has many synthetic and metabolic properties, including modulation of vascular tone and blood flow, regulation of immune and inflammatory responses, and regulation of coagulation, fibrinolysis and thrombosis. Endothelial dysfunction (ED is a frequently used term, which can be referred to abnormalities in various physiological functions of the endothelium, and it is known as a key variable in the pathogenesis of several diseases and their complications. Finding suitable markers for endothelial damage or ED is certainly of interest. Established and emerging techniques to detect ED are divided into three large families of functional, cellular, and biochemical markers. Instead of performing single assessments, it may be much more valuable to determine various biological aspects of endothelium. It seems that there is likely a spectrum between normality, endothelial activation (by inflammatory cytokines, endothelial dysfunction (e.g., impairment of nitric oxide, resulting in loss of regulation of vascular tone and endothelial damage (e.g., atherosclerosis. In this review we review the importance of endothelium and its activation, biomarkers and dysfunction.
    •  KEYWORDS: Endothelial function, endothelium, Disease.

  5. Functional significance of SRJ domain mutations in CITED2.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiann-mun Chen

    Full Text Available CITED2 is a transcriptional co-activator with 3 conserved domains shared with other CITED family members and a unique Serine-Glycine Rich Junction (SRJ that is highly conserved in placental mammals. Loss of Cited2 in mice results in cardiac and aortic arch malformations, adrenal agenesis, neural tube and placental defects, and partially penetrant defects in left-right patterning. By screening 1126 sporadic congenital heart disease (CHD cases and 1227 controls, we identified 19 variants, including 5 unique non-synonymous sequence variations (N62S, R92G, T166N, G180-A187del and A187T in patients. Many of the CHD-specific variants identified in this and previous studies cluster in the SRJ domain. Transient transfection experiments show that T166N mutation impairs TFAP2 co-activation function and ES cell proliferation. We find that CITED2 is phosphorylated by MAPK1 in vitro at T166, and that MAPK1 activation enhances the coactivation function of CITED2 but not of CITED2-T166N. In order to investigate the functional significance in vivo, we generated a T166N mutation of mouse Cited2. We also used PhiC31 integrase-mediated cassette exchange to generate a Cited2 knock-in allele replacing the mouse Cited2 coding sequence with human CITED2 and with a mutant form deleting the entire SRJ domain. Mouse embryos expressing only CITED2-T166N or CITED2-SRJ-deleted alleles surprisingly show no morphological abnormalities, and mice are viable and fertile. These results indicate that the SRJ domain is dispensable for these functions of CITED2 in mice and that mutations clustering in the SRJ region are unlikely to be the sole cause of the malformations observed in patients with sporadic CHD. Our results also suggest that coding sequence mutations observed in case-control studies need validation using in vivo models and that predictions based on structural conservation and in vitro functional assays, or even in vivo global loss of function models, may be

  6. Significance tests for functional data with complex dependence structure

    KAUST Repository

    Staicu, Ana-Maria; Lahiri, Soumen N.; Carroll, Raymond J.

    2015-01-01

    We propose an L (2)-norm based global testing procedure for the null hypothesis that multiple group mean functions are equal, for functional data with complex dependence structure. Specifically, we consider the setting of functional data with a

  7. Functional significance of rare neuroligin 1 variants found in autism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moe Nakanishi

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Genetic mutations contribute to the etiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD, a common, heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in social interaction, communication, and repetitive and restricted patterns of behavior. Since neuroligin3 (NLGN3, a cell adhesion molecule at the neuronal synapse, was first identified as a risk gene for ASD, several additional variants in NLGN3 and NLGN4 were found in ASD patients. Moreover, synaptopathies are now known to cause several neuropsychiatric disorders including ASD. In humans, NLGNs consist of five family members, and neuroligin1 (NLGN1 is a major component forming a complex on excitatory glutamatergic synapses. However, the significance of NLGN1 in neuropsychiatric disorders remains unknown. Here, we systematically examine five missense variants of NLGN1 that were detected in ASD patients, and show molecular and cellular alterations caused by these variants. We show that a novel NLGN1 Pro89Leu (P89L missense variant found in two ASD siblings leads to changes in cellular localization, protein degradation, and to the impairment of spine formation. Furthermore, we generated the knock-in P89L mice, and we show that the P89L heterozygote mice display abnormal social behavior, a core feature of ASD. These results, for the first time, implicate rare variants in NLGN1 as functionally significant and support that the NLGN synaptic pathway is of importance in the etiology of neuropsychiatric disorders.

  8. Functional significance of air trapping detected in moderate asthma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laurent, F.; Latrabe, V.; Raherison, C.; Marthan, R.; Tunon-de-Lara, J.M.

    2000-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate bronchial and lung abnormalities in patients suffering from moderate asthma as defined by international guidelines, with special attention to air trapping on CT in comparison with that detected in smoking and non-smoking normal subjects. Twenty-two patients classified as moderate asthma and control subjects including healthy volunteers, smokers (n = 10) or non-smokers (n = 12) were prospectively explored by high-resolution CT (HRCT) performed at suspended full inspiration and expiration. The same expiratory protocol was performed 15 min after inhalation of 200 μg of salbutamol. Patients underwent pulmonary function tests within the same week and bronchodilator response was assessed following inhalation of salbutamol. Abnormalities of bronchi and lung parenchyma on inspiratory CT and air trapping on expiratory CT, in dependent and non-dependent areas, were assessed and scored semi-quantitatively by two independent observers. Comparison of score mean values between the different groups was performed using Mann-Whitney test and Spearman correlation between CT findings and pulmonary function tests were calculated. Mosaic perfusion was observed in 23 % of asthmatics. Air-trapping scores were significantly higher in asthmatic patients than in non-smoking control subjects (p = 0.003), but not than in smokers. This difference was ascribed to non-dependent zones of the lung for which air-trapping scores were also higher in asthmatic patients (p = 0.003) and in smoking subjects (p = 0.004) than in normal controls. In the asthmatic group, a significant positive correlation was found between airways resistance and bronchial dilatation score (p = 0.01), and between small airways obstruction index and mosaic perfusion score (p = 0.05). In addition, both FEV1 and reversibility of small airways obstruction values correlated with air-trapping score (p = 0.03 and p = 0.007, respectively). No change could be detected in air-trapping score

  9. Cross-hemispheric dopamine projections have functional significance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Megan E.; Mikhailova, Maria A.; Bass, Caroline E.; Takmakov, Pavel; Gainetdinov, Raul R.; Budygin, Evgeny A.; Wightman, R. Mark

    2016-01-01

    Dopamine signaling occurs on a subsecond timescale, and its dysregulation is implicated in pathologies ranging from drug addiction to Parkinson’s disease. Anatomic evidence suggests that some dopamine neurons have cross-hemispheric projections, but the significance of these projections is unknown. Here we report unprecedented interhemispheric communication in the midbrain dopamine system of awake and anesthetized rats. In the anesthetized rats, optogenetic and electrical stimulation of dopamine cells elicited physiologically relevant dopamine release in the contralateral striatum. Contralateral release differed between the dorsal and ventral striatum owing to differential regulation by D2-like receptors. In the freely moving animals, simultaneous bilateral measurements revealed that dopamine release synchronizes between hemispheres and intact, contralateral projections can release dopamine in the midbrain of 6-hydroxydopamine–lesioned rats. These experiments are the first, to our knowledge, to show cross-hemispheric synchronicity in dopamine signaling and support a functional role for contralateral projections. In addition, our data reveal that psychostimulants, such as amphetamine, promote the coupling of dopamine transients between hemispheres. PMID:27298371

  10. Significance tests for functional data with complex dependence structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staicu, Ana-Maria; Lahiri, Soumen N; Carroll, Raymond J

    2015-01-01

    We propose an L 2 -norm based global testing procedure for the null hypothesis that multiple group mean functions are equal, for functional data with complex dependence structure. Specifically, we consider the setting of functional data with a multilevel structure of the form groups-clusters or subjects-units, where the unit-level profiles are spatially correlated within the cluster, and the cluster-level data are independent. Orthogonal series expansions are used to approximate the group mean functions and the test statistic is estimated using the basis coefficients. The asymptotic null distribution of the test statistic is developed, under mild regularity conditions. To our knowledge this is the first work that studies hypothesis testing, when data have such complex multilevel functional and spatial structure. Two small-sample alternatives, including a novel block bootstrap for functional data, are proposed, and their performance is examined in simulation studies. The paper concludes with an illustration of a motivating experiment.

  11. Significance tests for functional data with complex dependence structure

    KAUST Repository

    Staicu, Ana-Maria

    2015-01-01

    We propose an L (2)-norm based global testing procedure for the null hypothesis that multiple group mean functions are equal, for functional data with complex dependence structure. Specifically, we consider the setting of functional data with a multilevel structure of the form groups-clusters or subjects-units, where the unit-level profiles are spatially correlated within the cluster, and the cluster-level data are independent. Orthogonal series expansions are used to approximate the group mean functions and the test statistic is estimated using the basis coefficients. The asymptotic null distribution of the test statistic is developed, under mild regularity conditions. To our knowledge this is the first work that studies hypothesis testing, when data have such complex multilevel functional and spatial structure. Two small-sample alternatives, including a novel block bootstrap for functional data, are proposed, and their performance is examined in simulation studies. The paper concludes with an illustration of a motivating experiment.

  12. Maternal undernutrition significantly impacts ovarian follicle number and increases ovarian oxidative stress in adult rat offspring.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelica B Bernal

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: We have shown recently that maternal undernutrition (UN advanced female pubertal onset in a manner that is dependent upon the timing of UN. The long-term consequence of this accelerated puberty on ovarian function is unknown. Recent findings suggest that oxidative stress may be one mechanism whereby early life events impact on later physiological functioning. Therefore, using an established rodent model of maternal UN at critical windows of development, we examined maternal UN-induced changes in offspring ovarian function and determined whether these changes were underpinned by ovarian oxidative stress. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our study is the first to show that maternal UN significantly reduced primordial and secondary follicle number in offspring in a manner that was dependent upon the timing of maternal UN. Specifically, a reduction in these early stage follicles was observed in offspring born to mothers undernourished throughout both pregnancy and lactation. Additionally, antral follicle number was reduced in offspring born to all mothers that were UN regardless of whether the period of UN was restricted to pregnancy or lactation or both. These reductions were associated with decreased mRNA levels of genes critical for follicle maturation and ovulation. Increased ovarian protein carbonyls were observed in offspring born to mothers UN during pregnancy and/or lactation and this was associated with peroxiredoxin 3 hyperoxidation and reduced mRNA levels; suggesting compromised antioxidant defence. This was not observed in offspring of mothers UN during lactation alone. CONCLUSIONS: We propose that maternal UN, particularly at a time-point that includes pregnancy, results in reduced offspring ovarian follicle numbers and mRNA levels of regulatory genes and may be mediated by increased ovarian oxidative stress coupled with a decreased ability to repair the resultant oxidative damage. Together these data are suggestive of

  13. Habitat constraints on the functional significance of soil microbial communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunan, Naoise; Leloup, Julie; Ruamps, Léo; Pouteau, Valérie; Chenu, Claire

    2017-04-01

    An underlying assumption of most ecosystem models is that soil microbial communities are functionally equivalent; in other words, that microbial activity under given set of conditions is not dependent on the composition or diversity of the communities. Although a number of studies have suggested that this assumption is incorrect, ecosystem models can adequately describe ecosystem processes, such as soil C dynamics, without an explicit description of microbial functioning. Here, we provide a mechanistic basis for reconciling this apparent discrepancy. In a reciprocal transplant experiment, we show that microbial communities are not always functionally equivalent. The data suggest that when the supply of substrate is restricted, then the functioning of different microbial communities cannot be distinguished, but when the supply is less restricted, the intrinsic functional differences among communities can be expressed. When the supply of C is restricted then C dynamics are related to the properties of the physical and chemical environment of the soil. We conclude that soil C dynamics may depend on microbial community structure or diversity in environments such as the rhizosphere or the litter layer, but are less likely to do so in oligotrophic environments such as the mineral layers of soil.

  14. Functional significance of ipsilesional motor deficits after unilateral stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chestnut, Caitilin; Haaland, Kathleen Y

    2008-01-01

    To determine whether ipsilesional motor skills, which have been related to independent functioning, are present chronically after unilateral stroke and are more common in people with apraxia than in those without apraxia. Observational cohort comparing the performance of an able-bodied control group, stroke patients with left- or right-hemisphere damage matched for lesion volume, and left-hemisphere stroke patients with and without ideomotor limb apraxia. Primary care Veterans Affairs and private medical center. Volunteer right-handed sample; stroke patients with left- or right-hemisphere damage about 4 years poststroke; a control group of demographically matched, able-bodied adults. Not applicable. Total time to perform the (1) Williams doors test and the (2) timed manual performance test (TMPT), which includes parts of the Jebsen-Taylor Hand Function Test. Ipsilesional motor deficits were present after left- or right-hemisphere stroke when using both measures, but deficits were consistently more common in patients with limb apraxia only for the TMPT. These findings add to a growing literature that suggests that ipsilesional motor deficits may have a functional impact in unilateral stroke patients, especially in patients with ideomotor limb apraxia.

  15. Exploring the functional significance of sterol glycosyltransferase enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Gaurav; Dhar, Yogeshwar Vikram; Asif, Mehar Hasan; Misra, Pratibha

    2018-01-01

    Steroidal alkaloids (SAs) are widely synthesized and distributed in plants manifesting as natural produce endowed with potential for medicinal, pesticidal and other high-value usages. Glycosylation of these SAs raises complex and diverse glycosides in plant cells that indeed govern numerous functional aspects. During the glycosylation process of these valuable metabolites, the addition of carbohydrate molecule(s) is catalyzed by enzymes known as sterol glycosyltransferases (SGTs), commonly referred to as UGTs, leading to the production of steryl glycosides (SGs). The ratio of SGs and nonglyco-conjugated SAs are different in different plant species, however, their biosynthesis in the cell is controlled by different environmental factors. The aim of this review is to evaluate the current SGT enzyme research and the functional consequences of glycomodification of SAs on the physiology and plant development, which together are associated with the plant's primary processes. Pharmaceutical, industrial, and other potential uses of saponins have also been discussed and their use in therapeutics has been unveiled by in silico analysis. The field of biotransformation or conversion of nonglycosylated to glycosylated phytosterols by the activity of SGTs, making them soluble, available and more useful for humankind is the new field of interest towards drug therapy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Cell Adhesion Molecules and Ubiquitination—Functions and Significance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homrich, Mirka; Gotthard, Ingo; Wobst, Hilke; Diestel, Simone

    2015-01-01

    Cell adhesion molecules of the immunoglobulin (Ig) superfamily represent the biggest group of cell adhesion molecules. They have been analyzed since approximately 40 years ago and most of them have been shown to play a role in tumor progression and in the nervous system. All members of the Ig superfamily are intensively posttranslationally modified. However, many aspects of their cellular functions are not yet known. Since a few years ago it is known that some of the Ig superfamily members are modified by ubiquitin. Ubiquitination has classically been described as a proteasomal degradation signal but during the last years it became obvious that it can regulate many other processes including internalization of cell surface molecules and lysosomal sorting. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current knowledge about the ubiquitination of cell adhesion molecules of the Ig superfamily and to discuss its potential physiological roles in tumorigenesis and in the nervous system. PMID:26703751

  17. Structural and functional significance of water permeation through cotransporters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zeuthen, Thomas; Gorraitz, Edurne; Her, Ka

    2016-01-01

    Membrane transporters, in addition to their major role as specific carriers for ions and small molecules, can also behave as water channels. However, neither the location of the water pathway in the protein nor their functional importance is known. Here, we map the pathway for water and urea...... through the intestinal sodium/glucose cotransporter SGLT1. Molecular dynamics simulations using the atomic structure of the bacterial transporter vSGLT suggest that water permeates the same path as Na+ and sugar. On a structural model of SGLT1, based on the homology structure of vSGLT, we identified...... to be due to alterations in steric hindrance to water and urea, and/or changes in protein folding caused by mismatching of side chains in the water pathway. Water permeation through SGLT1 and other transporters bears directly on the structural mechanism for the transport of polar solutes through...

  18. LEFT ATRIAL FUNCTION: MODERN ASSESSMENT METHODS AND CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. N. Pavlyukova

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Assessment of the left atrial (LA function is important aspect of comprehensive cardiovascular system estimation. Many cardiac diseases make an impact to LA work either by direct affect on myocardium or hemodynamic condition changing. It is considered, LA and left ventricle diastolic pressure is interrelated, thus without mitral valve disease LA expanding is a sign of LV filling pressure augmentation. Examination of LA size and function by analysis of atrial reservoir, conduit, and booster pump can predict cardiovascular outcomes in patients with cardiomyopathy, ischemic heart disease and valvular heart disease. The last two decades gave new technologies to accurate and comprehensive LA mechanics estimation, in the first place related to tissue Doppler imaging. Atrial strain and strain rate obtained using two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography have proved to be feasible and reproducible techniques to evaluate LA mechanics.In physiological settings, LA is a highly expandable chamber with relatively low pressures. However in the presence of acute and chronic injury, LA wall stretches. LA stretching is a hallmark of structure changing with myocardial fibrosis and has influence on LA strain and strain rate. LA strain estimation could be useful in the prediction of sinus rhythm restoration and maintenance after cardioversion and catheter ablation. Low values of global longitudinal LA strain indicate irreversible LA remodeling and are related to the atrial fibrillation progression from paroxysmal to permanent forms. The most interesting in these circumstances is the potential contribution of echocardiography to thromboembolic risk stratification in atrial fibrillation and invasive procedures such as atrial ablation. Therefore, at present, the main task is to understand the ways of clinical application of data  obtained during the LA study.

  19. Erythrocyte signal transduction pathways, their oxygenation dependence and functional significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barvitenko, Nadezhda N; Adragna, Norma C; Weber, Roy E

    2005-01-01

    Erythrocytes play a key role in human and vertebrate metabolism. Tissue O2 supply is regulated by both hemoglobin (Hb)-O2 affinity and erythrocyte rheology, a key determinant of tissue perfusion. Oxygenation-deoxygenation transitions of Hb may lead to re-organization of the cytoskeleton and signalling pathways activation/deactivation in an O2-dependent manner. Deoxygenated Hb binds to the cytoplasmic domain of the anion exchanger band 3, which is anchored to the cytoskeleton, and is considered a major mechanism underlying the oxygenation-dependence of several erythrocyte functions. This work discusses the multiple modes of Hb-cytoskeleton interactions. In addition, it reviews the effects of Mg2+, 2,3-diphosphoglycerate, NO, shear stress and Ca2+, all factors accompanying the oxygenation-deoxygenation cycle in circulating red cells. Due to the extensive literature on the subject, the data discussed here, pertain mainly to human erythrocytes whose O2 affinity is modulated by 2,3-diphosphoglycerate, ectothermic vertebrate erythrocytes that use ATP, and to bird erythrocytes that use inositol pentaphosphate. Copyright 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  20. Functional significance of erythropoietin in renal cell carcinoma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morais, Christudas; Johnson, David W; Vesey, David A; Gobe, Glenda C

    2013-01-01

    One of the molecules regulated by the transcription factor, hypoxia inducible factor (HIF), is the hypoxia-responsive hematopoietic factor, erythropoietin (EPO). This may have relevance to the development of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), where mutations of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene are major risk factors for the development of familial and sporadic RCC. VHL mutations up-regulate and stabilize HIF, which in turn activates many downstream molecules, including EPO, that are known to promote angiogenesis, drug resistance, proliferation and progression of solid tumours. HIFs typically respond to hypoxic cellular environment. While the hypoxic microenvironment plays a critical role in the development and progression of tumours in general, it is of special significance in the case of RCC because of the link between VHL, HIF and EPO. EPO and its receptor, EPOR, are expressed in many cancers, including RCC. This limits the use of recombinant human EPO (rhEPO) to treat anaemia in cancer patients, because the rhEPO may be stimulatory to the cancer. EPO may also stimulate epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in RCC, and pathological EMT has a key role in cancer progression. In this mini review, we summarize the current knowledge of the role of EPO in RCC. The available data, either for or against the use of EPO in RCC patients, are equivocal and insufficient to draw a definitive conclusion

  1. Functional significance of brain glycogen in sustaining glutamatergic neurotransmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sickmann, Helle M; Walls, Anne B; Schousboe, Arne; Bouman, Stephan D; Waagepetersen, Helle S

    2009-05-01

    The involvement of brain glycogen in sustaining neuronal activity has previously been demonstrated. However, to what extent energy derived from glycogen is consumed by astrocytes themselves or is transferred to the neurons in the form of lactate for oxidative metabolism to proceed is at present unclear. The significance of glycogen in fueling glutamate uptake into astrocytes was specifically addressed in cultured astrocytes. Moreover, the objective was to elucidate whether glycogen derived energy is important for maintaining glutamatergic neurotransmission, induced by repetitive exposure to NMDA in co-cultures of cerebellar neurons and astrocytes. In the astrocytes it was shown that uptake of the glutamate analogue D-[3H]aspartate was impaired when glycogen degradation was inhibited irrespective of the presence of glucose, signifying that energy derived from glycogen degradation is important for the astrocytic compartment. By inhibiting glycogen degradation in co-cultures it was evident that glycogen provides energy to sustain glutamatergic neurotransmission, i.e. release and uptake of glutamate. The relocation of glycogen derived lactate to the neuronal compartment was investigated by employing d-lactate, a competitive substrate for the monocarboxylate transporters. Neurotransmitter release was affected by the presence of d-lactate indicating that glycogen derived energy is important not only in the astrocytic but also in the neuronal compartment.

  2. Templated assembly of photoswitches significantly increases the energy-storage capacity of solar thermal fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kucharski, Timothy J; Ferralis, Nicola; Kolpak, Alexie M; Zheng, Jennie O; Nocera, Daniel G; Grossman, Jeffrey C

    2014-05-01

    Large-scale utilization of solar-energy resources will require considerable advances in energy-storage technologies to meet ever-increasing global energy demands. Other than liquid fuels, existing energy-storage materials do not provide the requisite combination of high energy density, high stability, easy handling, transportability and low cost. New hybrid solar thermal fuels, composed of photoswitchable molecules on rigid, low-mass nanostructures, transcend the physical limitations of molecular solar thermal fuels by introducing local sterically constrained environments in which interactions between chromophores can be tuned. We demonstrate this principle of a hybrid solar thermal fuel using azobenzene-functionalized carbon nanotubes. We show that, on composite bundling, the amount of energy stored per azobenzene more than doubles from 58 to 120 kJ mol(-1), and the material also maintains robust cyclability and stability. Our results demonstrate that solar thermal fuels composed of molecule-nanostructure hybrids can exhibit significantly enhanced energy-storage capabilities through the generation of template-enforced steric strain.

  3. Skipping one or more dialysis sessions significantly increases mortality: measuring the impact of non-adherence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Gottlieb

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Non-adherence to the prescribed dialysis sessions frequency ranges from 2% to 50% of patients. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of detecting and measuring the non-adherence to the prescribed dialysis frequency and to determine the importance of a multidisciplinary approach with the aim of improving adherence. Methods: longitudinal cohort study including 8,164 prevalent hemodialysis patients in April 2010, with more than 90 days of treatment, in Fresenius Medical Care Argentina units that were monitored for 3 years. The survey evaluated: interruption of at least one dialysis session in a month or reduction at least 10 minutes of a dialysis session in a month, during 6 months prior to the survey. Relative mortality risks were evaluated among groups. Results: 648 patients (7.9% interrupted dialysis sessions: 320 (3.9% interrupted one session per month and 328 (4.01% interrupted more than one session per month. After 3 years monitoring, 349 patients (53.8 % remained active in hemodialysis and 299 were inactive due to different reasons: 206 deceased (31.8 %, 47 transfers or monitoring losses (7.25 %, 36 transplanted (5.55 %, 8 changes to PD modality (1.2% and 2 recovered their kidney function (0.3 %.Interrupting one session per month significantly increased the mortality risk comparing both groups (interrupters and non-interrupters: RR 2.65 (IC 95% 2.24 – 3.14. Interrupting more than one dialysis session also increased significantly mortality risk comparing to the non-interrupters: RR 2.8 (IC 95% 2.39 – 3.28. After 3 years monitoring, 41.6 % of interrupters at the beginning had improved their adherence through a multidisciplinary program of quality improvement. Conclusion: Global mortality was greater among patients who interrupted dialysis sessions. A considerable proportion of interrupter patients at the beginning modified their behavior through the implementation of a multidisciplinary program of quality

  4. Constrained parameterisation of photosynthetic capacity causes significant increase of modelled tropical vegetation surface temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kattge, J.; Knorr, W.; Raddatz, T.; Wirth, C.

    2009-04-01

    Photosynthetic capacity is one of the most sensitive parameters of terrestrial biosphere models whose representation in global scale simulations has been severely hampered by a lack of systematic analyses using a sufficiently broad database. Due to its coupling to stomatal conductance changes in the parameterisation of photosynthetic capacity may potentially influence transpiration rates and vegetation surface temperature. Here, we provide a constrained parameterisation of photosynthetic capacity for different plant functional types in the context of the photosynthesis model proposed by Farquhar et al. (1980), based on a comprehensive compilation of leaf photosynthesis rates and leaf nitrogen content. Mean values of photosynthetic capacity were implemented into the coupled climate-vegetation model ECHAM5/JSBACH and modelled gross primary production (GPP) is compared to a compilation of independent observations on stand scale. Compared to the current standard parameterisation the root-mean-squared difference between modelled and observed GPP is substantially reduced for almost all PFTs by the new parameterisation of photosynthetic capacity. We find a systematic depression of NUE (photosynthetic capacity divided by leaf nitrogen content) on certain tropical soils that are known to be deficient in phosphorus. Photosynthetic capacity of tropical trees derived by this study is substantially lower than standard estimates currently used in terrestrial biosphere models. This causes a decrease of modelled GPP while it significantly increases modelled tropical vegetation surface temperatures, up to 0.8°C. These results emphasise the importance of a constrained parameterisation of photosynthetic capacity not only for the carbon cycle, but also for the climate system.

  5. Music reduces pain and increases functional mobility in fibromyalgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garza-Villarreal, Eduardo A.; Wilson, Andrew D.; Vase, Lene; Brattico, Elvira; Barrios, Fernando A.; Jensen, Troels S.; Romero-Romo, Juan I.; Vuust, Peter

    2014-01-01

    The pain in Fibromyalgia (FM) is difficult to treat and functional mobility seems to be an important comorbidity in these patients that could evolve into a disability. In this study we wanted to investigate the analgesic effects of music in FM pain. Twenty-two FM patients were passively exposed to (1) self-chosen, relaxing, pleasant music, and to (2) a control auditory condition (pink noise). They rated pain and performed the “timed-up & go task (TUG)” to measure functional mobility after each auditory condition. Listening to relaxing, pleasant, self-chosen music reduced pain and increased functional mobility significantly in our FM patients. The music-induced analgesia was significantly correlated with the TUG scores; thereby suggesting that the reduction in pain unpleasantness increased functional mobility. Notably, this mobility improvement was obtained with music played prior to the motor task (not during), therefore the effect cannot be explained merely by motor entrainment to a fast rhythm. Cognitive and emotional mechanisms seem to be central to music-induced analgesia. Our findings encourage the use of music as a treatment adjuvant to reduce chronic pain in FM and increase functional mobility thereby reducing the risk of disability. PMID:24575066

  6. Continuous background light significantly increases flashing-light enhancement of photosynthesis and growth of microalgae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abu-Ghosh, Said; Fixler, Dror; Dubinsky, Zvy; Iluz, David

    2015-01-01

    Under specific conditions, flashing light enhances the photosynthesis rate in comparison to continuous illumination. Here we show that a combination of flashing light and continuous background light with the same integrated photon dose as continuous or flashing light alone can be used to significantly enhance photosynthesis and increase microalgae growth. To test this hypothesis, the green microalga Dunaliella salina was exposed to three different light regimes: continuous light, flashing light, and concomitant application of both. Algal growth was compared under three different integrated light quantities; low, intermediate, and moderately high. Under the combined light regime, there was a substantial increase in all algal growth parameters, with an enhanced photosynthesis rate, within 3days. Our strategy demonstrates a hitherto undescribed significant increase in photosynthesis and algal growth rates, which is beyond the increase by flashing light alone. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. St. John's wort significantly increased the systemic exposure and toxicity of methotrexate in rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, Shih-Ying; Juang, Shin-Hun; Tsai, Shang-Yuan; Chao, Pei-Dawn Lee; Hou, Yu-Chi

    2012-01-01

    St. John's wort (SJW, Hypericum perforatum) is one of the popular nutraceuticals for treating depression. Methotrexate (MTX) is an immunosuppressant with narrow therapeutic window. This study investigated the effect of SJW on MTX pharmacokinetics in rats. Rats were orally given MTX alone and coadministered with 300 and 150 mg/kg of SJW, and 25 mg/kg of diclofenac, respectively. Blood was withdrawn at specific time points and serum MTX concentrations were assayed by a specific monoclonal fluorescence polarization immunoassay method. The results showed that 300 mg/kg of SJW significantly increased the AUC 0−t and C max of MTX by 163% and 60%, respectively, and 150 mg/kg of SJW significantly increased the AUC 0−t of MTX by 55%. In addition, diclofenac enhanced the C max of MTX by 110%. The mortality of rats treated with SJW was higher than that of controls. In conclusion, coadministration of SJW significantly increased the systemic exposure and toxicity of MTX. The combined use of MTX with SJW would need to be with caution. -- Highlights: ► St. John's wort significantly increased the AUC 0−t and C max of methotrexate. ► Coadministration of St. John's wort increased the exposure and toxicity of methotrexate. ► The combined use of methotrexate with St. John's wort will need to be with caution.

  8. Increased frequency of retinopathy of prematurity over the last decade and significant regional differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmström, Gerd; Tornqvist, Kristina; Al-Hawasi, Abbas; Nilsson, Åsa; Wallin, Agneta; Hellström, Ann

    2018-03-01

    Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) causes childhood blindness globally in prematurely born infants. Although increased levels of oxygen supply lead to increased survival and reduced frequency of cerebral palsy, increased incidence of ROP is reported. With the help of a Swedish register for ROP, SWEDROP, national and regional incidences of ROP and frequencies of treatment were evaluated from 2008 to 2015 (n = 5734), as well as before and after targets of provided oxygen changed from 85-89% to 91-95% in 2014. Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) was found in 31.9% (1829/5734) of all infants with a gestational age (GA) of <31 weeks at birth and 5.7% of the infants (329/5734) had been treated for ROP. Analyses of the national data revealed an increased incidence of ROP during the 8-year study period (p = 0.003), but there was no significant increase in the frequency of treatment. There were significant differences between the seven health regions of Sweden, regarding both incidence of ROP and frequency of treatment (p < 0.001). Comparison of regional data before and after the new oxygen targets revealed a significant increase in treated ROP in one region [OR: 2.24 (CI: 1.11-4.49), p = 0.024] and a borderline increase in one other [OR: 3.08 (CI: 0.99-9.60), p = 0.052]. The Swedish national ROP register revealed an increased incidence of ROP during an 8-year period and significant regional differences regarding the incidence of ROP and frequency of treatment. © 2017 Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica Foundation. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. THE SMALL BUT SIGNIFICANT AND NONTRANSITORY INCREASE IN PRICES (SSNIP TEST

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liviana Niminet

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The Small but Significant Nontransitory Increase in Price Test was designed to define the relevant market by concepts of product, geographical area and time. This test, also called the ,,hypothetical monopolistic test” is the subject of many researches both economical and legal as it deals with economic concepts as well as with legally aspects.

  10. Increased auditory startle reflex in children with functional abdominal pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakker, Mirte J; Boer, Frits; Benninga, Marc A; Koelman, Johannes H T M; Tijssen, Marina A J

    2010-02-01

    To test the hypothesis that children with abdominal pain-related functional gastrointestinal disorders have a general hypersensitivity for sensory stimuli. Auditory startle reflexes were assessed in 20 children classified according to Rome III classifications of abdominal pain-related functional gastrointestinal disorders (13 irritable bowel syndrome [IBS], 7 functional abdominal pain syndrome; mean age, 12.4 years; 15 girls) and 23 control subjects (14 girls; mean age, 12.3 years) using a case-control design. The activity of 6 left-sided muscles and the sympathetic skin response were obtained by an electromyogram. We presented sudden loud noises to the subjects through headphones. Both the combined response of 6 muscles and the blink response proved to be significantly increased in patients with abdominal pain compared with control subjects. A significant increase of the sympathetic skin response was not found. Comorbid anxiety disorders (8 patients with abdominal pain) or Rome III subclassification did not significantly affect these results. This study demonstrates an objective hyperresponsivity to nongastrointestinal stimuli. Children with abdominal pain-related functional gastrointestinal disorders may have a generalized hypersensitivity of the central nervous system. Copyright 2010 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Clinical significance of increased lung/heart ratio in 210Tl stress myocardial image

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Zaoli; Chang Fengqin; Zhang Fengge; Wang Xiaoyuan; Liu Liuhua

    1990-01-01

    230 cases were studied with 201 Tl stress image. The results showed that the lung/heart ratio closely correlated with the presence and severity of coronary heart disease (CHD). Among them, 18 cases (7.8%) showed significantly elevated lung/heart ratio (> 0.50). It was confirmed that all of the 18 cases have severe CHD with left ventricular insufficiency. The author emphasizes that measurement of the lung/heart ratio during 201 Tl stress myocardial image may be useful for the assessment of the severity, evalation of the left ventricular function and judgement of prognosis in CHD

  12. Evidence for the functional significance of diazotroph community structure in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Shi-Fang; Buckley, Daniel H

    2009-01-01

    Microbial ecologists continue to seek a greater understanding of the factors that govern the ecological significance of microbial community structure. Changes in community structure have been shown to have functional significance for processes that are mediated by a narrow spectrum of organisms, such as nitrification and denitrification, but in some cases, functional redundancy in the community seems to buffer microbial ecosystem processes. The functional significance of microbial community structure is frequently obscured by environmental variation and is hard to detect in short-term experiments. We examine the functional significance of free-living diazotrophs in a replicated long-term tillage experiment in which extraneous variation is minimized and N-fixation rates can be related to soil characteristics and diazotroph community structure. Soil characteristics were found to be primarily impacted by tillage management, whereas N-fixation rates and diazotroph community structure were impacted by both biomass management practices and interactions between tillage and biomass management. The data suggest that the variation in diazotroph community structure has a greater impact on N-fixation rates than do soil characteristics at the site. N-fixation rates displayed a saturating response to increases in diazotroph community diversity. These results show that the changes in the community structure of free-living diazotrophs in soils can have ecological significance and suggest that this response is related to a change in community diversity.

  13. Introducing extra NADPH consumption ability significantly increases the photosynthetic efficiency and biomass production of cyanobacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jie; Zhang, Fuliang; Meng, Hengkai; Zhang, Yanping; Li, Yin

    2016-11-01

    Increasing photosynthetic efficiency is crucial to increasing biomass production to meet the growing demands for food and energy. Previous theoretical arithmetic analysis suggests that the light reactions and dark reactions are imperfectly coupled due to shortage of ATP supply, or accumulation of NADPH. Here we hypothesized that solely increasing NADPH consumption might improve the coupling of light reactions and dark reactions, thereby increasing the photosynthetic efficiency and biomass production. To test this hypothesis, an NADPH consumption pathway was constructed in cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. The resulting extra NADPH-consuming mutant grew much faster and achieved a higher biomass concentration. Analyses of photosynthesis characteristics showed the activities of photosystem II and photosystem I and the light saturation point of the NADPH-consuming mutant all significantly increased. Thus, we demonstrated that introducing extra NADPH consumption ability is a promising strategy to increase photosynthetic efficiency and to enable utilization of high-intensity lights. Copyright © 2016 International Metabolic Engineering Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Hydrologic effects of large southwestern USA wildfires significantly increase regional water supply: fact or fiction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wine, M. L.; Cadol, D.

    2016-08-01

    In recent years climate change and historic fire suppression have increased the frequency of large wildfires in the southwestern USA, motivating study of the hydrological consequences of these wildfires at point and watershed scales, typically over short periods of time. These studies have revealed that reduced soil infiltration capacity and reduced transpiration due to tree canopy combustion increase streamflow at the watershed scale. However, the degree to which these local increases in runoff propagate to larger scales—relevant to urban and agricultural water supply—remains largely unknown, particularly in semi-arid mountainous watersheds co-dominated by winter snowmelt and the North American monsoon. To address this question, we selected three New Mexico watersheds—the Jemez (1223 km2), Mogollon (191 km2), and Gila (4807 km2)—that together have been affected by over 100 wildfires since 1982. We then applied climate-driven linear models to test for effects of fire on streamflow metrics after controlling for climatic variability. Here we show that, after controlling for climatic and snowpack variability, significantly more streamflow discharged from the Gila watershed for three to five years following wildfires, consistent with increased regional water yield due to enhanced infiltration-excess overland flow and groundwater recharge at the large watershed scale. In contrast, we observed no such increase in discharge from the Jemez watershed following wildfires. Fire regimes represent a key difference between the contrasting responses of the Jemez and Gila watersheds with the latter experiencing more frequent wildfires, many caused by lightning strikes. While hydrologic dynamics at the scale of large watersheds were previously thought to be climatically dominated, these results suggest that if one fifth or more of a large watershed has been burned in the previous three to five years, significant increases in water yield can be expected.

  15. Breast-cancer-associated metastasis is significantly increased in a model of autoimmune arthritis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das Roy, Lopamudra; Pathangey, Latha B; Tinder, Teresa L; Schettini, Jorge L; Gruber, Helen E; Mukherjee, Pinku

    2009-01-01

    Sites of chronic inflammation are often associated with the establishment and growth of various malignancies including breast cancer. A common inflammatory condition in humans is autoimmune arthritis (AA) that causes inflammation and deformity of the joints. Other systemic effects associated with arthritis include increased cellular infiltration and inflammation of the lungs. Several studies have reported statistically significant risk ratios between AA and breast cancer. Despite this knowledge, available for a decade, it has never been questioned if the site of chronic inflammation linked to AA creates a milieu that attracts tumor cells to home and grow in the inflamed bones and lungs which are frequent sites of breast cancer metastasis. To determine if chronic inflammation induced by autoimmune arthritis contributes to increased breast cancer-associated metastasis, we generated mammary gland tumors in SKG mice that were genetically prone to develop AA. Two breast cancer cell lines, one highly metastatic (4T1) and the other non-metastatic (TUBO) were used to generate the tumors in the mammary fat pad. Lung and bone metastasis and the associated inflammatory milieu were evaluated in the arthritic versus the non-arthritic mice. We report a three-fold increase in lung metastasis and a significant increase in the incidence of bone metastasis in the pro-arthritic and arthritic mice compared to non-arthritic control mice. We also report that the metastatic breast cancer cells augment the severity of arthritis resulting in a vicious cycle that increases both bone destruction and metastasis. Enhanced neutrophilic and granulocytic infiltration in lungs and bone of the pro-arthritic and arthritic mice and subsequent increase in circulating levels of proinflammatory cytokines, such as macrophage colony stimulating factor (M-CSF), interleukin-17 (IL-17), interleukin-6 (IL-6), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) may contribute

  16. Breast cancer-associated metastasis is significantly increased in a model of autoimmune arthritis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das Roy, Lopamudra; Pathangey, Latha B; Tinder, Teresa L; Schettini, Jorge L; Gruber, Helen E; Mukherjee, Pinku

    2009-01-01

    Introduction Sites of chronic inflammation are often associated with the establishment and growth of various malignancies including breast cancer. A common inflammatory condition in humans is autoimmune arthritis (AA) that causes inflammation and deformity of the joints. Other systemic effects associated with arthritis include increased cellular infiltration and inflammation of the lungs. Several studies have reported statistically significant risk ratios between AA and breast cancer. Despite this knowledge, available for a decade, it has never been questioned if the site of chronic inflammation linked to AA creates a milieu that attracts tumor cells to home and grow in the inflamed bones and lungs which are frequent sites of breast cancer metastasis. Methods To determine if chronic inflammation induced by autoimmune arthritis contributes to increased breast cancer-associated metastasis, we generated mammary gland tumors in SKG mice that were genetically prone to develop AA. Two breast cancer cell lines, one highly metastatic (4T1) and the other non-metastatic (TUBO) were used to generate the tumors in the mammary fat pad. Lung and bone metastasis and the associated inflammatory milieu were evaluated in the arthritic versus the non-arthritic mice. Results We report a three-fold increase in lung metastasis and a significant increase in the incidence of bone metastasis in the pro-arthritic and arthritic mice compared to non-arthritic control mice. We also report that the metastatic breast cancer cells augment the severity of arthritis resulting in a vicious cycle that increases both bone destruction and metastasis. Enhanced neutrophilic and granulocytic infiltration in lungs and bone of the pro-arthritic and arthritic mice and subsequent increase in circulating levels of proinflammatory cytokines, such as macrophage colony stimulating factor (M-CSF), interleukin-17 (IL-17), interleukin-6 (IL-6), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and tumor necrosis factor

  17. Significance of Joint Features Derived from the Modified Group Delay Function in Speech Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murthy Hema A

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigates the significance of combining cepstral features derived from the modified group delay function and from the short-time spectral magnitude like the MFCC. The conventional group delay function fails to capture the resonant structure and the dynamic range of the speech spectrum primarily due to pitch periodicity effects. The group delay function is modified to suppress these spikes and to restore the dynamic range of the speech spectrum. Cepstral features are derived from the modified group delay function, which are called the modified group delay feature (MODGDF. The complementarity and robustness of the MODGDF when compared to the MFCC are also analyzed using spectral reconstruction techniques. Combination of several spectral magnitude-based features and the MODGDF using feature fusion and likelihood combination is described. These features are then used for three speech processing tasks, namely, syllable, speaker, and language recognition. Results indicate that combining MODGDF with MFCC at the feature level gives significant improvements for speech recognition tasks in noise. Combining the MODGDF and the spectral magnitude-based features gives a significant increase in recognition performance of 11% at best, while combining any two features derived from the spectral magnitude does not give any significant improvement.

  18. Significant increase of surface ozone at a rural site, north of eastern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Ma

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Ozone pollution in eastern China has become one of the top environmental issues. Quantifying the temporal trend of surface ozone helps to assess the impacts of the anthropogenic precursor reductions and the likely effects of emission control strategies implemented. In this paper, ozone data collected at the Shangdianzi (SDZ regional atmospheric background station from 2003 to 2015 are presented and analyzed to obtain the variation in the trend of surface ozone in the most polluted region of China, north of eastern China or the North China Plain. A modified Kolmogorov–Zurbenko (KZ filter method was performed on the maximum daily average 8 h (MDA8 concentrations of ozone to separate the contributions of different factors from the variation of surface ozone and remove the influence of meteorological fluctuations on surface ozone. Results reveal that the short-term, seasonal and long-term components of ozone account for 36.4, 57.6 and 2.2 % of the total variance, respectively. The long-term trend indicates that the MDA8 has undergone a significant increase in the period of 2003–2015, with an average rate of 1.13 ± 0.01 ppb year−1 (R2 = 0.92. It is found that meteorological factors did not significantly influence the long-term variation of ozone and the increase may be completely attributed to changes in emissions. Furthermore, there is no significant correlation between the long-term O3 and NO2 trends. This study suggests that emission changes in VOCs might have played a more important role in the observed increase of surface ozone at SDZ.

  19. Tuberculosis after kidney transplantation is associated with significantly impaired allograft function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Silvana Daher; de Sandes-Freitas, Tainá Veras; Jacinto, Camilla Neves; Martiniano, Lorena Vasconcelos Mesquita; Amaral, Yago Sucupira; Paes, Fernando José Villar Nogueira; Sales, Maria Luiza de Mattos Brito Oliveira; Esmeraldo, Ronaldo de Matos; Daher, Elizabeth de Francesco

    2017-10-01

    This study aimed to evaluate renal function before, during, and after the course of tuberculosis (TB) disease in kidney transplant recipients, and assess the risk factors for non-recovery of baseline renal function. We performed a retrospective, single-center cohort study, including all patients with confirmed or presumed TB diagnosis after kidney transplant (n=34, 2.1%). Renal function was assessed by serum creatinine (Cr) and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) adjusted for deaths and graft losses. A significant increase was seen in serum Cr during TB disease and treatment: 1.5 mg/dL at baseline (Cr base ), 1.7 mg/dL at diagnosis (Ppotential causes for this outcome. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Application of Bioorganic Fertilizer Significantly Increased Apple Yields and Shaped Bacterial Community Structure in Orchard Soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei; Li, Jing; Yang, Fang; E, Yaoyao; Raza, Waseem; Huang, Qiwei; Shen, Qirong

    2017-02-01

    and Rhodospirillaceae, were found to be the significantly increased by the BOF addition and the genus Lysobacter may identify members of this group effective in biological control-based plant disease management and the members of family Rhodospirillaceae had an important role in fixing molecular nitrogen. These results strengthen the understanding of responses to the BOF and possible interactions within bacterial communities in soil that can be associated with disease suppression and the accumulation of carbon and nitrogen. The increase of apple yields after the application of BOF might be attributed to the fact that the application of BOF increased SOM, and soil total nitrogen, and changed the bacterial community by enriching Rhodospirillaceae, Alphaprotreobateria, and Proteobacteria.

  1. One stone, two birds: silica nanospheres significantly increase photocatalytic activity and colloidal stability of photocatalysts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasamani, Kowsalya D.; Foley, Jonathan J., IV; Sun, Yugang

    2018-03-01

    Silver-doped silver chloride [AgCl(Ag)] nanoparticles represent a unique class of visible-light-driven photocatalysts, in which the silver dopants introduce electron-abundant mid-gap energy levels to lower the bandgap of AgCl. However, free-standing AgCl(Ag) nanoparticles, particularly those with small sizes and large surface areas, exhibit low colloidal stability and low compositional stability upon exposure to light irradiation, leading to easy aggregation and conversion to metallic silver and thus a loss of photocatalytic activity. These problems could be eliminated by attaching the small AgCl(Ag) nanoparticles to the surfaces of spherical dielectric silica particles with submicrometer sizes. The high optical transparency in the visible spectral region (400-800 nm), colloidal stability, and chemical/electronic inertness displayed by the silica spheres make them ideal for supporting photocatalysts and significantly improving their stability. The spherical morphology of the dielectric silica particles can support light scattering resonances to generate significantly enhanced electric fields near the silica particle surfaces, on which the optical absorption cross-section of the AgCl(Ag) nanoparticles is dramatically increased to promote their photocatalytic activity. The hybrid silica/AgCl(Ag) structures exhibit superior photocatalytic activity and stability, suitable for supporting photocatalysis sustainably; for instance, their efficiency in the photocatalytic decomposition of methylene blue decreases by only ˜9% even after ten cycles of operation.

  2. Phytohormone supplementation significantly increases growth of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cultivated for biodiesel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Won-Kun; Yoo, Gursong; Moon, Myounghoon; Kim, Chul Woong; Choi, Yoon-E; Yang, Ji-Won

    2013-11-01

    Cultivation is the most expensive step in the production of biodiesel from microalgae, and substantial research has been devoted to developing more cost-effective cultivation methods. Plant hormones (phytohormones) are chemical messengers that regulate various aspects of growth and development and are typically active at very low concentrations. In this study, we investigated the effect of different phytohormones on microalgal growth and biodiesel production in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and their potential to lower the overall cost of commercial biofuel production. The results indicated that all five of the tested phytohormones (indole-3-acetic acid, gibberellic acid, kinetin, 1-triacontanol, and abscisic acid) promoted microalgal growth. In particular, hormone treatment increased biomass production by 54 to 69 % relative to the control growth medium (Tris-acetate-phosphate, TAP). Phytohormone treatments also affected microalgal cell morphology but had no effect on the yields of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) as a percent of biomass. We also tested the effect of these phytohormones on microalgal growth in nitrogen-limited media by supplementation in the early stationary phase. Maximum cell densities after addition of phytohormones were higher than in TAP medium, even when the nitrogen source was reduced to 40 % of that in TAP medium. Taken together, our results indicate that phytohormones significantly increased microalgal growth, particularly in nitrogen-limited media, and have potential for use in the development of efficient microalgal cultivation for biofuel production.

  3. [Significant increase in the colonisation of Staphylococcus aureus among medical students during their hospital practices].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Avial, Carmen; Alvarez-Novoa, Andrea; Losa, Azucena; Picazo, Juan J

    2013-10-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a pathogen of major concern. The emergence of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) has increasingly complicated the therapeutic approach of hospital-acquired infections. Surveillance of MRSA and control measures must be implemented in different healthcare settings, including screening programs for carriers. Our first aim was to determine the prevalence of methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) and MRSA nasal carriage in medical students from the Clínico San Carlos Hospital (Madrid). As the MRSA carrier rate in healthcare workers is higher than in the general population, we hypothesised that carrier rate could be increased during their clinical practice in their last three years. We performed an epidemiologic al study of the prevalence of S. aureus colonisation among a group of medical students, who were sampled in 2008 in their third-year, and in 2012 when this class was in its sixth year. We have found a significant increase in MSSA carriage, from 27% to 46%. There were no MRSA colonisations in the third-year, but one was found in the sixth-year group. The large majority of strains (89%) of strains were resistant to penicillin, and 27% to erythromycin and clindamycin. As 19 coagulase-negative Staphylococcus MR were also identified, a horizontal transfer of genes, such as mecA gene to S. aureus, could have occurred. Medical students are both, at risk for acquiring, and a potential source of nosocomial pathogens, mainly MSSA. Therefore, they should take special care for hygienic precautions, such as frequent and proper hand washing, while working in the hospital. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier España, S.L. All rights reserved.

  4. Exposure to Tumescent Solution Significantly Increases Phosphorylation of Perilipin in Adipocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keskin, Ilknur; Sutcu, Mustafa; Eren, Hilal; Keskin, Mustafa

    2017-02-01

    Lidocaine and epinephrine could potentially decrease adipocyte viability, but these effects have not been substantiated. The phosphorylation status of perilipin in adipocytes may be predictive of cell viability. Perilipin coats lipid droplets and restricts access of lipases; phospho-perilipin lacks this protective function. The authors investigated the effects of tumescent solution containing lidocaine and epinephrine on the phosphorylation status of perilipin in adipocytes. In this in vitro study, lipoaspirates were collected before and after tumescence from 15 women who underwent abdominoplasty. Fat samples were fixed, sectioned, and stained for histologic and immunohistochemical analyses. Relative phosphorylation of perilipin was inferred from pixel intensities of immunostained adipocytes observed with confocal microscopy. For adipocytes collected before tumescent infiltration, 10.08% of total perilipin was phosphorylated. In contrast, 30.62% of total perilipin was phosphorylated for adipocytes collected from tumescent tissue (P < .01). The tumescent technique increases the relative phosphorylation of perilipin in adipocytes, making these cells more vulnerable to lipolysis. Tumescent solution applied for analgesia or hemostasis of the donor site should contain the lowest possible concentrations of lidocaine and epinephrine. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE 5. © 2016 The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Inc. Reprints and permission: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Free ammonia pre-treatment of secondary sludge significantly increases anaerobic methane production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Wei; Zhou, Xu; Wang, Dongbo; Sun, Jing; Wang, Qilin

    2017-07-01

    Energy recovery in the form of methane from sludge/wastewater is restricted by the poor and slow biodegradability of secondary sludge. An innovative pre-treatment technology using free ammonia (FA, i.e. NH 3 ) was proposed in this study to increase anaerobic methane production. The solubilisation of secondary sludge was significantly increased after FA pre-treatment at up to 680 mg NH 3 -N/L for 1 day, under which the solubilisation (i.e. 0.4 mg SCOD/mg VS; SCOD: soluble chemical oxygen demand; VS: volatile solids) was >10 times higher than that without FA pre-treatment (i.e. 0.03 mg SCOD/mg VS). Biochemical methane potential assays showed that FA pre-treatment at above 250 mg NH 3 -N/L is effective in improving anaerobic methane production. The highest improvement in biochemical methane potential (B 0 ) and hydrolysis rate (k) was achieved at FA concentrations of 420-680 mg NH 3 -N/L, and was determined as approximately 22% (from 160 to 195 L CH 4 /kg VS added) and 140% (from 0.22 to 0.53 d -1 ) compared to the secondary sludge without pre-treatment. More analysis revealed that the FA induced improvement in B 0 and k could be attributed to the rapidly biodegradable substances rather than the slowly biodegradable substances. Economic and environmental analyses showed that the FA-based technology is economically favourable and environmentally friendly. Since this FA technology aims to use the wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) waste (i.e. anaerobic digestion liquor) to enhance methane production from the WWTPs, it will set an example for the paradigm shift of the WWTPs from 'linear economy' to 'circular economy'. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Myriocin significantly increases the mortality of a non-mammalian model host during Candida pathogenesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadja Rodrigues de Melo

    Full Text Available Candida albicans is a major human pathogen whose treatment is challenging due to antifungal drug toxicity, drug resistance and paucity of antifungal agents available. Myrocin (MYR inhibits sphingosine synthesis, a precursor of sphingolipids, an important cell membrane and signaling molecule component. MYR also has dual immune suppressive and antifungal properties, potentially modulating mammalian immunity and simultaneously reducing fungal infection risk. Wax moth (Galleria mellonella larvae, alternatives to mice, were used to establish if MYR suppressed insect immunity and increased survival of C. albicans-infected insects. MYR effects were studied in vivo and in vitro, and compared alone and combined with those of approved antifungal drugs, fluconazole (FLC and amphotericin B (AMPH. Insect immune defenses failed to inhibit C. albicans with high mortalities. In insects pretreated with the drug followed by C. albicans inoculation, MYR+C. albicans significantly increased mortality to 93% from 67% with C. albicans alone 48 h post-infection whilst AMPH+C. albicans and FLC+C. albicans only showed 26% and 0% mortalities, respectively. MYR combinations with other antifungal drugs in vivo also enhanced larval mortalities, contrasting the synergistic antifungal effect of the MYR+AMPH combination in vitro. MYR treatment influenced immunity and stress management gene expression during C. albicans pathogenesis, modulating transcripts putatively associated with signal transduction/regulation of cytokines, I-kappaB kinase/NF-kappaB cascade, G-protein coupled receptor and inflammation. In contrast, all stress management gene expression was down-regulated in FLC and AMPH pretreated C. albicans-infected insects. Results are discussed with their implications for clinical use of MYR to treat sphingolipid-associated disorders.

  7. Significantly increased risk of carotid atherosclerosis with arsenic exposure and polymorphisms in arsenic metabolism genes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hsieh, Yi-Chen; Lien, Li-Ming; Chung, Wen-Ting; Hsieh, Fang-I; Hsieh, Pei-Fan; Wu, Meei-Maan; Tseng, Hung-Pin; Chiou, Hung-Yi; Chen, Chien-Jen

    2011-01-01

    Individual susceptibility to arsenic-induced carotid atherosclerosis might be associated with genetic variations in arsenic metabolism. The purpose of this study is to explore the interaction effect on risk of carotid atherosclerosis between arsenic exposure and risk genotypes of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP), arsenic (+3) methyltransferase (As3MT), and glutathione S-transferase omega 1 (GSTO1) and omega 2 (GSTO2). A community-based case-control study was conducted in northeastern Taiwan to investigate the arsenic metabolic-related genetic susceptibility to carotid atherosclerosis. In total, 863 subjects, who had been genotyped and for whom the severity of carotid atherosclerosis had been determined, were included in the present study. Individual well water was collected and arsenic concentration determined using hydride generation combined with flame atomic absorption spectrometry. The result showed that a significant dose-response trend (P=0.04) of carotid atherosclerosis risk associated with increasing arsenic concentration. Non-significant association between genetic polymorphisms of PNP Gly51Ser, Pro57Pro, As3MT Met287Thr, GSTO1 Ala140Asp, and GSTO2 A-183G and the risk for development of carotid atherosclerosis were observed. However, the significant interaction effect on carotid atherosclerosis risk was found for arsenic exposure (>50 μg/l) and the haplotypes of PNP (p=0.0115). A marked elevated risk of carotid atherosclerosis was observed in subjects with arsenic exposure of >50 μg/l in drinking water and those who carried the PNP A-T haplotype and at least either of the As3MT risk polymorphism or GSTO risk haplotypes (OR, 6.43; 95% CI, 1.79-23.19). In conclusion, arsenic metabolic genes, PNP, As3MT, and GSTO, may exacerbate the formation of atherosclerosis in individuals with high levels of arsenic concentration in well water (>50 μg/l). - Highlights: →Arsenic metabolic genes might be associated with carotid atherosclerosis. → A case

  8. Significantly increased risk of carotid atherosclerosis with arsenic exposure and polymorphisms in arsenic metabolism genes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hsieh, Yi-Chen [School of Public Health, College of Public Health and Nutrition, Taipei Medical University, 250 Wusing St., Taipei 11031, Taiwan (China); Lien, Li-Ming [Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan (China); School of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan (China); Department of Neurology, Shin Kong WHS Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan (China); Chung, Wen-Ting [Department of Neurology, Wanfang Hospital, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan (China); Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan (China); Hsieh, Fang-I; Hsieh, Pei-Fan [School of Public Health, College of Public Health and Nutrition, Taipei Medical University, 250 Wusing St., Taipei 11031, Taiwan (China); Wu, Meei-Maan [School of Public Health, College of Public Health and Nutrition, Taipei Medical University, 250 Wusing St., Taipei 11031, Taiwan (China); Graduate Institute of Basic Medicine, College of Medicine, Fu-Jen Catholic University, Taipei, Taiwan (China); Tseng, Hung-Pin [Department of Neurology, Lotung Poh-Ai Hospital, I-Lan, Taiwan (China); Chiou, Hung-Yi, E-mail: hychiou@tmu.edu.tw [School of Public Health, College of Public Health and Nutrition, Taipei Medical University, 250 Wusing St., Taipei 11031, Taiwan (China); Chen, Chien-Jen [Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan (China)

    2011-08-15

    Individual susceptibility to arsenic-induced carotid atherosclerosis might be associated with genetic variations in arsenic metabolism. The purpose of this study is to explore the interaction effect on risk of carotid atherosclerosis between arsenic exposure and risk genotypes of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP), arsenic (+3) methyltransferase (As3MT), and glutathione S-transferase omega 1 (GSTO1) and omega 2 (GSTO2). A community-based case-control study was conducted in northeastern Taiwan to investigate the arsenic metabolic-related genetic susceptibility to carotid atherosclerosis. In total, 863 subjects, who had been genotyped and for whom the severity of carotid atherosclerosis had been determined, were included in the present study. Individual well water was collected and arsenic concentration determined using hydride generation combined with flame atomic absorption spectrometry. The result showed that a significant dose-response trend (P=0.04) of carotid atherosclerosis risk associated with increasing arsenic concentration. Non-significant association between genetic polymorphisms of PNP Gly51Ser, Pro57Pro, As3MT Met287Thr, GSTO1 Ala140Asp, and GSTO2 A-183G and the risk for development of carotid atherosclerosis were observed. However, the significant interaction effect on carotid atherosclerosis risk was found for arsenic exposure (>50 {mu}g/l) and the haplotypes of PNP (p=0.0115). A marked elevated risk of carotid atherosclerosis was observed in subjects with arsenic exposure of >50 {mu}g/l in drinking water and those who carried the PNP A-T haplotype and at least either of the As3MT risk polymorphism or GSTO risk haplotypes (OR, 6.43; 95% CI, 1.79-23.19). In conclusion, arsenic metabolic genes, PNP, As3MT, and GSTO, may exacerbate the formation of atherosclerosis in individuals with high levels of arsenic concentration in well water (>50 {mu}g/l). - Highlights: {yields}Arsenic metabolic genes might be associated with carotid atherosclerosis. {yields

  9. Increased Mortality in Diabetic Foot Ulcer Patients: The Significance of Ulcer Type

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chammas, N. K.; Hill, R. L. R.; Edmonds, M. E.

    2016-01-01

    Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) patients have a greater than twofold increase in mortality compared with nonulcerated diabetic patients. We investigated (a) cause of death in DFU patients, (b) age at death, and (c) relationship between cause of death and ulcer type. This was an eleven-year retrospective study on DFU patients who attended King's College Hospital Foot Clinic and subsequently died. A control group of nonulcerated diabetic patients was matched for age and type of diabetes mellitus. The cause of death was identified from death certificates (DC) and postmortem (PM) examinations. There were 243 DFU patient deaths during this period. Ischaemic heart disease (IHD) was the major cause of death in 62.5% on PM compared to 45.7% on DC. Mean age at death from IHD on PM was 5 years lower in DFU patients compared to controls (68.2 ± 8.7 years versus 73.1 ± 8.0 years, P = 0.015). IHD as a cause of death at PM was significantly linked to neuropathic foot ulcers (OR 3.064, 95% CI 1.003–9.366, and P = 0.049). Conclusions. IHD is the major cause of premature mortality in DFU patients with the neuropathic foot ulcer patients being at a greater risk. PMID:27213157

  10. Factors associated with an increased risk of vertebral fracture in monoclonal gammopathies of undetermined significance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Piot, J M; Royer, M; Schmidt-Tanguy, A; Hoppé, E; Gardembas, M; Bourrée, T; Hunault, M; François, S; Boyer, F; Ifrah, N; Renier, G; Chevailler, A; Audran, M; Chappard, D; Libouban, H; Mabilleau, G; Legrand, E; Bouvard, B

    2015-01-01

    Monoclonal gammopathies of undetermined significance (MGUS) have been shown to be associated with an increased risk of fractures. This study describes prospectively the bone status of MGUS patients and determines the factors associated with vertebral fracture. We included prospectively 201 patients with MGUS, incidentally discovered, and with no known history of osteoporosis: mean age 66.6±12.5 years, 48.3% women, 51.7% immunoglobulin G (IgG), 33.3% IgM and 10.4% IgA. Light chain was kappa in 64.2% patients. All patients had spinal radiographs and bone mineral density measurement in addition to gammopathy assessment. At least one prevalent non-traumatic vertebral fracture was discovered in 18.4% patients and equally distributed between men and women. Fractured patients were older, had a lower bone density and had also more frequently a lambda light chain isotype. Compared with patients with κ light chain, the odds ratio of being fractured for patients with λ light chain was 4.32 (95% confidence interval 1.80–11.16; P=0.002). These results suggest a high prevalence of non-traumatic vertebral fractures in MGUS associated with lambda light chain isotype and not only explained by low bone density

  11. Functional Wnt signaling is increased in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Königshoff

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF is a fatal lung disease, characterized by distorted lung architecture and loss of respiratory function. Alveolar epithelial cell injury and hyperplasia, enhanced extracellular matrix deposition, and (myofibroblast activation are features of IPF. Wnt/beta-catenin signaling has been shown to determine epithelial cell fate during development. As aberrant reactivation of developmental signaling pathways has been suggested to contribute to IPF pathogenesis, we hypothesized that Wnt/beta-catenin signaling is activated in epithelial cells in IPF. Thus, we quantified and localized the expression and activity of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway in IPF. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The expression of Wnt1, 3a, 7b, and 10b, the Wnt receptors Fzd1-4, Lrp5-6, as well as the intracellular signal transducers Gsk-3beta, beta-catenin, Tcf1, 3, 4, and Lef1 was analyzed in IPF and transplant donor lungs by quantitative real-time (qRT-PCR. Wnt1, 7b and 10b, Fzd2 and 3, beta-catenin, and Lef1 expression was significantly increased in IPF. Immunohistochemical analysis localized Wnt1, Wnt3a, beta-catenin, and Gsk-3beta expression largely to alveolar and bronchial epithelium. This was confirmed by qRT-PCR of primary alveolar epithelial type II (ATII cells, demonstrating a significant increase of Wnt signaling in ATII cells derived from IPF patients. In addition, Western blot analysis of phospho-Gsk-3beta, phospho-Lrp6, and beta-catenin, and qRT-PCR of the Wnt target genes cyclin D1, Mmp 7, or Fibronectin 1 demonstrated increased functional Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in IPF compared with controls. Functional in vitro studies further revealed that Wnt ligands induced lung epithelial cell proliferation and (myofibroblast activation and collagen synthesis. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study demonstrates that the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway is expressed and operative in adult lung epithelium. Increased Wnt/beta-catenin signaling

  12. Significant yield increases from control of leaf diseases in maize - an overlooked problem?!

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Lise Nistrup

    2012-01-01

    The area of maize has increased in several European countries in recent years. In Denmark, the area has increased from 10,000 ha in 1980 to 185,000 ha in 2011. Initially only silage maize was cultivated in Denmark, but in more recent years the area of grain maize has also increased. Farms growing...

  13. Manipulation of Ovarian Function Significantly Influenced Sarcopenia in Postreproductive-Age Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rhett L. Peterson

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Previously, transplantation of ovaries from young cycling mice into old postreproductive-age mice increased life span. We anticipated that the same factors that increased life span could also influence health span. Female CBA/J mice received new (60 d ovaries at 12 and 17 months of age and were evaluated at 16 and 25 months of age, respectively. There were no significant differences in body weight among any age or treatment group. The percentage of fat mass was significantly increased at 13 and 16 months of age but was reduced by ovarian transplantation in 16-month-old mice. The percentages of lean body mass and total body water were significantly reduced in 13-month-old control mice but were restored in 16- and 25-month-old recipient mice by ovarian transplantation to the levels found in six-month-old control mice. In summary, we have shown that skeletal muscle mass, which is negatively influenced by aging, can be positively influenced or restored by reestablishment of active ovarian function in aged female mice. These findings provide strong incentive for further investigation of the positive influence of young ovaries on restoration of health in postreproductive females.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Presence of gingivitis and periodontitis significantly increases hospital charges in patients undergoing heart valve surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allareddy, Veerasathpurush; Elangovan, Satheesh; Rampa, Sankeerth; Shin, Kyungsup; Nalliah, Romesh P; Allareddy, Veerajalandhar

    2015-01-01

    To examine the prevalence and impact of gingivitis and periodontitis in patients having heart valve surgical procedures. Nationwide Inpatient Sample for the years 2004-2010 was used. All patients who had heart valve surgical procedures were selected. Prevalence of gingivitis/periodontitis was examined in these patients. Impact of gingivitis/periodontitis on hospital charges, length of stay, and infectious complications was examined. 596,190 patients had heart valve surgical procedures. Gingivitis/periodontitis was present in 0.2 percent. Outcomes included: median hospital charges ($175,418 with gingivitis/ periodontitis versus $149,353 without gingivitis/periodontitis) and median length of stay (14 days with gingivitis/periodontitis versus 8 days without gingivitis/periodontitis). After adjusting for the effects of patient- and hospital-level confounding factors, hospital charges and length of stay were significantly higher (p gingivitis/periodontitis compared to their counterparts. Further, patients with gingivitis/periodontitis had significantly higher odds for having bacterial infections (OR = 3.41, 95% CI = 2.33-4.98, p gingivitis/periodontitis. Presence of gingivitis and periodontitis is associated with higher risk for bacterial infections and significant hospital resource utilization.

  16. Transabdominal cerclage: the significance of dual pathology and increased preterm delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farquharson, Roy G; Topping, Joanne; Quenby, Siobhan M

    2005-10-01

    Transabdominal cerclage is a recognised treatment for cervical weakness with a history of recurrent mid-trimester loss and a failed elective vaginal suture. The emergence of dual pathology, such as antiphospholipid syndrome and bacterial vaginosis, is associated with an increased risk of preterm delivery (RR 2.34, 95% CI 1.15-5.8). The first 40 cases are described where strict adherence to an investigation protocol and consistent treatment plan has been implemented.

  17. Increasing competitiveness with intercompany integration of logistics and marketing functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darja Topolšek

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Researchers of different scientific disciplines, such as management strategies, organizational theories and marketing, have in the past explored relations of mutual influences and the importance of cooperation between different functions in a company. The increased focus on the logistics function has potential to increase competitiveness. This is especially true for globally aimed production companies. In any company, logistics functions cooperate with various related functions such as production, marketing, procurement, engineering or developing new products as well as with financial functions. Each of the aforementioned connections or cooperation among logistics and its complementary functions can have a decisive effect on the company's competitiveness. Using a survey, we determined which activities in the surveyed companies are performed by the logistical function together with the marketing function and which activities they suggest should be performed together but are currently not, meaning they are co-dependent. Since interfunctional integration between logistics and marketing increases the success of a company, we also examined the connection between the current joint performance of activities and the suggested joint performance of activities among the before mentioned sectors, connected to the effectiveness of the company. To examine the mentioned connections among the logistical and marketing functions, Explanatory Factor Analysis (EFA, Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA and Structural Equation Modelling (SEM were performed.

  18. Strong Selection Significantly Increases Epistatic Interactions in the Long-Term Evolution of a Protein.

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    Aditi Gupta

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Epistatic interactions between residues determine a protein's adaptability and shape its evolutionary trajectory. When a protein experiences a changed environment, it is under strong selection to find a peak in the new fitness landscape. It has been shown that strong selection increases epistatic interactions as well as the ruggedness of the fitness landscape, but little is known about how the epistatic interactions change under selection in the long-term evolution of a protein. Here we analyze the evolution of epistasis in the protease of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1 using protease sequences collected for almost a decade from both treated and untreated patients, to understand how epistasis changes and how those changes impact the long-term evolvability of a protein. We use an information-theoretic proxy for epistasis that quantifies the co-variation between sites, and show that positive information is a necessary (but not sufficient condition that detects epistasis in most cases. We analyze the "fossils" of the evolutionary trajectories of the protein contained in the sequence data, and show that epistasis continues to enrich under strong selection, but not for proteins whose environment is unchanged. The increase in epistasis compensates for the information loss due to sequence variability brought about by treatment, and facilitates adaptation in the increasingly rugged fitness landscape of treatment. While epistasis is thought to enhance evolvability via valley-crossing early-on in adaptation, it can hinder adaptation later when the landscape has turned rugged. However, we find no evidence that the HIV-1 protease has reached its potential for evolution after 9 years of adapting to a drug environment that itself is constantly changing. We suggest that the mechanism of encoding new information into pairwise interactions is central to protein evolution not just in HIV-1 protease, but for any protein adapting to a changing

  19. Corruption Significantly Increases the Capital Cost of Power Plants in Developing Contexts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumar Biswajit Debnath

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Emerging economies with rapidly growing population and energy demand, own some of the most expensive power plants in the world. We hypothesized that corruption has a relationship with the capital cost of power plants in developing countries such as Bangladesh. For this study, we analyzed the capital cost of 61 operational and planned power plants in Bangladesh. Initial comparison study revealed that the mean capital cost of a power plant in Bangladesh is twice than that of the global average. Then, the statistical analysis revealed a significant correlation between corruption and the cost of power plants, indicating that higher corruption leads to greater capital cost. The high up-front cost can be a significant burden on the economy, at present and in the future, as most are financed through international loans with extended repayment terms. There is, therefore, an urgent need for the review of the procurement and due diligence process of establishing power plants, and for the implementation of a more transparent system to mitigate adverse effects of corruption on megaprojects.

  20. Modern environmental health hazards: a public health issue of increasing significance in Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nweke, Onyemaechi C; Sanders, William H

    2009-06-01

    Traditional hazards such as poor sanitation currently account for most of Africa's environmentally related disease burden. However, with rapid development absent appropriate safeguards for environment and health, modern environmental health hazards (MEHHs) may emerge as critical contributors to the continent's disease burden. We review recent evidence of human exposure to and health effects from MEHHs, and their occurrence in environmental media and consumer products. Our purpose is to highlight the growing significance of these hazards as African countries experience urbanization, industrial growth, and development. We reviewed published epidemiologic, exposure, and environmental studies of chemical agents such as heavy metals and pesticides. The body of evidence demonstrates ongoing environmental releases of MEHHs and human exposures sometimes at toxicologically relevant levels. Several sources of MEHHs in environmental media have been identified, including natural resource mining and processing and automobile exhaust. Biomonitoring studies provided direct evidence of human exposure to metals such as mercury and lead and pesticides such as p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and organophosphates. Land and water resource pollution and industrial air toxics are areas of significant data gaps, notwithstanding the presence of several emitting sources. Unmitigated MEHH releases and human exposure have implications for Africa's disease burden. For Africans encumbered by conditions such as malnutrition that impair resilience to toxicologic challenges, the burden may be higher. A shift in public health policy toward accommodating the emerging diversity in Africa's environmental health issues is necessary to successfully alleviate the burden of avoidable ill health and premature death for all its communities now and in the future.

  1. Measurements of recent microchannel-plate photomultipliers with significantly increased lifetime

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Uhlig, Fred; Eyrich, Wolfgang; Lehmann, Albert; Britting, Alexander [Universitaet Erlangen, Physikal. Institut IV (Germany); Collaboration: PANDA-Collaboration

    2015-07-01

    Microchannel-plate photomultipliers (MCP-PMTs) are the favored sensors for the DIRC detectors (Detection of Internally Reflected Cherenkov Light) of the PANDA experiment. They are usable in high magnetic fields of up to 2T and reach a time resolution of better than 50 ps (σ). The anticipated average luminosity of 2.10{sup 32} cm{sup -2} s{sup -1} in the detector requires a rate capability high enough to withstand a detected photon rate of about 200 kHz cm{sup -2} at the MCP-PMT surfaces. The major drawback until recently was the limited lifetime of MCP-PMTs, which appears to be solved for the latest generation of MCP-PMT prototype devices. The aging parameter is the quantum efficiency as a function of the integrated anode charge, which will be in the region of 5 C/cm{sup 2} for the Barrel- and the Disc-DIRC. We simultaneously measured the aging of several MCP-PMTs, which were treated with different methods to enhance the lifetime. Results of these measurements are presented.

  2. Significance of the institute of appeals under the conditions of increasing threats to national security

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. V. Kapulovskyi

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The article deals with the regulatory and scientific foundation for the development of the institute of citizens’ treatments in terms of obvious internal and external threats to national security. An attempt to construct an applicable model of management of public processes in terms of threats to national security, in which public opinion plays a key value. The fact that a successful resolution of problem of public participation in the preparation and acceptance of political decisions requires not only the presence of the constitutionally enshrined rights and duties and political institutions formed democratically, but also a variety of forms and ways of influencing in the activities of public authorities. At the same time, in a not declared, the so-called »hybrid» war, in which warfare are conducted locally - in some parts of the state and all other public and private institutions function in usual mode, tracking of possible threats to national security and factors that give rise to such threats should be carried out by means of both cleanly military, and civil means and methods. Thus, one of the most effective civil means of tracking such threats are the reception of citizens’ treatments, their processing and the adoption of appropriate response measures, in my opinion. Keywords: national security, public safety, human rights, public authorities, public interest.

  3. Increased Body Mass Index during Therapy for Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Significant and Underestimated Complication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen C. Atkinson

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective & Design. We undertook a retrospective review of children diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL and treated with modern COG protocols (n=80 to determine longitudinal changes in body mass index (BMI and the prevalence of obesity compared with a healthy reference population. Results. At diagnosis, the majority of patients (77.5% were in the healthy weight category. During treatment, increases in BMI z-scores were greater for females than males; the prevalence of obesity increased from 10.3% to 44.8% (P<0.004 for females but remained relatively unchanged for males (9.8% to 13.7%, P=0.7. Longitudinal analysis using linear mixed-effects identified associations between BMI z-scores and time-dependent interactions with sex (P=0.0005, disease risk (P<0.0001, age (P=0.0001, and BMI z-score (P<0.0001 at diagnosis and total dose of steroid during maintenance (P=0.01. Predicted mean BMI z-scores at the end of therapy were greater for females with standard risk ALL irrespective of age at diagnosis and for males younger than 4 years of age at diagnosis with standard risk ALL. Conclusion. Females treated on standard risk protocols and younger males may be at greatest risk of becoming obese during treatment for ALL. These subgroups may benefit from intervention strategies to manage BMI during treatment for ALL.

  4. Big data integration shows Australian bush-fire frequency is increasing significantly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutta, Ritaban; Das, Aruneema; Aryal, Jagannath

    2016-02-01

    Increasing Australian bush-fire frequencies over the last decade has indicated a major climatic change in coming future. Understanding such climatic change for Australian bush-fire is limited and there is an urgent need of scientific research, which is capable enough to contribute to Australian society. Frequency of bush-fire carries information on spatial, temporal and climatic aspects of bush-fire events and provides contextual information to model various climate data for accurately predicting future bush-fire hot spots. In this study, we develop an ensemble method based on a two-layered machine learning model to establish relationship between fire incidence and climatic data. In a 336 week data trial, we demonstrate that the model provides highly accurate bush-fire incidence hot-spot estimation (91% global accuracy) from the weekly climatic surfaces. Our analysis also indicates that Australian weekly bush-fire frequencies increased by 40% over the last 5 years, particularly during summer months, implicating a serious climatic shift.

  5. Significantly Increased Extreme Precipitation Expected in Europe and North America from Extratropical Storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawcroft, M.; Hodges, K.; Walsh, E.; Zappa, G.

    2017-12-01

    For the Northern Hemisphere extratropics, changes in circulation are key to determining the impacts of climate warming. The mechanisms governing these circulation changes are complex, leading to the well documented uncertainty in projections of the future location of the mid-latitude storm tracks simulated by climate models. These storms are the primary source of precipitation for North America and Europe and generate many of the large-scale precipitation extremes associated with flooding and severe economic loss. Here, we show that in spite of the uncertainty in circulation changes, by analysing the behaviour of the storms themselves, we find entirely consistent and robust projections across an ensemble of climate models. In particular, we find that projections of change in the most intensely precipitating storms (above the present day 99th percentile) in the Northern Hemisphere are substantial and consistent across models, with large increases in the frequency of both summer (June-August, +226±68%) and winter (December-February, +186±34%) extreme storms by the end of the century. Regionally, both North America (summer +202±129%, winter +232±135%) and Europe (summer +390±148%, winter +318±114%) are projected to experience large increases in the frequency of intensely precipitating storms. These changes are thermodynamic and driven by surface warming, rather than by changes in the dynamical behaviour of the storms. Such changes in storm behaviour have the potential to have major impacts on society given intensely precipitating storms are responsible for many large-scale flooding events.

  6. Circulatory nucleosome levels are significantly increased in early and late-onset preeclampsia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Xiao Yan; Gebhardt, Stefan; Hillermann, Renate; Tofa, Kashefa Carelse; Holzgreve, Wolfgang; Hahn, Sinuhe

    2005-08-01

    Elevations in circulatory DNA, as measured by real-time PCR, have been observed in pregnancies with manifest preeclampsia. Recent reports have indicated that circulatory nucleosome levels are elevated in the periphery of cancer patients. We have now examined whether circulatory nucleosome levels are similarly elevated in cases with preeclampsia. Maternal plasma samples were prepared from 17 cases with early onset preeclampsia (34 weeks gestation) with 10 matched normotensive controls. Levels of circulatory nucleosomes were quantified by commercial ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay). The level of circulatory nucleosomes was significantly elevated in both study preeclampsia groups, compared to the matched normotensive control group (p = 0.000 and p = 0.001, respectively). Our data suggests that preeclampsia is associated with the elevated presence of circulatory nucleosomes, and that this phenomenon occurs in both early- and late-onset forms of the disorder. Copyright 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  7. TNFRSF14 aberrations in follicular lymphoma increase clinically significant allogeneic T-cell responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotsiou, Eleni; Okosun, Jessica; Besley, Caroline; Iqbal, Sameena; Matthews, Janet; Fitzgibbon, Jude; Gribben, John G; Davies, Jeffrey K

    2016-07-07

    Donor T-cell immune responses can eradicate lymphomas after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT), but can also damage healthy tissues resulting in harmful graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Next-generation sequencing has recently identified many new genetic lesions in follicular lymphoma (FL). One such gene, tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily 14 (TNFRSF14), abnormal in 40% of FL patients, encodes the herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM) which limits T-cell activation via ligation of the B- and T-lymphocyte attenuator. As lymphoma B cells can act as antigen-presenting cells, we hypothesized that TNFRSF14 aberrations that reduce HVEM expression could alter the capacity of FL B cells to stimulate allogeneic T-cell responses and impact the outcome of AHSCT. In an in vitro model of alloreactivity, human lymphoma B cells with TNFRSF14 aberrations had reduced HVEM expression and greater alloantigen-presenting capacity than wild-type lymphoma B cells. The increased immune-stimulatory capacity of lymphoma B cells with TNFRSF14 aberrations had clinical relevance, associating with higher incidence of acute GVHD in patients undergoing AHSCT. FL patients with TNFRSF14 aberrations may benefit from more aggressive immunosuppression to reduce harmful GVHD after transplantation. Importantly, this study is the first to demonstrate the impact of an acquired genetic lesion on the capacity of tumor cells to stimulate allogeneic T-cell immune responses which may have wider consequences for adoptive immunotherapy strategies. © 2016 by The American Society of Hematology.

  8. Significance of Increasing n-3 PUFA Content in Pork on Human Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xianyong; Jiang, Zongyong; Lai, Chaoqiang

    2016-01-01

    Evidence for the health-promoting effects of food rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) is reviewed. Pork is an important meat source for humans. According to a report by the US Department of Agriculture ( http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics ), the pork consumption worldwide in 2011 was about 79.3 million tons, much higher than that of beef (48.2 million tons). Pork also contains high levels of unsaturated fatty acids relative to ruminant meats (Enser, M., Hallett, K., Hewett, B., Fursey, G. A. J. and Wood, J. D. (1996) . Fatty acid content and composition of English beef, lamb, and pork at retail. Meat Sci. 44:443-458). The available literature indicates that the levels of eicosatetraenoic and docosahexaenoic in pork may be increased by fish-derived or linseed products, the extent of which being dependent on the nature of the supplementation. Transgenic pigs and plants show promise with high content of n-3 PUFA and low ratio of n-6/n-3 fatty acids in their tissues. The approaches mentioned for decreasing n-6/n-3 ratios have both advantages and disadvantages. Selected articles are critically reviewed and summarized.

  9. Continues administration of Nano-PSO significantly increased survival of genetic CJD mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binyamin, Orli; Keller, Guy; Frid, Kati; Larush, Liraz; Magdassi, Shlomo; Gabizon, Ruth

    2017-12-01

    We have shown previously that Nano-PSO, a nanodroplet formulation of pomegranate seed oil, delayed progression of neurodegeneration signs when administered for a designated period of time to TgMHu2ME199K mice, modeling for genetic prion disease. In the present work, we treated these mice with a self-emulsion formulation of Nano-PSO or a parallel Soybean oil formulation from their day of birth until a terminal disease stage. We found that long term Nano-PSO administration resulted in increased survival of TgMHu2ME199K lines by several months. Interestingly, initiation of treatment at day 1 had no clinical advantage over initiation at day 70, however cessation of treatment at 9months of age resulted in the rapid loss of the beneficial clinical effect. Pathological studies revealed that treatment with Nano-PSO resulted in the reduction of GAG accumulation and lipid oxidation, indicating a strong neuroprotective effect. Contrarily, the clinical effect of Nano-PSO did not correlate with reduction in the levels of disease related PrP, the main prion marker. We conclude that long term administration of Nano-PSO is safe and may be effective in the prevention/delay of onset of neurodegenerative conditions such as genetic CJD. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  10. Elicitor Mixtures Significantly Increase Bioactive Compounds, Antioxidant Activity, and Quality Parameters in Sweet Bell Pepper

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lina Garcia-Mier

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Sweet bell peppers are greatly appreciated for their taste, color, pungency, and aroma. Additionally, they are good sources of bioactive compounds with antioxidant activity, which can be improved by the use of elicitors. Elicitors act as metabolite-inducing factors (MIF by mimic stress conditions. Since plants rarely experience a single stress condition one by one but are more likely to be exposed to simultaneous stresses, it is important to evaluate the effect of elicitors on plant secondary metabolism as mixtures. Jasmonic acid (JA, hydrogen peroxide (HP, and chitosan (CH were applied to fruits and plants of bell pepper as mixtures. Bioactive compounds, antioxidant activity, and quality parameters were evaluated. The assessed elicitor cocktail leads to an increase in the variables evaluated (P ≤ 0.05 when applied to mature fruits after harvest, whereas the lowest values were observed in the treatment applied to immature fruits. Therefore, the application of the elicitor cocktail to harvested mature fruits is recommended in order to improve bioactive compounds and the antioxidant activity of sweet bell peppers.

  11. Leukocyte-reduction filters and radiation do not cause significant changes in platelet function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nagura, Yutaka; Tsuno, Hirokazu; Shibata, Yoichi; Takahashi, Koki

    2003-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated the effects of radiation and leukocyte-reduction filters on platelet function. Platelet aggregation in response to collagen and ADP were measured prior to and after irradiation and filtration, as were the platelet recovery rate and complement factor C3. Four types of leukocyte-reduction filter were used, namely positively-, negatively-, and non-charged filters (all of polyester composition), as well as a polyurethane filter. Radiation itself did not significantly affect either the platelet recovery rate, platelet function, or C3 value. On the other hand, filtration through polyester leukocyte-reduction filters resulted in a significant reduction in the platelet recovery rate, an effect not observed with the polyurethane filter. However, none of the filters caused significant changes in platelet function or in C3 value. We concluded that radiation and filtration do not cause significant changes in platelet function, but polyurethane filters are superior to polyester filters in relation to platelet recovery. (author)

  12. Neurite outgrowth is significantly increased by the simultaneous presentation of Schwann cells and moderate exogenous electric fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koppes, Abigail N.; Seggio, Angela M.; Thompson, Deanna M.

    2011-08-01

    Axonal extension is influenced by a variety of external guidance cues; therefore, the development and optimization of a multi-faceted approach is probably necessary to address the intricacy of functional regeneration following nerve injury. In this study, primary dissociated neonatal rat dorsal root ganglia neurons and Schwann cells were examined in response to an 8 h dc electrical stimulation (0-100 mV mm-1). Stimulated samples were then fixed immediately, immunostained, imaged and analyzed to determine Schwann cell orientation and characterize neurite outgrowth relative to electric field strength and direction. Results indicate that Schwann cells are viable following electrical stimulation with 10-100 mV mm-1, and retain a normal morphology relative to unstimulated cells; however, no directional bias is observed. Neurite outgrowth was significantly enhanced by twofold following exposure to either a 50 mV mm-1 electric field (EF) or co-culture with unstimulated Schwann cells by comparison to neurons cultured alone. Neurite outgrowth was further increased in the presence of simultaneously applied cues (Schwann cells + 50 mV mm-1 dc EF), exhibiting a 3.2-fold increase over unstimulated control neurons, and a 1.2-fold increase over either neurons cultured with unstimulated Schwann cells or the electrical stimulus alone. These results indicate that dc electric stimulation in combination with Schwann cells may provide synergistic guidance cues for improved axonal growth relevant to nerve injuries in the peripheral nervous system.

  13. Clinical significance of sleep bruxism on several occlusal and functional parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ommerborn, Michelle A; Giraki, Maria; Schneider, Christine; Fuck, Lars Michael; Zimmer, Stefan; Franz, Matthias; Raab, Wolfgang Hans-michael; Schaefer, Ralf

    2010-10-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between various functional and occlusal parameters and sleep bruxism. Thirty-nine (39) sleep bruxism patients and 30 controls participated in this investigation. The assessment of sleep bruxism was performed using the Bruxcore Bruxism-Monitoring Device (BBMD) combined with a new computer-based analyzing method. Sixteen functional and/or occlusal parameters were recorded. With a mean slide of 0.95 mm in the sleep bruxism group and a mean slide of 0.42 mm in the control group (Mann Whitney U test; p<0.003), results solely demonstrated a significant group difference regarding the length of a slide from centric occlusion to maximum intercuspation. The results suggest that the slightly pronounced slide could be of clinical importance in the development of increased wear facets in patients with current sleep bruxism activity. Following further evaluation including polysomnographic recordings, the BBMD combined with this new analyzing technique seems to be a clinically feasible instrument that allows the practitioner to quantify abrasion over a short period.

  14. Phasic firing in vasopressin cells: understanding its functional significance through computational models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duncan J MacGregor

    Full Text Available Vasopressin neurons, responding to input generated by osmotic pressure, use an intrinsic mechanism to shift from slow irregular firing to a distinct phasic pattern, consisting of long bursts and silences lasting tens of seconds. With increased input, bursts lengthen, eventually shifting to continuous firing. The phasic activity remains asynchronous across the cells and is not reflected in the population output signal. Here we have used a computational vasopressin neuron model to investigate the functional significance of the phasic firing pattern. We generated a concise model of the synaptic input driven spike firing mechanism that gives a close quantitative match to vasopressin neuron spike activity recorded in vivo, tested against endogenous activity and experimental interventions. The integrate-and-fire based model provides a simple physiological explanation of the phasic firing mechanism involving an activity-dependent slow depolarising afterpotential (DAP generated by a calcium-inactivated potassium leak current. This is modulated by the slower, opposing, action of activity-dependent dendritic dynorphin release, which inactivates the DAP, the opposing effects generating successive periods of bursting and silence. Model cells are not spontaneously active, but fire when perturbed by random perturbations mimicking synaptic input. We constructed one population of such phasic neurons, and another population of similar cells but which lacked the ability to fire phasically. We then studied how these two populations differed in the way that they encoded changes in afferent inputs. By comparison with the non-phasic population, the phasic population responds linearly to increases in tonic synaptic input. Non-phasic cells respond to transient elevations in synaptic input in a way that strongly depends on background activity levels, phasic cells in a way that is independent of background levels, and show a similar strong linearization of the response

  15. The significance of both lateral bending view as functional myelography of lumbar spine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Hack Jin; Ahn, Woo Hyun; Sol, Chang Hyo; Kim, Byung Soo

    1989-01-01

    CT and myelography are the most accurate diagnostic tools to define a lumbar herniated disc disease. But they may not demonstrated organic lesion of the cause of clinical symptoms or may not agree the site of lesion and lateralizing sign, so they may give a confusion to radiologist and clinicians. The purpose of this study is to estimate the value of lateral bending as functional myelography in the evaluation of the change of filling of nerve root sleeve compared with that of static myelography. We analysed 84 disc spaces of 28 patients of bulging disc or central HNP who had undergone both lumbar CT and functional myelography at Pusan National University Hospital from Aug.1987 to Aug.1988. The results were as follows: 1. In normal disc, there were tendencies of the same or increased filling of nerve root sleeve in the flexion site of lateral bending in functional myelography compared with that of static myelography, and of the same or decreased filling of nerve root sleeve in the extension site of lateral bending in functional myelography. 2. In bulging disc and central HNP, diagnostic method of functional myelography increased agreement of clinical symptoms and imaging diagnosis regarding the change of filling in nerve root sleeve in functional myelography from static one as a functional impairment of nerve root. 3. Lateral bending in functional myelography was expected as precise and genuine diagnostic tool that might represent functional impairment of nerve root

  16. Prognostic significance of radionuclide-assessed diastolic function in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chikamori, T.; Dickie, S.; Poloniecki, J.D.; Myers, M.J.; Lavender, J.P.; McKenna, W.J.

    1990-01-01

    To evaluate the prognostic significance of diastolic function in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HC), technetium-99m gated equilibrium radionuclide angiography, acquired in list mode, was performed in 161 patients. Five diastolic indexes were calculated. During 3.0 +/- 1.9 years, 13 patients had disease-related deaths. With univariate analysis, these patients were younger (29 +/- 20 vs 42 +/- 16 years; p less than 0.05), had a higher incidence of syncope (p less than 0.025), dyspnea (p less than 0.001), reduced peak filling rate (2.9 +/- 0.9 vs 3.4 +/- 1.0 end-diastolic volume/s; p = 0.09) with increased relative filling volume during the rapid filling period (80 +/- 7 vs 75 +/- 12%; p = 0.06) and decreased atrial contribution (17 +/- 7 vs 22 +/- 11%; p = 0.07). Stepwise discriminant analysis revealed that young age at diagnosis, syncope at diagnosis, reduced peak ejection rate, positive family history, reduced peak filling rate, increased relative filling volume by peak filling rate and concentric left ventricular hypertrophy were the most statistically significant (p = 0.0001) predictors of disease-related death (sensitivity 92%, specificity 76%, accuracy 77%, positive predictive value 25%). Discriminant analysis excluding the diastolic indexes, however, showed similar predictability (sensitivity 92%, specificity 76%, accuracy 78%, positive predictive value 26%). To obtain more homogeneous groups for analysis, patients were classified as survivors or electrically unstable, including sudden death, out-of-hospital ventricular fibrillation and nonsustained ventricular tachycardia during 48-hour ambulatory electrocardiography, and heart failure death or cardiac transplant

  17. Increase in stability of cellulase immobilized on functionalized magnetic nanospheres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Wenjuan [Department of Machine Intelligence and Systems Engineering, Faculty of Systems Engineering, Akita Prefectural University, Akita 015-0055 (Japan); Qiu, Jianhui, E-mail: qiu@akita-pu.ac.jp [Department of Machine Intelligence and Systems Engineering, Faculty of Systems Engineering, Akita Prefectural University, Akita 015-0055 (Japan); Feng, Huixia [College of Petrochemical Engineering, Lanzhou University of Technology, Lanzhou 730050 (China); Zang, Limin; Sakai, Eiichi [Department of Machine Intelligence and Systems Engineering, Faculty of Systems Engineering, Akita Prefectural University, Akita 015-0055 (Japan)

    2015-02-01

    Functionalized magnetic nanospheres were prepared by co-condensation of tetraethylorthosilicate with three different amino-silanes: 3-(2-aminoethylamino propyl)-triethoxysilane (AEAPTES), 3-(2-aminoethylamino propyl)-trimethoxysilane (AEAPTMES) and 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES). Then three functionalized magnetic nanospheres were used as supports for immobilization of cellulase. The three functionalized magnetic nanospheres with core–shell morphologies exhibited higher capacity for cellulase immobilization than unfunctionalized magnetic nanospheres. The increasing of surface charge of functionalized magnetic nanospheres leads to an enhancement of the capacity of cellulase immobilization. Particularly, AEAPTMES with methoxy groups was favored to be hydrolyzed and grafted on unfunctionalized magnetic nanospheres than the others. AEAPTMES functionalized magnetic nanospheres with the highest zeta potential (29 mV) exhibited 87% activity recovery and the maximum amount of immobilized cellulase was 112 mg/g support at concentration of initial cellulase of 8 mg/mL. Immobilized cellulase on AEAPTMES functionalized magnetic nanospheres had higher temperature stability and broader pH stability than other immobilized cellulases and free cellulase. In particular, it can be used in about 40 °C, demonstrating the potential of biofuel production using this immobilized cellulase. - Highlights: • Three Amino-silane modified magnetic nanospheres were prepared. • Cellulase immobilized AEAPTMES functionalized magnetic nanospheres had higher temperature stability and broader pH stability than free cellulase. • The potential of biofuel production using this immobilized cellulase.

  18. Increase in stability of cellulase immobilized on functionalized magnetic nanospheres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Wenjuan; Qiu, Jianhui; Feng, Huixia; Zang, Limin; Sakai, Eiichi

    2015-01-01

    Functionalized magnetic nanospheres were prepared by co-condensation of tetraethylorthosilicate with three different amino-silanes: 3-(2-aminoethylamino propyl)-triethoxysilane (AEAPTES), 3-(2-aminoethylamino propyl)-trimethoxysilane (AEAPTMES) and 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES). Then three functionalized magnetic nanospheres were used as supports for immobilization of cellulase. The three functionalized magnetic nanospheres with core–shell morphologies exhibited higher capacity for cellulase immobilization than unfunctionalized magnetic nanospheres. The increasing of surface charge of functionalized magnetic nanospheres leads to an enhancement of the capacity of cellulase immobilization. Particularly, AEAPTMES with methoxy groups was favored to be hydrolyzed and grafted on unfunctionalized magnetic nanospheres than the others. AEAPTMES functionalized magnetic nanospheres with the highest zeta potential (29 mV) exhibited 87% activity recovery and the maximum amount of immobilized cellulase was 112 mg/g support at concentration of initial cellulase of 8 mg/mL. Immobilized cellulase on AEAPTMES functionalized magnetic nanospheres had higher temperature stability and broader pH stability than other immobilized cellulases and free cellulase. In particular, it can be used in about 40 °C, demonstrating the potential of biofuel production using this immobilized cellulase. - Highlights: • Three Amino-silane modified magnetic nanospheres were prepared. • Cellulase immobilized AEAPTMES functionalized magnetic nanospheres had higher temperature stability and broader pH stability than free cellulase. • The potential of biofuel production using this immobilized cellulase

  19. A guide for functional analysis of BRCA1 variants of uncertain significance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Millot, Gaël A; Carvalho, Marcelo A; Caputo, Sandrine M

    2012-01-01

    of these variants, the effect on protein function is unknown making it difficult to infer the consequences on risks of breast and ovarian cancers. Thus, many individuals undergoing genetic testing for BRCA1 mutations receive test results reporting a variant of uncertain clinical significance (VUS), leading...... to issues in risk assessment, counseling, and preventive care. Here, we describe functional assays for BRCA1 to directly or indirectly assess the impact of a variant on protein conformation or function and how these results can be used to complement genetic data to classify a VUS as to its clinical...

  20. On the elastostatic significance of four boundary integrals involving biharmonic functions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Søren

    1998-01-01

    For a biharmonic function U, depending upon two space variables, it is known that four curve integrals, which involve U and some derivatives of U evaluated at a closed boundary, must be equal to zero. When U plays the role of an Airy stress function, we investigate the elastostatic significance o...... with the values of the four integrals. The computer algebra system Maple V has been an invaluable tool. By suitable comparisons among the various results obtained we are led to the conclusions about the elastostatic significance of the integrals....

  1. Increase in stability of cellulase immobilized on functionalized magnetic nanospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenjuan; Qiu, Jianhui; Feng, Huixia; Zang, Limin; Sakai, Eiichi

    2015-02-01

    Functionalized magnetic nanospheres were prepared by co-condensation of tetraethylorthosilicate with three different amino-silanes: 3-(2-aminoethylamino propyl)-triethoxysilane (AEAPTES), 3-(2-aminoethylamino propyl)-trimethoxysilane (AEAPTMES) and 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES). Then three functionalized magnetic nanospheres were used as supports for immobilization of cellulase. The three functionalized magnetic nanospheres with core-shell morphologies exhibited higher capacity for cellulase immobilization than unfunctionalized magnetic nanospheres. The increasing of surface charge of functionalized magnetic nanospheres leads to an enhancement of the capacity of cellulase immobilization. Particularly, AEAPTMES with methoxy groups was favored to be hydrolyzed and grafted on unfunctionalized magnetic nanospheres than the others. AEAPTMES functionalized magnetic nanospheres with the highest zeta potential (29 mV) exhibited 87% activity recovery and the maximum amount of immobilized cellulase was 112 mg/g support at concentration of initial cellulase of 8 mg/mL. Immobilized cellulase on AEAPTMES functionalized magnetic nanospheres had higher temperature stability and broader pH stability than other immobilized cellulases and free cellulase. In particular, it can be used in about 40 °C, demonstrating the potential of biofuel production using this immobilized cellulase.

  2. Small airway function changes and its clinical significance of asthma patients in different clinical phases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan-Hui Zhou

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To observe the small airways function changes of asthmatic patients in different clinical phases and to discuss its clinical significance. Methods: A total of 127 patients diagnosed as asthma were selected randomly and pulmonary function (PF of them was determined by conventional method. Then they were divided into A, B and C group based on PF results. All 34 patients in A group suffered from acute asthma attack for the first time. All 93 patients in B group had been diagnosed as asthma but in remission phase. C Group was regarded as Control group with 20 healthy volunteers. Then FEV1, FEF50%, FEF75% levels of patients in each group were analyzed, and ΔFEV1, ΔFEF75% and ΔFEF50% levels of patients in each group were compared after bronchial dilation test. Results: It was found that most patients in group A and B had abnormal small airways function, and their small airways function was significantly different compared with that of group C (P<0.01. In addition, except for group C, ΔFEF75%,ΔFEF50% levels in A and B group were improved more significantly than ΔFEV1 levels (P<0.01. Conclusions: Asthma patients in acute phase all have abnormal small airways function. Most asthma patients in remission phase also have abnormal small airways function. After bronchial dilation test, whether patients in acute phase or in remission phase, major and small airways function of them are improved, but improvement of small airways function is weaker than that of major airways. This indicates that asthma respiratory tract symptoms in different phases exists all the time and so therapeutic process is needed to perform step by step.

  3. Changes and clinical significance of liver function and myocardial zymogram in children with rotavirus enteritis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lan-Ping Yang

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To explore the changes and clinical significance of liver function and myocardial zymogram in children with rotavirus (RV enteritis. Methods: A total of 70 children with RV enteritis who were admitted in our hospital were included in the study and served as the observation group. The liver function and myocardial zymogram before and after treatment were detected. The proportion of RV enteritis children with liver and myocardial damage was calculated. The effect of dehydration on the liver function and myocardial zymogram in children with RV enteritis was analyzed. A total of 65 children with non-RV enteritis who were admitted in our hospital at the same stage were served as the control group. Results: The serum ALT, AST, CK, CK-MB, LDH, and α-HBDH levels, and liver myocardial damage children proportion in the observation group were significantly higher than those in the control group (P<0.05. The serum ALT, AST, CK, CK-MB, LDH, and α-HBDH levels in the observation group were significantly elevated with the acceleration of dehydration degree (P<0.05. In the observation group, 45 children had liver and myocardial damage, whose ALT, AST, CK, CKMB, LDH, and α-HBDH levels after treatment were significantly reduced when compared with before treatment (P<0.05. Conclusions: Early detection of liver function and myocardial zymogram can accurately reflect the condition in children with RV enteritis, which can provide an evidence for the formulation of clinical treatment protocol.

  4. Music reduces pain and increases functional mobility in fibromyalgia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garza-Villarreal, Eduardo A.; Wilson, Andrew D; Vase, Lene

    2014-01-01

    task (not during), therefore the effect cannot be explained merely by motor entrainment to a fast rhythm. Cognitive and emotional mechanisms seem to be central to music-induced analgesia. Our findings encourage the use of music as a treatment adjuvant to reduce chronic pain in FM and increase......The pain in Fibromyalgia (FM) is difficult to treat and functional mobility seems to be an important comorbidity in these patients that could evolve into a disability. In this study we wanted to investigate the analgesic effects of music in FM pain. Twenty-two FM patients were passively exposed...... to (1) self-chosen, relaxing, pleasant music, and to (2) a control auditory condition (pink noise). They rated pain and performed the “timed-up & go task (TUG)” to measure functional mobility after each auditory condition. Listening to relaxing, pleasant, self-chosen music reduced pain and increased...

  5. KCl stimulation increases norepinephrine transporter function in PC12 cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandela, Prashant; Ordway, Gregory A

    2006-09-01

    The norepinephrine transporter (NET) plays a pivotal role in terminating noradrenergic signaling and conserving norepinephrine (NE) through the process of re-uptake. Recent evidence suggests a close association between NE release and regulation of NET function. The present study evaluated the relationship between release and uptake, and the cellular mechanisms that govern these processes. KCl stimulation of PC12 cells robustly increased [3H]NE uptake via the NET and simultaneously increased [3H]NE release. KCl-stimulated increases in uptake and release were dependent on Ca2+. Treatment of cells with phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA) or okadaic acid decreased [3H]NE uptake but did not block KCl-stimulated increases in [3H]NE uptake. In contrast, PMA increased [3H]NE release and augmented KCl-stimulated release, while okadaic acid had no effects on release. Inhibition of Ca2+-activated signaling cascades with KN93 (a Ca2+ calmodulin-dependent kinase inhibitor), or ML7 and ML9 (myosin light chain kinase inhibitors), reduced [3H]NE uptake and blocked KCl-stimulated increases in uptake. In contrast, KN93, ML7 and ML9 had no effect on KCl-stimulated [3H]NE release. KCl-stimulated increases in [3H]NE uptake were independent of transporter trafficking to the plasma membrane. While increases in both NE release and uptake mediated by KCl stimulation require Ca2+, different intracellular mechanisms mediate these two events.

  6. Increasing the octane number of gasoline using functionalized carbon nanotubes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kish, Sara Safari; Rashidi, Alimorad; Aghabozorg, Hamid Reza; Moradi, Leila

    2010-01-01

    The octane number is one of the characteristics of spark-ignition fuels such as gasoline. Octane number of fuels can be improved by addition of oxygenates such as ethanol, MTBE (methyl tert-butyl ether), TBF (tertiary butyl formate) and TBA (tertiary butyl alcohol) as well as their blends with gasoline that reduce the cost impact of fuels. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are as useful additives for increasing the octane number. Functionalized carbon nanotubes containing amide groups have a high reactivity and can react with many chemicals. These compounds can be solubilized in gasoline to increase the octane number. In this study, using octadecylamine and dodecylamine, CNTs were amidated and the amino-functionalized carbon nanotubes were added to gasoline. Research octane number analysis showed that these additives increase octane number of the desired samples. X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transforms infrared (FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and thermal gravimetry analyses (TGA) were used for characterization of the prepared functionalized carbon nanotubes.

  7. Increasing the octane number of gasoline using functionalized carbon nanotubes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kish, Sara Safari [Faculty of Chemistry, Islamic Azad University, North Tehran Branch, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Rashidi, Alimorad, E-mail: rashidiam@ripi.ir [Nanotechnology Research Center, Research Institute of Petroleum Industry (RIPI), West Blvd. Azadi Sport Complex, Tehran 14665-1998 (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Aghabozorg, Hamid Reza [Catalysis Research Center, Research Institute of Petroleum Industry (RIPI), Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Moradi, Leila [Faculty of Chemistry, Kashan University, Kashan (Iran, Islamic Republic of)

    2010-03-15

    The octane number is one of the characteristics of spark-ignition fuels such as gasoline. Octane number of fuels can be improved by addition of oxygenates such as ethanol, MTBE (methyl tert-butyl ether), TBF (tertiary butyl formate) and TBA (tertiary butyl alcohol) as well as their blends with gasoline that reduce the cost impact of fuels. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are as useful additives for increasing the octane number. Functionalized carbon nanotubes containing amide groups have a high reactivity and can react with many chemicals. These compounds can be solubilized in gasoline to increase the octane number. In this study, using octadecylamine and dodecylamine, CNTs were amidated and the amino-functionalized carbon nanotubes were added to gasoline. Research octane number analysis showed that these additives increase octane number of the desired samples. X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transforms infrared (FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and thermal gravimetry analyses (TGA) were used for characterization of the prepared functionalized carbon nanotubes.

  8. Is the relationship between increased knee muscle strength and improved physical function following exercise dependent on baseline physical function status?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Michelle; Hinman, Rana S; van der Esch, Martin; van der Leeden, Marike; Kasza, Jessica; Wrigley, Tim V; Metcalf, Ben R; Dobson, Fiona; Bennell, Kim L

    2017-12-08

    dysfunction at baseline. The association between change in knee flexor strength and change in physical function was not significant, irrespective of baseline function status. In patients with severe physical dysfunction, an increase in knee extensor strength and improved physical function were associated. ANZCTR 12610000660088 . Registered 12 August 2010.

  9. Functional significance of genetically different symbiotic algae Symbiodinium in a coral reef symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loram, J E; Trapido-Rosenthal, H G; Douglas, A E

    2007-11-01

    The giant sea anemone Condylactis gigantea associates with members of two clades of the dinoflagellate alga Symbiodinium, either singly or in mixed infection, as revealed by clade-specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction of large subunit ribosomal DNA. To explore the functional significance of this molecular variation, the fate of photosynthetically fixed carbon was investigated by (14)C radiotracer experiments. Symbioses with algae of clades A and B released ca. 30-40% of fixed carbon to the animal tissues. Incorporation into the lipid fraction and the low molecular weight fraction dominated by amino acids was significantly higher in symbioses with algae of clade A than of clade B, suggesting that the genetically different algae in C. gigantea are not functionally equivalent. Symbioses with mixed infections yielded intermediate values, such that this functional trait of the symbiosis can be predicted from the traits of the contributing algae. Coral and sea anemone symbioses with Symbiodinium break down at elevated temperature, a process known as 'coral bleaching'. The functional response of the C. gigantea symbiosis to heat stress varied between the algae of clades A and B, with particularly depressed incorporation of photosynthetic carbon into lipid of the clade B algae, which are more susceptible to high temperature than the algae of clade A. This study provides a first exploration of how the core symbiotic function of photosynthate transfer to the host varies with the genotype of Symbiodinium, an algal symbiont which underpins corals and, hence, coral reef ecosystems.

  10. Increased fibroblast functionality on CNN2-loaded titania nanotubes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei HB

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Hongbo Wei*, Shuyi Wu*, Zhihong Feng, Wei Zhou, Yan Dong, Guofeng Wu, Shizhu Bai, Yimin Zhao Department of Prosthodontics, School of Stomatology, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, People's Republic of China *These authors contributed equally to this workAbstract: Infection and epithelial downgrowth are major problems associated with maxillofacial percutaneous implants. These complications are mainly due to the improper closure of the implant–skin interface. Therefore, designing a percutaneous implant that better promotes the formation of a stable soft tissue biologic seal around percutaneous sites is highly desirable. Additionally, the fibroblast has been proven to play an important role in the formation of biologic seals. In this study, titania nanotubes were filled with 11.2 kDa C-terminal CCN2 (connective tissue growth factor fragment, which could exert full CCN2 activity to increase the biological functionality of fibroblasts. This drug delivery system was fabricated on a titanium implant surface. CCN2 was loaded into anodized titania nanotubes using a simplified lyophilization method and the loading efficiency was approximately 80%. Then, the release kinetics of CCN2 from these nanotubes was investigated. Furthermore, the influence of CCN2-loaded titania nanotubes on fibroblast functionality was examined. The results revealed increased fibroblast adhesion at 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, and 24 hours, increased fibroblast viability over the course of 5 days, as well as enhanced actin cytoskeleton organization on CCN2-loaded titania nanotubes surfaces compared to uncoated, unmodified counterparts. Therefore, the results from this in vitro study demonstrate that CCN2-loaded titania nanotubes have the ability to increase fibroblast functionality and should be further studied as a method of promoting the formation of a stable soft tissue biologic seal around percutaneous sites.Keywords: anodization, titania nanotubes, adhesion, connective

  11. Step-function increase of significance of waste form in RWM strategy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roy, R.

    1979-01-01

    Radioactive waste management on the technical side is composed of four subsystems: storage, radionuclide immobilization, isolation, and post-emplacement. Thus far, emphasis has been on the isolation subsystem, with the assumption that all the radionuclides placed in the geological formation would be released. Findings by a committee of the National Academy of Science on the types of solid forms for radioactive wastes are summarized. The most important research findings of the last two or three years are evaluated, findings which impinge on the role of the newly developed radionuclide immobilization subsystems. 24 refs

  12. Functional bacterial amyloid increases Pseudomonas biofilm hydrophobicity and stiffness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zeng, Guanghong; Vad, Brian S; Dueholm, Morten S

    2015-01-01

    The success of Pseudomonas species as opportunistic pathogens derives in great part from their ability to form stable biofilms that offer protection against chemical and mechanical attack. The extracellular matrix of biofilms contains numerous biomolecules, and it has recently been discovered...... that in Pseudomonas one of the components includes β-sheet rich amyloid fibrils (functional amyloid) produced by the fap operon. However, the role of the functional amyloid within the biofilm has not yet been investigated in detail. Here we investigate how the fap-based amyloid produced by Pseudomonas affects biofilm...... hydrophobicity and mechanical properties. Using atomic force microscopy imaging and force spectroscopy, we show that the amyloid renders individual cells more resistant to drying and alters their interactions with hydrophobic probes. Importantly, amyloid makes Pseudomonas more hydrophobic and increases biofilm...

  13. [The changes in vestibular function in patients with diabetes mellitus and its clinical significance].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Juan; Zhang, Tianyu; Shen, Jianzhong; Gong, Jingrong; Wang, Hongli; Zhang, Jimin; Pang, Yufeng

    2008-01-01

    To study the changes of vestibular function in patients with diabetes mellitus and its clinical significance. Electronystagmography (ENG) was used to examine 76 patients with diabetes mellitus and 60 healthy adults subjects. After clinical detection of vestibular function including spontaneous nystagmus, positional test, head shaking nystagmus, neck torsion test, caloric test, and sensory organization tests which consist of gaze, saccade and smooth pursuit test, the results of these two groups were recorded for qualitative and quantitative statistical analysis. The rate of vestibular dysfunction in patients with diabetes mellitus were 68.4%. and that of the controls were 8.3%. There was significant difference between these two groups (chi2 = 15.472, P Vertigo or dizziness occurred in patients with diabetes mellitus might be related to vestibular dysfunction. ENG test could be used as one of the objective clinical examinations in patients with diabetes mellitus.

  14. Invasive physiological indices to determine the functional significance of coronary stenosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Firas R. AL-Obaidi

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Physiological measurements are now commonly used to assess coronary lesions in the cardiac catheterisation laboratory, and this practice is evidence-based and supported by clinical guidelines. Fractional flow reserve is currently the gold standard method to determine whether coronary lesions are functionally significant, and is used to guide revascularization. There are however several other physiological measurements that have been proposed as alternatives to the fractional flow reserve. This review aims to comprehensively discuss physiological indices that can be used in the cardiac catheterisation laboratory to determine the functional significance of coronary lesions. We will focus on their advantages and disadvantages, and the current evidence supporting their use. Keywords: Coronary physiology, Fractional flow reserve, Resting physiological indices, Coronary flow reserve

  15. [Clinical significance of detection of internal anal sphincter in children with functional constipation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Xiang-yu; Wang, Ling-yun; Wang, Wei-lin; Li, Yong; Bai, Yu-zuo

    2011-10-01

    To investigate the structural and functional changes of internal anal sphincter (IAS) in children with functional constipation (FC), and to evaluate the association between the thickness of IAS and the severity of clinical symptoms. A total of 35 children with FC(constipation group,17 with incontinence) between June 2008 and December 2008 at the Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University were evaluated using anal manometry and endosonography. These patients were compared to 23 hospitalized children who were excluded for digestive and endocrinal diseases(control group). A validated symptom score(SS) was used to assess the severity of symptoms. The sum of SS ranged between 0 and 65. Anorectal manometry showed reflex relaxation of IAS in response to distension of rectal balloon in all patients. Rectal perceptional threshold in FC group was significantly higher than that in the controls[(42.4 ± 19.5) ml vs.(29.1 ± 15.6) ml, PIAS was significantly higher than that in the controls [(55.6 ± 31.6) ml vs.(30.5 ±13.8) ml, PIAS was noted in all the patients[(3.8 ± 1.7) mm vs.(2.5 ± 1.0) mm, P0.05]. The median symptom score was 9.3 ± 4.3 in the FC group. The thickness of IAS correlated significantly with total symptom severity score(r=0.407, PIAS and age, sex, or duration of disease(P>0.05). Structural and functional changes of internal anal sphincter exist in children with functional constipation. The thickness of internal anal sphincter correlates significantly with symptom severity.

  16. Functional alterations of astrocytes in mental disorders: pharmacological significance as a drug target

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yutaka eKoyama

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes play an essential role in supporting brain functions in physiological and pathological states. Modulation of their pathophysiological responses have beneficial actions on nerve tissue injured by brain insults and neurodegenerative diseases, therefore astrocytes are recognized as promising targets for neuroprotective drugs. Recent investigations have identified several astrocytic mechanisms for modulating synaptic transmission and neural plasticity. These include altered expression of transporters for neurotransmitters, release of gliotransmitters and neurotrophic factors, and intercellular communication through gap junctions. Investigation of patients with mental disorders shows morphological and functional alterations in astrocytes. According to these observations, manipulation of astrocytic function by gene mutation and pharmacological tools reproduce mental disorder-like behavior in experimental animals. Some drugs clinically used for mental disorders affect astrocyte function. As experimental evidence shows their role in the pathogenesis of mental disorders, astrocytes have gained much attention as drug targets for mental disorders. In this article, I review functional alterations of astrocytes in several mental disorders including schizophrenia, mood disorder, drug dependence, and neurodevelopmental disorders. The pharmacological significance of astrocytes in mental disorders is also discussed.

  17. The Functional Significance of Chiral Genitalia: Patterns of Asymmetry, Functional Morphology and Mating Success in the Praying Mantis Ciulfina baldersoni.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory I Holwell

    Full Text Available Genital asymmetry is relatively common and widespread throughout the animal kingdom. The functional significance of genital asymmetry is however, poorly understood for most species. Male praying mantids of the genus Ciulfina are remarkable in possessing complex and directionally asymmetric genital phallomeres in some species, and chirally dimorphic/antisymmetric genitalia in others. Here we explore the chiral dimorphism in male genitalia of Ciulfina baldersoni which appear to exhibit genital antisymmetry. We test whether genital orientation influences mating success, copulation duration and the attachment duration of spermatophores. Additionally we investigate genital interactions between male and females using x-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT and scanning electron microscopy (SEM. Lastly we assess whether genital asymmetry is associated with non-genital morphological asymmetry of a range of traits. Our results highlight the complex functional morphology of genitalia in this praying mantis species and yet demonstrate no functional difference between dextral and sinistral morphs other than the direction of attachment with both morphs enjoying equal levels of mating success. Chiral morphs also did not strongly associate with any other forms of asymmetry. We therefore conclude that genital chirality in Ciulfina baldersoni is a likely case of antisymmetry with no functional significance to genital orientation, and is likely to be selectively neutral.

  18. Functional significance and structure–activity relationship of food-derived α-glucosidase inhibitors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stefano, Di Elisa; Oliviero, Teresa; Udenigwe, Chibuike C.

    2018-01-01

    The ageing population, together with unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and obesity are the main drivers of the increased prevalence of Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Apart from pharmacological treatments, the food industries can play a significant role in the management of T2DM. One of the main

  19. Determination of relative CMRO2 from CBF and BOLD changes: significant increase of oxygen consumption rate during visual stimulation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kim, S.G.; Rostrup, Egill; Larsson, H.B.

    1999-01-01

    signal changes were measured simultaneously using the flow-sensitive alternating inversion recovery (FAIR) technique. During hypercapnia established by an end-tidal CO2 increase of 1.46 kPa, CBF in the visual cortex increased by 47.3 +/- 17.3% (mean +/- SD; n = 9), and deltaR2* was -0.478 +/- 0.147 sec......The blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) effect in functional magnetic resonance imaging depends on at least partial uncoupling between cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) changes. By measuring CBF and BOLD simultaneously, the relative change in CMRO2 can...

  20. Thyroid function appears to be significantly reduced in Space-borne MDS mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saverio Ambesi-Impiombato, Francesco; Curcio, Francesco; Fontanini, Elisabetta; Perrella, Giuseppina; Spelat, Renza; Zambito, Anna Maria; Damaskopoulou, Eleni; Peverini, Manola; Albi, Elisabetta

    It is known that prolonged space flights induced changes in human cardiovascular, muscu-loskeletal and nervous systems whose function is regulated by the thyroid gland but, until now, no data were reported about thyroid damage during space missions. We have demonstrated in vitro that, during space missions (Italian Soyuz Mission "ENEIDE" in 2005, Shuttle STS-120 "ESPERIA" in 2007), thyroid in vitro cultured cells did not respond to thyroid stimulating hor-mone (TSH) treatment; they appeared healthy and alive, despite their being in a pro-apopotic state characterised by a variation of sphingomyelin metabolism and consequent increase in ce-ramide content. The insensitivity to TSH was largely due to a rearrangement of specific cell membrane microdomains, acting as platforms for TSH-receptor (TEXUS-44 mission in 2008). To study if these effects were present also in vivo, as part of the Mouse Drawer System (MDS) Tissue Sharing Program, we performed experiments in mice maintained onboard the Interna-tional Space Station during the long-duration (90 days) exploration mission STS-129. After return to earth, the thyroids isolated from the 3 animals were in part immediately frozen to study the morphological modification in space and in part immediately used to study the effect of TSH treatment. For this purpose small fragments of tissue were treated with 10-7 or 10-8 M TSH for 1 hour by using untreated fragments as controls. Then the fragments were fixed with absolute ethanol for 10 min at room temperature and centrifuged for 20 min. at 3000 x g. The supernatants were used for cAMP analysis whereas the pellet were used for protein amount determination and for immunoblotting analysis of TSH-receptor, sphingomyelinase and sphingomyelin-synthase. The results showed a modification of the thyroid structure and also the values of cAMP production after treatment with 10-7 M TSH for 1 hour were significantly lower than those obtained in Earth's gravity. The treatment with TSH

  1. Functional connectivity between core and shoulder muscles increases during isometric endurance contractions in judo competitors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kawczyński, Adam; Samani, Afshin; Mroczek, Dariusz

    2015-01-01

    endurance contraction consisting of bilateral arm abduction at 90°. The normalized mutual information (NMI) was computed between muscle pairs as an index indicating functional connectivity. Results: The NMIs increased significantly during endurance test for 10 of the 15 muscle pairs (P ... : We concluded that the increases in NMIs highlighted functional changes in the interplay between core and shoulder muscles during an endurance contraction in elite judokas....

  2. Functional MRI of CO2 induced increase in cerebral perfusion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rostrup, Egill; Larsson, H B; Toft, P B

    1994-01-01

    The sensitivity of MR gradient echo imaging towards CO2 induced changes in cerebral blood flow was investigated in 10 normal subjects. The subjects were inhaling 5% and 7% CO2 and the experiments were carried out at 1.5 T (n = 6) and 2.0 T (n = 5), allowing a comparison of field strengths....... Additional experiments were carried out using a higher spatial resolution. The largest signal increases were noted in areas corresponding to larger vessels, but significant changes were also conspicuous in deeper cortical and central grey matter. The changes appeared linearly related to the arterial CO2...... tension, within the range of PaCO2 studied. In white matter, the changes were not statistically significant....

  3. Aminosilane-Functionalized Cellulosic Polymer for Increased Carbon Dioxide Sorption

    KAUST Repository

    Pacheco, Diana M.

    2012-01-11

    Improvement in the efficiency of CO 2 separation from flue gases is a high-priority research area to reduce the total energy cost of carbon capture and sequestration technologies in coal-fired power plants. Efficient CO 2 removal from flue gases by adsorption systems requires the design of novel sorbents capable of capturing, concentrating, and recovering CO 2 on a cost-effective basis. This paper describes the preparation of an aminosilane-functionalized cellulosic polymer sorbent with enhanced CO 2 sorption capacity and promising performance for use in postcombustion carbon capture via rapid temperature-swing adsorption systems. The introduction of aminosilane functionalities onto the backbone of cellulose acetate was achieved by the anhydrous grafting of N-(2-aminoethyl)-3- aminoisobutyldimethylmethoxysilane. The dry sorption capacity of the modified cellulosic polymer reached 27 cc (STP) CO 2/cc sorbent (1.01 mmol/g sorbent) at 1 atm and 39 cc (STP) CO 2/cc sorbent (1.46 mmol/g sorbent) at 5 atm and 308 K. The amine loading achieved was 5.18 mmol amine(nitrogen)/g sorbent. Exposure to water vapor after the first dry sorption cycle increased the dry sorption capacity of the sorbent by 12% at 1 atm, suggesting its potential for rapid cyclic adsorption processes under humid feed conditions. The CO 2 sorbent was characterized in terms of chemical composition, density changes, molecular structure, thermal stability, and surface morphology. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

  4. Aminosilane-Functionalized Cellulosic Polymer for Increased Carbon Dioxide Sorption

    KAUST Repository

    Pacheco, Diana M.; Johnson, J.R.; Koros, William J.

    2012-01-01

    Improvement in the efficiency of CO 2 separation from flue gases is a high-priority research area to reduce the total energy cost of carbon capture and sequestration technologies in coal-fired power plants. Efficient CO 2 removal from flue gases by adsorption systems requires the design of novel sorbents capable of capturing, concentrating, and recovering CO 2 on a cost-effective basis. This paper describes the preparation of an aminosilane-functionalized cellulosic polymer sorbent with enhanced CO 2 sorption capacity and promising performance for use in postcombustion carbon capture via rapid temperature-swing adsorption systems. The introduction of aminosilane functionalities onto the backbone of cellulose acetate was achieved by the anhydrous grafting of N-(2-aminoethyl)-3- aminoisobutyldimethylmethoxysilane. The dry sorption capacity of the modified cellulosic polymer reached 27 cc (STP) CO 2/cc sorbent (1.01 mmol/g sorbent) at 1 atm and 39 cc (STP) CO 2/cc sorbent (1.46 mmol/g sorbent) at 5 atm and 308 K. The amine loading achieved was 5.18 mmol amine(nitrogen)/g sorbent. Exposure to water vapor after the first dry sorption cycle increased the dry sorption capacity of the sorbent by 12% at 1 atm, suggesting its potential for rapid cyclic adsorption processes under humid feed conditions. The CO 2 sorbent was characterized in terms of chemical composition, density changes, molecular structure, thermal stability, and surface morphology. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

  5. Triglyceride content in remnant lipoproteins is significantly increased after food intake and is associated with plasma lipoprotein lipase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakajima, Katsuyuki; Tokita, Yoshiharu; Sakamaki, Koji; Shimomura, Younosuke; Kobayashi, Junji; Kamachi, Keiko; Tanaka, Akira; Stanhope, Kimber L; Havel, Peter J; Wang, Tao; Machida, Tetsuo; Murakami, Masami

    2017-02-01

    Previous large population studies reported that non-fasting plasma triglyceride (TG) reflect a higher risk for cardiovascular disease than TG in the fasting plasma. This is suggestive of the presence of higher concentration of remnant lipoproteins (RLP) in postprandial plasma. TG and RLP-TG together with other lipids, lipoproteins and lipoprotein lipase (LPL) in both fasting and postprandial plasma were determined in generally healthy volunteers and in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) after consuming a fat load or a more typical moderate meal. RLP-TG/TG ratio (concentration) and RLP-TG/RLP-C ratio (particle size) were significantly increased in the postprandial plasma of both healthy controls and CAD patients compared with those in fasting plasma. LPL/RLP-TG ratio demonstrated the interaction correlation between RLP concentration and LPL activity The increased RLP-TG after fat consumption contributed to approximately 90% of the increased plasma TG, while approximately 60% after a typical meal. Plasma LPL in postprandial plasma was not significantly altered after either type of meal. Concentrations of RLP-TG found in the TG along with its particle size are significantly increased in postprandial plasma compared with fasting plasma. Therefore, non-fasting TG determination better reflects the presence of higher RLP concentrations in plasma. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. St. John's wort significantly increased the systemic exposure and toxicity of methotrexate in rats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Shih-Ying [Graduate Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan (China); Juang, Shin-Hun [Graduate Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan (China); Department of Medical Research, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan (China); Tsai, Shang-Yuan; Chao, Pei-Dawn Lee [School of Pharmacy, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan (China); Hou, Yu-Chi, E-mail: hou5133@gmail.com [School of Pharmacy, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan (China); Department of Medical Research, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan (China)

    2012-08-15

    St. John's wort (SJW, Hypericum perforatum) is one of the popular nutraceuticals for treating depression. Methotrexate (MTX) is an immunosuppressant with narrow therapeutic window. This study investigated the effect of SJW on MTX pharmacokinetics in rats. Rats were orally given MTX alone and coadministered with 300 and 150 mg/kg of SJW, and 25 mg/kg of diclofenac, respectively. Blood was withdrawn at specific time points and serum MTX concentrations were assayed by a specific monoclonal fluorescence polarization immunoassay method. The results showed that 300 mg/kg of SJW significantly increased the AUC{sub 0−t} and C{sub max} of MTX by 163% and 60%, respectively, and 150 mg/kg of SJW significantly increased the AUC{sub 0−t} of MTX by 55%. In addition, diclofenac enhanced the C{sub max} of MTX by 110%. The mortality of rats treated with SJW was higher than that of controls. In conclusion, coadministration of SJW significantly increased the systemic exposure and toxicity of MTX. The combined use of MTX with SJW would need to be with caution. -- Highlights: ► St. John's wort significantly increased the AUC{sub 0−t} and C{sub max} of methotrexate. ► Coadministration of St. John's wort increased the exposure and toxicity of methotrexate. ► The combined use of methotrexate with St. John's wort will need to be with caution.

  7. Perspectives on the clinical significance of functional pain syndromes in children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Basch MC

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Molly C Basch,1,2 Erika T Chow,1,3 Deirdre E Logan,1,4 Neil L Schechter,4 Laura E Simons1,2,4 1Division of Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, 2Boston Children's Hospital, Center for Pain and the Brain, PAIN Research Group, 3Boston University School of Medicine, Boston University, 4Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA Abstract: Functional pain syndromes (FPS characterize a subset of individuals who experience pain and related symptoms and disability without clear structural or disease etiology. In the pediatric population, FPS hold high clinical importance due to significant prevalence rates and potential to persist into adulthood. Although extensive research has been executed to disambiguate FPS, the syndromes that fall within its spectrum remain conceptually complex and sometimes ill-defined. This paper provides an overview of available research on the classification and multifaceted etiology of FPS in youth and their effects on interpersonal, psychological, and familial function. Vital aspects of a successful multidisciplinary approach to treating this population are described; however, it is evident that future research requires more longitudinal studies. Keywords: overlapping chronic pain, functional pain, primary pain disorders, pediatrics, biopsychosocial model

  8. IGF-1 levels are significantly correlated with patient-reported measures of sexual function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastuszak, A W; Liu, J S; Vij, A; Mohamed, O; Sathyamoorthy, K; Lipshultz, L I; Khera, M

    2011-01-01

    Growth hormone (GH) supplementation may help to preserve erectile function. We assessed whether serum insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels, a surrogate for GH levels, correlate with sexual function scores in 65 men who completed the Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM) and Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC) questionnaires, and had serum IGF-1 and testosterone levels determined. Median±s.d. IGF-1 level, SHIM and EPIC scores were 235.0±86.4, 19.5±8.7 and 56.4±28.3 mg ml(-1), respectively. IGF-1 levels and total SHIM score correlate significantly (r=0.31, P=0.02), as do IGF-1 levels and all individual SHIM question scores, and IGF-1 levels and the sexual domain of the EPIC questionnaire (r=0.30, P=0.02). No correlation was observed between IGF-1 levels and Gleason score, IGF-1 and testosterone level or SHIM score and testosterone level. These data support a potential role for the GH axis in erectile function.

  9. Prognostic significance of radionuclide-assessed right ventricular function in dilated cardiomyopathy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ohno, Akira; Nishimura, Tsunehiko; Uehara, Toshiisa; Shimonagata, Tsuyoshi; Kumita, Shinichiro; Ogawa, Youji; Nagata, Seiki; Miyatake, Kunio [National Cardiovascular Center, Suita, Osaka (Japan)

    1991-09-01

    To assess the prognostic significance of right ventricular function in dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), we studied consecutive 57 DCM patients. There were 41 men and 16 women, whose mean age was 48 years (range 3-68 years). The mean left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) in all patients was 29{+-}11%, and the mean interval from the onset of symptom of cardiac failure (CHF history) was 4 years (range 0-33 years). With follow-up of 3.8 years, five patients had died until the first year, and 14 had died until the third year. By using multivariate regression analysis, there were no prognostic significance in clinical parameters such as age, CHF history, sex, atrial fibrillation, except for NYHA class, and medication at the third year. In survival curves according to Kaplan-Meier method, right ventricular ejection fraction (RVEF) and mean pulmonary artery (PA) had predictive value (p<0.05), while LVEF did not. The patients with RVEF<45% had poor survival rate compared to those with RVEF{>=}45%. The patients with RVEF<45% showed lower LVEF and left ventricular end-systolic volume index. RVEF may offer prognostic predictive value through the effect of not only mean PA but also left ventricular parameter. In conclusion, radionuclide assessment of right ventricular function should be valuable for the prognostic evaluation of DCM patients. (author).

  10. Prognostic significance of radionuclide-assessed right ventricular function in dilated cardiomyopathy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ohno, Akira; Nishimura, Tsunehiko; Uehara, Toshiisa; Shimonagata, Tsuyoshi; Kumita, Shinichiro; Ogawa, Youji; Nagata, Seiki; Miyatake, Kunio

    1991-01-01

    To assess the prognostic significance of right ventricular function in dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), we studied consecutive 57 DCM patients. There were 41 men and 16 women, whose mean age was 48 years (range 3-68 years). The mean left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) in all patients was 29±11%, and the mean interval from the onset of symptom of cardiac failure (CHF history) was 4 years (range 0-33 years). With follow-up of 3.8 years, five patients had died until the first year, and 14 had died until the third year. By using multivariate regression analysis, there were no prognostic significance in clinical parameters such as age, CHF history, sex, atrial fibrillation, except for NYHA class, and medication at the third year. In survival curves according to Kaplan-Meier method, right ventricular ejection fraction (RVEF) and mean pulmonary artery (PA) had predictive value (p<0.05), while LVEF did not. The patients with RVEF<45% had poor survival rate compared to those with RVEF≥45%. The patients with RVEF<45% showed lower LVEF and left ventricular end-systolic volume index. RVEF may offer prognostic predictive value through the effect of not only mean PA but also left ventricular parameter. In conclusion, radionuclide assessment of right ventricular function should be valuable for the prognostic evaluation of DCM patients. (author)

  11. The socialization process and the functional significance of education from vocational education learners’ perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brisko B.

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Education is the most significant factor of socialization. Education is the largest sector of modern industry. The socialization functions in education can be defined as availability for work and an ability to make decisions independently so that the individual in his later life period could perform his social roles and integrate in social structures with specific role types. The aim of the publication is to find out what functional significance vocational education learners give to education. The quantitative research method was applied, surveying the respondent groups that comprised 503 vocational education learners from Riga, Liepaja, Daugavpils and Jelgava. According to the research results, most vocational education learners consider that it is necessary to study to get the desired job and be well prepared for the future job, to get a diploma and prestige in society, to ensure better financial situation and personal development, to have a better understanding of global events, to gain respect from friends and acquaintances, to be useful for society and to work abroad. The discussion section of the publication emphasizes that special attention should be paid to the factor that learners in their future vision prefer to work abroad. This can be explained by the current situation of the labour market and considerably high unemployment rate in Latvia.

  12. Significant social events and increasing use of life-sustaining treatment: trend analysis using extracorporeal membrane oxygenation as an example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yen-Yuan; Chen, Likwang; Huang, Tien-Shang; Ko, Wen-Je; Chu, Tzong-Shinn; Ni, Yen-Hsuan; Chang, Shan-Chwen

    2014-03-04

    Most studies have examined the outcomes of patients supported by extracorporeal membrane oxygenation as a life-sustaining treatment. It is unclear whether significant social events are associated with the use of life-sustaining treatment. This study aimed to compare the trend of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use in Taiwan with that in the world, and to examine the influence of significant social events on the trend of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use in Taiwan. Taiwan's extracorporeal membrane oxygenation uses from 2000 to 2009 were collected from National Health Insurance Research Dataset. The number of the worldwide extracorporeal membrane oxygenation cases was mainly estimated using Extracorporeal Life Support Registry Report International Summary July 2012. The trend of Taiwan's crude annual incidence rate of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use was compared with that of the rest of the world. Each trend of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use was examined using joinpoint regression. The measurement was the crude annual incidence rate of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use. Each of the Taiwan's crude annual incidence rates was much higher than the worldwide one in the same year. Both the trends of Taiwan's and worldwide crude annual incidence rates have significantly increased since 2000. Joinpoint regression selected the model of the Taiwan's trend with one joinpoint in 2006 as the best-fitted model, implying that the significant social events in 2006 were significantly associated with the trend change of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use following 2006. In addition, significantly social events highlighted by the media are more likely to be associated with the increase of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use than being fully covered by National Health Insurance. Significant social events, such as a well-known person's successful extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use highlighted by the mass media, are associated with the use of

  13. Positive Selection or Free to Vary? Assessing the Functional Significance of Sequence Change Using Molecular Dynamics.

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    Jane R Allison

    Full Text Available Evolutionary arms races between pathogens and their hosts may be manifested as selection for rapid evolutionary change of key genes, and are sometimes detectable through sequence-level analyses. In the case of protein-coding genes, such analyses frequently predict that specific codons are under positive selection. However, detecting positive selection can be non-trivial, and false positive predictions are a common concern in such analyses. It is therefore helpful to place such predictions within a structural and functional context. Here, we focus on the p19 protein from tombusviruses. P19 is a homodimer that sequesters siRNAs, thereby preventing the host RNAi machinery from shutting down viral infection. Sequence analysis of the p19 gene is complicated by the fact that it is constrained at the sequence level by overprinting of a viral movement protein gene. Using homology modeling, in silico mutation and molecular dynamics simulations, we assess how non-synonymous changes to two residues involved in forming the dimer interface-one invariant, and one predicted to be under positive selection-impact molecular function. Interestingly, we find that both observed variation and potential variation (where a non-synonymous change to p19 would be synonymous for the overprinted movement protein does not significantly impact protein structure or RNA binding. Consequently, while several methods identify residues at the dimer interface as being under positive selection, MD results suggest they are functionally indistinguishable from a site that is free to vary. Our analyses serve as a caveat to using sequence-level analyses in isolation to detect and assess positive selection, and emphasize the importance of also accounting for how non-synonymous changes impact structure and function.

  14. Significant impact of transient deterioration of renal function on dosimetry in PRRT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Binnebeek, S.; Baete, K.; Terwinghe, C.

    2013-01-01

    Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT), with 90 Y-DOTATOC and 177 Lu-DOTATATE as most clinically used radiopeptides, is widely used in the management of metastatic neuroendocrine tumors. With respect to radiation dosimetry, the kidneys are the critical organ for 90 Y-DOTATOC. Renal irradiation is significant because of reabsorption of the radiopeptide from the proximal tubuli and the resulting retention in the interstitium, mainly in the inner cortical zone. The high energy and consequently wide range in tissue of the yttrium-90 beta particle result in high absorbed doses to the kidney cortex and medulla. Accurate renal dosimetry can help minimizing radiation nephropathy. We report a case of a 69-year-old candidate for PRRT with an acceptable kidney function at the time of screening. When performing 111 In-octreotide pretreatment dosimetry 3 weeks later, we observed a drastic deterioration in kidney function, caused by undisclosed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug intake. The calculated kidney biological effective dose (BED) was 153 Gy after four projected cycles. PRRT was canceled as our full-course BED limit is 37 Gy and the patient was switched to morphine analgesics. Renal function normalized after 3 months and repeated dosimetry yielded an acceptable kidney BED of 28 Gy after four projected cycles (7 Gy/cycle). This case emphasizes that acute kidney insufficiency can yield toxic kidney doses in a single therapy cycle, with an inherent risk of persistent renal insufficiency. All clinical factors which might influence kidney function should be verified at screening and before PRRT administration. (author)

  15. Functional significance of O-GlcNAc modification in regulating neuronal properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Hongik; Rhim, Hyewhon

    2018-03-01

    Post-translational modifications (PTMs) covalently modify proteins and diversify protein functions. Along with protein phosphorylation, another common PTM is the addition of O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) to serine and/or threonine residues. O-GlcNAc modification is similar to phosphorylation in that it occurs to serine and threonine residues and cycles on and off with a similar time scale. However, a striking difference is that the addition and removal of the O-GlcNAc moiety on all substrates are mediated by the two enzymes regardless of proteins, O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) and O-GlcNAcase (OGA), respectively. O-GlcNAcylation can interact or potentially compete with phosphorylation on serine and threonine residues, and thus serves as an important molecular mechanism to modulate protein functions and activation. However, it has been challenging to address the role of O-GlcNAc modification in regulating protein functions at the molecular level due to the lack of convenient tools to determine the sites and degrees of O-GlcNAcylation. Studies in this field have only begun to expand significantly thanks to the recent advances in detection and manipulation methods such as quantitative proteomics and highly selective small-molecule inhibitors for OGT and OGA. Interestingly, multiple brain regions, especially hippocampus, express high levels of both OGT and OGA, and a number of neuron-specific proteins have been reported to undergo O-GlcNAcylation. This review aims to discuss the recent updates concerning the impacts of O-GlcNAc modification on neuronal functions at multiple levels ranging from intrinsic neuronal properties to synaptic plasticity and animal behaviors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. The functional significance of cortical reorganization and the parallel development of CI therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward eTaub

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available For the 19th and the better part of the 20th centuries two correlative beliefs were strongly held by almost all neuroscientists and practitioners in the field of neurorehabilitation. The first was that after maturity the adult CNS was hardwired and fixed, and second that in the chronic phase after CNS injury no substantial recovery of function could take place no matter what intervention was employed. However, in the last part of the 20th century evidence began to accumulate that neither belief was correct. First, in the 1960s and 1970s, in research with primates given a surgical abolition of somatic sensation from a single forelimb, which rendered the extremity useless, it was found that behavioral techniques could convert the limb into an extremity that could be used extensively. Beginning in the late 1980s, the techniques employed with deafferented monkeys were translated into a rehabilitation treatment, termed Constraint Induced Movement therapy or CI therapy, for substantially improving the motor deficit of the upper and lower extremities in the chronic phase after stroke. CI therapy has been applied successfully to other types of damage to the CNS such as traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injury, and it has also been used to improve function in focal hand dystonia and for aphasia after stroke. As this work was proceeding, it was being shown during the 1980s and 1990s that sustained modulation of afferent input could alter the structure of the CNS and that this topographic reorganization could have relevance to the function of the individual. The alteration in these once fundamental beliefs has given rise to important recent developments in neuroscience and neurorehabilitation and holds promise for further increasing our understanding of CNS function and extending the boundaries of what is possible in neurorehabilitation.

  17. [The significance of directional preponderance in the evaluation of vestibular function in patients with vertigo].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, J; Zhou, Y J; Yu, J; Gu, J

    2017-03-07

    Objective: To analyze the relationship between directional preponderance (DP), spontaneous nystagmus(SN) and vestibular disorders, and to investigate the significance of DP in directing peripheral vestibular function in patients with vertigo. Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of 394 cases diagnosed with peripheral vestibular disease accompanied by vertigo from March 2012 to June 2014 in the Outpatient Department of the Eye & ENT Hospital of Fudan University. Results of static and dynamic posture equilibrium tests, SN, unilateral weakness(UW), and DP in videonystagmography(VNG) were analyzed and compared. Results: The mean interval time between the last vertigo attack and examination in patients with SN or DP in caloric test were 4.4 d and 7.3 d respectively, and those without SN or DP were 18.3 d and 17.5 d respectively. The patients were divided into two groups according to DP results of caloric test. DP-normal group had 203 cases and DP-abnormal group had 191 cases. Spontaneous nystagmus was presented in 44 cases in the DP-normal group (21.67%) and four in the DP-abnormal group (2.09%). A significant difference was found between the two groups (χ 2 =35.27, P =0.000). Deficiency of vestibular function was noted in 165 cases in the DP-normal group (81.28%) and 123 (64.40%) in the DP-abnormal group in static and dynamic posture equilibrium tests. The difference between the two groups was statistically significant (χ 2 =14.26, P =0.000). Conclusion: Compared with DP-normal patients, DP-abnormal patients are more likely to have spontaneous nystagmus and balance disorders due to vestibular dysfunction.

  18. Social marketing campaign significantly associated with increases in syphilis testing among gay and bisexual men in San Francisco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montoya, Jorge A; Kent, Charlotte K; Rotblatt, Harlan; McCright, Jacque; Kerndt, Peter R; Klausner, Jeffrey D

    2005-07-01

    Between 1999 and 2002, San Francisco experienced a sharp increase in early syphilis among gay and bisexual men. In response, the San Francisco Department of Public Health launched a social marketing campaign to increase testing for syphilis, and awareness and knowledge about syphilis among gay and bisexual men. A convenience sample of 244 gay and bisexual men (18-60 years of age) were surveyed to evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign. Respondents were interviewed to elicit unaided and aided awareness about the campaign, knowledge about syphilis, recent sexual behaviors, and syphilis testing behavior. After controlling for other potential confounders, unaided campaign awareness was a significant correlate of having a syphilis test in the last 6 months (odds ratio, 3.21; 95% confidence interval, 1.30-7.97) compared with no awareness of the campaign. A comparison of respondents aware of the campaign with those not aware also revealed significant increases in awareness and knowledge about syphilis. The Healthy Penis 2002 campaign achieved its primary objective of increasing syphilis testing, and awareness and knowledge about syphilis among gay and bisexual men in San Francisco.

  19. Variability of Neuronal Responses: Types and Functional Significance in Neuroplasticity and Neural Darwinism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chervyakov, Alexander V; Sinitsyn, Dmitry O; Piradov, Michael A

    2016-01-01

    HIGHLIGHTS We suggest classifying variability of neuronal responses as follows: false (associated with a lack of knowledge about the influential factors), "genuine harmful" (noise), "genuine neutral" (synonyms, repeats), and "genuine useful" (the basis of neuroplasticity and learning).The genuine neutral variability is considered in terms of the phenomenon of degeneracy.Of particular importance is the genuine useful variability that is considered as a potential basis for neuroplasticity and learning. This type of variability is considered in terms of the neural Darwinism theory. In many cases, neural signals detected under the same external experimental conditions significantly change from trial to trial. The variability phenomenon, which complicates extraction of reproducible results and is ignored in many studies by averaging, has attracted attention of researchers in recent years. In this paper, we classify possible types of variability based on its functional significance and describe features of each type. We describe the key adaptive significance of variability at the neural network level and the degeneracy phenomenon that may be important for learning processes in connection with the principle of neuronal group selection.

  20. Determination of the functional significance of coronary artery disease with digital subtraction angiography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mancini, G.B.J.; Hodgson, J.McB.; Le Grand, V.; Vogel, R.A.; Le Free, M.T.; Bates, E.R.; Aueron, F.M.

    1986-01-01

    Imaging of the chambers of the heart, pulmonary circulation and great vessels by intravenous contrast injection was clinically implemented in 1939, but intensive interest in this technique was not generated until relatively recent advances in digital electronics, image intensification, and television technology. Pioneering work from several centers initiated a widespread clinical evaluation of this imaging modality in cardiac diagnosis that was facilitated by commercially available digital angiography systems that provided rudimentary image manipulation techniques. Such image manipulation was also of considerable use in intraarterial applications. The quantitative information inherent in digital images of the heart chambers and coronary arteries sparked a keen interest in using this technology to extract both anatomical and physiological information about patients undergoing cardiac catheterization. This chapter outlines their approach to the use of both intravenous and intraarterial digital techniques in the evaluation of patients requiring cardiac catheterization with a particular emphasis on determination of the functional significance of coronary disease

  1. Targeted Gene-Silencing Reveals the Functional Significance of Myocardin Signaling in the Failing Heart

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torrado, Mario; Iglesias, Raquel; Centeno, Alberto; López, Eduardo; Mikhailov, Alexander T.

    2011-01-01

    Background Myocardin (MYOCD), a potent transcriptional coactivator of smooth muscle (SM) and cardiac genes, is upregulated in failing myocardium in animal models and human end-stage heart failure (HF). However, the molecular and functional consequences of myocd upregulation in HF are still unclear. Methodology/Principal Findings The goal of the present study was to investigate if targeted inhibition of upregulated expression of myocd could influence failing heart gene expression and function. To this end, we used the doxorubicin (Dox)-induced diastolic HF (DHF) model in neonatal piglets, in which, as we show, not only myocd but also myocd-dependent SM-marker genes are highly activated in failing left ventricular (LV) myocardium. In this model, intra-myocardial delivery of short-hairpin RNAs, designed to target myocd variants expressed in porcine heart, leads on day 2 post-delivery to: (1) a decrease in the activated expression of myocd and myocd-dependent SM-marker genes in failing myocardium to levels seen in healthy control animals, (2) amelioration of impaired diastolic dysfunction, and (3) higher survival rates of DHF piglets. The posterior restoration of elevated myocd expression (on day 7 post-delivery) led to overexpression of myocd-dependent SM-marker genes in failing LV-myocardium that was associated with a return to altered diastolic function. Conclusions/Significance These data provide the first evidence that a moderate inhibition (e.g., normalization) of the activated MYOCD signaling in the diseased heart may be promising from a therapeutic point of view. PMID:22028870

  2. Targeted gene-silencing reveals the functional significance of myocardin signaling in the failing heart.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario Torrado

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Myocardin (MYOCD, a potent transcriptional coactivator of smooth muscle (SM and cardiac genes, is upregulated in failing myocardium in animal models and human end-stage heart failure (HF. However, the molecular and functional consequences of myocd upregulation in HF are still unclear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The goal of the present study was to investigate if targeted inhibition of upregulated expression of myocd could influence failing heart gene expression and function. To this end, we used the doxorubicin (Dox-induced diastolic HF (DHF model in neonatal piglets, in which, as we show, not only myocd but also myocd-dependent SM-marker genes are highly activated in failing left ventricular (LV myocardium. In this model, intra-myocardial delivery of short-hairpin RNAs, designed to target myocd variants expressed in porcine heart, leads on day 2 post-delivery to: (1 a decrease in the activated expression of myocd and myocd-dependent SM-marker genes in failing myocardium to levels seen in healthy control animals, (2 amelioration of impaired diastolic dysfunction, and (3 higher survival rates of DHF piglets. The posterior restoration of elevated myocd expression (on day 7 post-delivery led to overexpression of myocd-dependent SM-marker genes in failing LV-myocardium that was associated with a return to altered diastolic function. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These data provide the first evidence that a moderate inhibition (e.g., normalization of the activated MYOCD signaling in the diseased heart may be promising from a therapeutic point of view.

  3. Spatial and temporal aspects of chromatic adaptation and their functional significance for colour constancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Annette

    2014-11-01

    Illumination in natural scenes changes at multiple temporal and spatial scales: slow changes in global illumination occur in the course of a day, and we encounter fast and localised illumination changes when visually exploring the non-uniform light field of three-dimensional scenes; in addition, very long-term chromatic variations may come from the environment, like for example seasonal changes. In this context, I consider the temporal and spatial properties of chromatic adaptation and discuss their functional significance for colour constancy in three-dimensional scenes. A process of fast spatial tuning in chromatic adaptation is proposed as a possible sensory mechanism for linking colour constancy to the spatial structure of a scene. The observed middlewavelength selectivity of this process is particularly suitable for adaptation to the mean chromaticity and the compensation of interreflections in natural scenes. Two types of sensory colour constancy are distinguished, based on the functional differences of their temporal and spatial scales: a slow type, operating at a global scale for the compensation of the ambient illumination; and a fast colour constancy, which is locally restricted and well suited to compensate region-specific variations in the light field of three dimensional scenes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. The functional significance of newly born neurons integrated into olfactory bulb circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakamoto, Masayuki; Kageyama, Ryoichiro; Imayoshi, Itaru

    2014-01-01

    The olfactory bulb (OB) is the first central processing center for olfactory information connecting with higher areas in the brain, and this neuronal circuitry mediates a variety of odor-evoked behavioral responses. In the adult mammalian brain, continuous neurogenesis occurs in two restricted regions, the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricle and the hippocampal dentate gyrus. New neurons born in the SVZ migrate through the rostral migratory stream and are integrated into the neuronal circuits of the OB throughout life. The significance of this continuous supply of new neurons in the OB has been implicated in plasticity and memory regulation. Two decades of huge investigation in adult neurogenesis revealed the biological importance of integration of new neurons into the olfactory circuits. In this review, we highlight the recent findings about the physiological functions of newly generated neurons in rodent OB circuits and then discuss the contribution of neurogenesis in the brain function. Finally, we introduce cutting edge technologies to monitor and manipulate the activity of new neurons.

  5. The functional significance of newly born neurons integrated into olfactory bulb circuits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masayuki eSakamoto

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The olfactory bulb (OB is the first central processing center for olfactory information connecting with higher areas in the brain, and this neuronal circuitry mediates a variety of odor-evoked behavioral responses. In the adult mammalian brain, continuous neurogenesis occurs in two restricted regions, the subventricular zone (SVZ of the lateral ventricle and the hippocampal dentate gyrus. New neurons born in the SVZ migrate through the rostral migratory stream and are integrated into the neuronal circuits of the OB throughout life. The significance of this continuous supply of new neurons in the OB has been implicated in plasticity and memory regulation. Two decades of huge investigation in adult neurogenesis revealed the biological importance of integration of new neurons into the olfactory circuits. In this review, we highlight the recent findings about the physiological functions of newly generated neurons in rodent OB circuits and then discuss the contribution of neurogenesis in the brain function. Finally, we introduce cutting edge technologies to monitor and manipulate the activity of new neurons.

  6. [Factorial division of the visual N1 wave and functional significance].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz-Ruata, J; Caro-Martinez, E

    2011-05-16

    It has been argued if the frontal, N1a, is the early part of the occipito-temporal, N1b, or there are two different waves. It is also not clear whether the N1 of distractor is equivalent to the target N1, neither to distinguish these four waves has some functional value. We performed a principal component analysis of latencies and amplitudes of N1 derived from an oddball visual paradigm in a sample of 82 persons with intellectual disability, and factor scores were correlated with measures of intellectual performance on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition. There is not significant dependency between N1a and N1b waves. The N1 from the target stimulus is functionally different to the N1 from the distractor. The N1a 'target' is related to the perceptual reasoning while the N1a 'distractor' is related to the working memory. The correlation between latencies and amplitudes of the target stimuli in posterior locations suggests that, similar to as observed in auditory areas, there is a visual synchronization with the prefrontal cortex; its dysfunction may explain some of the perceptual problems of people with intellectual disabilities.

  7. Dramatic Increases of Soil Microbial Functional Gene Diversity at the Treeline Ecotone of Changbai Mountain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Congcong; Shi, Yu; Ni, Yingying; Deng, Ye; Van Nostrand, Joy D; He, Zhili; Zhou, Jizhong; Chu, Haiyan

    2016-01-01

    The elevational and latitudinal diversity patterns of microbial taxa have attracted great attention in the past decade. Recently, the distribution of functional attributes has been in the spotlight. Here, we report a study profiling soil microbial communities along an elevation gradient (500-2200 m) on Changbai Mountain. Using a comprehensive functional gene microarray (GeoChip 5.0), we found that microbial functional gene richness exhibited a dramatic increase at the treeline ecotone, but the bacterial taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing did not exhibit such a similar trend. However, the β-diversity (compositional dissimilarity among sites) pattern for both bacterial taxa and functional genes was similar, showing significant elevational distance-decay patterns which presented increased dissimilarity with elevation. The bacterial taxonomic diversity/structure was strongly influenced by soil pH, while the functional gene diversity/structure was significantly correlated with soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC). This finding highlights that soil DOC may be a good predictor in determining the elevational distribution of microbial functional genes. The finding of significant shifts in functional gene diversity at the treeline ecotone could also provide valuable information for predicting the responses of microbial functions to climate change.

  8. Dramatic increases of soil microbial functional gene diversity at the treeline ecotone of Changbai Mountain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Congcong Shen

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The elevational and latitudinal diversity patterns of microbial taxa have attracted great attention in the past decade. Recently, the distribution of functional attributes has been in the spotlight. Here, we report a study profiling soil microbial communities along an elevation gradient (500 to 2200 m on Changbai Mountain. Using a comprehensive functional gene microarray (GeoChip 5.0, we found that microbial functional gene richness exhibited a dramatic increase at the treeline ecotone, but the bacterial taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing did not exhibit such a similar trend. However, the β-diversity (compositional dissimilarity among sites for both bacterial taxa and functional genes was similar, showing significant elevational distance-decay patterns which presented increased dissimilarity with elevation. The bacterial taxonomic diversity/structure was strongly influenced by soil pH, while the functional gene diversity/structure was significantly correlated with soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC. This finding highlights that soil DOC may be a good predictor in determining the elevational distribution of microbial functional genes. The finding of significant shifts in functional gene diversity at the treeline ecotone could also provide valuable information for predicting the responses of microbial functions to climate change.

  9. Significance and prognostic value of increased serum direct bilirubin level for lymph node metastasis in Chinese rectal cancer patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Chun; Fang, Long; Li, Jing-Tao; Zhao, Hong-Chuan

    2016-02-28

    To determine the significance of increased serum direct bilirubin level for lymph node metastasis (LNM) in Chinese rectal cancer patients, after those with known hepatobiliary and pancreatic diseases were excluded. A cohort of 469 patients, who were treated at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Ministry of Health (Beijing, China), in the period from January 2003 to June 2011, and with a pathological diagnosis of rectal adenocarcinoma, were recruited. They included 231 patients with LNM (49.3%) and 238 patients without LNM. Follow-up for these patients was taken through to December 31, 2012. The baseline serum direct bilirubin concentration was (median/inter-quartile range) 2.30/1.60-3.42 μmol/L. Univariate analysis showed that compared with patients without LNM, the patients with LNM had an increased level of direct bilirubin (2.50/1.70-3.42 vs 2.10/1.40-3.42, P = 0.025). Multivariate analysis showed that direct bilirubin was independently associated with LNM (OR = 1.602; 95%CI: 1.098-2.338, P = 0.015). Moreover, we found that: (1) serum direct bilirubin differs between male and female patients; a higher concentration was associated with poor tumor classification; (2) as the baseline serum direct bilirubin concentration increased, the percentage of patients with LNM increased; and (3) serum direct bilirubin was associated with the prognosis of rectal cancer patients and higher values indicated poor prognosis. Higher serum direct bilirubin concentration was associated with the increased risk of LNM and poor prognosis in our rectal cancers.

  10. Expression of a bacterial catalase in a strictly anaerobic methanogen significantly increases tolerance to hydrogen peroxide but not oxygen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, Matthew E.; Schaff, Cody W.; Horne, Alexandra J.; Lessner, Faith H.

    2014-01-01

    Haem-dependent catalase is an antioxidant enzyme that degrades H2O2, producing H2O and O2, and is common in aerobes. Catalase is present in some strictly anaerobic methane-producing archaea (methanogens), but the importance of catalase to the antioxidant system of methanogens is poorly understood. We report here that a survey of the sequenced genomes of methanogens revealed that the majority of species lack genes encoding catalase. Moreover, Methanosarcina acetivorans is a methanogen capable of synthesizing haem and encodes haem-dependent catalase in its genome; yet, Methanosarcina acetivorans cells lack detectable catalase activity. However, inducible expression of the haem-dependent catalase from Escherichia coli (EcKatG) in the chromosome of Methanosarcina acetivorans resulted in a 100-fold increase in the endogenous catalase activity compared with uninduced cells. The increased catalase activity conferred a 10-fold increase in the resistance of EcKatG-induced cells to H2O2 compared with uninduced cells. The EcKatG-induced cells were also able to grow when exposed to levels of H2O2 that inhibited or killed uninduced cells. However, despite the significant increase in catalase activity, growth studies revealed that EcKatG-induced cells did not exhibit increased tolerance to O2 compared with uninduced cells. These results support the lack of catalase in the majority of methanogens, since methanogens are more likely to encounter O2 rather than high concentrations of H2O2 in the natural environment. Catalase appears to be a minor component of the antioxidant system in methanogens, even those that are aerotolerant, including Methanosarcina acetivorans. Importantly, the experimental approach used here demonstrated the feasibility of engineering beneficial traits, such as H2O2 tolerance, in methanogens. PMID:24222618

  11. On the lability and functional significance of the type 1 copper pool in ceruloplasmin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musci, G; Fraterrigo, T Z; Calabrese, L; McMillin, D R

    1999-08-01

    The possibility that ceruloplasmin (CP) functions as a copper transferase has fueled a continuing interest in studies of the copper release process. The principal goal of the current investigation has been to identify the most labile copper centers in sheep protein. In fact, subjecting the enzyme to a slow flux of cyanide at pH 5.2 under nitrogen in the presence of ascorbate and a phenanthroline ligand produces partially demetalated forms of the protein. By standard chromatographic techniques it is possible to isolate protein with a Cu/CP ratio of approximately 4 or approximately 5 as opposed to the native protein which has Cu/CP = 5.8. In contrast to other blue oxidases, analysis suggests that CP preferentially loses its type 1 coppers under these conditions. Thus, the spectroscopic signals from the type 1 centers exhibit a loss of intensity while the EPR signal of the type 2 copper becomes stronger. Furthermore, the Cu/CP approximately 4 and Cu/ CP approximately 5 components retain about 50% of the activity of the native protein, consistent with an intact type 2/type 3 cluster. All three type 1 copper sites appear to suffer copper loss. Reconstitution with a copper(I) reagent restores the spectroscopic properties of the native protein and 90% of the original activity. The results suggest a possible functional significance for the presence of three type 1 coppers in CP. By employing a pool of redox-active but relatively labile type 1 copper centers, the enzyme can serve as a copper donor, if necessary, without completely sacrificing its oxidase activity.

  12. The adipokine leptin increases skeletal muscle mass and significantly alters skeletal muscle miRNA expression profile in aged mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamrick, Mark W.; Herberg, Samuel; Arounleut, Phonepasong; He, Hong-Zhi; Shiver, Austin; Qi, Rui-Qun; Zhou, Li; Isales, Carlos M.

    2010-01-01

    Research highlights: → Aging is associated with muscle atrophy and loss of muscle mass, known as the sarcopenia of aging. → We demonstrate that age-related muscle atrophy is associated with marked changes in miRNA expression in muscle. → Treating aged mice with the adipokine leptin significantly increased muscle mass and the expression of miRNAs involved in muscle repair. → Recombinant leptin therapy may therefore be a novel approach for treating age-related muscle atrophy. -- Abstract: Age-associated loss of muscle mass, or sarcopenia, contributes directly to frailty and an increased risk of falls and fractures among the elderly. Aged mice and elderly adults both show decreased muscle mass as well as relatively low levels of the fat-derived hormone leptin. Here we demonstrate that loss of muscle mass and myofiber size with aging in mice is associated with significant changes in the expression of specific miRNAs. Aging altered the expression of 57 miRNAs in mouse skeletal muscle, and many of these miRNAs are now reported to be associated specifically with age-related muscle atrophy. These include miR-221, previously identified in studies of myogenesis and muscle development as playing a role in the proliferation and terminal differentiation of myogenic precursors. We also treated aged mice with recombinant leptin, to determine whether leptin therapy could improve muscle mass and alter the miRNA expression profile of aging skeletal muscle. Leptin treatment significantly increased hindlimb muscle mass and extensor digitorum longus fiber size in aged mice. Furthermore, the expression of 37 miRNAs was altered in muscles of leptin-treated mice. In particular, leptin treatment increased the expression of miR-31 and miR-223, miRNAs known to be elevated during muscle regeneration and repair. These findings suggest that aging in skeletal muscle is associated with marked changes in the expression of specific miRNAs, and that nutrient-related hormones such as leptin

  13. The adipokine leptin increases skeletal muscle mass and significantly alters skeletal muscle miRNA expression profile in aged mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamrick, Mark W., E-mail: mhamrick@mail.mcg.edu [Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA (United States); Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA (United States); Herberg, Samuel; Arounleut, Phonepasong [Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA (United States); Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA (United States); He, Hong-Zhi [Henry Ford Immunology Program, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI (United States); Department of Dermatology, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI (United States); Shiver, Austin [Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA (United States); Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA (United States); Qi, Rui-Qun [Henry Ford Immunology Program, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI (United States); Department of Dermatology, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI (United States); Zhou, Li [Henry Ford Immunology Program, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI (United States); Department of Dermatology, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI (United States); Department of Internal Medicine, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI (United States); Isales, Carlos M. [Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA (United States); Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA (United States); others, and

    2010-09-24

    Research highlights: {yields} Aging is associated with muscle atrophy and loss of muscle mass, known as the sarcopenia of aging. {yields} We demonstrate that age-related muscle atrophy is associated with marked changes in miRNA expression in muscle. {yields} Treating aged mice with the adipokine leptin significantly increased muscle mass and the expression of miRNAs involved in muscle repair. {yields} Recombinant leptin therapy may therefore be a novel approach for treating age-related muscle atrophy. -- Abstract: Age-associated loss of muscle mass, or sarcopenia, contributes directly to frailty and an increased risk of falls and fractures among the elderly. Aged mice and elderly adults both show decreased muscle mass as well as relatively low levels of the fat-derived hormone leptin. Here we demonstrate that loss of muscle mass and myofiber size with aging in mice is associated with significant changes in the expression of specific miRNAs. Aging altered the expression of 57 miRNAs in mouse skeletal muscle, and many of these miRNAs are now reported to be associated specifically with age-related muscle atrophy. These include miR-221, previously identified in studies of myogenesis and muscle development as playing a role in the proliferation and terminal differentiation of myogenic precursors. We also treated aged mice with recombinant leptin, to determine whether leptin therapy could improve muscle mass and alter the miRNA expression profile of aging skeletal muscle. Leptin treatment significantly increased hindlimb muscle mass and extensor digitorum longus fiber size in aged mice. Furthermore, the expression of 37 miRNAs was altered in muscles of leptin-treated mice. In particular, leptin treatment increased the expression of miR-31 and miR-223, miRNAs known to be elevated during muscle regeneration and repair. These findings suggest that aging in skeletal muscle is associated with marked changes in the expression of specific miRNAs, and that nutrient

  14. Love is the triumph of the imagination: Daydreams about significant others are associated with increased happiness, love and connection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poerio, Giulia L; Totterdell, Peter; Emerson, Lisa-Marie; Miles, Eleanor

    2015-05-01

    Social relationships and interactions contribute to daily emotional well-being. The emotional benefits that come from engaging with others are known to arise from real events, but do they also come from the imagination during daydreaming activity? Using experience sampling methodology with 101 participants, we obtained 371 reports of naturally occurring daydreams with social and non-social content and self-reported feelings before and after daydreaming. Social, but not non-social, daydreams were associated with increased happiness, love and connection and this effect was not solely attributable to the emotional content of the daydreams. These effects were only present when participants were lacking in these feelings before daydreaming and when the daydream involved imagining others with whom the daydreamer had a high quality relationship. Findings are consistent with the idea that social daydreams may function to regulate emotion: imagining close others may serve the current emotional needs of daydreamers by increasing positive feelings towards themselves and others. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Prognostic significance of increased bone marrow microcirculation in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma: results of a prospective DCE-MRI study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Merz, Maximilian; Hillengass, Jens [Department of Radiology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg (Germany); University of Heidelberg, Department of Hematology, Oncology and Rheumatology, Heidelberg (Germany); Moehler, Thomas M.; Ritsch, Judith; Delorme, Stefan [Department of Radiology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg (Germany); Baeuerle, Tobias [University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Department of Radiology, Erlangen (Germany); Zechmann, Christian M. [Rinecker Proton Therapy, Muenchen (Germany); Wagner, Barbara; Hose, Dirk [University of Heidelberg, Department of Hematology, Oncology and Rheumatology, Heidelberg (Germany); Jauch, Anna [University of Heidelberg, Institute of Human Genetics, Heidelberg (Germany); Kunz, Christina; Hielscher, Thomas [German Cancer Research Center, Department of Biostatistics, Heidelberg (Germany); Laue, Hendrik [Fraunhofer MEVIS, Bremen (Germany); Goldschmidt, Hartmut [University of Heidelberg, Department of Hematology, Oncology and Rheumatology, Heidelberg (Germany); National Center for Tumor Diseases, Heidelberg (Germany)

    2016-05-15

    Aim of this prospective study was to investigate prognostic significance of increased bone marrow microcirculation as detected by dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) for survival and local complications in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). We performed DCE-MRI of the lumbar spine in 131 patients with newly diagnosed MM and analysed data according to the Brix model to acquire amplitude A and exchange rate constant k{sub ep}. In 61 patients a second MRI performed after therapy was evaluated to assess changes in vertebral height and identify vertebral fractures. Correlation analysis revealed significant positive association between beta2-microglobulin as well as immunoparesis with DCE-MRI parameters A and k{sub ep}. Additionally, A was negatively correlated with haemoglobin levels and k{sub ep} was positively correlated with LDH levels. Higher baseline k{sub ep} values were associated with decreased vertebral height in a second MRI (P = 0.007) and A values were associated with new vertebral fractures in the lower lumbar spine (P = 0.03 for L4). Pre-existing lytic bone lesions or remission after therapy had no impact on the occurrence of vertebral fractures. Multivariate analysis revealed that amplitude A is an independent adverse risk factor for overall survival. DCE-MRI is a non-invasive tool with significance for systemic prognosis and vertebral complications. (orig.)

  16. Balance disorder and increased risk of falls in osteoporosis and kyphosis: significance of kyphotic posture and muscle strength.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinaki, Mehrsheed; Brey, Robert H; Hughes, Christine A; Larson, Dirk R; Kaufman, Kenton R

    2005-08-01

    This controlled trial was designed to investigate the influence of osteoporosis-related kyphosis (O-K) on falls. Twelve community-dwelling women with O-K (Cobb angle, 50-65 degrees measured from spine radiographs) and 13 healthy women serving as controls were enrolled. Mean age of the O-K group was 76 years (+/-5.1), height 158 cm (+/-5), and weight 61 kg (+/-7.9), and mean age of the control group was 71 years (+/-4.6), height 161 cm (+/-3.8), and weight 66 kg (+/-11.7). Quantitative isometric strength data were collected. Gait was monitored during unobstructed level walking and during stepping over an obstacle of four different heights randomly assigned (2.5%, 5%, 10%, and 15% of the subject's height). Balance was objectively assessed with computerized dynamic posturography consisting of the sensory organization test. Back extensor strength, grip strength, and all lower extremity muscle groups were significantly weaker in the O-K group than the control group (P controls for all conditions of unobstructed and obstructed level walking. Obstacle height had a significant effect on all center-of-mass variables. The O-K subjects had significantly greater balance abnormalities on computerized dynamic posturography than the control group (P =0.002). Data show that thoracic hyperkyphosis on a background of reduced muscle strength plays an important role in increasing body sway, gait unsteadiness, and risk of falls in osteoporosis.

  17. The contribution of human agricultural activities to increasing evapotranspiration is significantly greater than climate change effect over Heihe agricultural region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Minzhong; Niu, Jun; Kang, Shaozhong; Li, Xiaolin; Lu, Hongna

    2017-08-18

    Evapotranspiration (ET) is a major component linking the water, energy, and carbon cycles. Understanding changes in ET and the relative contribution rates of human activity and of climate change at the basin scale is important for sound water resources management. In this study, changes in ET in the Heihe agricultural region in northwest China during 1984-2014 were examined using remotely-sensed ET data with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). Correlation analysis identified the dominant factors that influence change in ET per unit area and those that influence change in total ET. Factor analysis identified the relative contribution rates of the dominant factors in each case. The results show that human activity, which includes factors for agronomy and irrigation, and climate change, including factors for precipitation and relative humidity, both contribute to increases in ET per unit area at rates of 60.93% and 28.01%, respectively. Human activity, including the same factors, and climate change, including factors for relative humidity and wind speed, contribute to increases in total ET at rates of 53.86% and 35.68%, respectively. Overall, in the Heihe agricultural region, the contribution of human agricultural activities to increased ET was significantly greater than that of climate change.

  18. Quantification of Na+,K+ pumps and their transport rate in skeletal muscle: Functional significance

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    During excitation, muscle cells gain Na+ and lose K+, leading to a rise in extracellular K+ ([K+]o), depolarization, and loss of excitability. Recent studies support the idea that these events are important causes of muscle fatigue and that full use of the Na+,K+-ATPase (also known as the Na+,K+ pump) is often essential for adequate clearance of extracellular K+. As a result of their electrogenic action, Na+,K+ pumps also help reverse depolarization arising during excitation, hyperkalemia, and anoxia, or from cell damage resulting from exercise, rhabdomyolysis, or muscle diseases. The ability to evaluate Na+,K+-pump function and the capacity of the Na+,K+ pumps to fill these needs require quantification of the total content of Na+,K+ pumps in skeletal muscle. Inhibition of Na+,K+-pump activity, or a decrease in their content, reduces muscle contractility. Conversely, stimulation of the Na+,K+-pump transport rate or increasing the content of Na+,K+ pumps enhances muscle excitability and contractility. Measurements of [3H]ouabain binding to skeletal muscle in vivo or in vitro have enabled the reproducible quantification of the total content of Na+,K+ pumps in molar units in various animal species, and in both healthy people and individuals with various diseases. In contrast, measurements of 3-O-methylfluorescein phosphatase activity associated with the Na+,K+-ATPase may show inconsistent results. Measurements of Na+ and K+ fluxes in intact isolated muscles show that, after Na+ loading or intense excitation, all the Na+,K+ pumps are functional, allowing calculation of the maximum Na+,K+-pumping capacity, expressed in molar units/g muscle/min. The activity and content of Na+,K+ pumps are regulated by exercise, inactivity, K+ deficiency, fasting, age, and several hormones and pharmaceuticals. Studies on the α-subunit isoforms of the Na+,K+-ATPase have detected a relative increase in their number in response to exercise and the glucocorticoid dexamethasone but have not

  19. Quantification of Na+,K+ pumps and their transport rate in skeletal muscle: functional significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clausen, Torben

    2013-10-01

    During excitation, muscle cells gain Na(+) and lose K(+), leading to a rise in extracellular K(+) ([K(+)]o), depolarization, and loss of excitability. Recent studies support the idea that these events are important causes of muscle fatigue and that full use of the Na(+),K(+)-ATPase (also known as the Na(+),K(+) pump) is often essential for adequate clearance of extracellular K(+). As a result of their electrogenic action, Na(+),K(+) pumps also help reverse depolarization arising during excitation, hyperkalemia, and anoxia, or from cell damage resulting from exercise, rhabdomyolysis, or muscle diseases. The ability to evaluate Na(+),K(+)-pump function and the capacity of the Na(+),K(+) pumps to fill these needs require quantification of the total content of Na(+),K(+) pumps in skeletal muscle. Inhibition of Na(+),K(+)-pump activity, or a decrease in their content, reduces muscle contractility. Conversely, stimulation of the Na(+),K(+)-pump transport rate or increasing the content of Na(+),K(+) pumps enhances muscle excitability and contractility. Measurements of [(3)H]ouabain binding to skeletal muscle in vivo or in vitro have enabled the reproducible quantification of the total content of Na(+),K(+) pumps in molar units in various animal species, and in both healthy people and individuals with various diseases. In contrast, measurements of 3-O-methylfluorescein phosphatase activity associated with the Na(+),K(+)-ATPase may show inconsistent results. Measurements of Na(+) and K(+) fluxes in intact isolated muscles show that, after Na(+) loading or intense excitation, all the Na(+),K(+) pumps are functional, allowing calculation of the maximum Na(+),K(+)-pumping capacity, expressed in molar units/g muscle/min. The activity and content of Na(+),K(+) pumps are regulated by exercise, inactivity, K(+) deficiency, fasting, age, and several hormones and pharmaceuticals. Studies on the α-subunit isoforms of the Na(+),K(+)-ATPase have detected a relative increase in their

  20. Significant Attributes and Challenges Related to Cross-Functional Team Communications

    OpenAIRE

    Ali, Majid

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The purpose of the research work is to investigate the importance of the communication in the cross-functional teams and in what which communicational tools provide better convenience of communication in cross-functional team members. Methodology An empirical study including the data collection from the interviews conducted from the participants working in cross-functional teams. Qualitative approach has been adopted to understand the communicational attributes in the cross-functional...

  1. Meniscofibular Ligament: Morphology and Functional Significance of a Relatively Unknown Anatomical Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Natsis

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. A relatively unknown ligamentous structure of the posterolateral corner of the knee joint, the so-called meniscofibular ligament (MFL, was investigated as regards its macroscopic morphology, its histological features, and its reaction to knee movements. Material and Methods. MFL was exposed on 21 fresh-frozen unpaired knee joints. Its microscopic morphology was examined utilizing for comparison the fibular collateral and the popliteofibular ligament. Results. MFL was encountered in 100% of the specimens as a thin striplike fibrous band extending between the lower border of the lateral meniscus and the head of the fibula. MFL was tense during knee extension and external rotation of the tibia, whereas its histological features were similar to those of fibular collateral and popliteofibular ligament. Discussion. Its precise histological nature is studied as well as its tension alterations during knee movements. The potential functional significance of the MFL with respect to its role in avoidance of lateral meniscus and lateral coronary ligament tears is discussed. Conclusions. MFL presumably provides an additional protection to the lateral meniscus during the last stages of knee extension, as well as to the lateral coronary ligament reducing the possibility of a potential rupture.

  2. The SGLT2 Inhibitor Dapagliflozin Significantly Improves the Peripheral Microvascular Endothelial Function in Patients with Uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugiyama, Seigo; Jinnouchi, Hideaki; Kurinami, Noboru; Hieshima, Kunio; Yoshida, Akira; Jinnouchi, Katsunori; Nishimura, Hiroyuki; Suzuki, Tomoko; Miyamoto, Fumio; Kajiwara, Keizo; Jinnouchi, Tomio

    2018-03-30

    Objective Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors reduce cardiovascular events and decrease the body fat mass in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We examined whether or not the SGLT2-inhibitor dapagliflozin can improve the endothelial function associated with a reduction in abdominal fat mass. Methods We prospectively recruited patients with uncontrolled (hemoglobin A1c [HbA1c] >7.0%) T2DM who were not being treated by SGLT2 inhibitors. Patients were treated with add-on dapagliflozin (5 mg/day) or non-SGLT2 inhibitor medicines for 6 months to improve their HbA1c. We measured the peripheral microvascular endothelial function as assessed by reactive hyperemia peripheral arterial tonometry (RH-PAT) and calculated the natural logarithmic transformed value of the RH-PAT index (LnRHI). We then investigated changes in the LnRHI and abdominal fat area using computed tomography (CT). Results The subjects were 54 patients with uncontrolled T2DM (72.2% men) with a mean HbA1c of 8.1%. The HbA1c was significantly decreased in both groups, with no significant difference between the groups. Dapagliflozin treatment, but not non-SGLT2 inhibitor treatment, significantly increased the LnRHI. The changes in the LnRHI were significantly greater in the dapagliflozin group than in the non-SGLT2 inhibitor group. Dapagliflozin treatment, but not non-SGLT2 inhibitor treatment, significantly decreased the abdominal visceral fat area, subcutaneous fat area (SFA), and total fat area (TFA) as assessed by CT and significantly increased the plasma adiponectin levels. The percentage changes in the LnRHI were significantly correlated with changes in the SFA, TFA, systolic blood pressure, and adiponectin. Conclusion Add-on treatment with dapagliflozin significantly improves the glycemic control and endothelial function associated with a reduction in the abdominal fat mass in patients with uncontrolled T2DM.

  3. Increased Auditory Startle Reflex in Children with Functional Abdominal Pain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, Mirte J.; Boer, Frits; Benninga, Marc A.; Koelman, Johannes H. T. M.; Tijssen, Marina A. J.

    2010-01-01

    Objective To test the hypothesis that children with abdominal pain-related functional gastrointestinal disorders have a general hypersensitivity for sensory stimuli. Study design Auditory startle reflexes were assessed in 20 children classified according to Rome III classifications of abdominal

  4. Increased Auditory Startle Reflex in Children with Functional Abdominal Pain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, Mirte J.; Boer, Frits; Benninga, Marc A.; Koelman, Johannes H. T. M.; Tijssen, Marina A. J.

    Objective To test the hypothesis that children with abdominal pain-related functional gastrointestinal disorders have a general hypersensitivity for sensory stimuli. Study design Auditory startle reflexes were assessed in 20 children classified according to Rome III classifications of abdominal

  5. Plucking the Golden Goose: Higher Royalty Rates on the Oil Sands Generate Significant Increases in Government Revenue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenneth J. McKenzie

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The Alberta government’s 2009 New Royalty Framework elicited resistance on the part of the energy industry, leading to subsequent reductions in the royalties imposed on natural gas and conventional oil. However, the oil sands sector, subject to different terms, quickly accepted the new arrangement with little complaint, recognizing it as win-win situation for industry and the government. Under the framework, Alberta recoups much more money in royalties — about $1 billion over the two year period of 2009 and 2010 — without impinging significantly on investment in the oil sands. This brief paper demonstrates that by spreading the financial risks and benefits to everyone involved, the new framework proves it’s possible to generate increased revenue without frightening off future investment. The same model could conceivably be applied to the conventional oil and natural gas sectors.

  6. A functionally significant polymorphism in ID3 is associated with human coronary pathology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ani Manichaikul

    Full Text Available We previously identified association between the ID3 SNP rs11574 and carotid intima-media thickness in the Diabetes Heart Study, a predominantly White diabetic population. The nonsynonymous SNP rs11574 results in an amino acid substitution in the C-terminal region of ID3, attenuating the dominant negative function of ID3 as an inhibitor of basic HLH factor E12-mediated transcription. In the current investigation, we characterize the association between the functionally significant polymorphism in ID3, rs11574, with human coronary pathology.The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA is a longitudinal study of subclinical cardiovascular disease, including non-Hispanic White (n = 2,588, African American (n = 2,560 and Hispanic (n = 2,130 participants with data on coronary artery calcium (CAC. The Coronary Assessment in Virginia cohort (CAVA included 71 patients aged 30-80 years, undergoing a medically necessary cardiac catheterization and intravascular ultrasound (IVUS at the University of Virginia. ID3 SNP rs11574 risk allele was associated with the presence of CAC in MESA Whites (P = 0.017. In addition, the risk allele was associated with greater atheroma burden and stenosis in the CAVA cohort (P = 0.003, P = 0.04 respectively. The risk allele remained predictive of atheroma burden in multivariate analysis (Model 1: covariates age, gender, and LDL, regression coefficient = 9.578, SE = 3.657, p = 0.0110; Model 2: covariates Model 1, presence of hypertension, presence of diabetes, regression coefficient = 8.389, SE = 4.788, p = 0.0163.We present additional cohorts that demonstrate association of ID3 SNP rs11574 directly with human coronary artery pathology as measured by CAC and IVUS: one a multiethnic, relatively healthy population with low levels of diabetes and the second a predominantly White population with a higher incidence of T2DM referred for cardiac catheterization.

  7. A Prolonged Time Interval Between Trauma and Prophylactic Radiation Therapy Significantly Increases the Risk of Heterotopic Ossification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mourad, Waleed F., E-mail: Waleed246@gmail.com [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS (United States); Department of Radiation Oncology, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY (Israel); Packianathan, Satyaseelan [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS (United States); Shourbaji, Rania A. [Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS (United States); Zhang Zhen; Graves, Mathew [Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS (United States); Khan, Majid A. [Department of Radiology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS (United States); Baird, Michael C. [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS (United States); Russell, George [Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS (United States); Vijayakumar, Srinivasan [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS (United States)

    2012-03-01

    Purpose: To ascertain whether the time from injury to prophylactic radiation therapy (RT) influences the rate of heterotopic ossification (HO) after operative treatment of displaced acetabular fractures. Methods and Materials: This is a single-institution, retrospective analysis of patients referred for RT for the prevention of HO. Between January 2000 and January 2009, 585 patients with displaced acetabular fractures were treated surgically followed by RT for HO prevention. We analyzed the effect of time from injury on prevention of HO by RT. In all patients, 700 cGy was prescribed in a single fraction and delivered within 72 hours postsurgery. The patients were stratified into five groups according to time interval (in days) from the date of their accident to the date of RT: Groups A {<=}3, B {<=}7, C {<=}14, D {<=}21, and E >21days. Results: Of the 585 patients with displaced acetabular fractures treated with RT, (18%) 106 patients developed HO within the irradiated field. The risk of HO after RT increased from 10% for RT delivered {<=}3 days to 92% for treatment delivered >21 days after the initial injury. Wilcoxon test showed a significant correlation between the risk of HO and the length of time from injury to RT (p < 0.0001). Chi-square test and multiple logistic regression analysis showed no significant association between all other factors and the risk of HO (race, gender, cause and type of fracture, surgical approach, or the use of indomethacin). Conclusions: Our data suggest that there is higher incidence and risk of HO if prophylactic RT is significantly delayed after a displaced acetabular fracture. Thus, RT should be administered as early as clinically possible after the trauma. Patients undergoing RT >3 weeks from their displaced acetabular fracture should be informed of the higher risk (>90%) of developing HO despite prophylaxis.

  8. Significance of increased lung thallium-201 activity on serial cardiac images after dipyridamole treatment in coronary heart disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Okada, R.D.; Dai, Y.H.; Boucher, C.A.; Pohost, G.M.

    1984-01-01

    Increased lung thallium-201 (Tl-201) activity occurs in patients with severe coronary artery disease (CAD) on initial postexercise images. To determine the significance of assessing lung Tl-201 on serial imaging after dipyridamole therapy, initial and delayed (2 to 3 hours) Tl-201 imaging was performed in 40 patients with CAD and 26 normal control subjects. Lung Tl-201 activity was quantitated as a percentage of maximal myocardial activity for each imaging time (lung Tl-201 index). The mean initial lung Tl-201 activity was 42 +/- 2% (+/- standard error of the mean) in 26 control subjects, 56 +/- 2% in 25 patients with 2- or 3-vessel CAD (p less than 0.001) and 53 +/- 2% in 15 patients with 1-vessel CAD (p less than 0.005 compared with control subjects) (difference not significant between 1-vessel and multivessel CAD). Dipyridamole lung Tl-201 activity decreased relative to the myocardium from initial to delayed images (p less than 0.001) in patients with CAD but not in control subjects. When a dipyridamole lung Tl-201 index of 58% (mean +/- 2 standard deviations for control subjects) was chosen as the upper limit of normal, 14 of 40 of the CAD patients (35%) had abnormal values and all control patients had values within normal limits. These 14 patients with CAD and abnormal initial lung Tl-201 indexes had rest ejection fractions that were not significantly different from those in patients with CAD, and normal initial dipyridamole lung Tl-201 index (58 +/- 4% and 63 +/- 2%, respectively)

  9. Pressure sores significantly increase the risk of developing a Fournier's gangrene in patients with spinal cord injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Backhaus, M; Citak, M; Tilkorn, D-J; Meindl, R; Schildhauer, T A; Fehmer, T

    2011-11-01

    Retrospective chart review. The aim of our study was to evaluate the mortality rate and further specific risk factors for Fournier's gangrene in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). Division of Spinal Cord Injury, BG-University Hospital Bergmannsheil Bochum, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany. All patients with a SCI and a Fournier's gangrene treated in our hospital were enrolled in this study. Following parameters were taken form patients medical records: age, type of SCI, cause of Fournier's gangrene, number of surgical debridements, length of hospital and intensive care unit stay, co morbidity factors and mortality rate. In addition, laboratory parameter including the laboratory risk indicator for necrotizing fasciitis (LRINEC) score and microbiological findings were analyzed. Clinical diagnosis was made via histological examination. A total of 16 male patients (15 paraplegic and one tetraplegic) were included in the study. In 81% of all cases, the origin of Fournier's gangrene was a pressure sore. The median LRINEC score on admission was 6.5. In the vast majority of cases, a polybacterial infection was found. No patient died during the hospital stay. The mean number of surgical debridements before soft tissue closure was 1.9 and after a mean time interval of 39.1 days wound closure was performed in all patients. Pressure sores significantly increase the risk of developing Fournier's gangrene in patients with SCI. We reported the results of our patients to increase awareness among physicians and training staff working with patients with a SCI in order to expedite the diagnosis.

  10. Virtual water maze learning in human increases functional connectivity between posterior hippocampus and dorsal caudate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolley, Daniel G; Mantini, Dante; Coxon, James P; D'Hooge, Rudi; Swinnen, Stephan P; Wenderoth, Nicole

    2015-04-01

    Recent work has demonstrated that functional connectivity between remote brain regions can be modulated by task learning or the performance of an already well-learned task. Here, we investigated the extent to which initial learning and stable performance of a spatial navigation task modulates functional connectivity between subregions of hippocampus and striatum. Subjects actively navigated through a virtual water maze environment and used visual cues to learn the position of a fixed spatial location. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans were collected before and after virtual water maze navigation in two scan sessions conducted 1 week apart, with a behavior-only training session in between. There was a large significant reduction in the time taken to intercept the target location during scan session 1 and a small significant reduction during the behavior-only training session. No further reduction was observed during scan session 2. This indicates that scan session 1 represented initial learning and scan session 2 represented stable performance. We observed an increase in functional connectivity between left posterior hippocampus and left dorsal caudate that was specific to scan session 1. Importantly, the magnitude of the increase in functional connectivity was correlated with offline gains in task performance. Our findings suggest cooperative interaction occurs between posterior hippocampus and dorsal caudate during awake rest following the initial phase of spatial navigation learning. Furthermore, we speculate that the increase in functional connectivity observed during awake rest after initial learning might reflect consolidation-related processing. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Unequivocal detection of ozone recovery in the Antarctic Ozone Hole through significant increases in atmospheric layers with minimum ozone

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Laat, Jos; van Weele, Michiel; van der A, Ronald

    2015-04-01

    An important new landmark in present day ozone research is presented through MLS satellite observations of significant ozone increases during the ozone hole season that are attributed unequivocally to declining ozone depleting substances. For many decades the Antarctic ozone hole has been the prime example of both the detrimental effects of human activities on our environment as well as how to construct effective and successful environmental policies. Nowadays atmospheric concentrations of ozone depleting substances are on the decline and first signs of recovery of stratospheric ozone and ozone in the Antarctic ozone hole have been observed. The claimed detection of significant recovery, however, is still subject of debate. In this talk we will discuss first current uncertainties in the assessment of ozone recovery in the Antarctic ozone hole by using multi-variate regression methods, and, secondly present an alternative approach to identify ozone hole recovery unequivocally. Even though multi-variate regression methods help to reduce uncertainties in estimates of ozone recovery, great care has to be taken in their application due to the existence of uncertainties and degrees of freedom in the choice of independent variables. We show that taking all uncertainties into account in the regressions the formal recovery of ozone in the Antarctic ozone hole cannot be established yet, though is likely before the end of the decade (before 2020). Rather than focusing on time and area averages of total ozone columns or ozone profiles, we argue that the time evolution of the probability distribution of vertically resolved ozone in the Antarctic ozone hole contains a better fingerprint for the detection of ozone recovery in the Antarctic ozone hole. The advantages of this method over more tradition methods of trend analyses based on spatio-temporal average ozone are discussed. The 10-year record of MLS satellite measurements of ozone in the Antarctic ozone hole shows a

  12. Neonatal infection produces significant changes in immune function with no associated learning deficits in juvenile rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osborne, Brittany F; Caulfield, Jasmine I; Solomotis, Samantha A; Schwarz, Jaclyn M

    2017-10-01

    The current experiments examined the impact of early-life immune activation and a subsequent mild immune challenge with lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 25µg/kg) on hippocampal-dependent learning, proinflammatory cytokine expression in the brain, and peripheral immune function in juvenile male and female rats at P24, an age when hippocampal-dependent learning and memory first emerges. Our results indicate that neonatal infection did not produce learning deficits in the hippocampal-dependent context pre-exposure facilitation effect paradigm in juvenile males and females, contrary to what has been observed in adults. Neonatal infection produced an increase in baseline IL-1β expression in the hippocampus (HP) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of juvenile rats. Furthermore, neonatally infected rats showed exaggerated IL-1β expression in the HP following LPS treatment as juveniles; and juvenile females, but not males, showed exaggerated IL-1β expression in the mPFC following LPS treatment. Neonatal infection attenuated the production of IL-6 expression following LPS treatment in both the brain and the spleen, and neonatal infection decreased the numbers of circulating white blood cells in juvenile males and females, an effect that was further exacerbated by subsequent LPS treatment. Together, our data indicate that the consequences of neonatal infection are detectable even early in juvenile development, though we found no concomitant hippocampal-dependent learning deficits at this young age. These findings underscore the need to consider age and associated on-going neurodevelopmental processes as important factors contributing to the emergence of cognitive and behavioral disorders linked to early-life immune activation. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 77: 1221-1236, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Thioredoxin and Thioredoxin Target Proteins: From Molecular Mechanisms to Functional Significance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Samuel; Kim, Soo Min

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The thioredoxin (Trx) system is one of the central antioxidant systems in mammalian cells, maintaining a reducing environment by catalyzing electron flux from nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate through Trx reductase to Trx, which reduces its target proteins using highly conserved thiol groups. While the importance of protecting cells from the detrimental effects of reactive oxygen species is clear, decades of research in this field revealed that there is a network of redox-sensitive proteins forming redox-dependent signaling pathways that are crucial for fundamental cellular processes, including metabolism, proliferation, differentiation, migration, and apoptosis. Trx participates in signaling pathways interacting with different proteins to control their dynamic regulation of structure and function. In this review, we focus on Trx target proteins that are involved in redox-dependent signaling pathways. Specifically, Trx-dependent reductive enzymes that participate in classical redox reactions and redox-sensitive signaling molecules are discussed in greater detail. The latter are extensively discussed, as ongoing research unveils more and more details about the complex signaling networks of Trx-sensitive signaling molecules such as apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1, Trx interacting protein, and phosphatase and tensin homolog, thus highlighting the potential direct and indirect impact of their redox-dependent interaction with Trx. Overall, the findings that are described here illustrate the importance and complexity of Trx-dependent, redox-sensitive signaling in the cell. Our increasing understanding of the components and mechanisms of these signaling pathways could lead to the identification of new potential targets for the treatment of diseases, including cancer and diabetes. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 18, 1165–1207. PMID:22607099

  14. Increased Executive Functioning, Attention, and Cortical Thickness in White-Collar Criminals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raine, Adrian; Laufer, William S.; Yang, Yaling; Narr, Katherine L.; Thompson, Paul; Toga, Arthur W.

    2011-01-01

    Very little is known on white collar crime and how it differs to other forms of offending. This study tests the hypothesis that white collar criminals have better executive functioning, enhanced information processing, and structural brain superiorities compared to offender controls. Using a case-control design, executive functioning, orienting, and cortical thickness was assessed in 21 white collar criminals matched with 21 controls on age, gender, ethnicity, and general level of criminal offending. White collar criminals had significantly better executive functioning, increased electrodermal orienting, increased arousal, and increased cortical gray matter thickness in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, inferior frontal gyrus, somatosensory cortex, and the temporal-parietal junction compared to controls. Results, while initial, constitute the first findings on neurobiological characteristics of white-collar criminals It is hypothesized that white collar criminals have information-processing and brain superiorities that give them an advantage in perpetrating criminal offenses in occupational settings. PMID:22002326

  15. Loss of otolith function with age is associated with increased postural sway measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrador, Jorge M; Lipsitz, Lewis A; Gopalakrishnan, Gosala S; Black, F Owen; Wood, Scott J

    2009-11-06

    Loss of balance and increased fall risk is a common problem associated with aging. Changes in vestibular function occur with aging but the contribution of reduced vestibular otolith function to fall risk remains unknown. We examined a population of 151 healthy individuals (aged 21-93) for both balance (sway measures) and ocular counter-rolling (OCR) function. We assessed balance function with eyes open and closed on a firm surface, eyes open and closed on a foam surface and OCR during +/-20 degree roll tilt at 0.005 Hz. Subjects demonstrated a significant age-related reduction in OCR and increase in postural sway. The effect of age on OCR was greater in females than males. The reduction in OCR was strongly correlated with the mediolateral measures of sway with eyes closed. This correlation was also present in the elderly group alone, suggesting that aging alone does not account for this effect. OCR decreased linearly with age and at a greater rate in females than males. This loss of vestibular otolith-ocular function is associated with increased mediolateral measures of sway which have been shown to be related to increased risk of falls. These data suggest a role for loss of otolith function in contributing to fall risk in the elderly. Further prospective, longitudinal studies are necessary to confirm these findings.

  16. Obesity-induced oxidative stress, accelerated functional decline with age and increased mortality in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yiqiang; Fischer, Kathleen E; Soto, Vanessa; Liu, Yuhong; Sosnowska, Danuta; Richardson, Arlan; Salmon, Adam B

    2015-06-15

    Obesity is a serious chronic disease that increases the risk of numerous co-morbidities including metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and cancer as well as increases risk of mortality, leading some to suggest this condition represents accelerated aging. Obesity is associated with significant increases in oxidative stress in vivo and, despite the well-explored relationship between oxidative stress and aging, the role this plays in the increased mortality of obese subjects remains an unanswered question. Here, we addressed this by undertaking a comprehensive, longitudinal study of a group of high fat-fed obese mice and assessed both their changes in oxidative stress and in their performance in physiological assays known to decline with aging. In female C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet starting in adulthood, mortality was significantly increased as was oxidative damage in vivo. High fat-feeding significantly accelerated the decline in performance in several assays, including activity, gait, and rotarod. However, we also found that obesity had little effect on other markers of function and actually improved performance in grip strength, a marker of muscular function. Together, this first comprehensive assessment of longitudinal, functional changes in high fat-fed mice suggests that obesity may induce segmental acceleration of some of the aging process. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  17. Spatial distribution and functional significance of leaf lamina shape in Amazonian forest trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. C. M. Malhado

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Leaves in tropical forests come in an enormous variety of sizes and shapes, each of which can be ultimately viewed as an adaptation to the complex problem of optimising the capture of light for photosynthesis. However, the fact that many different shape "strategies" coexist within a habitat demonstrate that there are many other intrinsic and extrinsic factors involved, such as the differential investment in support tissues required for different leaf lamina shapes. Here, we take a macrogeographic approach to understanding the function of different lamina shape categories. Specifically, we use 106 permanent plots spread across the Amazon rainforest basin to: 1 describe the geographic distribution of some simple metrics of lamina shape in plots from across Amazonia, and; 2 identify and quantify relationships between key environmental parameters and lamina shape in tropical forests. Because the plots are not randomly distributed across the study area, achieving this latter objective requires the use of statistics that can account for spatial auto-correlation. We found that between 60–70% of the 2791 species and 83 908 individual trees in the dataset could be classified as having elliptic leaves (= the widest part of the leaf is on an axis in the middle fifth of the long axis of the leaf. Furthermore, the average Amazonian tree leaf is 2.5 times longer than it is wide and has an entire margin. Contrary to theoretical expectations we found little support for the hypothesis that narrow leaves are an adaptation to dry conditions. However, we did find strong regional patterns in leaf lamina length-width ratios and several significant correlations with precipitation variables suggesting that water availability may be exerting an as yet unrecognised selective pressure on leaf shape of rainforest trees. Some support was found for the hypothesis that narrow leaves are an adaptation to low nutrient soils. Furthermore, we found a strong correlation between

  18. [Videofluoroscopic evaluation of the functional significance of the epiglottis in adults].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, M M

    1998-01-01

    Our intention was to define the functional role of the epiglottis. Accordingly, we analysed its movements and correlation in 53 videofluroscopic exams: 26 were good health volunteers, 25 were patients with dysphagia and two were persons with pharyngeal diverticula. The exams register the rest phase, chewing, and the swallowing movements during the intake of the saliva, water, barium solution and different volumes of mass made with crumbled bread mixed with barium powder. We can see three sequential stages in epiglottic movement during swallowing. The first stage involves an upward epiglottic shift determined by hioepiglottic ligament, associated with a simultaneous bending caused by the tongue backward projection. The second stage is a posterior rotation of the epiglottis, limited by the adjustment of the epiglottic tubercle to the vestibular fold, determined by laryngeal upward shift against hyoid bone. The third stage in which occurs an eversion of the free extremity of the epiglottis beyond the horizontal plane can be absent in slow pressure swallowing. All stages of the epiglottic dynamics are passive. We have shown that the epiglottis has a protective action on the repiratory airways not limited to swallowing. It participates, during swallowing and regurgitation (vomica), through the passive adjustment of the intralaryngeal posterior surface of the epiglottis (epiglottic tubercle) to the vestibular folds. Both before and after swallowing, when frequently there are escapes of residues and small volumes out of the oral cavity, the epiglottis protects the repiratory airways, through its participation in the formation of the valleculae and as an insertion point for the aryepiglottic folds. In association with epiglottis participation there is a stretching of the aryepiglottic folds that allow a definition of the lateral channels. The upward and forward movements of the larynx associated with the opening of the pharyngoesophageal transition, that occurs

  19. Endothelial Function as a Possible Significant Determinant of Cardiac Function during Exercise in Patients with Structural Heart Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bonpei Takase

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This study was investigated the role that endothelial function and systemic vascular resistance (SVR play in determining cardiac function reserve during exercise by a new ambulatory radionuclide monitoring system (VEST in patients with heart disease. The study population consisted of 32 patients. The patients had cardiopulmonary stress testing using the treadmill Ramp protocol and the VEST. The anaerobic threshold (AT was autodetermined using the V-slope method. The SVR was calculated by determining the mean blood pressure/cardiac output. Flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD was measured in the brachial artery to evaluate endotheilial function. FMD and the percent change f'rom rest to AT in SVR correlated with those from rest to AT in ejection fraction and peak ejection ratio by VEST, respectively. Our findings suggest that FMD in the brachial artery and the SVR determined by VEST in patients with heart disease can possibly reflect cardiac function reserve during aerobic exercise.

  20. Marrying Step Feed with Secondary Clarifier Improvements to Significantly Increase Peak Wet Weather Treatment Capacity: An Integrated Methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daigger, Glen T; Siczka, John S; Smith, Thomas F; Frank, David A; McCorquodale, J A

    2017-08-01

      The need to increase the peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity of the City of Akron, Ohio, Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) provided the opportunity to test an integrated methodology for maximizing the peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity of activated sludge systems. An initial investigation, consisting of process modeling of the secondary treatment system and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis of the existing relatively shallow secondary clarifiers (3.3 and 3.7 m sidewater depth in 30.5 m diameter units), indicated that a significant increase in capacity from 416 000 to 684 000 m3/d or more was possible by adding step feed capabilities to the existing bioreactors and upgrading the existing secondary clarifiers. One of the six treatment units at the WRF was modified, and an extensive 2-year testing program was conducted to determine the total peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity achievable. The results demonstrated that a peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity approaching 974 000 m3/d is possible as long as secondary clarifier solids and hydraulic loadings could be separately controlled using the step feed capability provided. Excellent sludge settling characteristics are routinely experienced at the City of Akron WRF, raising concerns that the identified peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity could not be maintained should sludge settling characteristics deteriorate for some reason. Computational fluid dynamics analysis indicated that the impact of the deterioration of sludge settling characteristics could be mitigated and the identified peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity maintained by further use of the step feed capability provided to further reduce secondary clarifier solids loading rates at the identified high surface overflow rates. The results also demonstrated that effluent limits not only for total suspended solids (TSS) and five-day carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand (cBOD5) could be

  1. Prenatal prochloraz treatment significantly increases pregnancy length and reduces offspring weight but does not affect social-olfactory memory in rats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dmytriyeva, Oksana; Klementiev, Boris; Berezin, Vladimir

    2013-01-01

    Metabolites of the commonly used imidazole fungicide prochloraz are androgen receptor antagonists. They have been shown to block androgen-driven development and compromise reproductive function. We tested the effect of prochloraz on cognitive behavior following exposure to this fungicide during...... the perinatal period. Pregnant Wistar rats were administered a 200mg/kg dose of prochloraz on gestational day (GD) 7, GD11, and GD15. The social recognition test (SRT) was performed on 7-week-old male rat offspring. We found an increase in pregnancy length and a significantly reduced pup weight on PND15 and PND...

  2. Restoration using Azolla imbricata increases nitrogen functional bacterial groups and genes in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Xiao-Ming; Lu, Peng-Zhen; Yang, Ke

    2017-05-01

    Microbial groups are major factors that influence soil function. Currently, there is a lack of studies on microbial functional groups. Although soil microorganisms play an important role in the nitrogen cycle, systematic studies of the effects of environmental factors on microbial populations in relation to key metabolic processes in the nitrogen cycle are seldom reported. In this study, we conducted a systematic analysis of the changes in nitrogen functional groups in mandarin orange garden soil treated with Azolla imbricata. The structures of the major functional bacterial groups and the functional gene abundances involved in key processes of the soil nitrogen cycle were analyzed using high-throughput sequencing (HTS) and quantitative real-time PCR, respectively. The results indicated that returning A. imbricata had an important influence on the composition of soil nitrogen functional bacterial communities. Treatment with A. imbricata increased the diversity of the nitrogen functional bacteria. The abundances of nitrogen functional genes were significantly higher in the treated soil compared with the control soil. Both the diversity of the major nitrogen functional bacteria (nifH bacteria, nirK bacteria, and narG bacteria) and the abundances of nitrogen functional genes in the soil showed significant positive correlations with the soil pH, the organic carbon content, available nitrogen, available phosphorus, and NH 4 + -N and NO 3 - -N contents. Treatment with 12.5 kg fresh A. imbricata per mandarin orange tree was effective to improve the quality of the mandarin orange garden soil. This study analyzed the mechanism of the changes in functional bacterial groups and genes involved in key metabolic processes of the nitrogen cycle in soil treated by A. imbricata.

  3. Functional responses of North Atlantic fish eggs to increasing temperature

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tsoukali, Stavroula; Visser, Andre; MacKenzie, Brian

    2016-01-01

    -days and survival of fish eggs from 32 populations of 17 species in the North Atlantic to different temperatures in order to determine potential consequences of global warming for these species. The response of development time exhibited a similar decreasing trend with respect to temperature across species....... There was an overall decrease, across species, in an index of thermal requirement (cumulative degree-days) for egg development with increasing temperature. Within an empirically derived optimal thermal range for egg survival, the thermal requirement was more variable in species adapted to cold waters compared...... to species adapted to warmer waters. Moreover, the sensitivity of survival of eggs from different species to increases in temperature differed, reflecting a pattern of sensitivity along a stenotherm-eurytherm gradient of vulnerability to temperature among species. The results quantify physiological effects...

  4. Increased podocyte Sirtuin-1 function attenuates diabetic kidney injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Quan; Zhang, Lu; Das, Bhaskar; Li, Zhengzhe; Liu, Bohan; Cai, Guangyan; Chen, Xiangmei; Chuang, Peter Y; He, John Cijiang; Lee, Kyung

    2018-06-01

    Podocyte injury and loss contribute to the progression of glomerular diseases, including diabetic kidney disease. We previously found that the glomerular expression of Sirtuin-1 (SIRT1) is reduced in human diabetic glomeruli and that the podocyte-specific loss of SIRT1 aggravated albuminuria and worsened kidney disease progression in diabetic mice. SIRT1 encodes an NAD-dependent deacetylase that modifies the activity of key transcriptional regulators affected in diabetic kidneys, including NF-κB, STAT3, p53, FOXO4, and PGC1-α. However, whether the increased glomerular SIRT1 activity is sufficient to ameliorate the pathogenesis of diabetic kidney disease has not been explored. We addressed this by inducible podocyte-specific SIRT1 overexpression in diabetic OVE26 mice. The induction of SIRT1 overexpression in podocytes for six weeks in OVE26 mice with established albuminuria attenuated the progression of diabetic glomerulopathy. To further validate the therapeutic potential of increased SIRT1 activity against diabetic kidney disease, we developed a new, potent and selective SIRT1 agonist, BF175. In cultured podocytes BF175 increased SIRT1-mediated activation of PGC1-α and protected against high glucose-mediated mitochondrial injury. In vivo, administration of BF175 for six weeks in OVE26 mice resulted in a marked reduction in albuminuria and in glomerular injury in a manner similar to podocyte-specific SIRT1 overexpression. Both podocyte-specific SIRT1 overexpression and BT175 treatment attenuated diabetes-induced podocyte loss and reduced oxidative stress in glomeruli of OVE26 mice. Thus, increased SIRT1 activity protects against diabetes-induced podocyte injury and effectively mitigates the progression of diabetic kidney disease. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. Functional Significance of Iron Deficiency. Annual Nutrition Workshop Series, Volume III.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enwonwu, Cyril O., Ed.

    Iron deficiency anemia impairs cognitive performance, physical capacity, and thermoregulation. Recent evidence suggests that these functional impairments are also evident in subclinical nonanemic iron deficiency. Very little is known about the relevance of the latter to the health of blacks, who have been shown to have the highest prevalence of…

  6. The claustrum: a historical review of its anatomy, physiology, cytochemistry and functional significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edelstein, L R; Denaro, F J

    2004-09-01

    The claustrum (Cl) is a subcortical structure located in the basolateral telencephalon of the mammalian brain. It has been a subject of inquiry since the mid-nineteenth century. The Cl can be identified in a number of species, and appears as a phylogenetically related nucleus in Insectivores, Prosimians and Marsupials. Ontogenetic investigations have been the subject of much debate over the years. There are three hypotheses for claustral development. To date, the "hybrid theory" has garnered the most support. Pathological conditions specifically associated with the Cl, while few in number, are of interest from a functional perspective. Several cases of claustral agenesis have been reported. The implications of these clinical reports are discussed. Claustral neuroanatomy at the light-microscopic and electron-microscopic level is reviewed. The morphology of the claustral neuron consists of several types, which roughly corresponds to the neuron's location within distinct claustral subdivisions. The interconnectivity of the Cl with the cerebral cortex is rather complex and reflective of complex functional interrelationships. Several researchers have investigated the angioarchitecture of the Cl. It appears that vessels permeating the insula also vascularize the Cl. Literature investigating the neurotransmitters and overall chemical neuroanatomy of the Cl is extensive. These studies clearly demonstrate that the Cl is richly innervated with a wide and diverse array of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators. Lesion, stimulation and recording experiments demonstrate that the functional and physiologic capacity of the Cl is quite robust. A recurring theme of claustral function appears to be its involvement in sensorimotor integration. This may be expected of the Cl, given the degree ofheterotopic, heterosensory convergence and its interconnectivity with the key subcortical nuclei and sensory cortical areas. The Cl remains a poorly understood and under investigated nucleus

  7. Impact of Lesion Length on Functional Significance in Intermediate Coronary Lesions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morteza Safi

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: The present study aimed at assessing the role of lesion length in predicting Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR value for physiological evaluation of intermediate coronary lesions.Methods: In the current study, 68 patients with 83 coronary lesions were enrolled. All of the patients in this study underwent routine coronary angiography, according to appropriate indications. To evaluate physiologically significant intermediate coronary stenosis (defined between 40% and 70% on visual estimation, the Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR study was performed and the Quantitative Coronary Angiography (QCA data were also assessed for measurement of lesion length. The correlation between QCA data and FFR values was also examined.Results: Eighty-three lesions were evaluated from 68 patients. Stenosis was considered physiologically significant when FFR was lower than 0.75. The FFR was significant in twelve lesions (14.5%. There was a negative correlation between FFR value and lesion length (r = -0.294 and P = 0.013. Moreover, lesion length in physiologically significant FFR group (21.07  ± 6.9 was greater than that of the non-significant FFR group (15.23 ± 6.5 (P value < 0.05. Furthermore, the correlation between QCA data and FFR values was also investigated, yet, there was only a positive correlation between FFR and Minimum Luminal Diameter (MLD values (r = 0.248 and P value = 0.04. The Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC curve analysis for predicting the significant FFR value demonstrated that a lesion length greater than 17.5 mm was the best cut-off point for prediction of the significant FFR value with acceptable sensitivity and specificity of 83.3% and 68.8%, respectively.Conclusions: There is a negative correlation between lesion length and FFR value in intermediate coronary lesions. In addition, a lesion length greater than 17.5 mm is the best cut- off point for prediction of significant FFR values.

  8. Advanced Functional Polymers for Increasing the Stability of Organic Photovoltaics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bundgaard, Eva; Helgesen, Martin; Carlé, Jon Eggert

    2013-01-01

    The development of new advanced polymers for improving the stability of OPV is reviewed. Two main degradation pathways for the OPV active layer are identified: photochemically initiated reactions primarily starting in the side chains and morphological changes that degrade the important nanostruct......The development of new advanced polymers for improving the stability of OPV is reviewed. Two main degradation pathways for the OPV active layer are identified: photochemically initiated reactions primarily starting in the side chains and morphological changes that degrade the important...... nanostructure. Chemical units can be introduced that impart an increased stability. Similarly, the morphological degradation of the optimal nanostructure can be reduced. Active polymers and blends with acceptor material are used to create nanoparticle links with controlled size. Most of these advanced polymers...

  9. Functional significance of the electrocorticographic auditory responses in the premotor cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazuyo eTanji

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Other than well-known motor activities in the precentral gyrus, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI studies have found that the ventral part of the precentral gyrus is activated in response to linguistic auditory stimuli. It has been proposed that the premotor cortex in the precentral gyrus is responsible for the comprehension of speech, but the precise function of this area is still debated because patients with frontal lesions that include the precentral gyrus do not exhibit disturbances in speech comprehension. We report on a patient who underwent resection of the tumor in the precentral gyrus with electrocorticographic recordings while she performed the verb generation task during awake brain craniotomy. Consistent with previous fMRI studies, high-gamma band auditory activity was observed in the precentral gyrus. Due to the location of the tumor, the patient underwent resection of the auditory responsive precentral area which resulted in the post-operative expression of a characteristic articulatory disturbance known as apraxia of speech (AOS. The language function of the patient was otherwise preserved and she exhibited intact comprehension of both spoken and written language. The present findings demonstrated that a lesion restricted to the ventral precentral gyrus is sufficient for the expression of AOS and suggest that the auditory-responsive area plays an important role in the execution of fluent speech rather than the comprehension of speech. These findings also confirm that the function of the premotor area is predominantly motor in nature and its sensory responses is more consistent with the ‘sensory theory of speech production’, in which it was proposed that sensory representations are used to guide motor-articulatory processes.

  10. The effect of increased loads of dissolved organic matter on estuarine microbial community composition and function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Traving, Sachia J.; Rowe, Owen; Jakobsen, Nina M.

    2017-01-01

    Increased river loads are projected as one of the major consequences of climate change in the northern hemisphere, leading to elevated inputs of riverine dissolved organic matter (DOM) and inorganic nutrients to coastal ecosystems. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of ele...... supply to the Baltic Sea will be efficiently mineralized by microbes. This will have consequences for bacterioplankton and phytoplankton community composition and function, and significantly affect nutrient biogeochemistry....

  11. Characterization and potential functional significance of human-chimpanzee large INDEL variation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Polavarapu Nalini

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although humans and chimpanzees have accumulated significant differences in a number of phenotypic traits since diverging from a common ancestor about six million years ago, their genomes are more than 98.5% identical at protein-coding loci. This modest degree of nucleotide divergence is not sufficient to explain the extensive phenotypic differences between the two species. It has been hypothesized that the genetic basis of the phenotypic differences lies at the level of gene regulation and is associated with the extensive insertion and deletion (INDEL variation between the two species. To test the hypothesis that large INDELs (80 to 12,000 bp may have contributed significantly to differences in gene regulation between the two species, we categorized human-chimpanzee INDEL variation mapping in or around genes and determined whether this variation is significantly correlated with previously determined differences in gene expression. Results Extensive, large INDEL variation exists between the human and chimpanzee genomes. This variation is primarily attributable to retrotransposon insertions within the human lineage. There is a significant correlation between differences in gene expression and large human-chimpanzee INDEL variation mapping in genes or in proximity to them. Conclusions The results presented herein are consistent with the hypothesis that large INDELs, particularly those associated with retrotransposons, have played a significant role in human-chimpanzee regulatory evolution.

  12. Functional assays for analysis of variants of uncertain significance in BRCA2

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guidugli, Lucia; Carreira, Aura; Caputo, Sandrine M

    2014-01-01

    Missense variants in the BRCA2 gene are routinely detected during clinical screening for pathogenic mutations in patients with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer. These subtle changes frequently remain of unknown clinical significance because of the lack of genetic information that may...... of uncertain significance analyzed, and describe a validation set of (genetically) proven pathogenic and neutral missense variants to serve as a golden standard for the validation of each assay. Guidelines are proposed to enable implementation of laboratory-based methods to assess the impact of the variant...

  13. Assessment of the functional significance of coronary lesions using a monorail catheter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briguori, C; Nishida, T; Adamian, M; Anzuini, A; Corvaja, N; Carlino, M; Colombo, A

    2001-04-01

    Myocardial fractional flow reserve (FFR) monorail catheter, can be used to accurately measure intracoronary pressure and FFR. In 35 lesions (35 patients; learning group), we calculated FFR by both PW (FFRPW) and MFP (FFRMFP). Using ROC analysis, the FFRMFP value of 0.65 had the highest sensitivity with the FFRPW 0.75) by PW. In all these cases, minimal lumen cross-sectional area was 0.65, FFRPW is always > 0.75. These data demonstrate that even with larger cross-sectional area than a pressure wire, the MFP catheter can easily and reliably be used to assess the functional severity of coronary stenosis.

  14. Significance of constraints associated with Green's functions in Hamiltonian perturbation theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maharana, L.; Muller-Kirsten, H.J.W.; Wiedemann, A.

    1987-01-01

    In many formulations of Hamiltonian perturbation theory a Green's function becomes undefined when some parameter is allowed to vanish. Here various examples are discussed to illustrate this phenomenon, and it is shown that they are all realizations of a general theorem. The cases considered are examples in classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, electrodynamics and field theory. The prime object is to illustrate the unity of the examples and thus to make the application of the procedure to field theory models of current interest more transparent. One example that it is referred to is the skyrmion model

  15. Prognostic Significance of Creatinine Increases During an Acute Heart Failure Admission in Patients With and Without Residual Congestion: A Post Hoc Analysis of the PROTECT Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metra, Marco; Cotter, Gad; Senger, Stefanie; Edwards, Christopher; Cleland, John G; Ponikowski, Piotr; Cursack, Guillermo C; Milo, Olga; Teerlink, John R; Givertz, Michael M; O'Connor, Christopher M; Dittrich, Howard C; Bloomfield, Daniel M; Voors, Adriaan A; Davison, Beth A

    2018-05-01

    The importance of a serum creatinine increase, traditionally considered worsening renal function (WRF), during admission for acute heart failure has been recently debated, with data suggesting an interaction between congestion and creatinine changes. In post hoc analyses, we analyzed the association of WRF with length of hospital stay, 30-day death or cardiovascular/renal readmission and 90-day mortality in the PROTECT study (Placebo-Controlled Randomized Study of the Selective A1 Adenosine Receptor Antagonist Rolofylline for Patients Hospitalized With Acute Decompensated Heart Failure and Volume Overload to Assess Treatment Effect on Congestion and Renal Function). Daily creatinine changes from baseline were categorized as WRF (an increase of 0.3 mg/dL or more) or not. Daily congestion scores were computed by summing scores for orthopnea, edema, and jugular venous pressure. Of the 2033 total patients randomized, 1537 patients had both available at study day 14. Length of hospital stay was longer and 30-day cardiovascular/renal readmission or death more common in patients with WRF. However, these were driven by significant associations in patients with concomitant congestion at the time of assessment of renal function. The mean difference in length of hospital stay because of WRF was 3.51 (95% confidence interval, 1.29-5.73) more days ( P =0.0019), and the hazard ratio for WRF on 30-day death or heart failure hospitalization was 1.49 (95% confidence interval, 1.06-2.09) times higher ( P =0.0205), in significantly congested than nonsignificantly congested patients. A similar trend was observed with 90-day mortality although not statistically significant. In patients admitted for acute heart failure, WRF defined as a creatinine increase of ≥0.3 mg/dL was associated with longer length of hospital stay, and worse 30- and 90-day outcomes. However, effects were largely driven by patients who had residual congestion at the time of renal function assessment. URL: https

  16. The significance of the choice of radiobiological (NTCP) models in treatment plan objective functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, J.; Fuller, M.; Vinod, S.; Holloway, L.

    2009-01-01

    Full text: A Clinician's discrimination between radiation therapy treatment plans is traditionally a subjective process, based on experience and existing protocols. A more objective and quantitative approach to distinguish between treatment plans is to use radiobiological or dosimetric objective functions, based on radiobiological or dosimetric models. The efficacy of models is not well understood, nor is the correlation of the rank of plans resulting from the use of models compared to the traditional subjective approach. One such radiobiological model is the Normal Tissue Complication Probability (NTCP). Dosimetric models or indicators are more accepted in clinical practice. In this study, three radiobiological models, Lyman NTCP, critical volume NTCP and relative seriality NTCP, and three dosimetric models, Mean Lung Dose (MLD) and the Lung volumes irradiated at lOGy (V|0) and 20 G y (V20), were used to rank a series of treatment plans using, harm to normal (Lung) tissue as the objective criterion. None of the models considered in this study showed consistent correlation with the Radiation Oncologists plan ranking. If radiobiological or dosimetric models are to be used in objective functions for lung treatments, based on this study it is recommended that the Lyman NTCP model be used because it will provide most consistency with traditional clinician ranking.

  17. Selective neurocognitive deficits and poor life functioning are associated with significant depressive symptoms in alcoholism-HIV infection comorbidity

    OpenAIRE

    Sassoon, Stephanie A.; Rosenbloom, Margaret J.; Fama, Rosemary; Sullivan, Edith V.; Pfefferbaum, Adolf

    2012-01-01

    Alcoholism, HIV, and depressive symptoms frequently co-occur and are associated with impairment in cognition and life function. We administered the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), measures of life function, and neurocognitive tests to 67 alcoholics, 56 HIV+ patients, 63 HIV+ alcoholics, and 64 controls to examine whether current depressive symptom level (significant, BDI-II ≥ 14 vs. minimal, BDI-II < 14) was associated with poorer cognitive or psychosocial function in alcoholism-HIV co...

  18. Symbiosis between microorganisms from kombucha and kefir: Potential significance to the enhancement of kombucha function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Zhiwei; Zhou, Feng; Ji, Baoping; Li, Bo; Luo, Yangchao; Yang, Li; Li, Tao

    2010-01-01

    Gluconacetobacter sp. A4 (G. sp. A4), which had strong ability to produce d-saccharic acid 1, 4 lactone (DSL), was the key functional bacteria isolated from the kombucha preserved. This paper investigated the interaction between G. sp. A4 and ten different strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) obtained from kefir. The result suggested that the LAB promoted DSL production of G. sp. A4 to different extents, ranging from 4.86% to 86.70%. Symbiosis between G. sp. A4 and LAB was studied. LAB's metabolites, xylitol, and acetic acid, were utilized by G. sp. A4, and it promoted the growth of G. sp. A4 and yield of DSL. Therefore, in developing starter cultures for kombucha fermentation process, a mixed flora of LAB and G. sp. A4 would be the optimal combination.

  19. Clinical significance of increased gelatinolytic activity in the rectal mucosa during external beam radiation therapy of prostate cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hovdenak, Nils; Wang Junru; Sung, C.-C.; Kelly, Thomas; Fajardo, Luis F.; Hauer-Jensen, Martin

    2002-01-01

    Purpose: Rectal toxicity (proctitis) is a dose-limiting factor in pelvic radiation therapy. Mucosal atrophy, i.e., net extracellular matrix degradation, is a prominent feature of radiation proctitis, but the underlying mechanisms are not known. We prospectively examined changes in matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 (gelatinase A and B) in the rectal mucosa during radiation therapy of prostate cancer, as well as the relationships of these changes with symptomatic, structural, and cellular evidence of radiation proctitis. Methods and Materials: Seventeen patients scheduled for external beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer were prospectively enrolled. Symptoms of gastrointestinal toxicity were recorded, and endoscopy with biopsy of the rectal mucosa was performed before radiation therapy, as well as 2 and 6 weeks into the treatment course. Radiation proctitis was assessed by endoscopic scoring, quantitative histology, and quantitative immunohistochemistry. MMP-2 and MMP-9 were localized immunohistochemically, and activities were determined by gelatin zymography. Results: Symptoms, endoscopic scores, histologic injury, and mucosal macrophages and neutrophils increased from baseline to 2 weeks. Symptoms increased further from 2 weeks to 6 weeks, whereas endoscopic and cellular evidence of proctitis did not. Compared to pretreatment values, there was increased total gelatinolytic activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 at 2 weeks (p=0.02 and p=0.004, respectively) and 6 weeks (p=0.006 and p=0.001, respectively). Active MMP-2 was increased at both time points (p=0.0001 and p=0.002). Increased MMP-9 and MMP-2 at 6 weeks was associated with radiation-induced diarrhea (p=0.007 and p=0.02, respectively) and with mucosal neutrophil infiltration (rho=0.62). Conclusions: Pelvic radiation therapy causes increased MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity in the rectal mucosa. These changes correlate with radiation-induced diarrhea and granulocyte infiltration and may contribute to abnormal

  20. The Widespread Prevalence and Functional Significance of Silk-Like Structural Proteins in Metazoan Biological Materials.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmel McDougall

    Full Text Available In nature, numerous mechanisms have evolved by which organisms fabricate biological structures with an impressive array of physical characteristics. Some examples of metazoan biological materials include the highly elastic byssal threads by which bivalves attach themselves to rocks, biomineralized structures that form the skeletons of various animals, and spider silks that are renowned for their exceptional strength and elasticity. The remarkable properties of silks, which are perhaps the best studied biological materials, are the result of the highly repetitive, modular, and biased amino acid composition of the proteins that compose them. Interestingly, similar levels of modularity/repetitiveness and similar bias in amino acid compositions have been reported in proteins that are components of structural materials in other organisms, however the exact nature and extent of this similarity, and its functional and evolutionary relevance, is unknown. Here, we investigate this similarity and use sequence features common to silks and other known structural proteins to develop a bioinformatics-based method to identify similar proteins from large-scale transcriptome and whole-genome datasets. We show that a large number of proteins identified using this method have roles in biological material formation throughout the animal kingdom. Despite the similarity in sequence characteristics, most of the silk-like structural proteins (SLSPs identified in this study appear to have evolved independently and are restricted to a particular animal lineage. Although the exact function of many of these SLSPs is unknown, the apparent independent evolution of proteins with similar sequence characteristics in divergent lineages suggests that these features are important for the assembly of biological materials. The identification of these characteristics enable the generation of testable hypotheses regarding the mechanisms by which these proteins assemble and direct the

  1. Functional significance of coronary collateral circulation during dynamic exercise evaluated by thallium-201 myocardial scintigraphy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wainwright, R.J.; Maisey, M.N.; Edwards, A.C.; Sowton, E.

    1980-01-01

    Sixty-five patients with angiographically documented coronary artery disease were investigated by thallium-201 ( 201 Tl) scintigraphy to determine the role of the collateral circulation during dynamic exercise. Fifty-three patients had complete proximal occlusion of at least one major coronary artery. One patient had total occlusion of all three major coronary arteries. Sixty-four collateral channels were identified, graded, and compared with corresponding regions of the myocardial scintigram. Tracer uptake was also graded and classified as various degrees of protection from ischaemia. A significant correlation between good collaterals with complete protection and poor or absent collaterals with no protection was noted. Seventeen patients (20 occluded vessels) had total coronary occlusion without myocardial infarction. Collaterals conferred protection in 9/15 occlusions whereas no protection was seen in five occlusions without collaterals. There was no difference in the protective role of homocoronary and heterocoronary collateral vessels. Hypertrophy of the first septal left anterior descending perforator conferred significant protection from ischaemia in contrast to bridging collaterals and ghosting. During exercise the right coronary bed is preferentially protected from ischaemia, in contrast to the left anterior descending territory. This probably reflects the direction of a transmural flow gradient between left and right ventricles during exercise. (author)

  2. The functional significance of the autolysis loop in protein C and activated protein C.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Likui; Manithody, Chandrashekhara; Rezaie, Alireza R

    2005-07-01

    The autolysis loop of activated protein C (APC) is five residues longer than the autolysis loop of other vitamin K-dependent coagulation proteases. To investigate the role of this loop in the zymogenic and anticoagulant properties of the molecule, a protein C mutant was constructed in which the autolysis loop of the protein was replaced with the corresponding loop of factor X. The protein C mutant was activated by thrombin with approximately 5-fold higher rate in the presence of Ca2+. Both kinetics and direct binding studies revealed that the Ca2+ affinity of the mutant has been impaired approximately 3-fold. The result of a factor Va degradation assay revealed that the anticoagulant function of the mutant has been improved 4-5-fold in the absence but not in the presence of protein S. The improvement was due to a better recognition of both the P1-Arg506 and P1-Arg306 cleavage sites by the mutant protease. However, the plasma half-life of the mutant was markedly shortened due to faster inactivation by plasma serpins. These results suggest that the autolysis loop of protein C is critical for the Ca(2+)-dependence of activation by thrombin. Moreover, a longer autolysis loop in APC is not optimal for interaction with factor Va in the absence of protein S, but it contributes to the lack of serpin reactivity and longer half-life of the protease in plasma.

  3. The functional significance of hamstrings composition: is it really a "fast" muscle group?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evangelidis, Pavlos E; Massey, Garry J; Ferguson, Richard A; Wheeler, Patrick C; Pain, Matthew T G; Folland, Jonathan P

    2017-11-01

    Hamstrings muscle fiber composition may be predominantly fast-twitch and could explain the high incidence of hamstrings strain injuries. However, hamstrings muscle composition in vivo, and its influence on knee flexor muscle function, remains unknown. We investigated biceps femoris long head (BFlh) myosin heavy chain (MHC) composition from biopsy samples, and the association of hamstrings composition and hamstrings muscle volume (using MRI) with knee flexor maximal and explosive strength. Thirty-one young men performed maximal (concentric, eccentric, isometric) and explosive (isometric) contractions. BFlh exhibited a balanced MHC distribution [mean ± SD (min-max); 47.1 ± 9.1% (32.6-71.0%) MHC-I, 35.5 ± 8.5% (21.5-60.0%) MHC-IIA, 17.4 ± 9.1% (0.0-30.9%) MHC-IIX]. Muscle volume was correlated with knee flexor maximal strength at all velocities and contraction modes (r = 0.62-0.76, P hamstrings strain injury. Hamstrings muscle volume explained 38-58% of the inter-individual differences in knee flexor maximum strength at a range of velocities and contraction modes, while BFlh muscle composition was not associated with maximal or explosive strength. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. More powerful significant testing for time course gene expression data using functional principal component analysis approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Shuang; Wu, Hulin

    2013-01-16

    One of the fundamental problems in time course gene expression data analysis is to identify genes associated with a biological process or a particular stimulus of interest, like a treatment or virus infection. Most of the existing methods for this problem are designed for data with longitudinal replicates. But in reality, many time course gene experiments have no replicates or only have a small number of independent replicates. We focus on the case without replicates and propose a new method for identifying differentially expressed genes by incorporating the functional principal component analysis (FPCA) into a hypothesis testing framework. The data-driven eigenfunctions allow a flexible and parsimonious representation of time course gene expression trajectories, leaving more degrees of freedom for the inference compared to that using a prespecified basis. Moreover, the information of all genes is borrowed for individual gene inferences. The proposed approach turns out to be more powerful in identifying time course differentially expressed genes compared to the existing methods. The improved performance is demonstrated through simulation studies and a real data application to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell cycle data.

  5. Functional significance of M-type potassium channels in nociceptive cutaneous sensory endings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passmore, Gayle M.; Reilly, Joanne M.; Thakur, Matthew; Keasberry, Vanessa N.; Marsh, Stephen J.; Dickenson, Anthony H.; Brown, David A.

    2012-01-01

    M-channels carry slowly activating potassium currents that regulate excitability in a variety of central and peripheral neurons. Functional M-channels and their Kv7 channel correlates are expressed throughout the somatosensory nervous system where they may play an important role in controlling sensory nerve activity. Here we show that Kv7.2 immunoreactivity is expressed in the peripheral terminals of nociceptive primary afferents. Electrophysiological recordings from single afferents in vitro showed that block of M-channels by 3 μM XE991 sensitized Aδ- but not C-fibers to noxious heat stimulation and induced spontaneous, ongoing activity at 32°C in many Aδ-fibers. These observations were extended in vivo: intraplantar injection of XE991 selectively enhanced the response of deep dorsal horn (DH) neurons to peripheral mid-range mechanical and higher range thermal stimuli, consistent with a selective effect on Aδ-fiber peripheral terminals. These results demonstrate an important physiological role of M-channels in controlling nociceptive Aδ-fiber responses and provide a rationale for the nocifensive behaviors that arise following intraplantar injection of the M-channel blocker XE991. PMID:22593734

  6. Functional significance of M-type potassium channels in nociceptive cutaneous sensory endings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gayle M. Passmore

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available M-channels carry slowly activating potassium currents that regulate excitability in a variety of central and peripheral neurons. Functional M-channels and their Kv7 channel correlates are expressed throughout the somatosensory nervous system where they may play an important role in controlling sensory nerve activity. Here we show that Kv7.2 immunoreactivity is expressed in the peripheral terminals of nociceptive primary afferents. Electrophysiological recordings from single afferents in vitro showed that block of M-channels by 3 µM XE991 sensitised Adelta- but not C-fibres to noxious heat stimulation and induced spontaneous, ongoing activity at 32ºC in many Adelta-fibres. These observations were extended in vivo: intraplantar injection of XE991 selectively enhanced the response of deep dorsal horn neurons to peripheral mid-range mechanical and higher range thermal stimuli, consistent with a selective effect on Adelta-fibre peripheral terminals. These results demonstrate an important physiological role of M-channels in controlling nociceptive Adelta-fibre responses and provide a rationale for the nocifensive behaviours that arise following intraplantar injection of the M-channel blocker XE991.

  7. On the functional significance of c-fos induction during the sleep-waking cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cirelli, C; Tononi, G

    2000-06-15

    A striking finding in recent years has been that the transition from sleep to waking is accompanied in many brain regions by a widespread activation of c-fos and other immediate-early genes (IEGs). IEGs are induced by various electrical or chemical signals to which neural cells are exposed and their protein products act as transcription factors to regulate the expression of other genes. After a few hours of sleep, the expression of these transcription factors in the brain is absent or restricted to very few cells. However, after a few hours of spontaneous waking or sleep deprivation, the expression of c-fos and other IEGs is high in cerebral cortex, hypothalamus, septum, and several thalamic and brainstem nuclei. While cells expressing c-fos during waking are widely distributed, they represent only a subset of all neurons in any given area. These observations raise several questions: Why is c-fos expressed during waking and not during sleep? Is waking always accompanied by c-fos induction? Which subset of cells express c-fos during waking and why only a subset? Once c-fos has been induced, what are the functional consequences of its activation? In this review, we summarize our current understanding of the meaning of c-fos activation in the brain in relation to the sleep-waking cycle and suggest that c-fos induction in the cerebral cortex during waking might be related to the occurrence of plastic phenomena.

  8. Increased Risk of Clinically Significant Gallstones following an Appendectomy: A Five-Year Follow-Up Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiu-Dong Chung

    Full Text Available Although the vermiform appendix is commonly considered a vestigial organ, adverse health consequences after an appendectomy have garnered increasing attention. In this study, we investigated the risks of gallstone occurrence during a 5-year follow-up period after an appendectomy, using a population-based dataset. We used data from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005. The exposed cohort included 4916 patients who underwent an appendectomy. The unexposed cohort was retrieved by randomly selecting 4916 patients matched with the exposed cohort in terms of sex, age, and year. We individually tracked each patient for a 5-year period to identify those who received a diagnosis of gallstones during the follow-up period. Cox proportional hazard regressions were performed for the analysis. During the 5-year follow-up period, the incidence rate per 1000 person-years was 4.71 for patients who had undergone an appendectomy, compared to a rate of 2.59 for patients in the unexposed cohort (p<0.001. Patients who had undergone an appendectomy were independently associated with a 1.79 (95% CI = 1.29~2.48-fold increased risk of being diagnosed with gallstones during the 5-year follow-up period. We found that among female patients, the adjusted hazard ratio of gallstones was 2.25 (95% CI = 1.41~3.59 for patients who underwent an appendectomy compared to unexposed patients. However, for male patients, we failed to observe an increased hazard for gallstones among patients who underwent an appendectomy compared to unexposed patients. We found an increased risk of a subsequent gallstone diagnosis within 5 years after an appendectomy.

  9. Expanding the functional significance of automated control systems for the production process at hydroelectric plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vasil'ev, Yu.S.; Kononova, M.Yu.

    1993-01-01

    Automated control systems for the production process (ACS PP) have been successfully implemented in a number of hydroelectric plants in the Russian Federation. The circle of problems that can be solved using ACS PP can be conditionally divided into two classes: on-line/technological control, and production-technological control. This article describes successes and future directions for the solution of these two classes of problems. From the discussion, it is concluded (1) that the data base for existing ACS PP at hydroelectric plants can be successfully employed as points for monitoring the conservation of an environment of local significance; (2) that is is expedient to discuss the problem with organizations, including local control groups interested in the development of territorial-basin systems for ecological monitoring; and (3) that the initiative in creating local territorial-basin support points for monitoring should emanate from guidelines for hydroelectric plants with ACS PP. 3 refs., 2 figs

  10. A Study on the Significance of the Colloidal Radiogold Disappearance Rate as a Simple Clinical Liver Function Test

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hong, Chang Gi

    1969-01-01

    Liver function in diffuse parenchymal liver such as cirrhosis of the liver depend largely on the effective hepatic blood flow rather than on the individual cell functions. Clinical methods of measuring the hepatic blood flow were developed recently by the application of colloidal disappearance rate. In order to correlate the radiogold disappearance rate to conventional biochemical liver function tests, 21 normal subjects and 80 cases of cirrhosis of the liver were studied with both methods. The results are summarized as following: 1) The validity of external counting method to measure the blood disappearance rate of colloidal radiogold was confirmed by in vitro counting of the serial blood samples. 2) The blood disappearance rate of colloidal radiogold was essentially the same as the liver uptake rate of colloidal radiogold in normal and cirrhotic subjects with various degrees of functional disturbance. And it seemed there was no serious extrahepatic removal of the colloidal radiogold. 3) The disappearance rate of colloidal radiogold was not significant changed by the posture change, but was enhanced by ingestion of 500 ml of water. 4) The disappearance rate of colloidal radiogold was not influenced y single dose of Telepaque, while BSP retention was increased after Telepaque. 5) The mean disappearance half time of colloidal radiogold in normal subjects was 2.49±0.391 (S.D.) minutes. The mean normal disappearance rate constant (K value) was 0.285±0.0428 (S.D.)/minute. 6) The colloidal radiogold disappearance half time was abnormally prolonged (over 3.2 mm) in 87.7±3.68 (S.D.) % of cirrhotic subjects. 7) In patients of liver cirrhosis the blood disappearance rate of colloidal radiogold correlated well to serum albumin and globulin levels and BSP retention which were considered to reflect functions of hepatic parenchymal cells. There was, however, no correlation between colloidal disappearance rate and thymol turbidity test, serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase

  11. Significance of screening electrocardiogram before the initiation of amitriptyline therapy in children with functional abdominal pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patra, Kamakshya P; Sankararaman, Senthilkumar; Jackson, Robert; Hussain, Sunny Z

    2012-09-01

    Amitriptyline (AMT) is commonly used in the management of children with irritable bowel syndrome. AMT is pro-arrhythmogenic and increases the risk of sudden cardiac death. However, there is not enough data regarding the cardiac toxicity in therapeutic doses of AMT in children and the need for screening electrocardiogram (EKG). Errors in computer EKG interpretation are not uncommon. In a risk-prevention study, the authors sought to identify the true incidence of prolonged corrected QT (QTc) interval and other arrhythmias in children with irritable bowel syndrome before the initiation of AMT. Out of the 760 EKGs screened, 3 EKGs demonstrated a true prolonged QTc after the careful manual reading by a pediatric cardiologist and they were not picked by computer-generated reading. The authors conclude that screening EKG should always be performed on children before initiating AMT therapy. Also, the computer-generated EKG needs to be verified by a pediatric cardiologist to avoid serious misinterpretations.

  12. Function and significance of bell beaker pottery according to data from residue analyses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guerra Doce, Elisa

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Traditionally, Bell Beakers have been thought to contain alcoholic beverages which were consumed in the course of male feasting ceremonies. Recent residue analyses have shed some light on the question of their function. However, whilst beer and mead have been identified from certain examples, not all Beakers were drinking cups. Some were used as reduction pots to smelt copper ores, others have some organic residues associated with food, and still others were employed as funerary urns. Yet, while the evidence points to a diversity of uses, it is argued that an ideological connection can be observed. Beakers were probably a special form of pottery with a ritual character, related to activities that imply some kind of transformation.

    Los vasos campaniformes suelen relacionarse con el consumo de bebidas alcohólicas durante la celebración de banquetes ceremoniales de exaltación masculina. Si bien las analíticas de residuos han identificado cerveza e hidromiel en unos cuantos ejemplares, no todos los campaniformes desempeñaron esta misma función. Algunos hicieron las veces de vasijas-horno para reducir el mineral de cobre, en otros se han detectado restos de alimentos y también se emplearon como urnas funerarias. A pesar de esta diversidad de usos, creemos que existe una conexión ideológica entre ellos, de tal manera que habría que considerar a los campaniformes como una cerámica singular con un carácter ritual, destinada a actividades que conllevan algún tipo de transformación.

  13. Increased premotor cortex activation in high functioning autism during action observation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkins, Tom J; Bittar, Richard G; McGillivray, Jane A; Cox, Ivanna I; Stokes, Mark A

    2015-04-01

    The mirror neuron (MN) hypothesis of autism has received considerable attention, but to date has produced inconsistent findings. Using functional MRI, participants with high functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome were compared to typically developing individuals (n=12 in each group). Participants passively observed hand gestures that included waving, pointing, and grasping. Concerning the MN network, both groups activated similar regions including prefrontal, inferior parietal and superior temporal regions, with the autism group demonstrating significantly greater activation in the dorsal premotor cortex. Concerning other regions, participants with autism demonstrated increased activity in the anterior cingulate and medial frontal gyrus, and reduced activation in calcarine, cuneus, and middle temporal gyrus. These results suggest that during observation of hand gestures, frontal cortex activation is affected in autism, which we suggest may be linked to abnormal functioning of the MN system. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Modifications resulting in significant increases in the beam usage time of a 60 keV electron beam welder

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zielinski, R.E.; Harrison, J.L.

    1976-01-01

    Short beam usage times were encountered using a 60 keV electron beam welder. These short times were the direct result of a buildup of a reaction product (WO 2 . 90 ) that occurred on graphite washers which housed the tungsten emitter plate. While it was not possible to prevent the reaction product, its growth rate was sufficiently altered by changing graphite materials and minor design changes of the washers. With these modifications beam usage times increased from an original 40 min to approximately 675 min

  15. Was there significant tax evasion after the 1999 50 cent per pack cigarette tax increase in California?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emery, S; White, M; Gilpin, E; Pierce, J

    2002-01-01

    Objectives: Several states, including California, have implemented large cigarette excise tax increases, which may encourage smokers to purchase their cigarettes in other lower taxed states, or from other lower or non-taxed sources. Such tax evasion thwarts tobacco control objectives and may cost the state substantial tax revenues. Thus, this study investigates the extent of tax evasion in the 6–12 months after the implementation of California's $0.50/pack excise tax increase. Design and setting: Retrospective data analysis from the 1999 California Tobacco Surveys (CTS), a random digit dialled telephone survey of California households. Main outcome measures: Sources of cigarettes, average daily cigarette consumption, and reported price paid. Results: Very few (5.1 (0.7)% (±95% confidence limits)) of California smokers avoided the excise tax by usually purchasing cigarettes from non- or lower taxed sources, such as out-of-state outlets, military commissaries, or the internet. The vast majority of smokers purchased their cigarettes from the most convenient and expensive sources: convenience stores/gas (petrol) stations (45.0 (1.9)%), liquor/drug stores (16.4 (1.6)%), and supermarkets (8.8 (1.2)%). Conclusions: Despite the potential savings, tax evasion by individual smokers does not appear to pose a serious threat to California's excise tax revenues or its tobacco control objectives. PMID:12035006

  16. Electronic prompts significantly increase response rates to postal questionnaires: a randomized trial within a randomized trial and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Laura; Ronaldson, Sarah; Dyson, Lisa; Hewitt, Catherine; Torgerson, David; Adamson, Joy

    2015-12-01

    To assess the effectiveness of sending electronic prompts to randomized controlled trial participants to return study questionnaires. A "trial within a trial" embedded within a study determining the effectiveness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (DOC) screening on smoking cessation. Those participants taking part in DOC who provided a mobile phone number and/or an electronic mail address were randomized to either receive an electronic prompt or no electronic prompt to return a study questionnaire. The results were combined with two previous studies in a meta-analysis. A total of 437 participants were randomized: 226 to the electronic prompt group and 211 to the control group. A total of 285 (65.2%) participants returned the follow-up questionnaire: 157 (69.5%) in the electronic prompt group and 128 (60.7%) in the control group [difference 8.8%; 95% confidence interval (CI): -0.11%, 17.7%; P = 0.05]. The mean time to response was 23 days in the electronic prompt group and 33 days in the control group (hazard ratio = 1.27; 95% CI: 1.105, 1.47). The meta-analysis of all three studies showed an increase in response rate of 7.1% (95% CI: 0.8%, 13.3%). The use of electronic prompts increased response rates and reduces the time to response. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Long-term decline in renal function is more significant after endovascular repair of infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al Adas, Ziad; Shepard, Alexander D; Nypaver, Timothy J; Weaver, Mitchell R; Maatman, Thomas; Yessayan, Lenar T; Balraj, Praveen; Kabbani, Loay S

    2018-03-20

    It is not clear whether endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) results in an increase in renal insufficiency during the long term compared with open repair (OR). We reviewed our experience with AAA repair to determine whether there was a significant difference in postoperative and long-term renal outcomes between OR and EVAR. A retrospective cohort study was conducted of all patients who underwent AAA repair between January 1993 and July 2013 at a tertiary referral hospital. Demographics, comorbidities, preoperative and postoperative laboratory values, morbidity, and mortality were collected. Patients with ruptured AAAs, preoperative hemodialysis, juxtarenal or suprarenal aneurysm origin, and no follow-up laboratory values were excluded. Preoperative, postoperative, 6-month, and yearly serum creatinine values were collected. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was calculated on the basis of the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration equation. Acute kidney injury (AKI) was classified using the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes guidelines. Change in GFR was defined as preoperative GFR minus the GFR at each follow-up interval. Comparison was made between EVAR and OR groups using multivariate logistics for categorical data and linear regression for continuous variables. During the study period, 763 infrarenal AAA repairs were performed at our institution; 675 repairs fit the inclusion criteria (317 ORs and 358 EVARs). Mean age was 73.9 years. Seventy-nine percent were male, 78% were hypertensive, 18% were diabetic, and 31% had preoperative renal dysfunction defined as GFR below 60 mL/min. Using a multivariate logistic model to control for all variables, OR was found to have a 1.6 times greater chance for development of immediate postoperative AKI compared with EVAR (P = .038). Hypertension and aneurysm size were independent risk factors for development of AKI (P = .012 and .022, respectively). Using a linear

  18. Harvesting yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) at different physiological phases significantly affects its functionality in bread dough fermentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezaei, Mohammad N; Dornez, Emmie; Jacobs, Pieter; Parsi, Anali; Verstrepen, Kevin J; Courtin, Christophe M

    2014-05-01

    Fermentation of sugars into CO2, ethanol and secondary metabolites by baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) during bread making leads to leavening of dough and changes in dough rheology. The aim of this study was to increase our understanding of the impact of yeast on dough related aspects by investigating the effect of harvesting yeast at seven different points of the growth profile on its fermentation performance, metabolite production, and the effect on critical dough fermentation parameters, such as gas retention potential. The yeast cells harvested during the diauxic shift and post-diauxic growth phase showed a higher fermentation rate and, consequently, higher maximum dough height than yeast cells harvested in the exponential or stationary growth phase. The results further demonstrate that the onset of CO2 loss from fermenting dough is correlated with the fermentation rate of yeast, but not with the amount of CO2 that accumulated up to the onset point. Analysis of the yeast metabolites produced in dough yielded a possible explanation for this observation, as they are produced in different levels depending on physiological phase and in concentrations that can influence dough matrix properties. Together, our results demonstrate a strong effect of yeast physiology at the time of harvest on subsequent dough fermentation performance, and hint at an important role of yeast metabolites on the subsequent gas holding capacity. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 'Knowledge for better health' revisited - the increasing significance of health research systems: a review by departing Editors-in-Chief.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanney, Stephen R; González-Block, Miguel A

    2017-10-02

    How can nations organise research investments to obtain the best bundle of knowledge and the maximum level of improved health, spread as equitably as possible? This question was the central focus of a major initiative from WHO led by Prof Tikki Pang, which resulted in a range of developments, including the publication of a conceptual framework for national health research systems - Knowledge for better health - in 2003, and in the founding of the journal Health Research Policy and Systems (HARPS). As Editors-in-Chief of the journal since 2006, we mark our retirement by tracking both the progress of the journal and the development of national health research systems. HARPS has maintained its focus on a range of central themes that are key components of a national health research system in any country. These include building capacity to conduct and use health research, identifying appropriate priorities, securing funds and allocating them accountably, producing scientifically valid research outputs, promoting the use of research in polices and practice in order to improve health, and monitoring and evaluating the health research system. Some of the themes covered in HARPS are now receiving increased attention and, for example, with the assessment of research impact and development of knowledge translation platforms, the journal has covered their progress throughout that expansion of interest. In addition, there is increasing recognition of new imperatives, including the importance of promoting gender equality in health research if benefits are to be maximised. In this Editorial, we outline some of the diverse and developing perspectives considered within each theme, as well as considering how they are held together by the growing desire to build effective health research systems in all countries.From 2003 until mid-June 2017, HARPS published 590 articles on the above and related themes, with authors being located in 76 countries. We present quantitative data tracing

  20. Oxidative DNA damage in lung tissue from patients with COPD is clustered in functionally significant sequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viktor M Pastukh

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Viktor M Pastukh1, Li Zhang2, Mykhaylo V Ruchko1, Olena Gorodnya1, Gina C Bardwell1, Rubin M Tuder2, Mark N Gillespie11Department of Pharmacology and Center for Lung Biology, University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Mobile, AL, USA; 2Program in Translational Lung Research, Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Colorado at Denver, Aurora, CO, USAAbstract: Lung tissue from COPD patients displays oxidative DNA damage. The present study determined whether oxidative DNA damage was randomly distributed or whether it was localized in specific sequences in either the nuclear or mitochondrial genomes. The DNA damage-specific histone, gamma-H2AX, was detected immunohistochemically in alveolar wall cells in lung tissue from COPD patients but not control subjects. A PCR-based method was used to search for oxidized purine base products in selected 200 bp sequences in promoters and coding regions of the VEGF, TGF-β1, HO-1, Egr1, and β-actin genes while quantitative Southern blot analysis was used to detect oxidative damage to the mitochondrial genome in lung tissue from control subjects and COPD patients. Among the nuclear genes examined, oxidative damage was detected in only 1 sequence in lung tissue from COPD patients: the hypoxic response element (HRE of the VEGF promoter. The content of VEGF mRNA also was reduced in COPD lung tissue. Mitochondrial DNA content was unaltered in COPD lung tissue, but there was a substantial increase in mitochondrial DNA strand breaks and/or abasic sites. These findings show that oxidative DNA damage in COPD lungs is prominent in the HRE of the VEGF promoter and in the mitochondrial genome and raise the intriguing possibility that genome and sequence-specific oxidative DNA damage could contribute to transcriptional dysregulation and cell fate decisions in COPD.Keywords: DNA damage, VEGF hypoxic response element, mtDNA, COPD

  1. Increased microbial functional diversity under long-term organic and integrated fertilization in a paddy soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Long-Jun; Su, Jian-Qiang; Sun, Guo-Xin; Wu, Jin-Shui; Wei, Wen-Xue

    2018-02-01

    Microbes play key roles in diverse biogeochemical processes including nutrient cycling. However, responses of soil microbial community and functional genes to long-term integrated fertilization (chemical combined with organic fertilization) remain unclear. Here, we used pyrosequencing and a microarray-based GeoChip to explore the shifts of microbial community and functional genes in a paddy soil which received over 21-year fertilization with various regimes, including control (no fertilizer), rice straw (R), rice straw plus chemical fertilizer nitrogen (NR), N and phosphorus (NPR), NP and potassium (NPKR), and reduced rice straw plus reduced NPK (L-NPKR). Significant shifts of the overall soil bacterial composition only occurred in the NPKR and L-NPKR treatments, with enrichment of certain groups including Bradyrhizobiaceae and Rhodospirillaceae families that benefit higher productivity. All fertilization treatments significantly altered the soil microbial functional structure with increased diversity and abundances of genes for carbon and nitrogen cycling, in which NPKR and L-NPKR exhibited the strongest effect, while R exhibited the least. Functional gene structure and abundance were significantly correlated with corresponding soil enzymatic activities and rice yield, respectively, suggesting that the structural shift of the microbial functional community under fertilization might promote soil nutrient turnover and thereby affect yield. Overall, this study indicates that the combined application of rice straw and balanced chemical fertilizers was more pronounced in shifting the bacterial composition and improving the functional diversity toward higher productivity, providing a microbial point of view on applying a cost-effective integrated fertilization regime with rice straw plus reduced chemical fertilizers for sustainable nutrient management.

  2. Functional role and prognostic significance of CD157 in ovarian carcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortolan, Erika; Arisio, Riccardo; Morone, Simona; Bovino, Paola; Lo-Buono, Nicola; Nacci, Giulia; Parrotta, Rossella; Katsaros, Dionyssios; Rapa, Ida; Migliaretti, Giuseppe; Ferrero, Enza; Volante, Marco; Funaro, Ada

    2010-08-04

    CD157, an ADP-ribosyl cyclase-related cell surface molecule, regulates leukocyte diapedesis during inflammation. Because CD157 is expressed in mesothelial cells and diapedesis resembles tumor cell migration, we investigated the role of CD157 in ovarian carcinoma. We assayed surgically obtained ovarian cancer and mesothelial cells and both native and engineered ovarian cancer cell lines for CD157 expression using flow cytometry and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and for adhesion to extracellular matrices, migration, and invasion using cell-based assays. We investigated invasion of human peritoneal mesothelial cells by serous ovarian cancer cells with a three-dimensional coculture model. Experiments were performed with or without CD157-blocking antibodies. CD157 expression in tissue sections from ovarian cancer patients (n = 88) was examined by immunohistochemistry, quantified by histological score (H score), and categorized as at or above or below the median value of 60, and compared with clinical parameters. Statistical tests were two-sided. CD157 was expressed by ovarian cancer cells and mesothelium, and it potentiated the adhesion, migration, and invasion of serous ovarian cancer cells through different extracellular matrices. CD157-transfected ovarian cancer cells migrated twice as much as CD157-negative control cells (P = .001). Blockage of CD157 inhibited mesothelial invasion by serous ovarian cancer cells in a three-dimensional model. CD157 was expressed in 82 (93%) of the 88 epithelial ovarian cancer tissue specimens. In serous ovarian cancer, patients with CD157 H scores of 60 or greater had statistically significantly shorter disease-free survival and overall survival than patients with lower CD157 H scores (CD157 H score > or =60 vs or =60 vs <60: median overall survival = 45 months, 95% CI = 21.21 to 68.79 vs unreached, P = .024). Multivariable Cox regression showed that CD157 is an independent prognostic factor for recurrence

  3. Prenatal prochloraz treatment significantly increases pregnancy length and reduces offspring weight but does not affect social-olfactory memory in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dmytriyeva, Oksana; Klementiev, Boris; Berezin, Vladimir; Bock, Elisabeth

    2013-07-01

    Metabolites of the commonly used imidazole fungicide prochloraz are androgen receptor antagonists. They have been shown to block androgen-driven development and compromise reproductive function. We tested the effect of prochloraz on cognitive behavior following exposure to this fungicide during the perinatal period. Pregnant Wistar rats were administered a 200 mg/kg dose of prochloraz on gestational day (GD) 7, GD11, and GD15. The social recognition test (SRT) was performed on 7-week-old male rat offspring. We found an increase in pregnancy length and a significantly reduced pup weight on PND15 and PND40 but no effect of prenatal prochloraz exposure on social investigation or acquisition of social-olfactory memory. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  4. Irrigation Is Significantly Associated with an Increased Prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes in Produce Production Environments in New York State.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weller, Daniel; Wiedmann, Martin; Strawn, Laura K

    2015-06-01

    Environmental (i.e., meteorological and landscape) factors and management practices can affect the prevalence of foodborne pathogens in produce production environments. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes, Listeria species (including L. monocytogenes), Salmonella, and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in produce production environments and to identify environmental factors and management practices associated with their isolation. Ten produce farms in New York State were sampled during a 6-week period in 2010, and 124 georeferenced samples (80 terrestrial, 33 water, and 11 fecal) were collected. L. monocytogenes, Listeria spp., Salmonella, and STEC were detected in 16, 44, 4, and 5% of terrestrial samples, 30, 58, 12, and 3% of water samples, and 45, 45, 27, and 9% of fecal samples, respectively. Environmental factors and management practices were evaluated for their association with terrestrial samples positive for L. monocytogenes or other Listeria species by univariate logistic regression; analysis was not conducted for Salmonella or STEC because the number of samples positive for these pathogens was low. Although univariate analysis identified associations between isolation of L. monocytogenes or Listeria spp. from terrestrial samples and various water-related factors (e.g., proximity to wetlands and precipitation), multivariate analysis revealed that only irrigation within 3 days of sample collection was significantly associated with isolation of L. monocytogenes (odds ratio = 39) and Listeria spp. (odds ratio = 5) from terrestrial samples. These findings suggest that intervention at the irrigation level may reduce the risk of produce contamination.

  5. Plant Explants Grown on Medium Supplemented with Fe3O4 Nanoparticles Have a Significant Increase in Embryogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inese Kokina

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Development of nanotechnology leads to the increasing release of nanoparticles in the environment that results in accumulation of different NPs in living organisms including plants. This can lead to serious changes in plant cultures which leads to genotoxicity. The aims of the present study were to detect if iron oxide NPs pass through the flax cell wall, to compare callus morphology, and to estimate the genotoxicity in Linum usitatissimum L. callus cultures induced by different concentrations of Fe3O4 nanoparticles. Two parallel experiments were performed: experiment A, where flax explants were grown on medium supplemented with 0.5 mg/l, 1 mg/l, and 1.5 mg/l Fe3O4 NPs for callus culture obtaining, and experiment B, where calluses obtained from basal MS medium were transported into medium supplemented with concentrations of NPs identical to experiment A. Obtained results demonstrate similarly in both experiments that 25 nm Fe3O4 NPs pass into callus cells and induce low toxicity level in the callus cultures. Nevertheless, calluses from experiment A showed 100% embryogenesis in comparison with experiment B where 100% rhizogenesis was noticed. It could be associated with different stress levels and adaptation time for explants and calluses that were transported into medium with Fe3O4 NPs supplementation.

  6. Clinical significance of stress-related increase in blood pressure: current evidence in office and out-of-office settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munakata, Masanori

    2018-05-29

    High blood pressure is the most significant risk factor of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases worldwide. Blood pressure and its variability are recognized as risk factors. Thus, hypertension control should focus not only on maintaining optimal levels but also on achieving less variability in blood pressure. Psychosocial stress is known to contribute to the development and worsening of hypertension. Stress is perceived by the brain and induces neuroendocrine responses in either a rapid or long-term manner. Moreover, endothelial dysfunction and inflammation might be further involved in the modulation of blood pressure elevation associated with stress. White-coat hypertension, defined as high clinic blood pressure but normal out-of-office blood pressure, is the most popular stress-related blood pressure response. Careful follow-up is necessary for this type of hypertensive patients because some show organ damage or a worse prognosis. On the other hand, masked hypertension, defined as high out-of-office blood pressure but normal office blood pressure, has received considerable interest as a poor prognostic condition. The cause of masked hypertension is complex, but evidence suggests that chronic stress at the workplace or home could be involved. Chronic psychological stress could be associated with distorted lifestyle and mental distress as well as long-lasting allostatic load, contributing to the maintenance of blood pressure elevation. Stress issues are common in patients in modern society. Considering psychosocial stress as the pathogenesis of blood pressure elevation is useful for achieving an individual-focused approach and 24-h blood pressure control.

  7. High Dose Atorvastatin Associated with Increased Risk of Significant Hepatotoxicity in Comparison to Simvastatin in UK GPRD Cohort.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan T Clarke

    Full Text Available Occasional risk of serious liver dysfunction and autoimmune hepatitis during atorvastatin therapy has been reported. We compared the risk of hepatotoxicity in atorvastatin relative to simvastatin treatment.The UK GPRD identified patients with a first prescription for simvastatin [164,407] or atorvastatin [76,411] between 1997 and 2006, but with no prior record of liver disease, alcohol-related diagnosis, or liver dysfunction. Incident liver dysfunction in the following six months was identified by biochemical value and compared between statin groups by Cox regression model adjusting for age, sex, year treatment started, dose, alcohol consumption, smoking, body mass index and comorbid conditions.Moderate to severe hepatotoxicity [bilirubin >60μmol/L, AST or ALT >200U/L or alkaline phosphatase >1200U/L] developed in 71 patients on atorvastatin versus 101 on simvastatin. Adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] for all atorvastatin relative to simvastatin was 1.9 [95% confidence interval 1.4-2.6]. High dose was classified as 40-80mg daily and low dose 10-20mg daily. Hepatotoxicity occurred in 0.44% of 4075 patients on high dose atorvastatin [HDA], 0.07% of 72,336 on low dose atorvastatin [LDA], 0.09% of 44,675 on high dose simvastatin [HDS] and 0.05% of 119,732 on low dose simvastatin [LDS]. AHRs compared to LDS were 7.3 [4.2-12.7] for HDA, 1.4 [0.9-2.0] for LDA and 1.5 [1.0-2.2] for HDS.The risk of hepatotoxicity was increased in the first six months of atorvastatin compared to simvastatin treatment, with the greatest difference between high dose atorvastatin and low dose simvastatin. The numbers of events in the analyses were small.

  8. High Dose Atorvastatin Associated with Increased Risk of Significant Hepatotoxicity in Comparison to Simvastatin in UK GPRD Cohort

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Alan T.; Johnson, Paul C. D.; Hall, Gillian C.; Ford, Ian; Mills, Peter R.

    2016-01-01

    Background & Aims Occasional risk of serious liver dysfunction and autoimmune hepatitis during atorvastatin therapy has been reported. We compared the risk of hepatotoxicity in atorvastatin relative to simvastatin treatment. Methods The UK GPRD identified patients with a first prescription for simvastatin [164,407] or atorvastatin [76,411] between 1997 and 2006, but with no prior record of liver disease, alcohol-related diagnosis, or liver dysfunction. Incident liver dysfunction in the following six months was identified by biochemical value and compared between statin groups by Cox regression model adjusting for age, sex, year treatment started, dose, alcohol consumption, smoking, body mass index and comorbid conditions. Results Moderate to severe hepatotoxicity [bilirubin >60μmol/L, AST or ALT >200U/L or alkaline phosphatase >1200U/L] developed in 71 patients on atorvastatin versus 101 on simvastatin. Adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] for all atorvastatin relative to simvastatin was 1.9 [95% confidence interval 1.4–2.6]. High dose was classified as 40–80mg daily and low dose 10–20mg daily. Hepatotoxicity occurred in 0.44% of 4075 patients on high dose atorvastatin [HDA], 0.07% of 72,336 on low dose atorvastatin [LDA], 0.09% of 44,675 on high dose simvastatin [HDS] and 0.05% of 119,732 on low dose simvastatin [LDS]. AHRs compared to LDS were 7.3 [4.2–12.7] for HDA, 1.4 [0.9–2.0] for LDA and 1.5 [1.0–2.2] for HDS. Conclusions The risk of hepatotoxicity was increased in the first six months of atorvastatin compared to simvastatin treatment, with the greatest difference between high dose atorvastatin and low dose simvastatin. The numbers of events in the analyses were small. PMID:26983033

  9. A significant increase in the pepsinogen I/II ratio is a reliable biomarker for successful Helicobacter pylori eradication.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroki Osumi

    Full Text Available Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori eradication is usually assessed using the 13C-urea breath test (UBT, anti-H. pylori antibody and the H. pylori stool antigen test. However, a few reports have used pepsinogen (PG, in particular, the percentage change in the PG I/II ratio. Here, we evaluated the usefulness of the percentage changes in serum PG I/II ratios for determining the success of eradication therapy for H. pylori.In total, 650 patients received eradication therapy from October 2008 to March 2013 in our Cancer Institute Hospital. We evaluated the relationship between H. pylori eradication and percentage changes in serum PG I/II ratios before and 3 months after treatment with CLEIA® (FUJIREBIO Inc, Tokyo, Japan. The gold standard of H. pylori eradication was defined as negative by the UBT performed 3 months after completion of eradication treatment. Cut-off values for percentage changes in serum PG I/II ratios were set as +40, +25 and +10% when the serum PG I/II ratio before treatment was below 3.0, above 3.0 but below 5.0 and 5.0 or above, respectively.Serum PG I and PG II levels were measured in 562 patients with H. pylori infection before and after eradication therapy. Eradication of H. pylori was achieved in 433 patients studied (77.0%. The ratios of first, second, third-line and penicillin allergy eradication treatment were 73.8% (317/429, 88.3% (99/112, 75% (12/16 and 100% (5/5, respectively. An increasing percentage in the serum levels of the PG I/II ratios after treatment compared with the values before treatment clearly distinguished success from failure of eradication (108.2±57.2 vs. 6.8±30.7, p<0.05. Using the above cut-off values, the sensitivity, specificity and validity for determination of H. pylori were 93.1, 93.8 and 93.2%, respectively.In conclusion, the percentage changes in serum PG I/II ratios are useful as evaluation criteria for assessing the success of eradication therapy for H. pylori.

  10. Joint modeling of genetically correlated diseases and functional annotations increases accuracy of polygenic risk prediction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yiming Hu

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Accurate prediction of disease risk based on genetic factors is an important goal in human genetics research and precision medicine. Advanced prediction models will lead to more effective disease prevention and treatment strategies. Despite the identification of thousands of disease-associated genetic variants through genome-wide association studies (GWAS in the past decade, accuracy of genetic risk prediction remains moderate for most diseases, which is largely due to the challenges in both identifying all the functionally relevant variants and accurately estimating their effect sizes. In this work, we introduce PleioPred, a principled framework that leverages pleiotropy and functional annotations in genetic risk prediction for complex diseases. PleioPred uses GWAS summary statistics as its input, and jointly models multiple genetically correlated diseases and a variety of external information including linkage disequilibrium and diverse functional annotations to increase the accuracy of risk prediction. Through comprehensive simulations and real data analyses on Crohn's disease, celiac disease and type-II diabetes, we demonstrate that our approach can substantially increase the accuracy of polygenic risk prediction and risk population stratification, i.e. PleioPred can significantly better separate type-II diabetes patients with early and late onset ages, illustrating its potential clinical application. Furthermore, we show that the increment in prediction accuracy is significantly correlated with the genetic correlation between the predicted and jointly modeled diseases.

  11. Natural killer cells in obesity: impaired function and increased susceptibility to the effects of cigarette smoke.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    O'Shea, Donal

    2012-02-01

    BACKGROUND: Obese individuals who smoke have a 14 year reduction in life expectancy. Both obesity and smoking are independently associated with increased risk of malignancy. Natural killer cells (NK) are critical mediators of anti-tumour immunity and are compromised in obese patients and smokers. We examined whether NK cell function was differentially affected by cigarette smoke in obese and lean subjects. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Clinical data and blood were collected from 40 severely obese subjects (BMI>40 kg\\/m(2)) and 20 lean healthy subjects. NK cell levels and function were assessed using flow cytometry and cytotoxicity assays. The effect of cigarette smoke on NK cell ability to kill K562 tumour cells was assessed in the presence or absence of the adipokines leptin and adiponectin. NK cell levels were significantly decreased in obese subjects compared to lean controls (7.6 vs 16.6%, p = 0.0008). NK function was also significantly compromised in obese patients (30% +\\/- 13% vs 42% +\\/-12%, p = 0.04). Cigarette smoke inhibited NK cell ability to kill tumour cell lines (p<0.0001). NK cells from obese subjects were even more susceptible to the inhibitory effects of smoke compared to lean subjects (33% vs 28%, p = 0.01). Cigarette smoke prevented NK cell activation, as well as perforin and interferon-gamma secretion upon tumour challenge. Adiponectin but not leptin partially reversed the effects of smoke on NK cell function in both obese (p = 0.002) and lean controls (p = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS\\/SIGNIFICANCE: Obese subjects have impaired NK cell activity that is more susceptible to the detrimental effects of cigarette smoke compared to lean subjects. This may play a role in the increase of cancer and infection seen in this population. Adiponectin is capable of restoring NK cell activity and may have therapeutic potential for immunity in obese subjects and smokers.

  12. Natural killer cells in obesity: impaired function and increased susceptibility to the effects of cigarette smoke.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    O'Shea, Donal

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Obese individuals who smoke have a 14 year reduction in life expectancy. Both obesity and smoking are independently associated with increased risk of malignancy. Natural killer cells (NK) are critical mediators of anti-tumour immunity and are compromised in obese patients and smokers. We examined whether NK cell function was differentially affected by cigarette smoke in obese and lean subjects. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Clinical data and blood were collected from 40 severely obese subjects (BMI>40 kg\\/m(2)) and 20 lean healthy subjects. NK cell levels and function were assessed using flow cytometry and cytotoxicity assays. The effect of cigarette smoke on NK cell ability to kill K562 tumour cells was assessed in the presence or absence of the adipokines leptin and adiponectin. NK cell levels were significantly decreased in obese subjects compared to lean controls (7.6 vs 16.6%, p = 0.0008). NK function was also significantly compromised in obese patients (30% +\\/- 13% vs 42% +\\/-12%, p = 0.04). Cigarette smoke inhibited NK cell ability to kill tumour cell lines (p<0.0001). NK cells from obese subjects were even more susceptible to the inhibitory effects of smoke compared to lean subjects (33% vs 28%, p = 0.01). Cigarette smoke prevented NK cell activation, as well as perforin and interferon-gamma secretion upon tumour challenge. Adiponectin but not leptin partially reversed the effects of smoke on NK cell function in both obese (p = 0.002) and lean controls (p = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS\\/SIGNIFICANCE: Obese subjects have impaired NK cell activity that is more susceptible to the detrimental effects of cigarette smoke compared to lean subjects. This may play a role in the increase of cancer and infection seen in this population. Adiponectin is capable of restoring NK cell activity and may have therapeutic potential for immunity in obese subjects and smokers.

  13. Natural killer cells in obesity: impaired function and increased susceptibility to the effects of cigarette smoke.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donal O'Shea

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Obese individuals who smoke have a 14 year reduction in life expectancy. Both obesity and smoking are independently associated with increased risk of malignancy. Natural killer cells (NK are critical mediators of anti-tumour immunity and are compromised in obese patients and smokers. We examined whether NK cell function was differentially affected by cigarette smoke in obese and lean subjects. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Clinical data and blood were collected from 40 severely obese subjects (BMI>40 kg/m(2 and 20 lean healthy subjects. NK cell levels and function were assessed using flow cytometry and cytotoxicity assays. The effect of cigarette smoke on NK cell ability to kill K562 tumour cells was assessed in the presence or absence of the adipokines leptin and adiponectin. NK cell levels were significantly decreased in obese subjects compared to lean controls (7.6 vs 16.6%, p = 0.0008. NK function was also significantly compromised in obese patients (30% +/- 13% vs 42% +/-12%, p = 0.04. Cigarette smoke inhibited NK cell ability to kill tumour cell lines (p<0.0001. NK cells from obese subjects were even more susceptible to the inhibitory effects of smoke compared to lean subjects (33% vs 28%, p = 0.01. Cigarette smoke prevented NK cell activation, as well as perforin and interferon-gamma secretion upon tumour challenge. Adiponectin but not leptin partially reversed the effects of smoke on NK cell function in both obese (p = 0.002 and lean controls (p = 0.01. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Obese subjects have impaired NK cell activity that is more susceptible to the detrimental effects of cigarette smoke compared to lean subjects. This may play a role in the increase of cancer and infection seen in this population. Adiponectin is capable of restoring NK cell activity and may have therapeutic potential for immunity in obese subjects and smokers.

  14. Consequences of increasing hypoxic disturbance on benthic communities and ecosystem functioning.

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    Anna Villnäs

    Full Text Available Disturbance-mediated species loss has prompted research considering how ecosystem functions are changed when biota is impaired. However, there is still limited empirical evidence from natural environments evaluating the direct and indirect (i.e. via biota effects of disturbance on ecosystem functioning. Oxygen deficiency is a widespread threat to coastal and estuarine communities. While the negative impacts of hypoxia on benthic communities are well known, few studies have assessed in situ how benthic communities subjected to different degrees of hypoxic stress alter their contribution to ecosystem functioning. We studied changes in sediment ecosystem function (i.e. oxygen and nutrient fluxes across the sediment water-interface by artificially inducing hypoxia of different durations (0, 3, 7 and 48 days in a subtidal sandy habitat. Benthic chamber incubations were used for measuring responses in sediment oxygen and nutrient fluxes. Changes in benthic species richness, structure and traits were quantified, while stress-induced behavioral changes were documented by observing bivalve reburial rates. The initial change in faunal behavior was followed by non-linear degradation in benthic parameters (abundance, biomass, bioturbation potential, gradually impairing the structural and functional composition of the benthic community. In terms of ecosystem function, the increasing duration of hypoxia altered sediment oxygen consumption and enhanced sediment effluxes of NH(4(+ and dissolved Si. Although effluxes of PO(4(3- were not altered significantly, changes were observed in sediment PO(4(3- sorption capability. The duration of hypoxia (i.e. number of days of stress explained a minor part of the changes in ecosystem function. Instead, the benthic community and disturbance-driven changes within the benthos explained a larger proportion of the variability in sediment oxygen- and nutrient fluxes. Our results emphasize that the level of stress to the

  15. Increased Functional Half-life of Fibroblast Growth Factor-1 by Recovering a Vestigial Disulfide Bond

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    Jihun Lee

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The fibroblast growth factor (FGF family of proteins contains an absolutely conserved Cys residue at position 83 that is present as a buried free cysteine. We have previously shown that mutation of the structurally adjacent residue, Ala66, to cysteine results in the formation of a stabilizing disulfide bond in FGF-1. This result suggests that the conserved free cysteine residue at position 83 in the FGF family of proteins represents a vestigial half-cystine. Here, we characterize the functional half-life and mitogenic activity of the oxidized form of the Ala66Cys mutation to identify the effect of the recovered vestigial disulfide bond between Cys83 and Cys66 upon the cellular function of FGF-1. The results show that the mitogenic activity of this mutant is significantly increased and that its functional half-life is greatly extended. These favorable effects are conferred by the formation of a disulfide bond that simultaneously increases thermodynamic stability of the protein and removes a reactive buried thiol at position 83. Recovering this vestigial disulfide by introducing a cysteine at position 66 is a potentially useful protein engineering strategy to improve the functional half-life of other FGF family members.

  16. The Increase of the Functional Entropy of the Human Brain with Age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Y.; Lu, W. L.; Xu, B.; Li, C. B.; Lin, C. P.; Waxman, D.; Feng, J. F.

    2013-01-01

    We use entropy to characterize intrinsic ageing properties of the human brain. Analysis of fMRI data from a large dataset of individuals, using resting state BOLD signals, demonstrated that a functional entropy associated with brain activity increases with age. During an average lifespan, the entropy, which was calculated from a population of individuals, increased by approximately 0.1 bits, due to correlations in BOLD activity becoming more widely distributed. We attribute this to the number of excitatory neurons and the excitatory conductance decreasing with age. Incorporating these properties into a computational model leads to quantitatively similar results to the fMRI data. Our dataset involved males and females and we found significant differences between them. The entropy of males at birth was lower than that of females. However, the entropies of the two sexes increase at different rates, and intersect at approximately 50 years; after this age, males have a larger entropy. PMID:24103922

  17. The clinical significance and biological function of lncRNA RGMB-AS1 in hepatocellular carcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheng, Nan; Li, Yannan; Qian, Ruikun; Li, Yichun

    2018-02-01

    LncRNA RGMB-AS1 has been suggested to play significant roles in lung cancer progression. However, it remains unknown whether lncRNA RGMB-AS1 is involved in the development and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma. In our results, lncRNA RGMB-AS1 was low-expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma tissues and cell lines, and associated with clinical stage, tumor size and metastasis. Survival analysis indicated that lncRNA RGMB-AS1 high was an independent favorable prognostic factor for hepatocellular carcinoma patients. Gain-of-function studies showed up-regulated lncRNA RGMB-AS1 expression suppressed hepatocellular carcinoma cells proliferation, migration and invasion, and promoted cells apoptosis. There was a positively association between lncRNA RGMB-AS1 and RGMB in hepatocellular carcinoma tissues, and up-regulated lncRNA RGMB-AS1 expression increased RGMB mRNA and protein expressions in hepatocellular carcinoma cells. In conclusion, lncRNA RGMB-AS1 serves an anti-oncogenic role in hepatocellular carcinoma. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  18. Accurate prediction of the functional significance of single nucleotide polymorphisms and mutations in the ABCA1 gene.

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    Liam R Brunham

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available The human genome contains an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 DNA variants that alter an amino acid in an encoded protein. However, our ability to predict which of these variants are functionally significant is limited. We used a bioinformatics approach to define the functional significance of genetic variation in the ABCA1 gene, a cholesterol transporter crucial for the metabolism of high density lipoprotein cholesterol. To predict the functional consequence of each coding single nucleotide polymorphism and mutation in this gene, we calculated a substitution position-specific evolutionary conservation score for each variant, which considers site-specific variation among evolutionarily related proteins. To test the bioinformatics predictions experimentally, we evaluated the biochemical consequence of these sequence variants by examining the ability of cell lines stably transfected with the ABCA1 alleles to elicit cholesterol efflux. Our bioinformatics approach correctly predicted the functional impact of greater than 94% of the naturally occurring variants we assessed. The bioinformatics predictions were significantly correlated with the degree of functional impairment of ABCA1 mutations (r2 = 0.62, p = 0.0008. These results have allowed us to define the impact of genetic variation on ABCA1 function and to suggest that the in silico evolutionary approach we used may be a useful tool in general for predicting the effects of DNA variation on gene function. In addition, our data suggest that considering patterns of positive selection, along with patterns of negative selection such as evolutionary conservation, may improve our ability to predict the functional effects of amino acid variation.

  19. Correlations Between the Gradient of Contrast Density, Evaluated by Cardio CT, and Functional Significance of Coronary Artery Stenosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orzan Marius

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Assessment of the hemodynamic significance of a coronary artery stenosis is a challenging task, being extremely important for the establishment of indication for revascularization in atherosclerotic coronary artery stenosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of a new marker reflecting the functional significance of a coronary artery stenosis, represented by the attenuation degree of contrast density along the stenosis by Coronary CT.

  20. Selective neurocognitive deficits and poor life functioning are associated with significant depressive symptoms in alcoholism-HIV infection comorbidity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sassoon, Stephanie A; Rosenbloom, Margaret J; Fama, Rosemary; Sullivan, Edith V; Pfefferbaum, Adolf

    2012-09-30

    Alcoholism, HIV, and depressive symptoms frequently co-occur and are associated with impairment in cognition and life function. We administered the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), measures of life function, and neurocognitive tests to 67 alcoholics, 56 HIV+ patients, 63 HIV+ alcoholics, and 64 controls to examine whether current depressive symptom level (significant, BDI-II>14 vs. minimal, BDI-IIalcoholism-HIV comorbidity. Participants with significant depressive symptoms demonstrated slower manual motor speed and poorer visuospatial memory than those with minimal depressive symptoms. HIV patients with depressive symptoms showed impaired manual motor speed. Alcoholics with depressive symptoms showed impaired visuospatial memory. HIV+ alcoholics with depressive symptoms reported the poorest quality of life; alcoholics with depressive symptoms, irrespective of HIV status, had poorest life functioning. Thus, significant depressive symptoms were associated with poorer selective cognitive and life functioning in alcoholism and in HIV infection, even though depressive symptoms had neither synergistic nor additive effects on cognition in alcoholism-HIV comorbidity. The results suggest the relevance of assessing and treating current depressive symptoms to reduce cognitive compromise and functional disability in HIV infection, alcoholism, and their comorbidity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Increasing sync rate of pulse-coupled oscillators via phase response function design: theory and application to wireless networks

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Yongqiang; Nunez, Felipe; Doyle III, Francis J.

    2012-01-01

    This paper addresses the synchronization rate of weakly connected pulse-coupled oscillators (PCOs). We prove that besides coupling strength, the phase response function is also a determinant of synchronization rate. Inspired by the result, we propose to increase the synchronization rate of PCOs by designing the phase response function. This has important significance in PCO-based clock synchronization of wireless networks. By designing the phase response function, synchronization rate is incr...

  2. Quantitative coronary angiography in the estimation of the functional significance of coronary stenosis: correlations with dobutamine-atropine stress test

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.M.P. Baptista da Silva (José); M. Arnese (Mariarosaria); J.R.T.C. Roelandt (Jos); P.M. Fioretti (Paolo); D.T.J. Keane (David); J. Escaned (Javier); C. di Mario (Carlo); P.W.J.C. Serruys (Patrick); H. Boersma (Eric)

    1994-01-01

    textabstractOBJECTIVES. The purpose of this study was to determine the predictive value of quantitative coronary angiography in the assessment of the functional significance of coronary stenosis as judged from the development of left ventricular wall motion abnormalities during dobutamine-atropine

  3. IL-6 signaling blockade increases inflammation but does not affect muscle function in the mdx mouse

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    Kostek Matthew C

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background IL-6 is a pleiotropic cytokine that modulates inflammatory responses and plays critical roles in muscle maintenance and remodeling. In the mouse model (mdx of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, IL-6 and muscle inflammation are elevated, which is believed to contribute to the chronic inflammation and failure of muscle regeneration in DMD. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effect of blocking IL-6 signaling on the muscle phenotype including muscle weakness and pathology in the mdx mouse. Methods A monoclonal antibody against the IL-6 receptor (IL-6r mAb that blocks local and systemic IL-6 signaling was administered to mdx and BL-10 mice for 5 weeks and muscle function, histology, and inflammation were examined. Results IL-6r mAb treatment increased mdx muscle inflammation including total inflammation score and ICAM-1 positive lumens in muscles. There was no significant improvement in muscle strength nor muscle pathology due to IL-6r mAb treatment in mdx mice. Conclusions These results showed that instead of reducing inflammation, IL-6 signaling blockade for 5 weeks caused an increase in muscle inflammation, with no significant change in indices related to muscle regeneration and muscle function. The results suggest a potential anti-inflammatory instead of the original hypothesized pro-inflammatory role of IL-6 signaling in the mdx mice.

  4. Oculomotor executive function abnormalities with increased tic severity in Tourette syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeter, Cameron B; Patel, Saumil S; Morris, Jeffrey S; Chuang, Alice Z; Butler, Ian J; Sereno, Anne B

    2015-02-01

    Reports conflict as to whether Tourette syndrome (TS) confers deficits in executive function. This study's aim was to evaluate executive function in youths with TS using oculomotor tasks while controlling for confounds of tic severity, age, medication, and severity of comorbid disorders. Four saccade tasks requiring the executive functions of response generation, response inhibition, and working memory (prosaccade, antisaccade, 0-back, and 1-back) were administered. Twenty youths with TS and low tic severity (TS-low), nineteen with TS and moderate tic severity (TS-moderate), and 29 typically developing control subjects (Controls) completed the oculomotor tasks. There were small differences across groups in the prosaccade task. Controlling for any small sensorimotor differences, TS-moderate subjects had significantly higher error rates than Controls and TS-low subjects in the 0-back and 1-back tasks. In the 1-back task, these patients also took longer to respond than Controls or TS-low subjects. In a highly controlled design, the findings demonstrate for the first time that increased tic severity in TS is associated with impaired response inhibition and impaired working memory and that these executive function deficits cannot be accounted for by differences in age, medication or comorbid symptom severity. © 2014 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

  5. 17β Estradiol increases resilience and improves hippocampal synaptic function in helpless ovariectomized rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bredemann, Teruko M.; McMahon, Lori L.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Memory impairment is the most commonly reported cognitive symptom associated with major depressive disorder. Decreased hippocampal volume and neurogenesis in depression link hippocampal dysfunction with deficits in memory. Stress decreases hippocampal dendritic spine density and long-term potentiation (LTP) at glutamate synapses, a cellular correlate of learning and memory. However, elevated plasma levels of 17β estradiol (E2) during proestrus increase hippocampal structure and function, directly opposing the negative consequences of stress. In women, significant fluctuations in ovarian hormones likely increase vulnerability of hippocampal circuits to stress, potentially contributing to the greater incidence of depression compared to men. Using the learned helplessness model of depression and ovariectomized female rats, we investigated whether acquisition of helplessness and hippocampal synaptic dysfunction is differentially impacted by the presence or absence of plasma E2. We find that inescapable shock induces a greater incidence of helplessness in vehicle- versus E2-treated OVX rats. In the vehicle-treated group, LTP was absent at CA3-CA1 synapses in slices only from helpless rats, and CA1 spine density was decreased compared to resilient rats. In contrast, significant LTP was observed in slices from E2-treated helpless rats; importantly, spine density was not different between E2-treated helpless and resilient rats, dissociating spine density from the LTP magnitude. We also find that E2 replacement can reverse previously established helpless behavior. Thus, our results show that E2 replacement in OVX rats increases resilience and improves hippocampal plasticity, suggesting that E2 therapy may increase resilience to stress and preserve hippocampal function in women experiencing large fluctuations in plasma estrogen levels. PMID:24636504

  6. [Changes in serum YKL-40 level and humoral immune function and their significance in children with recurrent pneumonia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Wei-Yin; Peng, Shao; Zhang, Ting

    2017-04-01

    To investigate the changes in serum YKL-40 level and humoral immune function and their significance in children with recurrent pneumonia. Blood samples were collected from 30 children with recurrent pneumonia (recurrent pneumonia group), 30 children with acute pneumonia (acute pneumonia group), and 30 healthy children (control group). Serum YKL-40 levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The correlation between serum YKL-40 level and laboratory indices related to humoral immune function was analyzed. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was used to analyze the diagnostic value of serum YKL-40 level for recurrent pneumonia. The recurrent pneumonia group had a significantly higher serum YKL-40 level than the acute pneumonia and control groups (Ppneumonia group had a significantly higher serum YKL-40 level than the control group (Ppneumonia group were significantly lower than in the acute pneumonia group (Ppneumonia was 0.958 (95%CI: 0.921-0.994). Humoral immune function is low in children with recurrent pneumonia. Serum YKL-40 may be involved in the occurrence of recurrent pneumonia and can be used as a reference index for diagnosing recurrent pneumonia.

  7. Brainstem stimulation increases functional connectivity of basal forebrain-paralimbic network in isoflurane-anesthetized rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillay, Siveshigan; Liu, Xiping; Baracskay, Péter; Hudetz, Anthony G

    2014-09-01

    Brain states and cognitive-behavioral functions are precisely controlled by subcortical neuromodulatory networks. Manipulating key components of the ascending arousal system (AAS), via deep-brain stimulation, may help facilitate global arousal in anesthetized animals. Here we test the hypothesis that electrical stimulation of the oral part of the pontine reticular nucleus (PnO) under light isoflurane anesthesia, associated with loss of consciousness, leads to cortical desynchronization and specific changes in blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) functional connectivity (FC) of the brain. BOLD signals were acquired simultaneously with frontal epidural electroencephalogram before and after PnO stimulation. Whole-brain FC was mapped using correlation analysis with seeds in major centers of the AAS. PnO stimulation produced cortical desynchronization, a decrease in δ- and θ-band power, and an increase in approximate entropy. Significant increases in FC after PnO stimulation occurred between the left nucleus Basalis of Meynert (NBM) as seed and numerous regions of the paralimbic network. Smaller increases in FC were present between the central medial thalamic nucleus and retrosplenium seeds and the left caudate putamen and NBM. The results suggest that, during light anesthesia, PnO stimulation preferentially modulates basal forebrain-paralimbic networks. We speculate that this may be a reflection of disconnected awareness.

  8. Changes in rocket salad phytochemicals within the commercial supply chain: Glucosinolates, isothiocyanates, amino acids and bacterial load increase significantly after processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Luke; Yahya, Hanis Nadia; Oloyede, Omobolanle Oluwadamilola; Methven, Lisa; Wagstaff, Carol

    2017-04-15

    Five cultivars of Eruca sativa and a commercial variety of Diplotaxis tenuifolia were grown in the UK (summer) and subjected to commercial growth, harvesting and processing, with subsequent shelf life storage. Glucosinolates (GSL), isothiocyanates (ITC), amino acids (AA), free sugars, and bacterial loads were analysed throughout the supply chain to determine the effects on phytochemical compositions. Bacterial load of leaves increased significantly over time and peaked during shelf life storage. Significant correlations were observed with GSL and AA concentrations, suggesting a previously unknown relationship between plants and endemic leaf bacteria. GSLs, ITCs and AAs increased significantly after processing and during shelf life. The supply chain did not significantly affect glucoraphanin concentrations, and its ITC sulforaphane significantly increased during shelf life in E. sativa cultivars. We hypothesise that commercial processing may increase the nutritional value of the crop, and have added health benefits for the consumer. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Functional dilatation and medial remodeling of the renal artery in response to chronic increased blood flow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roan, Jun-Neng; Yeh, Chin-Yi; Chiu, Wen-Cheng; Lee, Chou-Hwei; Chang, Shih-Wei; Jiangshieh, Ya-Fen; Tsai, Yu-Chuan; Lam, Chen-Fuh

    2011-01-01

    Renal blood flow (RBF) is tightly regulated by several intrinsic pathways in maintaining optimal kidney blood supply. Using a rat model of aortocaval (AC) fistula, we investigated remodeling of the renal artery following prolonged increased blood flow. An AC fistula was created in the infrarenal aorta of anesthetized rats, and changes of blood flow in the renal artery were assessed using an ultrasonic flow probe. Morphological changes and expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and matrix metalloproteinase-2 in the remodeled renal artery were analyzed. Blood flow in the renal artery increased immediately after creation of AC fistula, but normal RBF was restored 8 weeks later. The renal artery dilated significantly 8 weeks after operation. Expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and matrix metalloproteinase-2 was upregulated shortly after blood flow increase, and returned to baseline levels after 3 weeks. Histological sections showed luminal dilatation with medial thickening and endothelial cell-to-smooth muscle cell attachments in the remodeled renal artery. Increased RBF was accommodated by functional dilatation and remodeling in the medial layer of the renal artery in order to restore normal blood flow. Our results provide important mechanistic insight into the intrinsic regulation of the renal artery in response to increased RBF. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  10. Increasing sync rate of pulse-coupled oscillators via phase response function design: theory and application to wireless networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yongqiang; Núñez, Felipe; Doyle, Francis J

    2012-07-25

    This paper addresses the synchronization rate of weakly connected pulse-coupled oscillators (PCOs). We prove that besides coupling strength, the phase response function is also a determinant of synchronization rate. Inspired by the result, we propose to increase the synchronization rate of PCOs by designing the phase response function. This has important significance in PCO-based clock synchronization of wireless networks. By designing the phase response function, synchronization rate is increased even under a fixed transmission power. Given that energy consumption in synchronization is determined by the product of synchronization time and transformation power, the new strategy reduces energy consumption in clock synchronization. QualNet experiments confirm the theoretical results.

  11. Decreased Fibroblast and Increased Osteoblast Functions on Ionic Plasma Deposited Nanostructured Ti Coatings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Storey Dan

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available AbstractBioactive coatings are in high demand to control cellular functions for numerous medical devices. The objective of this in vitro study was to characterize for the first time fibroblast (fibrous scar tissue forming cells adhesion and proliferation on an important polymeric biomaterial (silicone coated with titanium using a novel ionic plasma deposition (IPD process. Fibroblasts are one of the first anchorage-dependent cells to arrive at an implant surface during the wound healing process. Persistent excessive functions of fibroblasts have been linked to detrimental fibrous tissue formation which may cause implant failure. The IPD process creates a surface-engineered nanostructure (with features usually below 100 nm by first using a vacuum to remove all contaminants, then guiding charged metallic ions or plasma to the surface of a medical device at ambient temperature. Results demonstrated that compared to currently used titanium and uncoated silicone, silicone coated with titanium using IPD significantly decreased fibroblast adhesion and proliferation. Results also showed competitively increased osteoblast (bone-forming cells over fibroblast adhesion on silicone coated with titanium; in contrast, osteoblast adhesion was not competitively increased over fibroblast adhesion on uncoated silicone or titanium controls. In this manner, this study strongly suggests that IPD should be further studied for biomaterial applications in which fibrous tissue encapsulation is undesirable (such as for orthopedic implants, cardiovascular components, etc..

  12. Functional residual capacity increase during laparoscopic surgery with abdominal wall lift

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroshi Ueda

    Full Text Available Abstract Background and objectives: The number of laparoscopic surgeries performed is increasing every year and in most cases the pneumoperitoneum method is used. One alternative is the abdominal wall lifting method and this study was undertaken to evaluate changes of functional residual capacity during the abdominal wall lift procedure. Methods: From January to April 2013, 20 patients underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy at a single institution. All patients were anesthetized using propofol, remifentanil and rocuronium. FRC was measured automatically by Engstrom Carestation before the abdominal wall lift and again 15 minutes after the start of the procedure. Results: After abdominal wall lift, there was a significant increase in functional residual capacity values (before abdominal wall lift 1.48 × 103 mL, after abdominal wall lift 1.64 × 103 mL (p < 0.0001. No complications such as desaturation were observed in any patient during this study. Conclusions: Laparoscopic surgery with abdominal wall lift may be appropriate for patients who have risk factors such as obesity and respiratory disease.

  13. Clinical significance of a proposed lymphoscintigrpahic functional grade system in patients with extremity lymphedema of stage i

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choi, Joan Young; Hwang, Ji Hye; Kim, Dong Ik; Cho, Young Seok; Lee, Su Jin; Choi, Yong; Choe, Yeam Seong; Lee, Kyung Han; Kim, Byung Tae

    2005-01-01

    We proposed a new lymphoscintigrpahic functional grade (LGr) system in extremity lymphedema, and investigated the association between the LGr and a long-term response to physical therapy in patients with extremity lymphedema of stage I. The subjects were 20 patients with unilateral extremity lymphedema of stage I, who underwent pre-treatment extremity lymphoscintigraphy using Tc-99m antimony sulfur colloid, and were treated by complex decongestive physical therapy (CDPT). A proposed lymphoscintigrpahic functional grade system consisted of LGr 0 to LGr 4 according to the ilioinguinal nodal uptake, amount of dermal backflow, and uptake pattern of main and collateral lymphatics : LGr 0 = normal, LGr 1 = decreased lymphatic function without dermal backflow, LGr 2 = decreased lymphatic function with dermal backflow, LGr 3 = non - visualization of main lymphatics with dermal backflow, and LGr 4 = no significant lymphatic transport from injection site. LGr 2 was divided into 2A and 2B based on the amount of dermal backflow. A physician who is a lymphedema specialist determined the long-term outcome to CDPT with normalized response (NR), good response (GR) and poor response (PR) based on the change of edema volume reduction, skin status and occurrence of dermatolymphangioadenitis after the clinical follow-up for more than 1 year. Therapeutic responses were NR in 2 patients. GR in 9 patients and PR in 9 patients. Baseline LGrs were 1 in 7 patients, 2A in 4 patients, 2B in 5 patients, 3 in 2 patients, and 4 in 2 patients. There was a significant relationship between therapeutic response and LGr (p=0.003). In other words, 10 of 11 patients (91%) with LGr 1 or 2A showed NR. or GR. On the contrary, 8 of 9 patients (89%) with LGr 2B, 3 or 4 showed PR. Patients with unilateral extremity lymphedema of stage I had different lymphoscintigrpahic functional grades. This grade system may be useful to predict the response to physical therapy in such patients

  14. Clinical significance of a proposed lymphoscintigrpahic functional grade system in patients with extremity lymphedema of stage i

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Choi, Joan Young; Hwang, Ji Hye; Kim, Dong Ik; Cho, Young Seok; Lee, Su Jin; Choi, Yong; Choe, Yeam Seong; Lee, Kyung Han; Kim, Byung Tae [Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2005-07-01

    We proposed a new lymphoscintigrpahic functional grade (LGr) system in extremity lymphedema, and investigated the association between the LGr and a long-term response to physical therapy in patients with extremity lymphedema of stage I. The subjects were 20 patients with unilateral extremity lymphedema of stage I, who underwent pre-treatment extremity lymphoscintigraphy using Tc-99m antimony sulfur colloid, and were treated by complex decongestive physical therapy (CDPT). A proposed lymphoscintigrpahic functional grade system consisted of LGr 0 to LGr 4 according to the ilioinguinal nodal uptake, amount of dermal backflow, and uptake pattern of main and collateral lymphatics : LGr 0 = normal, LGr 1 = decreased lymphatic function without dermal backflow, LGr 2 = decreased lymphatic function with dermal backflow, LGr 3 = non - visualization of main lymphatics with dermal backflow, and LGr 4 = no significant lymphatic transport from injection site. LGr 2 was divided into 2A and 2B based on the amount of dermal backflow. A physician who is a lymphedema specialist determined the long-term outcome to CDPT with normalized response (NR), good response (GR) and poor response (PR) based on the change of edema volume reduction, skin status and occurrence of dermatolymphangioadenitis after the clinical follow-up for more than 1 year. Therapeutic responses were NR in 2 patients. GR in 9 patients and PR in 9 patients. Baseline LGrs were 1 in 7 patients, 2A in 4 patients, 2B in 5 patients, 3 in 2 patients, and 4 in 2 patients. There was a significant relationship between therapeutic response and LGr (p=0.003). In other words, 10 of 11 patients (91%) with LGr 1 or 2A showed NR. or GR. On the contrary, 8 of 9 patients (89%) with LGr 2B, 3 or 4 showed PR. Patients with unilateral extremity lymphedema of stage I had different lymphoscintigrpahic functional grades. This grade system may be useful to predict the response to physical therapy in such patients.

  15. Chronic treatment with tadalafil improves endothelial function in men with increased cardiovascular risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosano, Giuseppe M C; Aversa, Antonio; Vitale, Cristiana; Fabbri, Andrea; Fini, Massimo; Spera, Giovanni

    2005-02-01

    Erectile dysfunction (ED) is often associated with a cluster of risk factors for coronary artery disease and reduced endothelial function. Acute and chronic administration of oral sildenafil, a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor, improves endothelial function in patients with ED. Tadalafil (TAD) is a new PDE5 inhibitor with a long half life that allows alternate day administration. Aim of the study was to evaluate whether chronic therapy (4 weeks) with TAD improves endothelial function in patients with increased cardiovascular risk and whether this effect is sustained after discontinuation of therapy. We randomized 32 patients with increased cardiovascular risk to receive either TAD 20 mg on alternate days or matching placebo (PLB) for 4 weeks. Patients underwent evaluation of brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD), nitrite/nitrate and endothelin-1 plasma levels at baseline, at the end of treatment period and after two-weeks follow-up. At 4 weeks, FMD was significantly improved by TAD (from 4.2+/-3.2 to 9.3+/-3.7%, p<0.01 vs. baseline), but was not modified by PLB (from 4.1+/-2.8 to 4.0+/-3.4%, p=NS). At 6 weeks the benefit in FMD was sustained in patients that received TAD (9.1+/-3.9% vs. 4.2+/-3.2%, p=0.01 vs. baseline; 9.1+/-3.9% vs. 9.3+/-3.7%, vs. 4 weeks, p=NS) while no changes in FMD were observed in patients randomized to PLB. Also, compared to baseline, a net increase in nitrite/nitrate levels (38.2+/-12.3 vs. 52.6+/-11.7 and 51.1+/-3.1, p<0.05) and a decrease in endothelin-1 levels (3.3+/-0.9 vs. 2.9.+/-0.7 and 2.9+/-0.9, p<0.05) was found both at four and six-weeks after TAD; these changes were inversely correlated as shown by regression analysis (adjusted R2=0.81, p<0.0001). Chronic therapy with TAD improves endothelial function in patients with increased cardiovascular risk regardless their degree of ED. The benefit of this therapy is sustained for at least two weeks after the discontinuation of therapy. Larger studies are needed in order

  16. Functional unit and product functionality—addressing increase in consumption and demand for functionality in sustainability assessment with LCA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kim, Seung Jin; Kara, Sami; Hauschild, Michael Zwicky

    2016-01-01

    behaviour and demonstrates the vicious circle of improving product efficiency that leads to further consumption and environmental impact. To address this problem, a new framework of dynamic functional unit definition is put forward for performing comparative LCA to manage the development of product life...... consumption of products in provided services as well as in growing volumes. This article aims to present a new framework in defining a dynamic functional unit of product technologies that caters for changes in consumer behaviour and growing market. Methods: A new approach to defining the functional unit...... is demonstrated on a case study in which the analysis of historical data for two TV product technologies—CRT and LCD—is used to show how the total environmental impact is increasing due to the increased functionality which triggers an increase in the volume of the market. Despite the efforts of improving product...

  17. T-2 mycotoxin treatment of newborn rat pups does not significantly affect nervous system functions in adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varró, Petra; Béldi, Melinda; Kovács, Melinda; Világi, Ildikó

    2018-03-01

    T-2 toxin is primarily produced by Fusarium sp. abundant under temperate climatic conditions. Its main harmful effect is the inhibition of protein synthesis. Causing oxidative stress, it also promotes lipid peroxidation and changes plasma membrane phospholipid composition; this may lead to nervous system alterations. The aim of the present study was to examine whether a single dose of T-2 toxin administered at newborn age has any long-lasting effects on nervous system functions. Rat pups were treated on the first postnatal day with a single intraperitoneal dose of T-2 toxin (0.2 mg/bwkg). Body weight of treated pups was lower during the second and third week of life, compared to littermates; later, weight gain was recovered. At young adulthood, behavior was tested in the open field, and no difference was observed between treated and control rats. Field potential recordings from somatosensory cortex and hippocampus slices did not reveal any significant difference in neuronal network functions. In case of neocortical field EPSP, the shape was slightly different in treated pups. Long-term synaptic plasticity was also comparable in both groups. Seizure susceptibility of the slices was not different, either. In conclusion, T-2 toxin did not significantly affect basic nervous system functions at this dose.

  18. Impairments in real-world executive function increase from childhood to adolescence in autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenthal, Michael; Wallace, Gregory L; Lawson, Rachel; Wills, Meagan C; Dixon, Eunice; Yerys, Benjamin E; Kenworthy, Lauren

    2013-01-01

    Although several studies have investigated developmental trajectories of executive functioning (EF) in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) using lab-based tasks, no study to date has directly measured how EF skills in everyday settings vary at different ages. The current study seeks to extend prior work by evaluating age-related differences in parent-reported EF problems during childhood and adolescence in a large cross-sectional cohort of children with ASD. Children (N = 185) with an ASD without intellectual disability participated in the study. Participants were divided into four groups based on age (5-7, 8-10, 11-13, and 14-18-year-olds). The four age groups did not differ in IQ, sex ratio, or autism symptoms. There were significant age effects (i.e., worsening scores with increasing age) in three of G. A. Gioia, P. K. Isquith, S. Guy, and L. Kenworthy's (2000) BRIEF: Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, Odessa, FL, Psychological Assessment Resources scale scores: Initiate (p = .007), working memory (p = .003), and organization of materials (p = .023). In addition, analysis of the BRIEF scale profile revealed that, although multiple scales were elevated, the shift scale showed the greatest problems in both the youngest and oldest age cohorts. Older children with ASD show greater EF problems compared with the normative sample than younger children with ASD. Specifically, there is a widening divergence from the normative sample in metacognitive executive abilities in children with ASD as they age. This, in combination with significant, albeit more stable, impairments in flexibility, has implications for the challenges faced by high-functioning individuals with ASD as they attempt to enter mainstream work and social environments.

  19. Increasing comorbidity is associated with worsening physical function and pain after primary total knee arthroplasty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilton, Maren E; Gioe, Terence; Noorbaloochi, Siamak; Singh, Jasvinder A

    2016-10-07

    Previous studies suggested that pre-operative comorbidity was a risk factor for worse outcomes after TKA. To our knowledge, studies have not examined whether postoperative changes in comorbidity impact pain and function outcomes longitudinally. Our objective was to examine if increasing comorbidity postoperatively is associated with worsening physical function and pain after primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA). We performed a retrospective chart review of veterans who had completed Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) and Short Form-36 (SF36) surveys at regular intervals after primary TKA. Comorbidity was assessed using a variety of scales: validated Charlson comorbidity index score, and a novel Arthroplasty Comorbidity Severity Index score (Including medical index, local musculoskeletal index [including lower extremity and spine] and TKA-related index subscales; higher scores are worse ), at multiple time-points post-TKA. We used mixed model linear regression to examine the association of worsening comorbidity post-TKA with change in WOMAC and SF-36 scores in the subsequent follow-up periods, controlling for age, length of follow-up, and repeated observations. The study cohort consisted of 124 patients with a mean age of 71.7 years (range 58.6-89.2, standard deviation (SD) 6.9) followed for a mean of 4.9 years post-operatively (range 1.3-11.4; SD 2.8). We found that post-operative worsening of the Charlson Index score was significantly associated with worsening SF-36 Physical Function (PF) (beta coefficient (ß) = -0.07; p < 0.0001), SF-36 Bodily Pain (BP) (ß = -0.06; p = 0.002), and WOMAC PF subscale (ß = 0.08; p < 0.001; higher scores are worse) scores, in the subsequent periods. Worsening novel medical index subscale scores were significantly associated with worsening SF-36 PF scores (ß = -0.03; p = 0.002), SF-36 BP (ß = -0.04; p < 0.001) and showed a non-significant trend

  20. Functional hypothalamic amenorrhea due to increased CRH tone in melanocortin receptor 2-deficient mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuwaki, Takashi; Nishihara, Masugi; Sato, Tsuyoshi; Yoda, Tetsuya; Iwakura, Yoichiro; Chida, Dai

    2010-11-01

    Exposure to chronic stressors results in dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and a disruption in reproduction. CRH, the principal regulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis induces the secretion of ACTH from the pituitary, which stimulates adrenal steroidogenesis via the specific cell-surface melanocortin 2 receptor (MC2R). Previously, we demonstrated that MC2R(-/-) mice had undetectable levels of corticosterone despite high ACTH levels. Here, we evaluated the reproductive functions of female MC2R(-/-) mice and analyzed the mechanism of the disrupted cyclicity of these mice. The expression of CRH in the paraventricular nucleus was significantly increased in MC2R(-/-) mice under nonstressed conditions. Although MC2R(-/-) females were fertile, they showed a prolonged estrous cycle. After hormonal stimulation, MC2R(-/-) females produced nearly-normal numbers of eggs, but slightly less than MC2R(+/-) females, and showed near-normal ovarian histology. During diestrus, the number of GnRH-positive cells in the medial preoptic area was significantly reduced in MC2R(-/-) females. CRH type 1 receptor antagonist restored estrous cyclicity in MC2R(-/-) females. Kisspeptin-positive areas in the arcuate nucleus were comparable, whereas kisspeptin-positive areas in the anteroventral periventricular nucleus in MC2R(-/-) females were significantly reduced compared with MC2R(+/-) females, suggesting that arcuate nucleus kisspeptin is not involved, but anteroventral periventricular nucleus kisspeptin may be involved, in the maintenance of estrous cyclicity. Our findings show that high levels of hypothalamic CRH disturb estrous cyclicity in the female animals and that the MC2R(-/-) female is a unique animal model of functional hypothalamic amenorrhea.

  1. Significant association between renal function and amyloid-positive area in renal biopsy specimens in AL amyloidosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuroda Takeshi

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The kidney is a major target organ for systemic amyloidosis that often affects the kidney including proteinura, and elevated serum creatinine (Cr. The correlation between amount of amyloid deposits and clinical parameters is not known. The aim of this study was to clarify correlation the amyloid area in all renal biopsy specimen and clinical parameters. Methods Fifty-eight patients with an established diagnosis of AL amyloidosis participated in the study. All patients showed amyloid deposits in renal biopsies. We retrospectively investigated the correlation between clinical data and amyloid occupied area in whole renal biopsy specimens. Results The area occupied by amyloid was less than 10% in 57 of the 58 patients, and was under 2% in 40. For statistical analyses, %amyloid-positive areas were transformed to common logarithmic values (Log10%amyloid. Cr showed significant correlation with Log10%amyloid and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR showed the significant negative correlation. Patient age, cleatinine clearance (Ccr, blood urea nitorogen, and urinary protein was not significantly correlated with Log10%amyloid. The correlation with other clinical factors such as sex, and serum concentrations of total protein, albumin, immunoglobulins, compliments was evaluated. None of these factors significantly correlated with Log10%amyloid. According to sex- and age- adjusted multiple linear regression analysis, Log10%amyloid had significant positive association with Cr and significant negative association with eGFR. Conclusion There is significant association between amyloid-positive area in renal tissue and renal function, especially Cr and eGFR. The level of Cr and eGFR may be a marker of amount of amyloid in renal tissue.

  2. Dim light at night increases immune function in Nile grass rats, a diurnal rodent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonken, Laura K; Haim, Achikam; Nelson, Randy J

    2012-02-01

    With the widespread adoption of electrical lighting during the 20th century, human and nonhuman animals became exposed to high levels of light at night for the first time in evolutionary history. This divergence from the natural environment may have significant implications for certain ecological niches because of the important influence light exerts on the circadian system. For example, circadian disruption and nighttime light exposure are linked to changes in immune function. The majority of studies investigating the effects of light exposure and circadian disruption on the immune system use nocturnal rodents. In diurnal species, many hormones and immune parameters vary with secretion patterns 180° out of phase to those of nocturnal rodents. Thus, the authors investigated the effects of nighttime light exposure on immunocompetence in diurnal Nile grass rats (Arvicanthis niloticus). Rats were housed in either standard 14-h light (L):10-h dark (D) cycles with L ∼150 lux and D 0 lux or dim light at night (dLAN) cycles of LD 14:10 with L ∼150 lux and D 5 lux for 3 wks, then tested for plasma bactericidal capacity, as well as humoral and cell-mediated immune responses. Rats exposed to dLAN showed increased delayed-type hypersensitivity pinna swelling, which is consistent with enhanced cell-mediated immune function. dLAN rats similarly showed increased antibody production following inoculation with keyhole lymphocyte hemocyanin (KLH) and increased bactericidal capacity. Daytime corticosterone concentrations were elevated in grass rats exposed to nighttime dim light, which may have influenced immunological measures. Overall, these results indicate nighttime light affects immune parameters in a diurnal rodent.

  3. Increased superior frontal gyrus activation during working memory processing in psychosis: Significant relation to cumulative antipsychotic medication and to negative symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Tobias; Smieskova, Renata; Schmidt, André; Walter, Anna; Harrisberger, Fabienne; Eckert, Anne; Lang, Undine E; Riecher-Rössler, Anita; Graf, Marc; Borgwardt, Stefan

    2016-08-01

    Impairment in working memory (WM) is a core symptom in schizophrenia. However, little is known about how clinical features influence functional brain activity specific to WM processing during the development of first-episode psychosis (FEP) to schizophrenia (SZ). We compared functional WM-specific brain activity in FEP and SZ patients, including the effects of the duration of illness, psychopathological factors and antipsychotic medication. Cross-sectional study of male FEP (n=22) and SZ (n=20) patients performing an n-back task when undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Clinical features were collected by semi-structured interviews and medical records. The SZ group performed significantly worse than the FEP group in the 2-back condition. The SZ group also showed significantly higher activation in the left superior frontal gyrus in the 2-back versus 0-back condition (2-back>0-back). This frontal activation correlated positively with negative symptoms and with cumulative antipsychotic medication during the year before the fMRI examination. There were no significant correlations between activation and duration of illness. There was greater frontal neural activation in SZ than in FEP. This indicated differences in WM processing, and was significantly related to cumulative antipsychotic exposure and negative symptoms, but not to the duration of illness. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Relating genes to function: identifying enriched transcription factors using the ENCODE ChIP-Seq significance tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auerbach, Raymond K; Chen, Bin; Butte, Atul J

    2013-08-01

    Biological analysis has shifted from identifying genes and transcripts to mapping these genes and transcripts to biological functions. The ENCODE Project has generated hundreds of ChIP-Seq experiments spanning multiple transcription factors and cell lines for public use, but tools for a biomedical scientist to analyze these data are either non-existent or tailored to narrow biological questions. We present the ENCODE ChIP-Seq Significance Tool, a flexible web application leveraging public ENCODE data to identify enriched transcription factors in a gene or transcript list for comparative analyses. The ENCODE ChIP-Seq Significance Tool is written in JavaScript on the client side and has been tested on Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox browsers. Server-side scripts are written in PHP and leverage R and a MySQL database. The tool is available at http://encodeqt.stanford.edu. abutte@stanford.edu Supplementary material is available at Bioinformatics online.

  5. Adaptive responses of cardiac function to fetal postural change as gestational age increases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Woo Jin; Choi, Hye Jin; Yang, Sun Young; Koo, Boo Hae; Ahn, Ki Hoon; Hong, Soon Cheol; Oh, Min-Jeong; Kim, Hai-Joong

    2016-01-01

    Objective The cardiovascular system maintains homeostasis through a series of adaptive responses to physiological requirements. However, little is known about the adaptation of fetal cardiac function to gravity, according to gestational age. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the adaptive responses of cardiac function to postural changes, using Tei index measurements. Methods Fetal echocardiography and Doppler examination were performed on 114 women with vertex singleton pregnancies at 19 to 40 weeks' gestation. Participants were placed in an upright seated position, and the Tei index for fetal left ventricular cardiac function was measured. The women were then moved into a supine position and the Tei index was re-measured. Results The mean Tei index when measured in an upright seated position was significantly lower than that measured in a supine positioning for all fetuses (0.528±0.103 vs. 0.555±0.106, P=0.014, respectively). This difference was also noted in fetuses with a gestational age of 28–40 weeks (0.539±0.107 vs. 0.574±0.102, P=0.011, respectively). However, there was no difference in the Tei index between an upright seated and a supine position among fetuses with a gestational age of Postural changes from an upright seated to a supine position result in an increased Tei index after a gestational age of 28 weeks. This appears to reflect maturation in the adaptive responses of the fetal cardiovascular system to postural changes. PMID:27896244

  6. Flavonoid-rich dark chocolate improves endothelial function and increases plasma epicatechin concentrations in healthy adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engler, Mary B; Engler, Marguerite M; Chen, Chung Y; Malloy, Mary J; Browne, Amanda; Chiu, Elisa Y; Kwak, Ho-Kyung; Milbury, Paul; Paul, Steven M; Blumberg, Jeffrey; Mietus-Snyder, Michele L

    2004-06-01

    Dark chocolate derived from the plant (Theobroma cacao) is a rich source of flavonoids. Cardioprotective effects including antioxidant properties, inhibition of platelet activity, and activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase have been ascribed to the cocoa flavonoids. To investigate the effects of flavonoid-rich dark chocolate on endothelial function, measures of oxidative stress, blood lipids, and blood pressure in healthy adult subjects. The study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design conducted over a 2 week period in 21 healthy adult subjects. Subjects were randomly assigned to daily intake of high-flavonoid (213 mg procyanidins, 46 mg epicatechin) or low-flavonoid dark chocolate bars (46 g, 1.6 oz). High-flavonoid chocolate consumption improved endothelium-dependent flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery (mean change = 1.3 +/- 0.7%) as compared to low-flavonoid chocolate consumption (mean change = -0.96 +/- 0.5%) (p = 0.024). No significant differences were noted in the resistance to LDL oxidation, total antioxidant capacity, 8-isoprostanes, blood pressure, lipid parameters, body weight or body mass index (BMI) between the two groups. Plasma epicatechin concentrations were markedly increased at 2 weeks in the high-flavonoid group (204.4 +/- 18.5 nmol/L, p < or = 0.001) but not in the low-flavonoid group (17.5 +/- 9 nmol/L, p = 0.99). Flavonoid-rich dark chocolate improves endothelial function and is associated with an increase in plasma epicatechin concentrations in healthy adults. No changes in oxidative stress measures, lipid profiles, blood pressure, body weight or BMI were seen.

  7. Increased Alpha Band Functional Connectivity Following the Quadrato Motor Training: A Longitudinal Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Lasaponara

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Quadrato Motor Training (QMT is a new training paradigm, which was found to increase cognitive flexibility, creativity and spatial cognition. In addition, QMT was reported to enhance inter- and intra-hemispheric alpha coherence as well as Fractional Anisotropy (FA in a number of white matter pathways including corpus callosum. Taken together, these results seem to suggest that electrophysiological and structural changes induced by QMT may be due to an enhanced interplay and communication of the different brain areas within and between the right and the left hemisphere. In order to test this hypothesis using the exact low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (eLORETA, we estimated the current neural density and lagged linear connectivity (LLC of the alpha band in the resting state electroencephalography (rsEEG recorded with open (OE and closed eyes (CE at three different time points, following 6 and 12 weeks of daily QMT. Significant changes were observed for the functional connectivity. In particular, we found that limbic and fronto-temporal alpha connectivity in the OE condition increased after 6 weeks, while it enhanced at the CE condition in occipital network following 12-weeks of daily training. These findings seem to show that the QMT may have dissociable long-term effects on the functional connectivity depending on the different ways of recording rsEEG. OE recording pointed out a faster onset of Linear Lag Connectivity modulations that tend to decay as quickly, while CE recording showed sensible effect only after the complete 3-months training.

  8. Increased Global Functional Connectivity Correlates with LSD-Induced Ego Dissolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tagliazucchi, Enzo; Roseman, Leor; Kaelen, Mendel; Orban, Csaba; Muthukumaraswamy, Suresh D; Murphy, Kevin; Laufs, Helmut; Leech, Robert; McGonigle, John; Crossley, Nicolas; Bullmore, Edward; Williams, Tim; Bolstridge, Mark; Feilding, Amanda; Nutt, David J; Carhart-Harris, Robin

    2016-04-25

    Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a non-selective serotonin-receptor agonist that was first synthesized in 1938 and identified as (potently) psychoactive in 1943. Psychedelics have been used by indigenous cultures for millennia [1]; however, because of LSD's unique potency and the timing of its discovery (coinciding with a period of major discovery in psychopharmacology), it is generally regarded as the quintessential contemporary psychedelic [2]. LSD has profound modulatory effects on consciousness and was used extensively in psychological research and psychiatric practice in the 1950s and 1960s [3]. In spite of this, however, there have been no modern human imaging studies of its acute effects on the brain. Here we studied the effects of LSD on intrinsic functional connectivity within the human brain using fMRI. High-level association cortices (partially overlapping with the default-mode, salience, and frontoparietal attention networks) and the thalamus showed increased global connectivity under the drug. The cortical areas showing increased global connectivity overlapped significantly with a map of serotonin 2A (5-HT2A) receptor densities (the key site of action of psychedelic drugs [4]). LSD also increased global integration by inflating the level of communication between normally distinct brain networks. The increase in global connectivity observed under LSD correlated with subjective reports of "ego dissolution." The present results provide the first evidence that LSD selectively expands global connectivity in the brain, compromising the brain's modular and "rich-club" organization and, simultaneously, the perceptual boundaries between the self and the environment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Enhanced interannual precipitation variability increases plant functional diversity that in turn ameliorates negative impact on productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gherardi, Laureano A; Sala, Osvaldo E

    2015-12-01

    Although precipitation interannual variability is projected to increase due to climate change, effects of changes in precipitation variance have received considerable less attention than effects of changes in the mean state of climate. Interannual precipitation variability effects on functional diversity and its consequences for ecosystem functioning are assessed here using a 6-year rainfall manipulation experiment. Five precipitation treatments were switched annually resulting in increased levels of precipitation variability while maintaining average precipitation constant. Functional diversity showed a positive response to increased variability due to increased evenness. Dominant grasses decreased and rare plant functional types increased in abundance because grasses showed a hump-shaped response to precipitation with a maximum around modal precipitation, whereas rare species peaked at high precipitation values. Increased functional diversity ameliorated negative effects of precipitation variability on primary production. Rare species buffered the effect of precipitation variability on the variability in total productivity because their variance decreases with increasing precipitation variance. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  10. The cag PAI is intact and functional but HP0521 varies significantly in Helicobacter pylori isolates from Malaysia and Singapore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, H-M A; Andres, S; Nilsson, C; Kovach, Z; Kaakoush, N O; Engstrand, L; Goh, K-L; Fock, K M; Forman, D; Mitchell, H

    2010-04-01

    Helicobacter pylori-related disease is at least partially attributable to the genotype of the infecting strain, particularly the presence of specific virulence factors. We investigated the prevalence of a novel combination of H. pylori virulence factors, including the cag pathogenicity island (PAI), and their association with severe disease in isolates from the three major ethnicities in Malaysia and Singapore, and evaluated whether the cag PAI was intact and functional in vitro. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to detect dupA, cagA, cagE, cagT, cagL and babA, and to type vacA, the EPIYA motifs, HP0521 alleles and oipA ON status in 159 H. pylori clinical isolates. Twenty-two strains were investigated for IL-8 induction and CagA translocation in vitro. The prevalence of cagA, cagE, cagL, cagT, babA, oipA ON and vacA s1 and i1 was >85%, irrespective of the disease state or ethnicity. The prevalence of dupA and the predominant HP0521 allele and EPIYA motif varied significantly with ethnicity (p < 0.05). A high prevalence of an intact cag PAI was found in all ethnic groups; however, no association was observed between any virulence factor and disease state. The novel association between the HP0521 alleles, EPIYA motifs and host ethnicity indicates that further studies to determine the function of this gene are important.

  11. In Silico Systems Biology Analysis of Variants of Uncertain Significance in Lynch Syndrome Supports the Prioritization of Functional Molecular Validation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borras, Ester; Chang, Kyle; Pande, Mala; Cuddy, Amanda; Bosch, Jennifer L; Bannon, Sarah A; Mork, Maureen E; Rodriguez-Bigas, Miguel A; Taggart, Melissa W; Lynch, Patrick M; You, Y Nancy; Vilar, Eduardo

    2017-10-01

    Lynch syndrome (LS) is a genetic condition secondary to germline alterations in the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes with 30% of changes being variants of uncertain significance (VUS). Our aim was to perform an in silico reclassification of VUS from a large single institutional cohort that will help prioritizing functional validation. A total of 54 VUS were detected with 33 (61%) novel variants. We integrated family history, pathology, and genetic information along with supporting evidence from eight different in silico tools at the RNA and protein level. Our assessment allowed us to reclassify 54% (29/54) of the VUS as probably damaging, 13% (7/54) as possibly damaging, and 28% (15/54) as probably neutral. There are more than 1,000 VUS reported in MMR genes and our approach facilitates the prioritization of further functional efforts to assess the pathogenicity to those classified as probably damaging. Cancer Prev Res; 10(10); 580-7. ©2017 AACR . ©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.

  12. Functional relationships between plasmids and their significance for metabolism and symbiotic performance of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stasiak, Grażyna; Mazur, Andrzej; Wielbo, Jerzy; Marczak, Małgorzata; Zebracki, Kamil; Koper, Piotr; Skorupska, Anna

    2014-11-01

    Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii TA1 (RtTA1) is a soil bacterium establishing a highly specific symbiotic relationship with clover, which is based on the exchange of molecular signals between the host plant and the microsymbiont. The RtTA1 genome is large and multipartite, composed of a chromosome and four plasmids, which comprise approximately 65 % and 35 % of the total genome, respectively. Extrachromosomal replicons were previously shown to confer significant metabolic versatility to bacteria, which is important for their adaptation in the soil and nodulation competitiveness. To investigate the contribution of individual RtTA1 plasmids to the overall cell phenotype, metabolic properties and symbiotic performance, a transposon-based elimination strategy was employed. RtTA1 derivatives cured of pRleTA1b or pRleTA1d and deleted in pRleTA1a were obtained. In contrast to the in silico predictions of pRleTA1b and pRleTA1d, which were described as chromid-like replicons, both appeared to be completely curable. On the other hand, for pRleTA1a (symbiotic plasmid) and pRleTA1c, which were proposed to be unessential for RtTA1 viability, it was not possible to eliminate them at all (pRleTA1c) or entirely (pRleTA1a). Analyses of the phenotypic traits of the RtTA1 derivatives obtained revealed the functional significance of individual plasmids and their indispensability for growth, certain metabolic pathways, production of surface polysaccharides, autoaggregation, biofilm formation, motility and symbiotic performance. Moreover, the results allow us to suggest broad functional cooperation among the plasmids in shaping the phenotypic properties and symbiotic capabilities of rhizobia.

  13. Impaired renal function and increased urinary isoprostane excretion in Ghanaian women with pre-eclampsia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tetteh PW

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Paul Winston Tetteh,1,4 Charles Antwi-Boasiako,1 Ben Gyan,3 Daniel Antwi,1 Festus Adzaku,1 Kwame Adu-Bonsaffoh,1,2 Samuel Obed21Department of Physiology, 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Ghana Medical School, Accra, Ghana; 3Department of Immunology, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana; 4Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research, Uppsalalaan 8, Utrecht, The NetherlandsBackground: The cause of pre-eclampsia remains largely unknown, but oxidative stress (an imbalance favoring oxidant over antioxidant forces has been implicated in contributing to the clinical symptoms of hypertension and proteinuria. Assessment of oxidative stress in pre-eclampsia using urinary isoprostane has produced conflicting results, and it is likely that renal function may affect isoprostane excretion. The aim of this study was to determine the role of oxidative stress in the pathophysiology of pre-eclampsia and to assess the effect of renal function on isoprostane excretion in pre-eclampsia in the Ghanaian population.Methods: This was a case-controlled study, comprising 103 pre-eclamptic women and 107 normal pregnant controls and conducted at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital between December 2006 and May 2007. The study participants were enrolled in the study after meeting the inclusion criteria and signing their written informed consent. Oxidative stress was determined by measuring urinary excretion of isoprostane and total antioxidant capacity using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique. Renal function was assessed by calculating the estimated glomerular filtration rate using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease formula.Results: The pre-eclampsia group had significantly (P = 0.0006 higher urinary isoprostane excretion (2.81 ± 0.14 ng/mg creatinine than the control group (2.01 ± 0.18 ng/mg creatinine and a significantly (P = 0.0008 lower total antioxidant power (1

  14. Icariin combined with human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells significantly improve the impaired kidney function in chronic renal failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wen; Wang, Li; Chu, Xiaoqian; Cui, Huantian; Bian, Yuhong

    2017-04-01

    At present, the main therapy for chronic renal failure (CRF) is dialysis and renal transplantation, but neither obtains satisfactory results. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (huMSCs) are isolated from the fetal umbilical cord which has a high self-renewal and multi-directional differentiation potential. Icariin (ICA), a kidney-tonifying Chinese Medicine can enhance the multipotency of huMSCs. Therefore, this work seeks to employ the use of ICA-treated huMSCs for the treatment of chronic renal failure. Blood urea nitrogen and creatinine (Cr) analyses showed amelioration of functional parameters in ICA-treated huMSCs for the treatment of CRF rats at 3, 7, and 14 days after transplantation. ICA-treated huMSCs can obviously increase the number of cells in injured renal tissues at 3, 7, and 14 days after transplantation by optical molecular imaging system. Hematoxylin-eosin staining demonstrated that ICA-treated huMSCs reduced the levels of fibrosis in CRF rats at 14 days after transplantation. Superoxide dismutase and Malondialdehyde analyses showed that ICA-treated huMSCs reduced the oxidative damage in CRF rats. Moreover, transplantation with ICA-treated huMSCs decreased inflammatory responses, promoted the expression of growth factors, and protected injured renal tissues. Taken together, our findings suggest that ICA-treated huMSCs could improve the kidney function in CRF rats.

  15. Management with willow short rotation coppice increase the functional gene diversity and functional activity of a heavy metal polluted soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, K; van Nostrand, J D; Vangronsveld, J; Witters, N; Janssen, J O; Kumpiene, J; Siebielec, G; Galazka, R; Giagnoni, L; Arenella, M; Zhou, J-Z; Renella, G

    2015-11-01

    We studied the microbial functional diversity, biochemical activity, heavy metals (HM) availability and soil toxicity of Cd, Pb and Zn contaminated soils, kept under grassland or short rotation coppice (SRC) to attenuate the risks associated with HM contamination and restore the soil ecological functions. Soil microbial functional diversity was analyzed by the GeoChip, a functional gene microarray containing probes for genes involved in nutrient cycling, metal resistance and stress response. Soil under SRC showed a higher abundance of microbial genes involved in C, N, P and S cycles and resistance to various HM, higher microbial biomass, respiration and enzyme activity rates, and lower HM availability than the grassland soil. The linkages between functional genes of soil microbial communities and soil chemical properties, HM availability and biochemical activity were also investigated. Soil toxicity and N, P and Pb availability were important factors in shaping the microbial functional diversity, as determined by CCA. We concluded that in HM contaminated soils the microbial functional diversity was positively influenced by SRC management through the reduction of HM availability and soil toxicity increase of nutrient cycling. The presented results can be important in predicting the long term environmental sustainability of plant-based soil remediation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Increased functional connectivity strength of right inferior temporal gyrus in first-episode, drug-naive somatization disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Qinji; Yao, Dapeng; Jiang, Muliang; Liu, Feng; Jiang, Jiajing; Xu, Chunxing; Dai, Yi; Yu, Miaoyu; Long, Liling; Li, Hongzheng; Liu, Jianrong; Zhang, Zhikun; Zhang, Jian; Xiao, Changqing; Guo, Wenbin

    2015-01-01

    Evidence of brain structural and functional alterations have been implicated in patients with somatization disorder (SD). However, little is known about brain functional connectivity in SD. In the present study, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and graph theory were used to obtain a comprehensive view of whole-brain functional connectivity and to investigate the changes of voxel-wise functional networks in patients with SD. Twenty-five first-episode, medication-naive patients with SD and 28 age-, sex- and education-matched healthy controls (HCs) underwent resting-state fMRI. The graph theory approach was employed to analyze the data. Compared to the HCs, patients with SD showed significantly increased functional connectivity strength in the right inferior temporal gyrus (ITG). There is a significant positive correlation between the z-values of the cluster in the right ITG and Hamilton Anxiety Scale scores. Our findings indicate that there is a disruption of the functional connectivity pattern in the right ITG in first-episode, treatment-naive patients with SD, which bears clinical significance. © The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2014.

  17. More than a cool illusion? Functional significance of self-motion illusion (circular vection) for perspective switches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riecke, Bernhard E; Feuereissen, Daniel; Rieser, John J; McNamara, Timothy P

    2015-01-01

    Self-motion can facilitate perspective switches and "automatic spatial updating" and help reduce disorientation in applications like virtual reality (VR). However, providing physical motion through moving-base motion simulators or free-space walking areas comes with high cost and technical complexity. This study provides first evidence that merely experiencing an embodied illusion of self-motion ("circular vection") can provide similar behavioral benefits as actual self-motion: Blindfolded participants were asked to imagine facing new perspectives in a well-learned room, and point to previously learned objects. Merely imagining perspective switches while stationary yielded worst performance. When perceiving illusory self-rotation to the novel perspective, however, performance improved significantly and yielded performance similar to actual rotation. Circular vection was induced by combining rotating sound fields ("auditory vection") and biomechanical vection from stepping along a carrousel-like rotating floor platter. In sum, illusory self-motion indeed facilitated perspective switches and thus spatial orientation, similar to actual self-motion, thus providing first compelling evidence of the functional significance and behavioral relevance of vection. This could ultimately enable us to complement the prevailing introspective vection measures with behavioral indicators, and guide the design for more affordable yet effective VR simulators that intelligently employ multi-modal self-motion illusions to reduce the need for costly physical observer motion.

  18. More than a Cool Illusion? Functional Significance of Self-Motion Illusion (Circular Vection for Perspective Switches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernhard E. Riecke

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Self-motion can facilitate perspective switches and automatic spatial updating and help reduce disorientation in applications like Virtual Reality. However, providing physical motion through moving-base motion simulators or free-space walking areas comes with high cost and technical complexity. This study provides first evidence that merely experiencing an embodied illusion of self-motion (circular vection can provide similar behavioral benefits as actual self-motion: Blindfolded participants were asked to imagine facing new perspectives in a well-learned room, and point to previously-learned objects. Merely imagining perspective switches while stationary yielded worst performance. When perceiving illusory self-rotation to the novel perspective, however, performance improved significantly and yielded performance similar to actual rotation. Circular vection was induced by combining rotating sound fields (auditory vection and biomechanical vection from stepping along a carrousel-like rotating floor platter. In sum, illusory self-motion indeed facilitated perspective switches and thus spatial orientation, similar to actual self-motion, thus providing first compelling evidence of the functional significance and behavioral relevance of vection. This could ultimately enable us to complement the prevailing introspective vection measures with behavioral indicators, and guide the design for more affordable yet effective Virtual Reality simulators that intelligently employ multi-modal self-motion illusions to reduce the need for costly physical observer motion.

  19. Analysis and functional consequences of increased Fab-sialylation of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) after lectin fractionation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Käsermann, Fabian; Boerema, David J; Rüegsegger, Monika; Hofmann, Andreas; Wymann, Sandra; Zuercher, Adrian W; Miescher, Sylvia

    2012-01-01

    It has been proposed that the anti-inflammatory effects of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) might be due to the small fraction of Fc-sialylated IgG. In this study we biochemically and functionally characterized sialic acid-enriched IgG obtained by Sambucus nigra agglutinin (SNA) lectin fractionation. Two main IgG fractions isolated by elution with lactose (E1) or acidified lactose (E2) were analyzed for total IgG, F(ab')(2) and Fc-specific sialic acid content, their pattern of specific antibodies and anti-inflammatory potential in a human in vitro inflammation system based on LPS- or PHA-stimulated whole blood. HPLC and LC-MS testing revealed an increase of sialylated IgG in E1 and more substantially in the E2 fraction. Significantly, the increased amount of sialic acid residues was primarily found in the Fab region whereas only a minor increase was observed in the Fc region. This indicates preferential binding of the Fab sialic acid to SNA. ELISA analyses of a representative range of pathogen and auto-antigens indicated a skewed antibody pattern of the sialylated IVIG fractions. Finally, the E2 fraction exerted a more profound anti-inflammatory effect compared to E1 or IVIG, evidenced by reduced CD54 expression on monocytes and reduced secretion of MCP-1 (CCL2); again these effects were Fab- but not Fc-dependent. Our results show that SNA fractionation of IVIG yields a minor fraction (approx. 10%) of highly sialylated IgG, wherein the sialic acid is mainly found in the Fab region. The tested anti-inflammatory activity was associated with Fab not Fc sialylation.

  20. Analysis and functional consequences of increased Fab-sialylation of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG after lectin fractionation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabian Käsermann

    Full Text Available It has been proposed that the anti-inflammatory effects of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG might be due to the small fraction of Fc-sialylated IgG. In this study we biochemically and functionally characterized sialic acid-enriched IgG obtained by Sambucus nigra agglutinin (SNA lectin fractionation. Two main IgG fractions isolated by elution with lactose (E1 or acidified lactose (E2 were analyzed for total IgG, F(ab'(2 and Fc-specific sialic acid content, their pattern of specific antibodies and anti-inflammatory potential in a human in vitro inflammation system based on LPS- or PHA-stimulated whole blood. HPLC and LC-MS testing revealed an increase of sialylated IgG in E1 and more substantially in the E2 fraction. Significantly, the increased amount of sialic acid residues was primarily found in the Fab region whereas only a minor increase was observed in the Fc region. This indicates preferential binding of the Fab sialic acid to SNA. ELISA analyses of a representative range of pathogen and auto-antigens indicated a skewed antibody pattern of the sialylated IVIG fractions. Finally, the E2 fraction exerted a more profound anti-inflammatory effect compared to E1 or IVIG, evidenced by reduced CD54 expression on monocytes and reduced secretion of MCP-1 (CCL2; again these effects were Fab- but not Fc-dependent. Our results show that SNA fractionation of IVIG yields a minor fraction (approx. 10% of highly sialylated IgG, wherein the sialic acid is mainly found in the Fab region. The tested anti-inflammatory activity was associated with Fab not Fc sialylation.

  1. Linking plant functional trait plasticity and the large increase in forest water use efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastrotheodoros, Theodoros; Pappas, Christoforos; Molnar, Peter; Burlando, Paolo; Keenan, Trevor F.; Gentine, Pierre; Gough, Christopher M.; Fatichi, Simone

    2017-09-01

    Elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations are expected to enhance photosynthesis and reduce stomatal conductance, thus increasing plant water use efficiency. A recent study based on eddy covariance flux observations from Northern Hemisphere forests showed a large increase in inherent water use efficiency (IWUE). Here we used an updated version of the same data set and robust uncertainty quantification to revisit these contemporary IWUE trends. We tested the hypothesis that the observed IWUE increase could be attributed to interannual trends in plant functional traits, potentially triggered by environmental change. We found that IWUE increased by 1.3% yr-1, which is less than previously reported but still larger than theoretical expectations. Numerical simulations with the Tethys-Chloris ecosystem model using temporally static plant functional traits cannot explain this increase. Simulations with plant functional trait plasticity, i.e., temporal changes in model parameters such as specific leaf area and maximum Rubisco capacity, match the observed trends in IWUE. Our results show that trends in plant functional traits, equal to 1.0% yr-1, can explain the observed IWUE trends. Thus, at decadal or longer time scales, trait plasticity could potentially influence forest water, carbon, and energy fluxes with profound implications for both the monitoring of temporal changes in plant functional traits and their representation in Earth system models.

  2. Planting increases the abundance and structure complexity of soil core functional genes relevant to carbon and nitrogen cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Feng; Liang, Yuting; Jiang, Yuji; Yang, Yunfeng; Xue, Kai; Xiong, Jinbo; Zhou, Jizhong; Sun, Bo

    2015-09-23

    Plants have an important impact on soil microbial communities and their functions. However, how plants determine the microbial composition and network interactions is still poorly understood. During a four-year field experiment, we investigated the functional gene composition of three types of soils (Phaeozem, Cambisols and Acrisol) under maize planting and bare fallow regimes located in cold temperate, warm temperate and subtropical regions, respectively. The core genes were identified using high-throughput functional gene microarray (GeoChip 3.0), and functional molecular ecological networks (fMENs) were subsequently developed with the random matrix theory (RMT)-based conceptual framework. Our results demonstrated that planting significantly (P soils and 83.5% of microbial alpha-diversity can be explained by the plant factor. Moreover, planting had significant impacts on the microbial community structure and the network interactions of the microbial communities. The calculated network complexity was higher under maize planting than under bare fallow regimes. The increase of the functional genes led to an increase in both soil respiration and nitrification potential with maize planting, indicating that changes in the soil microbial communities and network interactions influenced ecological functioning.

  3. Reduced memory skills and increased hair cortisol levels in recent Ecstasy/MDMA users: significant but independent neurocognitive and neurohormonal deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downey, Luke A; Sands, Helen; Jones, Lewis; Clow, Angela; Evans, Phil; Stalder, Tobias; Parrott, Andrew C

    2015-05-01

    The goals of this study were to measure the neurocognitive performance of recent users of recreational Ecstasy and investigate whether it was associated with the stress hormone cortisol. The 101 participants included 27 recent light users of Ecstasy (one to four times in the last 3 months), 23 recent heavier Ecstasy users (five or more times) and 51 non-users. Rivermead paragraph recall provided an objective measure for immediate and delayed recall. The prospective and retrospective memory questionnaire provided a subjective index of memory deficits. Cortisol levels were taken from near-scalp 3-month hair samples. Cortisol was significantly raised in recent heavy Ecstasy users compared with controls, whereas hair cortisol in light Ecstasy users was not raised. Both Ecstasy groups were significantly impaired on the Rivermead delayed word recall, and both groups reported significantly more retrospective and prospective memory problems. Stepwise regression confirmed that lifetime Ecstasy predicted the extent of these memory deficits. Recreational Ecstasy is associated with increased levels of the bio-energetic stress hormone cortisol and significant memory impairments. No significant relationship between cortisol and the cognitive deficits was observed. Ecstasy users did display evidence of a metacognitive deficit, with the strength of the correlations between objective and subjective memory performances being significantly lower in the Ecstasy users. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  4. Increased functional connectivity with puberty in the mentalising network involved in social emotion processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klapwijk, Eduard T.; Goddings, Anne-Lise; Heyes, Stephanie Burnett; Bird, Geoffrey; Viner, Russell M.; Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that puberty plays an important role in the structural and functional brain development seen in adolescence, but little is known of the pubertal influence on changes in functional connectivity. We explored how pubertal indicators (salivary concentrations of testosterone, oestradiol and DHEA; pubertal stage; menarcheal status) relate to functional connectivity between components of a mentalising network identified to be engaged in social emotion processing by our prior work, using psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analysis. Female adolescents aged 11 to 13 years were scanned whilst silently reading scenarios designed to evoke either social emotions (guilt and embarrassment) or basic emotions (disgust and fear), of which only social compared to basic emotions require the representation of another person’s mental states. Pubertal stage and menarcheal status were used to assign participants to pre/early or mid/late puberty groups. We found increased functional connectivity between the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC) and the right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) and right temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) during social relative to basic emotion processing. Moreover, increasing oestradiol concentrations were associated with increased functional connectivity between the DMPFC and the right TPJ during social relative to basic emotion processing, independent of age. Our analysis of the PPI data by phenotypic pubertal status showed that more advanced puberty stage was associated with enhanced functional connectivity between the DMPFC and the left anterior temporal cortex (ATC) during social relative to basic emotion processing, also independent of age. Our results suggest increased functional maturation of the social brain network with the advancement of puberty in girls. PMID:23998674

  5. Colchicine Depolymerizes Microtubules, Increases Junctophilin-2, and Improves Right Ventricular Function in Experimental Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prins, Kurt W; Tian, Lian; Wu, Danchen; Thenappan, Thenappan; Metzger, Joseph M; Archer, Stephen L

    2017-05-31

    Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a lethal disease characterized by obstructive pulmonary vascular remodeling and right ventricular (RV) dysfunction. Although RV function predicts outcomes in PAH, mechanisms of RV dysfunction are poorly understood, and RV-targeted therapies are lacking. We hypothesized that in PAH, abnormal microtubular structure in RV cardiomyocytes impairs RV function by reducing junctophilin-2 (JPH2) expression, resulting in t-tubule derangements. Conversely, we assessed whether colchicine, a microtubule-depolymerizing agent, could increase JPH2 expression and enhance RV function in monocrotaline-induced PAH. Immunoblots, confocal microscopy, echocardiography, cardiac catheterization, and treadmill testing were used to examine colchicine's (0.5 mg/kg 3 times/week) effects on pulmonary hemodynamics, RV function, and functional capacity. Rats were treated with saline (n=28) or colchicine (n=24) for 3 weeks, beginning 1 week after monocrotaline (60 mg/kg, subcutaneous). In the monocrotaline RV, but not the left ventricle, microtubule density is increased, and JPH2 expression is reduced, with loss of t-tubule localization and t-tubule disarray. Colchicine reduces microtubule density, increases JPH2 expression, and improves t-tubule morphology in RV cardiomyocytes. Colchicine therapy diminishes RV hypertrophy, improves RV function, and enhances RV-pulmonary artery coupling. Colchicine reduces small pulmonary arteriolar thickness and improves pulmonary hemodynamics. Finally, colchicine increases exercise capacity. Monocrotaline-induced PAH causes RV-specific derangement of microtubules marked by reduction in JPH2 and t-tubule disarray. Colchicine reduces microtubule density, increases JPH2 expression, and improves both t-tubule architecture and RV function. Colchicine also reduces adverse pulmonary vascular remodeling. These results provide biological plausibility for a clinical trial to repurpose colchicine as a RV-directed therapy for PAH

  6. Acquired phototrophy through retention of functional chloroplasts increases growth efficiency of the sea slug Elysia viridis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Finn A Baumgartner

    Full Text Available Photosynthesis is a fundamental process sustaining heterotrophic organisms at all trophic levels. Some mixotrophs can retain functional chloroplasts from food (kleptoplasty, and it is hypothesized that carbon acquired through kleptoplasty may enhance trophic energy transfer through increased host growth efficiency. Sacoglossan sea slugs are the only known metazoans capable of kleptoplasty, but the relative fitness contributions of heterotrophy through grazing, and phototrophy via kleptoplasts, are not well understood. Fitness benefits (i.e. increased survival or growth of kleptoplasty in sacoglossans are commonly studied in ecologically unrealistic conditions under extended periods of complete darkness and/or starvation. We compared the growth efficiency of the sacoglossan Elysia viridis with access to algal diets providing kleptoplasts of differing functionality under ecologically relevant light conditions. Individuals fed Codium fragile, which provide highly functional kleptoplasts, nearly doubled their growth efficiency under high compared to low light. In contrast, individuals fed Cladophora rupestris, which provided kleptoplasts of limited functionality, showed no difference in growth efficiency between light treatments. Slugs feeding on Codium, but not on Cladophora, showed higher relative electron transport rates (rETR in high compared to low light. Furthermore, there were no differences in the consumption rates of the slugs between different light treatments, and only small differences in nutritional traits of algal diets, indicating that the increased growth efficiency of E. viridis feeding on Codium was due to retention of functional kleptoplasts. Our results show that functional kleptoplasts from Codium can provide sacoglossan sea slugs with fitness advantages through photosynthesis.

  7. A Single Session of Autogenic Training Increases Acute Subjective and Physiological Sexual Arousal in Sexually Functional Women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanton, Amelia; Meston, Cindy

    2017-10-03

    Heart rate variability (HRV) has recently been associated with female sexual function (Stanton, Lorenz, Pulverman, & Meston, 2015). Below-average HRV was identified as a possible risk factor for sexual arousal dysfunction and overall sexual dysfunction in women. Based on this newly established relationship between HRV and female sexual function, the present study examined the effect of autogenic training to increase HRV on acute physiological and subjective sexual arousal in women. Specifically, vaginal pulse amplitude (VPA), an index of genital sexual arousal, and subjective sexual arousal were assessed in 33 sexually functional women, aged 18 to 27, before and after a short session of autogenic training. Autogenic training, a relaxation technique that restores the balance between the activity of the sympathetic and the parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system, has been shown to significantly increase HRV (Miu, Heilman, & Miclea, 2009). After autogenic training, significant increases in both VPA (p <.05) and subjective sexual arousal (p <.005) were observed. Moreover, change in HRV from pre- to postmanipulation significantly moderated changes in subjective sexual arousal (p <.05) when it was measured continuously during the presentation of the erotic stimulus. This cost-effective, easy-to-administer behavioral intervention may have important implications for increasing sexual arousal in women.

  8. Mussel-inspired Fluoro-Polydopamine Functionalization of Titanium Dioxide Nanowires for Polymer Nanocomposites with Significantly Enhanced Energy Storage Capability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guanyao; Huang, Xingyi; Jiang, Pingkai

    2017-01-01

    High-dielectric-constant polymer nanocomposites are demonstrated to show great promise as energy storage materials. However, the large electrical mismatch and incompatibility between nanofillers and polymer matrix usually give rise to significantly reduced breakdown strength and weak energy storage capability. Therefore, rational selection and elaborate functionalization of nanofillers to optimize the performance of polymer nanocomposites are vital. Herein, inspired by adhesive proteins in mussels, a facile modification by fluoro-polydopamine is employed to reinforce the compatibility of TiO2 nanowires in the fluoropolymer matrix. The loading of 2.5 vol % f-DOPA@TiO2 NWs leads to an ultrahigh discharged energy density of 11.48 J cm−3 at 530 MV m−1, more than three times of commercial biaxial-oriented polypropylene (BOPP, 3.56 J cm−3 at 600 MV m−1). A gratifying high energy density of 9.12 J cm−3 has also been obtained with nanofiller loading as high as 15 vol % at 360 MV m−1, which is nearly double to that of pure P(VDF-HFP) (4.76 J cm−3 at 360 MV m−1). This splendid energy storage capability seems to rival or exceed most of previously reported nano-TiO2 based nanocomposites. The methods presented here provide deep insights into the design of polymer nanocomposites for energy storage applications. PMID:28225047

  9. Functional Significance of Conflicting Age and Wealth Cross-Categorization: The Dominant Role of Categories that Violate Stereotypical Expectations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingjing Song

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of the current study was to identify the functional significance of conflicting stereotypes and to identify the dominant category in such conflicts. In the present research we examined the conflicting crossed-categories of age and wealth with regard to warmth and competence perceptions. It was found (Pilot Study and Study 1 that the old-rich targets presented a conflicting stereotype group in the perception of warmth, whereas young-poor targets presented a conflicting stereotype group in the perception of competence. In addition, the old stereotype dominated the warmth evaluation of old-rich targets, whereas the poor stereotype dominated the competence evaluation of young-poor targets. In Study 2, participants provided warmth and competence evaluations after they learned about the targets’ behaviors which demonstrated high or low warmth and high or low competence. The results suggest that for the warmth evaluation of the old-rich target the category that did not match the behavior (i.e., contradicted the stereotype expectation was more salient and drove judgments. However, the effect of stereotype expectation violation was not found in the competence evaluation of the young-poor target. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for understanding factors that activate and inhibit stereotyped perceptions.

  10. Mussel-inspired Fluoro-Polydopamine Functionalization of Titanium Dioxide Nanowires for Polymer Nanocomposites with Significantly Enhanced Energy Storage Capability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guanyao; Huang, Xingyi; Jiang, Pingkai

    2017-02-01

    High-dielectric-constant polymer nanocomposites are demonstrated to show great promise as energy storage materials. However, the large electrical mismatch and incompatibility between nanofillers and polymer matrix usually give rise to significantly reduced breakdown strength and weak energy storage capability. Therefore, rational selection and elaborate functionalization of nanofillers to optimize the performance of polymer nanocomposites are vital. Herein, inspired by adhesive proteins in mussels, a facile modification by fluoro-polydopamine is employed to reinforce the compatibility of TiO2 nanowires in the fluoropolymer matrix. The loading of 2.5 vol % f-DOPA@TiO2 NWs leads to an ultrahigh discharged energy density of 11.48 J cm-3 at 530 MV m-1, more than three times of commercial biaxial-oriented polypropylene (BOPP, 3.56 J cm-3 at 600 MV m-1). A gratifying high energy density of 9.12 J cm-3 has also been obtained with nanofiller loading as high as 15 vol % at 360 MV m-1, which is nearly double to that of pure P(VDF-HFP) (4.76 J cm-3 at 360 MV m-1). This splendid energy storage capability seems to rival or exceed most of previously reported nano-TiO2 based nanocomposites. The methods presented here provide deep insights into the design of polymer nanocomposites for energy storage applications.

  11. Porphyrins from Messel oil shale (Eocene, Germany): Structure elucidation, geochemical and biological significance, and distribution as a function of depth

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ocampo, R.; Bauder, C.; Callot, H.J.; Albrecht, P. (Univ. Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg (France))

    1992-02-01

    The extraction and isolation procedures of twenty nickel porphyrins (seven alkylporphyrins, thirteen carboxylic acids) from lacustrine Messel shale (Eocene, Germany), as well as the unequivocal structural assignments (obtained using 200 and 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), nuclear Overhauser effect, mass spectrometry, and total or partial synthesis of six reference compounds) are described. Ten porphyrins could be specifically correlated with biological precursors: algal chlorophyll c (4), bacteriochlorophylls d (3), and heme (3), while the remaining ones may arise from several chlorophylls. The structures of these fossil pigments mostly confirm the classical Treibs scheme,' including the origin of some porphyrins from nonchlorophyll sources. They also show that, even in a very immature sediment, deep modifications occur, including, in particular, extensive degradation of chlorophyll E ring. The composition of the porphyrin fractions of Messel oil shale was also studied as a function of depth. A porphyrin acids/alkylporphyrins ratio varying from 0.35 to 24.8 demonstrated that the apparent homogeneity of the shale is not reflected on the molecular scale. This was confirmed when the abundance of the twenty individual porphyrins of known structure was measured along the core. Significant correlations between individual porphyrins were found: fossils of bacteriochlorophylls d, homolog pairs of porphyrins (3-H/3-ethyl), etc.

  12. Porphyrins from Messel oil shale (Eocene, Germany): Structure elucidation, geochemical and biological significance, and distribution as a function of depth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocampo, Rubén; Bauder, Claude; Callot, Henry J.; Albrecht, Pierre

    1992-02-01

    The extraction and isolation procedures of twenty nickel porphyrins (seven alkylporphyrins, thirteen carboxylic acids) from lacustrine Messel shale (Eocene, Germany), as well as the unequivocal structural assignments (obtained using 200 and 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), nuclear Overhauser effect, mass spectrometry and total or partial synthesis of six reference compounds) are described. Ten porphyrins could be specifically correlated with biological precursors: algal chlorophyll c (4), bacteriochlorophylls d (3) and heme (3), while the remaining ones may arise from several chlorophylls. The structures of these fossil pigments mostly confirm the classical "Treibs scheme," including the origin of some porphyrins from nonchlorophyll sources. They also show that, even in a very immature sediment, deep modifications occur, including, in particular, extensive degradation of chlorophyll E ring. The composition of the porphyrin fractions of Messel oil shale was also studied as a function of depth. A porphyrin acids/alkylporphyrins ratio varying from 0.35 to 24.8 demonstrated that the apparent homogeneity of the shale is not reflected on the molecular scale. This was confirmed when the abundance of the twenty individual porphyrins of known structure was measured along the core. Significant correlations between individual porphyrins were found: fossils of bacteriochlorophylls d, homolog pairs of porphyrins (3-H/3-ethyl), etc.

  13. Reinnervation of Vastus lateralis is increased significantly in seniors (70-years old with a lifelong history of high-level exercise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Mosole

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available It has long been recognized that histological changes observed in aging muscle suggest that denervation contributes to muscle deterioration and that disuse accelerates the process while running activity, sustained for decades, protects against age-related loss of motor units. Here we show at the histological level that lifelong increased physical activity promotes reinnervation of muscle fibers. In muscle biopsies from 70-year old men with a lifelong history of high-level physical activity, we observed a considerable increase in fiber-type groupings (almost exclusively of the slow type in comparison to sedentary seniors, revealing a large population of reinnervated muscle fibers in the sportsmen. Slow-type transformation by reinnervation in senior sportsmen seems to be a clinically relevant mechanism: the muscle biopsies fluctuate from those with scarce fiber-type transformation and groupings to almost fully transformed muscle, going through a process in which isolated fibers co-expressing fast and slow MHCs seems to fill the gaps. Taken together, our results suggest that, beyond the direct effects of aging on the muscle fibers, changes occurring in skeletal muscle tissue appear to be largely, although not solely, a result of sparse denervation. Our data suggest that lifelong exercise allows the body to adapt to the consequences of the age-related denervation and to preserve muscle structure and function by saving otherwise lost muscle fibers through recruitment to different, mainly slow, motor units. These beneficial effects on motoneurons and, subsequently on muscle fibers, serve to maintain size, structure and function of muscle fibers, delaying the functional decline and loss of independence that are commonly seen in late aging.

  14. Poor Baseline Pulmonary Function May Not Increase the Risk of Radiation-Induced Lung Toxicity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Jingbo [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan/Ann Arbor Veterans Health System, Ann Arbor, Michigan (United States); Department of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academic Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing (China); Cao, Jianzhong [Department of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academic Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing (China); Yuan, Shuanghu [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan/Ann Arbor Veterans Health System, Ann Arbor, Michigan (United States); Ji, Wei [Department of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academic Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing (China); Arenberg, Douglas [Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan/Ann Arbor Veterans Health System, Ann Arbor, Michigan (United States); Dai, Jianrong [Department of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academic Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing (China); Stanton, Paul; Tatro, Daniel; Ten Haken, Randall K. [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan/Ann Arbor Veterans Health System, Ann Arbor, Michigan (United States); Wang, Luhua, E-mail: wlhwq@yahoo.com [Department of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academic Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing (China); Kong, Feng-Ming, E-mail: fengkong@med.umich.edu [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan/Ann Arbor Veterans Health System, Ann Arbor, Michigan (United States)

    2013-03-01

    Purpose: Poor pulmonary function (PF) is often considered a contraindication to definitive radiation therapy for lung cancer. This study investigated whether baseline PF was associated with radiation-induced lung toxicity (RILT) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) receiving conformal radiation therapy (CRT). Methods and Materials: NSCLC patients treated with CRT and tested for PF at baseline were eligible. Baseline predicted values of forced expiratory volume in 1 sec (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), and diffusion capacity of lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO) were analyzed. Additional factors included age, gender, smoking status, Karnofsky performance status, coexisting chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), tumor location, histology, concurrent chemotherapy, radiation dose, and mean lung dose (MLD) were evaluated for RILT. The primary endpoint was symptomatic RILT (SRILT), including grade ≥2 radiation pneumonitis and fibrosis. Results: There was a total of 260 patients, and SRILT occurred in 58 (22.3%) of them. Mean FEV1 values for SRILT and non-SRILT patients were 71.7% and 65.9% (P=.077). Under univariate analysis, risk of SRILT increased with MLD (P=.008), the absence of COPD (P=.047), and FEV1 (P=.077). Age (65 split) and MLD were significantly associated with SRILT in multivariate analysis. The addition of FEV1 and age with the MLD-based model slightly improved the predictability of SRILT (area under curve from 0.63-0.70, P=.088). Conclusions: Poor baseline PF does not increase the risk of SRILT, and combining FEV1, age, and MLD may improve the predictive ability.

  15. Increased frontal functional networks in adult survivors of childhood brain tumors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongbo Chen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Childhood brain tumors and associated treatment have been shown to affect brain development and cognitive outcomes. Understanding the functional connectivity of brain many years after diagnosis and treatment may inform the development of interventions to improve the long-term outcomes of adult survivors of childhood brain tumors. This work investigated the frontal region functional connectivity of 16 adult survivors of childhood cerebellar tumors after an average of 14.9 years from diagnosis and 16 demographically-matched controls using resting state functional MRI (rs-fMRI. Independent component analysis (ICA was applied to identify the resting state activity from rs-fMRI data and to select the specific regions associated with executive functions, followed by the secondary analysis of the functional networks connecting these regions. It was found that survivors exhibited differences in the functional connectivity in executive control network (ECN, default mode network (DMN and salience network (SN compared to demographically-matched controls. More specifically, the number of functional connectivity observed in the survivors is higher than that in the controls, and with increased strength, or stronger correlation coefficient between paired seeds, in survivors compared to the controls. Observed hyperconnectivity in the selected frontal functional network thus is consistent with findings in patients with other neurological injuries and diseases.

  16. Clinical significance of determination of changes of immuno-function parameters in patients with acute severe brain lnjury on different froms of nutritional support

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ma Jun; Qian Quanan; Ma Yunbao; Zhang Xiaoyi; Zhu Jin

    2009-01-01

    Objective: To study the relationship between different forms of nutritional support and changes of serum nutritional as well as immuno-function parameters in patients with acute severe brain injury. Methods: Serum levels of total protein, albumin, hemoglobin, transferrin (with biochemistry), immunoglobulins IgA, IgG, IgM (with immuno-turbidimetry) and cytokines IL-2, IL-6, IL-8 (with RIA) were determined in 64 patients with acute severe brain injury both before and after 7 ∼ 10ds' nutritional support. The 64 patients were divided into two groups:1) experimental group, n=30, receiving parentral (70%) plus partial enteral (30%) feedings 2) control group, n=34, receiving total parenteral untritional support exclusively with equal mitrogen and calorie intake in all the 64 patients. Results: The serum levels of total protein, albumin, Hb and transferrin as well as other parameter in both groups before nutritional support were about the same. After the course of nutritional support, the serum levels of total protein and albumin changed little in both groups, but the Hb and transferritin levels in both groups increased significantly (P<0.05) with the levels significantly higher in the experimental group than those in the control group (P also <0.05). The serum immunoglobulins IgA, IgM levels changed verd littel, except that the IgG levels increased significantly in the experimental group after treatment (P<0.05) and were significantly higher than those in control group (P also <0.05). The serum cytokins levels in the control group changed little after the course of nutritional support, but the levels in the experimental group were greatly normalized and decreased significantly after treatment (P also <0.05). Conclusion: Parenteral combined with partial enteral nutritional support could improve the nutritional as well as immuno-function status better than exclusive TPN did in patients with acute severe brain injury. (authors)

  17. Increased interhemispheric resting-state functional connectivity after sleep deprivation: a resting-state fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Yuanqiang; Feng, Zhiyan; Xu, Junling; Fu, Chang; Sun, Jinbo; Yang, Xuejuan; Shi, Dapeng; Qin, Wei

    2016-09-01

    Several functional imaging studies have investigated the regional effects of sleep deprivation (SD) on impaired brain function; however, potential changes in the functional interactions between the cerebral hemispheres after SD are not well understood. In this study, we used a recently validated approach, voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC), to directly examine the changes in interhemispheric homotopic resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) after SD. Resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) was performed in 28 participants both after rest wakefulness (RW) and a total night of SD. An interhemispheric RSFC map was obtained by calculating the Pearson correlation (Fisher Z transformed) between each pair of homotopic voxel time series for each subject in each condition. The between-condition differences in interhemispheric RSFC were then examined at global and voxelwise levels separately. Significantly increased global VMHC was found after sleep deprivation; specifically, a significant increase in VMHC was found in specific brain regions, including the thalamus, paracentral lobule, supplementary motor area, postcentral gyrus and lingual gyrus. No regions showed significantly reduced VMHC after sleep deprivation. Further analysis indicates that these findings did not depend on the various sizes of smoothing kernels that were adopted in the preprocessing steps and that the differences in these regions were still significant with or without global signal regression. Our data suggest that the increased VMHC might reflect the compensatory involvement of bilateral brain areas, especially the bilateral thalamus, to prevent cognitive performance deterioration when sleep pressure is elevated after sleep deprivation. Our findings provide preliminary evidence of interhemispheric correlation changes after SD and contribute to a better understanding of the neural mechanisms of SD.

  18. Semantic and functional relationships among objects increase the capacity of visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, Ryan E; Clement, Andrew; Brockmole, James R

    2018-04-12

    Visual working memory (VWM) has a limited capacity of approximately 3-4 visual objects. Current theories of VWM propose that a limited pool of resources can be flexibly allocated to objects, allowing them to be represented at varying levels of precision. Factors that influence the allocation of these resources, such as the complexity and perceptual grouping of objects, can thus affect the capacity of VWM. We sought to identify whether semantic and functional relationships between objects could influence the grouping of objects, thereby increasing the functional capacity of VWM. Observers viewed arrays of 8 to-be-remembered objects arranged into 4 pairs. We manipulated both the semantic association and functional interaction between the objects, then probed participants' memory for the arrays. When objects were semantically related, participants' memory for the arrays improved. Participants' memory further improved when semantically related objects were positioned to interact with each other. However, when we increased the spacing between the objects in each pair, the benefits of functional but not semantic relatedness were eliminated. These findings suggest that action-relevant properties of objects can increase the functional capacity of VWM, but only when objects are positioned to directly interact with each other. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  19. Coexistence via resource partitioning fails to generate an increase in community function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John P DeLong

    Full Text Available Classic ecological theory suggests that resource partitioning facilitates the coexistence of species by reducing inter-specific competition. A byproduct of this process is an increase in overall community function, because a greater spectrum of resources can be used. In contrast, coexistence facilitated by neutral mechanisms is not expected to increase function. We studied coexistence in laboratory microcosms of the bactivorous ciliates Paramecium aurelia and Colpidium striatum to understand the relationship between function and coexistence mechanism. We quantified population and community-level function (biomass and oxygen consumption, competitive interactions, and resource partitioning. The two ciliates partitioned their bacterial resource along a size axis, with the larger ciliate consuming larger bacteria than the smaller ciliate. Despite this, there was no gain in function at the community level for either biomass or oxygen consumption, and competitive effects were symmetrical within and between species. Because other potential coexistence mechanisms can be ruled out, it is likely that inter-specific interference competition diminished the expected gain in function generated by resource partitioning, leading to a system that appeared competitively neutral even when structured by niche partitioning. We also analyzed several previous studies where two species of protists coexisted and found that the two-species communities showed a broad range of biomass levels relative to the single-species states.

  20. Elevated plasma fibrinogen associated with reduced pulmonary function and increased risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dahl, Morten; Tybjaerg-Hansen, A; Vestbo, J

    2001-01-01

    We tested whether increased concentrations of the acute-phase reactant fibrinogen correlate with pulmonary function and rate of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) hospitalization. We measured plasma fibrinogen and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)), and assessed prospectively COPD...

  1. Increased functional connectivity between prefrontal cortex and reward system in pathological gambling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saskia Koehler

    Full Text Available Pathological gambling (PG shares clinical characteristics with substance-use disorders and is thus discussed as a behavioral addiction. Recent neuroimaging studies on PG report functional changes in prefrontal structures and the mesolimbic reward system. While an imbalance between these structures has been related to addictive behavior, whether their dysfunction in PG is reflected in the interaction between them remains unclear. We addressed this question using functional connectivity resting-state fMRI in male subjects with PG and controls. Seed-based functional connectivity was computed using two regions-of-interest, based on the results of a previous voxel-based morphometry study, located in the prefrontal cortex and the mesolimbic reward system (right middle frontal gyrus and right ventral striatum. PG patients demonstrated increased connectivity from the right middle frontal gyrus to the right striatum as compared to controls, which was also positively correlated with nonplanning aspect of impulsiveness, smoking and craving scores in the PG group. Moreover, PG patients demonstrated decreased connectivity from the right middle frontal gyrus to other prefrontal areas as compared to controls. The right ventral striatum demonstrated increased connectivity to the right superior and middle frontal gyrus and left cerebellum in PG patients as compared to controls. The increased connectivity to the cerebellum was positively correlated with smoking in the PG group. Our results provide further evidence for alterations in functional connectivity in PG with increased connectivity between prefrontal regions and the reward system, similar to connectivity changes reported in substance use disorder.

  2. Multiple alterations of platelet functions dominated by increased secretion in mice lacking Cdc42 in platelets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pleines, Irina; Eckly, Anita; Elvers, Margitta

    2010-01-01

    formation and exocytosis in various cell types, but its exact function in platelets is not established. Here, we show that the megakaryocyte/platelet-specific loss of Cdc42 leads to mild thrombocytopenia and a small increase in platelet size in mice. Unexpectedly, Cdc42-deficient platelets were able to form...

  3. Significant correlation of P-wave parameters with left atrial volume index and left ventricular diastolic function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Wei-Chung; Lee, Kun-Tai; Wu, Ming-Tsang; Chu, Chih-Sheng; Lin, Tsung-Hsien; Hsu, Po-Chao; Su, Ho-Ming; Voon, Wen-Chol; Lai, Wen-Ter; Sheu, Sheng-Hsiung

    2013-07-01

    The 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) is a commonly used tool to access left atrial enlargement, which is a marker of left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (LVDD). The aim of this study was to evaluate any association of the P-wave measurements in ECG with left atrial volume (LAV) index and LVDD. This study enrolled 270 patients. In this study, 4 ECG P-wave parameters corrected by heart rate, that is, corrected P-wave maximum duration (PWdurMaxC), corrected P-wave dispersion (PWdisperC), corrected P-wave area (PWareaC) and corrected mean P-wave duration (meanPWdurC), were measured. LAV and left ventricular diastolic parameters were measured from echocardiography. LVDD was defined as a pseudonormal or restrictive mitral inflow pattern. The 4 P-wave parameters were significantly correlated with the LAV index after adjusting for age, sex, diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, body mass index and diastolic blood pressure in multivariate analysis. The standardized β coefficients of PWdurMaxC, PWdisperC, meanPWdurC and PWareaC were 0.338, 0.298, 0.215 and 0.296, respectively. The 4 P-wave parameters were also significantly correlated with LVDD after multivariate logistic regression analysis. The odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) of PWdurMaxC, PWdisperC, meanPWdurC and PWareaC were 1.03 (1.01-1.04), 1.02 (1.04-1.04), 1.04 (1.02-1.07) and 1.01 (1.00-1.02), respectively. This study demonstrated that PWdurMaxC, PWdisperC, meanPWdurC and PWareaC were important determinants of the LAV index and LVDD. Therefore, screening patients by means of the 12-lead ECG may be helpful in identifying a high-risk group of increased LAV index and LVDD.

  4. Density-functional errors in ionization potential with increasing system size

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whittleton, Sarah R.; Sosa Vazquez, Xochitl A.; Isborn, Christine M., E-mail: cisborn@ucmerced.edu [Chemistry and Chemical Biology, School of Natural Sciences, University of California, Merced, 5200 North Lake Road, Merced, California 95343 (United States); Johnson, Erin R., E-mail: erin.johnson@dal.ca [Chemistry and Chemical Biology, School of Natural Sciences, University of California, Merced, 5200 North Lake Road, Merced, California 95343 (United States); Department of Chemistry, Dalhousie University, 6274 Coburg Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2 (Canada)

    2015-05-14

    This work investigates the effects of molecular size on the accuracy of density-functional ionization potentials for a set of 28 hydrocarbons, including series of alkanes, alkenes, and oligoacenes. As the system size increases, delocalization error introduces a systematic underestimation of the ionization potential, which is rationalized by considering the fractional-charge behavior of the electronic energies. The computation of the ionization potential with many density-functional approximations is not size-extensive due to excessive delocalization of the incipient positive charge. While inclusion of exact exchange reduces the observed errors, system-specific tuning of long-range corrected functionals does not generally improve accuracy. These results emphasize that good performance of a functional for small molecules is not necessarily transferable to larger systems.

  5. Final report of a randomized trial on altered-fractionated radiotherapy in nasopharyngeal carcinoma prematurely terminated by significant increase in neurologic complications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teo, Peter Man Lung; Leung, Sing Fai; Chan, Anthony Tak Cheung; Leung, Thomas Wai Tong; Choi, Peter Ho Keung; Kwan, Wing Hong; Lee, Wai Yee; Chau, Ricky Ming Chun; Yu, Peter Kau Wing; Johnson, Philip James

    2000-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of the present study was to compare the survival, local control and complications of conventional/accelerated-hyperfractionated radiotherapy and conventional radiotherapy in nonmetastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Methods and Materials: From February 1993 to October 1995, 159 patients with newly diagnosed nonmetastatic (M0) NPC with N0 or 4 cm or less N1 disease (Ho's N-stage classification, 1978) were randomized to receive either conventional radiotherapy (Arm I, n = 82) or conventional/accelerated-hyperfractionated radiotherapy (Arm II, n = 77). Stratification was according to the T stage. The biologic effective dose (10 Grays) to the primary and the upper cervical lymphatics were 75.0 and 73.1 for Arm I and 84.4 and 77.2 for Arm II, respectively. Results: With comparable distribution among the T stages between the two arms, the free from local failure rate at 5 years after radiotherapy was not significantly different between the two arms (85.3%; 95% confidence interval, 77.2-93.4% for Arm I; and 88.9%; 95% confidence interval, 81.7-96.2% for Arm II). The two arms were also comparable in overall survival, relapse-free survival, and rates of distant metastasis and regional relapse. Conventional/accelerated-hyperfractionated radiotherapy was associated with significantly increased radiation-induced damage to the central nervous system (including temporal lobe, cranial nerves, optic nerve/chiasma, and brainstem/spinal cord) in Arm II. Although insignificant, radiation-induced cranial nerve(s) palsy (typically involving VIII-XII), trismus, neck soft tissue fibrosis, and hypopituiturism and hypothyroidism occurred more often in Arm II. In addition, the complications occurred at significantly shorter intervals after radiotherapy in Arm II. Conclusion: Accelerated hyperfractionation when used in conjunction with a two-dimensional radiotherapy planning technique, in this case the Ho's technique, resulted in increased radiation damage to the central

  6. On the functional significance of retrieval mode: Task switching disrupts the recollection of conceptual stimulus information from episodic memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Küper, Kristina

    2018-01-01

    Episodic memory retrieval is assumed to be associated with the tonic cognitive state of retrieval mode. Despite extensive research into the neurophysiological correlates of retrieval mode, as of yet, relatively little is known about its functional significance. The present event-related potential (ERP) study was aimed at examining the impact of retrieval mode on the specificity of memory content retrieved in the course of familiarity and recollection processes. In two experiments, participants performed a recognition memory inclusion task in which they had to distinguish identically repeated and re-colored versions of study items from new items. In Experiment 1, participants had to alternate between the episodic memory task and a semantic task requiring a natural/artificial decision. In Experiment 2, the two tasks were instead performed in separate blocks. ERPs locked to the preparatory cues in the test phases indicated that participants did not establish retrieval mode on switch trials in Experiment 1. In the absence of retrieval mode, neither type of studied item elicited ERP correlates of familiarity-based retrieval (FN400). Recollection-related late positive complex (LPC) old/new effects emerged only for identically repeated but not for conceptually identical but perceptually changed versions of study items. With blocked retrieval in Experiment 2, both types of old items instead elicited equivalent FN400 and LPC old/new effects. The LPC data indicate that retrieval mode may play an important role in the successful recollection of conceptual stimulus information. The FN400 results additionally suggest that task switching may have a detrimental effect on familiarity-based memory retrieval. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Editorial Commentary: Big Data Suggest That Because of a Significant Increased Risk of Postoperative Infection, Steroid Injection Is Not Recommended After Ankle Arthroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brand, Jefferson C

    2016-02-01

    A recent study addressing infection rate after intra-articular steroid injection during ankle arthroscopy gives pause to this practice, with an odds ratio of 2.2 in the entire population that was injected with a steroid simultaneously with ankle arthroscopy compared with patients who did not receive an ankle injection. Big data, used in the study upon which the Editor comments here, suggest that because of a significant increased risk of postoperative infection, steroid injection is not recommended after ankle arthroscopy. Copyright © 2016 Arthroscopy Association of North America. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. The olivo-cerebellar system: a key to understanding the functional significance of intrinsic oscillatory brain properties

    OpenAIRE

    Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2014-01-01

    The reflexological view of brain function (Sherrington 1906) has played a crucial role in defining both the nature of connectivity and the role of the synaptic interactions among neuronal circuits. One implicit assumption of this view, however, has been that CNS function is fundamentally driven by sensory input. This view was questioned as early as the beginning of the last century when a possible role for intrinsic activity in CNS function was proposed by Thomas Graham Brow (Brown 1911; Brow...

  9. Prognostic significance of repeat biopsy in lupus nephritis: Histopathologic worsening and a short time between biopsies is associated with significantly increased risk for end stage renal disease and death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arriens, Cristina; Chen, Sixia; Karp, David R; Saxena, Ramesh; Sambandam, Kamalanathan; Chakravarty, Eliza; James, Judith A; Merrill, Joan T

    2017-12-01

    histopathology had died compared to 2 (3.2%) of non-worsening patients. Biopsy worsening was associated with a significantly greater 15-year risk of ESRD (Hazard Ratio 4.2, p=0.0001) and death (Hazard Ratio 4.3, p=0.022), adjusting for age, gender, race, biopsy class, and treatment. Time between first and second biopsies was 5years in 28. Over a 15-year period, those with <1year between first and second biopsies (presumably enriched for patients with early clinical signs of progression) had a significantly greater risk of ESRD (Hazard Ratio 13.7, p<0.0001) and death (Hazard Ratio 16.9, p=0.0022) after adjusting for age, gender, race, biopsy class, and treatment. A repeat renal biopsy demonstrating worsening pathology increases the risk of ESRD and death more than four-fold compared to non-worsening patients. Given known potential mismatch between biopsy and clinical data, repeat biopsies may add important information and justify changes in treatment not considered on clinical grounds. Earlier detection of poor prognostic signs in those without early clinical deterioration might improve outcomes in enough patients to reconsider cost effectiveness of routine repeat biopsy. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Human microRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors show significantly different biological patterns: from functions to targets.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong Wang

    Full Text Available MicroRNAs (miRNAs are small noncoding RNAs which play essential roles in many important biological processes. Therefore, their dysfunction is associated with a variety of human diseases, including cancer. Increasing evidence shows that miRNAs can act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors, and although there is great interest in research into these cancer-associated miRNAs, little is known about them. In this study, we performed a comprehensive analysis of putative human miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors. We found that miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors clearly show different patterns in function, evolutionary rate, expression, chromosome distribution, molecule size, free energy, transcription factors, and targets. For example, miRNA oncogenes are located mainly in the amplified regions in human cancers, whereas miRNA tumor suppressors are located mainly in the deleted regions. miRNA oncogenes tend to cleave target mRNAs more frequently than miRNA tumor suppressors. These results indicate that these two types of cancer-associated miRNAs play different roles in cancer formation and development. Moreover, the patterns identified here can discriminate novel miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors with a high degree of accuracy. This study represents the first large-scale bioinformatic analysis of human miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors. Our findings provide help for not only understanding of miRNAs in cancer but also for the specific identification of novel miRNAs as miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors. In addition, the data presented in this study will be valuable for the study of both miRNAs and cancer.

  11. Transglutaminase 2 expression is increased as a function of malignancy grade and negatively regulates cell growth in meningioma.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yin-Cheng Huang

    Full Text Available Most meningiomas are benign, but some clinical-aggressive tumors exhibit brain invasion and cannot be resected without significant complications. To identify molecular markers for these clinically-aggressive meningiomas, we performed microarray analyses on 24 primary cultures from 21 meningiomas and 3 arachnoid membranes. Using this approach, increased transglutaminase 2 (TGM2 expression was observed, which was subsequently validated in an independent set of 82 meningiomas by immunohistochemistry. Importantly, the TGM2 expression level was associated with increasing WHO malignancy grade as well as meningioma recurrence. Inhibition of TGM2 function by siRNA or cystamine induced meningioma cell death, which was associated with reduced AKT phosphorylation and caspase-3 activation. Collectively, these findings suggest that TGM2 expression increases as a function of malignancy grade and tumor recurrence and that inhibition of TGM2 reduces meningioma cell growth.

  12. Physiological geroscience: targeting function to increase healthspan and achieve optimal longevity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seals, Douglas R; Justice, Jamie N; LaRocca, Thomas J

    2016-04-15

    Most nations of the world are undergoing rapid and dramatic population ageing, which presents great socio-economic challenges, as well as opportunities, for individuals, families, governments and societies. The prevailing biomedical strategy for reducing the healthcare impact of population ageing has been 'compression of morbidity' and, more recently, to increase healthspan, both of which seek to extend the healthy period of life and delay the development of chronic diseases and disability until a brief period at the end of life. Indeed, a recently established field within biological ageing research, 'geroscience', is focused on healthspan extension. Superimposed on this background are new attitudes and demand for 'optimal longevity' - living long, but with good health and quality of life. A key obstacle to achieving optimal longevity is the progressive decline in physiological function that occurs with ageing, which causes functional limitations (e.g. reduced mobility) and increases the risk of chronic diseases, disability and mortality. Current efforts to increase healthspan centre on slowing the fundamental biological processes of ageing such as inflammation/oxidative stress, increased senescence, mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired proteostasis and reduced stress resistance. We propose that optimization of physiological function throughout the lifespan should be a major emphasis of any contemporary biomedical policy addressing global ageing. Effective strategies should delay, reduce in magnitude or abolish reductions in function with ageing (primary prevention) and/or improve function or slow further declines in older adults with already impaired function (secondary prevention). Healthy lifestyle practices featuring regular physical activity and ideal energy intake/diet composition represent first-line function-preserving strategies, with pharmacological agents, including existing and new pharmaceuticals and novel 'nutraceutical' compounds, serving as potential

  13. Defective TFH Cell Function and Increased TFR Cells Contribute to Defective Antibody Production in Aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sage, Peter T; Tan, Catherine L; Freeman, Gordon J; Haigis, Marcia; Sharpe, Arlene H

    2015-07-14

    Defective antibody production in aging is broadly attributed to immunosenescence. However, the precise immunological mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate an increase in the ratio of inhibitory T follicular regulatory (TFR) cells to stimulatory T follicular helper (TFH) cells in aged mice. Aged TFH and TFR cells are phenotypically distinct from those in young mice, exhibiting increased programmed cell death protein-1 expression but decreased ICOS expression. Aged TFH cells exhibit defective antigen-specific responses, and programmed cell death protein-ligand 1 blockade can partially rescue TFH cell function. In contrast, young and aged TFR cells have similar suppressive capacity on a per-cell basis in vitro and in vivo. Together, these studies reveal mechanisms contributing to defective humoral immunity in aging: an increase in suppressive TFR cells combined with impaired function of aged TFH cells results in reduced T-cell-dependent antibody responses in aged mice. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Loss of Peripheral Sensory Function Explains Much of the Increase in Postural Sway in Healthy Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Anson

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Postural sway increases with age and peripheral sensory disease. Whether, peripheral sensory function is related to postural sway independent of age in healthy adults is unclear. Here, we investigated the relationship between tests of visual function (VISFIELD, vestibular function (CANAL or OTOLITH, proprioceptive function (PROP, and age, with center of mass sway area (COM measured with eyes open then closed on firm and then a foam surface. A cross-sectional sample of 366 community dwelling healthy adults from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging was tested. Multiple linear regressions examined the association between COM and VISFIELD, PROP, CANAL, and OTOLITH separately and in multi-sensory models controlling for age and gender. PROP dominated sensory prediction of sway across most balance conditions (β's = 0.09–0.19, p's < 0.001, except on foam eyes closed where CANAL function loss was the only significant sensory predictor of sway (β = 2.12, p < 0.016. Age was not a consistent predictor of sway. This suggests loss of peripheral sensory function explains much of the age-associated increase in sway.

  15. Among Metabolic Factors, Significance of Fasting and Postprandial Increases in Acyl and Desacyl Ghrelin and the Acyl/Desacyl Ratio in Obstructive Sleep Apnea before and after Treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chihara, Yuichi; Akamizu, Takashi; Azuma, Masanori; Murase, Kimihiko; Harada, Yuka; Tanizawa, Kiminobu; Handa, Tomohiro; Oga, Toru; Mishima, Michiaki; Chin, Kazuo

    2015-08-15

    There are reports suggesting that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may itself cause weight gain. However, recent reports showed increases in body mass index (BMI) following continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatments. When considering weight changes, changes in humoral factors that have significant effects on appetite such as acyl (AG) and desacyl ghrelin (DAG), leptin, insulin, and glucose and their interactions, examples of which are AG/DAG and AG/insulin, are important. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that some appetite-related factors had a specific profile before and after CPAP treatment. Metabolic parameters were measured cross-sectionally while fasting and 30, 60, 90, and 120 min following breakfast in no or mild OSA (apnea-hypopnea index fasting and postprandial glucose, insulin, and leptin levels did not differ between no or mild OSA and moderate-to-severe OSA participants, AG and DAG, including AG/DAG and AG/insulin, under fasting and postprandial conditions were significantly increased in the moderate-to-severe OSA patients (p continuous changes in ghrelin secretion in OSA patients existed at least within 3 months of CPAP treatment. Methods to prevent OSA as well as treatment in its early stage may be recommended. © 2015 American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

  16. Sunitinib significantly suppresses the proliferation, migration, apoptosis resistance, tumor angiogenesis and growth of triple-negative breast cancers but increases breast cancer stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chinchar, Edmund; Makey, Kristina L; Gibson, John; Chen, Fang; Cole, Shelby A; Megason, Gail C; Vijayakumar, Srinivassan; Miele, Lucio; Gu, Jian-Wei

    2014-01-01

    The majority of triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) are basal-like breast cancers. However there is no reported study on anti-tumor effects of sunitinib in xenografts of basal-like TNBC (MDA-MB-468) cells. In the present study, MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468, MCF-7 cells were cultured using RPMI 1640 media with 10% FBS. Vascular endothelia growth factor (VEGF) protein levels were detected using ELISA (R & D Systams). MDA-MB-468 cells were exposed to sunitinib for 18 hours for measuring proliferation (3H-thymidine incorporation), migration (BD Invasion Chamber), and apoptosis (ApopTag and ApoScreen Anuexin V Kit). The effect of sunitinib on Notch-1 expression was determined by Western blot in cultured MDA-MB-468 cells. 10(6) MDA-MB-468 cells were inoculated into the left fourth mammary gland fat pad in athymic nude-foxn1 mice. When the tumor volume reached 100 mm(3), sunitinib was given by gavage at 80 mg/kg/2 days for 4 weeks. Tumor angiogenesis was determined by CD31 immunohistochemistry. Breast cancer stem cells (CSCs) isolated from the tumors were determined by flow cytometry analysis using CD44(+)/CD24(-) or low. ELISA indicated that VEGF was much more highly expressed in MDA-MB-468 cells than MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells. Sunitinib significantly inhibited the proliferation, invasion, and apoptosis resistance in cultured basal like breast cancer cells. Sunitinib significantly increased the expression of Notch-1 protein in cultured MDA-MB-468 or MDA-MB-231 cells. The xenograft models showed that oral sunitinib significantly reduced the tumor volume of TNBCs in association with the inhibition of tumor angiogeneisis, but increased breast CSCs. These findings support the hypothesis that the possibility should be considered of sunitinib increasing breast CSCs though it inhibits TNBC tumor angiogenesis and growth/progression, and that effects of sunitinib on Notch expression and hypoxia may increase breast cancer stem cells. This work provides the groundwork for an

  17. Working memory circuit as a function of increasing age in healthy adolescence: A systematic review and meta-analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andre, Julia; Picchioni, Marco; Zhang, Ruibin; Toulopoulou, Timothea

    2016-01-01

    Working memory ability matures through puberty and early adulthood. Deficits in working memory are linked to the risk of onset of neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia, and there is a significant temporal overlap between the peak of first episode psychosis risk and working memory maturation. In order to characterize the normal working memory functional maturation process through this critical phase of cognitive development we conducted a systematic review and coordinate based meta-analyses of all the available primary functional magnetic resonance imaging studies (n = 382) that mapped WM function in healthy adolescents (10-17 years) and young adults (18-30 years). Activation Likelihood Estimation analyses across all WM tasks revealed increased activation with increasing subject age in the middle frontal gyrus (BA6) bilaterally, the left middle frontal gyrus (BA10), the left precuneus and left inferior parietal gyri (BA7; 40). Decreased activation with increasing age was found in the right superior frontal (BA8), left junction of postcentral and inferior parietal (BA3/40), and left limbic cingulate gyrus (BA31). These results suggest that brain activation during adolescence increased with age principally in higher order cortices, part of the core working memory network, while reductions were detected in more diffuse and potentially more immature neural networks. Understanding the process by which the brain and its cognitive functions mature through healthy adulthood may provide us with new clues to understanding the vulnerability to neurodevelopmental disorders.

  18. Working memory circuit as a function of increasing age in healthy adolescence: A systematic review and meta-analyses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Andre

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Working memory ability matures through puberty and early adulthood. Deficits in working memory are linked to the risk of onset of neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia, and there is a significant temporal overlap between the peak of first episode psychosis risk and working memory maturation. In order to characterize the normal working memory functional maturation process through this critical phase of cognitive development we conducted a systematic review and coordinate based meta-analyses of all the available primary functional magnetic resonance imaging studies (n = 382 that mapped WM function in healthy adolescents (10–17 years and young adults (18–30 years. Activation Likelihood Estimation analyses across all WM tasks revealed increased activation with increasing subject age in the middle frontal gyrus (BA6 bilaterally, the left middle frontal gyrus (BA10, the left precuneus and left inferior parietal gyri (BA7; 40. Decreased activation with increasing age was found in the right superior frontal (BA8, left junction of postcentral and inferior parietal (BA3/40, and left limbic cingulate gyrus (BA31. These results suggest that brain activation during adolescence increased with age principally in higher order cortices, part of the core working memory network, while reductions were detected in more diffuse and potentially more immature neural networks. Understanding the process by which the brain and its cognitive functions mature through healthy adulthood may provide us with new clues to understanding the vulnerability to neurodevelopmental disorders.

  19. Interactions between default mode and control networks as a function of increasing cognitive reasoning complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hearne, Luke; Cocchi, Luca; Zalesky, Andrew; Mattingley, Jason B

    2015-07-01

    Successful performance of challenging cognitive tasks depends on a consistent functional segregation of activity within the default-mode network, on the one hand, and control networks encompassing frontoparietal and cingulo-opercular areas on the other. Recent work, however, has suggested that in some cognitive control contexts nodes within the default-mode and control networks may actually cooperate to achieve optimal task performance. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine whether the ability to relate variables while solving a cognitive reasoning problem involves transient increases in connectivity between default-mode and control regions. Participants performed a modified version of the classic Wason selection task, in which the number of variables to be related is systematically varied across trials. As expected, areas within the default-mode network showed a parametric deactivation with increases in relational complexity, compared with neural activity in null trials. Critically, some of these areas also showed enhanced connectivity with task-positive control regions. Specifically, task-based connectivity between the striatum and the angular gyri, and between the thalamus and right temporal pole, increased as a function of relational complexity. These findings challenge the notion that functional segregation between regions within default-mode and control networks invariably support cognitive task performance, and reveal previously unknown roles for the striatum and thalamus in managing network dynamics during cognitive reasoning. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Increased Global Interaction Across Functional Brain Modules During Cognitive Emotion Regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandl, Felix; Mulej Bratec, Satja; Xie, Xiyao; Wohlschläger, Afra M; Riedl, Valentin; Meng, Chun; Sorg, Christian

    2017-07-13

    Cognitive emotion regulation (CER) enables humans to flexibly modulate their emotions. While local theories of CER neurobiology suggest interactions between specialized local brain circuits underlying CER, e.g., in subparts of amygdala and medial prefrontal cortices (mPFC), global theories hypothesize global interaction increases among larger functional brain modules comprising local circuits. We tested the global CER hypothesis using graph-based whole-brain network analysis of functional MRI data during aversive emotional processing with and without CER. During CER, global between-module interaction across stable functional network modules increased. Global interaction increase was particularly driven by subregions of amygdala and cuneus-nodes of highest nodal participation-that overlapped with CER-specific local activations, and by mPFC and posterior cingulate as relevant connector hubs. Results provide evidence for the global nature of human CER, complementing functional specialization of embedded local brain circuits during successful CER. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Grammar tests increase the ability to lateralize language function in the Wada test.

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    Połczyńska, Monika; Curtiss, Susan; Walshaw, Particia; Siddarth, Prabha; Benjamin, Chris; Moseley, Brian D; Vigil, Celia; Jones, Michael; Eliashiv, Dawn; Bookheimer, Susan

    2014-12-01

    Grammar is a core component of the language system, yet it is rarely assessed during the Wada (intracarotid amobarbital) test. It is hypothesized that adding grammar tests to the recovery phase of the Wada test will increase our ability to lateralize language function. Sixteen individuals (nine females, fifteen right-handed, mean age 38.4 years, SD=10.7) with medically refractory temporal lobe epilepsy participated in the study. On EEG ten patients had seizures originating in the left hemisphere (LH), five in the right hemisphere (RH), and one was insufficiently lateralized. We included only patients who were LH-dominant on the standard test in the encoding phase of the Wada test. In the recovery phase of Wada testing the participants underwent evaluation with a standard language and a new test of grammar, the CYCLE-N. Ten patients underwent bilateral injections, six unilateral (one RH, five LH). As expected, injection in the LH decreased language performance to a greater extent than injection to the RH on both tests. However, the CYCLE-N produced more profound language deficits in the injected LH compared to the RH (p=0.01), whereas the standard tests did not cause such pronounced differences (p=0.2). The results suggest that the standard tests did not significantly differentiate the effects of the injections and the CYCLE-N, for the most part, did. Our results are of particular relevance to patients who are too obtunded to speak in the encoding phase. In sum, the CYCLE-N may be helpful in assessing hemispheric dominance for language. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Physiological geroscience: targeting function to increase healthspan and achieve optimal longevity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justice, Jamie N.; LaRocca, Thomas J.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Most nations of the world are undergoing rapid and dramatic population ageing, which presents great socio‐economic challenges, as well as opportunities, for individuals, families, governments and societies. The prevailing biomedical strategy for reducing the healthcare impact of population ageing has been ‘compression of morbidity’ and, more recently, to increase healthspan, both of which seek to extend the healthy period of life and delay the development of chronic diseases and disability until a brief period at the end of life. Indeed, a recently established field within biological ageing research, ‘geroscience’, is focused on healthspan extension. Superimposed on this background are new attitudes and demand for ‘optimal longevity’ – living long, but with good health and quality of life. A key obstacle to achieving optimal longevity is the progressive decline in physiological function that occurs with ageing, which causes functional limitations (e.g. reduced mobility) and increases the risk of chronic diseases, disability and mortality. Current efforts to increase healthspan centre on slowing the fundamental biological processes of ageing such as inflammation/oxidative stress, increased senescence, mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired proteostasis and reduced stress resistance. We propose that optimization of physiological function throughout the lifespan should be a major emphasis of any contemporary biomedical policy addressing global ageing. Effective strategies should delay, reduce in magnitude or abolish reductions in function with ageing (primary prevention) and/or improve function or slow further declines in older adults with already impaired function (secondary prevention). Healthy lifestyle practices featuring regular physical activity and ideal energy intake/diet composition represent first‐line function‐preserving strategies, with pharmacological agents, including existing and new pharmaceuticals and novel

  3. Application of Functionalized SWCNTs for Increase of Degradation Resistance of Acrylic Paint for Cars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Osiel Lucas Flores

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Physical properties of automotive acrylic paint are improved by incorporation of three different types of carbon nanotubes: single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs, OH-functionalized single-wall carbon nanotubes (OH-SWCNTs, and aniline-functionalized single-wall carbon nanotubes (aniline-SWCNTs. The formed composites are studied by electron miscroscopy methods and Raman spectrometry. It is found that the acrylic paints with addition of OH-SWCNTs and aniline-SWCNTs show better quality for their applications. In particular, the resistance against degradation by electron beam increased in ~500%.

  4. Vector species richness increases haemorrhagic disease prevalence through functional diversity modulating the duration of seasonal transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Andrew W; Cleveland, Christopher A; Dallas, Tad A; Corn, Joseph L

    2016-06-01

    Although many parasites are transmitted between hosts by a suite of arthropod vectors, the impact of vector biodiversity on parasite transmission is poorly understood. Positive relationships between host infection prevalence and vector species richness (SR) may operate through multiple mechanisms, including (i) increased vector abundance, (ii) a sampling effect in which species of high vectorial capacity are more likely to occur in species-rich communities, and (iii) functional diversity whereby communities comprised species with distinct phenologies may extend the duration of seasonal transmission. Teasing such mechanisms apart is impeded by a lack of appropriate data, yet could highlight a neglected role for functional diversity in parasite transmission. We used statistical modelling of extensive host, vector and microparasite data to test the hypothesis that functional diversity leading to longer seasonal transmission explained variable levels of disease in a wildlife population. We additionally developed a simple transmission model to guide our expectation of how an increased transmission season translates to infection prevalence. Our study demonstrates that vector SR is associated with increased levels of disease reporting, but not via increases in vector abundance or via a sampling effect. Rather, the relationship operates by extending the length of seasonal transmission, in line with theoretical predictions.

  5. MaquiBright™ standardized maqui berry extract significantly increases tear fluid production and ameliorates dry eye-related symptoms in a clinical pilot trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hitoe, S; Tanaka, J; Shimoda, H

    2014-09-01

    Dry eye symptoms, resulting from insufficient tear fluid generation, represent a considerable burden for a largely underestimated number of people. We concluded from earlier pre-clinical investigations that the etiology of dry eyes encompasses oxidative stress burden to lachrymal glands and that antioxidant MaquiBright™ Aristotelia chilensis berry extract helps restore glandular activity. In this pilot trial we investigated 13 healthy volunteers with moderately dry eyes using Schirmer test, as well as a questionnaire which allows for estimating the impact of dry eyes on daily routines. Study participants were assigned to one of two groups, receiving MaquiBright™ at daily dosage of either 30 mg (N.=7) or 60 mg (N.=6) over a period of 60 days. Both groups presented with significantly (Peye dryness on daily routines was evaluated employing the "Dry Eye-related Quality of life Score" (DEQS), with values spanning from zero (impact) to a maximum score of 60. Participants had comparable baseline values of 41.0±7.7 (30 mg) and 40.2±6.3 (60 mg). With 30 mg treatment the score significantly decreased to 21.8±3.9 and 18.9±3.9, after 30 and 60 days, respectively. With 60 mg treatment the DEQS significantly decreased to 26.9±5.3 and 11.1±2.7, after 30 and 60 days, respectively. Blood was drawn for safety analyses (complete blood rheology and -chemistry) at all three investigative time points without negative findings. In conclusion, while daily supplementation with 30 mg MaquiBright™ is effective, the dosage of 60 significantly increased tear fluid volume at all investigative time points and decreased dry eye symptoms to almost a quarter from initial values after two months treatment.

  6. Significance of functional disease-causal/susceptible variants identified by whole-genome analyses for the understanding of human diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hitomi, Yuki; Tokunaga, Katsushi

    2017-01-01

    Human genome variation may cause differences in traits and disease risks. Disease-causal/susceptible genes and variants for both common and rare diseases can be detected by comprehensive whole-genome analyses, such as whole-genome sequencing (WGS), using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology and genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Here, in addition to the application of an NGS as a whole-genome analysis method, we summarize approaches for the identification of functional disease-causal/susceptible variants from abundant genetic variants in the human genome and methods for evaluating their functional effects in human diseases, using an NGS and in silico and in vitro functional analyses. We also discuss the clinical applications of the functional disease causal/susceptible variants to personalized medicine.

  7. Kyphoplasty increases vertebral height, decreases both pain score and opiate requirements while improving functional status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tolba, Reda; Bolash, Robert B; Shroll, Joshua; Costandi, Shrif; Dalton, Jarrod E; Sanghvi, Chirag; Mekhail, Nagy

    2014-03-01

    Vertebral compression fractures can result from advanced osteoporosis, or less commonly from metastatic or traumatic insults to the vertebral column, and result in disabling pain and decreased functional capacity. Various vertebral augmentation options including kyphoplasty aim at preventing the sequelae of pain and immobility that can develop as the result of the vertebral fractures. The mechanism for pain relief following kyphoplasty is not entirely understood, and the restoration of a portion of the lost vertebral height is a subject of debate. We retrospectively reviewed radiographic imaging, pain relief, analgesic intake and functional outcomes in 67 consecutive patients who underwent single- or multilevel kyphoplasty with the primary goal of quantifying the restoration of lost vertebral height. We observed a mean of 45% of the lost vertebral height restored postprocedurally. Secondarily, kyphoplasty was associated with significant decreases in pain scores, daily morphine consumption and improvement in patient-reported functional measures. © 2013 World Institute of Pain.

  8. The In Vitro Mass-Produced Model Mycorrhizal Fungus, Rhizophagus irregularis, Significantly Increases Yields of the Globally Important Food Security Crop Cassava

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceballos, Isabel; Ruiz, Michael; Fernández, Cristhian; Peña, Ricardo

    2013-01-01

    The arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis is formed between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and plant roots. The fungi provide the plant with inorganic phosphate (P). The symbiosis can result in increased plant growth. Although most global food crops naturally form this symbiosis, very few studies have shown that their practical application can lead to large-scale increases in food production. Application of AMF to crops in the tropics is potentially effective for improving yields. However, a main problem of using AMF on a large-scale is producing cheap inoculum in a clean sterile carrier and sufficiently concentrated to cheaply transport. Recently, mass-produced in vitro inoculum of the model mycorrhizal fungus Rhizophagus irregularis became available, potentially making its use viable in tropical agriculture. One of the most globally important food plants in the tropics is cassava. We evaluated the effect of in vitro mass-produced R. irregularis inoculum on the yield of cassava crops at two locations in Colombia. A significant effect of R. irregularis inoculation on yield occurred at both sites. At one site, yield increases were observed irrespective of P fertilization. At the other site, inoculation with AMF and 50% of the normally applied P gave the highest yield. Despite that AMF inoculation resulted in greater food production, economic analyses revealed that AMF inoculation did not give greater return on investment than with conventional cultivation. However, the amount of AMF inoculum used was double the recommended dose and was calculated with European, not Colombian, inoculum prices. R. irregularis can also be manipulated genetically in vitro, leading to improved plant growth. We conclude that application of in vitro R. irregularis is currently a way of increasing cassava yields, that there is a strong potential for it to be economically profitable and that there is enormous potential to improve this efficiency further in the future. PMID:23950975

  9. Addition of sodium caseinate to skim milk increases nonsedimentable casein and causes significant changes in rennet-induced gelation, heat stability, and ethanol stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yingchen; Kelly, Alan L; O'Mahony, James A; Guinee, Timothy P

    2017-02-01

    The protein content of skim milk was increased from 3.3 to 4.1% (wt/wt) by the addition of a blend of skim milk powder and sodium caseinate (NaCas), in which the weight ratio of skim milk powder to NaCas was varied from 0.8:0.0 to 0.0:0.8. Addition of NaCas increased the levels of nonsedimentable casein (from ∼6 to 18% of total casein) and calcium (from ∼36 to 43% of total calcium) and reduced the turbidity of the fortified milk, to a degree depending on level of NaCas added. Rennet gelation was adversely affected by the addition of NaCas at 0.2% (wt/wt) and completely inhibited at NaCas ≥0.4% (wt/wt). Rennet-induced hydrolysis was not affected by added NaCas. The proportion of total casein that was nonsedimentable on centrifugation (3,000 × g, 1 h, 25°C) of the rennet-treated milk after incubation for 1 h at 31°C increased significantly on addition of NaCas at ≥0.4% (wt/wt). Heat stability in the pH range 6.7 to 7.2 and ethanol stability at pH 6.4 were enhanced by the addition of NaCas. It is suggested that the negative effect of NaCas on rennet gelation is due to the increase in nonsedimentable casein, which upon hydrolysis by chymosin forms into small nonsedimentable particles that physically come between, and impede the aggregation of, rennet-altered para-casein micelles, and thereby inhibit the development of a gel network. Copyright © 2017 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. The in vitro mass-produced model mycorrhizal fungus, Rhizophagus irregularis, significantly increases yields of the globally important food security crop cassava.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel Ceballos

    Full Text Available The arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis is formed between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF and plant roots. The fungi provide the plant with inorganic phosphate (P. The symbiosis can result in increased plant growth. Although most global food crops naturally form this symbiosis, very few studies have shown that their practical application can lead to large-scale increases in food production. Application of AMF to crops in the tropics is potentially effective for improving yields. However, a main problem of using AMF on a large-scale is producing cheap inoculum in a clean sterile carrier and sufficiently concentrated to cheaply transport. Recently, mass-produced in vitro inoculum of the model mycorrhizal fungus Rhizophagus irregularis became available, potentially making its use viable in tropical agriculture. One of the most globally important food plants in the tropics is cassava. We evaluated the effect of in vitro mass-produced R. irregularis inoculum on the yield of cassava crops at two locations in Colombia. A significant effect of R. irregularis inoculation on yield occurred at both sites. At one site, yield increases were observed irrespective of P fertilization. At the other site, inoculation with AMF and 50% of the normally applied P gave the highest yield. Despite that AMF inoculation resulted in greater food production, economic analyses revealed that AMF inoculation did not give greater return on investment than with conventional cultivation. However, the amount of AMF inoculum used was double the recommended dose and was calculated with European, not Colombian, inoculum prices. R. irregularis can also be manipulated genetically in vitro, leading to improved plant growth. We conclude that application of in vitro R. irregularis is currently a way of increasing cassava yields, that there is a strong potential for it to be economically profitable and that there is enormous potential to improve this efficiency further in the future.

  11. In vivo topical application of acetyl aspartic acid increases fibrillin-1 and collagen IV deposition leading to a significant improvement of skin firmness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillbro, J M; Merinville, E; Cattley, K; Al-Bader, T; Hagforsen, E; Nilsson, M; Mavon, A

    2015-10-01

    Acetyl aspartic acid (A-A-A) was discovered through gene array analysis with corresponding Cmap analysis. We found that A-A-A increased keratinocyte regeneration, inhibited dermal matrix metalloprotease (MMP) expression and relieved fibroblast stiffness through reduction of the fibroblast stiffness marker F-actin. Dermal absorption studies showed successful delivery to both the epidermal and dermal regions, and in-use trial demonstrated that 1% A-A-A was well tolerated. In this study, the aim was to investigate whether A-A-A could stimulate the synthesis of extracellular matrix supporting proteins in vivo and thereby improving the viscoelastic properties of human skin by conducting a dual histological and biophysical clinical study. Two separate double-blind vehicle-controlled in vivo studies were conducted using a 1% A-A-A containing oil-in-water (o/w) emulsion. In the histological study, 16 female volunteers (>55 years of age) exhibiting photodamaged skin on their forearm were included, investigating the effect of a 12-day treatment of A-A-A on collagen IV (COLIV) and fibrillin-1. In a subsequent pilot study, 0.1% retinol was used for comparison to A-A-A (1%). The biomechanical properties of the skin were assessed in a panel of 16 women (>45 years of age) using the standard Cutometer MPA580 after topical application of the test products for 28 days. The use of multiple suction enabled the assessment of F4, an area parameter specifically representing skin firmness. Twelve-day topical application of 1% A-A-A significantly increased COLIV and fibrillin with 13% and 6%, respectively, compared to vehicle. 1% A-A-A and 0.1% retinol were found to significantly reduce F4 after 28 days of treatment by 15.8% and 14.7%, respectively, in the pilot Cutometer study. No significant difference was found between retinol and A-A-A. However, only A-A-A exhibited a significant effect vs. vehicle on skin firmness which indicated the incremental benefit of A-A-A as a skin

  12. Reduced lung function is independently associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes in Korean men

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kwon Chang-Hee

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Reduced lung function is associated with incident insulin resistance and diabetes. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between lung function and incident type 2 diabetes in Korean men. Methods This study included 9,220 men (mean age: 41.4 years without type 2 diabetes at baseline who were followed for five years. Subjects were divided into four groups according to baseline forced vital capacity (FVC (% predicted and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1 (% predicted quartiles. The incidence of type 2 diabetes at follow-up was compared according to FVC and FEV1 quartiles. Results The overall incidence of type 2 diabetes was 2.2%. Reduced lung function was significantly associated with the incidence of type 2 diabetes after adjusting for age, BMI, education, smoking, exercise, alcohol, and HOMA-IR. Both FVC and FEV1 were negatively associated with type 2 diabetes (P 1 had a significantly higher odds ratio for type 2 diabetes compared with the highest quartile after adjusting for age and BMI (2.15 [95% CI 1.02-4.57] and 2.19 [95% CI 1.09-4.42]. Conclusions Reduced lung function is independently associated with the incidence of type 2 diabetes in Korean men.

  13. INCREASES IN FUNCTIONAL CONNECTIVITY BETWEEN PREFRONTAL CORTEX AND STRIATUM DURING CATEGORY LEARNING

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antzoulatos, Evan G.; Miller, Earl K.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Functional connectivity between the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and striatum (STR) is thought critical for cognition, and has been linked to conditions like autism and schizophrenia. We recorded from multiple electrodes in PFC and STR while monkeys acquired new categories. Category learning was accompanied by an increase in beta-band synchronization of LFPs between, but not within, the PFC and STR. After learning, different pairs of PFC-STR electrodes showed stronger synchrony for one or the other category, suggesting category-specific functional circuits. This category-specific synchrony was also seen between PFC spikes and STR LFPs, but not the reverse, reflecting the direct monosynaptic connections from the PFC to STR. However, causal connectivity analyses suggested that the polysynaptic connections from STR to the PFC exerted a stronger overall influence. This supports models positing that the basal ganglia “train” the PFC. Category learning may depend on the formation of functional circuits between the PFC and STR. PMID:24930701

  14. Disintegration of power grid as part of the task of increasing functionality of electric system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mukatov Bekzhan

    2017-01-01

    operation is inevitable with reduced reliability or, otherwise, with incomplete functionality where functionality is the set of functions provided by the power system and the quality of their performance. With the mass input of distributed small generation in grids of almost all voltage classes it is necessary to solve the problem of ensuring stability in previously passive distribution networks. The traditional approach based on the “struggle” to maintain synchronism between power plants in the distribution networks is associated with a number of difficulties, which causes to apply another approach to control modes in distribution networks. Complication of the power grid, automatic devices, increase in possible variations of modes, and tendency to maximize the use of production assets lead to an increase in the complexity of tasks solved by dispatch centers. In this regard, it is important to note that availability of cascade failures in power systems speaks of the urgency of the task of ensuring the survivability of energy supply systems both globally and locally. The paper shows how disintegration of the power grid can solve the task of ensuring the functionality of traditional power systems and help to create favorable conditions for distributed small generation integration into the integrated electric power system.

  15. Long-term use of amiodarone before heart transplantation significantly reduces early post-transplant atrial fibrillation and is not associated with increased mortality after heart transplantation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rivinius R

    2016-02-01

    group (P=0.0123. There was no statistically significant difference between patients with and without long-term use of amiodarone prior to HTX in 1-year (P=0.8596, 2-year (P=0.8620, 5-year (P=0.2737, or overall follow-up mortality after HTX (P=0.1049. Moreover, Kaplan–Meier survival analysis showed no statistically significant difference in overall survival (P=0.1786.Conclusion: Long-term use of amiodarone in patients before HTX significantly reduces early post-transplant AF and is not associated with increased mortality after HTX. Keywords: amiodarone, atrial fibrillation, heart failure, heart transplantation, mortality

  16. Surface functionalization of bioactive glasses with natural molecules of biological significance, Part I: Gallic acid as model molecule

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xin; Ferraris, Sara; Prenesti, Enrico; Verné, Enrica

    2013-12-01

    Gallic acid (3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid, GA) and its derivatives are a group of biomolecules (polyphenols) obtained from plants. They have effects which are potentially beneficial to heath, for example they are antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and antibacterial, as recently investigated in many fields such as medicine, food and plant sciences. The main drawbacks of these molecules are both low stability and bioavailability. In this research work the opportunity to graft GA to bioactive glasses is investigated, in order to deliver the undamaged biological molecule into the body, using the biomaterial surfaces as a localized carrier. GA was considered for functionalization since it is a good model molecule for polyphenols and presents several interesting biological activities, like antibacterial, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties. Two different silica based bioactive glasses (SCNA and CEL2), with different reactivity, were employed as substrates. UV photometry combined with the Folin&Ciocalteu reagent was adopted to test the concentration of GA in uptake solution after functionalization. This test verified how much GA consumption occurred with surface modification and it was also used on solid samples to test the presence of GA on functionalized glasses. XPS and SEM-EDS techniques were employed to characterize the modification of material surface properties and functional group composition before and after functionalization.

  17. Soft Cysteine Signaling Network: The Functional Significance of Cysteine in Protein Function and the Soft Acids/Bases Thiol Chemistry That Facilitates Cysteine Modification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wible, Ryan S; Sutter, Thomas R

    2017-03-20

    The unique biophysical and electronic properties of cysteine make this molecule one of the most biologically critical amino acids in the proteome. The defining sulfur atom in cysteine is much larger than the oxygen and nitrogen atoms more commonly found in the other amino acids. As a result of its size, the valence electrons of sulfur are highly polarizable. Unique protein microenvironments favor the polarization of sulfur, thus increasing the overt reactivity of cysteine. Here, we provide a brief overview of the endogenous generation of reactive oxygen and electrophilic species and specific examples of enzymes and transcription factors in which the oxidation or covalent modification of cysteine in those proteins modulates their function. The perspective concludes with a discussion of cysteine chemistry and biophysics, the hard and soft acids and bases model, and the proposal of the Soft Cysteine Signaling Network: a hypothesis proposing the existence of a complex signaling network governed by layered chemical reactivity and cross-talk in which the chemical modification of reactive cysteine in biological networks triggers the reorganization of intracellular biochemistry to mitigate spikes in endogenous or exogenous oxidative or electrophilic stress.

  18. Conjugation of the CRM197-inulin conjugate significantly increases the immunogenicity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis CFP10-TB10.4 fusion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Shun; Yu, Weili; Hu, Chunyang; Wei, Dong; Shen, Lijuan; Hu, Tao; Yi, Youjin

    2017-11-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is a serious fatal pathogen that causes tuberculosis (TB). Effective vaccination is urgently needed to deal with the serious threat from TB. Mtb-secreted protein antigens are important virulence determinants of Mtb with poor immunogenicity. Adjuvants and antigen delivery systems are thus highly desired to improve the immunogenicity of protein antigens. Inulin is a biocompatible polysaccharide (PS) adjuvant that can stimulate a strong cellular and humoral immunity. Bacterial capsular PS and haptens have been conjugated with cross-reacting material 197 (CRM 197 ) to improve their immunogenicity. CFP10 and TB10.4 were two Mtb-secreted immunodominant protein antigens. A CFP10-TB10.4 fusion protein (CT) was used as the antigen for covalent conjugation with the CRM 197 -inulin conjugate (CRM-inu). The resultant conjugate (CT-CRM-inu) elicited high CT-specific IgG titers, stimulated splenocyte proliferation and provoked the secretion of Th1-type and Th2-type cytokines. Conjugation with CRM-inu significantly prolonged the systemic circulation of CT and exposure to the immune system. Moreover, CT-CRM-inu showed no apparent toxicity to cardiac, hepatic and renal functions. Thus, conjugation of CT with CRM-inu provided an effective strategy for development of protein-based vaccines against Mtb infection. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Loading of the knee during 3.0 T MRI is associated with significantly increased medial meniscus extrusion in mild and moderate osteoarthritis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stehling, Christoph, E-mail: christoph.stehling@radiology.ucsf.edu [Musculoskeletal and Quantitative Imaging Group (MQIR), Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA (United States); Department of Clinical Radiology, University of Muenster, Muenster (Germany); Souza, Richard B. [Musculoskeletal and Quantitative Imaging Group (MQIR), Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA (United States); Graverand, Marie-Pierre Hellio Le; Wyman, Bradley T. [Pfizer Inc. New London, CT (United States); Li, Xiaojuan; Majumdar, Sharmila; Link, Thomas M. [Musculoskeletal and Quantitative Imaging Group (MQIR), Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA (United States)

    2012-08-15

    Purpose: Standard knee MRI is performed under unloading (ULC) conditions and not much is known about changes of the meniscus, ligaments or cartilage under loading conditions (LC). The aim is to study the influence of loading of different knee structures at 3 Tesla (T) in subjects with osteoarthritis (OA) and normal controls. Materials and methods: 30 subjects, 10 healthy and 20 with radiographic evidence of OA (10 mild and 10 moderate) underwent 3 T MRI under ULC and LC at 50% body weight. All images were analyzed by two musculoskeletal radiologists identifying and grading cartilage, meniscal, ligamentous abnormalities. The changes between ULC and LC were assessed. For meniscus, cartilage and ligaments the changes of lesions, signal and shape were evaluated. In addition, for the meniscus changes in extrusion were examined. A multivariate regression model was used for correlations to correct the data for the impact of age, gender, BMI. A paired T-Test was performed to calculate the differences in meniscus extrusion. Results: Subjects with degenerative knee abnormalities demonstrated significantly increased meniscus extrusion under LC when compared to normal subjects (p = 0.0008-0.0027). Subjects with knee abnormalities and higher KL scores showed significantly more changes in lesion, signal and shape of the meniscus (80% (16/20) vs. 20% (2/10); p = 0.0025), ligaments and cartilage during LC. Conclusion: The study demonstrates that axial loading has an effect on articular cartilage, ligament, and meniscus morphology, which is more significant in subjects with degenerative disease and may serve as an additional diagnostic tool for disease diagnosis and assessing progression in subjects with knee OA.

  20. Loading of the knee during 3.0 T MRI is associated with significantly increased medial meniscus extrusion in mild and moderate osteoarthritis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stehling, Christoph; Souza, Richard B.; Graverand, Marie-Pierre Hellio Le; Wyman, Bradley T.; Li, Xiaojuan; Majumdar, Sharmila; Link, Thomas M.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: Standard knee MRI is performed under unloading (ULC) conditions and not much is known about changes of the meniscus, ligaments or cartilage under loading conditions (LC). The aim is to study the influence of loading of different knee structures at 3 Tesla (T) in subjects with osteoarthritis (OA) and normal controls. Materials and methods: 30 subjects, 10 healthy and 20 with radiographic evidence of OA (10 mild and 10 moderate) underwent 3 T MRI under ULC and LC at 50% body weight. All images were analyzed by two musculoskeletal radiologists identifying and grading cartilage, meniscal, ligamentous abnormalities. The changes between ULC and LC were assessed. For meniscus, cartilage and ligaments the changes of lesions, signal and shape were evaluated. In addition, for the meniscus changes in extrusion were examined. A multivariate regression model was used for correlations to correct the data for the impact of age, gender, BMI. A paired T-Test was performed to calculate the differences in meniscus extrusion. Results: Subjects with degenerative knee abnormalities demonstrated significantly increased meniscus extrusion under LC when compared to normal subjects (p = 0.0008–0.0027). Subjects with knee abnormalities and higher KL scores showed significantly more changes in lesion, signal and shape of the meniscus (80% (16/20) vs. 20% (2/10); p = 0.0025), ligaments and cartilage during LC. Conclusion: The study demonstrates that axial loading has an effect on articular cartilage, ligament, and meniscus morphology, which is more significant in subjects with degenerative disease and may serve as an additional diagnostic tool for disease diagnosis and assessing progression in subjects with knee OA.

  1. Impulsive-antisocial psychopathic traits linked to increased volume and functional connectivity within prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korponay, Cole; Pujara, Maia; Deming, Philip; Philippi, Carissa; Decety, Jean; Kosson, David S; Kiehl, Kent A; Koenigs, Michael

    2017-07-01

    Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by callous lack of empathy, impulsive antisocial behavior, and criminal recidivism. Studies of brain structure and function in psychopathy have frequently identified abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex. However, findings have not yet converged to yield a clear relationship between specific subregions of prefrontal cortex and particular psychopathic traits. We performed a multimodal neuroimaging study of prefrontal cortex volume and functional connectivity in psychopathy, using a sample of adult male prison inmates (N = 124). We conducted volumetric analyses in prefrontal subregions, and subsequently assessed resting-state functional connectivity in areas where volume was related to psychopathy severity. We found that overall psychopathy severity and Factor 2 scores (which index the impulsive/antisocial traits of psychopathy) were associated with larger prefrontal subregion volumes, particularly in the medial orbitofrontal cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Furthermore, Factor 2 scores were also positively correlated with functional connectivity between several areas of the prefrontal cortex. The results were not attributable to age, race, IQ, substance use history, or brain volume. Collectively, these findings provide evidence for co-localized increases in prefrontal cortex volume and intra-prefrontal functional connectivity in relation to impulsive/antisocial psychopathic traits. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press.

  2. Increased pediatric functional neurological symptom disorders after the Boston marathon bombings: a case series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerriero, Réjean M; Pier, Danielle B; de Gusmão, Claudio M; Bernson-Leung, Miya E; Maski, Kiran P; Urion, David K; Waugh, Jeff L

    2014-11-01

    Functional neurological symptom disorders are frequently the basis for acute neurological consultation. In children, they are often precipitated by high-frequency everyday stressors. The extent to which a severe traumatic experience may also precipitate functional neurological abnormalities is unknown. For the 2-week period after the Boston Marathon bombings, we prospectively collected data on patients whose presentation suggested a functional neurological symptom disorder. We assessed clinical and demographic variables, duration of symptoms, extent of educational impact, and degree of connection to the Marathon bombing. We contacted all patients at 6 months after presentation to determine the outcome and accuracy of the diagnosis. In a parallel study, we reported a baseline of 2.6 functional neurological presentations per week in our emergency room. In the week after the Marathon bombings, this frequency tripled. Ninety-one percent of presentations were delayed by 1 week, with onset around the first school day after a city-wide lockdown. Seventy-three percent had a history of a prior psychiatric diagnosis. At the 6 months follow-up, no functional neurological symptom disorder diagnoses were overturned and no new organic diagnosis was made. Pediatric functional neurological symptom disorder may be precipitated by both casual and high-intensity stressors. The 3.4-fold increase in incidence after the Boston Marathon bombings and city-wide lockdown demonstrates the marked effect that a community-wide tragedy can have on the mental health of children. Care providers must be aware of functional neurological symptom disorders after stressful community events in vulnerable patient populations, particularly those with prior psychiatric diagnoses. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. A functional brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene variant increases the risk of moderate-to-severe allergic rhinitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Peng; Andiappan, Anand Kumar; Quek, Jia Min; Lee, Bernett; Au, Bijin; Sio, Yang Yie; Irwanto, Astrid; Schurmann, Claudia; Grabe, Hans Jörgen; Suri, Bani Kaur; Matta, Sri Anusha; Westra, Harm-Jan; Franke, Lude; Esko, Tonu; Sun, Liangdan; Zhang, Xuejun; Liu, Hong; Zhang, Furen; Larbi, Anis; Xu, Xin; Poidinger, Michael; Liu, Jianjun; Chew, Fook Tim; Rotzschke, Olaf; Shi, Li; Wang, De Yun

    2015-06-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a secretory protein that has been implicated in the pathogenesis of allergic rhinitis (AR), atopic asthma, and eczema, but it is currently unknown whether BDNF polymorphisms influence susceptibility to moderate-to-severe AR. We sought to identify disease associations and the functional effect of BDNF genetic variants in patients with moderate-to-severe AR. Tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning the BDNF gene were selected from the human HapMap Han Chinese from Beijing (CHB) data set, and associations with moderate-to-severe AR were assessed in 2 independent cohorts of Chinese patients (2216 from Shandong province and 1239 living in Singapore). The functional effects of the BDNF genetic variants were determined by using both in vitro and ex vivo assays. The tagging SNP rs10767664 was significantly associated with the risk of moderate-to-severe AR in both Singapore Chinese (P = .0017; odds ratio, 1.324) and Shandong Chinese populations (P = .039; odds ratio, 1.180). The coding nonsynonymous SNP rs6265 was in perfect linkage with rs10767664 and conferred increased BDNF protein secretion by a human cell line in vitro. Subjects bearing the AA genotype of rs10767664 exhibited increased risk of moderate-to-severe AR and displayed increased BDNF protein and total IgE levels in plasma. Using a large-scale expression quantitative trait locus study, we demonstrated that BDNF SNPs are significantly associated with altered BDNF concentrations in peripheral blood. A common genetic variant of the BDNF gene is associated with increased risk of moderate-to-severe AR, and the AA genotype is associated with increased BDNF mRNA levels in peripheral blood. Together, these data indicate that functional BDNF gene variants increase the risk of moderate-to-severe AR. Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Symmetric dimeric bisbenzimidazoles DBP(n reduce methylation of RARB and PTEN while significantly increase methylation of rRNA genes in MCF-7 cancer cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svetlana V Kostyuk

    Full Text Available Hypermethylation is observed in the promoter regions of suppressor genes in the tumor cancer cells. Reactivation of these genes by demethylation of their promoters is a prospective strategy of the anticancer therapy. Previous experiments have shown that symmetric dimeric bisbenzimidazoles DBP(n are able to block DNA methyltransferase activities. It was also found that DBP(n produces a moderate effect on the activation of total gene expression in HeLa-TI population containing epigenetically repressed avian sarcoma genome.It is shown that DBP(n are able to penetrate the cellular membranes and accumulate in breast carcinoma cell MCF-7, mainly in the mitochondria and in the nucleus, excluding the nucleolus. The DBP(n are non-toxic to the cells and have a weak overall demethylation effect on genomic DNA. DBP(n demethylate the promoter regions of the tumor suppressor genes PTEN and RARB. DBP(n promotes expression of the genes RARB, PTEN, CDKN2A, RUNX3, Apaf-1 and APC "silent" in the MCF-7 because of the hypermethylation of their promoter regions. Simultaneously with the demethylation of the DNA in the nucleus a significant increase in the methylation level of rRNA genes in the nucleolus was detected. Increased rDNA methylation correlated with a reduction of the rRNA amount in the cells by 20-30%. It is assumed that during DNA methyltransferase activity inhibition by the DBP(n in the nucleus, the enzyme is sequestered in the nucleolus and provides additional methylation of the rDNA that are not shielded by DBP(n.It is concluded that DBP (n are able to accumulate in the nucleus (excluding the nucleolus area and in the mitochondria of cancer cells, reducing mitochondrial potential. The DBP (n induce the demethylation of a cancer cell's genome, including the demethylation of the promoters of tumor suppressor genes. DBP (n significantly increase the methylation of ribosomal RNA genes in the nucleoli. Therefore the further study of these compounds is needed

  5. Loss-of-function variants in the filaggrin gene are a significant risk factor for peanut allergy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brown, Sara J.; Asai, Yuka; Cordell, Heather J.; Campbell, Linda E.; Zhao, Yiwei; Liao, Haihui; Northstone, Kate; Henderson, John; Alizadehfar, Reza; Ben-Shoshan, Moshe; Morgan, Kenneth; Roberts, Graham; Masthoff, Laury J. N.; Pasmans, Suzanne G. M. A.; van den Akker, Peter C.; Wijmenga, Cisca; Hourihane, Jonathan O'B.; Palmer, Colin N. A.; Lack, Gideon; Clarke, Ann; Hull, Peter R.; Irvine, Alan D.; McLean, W. H. Irwin

    Background: IgE-mediated peanut allergy is a complex trait with strong heritability, but its genetic basis is currently unknown. Loss-of-function mutations within the filaggrin gene are associated with atopic dermatitis and other atopic diseases; therefore, filaggrin is a candidate gene in the

  6. Functional significance of metastasis-inducing S100A4(Mts1) in tumor-stroma interplay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt-Hansen, Birgitte; Klingelhöfer, Jörg; Grum-Schwensen, Birgitte

    2004-01-01

    Causal implication of S100A4 in inducing metastases was convincingly shown previously. However, the mechanisms that associate S100A4 with tumor progression are not well understood. S100A4 protein, as a typical member of the S100 family, exhibits dual, intracellular and extracellular, functions. T...

  7. Obesity and overweight associated with increased carotid diameter and decreased arterial function in young otherwise healthy men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kappus, Rebecca M; Fahs, Christopher A; Smith, Denise; Horn, Gavin P; Agiovlasitis, Stomatis; Rossow, Lindy; Jae, Sae Y; Heffernan, Kevin S; Fernhall, Bo

    2014-04-01

    Obesity is linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, increased mortality and vascular remodeling. Although increased arterial diameter is associated with multiple cardiovascular risk factors and obesity, it is unknown whether lumen enlargement is accompanied by unfavorable vascular changes in young and otherwise healthy obese individuals. The purpose of this study was to compare carotid and brachial artery diameter, blood pressure, arterial stiffness, and endothelial function in young, apparently healthy, normal-weight, overweight, and obese male subjects. One hundred sixty-five male subjects (27.39±0.59 years) were divided into 3 groups (normal weight, overweight, and obese) according to body mass index. Subjects underwent cardiovascular measurements to determine arterial diameter, function, and stiffness. After adjusting for age, the obese group had significantly greater brachial, carotid, and aortic pressures, brachial pulse wave velocity, carotid intima media thickness, and carotid arterial diameter compared with both the overweight and normal-weight groups. Obesity is associated with a much worse arterial profile, as an increased carotid lumen size was accompanied by higher blood pressure, greater arterial stiffness, and greater carotid intima media thickness in obese compared with overweight or normal-weight individuals. These data suggest that although obesity may be a factor in arterial remodeling, such remodeling is also accompanied by other hemodynamic and arterial changes consistent with reduced arterial function and increased cardiovascular risk.

  8. Increase in left liver lobe function after preoperative right portal vein embolisation assessed with gadolinium-EOB-DTPA MRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geisel, Dominik; Lüdemann, Lutz; Keuchel, Thomas; Malinowski, Maciej; Seehofer, Daniel; Stockmann, Martin; Hamm, Bernd; Gebauer, Bernhard; Denecke, Timm

    2013-09-01

    To prospectively evaluate the early development of regional liver function after right portal vein embolisation (PVE) with Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI in patients scheduled for extended right hemihepatectomy. Ten patients who received a PVE before an extended hemihepatectomy were examined before and 14 days after PVE using Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI of the liver. In these sequences representative region of interest measurements were performed in the embolised right (RLL) and the non-embolised left liver lobe (LLL). The volume as well as hepatic uptake index (HUI) was calculated independently for each lobe. Relative enhancement 14 days after PVE decreased in the RLL and increased significantly in the LLL (P DTPA-enhanced MRI, which could reflect the redirected portal venous blood flow and the rapid utilisation of a hepatic functional reserve. • Preoperative portal vein embolisation (PVE) is widely performed before right-sided hepatic resection. • PVE increases intravenous contrast medium uptake in the left lobe of liver. • The hepatic uptake index for the left liver lobe increases rapidly after PVE. • Left liver lobe function increase may be visualised by Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI.

  9. Treadmill Exercise with Increased Body Loading Enhances Post Flight Functional Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloomberg, J. J.; Batson, C. D.; Buxton, R. E.; Feiveson, A. H.; Kofman, I. S.; Laurie, S.; Lee, S. M. C.; Miller, C. A.; Mulavara, A. P.; Peters, B. T.; hide

    2014-01-01

    -support loading experienced during inflight treadmill exercise impacts postflight functional performance, the loading history for each subject during inflight treadmill (T2) exercise was correlated with postflight measures of performance. Crewmembers who walked on the treadmill with higher pull-down loads had less decrement in postflight postural stability and dynamic locomotor control than those subjects who exercised with lighter loads. These data point to the importance of providing significant body loading during inflight treadmill exercise. This and the addition of specific balance training may further mitigate decrements in critical mission tasks that require dynamic postural stability and mobility. Inflight treadmill exercise provides a multi-disciplinary platform to provide sensorimotor, aerobic and bone mechanical stimuli benefits. Forward work will focus on the development of an inflight training system that will integrate aerobic, resistive and balance training modalities into a single interdisciplinary countermeasure system for exploration class missions.

  10. Spatial and temporal functional changes in alpine summit vegetation are driven by increases in shrubs and graminoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venn, Susanna; Pickering, Catherine; Green, Ken

    2014-01-01

    Classical approaches to investigating temporal and spatial changes in community composition offer only partial insight into the ecology that drives species distribution, community patterns and processes, whereas a functional approach can help to determine many of the underlying mechanisms that drive such patterns. Here, we aim to bring these two approaches together to understand such drivers, using an elevation gradient of sites, a repeat species survey and species functional traits. We used data from a repeat vegetation survey on five alpine summits and measured plant height, leaf area, leaf dry matter content and specific leaf area (SLA) for every species recorded in the surveys. We combined species abundances with trait values to produce a community trait-weighted mean (CTWM) for each trait, and then combined survey results with the CTWMs. Across the gradient of summits, more favourable conditions for plant growth (warmer, longer growing season) occurred at the lower elevations. Vegetation composition changes between 2004 and 2011 (according to non-metric multi-dimensional scaling ordination) were strongly affected by the high and increasing abundance of species with high SLA at high elevations. Species life-form categories strongly affected compositional changes and functional composition, with increasing dominance of tall shrubs and graminoids at the lower-elevation summits, and an overall increase in graminoids across the gradient. The CTWM for plant height and leaf dry matter content significantly decreased with elevation, whereas for leaf area and SLA it significantly increased. The significant relationships between CTWM and elevation may suggest specific ecological processes, namely plant competition and local productivity, influencing vegetation preferentially across the elevation gradient, with the dominance of shrubs and graminoids driving the patterns in the CTWMs.

  11. Loss of P53 Function in Colon Cancer Cells Results in Increased Phosphocholine and Total Choline

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noriko Mori

    2004-10-01

    Full Text Available Mutations in the p53 gene are the most frequently observed genetic lesions in human cancers. Human cancers that contain a p53 mutation are more aggressive, more apt to metastasize, and more often fatal. p53 controls numerous downstream targets that can influence various outcomes such as apoptosis, growth arrest, and DNA repair. Based on previous observations using 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS, we have identified choline phospholipid metabolite intensities typical of increased malignancy. Here we have used 1H MRS to characterize the choline phospholipid metabolite levels of p53+/+ and p53−/– cells, and demonstrated that loss of p53 function results in increased phosphocholine and total choline. These data suggest that the increased malignancy of cancer cells resulting from loss of p53 may be mediated, in part, through the choline phospholipid pathway.

  12. Significance of surface functionalization of Gold Nanorods for reduced effect on IgG stability and minimization of cytotoxicity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alex, Sruthi Ann; Rajiv, Sundaramoorthy [Centre for Nanobiotechnology, VIT University, Vellore (India); Chakravarty, Sujay [UGC-DAE CSR, Kalpakkam, Node, Kokilamedu (India); Chandrasekaran, N. [Centre for Nanobiotechnology, VIT University, Vellore (India); Mukherjee, Amitava, E-mail: amit.mookerjea@gmail.com [Centre for Nanobiotechnology, VIT University, Vellore (India)

    2017-02-01

    Gold nanorods (AuNRs) used for biomedical applications could be encountered by biomolecules in the bloodstream, of which IgG is the most abundant antibody. With a view to mitigate their side effect on encountered proteins, the effect of Au concentration (5–40 μM) and functionalization (CTAB-positive;PSS-negative; PEG-neutral) of AuNRs was investigated on the stability of a model protein, IgG (1 μM). Electron microscopic images and particle size analyses indicated least aggregation behavior for PEG-AuNRs, which can be correlated to their neutral charge (from zeta potential analyses) or stearic hindrance of PEG chains. Variations in tryptophan domain were probed by UV–visible absorption and fluorescence quenching studies. Synchronous fluorescence study helped to provide information regarding variations in the hydrophobic region of IgG. The denaturation studies also indicated the stability of AuNR–IgG complex formation. These studies showed that positively charged IgG (pI: 7.8 ± 1.0) was mostly affected by negatively charged PSS-AuNRs and least affected by PEG-AuNRs. This was verified by secondary structural investigations performed using CD and FTIR spectroscopy. For cytotoxicity studies on human lymphocytes, CTAB-AuNRs are known to show higher toxicity compared to PSS-AuNRs and PEG-AuNRs (least). Though PSS-functionalized AuNRs were shown to affect cells to a lesser degree based on the negative charge of cell membrane, they could hamper with positively charged biomolecules in the bloodstream before they reach the target, which must also be considered for choosing the right AuNR functionalization. Thus, this work indicates the effect of different AuNR functionalization on protein and cellular toxicity and stresses the necessity to use neutral particles to mitigate their side effect for theranostic applications. - Highlights: • Comprehensive evaluation of AuNR functionalization on protein and cellular toxicity. • Minimizes structural changes in IgG as a

  13. Significance of surface functionalization of Gold Nanorods for reduced effect on IgG stability and minimization of cytotoxicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alex, Sruthi Ann; Rajiv, Sundaramoorthy; Chakravarty, Sujay; Chandrasekaran, N.; Mukherjee, Amitava

    2017-01-01

    Gold nanorods (AuNRs) used for biomedical applications could be encountered by biomolecules in the bloodstream, of which IgG is the most abundant antibody. With a view to mitigate their side effect on encountered proteins, the effect of Au concentration (5–40 μM) and functionalization (CTAB-positive;PSS-negative; PEG-neutral) of AuNRs was investigated on the stability of a model protein, IgG (1 μM). Electron microscopic images and particle size analyses indicated least aggregation behavior for PEG-AuNRs, which can be correlated to their neutral charge (from zeta potential analyses) or stearic hindrance of PEG chains. Variations in tryptophan domain were probed by UV–visible absorption and fluorescence quenching studies. Synchronous fluorescence study helped to provide information regarding variations in the hydrophobic region of IgG. The denaturation studies also indicated the stability of AuNR–IgG complex formation. These studies showed that positively charged IgG (pI: 7.8 ± 1.0) was mostly affected by negatively charged PSS-AuNRs and least affected by PEG-AuNRs. This was verified by secondary structural investigations performed using CD and FTIR spectroscopy. For cytotoxicity studies on human lymphocytes, CTAB-AuNRs are known to show higher toxicity compared to PSS-AuNRs and PEG-AuNRs (least). Though PSS-functionalized AuNRs were shown to affect cells to a lesser degree based on the negative charge of cell membrane, they could hamper with positively charged biomolecules in the bloodstream before they reach the target, which must also be considered for choosing the right AuNR functionalization. Thus, this work indicates the effect of different AuNR functionalization on protein and cellular toxicity and stresses the necessity to use neutral particles to mitigate their side effect for theranostic applications. - Highlights: • Comprehensive evaluation of AuNR functionalization on protein and cellular toxicity. • Minimizes structural changes in IgG as a

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  15. Brain structural connectivity increases concurrent with functional improvement: Evidence from diffusion tensor MRI in children with cerebral palsy during therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoë A. Englander

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Cerebral Palsy (CP refers to a heterogeneous group of permanent but non-progressive movement disorders caused by injury to the developing fetal or infant brain (Bax et al., 2005. Because of its serious long-term consequences, effective interventions that can help improve motor function, independence, and quality of life are critically needed. Our ongoing longitudinal clinical trial to treat children with CP is specifically designed to meet this challenge. To maximize the potential for functional improvement, all children in this trial received autologous cord blood transfusions (with order randomized with a placebo administration over 2 years in conjunction with more standard physical and occupational therapies. As a part of this trial, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI is used to improve our understanding of how these interventions affect brain development, and to develop biomarkers of treatment efficacy. In this report, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI and subsequent brain connectome analyses were performed in a subset of children enrolled in the clinical trial (n = 17, who all exhibited positive but varying degrees of functional improvement over the first 2-year period of the study. Strong correlations between increases in white matter (WM connectivity and functional improvement were demonstrated; however no significant relationships between either of these factors with the age of the child at time of enrollment were identified. Thus, our data indicate that increases in brain connectivity reflect improved functional abilities in children with CP. In future work, this potential biomarker can be used to help differentiate the underlying mechanisms of functional improvement, as well as to identify treatments that can best facilitate functional improvement upon un-blinding of the timing of autologous cord blood transfusions at the completion of this study.

  16. Brain structural connectivity increases concurrent with functional improvement: evidence from diffusion tensor MRI in children with cerebral palsy during therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Englander, Zoë A; Sun, Jessica; Laura Case; Mikati, Mohamad A; Kurtzberg, Joanne; Song, Allen W

    2015-01-01

    Cerebral Palsy (CP) refers to a heterogeneous group of permanent but non-progressive movement disorders caused by injury to the developing fetal or infant brain (Bax et al., 2005). Because of its serious long-term consequences, effective interventions that can help improve motor function, independence, and quality of life are critically needed. Our ongoing longitudinal clinical trial to treat children with CP is specifically designed to meet this challenge. To maximize the potential for functional improvement, all children in this trial received autologous cord blood transfusions (with order randomized with a placebo administration over 2 years) in conjunction with more standard physical and occupational therapies. As a part of this trial, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to improve our understanding of how these interventions affect brain development, and to develop biomarkers of treatment efficacy. In this report, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and subsequent brain connectome analyses were performed in a subset of children enrolled in the clinical trial (n = 17), who all exhibited positive but varying degrees of functional improvement over the first 2-year period of the study. Strong correlations between increases in white matter (WM) connectivity and functional improvement were demonstrated; however no significant relationships between either of these factors with the age of the child at time of enrollment were identified. Thus, our data indicate that increases in brain connectivity reflect improved functional abilities in children with CP. In future work, this potential biomarker can be used to help differentiate the underlying mechanisms of functional improvement, as well as to identify treatments that can best facilitate functional improvement upon un-blinding of the timing of autologous cord blood transfusions at the completion of this study.

  17. Increased lung function decline in blue-collar workers exposed to welding fumes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thaon, Isabelle; Demange, Valérie; Herin, Fabrice; Touranchet, Annie; Paris, Christophe

    2012-07-01

    There is no consensus at the present time about the effect of welding on lung function decline. This study compared lung function decline between blue-collar workers exposed and not exposed to welding fumes in a French longitudinal cohort of 21,238 subjects aged 37 to 52 years at inclusion. Medical data, occupation, sector of activity, and spirometry were recorded twice by occupational physicians in 1990 and 1995. A job-exposure matrix was used to identify 503 male blue-collar workers exposed to welding fumes and 709 control subjects and to define the weekly duration of exposure to welding fumes. Baseline lung function parameters were higher in workers exposed to welding fumes than in control subjects. After a 5-year follow-up, welding-fume exposure was associated with a nonsignificant decline in FVC (P = .06) and FEV(1) (P = .07) after adjustment for age, pack-years, BMI, and baseline value of the parameter. A significant accelerated decline in FEV(1) (P = .046) was also observed in never smokers exposed to welding fumes. An “exposure-response” relationship was observed between FEV(1) decline and weekly duration of exposure to welding fumes in nonsmokers but not in smokers. Blue-collar workers exposed to welding fumes showed accelerated decline in lung function, which, in nonsmokers, was related to weekly duration of exposure.

  18. PARP-1 depletion in combination with carbon ion exposure significantly reduces MMPs activity and overall increases TIMPs expression in cultured HeLa cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ghorai, Atanu; Sarma, Asitikantha; Chowdhury, Priyanka; Ghosh, Utpal

    2016-01-01

    Hadron therapy is an innovative technique where cancer cells are precisely killed leaving surrounding healthy cells least affected by high linear energy transfer (LET) radiation like carbon ion beam. Anti-metastatic effect of carbon ion exposure attracts investigators into the field of hadron biology, although details remain poor. Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) inhibitors are well-known radiosensitizer and several PARP-1 inhibitors are in clinical trial. Our previous studies showed that PARP-1 depletion makes the cells more radiosensitive towards carbon ion than gamma. The purpose of the present study was to investigate combining effects of PARP-1 inhibition with carbon ion exposure to control metastatic properties in HeLa cells. Activities of matrix metalloproteinases-2, 9 (MMP-2, MMP-9) were measured using the gelatin zymography after 85 MeV carbon ion exposure or gamma irradiation (0- 4 Gy) to compare metastatic potential between PARP-1 knock down (HsiI) and control cells (H-vector - HeLa transfected with vector without shRNA construct). Expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, tissue inhibitor of MMPs such as TIMP-1, TIMP-2 and TIMP-3 were checked by immunofluorescence and western blot. Cell death by trypan blue, apoptosis and autophagy induction were studied after carbon ion exposure in each cell-type. The data was analyzed using one way ANOVA and 2-tailed paired-samples T-test. PARP-1 silencing significantly reduced MMP-2 and MMP-9 activities and carbon ion exposure further diminished their activities to less than 3 % of control H-vector. On the contrary, gamma radiation enhanced both MMP-2 and MMP-9 activities in H-vector but not in HsiI cells. The expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in H-vector and HsiI showed different pattern after carbon ion exposure. All three TIMPs were increased in HsiI, whereas only TIMP-1 was up-regulated in H-vector after irradiation. Notably, the expressions of all TIMPs were significantly higher in HsiI than H-vector at 4 Gy. Apoptosis was

  19. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with tumor necrosis factor inhibitors may predispose to significant increase in tuberculosis risk: a multicenter active-surveillance report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Reino, Juan J; Carmona, Loreto; Valverde, Vicente Rodríguez; Mola, Emilio Martín; Montero, Maria Dolores

    2003-08-01

    The long-term safety of therapeutic agents that neutralize tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is uncertain. Recent evidence based on spontaneous reporting shows an association with active tuberculosis (TB). We undertook this study to determine and describe the long-term safety of 2 of these agents, infliximab and etanercept, in rheumatic diseases based on a national active-surveillance system following the commercialization of the drugs. We analyzed the safety data actively collected in the BIOBADASER (Base de Datos de Productos Biológicos de la Sociedad Española de Reumatología) database, which was launched in February 2000 by the Spanish Society of Rheumatology. For the estimation of TB risk, the annual incidence rate in patients treated with these agents was compared with the background rate and with the rate in a cohort of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) assembled before the era of anti-TNF treatment. Seventy-one participating centers sent data on 1,578 treatments with infliximab (86%) or etanercept (14%) in 1,540 patients. Drug survival rates (reported as the cumulative percentage of patients still receiving medication) for infliximab and etanercept pooled together were 85% and 81% at 1 year and 2 years, respectively. Instances of discontinuation were essentially due to adverse events. Seventeen cases of TB were found in patients treated with infliximab. The estimated incidence of TB associated with infliximab in RA patients was 1,893 per 100,000 in the year 2000 and 1,113 per 100,000 in the year 2001. These findings represent a significant increased risk compared with background rates. In the first 5 months of 2002, after official guidelines were established for TB prevention in patients treated with biologics, only 1 new TB case was registered (in January). Therapy with infliximab is associated with an increased risk of active TB. Proper measures are needed to prevent and manage this adverse event.

  20. Dephytinisation with Intrinsic Wheat Phytase and Iron Fortification Significantly Increase Iron Absorption from Fonio (Digitaria exilis) Meals in West African Women

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moretti, Diego; Schuth, Stephan; Egli, Ines; Zimmermann, Michael B.; Brouwer, Inge D.

    2013-01-01

    Low iron and high phytic acid content make fonio based meals a poor source of bioavailable iron. Phytic acid degradation in fonio porridge using whole grain cereals as phytase source and effect on iron bioavailability when added to iron fortified fonio meals were investigated. Grains, nuts and seeds collected in Mali markets were screened for phytic acid and phytase activity. We performed an iron absorption study in Beninese women (n = 16), using non-dephytinised fonio porridge (FFP) and dephytinised fonio porridge (FWFP; 75% fonio-25% wheat), each fortified with 57Fe or 58Fe labeled FeSO4. Iron absorption was quantified by measuring the erythrocyte incorporation of stable iron isotopes. Phytic acid varied from 0.39 (bambara nut) to 4.26 g/100 g DM (pumpkin seed), with oilseeds values higher than grains and nuts. Phytase activity ranged from 0.17±1.61 (fonio) to 2.9±1.3 phytase unit (PU) per g (whole wheat). Phytic acid was almost completely degraded in FWFP after 60 min of incubation (pH≈5.0, 50°C). Phytate∶iron molar ratios decreased from 23.7∶1 in FFP to 2.7∶1 in FWFP. Iron fortification further reduced phytate∶iron molar ratio to 1.9∶1 in FFP and 0.3∶1 in FWFP, respectively. Geometric mean (95% CI) iron absorption significantly increased from 2.6% (0.8–7.8) in FFP to 8.3% (3.8–17.9) in FWFP (Pphytase increased fractional iron absorption 3.2 times, suggesting it could be a possible strategy to decrease PA in cereal-based porridges. PMID:24124445

  1. Ser298 of MITF, a mutation site in Waardenburg syndrome type 2, is a phosphorylation site with functional significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeda, K; Takemoto, C; Kobayashi, I; Watanabe, A; Nobukuni, Y; Fisher, D E; Tachibana, M

    2000-01-01

    MITF (microphthalmia-associated transcription factor) is a basic-helix-loop-helix-leucine zipper (bHLHZip) factor which regulates expression of tyrosinase and other melanocytic genes via a CATGTG promoter sequence, and is involved in melanocyte differentiation. Mutations of MITF in mice or humans with Waardenburg syndrome type 2 (WS2) often severely disrupt the bHLHZip domain, suggesting the importance of this structure. Here, we show that Ser298, which locates downstream of the bHLHZip and was previously found to be mutated in individuals with WS2, plays an important role in MITF function. Glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) was found to phosphorylate Ser298 in vitro, thereby enhancing the binding of MITF to the tyrosinase promoter. The same serine was found to be phosphorylated in vivo, and expression of dominant-negative GSK3beta selectively suppressed the ability of MITF to transactivate the tyrosinase promoter. Moreover, mutation of Ser298, as found in a WS2 family, disabled phos-phorylation of MITF by GSK3beta and impaired MITF function. These findings suggest that the Ser298 is important for MITF function and is phosphorylated probably by GSK3beta.

  2. The Olivo-cerebellar System: A Key to understanding the functional significance of intrinsic oscillatory brain properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodolfo R Llinas

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The reflexological view of brain function (Sherrington 1906 has played a crucial role in defining both the nature of connectivity and the role of the synaptic interactions among neuronal circuits. One implicit assumption of this view, however, has been that CNS function is fundamentally driven by sensory input. This view was questioned as early as the beginning of the last century when a possible role for intrinsic activity in CNS function was proposed by Thomas Graham Brow (Brown 1911; Brown 1914. However, little progress was made in addressing intrinsic neuronal properties in vertebrates until the discovery of calcium conductances in vertebrate central neurons leading dendritic electroresponsiveness (Llinas and Hess 1976, Llinas and Sugimori 1980a and b and subthreshold neuronal oscillation in mammalian inferior olive (IO neurons (Llinas and Yarom 1981; Llinas and Yarom 1981.This happened in parallel with a similar set of findings concerning invertebrate neuronal system (Marder and Bucher 2001. The generalization into a more global view of intrinsic rhythmicity, at forebrain level, occurred initially with the demonstration that the thalamus has similar oscillatory properties (Llinas and Jahnsen 1982 and the ionic properties responsible for some oscillatory activity were, in fact, similar to those in the IO (Jahnsen and Llinas 1984; Llinas 1988. Thus lending support to the view that not only motricity, but cognitive properties, are organized as coherent oscillatory states (Pare, deCurtis et al. 1992; Singer 1993; Hardcastle 1997; Llinas, Ribary et al. 1998; Varela, Lachaux et al. 2001.

  3. Significantly increased detection rate of drugs of abuse in urine following the introduction of new German driving licence re-granting guidelines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agius, Ronald; Nadulski, Thomas; Kahl, Hans-Gerhard; Dufaux, Bertin

    2012-02-10

    In this paper we present the first assessment of the new German driving licence re-granting medical and psychological assessment (MPA) guidelines by comparing over 3500 urine samples tested under the old MPA cut-offs to over 5000 samples tested under the new MPA cut-offs. Since the enzyme multiplied immunoassay technique (EMIT) technology used previously was not sensitive enough to screen for drugs at such low concentrations, as suggested by the new MPA guidelines, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) screening kits were used to screen for the drugs of abuse at the new MPA cut-offs. The above comparison revealed significantly increased detection rates of drug use or exposure during the rehabilitation period as follows: 1.61, 2.33, 3.33, and 7 times higher for 11-nor-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid (THC-COOH), morphine, benzoylecgonine and amphetamine respectively. The present MPA guidelines seem to be more effective to detect non-abstinence from drugs of abuse and hence to detecting drivers who do not yet fulfil the MPA requirements to regain their revoked driving licence. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. The Oral Bioavailability of Trans-Resveratrol from a Grapevine-Shoot Extract in Healthy Humans is Significantly Increased by Micellar Solubilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvo-Castro, Laura A; Schiborr, Christina; David, Franziska; Ehrt, Heidi; Voggel, Jenny; Sus, Nadine; Behnam, Dariush; Bosy-Westphal, Anja; Frank, Jan

    2018-05-01

    Grapevine-shoot extract Vineatrol30 contains abundant resveratrol monomers and oligomers with health-promoting potential. However, the oral bioavailability of these compounds in humans is low (˂1-2%). The aim of this study was to improve the oral bioavailability of resveratrol from vineatrol by micellar solubilization. Twelve healthy volunteers (six women, six men) randomly ingested a single dose of 500 mg vineatrol (30 mg trans-resveratrol, 75 mg trans-ε-viniferin) as native powder or liquid micelles. Plasma and urine were collected at baseline and over 24 h after intake. Resveratrol and viniferin were analyzed by HPLC. The area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) and mean maximum plasma trans-resveratrol concentrations were 5.0-fold and 10.6-fold higher, respectively, after micellar supplementation relative to the native powder. However, no detectable amounts of trans-ε-viniferin were found in either plasma or urine. The transepithelial permeability of trans-resveratrol and trans-ε-viniferin across differentiated Caco-2 monolayers was consistent to the absorbed fractions in vivo. The oral bioavailability of trans-resveratrol from the grapevine-shoot extract Vineatrol30 was significantly increased using a liquid micellar formulation, without any treatment-related adverse effects, making it a suitable system for improved supplementation of trans-resveratrol. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  5. Increasing Muscle Mass Improves Vascular Function in Obese (db/db) Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Shuiqing; Mintz, James D.; Salet, Christina D.; Han, Weihong; Giannis, Athanassios; Chen, Feng; Yu, Yanfang; Su, Yunchao; Fulton, David J.; Stepp, David W.

    2014-01-01

    Background A sedentary lifestyle is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and exercise has been shown to ameliorate this risk. Inactivity is associated with a loss of muscle mass, which is also reversed with isometric exercise training. The relationship between muscle mass and vascular function is poorly defined. The aims of the current study were to determine whether increasing muscle mass by genetic deletion of myostatin, a negative regulator of muscle growth, can influence vascular function in mesenteric arteries from obese db/db mice. Methods and Results Myostatin expression was elevated in skeletal muscle of obese mice and associated with reduced muscle mass (30% to 50%). Myostatin deletion increased muscle mass in lean (40% to 60%) and obese (80% to 115%) mice through increased muscle fiber size (PMyostatin deletion decreased adipose tissue in lean mice, but not obese mice. Markers of insulin resistance and glucose tolerance were improved in obese myostatin knockout mice. Obese mice demonstrated an impaired endothelial vasodilation, compared to lean mice. This impairment was improved by superoxide dismutase mimic Tempol. Deletion of myostatin improved endothelial vasodilation in mesenteric arteries in obese, but not in lean, mice. This improvement was blunted by nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor l‐NG‐nitroarginine methyl ester (l‐NAME). Prostacyclin (PGI2)‐ and endothelium‐derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF)‐mediated vasodilation were preserved in obese mice and unaffected by myostatin deletion. Reactive oxygen species) was elevated in the mesenteric endothelium of obese mice and down‐regulated by deletion of myostatin in obese mice. Impaired vasodilation in obese mice was improved by NADPH oxidase inhibitor (GKT136901). Treatment with sepiapterin, which increases levels of tetrahydrobiopterin, improved vasodilation in obese mice, an improvement blocked by l‐NAME. Conclusions Increasing muscle mass by genetic deletion of

  6. Exercise in claudicants increase or decrease walking ability and the response relates to mitochondrial function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Schaardenburgh, Michel; Wohlwend, Martin; Rognmo, Øivind; Mattsson, Erney J R

    2017-06-07

    Exercise of patients with intermittent claudication improves walking performance. Exercise does not usually increase blood flow, but seems to increase muscle mitochondrial enzyme activities. Although exercise is beneficial in most patients, it might be harmful in some. The mitochondrial response to exercise might therefore differ between patients. Our hypothesis was that changes in walking performance relate to changes in mitochondrial function after 8 weeks of exercise. At a subgroup level, negative responders decrease and positive responders increase mitochondrial capacity. Two types of exercise were studied, calf raising and walking (n = 28). We wanted to see whether there were negative and positive responders, independent of type of exercise. Measurements of walking performance, peripheral hemodynamics, mitochondrial respiration and content (citrate synthase activity) were obtained on each patient before and after the intervention period. Multiple linear regression was used to test whether changes in peak walking time relate to mitochondrial function. Subgroups of negative (n = 8) and positive responders (n = 8) were defined as those that either decreased or increased peak walking time following exercise. Paired t test and analysis of covariance was used to test changes within and between subgroups. Changes in peak walking time were related to changes in mitochondrial respiration supported by electron transferring flavoprotein (ETF + CI) P (p = 0.004), complex I (CI + ETF) P (p = 0.003), complex I + complex II (CI + CII + ETF) P (p = 0.037) and OXPHOS coupling efficiency (p = 0.046) in the whole group. Negative responders had more advanced peripheral arterial disease. Mitochondrial respiration supported by electron transferring flavoprotein (ETF + CI) P (p = 0.0013), complex I (CI + ETF) P (p = 0.0005), complex I + complex II (CI + CII + ETF) P (p = 0.011) and electron transfer system capacity (CI + CII + ETF) E (p

  7. Adipose-Derived Cell Construct Stabilizes Heart Function and Increases Microvascular Perfusion in an Established Infarct

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Quang T.; Touroo, Jeremy S.; Aird, Allison L.; Chang, Raymond C.; Ng, Chin K.; Hoying, James B.; Williams, Stuart K.

    2013-01-01

    We have previously shown that myocardial infarction (MI) immediately treated with an epicardial construct containing stromal vascular fraction (SVF) from adipose tissue preserved microvascular function and left ventricle contractile mechanisms. In order to evaluate a more clinically relevant condition, we investigated the cardiac recovery potential of an SVF construct implanted onto an established infarct. SVF cells were isolated from rat adipose tissue, plated on Vicryl, and cultured for 14 days. Fischer-344 rats were separated into MI groups: (a) 6-week MI (MI), (b) 6-week MI treated with an SVF construct at 2 weeks (MI SVF), (c) 6-week MI with Vicryl construct at 2 weeks (MI Vicryl), and (d) MI 2wk (time point of intervention). Emax, an indicator of systolic performance and contractile function, was lower in the MI and MI Vicryl versus MI SVF. Positron emission tomography imaging (18F-fluorodeoxyglucose) revealed a decreased percentage of relative infarct volume in the MI SVF versus MI and MI Vicryl. Total vessel count and percentage of perfusion assessed via immunohistochemistry were both increased in the infarct region of MI SVF versus MI and MI Vicryl. Overall cardiac function, percentage of relative infarct, and percentage of perfusion were similar between MI SVF and MI 2wk; however, total vessel count increased after SVF treatment. These data suggest that SVF treatment of an established infarct stabilizes the heart at the time point of intervention by preventing a worsening of cardiac performance and infarcted volume, and is associated with increased microvessel perfusion in the area of established infarct. PMID:24106337

  8. Increased androgen levels in rats impair glucose-stimulated insulin secretion through disruption of pancreatic beta cell mitochondrial function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hongdong; Wang, Xiaping; Zhu, Yunxia; Chen, Fang; Sun, Yujie; Han, Xiao

    2015-11-01

    Although insulin resistance is recognized to contribute to the reproductive and metabolic phenotypes of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), pancreatic beta cell dysfunction plays an essential role in the progression from PCOS to the development of type 2 diabetes. However, the role of insulin secretory abnormalities in PCOS has received little attention. In addition, the precise changes in beta cells and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, we therefore attempted to elucidate potential mechanisms involved in beta cell alterations in a rat model of PCOS. Glucose-induced insulin secretion was measured in islets isolated from DHT-treated and control rats. Oxygen consumption rate (OCR), ATP production, and mitochondrial copy number were assayed to evaluate mitochondrial function. Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion is significantly decreased in islets from DHT-treated rats. On the other hand, significant reductions are observed in the expression levels of several key genes involved in mitochondrial biogenesis and in mitochondrial OCR and ATP production in DHT-treated rat islets. Meanwhile, we found that androgens can directly impair beta cell function by inducing mitochondrial dysfunction in vitro in an androgen receptor dependent manner. For the first time, our study demonstrates that increased androgens in female rats can impair glucose-stimulated insulin secretion partly through disruption of pancreatic beta cell mitochondrial function. This work has significance for hyperandrogenic women with PCOS: excess activation of the androgen receptor by androgens may provoke beta cell dysfunction via mitochondrial dysfunction. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Bupropion Administration Increases Resting-State Functional Connectivity in Dorso-Medial Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rzepa, Ewelina; Dean, Zola; McCabe, Ciara

    2017-06-01

    Patients on the selective serotonergic reuptake inhibitors like citalopram report emotional blunting. We showed previously that citalopram reduces resting-state functional connectivity in healthy volunteers in a number of brain regions, including the dorso-medial prefrontal cortex, which may be related to its clinical effects. Bupropion is a dopaminergic and noradrenergic reuptake inhibitor and is not reported to cause emotional blunting. However, how bupropion affects resting-state functional connectivity in healthy controls remains unknown. Using a within-subjects, repeated-measures, double-blind, crossover design, we examined 17 healthy volunteers (9 female, 8 male). Volunteers received 7 days of bupropion (150 mg/d) and 7 days of placebo treatment and underwent resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. We selected seed regions in the salience network (amygdala and pregenual anterior cingulate cortex) and the central executive network (dorsal medial prefrontal cortex). Mood and anhedonia measures were also recorded and examined in relation to resting-state functional connectivity. Relative to placebo, bupropion increased resting-state functional connectivity in healthy volunteers between the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex seed region and the posterior cingulate cortex and the precuneus cortex, key parts of the default mode network. These results are opposite to that which we found with 7 days treatment of citalopram in healthy volunteers. These results reflect a different mechanism of action of bupropion compared with selective serotonergic reuptake inhibitors. These results help explain the apparent lack of emotional blunting caused by bupropion in depressed patients. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  10. Functional significance of the oligomeric structure of the Na,K-pump from radiation inactivation and ligand binding

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Norby, J.G.; Jensen, J.

    1991-01-01

    The present article is concerned with the oligomeric structure and function of the Na,K-pump (Na,K-ATPase). The questions we have addressed, using radiation inactivation and target size analysis as well as ligand binding, are whether the minimal structural unit and the functional unit have more than one molecule of the catalytic subunit, alpha. The authors first discuss the fundamentals of the radiation inactivation method and emphasize the necessity for rigorous internal standardization with enzymes of known molecular mass. They then demonstrate that the radiation inactivation of Na,K-ATPase is a stepwise process which leads to intermediary fragments of the alpha-subunit with partial catalytic activity. From the target size analysis it is most likely that the membrane-bound Na,K-ATPase is structurally organized as a diprotomer containing two alpha-subunits. Determination of ADP- and ouabain-binding site stoichiometry favors a theory with one substrate site per (alpha beta) 2. 47 references

  11. Functional Significance of Labellum Pattern Variation in a Sexually Deceptive Orchid (Ophrys heldreichii: Evidence of Individual Signature Learning Effects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerstin Stejskal

    Full Text Available Mimicking female insects to attract male pollinators is an important strategy in sexually deceptive orchids of the genus Ophrys, and some species possess flowers with conspicuous labellum patterns. The function of the variation of the patterns remains unresolved, with suggestions that these enhance pollinator communication. We investigated the possible function of the labellum pattern in Ophrys heldreichii, an orchid species in which the conspicuous and complex labellum pattern contrasts with a dark background. The orchid is pollinated exclusively by males of the solitary bee, Eucera berlandi. Comparisons of labellum patterns revealed that patterns within inflorescences are more similar than those of other conspecific plants. Field observations showed that the males approach at a great speed and directly land on flowers, but after an unsuccessful copulation attempt, bees hover close and visually scan the labellum pattern for up to a minute. Learning experiments conducted with honeybees as an accessible model of bee vision demonstrated that labellum patterns of different plants can be reliably learnt; in contrast, patterns of flowers from the same inflorescence could not be discriminated. These results support the hypothesis that variable labellum patterns in O. heldreichii are involved in flower-pollinator communication which would likely help these plants to avoid geitonogamy.

  12. Lipid lowering and HDL raising gene transfer increase endothelial progenitor cells, enhance myocardial vascularity, and improve diastolic function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie C Gordts

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Hypercholesterolemia and low high density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol contribute to coronary heart disease but little is known about their direct effects on myocardial function. Low HDL and raised non-HDL cholesterol levels carried increased risk for heart failure development in the Framingham study, independent of any association with myocardial infarction. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that increased endothelial progenitor cell (EPC number and function after lipid lowering or HDL raising gene transfer in C57BL/6 low density lipoprotein receptor deficient (LDLr(-/- mice may be associated with an enhanced relative vascularity in the myocardium and an improved cardiac function. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Lipid lowering and HDL raising gene transfer were performed using the E1E3E4-deleted LDLr expressing adenoviral vector AdLDLr and the human apolipoprotein A-I expressing vector AdA-I, respectively. AdLDLr transfer in C57BL/6 LDLr(-/- mice resulted in a 2.0-fold (p<0.05 increase of the circulating number of EPCs and in an improvement of EPC function as assessed by ex vivo EPC migration and EPC adhesion. Capillary density and relative vascularity in the myocardium were 28% (p<0.01 and 22% (p<0.05 higher, respectively, in AdLDLr mice compared to control mice. The peak rate of isovolumetric relaxation was increased by 12% (p<0.05 and the time constant of isovolumetric relaxation was decreased by 14% (p<0.05 after AdLDLr transfer. Similarly, HDL raising gene transfer increased EPC number and function and raised both capillary density and relative vascularity in the myocardium by 24% (p<0.05. The peak rate of isovolumetric relaxation was increased by 16% (p<0.05 in AdA-I mice compared to control mice. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Both lipid lowering and HDL raising gene transfer have beneficial effects on EPC biology, relative myocardial vascularity, and diastolic function. These findings raise concerns over the

  13. CCAAT/enhancer binding protein β deletion increases mitochondrial function and protects mice from LXR-induced hepatic steatosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rahman, Shaikh M.; Choudhury, Mahua; Janssen, Rachel C.; Baquero, Karalee C.; Miyazaki, Makoto; Friedman, Jacob E.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► LXR agonist activation increases liver TG accumulation by increasing lipogenesis. ► C/EBPβ −/− mouse prevents LXR activation-mediated induction of hepatic lipogenesis. ► C/EBPβ deletion increases mitochondrial transport chain function. ► Beneficial effects of LXR activation on liver cholesterol metabolism did not change. ► C/EBPβ inhibition might have important therapeutic potential. -- Abstract: Drugs designed specifically to activate liver X receptors (LXRs) have beneficial effects on lowering cholesterol metabolism and inflammation but unfortunately lead to severe hepatic steatosis. The transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer binding protein beta (C/EBPβ) is an important regulator of liver gene expression but little is known about its involvement in LXR-based steatosis and cholesterol metabolism. The present study investigated the role of C/EBPβ expression in LXR agonist (T0901317)-mediated alteration of hepatic triglyceride (TG) and lipogenesis in mice. C/EBPβ deletion in mice prevented LXR agonist-mediated induction of lipogenic gene expression in liver in conjunction with significant reduction of liver TG accumulation. Surprisingly, C/EBPβ −/− mice showed a major increase in liver mitochondrial electron chain function compared to WT mice. Furthermore, LXR activation in C/EBPβ −/− mice increased the expression of liver ATP-binding cassette transporter ABCG1, a gene implicated in cholesterol efflux and reducing blood levels of total and LDL-cholesterol. Together, these findings establish a central role for C/EBPβ in the LXR-mediated steatosis and mitochondrial function, without impairing the influence of LXR activation on lowering LDL and increasing HDL-cholesterol. Inactivation of C/EBPβ might therefore be an important therapeutic strategy to prevent LXR activation-mediated adverse effects on liver TG metabolism without disrupting its beneficial effects on cholesterol metabolism.

  14. CCAAT/enhancer binding protein {beta} deletion increases mitochondrial function and protects mice from LXR-induced hepatic steatosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rahman, Shaikh M., E-mail: rmizanoor@hotmail.com [Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO 80045 (United States); Choudhury, Mahua; Janssen, Rachel C.; Baquero, Karalee C. [Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO 80045 (United States); Miyazaki, Makoto [Division of Renal Diseases and Hypertension, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO 80045 (United States); Friedman, Jacob E. [Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO 80045 (United States); Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO 80045 (United States)

    2013-01-04

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer LXR agonist activation increases liver TG accumulation by increasing lipogenesis. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer C/EBP{beta}{sup -/-} mouse prevents LXR activation-mediated induction of hepatic lipogenesis. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer C/EBP{beta} deletion increases mitochondrial transport chain function. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Beneficial effects of LXR activation on liver cholesterol metabolism did not change. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer C/EBP{beta} inhibition might have important therapeutic potential. -- Abstract: Drugs designed specifically to activate liver X receptors (LXRs) have beneficial effects on lowering cholesterol metabolism and inflammation but unfortunately lead to severe hepatic steatosis. The transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer binding protein beta (C/EBP{beta}) is an important regulator of liver gene expression but little is known about its involvement in LXR-based steatosis and cholesterol metabolism. The present study investigated the role of C/EBP{beta} expression in LXR agonist (T0901317)-mediated alteration of hepatic triglyceride (TG) and lipogenesis in mice. C/EBP{beta} deletion in mice prevented LXR agonist-mediated induction of lipogenic gene expression in liver in conjunction with significant reduction of liver TG accumulation. Surprisingly, C/EBP{beta}{sup -/-} mice showed a major increase in liver mitochondrial electron chain function compared to WT mice. Furthermore, LXR activation in C/EBP{beta}{sup -/-} mice increased the expression of liver ATP-binding cassette transporter ABCG1, a gene implicated in cholesterol efflux and reducing blood levels of total and LDL-cholesterol. Together, these findings establish a central role for C/EBP{beta} in the LXR-mediated steatosis and mitochondrial function, without impairing the influence of LXR activation on lowering LDL and increasing HDL-cholesterol. Inactivation of C/EBP{beta} might therefore be an important therapeutic strategy to prevent LXR

  15. Increased Range of Motion Is Important for Functional Outcome and Satisfaction After Total Knee Arthroplasty in Asian Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Chul-Won; Park, Yong-Beom; Song, Young-Suk; Kim, Jun-Ho; Park, Yong-Geun

    2016-06-01

    Although range of motion (ROM) is considered as an important factor for good outcome after total knee arthroplasty (TKA), the association of the degree of ROM with functional outcome and patient satisfaction is debated. We, therefore, investigated whether increased ROM would affect functional outcome and patient satisfaction after TKA in Asian patients. We reviewed 630 patients who underwent primary TKA with minimum 2-year follow-up. Clinical outcomes were evaluated by Knee Society (KS) score, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis index, and high-flexion knee score. Patient satisfaction was evaluated using a validated questionnaire. The association of ROM and change in ROM (cROM) with clinical outcomes and satisfaction were analyzed using partial correlation analysis and multiple median regression analysis. All functional scores showed significant correlation with postoperative ROM (r = 0.129, P = .001 in Knee Society score; r = -0.101, P = .012 in Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis index; r = 0.183, P satisfaction (r = 0.192, P = .005). Postoperative ROM and cROM were revealed as predisposing factors affecting function outcome using multivariable regression analysis. cROM was found as a predisposing factor affecting satisfaction. Based on the results of this study, ROM positively associated with functional outcome and cROM positively associated with patient satisfaction after TKA. These findings suggest that increased ROM after TKA is an important factor for functional outcome and satisfaction in Asian patients. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. In vitro kinetics of soybean lipoxygenase with combinatorial fatty substrates and its functional significance in off flavour development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandal, Somnath; Dahuja, Anil; Kar, Abhijit; Santha, I M

    2014-03-01

    Lipoxygenase (Lox) mediated oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in mature soya seeds results in objectionable flavour. In the present study, Lox isozymes were purified to near homogeneity (107-fold). Lox-2 and 3 displayed remarkable kinetic preference (1.7 and 1.5-fold, respectively) for low PUFA ratios (LA/LeA) (PRs) among the selected PUFA combinations. Lox-1 displayed no specific preference. Pure Lox-1 displayed unbiased response towards substrates with marginal preference (1.2-fold) for linoleic acid at its optimum pH. Volatile compounds profiling showed a direct relationship between PRs and hexanal to trans-2-hexenal (1.47, 2.24 and 18.90 for 2, 7 and 15 PRs, respectively) ratio. The off-flavour determining parameters like TBA value, carbonyl value and lipid hydroperoxides (LHPODs) exhibited significant negative correlation (0.76, 0.74, 0.72; psoya genotypes displaying varied PRs and significant positive correlation (0.89, 0.81. 0.89; p<0.0001) with ratio of PI (polyene index) to PRs - suggesting the plausible significance of PUFA ratios in biological lipid peroxidation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Functional ADA polymorphism increases sleep depth and reduces vigilant attention in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachmann, Valérie; Klaus, Federica; Bodenmann, Sereina; Schäfer, Nikolaus; Brugger, Peter; Huber, Susanne; Berger, Wolfgang; Landolt, Hans-Peter

    2012-04-01

    Homeostatically regulated slow-wave oscillations in non-rapid eye movement (REM) sleep may reflect synaptic changes across the sleep-wake continuum and the restorative function of sleep. The nonsynonymous c.22G>A polymorphism (rs73598374) of adenosine deaminase (ADA) reduces the conversion of adenosine to inosine and predicts baseline differences in sleep slow-wave oscillations. We hypothesized that this polymorphism affects cognitive functions, and investigated whether it modulates electroencephalogram (EEG), behavioral, subjective, and biochemical responses to sleep deprivation. Attention, learning, memory, and executive functioning were quantified in healthy adults. Right-handed carriers of the variant allele (G/A genotype, n = 29) performed worse on the d2 attention task than G/G homozygotes (n = 191). To test whether this difference reflects elevated homeostatic sleep pressure, sleep and sleep EEG before and after sleep deprivation were studied in 2 prospectively matched groups of G/A and G/G genotype subjects. Deep sleep and EEG 0.75- to 1.5-Hz oscillations in non-REM sleep were significantly higher in G/A than in G/G genotype. Moreover, attention and vigor were reduced, whereas waking EEG alpha activity (8.5-12 Hz), sleepiness, fatigue, and α-amylase in saliva were enhanced. These convergent data demonstrate that genetic reduction of ADA activity elevates sleep pressure and plays a key role in sleep and waking quality in humans.

  18. Dissecting the functional significance of non-catalytic carbohydrate binding modules in the deconstruction of plant cell walls

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hahn, Michael G. [Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States). Complex Carbohydrate Research Center

    2017-03-16

    The project seeks to investigate the mechanism by which CBMs potentiate the activity of glycoside hydrolases against complete plant cell walls. The project is based on the hypothesis that the wide range of CBMs present in bacterial enzymes maximize the potential target substrates by directing the cognate enzymes not only to different regions of a specific plant cell wall, but also increases the range of plant cell walls that can be degraded. In addition to maximizing substrate access, it was also proposed that CBMs can target specific subsets of hydrolases with complementary activities to the same region of the plant cell wall, thereby maximizing the synergistic interactions between these enzymes. This synergy is based on the premise that the hydrolysis of a specific polysaccharide will increase the access of closely associated polymers to enzyme attack. In addition, it is unclear whether the catalytic module and appended CBM of modular enzymes have evolved unique complementary activities.

  19. Significance and function of different spinal collateral compartments following thoracic aortic surgery: immediate versus long-term flow compensation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meffert, Philipp; Bischoff, Moritz S; Brenner, Robert; Siepe, Matthias; Beyersdorf, Friedhelm; Kari, Fabian A

    2014-05-01

    Iatrogenic paraplegia has been accompanying cardiovascular surgery since its beginning. As a result, surgeons have been developing many theories about the exact mechanisms of this devastating complication. Thus, the impact of single arteries that contribute to the spinal perfusion is one of the most discussed subjects in modern surgery. The subsequent decision of reattachment or the permanent disconnection of these intercostal arteries divides the surgical community. On the one hand, the anatomical or vascular approach pleads for the immediate reimplantation to reconstruct the anatomical situation. On the other hand, the decision of the permanent disconnection aims at avoiding stealing phenomenon away from the spinal vascular network. This spinal collateral network can be described as consisting of three components-the intraspinal and two paraspinal compartments-that feed the nutrient arteries of the spinal cord. The exact functional impact of the different compartments of the collateral network remains poorly understood. In this review, the function of the intraspinal compartment in the context of collateral network principle as an immediate emergency backup system is described. The exact structure and architectural principles of the intraspinal compartment are described. The critical parameters with regard to the risk of postoperative spinal cord ischaemia are the number of anterior radiculomedullary arteries (ARMAs) and the distance between them in relation to the longitudinal extent of aortic disease. The paraspinal network as a sleeping reserve is proposed as the long-term backup system. This sleeping reserve has to be activated by arteriogenic stimuli. These are presented briefly, and prior findings regarding arteriogenesis are discussed in the light of the collateral network concept. Finally, the role of preoperative visualization of the ARMAs in order to evaluate the risk of postoperative paraplegia is emphasized.

  20. Evaluation on changes of early renal function in patients with diabetic nephropathy with contrast-enhanced ultrasound and its clinical significance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guo Xinmin; Jin Hong; Pan Liwen; Chen Hui; Liu Wei; Quan Xianyue

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To quantitatively assess the parameter alteration of renal blood flow in patients with diabetic nephropathy (DN) with the contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS), and to evaluate value of the technique in diagnosis of early renal function changes of DN patients. Methods: 40 diabetic patients were equally divided into two group according to Mogensen's staging criteria: normal albuminuria group (group Ⅰ) and early DN group (group Ⅱ); and 15 cases of healthy volunteers were used as control group (N group) (n=15). All subjects were performed renal CEUS perfusion imaging, and QontraXt image analysis software was applied to select the region of interest (ROI) in the renal cortex. Then the time intensity curve (TIC) and kidney blood perfusion parameters were collected. Results: The renal blood perfusion was clearly shown in real time CEUS; compared with N group, the time to peak (TTP), regional blood volume (RBV), and mean transit time (MTT) of the patients in group Ⅰ were increased, there were significant differences (P<0.05); but there were no significant differences of derived peak intensity (DPI) and regional blood flow (RBF) between two groups (P>0.05). Compared with group Ⅰ and N group, the RBV, TTP and MTT of the patients were increased, the DPI and RBF were reduced in group Ⅱ, there were significant differences (P<0.05). Conclusion: The CEUS technical analysis can be used in evaluating renal abnormality of the DN patients in early period by showing the changes of renal perfusion parameters. (authors)

  1. Drug induced increases in CNS dopamine alter monocyte, macrophage and T cell functions: implications for HAND

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaskill, Peter J.; Calderon, Tina M.; Coley, Jacqueline S.; Berman, Joan W.

    2013-01-01

    Central nervous system (CNS) complications resulting from HIV infection remain a major public health problem as individuals live longer due to the success of combined antiretroviral therapy (cART). As many as 70% of HIV infected people have HIV associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Many HIV infected individuals abuse drugs, such as cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine, that may be important cofactors in the development of HIV CNS disease. Despite different mechanisms of action, all drugs of abuse increase extracellular dopamine in the CNS. The effects of dopamine on HIV neuropathogenesis are not well understood, and drug induced increases in CNS dopamine may be a common mechanism by which different types of drugs of abuse impact the development of HAND. Monocytes and macrophages are central to HIV infection of the CNS and to HAND. While T cells have not been shown to be a major factor in HIV-associated neuropathogenesis, studies indicate that T cells may play a larger role in the development of HAND in HIV infected drug abusers. Drug induced increases in CNS dopamine may dysregulate functions of, or increase HIV infection in, monocytes, macrophages and T cells in the brain. Thus, characterizing the effects of dopamine on these cells is important for understanding the mechanisms that mediate the development of HAND in drug abusers. PMID:23456305

  2. Inflammatory mediator bradykinin increases population of sensory neurons expressing functional T-type Ca(2+) channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Dongyang; Liang, Ce; Zhang, Fan; Men, Hongchao; Du, Xiaona; Gamper, Nikita; Zhang, Hailin

    2016-04-29

    T-type Ca(2+) channels are important regulators of peripheral sensory neuron excitability. Accordingly, T-type Ca(2+) currents are often increased in various pathological pain conditions, such as inflammation or nerve injury. Here we investigated effects of inflammation on functional expression of T-type Ca(2+) channels in small-diameter cultured dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. We found that overnight treatment of DRG cultures with a cocktail of inflammatory mediators bradykinin (BK), adenosine triphosphate (ATP), norepinephrine (NE) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) strongly increased the population size of the small-diameter neurons displaying low-voltage activated (LVA, T-type) Ca(2+) currents while having no effect on the peak LVA current amplitude. When applied individually, BK and ATP also increased the population size of LVA-positive neurons while NE and PGE2 had no effect. The PLC inhibitor U-73122 and B2 receptor antagonist, Hoe-140, both abolished the increase of the population of LVA-positive DRG neurons. Inflammatory treatment did not affect CaV3.2 mRNA or protein levels in DRG cultures. Furthermore, an ubiquitination inhibitor, MG132, did not increase the population of LVA-positive neurons. Our data suggest that inflammatory mediators BK and ATP increase the abundance of LVA-positive DRG neurons in total neuronal population by stimulating the recruitment of a 'reserve pool' of CaV3.2 channels, particularly in neurons that do not display measurable LVA currents under control conditions. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. A Long-Gap Peripheral Nerve Injury Therapy Using Human Skeletal Muscle-Derived Stem Cells (Sk-SCs): An Achievement of Significant Morphological, Numerical and Functional Recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamaki, Tetsuro; Hirata, Maki; Nakajima, Nobuyuki; Saito, Kosuke; Hashimoto, Hiroyuki; Soeda, Shuichi; Uchiyama, Yoshiyasu; Watanabe, Masahiko

    2016-01-01

    Losses in vital functions of the somatic motor and sensory nervous system are induced by severe long-gap peripheral nerve transection injury. In such cases, autologous nerve grafts are the gold standard treatment, despite the unavoidable sacrifice of other healthy functions, whereas the prognosis is not always favorable. Here, we use human skeletal muscle-derived stem cells (Sk-SCs) to reconstitute the function after long nerve-gap injury. Muscles samples were obtained from the amputated legs from 9 patients following unforeseen accidents. The Sk-SCs were isolated using conditioned collagenase solution, and sorted as CD34+/45- (Sk-34) and CD34-/45-/29+ (Sk-DN/29+) cells. Cells were separately cultured/expanded under optimal conditions for 2 weeks, then injected into the athymic nude mice sciatic nerve long-gap model (7-mm) bridging an acellular conduit. After 8-12 weeks, active cell engraftment was observed only in the Sk-34 cell transplanted group, showing preferential differentiation into Schwann cells and perineurial/endoneurial cells, as well as formation of the myelin sheath and perineurium/endoneurium surrounding regenerated axons, resulted in 87% of numerical recovery. Differentiation into vascular cell lineage (pericyte and endothelial cells) were also observed. A significant tetanic tension recovery (over 90%) of downstream muscles following electrical stimulation of the sciatic nerve (at upper portion of the gap) was also achieved. In contrast, Sk-DN/29+ cells were completely eliminated during the first 4 weeks, but relatively higher numerical (83% vs. 41% in axon) and functional (80% vs. 60% in tetanus) recovery than control were observed. Noteworthy, significant increase in the formation of vascular networks in the conduit during the early stage (first 2 weeks) of recovery was observed in both groups with the expression of key factors (mRNA and protein levels), suggesting the paracrine effects to angiogenesis. These results suggested that the human Sk

  4. A Long-Gap Peripheral Nerve Injury Therapy Using Human Skeletal Muscle-Derived Stem Cells (Sk-SCs: An Achievement of Significant Morphological, Numerical and Functional Recovery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tetsuro Tamaki

    Full Text Available Losses in vital functions of the somatic motor and sensory nervous system are induced by severe long-gap peripheral nerve transection injury. In such cases, autologous nerve grafts are the gold standard treatment, despite the unavoidable sacrifice of other healthy functions, whereas the prognosis is not always favorable. Here, we use human skeletal muscle-derived stem cells (Sk-SCs to reconstitute the function after long nerve-gap injury. Muscles samples were obtained from the amputated legs from 9 patients following unforeseen accidents. The Sk-SCs were isolated using conditioned collagenase solution, and sorted as CD34+/45- (Sk-34 and CD34-/45-/29+ (Sk-DN/29+ cells. Cells were separately cultured/expanded under optimal conditions for 2 weeks, then injected into the athymic nude mice sciatic nerve long-gap model (7-mm bridging an acellular conduit. After 8-12 weeks, active cell engraftment was observed only in the Sk-34 cell transplanted group, showing preferential differentiation into Schwann cells and perineurial/endoneurial cells, as well as formation of the myelin sheath and perineurium/endoneurium surrounding regenerated axons, resulted in 87% of numerical recovery. Differentiation into vascular cell lineage (pericyte and endothelial cells were also observed. A significant tetanic tension recovery (over 90% of downstream muscles following electrical stimulation of the sciatic nerve (at upper portion of the gap was also achieved. In contrast, Sk-DN/29+ cells were completely eliminated during the first 4 weeks, but relatively higher numerical (83% vs. 41% in axon and functional (80% vs. 60% in tetanus recovery than control were observed. Noteworthy, significant increase in the formation of vascular networks in the conduit during the early stage (first 2 weeks of recovery was observed in both groups with the expression of key factors (mRNA and protein levels, suggesting the paracrine effects to angiogenesis. These results suggested that the

  5. Decreasing but still significant facilitation effect of cold-season macrophytes on wetlands purification function during cold winter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Xiangxu; Zhang, Hui; Zuo, Jie; Wang, Penghe; Zhao, Dehua; An, Shuqing

    2016-06-01

    To identify the facilitation effect of a cool-season aquatic macrophyte (FEam) for use in effluent purification via constructed floating wetlands (CFWs) and to determine the possible pathways used during a winter period with an average temperature of less than 5 °C, pilot-scale CFWs were planted with the cold-season macrophyte Oenanthe clecumbens and were operated as batch systems. Although some leaves withered, the roots retained relatively high levels of activity during the winter, which had average air and water temperatures of 3.63 and 5.04 °C, respectively. The N and P removal efficiencies in CFWs decreased significantly in winter relative to those in late autumn. The presence of cool-season plants resulted in significant improvements in N and P removal, with a FEam of 15.23-25.86% in winter. Microbial N removal accounted for 71.57% of the total N removed in winter, and the decrease in plant uptake was the dominant factor in the wintertime decrease in N removal relative to that in late autumn. These results demonstrate the importance of cold-season plants in CFWs for the treatment of secondary effluent during cold winters.

  6. The significance and robustness of a plasma free amino acid (PFAA) profile-based multiplex function for detecting lung cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shingyoji, Masato; Mitsushima, Toru; Yamakado, Minoru; Kimura, Hideki; Iizasa, Toshihiko; Higashiyama, Masahiko; Imamura, Fumio; Saruki, Nobuhiro; Imaizumi, Akira; Yamamoto, Hiroshi; Daimon, Takashi; Tochikubo, Osamu

    2013-01-01

    We have recently reported on the changes in plasma free amino acid (PFAA) profiles in lung cancer patients and the efficacy of a PFAA-based, multivariate discrimination index for the early detection of lung cancer. In this study, we aimed to verify the usefulness and robustness of PFAA profiling for detecting lung cancer using new test samples. Plasma samples were collected from 171 lung cancer patients and 3849 controls without apparent cancer. PFAA levels were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)–electrospray ionization (ESI)–mass spectrometry (MS). High reproducibility was observed for both the change in the PFAA profiles in the lung cancer patients and the discriminating performance for lung cancer patients compared to previously reported results. Furthermore, multivariate discriminating functions obtained in previous studies clearly distinguished the lung cancer patients from the controls based on the area under the receiver-operator characteristics curve (AUC of ROC = 0.731 ~ 0.806), strongly suggesting the robustness of the methodology for clinical use. Moreover, the results suggested that the combinatorial use of this classifier and tumor markers improves the clinical performance of tumor markers. These findings suggest that PFAA profiling, which involves a relatively simple plasma assay and imposes a low physical burden on subjects, has great potential for improving early detection of lung cancer

  7. Biodegradation of isoproturon using a novel Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain JS-11 as a multi-functional bioinoculant of environmental significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwivedi, Sourabh; Singh, Braj Raj; Al-Khedhairy, Abdulaziz A; Musarrat, Javed

    2011-01-30

    Biodegradation of phenylurea herbicide isoproturon was studied in soil microcosm bioaugmented with a novel bacterial strain JS-11 isolated from wheat rhizosphere. The molecular characterization based on 16SrDNA sequence homology confirmed its identity as Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain JS-11. The herbicide was completely degraded within 20 days at ambient temperature with the rate constant of 0.08 day(-1), following the first-order rate kinetics. In stationary phase, at a cell density of 6.5 × 10(9) CFU mL(-1), the bacteria produced substantially increased amounts of indole acetic acid (IAA) in the presence of tryptophan as compared with the control. Also, the bacteria exhibited a time-dependent increase in the amount of tri-calcium phosphate solubilization in Pikovskaya's medium. Further screening of the strain JS-11 for auxiliary activities revealed its remarkable capability of producing the siderophores and hydrogen cyanide (HCN), besides antifungal activity against a common phytopathogen Fusarium oxysporum. Thus, the versatile P. aeruginosa strain JS-11 with innate potential for multifarious biological activities is envisaged as a super-bioinoculant for exploitation in the integrated bioremediation, plant growth and disease management (IBPDM) in contaminated agricultural soils. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. The novel tumor-suppressor Mel-18 in prostate cancer: its functional polymorphism, expression and clinical significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei; Yuasa, Takeshi; Tsuchiya, Norihiko; Ma, Zhiyong; Maita, Shinya; Narita, Shintaro; Kumazawa, Teruaki; Inoue, Takamitsu; Tsuruta, Hiroshi; Horikawa, Yohei; Saito, Mitsuru; Hu, Weilie; Ogawa, Osamu; Habuchi, Tomonori

    2009-12-15

    Mel-18 is a member of the polycomb group (PcG) proteins, which are chromatin regulatory factors and play important roles in development and oncogenesis. This study was designed to investigate the clinical and prognostic significance of Mel-18 in patients with prostate cancer. A total of 539 native Japanese subjects consisting of 393 prostate cancer patients and 146 controls were enrolled in this study. Mel-18 genotyping was analyzed using a PCR-RFLP method and an automated sequencer using the GENESCAN software. Immunohistochemistry revealed that Mel-18 expression was diminished in high grade and high stage prostate cancers. Moreover, patients with positive Mel-18 expression had significantly longer PSA recurrence-free survival than patients negative for Mel-18 expression (p=0.038). A Mel-18 1805A/G SNP was located in the 3' untranslated region and was predicted to alter the secondary structure of the mRNA. Mel-18 mRNA expression of the 1805A allele was clearly higher than expression of the 1805G allele by allele specific quantitative RT-PCR. In multivariate analysis, a homozygous G allele genotype and negative Mel-18 expression were independent risk factors predicting high PSA recurrence after radical prostatectomy, with HRs of 2.757 (p=0.022) and 2.271 (p=0.045), respectively. Moreover, the G allele was also an independent predictor of poor cancer-specific survival with an HR of 4.658 (p=0.019) for patients with stage D2 prostate cancer. This is the first study to provide important evidence demonstrating that Mel-18 is a tumor suppressor and possible therapeutic target, as well as a diagnostic marker for poor prognosis in prostate cancer patients. Copyright (c) 2009 UICC.

  9. Malnutrition in Healthy Individuals Results in Increased Mixed Cytokine Profiles, Altered Neutrophil Subsets and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takele, Y.; Adem, E.; Getahun, M.; Tajebe, F.; Kiflie, A.; Hailu, A.; Raynes, J.; Mengesha, B.; Ayele, T. A.; Shkedy, Z.; Lemma, M.; Diro, E.; Toulza, F.; Modolell, M.; Munder, M.; Müller, I.; Kropf, P.

    2016-01-01

    Malnutrition is commonly associated with increased infectious disease susceptibility and severity. Whereas malnutrition might enhance the incidence of disease as well as its severity, active infection can in turn exacerbate malnutrition. Therefore, in a malnourished individual suffering from a severe infection, it is not possible to determine the contribution of the pre-existing malnutrition and/or the infection itself to increased disease severity. In the current study we focussed on two groups of malnourished, but otherwise healthy individuals: moderately malnourished (BMI: 18.4–16.5) and severely malnourished (BMI <16.5) and compared several immune parameters with those of individuals with a normal BMI (≥18.5). Our results show a similar haematological profile in all three groups, as well as a similar ratio of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. We found significant correlations between low BMI and increased levels of T helper (Th) 1 (Interferon (IFN)-γ, (interleukin (IL)-2, IL-12), Th2 (IL-4, IL-5, IL-13), as well as IL-10, IL-33 and tumor necrosis factor-α, but not IL-8 or C reactive protein. The activities of arginase, an enzyme associated with immunosuppression, were similar in plasma, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and neutrophils from all groups and no differences in the expression levels of CD3ζ, a marker of T cell activation, were observed in CD4+ and CD8+T cells. Furthermore, whereas the capacity of neutrophils from the malnourished groups to phagocytose particles was not impaired, their capacity to produce reactive oxygen species was impaired. Finally we evaluated the frequency of a subpopulation of low-density neutrophils and show that they are significantly increased in the malnourished individuals. These differences were more pronounced in the severely malnourished group. In summary, our results show that even in the absence of apparent infections, healthy malnourished individuals display dysfunctional immune responses that might contribute to

  10. Cold-knife conisation and large loop excision of transformation zone significantly increase the risk for spontaneous preterm birth: a population-based cohort study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jančar, Nina; Mihevc Ponikvar, Barbara; Tomšič, Sonja

    2016-08-01

    Our aim was to explore the association between cold-knife conisation and large loop excision of transformation zone (LLETZ) with spontaneous preterm birth in a large 10-year national sample. We wanted to explore further the association of these procedures with preterm birth according to gestation. We conducted a population based retrospective cohort study, using data from national Medical Birth Registry. The study population consisted of all women giving birth to singletons in the period 2003-2012 in Slovenia, excluding all induced labors and elective cesarean sections before 37 weeks of gestation (N=192730). We compared the prevalence of spontaneous preterm births (before 28 weeks, before 32 weeks, before 34 weeks and before 37 weeks of gestation) in women with cold-knife conisation or LLETZ compared to women without history of conisation, calculating odds ratios (OR), adjusted for potential confounders. Chi-square test was used for descriptive analysis. Logistic regression analyses were performed to estimate crude odds ratio (OR) and adjusted odds ratio (aOR) and their 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) with two-sided probability (p) values. A total of 8420 (4.4%) women had a preterm birth before 37 weeks of gestation, 2250 (1.2%) before 34 weeks of gestation, 1333 (0.7%) before 32 weeks of gestation and 603 (0.3%) before 28 weeks of gestation. A total of 4580 (2.4%) women had some type of conisation in their medical history: 2083 (1.1%) had cold-knife conisation and 2498 (1.3%) had LLETZ. In women with history of cold-knife conisation, the adjusted OR for preterm birth before 37 weeks of gestation was 3.13 (95% CI; 2.74-3.57) and for preterm birth before 28 weeks of gestation 5.96 (95% CI; 4.3-8.3). In women with history of LLETZ, the adjusted OR was 1.95 (95% CI; 1.68-2.25) and 2.88 (95% CI; 1.87-4.43), respectively. Women with cervical excision procedure of any kind have significantly increased odds for preterm birth, especially for preterm birth before 28

  11. Single-source dual-energy spectral multidetector CT of pancreatic adenocarcinoma: Optimization of energy level viewing significantly increases lesion contrast

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patel, B.N.; Thomas, J.V.; Lockhart, M.E.; Berland, L.L.; Morgan, D.E.

    2013-01-01

    V was 31 ± 25 HU (p = 0.007). Conclusion: Significantly increased pancreatic lesion contrast was noted at lower viewing energies using spectral MDCT. Individual patient CNR-optimized energy level images have the potential to improve lesion conspicuity.

  12. Single-source dual-energy spectral multidetector CT of pancreatic adenocarcinoma: optimization of energy level viewing significantly increases lesion contrast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, B N; Thomas, J V; Lockhart, M E; Berland, L L; Morgan, D E

    2013-02-01

    .007). Significantly increased pancreatic lesion contrast was noted at lower viewing energies using spectral MDCT. Individual patient CNR-optimized energy level images have the potential to improve lesion conspicuity. Copyright © 2012 The Royal College of Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Transcriptome analysis of functional differentiation between haploid and diploid cells of Emiliania huxleyi, a globally significant photosynthetic calcifying cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    Background Eukaryotes are classified as either haplontic, diplontic, or haplo-diplontic, depending on which ploidy levels undergo mitotic cell division in the life cycle. Emiliania huxleyi is one of the most abundant phytoplankton species in the ocean, playing an important role in global carbon fluxes, and represents haptophytes, an enigmatic group of unicellular organisms that diverged early in eukaryotic evolution. This species is haplo-diplontic. Little is known about the haploid cells, but they have been hypothesized to allow persistence of the species between the yearly blooms of diploid cells. We sequenced over 38,000 expressed sequence tags from haploid and diploid E. huxleyi normalized cDNA libraries to identify genes involved in important processes specific to each life phase (2N calcification or 1N motility), and to better understand the haploid phase of this prominent haplo-diplontic organism. Results The haploid and diploid transcriptomes showed a dramatic differentiation, with approximately 20% greater transcriptome richness in diploid cells than in haploid cells and only ≤ 50% of transcripts estimated to be common between the two phases. The major functional category of transcripts differentiating haploids included signal transduction and motility genes. Diploid-specific transcripts included Ca2+, H+, and HCO3- pumps. Potential factors differentiating the transcriptomes included haploid-specific Myb transcription factor homologs and an unusual diploid-specific histone H4 homolog. Conclusions This study permitted the identification of genes likely involved in diploid-specific biomineralization, haploid-specific motility, and transcriptional control. Greater transcriptome richness in diploid cells suggests they may be more versatile for exploiting a diversity of rich environments whereas haploid cells are intrinsically more streamlined. PMID:19832986

  14. Repetitive long-term hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT administered after experimental traumatic brain injury in rats induces significant remyelination and a recovery of sensorimotor function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaus Kraitsy

    Full Text Available Cells in the central nervous system rely almost exclusively on aerobic metabolism. Oxygen deprivation, such as injury-associated ischemia, results in detrimental apoptotic and necrotic cell loss. There is evidence that repetitive hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT improves outcomes in traumatic brain-injured patients. However, there are no experimental studies investigating the mechanism of repetitive long-term HBOT treatment-associated protective effects. We have therefore analysed the effect of long-term repetitive HBOT treatment on brain trauma-associated cerebral modulations using the lateral fluid percussion model for rats. Trauma-associated neurological impairment regressed significantly in the group of HBO-treated animals within three weeks post trauma. Evaluation of somatosensory-evoked potentials indicated a possible remyelination of neurons in the injured hemisphere following HBOT. This presumption was confirmed by a pronounced increase in myelin basic protein isoforms, PLP expression as well as an increase in myelin following three weeks of repetitive HBO treatment. Our results indicate that protective long-term HBOT effects following brain injury is mediated by a pronounced remyelination in the ipsilateral injured cortex as substantiated by the associated recovery of sensorimotor function.

  15. Deficiency of C5L2 increases macrophage infiltration and alters adipose tissue function in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danny Gauvreau

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Obesity is considered as a systemic chronic low grade inflammation characterized by increased serum pro-inflammatory proteins and accumulation of macrophages within white adipose tissue (WAT of obese patients. C5L2, a 7-transmembrane receptor, serves a dual function, binding the lipogenic hormone acylation stimulating protein (ASP, and C5a, involved in innate immunity. AIM: We evaluated the impact of C5L2 on macrophage infiltration in WAT of wildtype (Ctl and C5L2 knock-out (C5L2(-/- mice over 6, 12 and 24 weeks on a chow diet and moderate diet-induced obesity (DIO conditions. RESULTS: In Ctl mice, WAT C5L2 and C5a receptor mRNA increased (up to 10-fold both over time and with DIO. By contrast, in C5L2(-/-, there was no change in C5aR in WAT. C5L2(-/- mice displayed higher macrophage content in WAT, varying by time, fat depot and diet, associated with altered systemic and WAT cytokine patterns compared to Ctl mice. However, in all cases, the M1 (pro- vs M2 (anti-inflammatory macrophage proportion was unchanged but C5L2(-/- adipose tissue secretome appeared to be more chemoattractant. Moreover, C5L2(-/- mice have increased food intake, increased WAT, and altered WAT lipid gene expression, which is reflected systemically. Furthermore, C5L2(-/- mice have altered glucose/insulin metabolism, adiponectin and insulin signalling gene expression in WAT, which could contribute to development of insulin resistance. CONCLUSION: Disruption of C5L2 increases macrophage presence in WAT, contributing to obesity-associated pathologies, and further supports a dual role of complement in WAT. Understanding this effect of the complement system pathway could contribute to targeting treatment of obesity and its comorbidities.

  16. Evaluation of ischemic corticospinal tract damage by diffusion tensor MRI. Its significance to predict functional outcome of corona radiata infarct

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tanaka, Hideki

    2010-01-01

    Motor impairment is one of the most frequent symptoms among stroke patients and often leads to poststroke dependency. Recent advances of diffusion tensor MR imaging made it possible to identify corticospinal tract (CST) three-dimensionally and evaluate structural damage, so precise evaluation of the ischemic CST damage became feasible.Motor impairment, lesion size and location upon diffusion weighted MR image and clinical outcome were assessed in 23 acute to subacute capsular and corona radiata infarct patients. According to the lesion size, patients were grouped into A, maximal diameter below 15 mm and B, that above 15 mm. Motor impairment was graded severe: limb movement synergy level, moderate: selective muscle activity possible and mild: isolated movements well co-ordinated, each corresponding to Brunnstrom stage 1-3, 4-5, and 6, respectively. Outcome at the time of discharge was assessed by modified Rankin Scale (mRS), discharge destination and length of hospital stay were also registered. Diffusion tensor MR imaging was conducted in 15 corona radiata infarct patients at 2.3+-2.2 days from the onset of the clinical symptoms. CST was 3-dimensionally identified with dTV. II. SR and Volume-one 1.72 and CST-FA ratio (ipsi-/contralesional CST-FA) and CST-Area% (CST lesion free area/whole CST area) were obtained at the level where ischemic damage was most prominent and correlation of these parameters to motor impairment and clinical outcome was studied. CST-FA ratio and CST-Area% were in good correlation to motor impairment at presentation. Patients with severe motor impairment had lower CST-FA ratio and CSF-Area% than those with moderate or mild. CST-FA ratio was 0.73+-0.22 in patients with poor clinical outcome (mRS 3-6) and 0.93+-0.09 with good clinical outcome (mRS 0-2) (p=0.038). Diffusion tensor MR imaging is useful in evaluating motor impairment and predicting functional outcome of corona radiata infarct patient in the acute to subacute stage. (author)

  17. Increased fibrosis: A novel means by which GH influences white adipose tissue function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Householder, Lara A; Comisford, Ross; Duran-Ortiz, Silvana; Lee, Kevin; Troike, Katie; Wilson, Cody; Jara, Adam; Harberson, Mitchell; List, Edward O; Kopchick, John J; Berryman, Darlene E

    2018-04-01

    White adipose tissue (WAT) fibrosis - the buildup of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, primarily collagen - is now a recognized hallmark of tissue dysfunction and is increased with obesity and lipodystrophy. While growth hormone (GH) is known to increase collagen in several tissues, no previous research has addressed its effect on ECM in WAT. Thus, the purpose of this study is to determine if GH influences WAT fibrosis. This study examined WAT from four distinct strains of GH-altered mice (bGH and GHA transgenic mice as well as two tissue specific GH receptor gene disrupted lines, fat growth hormone receptor knockout or FaGHRKO and liver growth hormone receptor knockout or LiGHRKO mice). Collagen content and adipocyte size were studied in all cohorts and compared to littermate controls. In addition, mRNA expression of fibrosis-associated genes was assessed in one cohort (6month old male bovine GH transgenic and WT mice) and cultured 3T3-L1 adipocytes treated with GH. Collagen stained area was increased in WAT from bGH mice, was depot-dependent, and increased with age. Furthermore, increased collagen content was associated with decreased adipocyte size in all depots but more dramatic changes in the subcutaneous fat pad. Notably, the increase in collagen was not associated with an increase in collagen gene expression or other genes known to promote fibrosis in WAT, but collagen gene expression was increased with acute GH administration in 3T3-LI cells. In contrast, evaluation of 6month old GH antagonist (GHA) male mice showed significantly decreased collagen in the subcutaneous depot. Lastly, to assess if GH induced collagen deposition directly or indirectly (via IGF-1), fat (Fa) and liver (Li) specific GHRKO mice were evaluated. Decreased fibrosis in FaGHRKO and increased fibrosis in LiGHRKO mice suggest GH is primarily responsible for the alterations in collagen. Our results show that GH action is positively associated with an increase in WAT collagen content as

  18. Increasing meat product functionality by the addition of milled flaxseed Linum usitatissimum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zając, Marzena; Kulawik, Piotr; Tkaczewska, Joanna; Migdał, Władysław; Pustkowiak, Henryk

    2017-07-01

    Functional meat products are still rare on the market because it is difficult to incorporate new ingredients and obtain both a healthy and acceptable product. Flaxseed is known for its beneficial properties and, in the present study, it was used as an ingredient in the production of homogenised and liver sausages (0%, 5% and 10% flaxseed addition). Homogenised and liver sausages with the addition of 5% flaxseed were given the highest scores by the consumers, although the colour changed with the addition of flaxseed. The spreadability and hardness of the liver sausages increased with the addition of flaxseed, whereas the texture of homogenised sausages did not change. Addition of flaxseed improved the fatty acids profile from a health point of view for both products, as a result of increasing n-3 fatty acids and overall polyunsaturated fatty acids content. Values for thiobarbituric acid reactive substances were higher in products with flaxseed and were observed to increase during storage. The results of the present study indicate that it is possible to obtain products that are acceptable by consumers and, at the same time, are more healthy. A high level of α-linolenic acid in the sausages at a level of addition of 5% allows the product to be labelled with information regarding their high omega-3 fatty acid content. However, those products are more susceptible to oxidation. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  19. Camera functional scintiscanning of the kidneys - its significance and value for nuclear-medical renal diagnostics especially in comparison with isotope nephrography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wibmer, A.

    1982-01-01

    The thesis aimed at demonstrating the significance of functional scintiscanning in comparison with radioisotope nephrography and its informative value in individual kidney disease cases. To this end, 248 functional scintigrams of patients taken from various disease groups and 96 functional scintigrams of non-kidney-diseased persons were evaluated. As against nephrography, functional scintigraphic imaging has the advantage of displaying simultaneously both functional graphs and sequential scintigrams. This allows to asses the morphology, location and function of the non-functioning renal parenchyma and to localize and differentiate dysfunctions which are globally detectable in RIN, at a low patient exposure and within one single examination. ''Region-of-Interest'' selection in functional scintiscanning allows an exact demonstration of the kidneys which results in new normal values for the functional parameters. Owing to its case in handling and very low level of patient exposure, functional scintiscanning lends itself to an orientational examination of large patient groups, to an examination of severely ill patients without putting too much strain of them and to follow-up of all nephropathies. It even provides some information in renal insufficiency where other methods fail. However, functional scintiscanning appears to be inappropriate as a diagnostic method in inflammatory processes, hypertension and renal artery stenoses. (orig./MG) [de

  20. Fluoxetine Increases Hippocampal Neurogenesis and Induces Epigenetic Factors But Does Not Improve Functional Recovery after Traumatic Brain Injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yonggang; Neumann, Melanie; Hansen, Katharina; Hong, Shuwhey M.; Kim, Sharon; Noble-Haeusslein, Linda J.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine induces hippocampal neurogenesis, stimulates maturation and synaptic plasticity of adult hippocampal neurons, and reduces motor/sensory and memory impairments in several CNS disorders. In the setting of traumatic brain injury (TBI), its effects on neuroplasticity and function have yet to be thoroughly investigated. Here we examined the efficacy of fluoxetine after a moderate to severe TBI, produced by a controlled cortical impact. Three days after TBI or sham surgery, mice were treated with fluoxetine (10 mg/kg/d) or vehicle for 4 weeks. To evaluate the effects of fluoxetine on neuroplasticity, hippocampal neurogenesis and epigenetic modification were studied. Stereologic analysis of the dentate gyrus revealed a significant increase in doublecortin-positive cells in brain-injured animals treated with fluoxetine relative to controls, a finding consistent with enhanced hippocampal neurogenesis. Epigenetic modifications, including an increase in histone 3 acetylation and induction of methyl-CpG-binding protein, a transcription factor involved in DNA methylation, were likewise seen by immunohistochemistry and quantitative Western immunoblots, respectively, in brain-injured animals treated with fluoxetine. To determine if fluoxetine improves neurological outcomes after TBI, gait function and spatial learning and memory were assessed by the CatWalk-assisted gait test and Barnes maze test, respectively. No differences in these parameters were seen between fluoxetine- and vehicle-treated animals. Thus while fluoxetine enhanced neuroplasticity in the hippocampus after TBI, its chronic administration did not restore locomotor function or ameliorate memory deficits. PMID:21175261

  1. Insulin acutely improves mitochondrial function of rat and human skeletal muscle by increasing coupling efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nisr, Raid B; Affourtit, Charles

    2014-02-01

    Insulin is essential for the regulation of fuel metabolism and triggers the uptake of glucose by skeletal muscle. The imported glucose is either stored or broken down, as insulin stimulates glycogenesis and ATP synthesis. The mechanism by which ATP production is increased is incompletely understood at present and, generally, relatively little functional information is available on the effect of insulin on mitochondrial function. In this paper we have exploited extracellular flux technology to investigate insulin effects on the bioenergetics of rat (L6) and human skeletal muscle myoblasts and myotubes. We demonstrate that a 20-min insulin exposure significantly increases (i) the cell respiratory control ratio, (ii) the coupling efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation, and (iii) the glucose sensitivity of anaerobic glycolysis. The improvement of mitochondrial function is explained by an insulin-induced immediate decrease of mitochondrial proton leak. Palmitate exposure annuls the beneficial mitochondrial effects of insulin. Our data improve the mechanistic understanding of insulin-stimulated ATP synthesis, and reveal a hitherto undisclosed insulin sensitivity of cellular bioenergetics that suggests a novel way of detecting insulin responsiveness of cells. © 2013.

  2. Insulin acutely improves mitochondrial function of rat and human skeletal muscle by increasing coupling efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nisr, Raid B.; Affourtit, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Insulin is essential for the regulation of fuel metabolism and triggers the uptake of glucose by skeletal muscle. The imported glucose is either stored or broken down, as insulin stimulates glycogenesis and ATP synthesis. The mechanism by which ATP production is increased is incompletely understood at present and, generally, relatively little functional information is available on the effect of insulin on mitochondrial function. In this paper we have exploited extracellular flux technology to investigate insulin effects on the bioenergetics of rat (L6) and human skeletal muscle myoblasts and myotubes. We demonstrate that a 20-min insulin exposure significantly increases (i) the cell respiratory control ratio, (ii) the coupling efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation, and (iii) the glucose sensitivity of anaerobic glycolysis. The improvement of mitochondrial function is explained by an insulin-induced immediate decrease of mitochondrial proton leak. Palmitate exposure annuls the beneficial mitochondrial effects of insulin. Our data improve the mechanistic understanding of insulin-stimulated ATP synthesis, and reveal a hitherto undisclosed insulin sensitivity of cellular bioenergetics that suggests a novel way of detecting insulin responsiveness of cells. PMID:24212054

  3. Can repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation increase muscle strength in functional neurological paresis? A proof-of-principle study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broersma, M; Koops, E A; Vroomen, P C; Van der Hoeven, J H; Aleman, A; Leenders, K L; Maurits, N M; van Beilen, M

    2015-05-01

    Therapeutic options are limited in functional neurological paresis disorder. Earlier intervention studies did not control for a placebo effect, hampering assessment of effectivity. A proof-of-principle investigation was conducted into the therapeutic potential of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), using a single-blind two-period placebo-controlled cross-over design. Eleven patients received active 15 Hz rTMS over the contralateral motor cortex (hand area), in two periods of 5 days, for 30 min once a day at 80% of resting motor threshold, with a train length of 2 s and an intertrain interval of 4 s. Eight of these eleven patients were also included in the placebo treatment condition. Primary outcome measure was change in muscle strength as measured by dynamometry after treatment. Secondary outcome measure was the subjective change in muscle strength after treatment. In patients who received both treatments, active rTMS induced a significantly larger median increase in objectively measured muscle strength (24%) compared to placebo rTMS (6%; P difference due to treatment, i.e. patients did not perceive these objectively measured motor improvements (P = 0.40). Our findings suggest that rTMS by itself can potentially improve muscle weakness in functional neurological paresis disorder. Whereas patients' muscle strength increased as measured with dynamometry, patients did not report increased functioning of the affected hand, subjectively. The results may indicate that decreased muscle strength is not the core symptom and that rTMS should be added to behavioral approaches in functional neurological paresis. © 2015 EAN.

  4. The functional significance of C3-C4 intermediate traits in Heliotropium L. (Boraginaceae): gas exchange perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogan, Patrick J; Frohlich, Michael W; Sage, Rowan F

    2007-10-01

    We demonstrate for the first time the presence of species exhibiting C3-C4 intermediacy in Heliotropium (sensu lato), a genus with over 100 C3 and 150 C4 species. CO2 compensation points (Gamma) and photosynthetic water-use efficiencies (WUEs) were intermediate between C3 and C4 values in three species of Heliotropium: Heliotropium convolvulaceum (Gamma = 20 micromol CO2 mol(-1) air), Heliotropium racemosum (Gamma = 22 micromol mol(-1)) and Heliotropium greggii (Gamma = 17 micromol mol(-1)). Heliotropium procumbens may also be a weak C3-C4 intermediate based on a slight reduction in Gamma (48.5 micromol CO2 mol(-1)) compared to C3Heliotropium species (52-60 micromol mol(-1)). The intermediate species H. convolvulaceum, H. greggii and H. racemosum exhibited over 50% enhancement of net CO2 assimilation rates at low CO2 levels (200-300 micromol mol(-1)); however, no significant differences in stomatal conductance were observed between the C3 and C3-C4 species. We also assessed the response of Gamma to variation in O2 concentration for these species. Heliotropium convolvulaceum, H. greggii and H. racemosum exhibited similar responses of Gamma to O2 with response slopes that were intermediate between the responses of C3 and C4 species below 210 mmol O2 mol(-1) air. The presence of multiple species displaying C3-C4 intermediate traits indicates that Heliotropium could be a valuable new model for studying the evolutionary transition from C3 to C4 photosynthesis.

  5. Tranexamic acid increases early perioperative functional outcomes after total knee arthroplasty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J. Grosso, MD

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of tranexamic acid (TXA on functional outcomes in the immediate postoperative period after total knee arthroplasty (TKA. We hypothesized that the known benefits of TXA would confer measurable clinical improvements in physical therapy (PT performance, decrease pain, and decrease hospital length of stay (LOS. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 560 TKA patients, including 280 consecutive patients whose surgery was performed before the initiation of a standardized TXA protocol and the first 280 patients who received TXA after protocol initiation. Outcome measurements included postoperative changes in hemoglobin and hematocrit, LOS, pain scores, destination of discharge, and steps ambulated with PT over 5 sessions. Results: TXA administration resulted in less overall drops in hemoglobin (P < .001 and hematocrit levels (P < .001. Moreover, patients administered TXA ambulated more than their counterparts during every PT session, which was statistically significant during the second (P = .010, third (P = .011, and fourth (P = .024 sessions. On average, the TXA cohort ambulated 20% more per PT session than patients who did not receive TXA (P < .001. TXA administration did not influence pain levels during PT, hospital LOS, or discharge destination in this investigation. Conclusions: It is well known that TXA reduces postoperative anemia, but this study also demonstrates that it confers early perioperative functional benefits for TKA patients. Potential mechanisms for this benefit include reduced rates of postoperative anemia and reduced rates of hemarthroses. Keywords: Tranexamic acid, Total knee arthroplasty, Blood loss, Physical therapy

  6. The Direct Anterior Approach Does Not Increase Return to Function Following Hemiarthroplasty for Femoral Neck Fracture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Victor R; Ong, Alvin C; Orozco, Fabio R; Lutz, Rex W; Duque, Andres F; Post, Zachary D

    2017-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate functional outcomes for hemiarthroplasty using a direct anterior approach or a direct lateral approach for femoral neck fracture. This retrospective review used data collected from a single institution between 2006 and 2016. Eighty-five and 75 consecutive patients who underwent hemiarthroplasty via a direct anterior approach and a direct lateral approach, respectively, met inclusion criteria. All patients with femoral neck fractures were treated by 1 of 2 fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons using the direct anterior approach or the direct lateral approach to hemiarthroplasty. Disposition, ambulation, and other perioperative surgical outcomes were compared between the cohorts. Compared with the direct lateral cohort, the direct anterior cohort had a shorter mean operative time (2.4 minutes, P<.01), a shorter mean length of hospital stay (2.7 days, P<.01), and a smaller mean decrease in hemoglobin postoperatively (0.7 g/dL, P<.01). No significant difference was observed between the cohorts for postoperative disposition, the number of feet ambulated on the second postoperative day, or the prevalence of ambulatory decline at 4- to 6-week and 4- to 6-month follow-up visits. Compared with the direct lateral approach, the direct anterior approach may benefit patients by small, but statistically significant, improvements in blood loss, surgical time, and length of hospital stay after hemiarthroplasty. However, the direct anterior approach does not appear to decrease the likelihood of transfer to a skilled nursing facility postoperatively or accelerate return to preoperative function. [Orthopedics. 2017; 40(6):e1055-e1061.]. Copyright 2017, SLACK Incorporated.

  7. Musical training increases functional connectivity, but does not enhance mu suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, C Carolyn; Hamm, Jeff P; Lim, Vanessa K; Kirk, Ian J

    2017-09-01

    Musical training provides an ideal platform for investigating action representation for sound. Learning to play an instrument requires integration of sensory and motor perception-action processes. Functional neuroimaging studies have indicated that listening to trained music can result in the activity in premotor areas, even after a short period of training. These studies suggest that action representation systems are heavily dependent on specific sensorimotor experience. However, others suggest that because humans naturally move to music, sensorimotor training is not necessary and there is a more general action representation for music. We previously demonstrated that EEG mu suppression, commonly implemented to demonstrate mirror-neuron-like action representation while observing movements, can also index action representations for sounds in pianists. The current study extends these findings to a group of non-musicians who learned to play randomised sequences on a piano, in order to acquire specific sound-action mappings for the five fingers of their right hand. We investigated training-related changes in neural dynamics as indexed by mu suppression and task-related coherence measures. To test the specificity of training effects, we included sounds similar to those encountered in the training and additionally rhythm sequences. We found no effect of training on mu suppression between pre- and post-training EEG recordings. However, task-related coherence indexing functional connectivity between electrodes over audiomotor areas increased after training. These results suggest that long-term training in musicians and short-term training in novices may be associated with different stages of audiomotor integration that can be reflected in different EEG measures. Furthermore, the changes in functional connectivity were specifically found for piano tones, and were not apparent when participants listened to rhythms, indicating some degree of specificity related to training

  8. Increasing trunk flexion transforms human leg function into that of birds despite different leg morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aminiaghdam, Soran; Rode, Christian; Müller, Roy; Blickhan, Reinhard

    2017-02-01

    Pronograde trunk orientation in small birds causes prominent intra-limb asymmetries in the leg function. As yet, it is not clear whether these asymmetries induced by the trunk reflect general constraints on the leg function regardless of the specific leg architecture or size of the species. To address this, we instructed 12 human volunteers to walk at a self-selected velocity with four postures: regular erect, or with 30 deg, 50 deg and maximal trunk flexion. In addition, we simulated the axial leg force (along the line connecting hip and centre of pressure) using two simple models: spring and damper in series, and parallel spring and damper. As trunk flexion increases, lower limb joints become more flexed during stance. Similar to birds, the associated posterior shift of the hip relative to the centre of mass leads to a shorter leg at toe-off than at touchdown, and to a flatter angle of attack and a steeper leg angle at toe-off. Furthermore, walking with maximal trunk flexion induces right-skewed vertical and horizontal ground reaction force profiles comparable to those in birds. Interestingly, the spring and damper in series model provides a superior prediction of the axial leg force across trunk-flexed gaits compared with the parallel spring and damper model; in regular erect gait, the damper does not substantially improve the reproduction of the human axial leg force. In conclusion, mimicking the pronograde locomotion of birds by bending the trunk forward in humans causes a leg function similar to that of birds despite the different morphology of the segmented legs. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  9. TDP-43 loss of function increases TFEB activity and blocks autophagosome-lysosome fusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Qin; Wang, Hongfeng; Hao, Zongbing; Fu, Cheng; Hu, Qingsong; Gao, Feng; Ren, Haigang; Chen, Dong; Han, Junhai; Ying, Zheng; Wang, Guanghui

    2016-01-18

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by selective loss of motor neurons in brain and spinal cord. TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) was identified as a major component of disease pathogenesis in ALS, frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), and other neurodegenerative disease. Despite the fact that TDP-43 is a multi-functional protein involved in RNA processing and a large number of TDP-43 RNA targets have been discovered, the initial toxic effect and the pathogenic mechanism underlying TDP-43-linked neurodegeneration remain elusive. In this study, we found that loss of TDP-43 strongly induced a nuclear translocation of TFEB, the master regulator of lysosomal biogenesis and autophagy, through targeting the mTORC1 key component raptor. This regulation in turn enhanced global gene expressions in the autophagy-lysosome pathway (ALP) and increased autophagosomal and lysosomal biogenesis. However, loss of TDP-43 also impaired the fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes through dynactin 1 downregulation, leading to accumulation of immature autophagic vesicles and overwhelmed ALP function. Importantly, inhibition of mTORC1 signaling by rapamycin treatment aggravated the neurodegenerative phenotype in a TDP-43-depleted Drosophila model, whereas activation of mTORC1 signaling by PA treatment ameliorated the neurodegenerative phenotype. Taken together, our data indicate that impaired mTORC1 signaling and influenced ALP may contribute to TDP-43-mediated neurodegeneration. © 2015 The Authors.

  10. Maternal immunization increases nestling energy expenditure, immune function, and fledging success in a passerine bird

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gary Burness

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Female birds transfer maternally derived antibodies (matAb to their nestlings, via the egg yolk. These antibodies are thought to provide passive protection, and allow nestlings to avoid the costs associated with mounting an innate immune response. To test whether there is an energetic benefit to nestlings from receiving matAb, we challenged adult female tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor prior to clutch initiation with either lipopolysaccharide (LPS or saline (Control. Following hatching, one half of each female's nestlings were immunized on day 8 post-hatch with LPS or saline, and the 4-h post-immunization nestling metabolic rate (MR was measured. There was no difference in either LPS-reactive antibodies or total Ig levels between offspring of immunized and non-immunized mothers on day 6 or 14 post-hatch, possibly reflecting a relatively short half-life of matAbs in altricial birds. Additionally, we found no evidence that nestlings from LPS-immunized mothers could avoid the growth suppression that may result from activation of an inflammatory response. Unexpectedly, we found that control nestlings from LPS mothers had higher resting MR than control nestlings of control mothers. We attribute the increased MR to the costs associated with a general non-specific enhancement of immune function in nestlings from LPS-immunized mothers. Consistent with enhanced immune function, nestlings of immunized mothers had a more robust inflammatory response to phytohaemagglutinin and higher fledging success. Our results suggest that maternal antigen exposure pre-laying can result in increased fitness for both mothers and offspring, depending on food availability.

  11. Increased cortisol in the cerebrospinal fluid of women with functional hypothalamic amenorrhea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brundu, Benedetta; Loucks, Tammy L; Adler, Lauri J; Cameron, Judy L; Berga, Sarah L

    2006-04-01

    The proximate cause of functional hypothalamic amenorrhea (FHA) is reduced GnRH drive. The concomitant increase in circulating cortisol suggests that psychogenic stress plays an etiologic role, but others have argued for a strictly metabolic cause, such as undernutrition or excessive exercise. Indeed, our finding that the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentration of CRH was not elevated in FHA cast doubt about the extent of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activation in FHA and, therefore, we wondered whether central cortisol levels were elevated. We tested the null hypothesis that CSF cortisol levels would be comparable in FHA and eumenorrheic women (EW). The study is a cross-sectional comparison. The study was set in a general clinical research center at an academic medical center. Fifteen women with FHA who were of normal body weight and 14 EW participated. Blood samples were collected at 15-min intervals for 24 h, followed by procurement of 25 ml CSF. Cortisol, cortisol-binding globulin (CBG), and SHBG levels in blood and CSF were the main outcome measures. CSF cortisol concentrations were 30% greater when serum cortisol was 16% higher in FHA compared with EW. Circulating CBG, but not SHBG, was increased in FHA and, thus, the circulating free cortisol index was similar in FHA and EW. Because CBG and SHBG were nil in CSF, the increase in CSF cortisol in FHA was unbound. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is activated in FHA. The maintenance of CRH drive despite increased CSF cortisol indicates resistance to cortisol feedback inhibition. The mechanisms mediating feedback resistance likely involve altered hippocampal corticosteroid reception and serotonergic and GABAergic neuromodulation.

  12. Increased thyroidal T4 to T3 conversion in autonomously functioning thyroid adenoma: from euthyroidism to thyrotoxicosis.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Solter, M

    2012-01-31

    AIM: The aim was to investigate whether the intrathyroid conversion of T4 to T3 in autonomously functioning thyroid adenoma (AFTA) tissue could influence serum T3 levels and suppression of TSH, especially in patients with borderline thyroid function. PATIENTS AND METHODS: In ten patients with AFTA, thyroidal conversion of T4 to T3 was investigated in nodular and paranodular, TSH-suppressed tissue. All patients had normal serum T4 and suppressed TSH. Serum T3 was normal in six, and borderline or slightly increased in four. AFTA and paranodular tissues were surgically removed and frozen at -70 degrees C, then homogenized in a glass homogenizer, centrifuged at 100,000xg, and particulate fraction collected as a pellet. Analysis mixture consisted of thyroid enzyme suspension in 50 mumol\\/L TRIS buffer with 5 mumol DTT and 200 muL 1.3 mumol T4. Incubation was performed at 37 degrees C and the generation of T3 measured after 5, 10, 20 and 40 minutes respectively. RESULTS: T3 production (pmol\\/mg protein) was significantly higher in AFTA than in paranodular tissues (8.8 1.2\\/Mean +\\/- SE\\/vs. 1.8 +\\/- 0.2; p<0.01), and excessively high (9.8, 14.1, 14.2 and 15.0) in four patients with borderline or slightly supranormal serum T3. A significant correlation was found between serum T3 concentrations and T3 generation (T4 conversion) in AFTA tissues. CONCLUSION: Results suggest that increased thyroidal T4 to T3 conversion in AFTA tissue could be involved in an increased delivery of T3, increased serum T3 and suppressed serum TSH, particularly in patients with the disease evolving from euthyroid to an early hyperthyroid phase.

  13. Wfs1-deficient mice display altered function of serotonergic system and increased behavioural response to antidepressants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanel eVisnapuu

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available It has been shown that mutations in the WFS1 gene make humans more susceptible to mood disorders. Besides that, mood disorders are associated with alterations in the activity of serotonergic and noradrenergic systems. Therefore, in this study, the effects of imipramine, an inhibitor of serotonin (5-HT and noradrenaline (NA reuptake, and paroxetine, a selective inhibitor of 5-HT reuptake, were studied in tests of behavioural despair. The tail suspension test (TST and forced swimming test (FST were performed in Wfs1-deficient mice. Simultaneously, gene expression and monoamine metabolism studies were conducted to evaluate changes in 5-HT- and NA-ergic systems of Wfs1-deficient mice. The basal immobility time of Wfs1-deficient mice in TST and FST did not differ from that of their wild-type littermates. However, a significant reduction of immobility time in response to lower doses of imipramine and paroxetine was observed in homozygous Wfs1-deficient mice, but not in their wild-type littermates. In gene expression studies, the levels of 5-HT transporter (SERT were significantly reduced in the pons of homozygous animals. Monoamine metabolism was assayed separately in the dorsal and ventral striatum of naive mice and mice exposed for 30 minutes tobrightly lit motility boxes. We found that this aversive challenge caused a significant increase in the levels of 5-HT and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA, a metabolite of 5-HT, in the ventral and dorsal striatum of wild-type mice, but not in their homozygous littermates. Taken together, the blunted 5-HT metabolism and reduced levels of SERT are a likely reason for the elevated sensitivity of these mice to the action of imipramine and paroxetine. These changes in the pharmacological and neurochemical phenotype of Wfs1-deficient mice may help to explain the increased susceptibility of Wolfram syndrome patients to depressive states.

  14. Melatonin enhances neural stem cell differentiation and engraftment by increasing mitochondrial function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendivil-Perez, Miguel; Soto-Mercado, Viviana; Guerra-Librero, Ana; Fernandez-Gil, Beatriz I; Florido, Javier; Shen, Ying-Qiang; Tejada, Miguel A; Capilla-Gonzalez, Vivian; Rusanova, Iryna; Garcia-Verdugo, José M; Acuña-Castroviejo, Darío; López, Luis Carlos; Velez-Pardo, Carlos; Jimenez-Del-Rio, Marlene; Ferrer, José M; Escames, Germaine

    2017-09-01

    Neural stem cells (NSCs) are regarded as a promising therapeutic approach to protecting and restoring damaged neurons in neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease (PD and AD, respectively). However, new research suggests that NSC differentiation is required to make this strategy effective. Several studies have demonstrated that melatonin increases mature neuronal markers, which reflects NSC differentiation into neurons. Nevertheless, the possible involvement of mitochondria in the effects of melatonin during NSC differentiation has not yet been fully established. We therefore tested the impact of melatonin on NSC proliferation and differentiation in an attempt to determine whether these actions depend on modulating mitochondrial activity. We measured proliferation and differentiation markers, mitochondrial structural and functional parameters as well as oxidative stress indicators and also evaluated cell transplant engraftment. This enabled us to show that melatonin (25 μM) induces NSC differentiation into oligodendrocytes and neurons. These effects depend on increased mitochondrial mass/DNA/complexes, mitochondrial respiration, and membrane potential as well as ATP synthesis in NSCs. It is also interesting to note that melatonin prevented oxidative stress caused by high levels of mitochondrial activity. Finally, we found that melatonin enriches NSC engraftment in the ND mouse model following transplantation. We concluded that a combined therapy involving transplantation of NSCs pretreated with pharmacological doses of melatonin could efficiently restore neuronal cell populations in PD and AD mouse models depending on mitochondrial activity promotion. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Experimentally-induced immune activation in natural hosts of SIV induces significant increases in viral replication and CD4+ T cell depletion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ribeiro, Ruy M [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2008-01-01

    Chronically SIVagm-infected African green monkeys (AGMs) have a remarkably stable non-pathogenic disease course, with levels of immune activation in chronic SIVagm infection similar to those observed in uninfected monkeys and stable viral loads (VLs) for long periods of time. In vivo administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or an IL-2/diphtheria toxin fusion protein (Ontak) to chronically SIVagm-infected AGMs triggered increases in immune activation and subsequently of viral replication and depletion of intestinal CD4{sup +} T cells. Our study indicates that circulating microbial products can increase viral replication by inducing immune activation and increasing the number of viral target cells, thus demonstrating that immune activation and T cell prolifeation are key factors in AIDS pathogenesis.

  16. Multimodal high-intensity interval training increases muscle function and metabolic performance in females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckley, Stephanie; Knapp, Kelly; Lackie, Amy; Lewry, Colin; Horvey, Karla; Benko, Chad; Trinh, Jason; Butcher, Scotty

    2015-11-01

    High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a time-efficient method of improving aerobic and anaerobic power and capacity. In most individuals, however, HIIT using modalities such as cycling, running, and rowing does not typically result in increased muscle strength, power, or endurance. The purpose of this study is to compare the physiological outcomes of traditional HIIT using rowing (Row-HIIT) with a novel multimodal HIIT (MM-HIIT) circuit incorporating multiple modalities, including strength exercises, within an interval. Twenty-eight recreationally active women (age 24.7 ± 5.4 years) completed 6 weeks of either Row-HIIT or MM-HIIT and were tested on multiple fitness parameters. MM-HIIT and Row-HIIT resulted in similar improvements (p HIIT group had significant (p HIIT group had no increase in any muscle performance variable (p values 0.33-0.90). Post-training, 1-repetition maximum (1RM) squat (64.2 ± 13.6 vs. 45.8 ± 16.2 kg, p = 0.02), 1RM press (33.2 ± 3.8 vs. 26.0 ± 9.6 kg, p = 0.01), and squat endurance (23.9 ± 12.3 vs. 10.2 ± 5.6 reps, p HIIT group than in the Row-HIIT group. MM-HIIT resulted in similar aerobic and anaerobic adaptations but greater muscle performance increases than Row-HIIT in recreationally active women.

  17. Anodizing color coded anodized Ti6Al4V medical devices for increasing bone cell functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Webster TJ

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Alexandra P Ross, Thomas J WebsterSchool of Engineering and Department of Orthopedics, Brown University, Providence, RI, USAAbstract: Current titanium-based implants are often anodized in sulfuric acid (H2SO4 for color coding purposes. However, a crucial parameter in selecting the material for an orthopedic implant is the degree to which it will integrate into the surrounding bone. Loosening at the bone–implant interface can cause catastrophic failure when motion occurs between the implant and the surrounding bone. Recently, a different anodization process using hydrofluoric acid has been shown to increase bone growth on commercially pure titanium and titanium alloys through the creation of nanotubes. The objective of this study was to compare, for the first time, the influence of anodizing a titanium alloy medical device in sulfuric acid for color coding purposes, as is done in the orthopedic implant industry, followed by anodizing the device in hydrofluoric acid to implement nanotubes. Specifically, Ti6Al4V model implant samples were anodized first with sulfuric acid to create color-coding features, and then with hydrofluoric acid to implement surface features to enhance osteoblast functions. The material surfaces were characterized by visual inspection, scanning electron microscopy, contact angle measurements, and energy dispersive spectroscopy. Human osteoblasts were seeded onto the samples for a series of time points and were measured for adhesion and proliferation. After 1 and 2 weeks, the levels of alkaline phosphatase activity and calcium deposition were measured to assess the long-term differentiation of osteoblasts into the calcium depositing cells. The results showed that anodizing in hydrofluoric acid after anodizing in sulfuric acid partially retains color coding and creates unique surface features to increase osteoblast adhesion, proliferation, alkaline phosphatase activity, and calcium deposition. In this manner, this study

  18. Anodizing color coded anodized Ti6Al4V medical devices for increasing bone cell functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Alexandra P; Webster, Thomas J

    2013-01-01

    Current titanium-based implants are often anodized in sulfuric acid (H(2)SO(4)) for color coding purposes. However, a crucial parameter in selecting the material for an orthopedic implant is the degree to which it will integrate into the surrounding bone. Loosening at the bone-implant interface can cause catastrophic failure when motion occurs between the implant and the surrounding bone. Recently, a different anodization process using hydrofluoric acid has been shown to increase bone growth on commercially pure titanium and titanium alloys through the creation of nanotubes. The objective of this study was to compare, for the first time, the influence of anodizing a titanium alloy medical device in sulfuric acid for color coding purposes, as is done in the orthopedic implant industry, followed by anodizing the device in hydrofluoric acid to implement nanotubes. Specifically, Ti6Al4V model implant samples were anodized first with sulfuric acid to create color-coding features, and then with hydrofluoric acid to implement surface features to enhance osteoblast functions. The material surfaces were characterized by visual inspection, scanning electron microscopy, contact angle measurements, and energy dispersive spectroscopy. Human osteoblasts were seeded onto the samples for a series of time points and were measured for adhesion and proliferation. After 1 and 2 weeks, the levels of alkaline phosphatase activity and calcium deposition were measured to assess the long-term differentiation of osteoblasts into the calcium depositing cells. The results showed that anodizing in hydrofluoric acid after anodizing in sulfuric acid partially retains color coding and creates unique surface features to increase osteoblast adhesion, proliferation, alkaline phosphatase activity, and calcium deposition. In this manner, this study provides a viable method to anodize an already color coded, anodized titanium alloy to potentially increase bone growth for numerous implant applications.

  19. Family disruption increases functional somatic symptoms in late adolescence: the TRAILS study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gils, Anne; Janssens, Karin A M; Rosmalen, Judith G M

    2014-11-01

    Functional somatic symptoms (FSSs) are physical symptoms that cannot be (fully) explained by organic pathology. FSSs are very common among children and adolescents, yet their etiology is largely unknown. We hypothesize that (a) the experience of family disruption due to parental divorce or parental death increases FSSs in adolescents; (b) symptoms of depression and anxiety contribute to the relationship between family disruption and FSSs; (c) girls are more vulnerable to these effects than boys. Data were obtained from the prospective population cohort of Dutch adolescents of the Tracking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (N = 2,230), aged 10 to 12 years at baseline. FSSs were assessed using the Somatic Complaints subscale of the Youth Self-Report. Parental divorce and parental death were assessed with self-reports. Both outcome and predictors were assessed during 3 assessment waves over the course of 5 years. Linear mixed models were used to investigate associations between both types of family disruption and FSSs. An interaction with age was found for parental divorce (B = 0.01, p = .02) and parental death (B = 0.03, p = .04), indicating that the influence of family disruption on FSSs increases during adolescence. This relationship seems to be partly explained by symptoms of depression and anxiety. No gender differences were found with regard to the effects of family disruption on FSSs. Family disruption is associated with an increased level of FSSs in late adolescence in both genders. This relationship is partly explained by symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  20. Increased actin polymerization and stabilization interferes with neuronal function and survival in the AMPKγ mutant Loechrig.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mandy Cook

    Full Text Available loechrig (loe mutant flies are characterized by progressive neuronal degeneration, behavioral deficits, and early death. The mutation is due to a P-element insertion in the gene for the γ-subunit of the trimeric AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK complex, whereby the insertion affects only one of several alternative transcripts encoding a unique neuronal isoform. AMPK is a cellular energy sensor that regulates a plethora of signaling pathways, including cholesterol and isoprenoid synthesis via its downstream target hydroxy-methylglutaryl (HMG-CoA reductase. We recently showed that loe interferes with isoprenoid synthesis and increases the prenylation and thereby activation of RhoA. During development, RhoA plays an important role in neuronal outgrowth by activating a signaling cascade that regulates actin dynamics. Here we show that the effect of loe/AMPKγ on RhoA prenylation leads to a hyperactivation of this signaling pathway, causing increased phosphorylation of the actin depolymerizating factor cofilin and accumulation of filamentous actin. Furthermore, our results show that the resulting cytoskeletal changes in loe interfere with neuronal growth and disrupt axonal integrity. Surprisingly, these phenotypes were enhanced by expressing the Slingshot (SSH phosphatase, which during development promotes actin depolymerization by dephosphorylating cofilin. However, our studies suggest that in the adult SSH promotes actin polymerization, supporting in vitro studies using human SSH1 that suggested that SSH can also stabilize and bundle filamentous actin. Together with the observed increase in SSH levels in the loe mutant, our experiments suggest that in mature neurons SSH may function as a stabilization factor for filamentous actin instead of promoting actin depolymerization.

  1. The Contingency of Cocaine Administration Accounts for Structural and Functional Medial Prefrontal Deficits and Increased Adrenocortical Activation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Rachel M.; Cosme, Caitlin V.; Glanz, Ryan M.; Miller, Mary C.; Romig-Martin, Sara A.; LaLumiere, Ryan T.

    2015-01-01

    The prelimbic region (PL) of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is implicated in the relapse of drug-seeking behavior. Optimal mPFC functioning relies on synaptic connections involving dendritic spines in pyramidal neurons, whereas prefrontal dysfunction resulting from elevated glucocorticoids, stress, aging, and mental illness are each linked to decreased apical dendritic branching and spine density in pyramidal neurons in these cortical fields. The fact that cocaine use induces activation of the stress-responsive hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis raises the possibility that cocaine-related impairments in mPFC functioning may be manifested by similar changes in neuronal architecture in mPFC. Nevertheless, previous studies have generally identified increases, rather than decreases, in structural plasticity in mPFC after cocaine self-administration. Here, we use 3D imaging and analysis of dendritic spine morphometry to show that chronic cocaine self-administration leads to mild decreases of apical dendritic branching, prominent dendritic spine attrition in PL pyramidal neurons, and working memory deficits. Importantly, these impairments were largely accounted for in groups of rats that self-administered cocaine compared with yoked-cocaine- and saline-matched counterparts. Follow-up experiments failed to demonstrate any effects of either experimenter-administered cocaine or food self-administration on structural alterations in PL neurons. Finally, we verified that the cocaine self-administration group was distinguished by more protracted increases in adrenocortical activity compared with yoked-cocaine- and saline-matched controls. These studies suggest a mechanism whereby increased adrenocortical activity resulting from chronic cocaine self-administration may contribute to regressive prefrontal structural and functional plasticity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Stress, aging, and mental illness are each linked to decreased prefrontal plasticity. Here, we show that chronic

  2. Loss-of-function myostatin mutation increases insulin sensitivity and browning of white fat in Meishan pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Chunbo; Qian, Lili; Jiang, Shengwang; Sun, Youde; Wang, Qingqing; Ma, Dezun; Xiao, Gaojun; Li, Biao; Xie, Shanshan; Gao, Ting; Chen, Yaoxing; Liu, Jie; An, Xiaorong; Cui, Wentao; Li, Kui

    2017-05-23

    Myostatin-deficient mice showed a remarkable hypertrophy of skeletal muscle, with a decreased fat mass and enhanced insulin sensitivity. Currently, it is unclear if the inhibition of myostatin could be used as an approach to treat human obesity and insulin resistance. In this study, we investigated if the inhibition of porcine myostatin has any effect on fat deposition and insulin sensitivity using genetically engineered Meishan pigs containing a myostatin loss-of-function mutation (Mstn -/- ). Our results indicated that, when compared with wild-type pigs, the amount of subcutaneous fat and leaf fat of Mstn -/- pigs were significantly decreased mainly due to the browning of subcutaneous adipose tissue. Additionally, the serum insulin level decreased and the insulin sensitivity increased significantly in Mstn -/- pigs. Moreover, we found a significant increase in levels of insulin receptor and insulin receptor substrate proteins in skeletal muscle of Mstn -/- pigs, which then activating the insulin signaling pathway. Irisin-mediated regulation is not the only pathway for the activation of insulin signal in Mstn -/- skeletal muscle. This study provides valuable insight for the treatment of human obesity and diabetes mellitus.

  3. Co-downregulation of the hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA:shikimate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase and coumarate 3-hydroxylase significantly increases cellulose content in transgenic alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Zongyong; Li, Heng; Zhang, Rongxue; Ma, Lei; Dong, Jiangli; Wang, Tao

    2015-10-01

    Lignin is a component of the cell wall that is essential for growth, development, structure and pathogen resistance in plants, but high lignin is an obstacle to the conversion of cellulose to ethanol for biofuel. Genetically modifying lignin and cellulose contents can be a good approach to overcoming that obstacle. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is rich in lignocellulose biomass and used as a model plant for the genetic modification of lignin in this study. Two key enzymes in the lignin biosynthesis pathway-hydroxycinnamoyl -CoA:shikimate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase (HCT) and coumarate 3-hydroxylase (C3H)-were co-downregulated. Compared to wild-type plants, the lignin content in the modified strain was reduced by 38%, cellulose was increased by 86.1%, enzyme saccharification efficiency was increased by 10.9%, and cell wall digestibility was increased by 13.0%. The modified alfalfa exhibited a dwarf phenotype, but normal above ground biomass. This approach provides a new strategy for reducing lignin and increasing cellulose contents and creates a new genetically modified crop with enhanced value for biofuel. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. The significance of the European beaver (Castor fibre activity for the process of renaturalization of river valleys in the era of increasing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kusztal Piotr

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Changes in the environment that are caused by the activity of beavers bring numerous advantages. They affect the increase in biodiversity, contribute to improving the condition of cleanliness of watercourses, improve local water relations and restore the natural landscape of river valleys.

  5. Significant increase in cultivation of Gardnerella vaginalis, Alloscardovia omnicolens, Actinotignum schaalii, and Actinomyces spp. in urine samples with total laboratory automation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Sabrina; Nurjadi, Dennis; Horner, Susanne; Heeg, Klaus; Zimmermann, Stefan; Burckhardt, Irene

    2018-04-13

    While total laboratory automation (TLA) is well established in laboratory medicine, only a few microbiological laboratories are using TLA systems. Especially in terms of speed and accuracy, working with TLA is expected to be superior to conventional microbiology. We compared in total 35,564 microbiological urine cultures with and without incubation and processing with BD Kiestra TLA for a 6-month period each retrospectively. Sixteen thousand three hundred thirty-eight urine samples were analyzed in the pre-TLA period and 19,226 with TLA. Sixty-two percent (n = 10,101/16338) of the cultures processed without TLA and 68% (n = 13,102/19226) of the cultures processed with TLA showed growth. There were significantly more samples with two or more species per sample and with low numbers of colony forming units (CFU) after incubation with TLA. Regarding the type of bacteria, there were comparable amounts of Enterobacteriaceae in the samples, slightly less non-fermenting Gram-negative bacteria, but significantly more Gram-positive cocci, and Gram-positive rods. Especially Alloscardivia omnicolens, Gardnerella vaginalis, Actinomyces spp., and Actinotignum schaalii were significantly more abundant in the samples incubated and processed with TLA. The time to report was significantly lower in the TLA processed samples by 1.5 h. We provide the first report in Europe of a large number of urine samples processed with TLA. TLA showed enhanced growth of non-classical and rarely cultured bacteria from urine samples. Our findings suggest that previously underestimated bacteria may be relevant pathogens for urinary tract infections. Further studies are needed to confirm our findings.

  6. Increased levels of IL-6 in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with chronic schizophrenia — significance for activation of the kynurenine pathway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwieler, Lilly; Larsson, Markus K.; Skogh, Elisabeth; Kegel, Magdalena E.; Orhan, Funda; Abdelmoaty, Sally; Finn, Anja; Bhat, Maria; Samuelsson, Martin; Lundberg, Kristina; Dahl, Marja-Liisa; Sellgren, Carl; Schuppe-Koistinen, Ina; Svensson, Camilla I.; Erhardt, Sophie; Engberg, Göran

    2015-01-01

    Background Accumulating evidence indicates that schizophrenia is associated with brain immune activation. While a number of reports suggest increased cytokine levels in patients with schizophrenia, many of these studies have been limited by their focus on peripheral cytokines or confounded by various antipsychotic treatments. Here, well-characterized patients with schizophrenia, all receiving olanzapine treatment, and healthy volunteers were analyzed with regard to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of cytokines. We correlated the CSF cytokine levels to previously analyzed metabolites of the kynurenine (KYN) pathway. Methods We analyzed the CSF from patients and controls using electrochemiluminescence detection with regard to cytokines. Cell culture media from human cortical astrocytes were analyzed for KYN and kynurenic acid (KYNA) using high-pressure liquid chromatography or liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. Results We included 23 patients and 37 controls in our study. Patients with schizophrenia had increased CSF levels of interleukin (IL)-6 compared with healthy volunteers. In patients, we also observed a positive correlation between IL-6 and the tryptophan:KYNA ratio, indicating that IL-6 activates the KYN pathway. In line with this, application of IL-6 to cultured human astrocytes increased cell medium concentration of KYNA. Limitations The CSF samples had been frozen and thawed twice before analysis of cytokines. Median age differed between patients and controls. When appropriate, all present analyses were adjusted for age. Conclusion We have shown that IL-6, KYN and KYNA are elevated in patients with chronic schizophrenia, strengthening the idea of brain immune activation in patients with this disease. Our concurrent cell culture and clinical findings suggest that IL-6 induces the KYN pathway, leading to increased production of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonist KYNA in patients with schizophrenia. PMID:25455350

  7. Polyethylene imine/graphene oxide layer-by-layer surface functionalization for significantly improved limit of detection and binding kinetics of immunoassays on acrylate surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazaki, Celina M; Mishra, Rohit; Kinahan, David J; Ferreira, Marystela; Ducrée, Jens

    2017-10-01

    Antibody immobilization on polymeric substrates is a key manufacturing step for microfluidic devices that implement sample-to-answer automation of immunoassays. In this work, a simple and versatile method to bio-functionalize poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA), a common material of such "Lab-on-a-Chip" systems, is proposed; using the Layer-by-Layer (LbL) technique, we assemble nanostructured thin films of poly(ethylene imine) (PEI) and graphene oxide (GO). The wettability of PMMA surfaces was significantly augmented by the surface treatment with (PEI/GO) 5 film, with an 81% reduction of the contact angle, while the surface roughness increased by 600%, thus clearly enhancing wettability and antibody binding capacity. When applied to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), the limit of detection of PMMA surface was notably improved from 340pgmL -1 on commercial grade polystyrene (PS) and 230pgmL -1 on plain PMMA surfaces to 130pgmL -1 on (PEI/GO) 5 treated PMMA. Furthermore, the accelerated antibody adsorption kinetics on the LbL films of GO allowed to substantially shorten incubation times, e.g. for anti-rat IgG adsorption from 2h down to 15min on conventional and treated surfaces, respectively. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Human circulating plasma DNA significantly decreases while lymphocyte DNA damage increases under chronic occupational exposure to low-dose gamma-neutron and tritium β-radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Korzeneva, Inna B., E-mail: inna.korzeneva@molgen.vniief.ru [Russian Federal Nuclear Center – All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF) 607190, Sarov, 37 Mira ave., Nizhniy Novgorod Region (Russian Federation); Kostuyk, Svetlana V.; Ershova, Liza S. [Research Centre for Medical Genetics, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, 115478 Moscow, 1 Moskvorechye str. (Russian Federation); Osipov, Andrian N. [Federal Medial and Biological Center named after Burnazyan of the Federal Medical and Biological Agency (FMBTz named after Burnazyan of FMBA), Moscow (Russian Federation); State Research Center - Burnasyan Federal Medical Biophysical Center of Federal Medical Biological Agency, Zhivopisnaya, 46, Moscow, 123098 (Russian Federation); Zhuravleva, Veronika F.; Pankratova, Galina V. [Russian Federal Nuclear Center – All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF) 607190, Sarov, 37 Mira ave., Nizhniy Novgorod Region (Russian Federation); Porokhovnik, Lev N.; Veiko, Natalia N. [Research Centre for Medical Genetics, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, 115478 Moscow, 1 Moskvorechye str. (Russian Federation)

    2015-09-15

    Highlights: • The chronic exposure to low-dose IR induces DSBs in human lymphocytes (TM index). • Exposure to IR decreases the level of human circulating DNA (cfDNA index). • IR induces an increase of DNase1 activity (DNase1 index) in plasma. • IR induces an increase of the level of antibodies to DNA (Ab DNA index) in plasma. • The ratio cfDNA/(DNase 1 × Ab DNA × TM) is a potential marker of human exposure to IR. - Abstract: The blood plasma of healthy people contains cell-fee (circulating) DNA (cfDNA). Apoptotic cells are the main source of the cfDNA. The cfDNA concentration increases in case of the organism’s cell death rate increase, for example in case of exposure to high-dose ionizing radiation (IR). The objects of the present research are the blood plasma and blood lymphocytes of people, who contacted occupationally with the sources of external gamma/neutron radiation or internal β-radiation of tritium N = 176). As the controls (references), blood samples of people, who had never been occupationally subjected to the IR sources, were used (N = 109). With respect to the plasma samples of each donor there were defined: the cfDNA concentration (the cfDNA index), DNase1 activity (the DNase1 index) and titre of antibodies to DNA (the Ab DNA index). The general DNA damage in the cells was defined (using the Comet assay, the tail moment (TM) index). A chronic effect of the low-dose ionizing radiation on a human being is accompanied by the enhancement of the DNA damage in lymphocytes along with a considerable cfDNA content reduction, while the DNase1 content and concentration of antibodies to DNA (Ab DNA) increase. All the aforementioned changes were also observed in people, who had not worked with the IR sources for more than a year. The ratio cfDNA/(DNase1 × Ab DNA × TM) is proposed to be used as a marker of the chronic exposure of a person to the external low-dose IR. It was formulated the assumption that the joint analysis of the cfDNA, DNase1, Ab

  9. Afferent thermosensory function in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis following exercise-induced increases in body temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filingeri, Davide; Chaseling, Georgia; Hoang, Phu; Barnett, Michael; Davis, Scott L; Jay, Ollie

    2017-08-01

    What is the central question of this study? Between 60 and 80% of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients experience transient worsening of symptoms with increased body temperature (heat sensitivity). As sensory abnormalities are common in MS, we asked whether afferent thermosensory function is altered in MS following exercise-induced increases in body temperature. What is the main finding and its importance? Increases in body temperature of as little as ∼0.4°C were sufficient to decrease cold, but not warm, skin thermosensitivity (∼10%) in MS, across a wider temperature range than in age-matched healthy individuals. These findings provide new evidence on the impact of heat sensitivity on afferent function in MS, which could be useful for clinical evaluation of this neurological disease. In multiple sclerosis (MS), increases in body temperature result in transient worsening of clinical symptoms (heat sensitivity or Uhthoff's phenomenon). Although the impact of heat sensitivity on efferent physiological function has been investigated, the effects of heat stress on afferent sensory function in MS are unknown. Hence, we quantified afferent thermosensory function in MS following exercise-induced increases in body temperature with a new quantitative sensory test. Eight relapsing-remitting MS patients (three men and five women; 51.4 ± 9.1 years of age; Expanded Disability Status Scale score 2.8 ± 1.1) and eight age-matched control (CTR) subjects (five men and three women; 47.4 ± 9.1 years of age) rated the perceived magnitude of two cold (26 and 22°C) and two warm stimuli (34 and 38°C) applied to the dorsum of the hand before and after 30 min cycling in the heat (30°C air; 30% relative humidity). Exercise produced similar increases in mean body temperature in MS [+0.39°C (95% CI: +0.21, +0.53) P = 0.001] and CTR subjects [+0.41°C (95% CI: +0.25, +0.58) P = 0.001]. These changes were sufficient to decrease thermosensitivity significantly to all cold [26

  10. Ibuprofen therapy resulted in significantly decreased tissue bacillary loads and increased survival in a new murine experimental model of active tuberculosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilaplana, Cristina; Marzo, Elena; Tapia, Gustavo; Diaz, Jorge; Garcia, Vanesa; Cardona, Pere-Joan

    2013-07-15

    C3HeB/FeJ mice infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis were used in an experimental animal model mimicking active tuberculosis in humans to evaluate the effect of antiinflammatory agents. No other treatment but ibuprofen was given, and it was administered when the animals' health started to deteriorate. Animals treated with ibuprofen had statistically significant decreases in the size and number of lung lesions, decreases in the bacillary load, and improvements in survival, compared with findings for untreated animals. Because antiinflammatory agents are already on the market, further clinical trials should be done to evaluate this effect in humans as soon as possible, to determine their suitability as coadjuvant tuberculosis treatment.

  11. Increased cortical thickness and altered functional connectivity of the right superior temporal gyrus in left-handers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Meiling; Chen, Heng; Wang, Junping; Liu, Feng; Wang, Yifeng; Lu, Fengmei; Yu, Chunshui; Chen, Huafu

    2015-01-01

    Altered structure in the temporal cortex has been implicated in the variable language laterality of left-handers (LH). The neuroanatomy of language lateralization and the corresponding synchronous functional connectivity (FC) in handedness cohorts are not, however, fully understood. We used structural and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data to investigate the effect of altered cortical thickness on FC in LH and right-handers (RH). Whole-brain cortical thickness was calculated and compared between the LH and RH. We observed increased cortical thickness in the right superior temporal gyrus (STG) in the LH. A further FC analysis was conducted between the right STG and the remaining voxels in the brain. Compared with RH, the LH showed significantly higher FC in the left STG, right occipital cortex, and lower FC in the left inferior frontal gyrus and supramarginal gyrus. Our findings suggest that LH have atypical connectivity in the language network, with an enhanced role of the STG, findings which provide novel insights into the structural and functional substrates underlying the atypical language development of left-handed individuals. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Hydralazine administration activates sympathetic preganglionic neurons whose activity mobilizes glucose and increases cardiovascular function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Lindsay M; Damanhuri, Hanafi A; Fletcher, Sophie P S; Goodchild, Ann K

    2015-04-16

    Hypotensive drugs have been used to identify central neurons that mediate compensatory baroreceptor reflex responses. Such drugs also increase blood glucose. Our aim was to identify the neurochemical phenotypes of sympathetic preganglionic neurons (SPN) and adrenal chromaffin cells activated following hydralazine (HDZ; 10mg/kg) administration in rats, and utilize this and SPN target organ destination to ascribe their function as cardiovascular or glucose regulating. Blood glucose was measured and adrenal chromaffin cell activation was assessed using c-Fos immunoreactivity (-ir) and phosphorylation of tyrosine hydroxylase, respectively. The activation and neurochemical phenotype of SPN innervating the adrenal glands and celiac ganglia were determined using the retrograde tracer cholera toxin B subunit, in combination with in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. Blood glucose was elevated at multiple time points following HDZ administration but little evidence of chromaffin cell activation was seen suggesting non-adrenal mechanisms contribute to the sustained hyperglycemia. 16±0.1% of T4-T11 SPN contained c-Fos and of these: 24.3±1.4% projected to adrenal glands and 29±5.5% projected to celiac ganglia with the rest innervating other targets. 62.8±1.4% of SPN innervating adrenal glands were activated and 29.9±3.3% expressed PPE mRNA whereas 53.2±8.6% of SPN innervating celiac ganglia were activated and 31.2±8.8% expressed PPE mRNA. CART-ir SPN innervating each target were also activated and did not co-express PPE mRNA. Neurochemical coding reveals that HDZ administration activates both PPE+SPN, whose activity increase glucose mobilization causing hyperglycemia, as well as CART+SPN whose activity drive vasomotor responses mediated by baroreceptor unloading to raise vascular tone and heart rate. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Increasing Compliance in Students with Intellectual Disabilities Using Functional Behavioral Assessment and Self-Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadsworth, Jamie P.; Hansen, Blake D.; Wills, Sarah B.

    2015-01-01

    Noncompliance in three elementary age students with intellectual disabilities was assessed using functional behavioral assessments. Escape was identified as the primary function of the behavior in all three students, and access to tangible items was identified in one of the students as a secondary function. Teacher-monitoring and self-monitoring…

  14. Optimized lighting method of applying shaped-function signal for increasing the dynamic range of LED-multispectral imaging system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xue; Hu, Yajia; Li, Gang; Lin, Ling

    2018-02-01

    This paper proposes an optimized lighting method of applying a shaped-function signal for increasing the dynamic range of light emitting diode (LED)-multispectral imaging system. The optimized lighting method is based on the linear response zone of the analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) and the spectral response of the camera. The auxiliary light at a higher sensitivity-camera area is introduced to increase the A/D quantization levels that are within the linear response zone of ADC and improve the signal-to-noise ratio. The active light is modulated by the shaped-function signal to improve the gray-scale resolution of the image. And the auxiliary light is modulated by the constant intensity signal, which is easy to acquire the images under the active light irradiation. The least square method is employed to precisely extract the desired images. One wavelength in multispectral imaging based on LED illumination was taken as an example. It has been proven by experiments that the gray-scale resolution and the accuracy of information of the images acquired by the proposed method were both significantly improved. The optimum method opens up avenues for the hyperspectral imaging of biological tissue.

  15. Novel Functional Changes during Podocyte Differentiation: Increase of Oxidative Resistance and H-Ferritin Expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emese Bányai

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Podocytes are highly specialized, arborized epithelial cells covering the outer surface of the glomerular tuft in the kidney. Terminally differentiated podocytes are unable to go through cell division and hereby they are lacking a key property for regeneration after a toxic injury. Podocytes are long-lived cells but, to date, little is known about the mechanisms that support their stress resistance. Our aim was to investigate whether the well-known morphological changes during podocyte differentiation are accompanied by changes in oxidative resistance in a manner that could support their long-term survival. We used a conditionally immortalized human podocyte cell line to study the morphological and functional changes during differentiation. We followed the differentiation process for 14 days by time-lapse microscopy. During this period nondifferentiated podocytes gradually transformed into large, nonproliferating, frequently multinucleated cells, with enlarged nuclei and opened chromatin structure. We observed that differentiated podocytes were highly resistant to oxidants such as H2O2 and heme when applied separately or in combination, whereas undifferentiated cells were prone to such challenges. Elevated oxidative resistance of differentiated podocytes was associated with increased activities of antioxidant enzymes and H-ferritin expression. Immunohistochemical analysis of normal human kidney specimens revealed that podocytes highly express H-ferritin in vivo as well.

  16. The stage-classified matrix models project a significant increase in biomass carbon stocks in China's forests between 2005 and 2050.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Huifeng; Wang, Shaopeng; Guo, Zhaodi; Xu, Bing; Fang, Jingyun

    2015-06-25

    China's forests are characterized by young age, low carbon (C) density and a large plantation area, implying a high potential for increasing C sinks in the future. Using data of provinc