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Sample records for structural alteration linked

  1. A chemometric analysis of ligand-induced changes in intrinsic fluorescence of folate binding protein indicates a link between altered conformational structure and physico-chemical characteristics

    Bruun, Susanne W; Holm, Jan; Hansen, Steen Ingemann

    2009-01-01

    Ligand binding alters the conformational structure and physico-chemical characteristics of bovine folate binding protein (FBP). For the purpose of achieving further information we analyzed ligand (folate and methotrexate)-induced changes in the fluorescence landscape of FBP. Fluorescence excitation...... of folate accords fairly well with the disappearance of strongly hydrophobic tryptophan residues from the solvent-exposed surface of FBP. The PARAFAC has thus proven useful to establish a hitherto unexplained link between parallel changes in conformational structure and physico-chemical characteristics...... of FBP induced by folate binding. Parameters for ligand binding derived from PARAFAC analysis of the fluorescence data were qualitatively and quantitatively similar to those obtained from binding of radiofolate to FBP. Herein, methotrexate exhibited a higher affinity for FBP than in competition...

  2. Serial lectin affinity chromatography with concavalin A and wheat germ agglutinin demonstrates altered asparagine-linked sugar-chain structures of prostatic acid phosphatase in human prostate carcinoma.

    Yoshida, K I; Honda, M; Arai, K; Hosoya, Y; Moriguchi, H; Sumi, S; Ueda, Y; Kitahara, S

    1997-08-01

    Differences between human prostate carcinoma (PCA, five cases) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, five cases) in asparagine-linked (Asn) sugar-chain structure of prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) were investigated using lectin affinity chromatography with concanavalin A (Con A) and wheat germ agglutinin (WGA). PAP activities were significantly decreased in PCA-derived PAP, while no significant differences between the two PAP preparations were observed in the enzymatic properties (Michaelis-Menten value, optimal pH, thermal stability, and inhibition study). In these PAP preparations, all activities were found only in the fractions which bound strongly to the Con A column and were undetectable in the Con A unbound fractions and in the fractions which bound weakly to the Con A column. The relative amounts of PAP which bound strongly to the Con A column but passed through the WGA column, were significantly greater in BPH-derived PAP than in PCA-derived PAP. In contrast, the relative amounts of PAP which bound strongly to the Con A column and bound to the WGA column, were significantly greater in PCA-derived PAP than in BPH-derived PAP. The findings suggest that Asn-linked sugar-chain structures are altered during oncogenesis in human prostate and also suggest that studies of qualitative differences of sugar-chain structures of PAP might lead to a useful diagnostic tool for PCA.

  3. Cross-linking of sodium caseinate-structured emulsion with transglutaminase alters postprandial metabolic and appetite responses in healthy young individuals.

    Juvonen, Kristiina R; Macierzanka, Adam; Lille, Martina E; Laaksonen, David E; Mykkänen, Hannu M; Niskanen, Leo K; Pihlajamäki, Jussi; Mäkelä, Kari A; Mills, Clare E N; Mackie, Alan R; Malcolm, Paul; Herzig, Karl-Heinz; Poutanen, Kaisa S; Karhunen, Leila J

    2015-08-14

    The physico-chemical and interfacial properties of fat emulsions influence lipid digestion and may affect postprandial responses. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of the modification of the interfacial layer of a fat emulsion by cross-linking on postprandial metabolic and appetite responses. A total of fifteen healthy individuals (26.5 (sem 6.9) years and BMI 21.9 (sem 2.0) kg/m2) participated in a cross-over design experiment in which they consumed two isoenergetic (1924 kJ (460 kcal)) and isovolumic (250 g) emulsions stabilised with either sodium caseinate (Cas) or transglutaminase-cross-linked sodium caseinate (Cas-TG) in a randomised order. Blood samples were collected from the individuals at baseline and for 6 h postprandially for the determination of serum TAG and plasma NEFA, cholecystokinin (CCK), glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), glucose and insulin responses. Appetite was assessed using visual analogue scales. Postprandial TAG and NEFA responses and gastric emptying (GE) rates were comparable between the emulsions. CCK increased more after the ingestion of Cas-TG than after the ingestion of Cas (P< 0.05), while GLP-1 responses did not differ between the two test emulsions. Glucose and insulin profiles were lower after consuming Cas-TG than after consuming Cas (P< 0.05). The overall insulin, glucose and CCK responses, expressed as areas above/under the curve, did not differ significantly between the Cas and Cas-TG meal conditions. Satiety ratings were reduced and hunger, desire to eat and thirst ratings increased more after the ingestion of Cas-TG than after the ingestion of Cas (P< 0.05). The present results suggest that even a subtle structural modification of the interfacial layer of a fat emulsion can alter the early postprandial profiles of glucose, insulin, CCK, appetite and satiety through decreased protein digestion without affecting significantly on GE or overall lipid digestion.

  4. Perturbation of N-linked oligosaccharide structure results in an altered incorporation of [3H]palmitate into specific proteins in Chinese hamster ovary cells

    Wellner, R.B.; Ghosh, P.C.; Roecklein, B.; Wu, H.C.

    1987-01-01

    Increased [ 3 H]palmitate incorporation into specific cellular proteins has been reported to occur in Chinese hamster ovary and yeast mutant cells. In this paper we report studies concerning the relationship between N-linked oligosaccharide structure and [ 3 H]palmitate incorporation into proteins of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. We have compared the incorporation of [ 3 H]palmitate into proteins of wild-type and four different mutant CHO cell lines defective in various steps of N-linked protein glycosylation. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-gel electrophoretic analysis showed that three of the mutants exhibited increased [ 3 H]palmitate incorporation into several CHO cellular proteins (approximately 30,000-38,000 molecular weight) as compared to the wild-type cells. One of the affected mutants which accumulates the Man5Gn2Asn intermediate structure was examined in detail. In agreement with earlier reports, virtually all of the [ 3 H] palmitate-labeled proteins of both wild-type and mutant cell lines are membrane-bound. Pretreatment of the mutant cell line with tunicamycin blocked the increased [ 3 H]palmitate incorporation into the two specific proteins (both of approximately 30,000 molecular weight) observed in untreated cells; the decreased incorporation of [ 3 H]palmitate into the 30,000 molecular weight species was accompanied by a concomitant increase in the incorporation of [ 3 H]palmitate into two proteins of approximately 20,000 molecular weight. Pretreatment of wild-type cells with tunicamycin also caused increased [ 3 H]palmitate incorporation into the 20,000 molecular weight species

  5. Is Wikipedia link structure different?

    Kamps, J.; Koolen, M.; Baeza-Yates, R.; Boldi, P.; Ribeiro-Neto, B.; Cambazoglu, B.B.

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate the difference between Wikipedia and Web link structure with respect to their value as indicators of the relevance of a page for a given topic of request. Our experimental evidence is from two IR test-collections: the .GOV collection used at the TREC Web tracks and the

  6. A novel animal model linking adiposity to altered circadian rhythms

    Researchers have provided evidence for a link between obesity and altered circadian rhythms (e.g., shift work, disrupted sleep), but the mechanism for this association is still unknown. Adipocytes possess an intrinsic circadian clock, and circadian rhythms in adipocytokines and adipose tissue metab...

  7. Exposure of tropoelastin to peroxynitrous acid gives high yields of nitrated tyrosine residues, di-tyrosine cross-links and altered protein structure and function

    Degendorfer, Georg; Chuang, Christine Yu-Nung; Mariotti, Michele

    2018-01-01

    Elastin is an abundant extracellular matrix protein in elastic tissues, including the lungs, skin and arteries, and comprises 30–57% of the aorta by dry mass. The monomeric precursor, tropoelastin (TE), undergoes complex processing during elastogenesis to form mature elastic fibres. Peroxynitrous......-protein di-tyrosine cross-links have been characterized by mass spectrometry. Examination of human atherosclerotic lesions shows colocalization of 3-nitroTyr with elastin epitopes, consistent with TE or elastin modification in vivo, and also an association of 3-nitroTyr containing proteins and elastin...

  8. Does ECT alter brain structure?

    Devanand, D P; Dwork, A J; Hutchinson, E R; Bolwig, T G; Sackeim, H A

    1994-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether ECT causes structural brain damage. The literature review covered the following areas: cognitive side effects, structural brain imaging, autopsies of patients who had received ECT, post-mortem studies of epileptic subjects, animal studies of electroconvulsive shock (ECS) and epilepsy, and the neuropathological effects of the passage of electricity, heat generation, and blood-brain barrier disruption. ECT-induced cognitive deficits are transient, although spotty memory loss may persist for events immediately surrounding the ECT course. Prospective computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging studies show no evidence of ECT-induced structural changes. Some early human autopsy case reports from the unmodified ECT era reported cerebrovascular lesions that were due to agonal changes or undiagnosed disease. In animal ECS studies that used a stimulus intensity and frequency comparable to human ECT, no neuronal loss was seen when appropriate control animals, blind ratings, and perfusion fixation techniques were employed. Controlled studies using quantitative cell counts have failed to show neuronal loss even after prolonged courses of ECS. Several well-controlled studies have demonstrated that neuronal loss occurs only after 1.5 to 2 hours of continuous seizure activity in primates, and adequate muscle paralysis and oxygenation further delay these changes. These conditions are not approached during ECT. Other findings indicate that the passage of electricity, thermal effects, and the transient disruption of the blood-brain barrier during ECS do not result in structural brain damage. There is no credible evidence that ECT causes structural brain damage.

  9. Formaldehyde cross-linking and structural proteomics: Bridging the gap.

    Srinivasa, Savita; Ding, Xuan; Kast, Juergen

    2015-11-01

    Proteins are dynamic entities constantly moving and altering their structures based on their functions and interactions inside and outside the cell. Formaldehyde cross-linking combined with mass spectrometry can accurately capture interactions of these rapidly changing biomolecules while maintaining their physiological surroundings. Even with its numerous established uses in biology and compatibility with mass spectrometry, formaldehyde has not yet been applied in structural proteomics. However, formaldehyde cross-linking is moving toward analyzing tertiary structure, which conventional cross-linkers have already accomplished. The purpose of this review is to describe the potential of formaldehyde cross-linking in structural proteomics by highlighting its applications, characteristics and current status in the field. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Afforestation alters community structure of soil fungi.

    Carson, Jennifer K; Gleeson, Deirdre B; Clipson, Nicholas; Murphy, Daniel V

    2010-07-01

    Relatively little is known about the effect of afforestation on soil fungal communities. This study demonstrated that afforestation altered fungal community structure and that changes were correlated to pools of soil C. Pasture at three locations on the same soil type was afforested with Eucalyptus globulus or Pinus pinaster. The structure of fungal communities under the three land uses was measured after 13y using automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA). Afforestation significantly altered the structure of fungal communities. The effect of location on the structure of fungal communities was limited to pasture soils; although these contained the same plant species, the relative composition of each species varied between locations. Differences in the structure of fungal communities between pasture, E. globulus and P. pinaster were significantly correlated with changes in the amount of total organic C and microbial biomass-C in soil. Afforestation of patches of agricultural land may contribute to conserving soil fungi in agricultural landscapes by supporting fungal communities with different composition to agricultural soils. Copyright © 2010 The British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Collagen and elastin cross-linking is altered during aberrant late lung development associated with hyperoxia.

    Mižíková, Ivana; Ruiz-Camp, Jordi; Steenbock, Heiko; Madurga, Alicia; Vadász, István; Herold, Susanne; Mayer, Konstantin; Seeger, Werner; Brinckmann, Jürgen; Morty, Rory E

    2015-06-01

    Maturation of the lung extracellular matrix (ECM) plays an important role in the formation of alveolar gas exchange units. A key step in ECM maturation is cross-linking of collagen and elastin, which imparts stability and functionality to the ECM. During aberrant late lung development in bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) patients and animal models of BPD, alveolarization is blocked, and the function of ECM cross-linking enzymes is deregulated, suggesting that perturbed ECM cross-linking may impact alveolarization. In a hyperoxia (85% O2)-based mouse model of BPD, blunted alveolarization was accompanied by alterations to lung collagen and elastin levels and cross-linking. Total collagen levels were increased (by 63%). The abundance of dihydroxylysinonorleucine collagen cross-links and the dihydroxylysinonorleucine-to-hydroxylysinonorleucine ratio were increased by 11 and 18%, respectively, suggestive of a profibrotic state. In contrast, insoluble elastin levels and the abundance of the elastin cross-links desmosine and isodesmosine in insoluble elastin were decreased by 35, 30, and 21%, respectively. The lung collagen-to-elastin ratio was threefold increased. Treatment of hyperoxia-exposed newborn mice with the lysyl oxidase inhibitor β-aminopropionitrile partially restored normal collagen levels, normalized the dihydroxylysinonorleucine-to-hydroxylysinonorleucine ratio, partially normalized desmosine and isodesmosine cross-links in insoluble elastin, and partially restored elastin foci structure in the developing septa. However, β-aminopropionitrile administration concomitant with hyperoxia exposure did not improve alveolarization, evident from unchanged alveolar surface area and alveoli number, and worsened septal thickening (increased by 12%). These data demonstrate that collagen and elastin cross-linking are perturbed during the arrested alveolarization of developing mouse lungs exposed to hyperoxia. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  12. Cross-linked structure of network evolution

    Bassett, Danielle S., E-mail: dsb@seas.upenn.edu [Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104 (United States); Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106 (United States); Sage Center for the Study of the Mind, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106 (United States); Wymbs, Nicholas F.; Grafton, Scott T. [Department of Psychology and UCSB Brain Imaging Center, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106 (United States); Porter, Mason A. [Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford OX2 6GG (United Kingdom); CABDyN Complexity Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 1HP (United Kingdom); Mucha, Peter J. [Carolina Center for Interdisciplinary Applied Mathematics, Department of Mathematics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599 (United States); Department of Applied Physical Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599 (United States)

    2014-03-15

    We study the temporal co-variation of network co-evolution via the cross-link structure of networks, for which we take advantage of the formalism of hypergraphs to map cross-link structures back to network nodes. We investigate two sets of temporal network data in detail. In a network of coupled nonlinear oscillators, hyperedges that consist of network edges with temporally co-varying weights uncover the driving co-evolution patterns of edge weight dynamics both within and between oscillator communities. In the human brain, networks that represent temporal changes in brain activity during learning exhibit early co-evolution that then settles down with practice. Subsequent decreases in hyperedge size are consistent with emergence of an autonomous subgraph whose dynamics no longer depends on other parts of the network. Our results on real and synthetic networks give a poignant demonstration of the ability of cross-link structure to uncover unexpected co-evolution attributes in both real and synthetic dynamical systems. This, in turn, illustrates the utility of analyzing cross-links for investigating the structure of temporal networks.

  13. Cross-linked structure of network evolution

    Bassett, Danielle S.; Wymbs, Nicholas F.; Grafton, Scott T.; Porter, Mason A.; Mucha, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    We study the temporal co-variation of network co-evolution via the cross-link structure of networks, for which we take advantage of the formalism of hypergraphs to map cross-link structures back to network nodes. We investigate two sets of temporal network data in detail. In a network of coupled nonlinear oscillators, hyperedges that consist of network edges with temporally co-varying weights uncover the driving co-evolution patterns of edge weight dynamics both within and between oscillator communities. In the human brain, networks that represent temporal changes in brain activity during learning exhibit early co-evolution that then settles down with practice. Subsequent decreases in hyperedge size are consistent with emergence of an autonomous subgraph whose dynamics no longer depends on other parts of the network. Our results on real and synthetic networks give a poignant demonstration of the ability of cross-link structure to uncover unexpected co-evolution attributes in both real and synthetic dynamical systems. This, in turn, illustrates the utility of analyzing cross-links for investigating the structure of temporal networks

  14. Amelioration of altered antioxidant status and membrane linked ...

    Unknown

    oxidant enzymes and membrane-linked functions in diabetic rat brains. ... high blood glucose (P < 0⋅001), decreased activities of SOD, catalase and Na+/K+ ATPase (P < 0⋅01, ... as an index of membrane physical properties and controls.

  15. Stress transgenerationally programs metabolic pathways linked to altered mental health.

    Kiss, Douglas; Ambeskovic, Mirela; Montina, Tony; Metz, Gerlinde A S

    2016-12-01

    Stress is among the primary causes of mental health disorders, which are the most common reason for disability worldwide. The ubiquity of these disorders, and the costs associated with them, lends a sense of urgency to the efforts to improve prediction and prevention. Down-stream metabolic changes are highly feasible and accessible indicators of pathophysiological processes underlying mental health disorders. Here, we show that remote and cumulative ancestral stress programs central metabolic pathways linked to mental health disorders. The studies used a rat model consisting of a multigenerational stress lineage (the great-great-grandmother and each subsequent generation experienced stress during pregnancy) and a transgenerational stress lineage (only the great-great-grandmother was stressed during pregnancy). Urine samples were collected from adult male F4 offspring and analyzed using 1 H NMR spectroscopy. The results of variable importance analysis based on random variable combination were used for unsupervised multivariate principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering analysis, as well as metabolite set enrichment analysis (MSEA) and pathway analysis. We identified distinct metabolic profiles associated with the multigenerational and transgenerational stress phenotype, with consistent upregulation of hippurate and downregulation of tyrosine, threonine, and histamine. MSEA and pathway analysis showed that these metabolites are involved in catecholamine biosynthesis, immune responses, and microbial host interactions. The identification of metabolic signatures linked to ancestral programming assists in the discovery of gene targets for future studies of epigenetic regulation in pathogenic processes. Ultimately, this research can lead to biomarker discovery for better prediction and prevention of mental health disorders.

  16. Linking advanced fracture models to structural analysis

    Chiesa, Matteo

    2001-07-01

    Shell structures with defects occur in many situations. The defects are usually introduced during the welding process necessary for joining different parts of the structure. Higher utilization of structural materials leads to a need for accurate numerical tools for reliable prediction of structural response. The direct discretization of the cracked shell structure with solid finite elements in order to perform an integrity assessment of the structure in question leads to large size problems, and makes such analysis infeasible in structural application. In this study a link between local material models and structural analysis is outlined. An ''ad hoc'' element formulation is used in order to connect complex material models to the finite element framework used for structural analysis. An improved elasto-plastic line spring finite element formulation, used in order to take cracks into account, is linked to shell elements which are further linked to beam elements. In this way one obtain a global model of the shell structure that also accounts for local flexibilities and fractures due to defects. An important advantage with such an approach is a direct fracture mechanics assessment e.g. via computed J-integral or CTOD. A recent development in this approach is the notion of two-parameter fracture assessment. This means that the crack tip stress tri-axiality (constraint) is employed in determining the corresponding fracture toughness, giving a much more realistic capacity of cracked structures. The present thesis is organized in six research articles and an introductory chapter that reviews important background literature related to this work. Paper I and II address the performance of shell and line spring finite elements as a cost effective tool for performing the numerical calculation needed to perform a fracture assessment. In Paper II a failure assessment, based on the testing of a constraint-corrected fracture mechanics specimen under tension, is

  17. Trichoderma Biofertilizer Links to Altered Soil Chemistry, Altered Microbial Communities, and Improved Grassland Biomass

    Fengge Zhang

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available In grasslands, forage and livestock production results in soil nutrient deficits as grasslands typically receive no nutrient inputs, leading to a loss of grassland biomass. The application of mature compost has been shown to effectively increase grassland nutrient availability. However, research on fertilization regime influence and potential microbial ecological regulation mechanisms are rarely conducted in grassland soil. We conducted a two-year experiment in meadow steppe grasslands, focusing on above- and belowground consequences of organic or Trichoderma biofertilizer applications and potential soil microbial ecological mechanisms underlying soil chemistry and microbial community responses. Grassland biomass significantly (p = 0.019 increased following amendment with 9,000 kg ha−1 of Trichoderma biofertilizer (composted cattle manure + inoculum compared with other assessed organic or biofertilizer rates, except for BOF3000 (fertilized with 3,000 kg ha−1 biofertilizer. This rate of Trichoderma biofertilizer treatment increased soil antifungal compounds that may suppress pathogenic fungi, potentially partially responsible for improved grassland biomass. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS revealed soil chemistry and fungal communities were all separated by different fertilization regime. Trichoderma biofertilizer (9,000 kg ha−1 increased relative abundances of Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while decreasing Ophiosphaerella. Trichoderma can improve grassland biomass, while Ophiosphaerella has the opposite effect as it may secrete metabolites causing grass necrosis. Correlations between soil properties and microbial genera showed plant-available phosphorus may influence grassland biomass by increasing Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while reducing Ophiosphaerella. According to our structural equation modeling (SEM, Trichoderma abundance was the primary contributor to aboveground grassland biomass. Our results suggest Trichoderma

  18. Trichoderma Biofertilizer Links to Altered Soil Chemistry, Altered Microbial Communities, and Improved Grassland Biomass.

    Zhang, Fengge; Huo, Yunqian; Cobb, Adam B; Luo, Gongwen; Zhou, Jiqiong; Yang, Gaowen; Wilson, Gail W T; Zhang, Yingjun

    2018-01-01

    In grasslands, forage and livestock production results in soil nutrient deficits as grasslands typically receive no nutrient inputs, leading to a loss of grassland biomass. The application of mature compost has been shown to effectively increase grassland nutrient availability. However, research on fertilization regime influence and potential microbial ecological regulation mechanisms are rarely conducted in grassland soil. We conducted a two-year experiment in meadow steppe grasslands, focusing on above- and belowground consequences of organic or Trichoderma biofertilizer applications and potential soil microbial ecological mechanisms underlying soil chemistry and microbial community responses. Grassland biomass significantly ( p = 0.019) increased following amendment with 9,000 kg ha -1 of Trichoderma biofertilizer (composted cattle manure + inoculum) compared with other assessed organic or biofertilizer rates, except for BOF3000 (fertilized with 3,000 kg ha -1 biofertilizer). This rate of Trichoderma biofertilizer treatment increased soil antifungal compounds that may suppress pathogenic fungi, potentially partially responsible for improved grassland biomass. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) revealed soil chemistry and fungal communities were all separated by different fertilization regime. Trichoderma biofertilizer (9,000 kg ha -1 ) increased relative abundances of Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while decreasing Ophiosphaerella . Trichoderma can improve grassland biomass, while Ophiosphaerella has the opposite effect as it may secrete metabolites causing grass necrosis. Correlations between soil properties and microbial genera showed plant-available phosphorus may influence grassland biomass by increasing Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while reducing Ophiosphaerella . According to our structural equation modeling (SEM), Trichoderma abundance was the primary contributor to aboveground grassland biomass. Our results suggest Trichoderma

  19. Tertiary structure in N-linked oligosaccharides.

    Homans, S W; Dwek, R A; Rademacher, T W

    1987-10-06

    Distance constraints derived from two-dimensional nuclear Overhauser effect measurements have been used to define the orientation of the Man alpha 1-3Man beta linkage in seven different N-linked oligosaccharides, all containing the common pentasaccharide core Man alpha 1-6(Man alpha 1-3)Man beta 1-4GlcNAc beta 1-4GlcNAc. Conformational invariance of the Man alpha 1-3Man beta linkage was found for those structures bearing substitutions on the Man alpha 1-3Man beta antenna. However, the presence of either a GlcNAc residue in the beta 1-4 linkage to Man beta ("bisecting GlcNAc") or a xylose residue in the beta 1-2 linkage to Man beta of the trimannosyl core was found to generate conformational transitions that were similar. These transitions were accompanied by characteristic chemical shift perturbations of proton resonances in the vicinity of the Man alpha 1-3Man beta linkage. Molecular orbital energy calculations suggest that the conformational transition between the unsubstituted and substituted cores arises from energetic constraints in the vicinity of the Man alpha 1-3Man beta linkage, rather than specific long-range interactions. These data taken together with our previous results on the Man alpha 1-6Man beta linkage [Homans, S. W., Dwek R. A., Boyd, J., Mahmoudian, M., Richards, W. G., & Rademacher, T. W. (1986) Biochemistry 25, 6342] allow us to discuss the consequences of the modulation of oligosaccharide solution conformations.

  20. Triclosan alterations of estuarine phytoplankton community structure.

    Pinckney, James L; Thompson, Laura; Hylton, Sarah

    2017-06-15

    Antimicrobial additives in pharmaceutical and personal care products are a major environmental concern due to their potential ecological impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Triclosan (TCS) has been used as an antiseptic, disinfectant, and preservative in various media. The sublethal and lethal effects of TCS on estuarine phytoplankton community composition were investigated using bioassays of natural phytoplankton communities to measure phytoplankton responses to different concentrations of TCS ranging from 1 to 200μgl -1 . The EC 50 (the concentration of an inhibitor where the growth is reduced by half) for phytoplankton groups (diatoms, chlorophytes, cryptophytes) examined in this ranged from 10.7 to 113.8μg TCS l -1 . Exposures resulted in major shifts in phytoplankton community composition at concentrations as low as 1.0μg TCS l -1 . This study demonstrates estuarine ecosystem sensitivity to TCS exposure and highlights potential alterations in phytoplankton community composition at what are typically environmental concentrations of TCS in urbanized estuaries. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Altered Pituitary Gland Structure and Function in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

    Cooper, Odelia; Bonert, Vivien; Moser, Franklin; Mirocha, James; Melmed, Shlomo

    2017-06-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis response to stressors, but links to neurophysiological and neuroanatomical changes are unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine whether stress-induced cortisol alters negative feedback on pituitary corticotroph function and pituitary volume. Prospective controlled study in an outpatient clinic. Subjects with PTSD and matched control subjects underwent pituitary volume measurement on magnetic resonance imaging, with pituitary function assessed by 24-hour urine free cortisol (UFC), 8:00 am cortisol, and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels, and ACTH levels after 2-day dexamethasone/corticotropin-releasing hormone test. Primary outcome was pituitary volume; secondary outcomes were ACTH area under the curve (AUC) and 24-hour UFC. Thirty-nine subjects were screened and 10 subjects with PTSD were matched with 10 healthy control subjects by sex and age. Mean pituitary volume was 729.7 mm 3 [standard deviation (SD), 227.3 mm 3 ] in PTSD subjects vs 835.2 mm 3 (SD, 302.8 mm 3 ) in control subjects. ACTH AUC was 262.5 pg/mL (SD, 133.3 pg/mL) L in PTSD vs 244.0 pg/mL (SD, 158.3 pg/mL) in control subjects ( P = 0.80). In PTSD subjects, UFC levels and pituitary volume inversely correlated with PTSD duration; pituitary volume correlated with ACTH AUC in control subjects (Pearson correlation coefficient, 0.88, P = 0.0009) but not in PTSD subjects. The HPA axis may be downregulated and dysregulated in people with PTSD, as demonstrated by discordant pituitary corticotroph function and pituitary volume vs intact HPA feedback and correlation of pituitary volume with ACTH levels in healthy control subjects. The results suggest a link between pituitary structure and function in PTSD, which may point to endocrine targeted therapeutic approaches.

  2. Altered Pituitary Gland Structure and Function in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

    Bonert, Vivien; Moser, Franklin; Mirocha, James; Melmed, Shlomo

    2017-01-01

    Objectives: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis response to stressors, but links to neurophysiological and neuroanatomical changes are unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine whether stress-induced cortisol alters negative feedback on pituitary corticotroph function and pituitary volume. Design: Prospective controlled study in an outpatient clinic. Methods: Subjects with PTSD and matched control subjects underwent pituitary volume measurement on magnetic resonance imaging, with pituitary function assessed by 24-hour urine free cortisol (UFC), 8:00 am cortisol, and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels, and ACTH levels after 2-day dexamethasone/corticotropin-releasing hormone test. Primary outcome was pituitary volume; secondary outcomes were ACTH area under the curve (AUC) and 24-hour UFC. Results: Thirty-nine subjects were screened and 10 subjects with PTSD were matched with 10 healthy control subjects by sex and age. Mean pituitary volume was 729.7 mm3 [standard deviation (SD), 227.3 mm3] in PTSD subjects vs 835.2 mm3 (SD, 302.8 mm3) in control subjects. ACTH AUC was 262.5 pg/mL (SD, 133.3 pg/mL) L in PTSD vs 244.0 pg/mL (SD, 158.3 pg/mL) in control subjects (P = 0.80). In PTSD subjects, UFC levels and pituitary volume inversely correlated with PTSD duration; pituitary volume correlated with ACTH AUC in control subjects (Pearson correlation coefficient, 0.88, P = 0.0009) but not in PTSD subjects. Conclusions: The HPA axis may be downregulated and dysregulated in people with PTSD, as demonstrated by discordant pituitary corticotroph function and pituitary volume vs intact HPA feedback and correlation of pituitary volume with ACTH levels in healthy control subjects. The results suggest a link between pituitary structure and function in PTSD, which may point to endocrine targeted therapeutic approaches. PMID:29264511

  3. Altered Cross-linking of HSP27 by Zerumbone as a Novel Strategy for Overcoming HSP27- mediated Resistance

    Choi, Seo Hyun; Lee, Yoon Jin; Lee, Hae June; Lee, Yun Sil; Kim, Joon; Seo, Woo Duck; Nam, Joo Won; Lee, Yoo Jin; Seo, Eun Kyung

    2010-01-01

    HSPs have diverse roles in the regulation of signal transduction and in numerous aspects of cell growth and death. Indeed, HSP90, HSP70, and HSP27 have each been implicated in promoting cancer. Most HSP27 exists as large oligomeric complexes ranging from 100- 800 kDa, which are probably stabilized by complex interactions between dimeric building blocks. The functional properties of HSP27 are dependent on the quaternary structure of the protein. For example, HSP27 acts as a chaperone and binds to cytochrome c or Daxx as a dimer. Therefore, the oligomerization pattern of HPS27 is believed to have HSP27-mediated protective functions. In this study, zerumbone (ZER), the cytotoxic component isolated from Zingiber zerumbet Smith, induced cross-linking of HSP27 protein by its insertion between the disulfide bond of HSP27, and ZERmediated altered cross-linking of HSP27 modified normal HSP27 dimerization, which resulted in a sensitizing effect to tumors after treatment with radiation. Therefore, altered cross-linking by ZER may be a novel strategy for inhibition of HSP27-mediated resistance

  4. Rare earth impact on glass structure and alteration kinetics

    Molieres, E.

    2012-01-01

    This work is related to the question of the geological deep repository of high-level waste glass. These wastes include fission products and minor actinides, elements which can be simulated by rare earths. As new glass compositions could enable increased rare earth concentrations, it is crucial to know and understand rare earth impact on glass structure on the one hand, and on glass alteration kinetics or their incorporation into an altered layer. This work studied simplified borosilicate glasses in order to limit synergetic effects between rare earths and other elements. Various complementary techniques were used to characterize pristine and altered glasses (solid-high resolution NMR, Raman spectroscopy, fluorescence, SIMS, SAXS). Firstly, the structural role of a rare earth is discussed and is compared to a calcium cation. The local environment of rare earths is also probed. Secondly, rare earth (nature and concentration) impact on several alteration regimes was studied (initial rate, rate drop). Then, after alteration, rare earth elements being retained within the altered layer, the structural impact of rare earth elements (and their local environment) in this alteration layer was also investigated. (author) [fr

  5. Asporin-deficient mice have tougher skin and altered skin glycosaminoglycan content and structure

    Maccarana, Marco; Svensson, René B; Knutsson, Anki

    2017-01-01

    SLRPs is asporin. Here we describe the successful generation of an Aspn-/- mouse model and the investigation of the Aspn-/- skin phenotype. Functionally, Aspn-/- mice had an increased skin mechanical toughness, although there were no structural changes present on histology or immunohistochemistry......) was downregulated. Intriguingly no differences were observed in collagen protein content or in collagen cross-linking-related lysine oxidation or hydroxylation. The glycosaminoglycan content and structure in Aspn-/- skin was profoundly altered: chondroitin/dermatan sulfate was more than doubled and had an altered......The main structural component of connective tissues is fibrillar, cross-linked collagen whose fibrillogenesis can be modulated by Small Leucine-Rich Proteins/Proteoglycans (SLRPs). Not all SLRPs' effects on collagen and extracellular matrix in vivo have been elucidated; one of the less investigated...

  6. Epidermal growth factor receptor structural alterations in gastric cancer

    Moutinho, Cátia; Mateus, Ana R; Milanezi, Fernanda; Carneiro, Fátima; Seruca, Raquel; Suriano, Gianpaolo

    2008-01-01

    EGFR overexpression has been described in many human tumours including gastric cancer. In NSCLC patients somatic EGFR mutations, within the kinase domain of the protein, as well as gene amplification were associated with a good clinical response to EGFR inhibitors. In gastric tumours data concerning structural alterations of EGFR remains controversial. Given its possible therapeutic relevance, we aimed to determine the frequency and type of structural alterations of the EGFR gene in a series of primary gastric carcinomas. Direct sequencing of the kinase domain of the EGFR gene was performed in a series of 77 primary gastric carcinomas. FISH analysis was performed in 30 cases. Association studies between EGFR alterations and the clinical pathological features of the tumours were performed. Within the 77 primary gastric carcinomas we found two EGFR somatic mutations and several EGFR polymorphisms in exon 20. Six different intronic sequence variants of EGFR were also found. Four gastric carcinomas showed balanced polysomy or EGFR gene amplification. We verified that gastric carcinoma with alterations of EGFR (somatic mutations or copy number variation) showed a significant increase of tumour size (p = 0.0094) in comparison to wild-type EGFR carcinomas. We demonstrate that EGFR structural alterations are rare in gastric carcinoma, but whenever present, it leads to tumour growth. We considered that searching for EGFR alterations in gastric cancer is likely to be clinically important in order to identify patients susceptible to respond to tyrosine kinase inhibitors

  7. Dissociation and Alterations in Brain Function and Structure: Implications for Borderline Personality Disorder.

    Krause-Utz, Annegret; Frost, Rachel; Winter, Dorina; Elzinga, Bernet M

    2017-01-01

    Dissociation involves disruptions of usually integrated functions of consciousness, perception, memory, identity, and affect (e.g., depersonalization, derealization, numbing, amnesia, and analgesia). While the precise neurobiological underpinnings of dissociation remain elusive, neuroimaging studies in disorders, characterized by high dissociation (e.g., depersonalization/derealization disorder (DDD), dissociative identity disorder (DID), dissociative subtype of posttraumatic stress disorder (D-PTSD)), have provided valuable insight into brain alterations possibly underlying dissociation. Neuroimaging studies in borderline personality disorder (BPD), investigating links between altered brain function/structure and dissociation, are still relatively rare. In this article, we provide an overview of neurobiological models of dissociation, primarily based on research in DDD, DID, and D-PTSD. Based on this background, we review recent neuroimaging studies on associations between dissociation and altered brain function and structure in BPD. These studies are discussed in the context of earlier findings regarding methodological differences and limitations and concerning possible implications for future research and the clinical setting.

  8. Extracting central places from the link structure in Wikipedia

    Kessler, Carsten

    2017-01-01

    of the German language edition of Wikipedia. The official upper and middle centers declared, based on German spatial laws, are used as a reference dataset. The characteristics of the link structure around their Wikipedia pages, which link to each other or mention each other, and how often, are used to develop...... a bottom-up method for extracting central places from Wikipedia. The method relies solely on the structure and number of links and mentions between the corresponding Wikipedia pages; no spatial information is used in the extraction process. The output of this method shows significant overlap...... with the official central place structure, especially for the upper centers. The results indicate that real-world relationships are in fact reflected in the link structure on the web in the case of Wikipedia....

  9. Structural Alterations of the Glomerular Wall And Vessels in Early ...

    Structural Alterations of the Glomerular Wall And Vessels in Early Stages of Diabetes Mellitus: Light and Transmission Electron Microscopic Study. ... The second group of 20 (the experimental group) was injected intraperitoneally by a single dose of streptozotocin to induce hyperglycemia. Rats were sacrificed after ten days, ...

  10. Altered resting brain function and structure in professional badminton players.

    Di, Xin; Zhu, Senhua; Jin, Hua; Wang, Pin; Ye, Zhuoer; Zhou, Ke; Zhuo, Yan; Rao, Hengyi

    2012-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies of professional athletic or musical training have demonstrated considerable practice-dependent plasticity in various brain structures, which may reflect distinct training demands. In the present study, structural and functional brain alterations were examined in professional badminton players and compared with healthy controls using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and resting-state functional MRI. Gray matter concentration (GMC) was assessed using voxel-based morphometry (VBM), and resting-brain functions were measured by amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) and seed-based functional connectivity. Results showed that the athlete group had greater GMC and ALFF in the right and medial cerebellar regions, respectively. The athlete group also demonstrated smaller ALFF in the left superior parietal lobule and altered functional connectivity between the left superior parietal and frontal regions. These findings indicate that badminton expertise is associated with not only plastic structural changes in terms of enlarged gray matter density in the cerebellum, but also functional alterations in fronto-parietal connectivity. Such structural and functional alterations may reflect specific experiences of badminton training and practice, including high-capacity visuo-spatial processing and hand-eye coordination in addition to refined motor skills.

  11. Altered Cross-Linking of HSP27 by Zerumbone as a Novel Strategy for Overcoming HSP27-Mediated Radioresistance

    Choi, Seo-Hyun; Lee, Yoon-Jin; Seo, Woo Duck; Lee, Hae-June; Nam, Joo-Won; Lee, Yoo Jin; Kim, Joon; Seo, Eun-Kyoung; Lee, Yun-Sil

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: HSP27 or HSP25 negatively regulates apoptosis pathways after radiation or chemotherapeutic agents. Abrogation of HSP27 function may be a candidate target for overcoming radio- and chemoresistance. Methods and Materials: Zerumbone (ZER), a cytotoxic component isolated from Zingiber zerumbet smith. Clonogenic survival assay and flow cytometry after Annexin V staining were performed to determine in vitro sensitization effects of ZER with ionizing radiation. A nude mouse xenografting system was also applied to detect in vivo radiosensitizing effects of ZER. Results: ZER produced cross-linking of HSP27, which was dependent on inhibition of the monomeric form of HSP27. ZER was directly inserted between the disulfide bond in the HSP27 dimer and modified normal HSP27 dimerization. Pretreatment with ZER before radiation inhibited the binding affinity between HSP27 and apoptotic molecules, such as cytochrome c and PKCδ, and induced sensitization in vitro and in an in vivo xenografted nude mouse system. Structural analogs lacking only the carbonyl group in ZER, such as α-humulene (HUM) and 8-hydroxy-humulen (8-OH-HUM), did not affect normal cross-linking of HSP27 and did not induce radiosensitization. Conclusions: We suggest that altered cross-linking of HSP27 by ZER is a good strategy for abolishing HSP27-mediated resistance.

  12. Brain structure links loneliness to social perception.

    Kanai, Ryota; Bahrami, Bahador; Duchaine, Brad; Janik, Agnieszka; Banissy, Michael J; Rees, Geraint

    2012-10-23

    Loneliness is the distressing feeling associated with the perceived absence of satisfying social relationships. Loneliness is increasingly prevalent in modern societies and has detrimental effects on health and happiness. Although situational threats to social relationships can transiently induce the emotion of loneliness, susceptibility to loneliness is a stable trait that varies across individuals [6-8] and is to some extent heritable. However, little is known about the neural processes associated with loneliness (but see [12-14]). Here, we hypothesized that individual differences in loneliness might be reflected in the structure of the brain regions associated with social processes. To test this hypothesis, we used voxel-based morphometry and showed that lonely individuals have less gray matter in the left posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS)--an area implicated in basic social perception. As this finding predicted, we further confirmed that loneliness was associated with difficulty in processing social cues. Although other sociopsychological factors such as social network size, anxiety, and empathy independently contributed to loneliness, only basic social perception skills mediated the association between the pSTS volume and loneliness. Taken together, our results suggest that basic social perceptual abilities play an important role in shaping an individual's loneliness. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Adiponectin in mice with altered growth hormone action: links to insulin sensitivity and longevity?

    Lubbers, Ellen R.; List, Edward O.; Jara, Adam; Sackman-Sala, Lucila; Cordoba-Chacon, Jose; Gahete, Manuel D.; Kineman, Rhonda D.; Boparai, Ravneet; Bartke, Andrzej; Kopchick, John J.; Berryman, Darlene E.

    2013-01-01

    Adiponectin is positively correlated with longevity and negatively correlated with many obesity-related diseases. While there are several circulating forms of adiponectin, the high molecular weight (HMW) version has been suggested to have the predominant bioactivity. Adiponectin gene expression and cognate serum protein levels are of particular interest in mice with altered growth hormone (GH) signaling as these mice exhibit extremes in obesity that are positively associated with insulin sensitivity and lifespan as opposed to the typical negative association of these factors. While a few studies have reported total adiponectin levels in young adult mice with altered GH signaling, much remains unresolved, including changes in adiponectin levels with advancing age, proportion of total adiponectin in the HMW form, adipose depot of origin, and differential effects of GH versus IGF1. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to address these issues using assorted mouse lines with altered GH signaling. Our results show that adiponectin is generally negatively associated with GH activity, regardless of age. Further, the amount of HMW adiponectin is consistently linked with the level of total adiponectin and not necessarily with previously reported lifespan or insulin sensitivity of these mice. Interestingly, circulating adiponectin levels correlated strongly with inguinal fat mass, implying the effects of GH on adiponectin are depot-specific. Interestingly rbGH, but not IGF1, decreased circulating total and HMW adiponectin levels. Taken together, these results fill important gaps in the literature related to GH and adiponectin and question the frequently reported associations of total and HMW adiponectin with insulin sensitivity and longevity. PMID:23261955

  14. Adiponectin in mice with altered GH action: links to insulin sensitivity and longevity?

    Lubbers, Ellen R; List, Edward O; Jara, Adam; Sackman-Sala, Lucila; Cordoba-Chacon, Jose; Gahete, Manuel D; Kineman, Rhonda D; Boparai, Ravneet; Bartke, Andrzej; Kopchick, John J; Berryman, Darlene E

    2013-03-01

    Adiponectin is positively correlated with longevity and negatively correlated with many obesity-related diseases. While there are several circulating forms of adiponectin, the high-molecular-weight (HMW) version has been suggested to have the predominant bioactivity. Adiponectin gene expression and cognate serum protein levels are of particular interest in mice with altered GH signaling as these mice exhibit extremes in obesity that are positively associated with insulin sensitivity and lifespan as opposed to the typical negative association of these factors. While a few studies have reported total adiponectin levels in young adult mice with altered GH signaling, much remains unresolved, including changes in adiponectin levels with advancing age, proportion of total adiponectin in the HMW form, adipose depot of origin, and differential effects of GH vs IGF1. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to address these issues using assorted mouse lines with altered GH signaling. Our results show that adiponectin is generally negatively associated with GH activity, regardless of age. Further, the amount of HMW adiponectin is consistently linked with the level of total adiponectin and not necessarily with previously reported lifespan or insulin sensitivity of these mice. Interestingly, circulating adiponectin levels correlated strongly with inguinal fat mass, implying that the effects of GH on adiponectin are depot specific. Interestingly, rbGH, but not IGF1, decreased circulating total and HMW adiponectin levels. Taken together, these results fill important gaps in the literature related to GH and adiponectin and question the frequently reported associations of total and HMW adiponectin with insulin sensitivity and longevity.

  15. Pupil-linked arousal is driven by decision uncertainty and alters serial choice bias

    Urai, Anne E.; Braun, Anke; Donner, Tobias H.

    2017-03-01

    While judging their sensory environments, decision-makers seem to use the uncertainty about their choices to guide adjustments of their subsequent behaviour. One possible source of these behavioural adjustments is arousal: decision uncertainty might drive the brain's arousal systems, which control global brain state and might thereby shape subsequent decision-making. Here, we measure pupil diameter, a proxy for central arousal state, in human observers performing a perceptual choice task of varying difficulty. Pupil dilation, after choice but before external feedback, reflects three hallmark signatures of decision uncertainty derived from a computational model. This increase in pupil-linked arousal boosts observers' tendency to alternate their choice on the subsequent trial. We conclude that decision uncertainty drives rapid changes in pupil-linked arousal state, which shape the serial correlation structure of ongoing choice behaviour.

  16. Local Reasoning about Programs that Alter Data Structures

    O'Hearn, Peter W.; Reynolds, John Clifton; Yang, Hongseok

    2001-01-01

    We describe an extension of Hoare's logic for reasoning about programs that alter data structures. We consider a low-level storage model based on a heap with associated lookup, update, allocation and deallocation operations, and unrestricted address arithmetic. The assertion language is based....... Through these and a number of examples we show that the formalism supports local reasoning: A speci-cation and proof can concentrate on only those cells in memory that a program accesses. This paper builds on earlier work by Burstall, Reynolds, Ishtiaq and O'Hearn on reasoning about data structures....

  17. Preterm birth and structural brain alterations in early adulthood

    Chiara Nosarti

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Alterations in cortical development and impaired neurodevelopmental outcomes have been described following very preterm (VPT birth in childhood and adolescence, but only a few studies to date have investigated grey matter (GM and white matter (WM maturation in VPT samples in early adult life. Using voxel-based morphometry (VBM we studied regional GM and WM volumes in 68 VPT-born individuals (mean gestational age 30 weeks and 43 term-born controls aged 19–20 years, and their association with cognitive outcomes (Hayling Sentence Completion Test, Controlled Oral Word Association Test, Visual Reproduction test of the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised and gestational age. Structural MRI data were obtained with a 1.5 Tesla system and analysed using the VBM8 toolbox in SPM8 with a customized study-specific template. Similarly to results obtained at adolescent assessment, VPT young adults compared to controls demonstrated reduced GM volume in temporal, frontal, insular and occipital areas, thalamus, caudate nucleus and putamen. Increases in GM volume were noted in medial/anterior frontal gyrus. Smaller subcortical WM volume in the VPT group was observed in temporal, parietal and frontal regions, and in a cluster centred on posterior corpus callosum/thalamus/fornix. Larger subcortical WM volume was found predominantly in posterior brain regions, in areas beneath the parahippocampal and occipital gyri and in cerebellum. Gestational age was associated with GM and WM volumes in areas where VPT individuals demonstrated GM and WM volumetric alterations, especially in temporal, parietal and occipital regions. VPT participants scored lower than controls on measures of IQ, executive function and non-verbal memory. When investigating GM and WM alterations and cognitive outcome scores, subcortical WM volume in an area beneath the left inferior frontal gyrus accounted for 14% of the variance of full-scale IQ (F = 12.9, p < 0.0001. WM volume in posterior corpus

  18. Brain structural alterations associated with young women with subthreshold depression.

    Li, Haijiang; Wei, Dongtao; Sun, Jiangzhou; Chen, Qunlin; Zhang, Qinglin; Qiu, Jiang

    2015-05-18

    Neuroanatomical abnormalities in patients with major depression disorder (MDD) have been attracted great research attention. However, the structural alterations associated with subthreshold depression (StD) remain unclear and, therefore, require further investigation. In this study, 42 young women with StD, and 30 matched non-depressed controls (NCs) were identified based on two-time Beck Depression Inventory scores. Whole-brain voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and region of interest method were used to investigate altered gray matter volume (GMV) and white matter volume (WMV) among a non-clinical sample of young women with StD. VBM results indicated that young women with StD showed significantly decreased GMV in the right inferior parietal lobule than NCs; increased GMV in the amygdala, posterior cingulate cortex, and precuneus; and increased WMV in the posterior cingulate cortex and precuneus. Together, structural alterations in specific brain regions, which are known to be involved in the fronto-limbic circuits implicated in depression may precede the occurrence of depressive episodes and influence the development of MDD.

  19. Deployment of a multi-link flexible structure

    Na, Kyung-Su; Kim, Ji-Hwan

    2006-06-01

    Deployment of a multi-link beam structure undergoing locking is analyzed in the Timoshenko beam theory. In the modeling of the system, dynamic forces are assumed to be torques and restoring forces due to the torsion spring at each joint. Hamilton's principle is used to determine the equations of motion and the finite element method is adopted to analyze the system. Newmark time integration and Newton-Raphson iteration methods are used to solve for the non-linear equations of motion at each time step. The locking at the joints of the multi-link flexible structure is analyzed by the momentum balance method. Numerical results are compared with the previous experimental data. The angles and angular velocities of each joint, tip displacement, and velocity of each link are investigated to study the motions of the links at each time step. To analyze the effect of thickness on the motion of the link, the angle and the tip displacement of each link are compared according to the various slenderness ratios. Additionally, in order to investigate the effect of shear, the tip displacements of a Timoshenko beam are compared with those of an Euler-Bernoulli beam.

  20. Altered structural brain changes and neurocognitive performance in pediatric HIV

    Santosh K. Yadav

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Pediatric HIV patients often suffer with neurodevelopmental delay and subsequently cognitive impairment. While tissue injury in cortical and subcortical regions in the brain of adult HIV patients has been well reported there is sparse knowledge about these changes in perinatally HIV infected pediatric patients. We analyzed cortical thickness, subcortical volume, structural connectivity, and neurocognitive functions in pediatric HIV patients and compared with those of pediatric healthy controls. With informed consent, 34 perinatally infected pediatric HIV patients and 32 age and gender matched pediatric healthy controls underwent neurocognitive assessment and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI on a 3 T clinical scanner. Altered cortical thickness, subcortical volumes, and abnormal neuropsychological test scores were observed in pediatric HIV patients. The structural network connectivity analysis depicted lower connection strengths, lower clustering coefficients, and higher path length in pediatric HIV patients than healthy controls. The network betweenness and network hubs in cortico-limbic regions were distorted in pediatric HIV patients. The findings suggest that altered cortical and subcortical structures and regional brain connectivity in pediatric HIV patients may contribute to deficits in their neurocognitive functions. Further, longitudinal studies are required for better understanding of the effect of HIV pathogenesis on brain structural changes throughout the brain development process under standard ART treatment.

  1. Disease-associated mutations that alter the RNA structural ensemble.

    Matthew Halvorsen

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Genome-wide association studies (GWAS often identify disease-associated mutations in intergenic and non-coding regions of the genome. Given the high percentage of the human genome that is transcribed, we postulate that for some observed associations the disease phenotype is caused by a structural rearrangement in a regulatory region of the RNA transcript. To identify such mutations, we have performed a genome-wide analysis of all known disease-associated Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs from the Human Gene Mutation Database (HGMD that map to the untranslated regions (UTRs of a gene. Rather than using minimum free energy approaches (e.g. mFold, we use a partition function calculation that takes into consideration the ensemble of possible RNA conformations for a given sequence. We identified in the human genome disease-associated SNPs that significantly alter the global conformation of the UTR to which they map. For six disease-states (Hyperferritinemia Cataract Syndrome, beta-Thalassemia, Cartilage-Hair Hypoplasia, Retinoblastoma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD, and Hypertension, we identified multiple SNPs in UTRs that alter the mRNA structural ensemble of the associated genes. Using a Boltzmann sampling procedure for sub-optimal RNA structures, we are able to characterize and visualize the nature of the conformational changes induced by the disease-associated mutations in the structural ensemble. We observe in several cases (specifically the 5' UTRs of FTL and RB1 SNP-induced conformational changes analogous to those observed in bacterial regulatory Riboswitches when specific ligands bind. We propose that the UTR and SNP combinations we identify constitute a "RiboSNitch," that is a regulatory RNA in which a specific SNP has a structural consequence that results in a disease phenotype. Our SNPfold algorithm can help identify RiboSNitches by leveraging GWAS data and an analysis of the mRNA structural ensemble.

  2. Linking models of human behaviour and climate alters projected climate change

    Beckage, Brian; Gross, Louis J.; Lacasse, Katherine; Carr, Eric; Metcalf, Sara S.; Winter, Jonathan M.; Howe, Peter D.; Fefferman, Nina; Franck, Travis; Zia, Asim; Kinzig, Ann; Hoffman, Forrest M.

    2018-01-01

    Although not considered in climate models, perceived risk stemming from extreme climate events may induce behavioural changes that alter greenhouse gas emissions. Here, we link the C-ROADS climate model to a social model of behavioural change to examine how interactions between perceived risk and emissions behaviour influence projected climate change. Our coupled climate and social model resulted in a global temperature change ranging from 3.4-6.2 °C by 2100 compared with 4.9 °C for the C-ROADS model alone, and led to behavioural uncertainty that was of a similar magnitude to physical uncertainty (2.8 °C versus 3.5 °C). Model components with the largest influence on temperature were the functional form of response to extreme events, interaction of perceived behavioural control with perceived social norms, and behaviours leading to sustained emissions reductions. Our results suggest that policies emphasizing the appropriate attribution of extreme events to climate change and infrastructural mitigation may reduce climate change the most.

  3. Phenotype- and genotype-specific structural alterations in spasmodic dysphonia.

    Bianchi, Serena; Battistella, Giovanni; Huddleston, Hailey; Scharf, Rebecca; Fleysher, Lazar; Rumbach, Anna F; Frucht, Steven J; Blitzer, Andrew; Ozelius, Laurie J; Simonyan, Kristina

    2017-04-01

    Spasmodic dysphonia is a focal dystonia characterized by involuntary spasms in the laryngeal muscles that occur selectively during speaking. Although hereditary trends have been reported in up to 16% of patients, the causative etiology of spasmodic dysphonia is unclear, and the influences of various phenotypes and genotypes on disorder pathophysiology are poorly understood. In this study, we examined structural alterations in cortical gray matter and white matter integrity in relationship to different phenotypes and putative genotypes of spasmodic dysphonia to elucidate the structural component of its complex pathophysiology. Eighty-nine patients with spasmodic dysphonia underwent high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion-weighted imaging to examine cortical thickness and white matter fractional anisotropy in adductor versus abductor forms (distinct phenotypes) and in sporadic versus familial cases (distinct genotypes). Phenotype-specific abnormalities were localized in the left sensorimotor cortex and angular gyrus and the white matter bundle of the right superior corona radiata. Genotype-specific alterations were found in the left superior temporal gyrus, supplementary motor area, and the arcuate portion of the left superior longitudinal fasciculus. Our findings suggest that phenotypic differences in spasmodic dysphonia arise at the level of the primary and associative areas of motor control, whereas genotype-related pathophysiological mechanisms may be associated with dysfunction of regions regulating phonological and sensory processing. Identification of structural alterations specific to disorder phenotype and putative genotype provides an important step toward future delineation of imaging markers and potential targets for novel therapeutic interventions for spasmodic dysphonia. © 2017 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society. © 2017 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

  4. Neuromuscular Alterations After Ankle Sprains: An Animal Model to Establish Causal Links After Injury.

    Lepley, Lindsey K; McKeon, Patrick O; Fitzpatrick, Shane G; Beckemeyer, Catherine L; Uhl, Timothy L; Butterfield, Timothy A

    2016-10-01

    The mechanisms that contribute to the development of chronic ankle instability are not understood. Investigators have developed a hypothetical model in which neuromuscular alterations that stem from damaged ankle ligaments are thought to affect periarticular and proximal muscle activity. However, the retrospective nature of these studies does not allow a causal link to be established. To assess temporal alterations in the activity of 2 periarticular muscles of the rat ankle and 2 proximal muscles of the rat hind limb after an ankle sprain. Controlled laboratory study. Laboratory. Five healthy adult male Long Evans rats (age = 16 weeks, mass = 400.0 ± 13.5 g). Indwelling fine-wire electromyography (EMG) electrodes were implanted surgically into the biceps femoris, medial gastrocnemius, vastus lateralis, and tibialis anterior muscles of the rats. We recorded baseline EMG measurements while the rats walked on a motor-driven treadmill and then induced a closed lateral ankle sprain by overextending the lateral ankle ligaments. After ankle sprain, the rats were placed on the treadmill every 24 hours for 7 days, and we recorded postsprain EMG data. Onset time of muscle activity, phase duration, sample entropy, and minimal detectable change (MDC) were assessed and compared with baseline using 2-tailed dependent t tests. Compared with baseline, delayed onset time of muscle activity was exhibited in the biceps femoris (baseline = -16.7 ± 54.0 milliseconds [ms]) on day 0 (5.2 ± 64.1 ms; t 4 = -4.655, P = .043) and tibialis anterior (baseline = 307.0 ± 64.2 ms) muscles on day 3 (362.5 ± 55.9 ms; t 4 = -5.427, P = .03) and day 6 (357.3 ± 39.6 ms; t 4 = -3.802, P = .02). Longer phase durations were observed for the vastus lateralis (baseline = 321.9 ± 92.6 ms) on day 3 (401.3 ± 101.2 ms; t 3 = -4.001, P = .03), day 4 (404.1 ± 93.0 ms; t 3 = -3.320, P = .048), and day 5 (364.6 ± 105.2 ms; t 3 = -3.963, P = .03) and for the tibialis anterior (baseline = 103.9 ± 16.4 ms

  5. Medial/skeletal linking structures for multi-region configurations

    Damon, James

    2018-01-01

    The authors consider a generic configuration of regions, consisting of a collection of distinct compact regions \\{ \\Omega_i\\} in \\mathbb{R}^{n+1} which may be either regions with smooth boundaries disjoint from the others or regions which meet on their piecewise smooth boundaries \\mathcal{B}_i in a generic way. They introduce a skeletal linking structure for the collection of regions which simultaneously captures the regions' individual shapes and geometric properties as well as the "positional geometry" of the collection. The linking structure extends in a minimal way the individual "skeletal structures" on each of the regions. This allows the authors to significantly extend the mathematical methods introduced for single regions to the configuration of regions.

  6. Extinction order and altered community structure rapidly disrupt ecosystem functioning.

    Larsen, Trond H; Williams, Neal M; Kremen, Claire

    2005-05-01

    By causing extinctions and altering community structure, anthropogenic disturbances can disrupt processes that maintain ecosystem integrity. However, the relationship between community structure and ecosystem functioning in natural systems is poorly understood. Here we show that habitat loss appeared to disrupt ecosystem functioning by affecting extinction order, species richness and abundance. We studied pollination by bees in a mosaic of agricultural and natural habitats in California and dung burial by dung beetles on recently created islands in Venezuela. We found that large-bodied bee and beetle species tended to be both most extinction-prone and most functionally efficient, contributing to rapid functional loss. Simulations confirmed that extinction order led to greater disruption of function than predicted by random species loss. Total abundance declined with richness and also appeared to contribute to loss of function. We demonstrate conceptually and empirically how the non-random response of communities to disturbance can have unexpectedly large functional consequences.

  7. Altered structural covariance of the striatum in functional dyspepsia patients.

    Liu, P; Zeng, F; Yang, F; Wang, J; Liu, X; Wang, Q; Zhou, G; Zhang, D; Zhu, M; Zhao, R; Wang, A; Gong, Q; Liang, F

    2014-08-01

    Functional dyspepsia (FD) is thought to be involved in dysregulation within the brain-gut axis. Recently, altered striatum activation has been reported in patients with FD. However, the gray matter (GM) volumes in the striatum and structural covariance patterns of this area are rarely explored. The purpose of this study was to examine the GM volumes and structural covariance patterns of the striatum between FD patients and healthy controls (HCs). T1-weighted magnetic resonance images were obtained from 44 FD patients and 39 HCs. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis was adopted to examine the GM volumes in the two groups. The caudate- or putamen-related regions identified from VBM analysis were then used as seeds to map the whole brain voxel-wise structural covariance patterns. Finally, a correlation analysis was used to investigate the effects of FD symptoms on the striatum. The results showed increased GM volumes in the bilateral putamen and right caudate. Compared with the structural covariance patterns of the HCs, the FD-related differences were mainly located in the amygdala, hippocampus/parahippocampus (HIPP/paraHIPP), thalamus, lingual gyrus, and cerebellum. And significant positive correlations were found between the volumes in the striatum and the FD duration in the patients. These findings provided preliminary evidence for GM changes in the striatum and different structural covariance patterns in patients with FD. The current results might expand our understanding of the pathophysiology of FD. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Identifying structural variants using linked-read sequencing data.

    Elyanow, Rebecca; Wu, Hsin-Ta; Raphael, Benjamin J

    2017-11-03

    Structural variation, including large deletions, duplications, inversions, translocations, and other rearrangements, is common in human and cancer genomes. A number of methods have been developed to identify structural variants from Illumina short-read sequencing data. However, reliable identification of structural variants remains challenging because many variants have breakpoints in repetitive regions of the genome and thus are difficult to identify with short reads. The recently developed linked-read sequencing technology from 10X Genomics combines a novel barcoding strategy with Illumina sequencing. This technology labels all reads that originate from a small number (~5-10) DNA molecules ~50Kbp in length with the same molecular barcode. These barcoded reads contain long-range sequence information that is advantageous for identification of structural variants. We present Novel Adjacency Identification with Barcoded Reads (NAIBR), an algorithm to identify structural variants in linked-read sequencing data. NAIBR predicts novel adjacencies in a individual genome resulting from structural variants using a probabilistic model that combines multiple signals in barcoded reads. We show that NAIBR outperforms several existing methods for structural variant identification - including two recent methods that also analyze linked-reads - on simulated sequencing data and 10X whole-genome sequencing data from the NA12878 human genome and the HCC1954 breast cancer cell line. Several of the novel somatic structural variants identified in HCC1954 overlap known cancer genes. Software is available at compbio.cs.brown.edu/software. braphael@princeton.edu. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com

  9. In Situ Polymorphic Alteration of Filler Structures for Biomimetic Mechanically Adaptive Elastomer Nanocomposites.

    Natarajan, Tamil Selvan; Okamoto, Shigeru; Stöckelhuber, Klaus Werner; Wießner, Sven; Reuter, Uta; Fischer, Dieter; Ghosh, Anik Kumar; Heinrich, Gert; Das, Amit

    2018-04-30

    A mechanically adaptable elastomer composite is prepared with reversible soft-stiff properties that can be easily controlled. By the exploitation of different morphological structures of calcium sulfate, which acts as the active filler in a soft elastomer matrix, the magnitude of filler reinforcement can be reversibly altered, which will be reflected in changes of the final stiffness of the material. The higher stiffness, in other words, the higher modulus of the composites, is realized by the in situ development of fine nanostructured calcium sulfate dihydrate crystals, which are formed during exposure to water and, further, these highly reinforcing crystals can be transformed to a nonreinforcing hemihydrate mesocrystalline structure by simply heating the system in a controlled way. The Young's modulus of the developed material can be reversibly altered from ∼6 to ∼17 MPa, and the dynamic stiffness (storage modulus at room temperature and 10 Hz frequency) alters its value in the order of 1000%. As the transformation is related to the presence of water molecules in the crystallites, a hydrophilic elastomer matrix was selected, which is a blend of two hydrophilic polymers, namely, epichlorohydrin-ethylene oxide-allyl glycidyl ether terpolymer and a terpolymer of ethylene oxide-propylene oxide-allyl glycidyl ether. For the first time, this method also provides a route to regulate the morphology and structure of calcium sulfate nanocrystals in a confined ambient of cross-linked polymer chains.

  10. Altered intrahemispheric structural connectivity in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome

    Bastian Cheng

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS is a common developmental neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by tics and frequent psychiatric comorbidities, often causing significant disability. Tic generation has been linked to disturbed networks of brain areas involved in planning, controlling and execution of actions, particularly structural and functional disorders in the striatum and cortico–striato–thalamo–cortical loops. We therefore applied structural diffusion tensor imaging (DTI to characterize changes in intrahemispheric white matter connectivity in cortico-subcortical circuits engaged in motor control in 15 GTS patients without psychiatric comorbidities. White matter connectivity was analyzed by probabilistic fiber tractography between 12 predefined cortical and subcortical regions of interest. Connectivity values were combined with measures of clinical severity rated by the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS. GTS patients showed widespread structural connectivity deficits. Lower connectivity values were found specifically in tracts connecting the supplementary motor areas (SMA with basal ganglia (pre-SMA–putamen, SMA–putamen and in frontal cortico-cortical circuits. There was an overall trend towards negative correlations between structural connectivity in these tracts and YGTSS scores. Structural connectivity of frontal brain networks involved in planning, controlling and executing actions is reduced in adult GTS patients which is associated with tic severity. These findings are in line with the concept of GTS as a neurodevelopmental disorder of brain immaturity.

  11. Consequential secondary structure alterations and aggregation during prolonged casein glycation.

    Jindal, Supriya; Naeem, Aabgeena

    2013-05-01

    Non-enzymatic glycosylation (glycation) of casein is a process used not just to ameliorate the quality of dairy products but also to increase the shelf life of canned foods, including baby milk supplements. Incubation of κ-casein with reducing sugars for 15 days at physiological temperature showed the formation of a molten globule state at day 9 and 12 during fructation and glucation respectively. This state exhibits substantial secondary structure and maximum ANS binding. Later on, glycation resulted in the formation of aggregates at day 12 in presence of fructose and day 15 in presence of glucose. Aggregates possess extensive β-sheet structure as revealed by far-UV CD and FTIR. These aggregates showed altered tryptophan environment, decrease ANS binding relative to molten globule state and increase in Thioflavin T fluorescence. Aggregates were also accompanied by the accumulation of AGEs, indicative of structural damage to the protein and formation of potentially harmful species at the physiological level. Fructose was more reactive than glucose and thus caused early and significant changes in the protein. From our studies, we conclude that controlling the extent of the Maillard reaction in the food industry is essential to counter its negative effects and expand its safety spectrum.

  12. Coevolution of game and network structure with adjustable linking

    Qin, Shao-Meng; Zhang, Guo-Yong; Chen, Yong

    2009-12-01

    Most papers about the evolutionary game on graph assume the statistic network structure. However, in the real world, social interaction could change the relationship among people. And the change of social structure will also affect people’s strategies. We build a coevolution model of prisoner’s dilemma game and network structure to study the dynamic interaction in the real world. Differing from other coevolution models, players rewire their network connections according to the density of cooperation and other players’ payoffs. We use a parameter α to control the effect of payoff in the process of rewiring. Based on the asynchronous update rule and Monte Carlo simulation, we find that, when players prefer to rewire their links to those who are richer, the temptation can increase the cooperation density.

  13. Addition of electrophilic lipids to actin alters filament structure

    Gayarre, Javier; Sanchez, David; Sanchez-Gomez, Francisco J.; Terron, Maria C.; Llorca, Oscar; Perez-Sala, Dolores

    2006-01-01

    Pathophysiological processes associated with oxidative stress lead to the generation of reactive lipid species. Among them, lipids bearing unsaturated aldehyde or ketone moieties can form covalent adducts with cysteine residues and modulate protein function. Through proteomic techniques we have identified actin as a target for the addition of biotinylated analogs of the cyclopentenone prostaglandins 15-deoxy-Δ 12,14 -PGJ 2 (15d-PGJ 2 ) and PGA 1 in NIH-3T3 fibroblasts. This modification could take place in vitro and mapped to the protein C-terminal end. Other electrophilic lipids, like the isoprostane 8-iso-PGA 1 and 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal, also bound to actin. The C-terminal region of actin is important for monomer-monomer interactions and polymerization. Electron microscopy showed that actin treated with 15d-PGJ 2 or 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal formed filaments which were less abundant and displayed shorter length and altered structure. Streptavidin-gold staining allowed mapping of biotinylated 15d-PGJ 2 at sites of filament disruption. These results shed light on the structural implications of actin modification by lipid electrophiles

  14. A Phex Mutation in a Murine Model of X-linked Hypophosphatemia Alters Phosphate Responsiveness of Bone Cells

    Ichikawa, Shoji; Austin, Anthony M.; Gray, Amie K.; Econs, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    Mutations in the PHEX gene cause X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH). Hypophosphatemia in XLH results from increased circulating levels of a phosphaturic hormone, fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), which inhibits renal phosphate reabsorption and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (calcitriol) synthesis. The current standard therapy for XLH – high dose phosphate and calcitriol – further increases FGF23 concentrations, suggesting that patients with XLH may have an altered response to extracellular phosphate...

  15. Fragmentation alters stream fish community structure in dendritic ecological networks.

    Perkin, Joshuah S; Gido, Keith B

    2012-12-01

    Effects of fragmentation on the ecology of organisms occupying dendritic ecological networks (DENs) have recently been described through both conceptual and mathematical models, but few hypotheses have been tested in complex, real-world ecosystems. Stream fishes provide a model system for assessing effects of fragmentation on the structure of communities occurring within DENs, including how fragmentation alters metacommunity dynamics and biodiversity. A recently developed habitat-availability measure, the "dendritic connectivity index" (DCI), allows for assigning quantitative measures of connectivity in DENs regardless of network extent or complexity, and might be used to predict fish community response to fragmentation. We characterized stream fish community structure in 12 DENs in the Great Plains, USA, during periods of dynamic (summer) and muted (fall) discharge regimes to test the DCI as a predictive model of fish community response to fragmentation imposed by road crossings. Results indicated that fish communities in stream segments isolated by road crossings had reduced species richness (alpha diversity) relative to communities that maintained connectivity with the surrounding DEN during summer and fall. Furthermore, isolated communities had greater dissimilarity (beta diversity) to downstream sites notisolated by road crossings during summer and fall. Finally, dissimilarity among communities within DENs decreased as a function of increased habitat connectivity (measured using the DCI) for summer and fall, suggesting that communities within highly connected DENs tend to be more homogeneous. Our results indicate that the DCI is sensitive to community effects of fragmentation in riverscapes and might be used by managers to predict ecological responses to changes in habitat connectivity. Moreover, our findings illustrate that relating structural connectivity of riverscapes to functional connectivity among communities might aid in maintaining metacommunity

  16. Subharmonic energy-gap structure in superconducting weak links

    Flensberg, K.; Hansen, Jørn Bindslev; Octavio, M.

    1988-01-01

    We present corrected calculations of the subharmonic energy-gap structure using the model of Octavio, Tinkham, Blonder, and Klapwijk, which includes the effect of normal scattering in the weak link. We show that while the overall predictions of this model do not change qualitatively, the details...... of the predicted curves are different and in better agreement with experiment. We also present calculation of the current-voltage characteristics and of the excess currents for T=0, as the normal scattering parameter Z is varied. We also show how the calculation can be shortened using symmetry arguments...

  17. APPLICATION OF RIGID LINKS IN STRUCTURAL DESIGN MODELS

    Sergey Yu. Fialko

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available A special finite element modelling rigid links is proposed for the linear static and buckling analysis. Unlike the classical approach based on the theorems of rigid body kinematics, the proposed approach preserves the similarity between the adjacency graph for a sparse matrix and the adjacency graph for nodes of the finite element model, which allows applying sparse direct solvers more effectively. Besides, the proposed approach allows significantly reducing the number of nonzero entries in the factored stiffness matrix in comparison with the classical one, which greatly reduces the duration of the solution. For buckling problems of structures containing rigid bodies, this approach gives correct results. Several examples demonstrate its efficiency.

  18. Kinetics of radiation-induced structural alterations in electron-irradiated polymer-based composites

    Zaikin, Yu.A.; Potanin, A.S.; Koztaeva, U.P.

    2002-01-01

    Complete text of publication follows. In our previous studies measurements of internal friction temperature dependence were used for characterization of thermally activated and radiation-induced structural evolution in different types of polymer-based composites. This paper supplements these measurements with kinetic studies of internal friction (IF) parameters and EPR signals in a glass-cloth epoxy-filled laminate ST-ETF after electron irradiation up to doses of 1-10 MGy. Experiment have shown that the lifetime of free radicals in this composite considerably exceeds the characteristic time of molecular structural rearrangement due to scission and cross-linking after irradiation, as determined from IF measurements. This result is explained by slow proceeding of sterically hindered disproportionation reactions that stabilize the end groups of the macro-chain disrupt during irradiation and finally fix the act of scission. A mathematical model is formulated for description of structural evolution and alterations of IF parameters in polymer-based composites during and after electron irradiation. The description is based on the track model of radiation damage in polymers and phenomenological theory of radiation-induced structural transformations. General description does not give details of radiation-chemical conversion in different structural components of composites but indicates the direction of their structural evolution. In the model considered a composite material was divided into three parts (binder, filler, and a boundary layer). It was supposed that after primary distribution of radiation energy radiation-chemical conversion proceeds independently in each of these regions. It was also suggested that all the radical reactions were of the second order. On the example of glass-cloth laminate ST-ETF it is shown that this model allows to describe alterations in composite structural characteristics during irradiation and in the course of their self-organization after

  19. Linked alterations in gray and white matter morphology in adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder: A multimodal brain imaging study

    Takashi Itahashi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Growing evidence suggests that a broad range of behavioral anomalies in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD can be linked with morphological and functional alterations in the brain. However, the neuroanatomical underpinnings of ASD have been investigated using either structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI or diffusion tensor imaging (DTI, and the relationships between abnormalities revealed by these two modalities remain unclear. This study applied a multimodal data-fusion method, known as linked independent component analysis (ICA, to a set of structural MRI and DTI data acquired from 46 adult males with ASD and 46 matched controls in order to elucidate associations between different aspects of atypical neuroanatomy of ASD. Linked ICA identified two composite components that showed significant between-group differences, one of which was significantly correlated with age. In the other component, participants with ASD showed decreased gray matter (GM volumes in multiple regions, including the bilateral fusiform gyri, bilateral orbitofrontal cortices, and bilateral pre- and post-central gyri. These GM changes were linked with a pattern of decreased fractional anisotropy (FA in several white matter tracts, such as the bilateral inferior longitudinal fasciculi, bilateral inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi, and bilateral corticospinal tracts. Furthermore, unimodal analysis for DTI data revealed significant reductions of FA along with increased mean diffusivity in those tracts for ASD, providing further evidence of disrupted anatomical connectivity. Taken together, our findings suggest that, in ASD, alterations in different aspects of brain morphology may co-occur in specific brain networks, providing a comprehensive view for understanding the neuroanatomy of this disorder.

  20. Endoplasmic reticulum stress induces different molecular structural alterations in human dilated and ischemic cardiomyopathy.

    Ana Ortega

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The endoplasmic reticulum (ER is a multifunctional organelle responsible for the synthesis and folding of proteins as well as for signalling and calcium storage, that has been linked to the contraction-relaxation process. Perturbations of its homeostasis activate a stress response in diseases such as heart failure (HF. To elucidate the alterations in ER molecular components, we analyze the levels of ER stress and structure proteins in human dilated (DCM and ischemic (ICM cardiomyopathies, and its relationship with patient's functional status. METHODS AND RESULTS: We examined 52 explanted human hearts from DCM (n = 21 and ICM (n = 21 subjects and 10 non-failing hearts as controls. Our results showed specific changes in stress (IRE1, p<0.05; p-IRE1, p<0.05 and structural (Reticulon 1, p<0.01 protein levels. The stress proteins GRP78, XBP1 and ATF6 as well as the structural proteins RRBP1, kinectin, and Nogo A and B, were upregulated in both DCM and ICM patients. Immunofluorescence results were concordant with quantified Western blot levels. Moreover, we show a novel relationship between stress and structural proteins. RRBP1, involved in procollagen synthesis and remodeling, was related with left ventricular function. CONCLUSIONS: In the present study, we report the existence of alterations in ER stress response and shaping proteins. We show a plausible effect of the ER stress on ER structure in a suitable sample of DCM and ICM subjects. Patients with higher values of RRBP1 had worse left ventricular function.

  1. CAPILLARY NETWORK ALTERATIONS IN X-LINKED RETINOSCHISIS IMAGED ON OPTICAL COHERENCE TOMOGRAPHY ANGIOGRAPHY.

    Romano, Francesco; Arrigo, Alessandro; Chʼng, Soon Wai; Battaglia Parodi, Maurizio; Manitto, Maria Pia; Martina, Elisabetta; Bandello, Francesco; Stanga, Paulo E

    2018-06-05

    To assess foveal and parafoveal vasculature at the superficial capillary plexus, deep capillary plexus, and choriocapillaris of patients with X-linked retinoschisis by means of optical coherence tomography angiography. Six patients with X-linked retinoschisis (12 eyes) and seven healthy controls (14 eyes) were recruited and underwent complete ophthalmologic examination, including best-corrected visual acuity, dilated fundoscopy, and 3 × 3-mm optical coherence tomography angiography macular scans (DRI OCT Triton; Topcon Corp). After segmentation and quality review, optical coherence tomography angiography slabs were imported into ImageJ 1.50 (NIH; Bethesda) and digitally binarized. Quantification of vessel density was performed after foveal avascular zone area measurement and exclusion. Patients were additionally divided into "responders" and "nonresponders" to dorzolamide therapy. Foveal avascular zone area resulted markedly enlarged at the deep capillary plexus (P < 0.001), particularly in nonresponders. Moreover, patients disclosed a significant deep capillary plexus rarefaction, when compared with controls (P: 0.04); however, a subanalysis revealed that this damage was limited to the fovea (P: 0.006). Finally, the enlargement of foveal avascular zone area positively correlated with a decline in best-corrected visual acuity (P: 0.01). Prominent foveal vascular impairment is detectable in the deep capillary plexus of patients with X-linked retinoschisis. Our results correlate with functional outcomes, suggesting a possible vascular role in X-linked retinoschisis clinical manifestations.

  2. Linking structure and activity in nonlinear spiking networks.

    Gabriel Koch Ocker

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Recent experimental advances are producing an avalanche of data on both neural connectivity and neural activity. To take full advantage of these two emerging datasets we need a framework that links them, revealing how collective neural activity arises from the structure of neural connectivity and intrinsic neural dynamics. This problem of structure-driven activity has drawn major interest in computational neuroscience. Existing methods for relating activity and architecture in spiking networks rely on linearizing activity around a central operating point and thus fail to capture the nonlinear responses of individual neurons that are the hallmark of neural information processing. Here, we overcome this limitation and present a new relationship between connectivity and activity in networks of nonlinear spiking neurons by developing a diagrammatic fluctuation expansion based on statistical field theory. We explicitly show how recurrent network structure produces pairwise and higher-order correlated activity, and how nonlinearities impact the networks' spiking activity. Our findings open new avenues to investigating how single-neuron nonlinearities-including those of different cell types-combine with connectivity to shape population activity and function.

  3. Linking structure and activity in nonlinear spiking networks.

    Ocker, Gabriel Koch; Josić, Krešimir; Shea-Brown, Eric; Buice, Michael A

    2017-06-01

    Recent experimental advances are producing an avalanche of data on both neural connectivity and neural activity. To take full advantage of these two emerging datasets we need a framework that links them, revealing how collective neural activity arises from the structure of neural connectivity and intrinsic neural dynamics. This problem of structure-driven activity has drawn major interest in computational neuroscience. Existing methods for relating activity and architecture in spiking networks rely on linearizing activity around a central operating point and thus fail to capture the nonlinear responses of individual neurons that are the hallmark of neural information processing. Here, we overcome this limitation and present a new relationship between connectivity and activity in networks of nonlinear spiking neurons by developing a diagrammatic fluctuation expansion based on statistical field theory. We explicitly show how recurrent network structure produces pairwise and higher-order correlated activity, and how nonlinearities impact the networks' spiking activity. Our findings open new avenues to investigating how single-neuron nonlinearities-including those of different cell types-combine with connectivity to shape population activity and function.

  4. Loss of p120 catenin and links to mitotic alterations, inflammation, and skin cancer

    Perez-Moreno, Mirna; Song, Weimin; Pasolli, H Amalia

    2008-01-01

    Tumor formation involves epigenetic modifications and microenvironmental changes as well as cumulative genetic alterations encompassing somatic mutations, loss of heterozygosity, and aneuploidy. Here, we show that conditional targeting of p120 catenin in mice leads to progressive development...... of skin neoplasias associated with intrinsic NF-kappaB activation. We find that, similarly, squamous cell carcinomas in humans display altered p120 and activated NF-kappaB. We show that epidermal hyperproliferation arising from p120 loss can be abrogated by IkappaB kinase 2 inhibitors. Although...... this underscores the importance of this pathway, the role of NF-kappaB in hyperproliferation appears rooted in its impact on epidermal microenvironment because as p120-null keratinocytes display a growth-arrested phenotype in culture. We trace this to a mitotic defect, resulting in unstable, binucleated cells...

  5. Altered DNA methylation associated with a translocation linked to major mental illness

    McCartney, Daniel L; Walker, Rosie M; Morris, Stewart W; Anderson, Susan M; Duff, Barbara J; Marioni, Riccardo E; Millar, J Kirsty; McCarthy, Shane E; Ryan, Niamh M; Lawrie, Stephen M; Watson, Andrew R; Blackwood, Douglas H R; Thomson, Pippa A; McIntosh, Andrew M; McCombie, W Richard

    2018-01-01

    Recent work has highlighted a possible role for altered epigenetic modifications, including differential DNA methylation, in susceptibility to psychiatric illness. Here, we investigate blood-based DNA methylation in a large family where a balanced translocation between chromosomes 1 and 11 shows genome-wide significant linkage to psychiatric illness. Genome-wide DNA methylation was profiled in whole-blood-derived DNA from 41 individuals using the Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip (Illumin...

  6. Big River Benthos: Linking Year Round Biological Response to Altered Hydrological Regimes

    2017-04-02

    Sieved material was then placed in Whirl-Pak® bags, preserved with 80% EtOH, and returned to the ERDC Fish Ecology Laboratory in Vicksburg, MS... ecological response to altered flow regimes and help document benefits of restoring connectivity between secondary channels and the Mississippi River main...Modifications of the flow and function of the Mississippi River have only increased since then — markedly so after the Great Flood of 1927, an event that

  7. Mineralogical and structural transformations related to alterations in hydrothermal and climatological conditions of basic vulcanic rocks from northern Parana (Ribeirao Preto region, SP, Brazil)

    Goncalves, N.M.M.

    1987-01-01

    Detailed studies of the basic vulcanic rocks of northern Parana basin (Region of Ribeirao Preto, SP) reveled that these rocks were affected by pre-meteoric activity (hydrothermal alteration) before being exposed to the supergene system of alteration linked to the lithosphere/atmosphere interface. Mineralogical and structural transformation are studied. The appearance of sequential crystalline-chemical paragenesis in zones suggest that the hydrothermal activity occurred during two successives processes of alteration: the expulsion of the water from the rock during the later stages of magma cooling and the continous process of dissolution of the rock wall and the ionic diffusion involving the rock sistem of structural voids. The hydro-thermal action was followed by weathering action developing a thin 'front' of superficial alteration. This alteration system, can lead to the formation of three major levels of alteration horizons and superficial accumulations: alterites, glebular and suil surface materials. (C.D.G.) [pt

  8. An alter-centric perspective on employee innovation: The importance of alters' creative self-efficacy and network structure.

    Grosser, Travis J; Venkataramani, Vijaya; Labianca, Giuseppe Joe

    2017-09-01

    While most social network studies of employee innovation behavior examine the focal employees' ("egos'") network structure, we employ an alter-centric perspective to study the personal characteristics of employees' network contacts-their "alters"-to better understand employee innovation. Specifically, we examine how the creative self-efficacy (CSE) and innovation behavior of employees' social network contacts affects their ability to generate and implement novel ideas. Hypotheses were tested using a sample of 144 employees in a U.S.-based product development organization. We find that the average CSE of alters in an employee's problem solving network is positively related to that employee's innovation behavior, with this relationship being mediated by these alters' average innovation behavior. The relationship between the alters' average innovation behavior and the employee's own innovation behavior is strengthened when these alters have less dense social networks. Post hoc results suggest that having network contacts with high levels of CSE also leads to an increase in ego's personal CSE 1 year later in cases where the employee's initial level of CSE was relatively low. Implications for theory and practice are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  9. Brain structure links everyday creativity to creative achievement.

    Zhu, Wenfeng; Chen, Qunlin; Tang, Chaoying; Cao, Guikang; Hou, Yuling; Qiu, Jiang

    2016-03-01

    Although creativity is commonly considered to be a cornerstone of human progress and vital to all realms of our lives, its neural basis remains elusive, partly due to the different tasks and measurement methods applied in research. In particular, the neural correlates of everyday creativity that can be experienced by everyone, to some extent, are still unexplored. The present study was designed to investigate the brain structure underlying individual differences in everyday creativity, as measured by the Creative Behavioral Inventory (CBI) (N=163). The results revealed that more creative activities were significantly and positively associated with larger gray matter volume (GMV) in the regional premotor cortex (PMC), which is a motor planning area involved in the creation and selection of novel actions and inhibition. In addition, the gray volume of the PMC had a significant positive relationship with creative achievement and Art scores, which supports the notion that training and practice may induce changes in brain structures. These results indicate that everyday creativity is linked to the PMC and that PMC volume can predict creative achievement, supporting the view that motor planning may play a crucial role in creative behavior. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  10. Brain Structure Linking Delay Discounting and Academic Performance.

    Wang, Song; Kong, Feng; Zhou, Ming; Chen, Taolin; Yang, Xun; Chen, Guangxiang; Gong, Qiyong

    2017-08-01

    As a component of self-discipline, delay discounting refers to the ability to wait longer for preferred rewards and plays a pivotal role in shaping students' academic performance. However, the neural basis of the association between delay discounting and academic performance remains largely unknown. Here, we examined the neuroanatomical substrates underlying delay discounting and academic performance in 214 adolescents via voxel-based morphometry (VBM) by performing structural magnetic resonance imaging (S-MRI). Behaviorally, we confirmed the significant correlation between delay discounting and academic performance. Neurally, whole-brain regression analyses indicated that regional gray matter volume (rGMV) of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) was associated with both delay discounting and academic performance. Furthermore, delay discounting partly accounted for the association between academic performance and brain structure. Differences in the rGMV of the left DLPFC related to academic performance explained over one-third of the impact of delay discounting on academic performance. Overall, these results provide the first evidence for the common neural basis linking delay discounting and academic performance. Hum Brain Mapp 38:3917-3926, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Optimal optical communication terminal structure for maximizing the link budget

    Huang, Jian; Jiang, Dagang; Deng, Ke; Zhang, Peng

    2015-02-01

    Ordinary inter-satellite optical includes at least three optical paths for acquisition, tracking and communication, the three optical paths work simultaneously and share the received power. An optimal structure of inter-satellite optical communication terminal with single working optical path at each of working stages of acquisition and communication is introduced. A space optical switch based on frustrated total internal reflection effect is applied to switch the received laser power between the acquisition sensor and the communication sensor between the stages of acquisition and communication, this is named as power fusion which means power is transferred for shutting down unused optical path. For the stages of tracking and communication, a multiple cells sensor is used to accomplish the operation of tracking while communication, this is named as function fusion which means accomplishing multiple functions by one device to reduce the redundant optical paths. For optical communication terminal with single working path structure, the total received laser power would be detected by one sensor for each different stages of acquisition, tracking and communication, the link budget would be maximized, and this design would help to enlarge the system tolerance and reduce the acquisition time.

  12. Possible Link Between Stress-related Factors and Altered Body Composition in Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

    Basu, Barnali Ray; Chowdhury, Olivia; Saha, Sudip Kumar

    2018-01-01

    Stress is an invisible factor affecting modern day living and is strongly associated with many disease pathogenesis including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in women. PCOS is the most frequent endocrinological disorder that affects women of reproductive age, leading to metabolic dysfunction and body composition alterations. Salivary amylase and cortisol are major stress mediators that have been implicated in PCOS. However, their role in altering body composition in PCOS is yet to be deciphered. The present study aimed at understanding the relation between stress-associated factors and alterations in body composition among PCOS patients. This study enrolled a total of 100 patients (PCOS) and 60 age-matched controls. The female patients were of ages between 13 and 30 years. Standard assay kits were used to evaluate the α-amylase activity and cortisol level in saliva. The participants were chosen on the basis of the Rotterdam American Society for Reproductive Medicine/European Society of Human Reproduction criteria. Saliva was collected from each participant as per the protocol of Salimetrics, USA. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS version 20 for Windows. The quantitative variables are described as mean ± standard deviation. P stress scenario in their system. Moreover, overweight PCOS participants reflected higher amylase activity than the lean patients participants. Pulse rate, body mass index (BMI), visceral adiposity, and waist-hip ratio (WHR) was considerably higher in the PCOS patients participants compared to controls. A significant correlation could be drawn between the α-amylase activity and BMI or WHR, respectively, among PCOS patients. These observations indicate a strong link between the stress marker and alterations in the body composition parameters of PCOS patients participants. Higher prevalence of stress in PCOS patients participants has a critical role in their altered body composition.

  13. Structural alterations in heart valves during left ventricular pressure overload in the rat

    Willems, I. E.; Havenith, M. G.; Smits, J. F.; Daemen, M. J.

    1994-01-01

    Heart valves are an important denominator of the function of the heart but detailed studies of structural alterations of heart valves after hemodynamic changes are lacking. Structural alterations of heart valves, including DNA synthesis, collagen mRNA, and protein concentration were measured in

  14. Alteration of the digestive motility linked with radiation-induced inflammatory processes in rats

    Picard, C.

    2000-12-01

    Exposure to ionizing radiation, whether accidental or for medical reasons, may lead to gastro-intestinal injury, characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. The aetiology of radiation-induced diarrhea remains to date unclear. In this study, we have investigated the acute effects of a 10 Gy abdominal irradiation on rat digestive functions. The objective of the first study was to evaluate the role of sensory afferent neurons, capsaicin-sensitive, on morphological changes and the inflammatory response following exposure. Three days after irradiation, we observed an inflammatory response characterized by neutrophils infiltration and mast cells de-granulation. No effect of capsaicin pre-treatment was seen on these parameters. However, neutrophils infiltration was increased as early as one day after irradiation in capsaicin-treated rats. No difference in severity of diarrhea was observed after denervation nor in morphological changes. These data demonstrate that abdominal irradiation results in diarrhea concomitant with an inflammatory response, and that sensory innervation does not play a major protective role. The objective of the rest of the work was in the first instance to characterize radiation-induced alterations of intestinal and colonic motility leading to diarrhea and secondly to evaluate the role of serotonin in such disorders. Perturbations in intestinal (MMC) and colonic (LSB) motor profiles were observed from the first day onwards. Migrating motor complexes (MMC) were completely disrupted at three days at the same time as the onset of diarrhea. In addition to inhibition of LSB, colonic fluid absorptive capacity was decreased and serotonin colonic tissue levels were increased three days after irradiation. Radiation-induced diarrhea was reduced by treatment with an antagonist of 5-HT 3 receptors, granisetron, as were alterations of colonic motility and serotonin tissue levels. However, this treatment did not significantly ameliorate

  15. [Alteration of intestinal permeability: the missing link between gut microbiota modifications and inflammation in obesity?].

    Genser, Laurent; Poitou, Christine; Brot-Laroche, Édith; Rousset, Monique; Vaillant, Jean-Christophe; Clément, Karine; Thenet, Sophie; Leturque, Armelle

    2016-05-01

    The increasing incidence of obesity and associated metabolic complications is a worldwide public health issue. The role of the gut in the pathophysiology of obesity, with an important part for microbiota, is becoming obvious. In rodent models of diet-induced obesity, the modifications of gut microbiota are associated with an alteration of the intestinal permeability increasing the passage of food or bacterial antigens, which contribute to low-grade inflammation and insulin resistance. In human obesity, intestinal permeability modification, and its role in the crosstalk between gut microbiota changes and inflammation at systemic and tissular levels, are still poorly documented. Hence, further characterization of the triggering mechanisms of such inflammatory responses in obese subjects could enable the development of personalized intervention strategies that will help to reduce the risk of obesity-associated diseases. © 2016 médecine/sciences – Inserm.

  16. Linking Serpentinite Geochemistry with Possible Alteration and Evolution of Supra-Subduction Wedge Mantle

    Scambelluri, M.; Cannaò, E.; Agostini, S.; Gilio, M.

    2016-12-01

    Serpentinites are able to transport and release volatiles and fluid-mobile elements (FME) found in arc magmas. Constraining the trace element compositions of these rocks and of fluids released by de-serpentinization improves our knowledge of mass transfer from subduction zones to volcanic arcs, and of the role of slab and wedge mantle in this global process. Studies of high-pressure ultramafic rocks exhumed from plate interface settings reveal the fluid/rock interactions atop the slab and the processes that can affect the mantle wedge. Alpine eclogite-facies antigorite serpentinite (Voltri Massif) and fully de-serpentinized meta-peridotite (Cima di Gagnone) are enriched in sediment-derived As, Sb, U, Pb before peak dehydration. Their Sr, Pb and B isotopic compositions are reset during prograde (forearc) interaction with slab fluids. The eclogitic garnet and olivine from the Cima di Gagnone metaperidotite trap primary inclusions of the fluid released during breakdown of antigorite and chlorite. The inclusions display FME enrichments (high Cl, S; variable Cs, Rb, Ba, B, Pb, As, Sb) indicating element release from rocks to fluids during dehydration under subarc conditions. Our studies show that serpentinized mantle rocks from subduction zones sequester FME from slab fluids and convey these components and radiogenic isotopes into the mantle wedge upon dehydration. The geochemical processes revealed by such plate-interface rocks can apply to the supra-subduction mantle. Shallow element release from slabs to mantle wedge, downdrag of this altered mantle and its subsequent (subarc) dehydration transfers crust-derived FMEs to the arc magma sources without the need of concomitant subarc dehydration/melting of metasedimentary slab components. The slab signature detected in arc lavas can thus result from geochemical mixing of sediment, oceanic crust and ultramafic reservoirs into altered wedge-mantle rocks, rather than being attributed to multiple fluids.

  17. Cortical Thinning and Altered Cortico-Cortical Structural Covariance of the Default Mode Network in Patients with Persistent Insomnia Symptoms.

    Suh, Sooyeon; Kim, Hosung; Dang-Vu, Thien Thanh; Joo, Eunyeon; Shin, Chol

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have suggested that structural abnormalities in insomnia may be linked with alterations in the default-mode network (DMN). This study compared cortical thickness and structural connectivity linked to the DMN in patients with persistent insomnia (PI) and good sleepers (GS). The current study used a clinical subsample from the longitudinal community-based Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study (KoGES). Cortical thickness and structural connectivity linked to the DMN in patients with persistent insomnia symptoms (PIS; n = 57) were compared to good sleepers (GS; n = 40). All participants underwent MRI acquisition. Based on literature review, we selected cortical regions corresponding to the DMN. A seed-based structural covariance analysis measured cortical thickness correlation between each seed region of the DMN and other cortical areas. Association of cortical thickness and covariance with sleep quality and neuropsychological assessments were further assessed. Compared to GS, cortical thinning was found in PIS in the anterior cingulate cortex, precentral cortex, and lateral prefrontal cortex. Decreased structural connectivity between anterior and posterior regions of the DMN was observed in the PIS group. Decreased structural covariance within the DMN was associated with higher PSQI scores. Cortical thinning in the lateral frontal lobe was related to poor performance in executive function in PIS. Disrupted structural covariance network in PIS might reflect malfunctioning of antero-posterior disconnection of the DMN during the wake to sleep transition that is commonly found during normal sleep. The observed structural network alteration may further implicate commonly observed sustained sleep difficulties and cognitive impairment in insomnia. © 2016 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.

  18. Preterm birth and structural brain alterations in early adulthood

    Nosarti, Chiara; Nam, Kie Woo; Walshe, Muriel; Murray, Robin M.; Cuddy, Marion; Rifkin, Larry; Allin, Matthew P.G.

    2014-01-01

    Alterations in cortical development and impaired neurodevelopmental outcomes have been described following very preterm (VPT) birth in childhood and adolescence, but only a few studies to date have investigated grey matter (GM) and white matter (WM) maturation in VPT samples in early adult life. Using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) we studied regional GM and WM volumes in 68 VPT-born individuals (mean gestational age 30 weeks) and 43 term-born controls aged 19–20 years, and their association w...

  19. Links between contaminant hotspots in low flow estuarine systems and altered sediment biogeochemical processes

    Sutherland, Michael D.; Dafforn, Katherine A.; Scanes, Peter; Potts, Jaimie; Simpson, Stuart L.; Sim, Vivian X. Y.; Johnston, Emma L.

    2017-11-01

    The urbanisation of coastal zones is a major threat to the health of global estuaries and has been linked to increased contamination (e.g. metals) and excess organic matter. Urban stormwater networks collect and funnel contaminants into waterways at point sources (e.g. stormdrains). Under dry, low flow conditions, these stormwater contaminants can accumulate in sediments over time and result in modifications to benthic sediment biogeochemical processes. To quantify these processes, this field study measured differences in benthic metabolism (CR, GPP, NEM) and sediment-water nutrient fluxes (NH3, NOx, PO4) associated with stormdrains (0 m, 200 m and 1000 m away) and increased water-retention (embayments vs channels). Significant changes to benthic metabolism were detected with distance from stormdrains, and with differences in water-retention rates, above natural spatial and temporal variation. Oxygen consumption was ∼50% higher at stormdrains (0 m) compared to 1000 m away and >70% higher at stormdrains (0 m) located in embayments compared to channels. Oxygen production also appeared to decrease with distance from stormdrains in embayments, but patterns were variable. These changes to benthic metabolism were of a magnitude expected to influence benthic nutrient cycling, but NH3, NOx and PO4 fluxes were generally low, and highly spatially and temporally variable. Overall, metal (Cu) contamination explained most of the variation in sediment biogeochemical processes between embayments and channels, while sediment grain size explained differences in fluxes with distance from stormdrains. Importantly, although there was evidence of increased productivity associated with stormdrains, we also detected evidence of early hypoxia suggesting that systems with legacy stormwater contaminants exist on a tipping point. Future work should investigate changes to sediment processes after a major rainfall event, when large and sudden inputs of potentially toxic contaminants occur

  20. Alterations in Brain Structure and Functional Connectivity in Alcohol Dependent Patients and Possible Association with Impulsivity.

    Wang, Junkai; Fan, Yunli; Dong, Yue; Ma, Mengying; Ma, Yi; Dong, Yuru; Niu, Yajuan; Jiang, Yin; Wang, Hong; Wang, Zhiyan; Wu, Liuzhen; Sun, Hongqiang; Cui, Cailian

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have documented that heightened impulsivity likely contributes to the development and maintenance of alcohol use disorders. However, there is still a lack of studies that comprehensively detected the brain changes associated with abnormal impulsivity in alcohol addicts. This study was designed to investigate the alterations in brain structure and functional connectivity associated with abnormal impulsivity in alcohol dependent patients. Brain structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging data as well as impulsive behavior data were collected from 20 alcohol dependent patients and 20 age- and sex-matched healthy controls respectively. Voxel-based morphometry was used to investigate the differences of grey matter volume, and tract-based spatial statistics was used to detect abnormal white matter regions between alcohol dependent patients and healthy controls. The alterations in resting-state functional connectivity in alcohol dependent patients were examined using selected brain areas with gray matter deficits as seed regions. Compared with healthy controls, alcohol dependent patients had significantly reduced gray matter volume in the mesocorticolimbic system including the dorsal posterior cingulate cortex, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, the medial prefrontal cortex, the orbitofrontal cortex and the putamen, decreased fractional anisotropy in the regions connecting the damaged grey matter areas driven by higher radial diffusivity value in the same areas and decreased resting-state functional connectivity within the reward network. Moreover, the gray matter volume of the left medial prefrontal cortex exhibited negative correlations with various impulse indices. These findings suggest that chronic alcohol dependence could cause a complex neural changes linked to abnormal impulsivity.

  1. Urinary collagen fragments are significantly altered in diabetes: a link to pathophysiology.

    David M Maahs

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus (DM is variable, comprising different inflammatory and immune responses. Proteome analysis holds the promise of delivering insight into the pathophysiological changes associated with diabetes. Recently, we identified and validated urinary proteomics biomarkers for diabetes. Based on these initial findings, we aimed to further validate urinary proteomics biomarkers specific for diabetes in general, and particularity associated with either type 1 (T1D or type 2 diabetes (T2D.Therefore, the low-molecular-weight urinary proteome of 902 subjects from 10 different centers, 315 controls and 587 patients with T1D (n = 299 or T2D (n = 288, was analyzed using capillary-electrophoresis mass-spectrometry. The 261 urinary biomarkers (100 were sequenced previously discovered in 205 subjects were validated in an additional 697 subjects to distinguish DM subjects (n = 382 from control subjects (n = 315 with 94% (95% CI: 92-95 accuracy in this study. To identify biomarkers that differentiate T1D from T2D, a subset of normoalbuminuric patients with T1D (n = 68 and T2D (n = 42 was employed, enabling identification of 131 biomarker candidates (40 were sequenced differentially regulated between T1D and T2D. These biomarkers distinguished T1D from T2D in an independent validation set of normoalbuminuric patients (n = 108 with 88% (95% CI: 81-94% accuracy, and in patients with impaired renal function (n = 369 with 85% (95% CI: 81-88% accuracy. Specific collagen fragments were associated with diabetes and type of diabetes indicating changes in collagen turnover and extracellular matrix as one hallmark of the molecular pathophysiology of diabetes. Additional biomarkers including inflammatory processes and pro-thrombotic alterations were observed.These findings, based on the largest proteomic study performed to date on subjects with DM, validate the previously described biomarkers for DM, and pinpoint differences in the urinary

  2. Structure/Psychophysical Relationships in X-Linked Retinoschisis.

    Bennett, Lea D; Wang, Yi-Zhong; Klein, Martin; Pennesi, Mark E; Jayasundera, Thiran; Birch, David G

    2016-02-01

    To compare structural properties from spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SDOCT) and psychophysical measures from a subset of patients enrolled in a larger multicenter natural history study of X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS). A subset of males (n = 24) participating in a larger natural history study of XLRS underwent high-resolution SDOCT. Total retina (TR) thickness and outer segment (OS) thickness were measured manually. Shape discrimination hyperacuity (SDH) and contour integration perimetry (CIP) were performed on an iPad with the myVisionTrack application. Sensitivity was measured with fundus-guided perimetry (4-2 threshold testing strategy; 10-2 grid, spot size 3, 68 points). Correlation was determined with Pearson's r correlation. Values are presented as the mean ± SD. Mean macular OS thickness was less in XLRS patients (17.2 ± 8.1 μm) than in controls (37.1 ± 5.7 μm; P weak correlation with TR thickness (R(2) = 0.22, P = 0.0158). The XLRS subjects had a logMAR best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) of 0.5 ± 0.3 that was associated with OS (R(2) = 0.79, P < 0.0001) but not TR thickness (R(2) = 0.01, P = 0.6166). Shape DH and CIP inner ring correlated with OS (R(2) = 0.33, P = 0.0085 and R(2) = 0.47, P = 0.0001, respectively) but not TR thickness (R(2) = 0.0004, P = 0.93; R(2) = 0.0043, P = 0.75, respectively). When considered from a single visit, OS thickness within the macula is more closely associated with macular function than TR thickness within the macula in patients with XLRS.

  3. Structural investigation of nitrogen-linked saccharinate-tetrazole

    Gómez-Zavaglia, A.; Ismael, A.; Cabral, L. I. L.; Kaczor, A.; Paixão, J. A.; Fausto, R.; Cristiano, M. L. S.

    2011-09-01

    The molecular structure of nitrogen-linked saccharinate-tetrazole, N-(1,1-dioxo-1,2-benzisothiazol-3-yl)-amine-1 H-tetrazole (BAT), was investigated in the crystalline state using X-ray crystallography and infrared and Raman spectroscopies, and isolated in argon matrix by infrared spectroscopy. Interpretation of the experimental results was supported by quantum chemical calculations undertaken at the DFT(B3LYP)/6-311++G(3df,3pd) level of theory. In the neat crystalline solid (space group C2/ c, a = 21.7493(3) Å, b = 8.85940(10) Å, c = 10.76900(10) Å, β = 103.3300(10) deg; Z = 8), BAT units exist in the (1 H)-tetrazole aminosaccharin tautomeric form, with the NH spacer establishing a hydrogen bond to the nitrogen in position-4 of the tetrazole group of a neighbour molecule, and the NH group of the tetrazole fragment forming a bifurcated H-bond to the saccharyl nitrogen of the same molecule and to one of the oxygen atoms of a second neighbour molecule. On the other hand, according to both the matrix isolation infrared studies and the theoretical calculations, the isolated BAT molecule exists preferentially as the (1 H)-tetrazole iminosaccharin tautomer, where the main stabilizing interaction is the intramolecular H-bond established between the NH group of the saccharyl ring and the tetrazole nitrogen atom in position 4. A detailed conformational analysis of the studied molecule and full assignment of the vibrational spectra for both the matrix-isolated compound and crystalline sample were undertaken.

  4. The rat intervertebral disk degeneration pain model: relationships between biological and structural alterations and pain.

    Kim, Jae-Sung; Kroin, Jeffrey S; Li, Xin; An, Howard S; Buvanendran, Asokumar; Yan, Dongyao; Tuman, Kenneth J; van Wijnen, Andre J; Chen, Di; Im, Hee-Jeong

    2011-01-01

    Degeneration of the interverterbral disk is as a cause of low-back pain is increasing. To gain insight into relationships between biological processes, structural alterations and behavioral pain, we created an animal model in rats. Disk degeneration was induced by removal of the nucleus pulposus (NP) from the lumbar disks (L4/L5 and L5/L6) of Sprague Dawley rats using a 0.5-mm-diameter microsurgical drill. The degree of primary hyperalgesia was assessed by using an algometer to measure pain upon external pressure on injured lumbar disks. Biochemical and histological assessments and radiographs of injured disks were used for evaluation. We investigated therapeutic modulation of chronic pain by administering pharmaceutical drugs in this animal model. After removal of the NP, pressure hyperalgesia developed over the lower back. Nine weeks after surgery we observed damaged or degenerated disks with proteoglycan loss and narrowing of disk height. These biological and structural changes in disks were closely related to the sustained pain hyperalgesia. A high dose of morphine (6.7 mg/kg) resulted in effective pain relief. However, high doses of pregabalin (20 mg/kg), a drug that has been used for treatment of chronic neuropathic pain, as well as the anti-inflammatory drugs celecoxib (50 mg/kg; a selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2)) and ketorolac (20 mg/kg; an inhibitor of COX-1 and COX-2), did not have significant antihyperalgesic effects in our disk injury animal model. Although similarities in gene expression profiles suggest potential overlap in chronic pain pathways linked to disk injury or neuropathy, drug-testing results suggest that pain pathways linked to these two chronic pain conditions are mechanistically distinct. Our findings provide a foundation for future research on new therapeutic interventions that can lead to improvements in the treatment of patients with back pain due to disk degeneration.

  5. Possible link between stress-related factors and altered body composition in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome

    Barnali Ray Basu

    2018-01-01

    indicate a strong link between the stress marker and alterations in the body composition parameters of PCOS patients participants. Conclusion: Higher prevalence of stress in PCOS patients participants has a critical role in their altered body composition.

  6. Research on structure-alteration zone related to uranium mineralization and its exploration significance

    Huang Xianfang; Liu Dechang; Ye Fawang; Dong Xiuzhen; Yang Xu Zhang Hongguang

    2008-01-01

    The paper is focused on recommending geological characteristics of structure-alteration zone which is found from image interpretation in Bashibulake District, north of Tarim Basin, expounding remote sensing information enhancement and extraction technique, analyzing image feature, genetic mechanism and discussing the relationship between uranium mineralization and structure-alteration zone. A new discovery is raised through applying remote sensing information analysis and geologic analysis, that is, the uranium deposits in Bashibulake District are controlled by structure-alteration zone. The new understanding provides a new view point for reconsidering main controlling factors and uranium mineralization distribution in the area. It is helpful for further reconnaissance and exploration in the area. (authors)

  7. A possible link of gut microbiota alteration in type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease pathogenicity: an update.

    Alam, Mohammad Z; Alam, Qamre; Kamal, Mohammad A; Abuzenadah, Adel M; Haque, Absarul

    2014-04-01

    Imbalances in gut microbiota are associated with metabolic disorder, which are a group of obesity-related metabolic abnormalities that increase an individual's risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although a number of risk factors have been postulated that may trigger the development of AD, the root cause of this disease is still a matter of debate. This review further investigates the etiology of AD by accumulating the current role played by gut microbiota in human, and trying to establish an inter-link between T2D and AD pathogenesis. There is a growing body of evidence which suggests that obesity is associated with alteration in the normal gut flora, reduced bacterial diversity, metabolic pathways and altered representation of bacterial genes. Obesity and T2D are considered to be induced as a result of changes within the composition of gut microbiota. The evidence gathered so far clearly advocates the involvement of gut microbes in causing obesity, a state of chronic and low-grade inflammation. Hence, understanding the microbiota of the gut is significant in relation to inflammation, as it is a key contributor for diabetes which has a direct relation to the AD pathogenesis. Comparative analysis of gut microbiota may enable further novel insight into the complex biology of AD, which is very important in order to take preventive measure such as early diagnosis, identification of new therapeutic targets and development of novel drugs.

  8. Structural health monitoring (vibration) as a tool for identifying structural alterations of the lumbar spine

    Kawchuk, Gregory N; Hartvigsen, Jan; Edgecombe, Tiffany

    2016-01-01

    Structural health monitoring (SHM) is an engineering technique used to identify mechanical abnormalities not readily apparent through other means. Recently, SHM has been adapted for use in biological systems, but its invasive nature limits its clinical application. As such, the purpose of this pr......Structural health monitoring (SHM) is an engineering technique used to identify mechanical abnormalities not readily apparent through other means. Recently, SHM has been adapted for use in biological systems, but its invasive nature limits its clinical application. As such, the purpose...... of this project was to determine if a non-invasive form of SHM could identify structural alterations in the spines of living human subjects. Lumbar spines of 10 twin pairs were visualized by magnetic resonance imaging then assessed by a blinded radiologist to determine whether twin pairs were structurally...... concordant or discordant. Vibration was then applied to each subject's spine and the resulting response recorded from sensors overlying lumbar spinous processes. The peak frequency, area under the curve and the root mean square were computed from the frequency response function of each sensor. Statistical...

  9. Linking white matter and deep gray matter alterations in premanifest Huntington disease

    Andreia V. Faria

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Huntington disease (HD is a fatal progressive neurodegenerative disorder for which only symptomatic treatment is available. A better understanding of the pathology, and identification of biomarkers will facilitate the development of disease-modifying treatments. HD is potentially a good model of a neurodegenerative disease for development of biomarkers because it is an autosomal-dominant disease with complete penetrance, caused by a single gene mutation, in which the neurodegenerative process can be assessed many years before onset of signs and symptoms of manifest disease. Previous MRI studies have detected abnormalities in gray and white matter starting in premanifest stages. However, the understanding of how these abnormalities are related, both in time and space, is still incomplete. In this study, we combined deep gray matter shape diffeomorphometry and white matter DTI analysis in order to provide a better mapping of pathology in the deep gray matter and subcortical white matter in premanifest HD. We used 296 MRI scans from the PREDICT-HD database. Atrophy in the deep gray matter, thalamus, hippocampus, and nucleus accumbens was analyzed by surface based morphometry, and while white matter abnormalities were analyzed in (i regions of interest surrounding these structures, using (ii tractography-based analysis, and using (iii whole brain atlas-based analysis. We detected atrophy in the deep gray matter, particularly in putamen, from early premanifest stages. The atrophy was greater both in extent and effect size in cases with longer exposure to the effects of the CAG expansion mutation (as assessed by greater CAP-scores, and preceded detectible abnormalities in the white matter. Near the predicted onset of manifest HD, the MD increase was widespread, with highest indices in the deep and posterior white matter. This type of in-vivo macroscopic mapping of HD brain abnormalities can potentially indicate when and where therapeutics could be

  10. Cold-induced alteration in the global structure of the male sex ...

    Cold-induced alteration in the global structure of the male sex ... dar et al. 1978). Chromosome preparated from a single pair of salivary glands show extremely puffy and diffuse ..... Akhtar A. 2003 Dosage compensation: an intertwined world of.

  11. Alterations in archaeological bones thermally treated: structure and morphology

    Pijoan, C.M.; Mansilla, J.; Leboreiro, I.; Lara, V.H.; Bosch, P.

    2004-01-01

    Archaeological bones found close to Mexico city (Tlatelcomila) have been characterized by X-ray Diffraction, Small Angle X-ray Spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy. These techniques, which are not conventionally used in archaeological research, provided useful information. The boiled bones were clearly distinguished from grilled bones. The degree of deterioration of the bone structure was quantified through parameters such as gyration radius or fractal dimension. The morphology followed the structural modifications and changes resulting from thermic exposure. (Author) 23 refs., 1 tab., 2 figs

  12. Circulating Microparticles Alter Formation, Structure, and Properties of Fibrin Clots.

    Zubairova, Laily D; Nabiullina, Roza M; Nagaswami, Chandrasekaran; Zuev, Yuriy F; Mustafin, Ilshat G; Litvinov, Rustem I; Weisel, John W

    2015-12-04

    Despite the importance of circulating microparticles in haemostasis and thrombosis, there is limited evidence for potential causative effects of naturally produced cell-derived microparticles on fibrin clot formation and its properties. We studied the significance of blood microparticles for fibrin formation, structure, and susceptibility to fibrinolysis by removing them from platelet-free plasma using filtration. Clots made in platelet-free and microparticle-depleted plasma samples from the same healthy donors were analyzed in parallel. Microparticles accelerate fibrin polymerisation and support formation of more compact clots that resist internal and external fibrinolysis. These variations correlate with faster thrombin generation, suggesting thrombin-mediated kinetic effects of microparticles on fibrin formation, structure, and properties. In addition, clots formed in the presence of microparticles, unlike clots from the microparticle-depleted plasma, contain 0.1-0.5-μm size granular and CD61-positive material on fibres, suggesting that platelet-derived microparticles attach to fibrin. Therefore, the blood of healthy individuals contains functional microparticles at the levels that have a procoagulant potential. They affect the structure and stability of fibrin clots indirectly through acceleration of thrombin generation and through direct physical incorporation into the fibrin network. Both mechanisms underlie a potential role of microparticles in haemostasis and thrombosis as modulators of fibrin formation, structure, and resistance to fibrinolysis.

  13. THC alters alters morphology of neurons in medial prefrontal cortex, orbital prefrontal cortex, and nucleus accumbens and alters the ability of later experience to promote structural plasticity.

    Kolb, Bryan; Li, Yilin; Robinson, Terry; Parker, Linda A

    2018-03-01

    Psychoactive drugs have the ability to alter the morphology of neuronal dendrites and spines and to influence later experience-dependent structural plasticity. If rats are given repeated injections of psychomotor stimulants (amphetamine, cocaine, nicotine) prior to being placed in complex environments, the drug experience interferes with the ability of the environment to increase dendritic arborization and spine density. Repeated exposure to Delta 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) changes the morphology of dendrites in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc). To determine if drugs other than psychomotor stimulants will also interfere with later experience-dependent structural plasticity we gave Long-Evans rats THC (0.5 mg/kg) or saline for 11 days before placing them in complex environments or standard laboratory caging for 90 days. Brains were subsequently processed for Golgi-Cox staining and analysis of dendritic morphology and spine density mPFC, orbital frontal cortex (OFC), and NAcc. THC altered both dendritic arborization and spine density in all three regions, and, like psychomotor stimulants, THC influenced the effect of later experience in complex environments to shape the structure of neurons in these three regions. We conclude that THC may therefore contribute to persistent behavioral and cognitive deficits associated with prolonged use of the drug. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Glutaraldehyde cross-linking of amniotic membranes affects their nanofibrous structures and limbal epithelial cell culture characteristics.

    Lai, Jui-Yang; Ma, David Hui-Kang

    2013-01-01

    Given that the cells can sense nanometer dimensions, the chemical cross-linking-mediated alteration in fibrillar structure of collagenous tissue scaffolds is critical to determining their cell culture performances. This article explores, for the first time, the effect of nanofibrous structure of glutaraldehyde (GTA) cross-linked amniotic membrane (AM) on limbal epithelial cell (LEC) cultivation. Results of ninhydrin assays demonstrated that the amount of new cross-links formed between the collagen chains is significantly increased with increasing the cross-linking time from 1 to 24 hours. By transmission electron microscopy, the AM treated with GTA for a longer duration exhibited a greater extent of molecular aggregation, thereby leading to a considerable increase in nanofiber diameter and resistance against collagenase degradation. In vitro biocompatibility studies showed that the samples cross-linked with GTA for 24 hours are not well-tolerated by the human corneal epithelial cell cultures. When the treatment duration is less than 6 hours, the biological tissues cross-linked with GTA for a longer time may cause slight reductions in 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt, and anti-inflammatory activities. Nevertheless, significant collagen molecular aggregation also enhances the stemness gene expression, indicating a high ability of these AM matrices to preserve the progenitors of LECs in vitro. It is concluded that GTA cross-linking of collagenous tissue materials may affect their nanofibrous structures and corneal epithelial stem cell culture characteristics. The AM treated with GTA for 6 hours holds promise for use as a niche for the expansion and transplantation of limbal epithelial progenitor cells.

  15. Do edaphic aspects alter vegetation structures in the Brazilian restinga?

    Francisco Soares Santos-Filho

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The vegetation of the Brazilian restinga (coastal woodland presents a variety of species and different characteristics, encompassing fields, fruit groves and forests on quartzarenic neosols. We hypothesised that the structure of the restinga landscape along the coast of the state of Piauí is influenced by edaphic factors and presents a pattern similar to that of other northeastern restingas. We evaluated three restingas in Piauí, using the quarter method to determine their structure. Composite soil samples were collected to determine their chemical and physical properties. Edaphic variables were correlated with plant species by canonical correspondence analysis (CCA. Phytosociological data for all three areas indicated regenerating vegetation comprising several small individuals, 82.5% of which showed a diameter at ground level < 13 cm. We also observed considerable tillering. In two of the areas, there was a predominance of Fabaceae species, such as Caesalpinia pyramidalis and Copaifera martii. Although the structural characteristics of the restingas studied were similar to those of other northeastern restingas, the former showed lower Shannon diversity indices (2.18-2.44. The CCA indicated that species distribution was influenced by edaphic factors such as pH, aluminium content and amount of organic matter. The restingas studied were similar to others along the Brazilian coast.

  16. Identification of glycan structure alterations on cell membrane proteins in desoxyepothilone B resistant leukemia cells.

    Nakano, Miyako; Saldanha, Rohit; Göbel, Anja; Kavallaris, Maria; Packer, Nicolle H

    2011-11-01

    Resistance to tubulin-binding agents used in cancer is often multifactorial and can include changes in drug accumulation and modified expression of tubulin isotypes. Glycans on cell membrane proteins play important roles in many cellular processes such as recognition and apoptosis, and this study investigated whether changes to the glycan structures on cell membrane proteins occur when cells become resistant to drugs. Specifically, we investigated the alteration of glycan structures on the cell membrane proteins of human T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (CEM) cells that were selected for resistance to desoxyepothilone B (CEM/dEpoB). The glycan profile of the cell membrane glycoproteins was obtained by sequential release of N- and O-glycans from cell membrane fraction dotted onto polyvinylidene difluoride membrane with PNGase F and β-elimination respectively. The released glycan alditols were analyzed by liquid chromatography (graphitized carbon)-electrospray ionization tandem MS. The major N-glycan on CEM cell was the core fucosylated α2-6 monosialo-biantennary structure. Resistant CEM/dEpoB cells had a significant decrease of α2-6 linked sialic acid on N-glycans. The lower α2-6 sialylation was caused by a decrease in activity of β-galactoside α2-6 sialyltransferase (ST6Gal), and decreased expression of the mRNA. It is clear that the membrane glycosylation of leukemia cells changes during acquired resistance to dEpoB drugs and that this change occurs globally on all cell membrane glycoproteins. This is the first identification of a specific glycan modification on the surface of drug resistant cells and the mechanism of this downstream effect on microtubule targeting drugs may offer a route to new interventions to overcome drug resistance.

  17. Abdominal Pain, the Adolescent and Altered Brain Structure and Function.

    Hubbard, Catherine S; Becerra, Lino; Heinz, Nicole; Ludwick, Allison; Rasooly, Tali; Wu, Rina; Johnson, Adriana; Schechter, Neil L; Borsook, David; Nurko, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder of unknown etiology. Although relatively common in children, how this condition affects brain structure and function in a pediatric population remains unclear. Here, we investigate brain changes in adolescents with IBS and healthy controls. Imaging was performed with a Siemens 3 Tesla Trio Tim MRI scanner equipped with a 32-channel head coil. A high-resolution T1-weighted anatomical scan was acquired followed by a T2-weighted functional scan. We used a surface-based morphometric approach along with a seed-based resting-state functional connectivity (RS-FC) analysis to determine if groups differed in cortical thickness and whether areas showing structural differences also showed abnormal RS-FC patterns. Patients completed the Abdominal Pain Index and the GI Module of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory to assess abdominal pain severity and impact of GI symptoms on health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Disease duration and pain intensity were also assessed. Pediatric IBS patients, relative to controls, showed cortical thickening in the posterior cingulate (PCC), whereas cortical thinning in posterior parietal and prefrontal areas were found, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). In patients, abdominal pain severity was related to cortical thickening in the intra-abdominal area of the primary somatosensory cortex (SI), whereas HRQOL was associated with insular cortical thinning. Disease severity measures correlated with cortical thickness in bilateral DLPFC and orbitofrontal cortex. Patients also showed reduced anti-correlations between PCC and DLPFC compared to controls, a finding that may reflect aberrant connectivity between default mode and cognitive control networks. We are the first to demonstrate concomitant structural and functional brain changes associated with abdominal pain severity, HRQOL related to GI-specific symptoms, and disease-specific measures in

  18. Abdominal Pain, the Adolescent and Altered Brain Structure and Function

    Becerra, Lino; Heinz, Nicole; Ludwick, Allison; Rasooly, Tali; Wu, Rina; Johnson, Adriana; Schechter, Neil L.; Borsook, David; Nurko, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder of unknown etiology. Although relatively common in children, how this condition affects brain structure and function in a pediatric population remains unclear. Here, we investigate brain changes in adolescents with IBS and healthy controls. Imaging was performed with a Siemens 3 Tesla Trio Tim MRI scanner equipped with a 32-channel head coil. A high-resolution T1-weighted anatomical scan was acquired followed by a T2-weighted functional scan. We used a surface-based morphometric approach along with a seed-based resting-state functional connectivity (RS-FC) analysis to determine if groups differed in cortical thickness and whether areas showing structural differences also showed abnormal RS-FC patterns. Patients completed the Abdominal Pain Index and the GI Module of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory to assess abdominal pain severity and impact of GI symptoms on health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Disease duration and pain intensity were also assessed. Pediatric IBS patients, relative to controls, showed cortical thickening in the posterior cingulate (PCC), whereas cortical thinning in posterior parietal and prefrontal areas were found, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). In patients, abdominal pain severity was related to cortical thickening in the intra-abdominal area of the primary somatosensory cortex (SI), whereas HRQOL was associated with insular cortical thinning. Disease severity measures correlated with cortical thickness in bilateral DLPFC and orbitofrontal cortex. Patients also showed reduced anti-correlations between PCC and DLPFC compared to controls, a finding that may reflect aberrant connectivity between default mode and cognitive control networks. We are the first to demonstrate concomitant structural and functional brain changes associated with abdominal pain severity, HRQOL related to GI-specific symptoms, and disease-specific measures in

  19. Abdominal Pain, the Adolescent and Altered Brain Structure and Function.

    Catherine S Hubbard

    Full Text Available Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS is a functional gastrointestinal (GI disorder of unknown etiology. Although relatively common in children, how this condition affects brain structure and function in a pediatric population remains unclear. Here, we investigate brain changes in adolescents with IBS and healthy controls. Imaging was performed with a Siemens 3 Tesla Trio Tim MRI scanner equipped with a 32-channel head coil. A high-resolution T1-weighted anatomical scan was acquired followed by a T2-weighted functional scan. We used a surface-based morphometric approach along with a seed-based resting-state functional connectivity (RS-FC analysis to determine if groups differed in cortical thickness and whether areas showing structural differences also showed abnormal RS-FC patterns. Patients completed the Abdominal Pain Index and the GI Module of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory to assess abdominal pain severity and impact of GI symptoms on health-related quality of life (HRQOL. Disease duration and pain intensity were also assessed. Pediatric IBS patients, relative to controls, showed cortical thickening in the posterior cingulate (PCC, whereas cortical thinning in posterior parietal and prefrontal areas were found, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC. In patients, abdominal pain severity was related to cortical thickening in the intra-abdominal area of the primary somatosensory cortex (SI, whereas HRQOL was associated with insular cortical thinning. Disease severity measures correlated with cortical thickness in bilateral DLPFC and orbitofrontal cortex. Patients also showed reduced anti-correlations between PCC and DLPFC compared to controls, a finding that may reflect aberrant connectivity between default mode and cognitive control networks. We are the first to demonstrate concomitant structural and functional brain changes associated with abdominal pain severity, HRQOL related to GI-specific symptoms, and disease

  20. Subclinical depressive symptoms during late midlife and structural brain alterations

    Osler, Merete; Sørensen, Lauge; Rozing, Maarten

    2018-01-01

    and brain structure outcomes were tested using Pearson's correlation, t test, and linear regression. Depressive symptoms at age 51 showed clear inverse correlations with total gray matter, pallidum, and hippocampal volume with the strongest estimate for hippocampal volume (r = -.22, p ... exclusion of men (n = 3) with scores in the range of clinical depression the inverse correlation between depressive symptoms and hippocampal volume became insignificant (r = -13, p = .08). Depressive symptoms at age 59 correlated positively with hippocampal and amygdala texture-potential early markers...

  1. A Phex mutation in a murine model of X-linked hypophosphatemia alters phosphate responsiveness of bone cells.

    Ichikawa, Shoji; Austin, Anthony M; Gray, Amie K; Econs, Michael J

    2012-02-01

    Mutations in the PHEX gene cause X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH). Hypophosphatemia in XLH results from increased circulating levels of a phosphaturic hormone, fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), which inhibits renal phosphate reabsorption and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (calcitriol) synthesis. The current standard therapy for XLH--high-dose phosphate and calcitriol--further increases FGF23 concentrations, suggesting that patients with XLH may have an altered response to extracellular phosphate. To test for the presence of abnormal phosphate responsiveness, we compared serum biochemistries and femoral Fgf23 mRNA expression between wild-type mice, murine models of XLH (Phex(K496X)) and hyperphosphatemic tumoral calcinosis (Galnt3(-/-)), and Galnt3/Phex double-mutant mice. Phex mutant mice had not only increased Fgf23 expression but also reduced proteolytic cleavage of intact Fgf23 protein, resulting in markedly elevated intact Fgf23 levels and consequent hypophosphatemia. In contrast, despite markedly increased Fgf23 expression, Galnt3 knockout mice had significantly high proteolytic cleavage of Fgf23 protein, leading to low intact Fgf23 concentrations and hyperphosphatemia. Galnt3/Phex double-mutant mice had an intermediate biochemical phenotype between wild-type and Phex mutant mice, including slightly elevated intact Fgf23 concentrations with milder hypophosphatemia. Despite the hypophosphatemia, double-mutant mice attempted to reduce serum phosphate back to the level of Phex mutant mice by upregulating Fgf23 expression as much as 24-fold higher than Phex mutant mice. These data suggest that Phex mutations alter the responsiveness of bone cells to extracellular phosphate concentrations and may create a lower set point for "normal" phosphate levels.

  2. Shifting brain asymmetry: the link between meditation and structural lateralization.

    Kurth, Florian; MacKenzie-Graham, Allan; Toga, Arthur W; Luders, Eileen

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have revealed an increased fractional anisotropy and greater thickness in the anterior parts of the corpus callosum in meditation practitioners compared with control subjects. Altered callosal features may be associated with an altered inter-hemispheric integration and the degree of brain asymmetry may also be shifted in meditation practitioners. Therefore, we investigated differences in gray matter asymmetry as well as correlations between gray matter asymmetry and years of meditation practice in 50 long-term meditators and 50 controls. We detected a decreased rightward asymmetry in the precuneus in meditators compared with controls. In addition, we observed that a stronger leftward asymmetry near the posterior intraparietal sulcus was positively associated with the number of meditation practice years. In a further exploratory analysis, we observed that a stronger rightward asymmetry in the pregenual cingulate cortex was negatively associated with the number of practice years. The group difference within the precuneus, as well as the positive correlations with meditation years in the pregenual cingulate cortex, suggests an adaptation of the default mode network in meditators. The positive correlation between meditation practice years and asymmetry near the posterior intraparietal sulcus may suggest that meditation is accompanied by changes in attention processing. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Genome Wide Association Mapping in Arabidopsis thaliana Identifies Novel Genes Involved in Linking Allyl Glucosinolate to Altered Biomass and Defense.

    Francisco, Marta; Joseph, Bindu; Caligagan, Hart; Li, Baohua; Corwin, Jason A; Lin, Catherine; Kerwin, Rachel E; Burow, Meike; Kliebenstein, Daniel J

    2016-01-01

    A key limitation in modern biology is the ability to rapidly identify genes underlying newly identified complex phenotypes. Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have become an increasingly important approach for dissecting natural variation by associating phenotypes with genotypes at a genome wide level. Recent work is showing that the Arabidopsis thaliana defense metabolite, allyl glucosinolate (GSL), may provide direct feedback regulation, linking defense metabolism outputs to the growth, and defense responses of the plant. However, there is still a need to identify genes that underlie this process. To start developing a deeper understanding of the mechanism(s) that modulate the ability of exogenous allyl GSL to alter growth and defense, we measured changes in plant biomass and defense metabolites in a collection of natural 96 A. thaliana accessions fed with 50 μM of allyl GSL. Exogenous allyl GSL was introduced exclusively to the roots and the compound transported to the leaf leading to a wide range of heritable effects upon plant biomass and endogenous GSL accumulation. Using natural variation we conducted GWAS to identify a number of new genes which potentially control allyl responses in various plant processes. This is one of the first instances in which this approach has been successfully utilized to begin dissecting a novel phenotype to the underlying molecular/polygenic basis.

  4. Genome wide association mapping in Arabidopsis thaliana identifies novel genes involved in linking allyl glucosinolate to altered biomass and defense

    Marta Francisco

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available A key limitation in modern biology is the ability to rapidly identify genes underlying newly identified complex phenotypes. Genome wide association studies (GWAS have become an increasingly important approach for dissecting natural variation by associating phenotypes with genotypes at a genome wide level. Recent work is showing that the Arabidopsis thaliana defense metabolite, allyl glucosinolate (GSL, may provide direct feedback regulation, linking defense metabolism outputs to the growth and defense responses of the plant. However, there is still a need to identify genes that underlie this process. To start developing a deeper understanding of the mechanism(s that modulate the ability of exogenous allyl GSL to alter growth and defense, we measured changes in plant biomass and defense metabolites in a collection of natural 96 A. thaliana accessions fed with 50 µM of allyl GSL. Exogenous allyl GSL was introduced exclusively to the roots and the compound transported to the leaf leading to a wide range of heritable effects upon plant biomass and endogenous GSL accumulation. Using natural variation we conducted GWAS to identify a number of new genes which potentially control allyl responses in various plant processes. This is one of the first instances in which this approach has been successfully utilized to begin dissecting a novel phenotype to the underlying molecular/polygenic basis.

  5. Mapping protein structural changes by quantitative cross-linking

    Kukačka, Zdeněk; Strohalm, Martin; Kavan, Daniel; Novák, Petr

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 89, NOV 2015 (2015), s. 112-120 ISSN 1046-2023 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.20.0055; GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.30.0003; GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0109 Grant - others:OPPC(XE) CZ.2.16/3.1.00/24023 Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : Chemical cross-linking * Proteolysis * Mass spectrometry Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 3.503, year: 2015

  6. Linking Neural and Symbolic Representation and Processing of Conceptual Structures

    Frank van der Velde

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available We compare and discuss representations in two cognitive architectures aimed at representing and processing complex conceptual (sentence-like structures. First is the Neural Blackboard Architecture (NBA, which aims to account for representation and processing of complex and combinatorial conceptual structures in the brain. Second is IDyOT (Information Dynamics of Thinking, which derives sentence-like structures by learning statistical sequential regularities over a suitable corpus. Although IDyOT is designed at a level more abstract than the neural, so it is a model of cognitive function, rather than neural processing, there are strong similarities between the composite structures developed in IDyOT and the NBA. We hypothesize that these similarities form the basis of a combined architecture in which the individual strengths of each architecture are integrated. We outline and discuss the characteristics of this combined architecture, emphasizing the representation and processing of conceptual structures.

  7. Bedfordshire County Structure Plan. Proposed alterations -Public participation statement. Policy 97: Nuclear waste

    1984-01-01

    The document describes steps taken, in accord with the Town and Country Planning Act 1971, by Bedfordshire County Council, submitting proposed Alterations to the County Structure Plan to the Secretary of State for the Environment. When approving the submission the Council decided to add an additional Alteration dealing with nuclear waste: as this had not been the subject of public consultation the Council decided to seek the public's views on the proposal before submitting the Alteration. The arrangements for consultation and a list of persons and organizations consulted are given, together with the arrangements for considering comments. (U.K.)

  8. Bedfordshire County Structure Plan. Proposed alterations. Results of public consultation. Policy 97: Nuclear waste

    1984-01-01

    The document refers to Alterations to the County Structure Plan, proposed by Bedfordshire County Council and submitted to the Secretary of State for the Environment. An additional Alteration initiated at the County Council's meeting, dealing with nuclear waste, had not been the subject of prior public consultation. Consultation had since been arranged, and the present document summarises the responses that have been received, and describes the next action to be taken. (U.K.)

  9. Linking neural and symbolic representation and processing of conceptual structures

    van der Velde, Frank; Forth, Jamie; Nazareth, Deniece S.; Wiggins, Geraint A.

    2017-01-01

    We compare and discuss representations in two cognitive architectures aimed at representing and processing complex conceptual (sentence-like) structures. First is the Neural Blackboard Architecture (NBA), which aims to account for representation and processing of complex and combinatorial conceptual

  10. Approaches to link RNA secondary structures with splicing regulation

    Plass, Mireya; Eyras, Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    In higher eukaryotes, alternative splicing is usually regulated by protein factors, which bind to the pre-mRNA and affect the recognition of splicing signals. There is recent evidence that the secondary structure of the pre-mRNA may also play an important role in this process, either by facilitat...... describes the steps in the analysis of the secondary structure of the pre-mRNA and its possible relation to splicing. As a working example, we use the case of yeast and the problem of the recognition of the 3' splice site (3'ss).......In higher eukaryotes, alternative splicing is usually regulated by protein factors, which bind to the pre-mRNA and affect the recognition of splicing signals. There is recent evidence that the secondary structure of the pre-mRNA may also play an important role in this process, either...

  11. Structure of a DNA glycosylase that unhooks interstrand cross-links

    Mullins, Elwood A.; Warren, Garrett M.; Bradley, Noah P.; Eichman, Brandt F. (Vanderbilt)

    2017-04-10

    DNA glycosylases are important editing enzymes that protect genomic stability by excising chemically modified nucleobases that alter normal DNA metabolism. These enzymes have been known only to initiate base excision repair of small adducts by extrusion from the DNA helix. However, recent reports have described both vertebrate and microbial DNA glycosylases capable of unhooking highly toxic interstrand cross-links (ICLs) and bulky minor groove adducts normally recognized by Fanconi anemia and nucleotide excision repair machinery, although the mechanisms of these activities are unknown. Here we report the crystal structure of Streptomyces sahachiroi AlkZ (previously Orf1), a bacterial DNA glycosylase that protects its host by excising ICLs derived from azinomycin B (AZB), a potent antimicrobial and antitumor genotoxin. AlkZ adopts a unique fold in which three tandem winged helix-turn-helix motifs scaffold a positively charged concave surface perfectly shaped for duplex DNA. Through mutational analysis, we identified two glutamine residues and a β-hairpin within this putative DNA-binding cleft that are essential for catalytic activity. Additionally, we present a molecular docking model for how this active site can unhook either or both sides of an AZB ICL, providing a basis for understanding the mechanisms of base excision repair of ICLs. Given the prevalence of this protein fold in pathogenic bacteria, this work also lays the foundation for an emerging role of DNA repair in bacteria-host pathogenesis.

  12. Water linked 3D coordination polymers: Syntheses, structures and applications

    Singh, Suryabhan; Bhim, Anupam

    2016-12-01

    Three new coordination polymers (CPs) based on Cd and Pb, [Cd(OBA)(μ-H2O)(H2O)]n1, [Pb(OBA)(μ-H2O)]n2 [where OBA=4,4'-Oxybis(benzoate)] and [Pb(SDBA)(H2O)]n.1/4DMF 3 (SDBA=4,4'-Sulfonyldibenzoate), have been synthesized and characterized. The single crystal structural studies reveal that CPs 1 and 2 have three dimensional structure. A water molecule bridges two metal centres which appears to the responsible for the dimensionality increase from 2D to 3D. Compound 3 has a supramolecular 3D structure involving water molecule and hydrogen bonds. A structural transformation is observed when 3 was heated at 100 °C or kept in methanol, forming [Pb(SDBA)]n4. Compound 4 is used as supporting matrix for palladium nanoparticles, PdNPs@4. The PdNPs@4 exhibits good catalytic activity toward the reduction of 4-nitrophenol (4-NP) to 4-aminophenol (4-AP) in the presence of NaBH4 at room temperature. Luminescence studies revealed that all CPs could be an effective sensor for nitroaromatic explosives.

  13. Exploiting link structure for web page genre identification

    Zhu, Jia; Xie, Qing; Yu, Shoou I.; Wong, Wai Hung

    2015-01-01

    As the World Wide Web develops at an unprecedented pace, identifying web page genre has recently attracted increasing attention because of its importance in web search. A common approach for identifying genre is to use textual features that can be extracted directly from a web page, that is, On-Page features. The extracted features are subsequently inputted into a machine learning algorithm that will perform classification. However, these approaches may be ineffective when the web page contains limited textual information (e.g., the page is full of images). In this study, we address genre identification of web pages under the aforementioned situation. We propose a framework that uses On-Page features while simultaneously considering information in neighboring pages, that is, the pages that are connected to the original page by backward and forward links. We first introduce a graph-based model called GenreSim, which selects an appropriate set of neighboring pages. We then construct a multiple classifier combination module that utilizes information from the selected neighboring pages and On-Page features to improve performance in genre identification. Experiments are conducted on well-known corpora, and favorable results indicate that our proposed framework is effective, particularly in identifying web pages with limited textual information. © 2015 The Author(s)

  14. Exploiting link structure for web page genre identification

    Zhu, Jia

    2015-07-07

    As the World Wide Web develops at an unprecedented pace, identifying web page genre has recently attracted increasing attention because of its importance in web search. A common approach for identifying genre is to use textual features that can be extracted directly from a web page, that is, On-Page features. The extracted features are subsequently inputted into a machine learning algorithm that will perform classification. However, these approaches may be ineffective when the web page contains limited textual information (e.g., the page is full of images). In this study, we address genre identification of web pages under the aforementioned situation. We propose a framework that uses On-Page features while simultaneously considering information in neighboring pages, that is, the pages that are connected to the original page by backward and forward links. We first introduce a graph-based model called GenreSim, which selects an appropriate set of neighboring pages. We then construct a multiple classifier combination module that utilizes information from the selected neighboring pages and On-Page features to improve performance in genre identification. Experiments are conducted on well-known corpora, and favorable results indicate that our proposed framework is effective, particularly in identifying web pages with limited textual information. © 2015 The Author(s)

  15. Water linked 3D coordination polymers: Syntheses, structures and applications

    Singh, Suryabhan, E-mail: sbs.bhu@gmail.com; Bhim, Anupam

    2016-12-15

    Three new coordination polymers (CPs) based on Cd and Pb, [Cd(OBA)(μ-H{sub 2}O)(H{sub 2}O)]{sub n}1, [Pb(OBA)(μ-H{sub 2}O)]{sub n}2 [where OBA=4,4’-Oxybis(benzoate)] and [Pb(SDBA)(H{sub 2}O)]{sub n}.1/4DMF 3 (SDBA=4,4’-Sulfonyldibenzoate), have been synthesized and characterized. The single crystal structural studies reveal that CPs 1 and 2 have three dimensional structure. A water molecule bridges two metal centres which appears to the responsible for the dimensionality increase from 2D to 3D. Compound 3 has a supramolecular 3D structure involving water molecule and hydrogen bonds. A structural transformation is observed when 3 was heated at 100 °C or kept in methanol, forming [Pb(SDBA)]{sub n}4. Compound 4 is used as supporting matrix for palladium nanoparticles, PdNPs@4. The PdNPs@4 exhibits good catalytic activity toward the reduction of 4-nitrophenol (4-NP) to 4-aminophenol (4-AP) in the presence of NaBH{sub 4} at room temperature. Luminescence studies revealed that all CPs could be an effective sensor for nitroaromatic explosives. - Graphical abstract: Three new CPs based on Cd and Pb, have been synthesized and characterized. A water molecule bridges two metal centres which appears to the responsible for the dimensionality increase from 2D to 3D. One of the CP is used as supporting matrix for palladium nanoparticles, PdNPs@4. The PdNPs@4 exhibits good catalytic activity toward the reduction of 4-nitrophenol. Luminescence studies shown that all CPs could be an effective sensor for nitroaromatic explosives. - Highlights: • Three new CPs based on Cd and Pb, have been synthesized and characterized. • A water molecule bridges two metal centres which appears to the responsible for the dimensionality increase from 2D to 3D. • One of the CP is used as supporting matrix for palladium nanoparticles, PdNPs@4. • Luminescence studies shown that all CPs could be an effective sensor for nitroaromatic explosives.

  16. Linking structural features of protein complexes and biological function.

    Sowmya, Gopichandran; Breen, Edmond J; Ranganathan, Shoba

    2015-09-01

    Protein-protein interaction (PPI) establishes the central basis for complex cellular networks in a biological cell. Association of proteins with other proteins occurs at varying affinities, yet with a high degree of specificity. PPIs lead to diverse functionality such as catalysis, regulation, signaling, immunity, and inhibition, playing a crucial role in functional genomics. The molecular principle of such interactions is often elusive in nature. Therefore, a comprehensive analysis of known protein complexes from the Protein Data Bank (PDB) is essential for the characterization of structural interface features to determine structure-function relationship. Thus, we analyzed a nonredundant dataset of 278 heterodimer protein complexes, categorized into major functional classes, for distinguishing features. Interestingly, our analysis has identified five key features (interface area, interface polar residue abundance, hydrogen bonds, solvation free energy gain from interface formation, and binding energy) that are discriminatory among the functional classes using Kruskal-Wallis rank sum test. Significant correlations between these PPI interface features amongst functional categories are also documented. Salt bridges correlate with interface area in regulator-inhibitors (r = 0.75). These representative features have implications for the prediction of potential function of novel protein complexes. The results provide molecular insights for better understanding of PPIs and their relation to biological functions. © 2015 The Protein Society.

  17. Linking the Pilot Structural Model and Pilot Workload

    Bachelder, Edward; Hess, Ronald; Aponso, Bimal; Godfroy-Cooper, Martine

    2018-01-01

    Behavioral models are developed that closely reproduced pulsive control response of two pilots using markedly different control techniques while conducting a tracking task. An intriguing find was that the pilots appeared to: 1) produce a continuous, internally-generated stick signal that they integrated in time; 2) integrate the actual stick position; and 3) compare the two integrations to either issue or cease a pulse command. This suggests that the pilots utilized kinesthetic feedback in order to sense and integrate stick position, supporting the hypothesis that pilots can access and employ the proprioceptive inner feedback loop proposed by Hess's pilot Structural Model. A Pilot Cost Index was developed, whose elements include estimated workload, performance, and the degree to which the pilot employs kinesthetic feedback. Preliminary results suggest that a pilot's operating point (parameter values) may be based on control style and index minimization.

  18. Glutaraldehyde cross-linking of amniotic membranes affects their nanofibrous structures and limbal epithelial cell culture characteristics

    Lai JY

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Jui-Yang Lai,1–3 David Hui-Kang Ma4,5 1Institute of Biochemical and Biomedical Engineering, 2Biomedical Engineering Research Center, 3Molecular Medicine Research Center, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan; 4Limbal Stem Cell Laboratory, Department of Ophthalmology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan; 5Department of Chinese Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan Abstract: Given that the cells can sense nanometer dimensions, the chemical cross-linking-mediated alteration in fibrillar structure of collagenous tissue scaffolds is critical to determining their cell culture performances. This article explores, for the first time, the effect of nanofibrous structure of glutaraldehyde (GTA cross-linked amniotic membrane (AM on limbal epithelial cell (LEC cultivation. Results of ninhydrin assays demonstrated that the amount of new cross-links formed between the collagen chains is significantly increased with increasing the cross-linking time from 1 to 24 hours. By transmission electron microscopy, the AM treated with GTA for a longer duration exhibited a greater extent of molecular aggregation, thereby leading to a considerable increase in nanofiber diameter and resistance against collagenase degradation. In vitro biocompatibility studies showed that the samples cross-linked with GTA for 24 hours are not well-tolerated by the human corneal epithelial cell cultures. When the treatment duration is less than 6 hours, the biological tissues cross-linked with GTA for a longer time may cause slight reductions in 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl-2-(4-sulfophenyl-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt, and anti-inflammatory activities. Nevertheless, significant collagen molecular aggregation also enhances the stemness gene expression, indicating a high ability of these AM matrices to preserve the progenitors of LECs in vitro. It is concluded that GTA cross-linking of collagenous tissue materials may affect their nanofibrous

  19. Linking vegetation structure, function and physiology through spectroscopic remote sensing

    Serbin, S.; Singh, A.; Couture, J. J.; Shiklomanov, A. N.; Rogers, A.; Desai, A. R.; Kruger, E. L.; Townsend, P. A.

    2015-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystem process models require detailed information on ecosystem states and canopy properties to properly simulate the fluxes of carbon (C), water and energy from the land to the atmosphere and assess the vulnerability of ecosystems to perturbations. Current models fail to adequately capture the magnitude, spatial variation, and seasonality of terrestrial C uptake and storage, leading to significant uncertainties in the size and fate of the terrestrial C sink. By and large, these parameter and process uncertainties arise from inadequate spatial and temporal representation of plant traits, vegetation structure, and functioning. With increases in computational power and changes to model architecture and approaches, it is now possible for models to leverage detailed, data rich and spatially explicit descriptions of ecosystems to inform parameter distributions and trait tradeoffs. In this regard, spectroscopy and imaging spectroscopy data have been shown to be invaluable observational datasets to capture broad-scale spatial and, eventually, temporal dynamics in important vegetation properties. We illustrate the linkage of plant traits and spectral observations to supply key data constraints for model parameterization. These constraints can come either in the form of the raw spectroscopic data (reflectance, absorbtance) or physiological traits derived from spectroscopy. In this presentation we highlight our ongoing work to build ecological scaling relationships between critical vegetation characteristics and optical properties across diverse and complex canopies, including temperate broadleaf and conifer forests, Mediterranean vegetation, Arctic systems, and agriculture. We focus on work at the leaf, stand, and landscape scales, illustrating the importance of capturing the underlying variability in a range of parameters (including vertical variation within canopies) to enable more efficient scaling of traits related to functional diversity of ecosystems.

  20. Co-altered functional networks and brain structure in unmedicated patients with bipolar and major depressive disorders.

    He, Hao; Sui, Jing; Du, Yuhui; Yu, Qingbao; Lin, Dongdong; Drevets, Wayne C; Savitz, Jonathan B; Yang, Jian; Victor, Teresa A; Calhoun, Vince D

    2017-12-01

    Bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) share similar clinical characteristics that often obscure the diagnostic distinctions between their depressive conditions. Both functional and structural brain abnormalities have been reported in these two disorders. However, the direct link between altered functioning and structure in these two diseases is unknown. To elucidate this relationship, we conducted a multimodal fusion analysis on the functional network connectivity (FNC) and gray matter density from MRI data from 13 BD, 40 MDD, and 33 matched healthy controls (HC). A data-driven fusion method called mCCA+jICA was used to identify the co-altered FNC and gray matter components. Comparing to HC, BD exhibited reduced gray matter density in the parietal and occipital cortices, which correlated with attenuated functional connectivity within sensory and motor networks, as well as hyper-connectivity in regions that are putatively engaged in cognitive control. In addition, lower gray matter density was found in MDD in the amygdala and cerebellum. High accuracy in discriminating across groups was also achieved by trained classification models, implying that features extracted from the fusion analysis hold the potential to ultimately serve as diagnostic biomarkers for mood disorders.

  1. Identifying the Critical Links in Road Transportation Networks: Centrality-based approach utilizing structural properties

    Chinthavali, Supriya [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2016-04-01

    Surface transportation road networks share structural properties similar to other complex networks (e.g., social networks, information networks, biological networks, and so on). This research investigates the structural properties of road networks for any possible correlation with the traffic characteristics such as link flows those determined independently. Additionally, we define a criticality index for the links of the road network that identifies the relative importance in the network. We tested our hypotheses with two sample road networks. Results show that, correlation exists between the link flows and centrality measures of a link of the road (dual graph approach is followed) and the criticality index is found to be effective for one test network to identify the vulnerable nodes.

  2. Structural hippocampal network alterations during healthy aging: A multi-modal MRI study

    Amandine ePelletier

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available While hippocampal atrophy has been described during healthy aging, few studies have examined its relationship with the integrity of White Matter (WM connecting tracts of the limbic system. This investigation examined WM structural damage specifically related to hippocampal atrophy in healthy aging subjects (n=129, using morphological MRI to assess hippocampal volume and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI to assess WM integrity. Subjects with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI or dementia were excluded from the analysis. In our sample, increasing age was significantly associated with reduced hippocampal volume and reduced Fractional Anisotropy (FA at the level of the fornix and the cingulum bundle. The findings also demonstrate that hippocampal atrophy was specifically associated with reduced FA of the fornix bundle, but it was not related to alteration of the cingulum bundle. Our results indicate that the relationship between hippocampal atrophy and fornix FA values is not due to an independent effect of age on both structures. A recursive regression procedure was applied to evaluate sequential relationships between the alterations of these two brain structures. When both hippocampal atrophy and fornix FA values were included in the same model to predict age, fornix FA values remained significant whereas hippocampal atrophy was no longer significantly associated with age. According to this latter finding, hippocampal atrophy in healthy aging could be mediated by a loss of fornix connections. Structural alterations of this part of the limbic system, which have been associated with neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease, result at least in part from the aging process.

  3. Higher number of pentosidine cross-links induced by ribose does not alter tissue stiffness of cancellous bone

    Willems, Nop M.B.K., E-mail: n.willems@acta.nl [Dept. of Orthodontics, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), University of Amsterdam and VU University, Gustav Mahlerlaan 3004, 1081 LA Amsterdam (Netherlands); Dept. of Oral Cell Biology and Functional Anatomy, MOVE Research Institute, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), University of Amsterdam and VU University, Gustav Mahlerlaan 3004, 1081 LA Amsterdam (Netherlands); Langenbach, Geerling E.J. [Dept. of Oral Cell Biology and Functional Anatomy, MOVE Research Institute, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), University of Amsterdam and VU University, Gustav Mahlerlaan 3004, 1081 LA Amsterdam (Netherlands); Stoop, Reinout [Dept. of Metabolic Health Research, TNO, P.O. Box 2215, 2301 CE Leiden (Netherlands); Toonder, Jaap M.J. den [Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven (Netherlands); Mulder, Lars [Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven (Netherlands); Zentner, Andrej [Dept. of Orthodontics, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), University of Amsterdam and VU University, Gustav Mahlerlaan 3004, 1081 LA Amsterdam (Netherlands); Everts, Vincent [Dept. of Oral Cell Biology and Functional Anatomy, MOVE Research Institute, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), University of Amsterdam and VU University, Gustav Mahlerlaan 3004, 1081 LA Amsterdam (Netherlands)

    2014-09-01

    The role of mature collagen cross-links, pentosidine (Pen) cross-links in particular, in the micromechanical properties of cancellous bone is unknown. The aim of this study was to examine nonenzymatic glycation effects on tissue stiffness of demineralized and non-demineralized cancellous bone. A total of 60 bone samples were derived from mandibular condyles of six pigs, and assigned to either control or experimental groups. Experimental handling included incubation in phosphate buffered saline alone or with 0.2 M ribose at 37 °C for 15 days and, in some of the samples, subsequent complete demineralization of the sample surface using 8% EDTA. Before and after experimental handling, bone microarchitecture and tissue mineral density were examined by means of microcomputed tomography. After experimental handling, the collagen content and the number of Pen, hydroxylysylpyridinoline (HP), and lysylpyridinoline (LP) cross-links were estimated using HPLC, and tissue stiffness was assessed by means of nanoindentation. Ribose treatment caused an up to 300-fold increase in the number of Pen cross-links compared to nonribose-incubated controls, but did not affect the number of HP and LP cross-links. This increase in the number of Pen cross-links had no influence on tissue stiffness of both demineralized and nondemineralized bone samples. These findings suggest that Pen cross-links do not play a significant role in bone tissue stiffness. - Highlights: • The assessment of effects of glycation in bone using HPLC, microCT, and nanoindentation • Ribose incubation: 300‐fold increase in the number of pentosidine cross-links • 300‐fold increase in the number of pentosidine cross-links: no changes in bone tissue stiffness.

  4. Epidemiological analysis of structural alterations of the nasal cavity associated with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSA).

    Mekhitarian Neto, Levon; Fava, Antonio Sérgio; Lopes, Hugo Canhete; Stamm, Aldo

    2005-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to demonstrate that structural alterations of the nasal cavity, e.g. septal deviation and conchal hypertrophy have high incidence in patients with sleep apnea and hypopnea syndrome and must be addressed with associated specific procedures of the syndrome. Clinical retrospective. A retrospective study of 200 patients was performed, with 196 male and 4 female, attended at the otorhinolaryngology ambulatory of Hospital Prof. Edmundo Vasconcelos and Unidade Paulista de Otorrinolaringologia, all of them subjected to polysomnography, otorhinolaryngological physical exam, endoscopy exam, and surgical treatment with nasal and pharyngeal procedures. All of them were subjected to pharyngeal procedure: uvulopalatopharyngoplasty or uvulopalatoplasty and nose procedure: 176 septoplasty with partial turbinectomy (88%) and 24 isolated turbinectomy, with satisfactory results. We can see that structural alterations of the nasal cavity have high incidence in patients with OSA.

  5. Packaging and structural phenotype of brome mosaic virus capsid protein with altered N-terminal β-hexamer structure

    Wispelaere, Melissanne de; Chaturvedi, Sonali; Wilkens, Stephan; Rao, A.L.N.

    2011-01-01

    The first 45 amino acid region of brome mosaic virus (BMV) capsid protein (CP) contains RNA binding and structural domains that are implicated in the assembly of infectious virions. One such important structural domain encompassing amino acids 28 QPVIV 32 , highly conserved between BMV and cowpea chlorotic mottle virus (CCMV), exhibits a β-hexamer structure. In this study we report that alteration of the β-hexamer structure by mutating 28 QPVIV 32 to 28 AAAAA 32 had no effect either on symptom phenotype, local and systemic movement in Chenopodium quinoa and RNA profile of in vivo assembled virions. However, sensitivity to RNase and assembly phenotypes distinguished virions assembled with CP subunits having β-hexamer from those of wild type. A comparison of 3-D models obtained by cryo electron microscopy revealed overall similar structural features for wild type and mutant virions, with small but significant differences near the 3-fold axes of symmetry.

  6. Computational investigation of kinetics of cross-linking reactions in proteins: importance in structure prediction.

    Bandyopadhyay, Pradipta; Kuntz, Irwin D

    2009-01-01

    The determination of protein structure using distance constraints is a new and promising field of study. One implementation involves attaching residues of a protein using a cross-linking agent, followed by protease digestion, analysis of the resulting peptides by mass spectroscopy, and finally sequence threading to detect the protein folds. In the present work, we carry out computational modeling of the kinetics of cross-linking reactions in proteins using the master equation approach. The rate constants of the cross-linking reactions are estimated using the pKas and the solvent-accessible surface areas of the residues involved. This model is tested with fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and cytochrome C. It is consistent with the initial experimental rate data for individual lysine residues for cytochrome C. Our model captures all observed cross-links for FGF and almost 90% of the observed cross-links for cytochrome C, although it also predicts cross-links that were not observed experimentally (false positives). However, the analysis of the false positive results is complicated by the fact that experimental detection of cross-links can be difficult and may depend on specific experimental conditions such as pH, ionic strength. Receiver operator characteristic plots showed that our model does a good job in predicting the observed cross-links. Molecular dynamics simulations showed that for cytochrome C, in general, the two lysines come closer for the observed cross-links as compared to the false positive ones. For FGF, no such clear pattern exists. The kinetic model and MD simulation can be used to study proposed cross-linking protocols.

  7. Chronic ethanol intake leads to structural and molecular alterations in the rat endometrium.

    Martinez, Marcelo; Milton, Flora A; Pinheiro, Patricia Fernanda F; Almeida-Francia, Camila C D; Cagnon-Quitete, Valeria H A; Tirapelli, Luiz F; Padovani, Carlos Roberto; Chuffa, Luiz Gustavo A; Martinez, Francisco Eduardo

    2016-05-01

    We described the effects of low- and high-dose ethanol intake on the structure and apoptosis signaling of the uterine endometrium of UChA and UChB rats (animals with voluntary ethanol consumption). Thirty adult female rats, 90 days old, were divided into three groups (n = 10/group): UChA rats fed with 10% (v/v) ethanol ad libitum (free choice for water or ethanol) drinking Chronic ethanol intake leads to structural and molecular alterations in the uterine endometrium of UCh rats, regardless of low- or high-dose consumption, promoting reproductive disorders. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Role of special cross-links in structure formation of bacterial DNA polymer

    Agarwal, Tejal; Manjunath, G. P.; Habib, Farhat; Lakshmi Vaddavalli, Pavana; Chatterji, Apratim

    2018-01-01

    Using data from contact maps of the DNA-polymer of Escherichia coli (E. Coli) (at kilobase pair resolution) as an input to our model, we introduce cross-links between monomers in a bead-spring model of a ring polymer at very specific points along the chain. Via suitable Monte Carlo simulations, we show that the presence of these cross-links leads to a particular organization of the chain at large (micron) length scales of the DNA. We also investigate the structure of a ring polymer with an equal number of cross-links at random positions along the chain. We find that though the polymer does get organized at the large length scales, the nature of the organization is quite different from the organization observed with cross-links at specific biologically determined positions. We used the contact map of E. Coli bacteria which has around 4.6 million base pairs in a single circular chromosome. In our coarse-grained flexible ring polymer model, we used 4642 monomer beads and observed that around 80 cross-links are enough to induce the large-scale organization of the molecule accounting for statistical fluctuations caused by thermal energy. The length of a DNA chain even of a simple bacterial cell such as E. Coli is much longer than typical proteins, hence we avoided methods used to tackle protein folding problems. We define new suitable quantities to identify the large scale structure of a polymer chain with a few cross-links.

  9. Structural health monitoring (vibration) as a tool for identifying structural alterations of the lumbar spine: a twin control study.

    Kawchuk, Gregory N; Hartvigsen, Jan; Edgecombe, Tiffany; Prasad, Narasimha; van Dieen, Jaap H

    2016-03-11

    Structural health monitoring (SHM) is an engineering technique used to identify mechanical abnormalities not readily apparent through other means. Recently, SHM has been adapted for use in biological systems, but its invasive nature limits its clinical application. As such, the purpose of this project was to determine if a non-invasive form of SHM could identify structural alterations in the spines of living human subjects. Lumbar spines of 10 twin pairs were visualized by magnetic resonance imaging then assessed by a blinded radiologist to determine whether twin pairs were structurally concordant or discordant. Vibration was then applied to each subject's spine and the resulting response recorded from sensors overlying lumbar spinous processes. The peak frequency, area under the curve and the root mean square were computed from the frequency response function of each sensor. Statistical analysis demonstrated that in twins whose structural appearance was discordant, peak frequency was significantly different between twin pairs while in concordant twins, no outcomes were significantly different. From these results, we conclude that structural changes within the spine can alter its vibration response. As such, further investigation of SHM to identify spinal abnormalities in larger human populations is warranted.

  10. Quantifying structural alterations in Alzheimer's disease brains using quantitative phase imaging (Conference Presentation)

    Lee, Moosung; Lee, Eeksung; Jung, JaeHwang; Yu, Hyeonseung; Kim, Kyoohyun; Yoon, Jonghee; Lee, Shinhwa; Jeong, Yong; Park, YongKeun

    2017-02-01

    Imaging brain tissues is an essential part of neuroscience because understanding brain structure provides relevant information about brain functions and alterations associated with diseases. Magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography exemplify conventional brain imaging tools, but these techniques suffer from low spatial resolution around 100 μm. As a complementary method, histopathology has been utilized with the development of optical microscopy. The traditional method provides the structural information about biological tissues to cellular scales, but relies on labor-intensive staining procedures. With the advances of illumination sources, label-free imaging techniques based on nonlinear interactions, such as multiphoton excitations and Raman scattering, have been applied to molecule-specific histopathology. Nevertheless, these techniques provide limited qualitative information and require a pulsed laser, which is difficult to use for pathologists with no laser training. Here, we present a label-free optical imaging of mouse brain tissues for addressing structural alteration in Alzheimer's disease. To achieve the mesoscopic, unlabeled tissue images with high contrast and sub-micrometer lateral resolution, we employed holographic microscopy and an automated scanning platform. From the acquired hologram of the brain tissues, we could retrieve scattering coefficients and anisotropies according to the modified scattering-phase theorem. This label-free imaging technique enabled direct access to structural information throughout the tissues with a sub-micrometer lateral resolution and presented a unique means to investigate the structural changes in the optical properties of biological tissues.

  11. Altered modular organization of structural cortical networks in children with autism.

    Feng Shi

    Full Text Available Autism is a complex developmental disability that characterized by deficits in social interaction, language skills, repetitive stereotyped behaviors and restricted interests. Although great heterogeneity exists, previous findings suggest that autism has atypical brain connectivity patterns and disrupted small-world network properties. However, the organizational alterations in the autistic brain network are still poorly understood. We explored possible organizational alterations of 49 autistic children and 51 typically developing controls, by investigating their brain network metrics that are constructed upon cortical thickness correlations. Three modules were identified in controls, including cortical regions associated with brain functions of executive strategic, spatial/auditory/visual, and self-reference/episodic memory. There are also three modules found in autistic children with similar patterns. Compared with controls, autism demonstrates significantly reduced gross network modularity, and a larger number of inter-module connections. However, the autistic brain network demonstrates increased intra- and inter-module connectivity in brain regions including middle frontal gyrus, inferior parietal gyrus, and cingulate, suggesting one underlying compensatory mechanism associated with brain functions of self-reference and episodic memory. Results also show that there is increased correlation strength between regions inside frontal lobe, as well as impaired correlation strength between frontotemporal and frontoparietal regions. This alteration of correlation strength may contribute to the organization alteration of network structures in autistic brains.

  12. Structural and Functional Alterations in Neocortical Circuits after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

    Vascak, Michal

    National concern over traumatic brain injury (TBI) is growing rapidly. Recent focus is on mild TBI (mTBI), which is the most prevalent injury level in both civilian and military demographics. A preeminent sequelae of mTBI is cognitive network disruption. Advanced neuroimaging of mTBI victims supports this premise, revealing alterations in activation and structure-function of excitatory and inhibitory neuronal systems, which are essential for network processing. However, clinical neuroimaging cannot resolve the cellular and molecular substrates underlying such changes. Therefore, to understand the full scope of mTBI-induced alterations it is necessary to study cortical networks on the microscopic level, where neurons form local networks that are the fundamental computational modules supporting cognition. Recently, in a well-controlled animal model of mTBI, we demonstrated in the excitatory pyramidal neuron system, isolated diffuse axonal injury (DAI), in concert with electrophysiological abnormalities in nearby intact (non-DAI) neurons. These findings were consistent with altered axon initial segment (AIS) intrinsic activity functionally associated with structural plasticity, and/or disturbances in extrinsic systems related to parvalbumin (PV)-expressing interneurons that form GABAergic synapses along the pyramidal neuron perisomatic/AIS domains. The AIS and perisomatic GABAergic synapses are domains critical for regulating neuronal activity and E-I balance. In this dissertation, we focus on the neocortical excitatory pyramidal neuron/inhibitory PV+ interneuron local network following mTBI. Our central hypothesis is that mTBI disrupts neuronal network structure and function causing imbalance of excitatory and inhibitory systems. To address this hypothesis we exploited transgenic and cre/lox mouse models of mTBI, employing approaches that couple state-of-the-art bioimaging with electrophysiology to determine the structuralfunctional alterations of excitatory and

  13. Structural Basis for the Altered PAM Specificities of Engineered CRISPR-Cas9.

    Hirano, Seiichi; Nishimasu, Hiroshi; Ishitani, Ryuichiro; Nureki, Osamu

    2016-03-17

    The RNA-guided endonuclease Cas9 cleaves double-stranded DNA targets bearing a PAM (protospacer adjacent motif) and complementarity to the guide RNA. A recent study showed that, whereas wild-type Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 (SpCas9) recognizes the 5'-NGG-3' PAM, the engineered VQR, EQR, and VRER SpCas9 variants recognize the 5'-NGA-3', 5'-NGAG-3', and 5'-NGCG-3' PAMs, respectively, thus expanding the targetable sequences in Cas9-mediated genome editing applications. Here, we present the high-resolution crystal structures of the three SpCas9 variants in complexes with a single-guide RNA and its altered PAM-containing, partially double-stranded DNA targets. A structural comparison of the three SpCas9 variants with wild-type SpCas9 revealed that the multiple mutations synergistically induce an unexpected displacement in the phosphodiester backbone of the PAM duplex, thereby allowing the SpCas9 variants to directly recognize the altered PAM nucleotides. Our findings explain the altered PAM specificities of the SpCas9 variants and establish a framework for further rational engineering of CRISPR-Cas9. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Alteration of organic matter during infaunal polychaete gut passage and links to sediment organic geochemistry. Part I: Amino acids

    Woulds, C.; Middelburg, J.J.; Cowie, G.L.

    2012-01-01

    Of the factors which control the quantity and composition of organic matter (OM) buried in marine sediments, the links between infaunal ingestion and gut passage and sediment geochemistry have received relatively little attention. This study aimed to use feeding experiments and novel isotope tracing

  15. Linking neocortical, cognitive, and genetic variability in autism with alterations of brain plasticity: the Trigger-Threshold-Target model.

    Mottron, Laurent; Belleville, Sylvie; Rouleau, Guy A; Collignon, Olivier

    2014-11-01

    The phenotype of autism involves heterogeneous adaptive traits (strengths vs. disabilities), different domains of alterations (social vs. non-social), and various associated genetic conditions (syndromic vs. nonsyndromic autism). Three observations suggest that alterations in experience-dependent plasticity are an etiological factor in autism: (1) the main cognitive domains enhanced in autism are controlled by the most plastic cortical brain regions, the multimodal association cortices; (2) autism and sensory deprivation share several features of cortical and functional reorganization; and (3) genetic mutations and/or environmental insults involved in autism all appear to affect developmental synaptic plasticity, and mostly lead to its upregulation. We present the Trigger-Threshold-Target (TTT) model of autism to organize these findings. In this model, genetic mutations trigger brain reorganization in individuals with a low plasticity threshold, mostly within regions sensitive to cortical reallocations. These changes account for the cognitive enhancements and reduced social expertise associated with autism. Enhanced but normal plasticity may underlie non-syndromic autism, whereas syndromic autism may occur when a triggering mutation or event produces an altered plastic reaction, also resulting in intellectual disability and dysmorphism in addition to autism. Differences in the target of brain reorganization (perceptual vs. language regions) account for the main autistic subgroups. In light of this model, future research should investigate how individual and sex-related differences in synaptic/regional brain plasticity influence the occurrence of autism. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  16. Non-concomitant cortical structural and functional alterations in sensorimotor areas following incomplete spinal cord injury

    Yu Pan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Brain plasticity, including anatomical changes and functional reorganization, is the physiological basis of functional recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI. The correlation between brain anatomical changes and functional reorganization after SCI is unclear. This study aimed to explore whether alterations of cortical structure and network function are concomitant in sensorimotor areas after incomplete SCI. Eighteen patients with incomplete SCI (mean age 40.94 ± 14.10 years old; male:female, 7:11 and 18 healthy subjects (37.33 ± 11.79 years old; male:female, 7:11 were studied by resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Gray matter volume (GMV and functional connectivity were used to evaluate cortical structure and network function, respectively. There was no significant alteration of GMV in sensorimotor areas in patients with incomplete SCI compared with healthy subjects. Intra-hemispheric functional connectivity between left primary somatosensory cortex (BA1 and left primary motor cortex (BA4, and left BA1 and left somatosensory association cortex (BA5 was decreased, as well as inter-hemispheric functional connectivity between left BA1 and right BA4, left BA1 and right BA5, and left BA4 and right BA5 in patients with SCI. Functional connectivity between both BA4 areas was also decreased. The decreased functional connectivity between the left BA1 and the right BA4 positively correlated with American Spinal Injury Association sensory score in SCI patients. The results indicate that alterations of cortical anatomical structure and network functional connectivity in sensorimotor areas were non-concomitant in patients with incomplete SCI, indicating the network functional changes in sensorimotor areas may not be dependent on anatomic structure. The strength of functional connectivity within sensorimotor areas could serve as a potential imaging biomarker for assessment and prediction of sensory function in patients with incomplete SCI

  17. Vision-based stress estimation model for steel frame structures with rigid links

    Park, Hyo Seon; Park, Jun Su; Oh, Byung Kwan

    2017-07-01

    This paper presents a stress estimation model for the safety evaluation of steel frame structures with rigid links using a vision-based monitoring system. In this model, the deformed shape of a structure under external loads is estimated via displacements measured by a motion capture system (MCS), which is a non-contact displacement measurement device. During the estimation of the deformed shape, the effective lengths of the rigid link ranges in the frame structure are identified. The radius of the curvature of the structural member to be monitored is calculated using the estimated deformed shape and is employed to estimate stress. Using MCS in the presented model, the safety of a structure can be assessed gauge-freely. In addition, because the stress is directly extracted from the radius of the curvature obtained from the measured deformed shape, information on the loadings and boundary conditions of the structure are not required. Furthermore, the model, which includes the identification of the effective lengths of the rigid links, can consider the influences of the stiffness of the connection and support on the deformation in the stress estimation. To verify the applicability of the presented model, static loading tests for a steel frame specimen were conducted. By comparing the stress estimated by the model with the measured stress, the validity of the model was confirmed.

  18. A Viral RNA Structural Element Alters Host Recognition of Nonself RNA

    Hyde, J. L.; Gardner, C. L.; Kimura, T.; White, J. P.; Liu, G.; Trobaugh, D. W.; Huang, C.; Tonelli, M.; Paessler, S.; Takeda, K.; Klimstra, W. B.; Amarasinghe, G. K.; Diamond, M. S.

    2014-01-30

    Although interferon (IFN) signaling induces genes that limit viral infection, many pathogenic viruses overcome this host response. As an example, 2'-O methylation of the 5' cap of viral RNA subverts mammalian antiviral responses by evading restriction of Ifit1, an IFN-stimulated gene that regulates protein synthesis. However, alphaviruses replicate efficiently in cells expressing Ifit1 even though their genomic RNA has a 5' cap lacking 2'-O methylation. We show that pathogenic alphaviruses use secondary structural motifs within the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of their RNA to alter Ifit1 binding and function. Mutations within the 5'-UTR affecting RNA structural elements enabled restriction by or antagonism of Ifit1 in vitro and in vivo. These results identify an evasion mechanism by which viruses use RNA structural motifs to avoid immune restriction.

  19. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons alter the structure of oceanic and oligotrophic microbial food webs

    Cerezo, Maria Isabel

    2015-11-01

    One way organic pollutants reach remote oceanic regions is by atmospheric transport. During the Malaspina-2010 expedition, across the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, we analyzed the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) effects on oceanic microbial food webs. We performed perturbation experiments adding PAHs to classic dilution experiments. The phytoplankton growth rates were reduced by more than 5 times, being Prochlorococcus spp. the most affected. 62% of the experiments showed a reduction in the grazing rates due to the presence of PAHs. For the remaining experiments, grazing usually increased likely due to cascading effects. We identified changes in the slope of the relation between the growth rate and the dilution fraction induced by the pollutants, moving from no grazing to V-shape, or to negative slope, indicative of grazing increase by cascade effects and alterations of the grazers\\' activity structure. Our perturbation experiments indicate that PAHs could influence the structure oceanic food-webs structure.

  20. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons alter the structure of oceanic and oligotrophic microbial food webs

    Cerezo, Maria Isabel; Agusti, Susana

    2015-01-01

    One way organic pollutants reach remote oceanic regions is by atmospheric transport. During the Malaspina-2010 expedition, across the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, we analyzed the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) effects on oceanic microbial food webs. We performed perturbation experiments adding PAHs to classic dilution experiments. The phytoplankton growth rates were reduced by more than 5 times, being Prochlorococcus spp. the most affected. 62% of the experiments showed a reduction in the grazing rates due to the presence of PAHs. For the remaining experiments, grazing usually increased likely due to cascading effects. We identified changes in the slope of the relation between the growth rate and the dilution fraction induced by the pollutants, moving from no grazing to V-shape, or to negative slope, indicative of grazing increase by cascade effects and alterations of the grazers' activity structure. Our perturbation experiments indicate that PAHs could influence the structure oceanic food-webs structure.

  1. Structural and functional alterations of catalase induced by acriflavine, a compound causing apoptosis and necrosis.

    Attar, Farnoosh; Khavari-Nejad, Sarah; Keyhani, Jacqueline; Keyhani, Ezzatollah

    2009-08-01

    Acriflavine is an antiseptic agent causing both apoptosis and necrosis in yeast. In this work, its effect on the structure and function of catalase, a vital enzyme actively involved in protection against oxidative stress, was investigated. In vitro kinetic studies showed that acriflavine inhibited the enzymatic activity in a competitive manner. The residual activity detectable after preincubation of catalase (1.5 nmol/L) with various concentrations of acriflavine went from 50% to 20% of the control value as the acriflavine concentration increased from 30 to 90 micromol/L. Correlatively with the decrease in activity, alterations in the enzyme's conformation were observed as indicated by fluorescence spectroscopy, circular dichroism spectroscopy, and electronic absorption spectroscopy. The enzyme's intrinsic fluorescence obtained upon excitation at either 297 nm (tryptophan residues) or 280 nm (tyrosine and tryptophan residues) decreased as a function of acriflavine concentration. Circular dichroism studies showed alterations of the protein structure by acriflavine with up to 13% decrease in alpha helix, 16% increase in beta-sheet content, 17% increase in random coil, and 4% increase in beta turns. Spectrophotometric studies showed a blueshift and modifications in the chromicity of catalase at 405 nm, corresponding to an absorbance band due to the enzyme's prosthetic group. Thus, acriflavine induced in vitro a profound change in the structure of catalase so that the enzyme could no longer function. Our results showed that acriflavine, a compound producing apoptosis and necrosis, can have a direct effect on vital functions in cells by disabling key enzymes.

  2. Structural Basis for the Altered PAM Recognition by Engineered CRISPR-Cpf1.

    Nishimasu, Hiroshi; Yamano, Takashi; Gao, Linyi; Zhang, Feng; Ishitani, Ryuichiro; Nureki, Osamu

    2017-07-06

    The RNA-guided Cpf1 nuclease cleaves double-stranded DNA targets complementary to the CRISPR RNA (crRNA), and it has been harnessed for genome editing technologies. Recently, Acidaminococcus sp. BV3L6 (AsCpf1) was engineered to recognize altered DNA sequences as the protospacer adjacent motif (PAM), thereby expanding the target range of Cpf1-mediated genome editing. Whereas wild-type AsCpf1 recognizes the TTTV PAM, the RVR (S542R/K548V/N552R) and RR (S542R/K607R) variants can efficiently recognize the TATV and TYCV PAMs, respectively. However, their PAM recognition mechanisms remained unknown. Here we present the 2.0 Å resolution crystal structures of the RVR and RR variants bound to a crRNA and its target DNA. The structures revealed that the RVR and RR variants primarily recognize the PAM-complementary nucleotides via the substituted residues. Our high-resolution structures delineated the altered PAM recognition mechanisms of the AsCpf1 variants, providing a basis for the further engineering of CRISPR-Cpf1. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Revealing the Link between Structural Relaxation and Dynamic Heterogeneity in Glass-Forming Liquids.

    Wang, Lijin; Xu, Ning; Wang, W H; Guan, Pengfei

    2018-03-23

    Despite the use of glasses for thousands of years, the nature of the glass transition is still mysterious. On approaching the glass transition, the growth of dynamic heterogeneity has long been thought to play a key role in explaining the abrupt slowdown of structural relaxation. However, it still remains elusive whether there is an underlying link between structural relaxation and dynamic heterogeneity. Here, we unravel the link by introducing a characteristic time scale hiding behind an identical dynamic heterogeneity for various model glass-forming liquids. We find that the time scale corresponds to the kinetic fragility of liquids. Moreover, it leads to scaling collapse of both the structural relaxation time and dynamic heterogeneity for all liquids studied, together with a characteristic temperature associated with the same dynamic heterogeneity. Our findings imply that studying the glass transition from the viewpoint of dynamic heterogeneity is more informative than expected.

  4. Revealing the Link between Structural Relaxation and Dynamic Heterogeneity in Glass-Forming Liquids

    Wang, Lijin; Xu, Ning; Wang, W. H.; Guan, Pengfei

    2018-03-01

    Despite the use of glasses for thousands of years, the nature of the glass transition is still mysterious. On approaching the glass transition, the growth of dynamic heterogeneity has long been thought to play a key role in explaining the abrupt slowdown of structural relaxation. However, it still remains elusive whether there is an underlying link between structural relaxation and dynamic heterogeneity. Here, we unravel the link by introducing a characteristic time scale hiding behind an identical dynamic heterogeneity for various model glass-forming liquids. We find that the time scale corresponds to the kinetic fragility of liquids. Moreover, it leads to scaling collapse of both the structural relaxation time and dynamic heterogeneity for all liquids studied, together with a characteristic temperature associated with the same dynamic heterogeneity. Our findings imply that studying the glass transition from the viewpoint of dynamic heterogeneity is more informative than expected.

  5. Altered Integration of Structural Covariance Networks in Young Children With Type 1 Diabetes.

    Hosseini, S M Hadi; Mazaika, Paul; Mauras, Nelly; Buckingham, Bruce; Weinzimer, Stuart A; Tsalikian, Eva; White, Neil H; Reiss, Allan L

    2016-11-01

    Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D), one of the most frequent chronic diseases in children, is associated with glucose dysregulation that contributes to an increased risk for neurocognitive deficits. While there is a bulk of evidence regarding neurocognitive deficits in adults with T1D, little is known about how early-onset T1D affects neural networks in young children. Recent data demonstrated widespread alterations in regional gray matter and white matter associated with T1D in young children. These widespread neuroanatomical changes might impact the organization of large-scale brain networks. In the present study, we applied graph-theoretical analysis to test whether the organization of structural covariance networks in the brain for a cohort of young children with T1D (N = 141) is altered compared to healthy controls (HC; N = 69). While the networks in both groups followed a small world organization-an architecture that is simultaneously highly segregated and integrated-the T1D network showed significantly longer path length compared with HC, suggesting reduced global integration of brain networks in young children with T1D. In addition, network robustness analysis revealed that the T1D network model showed more vulnerability to neural insult compared with HC. These results suggest that early-onset T1D negatively impacts the global organization of structural covariance networks and influences the trajectory of brain development in childhood. This is the first study to examine structural covariance networks in young children with T1D. Improving glycemic control for young children with T1D might help prevent alterations in brain networks in this population. Hum Brain Mapp 37:4034-4046, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Swimming exercise reverses aging-related contractile abnormalities of female heart by improving structural alterations.

    Ozturk, Nihal; Olgar, Yusuf; Er, Hakan; Kucuk, Murathan; Ozdemir, Semir

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this study was to examine the effect of swimming exercise on aging-related Ca2+ handling alterations and structural abnormalities of female rat heart. For this purpose, 4-month and 24-month old female rats were used and divided into three following groups: sedentary young (SY), sedentary old (SO), and exercised old (Ex-O). Swimming exercise was performed for 8 weeks (60 min/day, 5 days/week). Myocyte shortening, L-type Ca2+ currents and associated Ca2+ transients were measured from ventricular myocytes at 36 ± 1°C. NOX-4 levels, aconitase activity, glutathione measurements and ultrastructural examination by electron microscopy were conducted in heart tissue. Swimming exercise reversed the reduced shortening and slowed kinetics of aged cardiomyocytes. Although the current density was similar for all groups, Ca2+ transients were higher in SO and Ex-O myocytes with respect to the SY group. Caffeine-induced Ca2+ transients and the integrated NCX current were lower in cardiomyocytes of SY rats compared with other groups, suggesting an increased sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ content in an aged heart. Aging led to upregulated cardiac NOX-4 along with declined aconitase activity. Although it did not reverse these oxidative parameters, swimming exercise achieved a significant increase in glutathione levels and improved structural alterations of old rats' hearts. We conclude that swimming exercise upregulates antioxidant defense capacity and improves structural abnormalities of senescent female rat heart, although it does not change Ca2+ handling alterations further. Thereby, it improves contractile function of aged myocardium by mitigating detrimental effects of oxidative stress.

  7. Fibronectin alters the rate of formation and structure of the fibrin matrix.

    Ramanathan, Anand; Karuri, Nancy

    2014-01-10

    Plasma fibronectin is a vital component of the fibrin clot; however its role on clot structure is not clearly understood. The goal of this study was to examine the influence of fibronectin on the kinetics of formation, structural characteristics and composition of reconstituted fibrin clots or fibrin matrices. Fibrin matrices were formed by adding thrombin to 1, 2 or 4 mg/ml fibrinogen supplemented with 0-0.4 mg/ml fibronectin. The rate of fibrin matrix formation was then monitored by measuring light absorbance properties at different time points. Confocal microscopy of fluorescein conjugated fibrinogen was used to visualize the structural characteristics of fibrin matrices. The amount of fibronectin in fibrin matrices was determined through electrophoresis and immunoblotting of solubilized matrices. Fibronectin concentration positively correlated with the initial rate of fibrin matrix formation and with steady state light absorbance values of fibrin matrices. An increase in fibronectin concentration resulted in thinner and denser fibers in the fibrin matrices. Electrophoresis and immunoblotting showed that fibronectin was covalently and non-covalently bound to fibrin matrices and in the form of high molecular weight multimers. The formation of fibronectin multimers was attributed to cross-linking of fibronectin by trace amounts Factor XIIIa. These findings are novel because they link results from light absorbance studies to microcopy analyses and demonstrate an influence of fibronectin on fibrin matrix structural characteristics. This data is important in developing therapies that destabilize fibrin clots. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  8. Rim Structure, Stratigraphy, and Aqueous Alteration Exposures Along Opportunity Rover's Traverse of the Noachian Endeavour Crater

    Crumpler, L.S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Golombek, M.; Grant, J. A.; Jolliff, B. L.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.

    2017-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has traversed 10.2 kilometers along segments of the west rim of the 22-kilometer-diameter Noachian Endeavour impact crater as of sol 4608 (01/09/17). The stratigraphy, attitude of units, lithology, and degradation state of bedrock outcrops exposed on the crater rim have been examined in situ and placed in geologic context. Structures within the rim and differences in physical properties of the identified lithologies have played important roles in localizing outcrops bearing evidence of aqueous alteration.

  9. Electronic structure and self-assembly of cross-linked semiconductor nanocrystal arrays

    Steiner, Dov; Azulay, Doron; Aharoni, Assaf; Salant, Assaf; Banin, Uri; Millo, Oded

    2008-01-01

    We studied the electronic level structure of assemblies of InAs quantum dots and CdSe nanorods cross-linked by 1,4-phenylenediamine molecules using scanning tunneling spectroscopy. We found that the bandgap in these arrays is reduced with respect to the corresponding ligand-capped nanocrystal arrays. In addition, a pronounced sub-gap spectral structure commonly appeared which can be attributed to unpassivated nanocrystal surface states or associated with linker-molecule-related levels. The exchange of the ligands by the linker molecules also affected the structural array properties. Most significantly, clusters of close-packed standing CdSe nanorods were formed

  10. Structural brain alterations in patients with lumbar disc herniation: a preliminary study.

    Michael Luchtmann

    Full Text Available Chronic pain is one of the most common health complaints in industrial nations. For example, chronic low back pain (cLBP disables millions of people across the world and generates a tremendous economic burden. While previous studies provided evidence of widespread functional as well as structural brain alterations in chronic pain, little is known about cortical changes in patients suffering from lumbar disc herniation. We investigated morphometric alterations of the gray and white matter of the brain in patients suffering from LDH. The volumes of the gray and white matter of 12 LDH patients were determined in a prospective study and compared to the volumes of healthy controls to distinguish local differences. High-resolution MRI brain images of all participants were performed using a 3 Tesla MRI scanner. Voxel-based morphometry was used to investigate local differences in gray and white matter volume between patients suffering from LDH and healthy controls. LDH patients showed significantly reduced gray matter volume in the right anterolateral prefrontal cortex, the right temporal lobe, the left premotor cortex, the right caudate nucleus, and the right cerebellum as compared to healthy controls. Increased gray matter volume, however, was found in the right dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, the left precuneal cortex, the left fusiform gyrus, and the right brainstem. Additionally, small subcortical decreases of the white matter were found adjacent to the left prefrontal cortex, the right premotor cortex and in the anterior limb of the left internal capsule. We conclude that the lumbar disk herniation can lead to specific local alterations of the gray and white matter in the human brain. The investigation of LDH-induced brain alterations could provide further insight into the underlying nature of the chronification processes and could possibly identify prognostic factors that may improve the conservative as well as the operative treatment of the

  11. Structural alterations of the mucosa stroma in the Barrett's esophagus metaplasia-dysplasia-adenocarcinoma sequence.

    Bobryshev, Yuri V; Killingsworth, Murray C; Lord, Reginald V N

    2012-09-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that the extracellular matrix play important roles in intercellular communications and contribute to the development of a number of diseases, including diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. The present study examined the structural characteristics and alterations of the extracellular matrix of the mucosa stroma in the Barrett's esophagus metaplasia-dysplasia-adenocarcinoma sequence. A total of 41 esophageal tissue specimens (15 esophageal adenocarcinoma, 10 Barrett's esophagus intestinal metaplasia, seven dysplasia and nine normal esophagus) were studied. The present study used transmission electron microscopy and computerized quantitative electron-microscopic analysis in order to investigate the characteristics of the extracellular matrix of the mucosa. The study revealed that marked structural alterations of the mucosa stroma, relating to changes in the distribution and appearance of collagen fibers as well as to changes in numbers of matrix microvesicles, occur in Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma. It was found that there were 3.1 times more microvesicles in the stroma in Barrett's esophagus than in the stroma of the normal esophagus (P<0.0001) and that there were 5.8 times more microvesicles in esophageal adenocarcinoma than in the normal esophagus (P<0.0001). There were 1.9 times more microvesicles in esophageal adenocarcinoma than in Barrett's esophagus (P=0.0043). The study demonstrates distinctive alterations of the mucosa stroma extracellular matrix in the metaplasia-dysplasia-adenocarcinoma sequence. The findings suggest that the redistribution of collagen fibers and increases in numbers of matrix microvesicles may play roles in the formation of specialized intestinal metaplasia and the development of adenocarcinoma. © 2012 Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Foundation and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  12. Irritable bowel syndrome in female patients is associated with alterations in structural brain networks.

    Labus, Jennifer S; Dinov, Ivo D; Jiang, Zhiguo; Ashe-McNalley, Cody; Zamanyan, Alen; Shi, Yonggang; Hong, Jui-Yang; Gupta, Arpana; Tillisch, Kirsten; Ebrat, Bahar; Hobel, Sam; Gutman, Boris A; Joshi, Shantanu; Thompson, Paul M; Toga, Arthur W; Mayer, Emeran A

    2014-01-01

    Alterations in gray matter (GM) density/volume and cortical thickness (CT) have been demonstrated in small and heterogeneous samples of subjects with differing chronic pain syndromes, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Aggregating across 7 structural neuroimaging studies conducted at University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA, between August 2006 and April 2011, we examined group differences in regional GM volume in 201 predominantly premenopausal female subjects (82 IBS, mean age: 32±10 SD, 119 healthy controls [HCs], 30±10 SD). Applying graph theoretical methods and controlling for total brain volume, global and regional properties of large-scale structural brain networks were compared between the group with IBS and the HC group. Relative to HCs, the IBS group had lower volumes in the bilateral superior frontal gyrus, bilateral insula, bilateral amygdala, bilateral hippocampus, bilateral middle orbital frontal gyrus, left cingulate, left gyrus rectus, brainstem, and left putamen. Higher volume was found in the left postcentral gyrus. Group differences were no longer significant for most regions when controlling for the Early Trauma Inventory global score, with the exception of the right amygdala and the left postcentral gyrus. No group differences were found for measures of global and local network organization. Compared to HCs, in patients with IBS, the right cingulate gyrus and right thalamus were identified as being significantly more critical for information flow. Regions involved in endogenous pain modulation and central sensory amplification were identified as network hubs in IBS. Overall, evidence for central alterations in patients with IBS was found in the form of regional GM volume differences and altered global and regional properties of brain volumetric networks. Copyright © 2013 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Structure and component alteration of rabbit Achilles tendon in tissue culture.

    Hosaka, Yoshinao; Ueda, Hiromi; Yamasaki, Tadatsugu; Suzuki, Daisuke; Matsuda, Naoya; Takehana, Kazushige

    2005-12-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate alterations of cultured tendon tissues to determine whether tissue culture is a useful method for biological analyses of the tendon. Tendon tissues for tissue culture were isolated from Achilles tendons of rabbits. The tendon segments were placed one segment per well and incubated in growth medium consisting of Dullbecco's modified Eagle's medium supplemented with 5% fetal bovine serum at 37 degrees C in a humidified atmosphere with 5% CO(2) for various periods. The alignment of collagen fibrils was preserved for 48 h, but tendon structure has disintegrated at 96 h. Alcian blue staining and gelatine zymography revealed that proteoglycan markedly diminished and that matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs) activity was upregulated sharply at 72 and 96 h. The ratio of collagen fibrils with large diameter had increased and the mean diameter and mass average diameter value had reached maximum at 48 h. The values then decreased and mean diameters at 72 and 96 h were significantly different from that at 48 h. At 96 h, the ratio of collagen fibrils with small diameters had increased and collagen fibrils with large diameters had disappeared. These findings indicate that structural alteration is possible to be induced by disintegration of collagen fibrils and disappearance of glycosaminoglycans from extracellular matrix (ECM), subsequent of upregulation of MMPs activity. Although the study period is limited, the tissue culture method is available for investigating cell-ECM interaction in tendons.

  14. Altered brain structural networks in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder children revealed by cortical thickness.

    Liu, Tian; Chen, Yanni; Li, Chenxi; Li, Youjun; Wang, Jue

    2017-07-04

    This study investigated the cortical thickness and topological features of human brain anatomical networks related to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Data were collected from 40 attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder children and 40 normal control children. Interregional correlation matrices were established by calculating the correlations of cortical thickness between all pairs of cortical regions (68 regions) of the whole brain. Further thresholds were applied to create binary matrices to construct a series of undirected and unweighted graphs, and global, local, and nodal efficiencies were computed as a function of the network cost. These experimental results revealed abnormal cortical thickness and correlations in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and showed that the brain structural networks of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder subjects had inefficient small-world topological features. Furthermore, their topological properties were altered abnormally. In particular, decreased global efficiency combined with increased local efficiency in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder children led to a disorder-related shift of the network topological structure toward regular networks. In addition, nodal efficiency, cortical thickness, and correlation analyses revealed that several brain regions were altered in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder patients. These findings are in accordance with a hypothesis of dysfunctional integration and segregation of the brain in patients with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and provide further evidence of brain dysfunction in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder patients by observing cortical thickness on magnetic resonance imaging.

  15. Canopy structural alterations to nitrogen functions of the soil microbial community in a Quercus virginiana forest

    Moore, L. D.; Van Stan, J. T., II; Rosier, C. L.; Gay, T. E.; Wu, T.

    2014-12-01

    Forest canopy structure controls the timing, amount and chemical character of precipitation supply to soils through interception and drainage along crown surfaces. Yet, few studies have examined forest canopy structural connections to soil microbial communities (SMCs), and none have measured how this affects SMC N functions. The maritime Quercus virginiana Mill. (southern live oak) forests of St Catherine's Island, GA, USA provide an ideal opportunity to examine canopy structural alterations to SMCs and their functioning, as their throughfall varies substantially across space due to dense Tillandsia usneoides L. (spanish moss) mats bestrewn throughout. To examine the impact of throughfall variability on SMC N functions, we examined points along the canopy coverage continuum: large canopy gaps (0%), bare canopy (50-60%), and canopy of heavy T. usneoides coverage (>=85%). Five sites beneath each of the canopy cover types were monitored for throughfall water/ions and soil leachates chemistry for one storm each month over the growing period (7 months, Mar-2014 to Sep-2014) to compare with soil chemistry and SMC communities sampled every two months throughout that same period (Mar, May, Jul, Sep). DGGE and QPCR analysis of the N functioning genes (NFGs) to characterize the ammonia oxidizing bacterial (AOB-amoA), archaea (AOA-amoA), and ammonification (chiA) communities were used to determine the nitrification and decomposition potential of these microbial communities. PRS™-probes (Western Ag Innovations Inc., Saskatoon, Canada) were then used to determine the availability of NO3-N and NH4+N in the soils over a 6-week period to evaluate whether the differing NFG abundance and community structures resulted in altered N cycling.

  16. Structural brain alterations in primary open angle glaucoma: a 3T MRI study

    Wang, Jieqiong; Li, Ting; Sabel, Bernhard A.; Chen, Zhiqiang; Wen, Hongwei; Li, Jianhong; Xie, Xiaobin; Yang, Diya; Chen, Weiwei; Wang, Ningli; Xian, Junfang; He, Huiguang

    2016-01-01

    Glaucoma is not only an eye disease but is also associated with degeneration of brain structures. We now investigated the pattern of visual and non-visual brain structural changes in 25 primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) patients and 25 age-gender-matched normal controls using T1-weighted imaging. MRI images were subjected to volume-based analysis (VBA) and surface-based analysis (SBA) in the whole brain as well as ROI-based analysis of the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), visual cortex (V1/2), amygdala and hippocampus. While VBA showed no significant differences in the gray matter volumes of patients, SBA revealed significantly reduced cortical thickness in the right frontal pole and ROI-based analysis volume shrinkage in LGN bilaterally, right V1 and left amygdala. Structural abnormalities were correlated with clinical parameters in a subset of the patients revealing that the left LGN volume was negatively correlated with bilateral cup-to-disk ratio (CDR), the right LGN volume was positively correlated with the mean deviation of the right visual hemifield, and the right V1 cortical thickness was negatively correlated with the right CDR in glaucoma. These results demonstrate that POAG affects both vision-related structures and non-visual cortical regions. Moreover, alterations of the brain visual structures reflect the clinical severity of glaucoma. PMID:26743811

  17. Effect of pulse electron beam characteristics on internal friction and structural alterations in epoxy

    Zaikin, Yu.A.; Ismailova, G.A.; Al-Sheikhly, M.

    2007-01-01

    Temperature dependence of internal friction is experimentally studied in epoxy irradiated by 2.5 MeV pulse electron beam to different doses. Time dependence of internal friction characteristics associated with radiation-induced processes of polymer scission and cross-linking is analyzed and discussed. Experimental data on kinetics of structural transformations in epoxy are interpreted on the base of analytical solutions of differential equations for free radical accumulation during and after irradiation subject to the pulse irradiation mode and an arbitrary effective order of radical recombination

  18. Medial prefrontal cortex: genes linked to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia have altered expression in the highly social maternal phenotype

    Brian E Eisinger

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The transition to motherhood involves CNS changes that modify sociability and affective state. However, these changes also put females at risk for postpartum depression and psychosis, which impairs parenting abilities and adversely affects children. Thus, changes in expression and interactions in a core subset of genes may be critical for emergence of a healthy maternal phenotype, but inappropriate changes of the same genes could put women at risk for postpartum disorders. This study evaluated microarray gene expression changes in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC, a region implicated in both maternal behavior and psychiatric disorders. Postpartum mice were compared to virgin controls housed with females and isolated for identical durations. Using the Modular Single-set Enrichment Test (MSET, we found that the genetic landscape of maternal mPFC bears statistical similarity to gene databases associated with schizophrenia (5 of 5 sets and bipolar disorder (BPD, 3 of 3 sets. In contrast to previous studies of maternal lateral septum and medial preoptic area, enrichment of autism and depression-linked genes was not significant (2 of 9 sets, 0 of 4 sets. Among genes linked to multiple disorders were fatty acid binding protein 7 (Fabp7, glutamate metabotropic receptor 3 (Grm3, platelet derived growth factor, beta polypeptide (Pdgfrb, and nuclear receptor subfamily 1, group D, member 1 (Nr1d1. RT-qPCR confirmed these gene changes as well as FMS-like tyrosine kinase 1 (Flt1 and proenkephalin (Penk. Systems-level methods revealed involvement of developmental gene networks in establishing the maternal phenotype and indirectly suggested a role for numerous microRNAs and transcription factors in mediating expression changes. Together, this study suggests that a subset of genes involved in shaping the healthy maternal brain may also be dysregulated in mental health disorders and put females at risk for postpartum psychosis with aspects of schizophrenia and BPD.

  19. Quantitative analysis of nanoscale intranuclear structural alterations in hippocampal cells in chronic alcoholism via transmission electron microscopy imaging.

    Sahay, Peeyush; Shukla, Pradeep K; Ghimire, Hemendra M; Almabadi, Huda M; Tripathi, Vibha; Mohanty, Samarendra K; Rao, Radhakrishna; Pradhan, Prabhakar

    2017-03-01

    Chronic alcoholism is known to alter the morphology of the hippocampus, an important region of cognitive function in the brain. Therefore, to understand the effect of chronic alcoholism on hippocampal neural cells, we employed a mouse model of chronic alcoholism and quantified intranuclear nanoscale structural alterations in these cells. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images of hippocampal neurons were obtained, and the degree of structural alteration in terms of mass density fluctuation was determined using the light-localization properties of optical media generated from TEM imaging. The results, which were obtained at length scales ranging from ~30 to 200 nm, show that 10-12 week-old mice fed a Lieber-DeCarli liquid (alcoholic) diet had a higher degree of structural alteration than control mice fed a normal diet without alcohol. The degree of structural alteration became significantly distinguishable at a sample length of ~100 nm, which is the typical length scale of the building blocks of cells, such as DNA, RNA, proteins and lipids. Interestingly, different degrees of structural alteration at such length scales suggest possible structural rearrangement of chromatin inside the nuclei in chronic alcoholism.

  20. Urban Diets Linked to Gut Microbiome and Metabolome Alterations in Children: A Comparative Cross-Sectional Study in Thailand

    Juma Kisuse

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Loss of traditional diets by food globalization may have adverse impact on the health of human being through the alteration of gut microbial ecosystem. To address this notion, we compared the gut microbiota of urban (n = 17 and rural (n = 28 school-aged children in Thailand in association with their dietary habits. Dietary records indicated that children living in urban Bangkok tended to consume modern high-fat diets, whereas children in rural Buriram tended to consume traditional vegetable-based diets. Sequencing of 16S rRNA genes amplified from stool samples showed that children in Bangkok have less Clostridiales and more Bacteroidales and Selenomonadales compared to children in Buriram and bacterial diversity is significantly less in Bangkok children than in Buriram children. In addition, fecal butyrate and propionate levels decreased in Bangkok children in association with changes in their gut microbial communities. Stool samples of these Thai children were classified into five metabolotypes (MTs based on their metabolome profiles, each characterized by high concentrations of short and middle chain fatty acids (MT1, n = 17, amino acids (MT2, n = 7, arginine (MT3, n = 6, amino acids, and amines (MT5, n = 8, or an overall low level of metabolites (MT4, n = 4. MT1 and MT4 mainly consisted of samples from Buriram, and MT2 and MT3 mainly consisted of samples from Bangkok, whereas MT5 contained three samples from Bangkok and five from Buriram samples. According to the profiles of microbiota and diets, MT1 and MT2 are characteristic of children in Buriram and Bangkok, respectively. Predicted metagenomics indicated the underrepresentation in MT2 of eight genes involved in pathways of butyrate biosynthesis, notably including paths from glutamate as well as pyruvate. Taken together, this study shows the benefit of high-vegetable Thai traditional diets on gut microbiota and suggests that high-fat and less-vegetable urban dietary habits alter gut

  1. Chemical cross-linking and mass spectrometry as structure determination tools

    Novák, Petr; Giannakopulos, A.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 13, - (2007), s. 105-113 ISSN 1469-0667 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KJB400200501; GA MŠk LC545 Grant - others:SE(XE) Marie Curie Actions TOK, Contract No. MTKD-CT-2004-014407 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50200510 Keywords : cross-linking * protein * high order structure Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 1.198, year: 2007

  2. Geochip: A high throughput genomic tool for linking community structure to functions

    Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Liang, Yuting; He, Zhili; Li, Guanghe; Zhou, Jizhong

    2009-01-30

    GeoChip is a comprehensive functional gene array that targets key functional genes involved in the geochemical cycling of N, C, and P, sulfate reduction, metal resistance and reduction, and contaminant degradation. Studies have shown the GeoChip to be a sensitive, specific, and high-throughput tool for microbial community analysis that has the power to link geochemical processes with microbial community structure. However, several challenges remain regarding the development and applications of microarrays for microbial community analysis.

  3. Blooming Knit Flowers: Loop-Linked Soft Morphing Structures for Soft Robotics.

    Han, Min-Woo; Ahn, Sung-Hoon

    2017-04-01

    A loop-linked structure, which is capable of morphing in various modes, including volumetric transformation, is developed based on knitting methods. Morphing flowers (a lily-like, a daffodil-like, gamopetalous, and a calla-like flower) are fabricated using loop patterning, and their blooming motion is demonstrated by controlling a current that selectively actuates the flowers petals. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  4. Altered myofilament structure and function in dogs with Duchenne muscular dystrophy cardiomyopathy

    Ait Mou, Younss; Lacampagne, Alain; Irving, Thomas; Scheuermann, Valérie; Blot, Stéphane; Ghaleh, Bijan; de Tombe, Pieter P.; Cazorla, Olivier

    2018-01-01

    Aim Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is associated with progressive depressed left ventricular (LV) function. However, DMD effects on myofilament structure and function are poorly understood. Golden Retriever Muscular Dystrophy (GRMD) is a dog model of DMD recapitulating the human form of DMD. Objective The objective of this study is to evaluate myofilament structure and function alterations in GRMD model with spontaneous cardiac failure. Methods and results We have employed synchrotron X-rays diffraction to evaluate myofilament lattice spacing at various sarcomere lengths (SL) on permeabilized LV myocardium. We found a negative correlation between SL and lattice spacing in both sub-epicardium (EPI) and sub-endocardium (ENDO) LV layers in control dog hearts. In the ENDO of GRMD hearts this correlation is steeper due to higher lattice spacing at short SL (1.9 μm). Furthermore, cross-bridge cycling indexed by the kinetics of tension redevelopment (ktr) was faster in ENDO GRMD myofilaments at short SL. We measured post-translational modifications of key regulatory contractile proteins. S-glutathionylation of cardiac Myosin Binding Protein-C (cMyBP-C) was unchanged and PKA dependent phosphorylation of the cMyBP-C was significantly reduced in GRMD ENDO tissue and more modestly in EPI tissue. Conclusions We found a gradient of contractility in control dogs' myocardium that spreads across the LV wall, negatively correlated with myofilament lattice spacing. Chronic stress induced by dystrophin deficiency leads to heart failure that is tightly associated with regional structural changes indexed by increased myofilament lattice spacing, reduced phosphorylation of regulatory proteins and altered myofilament contractile properties in GRMD dogs.

  5. Introgression from cultivated rice alters genetic structures of wild relative populations: implications for in situ conservation

    Jin, Xin; Chen, Yu; Liu, Ping; Li, Chen; Cai, Xingxing; Rong, Jun

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Maintaining genetic integrity is essential for in situ and ex situ conservation of crop wild relative (CWR) species. However, introgression of crop alleles into CWR species/populations may change their genetic structure and diversity, resulting in more invasive weeds or, in contrast, the extinction of endangered populations. To determine crop-wild introgression and its consequences, we examined the genetic structure and diversity of six wild rice (Oryza rufipogon) populations under in situ conservation in China. Thirty-four simple sequence repeat (SSR) and 34 insertion/deletion markers were used to genotype the wild rice populations and two sets of rice cultivars (O. sativa), corresponding to the two types of molecular markers. Shared alleles and STRUCTURE analyses suggested a variable level of crop-wild introgression and admixture. Principal coordinates and cluster analyses indicated differentiation of wild rice populations, which was associated with the spatial distances to cultivated rice fields. The level of overall genetic diversity was comparable between wild rice populations and rice cultivars, but a great number of wild-specific alleles was detected in the wild populations. We conclude based on the results that crop-wild introgression can considerably alter the pattern of genetic structure and relationships of CWR populations. Appropriate measures should be taken for effective in situ conservation of CWR species under the scenario of crop-wild introgression. PMID:29308123

  6. Structural alterations of the superior temporal gyrus in schizophrenia: Detailed subregional differences.

    Ohi, K; Matsuda, Y; Shimada, T; Yasuyama, T; Oshima, K; Sawai, K; Kihara, H; Nitta, Y; Okubo, H; Uehara, T; Kawasaki, Y

    2016-05-01

    Reduced gray matter volumes in the superior temporal gyrus (STG) have been reported in patients with schizophrenia. Such volumetric abnormalities might denote alterations in cortical thickness, surface area, local gyrification or all of these factors. The STG can be anatomically divided into five subregions using automatic parcellation in FreeSurfer: lateral aspect of the STG, anterior transverse temporal gyrus of Heschl gyrus (HG), planum polare (PP) of the STG, planum temporale (PT) of the STG and transverse temporal sulcus. We acquired magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) 3T scans from 40 age- and sex-matched patients with schizophrenia and 40 healthy subjects, and the scans were automatically processed using FreeSurfer. General linear models were used to assess group differences in regional volumes and detailed thickness, surface area and local gyrification. As expected, patients with schizophrenia had significantly smaller bilateral STG volumes than healthy subjects. Of the five subregions in the STG, patients with schizophrenia showed significantly and marginally reduced volumes in the lateral aspect of the STG and PT of the STG bilaterally compared with healthy subjects. The volumetric alteration in bilateral lateral STG was derived from both the cortical thickness and surface area but not local gyrification. There was no significant laterality of the alteration in the lateral STG between patients and controls and no correlation among the structures and clinical characteristics. These findings suggest that of five anatomical subregions in the STG, the lateral STG is one of the most meaningful regions for brain pathophysiology in schizophrenia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  7. alpha-Globin genes: thalassemic and structural alterations in a Brazilian population

    M.R.S.C. Wenning

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available Seven unrelated patients with hemoglobin (Hb H disease and 27 individuals with alpha-chain structural alterations were studied to identify the alpha-globin gene mutations present in the population of Southeast Brazil. The -alpha3.7, --MED and -(alpha20.5 deletions were investigated by PCR, whereas non-deletional alpha-thalassemia (alphaHphalpha, alphaNcoIalpha, aaNcoI, alphaIcalpha and alphaTSaudialpha was screened with restriction enzymes and by nested PCR. Structural alterations were identified by direct DNA sequencing. Of the seven patients with Hb H disease, all of Italian descent, two had the -(alpha20.5/-alpha3.7 genotype, one had the --MED/-alpha3.7 genotype, one had the --MED/alphaHphalpha genotype and three showed interaction of the -alpha3.7 deletion with an unusual, unidentified form of non-deletional alpha-thalassemia [-alpha3.7/(aaT]. Among the 27 patients with structural alterations, 15 (of Italian descent had Hb Hasharon (alpha47Asp->His associated with the -alpha3.7 deletion, 4 (of Italian descent were heterozygous for Hb J-Rovigo (alpha53Ala->Asp, 4 (3 Blacks and 1 Caucasian were heterozygous for Hb Stanleyville-II (alpha78Asn->Lys associated with the alpha+-thalassemia, 1 (Black was heterozygous for Hb G-Pest (alpha74Asp->Asn, 1 (Caucasian was heterozygous for Hb Kurosaki (alpha7Lys->Glu, 1 (Caucasian was heterozygous for Hb Westmead (alpha122His->Gln, and 1 (Caucasian was the carrier of a novel silent variant (Hb Campinas, alpha26Ala->Val. Most of the mutations found reflected the Mediterranean and African origins of the population. Hbs G-Pest and Kurosaki, very rare, and Hb Westmead, common in southern China, were initially described in individuals of ethnic origin differing from those of the carriers reported in the present study and are the first cases to be reported in the Brazilian population.

  8. Vorinostat differentially alters 3D nuclear structure of cancer and non-cancerous esophageal cells.

    Nandakumar, Vivek; Hansen, Nanna; Glenn, Honor L; Han, Jessica H; Helland, Stephanie; Hernandez, Kathryn; Senechal, Patti; Johnson, Roger H; Bussey, Kimberly J; Meldrum, Deirdre R

    2016-08-09

    The histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor vorinostat has received significant attention in recent years as an 'epigenetic' drug used to treat solid tumors. However, its mechanisms of action are not entirely understood, particularly with regard to its interaction with the aberrations in 3D nuclear structure that accompany neoplastic progression. We investigated the impact of vorinostat on human esophageal epithelial cell lines derived from normal, metaplastic (pre-cancerous), and malignant tissue. Using a combination of novel optical computed tomography (CT)-based quantitative 3D absorption microscopy and conventional confocal fluorescence microscopy, we show that subjecting malignant cells to vorinostat preferentially alters their 3D nuclear architecture relative to non-cancerous cells. Optical CT (cell CT) imaging of fixed single cells showed that drug-treated cancer cells exhibit significant alterations in nuclear morphometry. Confocal microscopy revealed that vorinostat caused changes in the distribution of H3K9ac-marked euchromatin and H3K9me3-marked constitutive heterochromatin. Additionally, 3D immuno-FISH showed that drug-induced expression of the DNA repair gene MGMT was accompanied by spatial relocation toward the center of the nucleus in the nuclei of metaplastic but not in non-neoplastic cells. Our data suggest that vorinostat's differential modulation of 3D nuclear architecture in normal and abnormal cells could play a functional role in its anti-cancer action.

  9. Alzheimer's-associated Aβ oligomers show altered structure, immunoreactivity and synaptotoxicity with low doses of oleocanthal

    Pitt, Jason; Roth, William; Lacor, Pascale; Smith, Amos B.; Blankenship, Matthew; Velasco, Pauline; De Felice, Fernanda; Breslin, Paul; Klein, William L.

    2009-01-01

    It now appears likely that soluble oligomers of amyloid-β 1-42 peptide, rather than insoluble fibrils, act as the primary neurotoxin in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Consequently, compounds capable of altering the assembly state of these oligomers (referred to as ADDLs) may have potential for AD therapeutics. Phenolic compounds are of particular interest for their ability to disrupt Aβ oligomerization and reduce pathogenicity. This study has focused on oleocanthal (OC), a naturally-occurring phenolic compound found in extra-virgin olive oil. OC increased the immunoreactivity of soluble Aβ species, when assayed with both sequence- and conformation-specific Aβ antibodies, indicating changes in oligomer structure. Analysis of oligomers in the presence of OC showed an upward shift in MW and a ladder-like distribution of SDS-stable ADDL subspecies. In comparison with control ADDLs, oligomers formed in the presence of OC (Aβ-OC) showed equivalent colocalization at synapses but exhibited greater immunofluorescence as a result of increased antibody recognition. The enhanced signal at synapses was not due to increased synaptic binding, as direct detection of fluorescently-labeled ADDLs showed an overall reduction in ADDL signal in the presence of OC. Decreased binding to synapses was accompanied by significantly less synaptic deterioration assayed by drebrin loss. Additionally, treatment with OC improved antibody clearance of ADDLs. These results indicate oleocanthal is capable of altering the oligomerization state of ADDLs while protecting neurons from the synaptopathological effects of ADDLs and suggest OC as a lead compound for development in AD therapeutics.

  10. Experience-dependent plasticity in white matter microstructure: Reasoning training alters structural connectivity

    Allyson P Mackey

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI techniques have made it possible to investigate white matter plasticity in humans. Changes in DTI measures, principally increases in fractional anisotropy (FA, have been observed following training programs as diverse as juggling, meditation, and working memory. Here, we sought to test whether three months of reasoning training could alter white matter microstructure. We recruited participants (n=23 who were enrolled in a course to prepare for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT, a test that places strong demands on reasoning skills, as well as age- and IQ-matched controls planning to take the LSAT in the future (n=22. DTI data were collected at two scan sessions scheduled three months apart. In trained participants but not controls, we observed decreases in radial diffusivity (RD in white matter connecting frontal cortices, and in mean diffusivity (MD within frontal and parietal lobe white matter. Further, participants exhibiting larger gains on the LSAT exhibited greater decreases in MD in the right internal capsule. In summary, reasoning training altered multiple measures of white matter structure in young adults. While the cellular underpinnings are unknown, these results provide evidence of experience-dependent white matter changes that may not be limited to myelination.

  11. Fertilization Shapes Bacterial Community Structure by Alteration of Soil pH

    Yuting Zhang

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Application of chemical fertilizer or manure can affect soil microorganisms directly by supplying nutrients and indirectly by altering soil pH. However, it remains uncertain which effect mostly shapes microbial community structure. We determined soil bacterial diversity and community structure by 454 pyrosequencing the V1-V3 regions of 16S rRNA genes after 7-years (2007–2014 of applying chemical nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK fertilizers, composted manure or their combination to acidic (pH 5.8, near-neutral (pH 6.8 or alkaline (pH 8.4 Eutric Regosol soil in a maize-vegetable rotation in southwest China. In alkaline soil, nutrient sources did not affect bacterial Operational Taxonomic Unit (OTU richness or Shannon diversity index, despite higher available N, P, K, and soil organic carbon in fertilized than in unfertilized soil. In contrast, bacterial OTU richness and Shannon diversity index were significantly lower in acidic and near-neutral soils under NPK than under manure or their combination, which corresponded with changes in soil pH. Permutational multivariate analysis of variance showed that bacterial community structure was significantly affected across these three soils, but the PCoA ordination patterns indicated the effect was less distinct among nutrient sources in alkaline than in acidic and near-neural soils. Distance-based redundancy analysis showed that bacterial community structures were significantly altered by soil pH in acidic and near-neutral soils, but not by any soil chemical properties in alkaline soil. The relative abundance (% of most bacterial phyla was higher in near-neutral than in acidic or alkaline soils. The most dominant phyla were Proteobacteria (24.6%, Actinobacteria (19.7%, Chloroflexi (15.3% and Acidobacteria (12.6%; the medium dominant phyla were Bacterioidetes (5.3%, Planctomycetes (4.8%, Gemmatimonadetes (4.5%, Firmicutes (3.4%, Cyanobacteria (2.1%, Nitrospirae (1.8%, and candidate division TM7 (1

  12. Fertilization Shapes Bacterial Community Structure by Alteration of Soil pH.

    Zhang, Yuting; Shen, Hong; He, Xinhua; Thomas, Ben W; Lupwayi, Newton Z; Hao, Xiying; Thomas, Matthew C; Shi, Xiaojun

    2017-01-01

    Application of chemical fertilizer or manure can affect soil microorganisms directly by supplying nutrients and indirectly by altering soil pH. However, it remains uncertain which effect mostly shapes microbial community structure. We determined soil bacterial diversity and community structure by 454 pyrosequencing the V1-V3 regions of 16S rRNA genes after 7-years (2007-2014) of applying chemical nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) fertilizers, composted manure or their combination to acidic (pH 5.8), near-neutral (pH 6.8) or alkaline (pH 8.4) Eutric Regosol soil in a maize-vegetable rotation in southwest China. In alkaline soil, nutrient sources did not affect bacterial Operational Taxonomic Unit (OTU) richness or Shannon diversity index, despite higher available N, P, K, and soil organic carbon in fertilized than in unfertilized soil. In contrast, bacterial OTU richness and Shannon diversity index were significantly lower in acidic and near-neutral soils under NPK than under manure or their combination, which corresponded with changes in soil pH. Permutational multivariate analysis of variance showed that bacterial community structure was significantly affected across these three soils, but the PCoA ordination patterns indicated the effect was less distinct among nutrient sources in alkaline than in acidic and near-neural soils. Distance-based redundancy analysis showed that bacterial community structures were significantly altered by soil pH in acidic and near-neutral soils, but not by any soil chemical properties in alkaline soil. The relative abundance (%) of most bacterial phyla was higher in near-neutral than in acidic or alkaline soils. The most dominant phyla were Proteobacteria (24.6%), Actinobacteria (19.7%), Chloroflexi (15.3%) and Acidobacteria (12.6%); the medium dominant phyla were Bacterioidetes (5.3%), Planctomycetes (4.8%), Gemmatimonadetes (4.5%), Firmicutes (3.4%), Cyanobacteria (2.1%), Nitrospirae (1.8%), and candidate division TM7 (1

  13. Structural and functional alterations in Malpighian tubules as biomarkers of environmental pollution: synopsis and prospective.

    Giglio, Anita; Brandmayr, Pietro

    2017-08-01

    Although a number of biomarkers of pollutant exposure have been identified in invertebrate species, little is known about the effect on Malpighian tubules playing an essential role in excretion and osmoregulation. Analyses of structural and functional alterations on this organ can be useful to predict the effects at the organism and population level in monitoring studies of environmental pollution. The aim of the present review is to provide a synthesis of existing knowledge on cellular damages induced by xenobiotics in Malpighian tubules both under laboratory and field conditions. We compared studies of exposure to pesticides and heavy metals as mainly environmental contaminants from anthropogenic activities. This report provided evidence that the exposure to xenobiotics has an effect on this organ and reinforces the need for further research integrating molecular biomarkers with analysis on Malpighian tubules. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  14. Nitric oxide and oxidative stress is associated with severity of diabetic retinopathy and retinal structural alterations.

    Sharma, Shashi; Saxena, Sandeep; Srivastav, Khushboo; Shukla, Rajendra K; Mishra, Nibha; Meyer, Carsten H; Kruzliak, Peter; Khanna, Vinay K

    2015-07-01

    The aim of the study was to determine plasma nitric oxide (NO) and lipid peroxide (LPO) levels in diabetic retinopathy and its association with severity of disease. Prospective observational study. A total of 60 consecutive cases and 20 healthy controls were included. Severity of retinopathy was graded according to early treatment diabetic retinopathy study (ETDRS) classification. Photoreceptor inner segment ellipsoid band (ISel) disruption and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) alteration were graded using spectral domain optical coherence tomography. Data were statistically analyzed. Plasma thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, NO assay and reduced glutathione (GSH) were measured using standard protocol. Increased severity of diabetic retinopathy was significantly associated with increase in plasma levels of LPO (P diabetic retinopathy. For the first time, it has been demonstrated that increased plasma LPO, NO and decreased GSH levels are associated with in vivo structural changes in inner segment ellipsoid and RPE. © 2015 Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists.

  15. Structural changes in microferrogels cross-linked by magnetically anisotropic particles

    Ryzhkov, A.V., E-mail: ryzhkov.a@icmm.ru [Perm National Research Polytechnic University, Perm 614990 (Russian Federation); Institute of Continuous Media Mechanics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Ural Branch, Perm 614013 (Russian Federation); Raikher, Yu. L. [Institute of Continuous Media Mechanics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Ural Branch, Perm 614013 (Russian Federation)

    2017-06-01

    Chaining of magnetic nanoparticles in a microscopic ferrogel (MFG) due to interparticle interaction and external field is analyzed by the coarse-grained molecular dynamics. The embedded nanoparticles, unlike existing conventional models, are assumed to possess uniaxial magnetic anisotropy. By that, the consideration is brought closer to reality. Evolution of particle chains, both in length and straightness, is handled with the aid of “axial” radial distribution function that is sensitive to orientation of the aggregates. The effect of the particle magnetic anisotropy on the structural alterations as well as on volume changes of MFGs is demonstrated.

  16. Do neural tube defects lead to structural alterations in the human bladder?

    Pazos, Helena M F; Lobo, Márcio Luiz de P; Costa, Waldemar S; Sampaio, Francisco J B; Cardoso, Luis Eduardo M; Favorito, Luciano Alves

    2011-05-01

    Anencephaly is the most severe neural tube defect in human fetuses. The objective of this paper is to analyze the structure of the bladder in anencephalic human fetuses. We studied 40 bladders of normal human fetuses (20 male and 20 female, aged 14 to 23 WPC) and 12 bladders of anencephalic fetuses (5 male and 7 female, aged 18 to 22 WPC). The bladders were removed and processed by routine histological techniques. Stereological analysis of collagen, elastic system fibers and smooth muscle was performed in sections. Data were expressed as volumetric density (Vv-%). The images were captured with Olympus BX51 microscopy and Olympus DP70 camera. The stereological analysis was done using the software Image Pro and Image J. For biochemical analysis, samples were fixed in acetone, and collagen concentrations were expressed as micrograms of hydroxyproline per mg of dry tissue. Means were statistically compared using the unpaired t-test (p<0.05). We observed a significant increase (p<0.0001) in the Vv of collagen in the bladders of anencephalic fetuses (69.71%) when compared to normal fetuses (52.74%), and a significant decrease (p<0.0001) in the Vv of smooth muscle cells in the bladders of anencephalic fetuses (23.96%) when compared to normal fetuses (38.35%). The biochemical analyses showed a higher concentration of total collagen in the bladders of anencephalic fetuses (37354 µg/mg) when compared to normal fetuses (48117 µg/mg, p<0.02). The structural alterations of the bladder found in this study may suggest the existence of functional alterations in the bladder of anencephalic human fetuses.

  17. Altered structural and functional thalamocortical networks in secondarily generalized extratemporal lobe seizures

    Syu-Jyun Peng

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Structural and functional abnormalities in the thalamocortical network in primary generalized epilepsies or mesial temporal lobe epilepsy have recently been identified by voxel-wise analyses of neuroimaging. However, evidence is needed regarding the profiles of the thalamocortical network in patients with secondarily generalized seizures from focal neocortical sources. We used high-resolution T1-weighted, diffusion-tensor and resting-state functional MR imaging (rs-fMRI to examine 16 patients with secondarily generalized extratemporal lobe seizures and 16 healthy controls. All the patients were medically effective and MRI-negative. Using whole brain voxel-based morphometry (VBM to compare the patients with the normal controls, we observed significantly decreased gray matter (GM density in the thalamus and 3 frontal gyri and significantly reduced white matter (WM fractional anisotropy (FA in the bilateral anterior corona radiata of the patients. Alterations in the thalamocortical functional connectivity with different cortices were identified by the rs-fMRI analysis seeding of the whole thalamus. The prefrontal gyri with the greatest functional connectivity were also traced by seeding a sub-thalamic region that is demarcated in an atlas, in which the thalamic parcellation is based on the WM connectivity to the cortices. This sub-thalamic region anatomically contains the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus where, concordantly, there was a significant decrease in thalamic GM density in the VBM study. In contrast to the negative correlation between the disease duration and reduced thalamic densities and subcortical FA values, the strength of the functional thalamocortical connectivity had a paradoxical correlation. Our results conclusively indicate that generalized seizures with a focal cortical source are associated with structural and functional alterations in the thalamocortical network.

  18. Altered topological organization of white matter structural networks in patients with neuromyelitis optica.

    Yaou Liu

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To investigate the topological alterations of the whole-brain white-matter (WM structural networks in patients with neuromyelitis optica (NMO. METHODS: The present study involved 26 NMO patients and 26 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. WM structural connectivity in each participant was imaged with diffusion-weighted MRI and represented in terms of a connectivity matrix using deterministic tractography method. Graph theory-based analyses were then performed for the characterization of brain network properties. A multiple linear regression analysis was performed on each network metric between the NMO and control groups. RESULTS: The NMO patients exhibited abnormal small-world network properties, as indicated by increased normalized characteristic path length, increased normalized clustering and increased small-worldness. Furthermore, largely similar hub distributions of the WM structural networks were observed between NMO patients and healthy controls. However, regional efficiency in several brain areas of NMO patients was significantly reduced, which were mainly distributed in the default-mode, sensorimotor and visual systems. Furthermore, we have observed increased regional efficiency in a few brain regions such as the orbital parts of the superior and middle frontal and fusiform gyri. CONCLUSION: Although the NMO patients in this study had no discernible white matter T2 lesions in the brain, we hypothesize that the disrupted topological organization of WM networks provides additional evidence for subtle, widespread cerebral WM pathology in NMO.

  19. Brain structural alterations in obsessive-compulsive disorder patients with autogenous and reactive obsessions.

    Marta Subirà

    Full Text Available Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD is a clinically heterogeneous condition. Although structural brain alterations have been consistently reported in OCD, their interaction with particular clinical subtypes deserves further examination. Among other approaches, a two-group classification in patients with autogenous and reactive obsessions has been proposed. The purpose of the present study was to assess, by means of a voxel-based morphometry analysis, the putative brain structural correlates of this classification scheme in OCD patients. Ninety-five OCD patients and 95 healthy controls were recruited. Patients were divided into autogenous (n = 30 and reactive (n = 65 sub-groups. A structural magnetic resonance image was acquired for each participant and pre-processed with SPM8 software to obtain a volume-modulated gray matter map. Whole-brain and voxel-wise comparisons between the study groups were then performed. In comparison to the autogenous group, reactive patients showed larger gray matter volumes in the right Rolandic operculum. When compared to healthy controls, reactive patients showed larger volumes in the putamen (bilaterally, while autogenous patients showed a smaller left anterior temporal lobe. Also in comparison to healthy controls, the right middle temporal gyrus was smaller in both patient subgroups. Our results suggest that autogenous and reactive obsessions depend on partially dissimilar neural substrates. Our findings provide some neurobiological support for this classification scheme and contribute to unraveling the neurobiological basis of clinical heterogeneity in OCD.

  20. 6-Thioguanine alters the structure and stability of duplex DNA and inhibits quadruplex DNA formation.

    Marathias, V M; Sawicki, M J; Bolton, P H

    1999-07-15

    The ability to chemically synthesize biomolecules has opened up the opportunity to observe changes in structure and activity that occur upon single atom substitution. In favorable cases this can provide information about the roles of individual atoms. The substitution of 6-thioguanine (6SG) for guanine is a potentially very useful single atom substitution as 6SG has optical, photocrosslinking, metal ion binding and other properties of potential utility. In addition, 6-mercaptopurine is a clinically important pro-drug that is activated by conversion into 6SG by cells. The results presented here indicate that the presence of 6SG blocks the formation of quadruplex DNA. The presence of 6SG alters the structure and lowers the thermal stability of duplex DNA, but duplex DNA can be formed in the presence of 6SG. These results indicate that some of the cytotoxic activity of 6SG may be due to disruption of the quadruplex structures formed by telomere and other DNAs. This additional mode of action is consistent with the delayed onset of cytotoxicity.

  1. Altered brain structural connectivity in post-traumatic stress disorder: a diffusion tensor imaging tractography study.

    Long, Zhiliang; Duan, Xujun; Xie, Bing; Du, Handan; Li, Rong; Xu, Qiang; Wei, Luqing; Zhang, Shao-xiang; Wu, Yi; Gao, Qing; Chen, Huafu

    2013-09-25

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by dysfunction of several discrete brain regions such as medial prefrontal gyrus with hypoactivation and amygdala with hyperactivation. However, alterations of large-scale whole brain topological organization of structural networks remain unclear. Seventeen patients with PTSD in motor vehicle accident survivors and 15 normal controls were enrolled in our study. Large-scale structural connectivity network (SCN) was constructed using diffusion tensor tractography, followed by thresholding the mean factional anisotropy matrix of 90 brain regions. Graph theory analysis was then employed to investigate their aberrant topological properties. Both patient and control group showed small-world topology in their SCNs. However, patients with PTSD exhibited abnormal global properties characterized by significantly decreased characteristic shortest path length and normalized characteristic shortest path length. Furthermore, the patient group showed enhanced nodal centralities predominately in salience network including bilateral anterior cingulate and pallidum, and hippocampus/parahippocamus gyrus, and decreased nodal centralities mainly in medial orbital part of superior frontal gyrus. The main limitation of this study is the small sample of PTSD patients, which may lead to decrease the statistic power. Consequently, this study should be considered an exploratory analysis. These results are consistent with the notion that PTSD can be understood by investigating the dysfunction of large-scale, spatially distributed neural networks, and also provide structural evidences for further exploration of neurocircuitry models in PTSD. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Verrucomicrobial community structure and abundance as indicators for changes in chemical factors linked to soil fertility.

    Navarrete, Acacio Aparecido; Soares, Tielle; Rossetto, Raffaella; van Veen, Johannes Antonie; Tsai, Siu Mui; Kuramae, Eiko Eurya

    2015-09-01

    Here we show that verrucomicrobial community structure and abundance are extremely sensitive to changes in chemical factors linked to soil fertility. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism fingerprint and real-time quantitative PCR assay were used to analyze changes in verrucomicrobial communities associated with contrasting soil nutrient conditions in tropical regions. In case study Model I ("Slash-and-burn deforestation") the verrucomicrobial community structures revealed disparate patterns in nutrient-enriched soils after slash-and-burn deforestation and natural nutrient-poor soils under an adjacent primary forest in the Amazonia (R = 0.819, P = 0.002). The relative proportion of Verrucomicrobia declined in response to increased soil fertility after slash-and-burn deforestation, accounting on average, for 4 and 2 % of the total bacterial signal, in natural nutrient-poor forest soils and nutrient-enriched deforested soils, respectively. In case study Model II ("Management practices for sugarcane") disparate patterns were revealed in sugarcane rhizosphere sampled on optimal and deficient soil fertility for sugarcane (R = 0.786, P = 0.002). Verrucomicrobial community abundance in sugarcane rhizosphere was negatively correlated with soil fertility, accounting for 2 and 5 % of the total bacterial signal, under optimal and deficient soil fertility conditions for sugarcane, respectively. In nutrient-enriched soils, verrucomicrobial community structures were related to soil factors linked to soil fertility, such as total nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sum of bases, i.e., the sum of calcium, magnesium and potassium contents. We conclude that community structure and abundance represent important ecological aspects in soil verrucomicrobial communities for tracking the changes in chemical factors linked to soil fertility under tropical environmental conditions.

  3. Has enhanced folate status during pregnancy altered natural selection and possibly Autism prevalence? A closer look at a possible link.

    Rogers, Eugene J

    2008-09-01

    higher frequency in Autisic individuals. It is hypothesized here that the enhancement of maternal folate status before and during pregnancy in the last 15 years has altered natural selection by increasing survival rates during pregnancy of infants possessing the MTHFR C677T polymorphism, via reduction in hyperhomocysteinemia associated with this genotype and thereby miscarriage rates. This also points directly to an increased rate of births of infants with higher postnatal requirements for folic acid needed for normal methylation during this critical neurodevelopmental period. If these numbers have increased then so have the absolute number of infants that after birth fail to maintain the higher folate status experienced in utero thus leading to an increased number of cases of developmental disorders such as Autism. Detection of the C677T polymorphism as well as other methionine cycle enzymes related to folate metabolism and methylation at birth as part of newborn screening programs could determine which newborns need be monitored and maintained on diets or supplements that ensure adequate folate status during this critical postnatal neurodevelopment period.

  4. Exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic waves alters acetylcholinesterase gene expression, exploratory and motor coordination-linked behaviour in male rats.

    Obajuluwa, Adejoke Olukayode; Akinyemi, Ayodele Jacob; Afolabi, Olakunle Bamikole; Adekoya, Khalid; Sanya, Joseph Olurotimi; Ishola, Azeez Olakunle

    2017-01-01

    Humans in modern society are exposed to an ever-increasing number of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and some studies have demonstrated that these waves can alter brain function but the mechanism still remains unclear. Hence, this study sought to investigate the effect of 2.5 Ghz band radio-frequency electromagnetic waves (RF-EMF) exposure on cerebral cortex acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity and their mRNA expression level as well as locomotor function and anxiety-linked behaviour in male rats. Animals were divided into four groups namely; group 1 was control (without exposure), group 2-4 were exposed to 2.5 Ghz radiofrequency waves from an installed WI-FI device for a period of 4, 6 and 8 weeks respectively. The results revealed that WiFi exposure caused a significant increase in anxiety level and affect locomotor function. Furthermore, there was a significant decrease in AChE activity with a concomitant increase in AChE mRNA expression level in WiFi exposed rats when compared with control. In conclusions, these data showed that long term exposure to WiFi may lead to adverse effects such as neurodegenerative diseases as observed by a significant alteration on AChE gene expression and some neurobehavioral parameters associated with brain damage.

  5. Different methods to alter surface morphology of high aspect ratio structures

    Leber, M., E-mail: moritz.leber@utah.edu [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Shandhi, M.M.H. [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Hogan, A. [Blackrock Microsystems, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Solzbacher, F. [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Bhandari, R.; Negi, S. [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Blackrock Microsystems, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)

    2016-03-01

    Graphical abstract: Surface engineering of high aspect ratio silicon structures. - Highlights: • Multiple roughening techniques for high aspect ratio devices were investigated. • Modification of surface morphology of high aspect ratio silicon devices (1:15). • Decrease of 76% in impedance proves significant increase in surface area. - Abstract: In various applications such as neural prostheses or solar cells, there is a need to alter the surface morphology of high aspect ratio structures so that the real surface area is greater than geometrical area. The change in surface morphology enhances the devices functionality. One of the applications of altering the surface morphology is of neural implants such as the Utah electrode array (UEA) that communicate with single neurons by charge injection induced stimulation or by recording electrical neural signals. For high selectivity between single cells of the nervous system, the electrode surface area is required to be as small as possible, while the impedance is required to be as low as possible for good signal to noise ratios (SNR) during neural recording. For stimulation, high charge injection and charge transfer capacities of the electrodes are required, which increase with the electrode surface. Traditionally, researchers have worked with either increasing the roughness of the existing metallization (platinum grey, black) or other materials such as Iridium Oxide and PEDOT. All of these previously investigated methods lead to more complicated metal deposition processes that are difficult to control and often have a critical impact on the mechanical properties of the metal films. Therefore, a modification of the surface underneath the electrode's coating will increase its surface area while maintaining the standard and well controlled metal deposition process. In this work, the surfaces of the silicon micro-needles were engineered by creating a defined microstructure on the electrodes surface using several

  6. Linking Wave Forcing to Coral Cover and Structural Complexity Across Coral Reef Flats

    Harris, D. L.; Rovere, A.; Parravicini, V.; Casella, E.

    2015-12-01

    The hydrodynamic regime is a significant component in the geomorphic and ecological development of coral reefs. The energy gradients and flow conditions generated by the breaking and transformation of waves across coral reef crests and flats drive changes in geomorphic structure, and coral growth form and distribution. One of the key aspects in regulating the wave energy propagating across reef flats is the rugosity or roughness of the benthic substrate. Rugosity and structural complexity of coral reefs is also a key indicator of species diversity, ecological functioning, and reef health. However, the links between reef rugosity, coral species distribution and abundance, and hydrodynamic forcing are poorly understood. In this study we examine this relationship by using high resolution measurement of waves in the surf zone and coral reef benthic structure.Pressure transducers (logging at 4 Hz) were deployed in cross reef transects at two sites (Tiahura and Ha'apiti reef systems) in Moorea, French Polynesia with wave characteristics determined on a wave by wave basis. A one dimensional hydrodynamic model (XBeach) was calibrated from this data to determine wave processes on the reef flats under average conditions. Transects of the reef benthic structure were conducted using photographic analysis and the three dimensional reef surface was constructed using structure from motion procedures. From this analysis reef rugosity, changes in coral genus and growth form, and across reef shifts in benthic community were determined. The results show clear changes in benthic assemblages along wave energy gradients with some indication of threshold values of wave induced bed shear stress above which live coral cover was reduced. Reef rugosity was shown to be significantly along the cross-reef transect which has important implications for accurate assessment of wave dissipation across coral reef flats. Links between reef rugosity and coral genus were also observed and may indicate

  7. [The value of double contrast arthrotomography combined with cinematography in the diagnosis of functional and structural TMJ alterations].

    Engelke, W; Grossniklaus, B; Sailer, H F

    1991-01-01

    Double contrast arthrotomography combined with cinematography as a diagnostic instrument establishing functional and structural TMJ alterations is evaluated for its diagnostic value and reliability within the chain of diagnostic measures applied. In 131 patients double-contrast arthrotomography was followed by a comprehensive history of joint problems, and verification of the clinical findings as well as the arthrographic diagnosis and the post-arthrographic TMJ alterations. Our interest was focussed, among others, on the question whether arthrography alone would have any therapeutic effect or produce an alteration in TMJ function.

  8. Structural brain alterations in hemifacial spasm: A voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging study.

    Tu, Ye; Yu, Tian; Wei, Yongxu; Sun, Kun; Zhao, Weiguo; Yu, Buwei

    2016-02-01

    Hemifacial spasm (HFS) is characterized by involuntary, irregular clonic or tonic movement of muscles innervated by the facial nerve. We evaluated structural reorganization in brain gray matter and white matter and whether neuroplasticity is linked to clinical features in HFS patients. High-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging data were acquired by 3.0 T MRI from 42 patients with HFS and 30 healthy subjects. The severity of the spasm was assessed according to Jankovic disability rating scale. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) analysis were performed to identify regional grey matter volume (GMV) changes and whole-brain microstructural integrity disruption measured by fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AD) and radial diffusivity (RD). The VBM analysis showed that patients with HFS reduced GMV in the right inferior parietal lobule and increased GMV in the cerebellar lobule VIII, when compared with healthy subjects. Furthermore, within the HFS disease group, GMV decreased with the disease duration in the right inferior parietal lobule. TBSS did not identify group differences in diffusivity parameters. While no white matter integrity disruption was detected in the brain of patients with HFS, our study identified evident GMV changes in brain areas which were known to be involved in motor control. Our results suggest that HFS, a chronic neurovascular conflict disease, is related to structural reorganization in the brain. Copyright © 2015 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Carcinogenesis: alterations in reciprocal interactions of normal functional structure of biologic systems.

    Davydyan, Garri

    2015-12-01

    The evolution of biologic systems (BS) includes functional mechanisms that in some conditions may lead to the development of cancer. Using mathematical group theory and matrix analysis, previously, it was shown that normally functioning BS are steady functional structures regulated by three basis regulatory components: reciprocal links (RL), negative feedback (NFB) and positive feedback (PFB). Together, they form an integrative unit maintaining system's autonomy and functional stability. It is proposed that phylogenetic development of different species is implemented by the splitting of "rudimentary" characters into two relatively independent functional parts that become encoded in chromosomes. The functional correlate of splitting mechanisms is RL. Inversion of phylogenetic mechanisms during ontogenetic development leads cell differentiation until cells reach mature states. Deterioration of reciprocal structure in the genome during ontogenesis gives rise of pathological conditions characterized by unsteadiness of the system. Uncontrollable cell proliferation and invasive cell growth are the leading features of the functional outcomes of malfunctioning systems. The regulatory element responsible for these changes is RL. In matrix language, pathological regulation is represented by matrices having positive values of diagonal elements ( TrA  > 0) and also positive values of matrix determinant ( detA  > 0). Regulatory structures of that kind can be obtained if the negative entry of the matrix corresponding to RL is replaced with the positive one. To describe not only normal but also pathological states of BS, a unit matrix should be added to the basis matrices representing RL, NFB and PFB. A mathematical structure corresponding to the set of these four basis functional patterns (matrices) is a split quaternion (coquaternion). The structure and specific role of basis elements comprising four-dimensional linear space of split quaternions help to understand what

  10. Structural alterations in rat myocardium induced by chronic l-arginine and l-NAME supplementation

    Amal Abdussalam Ali A. Hmaid

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Structural changes affecting cardiomyocyte function may contribute to the pathophysiological remodeling underlying cardiac function impairment. Recent reports have shown that endogenous nitric oxide (NO plays an important role in this process. In order to examine the role of NO in cardiomyocyte remodeling, male rats were acclimated to room temperature (22 ± 1 °C or cold (4 ± 1 °C and treated with 2.25% l-arginine·HCl or 0.01% l-NAME (Nω-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester·HCl for 45 days. Untreated groups served as controls. Right heart ventricles were routinely prepared for light microscopic examination. Stereological estimations of volume densities of cardiomyocytes, surrounding blood vessels and connective tissue, as well as the morphometric measurements of cardiomyocyte diameters were performed. Tissue sections were also analyzed for structural alterations. We observed that both l-arginine and l-NAME supplementation induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, regardless of ambient temperature. However, cardiomyocyte hypertrophy was associated with fibrosis and extra collagen deposition only in the l-NAME treated group. Taken together, our results suggest that NO has a modulatory role in right heart ventricle remodeling by coordinating hypertrophy of cardiomyocytes and fibrous tissue preventing cardiac fibrosis. Keywords: Cardiomyocyte, Cardiac hypertrophy, l-Arginine, l-NAME, Myocardium

  11. Faunal Drivers of Soil Flux Dynamics via Alterations in Crack Structure

    DeCarlo, Keita; Caylor, Kelly

    2016-04-01

    Organismal activity, in addition to its role in ecological feedbacks, has the potential to serve as instigators or enhancers of atmospheric and hydrologic processes via alterations in soil structural regimes. We investigated the biomechanical effect of faunal activity on soil carbon dynamics via changes in soil crack structure, focusing on three dryland soil systems: bioturbated, biocompacted and undisturbed soils. Carbon fluxes were characterized using a closed-system respiration chamber, with CO2 concentration differences measured using an infrared gas analyzer (IRGA). Results show that faunal influences play a divergent biomechanics role in bulk soil cracking: bioturbation induced by belowground fauna creates "surficial" (shallow, large, well-connected) networks relative to the "systematic" (deep, moderate, poorly connected) networks created by aboveground fauna. The latter also shows a "memory" of past wetting/drying events in the consolidated soil through a crack layering effect. These morphologies further drive differences in soil carbon flux: under dry conditions, bioturbated and control soils show a persistently high and low mean carbon flux, respectively, while biocompacted soils show a large diurnal trend, with daytime lows and nighttime highs comparable to the control and bioturbated soils, respectively. Overall fluxes under wet conditions are considerably higher, but also more variable, though higher mean fluxes are observed in the biocompacted and bioturbated soils. Our results suggest that the increased surface area in the bioturbated soils create enhanced but constant diffusive processes, whereas the increased thermal gradient in the biocompacted soils create novel convective processes that create high fluxes that are diurnal in nature.

  12. Longitudinal Structural and Functional Brain Network Alterations in a Mouse Model of Neuropathic Pain.

    Bilbao, Ainhoa; Falfán-Melgoza, Claudia; Leixner, Sarah; Becker, Robert; Singaravelu, Sathish Kumar; Sack, Markus; Sartorius, Alexander; Spanagel, Rainer; Weber-Fahr, Wolfgang

    2018-04-22

    Neuropathic pain affects multiple brain functions, including motivational processing. However, little is known about the structural and functional brain changes involved in the transition from an acute to a chronic pain state. Here we combined behavioral phenotyping of pain thresholds with multimodal neuroimaging to longitudinally monitor changes in brain metabolism, structure and connectivity using the spared nerve injury (SNI) mouse model of chronic neuropathic pain. We investigated stimulus-evoked pain responses prior to SNI surgery, and one and twelve weeks following surgery. A progressive development and potentiation of stimulus-evoked pain responses (cold and mechanical allodynia) were detected during the course of pain chronification. Voxel-based morphometry demonstrated striking decreases in volume following pain induction in all brain sites assessed - an effect that reversed over time. Similarly, all global and local network changes that occurred following pain induction disappeared over time, with two notable exceptions: the nucleus accumbens, which played a more dominant role in the global network in a chronic pain state and the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, which showed lower connectivity. These changes in connectivity were accompanied by enhanced glutamate levels in the hippocampus, but not in the prefrontal cortex. We suggest that hippocampal hyperexcitability may contribute to alterations in synaptic plasticity within the nucleus accumbens, and to pain chronification. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  13. Diabetic polyneuropathy, sensory neurons, nuclear structure and spliceosome alterations: a role for CWC22

    Masaki Kobayashi

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Unique deficits in the function of adult sensory neurons as part of their early neurodegeneration might account for progressive polyneuropathy during chronic diabetes mellitus. Here, we provide structural and functional evidence for aberrant pre-mRNA splicing in a chronic type 1 model of experimental diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN. Cajal bodies (CBs, unique nuclear substructures involved in RNA splicing, increased in number in diabetic sensory neurons, but their expected colocalization with survival motor neuron (SMN proteins was reduced – a mislocalization described in motor neurons of spinal muscular atrophy. Small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles (snRNPs, also participants in the spliceosome, had abnormal multiple nuclear foci unassociated with CBs, and their associated snRNAs were reduced. CWC22, a key spliceosome protein, was aberrantly upregulated in diabetic dorsal root ganglia (DRG, and impaired neuronal function. CWC22 attenuated sensory neuron plasticity, with knockdown in vitro enhancing their neurite outgrowth. Further, axonal delivery of CWC22 siRNA unilaterally to locally knock down the aberrant protein in diabetic nerves improved aspects of sensory function in diabetic mice. Collectively, our findings identify subtle but significant alterations in spliceosome structure and function, including dysregulated CBs and CWC22 overexpression, in diabetic sensory neurons that offer new ideas regarding diabetic sensory neurodegeneration in polyneuropathy.

  14. Warming alters energetic structure and function but not resilience of soil food webs

    Schwarz, Benjamin; Barnes, Andrew D.; Thakur, Madhav P.; Brose, Ulrich; Ciobanu, Marcel; Reich, Peter B.; Rich, Roy L.; Rosenbaum, Benjamin; Stefanski, Artur; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2017-12-01

    Climate warming is predicted to alter the structure, stability, and functioning of food webs1-5. Yet, despite the importance of soil food webs for energy and nutrient turnover in terrestrial ecosystems, the effects of warming on these food webs—particularly in combination with other global change drivers—are largely unknown. Here, we present results from two complementary field experiments that test the interactive effects of warming with forest canopy disturbance and drought on energy flux in boreal-temperate ecotonal forest soil food webs. The first experiment applied a simultaneous above- and belowground warming treatment (ambient, +1.7 °C, +3.4 °C) to closed-canopy and recently clear-cut forest, simulating common forest disturbance6. The second experiment crossed warming with a summer drought treatment (-40% rainfall) in the clear-cut habitats. We show that warming reduces energy flux to microbes, while forest canopy disturbance and drought facilitates warming-induced increases in energy flux to higher trophic levels and exacerbates the reduction in energy flux to microbes, respectively. Contrary to expectations, we find no change in whole-network resilience to perturbations, but significant losses in ecosystem functioning. Warming thus interacts with forest disturbance and drought, shaping the energetic structure of soil food webs and threatening the provisioning of multiple ecosystem functions in boreal-temperate ecotonal forests.

  15. Brain structural network topological alterations of the left prefrontal and limbic cortex in psychogenic erectile dysfunction.

    Chen, Jianhuai; Chen, Yun; Gao, Qingqiang; Chen, Guotao; Dai, Yutian; Yao, Zhijian; Lu, Qing

    2018-05-01

    Despite increasing understanding of the cerebral functional changes and structural abnormalities in erectile dysfunction, alterations in the topological organization of brain networks underlying psychogenic erectile dysfunction remain unclear. Here, based on the diffusion tensor image data of 25 patients and 26 healthy controls, we investigated the topological organization of brain structural networks and its correlations with the clinical variables using the graph theoretical analysis. Patients displayed a preserved overall small-world organization and exhibited a less connectivity strength in the left inferior frontal gyrus, amygdale and the right inferior temporal gyrus. Moreover, an abnormal hub pattern was observed in patients, which might disturb the information interactions of the remaining brain network. Additionally, the clustering coefficient of the left hippocampus was positively correlated with the duration of patients and the normalized betweenness centrality of the right anterior cingulate gyrus and the left calcarine fissure were negatively correlated with the sum scores of the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. These findings suggested that the damaged white matter and the abnormal hub distribution of the left prefrontal and limbic cortex might contribute to the pathogenesis of psychogenic erectile dysfunction and provided new insights into the understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms of psychogenic erectile dysfunction.

  16. Structural alterations in rat myocardium induced by chronic l-arginine and l-NAME supplementation.

    Hmaid, Amal Abdussalam Ali A; Markelic, Milica; Otasevic, Vesna; Masovic, Sava; Jankovic, Aleksandra; Korac, Bato; Korac, Aleksandra

    2018-03-01

    Structural changes affecting cardiomyocyte function may contribute to the pathophysiological remodeling underlying cardiac function impairment. Recent reports have shown that endogenous nitric oxide (NO) plays an important role in this process. In order to examine the role of NO in cardiomyocyte remodeling, male rats were acclimated to room temperature (22 ± 1 °C) or cold (4 ± 1 °C) and treated with 2.25% l-arginine·HCl or 0.01% l-NAME (N ω -nitro-l-arginine methyl ester)·HCl for 45 days. Untreated groups served as controls. Right heart ventricles were routinely prepared for light microscopic examination. Stereological estimations of volume densities of cardiomyocytes, surrounding blood vessels and connective tissue, as well as the morphometric measurements of cardiomyocyte diameters were performed. Tissue sections were also analyzed for structural alterations. We observed that both l-arginine and l-NAME supplementation induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, regardless of ambient temperature. However, cardiomyocyte hypertrophy was associated with fibrosis and extra collagen deposition only in the l-NAME treated group. Taken together, our results suggest that NO has a modulatory role in right heart ventricle remodeling by coordinating hypertrophy of cardiomyocytes and fibrous tissue preventing cardiac fibrosis.

  17. Common Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Additives Alter the Structure and Function of Anaerobic Microbial Communities.

    Mumford, Adam C; Akob, Denise M; Klinges, J Grace; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M

    2018-04-15

    The development of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) resources results in the production of large volumes of wastewater containing a complex mixture of hydraulic fracturing chemical additives and components from the formation. The release of these wastewaters into the environment poses potential risks that are poorly understood. Microbial communities in stream sediments form the base of the food chain and may serve as sentinels for changes in stream health. Iron-reducing organisms have been shown to play a role in the biodegradation of a wide range of organic compounds, and so to evaluate their response to UOG wastewater, we enriched anaerobic microbial communities from sediments collected upstream (background) and downstream (impacted) of an UOG wastewater injection disposal facility in the presence of hydraulic fracturing fluid (HFF) additives: guar gum, ethylene glycol, and two biocides, 2,2-dibromo-3-nitrilopropionamide (DBNPA) and bronopol (C 3 H 6 BrNO 4 ). Iron reduction was significantly inhibited early in the incubations with the addition of biocides, whereas amendment with guar gum and ethylene glycol stimulated iron reduction relative to levels in the unamended controls. Changes in the microbial community structure were observed across all treatments, indicating the potential for even small amounts of UOG wastewater components to influence natural microbial processes. The microbial community structure differed between enrichments with background and impacted sediments, suggesting that impacted sediments may have been preconditioned by exposure to wastewater. These experiments demonstrated the potential for biocides to significantly decrease iron reduction rates immediately following a spill and demonstrated how microbial communities previously exposed to UOG wastewater may be more resilient to additional spills. IMPORTANCE Organic components of UOG wastewater can alter microbial communities and biogeochemical processes, which could alter the rates of

  18. Structuring of Amide Cross-Linked Non-Bridged and Bridged Alkyl-Based Silsesquioxanes.

    Nunes, S C; de Zea Bermudez, V

    2018-02-06

    The development of sophisticated organized materials exhibiting enhanced properties is a challenging topic of the domain of organic/inorganic hybrid materials. This review, composed of four sections, reports the work we have carried out over the last 10 years on the synthesis of amide cross-linked alkyl/siloxane hybrids by means of sol-gel chemistry and self-directed assembly/self-organization routes relying on weak interactions (hydrophobic interactions and hydrogen bonding). The various as-produced lamellar structures displaying a myriad of morphologies, often closely resembling those found in natural materials, are discussed. The major role played by the synthetic conditions (pH, water content, co-solvent(s) nature/concentration and dopant presence/concentration), the alkyl chains (length and presence of ramification or not) and the number of the amide cross-links present in the precursor, is evidenced. Examples of highly organized hybrids structures incorporating ionic species (alkali and alkaline earth metal salts) and optically-active centers (organic dyes and lanthanide ions) are described. A useful qualitative relationship deduced between the emission quantum yield of the ordered hybrid materials and the degree of order of the hydrogen-bonded network is highlighted. © 2018 The Chemical Society of Japan & Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  19. Sharp kink of DNA at psoralen-cross-link site deduced from crystal structure of psoralen-thymine monoadduct

    Kim, S.H.; Peckler, S.; Graves, B.; Kanne, D.; Rapoport, H.; Hearst, J.E.

    1983-01-01

    Light-induced cross-linking of double-stranded nucleic acids by psoralens has been exploited to locate, in vivo or in vitro, those double-helical regions of DNA or RNA that can accommodate any structural changes caused by the psoralen cross-links. To determine three-dimensional structural parameters of the cross-link, we have solved the crystal structure of the psoralen-thymine monoadduct formed in photoreaction between calf thymus DNA and 8-methoxypsoralen (8MOP). There are eight possible configurations for psoralen-thymine monoadducts and 64 for diadducts. We describe here the structural details of a psoralen-thymine monoadduct obtained in a biological environment and the consequences of the photo-cross-link between 8MOP and double-helical DNA

  20. Design and fabrication of a chitosan hydrogel with gradient structures via a step-by-step cross-linking process.

    Xu, Yongxiang; Yuan, Shenpo; Han, Jianmin; Lin, Hong; Zhang, Xuehui

    2017-11-15

    The development of scaffolds to mimic the gradient structure of natural tissue is an important consideration for effective tissue engineering. In the present study, a physical cross-linking chitosan hydrogel with gradient structures was fabricated via a step-by-step cross-linking process using sodium tripolyphosphate and sodium hydroxide as sequential cross-linkers. Chitosan hydrogels with different structures (single, double, and triple layers) were prepared by modifying the gelling process. The properties of the hydrogels were further adjusted by varying the gelling conditions, such as gelling time, pH, and composition of the crosslinking solution. Slight cytotoxicity was showed in MTT assay for hydrogels with uncross-linking chitosan solution and non-cytotoxicity was showed for other hydrogels. The results suggest that step-by-step cross-linking represents a practicable method to fabricate scaffolds with gradient structures. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  1. Linking lowermost mantle structure, core-mantle boundary heat flux and mantle plume formation

    Li, Mingming; Zhong, Shijie; Olson, Peter

    2018-04-01

    The dynamics of Earth's lowermost mantle exert significant control on the formation of mantle plumes and the core-mantle boundary (CMB) heat flux. However, it is not clear if and how the variation of CMB heat flux and mantle plume activity are related. Here, we perform geodynamic model experiments that show how temporal variations in CMB heat flux and pulses of mantle plumes are related to morphologic changes of the thermochemical piles of large-scale compositional heterogeneities in Earth's lowermost mantle, represented by the large low shear velocity provinces (LLSVPs). We find good correlation between the morphologic changes of the thermochemical piles and the time variation of CMB heat flux. The morphology of the thermochemical piles is significantly altered during the initiation and ascent of strong mantle plumes, and the changes in pile morphology cause variations in the local and the total CMB heat flux. Our modeling results indicate that plume-induced episodic variations of CMB heat flux link geomagnetic superchrons to pulses of surface volcanism, although the relative timing of these two phenomena remains problematic. We also find that the density distribution in thermochemical piles is heterogeneous, and that the piles are denser on average than the surrounding mantle when both thermal and chemical effects are included.

  2. Structural Alterations in the Corpus Callosum Are Associated with Suicidal Behavior in Women with Borderline Personality Disorder

    Alexander Lischke

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Structural alterations in the corpus callosum (CC, the major white matter tract connecting functionally related brain regions in the two hemispheres, have been shown to be associated with emotional instability, impulsivity and suicidality in various mental disorders. To explore whether structural alterations of the CC would be similarly associated with emotional instability, impulsivity and suicidality in borderline personality disorder (BPD, we used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI to assess the structural integrity of the CC in 21 BPD and 20 healthy control (HC participants. Our hypothesis-driven analyses revealed a positive correlation between BPD participants’ suicidal behavior and fractional anisotropy (FA in the splenium and genu of the CC and a negative correlation between BPD participants’ suicidal behavior and mean diffusivity (MD in the splenium of CC. Our exploratory analyses suggested that suicidal BPD participants showed less FA and more MD in these regions than HC participants but that non-suicidal BPD participants showed similar FA and MD in these regions as HC participants. Taken together, our findings suggest an association between BPD participants’ suicidal behavior and structural alterations in regions of the CC that are connected with brain regions implicated in emotion regulation and impulse control. Structural alterations of the CC may, thus, account for deficits in emotion regulation and impulse control that lead to suicidal behavior in BPD. However, these findings should be considered as preliminary until replicated and extended in future studies that comprise larger samples of suicidal and non-suicidal BPD participants.

  3. Structural Chromosomal Alterations Induced by Dietary Bioflavonoids in Fanconi Anemia Lymphocytes

    Gonzalo Guevara

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available IntroductionFanconi anemia is an autosomal recessive diseasecharacterized by a variety of congenital abnormalities,progressive bone marrow failure,increased chromosomal instability and higherrisk to acute myeloid leukemia, solid tumors. Thisentity can be considered an appropriate biologicalmodel to analyze natural substances with possiblegenotoxic effect. The aims of this study wereto describe and quantify structural chromosomalaberrations induced by 5 flavones, 2 isoflavonesand a topoisomerase II chemotherapeutic inhibitorin Fanconi anemia lymphocytes in order todetermine chromosomal numbers changes and/or type of chromosomal damage.Materials and methodsChromosomes stimulated by phytohaemagglutininM, from Fanconi anemia lymphocytes,were analysed by conventional cytogenetic culture.For each chemical substance and controls,one hundred metaphases were evaluated. Chromosomalalterations were documented by photographyand imaging analyzer. To statisticalanalysis was used chi square test to identify significantdifferences between frequencies of chromosomaldamage of basal and exposed cellcultured a P value less than 0.05.ResultsThere were 431 chromosomal alterations in1000 metaphases analysed; genistein was themore genotoxic bioflavonoid, followed in descendentorder by genistin, fisetin, kaempferol,quercetin, baicalein and miricetin. Chromosomalaberrations observed were: chromatidbreaks, chromosomal breaks, cromatid andchromosomal gaps, quadriratials exchanges,dicentrics chromosome and complex rearrangements.ConclusionBioflavonoids as genistein, genistin and fisetin,which are commonly present in the human diet,showed statistical significance in the number ofchromosomal aberrations in Fanconi anemialymphocytes, regarding the basal damage.

  4. Structural alterations in tumor-draining lymph nodes before papillary thyroid carcinoma metastasis.

    Hinson, Andrew M; Massoll, Nicole A; Jolly, Lee Ann; Stack, Brendan C; Bodenner, Donald L; Franco, Aime T

    2017-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to define and characterize the thyroid tumor-draining lymph nodes in genetically engineered mice harboring thyroid-specific expression of oncogenic Braf V600E with and without Pten insufficiency. After intratumoral injection of methylene blue, the lymphatic drainage of the thyroid gland was visualized in real time. The thyroid gland/tumor was resected en bloc with the respiratory system for histological analysis. Although mice harboring Braf V600E mutations were smaller in body size compared with their wild-type (WT) littermates, the size of their thyroid glands and deep cervical lymph nodes were significantly larger. Additionally, the tumor-draining lymph nodes showed increased and enlarged lymphatic sinuses that were distributed throughout the cortex and medulla. Tumor-reactive lymphadenopathy and histiocytosis, but no frank metastases, were observed in all mice harboring Braf V600E mutations. The tumor-draining lymph nodes undergo significant structural alterations in immunocompetent mice, and this may represent a primer for papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) metastasis. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Val66Met polymorphism of BDNF alters prodomain structure to induce neuronal growth cone retraction.

    Anastasia, Agustin; Deinhardt, Katrin; Chao, Moses V; Will, Nathan E; Irmady, Krithi; Lee, Francis S; Hempstead, Barbara L; Bracken, Clay

    2013-01-01

    A common single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the human brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene results in a Val66Met substitution in the BDNF prodomain region. This SNP is associated with alterations in memory and with enhanced risk to develop depression and anxiety disorders in humans. Here we show that the isolated BDNF prodomain is detected in the hippocampus and that it can be secreted from neurons in an activity-dependent manner. Using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and circular dichroism, we find that the prodomain is intrinsically disordered, and the Val66Met substitution induces structural changes. Surprisingly, application of Met66 (but not Val66) BDNF prodomain induces acute growth cone retraction and a decrease in Rac activity in hippocampal neurons. Expression of p75(NTR) and differential engagement of the Met66 prodomain to the SorCS2 receptor are required for this effect. These results identify the Met66 prodomain as a new active ligand, which modulates neuronal morphology.

  6. A simple structure wavelet transform circuit employing function link neural networks and SI filters

    Mu, Li; Yigang, He

    2016-12-01

    Signal processing by means of analog circuits offers advantages from a power consumption viewpoint. Implementing wavelet transform (WT) using analog circuits is of great interest when low-power consumption becomes an important issue. In this article, a novel simple structure WT circuit in analog domain is presented by employing functional link neural network (FLNN) and switched-current (SI) filters. First, the wavelet base is approximated using FLNN algorithms for giving a filter transfer function that is suitable for simple structure WT circuit implementation. Next, the WT circuit is constructed with the wavelet filter bank, whose impulse response is the approximated wavelet and its dilations. The filter design that follows is based on a follow-the-leader feedback (FLF) structure with multiple output bilinear SI integrators and current mirrors as the main building blocks. SI filter is well suited for this application since the dilation constant across different scales of the transform can be precisely implemented and controlled by the clock frequency of the circuit with the same system architecture. Finally, to illustrate the design procedure, a seventh-order FLNN-approximated Gaussian wavelet is implemented as an example. Simulations have successfully verified that the designed simple structure WT circuit has low sensitivity, low-power consumption and litter effect to the imperfections.

  7. Thirty days of spaceflight does not alter murine calvariae structure despite increased Sost expression.

    Macaulay, Timothy R; Siamwala, Jamila H; Hargens, Alan R; Macias, Brandon R

    2017-12-01

    Previously our laboratory documented increases in calvaria bone volume and thickness in mice exposed to 15 days of spaceflight aboard the NASA Shuttle mission STS-131. However, the tissues were not processed for gene expression studies to determine what bone formation pathways might contribute to these structural adaptations. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate both the structural and molecular changes in mice calvariae after a longer duration of spaceflight. The primary purpose was to determine the calvaria bone volume and thickness of mice exposed to 30 days of spaceflight using micro-computed tomography for comparison with our previous findings. Because sclerostin, the secreted glycoprotein of the Sost gene, is a potent inhibitor of bone formation, our second aim was to quantify Sost mRNA expression using quantitative PCR. Calvariae were obtained from six mice aboard the Russian 30-day Bion-M1 biosatellite and seven ground controls. In mice exposed to 30 days of spaceflight, calvaria bone structure was not significantly different from that of their controls (bone volume was about 5% lower in spaceflight mice, p = 0.534). However, Sost mRNA expression was 16-fold (16.4 ± 0.4, p < 0.001) greater in the spaceflight group than that in the ground control group. Therefore, bone formation may have been suppressed in mice exposed to 30 days of spaceflight. Genetic responsiveness (e.g. sex or strain of animals) or in-flight environmental conditions other than microgravity (e.g. pCO 2 levels) may have elicited different bone adaptations in STS-131 and Bion-M1 mice. Although structural results were not significant, this study provides biochemical evidence that calvaria mechanotransduction pathways may be altered during spaceflight, which could reflect vascular and interstitial fluid adaptations in non-weight bearing bones. Future studies are warranted to elucidate the processes that mediate these effects and the factors responsible for discordant

  8. Thirty days of spaceflight does not alter murine calvariae structure despite increased Sost expression

    Timothy R. Macaulay

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Previously our laboratory documented increases in calvaria bone volume and thickness in mice exposed to 15 days of spaceflight aboard the NASA Shuttle mission STS-131. However, the tissues were not processed for gene expression studies to determine what bone formation pathways might contribute to these structural adaptations. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate both the structural and molecular changes in mice calvariae after a longer duration of spaceflight. The primary purpose was to determine the calvaria bone volume and thickness of mice exposed to 30 days of spaceflight using micro-computed tomography for comparison with our previous findings. Because sclerostin, the secreted glycoprotein of the Sost gene, is a potent inhibitor of bone formation, our second aim was to quantify Sost mRNA expression using quantitative PCR. Calvariae were obtained from six mice aboard the Russian 30-day Bion-M1 biosatellite and seven ground controls. In mice exposed to 30 days of spaceflight, calvaria bone structure was not significantly different from that of their controls (bone volume was about 5% lower in spaceflight mice, p = 0.534. However, Sost mRNA expression was 16-fold (16.4 ± 0.4, p < 0.001 greater in the spaceflight group than that in the ground control group. Therefore, bone formation may have been suppressed in mice exposed to 30 days of spaceflight. Genetic responsiveness (e.g. sex or strain of animals or in-flight environmental conditions other than microgravity (e.g. pCO2 levels may have elicited different bone adaptations in STS-131 and Bion-M1 mice. Although structural results were not significant, this study provides biochemical evidence that calvaria mechanotransduction pathways may be altered during spaceflight, which could reflect vascular and interstitial fluid adaptations in non-weight bearing bones. Future studies are warranted to elucidate the processes that mediate these effects and the factors responsible

  9. Very preterm adolescents show gender-dependent alteration of the structural brain correlates of spelling abilities.

    Scott, Fiona E; Mechelli, Andrea; Allin, Matthew P; Walshe, Muriel; Rifkin, Larry; Murray, Robin M; Nosarti, Chiara

    2011-07-01

    Individuals born very preterm (VPT) are at risk of neurodevelopmental damage and of adverse educational outcomes in childhood and adolescence. The present study used voxel-based morphometry to investigate the association between grey matter and white matter volume and measures of language and executive functioning in VPT born adolescents and term-born controls by gender. VPT individuals (N=218) and controls (N=127) underwent neuropsychological assessment and MRI at age 14-15 as part of a longitudinal study. Differential associations were found between spelling scores and frontal regional grey matter volume when group (VPT and control) and gender (males and females) were investigated. A main effect of group demonstrated a weaker association in VPT adolescents relative to controls between grey matter volume in the left medial and right superior frontal gyri and spelling scores. A main effect of gender revealed spelling scores to be correlated with grey matter volume in the right superior frontal gyrus in females to a greater extent than in males. Furthermore, a significant interaction between group and gender was detected in two regions. Spelling scores showed a stronger association with grey matter volume in a cluster with local maxima in the left medial frontal cortex extending to the caudate nucleus in VPT females than in control females and a weaker association in VPT males compared to control males. In addition, spelling scores showed a stronger association with grey matter volume in left middle frontal gyrus in VPT males compared to control males and a weaker association in VPT females than in control females. When group and gender were investigated, there were no statistically different correlations between structural brain volumes and performance on reading and executive function tests. These data demonstrate that the typical structure-function relationship in respect to spelling abilities appears to be altered in individuals born preterm and the processes

  10. Cysteamine depletes prolactin (PRL) but does not alter the structure of PRL-containing granules in the anterior pituitary

    Weinstein, L.A.; Landis, D.M.; Sagar, S.M.; Millard, W.J.; Martin, J.B.

    1984-01-01

    Cysteamine causes a profound depletion of PRL in the anterior pituitary and in the systemic circulation, as measured by RIA and bioassay. However, electron microscopic study of PRL-containing cells in rat anterior pituitary does not reveal changes in secretory granule or cytoplasmic structure during the interval of depressed PRL content and of subsequent recovery to normal levels. In contrast to the results obtained by RIA, PRL-like immunoreactivity as detected by immunocyto-chemistry is present and similar to that of control preparations after cysteamine administration. We suggest that cysteamine alters PRL structure in secretory granules, probably by interacting with the disulfide bonds of PRL, thereby altering bioactivity and immunoreactivity. The presence of cysteamine-altered PRL in secretory granules does not seem to trigger degradation of granules by the lysosomal system

  11. Altered brain network integrity after childhood maltreatment: A structural connectomic DTI-study

    Puetz, V.B.; Parker, D.; Kohn, N.; Dahmen, B.; Verma, R.; Konrad, K.

    2017-01-01

    Childhood maltreatment is associated with alterations in neural architecture that potentially put these children at increased risk for psychopathology. Alterations in white matter (WM) tracts have been reported, however no study to date has investigated WM connectivity in brain networks in

  12. Vibro-acoustic modelling of aircraft double-walls with structural links using Statistical Energy Analysis

    Campolina, Bruno L.

    The prediction of aircraft interior noise involves the vibroacoustic modelling of the fuselage with noise control treatments. This structure is composed of a stiffened metallic or composite panel, lined with a thermal and acoustic insulation layer (glass wool), and structurally connected via vibration isolators to a commercial lining panel (trim). The goal of this work aims at tailoring the noise control treatments taking design constraints such as weight and space optimization into account. For this purpose, a representative aircraft double-wall is modelled using the Statistical Energy Analysis (SEA) method. Laboratory excitations such as diffuse acoustic field and point force are addressed and trends are derived for applications under in-flight conditions, considering turbulent boundary layer excitation. The effect of the porous layer compression is firstly addressed. In aeronautical applications, compression can result from the installation of equipment and cables. It is studied analytically and experimentally, using a single panel and a fibrous uniformly compressed over 100% of its surface. When compression increases, a degradation of the transmission loss up to 5 dB for a 50% compression of the porous thickness is observed mainly in the mid-frequency range (around 800 Hz). However, for realistic cases, the effect should be reduced since the compression rate is lower and compression occurs locally. Then the transmission through structural connections between panels is addressed using a four-pole approach that links the force-velocity pair at each side of the connection. The modelling integrates experimental dynamic stiffness of isolators, derived using an adapted test rig. The structural transmission is then experimentally validated and included in the double-wall SEA model as an equivalent coupling loss factor (CLF) between panels. The tested structures being flat, only axial transmission is addressed. Finally, the dominant sound transmission paths are

  13. Linking perception and action by structure or process? Toward an integrative perspective.

    Herwig, Arvid

    2015-05-01

    Over the past decades cognitive neuroscience's renewed interest in action has intensified the search of principles explaining how the cognitive system links perception to action and vice versa. To date, at least two seemingly alternative approaches can be distinguished. Perception and action might be linked either by common representational structures, as assumed by the ideomotor approach, or by common attentional processes, as assumed by the attention approach. This article first reviews the evidence from different paradigms supporting each approach. It becomes clear that most studies selectively focus either on actions directed at goals outside the actors' perceptual range (supporting the ideomotor approach) or on actions directed at targets within the actors' perceptual range (supporting the attention approach). In a second step, I will try to reconcile both approaches by reviewing recent eye movement studies that abolish the classical combination of approach and goals under study. Demonstrating that both approaches cover target- as well as goal-directed actions, it is proposed that operations addressed in both conceptual frameworks interact with each other. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Vertical Structure of Radiation-pressure-dominated Thin Disks: Link between Vertical Advection and Convective Stability

    Gong, Hong-Yu; Gu, Wei-Min

    2017-01-01

    In the classic picture of standard thin accretion disks, viscous heating is balanced by radiative cooling through the diffusion process, and the radiation-pressure-dominated inner disk suffers convective instability. However, recent simulations have shown that, owing to the magnetic buoyancy, the vertical advection process can significantly contribute to energy transport. In addition, in comparing the simulation results with the local convective stability criterion, no convective instability has been found. In this work, following on from simulations, we revisit the vertical structure of radiation-pressure-dominated thin disks and include the vertical advection process. Our study indicates a link between the additional energy transport and the convectively stable property. Thus, the vertical advection not only significantly contributes to the energy transport, but it also plays an important role in making the disk convectively stable. Our analyses may help to explain the discrepancy between classic theory and simulations on standard thin disks.

  15. A didactical structural model – linking analysis of teaching and analysis of educational media

    Graf, Stefan Ting

    1. Gap between general didactics and textbook/media research There seems to be a gap between general didactics (theory of teaching) and research in textbooks or educational media in general at least in the Nordic and German speaking countries. General didactic and their models seem to underestimate...... related questions (e.g. readability) without establishing a link to what is useful for the teacher’s tasks both on the level of preparation, practice and reflection, i.e. without an explicit theory of teaching. 2. Media in general didactics I will discuss the status of media in some current models...... of reflection in general didactics (Hiim/Hippe, Meyer, Klafki) and present a reconstruction of a didactical model of structure (Strukturmodel), whose counterstones are ‘intentional content’, ‘media/expression’ and ‘teaching method/activity’. The inclusion of media/expression in the model resumes a seemingly...

  16. Random blebbing motion: A simple model linking cell structural properties to migration characteristics

    Woolley, Thomas E.; Gaffney, Eamonn A.; Goriely, Alain

    2017-07-01

    If the plasma membrane of a cell is able to delaminate locally from its actin cortex, a cellular bleb can be produced. Blebs are pressure-driven protrusions, which are noteworthy for their ability to produce cellular motion. Starting from a general continuum mechanics description, we restrict ourselves to considering cell and bleb shapes that maintain approximately spherical forms. From this assumption, we obtain a tractable algebraic system for bleb formation. By including cell-substrate adhesions, we can model blebbing cell motility. Further, by considering mechanically isolated blebbing events, which are randomly distributed over the cell, we can derive equations linking the macroscopic migration characteristics to the microscopic structural parameters of the cell. This multiscale modeling framework is then used to provide parameter estimates, which are in agreement with current experimental data. In summary, the construction of the mathematical model provides testable relationships between the bleb size and cell motility.

  17. Random blebbing motion: A simple model linking cell structural properties to migration characteristics.

    Woolley, Thomas E; Gaffney, Eamonn A; Goriely, Alain

    2017-07-01

    If the plasma membrane of a cell is able to delaminate locally from its actin cortex, a cellular bleb can be produced. Blebs are pressure-driven protrusions, which are noteworthy for their ability to produce cellular motion. Starting from a general continuum mechanics description, we restrict ourselves to considering cell and bleb shapes that maintain approximately spherical forms. From this assumption, we obtain a tractable algebraic system for bleb formation. By including cell-substrate adhesions, we can model blebbing cell motility. Further, by considering mechanically isolated blebbing events, which are randomly distributed over the cell, we can derive equations linking the macroscopic migration characteristics to the microscopic structural parameters of the cell. This multiscale modeling framework is then used to provide parameter estimates, which are in agreement with current experimental data. In summary, the construction of the mathematical model provides testable relationships between the bleb size and cell motility.

  18. Impact of soda-lime borosilicate glass composition on water penetration and water structure at the first time of alteration

    Rebiscoul, D.; Bruguier, F.; Gin, S.; Magnin, V.

    2012-01-01

    In this study, the impact of soda-lime borosilicate glass composition and particularly the effect of charge compensators such Ca and Na and, of network formers such Si and Zr, on water penetration and water structure at the first time of alteration were investigated. Two non-destructive techniques were combined: the Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy in attenuated total reflection geometry to precise the predominant alteration mechanisms and assess the water structure in altered zone and the grazing incidence X-ray reflectometry to determine the thickness of the altered glass zone allowing to calculate the water diffusion coefficients through the glasses. The results of glass alteration at pH = 3 and 30 degrees C have shown that hydrolysis was the predominant mechanism after few seconds for glass having a high amount of non-binding oxygen. For the other glasses, which for the diffusion was the limiting reaction, the calculated water diffusion coefficients were comprised between 10 -21 and 10 -19 m 2 .s -1 and vary as a function of glass composition. An activation energy of 76.9 kJ.mol -1 was calculated and appears to be higher than inert gas diffusion through the glass highlighting that water molecules strongly interact with the glass matrix. (authors)

  19. Compared study of the local structure of alteration products of SON 68 glass and natural gels; Etude comparee de la structure locale des produits d'alteration du verre SON 68 et de gels naturels

    Pellegrin, E

    2000-07-01

    This study is a contribution in the understanding of the long time behavior of alteration products of the glass SON 68, used to simulate the nuclear glass R7T7. The local structure around Zirconium and iron has been probed using X-ray absorption spectroscopy in altered surface layer of glass SON 68. Alteration products of this glass have been prepared for short (3 hours to 7 days) and long (17 months) time, using various indexes of saturation for the leaching solution with respect to the Si content of the glass (from 0 to 90 %). The evolution of the local structure around Fe has also been studied in recent and old natural ferric gels. Zr, Fe- L{sub 2,3} XANES and Zr, Fe-K EXAFS spectroscopies have shown that, in the pristine glass, these elements are connected to the polymeric network. Zr is found in an environment close to that of a zircon-silicate containing Na and Ca. Trivalent Fe is a network former. The leached layer of glass SON 68 is constituted of poorly ordered Zr-and Fe-(oxi-hydr)oxides that may have been formed by a mechanism of dissolution/precipitation; a relict phase with the same Zr local structure as that observed in the pristine glass, probably obtained thanks to in-situ solid condensation. The structural characteristics of the leached layer are observed from the first steps of alteration for Zr and Fe. Conversely to Fe, the structural status of Zr depends on the leaching kinetic as well as the contents of Ca and Si in the solid. Fe-K EXAFS results in recent natural ferri-hydrides present a clear structural similarity with that determined in glass SON 68 leached products. The study of old paleosols (between 1,800 and 200,000 years) has demonstrated the long time stability of ferric gels, although an increase of medium range order around Fe is seen. (author)

  20. Structure alteration and immunological properties of {sup 60}Co gamma rays irradiated bothropstoxin-I

    Baptista, Janaina A.; Yonamine, Camila Myiagui; Caproni, Priscila; Casare, Murilo; Spencer, Patrick Jack; Nascimento, Nanci do [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN-SP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil)]. E-mail: janabap@gmail.com; Andrade Junior, Heitor Franco de; Vieira, Daniel Perez; Galisteo Junior, Andres Jimenez [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN-SP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil); Instituto de Medicina Tropical de Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil). Lab. de Protozoologia

    2007-07-01

    About 20000 ophidic accidents are registered every year in Brazil. Serum therapy with equine antisera is the only efficient treatment. The venoms employed for immunization are fairly toxic and some venoms present low immunogenicity. Thus, the obtention of modified antigens with lower toxicity and preserved or improved immunogenicity would be useful. These toxins, when submitted to gamma radiation, in aqueous solution, present structural modifications. This occurs due to reactions with the radiolysis products of water. Some scavenger substances, such as NaNO{sub 3} and t-butanol, remove selectively the water radiolysis products. Ionizing radiation has proven to be a powerful tool to attenuate snake venoms toxicity without affecting and even increasing their immunogenic properties. However, the immune mechanisms involved in recognition, processing and presentation of irradiated antigens are yet unclear. In the present work, we investigated the immunological behavior of bothropstoxin-I (Bthx-1), before and after irradiation, in the presence of selective scavengers. Isogenic mice were immunized with either the native or the irradiated toxin, either with or without scavengers. After three immunizations, serum samples were collected and the antibody titers and isotypes were determined by Enzyme Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay. The antigenic characterization of native and irradiated bothropstoxin-I was performed by Western blot. The detection of expression of murine cytokines (IFN-{gamma} and IL-10) was analyzed by RT-PCR (Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction). According to our data, irradiation process has promoted structural modifications in the toxin, characterized by higher molecular weight forms of the protein (aggregates and oligomers). Our data also indicate that irradiated toxins, alone or in the presence of NaNO{sub 3}, an aqueous electron scavenger, were immunogenic and the antibodies elicited by them were able to recognize the native toxin. On the other

  1. Structure alteration and immunological properties of 60Co gamma rays irradiated bothropstoxin-I

    Baptista, Janaina A.; Yonamine, Camila Myiagui; Caproni, Priscila; Casare, Murilo; Spencer, Patrick Jack; Nascimento, Nanci do; Andrade Junior, Heitor Franco de; Vieira, Daniel Perez; Galisteo Junior, Andres Jimenez; Instituto de Medicina Tropical de Sao Paulo, SP

    2007-01-01

    About 20000 ophidic accidents are registered every year in Brazil. Serum therapy with equine antisera is the only efficient treatment. The venoms employed for immunization are fairly toxic and some venoms present low immunogenicity. Thus, the obtention of modified antigens with lower toxicity and preserved or improved immunogenicity would be useful. These toxins, when submitted to gamma radiation, in aqueous solution, present structural modifications. This occurs due to reactions with the radiolysis products of water. Some scavenger substances, such as NaNO 3 and t-butanol, remove selectively the water radiolysis products. Ionizing radiation has proven to be a powerful tool to attenuate snake venoms toxicity without affecting and even increasing their immunogenic properties. However, the immune mechanisms involved in recognition, processing and presentation of irradiated antigens are yet unclear. In the present work, we investigated the immunological behavior of bothropstoxin-I (Bthx-1), before and after irradiation, in the presence of selective scavengers. Isogenic mice were immunized with either the native or the irradiated toxin, either with or without scavengers. After three immunizations, serum samples were collected and the antibody titers and isotypes were determined by Enzyme Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay. The antigenic characterization of native and irradiated bothropstoxin-I was performed by Western blot. The detection of expression of murine cytokines (IFN-γ and IL-10) was analyzed by RT-PCR (Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction). According to our data, irradiation process has promoted structural modifications in the toxin, characterized by higher molecular weight forms of the protein (aggregates and oligomers). Our data also indicate that irradiated toxins, alone or in the presence of NaNO 3 , an aqueous electron scavenger, were immunogenic and the antibodies elicited by them were able to recognize the native toxin. On the other hand, when the

  2. Assessment of the structural brain network reveals altered connectivity in children with unilateral cerebral palsy due to periventricular white matter lesions

    Kerstin Pannek

    2014-01-01

    Conclusion: This study shows that network-based analysis of structural connectivity can identify alterations in FA in unilateral CP, and that these alterations in FA are related to clinical function. Application of this connectome-based analysis to investigate alterations in connectivity following treatment may elucidate the neurological correlates of improved functioning due to intervention.

  3. Cerebral vascular structure in the motor cortex of adult mice is stable and is not altered by voluntary exercise.

    Cudmore, Robert H; Dougherty, Sarah E; Linden, David J

    2017-12-01

    The cerebral vasculature provides blood flow throughout the brain, and local changes in blood flow are regulated to match the metabolic demands of the active brain regions. This neurovascular coupling is mediated by real-time changes in vessel diameter and depends on the underlying vascular network structure. Neurovascular structure is configured during development by genetic and activity-dependent factors. In adulthood, it can be altered by experiences such as prolonged hypoxia, sensory deprivation and seizure. Here, we have sought to determine whether exercise could alter cerebral vascular structure in the adult mouse. We performed repeated in vivo two-photon imaging in the motor cortex of adult transgenic mice expressing membrane-anchored green fluorescent protein in endothelial cells (tyrosine endothelial kinase 2 receptor (Tie2)-Cre:mTmG). This strategy allows for high-resolution imaging of the vessel walls throughout the lifespan. Vascular structure, as measured by capillary branch point number and position, segment diameter and length remained stable over a time scale of months as did pericyte number and position. Furthermore, we compared the vascular structure before, during, and after periods of voluntary wheel running and found no alterations in these same parameters. In both running and control mice, we observed a low rate of capillary segment subtraction. Interestingly, these rare subtraction events preferentially remove short vascular loops.

  4. Exploring patterns of alteration in Alzheimer’s disease brain networks: a combined structural and functional connectomics analysis

    Fulvia Palesi

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a severe derangement of cognitive functions, primarily memory, in elderly subjects. As far as the functional impairment is concerned, growing evidence supports the disconnection syndrome hypothesis. Recent investigations using fMRI have revealed a generalized alteration of resting state networks in patients affected by AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI. However, it was unclear whether the changes in functional connectivity were accompanied by corresponding structural network changes. In this work, we have developed a novel structural/functional connectomic approach: resting state fMRI was used to identify the functional cortical network nodes and diffusion MRI to reconstruct the fiber tracts to give a weight to internodal subcortical connections. Then, local and global efficiency were determined for different networks, exploring specific alterations of integration and segregation patterns in AD and MCI patients compared to healthy controls (HC. In the default mode network (DMN, that was the most affected, axonal loss and reduced axonal integrity appeared to compromise both local and global efficiency along posterior-anterior connections. In the basal ganglia network (BGN, disruption of white matter integrity implied that main alterations occurred in local microstructure. In the anterior insular network (AIN, neuronal loss probably subtended a compromised communication with the insular cortex. Cognitive performance, evaluated by neuropsychological examinations, revealed a dependency on integration and segregation of brain networks. These findings are indicative of the fact that cognitive deficits in AD could be associated not only with cortical alterations (revealed by fMRI but also with subcortical alterations (revealed by diffusion MRI that extend beyond the areas primarily damaged by neurodegeneration, towards the support of an emerging concept of AD as a

  5. Linking canopy reflectance to crop structure and photosynthesis to capture and interpret spatiotemporal dimensions of per-field photosynthetic productivity

    Xue, Wei; Jeong, Seungtaek; Ko, Jonghan; Tenhunen, John

    2017-03-01

    Nitrogen and water availability alter canopy structure and physiology, and thus crop growth, yielding large impacts on ecosystem-regulating/production provisions. However, to date, explicitly quantifying such impacts remains challenging partially due to lack of adequate methodology to capture spatial dimensions of ecosystem changes associated with nitrogen and water effects. A data fitting, where close-range remote-sensing measurements of vegetation indices derived from a handheld instrument and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system are linked to in situ leaf and canopy photosynthetic traits, was applied to capture and interpret inter- and intra-field variations in gross primary productivity (GPP) in lowland rice grown under flooded conditions (paddy rice, PD) subject to three nitrogen application rates and under rainfed conditions (RF) in an East Asian monsoon region of South Korea. Spatial variations (SVs) in both GPP and light use efficiency (LUEcabs) early in the growing season were enlarged by nitrogen addition. The nutritional effects narrowed over time. A shift in planting culture from flooded to rainfed conditions strengthened SVs in GPP and LUEcabs. Intervention of prolonged drought late in the growing season dramatically intensified SVs that were supposed to seasonally decrease. Nevertheless, nitrogen addition effects on SV of LUEcabs at the early growth stage made PD fields exert greater SVs than RF fields. SVs of GPP across PD and RF rice fields were likely related to leaf area index (LAI) development less than to LUEcabs, while numerical analysis suggested that considering strength in LUEcabs and its spatial variation for the same crop type tends to be vital for better evaluation in landscape/regional patterns of ecosystem photosynthetic productivity at critical phenology stages.

  6. Ecological-network models link diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web

    D'Alelio, Domenico; Libralato, Simone; Wyatt, Timothy; Ribera D'Alcalà, Maurizio

    2016-02-01

    A planktonic food-web model including sixty-three functional nodes (representing auto- mixo- and heterotrophs) was developed to integrate most trophic diversity present in the plankton. The model was implemented in two variants - which we named ‘green’ and ‘blue’ - characterized by opposite amounts of phytoplankton biomass and representing, respectively, bloom and non-bloom states of the system. Taxonomically disaggregated food-webs described herein allowed to shed light on how components of the plankton community changed their trophic behavior in the two different conditions, and modified the overall functioning of the plankton food web. The green and blue food-webs showed distinct organizations in terms of trophic roles of the nodes and carbon fluxes between them. Such re-organization stemmed from switches in selective grazing by both metazoan and protozoan consumers. Switches in food-web structure resulted in relatively small differences in the efficiency of material transfer towards higher trophic levels. For instance, from green to blue states, a seven-fold decrease in phytoplankton biomass translated into only a two-fold decrease in potential planktivorous fish biomass. By linking diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web, we discuss the role of internal mechanisms, relying on species-specific functionalities, in driving the ‘adaptive’ responses of plankton communities to perturbations.

  7. Linking habitat structure to life history strategy: Insights from a Mediterranean killifish

    Cavraro, Francesco; Daouti, Irini; Leonardos, Ioannis; Torricelli, Patrizia; Malavasi, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    Modern theories of life history evolution deal with finding links between environmental factors, demographic structure of animal populations and the optimal life history strategy. Small-sized teleost fish, occurring in fragmented populations under contrasting environments, have been widely used as study models to investigate these issues. In the present study, the Mediterranean killifish Aphanius fasciatus was used to investigate the relationships between some habitat features and life history strategy. We selected four sites in the Venice lagoon inhabited by this species, exhibiting different combinations of two factors: overall adult mortality, related to intertidal water coverage and a consequent higher level of predator exposure, and the level of sediment organic matter, as indicator of habitat trophic richness. Results showed that these were the two most important factors influencing demography and life history traits in the four sites. Fish from salt marshes with high predator pressure were smaller and produced a higher number of eggs, whereas bigger fish and a lower reproductive investment were found in the two closed, not tidally influenced habitats. Habitat richness was positively related with population density, but negatively related with growth rate. In particular the synergy between high resources and low predation level was found to be important in shaping peculiar life history traits. Results were discussed in the light of the interactions between selective demographic forces acting differentially on age/size classes, such as predation, and habitat trophic richness that may represent an important energetic constraint on life history traits. The importance to link habitat productivity and morphology to demographic factors for a better understanding of the evolution of life history strategy under contrasting environments was finally suggested.

  8. Linking epigenetic function to electrostatics: The DNMT2 structural model example.

    Vieira, Gilberto Cavalheiro; Vieira, Gustavo Fioravanti; Sinigaglia, Marialva; Silva Valente, Vera Lúcia da

    2017-01-01

    The amino acid sequence of DNMT2 is very similar to the catalytic domains of bacterial and eukaryotic proteins. However, there is great variability in the region of recognition of the target sequence. While bacterial DNMT2 acts as a DNA methyltransferase, previous studies have indicated low DNA methylation activity in eukaryotic DNMT2, with preference by tRNA methylation. Drosophilids are known as DNMT2-only species and the DNA methylation phenomenon is a not elucidated case yet, as well as the ontogenetic and physiologic importance of DNMT2 for this species group. In addition, more recently study showed that methylation in the genome in Drosophila melanogaster is independent in relation to DNMT2. Despite these findings, Drosophilidae family has more than 4,200 species with great ecological diversity and historical evolution, thus we, therefore, aimed to examine the drosophilids DNMT2 in order to verify its conservation at the physicochemical and structural levels in a functional context. We examined the twenty-six DNMT2 models generated by molecular modelling and five crystallographic structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) using different approaches. Our results showed that despite sequence and structural similarity between species close related, we found outstanding differences when they are analyzed in the context of surface distribution of electrostatic properties. The differences found in the electrostatic potentials may be linked with different affinities and processivity of DNMT2 for its different substrates (DNA, RNA or tRNA) and even for interactions with other proteins involved in the epigenetic mechanisms.

  9. Flood-Induced Surface Blooms Alter Deep Chlorophyll Maxima Community Structure in Lake Michigan.

    Aguilar, C.; Cuhel, R. L.; Seline, L.

    2008-12-01

    Watershed-wide floods can bring increased nutrients and phytoplankton to receiving waters. This input can alter physical, chemical and phytoplankton community structure in a major way. Phytoplankton species composition and size distribution are key factors in their use as ecological indicators. Since 2003, phytoplankton communities in Lake Michigan have shifted from diatom and big cell (>10μm)- dominated to small cell picocyanobacteria-dominated phytoplankton (Quagga Mussels, dampened seasonal cycling of silicate indicated a basin-wide reduction of diatom production, and unicellular Cyanobacteria became dominant in deep chlorophyll maximum (DCM) zones. In the DCM, Synechococcus-like cells reached populations of at least 210,000 cells/ml. DCM chlorophyll (chl) remained similar (3-4μg/l) but late summer species composition changed dramatically to mostly 10μm fraction increased from previous years, and over 75% of the particulate Si was also in this size fraction. Because of the rapid sinking of diatoms during calm weather of late June-early July of 2008, particulate Si did not reach high values in surfaces waters (ca. 1.5μM) but remained at a consistently higher level than in 2007. Sinking of diatoms from the surface depleted chl in a progression from inshore to offshore during July 2008. In July surface chl was higher 40-70 km offshore than in the coastal zone. Surface phytoplankton waxed and waned in population density as if a wave or lens moved continuously further offshore, with sinking cells depleting the surface algae following behind the crest. In the wake, strong DCM populations with higher chl and particulate Si accumulated in the 30-45m zone at the bottom of the thermocline. However, in 2008 DCM zones, picocyanobacteria attained only 70,000 cells/mL, one-third of the same dates in 2007. The ratio of chlorophyll per Synechococcus cell in 2008 was about 5-fold higher than in 2007, corroborating microscopic observations of lowered picoplanktonic abundance

  10. Effects of Thermal Cross-Linking on the Structure and Property of Asymmetric Membrane Prepared from the Polyacrylonitrile

    Xin Jin

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Improving the thermal and chemical stabilities of classical polymer membranes will be beneficial to extend their applications in the high temperature or aggressive environment. In this work, the asymmetric ultrafiltration membranes prepared from the polyacrylonitrile (PAN were used to fabricate the cross-linking asymmetric (CLA PAN membranes via thermal cross-linking in air to improve their thermal and chemical stabilities. The effects of thermal cross-linking parameters such as temperature and holding time on the structure, gas separation performance, thermal and chemical stabilities of PAN membranes were investigated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS, positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PALS, scanning electron microscopy (SEM, thermogravimetic analysis (TGA and gas permeation test. The thermal cross-linking significantly influences the chemical structure, microstructure and pore structure of PAN membrane. During the thermal cross-linking, the shrinkage of membrane and coalescence or collapse of pore and microstructure make large pores diminish, small pores disappear and pore volumes reduce. The gas permeances of CLA-PAN membranes increase as the increasing of cross-linking temperature and holding time due to the volatilization of small molecules. The CLA-PAN membranes demonstrate excellent thermal and chemical stabilities and present good prospects for application in ultrafiltration for water treatment and for use as a substrate for nanofiltration or gas separation with an aggressive and demanding environment.

  11. Zearalenone altered the cytoskeletal structure via ER stress- autophagy- oxidative stress pathway in mouse TM4 Sertoli cells.

    Zheng, Wanglong; Wang, Bingjie; Si, Mengxue; Zou, Hui; Song, Ruilong; Gu, Jianhong; Yuan, Yan; Liu, Xuezhong; Zhu, Guoqiang; Bai, Jianfa; Bian, Jianchun; Liu, ZongPing

    2018-02-20

    The aim of this study was to investigate the molecular mechanisms of the destruction of cytoskeletal structure by Zearalenone (ZEA) in mouse-derived TM4 cells. In order to investigate the role of autophagy, oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum(ER) stress in the process of destruction of cytoskeletal structure, the effects of ZEA on the cell viability, cytoskeletal structure, autophagy, oxidative stress, ER stress, MAPK and PI3K- AKT- mTOR signaling pathways were studied. The data demonstrated that ZEA damaged the cytoskeletal structure through the induction of autophagy that leads to the alteration of cytoskeletal structure via elevated oxidative stress. Our results further showed that the autophagy was stimulated by ZEA through PI3K-AKT-mTOR and MAPK signaling pathways in TM4 cells. In addition, ZEA also induced the ER stress which was involved in the induction of the autophagy through inhibiting the ERK signal pathway to suppress the phosphorylation of mTOR. ER stress was involved in the damage of cytoskeletal structure through induction of autophagy by producing ROS. Taken together, this study revealed that ZEA altered the cytoskeletal structure via oxidative stress - autophagy- ER stress pathway in mouse TM4 Sertoli cells.

  12. Aerobic exercise training does not alter vascular structure and function in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    Gelinas, Jinelle C; Lewis, Nia C; Harper, Megan I; Melzer, Bernie; Agar, Gloria; Rolf, J Douglass; Eves, Neil D

    2017-11-01

    What is the central question of this study? Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with endothelial dysfunction, arterial stiffness and systemic inflammation, which are linked to increased cardiovascular disease risk. We asked whether periodized aerobic exercise training could improve vascular structure and function in patients with COPD. What is the main finding and its importance? Eight weeks of periodized aerobic training did not improve endothelial function, arterial stiffness or systemic inflammation in COPD, despite improvements in aerobic capacity, blood pressure and dyspnoea. Short-term training programmes may not be long enough to improve vascular-related cardiovascular risk in COPD. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been associated with endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffening, which are predictive of future cardiovascular events. Although aerobic exercise improves vascular function in healthy individuals and those with chronic disease, it is unknown whether aerobic exercise can positively modify the vasculature in COPD. We examined the effects of 8 weeks of periodized aerobic training on vascular structure and function and inflammation in 24 patients with COPD (age, 69 ± 7 years; forced expiratory volume in 1 second as a percentage of predicted (FEV 1 %pred), 68 ± 19%) and 20 matched control subjects (age, 64 ± 5 years; FEV 1 %pred, 113 ± 16%) for comparison. Endothelial function was measured using brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation, whereas central and peripheral pulse wave velocity, carotid artery intima-media thickness, carotid compliance, distensibility and β-stiffness index were measured using applanation tonometry and ultrasound. Peak aerobic power (V̇O2 peak ) was measured using an incremental cycling test. Upper and lower body cycling training was performed three times per week for 8 weeks, and designed to optimize vascular adaptation by increasing and sustaining vascular

  13. Behavior of Shear Link of WF Section with Diagonal Web Stiffener of Eccentrically Braced Frame (EBF of Steel Structure

    Yurisman

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents results of numerical and experimental study of shear link behavior, utilizing diagonal stiffener on web of steel profile to increase shear link performance in an eccentric braced frame (EBF of a steel structure system. The specimen is to examine the behavior of shear link by using diagonal stiffener on web part under static monotonic and cyclic load. The cyclic loading pattern conducted in the experiment is adjusted according to AISC loading standards 2005. Analysis was carried out using non-linear finite element method using MSC/NASTRAN software. Link was modeled as CQUAD shell element. Along the boundary of the loading area the nodal are constraint to produce only one direction loading. The length of the link in this analysis is 400mm of the steel profile of WF 200.100. Important parameters considered to effect significantly to the performance of shear link have been analyzed, namely flange and web thicknesses, , thickness and length of web stiffener, thickness of diagonal stiffener and geometric of diagonal stiffener. The behavior of shear link with diagonal web stiffener was compared with the behavior of standard link designed based on AISC 2005 criteria. Analysis results show that diagonal web stiffener is capable to increase shear link performance in terms of stiffness, strength and energy dissipation in supporting lateral load. However, differences in displacement ductility’s between shear links with diagonal stiffener and shear links based on AISC standards have not shown to be significant. Analysis results also show thickness of diagonal stiffener and geometric model of stiffener to have a significant influence on the performance of shear links. To perform validation of the numerical study, the research is followed by experimental work conducted in Structural Mechanic Laboratory Center for Industrial Engineering ITB. The Structures and Mechanics Lab rotary PAU-ITB. The experiments were carried out using three test

  14. Time-Dependent Structural Alteration of Rituximab Analyzed by LC/TOF-MS after a Systemic Administration to Rats.

    Yuki Otani

    Full Text Available Therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs have heterogeneities in their structures. Multiple studies have reported that the variety of post-translational modifications could affect the pharmacokinetic profiles or pharmacological potencies of therapeutic mAbs. Taking into the account that the structural modification of mAbs would affect the efficacy, it is worth investigating the structural alteration of therapeutic mAbs in the blood and the relationship between their structures and pharmacological effects. Herein, we have developed the method to isolate rituximab from plasma in which endogenous IgGs interfere the detection of rituximab, and successfully developed the analytical method with a liquid chromatograph time-of-flight mass spectrometer to detect the structure of rituximab in plasma with errors less than 30 parts per millions. Eight types of carbohydrate chains in rituximab were detected by this method. Interestingly, time-dependent changes in carbohydrate chains such as AAF (G2F and GnGn (G0 were observed in rats, although the amino acids were stable. Additionally, these structural changes were observed via incubation in plasma as in the rat experiment, suggesting that a certain type of enzyme in plasma caused the alterations of the carbohydrate chains. The present analytical methods could clarify the actual pharmacokinetics of therapeutic mAbs, and help to evaluate the interindividual variations in pharmacokinetics and efficacy.

  15. Macroalgae Decrease Growth and Alter Microbial Community Structure of the Reef-Building Coral, Porites astreoides

    Vega Thurber, Rebecca; Burkepile, Deron E.; Correa, Adrienne M. S.; Thurber, Andrew R.; Shantz, Andrew A.; Welsh, Rory; Pritchard, Catharine; Rosales, Stephanie

    2012-01-01

    With the continued and unprecedented decline of coral reefs worldwide, evaluating the factors that contribute to coral demise is of critical importance. As coral cover declines, macroalgae are becoming more common on tropical reefs. Interactions between these macroalgae and corals may alter the coral microbiome, which is thought to play an important role in colony health and survival. Together, such changes in benthic macroalgae and in the coral microbiome may result in a feedback mechanism that contributes to additional coral cover loss. To determine if macroalgae alter the coral microbiome, we conducted a field-based experiment in which the coral Porites astreoides was placed in competition with five species of macroalgae. Macroalgal contact increased variance in the coral-associated microbial community, and two algal species significantly altered microbial community composition. All macroalgae caused the disappearance of a γ-proteobacterium previously hypothesized to be an important mutualist of P. astreoides. Macroalgal contact also triggered: 1) increases or 2) decreases in microbial taxa already present in corals, 3) establishment of new taxa to the coral microbiome, and 4) vectoring and growth of microbial taxa from the macroalgae to the coral. Furthermore, macroalgal competition decreased coral growth rates by an average of 36.8%. Overall, this study found that competition between corals and certain species of macroalgae leads to an altered coral microbiome, providing a potential mechanism by which macroalgae-coral interactions reduce coral health and lead to coral loss on impacted reefs. PMID:22957055

  16. Macroalgae decrease growth and alter microbial community structure of the reef-building coral, Porites astreoides.

    Rebecca Vega Thurber

    Full Text Available With the continued and unprecedented decline of coral reefs worldwide, evaluating the factors that contribute to coral demise is of critical importance. As coral cover declines, macroalgae are becoming more common on tropical reefs. Interactions between these macroalgae and corals may alter the coral microbiome, which is thought to play an important role in colony health and survival. Together, such changes in benthic macroalgae and in the coral microbiome may result in a feedback mechanism that contributes to additional coral cover loss. To determine if macroalgae alter the coral microbiome, we conducted a field-based experiment in which the coral Porites astreoides was placed in competition with five species of macroalgae. Macroalgal contact increased variance in the coral-associated microbial community, and two algal species significantly altered microbial community composition. All macroalgae caused the disappearance of a γ-proteobacterium previously hypothesized to be an important mutualist of P. astreoides. Macroalgal contact also triggered: 1 increases or 2 decreases in microbial taxa already present in corals, 3 establishment of new taxa to the coral microbiome, and 4 vectoring and growth of microbial taxa from the macroalgae to the coral. Furthermore, macroalgal competition decreased coral growth rates by an average of 36.8%. Overall, this study found that competition between corals and certain species of macroalgae leads to an altered coral microbiome, providing a potential mechanism by which macroalgae-coral interactions reduce coral health and lead to coral loss on impacted reefs.

  17. Pathological and Pathophysiological Alterations in Temporal Lobe Structures After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

    2014-01-31

    Acetylcholinesterase inhibition in the basolateral amygdala plays a key role in the induction of status epilepticus after soman exposure...alterations in the rat basolateral amygdala after soman-induced status epilepticus : Relation to anxiety-like behavior...INHIBITION IN THE BASOLA TERAL AMYGDALA PLAYS A KEY ROLE IN THE INDUCTION OF STATUS EPILEPTICUS AFTER SOMAN EXPOSURE. Prager EM, Aroniadou

  18. Function of dynamic models in systems biology: linking structure to behaviour.

    Knüpfer, Christian; Beckstein, Clemens

    2013-10-08

    Dynamic models in Systems Biology are used in computational simulation experiments for addressing biological questions. The complexity of the modelled biological systems and the growing number and size of the models calls for computer support for modelling and simulation in Systems Biology. This computer support has to be based on formal representations of relevant knowledge fragments. In this paper we describe different functional aspects of dynamic models. This description is conceptually embedded in our "meaning facets" framework which systematises the interpretation of dynamic models in structural, functional and behavioural facets. Here we focus on how function links the structure and the behaviour of a model. Models play a specific role (teleological function) in the scientific process of finding explanations for dynamic phenomena. In order to fulfil this role a model has to be used in simulation experiments (pragmatical function). A simulation experiment always refers to a specific situation and a state of the model and the modelled system (conditional function). We claim that the function of dynamic models refers to both the simulation experiment executed by software (intrinsic function) and the biological experiment which produces the phenomena under investigation (extrinsic function). We use the presented conceptual framework for the function of dynamic models to review formal accounts for functional aspects of models in Systems Biology, such as checklists, ontologies, and formal languages. Furthermore, we identify missing formal accounts for some of the functional aspects. In order to fill one of these gaps we propose an ontology for the teleological function of models. We have thoroughly analysed the role and use of models in Systems Biology. The resulting conceptual framework for the function of models is an important first step towards a comprehensive formal representation of the functional knowledge involved in the modelling and simulation process

  19. Allocating structure to function: the strong links between neuroplasticity and natural selection

    Michael L Anderson

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A central question in brain evolution is how species-typical behaviors, and the neural function-structure mappings supporting them, can be acquired and inherited. Advocates of brain modularity, in its different incarnations across scientific subfields, argue that natural selection must target domain-dedicated, separately modifiable neural subsystems, resulting in genetically-specified functional modules. In such modular systems, specification of neuron number and functional connectivity are necessarily linked. Mounting evidence, however, from allometric, developmental, comparative, systems-physiological, neuroimaging and neurological studies suggests that brain elements are used and reused in multiple functional systems. This variable allocation can be seen in short-term neuromodulation, in neuroplasticity over the lifespan and in response to damage. We argue that the same processes are evident in brain evolution. Natural selection must preserve behavioral functions that may co-locate in variable amounts with other functions. In genetics, the uses and problems of pleiotropy, the re-use of genes in multiple networks have been much discussed, but this issue has been sidestepped in neural systems by the invocation of modules. Here we highlight the interaction between evolutionary and developmental mechanisms to produce distributed and overlapping functional architectures in the brain. These adaptive mechanisms must be robust to perturbations that might disrupt critical information processing and action selection, but must also recognize useful new sources of information arising from internal genetic or environmental variability, when those appear. These contrasting properties of robustness and evolvability have been discussed for the basic organization of body plan and fundamental cell physiology. Here we extend them to the evolution and development, evo-devo, of brain structure.

  20. Diazinon alters sperm chromatin structure in mice by phosphorylating nuclear protamines

    Pina-Guzman, B.; Solis-Heredia, M.J.; Quintanilla-Vega, B.

    2005-01-01

    Organophosphorus (OP) pesticides, widely used in agriculture and pest control, are associated with male reproductive effects, including sperm chromatin alterations, but the mechanisms underlying these effects are unknown. The main toxic action of OP is related to phosphorylation of proteins. Chemical alterations in sperm nuclear proteins (protamines), which pack DNA during the last steps of spermatogenesis, contribute to male reproductive toxicity. Therefore, in the present study, we tested the ability of diazinon (DZN), an OP compound, to alter sperm chromatin by phosphorylating nuclear protamines. Mice were injected with a single dose of DZN (8.12 mg/kg, i.p.), and killed 8 and 15 days after treatment. Quality of sperm from epididymis and vas deferens was evaluated through standard methods and chromatin condensation by flow cytometry (DNA Fragmented Index parameters: DFI and DFI%) and fluorescence microscopy using chromomycin-A 3 (CMA 3 ). Increases in DFI (15%), DFI% (4.5-fold), and CMA 3 (2-fold) were observed only at 8 days post-treatment, indicating an alteration in sperm chromatin condensation and DNA damage during late spermatid differentiation. In addition, an increase of phosphorous content (approximately 50%) in protamines, especially in the phosphoserine content (approximately 73%), was found at 8 days post-treatment. Sperm viability, motility, and morphology showed significant alterations at this time. These data strongly suggest that spermatozoa exposed during the late steps of maturation were the targets of DZN exposure. The correlation observed between the phosphorous content in nuclear protamines with DFI%, DFI, and CMA 3 provides evidence that phosphorylation of nuclear protamines is involved in the OP effects on sperm chromatin

  1. Altered Primary Motor Cortex Structure, Organization, and Function in Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

    Chang, Wei-Ju; O'Connell, Neil E; Beckenkamp, Paula R; Alhassani, Ghufran; Liston, Matthew B; Schabrun, Siobhan M

    2018-04-01

    Chronic pain can be associated with movement abnormalities. The primary motor cortex (M1) has an essential role in the formulation and execution of movement. A number of changes in M1 function have been reported in studies of people with chronic pain. This review systematically evaluated the evidence for altered M1 structure, organization, and function in people with chronic pain of neuropathic and non-neuropathic origin. Database searches were conducted and a modified STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology checklist was used to assess the methodological quality of included studies. Meta-analyses, including preplanned subgroup analyses on the basis of condition were performed where possible. Sixty-seven studies (2,290 participants) using various neurophysiological measures were included. There is conflicting evidence of altered M1 structure, organization, and function for neuropathic and non-neuropathic pain conditions. Meta-analyses provided evidence of increased M1 long-interval intracortical inhibition in chronic pain populations. For most measures, the evidence of M1 changes in chronic pain populations is inconclusive. This review synthesizes the evidence of altered M1 structure, organization, and function in chronic pain populations. For most measures, M1 changes are inconsistent between studies and more research with larger samples and rigorous methodology is required to elucidate M1 changes in chronic pain populations. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Modeling the Link between Left Ventricular Flow and Thromboembolic Risk Using Lagrangian Coherent Structures

    Karen May-Newman

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available A thrombus is a blood clot that forms on a surface, and can grow and detach, presenting a high risk for stroke and pulmonary embolism. This risk increases with blood-contacting medical devices, due to the immunological response to foreign surfaces and altered flow patterns that activate the blood and promote thromboembolism (TE. Abnormal blood transport, including vortex behavior and regional stasis, can be assessed from Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCS. LCS are flow structures that bound transport within a flow field and divide the flow into regions with maximally attracting/repelling surfaces that maximize local shear. LCS can be identified from finite time Lyapunov exponent (FTLE fields, which are computed from velocity field data. In this study, the goal was to use FTLE analysis to evaluate LCS in the left ventricle (LV using velocity data obtained from flow visualization of a mock circulatory loop. A model of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM was used to investigate the effect of left ventricular assist device (LVAD support on diastolic filling and transport in the LV. A small thrombus in the left ventricular outflow tract was also considered using data from a corresponding LV model. The DCM LV exhibited a direct flow of 0.8 L/cardiac cycle, which was tripled during LVAD support Delayed ejection flow was doubled, further illustrating the impact of LVAD support on blood transport. An examination of the attracting LCS ridges during diastolic filling showed that the increase is due primarily to augmentation of A wave inflow, which is associated with increased vortex circulation, kinetic energy and Forward FTLE. The introduction of a small thrombus in the left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT of the LV had a minimal effect on diastolic inflow, but obstructed systolic outflow leading to decreased transport compared with the unobstructed LVOT geometry. Localized FTLE in the LVOT increased dramatically with the small thrombus model, which reflects

  3. Alterations in upper limb muscle synergy structure in chronic stroke survivors

    Rymer, William Z.; Perreault, Eric J.; Yoo, Seng Bum; Beer, Randall F.

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies in neurologically intact subjects have shown that motor coordination can be described by task-dependent combinations of a few muscle synergies, defined here as a fixed pattern of activation across a set of muscles. Arm function in severely impaired stroke survivors is characterized by stereotypical postural and movement patterns involving the shoulder and elbow. Accordingly, we hypothesized that muscle synergy composition is altered in severely impaired stroke survivors. Using an isometric force matching protocol, we examined the spatial activation patterns of elbow and shoulder muscles in the affected arm of 10 stroke survivors (Fugl-Meyer synergies were identified using non-negative matrix factorization. In both groups, muscle activation patterns could be reconstructed by combinations of a few muscle synergies (typically 4). We did not find abnormal coupling of shoulder and elbow muscles within individual muscle synergies. In stroke survivors, as in controls, two of the synergies were comprised of isolated activation of the elbow flexors and extensors. However, muscle synergies involving proximal muscles exhibited consistent alterations following stroke. Unlike controls, the anterior deltoid was coactivated with medial and posterior deltoids within the shoulder abductor/extensor synergy and the shoulder adductor/flexor synergy in stroke was dominated by activation of pectoralis major, with limited anterior deltoid activation. Recruitment of the altered shoulder muscle synergies was strongly associated with abnormal task performance. Overall, our results suggest that an impaired control of the individual deltoid heads may contribute to poststroke deficits in arm function. PMID:23155178

  4. Magnet Cycles and Stability Periods of the CMS Structures from 2008 to 2013 as Observed by the Link Alignment System

    Arce, P.; Barcala, J.M.; Calvo, E.; Ferrando, A.; Josa, M.I.; Molinero, A.; Navarrete, J.; Oller, J.C.

    2015-01-01

    In this document Magnet Cycles and Stability Periods of the CMS Experiment are studied with the recorded Alignment Link System data along the 2008 to 2013 years of operation. The motions of the mechanical structures due to the magnetic field forces are studied including an in-depth analysis of the relative distance between the endcap structures and the central Tracker body during the Stability Periods to verify the mechanical stability of the detector during the physics data taking.

  5. Altering the trajectory of early postnatal cortical development can lead to structural and behavioural features of autism

    Chomiak Taylor

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Autism is a behaviourally defined neurodevelopmental disorder with unknown etiology. Recent studies in autistic children consistently point to neuropathological and functional abnormalities in the temporal association cortex (TeA and its associated structures. It has been proposed that the trajectory of postnatal development in these regions may undergo accelerated maturational alterations that predominantly affect sensory recognition and social interaction. Indeed, the temporal association regions that are important for sensory recognition and social interaction are one of the last regions to mature suggesting a potential vulnerability to early maturation. However, direct evaluation of the emerging hypothesis that an altered time course of early postnatal development can lead to an ASD phenotype remains lacking. Results We used electrophysiological, histological, and behavioural techniques to investigate if the known neuronal maturational promoter valproate, similar to that in culture systems, can influence the normal developmental trajectory of TeA in vivo. Brain sections obtained from postnatal rat pups treated with VPA in vivo revealed that almost 40% of cortical cells in TeA prematurely exhibited adult-like intrinsic electrophysiological properties and that this was often associated with gross cortical hypertrophy and a reduced predisposition for social play behaviour. Conclusions The co-manifestation of these functional, structural and behavioural features suggests that alteration of the developmental time course in certain high-order cortical networks may play an important role in the neurophysiological basis of autism.

  6. The influence of stress on neuroinflammation and alterations in brain structure and function in major depressive disorder.

    Kim, Yong-Ku; Won, Eunsoo

    2017-06-30

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a condition which has often been associated with chronic stress. The sympathetic nervous system is continuously activated without the normal counteraction of the parasympathetic nervous system under the influence of chronic stress. As a result, epinephrine and norepinephrine levels are increased, and acetylcholine levels are decreased, which in turn can increase the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Peripheral inflammatory responses can access the brain, with neuroinflammation contributing to the increase in neurotoxic kynurenine pathway metabolites such as 3-hydroxykynurenine, 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid and quinolinic acid, and decrease in neuroprotective metabolites such as kynurenic acid. Pro-inflammatory cytokines can also exert direct neurotoxic effects on specific brain regions. Previous imaging studies have reported associations between pro-inflammatory states and alterations in brain regions involved in emotional regulation, including the hippocampus, amygdala and anterior cingulate cortex. Alterations in structure and function of such brain areas due to the neurotoxic effects of increased inflammation may be associated with the pathophysiology of depression. This review focuses the influence of stress on neuroinflammation which may cause alterations in brain structure and function in MDD. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  7. Alterations in brain structures related to taste reward circuitry in ill and recovered anorexia nervosa and in bulimia nervosa.

    Frank, Guido K; Shott, Megan E; Hagman, Jennifer O; Mittal, Vijay A

    2013-10-01

    The pathophysiology of anorexia nervosa remains obscure, but structural brain alterations could be functionally important biomarkers. The authors assessed taste pleasantness and reward sensitivity in relation to brain structure, which may be related to food avoidance commonly seen in eating disorders. The authors used structural MR imaging to study gray and white matter volumes in women with current restricting-type anorexia nervosa (N=19), women recovered from restricting-type anorexia nervosa (N=24), women with bulimia nervosa (N=19), and healthy comparison women (N=24). All eating disorder groups exhibited increased gray matter volume of the medial orbitofrontal cortex (gyrus rectus). Manual tracing confirmed larger gyrus rectus volume, and volume predicted taste pleasantness ratings across all groups. Analyses also indicated other morphological differences between diagnostic categories. Antero-ventral insula gray matter volumes were increased on the right side in the anorexia nervosa and recovered anorexia nervosa groups and on the left side in the bulimia nervosa group relative to the healthy comparison group. Dorsal striatum volumes were reduced in the recovered anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa groups and predicted sensitivity to reward in all three eating disorder groups. The eating disorder groups also showed reduced white matter in right temporal and parietal areas relative to the healthy comparison group. The results held when a range of covariates, such as age, depression, anxiety, and medications, were controlled for. Brain structure in the medial orbitofrontal cortex, insula, and striatum is altered in eating disorders and suggests altered brain circuitry that has been associated with taste pleasantness and reward value.

  8. Operative Links

    Wistoft, Karen; Højlund, Holger

    2012-01-01

    educational goals, learning content, or value clarification. Health pedagogy is often a matter of retrospective rationalization rather than the starting point of planning. Health and risk behaviour approaches override health educational approaches. Conclusions: Operational links between health education......, health professionalism, and management strategies pose the foremost challenge. Operational links indicates cooperative levels that facilitate a creative and innovative effort across traditional professional boundaries. It is proposed that such links are supported by network structures, shared semantics...

  9. Alterations of bone skeleton structure in connection with strontium-90 incorporation

    Rodionova, N.V.; Mazhuga, P.M.; Domashevskaya, E.I.; Gorskij, B.A.; Nakorenok, G.B.

    1994-01-01

    By using the methods of histology, electron microscopy and radiochemistry studied the bone skeleton state of animals (mouse like rodents and minks) which live in the 30 km zone of the ChNPP.It was defined contents of 90 Sr, 137 Cs, 134 Cs in the bones during 1989-1993 years. There were described changes in histostructure of the periost endost and bone compact of the tubular bones and also in metaepiphyzal growth plate. The mechanisms of the revealed alterations are discussed

  10. The energy band structure of ultra small capacitance weak links - QED in condensed matter circuits

    Prance, H.; Clark, T.D.; Prance, R.J.; Spiller, T.P.; Diggins, J.; Ralph, J.F.

    1993-01-01

    We consider various superconducting weak link circuits in which quantum effects dominate. We show that in this quantum regime these circuits take on a quantum electrodynamic description, at least as far as the electromagnetic field contribution is concerned. (orig.)

  11. Structural alterations in a component of cytochrome c oxidase and molecular evolution of pathogenic Neisseria in humans.

    Marina Aspholm

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Three closely related bacterial species within the genus Neisseria are of importance to human disease and health. Neisseria meningitidis is a major cause of meningitis, while Neisseria gonorrhoeae is the agent of the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea and Neisseria lactamica is a common, harmless commensal of children. Comparative genomics have yet to yield clear insights into which factors dictate the unique host-parasite relationships exhibited by each since, as a group, they display remarkable conservation at the levels of nucleotide sequence, gene content and synteny. Here, we discovered two rare alterations in the gene encoding the CcoP protein component of cytochrome cbb(3 oxidase that are phylogenetically informative. One is a single nucleotide polymorphism resulting in CcoP truncation that acts as a molecular signature for the species N. meningitidis. We go on to show that the ancestral ccoP gene arose by a unique gene duplication and fusion event and is specifically and completely distributed within species of the genus Neisseria. Surprisingly, we found that strains engineered to express either of the two CcoP forms conditionally differed in their capacity to support nitrite-dependent, microaerobic growth mediated by NirK, a nitrite reductase. Thus, we propose that changes in CcoP domain architecture and ensuing alterations in function are key traits in successive, adaptive radiations within these metapopulations. These findings provide a dramatic example of how rare changes in core metabolic proteins can be connected to significant macroevolutionary shifts. They also show how evolutionary change at the molecular level can be linked to metabolic innovation and its reversal as well as demonstrating how genotype can be used to infer alterations of the fitness landscape within a single host.

  12. Hyperosmolar Tears Induce Functional and Structural Alterations of Corneal Nerves: Electrophysiological and Anatomical Evidence Toward Neurotoxicity.

    Hirata, Harumitsu; Mizerska, Kamila; Marfurt, Carl F; Rosenblatt, Mark I

    2015-12-01

    In an effort to elucidate possible neural mechanisms underlying diminished tearing in dry eye disease, this study sought to determine if hyperosmolar tears, a ubiquitous sign of dry eye disease, produce functional changes in corneal nerve responses to drying of the cornea and if these changes correlate with alterations in corneal nerve morphology. In vivo extracellular electrophysiological recordings were performed in rat trigeminal ganglion neurons that innervated the cornea before, and up to 3 hours after, the ocular application of continuous hyperosmolar tears or artificial tears. In corollary experiments, immunohistochemical staining was performed to compare corneal nerve morphology in control and in eyes treated with hyperosmolar solutions. Our previous studies identified a population of corneal afferents, dry-sensitive neurons that are strongly excited by corneal dessication ("dry response"), a response thought to trigger the lacrimation reflex. In the present study, we found that the dry responses of corneal dry-sensitive neurons were depressed or even completely abolished by hyperosmolar tears in a time- (30 minutes to 3 hours) and dose (450- to 1000-mOsm solutions)-dependent manner. Furthermore, eyes treated with hyperosmolar tears for 3 hours contained large numbers of morphologically abnormal (granular, fragmented, or prominently beaded) subbasal nerves that appeared to be undergoing degeneration. These results demonstrate that tear hyperosmolarity, considered to be a "core" mechanism of dry eye disease, significantly decreases physiological sensitivity and morphologic integrity of the corneal nerves important in tear production. These alterations might contribute to the diminished tearing seen clinically in dry eye patients.

  13. Prolonged Intake of Dietary Lipids Alters Membrane Structure and T Cell Responses in LDLr-/- Mice.

    Pollock, Abigail H; Tedla, Nicodemus; Hancock, Sarah E; Cornely, Rhea; Mitchell, Todd W; Yang, Zhengmin; Kockx, Maaike; Parton, Robert G; Rossy, Jérémie; Gaus, Katharina

    2016-05-15

    Although it is recognized that lipids and membrane organization in T cells affect signaling and T cell activation, to what extent dietary lipids alter T cell responsiveness in the absence of obesity and inflammation is not known. In this study, we fed low-density lipoprotein receptor knockout mice a Western high-fat diet for 1 or 9 wk and examined T cell responses in vivo along with T cell lipid composition, membrane order, and activation ex vivo. Our data showed that high levels of circulating lipids for a prolonged period elevated CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell proliferation and resulted in an increased proportion of CD4(+) central-memory T cells within the draining lymph nodes following induction of contact hypersensitivity. In addition, the 9-wk Western high-fat diet elevated the total phospholipid content and monounsaturated fatty acid level, but decreased saturated phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin within the T cells. The altered lipid composition in the circulation, and of T cells, was also reflected by enhanced membrane order at the activation site of ex vivo activated T cells that corresponded to increased IL-2 mRNA levels. In conclusion, dietary lipids can modulate T cell lipid composition and responses in lipoprotein receptor knockout mice even in the absence of excess weight gain and a proinflammatory environment. Copyright © 2016 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

  14. Structure of the Dispase Autolysis-inducing Protein from Streptomyces mobaraensis and Glutamine Cross-linking Sites for Transglutaminase.

    Fiebig, David; Schmelz, Stefan; Zindel, Stephan; Ehret, Vera; Beck, Jan; Ebenig, Aileen; Ehret, Marina; Fröls, Sabrina; Pfeifer, Felicitas; Kolmar, Harald; Fuchsbauer, Hans-Lothar; Scrima, Andrea

    2016-09-23

    Transglutaminase from Streptomyces mobaraensis (MTG) is an important enzyme for cross-linking and modifying proteins. An intrinsic substrate of MTG is the dispase autolysis-inducing protein (DAIP). The amino acid sequence of DAIP contains 5 potential glutamines and 10 lysines for MTG-mediated cross-linking. The aim of the study was to determine the structure and glutamine cross-linking sites of the first physiological MTG substrate. A production procedure was established in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) to obtain high yields of recombinant DAIP. DAIP variants were prepared by replacing four of five glutamines for asparagines in various combinations via site-directed mutagenesis. Incorporation of biotin cadaverine revealed a preference of MTG for the DAIP glutamines in the order of Gln-39 ≫ Gln-298 > Gln-345 ∼ Gln-65 ≫ Gln-144. In the structure of DAIP the preferred glutamines do cluster at the top of the seven-bladed β-propeller. This suggests a targeted cross-linking of DAIP by MTG that may occur after self-assembly in the bacterial cell wall. Based on our biochemical and structural data of the first physiological MTG substrate, we further provide novel insight into determinants of MTG-mediated modification, specificity, and efficiency. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  15. Dependence of credit spread and macro-conditions based on an alterable structure model

    2018-01-01

    The fat-tail financial data and cyclical financial market makes it difficult for the fixed structure model based on Gaussian distribution to characterize the dynamics of corporate bonds spreads. Using a flexible structure model based on generalized error distribution, this paper focuses on the impact of macro-level factors on the spreads of corporate bonds in China. It is found that in China's corporate bonds market, macroeconomic conditions have obvious structural transformational effects on bonds spreads, and their structural features remain stable with the downgrade of bonds ratings. The impact of macroeconomic conditions on spreads is significant for different structures, and the differences between the structures increase as ratings decline. For different structures, the persistent characteristics of bonds spreads are obviously stronger than those of recursive ones, which suggest an obvious speculation in bonds market. It is also found that the structure switching of bonds with different ratings is not synchronous, which indicates the shift of investment between different grades of bonds. PMID:29723295

  16. Dependence of credit spread and macro-conditions based on an alterable structure model.

    Xie, Yun; Tian, Yixiang; Xiao, Zhuang; Zhou, Xiangyun

    2018-01-01

    The fat-tail financial data and cyclical financial market makes it difficult for the fixed structure model based on Gaussian distribution to characterize the dynamics of corporate bonds spreads. Using a flexible structure model based on generalized error distribution, this paper focuses on the impact of macro-level factors on the spreads of corporate bonds in China. It is found that in China's corporate bonds market, macroeconomic conditions have obvious structural transformational effects on bonds spreads, and their structural features remain stable with the downgrade of bonds ratings. The impact of macroeconomic conditions on spreads is significant for different structures, and the differences between the structures increase as ratings decline. For different structures, the persistent characteristics of bonds spreads are obviously stronger than those of recursive ones, which suggest an obvious speculation in bonds market. It is also found that the structure switching of bonds with different ratings is not synchronous, which indicates the shift of investment between different grades of bonds.

  17. Graphical linking of MO multicenter bond index and VB structures. II-5-c rings and 6-c heterocyclic rings

    Bollini, Carlos Guido; Giambiagi, Mario; Giambiagi, Myriam Segre de; Figueiredo, Aloysio Paiva de

    2001-02-01

    Through the graphical method proposed it is possible to set a link between an MO multicenter bond index and VB structures. The value of the index depends on the order of the atoms involved if they are more than three. For 5-c rings three basic structures are required; the eventually different values are 12. Unlike the 6-c case it may happen that different pairs of basic structures are used to build the same polygon. For the 6-c rings including heteroatoms the original degeneracy of benzene splits leading eventually to 60 different I ring values. (author)

  18. Graphical linking of MO multicenter bond index and VB structures. II-5-c rings and 6-c heterocyclic rings

    Bollini, C G; Giambiagi, M

    2001-01-01

    Through the graphical method proposed it is possible to set a link between an MO multicenter bond index and VB structures. The value of the index depends on the order of the atoms involved if they are more than three. For 5-c rings three basic structures are required; the eventually different values are 12. Unlike the 6-c case it may happen that different pairs of basic structures are used to build the same polygon. For the 6-c rings including heteroatoms the original degeneracy of benzene splits leading eventually to 60 different I sub r sub i sub n sub g values.

  19. Structures of Rotavirus Reassortants Demonstrate Correlation of Altered Conformation of the VP4 Spike and Expression of Unexpected VP4-Associated Phenotypes

    Pesavento, Joseph B.; Billingsley, Angela M.; Roberts, Ed J.; Ramig, Robert F.; Prasad, B. V. Venkataram

    2003-01-01

    Numerous prior studies have indicated that viable rotavirus reassortants containing structural proteins of heterologous parental origin may express unexpected phenotypes, such as changes in infectivity and immunogenicity. To provide a structural basis for alterations in phenotypic expression, a three-dimensional structural analysis of these reassortants was conducted. The structures of the reassortants show that while VP4 generally maintains the parental structure when moved to a heterologous protein background, in certain reassortants, there are subtle alterations in the conformation of VP4. The alterations in VP4 conformation correlated with expression of unexpected VP4-associated phenotypes. Interactions between heterologous VP4 and VP7 in reassortants expressing unexpected phenotypes appeared to induce the conformational alterations seen in VP4. PMID:12584352

  20. A structural and kinetic study on myofibrils prevented from shortening by chemical cross-linking.

    Herrmann, C; Sleep, J; Chaussepied, P; Travers, F; Barman, T

    1993-07-20

    In previous work, we studied the early steps of the Mg(2+)-ATPase activity of Ca(2+)-activated myofibrils [Houadjeto, M., Travers, F., & Barman, T. (1992) Biochemistry 31, 1564-1569]. The myofibrils were free to contract, and the results obtained refer to the ATPase cycle of myofibrils contracting with no external load. Here we studied the ATPase of myofibrils contracting isometrically. To prevent shortening, we cross-linked them with 1-ethyl-3-[3-(dimethylamino)propyl]carbodiimide (EDC). SDS-PAGE and Western blot analyses showed that the myosin rods were extensively cross-linked and that 8% of the myosin heads were cross-linked to the thin filament. The transient kinetics of the cross-linked myofibrils were studied in 0.1 M potassium acetate, pH 7.4 and 4 degrees C, by the rapid-flow quench method. The ATP binding steps were studied by the cold ATP chase and the cleavage and release of products steps by the Pi burst method. In Pi burst experiments, the sizes of the bursts were equal within experimental error to the ATPase site concentrations (as determined by the cold ATP chase methods) for both cross-linked (isometric) and un-cross-linked (isotonic) myofibrils. This shows that in both cases the rate-limiting step is after the cleavage of ATP. When cross-linked, the kcat of Ca(2+)-activated myofibrils was reduced from 1.7 to 0.8 s-1. This is consistent with the observation that fibers shortening at moderate velocity have a higher ATPase activity than isometric fibers.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  1. Theoretical modeling of heating and structure alterations in cartilage under laser radiation with regard to water evaporation and diffusion dominance

    Sobol, Emil N.; Kitai, Moishe S.; Jones, Nicholas; Sviridov, Alexander P.; Milner, Thomas E.; Wong, Brian

    1998-05-01

    We develop a theoretical model to calculate the temperature field and the size of modified structure area in cartilaginous tissue. The model incorporates both thermal and mass transfer in a tissue regarding bulk absorption of laser radiation, water evaporation from a surface and temperature dependence of diffusion coefficient. It is proposed that due to bound- to free-phase transition of water in cartilage heated to about 70 degrees Celsius, some parts of cartilage matrix (proteoglycan units) became more mobile. The movement of these units takes place only when temperature exceed 70 degrees Celsius and results in alteration of tissue structure (denaturation). It is shown that (1) the maximal temperature is reached not on the surface irradiated at some distance from the surface; (2) surface temperature reaches a plateau quicker that the maximal temperature; (3) the depth of denatured area strongly depends on laser fluence and wavelength, exposure time and thickness of cartilage. The model allows to predict and control temperature and depth of structure alterations in the course of laser reshaping and treatment of cartilage.

  2. Pine Plantations and Invasion Alter Fuel Structure and Potential Fire Behavior in a Patagonian Forest-Steppe Ecotone

    Juan Paritsis

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Planted and invading non-native plant species can alter fire regimes through changes in fuel loads and in the structure and continuity of fuels, potentially modifying the flammability of native plant communities. Such changes are not easily predicted and deserve system-specific studies. In several regions of the southern hemisphere, exotic pines have been extensively planted in native treeless areas for forestry purposes and have subsequently invaded the native environments. However, studies evaluating alterations in flammability caused by pines in Patagonia are scarce. In the forest-steppe ecotone of northwestern Patagonia, we evaluated fine fuels structure and simulated fire behavior in the native shrubby steppe, pine plantations, pine invasions, and mechanically removed invasions to establish the relative ecological vulnerability of these forestry and invasion scenarios to fire. We found that pine plantations and their subsequent invasion in the Patagonian shrubby steppe produced sharp changes in fine fuel amount and its vertical and horizontal continuity. These changes in fuel properties have the potential to affect fire behavior, increasing fire intensity by almost 30 times. Pruning of basal branches in plantations may substantially reduce fire hazard by lowering the probability of fire crowning, and mechanical removal of invasion seems effective in restoring original fuel structure in the native community. The current expansion of pine plantations and subsequent invasions acting synergistically with climate warming and increased human ignitions warrant a highly vulnerable landscape in the near future for northwestern Patagonia if no management actions are undertaken.

  3. Breast cancer cell cyclooxygenase-2 expression alters extracellular matrix structure and function and numbers of cancer associated fibroblasts.

    Krishnamachary, Balaji; Stasinopoulos, Ioannis; Kakkad, Samata; Penet, Marie-France; Jacob, Desmond; Wildes, Flonne; Mironchik, Yelena; Pathak, Arvind P; Solaiyappan, Meiyappan; Bhujwalla, Zaver M

    2017-03-14

    Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is a critically important mediator of inflammation that significantly influences tumor angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis. We investigated the role of COX-2 expressed by triple negative breast cancer cells in altering the structure and function of the extracellular matrix (ECM). COX-2 downregulation effects on ECM structure and function were investigated using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy of tumors derived from triple negative MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, and a derived clone stably expressing a short hairpin (shRNA) molecule downregulating COX-2. MRI of albumin-GdDTPA was used to characterize macromolecular fluid transport in vivo and SHG microscopy was used to quantify collagen 1 (Col1) fiber morphology. COX-2 downregulation decreased Col1 fiber density and altered macromolecular fluid transport. Immunohistochemistry identified significantly fewer activated cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in low COX-2 expressing tumors. Metastatic lung nodules established by COX-2 downregulated cells were infrequent, smaller, and contained fewer Col1 fibers.COX-2 overexpression studies were performed with tumors derived from triple negative SUM-149 breast cancer cells lentivirally transduced to overexpress COX-2. SHG microscopy identified significantly higher Col1 fiber density in COX-2 overexpressing tumors with an increase of CAFs. These data expand upon the roles of COX-2 in shaping the structure and function of the ECM in primary and metastatic tumors, and identify the potential role of COX-2 in modifying the number of CAFs in tumors that may have contributed to the altered ECM.

  4. Structural alterations in rat liver proteins due to streptozotocin-induced diabetes and the recovery effect of selenium: Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy and neural network study

    Bozkurt, Ozlem; Haman Bayari, Sevgi; Severcan, Mete; Krafft, Christoph; Popp, Jürgen; Severcan, Feride

    2012-07-01

    The relation between protein structural alterations and tissue dysfunction is a major concern as protein fibrillation and/or aggregation due to structural alterations has been reported in many disease states. In the current study, Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopic imaging has been used to investigate diabetes-induced changes on protein secondary structure and macromolecular content in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat liver. Protein secondary structural alterations were predicted using neural network approach utilizing the amide I region. Moreover, the role of selenium in the recovery of diabetes-induced alterations on macromolecular content and protein secondary structure was also studied. The results revealed that diabetes induced a decrease in lipid to protein and glycogen to protein ratios in diabetic livers. Significant alterations in protein secondary structure were observed with a decrease in α-helical and an increase in β-sheet content. Both doses of selenium restored diabetes-induced changes in lipid to protein and glycogen to protein ratios. However, low-dose selenium supplementation was not sufficient to recover the effects of diabetes on protein secondary structure, while a higher dose of selenium fully restored diabetes-induced alterations in protein structure.

  5. Papain-induced changes in rabbit cartilage; alterations in the chemical structure of the cartilage matrix.

    TSALTAS, T T

    1958-10-01

    Some biochemical aspects of the collapse of the rabbit ears produced by the intravenous injection of papain have been studied. A marked depletion of chondromucoprotein (M.C.S.) and a reduction of the S(35) content of cartilage matrix were found to coincide with the gross and histologic changes in the cartilage. At the same time there was a marked increase in the amount of S(35) in the serum and an increase of S(35) and glucuronic acid excreted in the urine. Alteration in the composition of the M.C.S. remaining in the cartilage of the papain-injected animals was detected. The findings indicate that the collapse of the rabbit ears is due to loss of chondromucoprotein from cartilage and reduction of chondroitin sulfate in the chondromucoprotein that remains. All these changes were reversed in recovery.

  6. Structural and biochemical alterations of human diabetic dermis studied by 3H-lysine incorporation and microscopy

    Moczar, M.; Allard, R.; Ouzilou, J.; Robert, L.; Pieraggi, M.-T.; Bouissou, H.; Julian, M.

    1976-01-01

    The alteration of the structural organization of dermal connective tissue was studied by light and electron microscopy and by biochemical techniques in normal human and in diabetic patients using skin biopsies. Part of the tissue was used for light and electron microscopy, the rest was incubated in the presence of 3 H-lysine for four hours. The 3 H-lysine labelled biopsies were submitted to a sequential extraction procedure in order to obtain representative macromolecular fractions containing the matrix macromolecules. The extracts were analyzed for their chemical composition and radioactivity. Electron microscopy revealed microstructural modifications of the fibroblasts, of the collagen and elastic fibers in the diabetic dermis. The incorporation pattern of 3 H-lysine into the macromolecular fractions was different in the normal and diabetic skin biopsies. The percentage of total radioactivity incorporated increased significantly in the 1M CaCl 2 extractable fraction and in the 6M urea extractable fraction and decreased significantly in the collagenase and elastase extracts in diabetic skin biopsy. These results demonstrate the existence of morphological and biochemical alterations in diabetic connective tissue (dermis) reflecting alterations in the relative rates of synthesis and/or degradation of the intercellular matrix macromolecules as well as of their microarchitectural arrangement

  7. Cone photoreceptor structure in patients with x-linked cone dysfunction and red-green color vision deficiency

    Patterson, Emily J.; Wilk, Melissa; Langlo, Christopher S.

    2016-01-01

    encoded by exon 4, and two with a novel insertion in exon 2. Foveal cone structure and retinal thickness was disrupted to a variable degree, even among related individuals with the same L/M array. CONCLUSIONS. Our findings provide a direct link between disruption of the cone mosaic and L/ M opsin variants......PURPOSE. Mutations in the coding sequence of the L and M opsin genes are often associated with X-linked cone dysfunction (such as Bornholm Eye Disease, BED), though the exact color vision phenotype associated with these disorders is variable. We examined individuals with L/ M opsin gene mutations...... to clarify the link between color vision deficiency and cone dysfunction.  METHODS. We recruited 17 males for imaging. The thickness and integrity of the photoreceptor layers were evaluated using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. Cone density was measured using high-resolution images of the cone...

  8. From the genome to the phenome and back: linking genes with human brain function and structure using genetically informed neuroimaging

    Siebner, H R; Callicott, J H; Sommer, T

    2009-01-01

    In recent years, an array of brain mapping techniques has been successfully employed to link individual differences in circuit function or structure in the living human brain with individual variations in the human genome. Several proof-of-principle studies provided converging evidence that brain...... imaging can establish important links between genes and behaviour. The overarching goal is to use genetically informed brain imaging to pinpoint neurobiological mechanisms that contribute to behavioural intermediate phenotypes or disease states. This special issue on "Linking Genes to Brain Function...... in Health and Disease" provides an overview over how the "imaging genetics" approach is currently applied in the various fields of systems neuroscience to reveal the genetic underpinnings of complex behaviours and brain diseases. While the rapidly emerging field of imaging genetics holds great promise...

  9. Elastic dynamic research of high speed multi-link precision press considering structural stiffness of rotation joints

    Hu, Feng Feng; Sun, Yu; Peng, Bin Bin [School of Mechanical Engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing (China)

    2016-10-15

    An elastic dynamic model of high-speed multi-link precision press considering structural stiffness of rotation joints was established by the finite element method. In the finite element model, rotation joint was established by four bar elements with equivalent stiffness, and connected link was established by beam element. Then, the elastic dynamics equation of the system was established, and modal superposition method was used to solve the dynamic response. Compared with the traditional elastic dynamic model with perfect constraint of the rotation joints, the elastic dynamic response value of the improved model is larger. To validate the presented new method of elastic dynamics analysis with stiffness of rotation joints, a related test of slider Bottom dead center (BDC) position in different speed was designed. The test shows that the model with stiffness of rotation joints is more reasonable. So it provides a reasonable theory and method for dynamic characteristics research of such a multi-link machine.

  10. Altered structural network architecture is predictive of the presence of psychotic symptoms in patients with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome

    Maria C. Padula

    2017-01-01

    Our results point to alterations in structural network architecture and white matter microstructure in patients with 22q11DS with attenuated positive symptoms, mainly involving connections of the limbic system. These alterations may therefore represent a potential biomarker for an increased risk of psychosis that should be further tested in longitudinal studies.

  11. Ataxin-1 with an expanded glutamine tract alters nuclear matrix-associated structures

    Skinner, P J; Koshy, B T; Cummings, C J

    1997-01-01

    a similar pattern of nuclear localization; with expanded ataxin-1 occurring in larger structures that are fewer in number than those of normal ataxin-1. Colocalization studies show that mutant ataxin-1 causes a specific redistribution of the nuclear matrix-associated domain containing promyelocytic...... the subcellular localization of wild-type human ataxin-1 (the protein encoded by the SCA1 gene) and mutant ataxin-1 in the Purkinje cells of transgenic mice. We found that ataxin-1 localizes to the nuclei of cerebellar Purkinje cells. Normal ataxin-1 localizes to several nuclear structures approximately 0.......5 microm across, whereas the expanded ataxin-1 localizes to a single approximately 2-microm structure, before the onset of ataxia. Mutant ataxin-1 localizes to a single nuclear structure in affected neurons of SCA1 patients. Similarly, COS-1 cells transfected with wild-type or mutant ataxin-1 show...

  12. How do SMA-linked mutations of SMN1 lead to structural/functional deficiency of the SMA protein?

    Wei Li

    Full Text Available Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA is an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disease with dysfunctional α-motor neurons in the anterior horn of the spinal cord. SMA is caused by loss (∼95% of SMA cases or mutation (∼5% of SMA cases of the survival motor neuron 1 gene SMN1. As the product of SMN1, SMN is a component of the SMN complex, and is also involved in the biosynthesis of the small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs, which play critical roles in pre-mRNA splicing in the pathogenesis of SMA. To investigate how SMA-linked mutations of SMN1 lead to structural/functional deficiency of SMN, a set of computational analysis of SMN-related structures were conducted and are described in this article. Of extraordinary interest, the structural analysis highlights three SMN residues (Asp44, Glu134 and Gln136 with SMA-linked missense mutations, which cause disruptions of electrostatic interactions for Asp44, Glu134 and Gln136, and result in three functionally deficient SMA-linked SMN mutants, Asp44Val, Glu134Lys and Gln136Glu. From the computational analysis, it is also possible that SMN's Lys45 and Asp36 act as two electrostatic clips at the SMN-Gemin2 complex structure interface.

  13. The structural role of weak and strong links in a financial market network

    Garas, A.; Argyrakis, P.; Havlin, S.

    2008-05-01

    We investigate the properties of correlation based networks originating from economic complex systems, such as the network of stocks traded at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The weaker links (low correlation) of the system are found to contribute to the overall connectivity of the network significantly more than the strong links (high correlation). We find that nodes connected through strong links form well defined communities. These communities are clustered together in more complex ways compared to the widely used classification according to the economic activity. We find that some companies, such as General Electric (GE), Coca Cola (KO), and others, can be involved in different communities. The communities are found to be quite stable over time. Similar results were obtained by investigating markets completely different in size and properties, such as the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE). The present method may be also useful for other networks generated through correlations.

  14. Linking landscape structure and rainfall runoff behaviour in a thermodynamic optimality context

    Zehe, Erwin; Ehret, Uwe; Blume, Theresa; Kleidon, Axel; Scherer, Ulrike; Westhoff, Martijn

    2015-04-01

    The fact that persistent spatial organization in catchments exists has inspired many scientists to speculate whether this is the manifestation of an underlying organizing principle. In line with these studies we developed and tested a thermodynamic framework to link rainfall runoff generation and self-organization in catchments. From a thermodynamic perspective any water mass flux is equal to a "potential gradient" divided by a "resistance", and fluxes deplete due to the second law of thermodynamics their driving gradients. Relevant potentials controlling rainfall runoff are soil water potentials, piezometric heads and surface water levels and their gradients are associated with spatial differences in associated forms of free energy. Rainfall runoff processes thus are associated with conversions of capillary binding energy, potential energy and kinetic energy. These conversions reflect energy conservation and irreversibility as they imply small amounts of dissipation of free energy into heat and thus production of entropy. Energy conversions during rainfall runoff transformation are, though being small, nevertheless of key importance, because they are related to the partitioning of incoming rainfall mass into runoff components and storage dynamics. This splitting and the subsequent subsurface dynamics is strongly controlled by preferential flow paths, which in turn largely influence hydrologically relevant resistance fields in larger control volumes. The field of subsurface flow resistances depends for instance on soil hydraulic conductivity, its spatial covariance and soil moisture. Apparent preferential pathways reduce, depending on their density, topology and spatial extent, subsurface flow resistances along their main extent, resulting in accelerated fluxes against the driving gradient. This implies an enlarged power in the subsurface flux thereby either an enlarged free energy export from the control volume or an increased depletion of internal driving

  15. Altered time structure of neuro-endocrine-immune system function in lung cancer patients

    Carughi Stefano

    2010-06-01

    TcS1 was decreased in cancer patients. The melatonin/cortisol mean nocturnal level ratio was decreased in cancer patients. Conclusion The altered secretion and loss of circadian rhythmicity of many studied factors observed in the subjects suffering from neoplastic disease may be expression of gradual alteration of the integrated function of the neuro-immune-endocrine system

  16. Alterations of white matter structural networks in patients with non-neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus identified by probabilistic tractography and connectivity-based analyses

    Man Xu

    2017-01-01

    Conclusion: This study reveals an altered topological organization of white matter networks in non-NPSLE patients. Furthermore, this research provides new insights into the structural disruptions underlying the functional and neurocognitive deficits in non-NPSLE patients.

  17. Molecular structures and metabolic characteristics of protein in brown and yellow flaxseed with altered nutrient traits.

    Khan, Nazir Ahmad; Booker, Helen; Yu, Peiqiang

    2014-07-16

    The objectives of this study were to investigate the chemical profiles; crude protein (CP) subfractions; ruminal CP degradation characteristics and intestinal digestibility of rumen undegraded protein (RUP); and protein molecular structures using molecular spectroscopy of newly developed yellow-seeded flax (Linum usitatissimum L.). Seeds from two yellow flaxseed breeding lines and two brown flaxseed varieties were evaluated. The yellow-seeded lines had higher (P RUP (29.2 vs 35.1% CP) than that in the brown-seeded varieties. However, the total supply of digestible RUP was not significantly different between the two seed types. Regression equations based on protein molecular structural features gave relatively good estimation for the contents of CP (R(2) = 0.87), soluble CP (R(2) = 0.92), RUP (R(2) = 0.97), and intestinal digestibility of RUP (R(2) = 0.71). In conclusion, molecular spectroscopy can be used to rapidly characterize feed protein molecular structures and predict their nutritive value.

  18. Examining Culturally Structured Learning Environments with Different Types of Music-Linked Movement Opportunity

    Cole, Juanita M.; Boykin, A. Wade

    2008-01-01

    This study describes two experiments that extended earlier work on the Afrocultural theme Movement Expression. The impact of various learning conditions characterized by different types of music-linked movement on story recall performance was examined. African American children were randomly assigned to a learning condition, presented a story, and…

  19. Mesoscale structure and techno-functional properties of enzymatically cross-linked a-lactalbumin nanoparticles

    Dhayal, S.K.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract

    The aim of this thesis is to understand the connection between molecular, meso and macroscales of enzymatically cross-linked proteins. It was hypothesised that the techno-functional properties at macroscale, such as bulk rheology and foam stability, are affected

  20. Structures linking physical and biological processes in headwater streams of the Maybeso watershed, Southeast Alaska

    Mason D. Bryant; Takashi Gomi; Jack J. Piccolo

    2007-01-01

    We focus on headwater streams originating in the mountainous terrain of northern temperate rain forests. These streams rapidly descend from gradients greater than 20% to less than 5% in U-shaped glacial valleys. We use a set of studies on headwater streams in southeast Alaska to define headwater stream catchments, link physical and biological processes, and describe...

  1. Driving innovation through big open linked data (BOLD) : Exploring antecedents using interpretive structural modelling

    Dwivedi, Yogesh K.; Janssen, M.F.W.H.A.; Slade, Emma L.; Rana, Nripendra P.; Weerakkody, Vishanth; Millard, Jeremy; Hidders, Jan; Snijders, D.

    2016-01-01

    Innovation is vital to find new solutions to problems, increase quality, and improve profitability. Big open linked data (BOLD) is a fledgling and rapidly evolving field that creates new opportunities for innovation. However, none of the existing literature has yet considered the

  2. Regional vulnerability of longitudinal cortical association connectivity: Associated with structural network topology alterations in preterm children with cerebral palsy.

    Ceschin, Rafael; Lee, Vince K; Schmithorst, Vince; Panigrahy, Ashok

    2015-01-01

    alteration in eigenvector centrality, clustering coefficient (inter-regional) and participation co-efficient (inter-modular) alterations of frontal-striatal and fronto-limbic nodes suggesting re-organization of these pathways. Both along tract and structural topology network measurements correlated strongly with motor and visual clinical outcome scores. This study shows the value of combining along-tract analysis and structural network topology in depicting not only selective parietal occipital regional vulnerability but also reorganization of frontal-striatal and frontal-limbic pathways in preterm children with cerebral palsy. These finding also support the concept that widespread, but selective posterior-anterior neural network connectivity alterations in preterm children with cerebral palsy likely contribute to the pathogenesis of neurosensory and cognitive impairment in this group.

  3. Intracranial structural alteration predicts treatment outcome in patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension.

    Choi, Hanna; Lee, Mi Ji; Choi, Hyun Ah; Cha, Jihoon; Chung, Chin-Sang

    2018-02-01

    Background Intracranial structural dislocation in spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) can be measured by various intracranial angles and distances. We aimed to identify the clinical significance of structural dislocation in relation to treatment outcome in patients with SIH. Methods In this retrospective analysis, we identified patients with SIH who received an epidural blood patch (EBP) at Samsung Medical Center from January 2005 to March 2015. Structural dislocation in pretreatment MRIs of SIH patients was assessed by measuring tonsillar herniation, mamillopontine distance, the angle between the vein of Galen and straight sinus (vG/SS angle), the pontomesencephalic angle, and the lateral ventricular angle. After the first EBP, poor response was defined as the persistence of symptoms that prompted a repeat EBP. Results Out of the 95 patients included, 31 (32.6%) showed poor response. Among the radiological markers of structural dislocation, the vG/SS angle was associated with poor response (49.82 ± 16.40° vs 66.58 ± 26.08°, p = 0.002). Among clinical variables, premorbid migraine ( p = 0.036) was related to poor response. In multivariate analysis, reduced vG/SS angle was independently associated with poor response (OR 1.04 [95% CI 1.01 - 1.07] per 1° decrease, p = 0.006). In 23 patients who underwent MRI after successful treatment, the vG/SS angle significantly increased after the EBP ( p < 0.001, by paired t-test), while two patients with aggravation or recurrence showed a further reduction of their vG/SS angles. Conclusions Intracranial structural dislocation, measured by the vG/SS angle, is associated with poor response to the first EBP in patients with SIH. Successful treatment can reverse the structural dislocation.

  4. In search of new lead compounds for trypanosomiasis drug design: A protein structure-based linked-fragment approach

    Verlinde, Christophe L. M. J.; Rudenko, Gabrielle; Hol, Wim G. J.

    1992-04-01

    A modular method for pursuing structure-based inhibitor design in the framework of a design cycle is presented. The approach entails four stages: (1) a design pathway is defined in the three-dimensional structure of a target protein; (2) this pathway is divided into subregions; (3) complementary building blocks, also called fragments, are designed in each subregion; complementarity is defined in terms of shape, hydrophobicity, hydrogen bond properties and electrostatics; and (4) fragments from different subregions are linked into potential lead compounds. Stages (3) and (4) are qualitatively guided by force-field calculations. In addition, the designed fragments serve as entries for retrieving existing compounds from chemical databases. This linked-fragment approach has been applied in the design of potentially selective inhibitors of triosephosphate isomerase from Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of sleeping sickness.

  5. Structural and ecophysiological alterations of the water hyacinth [Eichhornia crassipes (Mart. Solms] due to anthropogenic stress in Brazilian rivers

    Angela Pierre Vitória

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available In this work, the structural and ecophysiological alterations (chlorophyll a fluorescence and photosynthetic pigments, and quantification of Cr, Pb and Zn in the leaf limb, petiole and younger and older roots of water hyacinth from the lower, medium and upper Paraíba do Sul river (PSR and Imbé river were evaluated. The plants from the medium and upper PSR (more industrialized and populated regions exhibited lower turgid cell in the root cortex, less root hairs and leaf epidermis, chloroplasts with plastoglobules and increased stroma volume. Higher concentrations of metals were observed in the younger and older roots from the medium PSR plants. The results suggested that the plants from more anthropized regions were able to maintain the maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm which was a result from the metabolic fitting, increasing the non-photochemical quenching, reducing total chlorophyll/carotenoids and leading to the structural modifications.

  6. Structural brain alterations in primary open angle glaucoma: a 3T MRI study

    Jieqiong Wang; Ting Li; Bernhard A. Sabel; Zhiqiang Chen; Hongwei Wen; Jianhong Li; Xiaobin Xie; Diya Yang; Weiwei Chen; Ningli Wang; Junfang Xian; Huiguang He

    2016-01-01

    Glaucoma is not only an eye disease but is also associated with degeneration of brain structures. We now investigated the pattern of visual and non-visual brain structural changes in 25 primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) patients and 25 age-gender-matched normal controls using T1-weighted imaging. MRI images were subjected to volume-based analysis (VBA) and surface-based analysis (SBA) in the whole brain as well as ROI-based analysis of the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), visual cortex (V1/...

  7. Altered structural connectivity of cortico-striato-pallido-thalamic networks in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome.

    Worbe, Yulia; Marrakchi-Kacem, Linda; Lecomte, Sophie; Valabregue, Romain; Poupon, Fabrice; Guevara, Pamela; Tucholka, Alan; Mangin, Jean-François; Vidailhet, Marie; Lehericy, Stephane; Hartmann, Andreas; Poupon, Cyril

    2015-02-01

    Gilles de la Tourette syndrome is a childhood-onset syndrome characterized by the presence and persistence of motor and vocal tics. A dysfunction of cortico-striato-pallido-thalamo-cortical networks in this syndrome has been supported by convergent data from neuro-pathological, electrophysiological as well as structural and functional neuroimaging studies. Here, we addressed the question of structural integration of cortico-striato-pallido-thalamo-cortical networks in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. We specifically tested the hypothesis that deviant brain development in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome could affect structural connectivity within the input and output basal ganglia structures and thalamus. To this aim, we acquired data on 49 adult patients and 28 gender and age-matched control subjects on a 3 T magnetic resonance imaging scanner. We used and further implemented streamline probabilistic tractography algorithms that allowed us to quantify the structural integration of cortico-striato-pallido-thalamo-cortical networks. To further investigate the microstructure of white matter in patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome, we also evaluated fractional anisotropy and radial diffusivity in these pathways, which are both sensitive to axonal package and to myelin ensheathment. In patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome compared to control subjects, we found white matter abnormalities in neuronal pathways connecting the cerebral cortex, the basal ganglia and the thalamus. Specifically, striatum and thalamus had abnormally enhanced structural connectivity with primary motor and sensory cortices, as well as paracentral lobule, supplementary motor area and parietal cortices. This enhanced connectivity of motor cortex positively correlated with severity of tics measured by the Yale Global Tics Severity Scale and was not influenced by current medication status, age or gender of patients. Independently of the severity of tics, lateral and medial orbito

  8. AID-induced decrease in topoisomerase 1 induces DNA structural alteration and DNA cleavage for class switch recombination.

    Kobayashi, Maki; Aida, Masatoshi; Nagaoka, Hitoshi; Begum, Nasim A; Kitawaki, Yoko; Nakata, Mikiyo; Stanlie, Andre; Doi, Tomomitsu; Kato, Lucia; Okazaki, Il-mi; Shinkura, Reiko; Muramatsu, Masamichi; Kinoshita, Kazuo; Honjo, Tasuku

    2009-12-29

    To initiate class switch recombination (CSR) activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) induces staggered nick cleavage in the S region, which lies 5' to each Ig constant region gene and is rich in palindromic sequences. Topoisomerase 1 (Top1) controls the supercoiling of DNA by nicking, rotating, and religating one strand of DNA. Curiously, Top1 reduction or AID overexpression causes the genomic instability. Here, we report that the inactivation of Top1 by its specific inhibitor camptothecin drastically blocked both the S region cleavage and CSR, indicating that Top1 is responsible for the S region cleavage in CSR. Surprisingly, AID expression suppressed Top1 mRNA translation and reduced its protein level. In addition, the decrease in the Top1 protein by RNA-mediated knockdown augmented the AID-dependent S region cleavage, as well as CSR. Furthermore, Top1 reduction altered DNA structure of the Smu region. Taken together, AID-induced Top1 reduction alters S region DNA structure probably to non-B form, on which Top1 can introduce nicks but cannot religate, resulting in S region cleavage.

  9. Assessing the marks of change: how psychotherapy alters the brain structure in women with borderline personality disorder

    Schmitt, Ruth; Winter, Dorina; Niedtfeld, Inga; Herpertz, Sabine C.; Schmahl, Christian

    2018-01-01

    Background There is increasing evidence that psychotherapy can alter the function of the brain of patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, it is not known whether psychotherapy can also modify the brain structure of patients with BPD. Methods We used structural MRI data of female patients with BPD before and after participation in 12 weeks of residential dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) and compared them to data from female patients with BPD who received treatment as usual (TAU). We applied voxel-based morphometry to study voxel-wise changes in grey matter volume over time. Results We included 31 patients in the DBT group and 17 in the TAU group. Patients receiving DBT showed an increase of grey matter volume in the anterior cingulate cortex, inferior frontal gyrus and superior temporal gyrus together with an alteration of grey matter volume in the angular gyrus and supramarginal gyrus compared with patients receiving TAU. Furthermore, therapy response correlated with increase of grey matter volume in the angular gyrus. Limitations Only women were investigated, and groups differed in size, medication (controlled for) and intensity of the treatment condition. Conclusion We found that DBT increased grey matter volume of brain regions that are critically implicated in emotion regulation and higher-order functions, such as mentalizing. The role of the angular gyrus for treatment response may reside in its cross-modal integrative function. These findings enhance our understanding of psychotherapy mechanisms of change and may foster the development of neurobiologically informed therapeutic interventions. PMID:29688873

  10. Assessing the marks of change: how psychotherapy alters the brain structure in women with borderline personality disorder.

    Mancke, Falk; Schmitt, Ruth; Winter, Dorina; Niedtfeld, Inga; Herpertz, Sabine C; Schmahl, Christian

    2017-12-13

    There is increasing evidence that psychotherapy can alter the function of the brain of patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, it is not known whether psychotherapy can also modify the brain structure of patients with BPD. We used structural MRI data of female patients with BPD before and after participation in 12 weeks of residential dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) and compared them to data from female patients with BPD who received treatment as usual (TAU). We applied voxel-based morphometry to study voxel-wise changes in grey matter volume over time. We included 31 patients in the DBT group and 17 in the TAU group. Patients receiving DBT showed an increase of grey matter volume in the anterior cingulate cortex, inferior frontal gyrus and superior temporal gyrus together with an alteration of grey matter volume in the angular gyrus and supramarginal gyrus compared with patients receiving TAU. Furthermore, therapy response correlated with increase of grey matter volume in the angular gyrus. Only women were investigated, and groups differed in size, medication (controlled for) and intensity of the treatment condition. We found that DBT increased grey matter volume of brain regions that are critically implicated in emotion regulation and higher-order functions, such as mentalizing. The role of the angular gyrus for treatment response may reside in its cross-modal integrative function. These findings enhance our understanding of psychotherapy mechanisms of change and may foster the development of neurobiologically informed therapeutic interventions.

  11. Non-dipper treated hypertensive patients do not have increased cardiac structural alterations

    Magrini Fabio

    2003-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Non-dipping pattern in hypertensive patients has been shown to be associated with an excess of target organ damage and with an adverse outcome. The aim of our study was to assess whether a reduced nocturnal fall in blood pressure (BP, established on the basis of a single 24-h BP monitoring, in treated essential hypertensives is related to more prominent cardiac alterations. Methods We enrrolled 229 treated hypertensive patients attending the out-patient clinic of our hypertension centre; each patient was subjected to the following procedures : 1 clinic BP measurement; 2 blood and urine sampling for routine blood chemistry and urine examination; 3 standard 12-lead electrocardiogram; 4 echocardiography; 5 ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM. For the purpose of this study ABPM was carried-out in three subgroups with different clinic BP profile : 1 patients with satisfactory BP control (BP 2 in men and 110 g/m2 in women, ≥51/gm2.7 in men and 47/g/m2.7 in women. Results Of the 229 study participants 119 (51.9% showed a fall in SBP/DBP Conclusions In treated essential hypertensives with or without BP control the extent of nocturnal BP decrease is not associated with an increase in LV mass or LVH prevalence; therefore, the non-dipping profile, diagnosed on the basis of a single ABPM, does not identify hypertensive patients with greater cardiac damage.

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

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

    2004-01-01

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

  13. Localisation of Neuregulin 1-{beta}3 to different sub-nuclear structures alters gene expression

    Wang, Ming; Trim, Carol M.; Gullick, William J., E-mail: w.j.gullick@kent.ac.uk

    2011-02-15

    Neuregulins are growth factors that signal via the ErbB3 and ErbB4 receptors. Here we show using immunohistochemistry that they are often expressed in the nucleus of a range of tumour types including soft tissue and breast. The Neuregulin 1 type I-{beta}3 (NRG1-{beta}3) isoform localises to two sub-nuclear compartments in animal cells, nucleoli and spliceosomes. We used NRG1-{beta}3 tagged with photoactivatable GFP and demonstrated that this re-localised from nucleoli to spliceosomes over 90 min. Tyrosine kinase activity was not required for retaining the NRG1-{beta}3 within the nucleus. Mutation of the lysines 14 and 16 or 15 and 16 together prevented nucleolar uptake while four positively charged residues were identified which were required for spliceosome uptake. Molecular modelling suggests that three of these may form a binding site. We showed using a kinome array that NRG1-{beta}3 and a mutant exclusively localising to spliceosomes increased phosphorylation and/or expression of the HER4 and HER2 receptors. Using a transcriptomic analysis the same two constructs induced expression of several messenger RNAs and we confirmed the increased expression at the protein level of the most highly induced, Heat Shock Protein 70B'. These results suggest that Neuregulin activates receptor signalling in spliceosomes leading to altered gene expression.

  14. Localisation of Neuregulin 1-β3 to different sub-nuclear structures alters gene expression

    Wang, Ming; Trim, Carol M.; Gullick, William J.

    2011-01-01

    Neuregulins are growth factors that signal via the ErbB3 and ErbB4 receptors. Here we show using immunohistochemistry that they are often expressed in the nucleus of a range of tumour types including soft tissue and breast. The Neuregulin 1 type I-β3 (NRG1-β3) isoform localises to two sub-nuclear compartments in animal cells, nucleoli and spliceosomes. We used NRG1-β3 tagged with photoactivatable GFP and demonstrated that this re-localised from nucleoli to spliceosomes over 90 min. Tyrosine kinase activity was not required for retaining the NRG1-β3 within the nucleus. Mutation of the lysines 14 and 16 or 15 and 16 together prevented nucleolar uptake while four positively charged residues were identified which were required for spliceosome uptake. Molecular modelling suggests that three of these may form a binding site. We showed using a kinome array that NRG1-β3 and a mutant exclusively localising to spliceosomes increased phosphorylation and/or expression of the HER4 and HER2 receptors. Using a transcriptomic analysis the same two constructs induced expression of several messenger RNAs and we confirmed the increased expression at the protein level of the most highly induced, Heat Shock Protein 70B'. These results suggest that Neuregulin activates receptor signalling in spliceosomes leading to altered gene expression.

  15. Version of the galaxy spiral structure model with opposite-directed arms and inter-arm links

    Dolidze, M V [AN Gruzinskoj SSR, Abastumani. Abastumanskaya Astrofizicheskaya Observatoriya

    1963-05-01

    An attempt is made to explain some peculiarities of the local spiral structure and large-scale distribution of HII regions in the Galaxy by coexistence of the trailing and leading arm systems of different power and development. The existence of opposite-directed arms and inter-arm links in the circular zone (5-15 kpc) is analysed from the point of view of different Galaxy models.

  16. Altered contralateral sensorimotor system organization after experimental hemispherectomy : A structural and functional connectivity study

    Otte, Wim; Van Der Marel, Kajo; Van Meer, Maurits P A; Van Rijen, Peter C.; Gosselaar, Peter H.; Braun, Kees P J; Dijkhuizen, Rick M.

    2015-01-01

    Hemispherectomy is often followed by remarkable recovery of cognitive and motor functions. This reflects plastic capacities of the remaining hemisphere, involving large-scale structural and functional adaptations. Better understanding of these adaptations may (1) provide new insights in the neuronal

  17. Large-scale structural alteration of brain in epileptic children with SCN1A mutation

    Yun-Jeong Lee

    2017-01-01

    Significance: This study showed large-scale developmental brain changes in patients with epilepsy and SCN1A gene mutation, which may be associated with the core symptoms of the patients. Further longitudinal MRI studies with larger cohorts are required to confirm the effect of SCN1A gene mutation on structural brain development.

  18. Nitrogen availability alters macrofungal basidiomycete Blackwell Publishing, Ltd. community structure in optimally fertilized loblolly pine forests

    Ivan P. Edwards; Jennifer L. Cripliver; Andrew R. Gillespie; Kurt H. Johnsen; M. Scholler; Ronald F. Turco

    2004-01-01

    We investigated the effect of an optimal nutrition strategy designed to maximize loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) growth on the rank abundance structure and diversity of associated basidiomycete communities.We conducted both small- and large-scale below-ground surveys 10 years after the initiation of optimal...

  19. Influence of 1,2-PB matrix cross-linking on structure and properties of selectively etched 1,2-PB-b-PDMS block copolymers

    Guo, Fengxiao; Andreasen, Jens Wenzel; Vigild, Martin Etchells

    2007-01-01

    of the cross-linked samples in toluene was converted into a degree of cross-linking following the Flory scheme; a simple relation between the Flory cross-linking degree and the fraction of consumed double bonds during the cross-linking reaction followed. The structure of the block copolymer at different stages...... of preparation was characterized by small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). In addition, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) gave direct images of the nanoporous polymer structure. Nanocavities are accessible to methanol, and observations of methanol uptake were combined with structural information from SAXS...

  20. Structural abnormalities and altered regional brain activity in multiple sclerosis with simple spinal cord involvement.

    Yin, Ping; Liu, Yi; Xiong, Hua; Han, Yongliang; Sah, Shambhu Kumar; Zeng, Chun; Wang, Jingjie; Li, Yongmei

    2018-02-01

    To assess the changes of the structural and functional abnormalities in multiple sclerosis with simple spinal cord involvement (MS-SSCI) by using resting-state functional MRI (RS-fMRI), voxel based morphology (VBM) and diffusion tensor tractography. The amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) of 22 patients with MS-SSCI and 22 healthy controls (HCs) matched for age, gender and education were compared by using RS-fMRI. We also compared the volume, fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient of the brain regions in baseline brain activity by using VBM and diffusion tensor imaging. The relationships between the expanded disability states scale (EDSS) scores, changed parameters of structure and function were further explored. (1) Compared with HCs, the ALFF of the bilateral hippocampus and right middle temporal gyrus in MS-SSCI decreased significantly. However, patients exhibited increased ALFF in the left middle frontal gyrus, left posterior cingulate gyrus and right middle occipital gyrus ( two-sample t-test, after AlphaSim correction, p 40). The volume of right middle frontal gyrus reduced significantly (p right hippocampus, the FA of left hippocampus and right middle temporal gyrus were significantly different. (2) A significant correlation between EDSS scores and ALFF was noted only in the left posterior cingulate gyrus. Our results detected structural and functional abnormalities in MS-SSCI and functional parameters were associated with clinical abnormalities. Multimodal imaging plays an important role in detecting structural and functional abnormalities in MS-SSCI. Advances in knowledge: This is the first time to apply RS-fMRI, VBM and diffusion tensor tractography to study the structural and functional abnormalities in MS-SSCI, and to explore its correlation with EDSS score.

  1. Structural and Functional Characterization of an Ancient Bacterial Transglutaminase Sheds Light on the Minimal Requirements for Protein Cross-Linking.

    Fernandes, Catarina G; Plácido, Diana; Lousa, Diana; Brito, José A; Isidro, Anabela; Soares, Cláudio M; Pohl, Jan; Carrondo, Maria A; Archer, Margarida; Henriques, Adriano O

    2015-09-22

    Transglutaminases are best known for their ability to catalyze protein cross-linking reactions that impart chemical and physical resilience to cellular structures. Here, we report the crystal structure and characterization of Tgl, a transglutaminase from the bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Tgl is produced during sporulation and cross-links the surface of the highly resilient spore. Tgl-like proteins are found only in spore-forming bacteria of the Bacillus and Clostridia classes, indicating an ancient origin. Tgl is a single-domain protein, produced in active form, and the smallest transglutaminase characterized to date. We show that Tgl is structurally similar to bacterial cell wall endopeptidases and has an NlpC/P60 catalytic core, thought to represent the ancestral unit of the cysteine protease fold. We show that Tgl functions through a unique partially redundant catalytic dyad formed by Cys116 and Glu187 or Glu115. Strikingly, the catalytic Cys is insulated within a hydrophobic tunnel that traverses the molecule from side to side. The lack of similarity of Tgl to other transglutaminases together with its small size suggests that an NlpC/P60 catalytic core and insulation of the active site during catalysis may be essential requirements for protein cross-linking.

  2. Site-directed cross-linking: establishing the dimeric structure of the aspartate receptor of bacterial chemotaxis

    Milligan, D.L.; Koshland, D.E. Jr.

    1988-01-01

    Cysteine residues introduced at specific locations in the aspartate receptor of Salmonella typhimurium provide anchor points for cross-linking and serve as chemical markers for structural studies of this oligomeric receptor. These markers have been used to measure the rate of subunit exchange between oligomeric receptors and to show that ligand binding inhibits this exchange. The cysteine-containing receptors can be oxidatively cross-linked to completion within the oligomeric receptor, indicating that the receptor has an even number of subunits. Based on this observation, a technique has been developed that can be used to determine the oligomeric structure of proteins under a variety of experimental conditions. The technique involves the measurement of the effect of dilution by cysteineless receptor subunits on cross-linking and reveals that the aspartate receptor is dimeric in detergent solution, in a mixed-micelle system, and in reconstituted membrane vesicles. Binding of aspartate does not change the oligomeric structure of the receptor, indicating that transmembrane signaling occurs within an oligomeric receptor of constant size

  3. TP53 alterations in Wilms tumour represent progression events with strong intratumour heterogeneity that are closely linked but not limited to anaplasia.

    Wegert, Jenny; Vokuhl, Christian; Ziegler, Barbara; Ernestus, Karen; Leuschner, Ivo; Furtwängler, Rhoikos; Graf, Norbert; Gessler, Manfred

    2017-10-01

    TP53 mutations have been associated with anaplasia in Wilms tumour, which conveys a high risk for relapse and fatal outcome. Nevertheless, TP53 alterations have been reported in no more than 60% of anaplastic tumours, and recent data have suggested their presence in tumours that do not fulfil the criteria for anaplasia, questioning the clinical utility of TP53 analysis. Therefore, we characterized the TP53 status in 84 fatal cases of Wilms tumour, irrespective of histological subtype. We identified TP53 alterations in at least 90% of fatal cases of anaplastic Wilms tumour, and even more when diffuse anaplasia was present, indicating a very strong if not absolute coupling between anaplasia and deregulation of p53 function. Unfortunately, TP53 mutations do not provide additional predictive value in anaplastic tumours since the same mutation rate was found in a cohort of non-fatal anaplastic tumours. When classified according to tumour stage, patients with stage I diffuse anaplastic tumours still had a high chance of survival (87%), but this rate dropped to 26% for stages II-IV. Thus, volume of anaplasia or possible spread may turn out to be critical parameters. Importantly, among non-anaplastic fatal tumours, 26% had TP53 alterations, indicating that TP53 screening may identify additional cases at risk. Several of these non-anaplastic tumours fulfilled some criteria for anaplasia, for example nuclear unrest, suggesting that such partial phenotypes should be under special scrutiny to enhance detection of high-risk tumours via TP53 screening. A major drawback is that these alterations are secondary changes that occur only later in tumour development, leading to striking intratumour heterogeneity that requires multiple biopsies and analysis guided by histological criteria. In conclusion, we found a very close correlation between histological signs of anaplasia and TP53 alterations. The latter may precede development of anaplasia and thereby provide diagnostic value

  4. Alteration of hepatic structure and oxidative stress induced by intravenous nanoceria

    Tseng, Michael T., E-mail: mttsen01@louisville.edu [Dept of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky (United States); Lu, Xiaoqin, E-mail: x0lu0003@louisville.edu [Dept of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky (United States); Duan, Xiaoxian, E-mail: x0duan02@louisville.edu [Dept of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky (United States); Hardas, Sarita S., E-mail: sarita.hardas@uky.edu [Dept. of Chemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky (United States); Sultana, Rukhsana, E-mail: rsult2@uky.edu [Dept. of Chemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky (United States); Wu, Peng, E-mail: peng.wu@uky.edu [Dept of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky (United States); Unrine, Jason M., E-mail: jason.unrine@uky.edu [Dept of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky (United States); Graham, Uschi, E-mail: graham@caer.uky.edu [Center for Applied Energy Research, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky (United States); Butterfield, D. Allan, E-mail: dabcns@uky.edu [Dept. of Chemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky (United States); Grulke, Eric A., E-mail: eric.grulke@uky.edu [Dept of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky (United States); Yokel, Robert A., E-mail: ryokel@email.uky.edu [Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky (United States)

    2012-04-15

    Beyond the traditional use of ceria as an abrasive, the scope of nanoceria applications now extends into fuel cell manufacturing, diesel fuel additives, and for therapeutic intervention as a putative antioxidant. However, the biological effects of nanoceria exposure have yet to be fully defined, which gave us the impetus to examine its systemic biodistribution and biological responses. An extensively characterized nanoceria (5 nm) dispersion was vascularly infused into rats, which were terminated 1 h, 20 h or 30 days later. Light and electron microscopic tissue characterization was conducted and hepatic oxidative stress parameters determined. We observed acute ceria nanoparticle sequestration by Kupffer cells with subsequent bioretention in parenchymal cells as well. The internalized ceria nanoparticles appeared as spherical agglomerates of varying dimension without specific organelle penetration. In hepatocytes, the agglomerated nanoceria frequently localized to the plasma membrane facing bile canaliculi. Hepatic stellate cells also sequestered nanoceria. Within the sinusoids, sustained nanoceria bioretention was associated with granuloma formations comprised of Kupffer cells and intermingling CD3{sup +} T cells. A statistically significant elevation of serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) level was seen at 1 and 20 h, but subsided by 30 days after ceria administration. Further, elevated apoptosis was observed on day 30. These findings, together with increased hepatic protein carbonyl levels on day 30, indicate ceria-induced hepatic injury and oxidative stress, respectively. Such observations suggest a single vascular infusion of nanoceria can lead to persistent hepatic retention of particles with possible implications for occupational and therapeutic exposures. -- Highlights: ► Time course study on nanoceria induced hepatic alterations in rats. ► Serum AST elevation indicated acute hepatotoxicity. ► Ceria is retained for up to 30 days in Kupffer cells

  5. Time-Varying Estimation of Crop Insurance Program in Altering North Dakota Farm Economic Structure

    Coleman, Jane A.; Shaik, Saleem

    2009-01-01

    This study examines how federal farm policies, specifically crop insurance, have affected the farm economic structure of North Dakota’s agriculture sector. The system of derived input demand equations is estimated to quantify the changes in North Dakota farmers’ input use when they purchase crop insurance. Further, the cumulative rolling regression technique is applied to capture the varying effects of the farm policies over time. Empirical results from the system of input demand functions in...

  6. Conformal structure in the spectrum of an altered quantum Ising chain

    Henkel, M.; Patkos, A.

    1986-07-01

    The Ising model with an infinite line of defects is mapped onto a strip with two defect lines. The Hamiltonian spectrum is studied at the bulk critical point. Its exact diagonal form is found for an infinite number of sites. The spectrum of physical excitations contains an infinite number of primary fields, while the leading ground state energy correction is independent of the defect strength. A novel algebraic structure interpolating between those belonging to periodic and free boundary conditions is signalled. (orig.)

  7. 6-Thioguanine alters the structure and stability of duplex DNA and inhibits quadruplex DNA formation.

    Marathias, V M; Sawicki, M J; Bolton, P H

    1999-01-01

    The ability to chemically synthesize biomolecules has opened up the opportunity to observe changes in structure and activity that occur upon single atom substitution. In favorable cases this can provide information about the roles of individual atoms. The substitution of 6-thioguanine (6SG) for guanine is a potentially very useful single atom substitution as 6SG has optical, photocrosslinking, metal ion binding and other properties of potential utility. In addition, 6-mercaptopurine is a clin...

  8. Wildfires alter rodent community structure across four vegetation types in southern California, USA

    Brehme, Cheryl S.; Clark, Denise R.; Rochester, Carlton J.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2011-01-01

    We surveyed burned and unburned plots across four habitat reserves in San Diego County, California, USA, in 2005 and 2006, to assess the effects of the 2003 wildfires on the community structure and relative abundance of rodent species. The reserves each contained multiple vegetation types (coastal sage scrub, chaparral, woodland, and grassland) and spanned from 250 m to 1078 m in elevation. Multivariate analyses revealed a more simplified rodent community structure in all burned habitats in comparison to unburned habitats. Reduction in shrub and tree cover was highly predictive of changes in post-fire rodent community structure in the burned coastal sage scrub and chaparral habitats. Reduction in cover was not predictive for the less substantially burned woodlands and grasslands, for which we hypothesized that interspecific competition played a greater role in post-fire community structure. Across vegetation types, generalists and open habitat specialists typically increased in relative abundance, whereas closed habitat specialists decreased. We documented significant increases in relative abundance of the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus Wagner) and Dulzura kangaroo rat (Dipodomys simulans Merriam). In contrast, we found significant decreases in relative abundance for the California mouse (Peromyscus californicus Gambel), San Diego pocket mouse (Chaetodipus fallax Merriam), desert woodrat (Neotoma lepida Thomas), and brush mouse (Peromyscus boylii Baird). Currently, our research program involves assessment of whether habitat conservation plans (HCPs) in southern California provide long-term protection to HCP covered species, as well as preserve ecosystem function. The scenario of increased wildfires needs to be incorporated into this assessment. We discuss our results in relation to management and conservation planning under a future scenario of larger and more frequent wildfires in southern California.

  9. Altered contralateral sensorimotor system organization after experimental hemispherectomy: a structural and functional connectivity study.

    Otte, Willem M; van der Marel, Kajo; van Meer, Maurits P A; van Rijen, Peter C; Gosselaar, Peter H; Braun, Kees P J; Dijkhuizen, Rick M

    2015-08-01

    Hemispherectomy is often followed by remarkable recovery of cognitive and motor functions. This reflects plastic capacities of the remaining hemisphere, involving large-scale structural and functional adaptations. Better understanding of these adaptations may (1) provide new insights in the neuronal configuration and rewiring that underlies sensorimotor outcome restoration, and (2) guide development of rehabilitation strategies to enhance recovery after hemispheric lesioning. We assessed brain structure and function in a hemispherectomy model. With MRI we mapped changes in white matter structural integrity and gray matter functional connectivity in eight hemispherectomized rats, compared with 12 controls. Behavioral testing involved sensorimotor performance scoring. Diffusion tensor imaging and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging were acquired 7 and 49 days post surgery. Hemispherectomy caused significant sensorimotor deficits that largely recovered within 2 weeks. During the recovery period, fractional anisotropy was maintained and white matter volume and axial diffusivity increased in the contralateral cerebral peduncle, suggestive of preserved or improved white matter integrity despite overall reduced white matter volume. This was accompanied by functional adaptations in the contralateral sensorimotor network. The observed white matter modifications and reorganization of functional network regions may provide handles for rehabilitation strategies improving functional recovery following large lesions.

  10. Physical disturbance to ecological niches created by soil structure alters community composition of methanotrophs.

    Kumaresan, Deepak; Stralis-Pavese, Nancy; Abell, Guy C J; Bodrossy, Levente; Murrell, J Colin

    2011-10-01

    Aggregates of different sizes and stability in soil create a composite of ecological niches differing in terms of physico-chemical and structural characteristics. The aim of this study was to identify, using DNA-SIP and mRNA-based microarray analysis, whether shifts in activity and community composition of methanotrophs occur when ecological niches created by soil structure are physically perturbed. Landfill cover soil was subject to three treatments termed: 'control' (minimal structural disruption), 'sieved' (sieved soil using 2 mm mesh) and 'ground' (grinding using mortar and pestle). 'Sieved' and 'ground' soil treatments exhibited higher methane oxidation potentials compared with the 'control' soil treatment. Analysis of the active community composition revealed an effect of physical disruption on active methanotrophs. Type I methanotrophs were the most active methanotrophs in 'sieved' and 'ground' soil treatments, whereas both Type I and Type II methanotrophs were active in the 'control' soil treatment. The result emphasize that changes to a particular ecological niche may not result in an immediate change to the active bacterial composition and change in composition will depend on the ability of the bacterial communities to respond to the perturbation. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  11. A structural and kinetic link between membrane association and amyloid fibril formation of α-Synuclein

    Heise, Henrike; Etzkorn, Manuel; Hoyer, Wolfgang; Buell, Alexander; Strodel, Birgit; Willbold, Dieter; Shaykhalishahi, Hamed; Poojari, Chetan; Uluca, Boran; Wördehoff, Michael; Viennet, Thibault

    2017-01-01

    The protein α-Synuclein (αS) is linked to Parkinson's disease through its abnormal aggregation, which is thought to involve an interplay between cytosolic and membrane-bound forms of αS. Therefore, better insights into the molecular determinants of membrane association and their implications for protein aggregation may help deciphering the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. Following previous studies using micelles and vesicles, we present a comprehensive study of αS interaction with phosph...

  12. Structure-activity relationship of carbamate-linked cationic lipids bearing hydroxyethyl headgroup for gene delivery.

    Zhi, Defu; Zhang, Shubiao; Qureshi, Farooq; Zhao, Yinan; Cui, Shaohui; Wang, Bing; Chen, Huiying; Yang, Baoling; Zhao, Defeng

    2013-12-01

    A novel series of carbamate-linked cationic lipids containing hydroxyl headgroup were synthesized and included in formulations for transfection assays. The DNA-lipid complexes were characterized for their ability to bind DNA, their size, ζ-potential and cytotoxicity. Compared with our previously reported cationic transfection lipid DDCDMA lacking the hydroxyl group and the commercially available, these cationic liposomes exhibited relatively higher transfection efficiency. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Letter: The link between the Reynolds shear stress and the large structures of turbulent Couette-Poiseuille flow

    Gandía-Barberá, Sergio; Hoyas, Sergio; Oberlack, Martin; Kraheberger, Stefanie

    2018-04-01

    The length and width of the long and wide structures appearing in turbulent Couette flows are studied by means of a new dataset of direct numerical simulation covering a stepped transition from pure Couette flow to pure Poiseuille one, at Reτ ≈ 130, based on the stationary wall. The existence of these structures is linked to the averaged Reynolds stress, u v ¯ : as soon as in any part of the channel u v ¯ changes its sign, the structures disappear. The length and width of the rolls are found to be, approximately, 50h and 2.5h, respectively. For this Reynolds number, simulations with a domain shorter than 100h cannot properly describe the behaviour of the longest structures of the flow.

  14. Alendronate treatment alters bone tissues at multiple structural levels in healthy canine cortical bone.

    Acevedo, Claire; Bale, Hrishikesh; Gludovatz, Bernd; Wat, Amy; Tang, Simon Y; Wang, Mingyue; Busse, Björn; Zimmermann, Elizabeth A; Schaible, Eric; Allen, Matthew R; Burr, David B; Ritchie, Robert O

    2015-12-01

    Bisphosphonates are widely used to treat osteoporosis, but have been associated with atypical femoral fractures (AFFs) in the long term, which raises a critical health problem for the aging population. Several clinical studies have suggested that the occurrence of AFFs may be related to the bisphosphonate-induced changes of bone turnover, but large discrepancies in the results of these studies indicate that the salient mechanisms responsible for any loss in fracture resistance are still unclear. Here the role of bisphosphonates is examined in terms of the potential deterioration in fracture resistance resulting from both intrinsic (plasticity) and extrinsic (shielding) toughening mechanisms, which operate over a wide range of length-scales. Specifically, we compare the mechanical properties of two groups of humeri from healthy beagles, one control group comprising eight females (oral doses of saline vehicle, 1 mL/kg/day, 3 years) and one treated group comprising nine females (oral doses of alendronate used to treat osteoporosis, 0.2mg/kg/day, 3 years). Our data demonstrate treatment-specific reorganization of bone tissue identified at multiple length-scales mainly through advanced synchrotron x-ray experiments. We confirm that bisphosphonate treatments can increase non-enzymatic collagen cross-linking at molecular scales, which critically restricts plasticity associated with fibrillar sliding, and hence intrinsic toughening, at nanoscales. We also observe changes in the intracortical architecture of treated bone at microscales, with partial filling of the Haversian canals and reduction of osteon number. We hypothesize that the reduced plasticity associated with BP treatments may induce an increase in microcrack accumulation and growth under cyclic daily loadings, and potentially increase the susceptibility of cortical bone to atypical (fatigue-like) fractures. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  15. Convergent Findings of Altered Functional and Structural Brain Connectivity in Individuals with High Functioning Autism: A Multimodal MRI Study.

    Sophia Mueller

    Full Text Available Brain tissue changes in autism spectrum disorders seem to be rather subtle and widespread than anatomically distinct. Therefore a multimodal, whole brain imaging technique appears to be an appropriate approach to investigate whether alterations in white and gray matter integrity relate to consistent changes in functional resting state connectivity in individuals with high functioning autism (HFA. We applied diffusion tensor imaging (DTI, voxel-based morphometry (VBM and resting state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI to assess differences in brain structure and function between 12 individuals with HFA (mean age 35.5, SD 11.4, 9 male and 12 healthy controls (mean age 33.3, SD 9.0, 8 male. Psychological measures of empathy and emotionality were obtained and correlated with the most significant DTI, VBM and fcMRI findings. We found three regions of convergent structural and functional differences between HFA participants and controls. The right temporo-parietal junction area and the left frontal lobe showed decreased fractional anisotropy (FA values along with decreased functional connectivity and a trend towards decreased gray matter volume. The bilateral superior temporal gyrus displayed significantly decreased functional connectivity that was accompanied by the strongest trend of gray matter volume decrease in the temporal lobe of HFA individuals. FA decrease in the right temporo-parietal region was correlated with psychological measurements of decreased emotionality. In conclusion, our results indicate common sites of structural and functional alterations in higher order association cortex areas and may therefore provide multimodal imaging support to the long-standing hypothesis of autism as a disorder of impaired higher-order multisensory integration.

  16. Role of fetal nutrient restriction and postnatal catch-up growth on structural and mechanical alterations of rat aorta.

    Gutiérrez-Arzapalo, Perla Y; Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Pilar; Ramiro-Cortijo, David; López de Pablo, Ángel L; López-Giménez, María Rosario; Condezo-Hoyos, Luis; Greenwald, Stephen E; González, Maria Del Carmen; Arribas, Silvia M

    2017-12-26

    Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), induced by maternal undernutrition, leads to impaired aortic development. This is followed by hypertrophic remodelling associated with accelerated growth during lactation. Fetal nutrient restriction is associated with increased aortic compliance at birth and at weaning, but not in adult animals. This mechanical alteration may be related to a decreased perinatal collagen deposition. Aortic elastin scaffolds purified from young male and female IUGR animals also exhibit increased compliance, only maintained in adult IUGR females. These mechanical alterations may be related to differences in elastin deposition and remodelling. Fetal undernutrition induces similar aortic structural and mechanical alterations in young male and female rats. Our data argue against an early mechanical cause for the sex differences in hypertension development induced by maternal undernutrition. However, the larger compliance of elastin in adult IUGR females may contribute to the maintenance of a normal blood pressure level. Fetal undernutrition programmes hypertension development, males being more susceptible. Deficient fetal elastogenesis and vascular growth is a possible mechanism. We investigated the role of aortic mechanical alterations in a rat model of hypertension programming, evaluating changes at birth, weaning and adulthood. Dams were fed ad libitum (Control) or 50% of control intake during the second half of gestation (maternal undernutrition, MUN). Offspring aged 3 days, 21 days and 6 months were studied. Blood pressure was evaluated in vivo. In the thoracic aorta we assessed gross structure, mechanical properties (intact and purified elastin), collagen and elastin content and internal elastic lamina (IEL) organization. Only adult MUN males developed hypertension (systolic blood pressure: MUN males  = 176.6 ± 5.6 mmHg; Control males  = 136.1 ± 4.9 mmHg). At birth MUN rats were lighter, with smaller aortic cross-sectional area

  17. Maternal perception of reduced fetal movements is associated with altered placental structure and function.

    Lynne K Warrander

    Full Text Available Maternal perception of reduced fetal movement (RFM is associated with increased risk of stillbirth and fetal growth restriction (FGR. DFM is thought to represent fetal compensation to conserve energy due to insufficient oxygen and nutrient transfer resulting from placental insufficiency. To date there have been no studies of placental structure in cases of DFM.To determine whether maternal perception of reduced fetal movements (RFM is associated with abnormalities in placental structure and function.Placentas were collected from women with RFM after 28 weeks gestation if delivery occurred within 1 week. Women with normal movements served as a control group. Placentas were weighed and photographs taken. Microscopic structure was evaluated by immunohistochemical staining and image analysis. System A amino acid transporter activity was measured as a marker of placental function. Placentas from all pregnancies with RFM (irrespective of outcome had greater area with signs of infarction (3.5% vs. 0.6%; p<0.01, a higher density of syncytial knots (p<0.001 and greater proliferation index (p<0.01. Villous vascularity (p<0.001, trophoblast area (p<0.01 and system A activity (p<0.01 were decreased in placentas from RFM compared to controls irrespective of outcome of pregnancy.This study provides evidence of abnormal placental morphology and function in women with RFM and supports the proposition of a causal association between placental insufficiency and RFM. This suggests that women presenting with RFM require further investigation to identify those with placental insufficiency.

  18. Ultrasound evidence of altered lumbar connective tissue structure in human subjects with chronic low back pain

    Bouffard Nicole A

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although the connective tissues forming the fascial planes of the back have been hypothesized to play a role in the pathogenesis of chronic low back pain (LBP, there have been no previous studies quantitatively evaluating connective tissue structure in this condition. The goal of this study was to perform an ultrasound-based comparison of perimuscular connective tissue structure in the lumbar region in a group of human subjects with chronic or recurrent LBP for more than 12 months, compared with a group of subjects without LBP. Methods In each of 107 human subjects (60 with LBP and 47 without LBP, parasagittal ultrasound images were acquired bilaterally centered on a point 2 cm lateral to the midpoint of the L2-3 interspinous ligament. The outcome measures based on these images were subcutaneous and perimuscular connective tissue thickness and echogenicity measured by ultrasound. Results There were no significant differences in age, sex, body mass index (BMI or activity levels between LBP and No-LBP groups. Perimuscular thickness and echogenicity were not correlated with age but were positively correlated with BMI. The LBP group had ~25% greater perimuscular thickness and echogenicity compared with the No-LBP group (ANCOVA adjusted for BMI, p Conclusion This is the first report of abnormal connective tissue structure in the lumbar region in a group of subjects with chronic or recurrent LBP. This finding was not attributable to differences in age, sex, BMI or activity level between groups. Possible causes include genetic factors, abnormal movement patterns and chronic inflammation.

  19. Cyanobacteria contain a structural homologue of the Hfq protein with altered RNA binding properties

    Bøggild, Andreas; Overgaard, Martin; Valentin-Hansen, Poul

    2009-01-01

    Hfq proteins are common in many species of enterobacteria, where they participate in RNA folding and translational regulation through pairing of small RNAs and messenger RNAs. Hfq proteins share the distinctive Sm fold, and form ring-shaped structures similar to those of the Sm/Lsm proteins...... proteins from the cyanobacteria Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and Anabaena PCC 7120 at 1.3 and 2.3 A resolution, respectively, and show that they retain the classic Sm fold despite low sequence conservation. In addition, the intersubunit contacts and RNA-binding site are divergent, and we show biochemically...

  20. Cyanobacteria contain a structural homologue of the Hfq protein with altered RNA-binding properties

    Bøggild, Andreas; Overgaard, Martin; Valentin-Hansen, Poul

    2009-01-01

    Hfq proteins are common in many species of enterobacteria, where they participate in RNA folding and translational regulation through pairing of small RNAs and messenger RNAs. Hfq proteins share the distinctive Sm fold, and form ring-shaped structures similar to those of the Sm/Lsm proteins...... proteins from the cyanobacteria Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and Anabaena PCC 7120 at 1.3 and 2.3 A resolution, respectively, and show that they retain the classic Sm fold despite low sequence conservation. In addition, the intersubunit contacts and RNA-binding site are divergent, and we show biochemically...

  1. Linking structure to fragility in bulk metallic glass-forming liquids

    Wei, Shuai; Stolpe, Moritz; Gross, Oliver; Gallino, Isabella; Hembree, William; Busch, Ralf; Evenson, Zach; Bednarcik, Jozef; Kruzic, Jamie J.

    2015-01-01

    Using in-situ synchrotron X-ray scattering, we show that the structural evolution of various bulk metallic glass-forming liquids can be quantitatively connected to their viscosity behavior in the supercooled liquid near T g . The structural signature of fragility is identified as the temperature dependence of local dilatation on distinct key atomic length scales. A more fragile behavior results from a more pronounced thermally induced dilatation of the structure on a length scale of about 3 to 4 atomic diameters, coupled with shallower temperature dependence of structural changes in the nearest neighbor environment. These findings shed light on the structural origin of viscous slowdown during undercooling of bulk metallic glass-forming liquids and demonstrate the promise of predicting the properties of bulk metallic glasses from the atomic scale structure

  2. Linking structure to fragility in bulk metallic glass-forming liquids

    Wei, Shuai, E-mail: shuai.wei@asu.edu, E-mail: m.stolpe@mx.uni-saarland.de [Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Saarland University, Campus C63, 66123 Saarbrücken (Germany); Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287 (United States); Stolpe, Moritz, E-mail: shuai.wei@asu.edu, E-mail: m.stolpe@mx.uni-saarland.de; Gross, Oliver; Gallino, Isabella; Hembree, William; Busch, Ralf [Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Saarland University, Campus C63, 66123 Saarbrücken (Germany); Evenson, Zach [Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Saarland University, Campus C63, 66123 Saarbrücken (Germany); Institut für Materialphysik im Weltraum, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), 51170 Köln (Germany); Bednarcik, Jozef [Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY, Notkestrasse 85, D-22603 Hamburg (Germany); Kruzic, Jamie J. [Material Science, School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331 (United States)

    2015-05-04

    Using in-situ synchrotron X-ray scattering, we show that the structural evolution of various bulk metallic glass-forming liquids can be quantitatively connected to their viscosity behavior in the supercooled liquid near T{sub g}. The structural signature of fragility is identified as the temperature dependence of local dilatation on distinct key atomic length scales. A more fragile behavior results from a more pronounced thermally induced dilatation of the structure on a length scale of about 3 to 4 atomic diameters, coupled with shallower temperature dependence of structural changes in the nearest neighbor environment. These findings shed light on the structural origin of viscous slowdown during undercooling of bulk metallic glass-forming liquids and demonstrate the promise of predicting the properties of bulk metallic glasses from the atomic scale structure.

  3. TP53 alterations in Wilms tumour represent progression events with strong intratumour heterogeneity that are closely linked but not limited to anaplasia

    Wegert, Jenny; Vokuh, Christian; Ziegler, Barbara; Ernestus, Karen; Leuschner, Ivo; Furtwängler, Rhoikos; Graf, Norbert; Gessler, Manfred

    2018-01-01

    TP53 mutations have been associated with anaplasia in Wilms tumour, which conveys a high risk for relapse and fatal outcome. Nevertheless, TP53 alterations have been reported in no more than 60% of anaplastic tumours, and recent data have suggested their presence in tumours that do not fulfil the criteria for anaplasia, questioning the clinical utility of TP53 analysis. Therefore, we characterized the TP53 status in 84 fatal cases of Wilms tumour, irrespective of histological subtype. We iden...

  4. TP53 alterations in Wilms tumour represent progression events with strong intratumour heterogeneity that are closely linked but not limited to anaplasia

    Wegert, Jenny; Vokuhl, Christian; Ziegler, Barbara; Ernestus, Karen; Leuschner, Ivo; Furtwängler, Rhoikos; Graf, Norbert; Gessler, Manfred

    2017-01-01

    Abstract TP53 mutations have been associated with anaplasia in Wilms tumour, which conveys a high risk for relapse and fatal outcome. Nevertheless, TP53 alterations have been reported in no more than 60% of anaplastic tumours, and recent data have suggested their presence in tumours that do not fulfil the criteria for anaplasia, questioning the clinical utility of TP53 analysis. Therefore, we characterized the TP53 status in 84 fatal cases of Wilms tumour, irrespective of histological subtype...

  5. Alterations of the structure of Posidonia oceanica beds due to the introduced alga Caulerpa taxifolia

    Heike Molenaar

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The impact of Caulerpa taxifolia on the structure of shallow Posidonia oceanica beds was studied in permanent quadrats from 1995 to 2005 at the invaded site of Cap Martin and the control site of Cap d’Antibes (French Riviera, France. The cover of C. taxifolia, shoot density, number of orthotropic and plagiotropic shoots and proportion of ramifications of P. oceanica were measured yearly. The cover of C. taxifolia in the invaded zone rapidly reached a maximum of infestation in 2000 with 93% of the quadrats covered by the alga. In 2001 an unexplained phenomenon led to a sharp decrease in the infestation and in the following years the colonisation remained low. Within the 10 years of the study, P. oceanica did not disappear from the permanent quadrats, but we observed a drastic change in the structure of the meadow invaded by C. taxifolia. Between 1999 and 2000 a decrease in the shoot density observed at both sites was probably related to the warm temperature event recorded in 1999 (from 636 to 143 shoots m-2 at the invaded site and from 488 to 277 at the control site. At the invaded site, the seagrass never recovered its initial density even after a sharp decrease in C. taxifolia. The orthotropic/plagiotropic shoot ratio was strongly modified at the invaded site, where plagiotropic shoots became dominant because of an increase in their ramification.

  6. Exposure to Hycanthone alters chromatin structure around specific gene functions and specific repeats in Schistosoma mansoni

    David eRoquis

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Schistosoma mansoni is a parasitic plathyhelminth responsible for intestinal schistosomiasis (or bilharziasis, a disease affecting 67 million people worldwide and causing an important economic burden. The schistosomicides hycanthone, and its later proxy oxamniquine, were widely used for treatments in endemic areas during the 20th century. Recently, the mechanism of action, as well as the genetic origin of a stably and Mendelian inherited resistance for both drugs was elucidated in two strains. However, several observations suggested early on that alternative mechanisms might exist, by which resistance could be induced for these two drugs in sensitive lines of schistosomes. This induced resistance appeared rapidly, within the first generation, but was metastable (not stably inherited. Epigenetic inheritance could explain such a phenomenon and we therefore re-analyzed the historical data with our current knowledge of epigenetics. In addition, we performed new experiments such as ChIP-seq on hycanthone treated worms. We found distinct chromatin structure changes between sensitive worms and induced resistant worms from the same strain. No specific pathway was discovered, but genes in which chromatin structure modification were observed are mostly associated with transport and catabolism, which makes sense in the context of the elimination of the drug. Specific differences were observed in the repetitive compartment of the genome. We finally describe what types of experiments are needed to understand the complexity of heritability that can be based on genetic and/or epigenetic mechanisms for drug resistance in schistosomes.

  7. Structure alterations in Al-Y-based metallic glasses with La and Ni addition

    Shi, X. M.; Wang, X. D., E-mail: wangxd@zju.edu.cn, E-mail: jiangjz@zju.edu.cn; Yu, Q.; Cao, Q. P.; Jiang, J. Z., E-mail: wangxd@zju.edu.cn, E-mail: jiangjz@zju.edu.cn [International Center for New-Structured Materials (ICNSM), Laboratory of New-Structured Materials, and School of Materials Science and Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027 (China); Zhang, D. X. [State Key Laboratory of Modern Optical Instrumentation, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027 (China); Zhang, J.; Hu, T. D. [Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (China); Lai, L. H.; Xie, H. L.; Xiao, T. Q. [Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201203 (China)

    2016-03-21

    The atomic structures of Al{sub 89}Y{sub 11}, Al{sub 90}Y{sub 6.5}La{sub 3.5}, and Al{sub 82.8}Y{sub 6.07}Ni{sub 8}La{sub 3.13} metallic glasses have been studied by using high energy X-ray diffraction, X-ray absorption fine structure combined with the ab initio molecular dynamics and reverse Monte Carlo simulations. It is demonstrated that the partial replacement of Y atoms by La has limited improvement of the glass forming ability (GFA), although La atoms reduce the ordering around Y atoms and also the fractions of icosahedron-like polyhedra centered by Al atoms. In contrast, Ni atoms can significantly improve the GFA, which are inclined to locate in the shell of polyhedra centered by Al, Y, and La atoms, mainly forming Ni-centered icosahedron-like polyhedra to enhance the spatial connectivity between clusters and suppress the crystallization.

  8. Altered Structural and Functional Connectivity of Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy: An fMRI Study

    Chengqing Zhong

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate the structural and functional connectivity (FC of juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME using resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI. High-resolution T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI and rs-fMRI data were collected in 25 patients with JME and in 24 control subjects. A FC analysis was subsequently performed, with seeding at the regions that demonstrated between-group differences in gray matter volume (GMV. Then, the observed structural and FCs were associated with the clinical manifestations. The decreased GMV regions were found in the bilateral anterior cerebellum, the right orbital superior frontal gyrus, the left middle temporal gyrus, the left putamen, the right hippocampus, the bilateral caudate, and the right thalamus. The changed FCs were mainly observed in the motor-related areas and the cognitive-related areas. The significant findings of this study revealed an important role for the cerebellum in motor control and cognitive regulation in JME patients, which also have an effect on the activity of the occipital lobe. In addition, the changed FCs were related to the clinical features of JME patients. The current observations may contribute to the understanding of the pathogenesis of JME.

  9. Gestational exposure to diethylstilbestrol alters cardiac structure/function, protein expression and DNA methylation in adult male mice progeny

    Haddad, Rami, E-mail: rami.haddad@mail.mcgill.ca [Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, 3755 chemin Cote Ste Catherine, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3T 1E2 (Canada); Division of Experimental Medicine, Department of Medicine, McGill University, 850 Sherbrooke Street, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3A 1A2 (Canada); Kasneci, Amanda, E-mail: amanda.kasneci@mail.mcgill.ca [Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, 3755 chemin Cote Ste Catherine, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3T 1E2 (Canada); Mepham, Kathryn, E-mail: katherine.mepham@mail.mcgill.ca [Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, 3755 chemin Cote Ste Catherine, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3T 1E2 (Canada); Division of Experimental Medicine, Department of Medicine, McGill University, 850 Sherbrooke Street, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3A 1A2 (Canada); Sebag, Igal A., E-mail: igal.sebag@mcgill.ca [Division of Cardiology, Jewish General Hospital, 3755 chemin Cote Ste Catherine, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3T 1E2 (Canada); and others

    2013-01-01

    Pregnant women, and thus their fetuses, are exposed to many endocrine disruptor compounds (EDCs). Fetal cardiomyocytes express sex hormone receptors making them potentially susceptible to re-programming by estrogenizing EDCs. Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is a proto-typical, non-steroidal estrogen. We hypothesized that changes in adult cardiac structure/function after gestational exposure to the test compound DES would be a proof in principle for the possibility of estrogenizing environmental EDCs to also alter the fetal heart. Vehicle (peanut oil) or DES (0.1, 1.0 and 10.0 μg/kg/da.) was orally delivered to pregnant C57bl/6n dams on gestation days 11.5–14.5. At 3 months, male progeny were left sedentary or were swim trained for 4 weeks. Echocardiography of isoflurane anesthetized mice revealed similar cardiac structure/function in all sedentary mice, but evidence of systolic dysfunction and increased diastolic relaxation after swim training at higher DES doses. The calcium homeostasis proteins, SERCA2a, phospholamban, phospho-serine 16 phospholamban and calsequestrin 2, are important for cardiac contraction and relaxation. Immunoblot analyses of ventricle homogenates showed increased expression of SERCA2a and calsequestrin 2 in DES mice and greater molecular remodeling of these proteins and phospho-serine 16 phospholamban in swim trained DES mice. DES increased cardiac DNA methyltransferase 3a expression and DNA methylation in the CpG island within the calsequestrin 2 promoter in heart. Thus, gestational DES epigenetically altered ventricular DNA, altered cardiac function and expression, and reduced the ability of adult progeny to cardiac remodel when physically challenged. We conclude that gestational exposure to estrogenizing EDCs may impact cardiac structure/function in adult males. -- Highlights: ► Gestational DES changes cardiac SERCA2a and CASQ2 expression. ► Echocardiography identified systolic dysfunction and increased diastolic relaxation. ► DES

  10. Progressive alterations of central nervous system structure and function are caused by charged particle radiation

    Nelson, G. A.; Cns Nscor Team

    A new NASA-sponsored program project (NSCOR) has been organized to conduct the first comprehensive investigation of the response of a mammalian brain structure (mouse hippocampus) to charged-particle radiation. The NSCOR collaboration has three main goals. The first goal is to quantify the time- and dose-dependent changes in cellular composition and architecture. By using stereology on preserved brains, subsets of cells (neurons, glia, endothelia and stem cells) will be quantified out to 2 years after irradiation with accelerated protons and iron ions. To further characterize changes in vasculature architecture a polymer infusion technique will be used to produce a three-dimensional vasculature cast that then will be mapped by x-ray tomography to determine topological changes, and microscopic infarcts associated with amyloid protein deposits. The 2nd goal is to quantify hippocampal function(s). The primary measurement of function will be extracellular electrical recordings from hippocampal ``brain slices'' that reflect underlying functions such as connectivity, action potential generation & conduction, and neurotransmitter formation, secretion, and uptake. Individual nerve membrane properties will be assessed by ``patch clamp'' recordings. Two non-invasive methods will evaluate brain function and the evolution of changes with time. Electroencephalograms will map macroscopic spontaneous electrical activity while two state-of-the-art MRI magnetization sequences will visualize and quantify local oxygen utilization and white matter fiber tracts structural integrity. To quantify the brains' overall performance under stress, animals will receive a systemic shock mediated by the immune system in the form of a reaction to lipopolysaccharide. A second strategy will employ the APP23 transgenic mouse that develops the pathological changes associated with Alzheimer's disease. Measurements of irradiated mice will determine whether radiation exposure affects the latency and

  11. CNA web server: rigidity theory-based thermal unfolding simulations of proteins for linking structure, (thermo-)stability, and function.

    Krüger, Dennis M; Rathi, Prakash Chandra; Pfleger, Christopher; Gohlke, Holger

    2013-07-01

    The Constraint Network Analysis (CNA) web server provides a user-friendly interface to the CNA approach developed in our laboratory for linking results from rigidity analyses to biologically relevant characteristics of a biomolecular structure. The CNA web server provides a refined modeling of thermal unfolding simulations that considers the temperature dependence of hydrophobic tethers and computes a set of global and local indices for quantifying biomacromolecular stability. From the global indices, phase transition points are identified where the structure switches from a rigid to a floppy state; these phase transition points can be related to a protein's (thermo-)stability. Structural weak spots (unfolding nuclei) are automatically identified, too; this knowledge can be exploited in data-driven protein engineering. The local indices are useful in linking flexibility and function and to understand the impact of ligand binding on protein flexibility. The CNA web server robustly handles small-molecule ligands in general. To overcome issues of sensitivity with respect to the input structure, the CNA web server allows performing two ensemble-based variants of thermal unfolding simulations. The web server output is provided as raw data, plots and/or Jmol representations. The CNA web server, accessible at http://cpclab.uni-duesseldorf.de/cna or http://www.cnanalysis.de, is free and open to all users with no login requirement.

  12. Cyclen-based double-tailed lipids for DNA delivery: Synthesis and the effect of linking group structures.

    Zhang, Yi-Mei; Chang, De-Chun; Zhang, Ji; Liu, Yan-Hong; Yu, Xiao-Qi

    2015-09-01

    The gene transfection efficiency (TE) of cationic lipids is largely influenced by the lipid structure. Six novel 1, 4, 7, 10-tetraazacyclododecane (cyclen)-based cationic lipids L1-L6, which contain double oleyl as hydrophobic tails, were designed and synthesized. The difference between these lipids is their diverse backbone. Liposomes prepared by the lipids and DOPE showed good DNA affinity, and full DNA condensation could be achieved at N/P of 4 to form lipoplexes with proper size and zeta-potentials for gene transfection. Structure-activity relationship of these lipids as non-viral gene delivery vectors was investigated. It was found that minor backbone structural variations, including linking group and the structural symmetry would affect the TE. The diethylenetriamine derived lipid L4 containing amide linking bonds gave the best TE, which was several times higher than commercially available transfection reagent lipofectamine 2000. Besides, these lipids exhibited low cytotoxicity, suggesting their good biocompatibility. Results reveal that such type of cationic lipids might be promising non-viral gene vectors, and also afford us clues for the design of novel vectors with higher TE and biocompatibility. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Cerebral metabolic and structural alterations in hereditary spastic paraplegia with thin corpus callosum assessed by MRS and DTI

    Dreha-Kulaczewski, Steffi; Dechent, Peter; Helms, Gunther; Frahm, Jens; Gaertner, Jutta; Brockmann, Knut

    2006-01-01

    Hereditary spastic paraplegia with thin corpus callosum (HSP-TCC) is a complicated form of autosomal-recessive hereditary spastic paraplegia. Characteristic clinical features comprise progressive spastic gait, cognitive impairment, and ataxia. Diagnostic MRI findings include thinning of the corpus callosum and non-progressive white matter (WM) alterations. To study the extent of axonal involvement, we performed localized proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) of the cerebral WM and cortical grey matter (GM) in a patient with HSP-TCC at 20 and 25 years of age. The second investigation included diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). While MRS of the GM was normal, affected WM was characterized by major metabolic alterations such as reduced concentrations of N-acetylaspartate and N-acetylaspartyl-glutamate, creatine and phosphocreatine, and choline-containing compounds as well as elevated levels of myo-inositol. These abnormalities showed progression over a period of 5 years. DTI revealed increased mean diffusivity as well as reduced fractional anisotropy in periventricular WM. The metabolic and structural findings are consistent with progressive neuroaxonal loss in the WM accompanied by astrocytic proliferation - histopathological changes known to occur in HSP-TCC. Our results are in agreement with the hypothesis that the primary pathological process in HSP-TCC affects the axon, possibly due to impaired axonal trafficking. (orig.)

  14. Topological Alterations and Symptom-Relevant Modules in the Whole-Brain Structural Network in Semantic Dementia.

    Ding, Junhua; Chen, Keliang; Zhang, Weibin; Li, Ming; Chen, Yan; Yang, Qing; Lv, Yingru; Guo, Qihao; Han, Zaizhu

    2017-01-01

    Semantic dementia (SD) is characterized by a selective decline in semantic processing. Although the neuropsychological pattern of this disease has been identified, its topological global alterations and symptom-relevant modules in the whole-brain anatomical network have not been fully elucidated. This study aims to explore the topological alteration of anatomical network in SD and reveal the modules associated with semantic deficits in this disease. We first constructed the whole-brain white-matter networks of 20 healthy controls and 19 patients with SD. Then, the network metrics of graph theory were compared between these two groups. Finally, we separated the network of SD patients into different modules and correlated the structural integrity of each module with the severity of the semantic deficits across patients. The network of the SD patients presented a significantly reduced global efficiency, indicating that the long-distance connections were damaged. The network was divided into the following four distinctive modules: the left temporal/occipital/parietal, frontal, right temporal/occipital, and frontal/parietal modules. The first two modules were associated with the semantic deficits of SD. These findings illustrate the skeleton of the neuroanatomical network of SD patients and highlight the key role of the left temporal/occipital/parietal module and the left frontal module in semantic processing.

  15. Evidence of Hippocampal Structural Alterations in Gulf War Veterans With Predicted Exposure to the Khamisiyah Plume.

    Chao, Linda L; Raymond, Morgan R; Leo, Cynthia K; Abadjian, Linda R

    2017-10-01

    To replicate and expand our previous findings of smaller hippocampal volumes in Gulf War (GW) veterans with predicted exposure to the Khamisiyah plume. Total hippocampal and hippocampal subfield volumes were quantified from 3 Tesla magnetic resonance images in 113 GW veterans, 62 of whom had predicted exposure as per the Department of Defense exposure models. Veterans with predicted exposure had smaller total hippocampal and CA3/dentate gyrus volumes compared with unexposed veterans, even after accounting for potentially confounding genetic and clinical variables. Among veterans with predicted exposure, memory performance was positively correlated with hippocampal volume and negatively correlated with estimated exposure levels and self-reported memory difficulties. These results replicate and extend our previous finding that low-level exposure to chemical nerve agents from the Khamisiyah pit demolition has detrimental, lasting effects on brain structure and function.

  16. Large herbivores affect forest ecosystem functions by altering the structure of dung beetle communities

    Iida, Taichi; Soga, Masashi; Koike, Shinsuke

    2018-04-01

    Dramatic increases in populations of large mammalian herbivores have become a major ecological issue, particularly in the northern hemisphere, due to their substantial impacts on both animal and plant communities through processes such as grazing, browsing, and trampling. However, little is known about the consequences of these population explosions on ecosystem functions. Here, we experimentally investigated how the population density of sika deer (Cervus nippon) in temperate deciduous forest areas in Japan affected the decomposition of mammal dung by dung beetles, which is a key process in forest ecosystems. We measured a range of environmental variables (e.g., vegetation cover, soil hardness) and the dung decomposition rate, measured as the amount of deer dung decomposed during one week, and sampled dung beetles at 16 study sites with three different deer densities (high/intermediate/low). We then used structural equation modeling to investigate the relationships between deer density, environmental variables, the biomass of dung beetles (classified into small or large species), and the dung decomposition rate. We found that the biomass of small species increased with increasing deer density, whereas that of large species was not related to deer density. Furthermore, the dung decomposition rate was positively related to the biomass of small species but unrelated to that of large species. Overall, our results showed that an increase in deer density affects the decomposition rate of mammal dung by changing the structure of dung beetle communities (i.e., increasing the number of small dung beetles). Such an understanding of how increases in large herbivore populations affect ecosystem functions is important for accurately evaluating the ecological consequences of their overabundance and ultimately managing their populations appropriately.

  17. Common hydraulic fracturing fluid additives alter the structure and function of anaerobic microbial communities

    Mumford, Adam C.; Akob, Denise M.; Klinges, J. Grace; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.

    2018-01-01

    The development of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) resources results in the production of large volumes of wastewater containing a complex mixture of hydraulic fracturing chemical additives and components from the formation. The release of these wastewaters into the environment poses potential risks that are poorly understood. Microbial communities in stream sediments form the base of the food chain and may serve as sentinels for changes in stream health. Iron-reducing organisms have been shown to play a role in the biodegradation of a wide range of organic compounds, and so to evaluate their response to UOG wastewater, we enriched anaerobic microbial communities from sediments collected upstream (background) and downstream (impacted) of an UOG wastewater injection disposal facility in the presence of hydraulic fracturing fluid (HFF) additives: guar gum, ethylene glycol, and two biocides, 2,2-dibromo-3-nitrilopropionamide (DBNPA) and bronopol (C3H6BrNO4). Iron reduction was significantly inhibited early in the incubations with the addition of biocides, whereas amendment with guar gum and ethylene glycol stimulated iron reduction relative to levels in the unamended controls. Changes in the microbial community structure were observed across all treatments, indicating the potential for even small amounts of UOG wastewater components to influence natural microbial processes. The microbial community structure differed between enrichments with background and impacted sediments, suggesting that impacted sediments may have been preconditioned by exposure to wastewater. These experiments demonstrated the potential for biocides to significantly decrease iron reduction rates immediately following a spill and demonstrated how microbial communities previously exposed to UOG wastewater may be more resilient to additional spills.

  18. A Longitudinal Assessment of Structural and Chemical Alterations in Mixed Martial Arts Fighters.

    Mayer, Andrew R; Ling, Josef M; Dodd, Andrew B; Gasparovic, Charles; Klimaj, Stefan D; Meier, Timothy B

    2015-11-15

    Growing evidence suggests that temporally proximal acute concussions and repetitive subconcussive head injuries may lead to long-term neurological deficits. However, the underlying mechanisms of injury and their relative time-scales are not well documented in human injury models. The current study therefore investigated whether biomarkers of brain chemistry (magnetic resonance [MR] spectroscopy: N-acetylaspartate [NAA], combined glutamate and glutamine [Glx], total creatine [Cre], choline compounds [Cho], and myo-inositol [mI]) and structure (cortical thickness, white matter [WM]/subcortical volume) differed between mixed martial artists (MMA; n = 13) and matched healthy controls (HC) without a history of contact sport participation (HC; n = 14). A subset of participants (MMA = 9; HC = 10) returned for follow-up visits, with MMA (n = 3) with clinician-documented acute concussions also scanned serially. As expected, MMA self-reported a higher incidence of previous concussions and significantly more cognitive symptoms during prior concussion recovery. Fighters also exhibited reduced memory and processing speed relative to controls on neuropsychological testing coupled with cortical thinning in the left posterior cingulate gyrus and right occipital cortex at baseline assessment. Over a 1-year follow-up period, MMA experienced a significant decrease in both WM volume and NAA concentration, as well as relative thinning in the left middle and superior frontal gyri. These longitudinal changes did not correlate with self-reported metrics of injury (i.e., fight diary). In contrast, HC did not exhibit significant longitudinal changes over a 4-month follow-up period (p > 0.05). Collectively, current results provide preliminary evidence of progressive changes in brain chemistry and structure over a relatively short time period in individuals with high exposure to repetitive head hits. These findings require replication in independent samples.

  19. Historical Population Structure of Central Valley Steelhead and Its Alteration by Dams

    Steven T. Lindley

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Effective conservation and recovery planning for Central Valley steelhead requires an understanding of historical population structure. We describe the historical structure of the Central Valley steelhead evolutionarily significant unit using a multi-phase modeling approach. In the first phase, we identify stream reaches possibly suitable for steelhead spawning and rearing using a habitat model based on environmental envelopes (stream discharge, gradient, and temperature that takes a digital elevation model and climate data as inputs. We identified 151 patches of potentially suitable habitat with more than 10 km of stream habitat, with a total of 25,500 km of suitable habitat. We then measured the distances among habitat patches, and clustered together patches within 35 km of each other into 81 distinct habitat patches. Groups of fish using these 81 patches are hypothesized to be (or to have been independent populations for recovery planning purposes. Consideration of climate and elevation differences among the 81 habitat areas suggests that there are at least four major subdivisions within the Central Valley steelhead ESU that correspond to geographic regions defined by the Sacramento River basin, Suisun Bay area tributaries, San Joaquin tributaries draining the Sierra Nevada, and lower-elevation streams draining to the Buena Vista and Tulare basins, upstream of the San Joaquin River. Of these, it appears that the Sacramento River basin was the main source of steelhead production. Presently, impassable dams block access to 80% of historically available habitat, and block access to all historical spawning habitat for about 38% of the historical populations of steelhead.

  20. Chemical cross-linking and mass spectrometry for protein structural modeling

    Back, Jaap Willem; de Jong, Luitzen; Muijsers, Anton O.; de Koster, Chris G.

    2003-01-01

    The growth of gene and protein sequence information is currently so rapid that three-dimensional structural information is lacking for the overwhelming majority of known proteins. In this review, efforts towards rapid and sensitive methods for protein structural characterization are described,

  1. The Effect of Knowledge Linking Levels in Biology Lessons upon Students' Knowledge Structure

    Wadouh, Julia; Liu, Ning; Sandmann, Angela; Neuhaus, Birgit J.

    2014-01-01

    Knowledge structure is an important aspect for defining students' competency in biology learning, but how knowledge structure is influenced by the teaching process in naturalistic biology classroom settings has scarcely been empirically investigated. In this study, 49 biology lessons in the teaching unit "blood and circulatory system" in…

  2. The link between the cognitive structure and modelling to improve mathematics education

    van de Weerd, Laura; Verhoef, Neeltje Cornelia

    2015-01-01

    This study focuses on the aspects in the cognitive structure that should be trained to develop Dutch students modelling without actual modelling lessons. The research used 16 fifth-grade beta coursed students, to study the development of the cognitive structure and its relation to modelling. The

  3. Links between nuclear medicine and radiopharmacy; Structuration des liens entre medecine nucleaire et radiopharmacie

    Pelegrin, M. [Inserm, U896, CRLC Val-d' Aurelle-Paul-Lamarque, institut de recherche en cancerologie de Montpellier (IRCM), universite Montpellier 1, 34 - Montpellier (France); Francois-Joubert, A. [Service de medecine nucleaire, centre hospitalier de Chambery, 73 - Chambery (France); Chassel, M.L. [Radiopharmacie, service de pharmacie, centre hospitalier de Chambery, 73 - Chambrry (France); Desruet, M.D. [Service de radiopharmacie et service pharmaceutique, clinique universitaire de medecine nucleaire, CHU de Grenoble, 38 - Grenoble (France); Bolot, C. [Service de radiopharmacie, service pharmaceutique, centre de medecine nucleaire, groupement hospitalier Est, 69 - Bron (France); Lao, S. [Service de radiopharmacie, medecine nucleaire, hopital de l' Archet, 06 - Nice (France)

    2010-11-15

    Radiopharmaceuticals are nowadays under the responsibility of the radio-pharmacist because of their medicinal product status. Radiopharmacy belongs to the hospital pharmacy department, nevertheless, interactions with nuclear medicine department are important: rooms are included or located near nuclear medicine departments in order to respect radiation protection rules, more over staff, a part of the material and some activities are shared between the two departments. Consequently, it seems essential to formalize links between the radiopharmacy and the nuclear medicine department, setting the goals to avoid conflicts and to ensure patients' security. Modalities chosen for this formalization will depend on the establishment's organization. (authors)

  4. Climate change alters the structure of arctic marine food webs due to poleward shifts of boreal generalists.

    Kortsch, Susanne; Primicerio, Raul; Fossheim, Maria; Dolgov, Andrey V; Aschan, Michaela

    2015-09-07

    Climate-driven poleward shifts, leading to changes in species composition and relative abundances, have been recently documented in the Arctic. Among the fastest moving species are boreal generalist fish which are expected to affect arctic marine food web structure and ecosystem functioning substantially. Here, we address structural changes at the food web level induced by poleward shifts via topological network analysis of highly resolved boreal and arctic food webs of the Barents Sea. We detected considerable differences in structural properties and link configuration between the boreal and the arctic food webs, the latter being more modular and less connected. We found that a main characteristic of the boreal fish moving poleward into the arctic region of the Barents Sea is high generalism, a property that increases connectance and reduces modularity in the arctic marine food web. Our results reveal that habitats form natural boundaries for food web modules, and that generalists play an important functional role in coupling pelagic and benthic modules. We posit that these habitat couplers have the potential to promote the transfer of energy and matter between habitats, but also the spread of pertubations, thereby changing arctic marine food web structure considerably with implications for ecosystem dynamics and functioning. © 2015 The Authors.

  5. DNA-repair protein hHR23a alters its protein structure upon binding proteasomal subunit S5a

    Walters, Kylie J.; Lech, Patrycja J.; Goh, Amanda M.; Wang, Qinghua; Howley, Peter M.

    2003-01-01

    The Rad23 family of proteins, including the human homologs hHR23a and hHR23b, stimulates nucleotide excision repair and has been shown to provide a novel link between proteasome-mediated protein degradation and DNA repair. In this work, we illustrate how the proteasomal subunit S5a regulates hHR23a protein structure. By using NMR spectroscopy, we have elucidated the structure and dynamic properties of the 40-kDa hHR23a protein and show it to contain four structured domains connected by flexible linker regions. In addition, we reveal that these domains interact in an intramolecular fashion, and by using residual dipolar coupling data in combination with chemical shift perturbation analysis, we present the hHR23a structure. By itself, hHR23a adopts a closed conformation defined by the interaction of an N-terminal ubiquitin-like domain with two ubiquitin-associated domains. Interestingly, binding of the proteasomal subunit S5a disrupts the hHR23a interdomain interactions and thereby causes it to adopt an opened conformation. PMID:14557549

  6. Review of English Language Library and Information Science Weblogs: Analyzing the Link between Weblog Types and Their Technical /Content Structure

    Tahereh Karami

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Weblog has become well established as one of the Web 2.0 products. Given the essential nature of their job, librarians and information professionals, can use weblog as a quick and easy mean for information and knowledge sharing. The present study reviews some 150 LIS weblogs in order to examine and analyze the link between weblog types (personal, library-owned or group operated with their content and technical structure. Webometric methods were deployed for selection of the sample. The findings indicated that there is a significant correlation between the weblog types and their update frequency. The same holds between the weblog types and their content. But no such significance was observed with respect to the weblog publishing tools. The investigators believe that the links uncovered could also hold true for Iranian LIS weblogs.

  7. Comparison between invasive and noninvasive techniques of evaluation of microvascular structural alterations.

    De Ciuceis, Carolina; Agabiti Rosei, Claudia; Caletti, Stefano; Trapletti, Valentina; Coschignano, Maria A; Tiberio, Guido A M; Duse, Sarah; Docchio, Franco; Pasinetti, Simone; Zambonardi, Federica; Semeraro, Francesco; Porteri, Enzo; Solaini, Leonardo; Sansoni, Giovanna; Pileri, Paola; Rossini, Claudia; Mittempergher, Francesco; Portolani, Nazario; Ministrini, Silvia; Agabiti-Rosei, Enrico; Rizzoni, Damiano

    2018-05-01

    The evaluation of the morphological characteristics of small resistance arteries in humans is challenging. The gold standard method is generally considered to be the measurement by wire or pressure micromyography of the media-to-lumen ratio of subcutaneous small vessels obtained by local biopsies. However, noninvasive techniques for the evaluation of retinal arterioles were recently proposed; in particular, two approaches, scanning laser Doppler flowmetry (SLDF) and adaptive optics, seem to provide useful information; both of them provide an estimation of the wall-to-lumen ratio (WLR) of retinal arterioles. Moreover, a noninvasive measurement of basal and total capillary density may be obtained by videomicroscopy/capillaroscopy. No direct comparison of these three noninvasive techniques in the same population was previously performed; in particular, adaptive optics was never validated against micromyography. In the current study, we enrolled 41 controls and patients: 12 normotensive lean controls, 12 essential hypertensive lean patients, nine normotensive obese patients and eight hypertensive obese patients undergoing elective surgery. All patients underwent a biopsy of subcutaneous fat during surgery. Subcutaneous small resistance artery structure was assessed by wire micromyography and the media-to-lumen ratio was calculated. WLR of retinal arterioles was obtained by SLDF and adaptive optics. Functional (basal) and structural (total) microvascular density was evaluated by capillaroscopy before and after venous congestion. Our data suggest that adaptive optics has a substantial advantage over SLDF in terms of evaluation of microvascular morphology, as WLR measured with adaptive optics is more closely correlated with the M/L of subcutaneous small arteries (r = 0.84, P < 0.001 vs. r = 0.52, P < 0.05, slopes of the relations: P < 0.01 adaptive optics vs. SLDF). In addition, the reproducibility of the evaluation of the WLR with adaptive optics is

  8. Test-Retest Intervisit Variability of Functional and Structural Parameters in X-Linked Retinoschisis.

    Jeffrey, Brett G; Cukras, Catherine A; Vitale, Susan; Turriff, Amy; Bowles, Kristin; Sieving, Paul A

    2014-09-01

    To examine the variability of four outcome measures that could be used to address safety and efficacy in therapeutic trials with X-linked juvenile retinoschisis. Seven men with confirmed mutations in the RS1 gene were evaluated over four visits spanning 6 months. Assessments included visual acuity, full-field electroretinograms (ERG), microperimetric macular sensitivity, and retinal thickness measured by optical coherence tomography (OCT). Eyes were separated into Better or Worse Eye groups based on acuity at baseline. Repeatability coefficients were calculated for each parameter and jackknife resampling used to derive 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The threshold for statistically significant change in visual acuity ranged from three to eight letters. For ERG a-wave, an amplitude reduction greater than 56% would be considered significant. For other parameters, variabilities were lower in the Worse Eye group, likely a result of floor effects due to collapse of the schisis pockets and/or retinal atrophy. The criteria for significant change (Better/Worse Eye) for three important parameters were: ERG b/a-wave ratio (0.44/0.23), point wise sensitivity (10.4/7.0 dB), and central retinal thickness (31%/18%). The 95% CI range for visual acuity, ERG, retinal sensitivity, and central retinal thickness relative to baseline are described for this cohort of participants with X-linked juvenile retinoschisis (XLRS). A quantitative understanding of the variability of outcome measures is vital to establishing the safety and efficacy limits for therapeutic trials of XLRS patients.

  9. Leisure activities are linked to mental health benefits by providing time structure: comparing employed, unemployed and homemakers.

    Goodman, William K; Geiger, Ashley M; Wolf, Jutta M

    2017-01-01

    Unemployment has consistently been linked to negative mental health outcomes, emphasising the need to characterise the underlying mechanisms. The current study aimed at testing whether compared with other employment groups, fewer leisure activities observed in unemployment may contribute to elevated risk for negative mental health via loss of time structure. Depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression), leisure activities (exercise, self-focused, social), and time structure (Time Structure Questionnaire (TSQ)) were assessed cross-sectionally in 406 participants (unemployed=155, employed=140, homemakers=111) recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk. Controlling for gender and age, structural equation modelling revealed time structure partially (employed, homemakers) and fully (unemployed) mediated the relationship between leisure activities and depressive symptoms. With the exception of differential effects for structured routines, all other TSQ factors (sense of purpose, present orientation, effective organisation and persistence) contributed significantly to all models. These findings support the idea that especially for the unemployed, leisure activities impose their mental health benefits through increasing individuals' perception of spending their time effectively. Social leisure activities that provide a sense of daily structure may thereby be a particularly promising low-cost intervention to improve mental health in this population. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

  10. Alteration of the digestive motility linked with radiation-induced inflammatory processes in rats; Alterations de la motricite digestive associees aux processus inflammatoires induits par les rayonnements ionisants chez le rat

    Picard, C

    2000-12-01

    Exposure to ionizing radiation, whether accidental or for medical reasons, may lead to gastro-intestinal injury, characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. The aetiology of radiation-induced diarrhea remains to date unclear. In this study, we have investigated the acute effects of a 10 Gy abdominal irradiation on rat digestive functions. The objective of the first study was to evaluate the role of sensory afferent neurons, capsaicin-sensitive, on morphological changes and the inflammatory response following exposure. Three days after irradiation, we observed an inflammatory response characterized by neutrophils infiltration and mast cells de-granulation. No effect of capsaicin pre-treatment was seen on these parameters. However, neutrophils infiltration was increased as early as one day after irradiation in capsaicin-treated rats. No difference in severity of diarrhea was observed after denervation nor in morphological changes. These data demonstrate that abdominal irradiation results in diarrhea concomitant with an inflammatory response, and that sensory innervation does not play a major protective role. The objective of the rest of the work was in the first instance to characterize radiation-induced alterations of intestinal and colonic motility leading to diarrhea and secondly to evaluate the role of serotonin in such disorders. Perturbations in intestinal (MMC) and colonic (LSB) motor profiles were observed from the first day onwards. Migrating motor complexes (MMC) were completely disrupted at three days at the same time as the onset of diarrhea. In addition to inhibition of LSB, colonic fluid absorptive capacity was decreased and serotonin colonic tissue levels were increased three days after irradiation. Radiation-induced diarrhea was reduced by treatment with an antagonist of 5-HT{sub 3} receptors, granisetron, as were alterations of colonic motility and serotonin tissue levels. However, this treatment did not significantly ameliorate

  11. Brain metabolite alterations in infants born preterm with intrauterine growth restriction: association with structural changes and neurodevelopmental outcome.

    Simões, Rui V; Muñoz-Moreno, Emma; Cruz-Lemini, Mónica; Eixarch, Elisenda; Bargalló, Núria; Sanz-Cortés, Magdalena; Gratacós, Eduard

    2017-01-01

    Intrauterine growth restriction and premature birth represent 2 independent problems that may occur simultaneously and contribute to impaired neurodevelopment. The objective of the study was to assess changes in the frontal lobe metabolic profiles of 1 year old intrauterine growth restriction infants born prematurely and adequate-for-gestational-age controls, both premature and term adequate for gestational age and their association with brain structural and biophysical parameters and neurodevelopmental outcome at 2 years. A total of 26 prematurely born intrauterine growth restriction infants (birthweight intrauterine growth restriction infants had slightly smaller brain volumes and increased frontal lobe white matter mean diffusivity compared with both prematurely born but adequate for gestational age and term adequate for gestational age controls. Frontal lobe N-acetylaspartate levels were significantly lower in prematurely born intrauterine growth restriction than in prematurely born but adequate for gestational age infants but increased in prematurely born but adequate for gestational age compared with term adequate-for-gestational-age infants. The prematurely born intrauterine growth restriction group also showed slightly lower choline compounds, borderline decrements of estimated glutathione levels, and increased myoinositol to choline ratios, compared with prematurely born but adequate for gestational age controls. These specific metabolite changes were locally correlated to lower gray matter content and increased mean diffusivity and reduced white matter fraction and fractional anisotropy. Prematurely born intrauterine growth restriction infants also showed a tendency for poorer neurodevelopmental outcome at 2 years, associated with lower levels of frontal lobe N-acetylaspartate at 1 year within the preterm subset. Preterm intrauterine growth restriction infants showed altered brain metabolite profiles during a critical stage of brain maturation, which

  12. A high-grain diet alters the omasal epithelial structure and expression of tight junction proteins in a goat model.

    Liu, Jun-Hua; Xu, Ting-Ting; Zhu, Wei-Yun; Mao, Sheng-Yong

    2014-07-01

    The omasal epithelial barrier plays important roles in maintaining nutrient absorption and immune homeostasis in ruminants. However, little information is currently available about the changes in omasal epithelial barrier function at the structural and molecular levels during feeding of a high-grain (HG) diet. Ten male goats were randomly assigned to two groups, fed either a hay diet (0% grain; n = 5) or HG diet (65% grain; n = 5). Changes in omasal epithelial structure and expression of tight junction (TJ) proteins were determined via electron microscopy and Western blot analysis. After 7 weeks on each diet, omasal contents in the HG group showed significantly lower pH (P diet showed profound alterations in omasal epithelial structure and TJ proteins, corresponding to depression of thickness of total epithelia, stratum granulosum, and the sum of the stratum spinosum and stratum basale, marked epithelial cellular damage, erosion of intercellular junctions and down-regulation in expression of the TJ proteins, claudin-4 and occludin. The study demonstrates that feeding a HG diet is associated with omasal epithelial cellular damage and changes in expression of TJ proteins. These research findings provide an insight into the possible significance of diet on the omasal epithelial barrier in ruminants. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Altered structural correlates of impulsivity in adolescents with internet gaming disorder

    Xin eDu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies suggested that internet gaming disorder (IGD was associated with impulsivity and structural abnormalities in brain gray matter. However, no morphometric study has examined the association between gray matter and impulsivity in IGD individuals. In this study, 25 adolescents with IGD and 27 healthy controls (HCs were recruited, and the relationship between Barratt impulsiveness scale-11 (BIS score and gray matter volume (GMV was investigated with the voxel-based morphometric (VBM correlation analysis. Then, the intergroup differences in correlation between BIS score and GMV were tested across all gray matter voxels. Our results showed that the correlations between BIS score and GMV of the right dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, the bilateral insula and the orbitofrontal cortex, the right amygdala and the left fusiform gyrus decreased in the IGD group compared to the HCs. Region-of-interest (ROI analysis revealed that GMV in all these clusters showed significant positive correlations with BIS score in the HCs, while no significant correlation was found in the IGD group. Our findings demonstrated that dysfunction of these brain areas involved in the behavior inhibition, attention and emotion regulation might contribute to impulse control problems in IGD adolescents.

  14. Aorta Structural Alterations in Term Neonates: The Role of Birth and Maternal Characteristics

    Marco Matteo Ciccone

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim. To evaluate the influence of selected maternal and neonatal characteristics on aorta walls in term, appropriately grown-for-gestational age newborns. Methods. Age, parity, previous abortions, weight, height, body mass index before and after delivery, smoking, and history of hypertension, of diabetes, of cardiovascular diseases, and of dyslipidemia were all assessed in seventy mothers. They delivered 34 males and 36 females healthy term newborns who underwent ultrasound evaluation of the anteroposterior infrarenal abdominal aorta diameter (APAO, biochemical profile (glucose, insulin, total cholesterol, HDL and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, fibrinogen, and D-dimers homeostasis model assessment [HOMAIR]index, and biometric parameters. Results. APAO was related to newborn length (r=+0.36; P=0.001, head circumference (r=+0.37; P=0.001, gestational age (r=+0.40, P=0.0005, HOMA index (r=+0.24; P=0.04, and D-dimers (r=+0.33, P=0.004. Smoke influenced APAO values (odds ratio: 1.80; confidence interval 95%: 1.05–3.30, as well as diabetes during pregnancy (r=+0.42, P=0.0002. Maternal height influenced neonatal APAO (r=+0.47, P=0.00003. Multiple regression analysis outlined neonatal D-dimers as still significantly related to neonatal APAO values. Conclusions. Many maternal and neonatal characteristics could influence aorta structures. Neonatal D-dimers are independently related to APAO.

  15. Identification of alterations associated with age in the clustering structure of functional brain networks.

    Guzman, Grover E C; Sato, Joao R; Vidal, Maciel C; Fujita, Andre

    2018-01-01

    Initial studies using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging on the trajectories of the brain network from childhood to adulthood found evidence of functional integration and segregation over time. The comprehension of how healthy individuals' functional integration and segregation occur is crucial to enhance our understanding of possible deviations that may lead to brain disorders. Recent approaches have focused on the framework wherein the functional brain network is organized into spatially distributed modules that have been associated with specific cognitive functions. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the clustering structure of brain networks evolves during development. To address this hypothesis, we defined a measure of how well a brain region is clustered (network fitness index), and developed a method to evaluate its association with age. Then, we applied this method to a functional magnetic resonance imaging data set composed of 397 males under 31 years of age collected as part of the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange Consortium. As results, we identified two brain regions for which the clustering change over time, namely, the left middle temporal gyrus and the left putamen. Since the network fitness index is associated with both integration and segregation, our finding suggests that the identified brain region plays a role in the development of brain systems.

  16. Altered structure of cortical sulci in gilles de la Tourette syndrome: Further support for abnormal brain development.

    Muellner, Julia; Delmaire, Christine; Valabrégue, Romain; Schüpbach, Michael; Mangin, Jean-François; Vidailhet, Marie; Lehéricy, Stéphane; Hartmann, Andreas; Worbe, Yulia

    2015-04-15

    Gilles de la Tourette syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by the presence of motor and vocal tics. We hypothesized that patients with this syndrome would present an aberrant pattern of cortical formation, which could potentially reflect global alterations of brain development. Using 3 Tesla structural neuroimaging, we compared sulcal depth, opening, and length and thickness of sulcal gray matter in 52 adult patients and 52 matched controls. Cortical sulci were automatically reconstructed and identified over the whole brain, using BrainVisa software. We focused on frontal, parietal, and temporal cortical regions, in which abnormal structure and functional activity were identified in previous neuroimaging studies. Partial correlation analysis with age, sex, and treatment as covariables of noninterest was performed amongst relevant clinical and neuroimaging variables in patients. Patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome showed lower depth and reduced thickness of gray matter in the pre- and post-central as well as superior, inferior, and internal frontal sulci. In patients with associated obsessive-compulsive disorder, additional structural changes were found in temporal, insular, and olfactory sulci. Crucially, severity of tics and of obsessive-compulsive disorder measured by Yale Global Tic severity scale and Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive scale, respectively, correlated with structural sulcal changes in sensorimotor, temporal, dorsolateral prefrontal, and middle cingulate cortical areas. Patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome displayed an abnormal structural pattern of cortical sulci, which correlated with severity of clinical symptoms. Our results provide further evidence of abnormal brain development in GTS. © 2015 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

  17. Triclocarban Influences Antibiotic Resistance and Alters Anaerobic Digester Microbial Community Structure.

    Carey, Daniel E; Zitomer, Daniel H; Hristova, Krassimira R; Kappell, Anthony D; McNamara, Patrick J

    2016-01-05

    Triclocarban (TCC) is one of the most abundant organic micropollutants detected in biosolids. Lab-scale anaerobic digesters were amended with TCC at concentrations ranging from the background concentration of seed biosolids (30 mg/kg) to toxic concentrations of 850 mg/kg to determine the effect on methane production, relative abundance of antibiotic resistance genes, and microbial community structure. Additionally, the TCC addition rate was varied to determine the impacts of acclimation time. At environmentally relevant TCC concentrations (max detect = 440 mg/kg), digesters maintained function. Digesters receiving 450 mg/kg of TCC maintained function under gradual TCC addition, but volatile fatty acid concentrations increased, pH decreased, and methane production ceased when immediately fed this concentration. The concentrations of the mexB gene (encoding for a multidrug efflux pump) were higher with all concentrations of TCC compared to a control, but higher TCC concentrations did not correlate with increased mexB abundance. The relative abundance of the gene tet(L) was greater in the digesters that no longer produced methane, and no effect on the relative abundance of the class 1 integron integrase encoding gene (intI1) was observed. Illumina sequencing revealed substantial community shifts in digesters that functionally failed from increased levels of TCC. More subtle, yet significant, community shifts were observed in digesters amended with TCC levels that did not inhibit function. This research demonstrates that TCC can select for a multidrug resistance encoding gene in mixed community anaerobic environments, and this selection occurs at concentrations (30 mg/kg) that can be found in full-scale anaerobic digesters (U.S. median concentration = 22 mg/kg, mean = 39 mg/kg).

  18. Large-scale structural alteration of brain in epileptic children with SCN1A mutation.

    Lee, Yun-Jeong; Yum, Mi-Sun; Kim, Min-Jee; Shim, Woo-Hyun; Yoon, Hee Mang; Yoo, Il Han; Lee, Jiwon; Lim, Byung Chan; Kim, Ki Joong; Ko, Tae-Sung

    2017-01-01

    Mutations in SCN1A gene encoding the alpha 1 subunit of the voltage gated sodium channel are associated with several epilepsy syndromes including genetic epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS +) and severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy (SMEI). However, in most patients with SCN1A mutation, brain imaging has reported normal or non-specific findings including cerebral or cerebellar atrophy. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in brain morphometry in epileptic children with SCN1A mutation compared to healthy control subjects. We obtained cortical morphology (thickness, and surface area) and brain volume (global, subcortical, and regional) measurements using FreeSurfer (version 5.3.0, https://surfer.nmr.mgh.harvard.edu) and compared measurements of children with epilepsy and SCN1A gene mutation ( n  = 21) with those of age and gender matched healthy controls ( n  = 42). Compared to the healthy control group, children with epilepsy and SCN1A gene mutation exhibited smaller total brain, total gray matter and white matter, cerebellar white matter, and subcortical volumes, as well as mean surface area and mean cortical thickness. A regional analysis revealed significantly reduced gray matter volume in the patient group in the bilateral inferior parietal, left lateral orbitofrontal, left precentral, right postcentral, right isthmus cingulate, right middle temporal area with smaller surface area and white matter volume in some of these areas. However, the regional cortical thickness was not significantly different in two groups. This study showed large-scale developmental brain changes in patients with epilepsy and SCN1A gene mutation, which may be associated with the core symptoms of the patients. Further longitudinal MRI studies with larger cohorts are required to confirm the effect of SCN1A gene mutation on structural brain development.

  19. Distinct structural alterations independently contributing to working memory deficits and symptomatology in paranoid schizophrenia.

    Zierhut, Kathrin C; Schulte-Kemna, Anna; Kaufmann, Jörn; Steiner, Johann; Bogerts, Bernhard; Schiltz, Kolja

    2013-04-01

    Schizophrenia is considered a brain disease with a quite heterogeneous clinical presentation. Studies in schizophrenia have yielded a wide array of correlations between structural and functional brain changes and clinical and cognitive symptoms. Reductions of grey matter volume (GMV) in the prefrontal and temporal cortex have been described which are crucial for the development of positive and negative symptoms and impaired working memory (WM). Associations between GMV reduction and positive and negative symptoms as well as WM impairment were assessed in schizophrenia patients (symptomatology in 34, WM in 26) and compared to healthy controls (36 total, WM in 26). GMV was determined by voxel-based morphometry and its relation to positive and negative symptoms as well as WM performance was assessed. In schizophrenia patients, reductions of GMV were evident in anterior cingulate cortex, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), superior temporal cortex, and insula. GMV reductions in the superior temporal gyrus (STG) were associated with positive symptom severity as well as WM impairment. Furthermore, the absolute GMV of VLPFC was strongly related to negative symptoms. These predicted WM performance as well as processing speed. The present results support the assumption of two distinct pathomechanisms responsible for impaired WM in schizophrenia: (1) GMV reductions in the VLPFC predict the severity of negative symptoms. Increased negative symptoms in turn are associated with a slowing down of processing speed and predict an impaired WM. (2) GMV reductions in the temporal and mediofrontal cortex are involved in the development of positive symptoms and impair WM performance, too. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Placental alterations in structure and function in intra-uterine growth-retarded horses.

    Robles, M; Peugnet, P M; Valentino, S A; Dubois, C; Dahirel, M; Aubrière, M-C; Reigner, F; Serteyn, D; Wimel, L; Couturier-Tarrade, A; Chavatte-Palmer, P

    2018-05-01

    Following embryo transfer (ET), the size and breed of the recipient mare can affect fetal development and subsequent post natal growth rate and insulin sensitivity in foals. To investigate placental adaptation in pregnancies where increased or restricted fetal growth was induced through ET between Pony, Saddlebred and Draught horses. In vivo experiment. Control Pony (P, n = 21) and Saddlebred (S, n = 28) pregnancies were obtained by artificial insemination. Increased pregnancies were obtained by transferring Pony (P-D, n = 6) and Saddlebred (S-D, n = 8) embryos into Draught mares. Restricted pregnancies were obtained by transferring Saddlebred embryos into Pony mares (S-P, n = 6). Placental weight and surface were recorded and samples collected for stereology and analysis of expression of genes involved in placental growth, vascularisation and nutrient transport. Data were analysed by linear model. S-P foals were growth retarded when compared with controls despite increased gestational length. Placental weight was reduced but placental surface density and volume fraction were increased. Placental expression of genes involved in growth and development and nutrient transfer was strongly reduced. In contrast, placental size and weight were increased in enhanced growth P-D and S-D foals. The trophoblastic surface density and the allantoic vessels surface density were decreased in P-D and S-D, respectively, both with very few modifications in gene expression. Control embryos were produced by artificial insemination whereas experimental embryos were produced by ET. Placental structure and gene expression are modified after ET into a smaller or larger breed than that of the embryo. These adaptations contribute to the observed phenotype of foal growth restriction or enhanced growth at birth. © 2017 EVJ Ltd.

  1. Alteration of Multiple Leukocyte Gene Expression Networks is Linked with Magnetic Resonance Markers of Prognosis After Acute ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction.

    Teren, A; Kirsten, H; Beutner, F; Scholz, M; Holdt, L M; Teupser, D; Gutberlet, M; Thiery, J; Schuler, G; Eitel, I

    2017-02-03

    Prognostic relevant pathways of leukocyte involvement in human myocardial ischemic-reperfusion injury are largely unknown. We enrolled 136 patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) after primary angioplasty within 12 h after onset of symptoms. Following reperfusion, whole blood was collected within a median time interval of 20 h (interquartile range: 15-25 h) for genome-wide gene expression analysis. Subsequent CMR scans were performed using a standard protocol to determine infarct size (IS), area at risk (AAR), myocardial salvage index (MSI) and the extent of late microvascular obstruction (lateMO). We found 398 genes associated with lateMO and two genes with IS. Neither AAR, nor MSI showed significant correlations with gene expression. Genes correlating with lateMO were strongly related to several canonical pathways, including positive regulation of T-cell activation (p = 3.44 × 10 -5 ), and regulation of inflammatory response (p = 1.86 × 10 -3 ). Network analysis of multiple gene expression alterations associated with larger lateMO identified the following functional consequences: facilitated utilisation and decreased concentration of free fatty acid, repressed cell differentiation, enhanced phagocyte movement, increased cell death, vascular disease and compensatory vasculogenesis. In conclusion, the extent of lateMO after acute, reperfused STEMI correlated with altered activation of multiple genes related to fatty acid utilisation, lymphocyte differentiation, phagocyte mobilisation, cell survival, and vascular dysfunction.

  2. Small vessel disease is linked to disrupted structural network covariance in Alzheimer's disease.

    Nestor, Sean M; Mišić, Bratislav; Ramirez, Joel; Zhao, Jiali; Graham, Simon J; Verhoeff, Nicolaas P L G; Stuss, Donald T; Masellis, Mario; Black, Sandra E

    2017-07-01

    Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) is thought to contribute to Alzheimer's disease (AD) through abnormalities in white matter networks. Gray matter (GM) hub covariance networks share only partial overlap with white matter connectivity, and their relationship with SVD has not been examined in AD. We developed a multivariate analytical pipeline to elucidate the cortical GM thickness systems that covary with major network hubs and assessed whether SVD and neurodegenerative pathologic markers were associated with attenuated covariance network integrity in mild AD and normal elderly control subjects. SVD burden was associated with reduced posterior cingulate corticocortical GM network integrity and subneocorticocortical hub network integrity in AD. These findings provide evidence that SVD is linked to the selective disruption of cortical hub GM networks in AD brains and point to the need to consider GM hub covariance networks when assessing network disruption in mixed disease. Copyright © 2017 the Alzheimer's Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. In vitro reconstitution of sortase-catalyzed pilus polymerization reveals structural elements involved in pilin cross-linking.

    Chang, Chungyu; Amer, Brendan R; Osipiuk, Jerzy; McConnell, Scott A; Huang, I-Hsiu; Hsieh, Van; Fu, Janine; Nguyen, Hong H; Muroski, John; Flores, Erika; Ogorzalek Loo, Rachel R; Loo, Joseph A; Putkey, John A; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Das, Asis; Clubb, Robert T; Ton-That, Hung

    2018-06-12

    Covalently cross-linked pilus polymers displayed on the cell surface of Gram-positive bacteria are assembled by class C sortase enzymes. These pilus-specific transpeptidases located on the bacterial membrane catalyze a two-step protein ligation reaction, first cleaving the LPXTG motif of one pilin protomer to form an acyl-enzyme intermediate and then joining the terminal Thr to the nucleophilic Lys residue residing within the pilin motif of another pilin protomer. To date, the determinants of class C enzymes that uniquely enable them to construct pili remain unknown. Here, informed by high-resolution crystal structures of corynebacterial pilus-specific sortase (SrtA) and utilizing a structural variant of the enzyme (SrtA 2M ), whose catalytic pocket has been unmasked by activating mutations, we successfully reconstituted in vitro polymerization of the cognate major pilin (SpaA). Mass spectrometry, electron microscopy, and biochemical experiments authenticated that SrtA 2M synthesizes pilus fibers with correct Lys-Thr isopeptide bonds linking individual pilins via a thioacyl intermediate. Structural modeling of the SpaA-SrtA-SpaA polymerization intermediate depicts SrtA 2M sandwiched between the N- and C-terminal domains of SpaA harboring the reactive pilin and LPXTG motifs, respectively. Remarkably, the model uncovered a conserved TP(Y/L)XIN(S/T)H signature sequence following the catalytic Cys, in which the alanine substitutions abrogated cross-linking activity but not cleavage of LPXTG. These insights and our evidence that SrtA 2M can terminate pilus polymerization by joining the terminal pilin SpaB to SpaA and catalyze ligation of isolated SpaA domains in vitro provide a facile and versatile platform for protein engineering and bio-conjugation that has major implications for biotechnology.

  4. The link between capital structure and banking sector performance in an emerging economy

    Refilwe Maduane

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available South African banks are small compared to the international standards and this necessitates them to remain efficient and competitive at both national and international levels. Such competitiveness shelter them from global competitors wishing to enter into the South African market. Putting in mind the critical role played by banks in the economic development of every country, managers in the banking industry should ensure they make sound financial decisions in order to remain profitable and competitive amidst challenges of the debt-equity choice. This study seeks to determine the influence of capital structure on profitability of banks listed at the Johannesburg stock exchange (JSE using the random effect regression model. Empirical studies that studies the impact of capital structure on profitability of the banking sector in emerging markets and Africa are very scant. The few empirical studies that focused on the banking sector are yet to focus on African and to agree on the relationship between capital structure and profitability. It is against these reasons that the current study chose to investigate how profitability of South African banks is affected by their capital structure. The study found out that capital structure is a key determinant of profitability of banks in South Africa. As such, the study recommends that optimal capital policies need to be pursued if banks are to not only to increase profitability but ensure long term stability and sound performance

  5. Preliminary findings of altered functional connectivity of the default mode network linked to functional outcomes one year after pediatric traumatic brain injury.

    Stephens, Jaclyn A; Salorio, Cynthia F; Barber, Anita D; Risen, Sarah R; Mostofsky, Stewart H; Suskauer, Stacy J

    2017-07-10

    This study examined functional connectivity of the default mode network (DMN) and examined brain-behavior relationships in a pilot cohort of children with chronic mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI). Compared to uninjured peers, children with TBI demonstrated less anti-correlated functional connectivity between DMN and right Brodmann Area 40 (BA 40). In children with TBI, more anomalous less anti-correlated) connectivity between DMN and right BA 40 was linked to poorer performance on response inhibition tasks. Collectively, these preliminary findings suggest that functional connectivity between DMN and BA 40 may relate to longterm functional outcomes in chronic pediatric TBI.

  6. Linking Resource-Based Strategies to Customer-Focused Performance for Professional Services: A Structural Equation Modelling Approach

    Ming-Lu Wu

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper links professional service firms’ resource-based strategies to their customer-focused performance for formulating service quality improvement priorities. The research applies the structural equation modelling approach to survey data from Hong Kong construction consultants to test some hypotheses. The study validates the various measures of firms’ resource-based strategies and customer-focused performance and bridges the gaps in firms’ organizational learning, core competences and customer-focused performance mediated by their strategic flexibility. The research results have practical implications for professional service firms to deploy resources appropriately to first enhance different competences and then improve customerfocused performance using their different competences.

  7. Comparison of Assemblies of Four-Link Structural Groups of 3rd Class on the Transmission Angle

    Matsyuk I.N.

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Comparison of various assemblies of four-link structural group of 3rd class with revolute joints on the transmission angle is performed. Equations of the trajectories of plug points of one of the groups of joint are obtained to determine transmission angles. Derived functions of these equations enable to determine the values of transmission angles for each assembly group. It is shown that only two assemblies of maximum possible assembling number of such group (six have practical value. The solution of this problem was performed with the help of Mathcad program.

  8. Ethyne-linked push-pull chromophores: implications of crystal structure and molecular electronics on the quadric nonlinear activity

    Kautny, P.; Kriegner, H.; Bader, D.; Dušek, Michal; Reider, G.A.; Froehlich, J.; Stoeger, B.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 17, č. 8 (2017), s. 4124-4136 ISSN 1528-7483 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA15-12653S; GA MŠk LO1603 EU Projects: European Commission(XE) CZ.2.16/3.1.00/24510 Institutional support: RVO:68378271 Keywords : ethyne-linked materials * nonlinear optical chromophores * molecular structure * optical activity Subject RIV: BM - Solid Matter Physics ; Magnetism OBOR OECD: Condensed matter physics (including formerly solid state physics, supercond.) Impact factor: 4.055, year: 2016

  9. Altered structural and effective connectivity in anorexia and bulimia nervosa in circuits that regulate energy and reward homeostasis.

    Frank, G K W; Shott, M E; Riederer, J; Pryor, T L

    2016-11-01

    Anorexia and bulimia nervosa are severe eating disorders that share many behaviors. Structural and functional brain circuits could provide biological links that those disorders have in common. We recruited 77 young adult women, 26 healthy controls, 26 women with anorexia and 25 women with bulimia nervosa. Probabilistic tractography was used to map white matter connectivity strength across taste and food intake regulating brain circuits. An independent multisample greedy equivalence search algorithm tested effective connectivity between those regions during sucrose tasting. Anorexia and bulimia nervosa had greater structural connectivity in pathways between insula, orbitofrontal cortex and ventral striatum, but lower connectivity from orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala to the hypothalamus (Pbulimia nervosa effective connectivity was directed from anterior cingulate via ventral striatum to the hypothalamus. Across all groups, sweetness perception was predicted by connectivity strength in pathways connecting to the middle orbitofrontal cortex. This study provides evidence that white matter structural as well as effective connectivity within the energy-homeostasis and food reward-regulating circuitry is fundamentally different in anorexia and bulimia nervosa compared with that in controls. In eating disorders, anterior cingulate cognitive-emotional top down control could affect food reward and eating drive, override hypothalamic inputs to the ventral striatum and enable prolonged food restriction.

  10. NMR solution structure of poliovirus uridylyated peptide linked to the genome (VPgpU)

    Schein, Catherine H.; Oezguen, Numan; van der Heden van Noort, Gerbrand J.; Filippov, Dmitri V.; Paul, Aniko; Kumar, Eric; Braun, Werner

    2010-01-01

    Picornaviruses have a 22–24 amino acid peptide, VPg, bound covalently at the 5’ end of their RNA, that is essential for replication. VPgs are uridylylated at a conserved Tyrosine to form VPgpU, the primer of RNA synthesis by the viral polymerase. This first complete structure for any uridylylated VPg, of poliovirus type 1 (PV1)-VPgpU, shows that conserved amino acids in VPg stabilize the bound UMP, with the uridine atoms involved in base pairing and chain elongation projected outward. Comparing this structure to PV1-VPg and partial structures of VPg/VPgpU from other picornaviruses suggests that enteroviral polymerases require a more stable VPg structure than does the distantly related aphthovirus, foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV). The glutamine residue at the C-terminus of PV1-VPgpU lies in back of the uridine base and may stabilize its position during chain elongation and/or contribute to base specificity. Under in vivo-like conditions with the authentic cre(2C) hairpin RNA and Mg++, 5-methylUTP cannot compete with UTP for VPg uridylyation in an in vitro uridylyation assay, but both nucleotides are equally incorporated by PV1-polymerase with Mn++ and a poly-A RNA template. This indicates the 5 position is recognized under in vivo conditions. The compact VPgpU structure docks within the active site cavity of the PV-polymerase, close to the position seen for the fragment of FMDV-VPgpU with its polymerase. This structure could aid in design of novel enterovirus inhibitors, and stabilization upon uridylylation may also be pertinent for post-translational uridylylation reactions that underlie other biological processes. PMID:20441784

  11. Constraint Network Analysis (CNA): a Python software package for efficiently linking biomacromolecular structure, flexibility, (thermo-)stability, and function.

    Pfleger, Christopher; Rathi, Prakash Chandra; Klein, Doris L; Radestock, Sebastian; Gohlke, Holger

    2013-04-22

    For deriving maximal advantage from information on biomacromolecular flexibility and rigidity, results from rigidity analyses must be linked to biologically relevant characteristics of a structure. Here, we describe the Python-based software package Constraint Network Analysis (CNA) developed for this task. CNA functions as a front- and backend to the graph-based rigidity analysis software FIRST. CNA goes beyond the mere identification of flexible and rigid regions in a biomacromolecule in that it (I) provides a refined modeling of thermal unfolding simulations that also considers the temperature-dependence of hydrophobic tethers, (II) allows performing rigidity analyses on ensembles of network topologies, either generated from structural ensembles or by using the concept of fuzzy noncovalent constraints, and (III) computes a set of global and local indices for quantifying biomacromolecular stability. This leads to more robust results from rigidity analyses and extends the application domain of rigidity analyses in that phase transition points ("melting points") and unfolding nuclei ("structural weak spots") are determined automatically. Furthermore, CNA robustly handles small-molecule ligands in general. Such advancements are important for applying rigidity analysis to data-driven protein engineering and for estimating the influence of ligand molecules on biomacromolecular stability. CNA maintains the efficiency of FIRST such that the analysis of a single protein structure takes a few seconds for systems of several hundred residues on a single core. These features make CNA an interesting tool for linking biomacromolecular structure, flexibility, (thermo-)stability, and function. CNA is available from http://cpclab.uni-duesseldorf.de/software for nonprofit organizations.

  12. Biochar affects soil organic matter cycling and microbial functions but does not alter microbial community structure in a paddy soil.

    Tian, Jing; Wang, Jingyuan; Dippold, Michaela; Gao, Yang; Blagodatskaya, Evgenia; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2016-06-15

    The application of biochar (BC) in conjunction with mineral fertilizers is one of the most promising management practices recommended to improve soil quality. However, the interactive mechanisms of BC and mineral fertilizer addition affecting microbial communities and functions associated with soil organic matter (SOM) cycling are poorly understood. We investigated the SOM in physical and chemical fractions, microbial community structure (using phospholipid fatty acid analysis, PLFA) and functions (by analyzing enzymes involved in C and N cycling and Biolog) in a 6-year field experiment with BC and NPK amendment. BC application increased total soil C and particulate organic C for 47.4-50.4% and 63.7-74.6%, respectively. The effects of BC on the microbial community and C-cycling enzymes were dependent on fertilization. Addition of BC alone did not change the microbial community compared with the control, but altered the microbial community structure in conjunction with NPK fertilization. SOM fractions accounted for 55% of the variance in the PLFA-related microbial community structure. The particulate organic N explained the largest variation in the microbial community structure. Microbial metabolic activity strongly increased after BC addition, particularly the utilization of amino acids and amines due to an increase in the activity of proteolytic (l-leucine aminopeptidase) enzymes. These results indicate that microorganisms start to mine N from the SOM to compensate for high C:N ratios after BC application, which consequently accelerate cycling of stable N. Concluding, BC in combination with NPK fertilizer application strongly affected microbial community composition and functions, which consequently influenced SOM cycling. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Isotropic 3D nuclear morphometry of normal, fibrocystic and malignant breast epithelial cells reveals new structural alterations.

    Vivek Nandakumar

    Full Text Available Grading schemes for breast cancer diagnosis are predominantly based on pathologists' qualitative assessment of altered nuclear structure from 2D brightfield microscopy images. However, cells are three-dimensional (3D objects with features that are inherently 3D and thus poorly characterized in 2D. Our goal is to quantitatively characterize nuclear structure in 3D, assess its variation with malignancy, and investigate whether such variation correlates with standard nuclear grading criteria.We applied micro-optical computed tomographic imaging and automated 3D nuclear morphometry to quantify and compare morphological variations between human cell lines derived from normal, benign fibrocystic or malignant breast epithelium. To reproduce the appearance and contrast in clinical cytopathology images, we stained cells with hematoxylin and eosin and obtained 3D images of 150 individual stained cells of each cell type at sub-micron, isotropic resolution. Applying volumetric image analyses, we computed 42 3D morphological and textural descriptors of cellular and nuclear structure.We observed four distinct nuclear shape categories, the predominant being a mushroom cap shape. Cell and nuclear volumes increased from normal to fibrocystic to metastatic type, but there was little difference in the volume ratio of nucleus to cytoplasm (N/C ratio between the lines. Abnormal cell nuclei had more nucleoli, markedly higher density and clumpier chromatin organization compared to normal. Nuclei of non-tumorigenic, fibrocystic cells exhibited larger textural variations than metastatic cell nuclei. At p<0.0025 by ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis tests, 90% of our computed descriptors statistically differentiated control from abnormal cell populations, but only 69% of these features statistically differentiated the fibrocystic from the metastatic cell populations.Our results provide a new perspective on nuclear structure variations associated with malignancy and point to the

  14. Isotropic 3D nuclear morphometry of normal, fibrocystic and malignant breast epithelial cells reveals new structural alterations.

    Nandakumar, Vivek; Kelbauskas, Laimonas; Hernandez, Kathryn F; Lintecum, Kelly M; Senechal, Patti; Bussey, Kimberly J; Davies, Paul C W; Johnson, Roger H; Meldrum, Deirdre R

    2012-01-01

    Grading schemes for breast cancer diagnosis are predominantly based on pathologists' qualitative assessment of altered nuclear structure from 2D brightfield microscopy images. However, cells are three-dimensional (3D) objects with features that are inherently 3D and thus poorly characterized in 2D. Our goal is to quantitatively characterize nuclear structure in 3D, assess its variation with malignancy, and investigate whether such variation correlates with standard nuclear grading criteria. We applied micro-optical computed tomographic imaging and automated 3D nuclear morphometry to quantify and compare morphological variations between human cell lines derived from normal, benign fibrocystic or malignant breast epithelium. To reproduce the appearance and contrast in clinical cytopathology images, we stained cells with hematoxylin and eosin and obtained 3D images of 150 individual stained cells of each cell type at sub-micron, isotropic resolution. Applying volumetric image analyses, we computed 42 3D morphological and textural descriptors of cellular and nuclear structure. We observed four distinct nuclear shape categories, the predominant being a mushroom cap shape. Cell and nuclear volumes increased from normal to fibrocystic to metastatic type, but there was little difference in the volume ratio of nucleus to cytoplasm (N/C ratio) between the lines. Abnormal cell nuclei had more nucleoli, markedly higher density and clumpier chromatin organization compared to normal. Nuclei of non-tumorigenic, fibrocystic cells exhibited larger textural variations than metastatic cell nuclei. At pfibrocystic from the metastatic cell populations. Our results provide a new perspective on nuclear structure variations associated with malignancy and point to the value of automated quantitative 3D nuclear morphometry as an objective tool to enable development of sensitive and specific nuclear grade classification in breast cancer diagnosis.

  15. Association between structural and functional brain alterations in drug-free patients with schizophrenia: a multimodal meta-analysis.

    Gao, Xin; Zhang, Wenjing; Yao, Li; Xiao, Yuan; Liu, Lu; Liu, Jieke; Li, Siyi; Tao, Bo; Shah, Chandan; Gong, Qiyong; Sweeney, John A; Lui, Su

    2018-03-01

    Neuroimaging studies have shown both structural and functional abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia. Recently, studies have begun to explore the association between structural and functional grey matter abnormalities. By conducting a meta-analysis on morphometric and functional imaging studies of grey matter alterations in drug-free patients, the present study aims to examine the degree of overlap between brain regions with anatomic and functional changes in patients with schizophrenia. We performed a systematic search of PubMed, Embase, Web of Science and the Cochrane Library to identify relevant publications. A multimodal analysis was then conducted using Seed-based d Mapping software. Exploratory analyses included jackknife, subgroup and meta-regression analyses. We included 15 structural MRI studies comprising 486 drug-free patients and 485 healthy controls, and 16 functional MRI studies comprising 403 drug-free patients and 428 controls in our meta-analysis. Drug-free patients were examined to reduce pharmacological effects on the imaging data. Multimodal analysis showed considerable overlap between anatomic and functional changes, mainly in frontotemporal regions, bilateral medial posterior cingulate/paracingulate gyrus, bilateral insula, basal ganglia and left cerebellum. There were also brain regions showing only anatomic changes in the right superior frontal gyrus, left supramarginal gyrus, right lingual gyrus and functional alternations involving the right angular gyrus. The methodological aspects, patient characteristics and clinical variables of the included studies were heterogeneous, and we cannot exclude medication effects. The present study showed overlapping anatomic and functional brain abnormalities mainly in the default mode (DMN) and auditory networks (AN) in drug-free patients with schizophrenia. However, the pattern of changes differed in these networks. Decreased grey matter was associated with decreased activation within the DMN

  16. High Energy Moisture Characteristics: Linking Between Soil Physical Processes and Structure Stability

    Water storage and flow in soils is usually complicated by the intricate nature of and changes in soil pore size distribution (PSD) due to modifications in soil structure following changes in agricultural management. The paper presents the Soil High Energy Moisture Characteristic (Soil-HEMC) method f...

  17. Structure Activity Relationships of N-linked and Diglycosylated Glucosamine-Based Antitumor Glycerolipids

    Makanjuola Ogunsina

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available 1-O-Hexadecyl-2-O-methyl-3-O-(2'-amino-2'-deoxy-β-D-glucopyranosyl-sn-glycerol (1 was previously reported to show potent in vitro antitumor activity on a range of cancer cell lines derived from breast, pancreas and prostate cancer. This compound was not toxic to mice and was inactive against breast tumor xenografts in mice. This inactivity was attributed to hydrolysis of the glycosidic linkage by glycosidases. Here three N-linked (glycosylamide analogs 2–4, one triazole-linked analog 5 of 1 as well as two diglycosylated analogs 6 and 7 with different stereochemistry at the C2-position of the glycerol moiety were synthesized and their antitumor activity against breast (JIMT-1, BT-474, MDA-MB-231, pancreas (MiaPaCa2 and prostrate (DU145, PC3 cancer cell lines was determined. The diglycosylated analogs 1-O-hexadecyl-2(R-, 3-O-di-(2'-amino-2'-deoxy-β-D-glucopyranosyl-sn-glycerol (7 and the 1:1 diastereomeric mixture of 1-O-hexadecyl-2(R/S, 3-O-di-(2'-amino-2'-deoxy-β-D-glucopyranosyl-sn-glycerol (6 showed the most potent cytotoxic activity at CC50 values of 17.5 µM against PC3 cell lines. The replacement of the O-glycosidic linkage by a glycosylamide or a glycosyltriazole linkage showed little or no activity at highest concentration tested (30 µM, whereas the replacement of the glycerol moiety by triazole resulted in CC50 values in the range of 20 to 30 µM. In conclusion, the replacement of the O-glycosidic linkage by an N-glycosidic linkage or triazole-linkage resulted in about a two to three fold loss in activity, whereas the replacement of the methoxy group on the glycerol backbone by a second glucosamine moiety did not improve the activity. The stereochemistry at the C2-position of the glycero backbone has minimal effect on the anticancer activities of these diglycosylated analogs.

  18. Imipenem heteroresistance in nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae is linked to a combination of altered PBP3, slow drug influx and direct efflux regulation.

    Cherkaoui, A; Diene, S M; Renzoni, A; Emonet, S; Renzi, G; François, P; Schrenzel, J

    2017-02-01

    To investigate the potential roles of PBPs, efflux pumps and slow drug influx for imipenem heteroresistance in nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi). Fifty-nine NTHi clinical isolates examined in this study were collected at Geneva University Hospitals between 2009 and 2014. Alterations in PBPs were investigated by gene sequencing. To evaluate the affinities of the PBPs to imipenem, steady-state concentration-response experiments were carried out using imipenem in a competition assay with Bocillin-FL. The effect of the carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP) on imipenem susceptibility was assessed using broth dilution and viable cell counting. Using whole-genome sequencing, we explored the potential roles of outer membrane protein P2 (OmpP2), LytM proteins and the dcw gene cluster in imipenem heteroresistance. All 46 imipenem-heteroresistant isolates (IMI hR ) harboured amino acid substitutions in the ftsI gene, which encodes PBP3, corresponding to 25 different mutation patterns that varied from the ftsI gene mutation patterns found in imipenem-susceptible isolates. Among all PBPs, the highest affinity to imipenem was documented for PBP3 (IC 50 , 0.004 μg/mL). Different amino acid substitutions and insertions were noted in OmpP2, suggesting a relationship with imipenem heteroresistance. The IMI hR isolates were affected by CCCP differently and displayed a higher percentage of killing by imipenem in CCCP-treated cells at concentrations ranging between 0.5 and 8 μg/mL. The present study provides robust evidence indicating that in combination with the altered PBP3, the slowed drug influx and its enhanced efflux due to the loss of regulation led to the development of imipenem heteroresistance in NTHi. Copyright © 2016 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. A high-fat diet generates alterations in nuclear receptor expression: prevention by vitamin A and links with cyclooxygenase-2 and beta-catenin.

    Delage, Barbara; Bairras, Céline; Buaud, Benjamin; Pallet, Véronique; Cassand, Pierrette

    2005-10-10

    Epidemiologic studies suggest that intake of high energy from fat, inducing overweight, increases the risk of cancer development and promotes colon carcinogenesis. It is therefore important to understand which parameters are affected early on by a high-fat diet in order to devise and improve protective nutritional strategies. We investigated the effect of high energy/fat intake on colon mucosa of male Wistar rats induced by a single 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) injection. Aberrant crypt foci (ACF) were numbered and modifications in cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and beta-catenin levels assessed. Peroxisome proliferator- and retinoic acid-activated receptors (PPAR and RAR, RXR) are key transcription factors regulating gene expression in response to nutrient-activated signals. A short-term study was designed to evaluate whether alterations in mRNA expression of nuclear receptors can be detected at the beginning of the weight gain phase induced by an appetizing hyperlipidic diet (HLD). HLD consumption induced early downregulation of PPARgamma (-33.1%) and RARbeta (-53.1%) mRNA expression concomitant with an increase in levels of COX-2 (+45.5%) and beta-catenin (+84.56%) and in the number of ACF (191.56 +/- 88.60 vs. 21.14 +/- 11.64, p nuclear receptors. Moreover, the use HLD rich in retinyl esters or supplemented with all-trans retinoic acid led to a reduction in the number of ACF. Vitamin A also prevented HLD-induced alterations and the increase in levels of COX-2 and beta-catenin. The present observations show a protective role for vitamin A against disturbances associated with HLD exposure in induced colon carcinogenesis.

  20. Albumin Homodimers in Patients with Cirrhosis: Clinical and Prognostic Relevance of a Novel Identified Structural Alteration of the Molecule.

    Baldassarre, Maurizio; Domenicali, Marco; Naldi, Marina; Laggetta, Maristella; Giannone, Ferdinando A; Biselli, Maurizio; Patrono, Daniela; Bertucci, Carlo; Bernardi, Mauro; Caraceni, Paolo

    2016-10-26

    Decompensated cirrhosis is associated to extensive post-transcriptional changes of human albumin (HA). This study aims to characterize the occurrence of HA homodimerization in a large cohort of patients with decompensated cirrhosis and to evaluate its association with clinical features and prognosis. HA monomeric and dimeric isoforms were identified in peripheral blood by using a HPLC-ESI-MS technique in 123 cirrhotic patients hospitalized for acute decompensation and 50 age- and sex-comparable healthy controls. Clinical and biochemical parameters were recorded and patients followed up to one year. Among the monomeric isoforms identified, the N- and C-terminal truncated and the native HA underwent homodimerization. All three homodimers were significantly more abundant in patients with cirrhosis, acute-on-chronic liver failure and correlate with the prognostic scores. The homodimeric N-terminal truncated isoform was independently associated to disease complications and was able to stratify 1-year survival. As a result of all these changes, the monomeric native HA was significantly decreased in patients with cirrhosis, being also associated with a poorer prognosis. In conclusion homodimerization is a novel described structural alteration of the HA molecule in decompensated cirrhosis and contributes to the progressive reduction of the monomeric native HA, the only isoform provided of structural and functional integrity.

  1. Structural characterization of complex O-linked glycans from insect-derived material.

    Garenaux, Estelle; Maes, Emmanuel; Levêque, S; Brassart, Colette; Guerardel, Yann

    2011-07-01

    Although insects are among the most diverse groups of the animal kingdom and may be found in nearly all environments, one can observe an obvious lack of structural data on their glycosylation ability. Hymenoptera is the second largest of all insect orders with more than 110,000 identified species and includes the most famous examples of social insects' species such as wasps, bees and ants. In this report, the structural variety of O-glycans has been studied in two Hymenoptera species. In a previous study, we showed that major O-glycans from common wasp (Vespula germanica) salivary mucins correspond to T and Tn antigen, eventually substituted by phosphoethanolamine or phosphate groups. More detailed structural analysis performed by mass spectrometry revealed numerous minor O-glycan structures bearing Gal, GlcNAc, GalNAc and Fuc residues. Thus, in order to investigate glycosylation diversity in insects, we used common wasp nest (V. germanica) and hornet nest (Vespa cabro) as starting materials. These materials were submitted to reductive β-elimination and the released oligosaccharide-alditols further fractionated by multidimensional HPLC. Tandem mass spectrometry analyses combined with NMR data revealed the presence of various families of complex O-glycans differing accordingly to both core structures and external motifs. Glycans from wasp were characterized by the presence of core types 1 and 2, Lewis X and internal Gal-Gal motifs. We also observed unusual O-glycans containing a reducing GalNAc unit directly substituted by a fucose residue. In contrast, hornet O-glycans appeared as a rather homogeneous family of core 1 type O-glycans extended by galactose oligomers. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. The application of a mathematical model linking structural and functional connectomes in severe brain injury

    A. Kuceyeski

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Following severe injuries that result in disorders of consciousness, recovery can occur over many months or years post-injury. While post-injury synaptogenesis, axonal sprouting and functional reorganization are known to occur, the network-level processes underlying recovery are poorly understood. Here, we test a network-level functional rerouting hypothesis in recovery of patients with disorders of consciousness following severe brain injury. This hypothesis states that the brain recovers from injury by restoring normal functional connections via alternate structural pathways that circumvent impaired white matter connections. The so-called network diffusion model, which relates an individual's structural and functional connectomes by assuming that functional activation diffuses along structural pathways, is used here to capture this functional rerouting. We jointly examined functional and structural connectomes extracted from MRIs of 12 healthy and 16 brain-injured subjects. Connectome properties were quantified via graph theoretic measures and network diffusion model parameters. While a few graph metrics showed groupwise differences, they did not correlate with patients' level of consciousness as measured by the Coma Recovery Scale — Revised. There was, however, a strong and significant partial Pearson's correlation (accounting for age and years post-injury between level of consciousness and network diffusion model propagation time (r = 0.76, p < 0.05, corrected, i.e. the time functional activation spends traversing the structural network. We concluded that functional rerouting via alternate (and less efficient pathways leads to increases in network diffusion model propagation time. Simulations of injury and recovery in healthy connectomes confirmed these results. This work establishes the feasibility for using the network diffusion model to capture network-level mechanisms in recovery of consciousness after severe brain injury.

  3. Data transmission optical link for LLRF TESLA project part I: hardware structure of OPT0 module

    Pozniak, Krzysztof T.; Romaniuk, Ryszard S.; Jalmuzna, Wojciech; Olowski, Krzysztof; Perkuszewski, Karol; Zielinski, Jerzy; Kierzkowski, Krzysztof

    2006-03-01

    It may be predicted now, even assuming a very conservative approach, that the next generation of the Low Level RF control systems for future accelerators will use extensively such technologies like: very fast programmable circuits equipped with DSP, embedded PC and optical communication I/O functionalities, as well as multi-gigabit optical transmission of measurement data and control signals. The paper presents the idea and realization of a gigabit synchronous data distributor designed to work in the LLRF control system of TESLA technology based X-ray FEL. The design bases on a relatively simple and cheap FPGA chip Cyclone. Commercially available SERDES (serializer/deserializer) and optical transceiver chips were applied. The optoelectronic module is embedded on the main LLRF BMB (backbone mother board). The MB provides communication with the outside computer control system, programmable chip configuration, integration with other functional modules and power supply. The hardware implementation is here described and the used software for BER (bit-error-rate) testing of the multi-gigabit optical link. The measurement results are presented. The appendix contains a comparison between the available protocols of serial data transmission for FPGA technology. This paper is a partial contribution to the next version of the SIMCON system which is expected to be released this year. The SIMCON, ver 3.0 will contain 8 channels and multi-gigabit optical transmission capability. It will be a fully modular construction.

  4. Jazz of physics the secret link between music and the structure of the Universe

    Alexander, Stephon

    2016-01-01

    More than fifty years ago, John Coltrane drew the twelve musical notes in a circle and connected them by straight lines, forming a five-pointed star. Inspired by Einstein, Coltrane had put physics and geometry at the core of his music. Physicist and jazz musician Stephon Alexander returns the favor, using jazz to answer physics’ most vexing questions about the past and future of the universe. Following the great minds that first drew the links between music and physics—a list including Pythagoras, Kepler, Newton, Einstein, and Rakim—The Jazz of Physics revisits the ancient realm where music, physics, and the cosmos were one. This cosmological journey accompanies Alexander’s own tale of struggling to reconcile his passion for music and physics, from taking music lessons as a boy in the Bronx to studying theoretical physics at Imperial College, London’s inner sanctum of string theory. Playing the saxophone and improvising with equations, Alexander uncovered the connection between the fundamental wave...

  5. Scleral Cross-Linking Using Riboflavin UVA Irradiation for the Prevention of Myopia Progression in a Guinea Pig Model: Blocked Axial Extension and Altered Scleral Microstructure.

    Shuai Liu

    Full Text Available To develop methods of collagen cross-linking (CXL in the sclera for the treatment of progressive myopia and to investigate the biomechanical and histological changes that occur in as a result.Twenty 14-day-old guinea pigs were divided into 3 groups: the cross-linking group (CL, n = 8, non cross-linking group (NCL, n = 8, and control group (n = 4. The scleras of the right eyes of the guinea pigs in the CL group were surgically exposed and riboflavin was dropped onto the irradiation zone for 20 seconds prior to ultraviolet-A (UVA irradiation. The same procedure was conducted on the NCL group but without UVA irradiation. No procedure was conducted on the control group. The right eyes of the guinea pigs in the CL and NCL groups were then fitted with -10.00DS optics for six weeks. Retinoscopy and the axial lengths (AXL were measured at baseline, and at the second, fourth and sixth weeks post-treatment in all three groups. All animal subjects were euthanized after the sixth week and then biomechanical and histopathological examinations of the scleras were conducted.The mean AXL of the NCL group was longer than both the control and CL groups at six weeks (P = 0.001. The mean refractive error in the NCL group was statistically significantly more negative than both the control and the CL groups at six weeks (P = 0.001. The scleral collagen fiber arrangements of the CL and control groups were denser and more regularly distributed than the NCL group. Ultimate stress of the sclera was lowest in the NCL group, followed by the CL then the control group (P<0.05. Ultimate strain (% of the sclera was lowest in the CL group followed by the NCL and then the control group (P<0.05.Our study demonstrates that scleral CXL using riboflavin UVA irradiation effectively prevents the progression of myopia by increasing scleral biomechanical strength in a guinea pig model.

  6. Combining QSAR Modeling and Text-Mining Techniques to Link Chemical Structures and Carcinogenic Modes of Action.

    Papamokos, George; Silins, Ilona

    2016-01-01

    There is an increasing need for new reliable non-animal based methods to predict and test toxicity of chemicals. Quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR), a computer-based method linking chemical structures with biological activities, is used in predictive toxicology. In this study, we tested the approach to combine QSAR data with literature profiles of carcinogenic modes of action automatically generated by a text-mining tool. The aim was to generate data patterns to identify associations between chemical structures and biological mechanisms related to carcinogenesis. Using these two methods, individually and combined, we evaluated 96 rat carcinogens of the hematopoietic system, liver, lung, and skin. We found that skin and lung rat carcinogens were mainly mutagenic, while the group of carcinogens affecting the hematopoietic system and the liver also included a large proportion of non-mutagens. The automatic literature analysis showed that mutagenicity was a frequently reported endpoint in the literature of these carcinogens, however, less common endpoints such as immunosuppression and hormonal receptor-mediated effects were also found in connection with some of the carcinogens, results of potential importance for certain target organs. The combined approach, using QSAR and text-mining techniques, could be useful for identifying more detailed information on biological mechanisms and the relation with chemical structures. The method can be particularly useful in increasing the understanding of structure and activity relationships for non-mutagens.

  7. Combining QSAR Modeling and Text-Mining Techniques to Link Chemical Structures and Carcinogenic Modes of Action

    Papamokos, George; Silins, Ilona

    2016-01-01

    There is an increasing need for new reliable non-animal based methods to predict and test toxicity of chemicals. Quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR), a computer-based method linking chemical structures with biological activities, is used in predictive toxicology. In this study, we tested the approach to combine QSAR data with literature profiles of carcinogenic modes of action automatically generated by a text-mining tool. The aim was to generate data patterns to identify associations between chemical structures and biological mechanisms related to carcinogenesis. Using these two methods, individually and combined, we evaluated 96 rat carcinogens of the hematopoietic system, liver, lung, and skin. We found that skin and lung rat carcinogens were mainly mutagenic, while the group of carcinogens affecting the hematopoietic system and the liver also included a large proportion of non-mutagens. The automatic literature analysis showed that mutagenicity was a frequently reported endpoint in the literature of these carcinogens, however, less common endpoints such as immunosuppression and hormonal receptor-mediated effects were also found in connection with some of the carcinogens, results of potential importance for certain target organs. The combined approach, using QSAR and text-mining techniques, could be useful for identifying more detailed information on biological mechanisms and the relation with chemical structures. The method can be particularly useful in increasing the understanding of structure and activity relationships for non-mutagens. PMID:27625608

  8. Vacuum structure revealed by over-improved stout-link smearing compared with the overlap analysis for quenched QCD

    Ilgenfritz, E.M.; Leinweber, D.; Moran, P.; Koller, K.; Weinberg, V.; Freie Univ. Berlin

    2008-01-01

    A detailed comparison is made between the topological structure of quenched QCD as revealed by the recently proposed over-improved stout-link smearing in conjunction with an improved gluonic definition of the topological density on one hand and a similar analysis made possible by the overlap-fermionic topological charge density both with and without variable ultraviolet cutoff λ cut . The matching is twofold, provided by fitting the density-density two-point functions on one hand and by a point-by-point fitting of the topological densities according to the two methods. We point out the similar cluster structure of the topological density for moderate smearing and 200 MeV cut <600 MeV, respectively. We demonstrate the relation of the gluonic topological density for extensive smearing to the location of the overlap zero modes and the lowest overlap non-zero mode as found for the unsmeared configurations. (orig.)

  9. Vacuum structure revealed by over-improved stout-link smearing compared with the overlap analysis for quenched QCD

    Ilgenfritz, E.M.; Leinweber, D.; Moran, P. [Adelaide Univ., SA (AU). Special Research Centre for the Subatomic Structure of Matter (CSSM); Koller, K. [Muenchen Univ. (Germany). Sektion Physik; Schierholz, G. [Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Zeuthen (Germany). John von Neumann-Inst. fuer Computing NIC; Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Hamburg (Germany); Weinberg, V. [Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Zeuthen (Germany). John von Neumann-Inst. fuer Computing NIC; Freie Univ. Berlin (Germany). Inst. fuer Theoretische Physik

    2008-01-11

    A detailed comparison is made between the topological structure of quenched QCD as revealed by the recently proposed over-improved stout-link smearing in conjunction with an improved gluonic definition of the topological density on one hand and a similar analysis made possible by the overlap-fermionic topological charge density both with and without variable ultraviolet cutoff {lambda}{sub cut}. The matching is twofold, provided by fitting the density-density two-point functions on one hand and by a point-by-point fitting of the topological densities according to the two methods. We point out the similar cluster structure of the topological density for moderate smearing and 200 MeV<{lambda}{sub cut}<600 MeV, respectively. We demonstrate the relation of the gluonic topological density for extensive smearing to the location of the overlap zero modes and the lowest overlap non-zero mode as found for the unsmeared configurations. (orig.)

  10. Chemical structure, biosynthesis and synthesis of free and glycosylated pyridinolines formed by cross-link of bone and synovium collagen.

    Anastasia, Luigi; Rota, Paola; Anastasia, Mario; Allevi, Pietro

    2013-09-21

    This review focuses on the chemical structure, biosynthesis and synthesis of free and glycosylated pyridinolines (Pyds), fluorescent collagen cross-links, with a pyridinium salt structure. Pyds derive from the degradation of bone collagen and have attracted attention for their use as biochemical markers of bone resorption and to assess fracture risk prediction in persons suffering from osteoporosis, bone cancer and other bone or collagen diseases. We consider and critically discuss all reported syntheses of free and glycosylated Pyds evidencing an unrevised chemistry, original and of general utility, analysis of which allows us to also support a previously suggested non-enzymatic formation of Pyds in collagen better rationalizing and justifying the chemical events.

  11. Linking didactics and research in instructional material: A new structural model

    Graf, Stefan Ting

    2009-01-01

    How can research in instructional materials become more relevant for didactics and instruction planning? And how can general didactics reflect questions developed from a media perspective. These are the guiding questions of the article, which assumes a gap between general didactics and research...... and theory of instructional material. General didactics does not sufficiently incorporate a theory of media, and research and theory in instructional material do not recognise general didactics and apply very different conceptions of instruction in their studies – if at all. Through two approaches we argue...... for a new basic structure in didactics in order to bridge the gap when relevant conclusions for pragmatic didactics are in question. The first approach accounts for the place and status of media in the most known structural theories in general didactics. The second approach argues from another angle...

  12. Intellectual capital disclosure and corporate governance structure among Malaysian government-linked companies

    Rashidah Abdul Rahman

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the level of intellectual capital disclosure among the 32 Malaysian GLCs by comparing with the Non-GLCs for the period 2007-2009. In addition, this study also investigates the impact of board structure on the intellectual capital disclosure of Malaysian GLCs. The board structure mechanisms comprise; board composition, role duality, board size and cross directorship. The control variables consist of the company-specific characteristics –leverage, profitability and age of the company. The content analysis is used to extract the intellectual capital disclosure items from the annual report. The results show that the GLCs disclosed more intellectual capital information than Non-GLCs. Board size and leverage are significant and positively related to the intellectual capital disclosure of Malaysian GLCs.

  13. Balanced translocation linked to psychiatric disorder, glutamate, and cortical structure/function

    Thomson, Pippa A; Duff, Barbara; Blackwood, Douglas H R; Romaniuk, Liana; Watson, Andrew; Whalley, Heather C; Li, Xiang; Dauvermann, Maria R; Moorhead, T William J; Bois, Catherine; Ryan, Niamh M; Redpath, Holly; Hall, Lynsey; Morris, Stewart W; van Beek, Edwin J R

    2016-01-01

    Rare genetic variants of large effect can help elucidate the pathophysiology of brain disorders. Here we expand the clinical and genetic analyses of a family with a (1;11)(q42;q14.3) translocation multiply affected by major psychiatric illness and test the effect of the translocation on the structure and function of prefrontal, and temporal brain regions. The translocation showed significant linkage (LOD score 6.1) with a clinical phenotype that included schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorde...

  14. Carotenoid-bearing structures in fruit chromoplasts of Solatium capsicastrum Link.

    Ljubešić, Nikola; Wrischer, Mercedes; Prebeg, Tatjana; Brkić, Dragomir

    2001-01-01

    The fine structure, pigment content and protein profile of chromoplasts in fruit of Solatium capsicastrum were studied during the various stages of ripening. Plastid metamorphosis is synchronized with the disappearance of chlorophylls and intense synthesis of carotenoids. The chloro-chromoplasts observed in the first stages of fruit ripening accumulated large groups of plastoglobules. As the ripening process proceeded, the plastoglobules transformed into small crystalloids and tubules. In red...

  15. Remote sensing of Essential Biodiversity Variables: new measurements linking ecosystem structure, function and composition

    Schimel, D.; Pavlick, R.; Stavros, E. N.; Townsend, P. A.; Ustin, S.; Thompson, D. R.

    2017-12-01

    Remote sensing can inform a wide variety of essential biodiversity variables, including measurements that define primary productivity, forest structure, biome distribution, plant communities, land use-land cover change and climate drivers of change. Emerging remote sensing technologies can add significantly to remote sensing of EBVs, providing new, large scale insights on plant and habitat diversity itself, as well as causes and consequences of biodiversity change. All current biodiversity assessments identify major data gaps, with insufficient coverage in critical regions, limited observations to monitor change over time, with very limited revisit of sample locations, as well as taxon-specific biased biases. Remote sensing cannot fill many of the gaps in global biodiversity observations, but spectroscopic measurements in terrestrial and marine environments can aid in assessing plant/phytoplankton functional diversity and efficiently reveal patterns in space, as well as changes over time, and, by making use of chlorophyll fluorescence, reveal associated patterns in photosynthesis. LIDAR and RADAR measurements quantify ecosystem structure, and can precisely define changes due to growth, disturbance and land use. Current satellite-based EBVs have taken advantage of the extraordinary time series from LANDSAT and MODIS, but new measurements more directly reveal ecosystem structure, function and composition. We will present results from pre-space airborne studies showing the synergistic ability of a suite of new remote observation techniques to quantify biodiversity and ecosystem function and show how it changes during major disturbance events.

  16. Structure of superhard tungsten tetraboride: A missing link between MB2 and MB12 higher borides

    Lech, Andrew T.; Turner, Christopher L.; Mohammadi, Reza; Tolbert, Sarah H.; Kaner, Richard B.

    2015-01-01

    Superhard metals are of interest as possible replacements with enhanced properties over the metal carbides commonly used in cutting, drilling, and wear-resistant tooling. Of the superhard metals, the highest boride of tungsten—often referred to as WB4 and sometimes as W1–xB3—is one of the most promising candidates. The structure of this boride, however, has never been fully resolved, despite the fact that it was discovered in 1961—a fact that severely limits our understanding of its structure–property relationships and has generated increasing controversy in the literature. Here, we present a new crystallographic model of this compound based on refinement against time-of-flight neutron diffraction data. Contrary to previous X-ray–only structural refinements, there is strong evidence for the presence of interstitial arrangements of boron atoms and polyhedral bonding. The formation of these polyhedra—slightly distorted boron cuboctahedra—appears to be dependent upon the defective nature of the tungsten-deficient metal sublattice. This previously unidentified structure type has an intermediary relationship between MB2 and MB12 type boride polymorphs. Manipulation of the fractionally occupied metal and boron sites may provide insight for the rational design of new superhard metals. PMID:25733870

  17. Attachment quality of children with ID and its link to maternal sensitivity and structuring.

    Feniger-Schaal, Rinat; Joels, Tirtsa

    2018-05-01

    Attachment theory produced a fertile field of research and clinical application. Although the topic of attachment of children with intellectual disability (ID) has received increasing research attention over the past 15 years, the empirical evidence is still limited. We applied theoretical and empirical knowledge of parenting typically developing children to examine the mother-child relationship in the ID population. The aim was to examine maternal sensitivity and structuring and its association with children's attachment classification and their disability. Forty preschool children (mean age 47.25, range 26-75 months) with non-specific ID and their mothers participated in the study. The mean developmental age was 25.92 months (SD = 10.89), The DQ mean score was 55.45 (SD = 17.28). We assessed children's quality of attachment using the SSP and maternal interactive behavior using the Emotional Availability Scales. Forty percent of children showed secure attachment, and 32.5% showed disorganized attachment. Attachment classifications correlated significantly with maternal sensitivity and maternal structuring but not with the child's cognitive disability. The results point to the importance of maternal interactive behavior for children with ID. Clinical implication may consider interventions aiming to enhance maternal sensitivity and structuring to improve children's quality of attachment. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Exploring protein dynamics space: the dynasome as the missing link between protein structure and function.

    Ulf Hensen

    Full Text Available Proteins are usually described and classified according to amino acid sequence, structure or function. Here, we develop a minimally biased scheme to compare and classify proteins according to their internal mobility patterns. This approach is based on the notion that proteins not only fold into recurring structural motifs but might also be carrying out only a limited set of recurring mobility motifs. The complete set of these patterns, which we tentatively call the dynasome, spans a multi-dimensional space with axes, the dynasome descriptors, characterizing different aspects of protein dynamics. The unique dynamic fingerprint of each protein is represented as a vector in the dynasome space. The difference between any two vectors, consequently, gives a reliable measure of the difference between the corresponding protein dynamics. We characterize the properties of the dynasome by comparing the dynamics fingerprints obtained from molecular dynamics simulations of 112 proteins but our approach is, in principle, not restricted to any specific source of data of protein dynamics. We conclude that: 1. the dynasome consists of a continuum of proteins, rather than well separated classes. 2. For the majority of proteins we observe strong correlations between structure and dynamics. 3. Proteins with similar function carry out similar dynamics, which suggests a new method to improve protein function annotation based on protein dynamics.

  19. Chemical cross-linked polyvinyl alcohol/cellulose nanocrystal composite films with high structural stability by spraying Fenton reagent as initiator.

    Song, Meili; Yu, Houyong; Gu, Jiping; Ye, Shounuan; Zhou, Yuwei

    2018-07-01

    Cross-linked polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) composite films with high structural stability were prepared by free radical copolymerization between cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) and maleic anhydride (MAH) modified PVA through spraying Fenton free radical as initiator. The influence of chemical cross-linked and physical network structure on mechanical, thermal and water absorption properties of the composite films were investigated. Compared to PVA and PVA/CNC composite film, significant improvements in the mechanical, thermal and water uptake properties of the cross-linked composite film were found. The tensile strength of the cross-linked composite film was enhanced from 23.1MPa (neat PVA film) and 32.6MPa (PVA/CNC-10%) to 42.5MPa, and the maximum thermal degradation temperature was increased from 266.8°C and 281.2°C to 366.7°C (cross-linked composite film). Besides, the water absorption was reduced from 385.9% and 220.6% to 175.7% for cross-linked composite film. It indicates that compared with physical network structure in PVA/CNC composite film, the multiple cross-linked networks showed excellent thermal stability, resistance of water swelling and structural stability at the same CNC loading level. Thus, the PVA/CNC composite film with the multiple cross-linked network shows greater property reinforcements. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. LP-LPA: A link influence-based label propagation algorithm for discovering community structures in networks

    Berahmand, Kamal; Bouyer, Asgarali

    2018-03-01

    Community detection is an essential approach for analyzing the structural and functional properties of complex networks. Although many community detection algorithms have been recently presented, most of them are weak and limited in different ways. Label Propagation Algorithm (LPA) is a well-known and efficient community detection technique which is characterized by the merits of nearly-linear running time and easy implementation. However, LPA has some significant problems such as instability, randomness, and monster community detection. In this paper, an algorithm, namely node’s label influence policy for label propagation algorithm (LP-LPA) was proposed for detecting efficient community structures. LP-LPA measures link strength value for edges and nodes’ label influence value for nodes in a new label propagation strategy with preference on link strength and for initial nodes selection, avoid of random behavior in tiebreak states, and efficient updating order and rule update. These procedures can sort out the randomness issue in an original LPA and stabilize the discovered communities in all runs of the same network. Experiments on synthetic networks and a wide range of real-world social networks indicated that the proposed method achieves significant accuracy and high stability. Indeed, it can obviously solve monster community problem with regard to detecting communities in networks.

  1. Disease and community structure: white-nose syndrome alters spatial and temporal niche partitioning in sympatric bat species

    Jachowski, David S.; Dobony, Christopher A.; Coleman, Laci S.; Ford, W. Mark; Britzke, Eric R.; Rodrigue, Jane L.

    2014-01-01

    AimEmerging infectious diseases present a major perturbation with apparent direct effects such as reduced population density, extirpation and/or extinction. Comparatively less is known about the potential indirect effects of disease that likely alter community structure and larger ecosystem function. Since 2006, white-nose syndrome (WNS) has resulted in the loss of over 6 million hibernating bats in eastern North America. Considerable evidence exists concerning niche partitioning in sympatric bat species in this region, and the unprecedented, rapid decline in multiple species following WNS may provide an opportunity to observe a dramatic restructuring of the bat community.LocationWe conducted our study at Fort Drum Army Installation in Jefferson and Lewis counties, New York, USA, where WNS first impacted extant bat species in winter 2007–2008.MethodsAcoustical monitoring during 2003–2011 allowed us to test the hypothesis that spatial and temporal niche partitioning by bats was relaxed post-WNS.ResultsWe detected nine bat species pre- and post-WNS. Activity for most bat species declined post-WNS. Dramatic post-WNS declines in activity of little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus, MYLU), formerly the most abundant bat species in the region, were associated with complex, often species-specific responses by other species that generally favoured increased spatial and temporal overlap with MYLU.Main conclusionsIn addition to the obvious direct effects of disease on bat populations and activity levels, our results provide evidence that disease can have cascading indirect effects on community structure. Recent occurrence of WNS in North America, combined with multiple existing stressors, is resulting in dramatic shifts in temporal and spatial niche partitioning within bat communities. These changes might influence long-term population viability of some bat species as well as broader scale ecosystem structure and function.

  2. Interleukin-18 alters protein expressions of neurodegenerative diseases-linked proteins in human SH-SY5Y neuron-like cells

    Elina M Sutinen

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress (OS are present in Alzheimer´s disease (AD brains in addition to neuronal loss, Amyloid-β (Aβ plaques and hyperphosphorylated tau-protein neurofibrillary tangles. Previously we showed that levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-18 (IL-18, are elevated in post-mortem AD brains. IL-18 can modulate the tau kinases, Cdk5 and GSK3β, as well as Aβ-production. IL-18 levels are also increased in AD risk diseases, including type-2 diabetes and obesity. Here, we explored other IL-18 regulated proteins in neuron-like SH-SY5Y cells. Differentiated SH-SY5Y cells, incubated with IL-18 for 24, 48 or 72h, were analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE. Specific altered protein spots were chosen and identified with mass spectrometry and verified by western immunoblotting. IL-18 had time-dependent effects on the SH-SY5Y proteome, modulating numerous protein levels/modifications. We concentrated on those related to OS (DDAH2, peroxiredoxins 2, 3 and 6, DJ-1, BLVRA, Aβ-degradation (MMP14, TIMP2, Aβ-aggregation (Septin-2 and modifications of axon growth and guidance associated, collapsing response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2. IL-18 significantly increased antioxidative enzymes, indicative of OS, and altered levels of glycolytic α- and γ-enolase and multifunctional 14-3-3γ and -ε, commonly affected in neurodegenerative diseases. MMP14, TIMP2, α-enolase and 14-3-3ε, indirectly involved in Aβ metabolism, as well as Septin-2 showed changes that increase Aβ levels. Increased 14-3-3γ may contribute to GSK3β driven tau hyperphosphorylation and CRMP2 Thr514 and Ser522 phosphorylation with the Thr555-site, a target for Rho kinase, showing time-dependent changes. IL-18 also increased caspase-1 levels and vacuolization of the cells. Although our SH-SY5Y cells were not aged, as neurons in AD, our work suggests that heightened or prolonged IL-18 levels can drive protein changes of known

  3. Linking natural microstructures with numerical modeling of pinch-and-swell structures

    Peters, Max; Berger, Alfons; Herwegh, Marco; Regenauer-Lieb, Klaus

    2016-04-01

    For a variety of geological problems, the change from homogeneous to localized deformation and the establishment of steady-state conditions are equally important. Here, we show that pinch-and-swell structures are ideal candidates for the study of the switch in deformation style and mechanism during ductile creep. We present an interdisciplinary approach to the onset of pinch-and-swell structures and to the flow conditions during pre- to post-localization stages in ductile rocks. For this reason, naturally boudinaged calcite veins, embedded in a calc-mylonite, and their microfabrics were investigated quantitatively. Remnants of slightly deformed calcite hosts build up the swells, showing twinning and minor dislocation glide as crystal plastic deformation mechanisms which are accompanied by subgrain rotation recrystallization (SGR). Towards the pinches, we find a gradient of severe grain size reduction through progressive SGR, developing a characteristic dislocation creep crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO). Along this gradient, the finest recrystallized calcite grains appear randomly oriented, expressed by a "smearing-out" of the CPO and missing systematics of misorientation angles in the most extended areas. We interpret this microstructure as a switch from dislocation dominated creep to grain boundary sliding processes. Further, we show that the onset of boudinage is independent on both the original orientation and grain size of calcite hosts. We implemented these microstructural observations into a layered elasto-visco-plastic finite element framework, tracing variations in grain size (Peters et al., 2015). We base the microstructural evolution on thermo-mechanical-chemical principles and end-member flow laws (Herwegh et al., 2014). The simulated pinch-and-swell structures indicate that low strain rates in the swells favor dislocation creep, whereas accelerated rates provoke continuous grain size reduction allowing strain accommodation by diffusion creep

  4. Investigating the link between fish community structure and environmental state in deep-time

    Sibert, E. C.

    2017-12-01

    In the modern ocean, a bottom-up ecological viewpoint posits that the composition of plankton communities is often a function of ambient oceanographic conditions, including nutrient concentrations and water temperature. Thus, certain plankton species or communities can be associated with specific oceanographic conditions, giving them potential as carriers of paleoceanographic information. Furthermore, consumer groups, such as fish, depend on the structure and composition of these plankton, and therefore different plankton communities will support different types of fish. In addition, fish have their own physiological constraints for surviving in particular environments, such as oxygen demand, and metabolic rate, causing certain clades to be selectively associated with different water mass characteristics. Thus, the relative or absolute abundances of different fish species or groups could shed light on shifting oxygen concentrations, temperature, or primary productivity in the past. To assess whether fish communities have sufficient environmental control to provide paleoceanographic insights, I use a variety of morphological, phylogenetic, and ecological statistical approaches, to correlate modern fish communities from around the world with environmental variables. I then apply these principles to a series of ichthyolith assemblages from the Cretaceous and Cenozoic, across both space and time, to assess whether fish community composition, abundance, or other characteristics can be predictive of ocean temperature or export productivity. I find that while the abundance of fish fossils in deep-sea cores is often, though not always, correlated with certain export production and temperature proxies, community composition appears to vary independently of these variables on long timescales, driven more by evolutionary processes. However, there are distinct differences in contemporary communities in different locations, suggesting that there is potential in using fish

  5. Linking interfacial chemistry of CO2 to surface structures of hydrated metal oxide nanoparticles: hematite.

    Chernyshova, Irina V; Ponnurangam, Sathish; Somasundaran, Ponisseril

    2013-05-14

    A better understanding of interaction with dissolved CO2 is required to rationally design and model the (photo)catalytic and sorption processes on metal (hydr)oxide nanoparticles (NPs) in aqueous media. Using in situ FTIR spectroscopy, we address this problem for rhombohedral 38 nm hematite (α-Fe2O3) nanoparticles as a model. We not only resolve the structures of the adsorbed carbonate species, but also specify their adsorption sites and their location on the nanoparticle surface. The spectral relationships obtained present a basis for a new method of characterizing the microscopic structural and acid-base properties (related to individual adsorption sites) of hydrated metal (hydr)oxide NPs using atmospherically derived CO2 as a probe. Specifically, we distinguish two carbonate species suggesting two principally different adsorption mechanisms. One species, which is more weakly adsorbed, has an inner-sphere mononuclear monodentate structure which is formed by a conventional ligand-exchange mechanism. At natural levels of dissolved carbonate and pH from 3 to 11, this species is attached to the most acidic/reactive surface cations (surface states) associated with ferrihydrite-like surface defects. The second species, which is more strongly adsorbed, presents a mixed C and O coordination of bent CO2. This species uniquely recognizes the stoichiometric rhombohedral {104} facets in the NP texture. Like in gas phase, it is formed through the surface coordination of molecular CO2. We address how the adsorption sites hosting these two carbonate species are affected by the annealing and acid etching of the NPs. These results support the nanosize-induced phase transformation of hematite towards ferrihydrite under hydrous conditions, and additionally show that the process starts from the roughened areas of the facet intersections.

  6. Becker muscular dystrophy severity is linked to the structure of dystrophin.

    Nicolas, Aurélie; Raguénès-Nicol, Céline; Ben Yaou, Rabah; Ameziane-Le Hir, Sarah; Chéron, Angélique; Vié, Véronique; Claustres, Mireille; Leturcq, France; Delalande, Olivier; Hubert, Jean-François; Tuffery-Giraud, Sylvie; Giudice, Emmanuel; Le Rumeur, Elisabeth

    2015-03-01

    In-frame exon deletions of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene produce internally truncated proteins that typically lead to Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD), a milder allelic disorder of DMD. We hypothesized that differences in the structure of mutant dystrophin may be responsible for the clinical heterogeneity observed in Becker patients and we studied four prevalent in-frame exon deletions, i.e. Δ45-47, Δ45-48, Δ45-49 and Δ45-51. Molecular homology modelling revealed that the proteins corresponding to deletions Δ45-48 and Δ45-51 displayed a similar structure (hybrid repeat) than the wild-type dystrophin, whereas deletions Δ45-47 and Δ45-49 lead to proteins with an unrelated structure (fractional repeat). All four proteins in vitro expressed in a fragment encoding repeats 16-21 were folded in α-helices and remained highly stable. Refolding dynamics were slowed and molecular surface hydrophobicity were higher in fractional repeat containing Δ45-47 and Δ45-49 deletions compared with hybrid repeat containing Δ45-48 and Δ45-51 deletions. By retrospectively collecting data for a series of French BMD patients, we showed that the age of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) onset was delayed by 11 and 14 years in Δ45-48 and Δ45-49 compared with Δ45-47 patients, respectively. A clear trend toward earlier wheelchair dependency (minimum of 11 years) was also observed in Δ45-47 and Δ45-49 patients compared with Δ45-48 patients. Muscle dystrophin levels were moderately reduced in most patients without clear correlation with the deletion type. Disease progression in BMD patients appears to be dependent on the deletion itself and associated with a specific structure of dystrophin at the deletion site. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Linking temperature sensitivity of soil organic matter decomposition to its molecular structure, accessibility, and microbial physiology.

    Wagai, Rota; Kishimoto-Mo, Ayaka W; Yonemura, Seiichiro; Shirato, Yasuhito; Hiradate, Syuntaro; Yagasaki, Yasumi

    2013-04-01

    Temperature sensitivity of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition may have a significant impact on global warming. Enzyme-kinetic hypothesis suggests that decomposition of low-quality substrate (recalcitrant molecular structure) requires higher activation energy and thus has greater temperature sensitivity than that of high-quality, labile substrate. Supporting evidence, however, relies largely on indirect indices of substrate quality. Furthermore, the enzyme-substrate reactions that drive decomposition may be regulated by microbial physiology and/or constrained by protective effects of soil mineral matrix. We thus tested the kinetic hypothesis by directly assessing the carbon molecular structure of low-density fraction (LF) which represents readily accessible, mineral-free SOM pool. Using five mineral soil samples of contrasting SOM concentrations, we conducted 30-days incubations (15, 25, and 35 °C) to measure microbial respiration and quantified easily soluble C as well as microbial biomass C pools before and after the incubations. Carbon structure of LFs (soil was measured by solid-state (13) C-NMR. Decomposition Q10 was significantly correlated with the abundance of aromatic plus alkyl-C relative to O-alkyl-C groups in LFs but not in bulk soil fraction or with the indirect C quality indices based on microbial respiration or biomass. The warming did not significantly change the concentration of biomass C or the three types of soluble C despite two- to three-fold increase in respiration. Thus, enhanced microbial maintenance respiration (reduced C-use efficiency) especially in the soils rich in recalcitrant LF might lead to the apparent equilibrium between SOM solubilization and microbial C uptake. Our results showed physical fractionation coupled with direct assessment of molecular structure as an effective approach and supported the enzyme-kinetic interpretation of widely observed C quality-temperature relationship for short-term decomposition. Factors

  8. The story turned upside down: Meaning effects linked to variations on narrative structure

    Bundgaard, Peer; Østergaard, Svend

    2007-01-01

    be subject to variations in view of yielding specific meaning effects. This is because the production and reception of a narrative is a dynamic process where physical forces, modal forces and intentions set up a space of possibilities for the narrative trajectory. We therefore propose a determination...... structure is indeed driven by an inverted narrative schema and each significant event in the story but one (as well as each physical paragraph but one) has its rigorously symmetrical counterpart. Moreover, this inverted schema can be explained in terms of the modal forces at stake in the narrative....

  9. Structural interactions in ionic liquids linked to higher-order Poisson-Boltzmann equations

    Blossey, R.; Maggs, A. C.; Podgornik, R.

    2017-06-01

    We present a derivation of generalized Poisson-Boltzmann equations starting from classical theories of binary fluid mixtures, employing an approach based on the Legendre transform as recently applied to the case of local descriptions of the fluid free energy. Under specific symmetry assumptions, and in the linearized regime, the Poisson-Boltzmann equation reduces to a phenomenological equation introduced by Bazant et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 046102 (2011)], 10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.046102, whereby the structuring near the surface is determined by bulk coefficients.

  10. Visual attention in preterm born adults: specifically impaired attentional sub-mechanisms that link with altered intrinsic brain networks in a compensation-like mode.

    Finke, Kathrin; Neitzel, Julia; Bäuml, Josef G; Redel, Petra; Müller, Hermann J; Meng, Chun; Jaekel, Julia; Daamen, Marcel; Scheef, Lukas; Busch, Barbara; Baumann, Nicole; Boecker, Henning; Bartmann, Peter; Habekost, Thomas; Wolke, Dieter; Wohlschläger, Afra; Sorg, Christian

    2015-02-15

    Although pronounced and lasting deficits in selective attention have been observed for preterm born individuals it is unknown which specific attentional sub-mechanisms are affected and how they relate to brain networks. We used the computationally specified 'Theory of Visual Attention' together with whole- and partial-report paradigms to compare attentional sub-mechanisms of pre- (n=33) and full-term (n=32) born adults. Resting-state fMRI was used to evaluate both between-group differences and inter-individual variance in changed functional connectivity of intrinsic brain networks relevant for visual attention. In preterm born adults, we found specific impairments of visual short-term memory (vSTM) storage capacity while other sub-mechanisms such as processing speed or attentional weighting were unchanged. Furthermore, changed functional connectivity was found in unimodal visual and supramodal attention-related intrinsic networks. Among preterm born adults, the individual pattern of changed connectivity in occipital and parietal cortices was systematically associated with vSTM in such a way that the more distinct the connectivity differences, the better the preterm adults' storage capacity. These findings provide first evidence for selectively changed attentional sub-mechanisms in preterm born adults and their relation to altered intrinsic brain networks. In particular, data suggest that cortical changes in intrinsic functional connectivity may compensate adverse developmental consequences of prematurity on visual short-term storage capacity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Linking Nuclear Reactions and Nuclear Structure on the Way to the Drip Line

    Dickhoff, Willem

    2012-10-01

    The present understanding of the role of short- and long-range physics in determining proton properties near the Fermi energy for stable closed-shell nuclei has relied on data from the (e,e'p) reaction. Hadronic tools to extract such spectroscopic information have been hampered by the lack of a consistent reaction description that provides unambiguous and undisputed results. The dispersive optical model (DOM), originally conceived by Claude Mahaux, provides a unified description of both elastic nucleon scattering and structure information related to single-particle properties below the Fermi energy. The DOM provides the starting point to provide a framework in which nuclear reactions and structure data can be analyzed consistently to provide unambiguous spectroscopic information including its asymmetry dependence. Recent extensions of this approach include the treatment of non-locality to describe experimental data like the nuclear charge density based on information of the spectral density below the Fermi energy, the application of the DOM ingredients to the description of transfer reactions, a comparison of the microscopic content of the nucleon self-energy based on Faddeev-RPA calculations emphasizing long-range correlations with DOM potentials, and a study of the relation between a self-energy which includes the effect of short-range correlations with DOM potentials. The most recent Dom implementation currently in progress abandons the constraint of local potentials completely to allow an accurate description of various properties of the nuclear ground state.

  12. Linking the planktonic and benthic habitat: genetic structure of the marine diatom Skeletonema marinoi.

    Godhe, Anna; Härnström, Karolina

    2010-10-01

    Dormant life stages are important strategies for many aquatic organisms. The formation of resting stages will provide a refuge from unfavourable conditions in the water column, and their successive accumulation in the benthos will constitute a genetic reservoir for future planktonic populations. We have determined the genetic structure of a common bloom-forming diatom, Skeletonema marinoi, in the sediment and the plankton during spring, summer and autumn two subsequent years (2007-2009) in Gullmar Fjord on the Swedish west coast. Eight polymorphic microsatellite loci were used to assess the level of genetic differentiation and the respective gene diversity of the two different habitats. We also determined the degree of genetic differentiation between the seed banks inside the fjord and the open sea. The results indicate that Gullmar Fjord has one dominant endogenous population of S. marinoi, which is genetically differentiated from the open sea population. The fjord population is encountered in the plankton and in the sediment. Shifts from the dominant population can happen, and in our study, two genetically differentiated plankton populations, displaying reduced genetic diversity, occurred in September 2007 and 2008. Based on our results, we suggest that sill fjords maintain local long-lived and well-adapted protist populations, which continuously shift between the planktonic and benthic habitats. Intermittently, short-lived and mainly asexually reproducing populations can replace the dominant population in the water column, without influencing the genetic structure of the benthic seed bank. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  13. Linking lipid architecture to bilayer structure and mechanics using self-consistent field modelling

    Pera, H.; Kleijn, J. M.; Leermakers, F. A. M.

    2014-01-01

    To understand how lipid architecture determines the lipid bilayer structure and its mechanics, we implement a molecularly detailed model that uses the self-consistent field theory. This numerical model accurately predicts parameters such as Helfrichs mean and Gaussian bending modulus k c and k ¯ and the preferred monolayer curvature J 0 m , and also delivers structural membrane properties like the core thickness, and head group position and orientation. We studied how these mechanical parameters vary with system variations, such as lipid tail length, membrane composition, and those parameters that control the lipid tail and head group solvent quality. For the membrane composition, negatively charged phosphatidylglycerol (PG) or zwitterionic, phosphatidylcholine (PC), and -ethanolamine (PE) lipids were used. In line with experimental findings, we find that the values of k c and the area compression modulus k A are always positive. They respond similarly to parameters that affect the core thickness, but differently to parameters that affect the head group properties. We found that the trends for k ¯ and J 0 m can be rationalised by the concept of Israelachivili's surfactant packing parameter, and that both k ¯ and J 0 m change sign with relevant parameter changes. Although typically k ¯ 0 m ≫0, especially at low ionic strengths. We anticipate that these changes lead to unstable membranes as these become vulnerable to pore formation or disintegration into lipid disks

  14. Structural coupling of SH2-kinase domains links Fes and Abl substrate recognition and kinase activation.

    Filippakopoulos, Panagis; Kofler, Michael; Hantschel, Oliver; Gish, Gerald D; Grebien, Florian; Salah, Eidarus; Neudecker, Philipp; Kay, Lewis E; Turk, Benjamin E; Superti-Furga, Giulio; Pawson, Tony; Knapp, Stefan

    2008-09-05

    The SH2 domain of cytoplasmic tyrosine kinases can enhance catalytic activity and substrate recognition, but the molecular mechanisms by which this is achieved are poorly understood. We have solved the structure of the prototypic SH2-kinase unit of the human Fes tyrosine kinase, which appears specialized for positive signaling. In its active conformation, the SH2 domain tightly interacts with the kinase N-terminal lobe and positions the kinase alphaC helix in an active configuration through essential packing and electrostatic interactions. This interaction is stabilized by ligand binding to the SH2 domain. Our data indicate that Fes kinase activation is closely coupled to substrate recognition through cooperative SH2-kinase-substrate interactions. Similarly, we find that the SH2 domain of the active Abl kinase stimulates catalytic activity and substrate phosphorylation through a distinct SH2-kinase interface. Thus, the SH2 and catalytic domains of active Fes and Abl pro-oncogenic kinases form integrated structures essential for effective tyrosine kinase signaling.

  15. Scandinavian links

    Matthiessen, Christian Wichmann; Knowles, Richard D.

    2014-01-01

    are impressive mega structures spanning international waterways. These waterways between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea have played major roles in history. The length of each of the crossings are around 20 km. The fixed links closes gaps between the Scandinavian and European motorway and rail networks...

  16. Dermatan Sulfate Epimerase 1-Deficient Mice Have Reduced Content and Changed Distribution of Iduronic Acids in Dermatan Sulfate and an Altered Collagen Structure in Skin

    Maccarana, M.; Kalamajski, S.; Kongsgaard, M.

    2009-01-01

    Dermatan sulfate epimerase 1 (DS-epi1) and DS-epi2 convert glucuronic acid to iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate biosynthesis. Here we report on the generation of DS-epi1-null mice and the resulting alterations in the chondroitin/dermatan polysaccharide chains. The numbers of long blocks......-derived chains. DS-epi1-deficient mice are smaller than their wild-type littermates but otherwise have no gross macroscopic alterations. The lack of DS-epi1 affects the chondroitin/dermatan sulfate in many proteoglycans, and the consequences for skin collagen structure were initially analyzed. We found...... that the skin collagen architecture was altered, and electron microscopy showed that the DS-epi1-null fibrils have a larger diameter than the wild-type fibrils. The altered chondroitin/dermatan sulfate chains carried by decorin in skin are likely to affect collagen fibril formation and reduce the tensile...

  17. The story turned upside down: Meaning effects linked to variations on narrative structure

    Bundgaard, Peer; Østergaard, Svend

    2007-01-01

    This text has two parts. In the first section we intend to define the narrative schema—the canonical plot structure—as a symbolic form in Ernst Cassirer’s sense of the term. This basically implies that the narrative schema is not an invariant higher order combinatorial form, but may itself...... be subject to variations in view of yielding specific meaning effects. This is because the production and reception of a narrative is a dynamic process where physical forces, modal forces and intentions set up a space of possibilities for the narrative trajectory. We therefore propose a determination...... of the narrative schema in terms of “force dynamics.” In the next section we proceed to an analysis of Ernst Hemingway’s A Very Short Storyin order to illustrate this point. We lay down the main elements of its remarkable, if not simply outstanding both narrative and semantic-configurational structure: its plot...

  18. Linking empowering leadership to safety participation in nuclear power plants: a structural equation model.

    Martínez-Córcoles, Mario; Schöbel, Markus; Gracia, Francisco J; Tomás, Inés; Peiró, José M

    2012-07-01

    Safety participation is of paramount importance in guaranteeing the safe running of nuclear power plants. The present study examined the effects of empowering leadership on safety participation. Based on a sample of 495 employees from two Spanish nuclear power plants, structural equation modeling showed that empowering leadership has a significant relationship with safety participation, which is mediated by collaborative team learning. In addition, the results revealed that the relationship between empowering leadership and collaborative learning is partially mediated by the promotion of dialogue and open communication. The implications of these findings for safety research and their practical applications are outlined. An empowering leadership style enhances workers' safety performance, particularly safety participation behaviors. Safety participation is recommended to detect possible rule inconsistencies or misunderstood procedures and make workers aware of critical safety information and issues. Crown Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Quantitative proteomics identifies altered O-GlcNAcylation of structural, synaptic and memory-associated proteins in Alzheimer's disease: Brain protein O-GlcNAcylation in Alzheimer's disease

    Wang, Sheng [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Yang, Feng [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Petyuk, Vladislav A. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Shukla, Anil K. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Monroe, Matthew E. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Gritsenko, Marina A. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Rodland, Karin D. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Smith, Richard D. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Qian, Wei-Jun [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Gong, Cheng-Xin [New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island, New York USA; Liu, Tao [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA

    2017-07-28

    Protein modification by O-linked beta-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) is emerging as an important factor in the pathogenesis of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. Herein we report the most comprehensive, quantitative proteomics analysis for protein O-GlcNAcylation in post-mortem human brains with and without Alzheimer’s using isobaric tandem mass tags labeling, chemoenzymatic photocleavage enrichment and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. A total of 1,850 O-GlcNAc peptides covering 1,094 O-GlcNAcylation sites were identified from 530 proteins in the human brain. 128 O-GlcNAc peptides covering 78 proteins were altered significantly in Alzheimer’s brain as compared to controls (q<0.05). Moreover, alteration of the O-GlcNAc peptide abundance could be attributed more to O-GlcNAcylation level than to protein level changes. The altered O-GlcNAcylated proteins belong to several structural and functional categories, including synaptic proteins, cytoskeleton proteins, and memory-associated proteins. These findings suggest that dysregulation of O-GlcNAcylation of multiple brain proteins may be involved in the development of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease.

  20. Salinity as the main factor structuring small-bodied fish assemblages in hydrologically altered Mediterranean coastal lagoons

    Sílvia Rodríguez-Climent

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available In the Ebro Delta coastal lagoons, one of the main anthropogenic pressures is the artificial freshwater input. Each coastal lagoon has different water management schemes causing profound changes in its physicochemical characteristics. The main objective of this water management is to favour some bird species with interest either for conservation or hunting activities. The present study assesses the influence of hydrological alteration on the fish assemblages of three coastal lagoons in the Ebro Delta. The small-bodied fish fauna was mainly composed of five families: Gobiidae, Poecilidae, Cyprinodontidae, Atherinidae and Mugilidae. Salinity was found to be the main factor structuring fish community in the lagoons. The dominant species was the common goby (Pomatochistus microps when the lagoons reached higher salinity values, whereas the invasive eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki dominated during the period of higher freshwater inputs. The juveniles of the family Mugilidae showed low catch per unit effort, especially during the period of lower salinity. This same pattern was found for the endangered Spanish toothcarp (Aphanius iberus. Overall, introduced species were favoured by low salinity, which highlights the importance of changing the present water management by reducing the freshwater inputs in order to maintain suitable levels of salinity to favour native species that are important for both commercial and conservation purposes.

  1. Exposure to fine particulate matter in the air alters placental structure and the renin-angiotensin system.

    Sônia de Fátima Soto

    Full Text Available Female Wistar rats were exposed to filtered air (F or to concentrated fine particulate matter (P for 15 days. After mating, the rats were divided into four groups and again exposed to F or P (FF, FP, PF, PP beginning on day 6 of pregnancy. At embryonic day 19, the placenta was collected. The placental structure, the protein and gene expression of TGFβ1, VEGF-A, and its receptor Flk-1 and RAS were evaluated by indirect ELISA and quantitative real-time PCR.Exposure to P decreased the placental mass, size, and surface area as well as the TGFβ1, VEGF-A and Flk-1 content. In the maternal portion of the placenta, angiotensin II (AngII and its receptors AT1 (AT1R and AT2 (AT2R were decreased in the PF and PP groups. In the fetal portion of the placenta, AngII in the FP, PF and PP groups and AT2R in the PF and PP groups were decreased, but AT1R was increased in the FP group. VEGF-A gene expression was lower in the PP group than in the FF group.Exposure to pollutants before and/or during pregnancy alters some characteristics of the placenta, indicating a possible impairment of trophoblast invasion and placental angiogenesis with possible consequences for the maternal-fetal interaction, such as a limitation of fetal nutrition and growth.

  2. Enhanced Bio-hydrogen Production from Protein Wastewater by Altering Protein Structure and Amino Acids Acidification Type

    Xiao, Naidong; Chen, Yinguang; Chen, Aihui; Feng, Leiyu

    2014-01-01

    Enhanced bio-hydrogen production from protein wastewater by altering protein structure and amino acids acidification type via pH control was investigated. The hydrogen production reached 205.2 mL/g-protein when protein wastewater was pretreated at pH 12 and then fermented at pH 10. The mechanism studies showed that pH 12 pretreatment significantly enhanced protein bio-hydrolysis during the subsequent fermentation stage as it caused the unfolding of protein, damaged the protein hydrogen bonding networks, and destroyed the disulfide bridges, which increased the susceptibility of protein to protease. Moreover, pH 10 fermentation produced more acetic but less propionic acid during the anaerobic fermentation of amino acids, which was consistent with the theory of fermentation type affecting hydrogen production. Further analyses of the critical enzymes, genes, and microorganisms indicated that the activity and abundance of hydrogen producing bacteria in the pH 10 fermentation reactor were greater than those in the control. PMID:24495932

  3. Low concentrations, potential ecological consequences: Synthetic estrogens alter life-history and demographic structures of aquatic invertebrates

    Souza, María Sol; Hallgren, Per; Balseiro, Esteban; Hansson, Lars-Anders

    2013-01-01

    Contraceptive drugs are nowadays found in aquatic environments around the globe. Particularly, 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE 2 ) may act even at low concentrations, such as those recorded in natural ecosystems. We evaluated the physiological effects of EE 2 on cyclopoids and calanoids, common copepods in both marine and freshwater communities. We used three EE 2 concentrations and assessed its impact on activity of different physiological endpoints: Acetylcholinesterase (neurotransmission), Glutathione S-transferase (detoxifying system), and Caspase-3 (apoptosis). While EE 2 exerts, distinctive effect on detoxifying and apoptotic systems, no effect on AChE was observed at environmental doses. Our results show that EE 2 exposure affects differently copepod physiology endpoints, altering moulting process, adult recruitment in calanoids and calanoid to cyclopoid ratio. The ecological consequences of this underlying physiological process may affect since life history to population and community structures, and this represent a new aspects of this xenobiotic in natural systems. Highlights: •We evaluated physiological effects of 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE 2 ) on copepods. •We measured the EE 2 effect on neurotransmission, detoxifying system and apoptosis. •EE 2 exert distinctive effect on detoxifying and apoptotic systems. •EE 2 affects differently calanoids and cyclopoids moulting and adult recruitment. •Physiological impact in invertebrates' communities is a novel aspect of EE 2 effects. -- Anthropogenic estrogens modify the physiological functioning of aquatic invertebrates

  4. Alteration of a recombinant protein N-glycan structure in silkworms by partial suppression of N-acetylglucosaminidase gene expression.

    Kato, Tatsuya; Kikuta, Kotaro; Kanematsu, Ayumi; Kondo, Sachiko; Yagi, Hirokazu; Kato, Koichi; Park, Enoch Y

    2017-09-01

    To synthesize complex type N-glycans in silkworms, shRNAs against the fused lobe from Bombyx mori (BmFDL), which codes N-acetylglucosaminidase (GlcNAcase) in the Golgi, was expressed by recombinant B. mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) in silkworm larvae. Expression was under the control of the actin promoter of B. mori or the U6-2 and i.e.-2 promoters from Orgyia pseudotsugata multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (OpMNPV). The reduction of specific GlcNAcase activity was observed in Bm5 cells and silkworm larvae using the U6-2 promoter. In silkworm larvae, the partial suppression of BmFDL gene expression was observed. When shRNA against BmFDL was expressed under the control of U6-2 promoter, the Man 3 GlcNAc(Fuc)GlcNAc structure appeared in a main N-glycans of recombinant human IgG. These results suggested that the control of BmFDL expression by its shRNA in silkworms caused the modification of its N-glycan synthetic pathway, which may lead to the alteration of N-glycans in the expressed recombinant proteins. Suppression of BmFDL gene expression by shRNA is not sufficient to synthesize complex N-glycans in silkworm larvae but can modify the N-glycan synthetic pathway.

  5. Chronic alterations in growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-I signaling lead to changes in mouse tendon structure

    Nielsen, R H; Clausen, N M; Schjerling, P

    2014-01-01

    transgenic mice that expressed bovine GH (bGH) and had high circulating levels of GH and IGF-I, 2) dwarf mice with a disrupted GH receptor gene (GHR-/-) leading to GH resistance and low circulating IGF-I, and 3) a wild-type control group (CTRL). We measured the ultra-structure, collagen content and m......The growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-I (GH/IGF-I) axis is an important stimulator of collagen synthesis in connective tissue, but the effect of chronically altered GH/IGF-I levels on connective tissue of the muscle-tendon unit is not known. We studied three groups of mice; 1) giant......-/- mice had significantly lower collagen fibril volume fraction in Achilles tendon, as well as decreased mRNA expression of IGF-I isoforms and collagen types I and III in muscle compared to CTRL. In contrast, the mRNA expression of IGF-I isoforms and collagens in bGH mice was generally high in both tendon...

  6. Elevated 2,3-diphosphoglycerate concentrations and alteration of structural integrity in the erythrocytes of Indian cases of visceral leishmaniasis.

    Biswas, T; Ghosh, D K; Mukherjee, N; Ghosal, J

    1995-08-01

    The visceral leishmaniasis (VL) known as kala-azar in India is characterized by severe anaemia. The anaemia seems to be the result, at least in part, of the relatively short life-time of the erythrocytes, which have weakened cell membranes, possibly because of elevated concentrations of 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG). There is a negative correlation (r = 0.91; P < 0.01) between erythrocytic 2,3-DPG concentrations and the blood concentration of haemoglobin, and the erythrocytes from infected patients display higher osmotic fragility than those from uninfected controls. Spectrofluorometry, using 1,6-diphenyl 1,3,5-hexatriene as a probe, indicated that fluorescence depolarization and microviscosity are also higher in the erythrocytic membranes from VL cases than in those from the controls. The cholesterol/phospholipid ratio is also relatively high in the membranes from the VL cases and there is degradation of the skeletal components and the major integral protein (band 3). The enhanced concentration of 2,3-DPG may be related to the altered structural integrity of the erythrocytes and this may lead to anisocytosis and the reduction in the erythrocytic half life.

  7. Enhanced bio-hydrogen production from protein wastewater by altering protein structure and amino acids acidification type.

    Xiao, Naidong; Chen, Yinguang; Chen, Aihui; Feng, Leiyu

    2014-02-05

    Enhanced bio-hydrogen production from protein wastewater by altering protein structure and amino acids acidification type via pH control was investigated. The hydrogen production reached 205.2 mL/g-protein when protein wastewater was pretreated at pH 12 and then fermented at pH 10. The mechanism studies showed that pH 12 pretreatment significantly enhanced protein bio-hydrolysis during the subsequent fermentation stage as it caused the unfolding of protein, damaged the protein hydrogen bonding networks, and destroyed the disulfide bridges, which increased the susceptibility of protein to protease. Moreover, pH 10 fermentation produced more acetic but less propionic acid during the anaerobic fermentation of amino acids, which was consistent with the theory of fermentation type affecting hydrogen production. Further analyses of the critical enzymes, genes, and microorganisms indicated that the activity and abundance of hydrogen producing bacteria in the pH 10 fermentation reactor were greater than those in the control.

  8. Alteration of a second putative fusion peptide of structural glycoprotein E2 of Classical Swine Fever Virus alters virus replication and virulence in swine

    E2, the major envelope glycoprotein of Classical Swine Fever Virus (CSFV), is involved in several critical virus functions including cell attachment, host range susceptibility, and virulence in natural hosts. Functional structural analysis of E2 based on Wimley-White interfacial hydrophobicity dis...

  9. Mercury alters the bacterial community structure and diversity in soil even at concentrations lower than the guideline values.

    Mahbub, Khandaker Rayhan; Subashchandrabose, Suresh Ramraj; Krishnan, Kannan; Naidu, Ravi; Megharaj, Mallavarapu

    2017-03-01

    This study evaluated the effect of inorganic mercury (Hg) on bacterial community and diversity in different soils. Three soils-neutral, alkaline and acidic-were spiked with six different concentrations of Hg ranging from 0 to 200 mg kg -1 and aged for 90 days. At the end of the ageing period, 18 samples from three different soils were investigated for bacterial community structure and soil physicochemical properties. Illumina MiSeq-based 16s ribosomal RNA (rRNA) amplicon sequencing revealed the alteration in the bacterial community between un-spiked control soils and Hg-spiked soils. Among the bacterial groups, Actinobacteria (22.65%) were the most abundant phyla in all samples followed by Proteobacteria (21.95%), Bacteroidetes (4.15%), Firmicutes (2.9%) and Acidobacteria (2.04%). However, the largest group showing increased abundance with higher Hg doses was the unclassified group (45.86%), followed by Proteobacteria. Mercury had a considerable negative impact on key soil functional bacteria such as ammonium oxidizers and nitrifiers. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicated that among the measured soil properties, Hg had a major influence on bacterial community structure. Furthermore, nonlinear regression analysis confirmed that Hg significantly decreased soil bacterial alpha diversity in lower organic carbon containing neutral and alkaline soils, whereas in acidic soil with higher organic carbon there was no significant correlation. EC 20 values obtained by a nonlinear regression analysis indicated that Hg significantly decreased soil bacterial diversity in concentrations lower than several guideline values.

  10. Linking lipid architecture to bilayer structure and mechanics using self-consistent field modelling

    Pera, H.; Kleijn, J. M.; Leermakers, F. A. M., E-mail: Frans.leermakers@wur.nl [Laboratory of Physical Chemistry and Colloid Science, Wageningen University, Dreijenplein 6, 6307 HB Wageningen (Netherlands)

    2014-02-14

    To understand how lipid architecture determines the lipid bilayer structure and its mechanics, we implement a molecularly detailed model that uses the self-consistent field theory. This numerical model accurately predicts parameters such as Helfrichs mean and Gaussian bending modulus k{sub c} and k{sup ¯} and the preferred monolayer curvature J{sub 0}{sup m}, and also delivers structural membrane properties like the core thickness, and head group position and orientation. We studied how these mechanical parameters vary with system variations, such as lipid tail length, membrane composition, and those parameters that control the lipid tail and head group solvent quality. For the membrane composition, negatively charged phosphatidylglycerol (PG) or zwitterionic, phosphatidylcholine (PC), and -ethanolamine (PE) lipids were used. In line with experimental findings, we find that the values of k{sub c} and the area compression modulus k{sub A} are always positive. They respond similarly to parameters that affect the core thickness, but differently to parameters that affect the head group properties. We found that the trends for k{sup ¯} and J{sub 0}{sup m} can be rationalised by the concept of Israelachivili's surfactant packing parameter, and that both k{sup ¯} and J{sub 0}{sup m} change sign with relevant parameter changes. Although typically k{sup ¯}<0, membranes can form stable cubic phases when the Gaussian bending modulus becomes positive, which occurs with membranes composed of PC lipids with long tails. Similarly, negative monolayer curvatures appear when a small head group such as PE is combined with long lipid tails, which hints towards the stability of inverse hexagonal phases at the cost of the bilayer topology. To prevent the destabilisation of bilayers, PG lipids can be mixed into these PC or PE lipid membranes. Progressive loading of bilayers with PG lipids lead to highly charged membranes, resulting in J{sub 0}{sup m}≫0, especially at low ionic

  11. A cyber-linked undergraduate research experience in computational biomolecular structure prediction and design.

    Alford, Rebecca F; Leaver-Fay, Andrew; Gonzales, Lynda; Dolan, Erin L; Gray, Jeffrey J

    2017-12-01

    Computational biology is an interdisciplinary field, and many computational biology research projects involve distributed teams of scientists. To accomplish their work, these teams must overcome both disciplinary and geographic barriers. Introducing new training paradigms is one way to facilitate research progress in computational biology. Here, we describe a new undergraduate program in biomolecular structure prediction and design in which students conduct research at labs located at geographically-distributed institutions while remaining connected through an online community. This 10-week summer program begins with one week of training on computational biology methods development, transitions to eight weeks of research, and culminates in one week at the Rosetta annual conference. To date, two cohorts of students have participated, tackling research topics including vaccine design, enzyme design, protein-based materials, glycoprotein modeling, crowd-sourced science, RNA processing, hydrogen bond networks, and amyloid formation. Students in the program report outcomes comparable to students who participate in similar in-person programs. These outcomes include the development of a sense of community and increases in their scientific self-efficacy, scientific identity, and science values, all predictors of continuing in a science research career. Furthermore, the program attracted students from diverse backgrounds, which demonstrates the potential of this approach to broaden the participation of young scientists from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in computational biology.

  12. Getting connected: Both associative and semantic links structure semantic memory for newly learned persons.

    Wiese, Holger; Schweinberger, Stefan R

    2015-01-01

    The present study examined whether semantic memory for newly learned people is structured by visual co-occurrence, shared semantics, or both. Participants were trained with pairs of simultaneously presented (i.e., co-occurring) preexperimentally unfamiliar faces, which either did or did not share additionally provided semantic information (occupation, place of living, etc.). Semantic information could also be shared between faces that did not co-occur. A subsequent priming experiment revealed faster responses for both co-occurrence/no shared semantics and no co-occurrence/shared semantics conditions, than for an unrelated condition. Strikingly, priming was strongest in the co-occurrence/shared semantics condition, suggesting additive effects of these factors. Additional analysis of event-related brain potentials yielded priming in the N400 component only for combined effects of visual co-occurrence and shared semantics, with more positive amplitudes in this than in the unrelated condition. Overall, these findings suggest that both semantic relatedness and visual co-occurrence are important when novel information is integrated into person-related semantic memory.

  13. Shaping intercellular channels of plasmodesmata: the structure-to-function missing link.

    Nicolas, William J; Grison, Magali S; Bayer, Emmanuelle M

    2017-12-18

    Plasmodesmata (PD) are a hallmark of the plant kingdom and a cornerstone of plant biology and physiology, forming the conduits for the cell-to-cell transfer of proteins, RNA and various metabolites, including hormones. They connect the cytosols and endomembranes of cells, which allows enhanced cell-to-cell communication and synchronization. Because of their unique position as intercellular gateways, they are at the frontline of plant defence and signalling and constitute the battleground for virus replication and spreading. The membranous organization of PD is remarkable, where a tightly furled strand of endoplasmic reticulum comes into close apposition with the plasma membrane, the two connected by spoke-like elements. The role of these structural features is, to date, still not completely understood. Recent data on PD seem to point in an unexpected direction, establishing a close parallel between PD and membrane contact sites and defining plasmodesmal membranes as microdomains. However, the implications of this new viewpoint are not fully understood. Aided by available phylogenetic data, this review attempts to reassess the function of the different elements comprising the PD and the relevance of membrane lipid composition and biophysics in defining specialized microdomains of PD, critical for their function. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Structural brain changes linked to delayed first language acquisition in congenitally deaf individuals.

    Pénicaud, Sidonie; Klein, Denise; Zatorre, Robert J; Chen, Jen-Kai; Witcher, Pamela; Hyde, Krista; Mayberry, Rachel I

    2013-02-01

    Early language experience is essential for the development of a high level of linguistic proficiency in adulthood and in a recent functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) experiment, we showed that a delayed acquisition of a first language results in changes in the functional organization of the adult brain (Mayberry et al., 2011). The present study extends the question to explore if delayed acquisition of a first language also modulates the structural development of the brain. To this end, we carried out anatomical MRI in the same group of congenitally deaf individuals who varied in the age of acquisition of a first language, American Sign Language -ASL (Mayberry et al., 2011) and used a neuroanatomical technique, Voxel-Based Morphometry (VBM), to explore changes in gray and white matter concentrations across the brain related to the age of first language acquisition. The results show that delayed acquisition of a first language is associated with changes in tissue concentration in the occipital cortex close to the area that has been found to show functional recruitment during language processing in these deaf individuals with a late age of acquisition. These findings suggest that a lack of early language experience affects not only the functional but also the anatomical organization of the brain. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. A cyber-linked undergraduate research experience in computational biomolecular structure prediction and design.

    Rebecca F Alford

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Computational biology is an interdisciplinary field, and many computational biology research projects involve distributed teams of scientists. To accomplish their work, these teams must overcome both disciplinary and geographic barriers. Introducing new training paradigms is one way to facilitate research progress in computational biology. Here, we describe a new undergraduate program in biomolecular structure prediction and design in which students conduct research at labs located at geographically-distributed institutions while remaining connected through an online community. This 10-week summer program begins with one week of training on computational biology methods development, transitions to eight weeks of research, and culminates in one week at the Rosetta annual conference. To date, two cohorts of students have participated, tackling research topics including vaccine design, enzyme design, protein-based materials, glycoprotein modeling, crowd-sourced science, RNA processing, hydrogen bond networks, and amyloid formation. Students in the program report outcomes comparable to students who participate in similar in-person programs. These outcomes include the development of a sense of community and increases in their scientific self-efficacy, scientific identity, and science values, all predictors of continuing in a science research career. Furthermore, the program attracted students from diverse backgrounds, which demonstrates the potential of this approach to broaden the participation of young scientists from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in computational biology.

  16. Indoleamine 2,3-Dioxygenase (IDO) Enzyme Links Innate Immunity and Altered T-Cell Differentiation in Non-ST Segment Elevation Acute Coronary Syndrome.

    Zara, Chiara; Severino, Anna; Flego, Davide; Ruggio, Aureliano; Pedicino, Daniela; Giglio, Ada Francesca; Trotta, Francesco; Lucci, Claudia; D'Amario, Domenico; Vinci, Ramona; Pisano, Eugenia; La Rosa, Giulio; Biasucci, Luigi Marzio; Crea, Filippo; Liuzzo, Giovanna

    2017-12-26

    Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by a complex interplay between innate and adaptive immunity. Dendritic cells (DCs) play a key role in T-cell activation and regulation by promoting a tolerogenic environment through the expression of the immunosuppressive enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), an intracellular enzyme involved in tryptophan catabolism. IDO expression and activity was analyzed in monocytes derived DCs (MDDCs) from non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) patients, stable angina (SA) patients and healthy controls (HC) by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) before and after in vitro maturation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The amount of tryptophan catabolite; kynurenine; was evaluated in the culture supernatants of mature-MDDCs by ELISA assay. Autologous mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) between mature-MDDCs and naïve T-cells was carried out to study the differentiation towards T-helper 1 (Th1) and induced regulatory T-cells (iTreg). Analysis of IDO mRNA transcripts in mature-MDDCs revealed a significant reduction in cells isolated from NSTEMI (625.0 ± 128.2; mean ± SEM) as compared with those from SA (958.5 ± 218.3; p = 0.041) and from HC (1183.6 ± 231.6; p = 0.034). Furthermore; the concentration of kynurenine was lower in NSTEMI patients (2.78 ± 0.2) and SA (2.98 ± 0.25) as compared with HC (5.1 ± 0.69 ng/mL; p = 0.002 and p = 0.016; respectively). When IDO-competent mature-MDDCs were co-cultured with allogeneic naïve T-cells, the ratio between the percentage of generated Th1 and iTreg was higher in NSTEMI (4.4 ± 2.9) than in SA (1.8 ± 0.6; p = 0.056) and HC (0.9 ± 0.3; p = 0.008). In NSTEMI, the tolerogenic mechanism of the immune response related to IDO production by activated MDDCs is altered, supporting their role in T-cell dysregulation.

  17. Indoleamine 2,3-Dioxygenase (IDO Enzyme Links Innate Immunity and Altered T-Cell Differentiation in Non-ST Segment Elevation Acute Coronary Syndrome

    Chiara Zara

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by a complex interplay between innate and adaptive immunity. Dendritic cells (DCs play a key role in T-cell activation and regulation by promoting a tolerogenic environment through the expression of the immunosuppressive enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO, an intracellular enzyme involved in tryptophan catabolism. IDO expression and activity was analyzed in monocytes derived DCs (MDDCs from non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI patients, stable angina (SA patients and healthy controls (HC by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR before and after in vitro maturation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS. The amount of tryptophan catabolite; kynurenine; was evaluated in the culture supernatants of mature-MDDCs by ELISA assay. Autologous mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR between mature-MDDCs and naïve T-cells was carried out to study the differentiation towards T-helper 1 (Th1 and induced regulatory T-cells (iTreg. Analysis of IDO mRNA transcripts in mature-MDDCs revealed a significant reduction in cells isolated from NSTEMI (625.0 ± 128.2; mean ± SEM as compared with those from SA (958.5 ± 218.3; p = 0.041 and from HC (1183.6 ± 231.6; p = 0.034. Furthermore; the concentration of kynurenine was lower in NSTEMI patients (2.78 ± 0.2 and SA (2.98 ± 0.25 as compared with HC (5.1 ± 0.69 ng/mL; p = 0.002 and p = 0.016; respectively. When IDO-competent mature-MDDCs were co-cultured with allogeneic naïve T-cells, the ratio between the percentage of generated Th1 and iTreg was higher in NSTEMI (4.4 ± 2.9 than in SA (1.8 ± 0.6; p = 0.056 and HC (0.9 ± 0.3; p = 0.008. In NSTEMI, the tolerogenic mechanism of the immune response related to IDO production by activated MDDCs is altered, supporting their role in T-cell dysregulation.

  18. Natural acidification changes the timing and rate of succession, alters community structure, and increases homogeneity in marine biofouling communities.

    Brown, Norah E M; Milazzo, Marco; Rastrick, Samuel P S; Hall-Spencer, Jason M; Therriault, Thomas W; Harley, Christopher D G

    2018-01-01

    Ocean acidification may have far-reaching consequences for marine community and ecosystem dynamics, but its full impacts remain poorly understood due to the difficulty of manipulating pCO 2 at the ecosystem level to mimic realistic fluctuations that occur on a number of different timescales. It is especially unclear how quickly communities at various stages of development respond to intermediate-scale pCO 2 change and, if high pCO 2 is relieved mid-succession, whether past acidification effects persist, are reversed by alleviation of pCO 2 stress, or are worsened by departures from prior high pCO 2 conditions to which organisms had acclimatized. Here, we used reciprocal transplant experiments along a shallow water volcanic pCO 2 gradient to assess the importance of the timing and duration of high pCO 2 exposure (i.e., discrete events at different stages of successional development vs. continuous exposure) on patterns of colonization and succession in a benthic fouling community. We show that succession at the acidified site was initially delayed (less community change by 8 weeks) but then caught up over the next 4 weeks. These changes in succession led to homogenization of communities maintained in or transplanted to acidified conditions, and altered community structure in ways that reflected both short- and longer-term acidification history. These community shifts are likely a result of interspecific variability in response to increased pCO 2 and changes in species interactions. High pCO 2 altered biofilm development, allowing serpulids to do best at the acidified site by the end of the experiment, although early (pretransplant) negative effects of pCO 2 on recruitment of these worms were still detectable. The ascidians Diplosoma sp. and Botryllus sp. settled later and were more tolerant to acidification. Overall, transient and persistent acidification-driven changes in the biofouling community, via both past and more recent exposure, could have important

  19. Examining the Link between Patient Satisfaction and Adherence to HIV Care: A Structural Equation Model

    Dang, Bich N.; Westbrook, Robert A.; Black, William C.; Rodriguez-Barradas, Maria C.; Giordano, Thomas P.

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Analogous to the business model of customer satisfaction and retention, patient satisfaction could serve as an innovative, patient-centered focus for increasing retention in HIV care and adherence to HAART, and ultimately HIV suppression. Objective To test, through structural equation modeling (SEM), a model of HIV suppression in which patient satisfaction influences HIV suppression indirectly through retention in HIV care and adherence to HAART. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study of adults receiving HIV care at two clinics in Texas. Patient satisfaction was based on two validated items, one adapted from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey (“Would you recommend this clinic to other patients with HIV?) and one adapted from the Delighted-Terrible Scale, (“Overall, how do you feel about the care you got at this clinic in the last 12 months?”). A validated, single-item question measured adherence to HAART over the past 4 weeks. Retention in HIV care was based on visit constancy in the year prior to the survey. HIV suppression was defined as plasma HIV RNA patient satisfaction score had a mean of 8.5 (median 9.2) on a 0- to 10- point scale. A total of 46% reported “excellent” adherence, 76% had adequate retention, and 70% had HIV suppression. In SEM analyses, patient satisfaction with care influences retention in HIV care and adherence to HAART, which in turn serve as key determinants of HIV suppression (all pPatient satisfaction may have direct effects on retention in HIV care and adherence to HAART. Interventions to improve the care experience, without necessarily targeting objective clinical performance measures, could serve as an innovative method for optimizing HIV outcomes. PMID:23382948

  20. Linking geology and microbiology: inactive pockmarks affect sediment microbial community structure.

    Haverkamp, Thomas H A; Hammer, Øyvind; Jakobsen, Kjetill S

    2014-01-01

    Pockmarks are geological features that are found on the bottom of lakes and oceans all over the globe. Some are active, seeping oil or methane, while others are inactive. Active pockmarks are well studied since they harbor specialized microbial communities that proliferate on the seeping compounds. Such communities are not found in inactive pockmarks. Interestingly, inactive pockmarks are known to have different macrofaunal communities compared to the surrounding sediments. It is undetermined what the microbial composition of inactive pockmarks is and if it shows a similar pattern as the macrofauna. The Norwegian Oslofjord contains many inactive pockmarks and they are well suited to study the influence of these geological features on the microbial community in the sediment. Here we present a detailed analysis of the microbial communities found in three inactive pockmarks and two control samples at two core depth intervals. The communities were analyzed using high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA V3 region. Microbial communities of surface pockmark sediments were indistinguishable from communities found in the surrounding seabed. In contrast, pockmark communities at 40 cm sediment depth had a significantly different community structure from normal sediments at the same depth. Statistical analysis of chemical variables indicated significant differences in the concentrations of total carbon and non-particulate organic carbon between 40 cm pockmarks and reference sample sediments. We discuss these results in comparison with the taxonomic classification of the OTUs identified in our samples. Our results indicate that microbial communities at the sediment surface are affected by the water column, while the deeper (40 cm) sediment communities are affected by local conditions within the sediment.

  1. Linking geology and microbiology: inactive pockmarks affect sediment microbial community structure.

    Thomas H A Haverkamp

    Full Text Available Pockmarks are geological features that are found on the bottom of lakes and oceans all over the globe. Some are active, seeping oil or methane, while others are inactive. Active pockmarks are well studied since they harbor specialized microbial communities that proliferate on the seeping compounds. Such communities are not found in inactive pockmarks. Interestingly, inactive pockmarks are known to have different macrofaunal communities compared to the surrounding sediments. It is undetermined what the microbial composition of inactive pockmarks is and if it shows a similar pattern as the macrofauna. The Norwegian Oslofjord contains many inactive pockmarks and they are well suited to study the influence of these geological features on the microbial community in the sediment. Here we present a detailed analysis of the microbial communities found in three inactive pockmarks and two control samples at two core depth intervals. The communities were analyzed using high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA V3 region. Microbial communities of surface pockmark sediments were indistinguishable from communities found in the surrounding seabed. In contrast, pockmark communities at 40 cm sediment depth had a significantly different community structure from normal sediments at the same depth. Statistical analysis of chemical variables indicated significant differences in the concentrations of total carbon and non-particulate organic carbon between 40 cm pockmarks and reference sample sediments. We discuss these results in comparison with the taxonomic classification of the OTUs identified in our samples. Our results indicate that microbial communities at the sediment surface are affected by the water column, while the deeper (40 cm sediment communities are affected by local conditions within the sediment.

  2. Examining the link between patient satisfaction and adherence to HIV care: a structural equation model.

    Dang, Bich N; Westbrook, Robert A; Black, William C; Rodriguez-Barradas, Maria C; Giordano, Thomas P

    2013-01-01

    Analogous to the business model of customer satisfaction and retention, patient satisfaction could serve as an innovative, patient-centered focus for increasing retention in HIV care and adherence to HAART, and ultimately HIV suppression. To test, through structural equation modeling (SEM), a model of HIV suppression in which patient satisfaction influences HIV suppression indirectly through retention in HIV care and adherence to HAART. We conducted a cross-sectional study of adults receiving HIV care at two clinics in Texas. Patient satisfaction was based on two validated items, one adapted from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey ("Would you recommend this clinic to other patients with HIV?) and one adapted from the Delighted-Terrible Scale, ("Overall, how do you feel about the care you got at this clinic in the last 12 months?"). A validated, single-item question measured adherence to HAART over the past 4 weeks. Retention in HIV care was based on visit constancy in the year prior to the survey. HIV suppression was defined as plasma HIV RNA satisfaction score had a mean of 8.5 (median 9.2) on a 0- to 10- point scale. A total of 46% reported "excellent" adherence, 76% had adequate retention, and 70% had HIV suppression. In SEM analyses, patient satisfaction with care influences retention in HIV care and adherence to HAART, which in turn serve as key determinants of HIV suppression (all psatisfaction may have direct effects on retention in HIV care and adherence to HAART. Interventions to improve the care experience, without necessarily targeting objective clinical performance measures, could serve as an innovative method for optimizing HIV outcomes.

  3. Examining the link between patient satisfaction and adherence to HIV care: a structural equation model.

    Bich N Dang

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Analogous to the business model of customer satisfaction and retention, patient satisfaction could serve as an innovative, patient-centered focus for increasing retention in HIV care and adherence to HAART, and ultimately HIV suppression. OBJECTIVE: To test, through structural equation modeling (SEM, a model of HIV suppression in which patient satisfaction influences HIV suppression indirectly through retention in HIV care and adherence to HAART. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of adults receiving HIV care at two clinics in Texas. Patient satisfaction was based on two validated items, one adapted from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey ("Would you recommend this clinic to other patients with HIV? and one adapted from the Delighted-Terrible Scale, ("Overall, how do you feel about the care you got at this clinic in the last 12 months?". A validated, single-item question measured adherence to HAART over the past 4 weeks. Retention in HIV care was based on visit constancy in the year prior to the survey. HIV suppression was defined as plasma HIV RNA <48 copies/mL at the time of the survey. We used SEM to test hypothesized relationships. RESULTS: The analyses included 489 patients (94% of eligible patients. The patient satisfaction score had a mean of 8.5 (median 9.2 on a 0- to 10- point scale. A total of 46% reported "excellent" adherence, 76% had adequate retention, and 70% had HIV suppression. In SEM analyses, patient satisfaction with care influences retention in HIV care and adherence to HAART, which in turn serve as key determinants of HIV suppression (all p<.0001. CONCLUSIONS: Patient satisfaction may have direct effects on retention in HIV care and adherence to HAART. Interventions to improve the care experience, without necessarily targeting objective clinical performance measures, could serve as an innovative method for optimizing HIV outcomes.

  4. Operative Links

    Wistoft, Karen; Højlund, Holger

    2012-01-01

    and have been the object of great expectations concerning the ability to incorporate health concerns into every welfare area through health promotion strategies. The paper draws on results and analyses of a collective research project funded by the Danish National Research Council and carried out...... links' that indicate cooperative levels which facilitate a creative and innovative effort in disease prevention and health promotion targeted at children and adolescents - across traditional professional boundaries. It is proposed that such links are supported by network structures, shared semantics...

  5. Influence of Hypothyroidism on Separate Links of Metabolism, Structure and Function of the Heart in Insulin Resistance

    T.Yu. Yuzvenko

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The article presents research findings of reduced thyroid function impact on the background of insulin resistance on the specific links of metabolism, structure and function of the heart. It is found that in thyroid dysfunction, the main nosological form of myocardial lesion in female patients without concomitant cardiovascular disease is the development of metabolic endocrine cardiomyopathy. Feature of cardiac lesion is the absence of cardiosclerotic, myocardial and ischemic processes in hypothyroidism. Obscure clinical symptoms of the heart both in apparent and subclinical hypothyroidism are detected. Features of clinical, instrumental and laboratory changes in female patients with impaired thyroid function are a trend to systolic blood pressure increase, the absence of significant dyslipidemia, dysglycemia, and cardiocytolysis and hepatocytolysis. Thyroid hormone deficiency is associated with increased myocardial repolarization heterogeneity: subclinical hypothyroidism is accompanied by violation of repolarization processes and the development of electrical heterogeneity of ventricular myocardium, and in the apparent hypothyroidism changes are more linked with the violation of the homogeneity of the electrical impulse to the atria.

  6. Structural Alterations of Segmented Macular Inner Layers in Aquaporin4-Antibody-Positive Optic Neuritis Patients in a Chinese Population.

    Chunxia Peng

    Full Text Available This study aimed to analyse the structural injury of the peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer (pRNFL and segmented macular layers in optic neuritis (ON in aquaporin4-antibody (AQP4-Ab seropositivity(AQP4-Ab-positiveON patients and in AQP4-Ab seronegativity (AQP4-Ab-negative ON patients in order to evaluate their correlations with the best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA and the value of the early diagnosis of neuromyelitis optica (NMO.This is a retrospective, cross-sectional and control observational study.In total, 213 ON patients (291 eyes and 50 healthy controls (HC (100 eyes were recruited in this study. According to a serum AQP4-Ab assay, 98 ON patients (132 eyes were grouped as AQP4-Ab-positive ON and 115 ON patients (159 eyes were grouped as AQP4-Ab-negative ON cohorts. All subjects underwent scanning with spectralis optical coherence tomography (OCT and BCVA tests. pRNFL and segmented macular layer measurements were analysed.The pRNFL thickness in AQP4-Ab-positive ON eyes showed a more serious loss during 0-2 months (-27.61μm versus -14.47 μm and ≥6 months (-57.91μm versus -47.19μm when compared with AQP4-Ab-negative ON eyes. AQP4-Ab-positive ON preferentially damaged the nasal lateral pRNFL. The alterations in the macular ganglion cell layer plus the inner plexiform layer (GCIP in AQP4-Ab-positive ON eyes were similar to those in AQP4-Ab-negative ON eyes. AQP4-Ab-positive ON eyes had entirely different injury patterns in the inner nuclear layer (INL compared with AQP4-Ab-negative ON eyes during the first 6 months after the initial ON attack. These differences were as follows: the INL volume of AQP4-Ab-positive ON eyes had a gradual growing trend compared with AQP4-Ab-negative ON eyes, and it increased rapidly during 0-2 months, reached its peak during 2-4 months, and then decreased gradually. The pRNFL and GCIP in AQP4-Ab-positive ON eyes had positive correlations with BCVA. When the pRNFL thickness decreased to 95%CI (50.77

  7. Alteraciones estructurales de la glándula tiroidea tras la radioterapia Structural alterations of thyroid gland after radiotherapy

    Caridad Verdecia Cañizares

    2009-03-01

    present paper was to report cased detected in our study of structural anomalies of thyroid gland in patients underwent radiotherapy for treatment of malignant head and neck tumors. METHODS: A cross-sectional and descriptive study was carried out to determine prevalence of structural alterations of thyroid gland in 43 patients survival of head-neck tumors underwent radiotherapy admitted in "William Soler" and "Juan Manual Márquez" Teaching Hospitals during 10 years (1990 to 2000. RESULTS: More frequent structural alteration of thyroid gland includes glandular fibrosis (18,5% followed by thyroid carcinoma, and of simple cysts of that gland (11,1% respectively. There were 2 cases of differential carcinoma of thyroid gland (7, 4%, and one of adeno-follicular mixed injury (3, 7%. Fine-needle aspirate cytology allows detection of most of these injuries and also the intra-parenchymatous guided-echography of this gland. Treatment of injuries founded was surgical and we performed a total thyroidectomy in two patients presenting with differential carcinoma of thyroid gland, subtotal thyroidectomy in t here patients with cysts of that gland, and thyroid adenomas. In cases of glandular fibrosis there was a concomitant thyroid hypofunction, thus, we administered substitute treatment using Levothyroxine. CONCLUSIONS: Fine-needle aspiration cytology by means of echography of thyroid gland allows diagnosing of structural alterations no detected in physical examination. More irradiated malignant pathology was non-Hodgkin lymphomas. More doses of irradiation, more is thyroid pathology.

  8. Shifted energy fluxes, increased Bowen ratios, and reduced thaw depths linked with drainage-induced changes in permafrost ecosystem structure

    Göckede, Mathias; Kittler, Fanny; Kwon, Min Jung; Burjack, Ina; Heimann, Martin; Kolle, Olaf; Zimov, Nikita; Zimov, Sergey

    2017-12-01

    Hydrologic conditions are a key factor in Arctic ecosystems, with strong influences on ecosystem structure and related effects on biogeophysical and biogeochemical processes. With systematic changes in water availability expected for large parts of the northern high-latitude region in the coming centuries, knowledge on shifts in ecosystem functionality triggered by altered water levels is crucial for reducing uncertainties in climate change predictions. Here, we present findings from paired ecosystem observations in northeast Siberia comprising a drained and a control site. At the drainage site, the water table has been artificially lowered by up to 30 cm in summer for more than a decade. This sustained primary disturbance in hydrologic conditions has triggered a suite of secondary shifts in ecosystem properties, including vegetation community structure, snow cover dynamics, and radiation budget, all of which influence the net effects of drainage. Reduced thermal conductivity in dry organic soils was identified as the dominating drainage effect on energy budget and soil thermal regime. Through this effect, reduced heat transfer into deeper soil layers leads to shallower thaw depths, initially leading to a stabilization of organic permafrost soils, while the long-term effects on permafrost temperature trends still need to be assessed. At the same time, more energy is transferred back into the atmosphere as sensible heat in the drained area, which may trigger a warming of the lower atmospheric surface layer.

  9. Shifted energy fluxes, increased Bowen ratios, and reduced thaw depths linked with drainage-induced changes in permafrost ecosystem structure

    M. Göckede

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Hydrologic conditions are a key factor in Arctic ecosystems, with strong influences on ecosystem structure and related effects on biogeophysical and biogeochemical processes. With systematic changes in water availability expected for large parts of the northern high-latitude region in the coming centuries, knowledge on shifts in ecosystem functionality triggered by altered water levels is crucial for reducing uncertainties in climate change predictions. Here, we present findings from paired ecosystem observations in northeast Siberia comprising a drained and a control site. At the drainage site, the water table has been artificially lowered by up to 30 cm in summer for more than a decade. This sustained primary disturbance in hydrologic conditions has triggered a suite of secondary shifts in ecosystem properties, including vegetation community structure, snow cover dynamics, and radiation budget, all of which influence the net effects of drainage. Reduced thermal conductivity in dry organic soils was identified as the dominating drainage effect on energy budget and soil thermal regime. Through this effect, reduced heat transfer into deeper soil layers leads to shallower thaw depths, initially leading to a stabilization of organic permafrost soils, while the long-term effects on permafrost temperature trends still need to be assessed. At the same time, more energy is transferred back into the atmosphere as sensible heat in the drained area, which may trigger a warming of the lower atmospheric surface layer.

  10. Therapeutic effects of an anti-gravity locomotor training (AlterG) on postural balance and cerebellum structure in children with Cerebral Palsy.

    Rasooli, A H; Birgani, P M; Azizi, Sh; Shahrokhi, A; Mirbagheri, M M

    2017-07-01

    We evaluated the therapeutic effects of anti-gravity locomotor treadmill (AlterG) training on postural stability in children with Cerebral Palsy (CP) and spasticity, particularly in the lower extremity. AlterG can facilitate walking by reducing the weight of CP children by up to 80%; it can also help subjects maintain an appropriate posture during the locomotor AlterG training. Thus, we hypothesized that AlterG training, for a sufficient period of time, has a potential to produce cerebellum neuroplasticity, and consequently result in an effective permanent postural stability. AlterG training was given for 45 minutes, three times a week for two months. Postural balance was evaluated using posturography. The parameters of the Romberg based posturography were extracted to quantify the Center of Balance (CoP). The neuroplasticity of Cerebellum was evaluated using a Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI). The evaluations were done pre- and post-training. The Fractional Anisotropy (FA) feature was used for quantifying structural changes in the cerebellum. The results showed that AlterG training resulted in an increase in average FA value of the cerebellum white matter following the training. The results of the posturography evaluations showed a consistent improvement in postural stability. These results were consistent in all subjects. Our findings indicated that the improvement in the posture was accompanied with the enhancement of the cerebellum white matter structure. The clinical implication is that AlterG training can be considered a therapeutic tool for an effective and permanent improvement of postural stability in CP children.

  11. Feasibility study into the use of mechanical choppers to alter the natural time structure of the APS

    Mills, D.M.

    1992-01-01

    The prospect of extending static x-ray measurements into the time domain is an exciting one indeed. The foundations for this extension have already been laid by some very innovative experiments performed at existing storage ring sources. The enormous enhancement in brilliance that the APS will afford over existing sources will, I believe, foster a tremendous growth in the area of time-resolved x-ray experimentation. The growing interest in this field is evidenced by both the number of participants and their enthusiasm at an APS Workshop on Time-Resolved Studies and Ultrafast Detectors held on January 25-26, 1988, at Argonne. We present here what may be a viable approach to the problem of altering the natural time structure of the APS with a minimal impact on other users. Our technique involves placing 19 of the 20 circulating bunches of positrons in (nearly) contiguous RF buckets and the remaining one bunch 180 degrees around the ring from this pack. The method we are advocating has several advantages over other schemes (such as wobblers) in that it is a passive technique: there are no external forces on the particle beam to destroy its stability, emittance, or lifetime properties, and it will not limit the total number of bunches in the beam to one (or a few) in order to get long dark periods between x-ray bursts. In this configuaration is should be possible to transmit the lone bunch and mechanically shutter the remaining 19 bunches with a chopper running at approximately 18,000 RPM. Although high, such revolution frequencies are achieved in neutron choppers which are generally much more massive than what is envisioned for an x-ray chopper

  12. Altered structure and function in the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex in patients with burning mouth syndrome.

    Khan, Shariq A; Keaser, Michael L; Meiller, Timothy F; Seminowicz, David A

    2014-08-01

    Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a debilitating, idiopathic chronic pain condition. For many BMS patients, burning oral pain begins in late morning and becomes more intense throughout the day, peaking by late afternoon or evening. We investigated brain gray matter volume (GMV) with voxel-based morphometry (VBM), white matter fractional anisotropy (FA) with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and functional connectivity in resting state functional MRI (rsfMRI) in a tightly screened, homogeneous sample of 9 female, postmenopausal/perimenopausal BMS patients and 9 matched healthy control subjects. Patients underwent 2 scanning sessions in the same day: in the morning, when ongoing pain/burning was low, and in the afternoon, when pain/burning was significantly higher. Patients had increased GMV and lower FA in the hippocampus (Hc), and decreased GMV in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). rsfMRI revealed altered connectivity patterns in different states of pain/burning, with increased connectivity between mPFC (a node in the default mode network) and anterior cingulate cortex, occipital cortex, ventromedial PFC, and bilateral Hc/amygdala in the afternoon compared with the morning session. Furthermore, mPFC-Hc connectivity was higher in BMS patients than control subjects for the afternoon but not the morning session. mPFC-Hc connectivity was related to Beck depression inventory scores both between groups and between burning states within patients, suggesting that depression and anxiety partially explain pain-related brain dysfunction in BMS. Overall, we provide multiple lines of evidence supporting aberrant structure and function in the mPFC and Hc, and implicate a circuit involving the mPFC and Hc in regulating mood and depressive symptoms in BMS. Copyright © 2014 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. A comparative study of the DG-OMEGA (DG Omega), DGII, and GAT method for the structure elucidation of a methylene-acetal linked thymine dinucleotide

    van Kampen, A. H. C.; Beckers, M. L. M.; Buydens, L. M. C.

    1997-01-01

    This research continues the investigation of the properties of the recently developed structure elucidation method DG-OMEGA (DG Omega). Towards this end it was applied for the structure determination of a methylene-acetal linked thymine dinucleotide. The performance of DG Omega was compared to the

  14. Early stress is associated with alterations in the orbitofrontal cortex: a tensor-based morphometry investigation of brain structure and behavioral risk.

    Hanson, Jamie L; Chung, Moo K; Avants, Brian B; Shirtcliff, Elizabeth A; Gee, James C; Davidson, Richard J; Pollak, Seth D

    2010-06-02

    Individuals who experience early adversity, such as child maltreatment, are at heightened risk for a broad array of social and health difficulties. However, little is known about how this behavioral risk is instantiated in the brain. Here we examine a neurobiological contribution to individual differences in human behavior using methodology appropriate for use with pediatric populations paired with an in-depth measure of social behavior. We show that alterations in the orbitofrontal cortex among individuals who experienced physical abuse are related to social difficulties. These data suggest a biological mechanism linking early social learning to later behavioral outcomes.

  15. Functional, histological structure and mastocytes alterations in rat urinary bladders following acute and [corrected] chronic cyclophosphamide treatment.

    Juszczak, K; Gil, K; Wyczolkowski, M; Thor, P J

    2010-08-01

    Neurogenic inflammation is linked to urinary bladder overactivity development. Cyclophosphamide (CYP) damages all mucosal defence lines of urinary bladder and induces cystitis with overactivity. The aim of this study was to estimate the effect of CYP on rat urinary bladder function, histological structure and mastocytes numbers following acute and chronic CYP treatment. Fourty two female rats were divided into four groups: I (control), II (acute cystitis), III (chronic cystitis), IV (sham group). Acute and chronic cystitis were induced by CYP in single dose and four doses (1(st), 3(rd), 5(th), 7(th) day), respectively. In group I-III the cystometric evaluation was performed. Sections of the bladder were stained with HE and toluidine blue for the detection of mastocytes. The severity of inflammation was examined according to mucosal abrasion, haemorrhage, leukocyte infiltration and oedema. Acute and chronic CYP treatment caused inflammatory macroscopic and microscopic changes (mucosal abrasion, haemorrhage, oedema) and increased infiltration of inflammatory cells in urinary bladder. Acute treatment induced the infiltration of mastocytes within bladder wall contrary to chronic one decrement. Acute treatment caused more severe mucosal abrasion, whereas chronic one revealed more developed haemorrhage changes. Additionally, cystometric evaluation revealed urinary bladder overactivity development in both types of cystitis. Basal pressure and detrusor overactivity index after acute treatment increased considerably in comparison with the increase obtained after chronic one. Our results proved that acute model of CYP-induced cystitis in rats is more credible for further evaluation of neurogenic inflammation response in pathogenesis of overactive bladder as compared to chronic one.

  16. Structural and metabolic studies of O-linked fucose-containing proteins of normal and virally-transformed rat fibroblasts

    Morton, P.A.

    1985-01-01

    Previous studies in this laboratory have demonstrated that cultured human and rodent cells contain a series of low molecular weight glycosylated amino acids of unusual structure, designated amino acid fucosides. The incorporation of radiolabelled-fucose into one of these components, designated FL4a (glucosylfucosylthreonine), is markedly-reduced in transformed epithelial and fibroblastic cells. The authors have examined fucose-labelled normal and virally-transformed rat fibroblast cell lines for glycoproteins which might be precursors to amino acid fucosides. Using milk alkaline/borohydride treatment (the beta-elimination reaction) to release O-linked oligosaccharides from proteins, they have isolated and partially characterized two low M/sub r/ reaction products (designated DS-ol and TS-ol) released from macromolecular cell material. The identity of one of these components (DS-ol, glucosylfucitol) suggested the existence in these cells of a direct protein precursor to FL4a. They examined fucose-labelled macromolecular cell material for proteins which release DS-ol (DS-proteins.). Using gel filtration chromatography and sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) with subsequent autoradiography, they have observed DS-proteins which appear to exhibit a broad molecular weight size range, and are also present in culture medium from normal and transformed cells. The findings suggest that mammalian cells contain DS-proteins and TS-proteins with a novel carbohydrate-peptide linkage wherein L-fucose is O-linked to a polypeptide backbone. Metabolic studies were undertaken to examine both the relationship between DS-protein and FL4a and the biochemical basis for the decreased level of FL4a and the biochemical basis for the decreased level of FL4a observed in transformed cells

  17. Optical properties and oxidation of carbonized and cross-linked structures formed in polycarbonate by plasma immersion ion implantation

    Kosobrodova, E., E-mail: elenak@physics.usyd.edu.au [Department of Applied Plasma and Physics, School of Physics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006 (Australia); Kondyurin, A. [Department of Applied Plasma and Physics, School of Physics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006 (Australia); Chrzanowski, W. [Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sydney, NSW 2006 (Australia); Department of Nanobiomedical Science and BK21 PLUS NBM Global Research, Center for Regenerative Medicine, Dankook University, Cheonan 330-714 (Korea, Republic of); McCulloch, D.G. [School of Applied Sciences, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001 (Australia); McKenzie, D.R.; Bilek, M.M.M. [Department of Applied Plasma and Physics, School of Physics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006 (Australia)

    2014-06-01

    Highlights: • Structure and properties of polycarbonate films spin-coated on silicon are studied. • The films have two thicknesses: thicker and thinner than a depth of ion penetration. • Effect of radio frequency plasma and plasma immersion ion implantation is compared. - Abstract: At ion fluences higher than 5 · 10{sup 15} ions/cm{sup 2}, plasma immersion ion implantation (PIII) of polycarbonate (PC) results in a formation of a carbonized surface layer. The thickness of this layer is close to the depth of ion penetration. A comparison of PIII treated, spin-coated PC films with pre-treatment thicknesses designed to match and exceed the carbonized layer thickness is employed to study the properties of the carbonised layer independently from the less modified underlying structure. At ion fluencies higher than 10{sup 16} ions/cm{sup 2}, the thinner PC film is completely transformed into an amorphous carbon-like material with no traces of the initial PC structure. The thicker films, however, incorporated two layers: a top carbonised layer and a cross-linked layer below. Compared to the two-layered PC film, the completely carbonized layer was found to have a much higher concentration of C=O bonds and much lower concentration of O–H bonds after exposure to atmospheric oxygen. The refractive index of the thicker PC films PIII treated with high ion fluencies is close to the refractive index of diamond-like carbon. Anomalous dispersion of the refractive index of the thicker PC films is observed after formation of the carbonised layer. The refractive index of the thinner PC film has normal dispersion at all ion fluences. At ion fluences of 2 · 10{sup 16} ions/cm{sup 2}, both PC films were found to have the same etching rate as polystyrene. Washing in dichloromethane had no effect on the carbonised layer but affected the underlying material in the case of the thicker PC films leading to a wrinkled structure up to ion fluences of 2 · 10{sup 16} ions/cm{sup 2}. At

  18. Structural alterations of foreskin caused by chronic smoking may explain high levels of urethral reconstruction failure using foreskin flaps

    João P. Rosado

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: The aim of the present study was to perform a stereological and biochemical analysis of the foreskin of smoker subjects. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Foreskin samples were obtained from 20 young adults (mean = 27.2 years old submitted to circumcision. Of the patients analyzed, one group (n = 10 had previous history of chronic smoking (a half pack to 3 packs per day for 3 to 13 years (mean = 5.8 ± 3.2. The control group included 10 nonsmoking patients. Masson's trichrome stain was used to quantify the foreskin vascular density. Weigert’s resorcin-fucsin stain was used to assess the elastic system fibers and Picrosirius red stain was applied to study the collagen. Stereological analysis was performed using the Image J software to determine the volumetric densities. For biochemical analysis, the total collagen was determined as µg of hydroxyproline per mg of dry tissue. Means were compared using the unpaired t-test (p < 0.05. RESULTS: Elastic system fibers of smokers was 42.5% higher than in the control group (p = 0.002. In contrast, smooth muscle fibers (p = 0.42 and vascular density (p = 0.16 did not show any significant variation. Qualitative analysis using Picrosirius red stain with polarized light evidenced the presence of type I and III collagen in the foreskin tissue, without significant difference between the groups. Total collagen concentration also did not differ significantly between smokers and non-smokers (73.1µg/mg ± 8.0 vs. 69.2µg/mg ± 5.9, respectively, p = 0.23. CONCLUSIONS: The foreskin tissue of smoking patients had a significant increase of elastic system fibers. Elastic fibers play an important role in this tissue’s turnover and this high concentration in smokers possibly causes high extensibility of the foreskin. The structural alterations in smokers’ foreskins could possibly explain the poor results in smoking patients submitted to foreskin fasciocutaneous flaps in urethral reconstruction surgery.

  19. Structural alterations of the coronary arterial wall are associated with myocardial flow heterogeneity in type 2 diabetes mellitus

    Schindler, Thomas H.; Facta, Alvaro D.; Prior, John O.; Cadenas, Jerson; Zhang, Xiao-Li; Sayre, James; Goldin, Jonathan; Schelbert, Heinrich R.

    2009-01-01

    To determine the relationship between carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), coronary artery calcification (CAC), and myocardial blood flow (MBF) at rest and during vasomotor stress in type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). In 68 individuals, carotid IMT was measured using high-resolution vascular ultrasound, while the presence of CAC was determined with electron beam tomography (EBT). Global and regional MBF was determined in milliliters per gram per minute with 13 N-ammonia and positron emission tomography (PET) at rest, during cold pressor testing (CPT), and during adenosine (ADO) stimulation. There was neither a relationship between carotid IMT and CAC (r = 0.10, p = 0.32) nor between carotid IMT and coronary circulatory function in response to CPT and during ADO (r = -0.18, p = 0.25 and r = 0.10, p = 0.54, respectively). In 33 individuals, EBT detected CAC with a mean Agatston-derived calcium score of 44 ± 18. There was a significant difference in regional MBFs between territories with and without CAC at rest and during ADO-stimulated hyperemia (0.69 ± 0.24 vs. 0.74 ± 0.23 and 1.82 ± 0.50 vs. 1.95 ± 0.51 ml/g/min; p ≤ 0.05, respectively) and also during CPT in DM but less pronounced (0.81 ± 0.24 vs. 0.83 ± 0.23 ml/g/min; p = ns). The increase in CAC was paralleled with a progressive regional decrease in resting as well as in CPT- and ADO-related MBFs (r = -0.36, p ≤ 0.014; r = -0.46, p ≤ 0.007; and r = -0.33, p ≤ 0.041, respectively). The absence of any correlation between carotid IMT and coronary circulatory function in type 2 DM suggests different features and stages of early atherosclerosis in the peripheral and coronary circulation. PET-measured MBF heterogeneity at rest and during vasomotor stress may reflect downstream fluid dynamic effects of coronary artery disease (CAD)-related early structural alterations of the arterial wall. (orig.)

  20. Importance of doping, dopant distribution, and defects on electronic band structure alteration of metal oxide nanoparticles: Implications for reactive oxygen species

    Saleh, Navid B.; Milliron, Delia J.; Aich, Nirupam; Katz, Lynn E.; Liljestrand, Howard M.; Kirisits, Mary Jo

    2016-01-01

    Metal oxide nanoparticles (MONPs) are considered to have the potency to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS), one of the key mechanisms underlying nanotoxicity. However, the nanotoxicology literature demonstrates a lack of consensus on the dominant toxicity mechanism(s) for a particular MONP. Moreover, recent literature has studied the correlation between band structure of pristine MONPs to their ability to introduce ROS and thus has downplayed the ROS-mediated toxicological relevance of a number of such materials. On the other hand, material science can control the band structure of these materials to engineer their electronic and optical properties and thereby is constantly modulating the pristine electronic structure. Since band structure is the fundamental material property that controls ROS-producing ability, band tuning via introduction of dopants and defects needs careful consideration in toxicity assessments. This commentary critically evaluates the existing material science and nanotoxicity literature and identifies the gap in our understanding of the role of important crystal structure features (i.e., dopants and defects) on MONPs' electronic structure alteration as well as their ROS-generation capability. Furthermore, this commentary provides suggestions on characterization techniques to evaluate dopants and defects on the crystal structure and identifies research needs for advanced theoretical predictions of their electronic band structures and ROS-generation abilities. Correlation of electronic band structure and ROS will not only aid in better mechanistic assessment of nanotoxicity but will be impactful in designing and developing ROS-based applications ranging from water disinfection to next-generation antibiotics and even cancer therapeutics. - Highlights: • Metal oxide nanoparticles (MONPs) produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) • Band structure of pristine MONPs is different than those with dopants/defects • Dopants/defects modulate

  1. Importance of doping, dopant distribution, and defects on electronic band structure alteration of metal oxide nanoparticles: Implications for reactive oxygen species

    Saleh, Navid B., E-mail: navid.saleh@utexas.edu [Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Milliron, Delia J. [McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Aich, Nirupam [Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, 14260 (United States); Katz, Lynn E.; Liljestrand, Howard M.; Kirisits, Mary Jo [Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 (United States)

    2016-10-15

    Metal oxide nanoparticles (MONPs) are considered to have the potency to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS), one of the key mechanisms underlying nanotoxicity. However, the nanotoxicology literature demonstrates a lack of consensus on the dominant toxicity mechanism(s) for a particular MONP. Moreover, recent literature has studied the correlation between band structure of pristine MONPs to their ability to introduce ROS and thus has downplayed the ROS-mediated toxicological relevance of a number of such materials. On the other hand, material science can control the band structure of these materials to engineer their electronic and optical properties and thereby is constantly modulating the pristine electronic structure. Since band structure is the fundamental material property that controls ROS-producing ability, band tuning via introduction of dopants and defects needs careful consideration in toxicity assessments. This commentary critically evaluates the existing material science and nanotoxicity literature and identifies the gap in our understanding of the role of important crystal structure features (i.e., dopants and defects) on MONPs' electronic structure alteration as well as their ROS-generation capability. Furthermore, this commentary provides suggestions on characterization techniques to evaluate dopants and defects on the crystal structure and identifies research needs for advanced theoretical predictions of their electronic band structures and ROS-generation abilities. Correlation of electronic band structure and ROS will not only aid in better mechanistic assessment of nanotoxicity but will be impactful in designing and developing ROS-based applications ranging from water disinfection to next-generation antibiotics and even cancer therapeutics. - Highlights: • Metal oxide nanoparticles (MONPs) produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) • Band structure of pristine MONPs is different than those with dopants/defects • Dopants/defects modulate

  2. Interaction of a common painkiller piroxicam and copper-piroxicam with chromatin causes structural alterations accompanied by modulation at the epigenomic/genomic level.

    Goswami, Sathi; Sanyal, Sulagna; Chakraborty, Payal; Das, Chandrima; Sarkar, Munna

    2017-08-01

    NSAIDs are the most common class of painkillers and anti-inflammatory agents. They also show other functions like chemoprevention and chemosuppression for which they act at the protein but not at the genome level since they are mostly anions at physiological pH, which prohibit their approach to the poly-anionic DNA. Complexing the drugs with bioactive metal obliterate their negative charge and allow them to bind to the DNA, thereby, opening the possibility of genome level interaction. To test this hypothesis, we present the interaction of a traditional NSAID, Piroxicam and its copper complex with core histone and chromatin. Spectroscopy, DLS, and SEM studies were applied to see the effect of the interaction on the structure of histone/chromatin. This was coupled with MTT assay, immunoblot analysis, confocal microscopy, micro array analysis and qRT-PCR. The interaction of Piroxicam and its copper complex with histone/chromatin results in structural alterations. Such structural alterations can have different biological manifestations, but to test our hypothesis, we have focused only on the accompanied modulations at the epigenomic/genomic level. The complex, showed alteration of key epigenetic signatures implicated in transcription in the global context, although Piroxicam caused no significant changes. We have correlated such alterations caused by the complex with the changes in global gene expression and validated the candidate gene expression alterations. Our results provide the proof of concept that DNA binding ability of the copper complexes of a traditional NSAID, opens up the possibility of modulations at the epigenomic/genomic level. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Effect of Heating Method on Alteration of Protein Molecular Structure in Flaxseed: Relationship with Changes in Protein Subfraction Profile and Digestion in Dairy Cows.

    Ahmad Khan, Nazir; Booker, Helen; Yu, Peiqiang

    2015-02-04

    This study evaluated the effect of heating methods on alteration of protein molecular structure in flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum L.) in relation to changes in protein subfraction profile and digestion in dairy cows. Seeds from two flaxseed varieties, sampled from two replicate plots at two locations, were evaluated. The seeds were either maintained in their raw state or heated in an air-draft oven (dry heating) or autoclave (moist heating) for 60 min at 120 °C or by microwave irradiation (MIR) for 5 min. Compared to raw seeds, moist heating decreased (P RUP) content (36.0 ± 5.19 to 46.9 ± 2.72% CP) and intestinal digestibility of RUP (61.0 ± 2.28 to 63.8 ± 2.67% RUP). Dry heating did not alter (P > 0.05) the protein subfraction profile and rumen degradation kinetics, whereas MIR increased (P RUP content from 36.0 ± 5.19 to 40.4 ± 4.67% CP. The MIR and dry heating did not alter (P > 0.05) the amide I to amide II ratio, but moist heating decreased (P RUP (R 2 = 0.71), and intestinal digestibility of RUP (R 2 = 0.72). Overall, heat-induced changes in protein nutritive value and digestion were strongly associated with heat-induced alteration in protein molecular structures.

  4. Structural analysis of PseH, the Campylobacter jejuni N-acetyltransferase involved in bacterial O-linked glycosylation

    Song, Wan Seok; Nam, Mi Sun; Namgung, Byeol [Department of Systems Immunology, College of Biomedical Science, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 200-701 (Korea, Republic of); Yoon, Sung-il, E-mail: sungil@kangwon.ac.kr [Department of Systems Immunology, College of Biomedical Science, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 200-701 (Korea, Republic of); Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 200-701 (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-03-20

    Campylobacter jejuni is a bacterium that uses flagella for motility and causes worldwide acute gastroenteritis in humans. The C. jejuni N-acetyltransferase PseH (cjPseH) is responsible for the third step in flagellin O-linked glycosylation and plays a key role in flagellar formation and motility. cjPseH transfers an acetyl group from an acetyl donor, acetyl coenzyme A (AcCoA), to the amino group of UDP-4-amino-4,6-dideoxy-N-acetyl-β-L-altrosamine to produce UDP-2,4-diacetamido-2,4,6-trideoxy-β-L-altropyranose. To elucidate the catalytic mechanism of cjPseH, crystal structures of cjPseH alone and in complex with AcCoA were determined at 1.95 Å resolution. cjPseH folds into a single-domain structure of a central β-sheet decorated by four α-helices with two continuously connected grooves. A deep groove (groove-A) accommodates the AcCoA molecule. Interestingly, the acetyl end of AcCoA points toward an open space in a neighboring shallow groove (groove-S), which is occupied by extra electron density that potentially serves as a pseudosubstrate, suggesting that the groove-S may provide a substrate-binding site. Structure-based comparative analysis suggests that cjPseH utilizes a unique catalytic mechanism of acetylation that has not been observed in other glycosylation-associated acetyltransferases. Thus, our studies on cjPseH will provide valuable information for the design of new antibiotics to treat C. jejuni-induced gastroenteritis. - Highlights: • cjPseH adopts a single-domain structure of a central β-sheet decorated by α-helices. • cjPseH features two continuously connected grooves on the protein surface. • Acetyl coenzyme A (AcCoA) binds into a deep groove of cjPseH in an ‘L’ shape. • The acetyl end of AcCoA points to a wide groove, a potential substrate-binding site.

  5. Swine Influenza Virus PA and Neuraminidase Gene Reassortment into Human H1N1 Influenza Virus Is Associated with an Altered Pathogenic Phenotype Linked to Increased MIP-2 Expression.

    Dlugolenski, Daniel; Jones, Les; Howerth, Elizabeth; Wentworth, David; Tompkins, S Mark; Tripp, Ralph A

    2015-05-01

    Swine are susceptible to infection by both avian and human influenza viruses, and this feature is thought to contribute to novel reassortant influenza viruses. In this study, the influenza virus reassortment rate in swine and human cells was determined. Coinfection of swine cells with 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus (huH1N1) and an endemic swine H1N2 (A/swine/Illinois/02860/09) virus (swH1N2) resulted in a 23% reassortment rate that was independent of α2,3- or α2,6-sialic acid distribution on the cells. The reassortants had altered pathogenic phenotypes linked to introduction of the swine virus PA and neuraminidase (NA) into huH1N1. In mice, the huH1N1 PA and NA mediated increased MIP-2 expression early postinfection, resulting in substantial pulmonary neutrophilia with enhanced lung pathology and disease. The findings support the notion that swine are a mixing vessel for influenza virus reassortants independent of sialic acid distribution. These results show the potential for continued reassortment of the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus with endemic swine viruses and for reassortants to have increased pathogenicity linked to the swine virus NA and PA genes which are associated with increased pulmonary neutrophil trafficking that is related to MIP-2 expression. Influenza A viruses can change rapidly via reassortment to create a novel virus, and reassortment can result in possible pandemics. Reassortments among subtypes from avian and human viruses led to the 1957 (H2N2 subtype) and 1968 (H3N2 subtype) human influenza pandemics. Recent analyses of circulating isolates have shown that multiple genes can be recombined from human, avian, and swine influenza viruses, leading to triple reassortants. Understanding the factors that can affect influenza A virus reassortment is needed for the establishment of disease intervention strategies that may reduce or preclude pandemics. The findings from this study show that swine cells provide a mixing vessel for influenza virus reassortment

  6. Red Phosphorus-Embedded Cross-Link-Structural Carbon Films as Flexible Anodes for Highly Reversible Li-Ion Storage

    Ruan, Jiafeng [School of Materials; Yuan, Tao [School of Materials; Pang, Yuepeng [School of Materials; Xu, Xinbo [School of Materials; Yang, Junhe [School of Materials; Hu, Wenbin; Zhong, Cheng; Ma, Zi-Feng [Shanghai Electrochemical Energy Devices Research Center,; Bi, Xuanxuan [Chemical; Zheng, Shiyou [School of Materials

    2017-10-06

    Red phosphorus (P) is considered to be one of the most attractive anodic materials for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) due to its high theoretical capacity of 2596 mAh g–1. However, intrinsic characteristics such as the poor electronic conductivity and large volume expansion at lithiation impede the development of red P. Here, we design a new strategy to embed red P particles into a cross-link-structural carbon film (P–C film), in order to improve the electronic conductivity and accommodate the volume expansion. The red P/carbon film is synthesized via vapor phase polymerization (VPP) followed by the pyrolysis process, working as a flexible binder-free anode for LIBs. High cycle stability and good rate capability are achieved by the P–C film anode. With 21% P content in the film, it displays a capacity of 903 mAh g–1 after 640 cycles at a current density of 100 mA g–1 and a capacity of 460 mAh g–1 after 1000 cycles at 2.0 A g–1. Additionally, the Coulombic efficiency reaches almost 100% for each cycle. The superior properties of the P–C films together with their facile fabrication make this material attractive for further flexible and high energy density LIB applications.

  7. Function and structure in social brain regions can link oxytocin-receptor genes with autistic social behavior.

    Yamasue, Hidenori

    2013-02-01

    Difficulties in appropriate social and communicative behaviors are the most prevalent and core symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Although recent intensive research has focused on the neurobiological background of these difficulties, many aspects of them were not yet elucidated. Recent studies have employed multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) indices as intermediate phenotypes of this behavioral phenotype to link candidate genes with the autistic social difficulty. As MRI indices, functional MRI (fMRI), structural MRI, and MR-spectroscopy have been examined in subjects with autism spectrum disorders. As candidate genes, this mini-review has much interest in oxytocin-receptor genes (OXTR), since recent studies have repeatedly reported their associations with normal variations in social cognition and behavior as well as with their extremes, autistic social dysfunction. Through previous increasing studies, medial prefrontal cortex, hypothalamus and amygdala have repeatedly been revealed as neural correlates of autistic social behavior by MRI multimodalities and their relationship to OXTR. For further development of this research area, this mini-review integrates recent accumulating evidence about human behavioral and neural correlates of OXTR. Copyright © 2012 The Japanese Society of Child Neurology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Dermatan Sulfate Epimerase 1-Deficient Mice Have Reduced Content and Changed Distribution of Iduronic Acids in Dermatan Sulfate and an Altered Collagen Structure in Skin

    Maccarana, M.; Kalamajski, S.; Kongsgaard, M.

    2009-01-01

    Dermatan sulfate epimerase 1 (DS-epi1) and DS-epi2 convert glucuronic acid to iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate biosynthesis. Here we report on the generation of DS-epi1-null mice and the resulting alterations in the chondroitin/dermatan polysaccharide chains. The numbers of long blocks...... of adjacent iduronic acids are greatly decreased in skin decorin and biglycan chondroitin/dermatan sulfate, along with a parallel decrease in iduronic-2-O-sulfated-galactosamine-4-O-sulfated structures. Both iduronic acid blocks and iduronic acids surrounded by glucuronic acids are also decreased in versican......-derived chains. DS-epi1-deficient mice are smaller than their wild-type littermates but otherwise have no gross macroscopic alterations. The lack of DS-epi1 affects the chondroitin/dermat