Sample records for underlying transduction mechanisms

  1. A new dynamic electrochemical transduction mechanism for interdigitated array microelectrodes. (United States)

    Zhu, Xiaoshan; Choi, Jin-Woo; Ahn, Chong H


    A dynamic electrochemical transduction mechanism for interdigitated array microelectrodes using an electrical charge pumping method is presented in this paper. In this dynamic transduction mechanism, a charged external capacitor is used as the charge supplier for the electrochemical reaction of the reversible redox species at the interdigitated array electrodes. The charges stored in the capacitor are consumed as the electrochemical reaction current, which causes the capacitor potential decay. The theoretical analysis has shown that the species concentration has a decisive effect on the capacitor potential decay, and therefore the characteristics of the capacitor potential decay are recorded and analyzed to evaluate the concentration of redox species. The new transduction mechanism has the advantages of achieving high sensitivity with small sensor area and simplifying the measurement instrumentation. As a demonstration device, interdigitated array microelectrodes (approximately 0.2 mm(2) electrode surface area) have been fabricated and successfully characterized using p-aminophenol as the redox species under this dynamic mechanism. The detection limit of p-aminophenol was calculated to be approximately 4 x 10(-7) M for the sensor with the new dynamic transduction mechanism.

  2. Transduction mechanisms and their applications in micromechanical devices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elwenspoek, Michael Curt; Blom, F.R.; Bouwstra, S.; Lammerink, Theodorus S.J.; van de Pol, F.C.M.; Tilmans, H.A.C.; Popma, T.J.A.; Fluitman, J.H.J.


    Transduction mechanisms and their applications in micromechanical actuators and resonating sensors are presented. They include piezoelectric, dielectric, electro-thermo-mechanic, opto-thermo-mechanic, and thermo-pneumatic mechanisms. Advantages and disadvantages with respect to technology and

  3. Mechanisms of hypoxic signal transduction regulated by reactive nitrogen species. (United States)

    Sumbayev, V V; Yasinska, I M


    Recent reports devoted to the field of oxygen sensing outline that signalling molecules such as nitric oxide/nitric oxide derived species as well as cytokines and other inflammatory mediators participate in hypoxic signal transduction. In the present review, we summarize the current knowledge about the role of nitric oxide and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) derived from it in hypoxic signal transduction and particularly in accumulation/de-accumulation of hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1alpha) protein, which is critical not only for cellular adaptation to low oxygen availability but also for generation of inflammatory and innate immune responses. After brief description of nitric oxide and other RNS as multifunctional messengers we analyse and discuss the RNS-dependent accumulation of HIF-1alpha protein under normoxia followed by discussion of the mechanisms of nitric oxide (NO)-dependent enzyme-regulated degradation of HIF-1alpha protein under low oxygen availability.

  4. Molecular insights into the mechanism of sensing and signal transduction of the thermosensor DesK

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ballering, J.


    The ability to sense and respond to environmental signals is essential for cell survival. Unraveling the molecular mechanisms underlying signaling processes remains a challenge, however. This thesis provides molecular insights into the mechanism of sensing and signal transduction of the thermosensor

  5. Mechanical transduction by ion channels: A cautionary tale. (United States)

    Sachs, Frederick


    Mechanical transduction by ion channels occurs in all cells. The physiological functions of these channels have just begun to be elaborated, but if we focus on the upper animal kingdom, these channels serve the common sensory services such as hearing and touch, provide the central nervous system with information on the force and position of muscles and joints, and they provide the autonomic system with information about the filling of hollow organs such as blood vessels. However, all cells of the body have mechanosensitive channels (MSCs), including red cells. Most of these channels are cation selective and are activated by bilayer tension. There are also K + selective MSCs found commonly in neurons where they may be responsible for both general anesthesia and knockout punches in the boxing ring by hyperpolarizing neurons to reduce excitability. The cationic MSCs are typically inactive under normal mechanical stress, but open under pathologic stress. The channels are normally inactive because they are shielded from stress by the cytoskeleton. The cationic MSCs are specifically blocked by the externally applied peptide GsMtx4 (aka, AT-300). This is the first drug of its class and provides a new approach to many pathologies since it is nontoxic, non-immunogenic, stable in a biological environment and has a long pharmacokinetic lifetime. Pathologies involving excessive stress are common. They produce cardiac arrhythmias, contraction in stretched dystrophic muscle, xerocytotic and sickled red cells, etc . The channels seem to function primarily as "fire alarms", providing feedback to the cytoskeleton that a region of the bilayer is under excessive tension and needs reinforcing. The eukaryotic forms of MSCs have only been cloned in recent years and few people have experience working with them. "Newbies" need to become aware of the technology, potential artifacts, and the fundamentals of mechanics. The most difficult problem in studying MSCs is that the actual stimulus

  6. Molecular mechanisms of root gravity sensing and signal transduction. (United States)

    Strohm, Allison K; Baldwin, Katherine L; Masson, Patrick H


    Plants use gravity as a guide to direct their roots down into the soil to anchor themselves and to find resources needed for growth and development. In higher plants, the columella cells of the root tip form the primary site of gravity sensing, and in these cells the sedimentation of dense, starch-filled plastids (amyloplasts) triggers gravity signal transduction. This generates an auxin gradient across the root cap that is transmitted to the elongation zone where it promotes differential cell elongation, allowing the root to direct itself downward. It is still not well understood how amyloplast sedimentation leads to auxin redistribution. Models have been proposed to explain how mechanosensitive ion channels or ligand-receptor interactions could connect these events. Although their roles are still unclear, possible second messengers in this process include protons, Ca(2+), and inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate. Upon gravistimulation, the auxin efflux facilitators PIN3 and PIN7 relocalize to the lower side of the columella cells and mediate auxin redistribution. However, evidence for an auxin-independent secondary mechanism of gravity sensing and signal transduction suggests that this physiological process is quite complex. Furthermore, plants must integrate a variety of environmental cues, resulting in multifaceted relationships between gravitropism and other directional growth responses such as hydro-, photo-, and thigmotropism. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Exploring transduction mechanisms of protein transduction domains (PTDs) in living cells utilizing single-quantum dot tracking (SQT) technology. (United States)

    Suzuki, Yasuhiro


    Specific protein domains known as protein transduction domains (PTDs) can permeate cell membranes and deliver proteins or bioactive materials into living cells. Various approaches have been applied for improving their transduction efficacy. It is, therefore, crucial to clarify the entry mechanisms and to identify the rate-limiting steps. Because of technical limitations for imaging PTD behavior on cells with conventional fluorescent-dyes, how PTDs enter the cells has been a topic of much debate. Utilizing quantum dots (QDs), we recently tracked the behavior of PTD that was derived from HIV-1 Tat (TatP) in living cells at the single-molecule level with 7-nm special precision. In this review article, we initially summarize the controversy on TatP entry mechanisms; thereafter, we will focus on our recent findings on single-TatP-QD tracking (SQT), to identify the major sequential steps of intracellular delivery in living cells and to discuss how SQT can easily provide direct information on TatP entry mechanisms. As a primer for SQT study, we also discuss the latest findings on single particle tracking of various molecules on the plasma membrane. Finally, we discuss the problems of QDs and the challenges for the future in utilizing currently available QD probes for SQT. In conclusion, direct identification of the rate-limiting steps of PTD entry with SQT should dramatically improve the methods for enhancing transduction efficiency.

  8. Exploring Transduction Mechanisms of Protein Transduction Domains (PTDs in Living Cells Utilizing Single-Quantum Dot Tracking (SQT Technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasuhiro Suzuki


    Full Text Available Specific protein domains known as protein transduction domains (PTDs can permeate cell membranes and deliver proteins or bioactive materials into living cells. Various approaches have been applied for improving their transduction efficacy. It is, therefore, crucial to clarify the entry mechanisms and to identify the rate-limiting steps. Because of technical limitations for imaging PTD behavior on cells with conventional fluorescent-dyes, how PTDs enter the cells has been a topic of much debate. Utilizing quantum dots (QDs, we recently tracked the behavior of PTD that was derived from HIV-1 Tat (TatP in living cells at the single-molecule level with 7-nm special precision. In this review article, we initially summarize the controversy on TatP entry mechanisms; thereafter, we will focus on our recent findings on single-TatP-QD tracking (SQT, to identify the major sequential steps of intracellular delivery in living cells and to discuss how SQT can easily provide direct information on TatP entry mechanisms. As a primer for SQT study, we also discuss the latest findings on single particle tracking of various molecules on the plasma membrane. Finally, we discuss the problems of QDs and the challenges for the future in utilizing currently available QD probes for SQT. In conclusion, direct identification of the rate-limiting steps of PTD entry with SQT should dramatically improve the methods for enhancing transduction efficiency.

  9. Transduction of Repetitive Mechanical Stimuli by Piezo1 and Piezo2 Ion Channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda H. Lewis


    Full Text Available Several cell types experience repetitive mechanical stimuli, including vein endothelial cells during pulsating blood flow, inner ear hair cells upon sound exposure, and skin cells and their innervating dorsal root ganglion (DRG neurons when sweeping across a textured surface or touching a vibrating object. While mechanosensitive Piezo ion channels have been clearly implicated in sensing static touch, their roles in transducing repetitive stimulations are less clear. Here, we perform electrophysiological recordings of heterologously expressed mouse Piezo1 and Piezo2 responding to repetitive mechanical stimulations. We find that both channels function as pronounced frequency filters whose transduction efficiencies vary with stimulus frequency, waveform, and duration. We then use numerical simulations and human disease-related point mutations to demonstrate that channel inactivation is the molecular mechanism underlying frequency filtering and further show that frequency filtering is conserved in rapidly adapting mouse DRG neurons. Our results give insight into the potential contributions of Piezos in transducing repetitive mechanical stimuli.

  10. Phage Transduction. (United States)

    Goh, Shan


    Bacteriophages mediate horizontal gene transfer through a mechanism known as transduction. Phage transduction carried out in the laboratory involves a bacterial donor and a recipient, both of which are susceptible to infection by the phage of interest. Phage is propagated in the donor, concentrated, and exposed transiently to recipient at different multiplicity of infection ratios. Transductants are selected for the desired phenotype by culture on selective medium. Here we describe transduction of ermB conferring resistance to erythromycin by the C. difficile phage ϕC2.

  11. The effect of antimicrobials on verocytotoxin bacteriophage transduction under bovine rumen fluid and broth conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nyambe S.


    Full Text Available The verocytotoxin genes in verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC are carried by bacteriophages, incorporated into the bacterial genome (prophage. Antibiotics may promote phage replication and release to infect other cells (transduction, thus leading to the emergence of new VTEC strains. This study investigated transduction of a verocytotoxin2-encoding bacteriophage (3538(vtx2::cat under laboratory conditions, including the effect of antibiotic treatments. Luria-Bertani Miller broth and rumen fluid (raw and sterilised by irradiation were inoculated with the donor (C600φ3538(Δvtx2::cat and recipient (E. coli C600::kanamycinR strains (4 log10 cfu/mL and incubated at 38°C. Antibiotic treatments (minimal inhibitory and sub-inhibitory concentrations of ampicillin, cefquinome, oxytetracycline and sodium sulfamethazine were applied after 3 h. Samples were tested for donor, recipient, cell-free phage and transductants at times t = 0, 3, 4, 6, 27 (24 h post-antibiotic treatment and 51 h. Free phage was detected in the untreated broth and rumen samples, as were the transductants confirmed by polymerase chain reaction. The antibiotic treatments did not significantly (P > 0.01 increase the concentrations of free phage or transductants detected. It was therefore concluded that, under laboratory conditions, the antibiotics tested did not induce bacteriophage lysis, release and infection of new bacterial cells beyond that constitutively found in the phage population.

  12. Mechanical regulation of a molecular clutch defines force transmission and transduction in response to matrix rigidity. (United States)

    Elosegui-Artola, Alberto; Oria, Roger; Chen, Yunfeng; Kosmalska, Anita; Pérez-González, Carlos; Castro, Natalia; Zhu, Cheng; Trepat, Xavier; Roca-Cusachs, Pere


    Cell function depends on tissue rigidity, which cells probe by applying and transmitting forces to their extracellular matrix, and then transducing them into biochemical signals. Here we show that in response to matrix rigidity and density, force transmission and transduction are explained by the mechanical properties of the actin-talin-integrin-fibronectin clutch. We demonstrate that force transmission is regulated by a dynamic clutch mechanism, which unveils its fundamental biphasic force/rigidity relationship on talin depletion. Force transduction is triggered by talin unfolding above a stiffness threshold. Below this threshold, integrins unbind and release force before talin can unfold. Above the threshold, talin unfolds and binds to vinculin, leading to adhesion growth and YAP nuclear translocation. Matrix density, myosin contractility, integrin ligation and talin mechanical stability differently and nonlinearly regulate both force transmission and the transduction threshold. In all cases, coupling of talin unfolding dynamics to a theoretical clutch model quantitatively predicts cell response.

  13. Molecular mechanisms of novel regulators in cytokine signal transduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xiaofei, Zhang


    By identifying and studying novel regulators, the studies described in this thesis give substantive insights into the molecular mechanisms and different levels of control of TGF-β/BMP, IL-1β and Wnt signaling pathways. Crucially, our work for the first time demonstrated the monoubiquitination of an

  14. Hair cell mechano-transduction : Its influence on the gross mechanical characteristics of a hair cell sense organ

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    vanNetten, Sietse M.


    The complex mechanical behaviour of a hair cell bundle appears to be a direct consequence of the gating forces on the individual transduction channels. The mechanical molecular interactions involved in transduction channel gating, therefore, also bear a reciprocal influence, via the hair bundles; on

  15. Controlled membrane translocation provides a mechanism for signal transduction and amplification (United States)

    Langton, Matthew J.; Keymeulen, Flore; Ciaccia, Maria; Williams, Nicholas H.; Hunter, Christopher A.


    Transmission and amplification of chemical signals across lipid bilayer membranes is of profound significance in many biological processes, from the development of multicellular organisms to information processing in the nervous system. In biology, membrane-spanning proteins are responsible for the transmission of chemical signals across membranes, and signal transduction is often associated with an amplified signalling cascade. The ability to reproduce such processes in artificial systems has potential applications in sensing, controlled drug delivery and communication between compartments in tissue-like constructs of synthetic vesicles. Here we describe a mechanism for transmitting a chemical signal across a membrane based on the controlled translocation of a synthetic molecular transducer from one side of a lipid bilayer membrane to the other. The controlled molecular motion has been coupled to the activation of a catalyst on the inside of a vesicle, which leads to a signal-amplification process analogous to the biological counterpart.

  16. Studies of the mechanism of mIg-mediated signal transduction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coggeshall, K.M.


    B lymphocytes express surface immunoglobulins (Ig) which act as antigen receptors. Antigen binding by these receptors appears to lead to B cell receptivity to the regulatory signals. Transduction of the surface Ig-derived signal is manifest by B cell depolarization and increased expression of surface I-A antigen. This dissertation describes studies of the biochemical mechanism by which surface Ig occupancy induces these cell biologic changes in B cells. Using [32P]Pi as label to monitor phospholipid metabolism, the authors have observed that crosslinking of B cell surface Ig results in the activation of a common signal transduction pathway called the phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns) cycle. The PtdIns cycle, through the generation of the PtdIns metabolite diacyglycerol (DG), has been proposed to be a regulatory mechanism for the enzyme protein kinase C (PK-C). The observation that the PtdIns cycle is activated upon receptor occupancy in B cells suggest that this cycle and subsequent PK-C activation regulates B cell depolarization and increased I-A expression. Although studies indicate that extracellular Ca ++ does not appear to be required for anti-immunoglobulin induced events, they demonstrate that the Ca ++ ionophore is able to induce depolarization and increased I-A antigen. Studies on the role of protein kinase C in surface Ig-mediated signalling indicated that this ability of Ca ++ ionophore as well as that of LPS and PMA is due to cation of PK-C. These results support the notion that occupancy of antigen receptors on B cells is linked to subsequent biologic responses by the PtdIns cycle and protein kinase C activation

  17. Signal transduction mechanisms and nitric oxide in hypoxic and ischemic human cardiac ventricular cell. (United States)

    Corbucci, G C; Ricchi, A; Lettieri, B; Mastronardi, P


    Nitric oxide (NO) plays a well-known role in regulating endocellular adaptive changes to acute hypoxia and ischemia. The reversible inhibition of complex IV of the mitochondrial respiratory chain fulfils a cytoprotective function, whereas the progressive inhibition of complex I and II reveals the onset of irreversible oxidative damage due to persistent NO production in response to prolonged hypoxia and/or ischemia. In hypoxic or ischemic human myocardial cells, death may be caused by apoptosis or necrosis following the activation of the biomolecular signal transduction mechanisms. The activation of MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) followed by ERK (extracellular regulated kinase) and p21waf is necessary in this respect. The myocardial cell is well known for its postmitotic nature and through their activation these kinases aim to repair DNA damaged by oxidative stress in order to guarantee the survival of the cell itself. A direct correlation has been found between the activation of these kinases and NO production. It was decided to carry out this study in hypoxic and ischemic human heart ventricular tissue in order to confirm this connection. In 10 patients undergoing cardiac valvular replacement, ventricular samples were collected before aortic clamping, after 15 min of ischemia and after 60 minutes during which the patients received doses of hematic cardioplegic solution at regular intervals. The results show a rapid increase in NO production in response to ischemia followed by a tendency for levels of this element to fall. MAPK, ERK and p21waf activation was parallel to No production, irrespective of the repeated administration of hematic cardioplegic solution. The heart tissue examined 60 minutes after aortic clamping came from a ventricular area subject to preconditioning mechanisms. In view of this, the data obtained must be seen in terms of the close correlation between the mitochondrial action played by NO and the contemporary and consequent

  18. Child abuse: underlying mechanisms


    Martínez, Gladys S.


    Exposure to traumatic stress during childhood, in the form of abuse or neglect, is related to an increased vulnerability resulting in the development of several pathologies, this relation has been confi rmed by epidemiological studies; however, the neural mechanisms underlying such abnormalities are still unknown. Most of the research done has focused on the effects in the infant, and only recently it has begun to focus on the neurobiological changes in the abusive parents. In this article, I...

  19. Nanopore Event-Transduction Signal Stabilization for Wide pH Range under Extreme Chaotrope Conditions. (United States)

    Winters-Hilt, Stephen; Stoyanov, Alexander


    Operation of an α-hemolysin nanopore transduction detector is found to be surprisingly robust over a critical range of pH (6-9), including physiological pH = 7.4 and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) pH = 8.4, and extreme chaotrope concentration, including 5 M urea. The engineered transducer molecule that is captured in the standard α-hemolysin nanopore detector, to transform it into a transduction detector, appears to play a central role in this stabilization process by stabilizing the channel against gating during its capture. This enables the nanopore transduction detector to operate as a single molecule "nanoscope" in a wide range of conditions, where tracking on molecular state is possible in a variety of different environmental conditions. In the case of streptavidin biosensing, results are shown for detector operation when in the presence of extreme (5 M) urea concentration. Complications involving degenerate states are encountered at higher chaotrope concentrations, but since the degeneracy is only of order two, this is easily absorbed into the classification task as in prior work. This allows useful detector operation over a wide range of conditions relevant to biochemistry, biomedical engineering, and biotechnology.

  20. Nanopore Event-Transduction Signal Stabilization for Wide pH Range under Extreme Chaotrope Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen Winters-Hilt


    Full Text Available Operation of an α-hemolysin nanopore transduction detector is found to be surprisingly robust over a critical range of pH (6–9, including physiological pH = 7.4 and polymerase chain reaction (PCR pH = 8.4, and extreme chaotrope concentration, including 5 M urea. The engineered transducer molecule that is captured in the standard α-hemolysin nanopore detector, to transform it into a transduction detector, appears to play a central role in this stabilization process by stabilizing the channel against gating during its capture. This enables the nanopore transduction detector to operate as a single molecule “nanoscope” in a wide range of conditions, where tracking on molecular state is possible in a variety of different environmental conditions. In the case of streptavidin biosensing, results are shown for detector operation when in the presence of extreme (5 M urea concentration. Complications involving degenerate states are encountered at higher chaotrope concentrations, but since the degeneracy is only of order two, this is easily absorbed into the classification task as in prior work. This allows useful detector operation over a wide range of conditions relevant to biochemistry, biomedical engineering, and biotechnology.

  1. Mechanism of active transport: free energy dissipation and free energy transduction.


    Tanford, C


    The thermodynamic pathway for "chemiosmotic" free energy transduction in active transport is discussed with an ATP-driven Ca2+ pump as an illustrative example. Two innovations are made in the analysis. (i) Free energy dissipated as heat is rigorously excluded from overall free energy bookkeeping by focusing on the dynamic equilibrium state of the chemiosmotic process. (ii) Separate chemical potential terms for free energy donor and transported ions are used to keep track of the thermodynamic ...

  2. Nox family NADPH oxidases in mechano-transduction: mechanisms and consequences. (United States)

    Brandes, Ralf P; Weissmann, Norbert; Schröder, Katrin


    The majority of cells in a multi-cellular organism are continuously exposed to ever-changing physical forces. Mechano-transduction links these events to appropriate reactions of the cells involving stimulation of signaling cascades, reorganization of the cytoskeleton and alteration of gene expression. Mechano-transduction alters the cellular redox balance and the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Nicotine amide adenine dinucleotide reduced form (NADPH) oxidases of the Nox family are prominent ROS generators and thus, contribute to this stress-induced ROS formation. Different types and patterns of mechano-stress lead to Nox-dependent ROS formation and Nox-mediated ROS formation contributes to cellular responses and adaptation to physical forces. Thereby, Nox enzymes can mediate vascular protection during physiological mechano-stress. Despite this, over-activation and induction of Nox enzymes and a subsequent substantial increase in ROS formation also promotes oxidative stress in pathological situations like disturbed blood flow or extensive stretch. Individual protein targets of Nox-mediated redox-signaling will be identified to better understand the specificity of Nox-dependent ROS signaling in mechano-transduction. Nox-inhibitors will be tested to reduce cellular activation in response to mechano-stimuli.

  3. Dielectric Transduction of NEMS


    Howell, Kaitlin


    We report on a four-mask process flow for creating resonant NanoElectroMechanical Systems (NEMS) based on dielectric transduction. Current transduction mechanisms for NEMS include piezoelectricity, flexoelectricity and dielectric force. While piezoelectricity gives the highest electromechanical efficiency in, NEMS using flexoelectricity and dielectric force are interesting alternatives with a larger range of possible active materials and potentially simpler fabrication. In this four-mask proc...

  4. Leptin signal transduction underlies the differential metabolic response of LEW and WKY rats to cafeteria diet. (United States)

    Martínez-Micaelo, N; González-Abuín, N; Ardévol, A; Pinent, M; Petretto, E; Behmoaras, J; Blay, M


    Although the effect of genetic background on obesity-related phenotypes is well established, the main objective of this study is to determine the phenotypic responses to cafeteria diet (CAF) of two genetically distinct inbred rat strains and give insight into the molecular mechanisms that might be underlying. Lewis (LEW) and Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats were fed with either a standard or a CAF diet. The effects of the diet and the strain in the body weight gain, food intake, respiratory quotient, biochemical parameters in plasma as well as in the expression of genes that regulate leptin signalling were determined. Whereas CAF diet promoted weight gain in LEW and WKY rats, as consequence of increased energy intake, metabolic management of this energy surplus was significantly affected by genetic background. LEW and WKY showed a different metabolic profile, LEW rats showed hyperglycaemia, hypertriglyceridemia and high FFA levels, ketogenesis, high adiposity index and inflammation, but WKY did not. Leptin signalling, and specifically the LepRb-mediated regulation of STAT3 activation and Socs3 gene expression in the hypothalamus were inversely modulated by the CAF diet in LEW (upregulated) and WKY rats (downregulated). In the present study, we show evidence of gene-environment interactions in obesity exerted by differential phenotypic responses to CAF diet between LEW and WKY rats. Specifically, we found the leptin-signalling pathway as a divergent point between the strain-specific adaptations to diet. © 2016 Society for Endocrinology.

  5. Accelerated generation of human induced pluripotent stem cells with retroviral transduction and chemical inhibitors under physiological hypoxia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shimada, Hidenori; Hashimoto, Yoshiya; Nakada, Akira; Shigeno, Keiji; Nakamura, Tatsuo


    Highlights: ► Very rapid generation of human iPS cells under optimized conditions. ► Five chemical inhibitors under hypoxia boosted reprogramming. ► We performed genome-wide DNA methylation analysis. -- Abstract: Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are generated from somatic cells by the forced expression of a defined set of pluripotency-associated transcription factors. Human iPS cells can be propagated indefinitely, while maintaining the capacity to differentiate into all cell types in the body except for extra-embryonic tissues. This technology not only represents a new way to use individual-specific stem cells for regenerative medicine but also constitutes a novel method to obtain large amounts of disease-specific cells for biomedical research. Despite their great potential, the long reprogramming process (up to 1 month) remains one of the most significant challenges facing standard virus-mediated methodology. In this study, we report the accelerated generation of human iPS cells from adipose-derived stem (ADS) cells, using a new combination of chemical inhibitors under a setting of physiological hypoxia in conjunction with retroviral transduction of Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, and L-Myc. Under optimized conditions, we observed human embryonic stem (ES)-like cells as early as 6 days after the initial retroviral transduction. This was followed by the emergence of fully reprogrammed cells bearing Tra-1-81-positive and DsRed transgene-silencing properties on day 10. The resulting cell lines resembled human ES cells in many respects including proliferation rate, morphology, pluripotency-associated markers, global gene expression patterns, genome-wide DNA methylation states, and the ability to differentiate into all three of the germ layers, both in vitro and in vivo. Our method, when combined with chemical inhibitors under conditions of physiological hypoxia, offers a powerful tool for rapidly generating bona fide human iPS cells and facilitates the application of i

  6. Accelerated generation of human induced pluripotent stem cells with retroviral transduction and chemical inhibitors under physiological hypoxia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shimada, Hidenori [Department of Bioartificial Organs, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, 53 Kawaharacho, Shogoin, Sakyoku, Kyoto 606-8507 (Japan); Hashimoto, Yoshiya [Department of Biomaterials, Osaka Dental University, 8-1, Hanazonocho, Kuzuha, Hirakatashi, Osaka 573-1121 (Japan); Nakada, Akira; Shigeno, Keiji [Department of Bioartificial Organs, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, 53 Kawaharacho, Shogoin, Sakyoku, Kyoto 606-8507 (Japan); Nakamura, Tatsuo, E-mail: [Department of Bioartificial Organs, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, 53 Kawaharacho, Shogoin, Sakyoku, Kyoto 606-8507 (Japan)


    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Very rapid generation of human iPS cells under optimized conditions. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Five chemical inhibitors under hypoxia boosted reprogramming. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We performed genome-wide DNA methylation analysis. -- Abstract: Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are generated from somatic cells by the forced expression of a defined set of pluripotency-associated transcription factors. Human iPS cells can be propagated indefinitely, while maintaining the capacity to differentiate into all cell types in the body except for extra-embryonic tissues. This technology not only represents a new way to use individual-specific stem cells for regenerative medicine but also constitutes a novel method to obtain large amounts of disease-specific cells for biomedical research. Despite their great potential, the long reprogramming process (up to 1 month) remains one of the most significant challenges facing standard virus-mediated methodology. In this study, we report the accelerated generation of human iPS cells from adipose-derived stem (ADS) cells, using a new combination of chemical inhibitors under a setting of physiological hypoxia in conjunction with retroviral transduction of Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, and L-Myc. Under optimized conditions, we observed human embryonic stem (ES)-like cells as early as 6 days after the initial retroviral transduction. This was followed by the emergence of fully reprogrammed cells bearing Tra-1-81-positive and DsRed transgene-silencing properties on day 10. The resulting cell lines resembled human ES cells in many respects including proliferation rate, morphology, pluripotency-associated markers, global gene expression patterns, genome-wide DNA methylation states, and the ability to differentiate into all three of the germ layers, both in vitro and in vivo. Our method, when combined with chemical inhibitors under conditions of physiological hypoxia, offers a powerful tool for rapidly

  7. Signal transduction and epigenetic mechanisms in the control of microglia activation during neuroinflammation. (United States)

    Kaminska, Bozena; Mota, Mariana; Pizzi, Marina


    Activation of microglia is a common denominator and a pathophysiological hallmark of the central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Damage or CNS disorders can trigger inflammatory responses in resident microglia and initiate a systemic immune system response. Although a repertoire of inflammatory responses differs in those diseases, there is a spectrum of transcriptionally activated genes that encode various mediators such as growth factors, inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, matrix metalloproteinases, enzymes producing lipid mediators, toxic molocules, all of which contribute to neuroinflammation. The initiation, progression and termination of inflammation requires global activation of gene expression, postranscriptional regulation, epigenetic modifications, changes in chromatin structure and these processes are tightly regulated by specific signaling pathways. This review focuses on the function of "master regulators" and epigenetic mechanisms in microglia activation during neuroinflammation. We review studies showing impact of epigenetic enzyme inhibitors on microglia activation in vitro and in vivo, and critically discuss potential of such molecules to prevent/moderate pathological events mediated by microglia under brain pathologies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Neuro Inflammation edited by Helga E. de Vries and Markus Schwaninger. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Interaction of the protein transduction domain of HIV-1 TAT with heparan sulfate: binding mechanism and thermodynamic parameters. (United States)

    Ziegler, André; Seelig, Joachim


    The positively charged protein transduction domain of the HIV-1 TAT protein (TAT-PTD; residues 47-57 of TAT) rapidly translocates across the plasma membrane of living cells. This property is exploited for the delivery of proteins, drugs, and genes into cells. The mechanism of this translocation is, however, not yet understood. Recent theories for translocation suggest binding of the protein transduction domain (PTD) to extracellular glycosaminoglycans as a possible mechanism. We have studied the binding equilibrium between TAT-PTD and three different glycosaminoglycans with high sensitivity isothermal titration calorimetry and provide the first quantitative thermodynamic description. The polysulfonated macromolecules were found to exhibit multiple identical binding sites for TAT-PTD with only small differences between the three species as far as the thermodynamic parameters are concerned. Heparan sulfate (HS, molecular weight, 14.2 +/- 2 kDa) has 6.3 +/- 1.0 independent binding sites for TAT-PTD which are characterized by a binding constant K0 = (6.0 +/- 0.6) x 10(5) M(-1) and a reaction enthalpy deltaHpep0 = -4.6 +/- 1.0 kcal/mol at 28 degrees C. The binding affinity, deltaGpep0, is determined to equal extent by enthalpic and entropic contributions. The HS-TAT-PTD complex formation entails a positive heat capacity change of deltaCp0 = +135 cal/mol peptide, which is characteristic of a charge neutralization reaction. This is in contrast to hydrophobic binding reactions which display a large negative heat capacity change. The stoichiometry of 6-7 TAT-PTD molecules per HS corresponds to an electric charge neutralization. Light scattering data demonstrate a maximum scattering intensity at this stoichiometric ratio, the intensity of which depends on the order of mixing of the two components. The data suggest cross-linking and/or aggregation of HS-TAT-PTD complexes. Two other glycosaminoglycans, namely heparin and chondroitin sulfate B, were also studied with isothermal

  9. The vasorelaxant mechanisms of methanol on isolated rat aortic rings: Involvement of ion channels and signal transduction pathways. (United States)

    Bai, Y; Zhang, Q; Yang, Z; Meng, Z; Zhao, Q


    It is reported that methanol is generally used as an industrial solvent, antifreeze, windshield washer fluid, cooking fuel and perfume. Methanol ingestion can lead to severe metabolic disturbances, blindness, or even death. So far, few studies about its negative effects on cardiovascular system have been reported. The purpose of this study was to determine the vasoactive effect of methanol and roles of ion channels and signal transduction pathways on isolated rat aorta. The results suggested that the mechanism of methanol-induced vasorelaxation at low concentrations (600 mM) was related to K ATP , voltage-dependent K + , big-conductance Ca 2+ -activated K + , L-type Ca 2+ channels as well as prostacyclin, protein kinase C, β-adrenoceptors pathways. In addition, methanol induced a dose-dependent inhibition of vasoconstrictions caused by calcium chloride, potassium chloride, or norepinephrine. Further work is needed to investigate the relative contribution of each channel and pathway in methanol-induced vasoactive effect.

  10. Mathematical review of the energy transduction stoichiometries of C4 leaf photosynthesis under limiting light

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yin, X.; Struik, P.C.


    A generalized model for electron (e-) transport limited C4 photosynthesis of NAD–malic enzyme and NADP–malic enzyme subtypes is presented. The model is used to review the thylakoid stoichiometries in vivo under strictly limiting light conditions, using published data on photosynthetic quantum yield

  11. Amplitude calibration of 2D mechanical resonators by nonlinear optical transduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dolleman, R.J.; Davidovikj, D.; van der Zant, H.S.J.; Steeneken, P.G.


    Contactless characterization of mechanical resonances using Fabry-Perot interferometry is a powerful tool to study the mechanical and dynamical properties of atomically thin membranes. However, amplitude calibration is often not performed or only possible by making assumptions on the device

  12. Structural studies of the natriuretic peptide receptor: a novel hormone-induced rotation mechanism for transmembrane signal transduction. (United States)

    Misono, Kunio S; Ogawa, Haruo; Qiu, Yue; Ogata, Craig M


    The atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) receptor is a single-span transmembrane receptor that is coupled to its intrinsic intracellular guanylate cyclase (GCase) catalytic activity. To investigate the mechanisms of hormone binding and signal transduction, we have expressed the extracellular hormone-binding domain of the ANP receptor (ANPR) and characterized its structure and function. The disulfide-bond structure, state of glycosylation, binding-site residues, chloride-dependence of ANP binding, dimerization, and binding stoichiometry have been determined. More recently, the crystal structures of both the apoANPR dimer and ANP-bound complex have been determined. The structural comparison between the two has shown that, upon ANP binding, two ANPR molecules in the dimer undergo an inter-molecular twist with little intra-molecular conformational change. This motion produces a Ferris wheel-like translocation of two juxtamembrane domains with essentially no change in the inter-domain distance. This movement alters the relative orientation of the two domains equivalent to counter-clockwise rotation of each by 24 degrees . These results suggest that transmembrane signaling by the ANP receptor is mediated by a novel hormone-induced rotation mechanism.

  13. Erythropoietin suppresses epithelial to mesenchymal transition and intercepts Smad signal transduction through a MEK-dependent mechanism in pig kidney (LLC-PK1) cell lines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Chien-Liang; Chou, Kang-Ju; Lee, Po-Tsang; Chen, Ying-Shou; Chang, Tsu-Yuan; Hsu, Chih-Yang; Huang, Wei-Chieh; Chung, Hsiao-Min; Fang, Hua-Chang


    Purpose: Tumor growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) plays a pivotal role in processes like kidney epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and interstitial fibrosis, which correlate well with progression of renal disease. Little is known about underlying mechanisms that regulate EMT. Based on the anatomical relationship between erythropoietin (EPO)-producing interstitial fibroblasts and adjacent tubular cells, we investigated the role of EPO in TGF-β1-mediated EMT and fibrosis in kidney injury. Methods: We examined apoptosis and EMT in TGF-β1-treated LLC-PK1 cells in the presence or absence of EPO. We examined the effect of EPO on TGF-β1-mediated Smad signaling. Apoptosis and cell proliferation were assessed with flow cytometry and hemocytometry. We used Western blotting and indirect immunofluorescence to evaluate expression levels of TGF-β1 signal pathway proteins and EMT markers. Results: We demonstrated that ZVAD-FMK (a caspase inhibitor) inhibited TGF-β1-induced apoptosis but did not inhibit EMT. In contrast, EPO reversed TGF-β1-mediated apoptosis and also partially inhibited TGF-β1-mediated EMT. We showed that EPO treatment suppressed TGF-β1-mediated signaling by inhibiting the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of Smad 3. Inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1 (MEK 1) either directly with PD98059 or with MEK 1 siRNA resulted in inhibition of EPO-mediated suppression of EMT and Smad signal transduction in TGF-β1-treated cells. Conclusions: EPO inhibited apoptosis and EMT in TGF-β1-treated LLC-PK1 cells. This effect of EPO was partially mediated by a mitogen-activated protein kinase-dependent inhibition of Smad signal transduction.

  14. Underlying Mechanisms Affecting Institutionalisation of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper discusses the underlying causal mechanisms that enabled or constrained institutionalisation of environmental education in 12 institutions in eight countries in southern Africa. The study was carried out in the context of the Southern Africa Development Community Regional Environmental Education Support ...

  15. Underlying Mechanisms Affecting Institutionalisation of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    doctoral study and draws on critical realism as the ontological lens. Data analysis was done by means of a retroductive mode of inference, as articulated by Danermark, Ekström, Jakosben and Karlsson (2002). The paper demonstrates that there are a number of underlying causal mechanisms, which may enable or.

  16. Molecular mechanisms underlying bacterial persisters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maisonneuve, Etienne; Gerdes, Kenn


    All bacteria form persisters, cells that are multidrug tolerant and therefore able to survive antibiotic treatment. Due to the low frequencies of persisters in growing bacterial cultures and the complex underlying molecular mechanisms, the phenomenon has been challenging to study. However, recent...

  17. Structure of Concatenated HAMP Domains Provides a Mechanism for Signal Transduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Airola, Michael V.; Watts, Kylie J.; Bilwes, Alexandrine M.; Crane, Brian R. (Cornell); (Lorma Linda U)


    HAMP domains are widespread prokaryotic signaling modules found as single domains or poly-HAMP chains in both transmembrane and soluble proteins. The crystal structure of a three-unit poly-HAMP chain from the Pseudomonas aeruginosa soluble receptor Aer2 defines a universal parallel four-helix bundle architecture for diverse HAMP domains. Two contiguous domains integrate to form a concatenated di-HAMP structure. The three HAMP domains display two distinct conformations that differ by changes in helical register, crossing angle, and rotation. These conformations are stabilized by different subsets of conserved residues. Known signals delivered to HAMP would be expected to switch the relative stability of the two conformations and the position of a coiled-coil phase stutter at the junction with downstream helices. We propose that the two conformations represent opposing HAMP signaling states and suggest a signaling mechanism whereby HAMP domains interconvert between the two states, which alternate down a poly-HAMP chain.

  18. Signal transduction in artichoke [Cynara cardunculus L. subsp. scolymus (L.) Hayek] callus and cell suspension cultures under nutritional stress. (United States)

    Lattanzio, Vincenzo; Caretto, Sofia; Linsalata, Vito; Colella, Giovanni; Mita, Giovanni


    Stimulated production of secondary phenolic metabolites and proline was studied by using cell cultures of artichoke [Cynara cardunculus L. subsp. scolymus (L.) Hayek] submitted to nutritional stress. Artichoke cell cultures accumulated phenolic secondary metabolites in a pattern similar to that seen in artichoke leaves and heads (capitula). This paper shows that both callus and cell suspension cultures under nutritional stress accumulated phenolic compounds and proline, at the same time their biomass production was negatively affected by nutrient deficiency. The results obtained strongly suggest that plant tissues respond to nutrient deprivation by a defensive costly mechanism, which determines the establishment of a mechanism of trade-off between growth and adaptive response. Furthermore, the results of this research suggest that perception of abiotic stress and increased phenolic metabolites are linked by a sequence of biochemical processes that also involves the intracellular free proline and the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway. The main conclusion of this paper is that, once calli and cell suspension cultures respond to nutrient deficiency, in acclimated cells the establishment of a negative correlation between primary metabolism (growth) and secondary metabolism (defence compounds) is observed. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  19. The mechanism underlying fast germination of tomato cultivar LA2711. (United States)

    Yang, Rongchao; Chu, Zhuannan; Zhang, Haijun; Li, Ying; Wang, Jinfang; Li, Dianbo; Weeda, Sarah; Ren, Shuxin; Ouyang, Bo; Guo, Yang-Dong


    Seed germination is important for early plant morphogenesis as well as abiotic stress tolerance, and is mainly controlled by the phytohormones abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellic acid (GA). Our previous studies identified a salt-tolerant tomato cultivar, LA2711, which is also a fast-germinating genotype, compared to its salt-sensitive counterpart, ZS-5. In an effort to further clarify the mechanism underlying this phenomenon, we compared the dynamic levels of ABA and GA4, the transcript abundance of genes involved in their biosynthesis and catabolism as well as signal transduction between the two cultivars. In addition, we tested seed germination sensitivity to ABA and GAs. Our results revealed that insensitivity of seed germination to exogenous ABA and low ABA content in seeds are the physiological mechanisms conferring faster germination rates of LA2711 seeds. SlCYP707A2, which encodes an ABA catabolic enzyme, may play a decisive role in the fast germination rate of LA2711, as it showed a significantly higher level of expression in LA2711 than ZS-5 at most time points tested during germination. The current results will enable us to gain insight into the mechanism(s) regarding seed germination of tomato and the role of fast germination in stress tolerance. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Metacognitive mechanisms underlying lucid dreaming. (United States)

    Filevich, Elisa; Dresler, Martin; Brick, Timothy R; Kühn, Simone


    Lucid dreaming is a state of awareness that one is dreaming, without leaving the sleep state. Dream reports show that self-reflection and volitional control are more pronounced in lucid compared with nonlucid dreams. Mostly on these grounds, lucid dreaming has been associated with metacognition. However, the link to lucid dreaming at the neural level has not yet been explored. We sought for relationships between the neural correlates of lucid dreaming and thought monitoring. Human participants completed a questionnaire assessing lucid dreaming ability, and underwent structural and functional MRI. We split participants based on their reported dream lucidity. Participants in the high-lucidity group showed greater gray matter volume in the frontopolar cortex (BA9/10) compared with those in the low-lucidity group. Further, differences in brain structure were mirrored by differences in brain function. The BA9/10 regions identified through structural analyses showed increases in blood oxygen level-dependent signal during thought monitoring in both groups, and more strongly in the high-lucidity group. Our results reveal shared neural systems between lucid dreaming and metacognitive function, in particular in the domain of thought monitoring. This finding contributes to our understanding of the mechanisms enabling higher-order consciousness in dreams. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/351082-07$15.00/0.

  1. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Trepo


    Full Text Available Hepatocarcinogenesis is a complex process that remains still partly understood. That might be explained by the multiplicity of etiologic factors, the genetic/epigenetic heterogeneity of tumors bulks and the ignorance of the liver cell types that give rise to tumorigenic cells that have stem cell-like properties. The DNA stress induced by hepatocyte turnover, inflammation and maybe early oncogenic pathway activation and sometimes viral factors, leads to DNA damage response which activates the key tumor suppressive checkpoints p53/p21Cip1 and p16INK4a/pRb responsible of cell cycle arrest and cellular senescence as reflected by the cirrhosis stage. Still obscure mechanisms, but maybe involving the Wnt signaling and Twist proteins, would allow pre-senescent hepatocytes to bypass senescence, acquire immortality by telomerase reactivation and get the last genetic/epigenetic hits necessary for cancerous transformation. Among some of the oncogenic pathways that might play key driving roles in hepatocarcinogenesis, c-myc and the Wnt/β-catenin signaling seem of particular interest. Finally, antiproliferative and apoptosis deficiencies involving TGF-β, Akt/PTEN, IGF2 pathways for instance are prerequisite for cancerous transformation. Of evidence, not only the transformed liver cell per se but the facilitating microenvironment is of fundamental importance for tumor bulk growth and metastasis.

  2. Chloroplast His-to-Asp signal transduction: a potential mechanism for plastid gene regulation in Heterosigma akashiwo (Raphidophyceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacobs Michael A


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Maintenance of homeostasis requires that an organism perceive selected physical and chemical signals within an informationally dense environment. Functionally, an organism uses a variety of signal transduction arrays to amplify and convert these perceived signals into appropriate gene transcriptional responses. These changes in gene expression serve to modify selective metabolic processes and thus optimize reproductive success. Here we analyze a chloroplast-encoded His-to-Asp signal transduction circuit in the stramenopile Heterosigma akashiwo (Hada Hada ex Y. Hara et Chihara [syn. H. carterae (Hulburt F.J.R. Taylor]. The presence, structure and putative function of this protein pair are discussed in the context of their evolutionary homologues. Results Bioinformatic analysis of the Heterosigma akashiwo chloroplast genome sequence revealed the presence of a single two-component His-to-Asp (designated Tsg1/Trg1 pair in this stramenopile (golden-brown alga. These data represent the first documentation of a His-to-Asp array in stramenopiles and counter previous reports suggesting that such regulatory proteins are lacking in this taxonomic cluster. Comparison of the 43 kDa H. akashiwo Tsg1 with bacterial sensor kinases showed that the algal protein exhibits a moderately maintained PAS motif in the sensor kinase domain as well as highly conserved H, N, G1 and F motifs within the histidine kinase ATP binding site. Molecular modelling of the 27 kDa H. akashiwo Trg1 regulator protein was consistent with a winged helix-turn-helix identity – a class of proteins that is known to impact gene expression at the level of transcription. The occurrence of Trg1 protein in actively growing H. akashiwo cells was verified by Western analysis. The presence of a PhoB-like RNA polymerase loop in Trg1 and its homologues in the red-algal lineage support the hypothesis that Trg1 and its homologues interact with a sigma 70 (σ70 subunit (encoded by

  3. MAPK Signal Transduction Pathway Regulation: A Novel Mechanism of Rat HSC-T6 Cell Apoptosis Induced by FUZHENGHUAYU Tablet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qi Wang


    Full Text Available FUZHENGHUAYU Tablets have been widely used in the treatment of liver fibrosis in China. Here, we investigate the apoptotic effect of FUZHENGHUAYU Tablet in rat liver stellate cell line HSC-T6. HSC-T6 cells were incubated with control serum or drug serum from rats fed with 0.9% NaCl or FUZHENGHUAYU Tablet, respectively. Cells exposed to drug serum showed higher proportions of early and late apoptotic cells than controls. The mRNA levels of collagens I and III, TGF-β1 and α-SMA were reduced by drug serum compared to control serum. Differentially expressed mRNAs and miRNAs were analyzed by microarray and sequencing, respectively. We identified 334 differentially expressed mRNAs and also 60 GOs and two pathways related to the mRNAs. Seventy-five differentially expressed miRNAs were down-regulated by drug serum and 1963 target genes were predicted. 134 GOs up-regulated in drug serum group were linked to miRNA targets, and drug serum also regulated 43 miRNA signal transduction pathways. Protein levels were evaluated by Western blot. Drug serum down-regulated (phospho-SAPK/JNK/(SAPK/JNK and up-regulated phospho-p38/p38 ratios. The study showed that FUZHENGHUAYU Tablet induced apoptosis in rat HSC-T6 cells possibly in part by activating p38 and inhibiting SAPK/JNK.

  4. [Inhibitory effect of taurine in hypoxia-induced rat pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell proliferation and signal transduction mechanism]. (United States)

    Zhang, Xiao-Dan; Sun, Peng; Zhu, Da-Ling; Xie, Nan


    To discuss the effect of taurine (Tau) on the proliferation of hypoxia-induced pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs), and study whether the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) signal pathway participated in the Tau-inhibited PASMC proliferation process and the possible molecular mechanism. The primary culture was performed for PASMCs in rats. The second to fifth generations were adopted for the experiment. The Tau concentration was 80 mmol x L(-1). The concentration of ERK1/2 blocker (PD98059) was 50 micromol x L(-1). The drug administration time was 24 h. The effect of Tau on the PASMC proliferation was detected by MTT assay, immunofluorescence staining method and western blot under different conditions. The PASMCs were growing were divided into four groups: the normoxia group, the normoxia + Tau group, the hypoxia group and the hypoxia + Tau group. The Western blot was adopted to detect whether the ERK1/2 signal pathway participated in the Tau-inhibited PASMC proliferation process. Subsequently, the PASMCs were divided into five groups: the normoxia group, the hypoxia group, the hypoxia + Tau group, the hypoxia + Tau + PD98059 group and the hypoxia + PD98059 group. Hypoxia could induce the PASMC proliferation. Under the conditions of normoxia, Tau had no effect on the PASMC proliferation. Under the conditions of normoxia and hypoxia, Tau had no effect on the expression of the tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) among PASMCs. Tau could reverse the expression up-regulation of hypoxia-induced proliferative cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) (P effect on the expression of phosphoryl extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (p-ERK1/2). Hypoxia could up-regulate the p-ERK1/2 expression (P < 0.01). Tau could reverse the up-regulation of the hypoxia-induced p-ERK1/2 expression(P < 0.01). Both PD98059 and Tau could inhibit the up-regulated expressions of PCNA, Cyclin A and p-ERK1/2. According to the comparison between the single addition of Tau and PD

  5. Deciphering the Cognitive and Neural Mechanisms Underlying ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Deciphering the Cognitive and Neural Mechanisms Underlying Auditory Learning. This project seeks to understand the brain mechanisms necessary for people to learn to perceive sounds. Neural circuits and learning. The research team will test people with and without musical training to evaluate their capacity to learn ...

  6. Disruption of Microtubules Post-Virus Entry Enhances Adeno-Associated Virus Vector Transduction (United States)

    Xiao, Ping-Jie; Mitchell, Angela M.; Huang, Lu; Li, Chengwen; Samulski, R. Jude


    Perinuclear retention of viral particles is a poorly understood phenomenon observed during many virus infections. In this study, we investigated whether perinuclear accumulation acts as a barrier to limit recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) transduction. After nocodazole treatment to disrupt microtubules at microtubule-organization center (MT-MTOC) after virus entry, we observed higher rAAV transduction. To elucidate the role of MT-MTOC in rAAV infection and study its underlying mechanisms, we demonstrated that rAAV's perinuclear localization was retained by MT-MTOC with fluorescent analysis, and enhanced rAAV transduction from MT-MTOC disruption was dependent on the rAAV capsid's nuclear import signals. Interestingly, after knocking down RhoA or inhibiting its downstream effectors (ROCK and Actin), MT-MTOC disruption failed to increase rAAV transduction or nuclear entry. These data suggest that enhancement of rAAV transduction is the result of increased trafficking to the nucleus via the RhoA-ROCK-Actin pathway. Ten-fold higher rAAV transduction was also observed by disrupting MT-MTOC in brain, liver, and tumor in vivo. In summary, this study indicates that virus perinuclear accumulation at MT-MTOC is a barrier-limiting parameter for effective rAAV transduction and defines a novel defense mechanism by which host cells restrain viral invasion. PMID:26942476

  7. Molecular characterization of the cold- and heat-induced Arabidopsis PXL1 gene and its potential role in transduction pathways under temperature fluctuations. (United States)

    Jung, Chang Gyo; Hwang, Sun-Goo; Park, Yong Chan; Park, Hyeon Mi; Kim, Dong Sub; Park, Duck Hwan; Jang, Cheol Seong


    LRR-RLK (Leucine-Rich Repeat Receptor-Like Kinase) proteins are believed to play essential roles in cell-to-cell communication during various cellular processes including development, hormone perception, and abiotic stress responses. We isolated an LRR-RLK gene previously named Arabidopsis PHLOEM INTERCALATED WITH XYLEM-LIKE 1 (AtPXL1) and examined its expression patterns. AtPXL1 was highly induced by cold and heat stress, but not by drought. The fluorescence signal of 35S::AtPXL1-EGFP was closely localized to the plasma membrane. A yeast two-hybrid and bimolecular fluorescence complementation assay exhibited that AtPXL1 interacts with both proteins, A. thaliana histidine-rich dehydrin1 (AtHIRD1) and A. thaliana light-harvesting protein complex I (AtLHCA1). We found that AtPXL1 possesses autophosphorylation activity and phosphorylates AtHIRD1 and AtLHCA1 in an in vitro assay. Subsequently, we found that the knockout line (atpxl1) showed hypersensitive phenotypes when subjected to cold and heat during the germination stage, while the AtPXL1 overexpressing line as well as wild type plants showed high germination rates compared to the knockout plants. These results provide an insight into the molecular function of AtPXL1 in the regulation of signal transduction pathways under temperature fluctuations. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  8. Crystal structure of hormone-bound atrial natriuretic peptide receptor extracellular domain: rotation mechanism for transmembrane signal transduction. (United States)

    Ogawa, Haruo; Qiu, Yue; Ogata, Craig M; Misono, Kunio S


    A cardiac hormone, atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), plays a major role in blood pressure and volume regulation. ANP activities are mediated by a single span transmembrane receptor carrying intrinsic guanylate cyclase activity. ANP binding to its extracellular domain stimulates guanylate cyclase activity by an as yet unknown mechanism. Here we report the crystal structure of dimerized extracellular hormone-binding domain in complex with ANP. The structural comparison with the unliganded receptor reveals that hormone binding causes the two receptor monomers to undergo an intermolecular twist with little intramolecular conformational change. This motion produces a Ferris wheel-like translocation of two juxtamembrane domains in the dimer with essentially no change in the interdomain distance. This movement alters the relative orientation of the two domains by a shift equivalent to counterclockwise rotation of each by 24 degrees. These results suggest that transmembrane signaling by the ANP receptor is initiated via a hormone-induced rotation mechanism.

  9. Mechanical buckling of artery under pulsatile pressure. (United States)

    Liu, Qin; Han, Hai-Chao


    Tortuosity that often occurs in carotid and other arteries has been shown to be associated with high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and other diseases. However the mechanisms of tortuosity development are not clear. Our previous studies have suggested that arteries buckling could be a possible mechanism for the initiation of tortuous shape but artery buckling under pulsatile flow condition has not been fully studied. The objectives of this study were to determine the artery critical buckling pressure under pulsatile pressure both experimentally and theoretically, and to elucidate the relationship of critical pressures under pulsatile flow, steady flow, and static pressure. We first tested the buckling pressures of porcine carotid arteries under these loading conditions, and then proposed a nonlinear elastic artery model to examine the buckling pressures under pulsatile pressure conditions. Experimental results showed that under pulsatile pressure arteries buckled when the peak pressures were approximately equal to the critical buckling pressures under static pressure. This was also confirmed by model simulations at low pulse frequencies. Our results provide an effective tool to predict artery buckling pressure under pulsatile pressure. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. A novel insight on signal transduction mechanism of RcsCDB system in Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María de Las Mercedes Pescaretti

    Full Text Available The RcsCDB system of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is implicated in the control of capsule and flagella synthesis. The hybrid sensor RcsC, the phosphotransferase RcsD and the RcsB regulator, constitute the main components of the RcsCDB system. The proposed Rcs signaling cascade involves the autophosphorylation of RcsC and the transfer of the phosphate group to RcsB, mediated by RcsD. We previously reported that the overexpression of rcsB repress the transcription of rcsD by an autoregulation mechanism. Moreover, we demonstrated that during the rcsD repression, the RcsB-dependent flagellar modulation remained active. These results suggest that the Rcs phosphorelay mechanism occurs even in the absence of RcsD. In this work, we established the existence of two alternative phosphorelay pathways driving activation of this system. We demonstrated that RcsC and RcsD can act as histidine kinase proteins which, after autophosphorylated, are able to independently transfer the phosphate to RcsB. Our results suggest that these pathways could be activated by different environmental signals, leading different levels of RcsB-phosphorylated to produce a differential gene modulation. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the complexity and importance of the Rcs system activation, where more than one phosphate flow pathway increases the possibilities to exert gene regulation for a quick environmental changes response.

  11. Amorphization of ice under mechanical stresses (United States)

    Bordonskii, G. S.; Krylov, S. D.


    The dielectric parameters of freshly produced freshwater ice in the microwave range are investigated. It is established that this kind of ice contains a noticeable amount of amorphous ice. Its production is associated with plastic deformation under mechanical stresses. An assessment of the dielectric-permeability change caused by amorphous ice in the state of a slowly flowing medium is given.

  12. Gas Bubble Dynamics under Mechanical Vibrations (United States)

    Mohagheghian, Shahrouz; Elbing, Brian


    The scientific community has a limited understanding of the bubble dynamics under mechanical oscillations due to over simplification of Navier-Stockes equation by neglecting the shear stress tensor and not accounting for body forces when calculating the acoustic radiation force. The current work experimental investigates bubble dynamics under mechanical vibration and resulting acoustic field by measuring the bubble size and velocity using high-speed imaging. The experimental setup consists of a custom-designed shaker table, cast acrylic bubble column, compressed air injection manifold and an optical imaging system. The mechanical vibrations resulted in accelerations between 0.25 to 10 times gravitational acceleration corresponding to frequency and amplitude range of 8 - 22Hz and 1 - 10mm respectively. Throughout testing the void fraction was limited to definition of Bjerknes force in combination with Rayleigh-Plesset equation. Physical behavior of the system was capture and classified. Bubble size, velocity as well as size and spatial distribution will be presented.

  13. Fos- and Jun-related transcription factors are involved in the signal transduction pathway of mechanical loading in condylar chondrocytes. (United States)

    Papachristou, Dionisios; Pirttiniemi, Pertti; Kantomaa, Tuomo; Agnantis, Niki; Basdra, Efthimia K


    The chondrocytes of the articular condylar cartilage proliferate, hypertrophy and ultimately undergo apoptosis (programmed cell death), being replaced by osteoblasts. Converging results consolidate activator protein-1 (AP-1) transcription factor as the pivotal downstream effector in the early response of stress-sensitive cells to mechanical loading, and the Fra-1, Fra-2, JunB and JunD members of the AP-1 transcription factor family, as mediators in bone remodelling and apoptotic phenomena. The aim of the present study was to examine the involvement of the Fra-1, Fra-2, JunB and JunD proteins in the biochemical response of functionally loaded mandibular condylar cartilage, and the subsequent initiation of cartilage maturation and apoptotic phenomena. Thirty, female, 14-day-old Wistar rats were assigned to two groups: one group was fed a soft diet and the other a hard diet. At day 21 after weaning, experimental animals from both groups were killed at 6, 12 and 48 hours and their condyles harvested. The condylar cartilage of both groups was immunostained using specific antibodies against Fra-1, Fra-2, JunB and JunD. Statistical analysis of the data revealed over-expression of Fra-1, Fra-2, JunB and JunD proteins in all stages of differentiation of chondrocytes derived from the mandibular condylar cartilage of animals fed on a hard diet. Moreover, the involvement of these proteins significantly increased with time in both groups. Since the aforementioned proteins play key roles in remodelling phenomena of bone and cartilage tissue, influencing pivotal cellular functions such as maturation, differentiation and apoptosis, the results of the present study suggest that mandibular condylar chondrocytes sense functional loading changes and respond by induction of proteins associated with biological phenomena that ultimately influence the growth of the condylar cartilage.

  14. Mechanisms underlying stage-1 TRPL channel translocation in Drosophila photoreceptors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minh-Ha Lieu

    Full Text Available TRP channels function as key mediators of sensory transduction and other cellular signaling pathways. In Drosophila, TRP and TRPL are the light-activated channels in photoreceptors. While TRP is statically localized in the signaling compartment of the cell (the rhabdomere, TRPL localization is regulated by light. TRPL channels translocate out of the rhabdomere in two distinct stages, returning to the rhabdomere with dark-incubation. Translocation of TRPL channels regulates their availability, and thereby the gain of the signal. Little, however, is known about the mechanisms underlying this trafficking of TRPL channels.We first examine the involvement of de novo protein synthesis in TRPL translocation. We feed flies cycloheximide, verify inhibition of protein synthesis, and test for TRPL translocation in photoreceptors. We find that protein synthesis is not involved in either stage of TRPL translocation out of the rhabdomere, but that re-localization to the rhabdomere from stage-1, but not stage-2, depends on protein synthesis. We also characterize an ex vivo eye preparation that is amenable to biochemical and genetic manipulation. We use this preparation to examine mechanisms of stage-1 TRPL translocation. We find that stage-1 translocation is: induced with ATP depletion, unaltered with perturbation of the actin cytoskeleton or inhibition of endocytosis, and slowed with increased membrane sterol content.Our results indicate that translocation of TRPL out of the rhabdomere is likely due to protein transport, and not degradation/re-synthesis. Re-localization from each stage to the rhabdomere likely involves different strategies. Since TRPL channels can translocate to stage-1 in the absence of ATP, with no major requirement of the cytoskeleton, we suggest that stage-1 translocation involves simple diffusion through the apical membrane, which may be regulated by release of a light-dependent anchor in the rhabdomere.

  15. Prenatal Alcohol Exposure Damages Brain Signal Transduction Systems

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Caldwell, Kevin


    .... One and twenty-four hours following fear conditioning this learning deficit is associated with altered brain signal transduction mechanisms that are dependent on an enzyme termed phosphatidylinositol...

  16. DNA under Force: Mechanics, Electrostatics, and Hydration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingqiang Li


    Full Text Available Quantifying the basic intra- and inter-molecular forces of DNA has helped us to better understand and further predict the behavior of DNA. Single molecule technique elucidates the mechanics of DNA under applied external forces, sometimes under extreme forces. On the other hand, ensemble studies of DNA molecular force allow us to extend our understanding of DNA molecules under other forces such as electrostatic and hydration forces. Using a variety of techniques, we can have a comprehensive understanding of DNA molecular forces, which is crucial in unraveling the complex DNA functions in living cells as well as in designing a system that utilizes the unique properties of DNA in nanotechnology.

  17. Pheromone transduction in moths

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika Stengl


    Full Text Available Calling female moths attract their mates late at night with intermittent release of a species-specific sex-pheromone blend. Mean frequency of pheromone filaments encodes distance to the calling female. In their zig-zagging upwind search male moths encounter turbulent pheromone blend filaments at highly variable concentrations and frequencies. The male moth antennae are delicately designed to detect and distinguish even traces of these sex pheromones amongst the abundance of other odors. Its olfactory receptor neurons sense even single pheromone molecules and track intermittent pheromone filaments of highly variable frequencies up to about 30 Hz over a wide concentration range. In the hawkmoth Manduca sexta brief, weak pheromone stimuli as encountered during flight are detected via a metabotropic PLCβ-dependent signal transduction cascade which leads to transient changes in intracellular Ca2+ concentrations. Strong or long pheromone stimuli, which are possibly perceived in direct contact with the female, activate receptor-guanylyl cyclases causing long-term adaptation. In addition, depending on endogenous rhythms of the moth´s physiological state, hormones such as the stress hormone octopamine modulate second messenger levels in sensory neurons. High octopamine levels during the activity phase maximize temporal resolution cAMP-dependently as a prerequisite to mate location. Thus, I suggest that sliding adjustment of odor response threshold and kinetics is based upon relative concentration ratios of intracellular Ca2+ and cyclic nucleotide levels which gate different ion channels synergistically. In addition, I propose a new hypothesis for the cyclic nucleotide-dependent ion channel formed by insect olfactory receptor/coreceptor complexes. Instead of being employed for an ionotropic mechanism of odor detection it is proposed to control subthreshold membrane potential oscillation of sensory neurons, as a basis for temporal encoding of odors.

  18. Molecular methods for the study of signal transduction in plants. (United States)

    Irving, Helen R; Gehring, Chris


    Novel and improved analytical methods have led to a rapid increase in our understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying plant signal transduction. Progress has been made both at the level of single-component analysis and in vivo imaging as well as at the systems level where transcriptomics and particularly phosphoproteomics afford a window into complex biological responses. Here we review the role of the cyclic nucleotides cAMP and cGMP in plant signal transduction as well as the discovery and biochemical and biological characterization of an increasing number of complex multi-domain nucleotide cyclases that catalyze the synthesis of cAMP and cGMP from ATP and GTP, respectively.

  19. Molecular methods for the study of signal transduction in plants

    KAUST Repository

    Irving, Helen R.


    Novel and improved analytical methods have led to a rapid increase in our understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying plant signal transduction. Progress has been made both at the level of single-component analysis and in vivo imaging as well as at the systems level where transcriptomics and particularly phosphoproteomics afford a window into complex biological responses. Here we review the role of the cyclic nucleotides cAMP and cGMP in plant signal transduction as well as the discovery and biochemical and biological characterization of an increasing number of complex multi-domain nucleotide cyclases that catalyze the synthesis of cAMP and cGMP from ATP and GTP, respectively. © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013.

  20. Evolved Mechanisms Versus Underlying Conditional Relations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Astorga Miguel López


    Full Text Available The social contracts theory claims that, in social exchange circumstances, human reasoning is not necessarily led by logic, but by certain evolved mental mechanisms that are useful for catching offenders. An emblematic experiment carried out with the intention to prove this thesis is the first experiment described by Fiddick, Cosmides, and Tooby in their paper of 2000. Lopez Astorga has questioned that experiment claiming that its results depend on an underlying conditional logical form not taken into account by Fiddick, Cosmides, and Tooby. In this paper, I propose an explanation alternative to that of Lopez Astorga, which does not depend on logical forms and is based on the mental models theory. Thus, I conclude that this other alternative explanation is one more proof that the experiment in question does not demonstrate the fundamental thesis of the social contracts theory.

  1. Mechanisms underlying UV-induced immune suppression

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ullrich, Stephen E. [Department of Immunology, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, South Campus Research Building 1, 7455 Fannin St., P.O. Box 301402, Houston, TX 77030-1903 (United States)]. E-mail:


    Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of human neoplasia. Estimates suggest that in excess of one million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year alone in the United States ( Fortunately, because of their highly visible location, skin cancers are more rapidly diagnosed and more easily treated than other types of cancer. Be that as it may, approximately 10,000 Americans a year die from skin cancer. The cost of treating non-melanoma skin cancer is estimated to be in excess of US$ 650 million a year [J.G. Chen, A.B. Fleischer, E.D. Smith, C. Kancler, N.D. Goldman, P.M. Williford, S.R. Feldman, Cost of non-melanoma skin cancer treatment in the United States, Dermatol. Surg. 27 (2001) 1035-1038], and when melanoma is included, the estimated cost of treating skin cancer in the United States is estimated to rise to US$ 2.9 billion annually ( Because the morbidity and mortality associated with skin cancer is a major public health problem, it is important to understand the mechanisms underlying skin cancer development. The primary cause of skin cancer is the ultraviolet (UV) radiation found in sunlight. In addition to its carcinogenic potential, UV radiation is also immune suppressive. In fact, data from studies with both experimental animals and biopsy proven skin cancer patients suggest that there is an association between the immune suppressive effects of UV radiation and its carcinogenic potential. The focus of this manuscript will be to review the mechanisms underlying the induction of immune suppression following UV exposure. Particular attention will be directed to the role of soluble mediators in activating immune suppression.

  2. Mechanisms underlying UV-induced immune suppression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ullrich, Stephen E.


    Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of human neoplasia. Estimates suggest that in excess of one million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year alone in the United States ( Fortunately, because of their highly visible location, skin cancers are more rapidly diagnosed and more easily treated than other types of cancer. Be that as it may, approximately 10,000 Americans a year die from skin cancer. The cost of treating non-melanoma skin cancer is estimated to be in excess of US$ 650 million a year [J.G. Chen, A.B. Fleischer, E.D. Smith, C. Kancler, N.D. Goldman, P.M. Williford, S.R. Feldman, Cost of non-melanoma skin cancer treatment in the United States, Dermatol. Surg. 27 (2001) 1035-1038], and when melanoma is included, the estimated cost of treating skin cancer in the United States is estimated to rise to US$ 2.9 billion annually ( Because the morbidity and mortality associated with skin cancer is a major public health problem, it is important to understand the mechanisms underlying skin cancer development. The primary cause of skin cancer is the ultraviolet (UV) radiation found in sunlight. In addition to its carcinogenic potential, UV radiation is also immune suppressive. In fact, data from studies with both experimental animals and biopsy proven skin cancer patients suggest that there is an association between the immune suppressive effects of UV radiation and its carcinogenic potential. The focus of this manuscript will be to review the mechanisms underlying the induction of immune suppression following UV exposure. Particular attention will be directed to the role of soluble mediators in activating immune suppression

  3. Two distinct neural mechanisms underlying indirect reciprocity. (United States)

    Watanabe, Takamitsu; Takezawa, Masanori; Nakawake, Yo; Kunimatsu, Akira; Yamasue, Hidenori; Nakamura, Mitsuhiro; Miyashita, Yasushi; Masuda, Naoki


    Cooperation is a hallmark of human society. Humans often cooperate with strangers even if they will not meet each other again. This so-called indirect reciprocity enables large-scale cooperation among nonkin and can occur based on a reputation mechanism or as a succession of pay-it-forward behavior. Here, we provide the functional and anatomical neural evidence for two distinct mechanisms governing the two types of indirect reciprocity. Cooperation occurring as reputation-based reciprocity specifically recruited the precuneus, a region associated with self-centered cognition. During such cooperative behavior, the precuneus was functionally connected with the caudate, a region linking rewards to behavior. Furthermore, the precuneus of a cooperative subject had a strong resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) with the caudate and a large gray matter volume. In contrast, pay-it-forward reciprocity recruited the anterior insula (AI), a brain region associated with affective empathy. The AI was functionally connected with the caudate during cooperation occurring as pay-it-forward reciprocity, and its gray matter volume and rsFC with the caudate predicted the tendency of such cooperation. The revealed difference is consistent with the existing results of evolutionary game theory: although reputation-based indirect reciprocity robustly evolves as a self-interested behavior in theory, pay-it-forward indirect reciprocity does not on its own. The present study provides neural mechanisms underlying indirect reciprocity and suggests that pay-it-forward reciprocity may not occur as myopic profit maximization but elicit emotional rewards.

  4. Sensory Transduction in Caenorhabditis elegans (United States)

    Brown, Austin L.; Ramot, Daniel; Goodman, Miriam B.

    The roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans has a well-defined and comparatively simple repertoire of sensory-guided behaviors, all of which rely on its ability to detect chemical, mechanical or thermal stimuli. In this chapter, we review what is known about the ion channels that mediate sensation in this remarkable model organism. Genetic screens for mutants defective in sensory-guided behaviors have identified genes encoding channel proteins, which are likely transducers of chemical, thermal, and mechanical stimuli. Such classical genetic approaches are now being coupled with molecular genetics and in vivo cellular physiology to elucidate how these channels are activated in specific sensory neurons. The ion channel superfamilies implicated in sensory transduction in C. elegans - CNG, TRP, and DEG/ENaC - are conserved across phyla and also appear to contribute to sensory transduction in other organisms, including vertebrates. What we learn about the role of these ion channels in C. elegans sensation is likely to illuminate analogous processes in other animals, including humans.

  5. Transcriptomic and hormone analyses reveal mechanisms underlying petal elongation in Chrysanthemum morifolium 'Jinba'. (United States)

    Wang, Jingjing; Wang, Haibin; Ding, Lian; Song, Aiping; Shen, Feng; Jiang, Jiafu; Chen, Sumei; Chen, Fadi


    Auxin regulates chrysanthemum petal elongation by promoting cell elongation. Transcriptomic analysis shows that auxin signal transduction may connect with other transcription factors by TCPs to regulate chrysanthemum petal elongation. As an ornamental species, Chrysanthemum morifolium has high ornamental and economic value. Petal size is the primary factor that influences the ornamental value of chrysanthemum, but the mechanism underlying the development of C. morifolium petals remains unclear. In our study, we tracked the growth of petals and found that the basal region of 'Jinba' petals showed a higher elongation rate, exhibiting rapid cell elongation during petal growth. During petal elongation growth, auxin was demonstrated to promote cell elongation and an increase in cell numbers in the petal basal region. To further study the molecular mechanisms underlying petal growth, the RNA-seq (high-throughput cDNA sequencing) technique was employed. Four cDNA libraries were assembled from petals in the budding, bud breaking, early blooming and full blooming stages of 'Jinba' flower development. Analysis of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) showed that auxin was the most important regulator in controlling petal growth. The TEOSINTEBRANCHED 1, CYCLOIDEA and PCF transcription factor genes (TCPs), basic helix-loop-helix-encoding gene (bHLH), glutaredoxin-C (GRXC) and other zinc finger protein genes exhibited obvious up-regulation and might have significant effects on the growth of 'Jinba' petals. Given the interaction between these genes in Arabidopsis thaliana, we speculated that auxin signal transduction might exhibit a close relationship with transcription factors through TCPs. In summary, we present the first comprehensive transcriptomic and hormone analyses of C. morifolium petals. The results offer direction in identifying the mechanism underlying the development of chrysanthemum petals in the elongated phase and have great significance in improving the

  6. Dissociable cognitive mechanisms underlying human path integration. (United States)

    Wiener, Jan M; Berthoz, Alain; Wolbers, Thomas


    Path integration is a fundamental mechanism of spatial navigation. In non-human species, it is assumed to be an online process in which a homing vector is updated continuously during an outward journey. In contrast, human path integration has been conceptualized as a configural process in which travelers store working memory representations of path segments, with the computation of a homing vector only occurring when required. To resolve this apparent discrepancy, we tested whether humans can employ different path integration strategies in the same task. Using a triangle completion paradigm, participants were instructed either to continuously update the start position during locomotion (continuous strategy) or to remember the shape of the outbound path and to calculate home vectors on basis of this representation (configural strategy). While overall homing accuracy was superior in the configural condition, participants were quicker to respond during continuous updating, strongly suggesting that homing vectors were computed online. Corroborating these findings, we observed reliable differences in head orientation during the outbound path: when participants applied the continuous updating strategy, the head deviated significantly from straight ahead in direction of the start place, which can be interpreted as a continuous motor expression of the homing vector. Head orientation-a novel online measure for path integration-can thus inform about the underlying updating mechanism already during locomotion. In addition to demonstrating that humans can employ different cognitive strategies during path integration, our two-systems view helps to resolve recent controversies regarding the role of the medial temporal lobe in human path integration.

  7. Mechanics of carbon nanotube scission under sonication. (United States)

    Stegen, J


    As-produced carbon nanotubes come in bundles that must be exfoliated for practical applications in nanocomposites. Sonication not only causes the exfoliation of nanotube bundles but also unwanted scission. An understanding of how precisely sonication induces the scission and exfoliation of nanotubes will help maximising the degree of exfoliation while minimising scission. We present a theoretical study of the mechanics of carbon nanotube scission under sonicaton, based on the accepted view that it is caused by strong gradients in the fluid velocity near a transiently collapsing bubble. We calculate the length-dependent scission rate by taking the actual movement of the nanotube during the collapse of a bubble into account, allowing for the prediction of the temporal evolution of the length distribution of the nanotubes. We show that the dependence of the scission rate on the sonication settings and the nanotube properties results in non-universal, experiment-dependent scission kinetics potentially explaining the variety in experimentally observed scission kinetics. The non-universality arises from the dependence of the maximum strain rate of the fluid experienced by a nanotube on its length. The maximum strain rate that a nanotube experiences increases with decreasing distance to the bubble. As short nanotubes are dragged along more easily by the fluid flow they experience a higher maximum strain rate than longer nanotubes. This dependence of the maximum strain rate on nanotube length affects the scaling of tensile strength with terminal length. We find that the terminal length scales with tensile strength to the power of 1/1.16 instead of with an exponent of 1/2 as found when nanotube motion is neglected. Finally, we show that the mechanism we propose responsible for scission can also explain the exfoliation of carbon nanotube bundles.

  8. Vascular Adventitia Calcification and Its Underlying Mechanism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Na Li

    Full Text Available Previous research on vascular calcification has mainly focused on the vascular intima and media. However, we show here that vascular calcification may also occur in the adventitia. The purpose of this work is to help elucidate the pathogenic mechanisms underlying vascular calcification. The calcified lesions were examined by Von Kossa staining in ApoE-/- mice which were fed high fat diets (HFD for 48 weeks and human subjects aged 60 years and older that had died of coronary heart disease, heart failure or acute renal failure. Explant cultured fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells (SMCswere obtained from rat adventitia and media, respectively. After calcification induction, cells were collected for Alizarin Red S staining. Calcified lesions were observed in the aorta adventitia and coronary artery adventitia of ApoE-/-mice, as well as in the aorta adventitia of human subjects examined. Explant culture of fibroblasts, the primary cell type comprising the adventitia, was successfully induced for calcification after incubation with TGF-β1 (20 ng/ml + mineralization media for 4 days, and the phenotype conversion vascular adventitia fibroblasts into myofibroblasts was identified. Culture of SMCs, which comprise only a small percentage of all cells in the adventitia, in calcifying medium for 14 days resulted in significant calcification.Vascular calcification can occur in the adventitia. Adventitia calcification may arise from the fibroblasts which were transformed into myofibroblasts or smooth muscle cells.

  9. Proteoglycans remodeling in cancer: Underlying molecular mechanisms. (United States)

    Theocharis, Achilleas D; Karamanos, Nikos K


    Extracellular matrix is a highly dynamic macromolecular network. Proteoglycans are major components of extracellular matrix playing key roles in its structural organization and cell signaling contributing to the control of numerous normal and pathological processes. As multifunctional molecules, proteoglycans participate in various cell functions during morphogenesis, wound healing, inflammation and tumorigenesis. Their interactions with matrix effectors, cell surface receptors and enzymes enable them with unique properties. In malignancy, extensive remodeling of tumor stroma is associated with marked alterations in proteoglycans' expression and structural variability. Proteoglycans exert diverse functions in tumor stroma in a cell-specific and context-specific manner and they mainly contribute to the formation of a permissive provisional matrix for tumor growth affecting tissue organization, cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions and tumor cell signaling. Proteoglycans also modulate cancer cell phenotype and properties, the development of drug resistance and tumor stroma angiogenesis. This review summarizes the proteoglycans remodeling and their novel biological roles in malignancies with particular emphasis to the underlying molecular mechanisms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Mechanical behaviour of nuclear fuel under irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guerin, Y.


    The main mechanical properties (fracture, thermal and irradiation creep) of oxide and carbide fuels are summarised and discussed. Some examples are given of the influence of these mechanical properties on the in-pile behaviour of fuel pins [fr

  11. Purinergic mechanosensory transduction and visceral pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burnstock Geoffrey


    Full Text Available Abstract In this review, evidence is presented to support the hypothesis that mechanosensory transduction occurs in tubes and sacs and can initiate visceral pain. Experimental evidence for this mechanism in urinary bladder, ureter, gut, lung, uterus, tooth-pulp and tongue is reviewed. Potential therapeutic strategies are considered for the treatment of visceral pain in such conditions as renal colic, interstitial cystitis and inflammatory bowel disease by agents that interfere with mechanosensory transduction in the organs considered, including P2X3 and P2X2/3 receptor antagonists that are orally bioavailable and stable in vivo and agents that inhibit or enhance ATP release and breakdown.

  12. Single Quantum Dot Tracking Reveals that an Individual Multivalent HIV-1 Tat Protein Transduction Domain Can Activate Machinery for Lateral Transport and Endocytosis


    Suzuki, Yasuhiro; Roy, Chandra Nath; Promjunyakul, Warunya; Hatakeyama, Hiroyasu; Gonda, Kohsuke; Imamura, Junji; Vasudevanpillai, Biju; Ohuchi, Noriaki; Kanzaki, Makoto; Higuchi, Hideo; Kaku, Mitsuo


    The mechanisms underlying the cellular entry of the HIV-1 Tat protein transduction domain (TatP) and the molecular information necessary to improve the transduction efficiency of TatP remain unclear due to the technical limitations for direct visualization of TatP's behavior in cells. Using confocal microscopy, total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, and four-dimensional microscopy, we developed a single-molecule tracking assay for TatP labeled with quantum dots (QDs) to examine th...

  13. TRPM5 and taste transduction. (United States)

    Liman, E R


    TRPM5 is a cation channel that it is essential for transduction of bitter, sweet and umami tastes. Signaling of these tastes involves the activation of G protein-coupled receptors that stimulate phospholipase C (PLC) beta2, leading to the breakdown of phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate (PIP2) into diacylglycerol (DAG) and inositol trisphosphate (IP3), and release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores. TRPM5 forms a nonselective cation channel that is directly activated by Ca2+ and it is likely to be the downstream target of this signaling cascade. Therefore, study of TRPM5 promises to provide insight into fundamental mechanisms of taste transduction. This review highlights recent work on the mechanisms of activation of the TRPM5 channel. The mouse TRPM5 gene encodes a protein of 1,158 amino acids that is proposed to have six transmembrane domains and to function as a tetramer. TRPM5 is structurally most closely related to the Ca(2+)-activated channel TRPM4 and it is more distantly related to the cold-activated channel TRPM8. In patch clamp recordings, TRPM5 channels are activated by micromolar concentrations of Ca2+ and are permeable to monovalent but not divalent cations. TRPM5 channel activity is strongly regulated by voltage, phosphoinositides and temperature, and is blocked by acid pH. Study of TRPM4 and TRPM8, which show similar modes of regulation, has yielded insights into possible structural domains of TRPM5. Understanding the structural basis for TRPM5 function will ultimately allow the design of pharmaceuticals to enhance or interfere with taste sensations.

  14. Epigenetic mechanisms underlying nervous system diseases. (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F


    Epigenetic mechanisms act as control systems for modulating genomic structure and activity in response to evolving profiles of cell-extrinsic, cell-cell, and cell-intrinsic signals. These dynamic processes are responsible for mediating cell- and tissue-specific gene expression and function and gene-gene and gene-environmental interactions. The major epigenetic mechanisms include DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation; histone protein posttranslational modifications, nucleosome remodeling/repositioning, and higher-order chromatin reorganization; noncoding RNA regulation; and RNA editing. These mechanisms are intimately involved in executing fundamental genomic programs, including gene transcription, posttranscriptional RNA processing and transport, translation, X-chromosome inactivation, genomic imprinting, retrotransposon regulation, DNA replication, and DNA repair and the maintenance of genomic stability. For the nervous system, epigenetics offers a novel and robust framework for explaining how brain development and aging occur, neural cellular diversity is generated, synaptic and neural network connectivity and plasticity are mediated, and complex cognitive and behavioral phenotypes are inherited transgenerationally. Epigenetic factors and processes are, not surprisingly, implicated in nervous system disease pathophysiology through several emerging paradigms - mutations and genetic variation in genes encoding epigenetic factors; impairments in epigenetic factor expression, localization, and function; epigenetic mechanisms modulating disease-associated factors and pathways; and the presence of deregulated epigenetic profiles in central and peripheral tissues. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. The application of multiple biophysical cues to engineer functional neocartilage for treatment of osteoarthritis. Part II: signal transduction. (United States)

    Brady, Mariea A; Waldman, Stephen D; Ethier, C Ross


    The unique mechanoelectrochemical environment of cartilage has motivated researchers to investigate the effect of multiple biophysical cues, including mechanical, magnetic, and electrical stimulation, on chondrocyte biology. It is well established that biophysical stimuli promote chondrocyte proliferation, differentiation, and maturation within "biological windows" of defined dose parameters, including mode, frequency, magnitude, and duration of stimuli (see companion review Part I: Cellular Response). However, the underlying molecular mechanisms and signal transduction pathways activated in response to multiple biophysical stimuli remain to be elucidated. Understanding the mechanisms of biophysical signal transduction will deepen knowledge of tissue organogenesis, remodeling, and regeneration and aiding in the treatment of pathologies such as osteoarthritis. Further, this knowledge will provide the tissue engineer with a potent toolset to manipulate and control cell fate and subsequently develop functional replacement cartilage. The aim of this article is to review chondrocyte signal transduction pathways in response to mechanical, magnetic, and electrical cues. Signal transduction does not occur along a single pathway; rather a number of parallel pathways appear to be activated, with calcium signaling apparently common to all three types of stimuli, though there are different modes of activation. Current tissue engineering strategies, such as the development of "smart" functionalized biomaterials that enable the delivery of growth factors or integration of conjugated nanoparticles, may further benefit from targeting known signal transduction pathways in combination with external biophysical cues.

  16. An investigation into the mechanism underlying enhanced ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The solubilisation of primary sewage sludge under sulphate reducing conditions was conducted in controlled flask studies and previously reported findings of enhanced hydrolysis were confirmed. The maximum percentage solubilisation obtained in this study over a 10-day period was 31% and 64% for the methanogenic ...

  17. Supersymmetric quantum mechanics under point singularities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uchino, Takashi; Tsutsui, Izumi


    We provide a systematic study on the possibility of supersymmetry (SUSY) for one-dimensional quantum mechanical systems consisting of a pair of lines R or intervals [-l, l] each having a point singularity. We consider the most general singularities and walls (boundaries) at x = ±l admitted quantum mechanically, using a U(2) family of parameters to specify one singularity and similarly a U(1) family of parameters to specify one wall. With these parameter freedoms, we find that for a certain subfamily the line systems acquire an N = 1 SUSY which can be enhanced to N = 4 if the parameters are further tuned, and that these SUSY are generically broken except for a special case. The interval systems, on the other hand, can accommodate N = 2 or N = 4 SUSY, broken or unbroken, and exhibit a rich variety of (degenerate) spectra. Our SUSY systems include the familiar SUSY systems with the Dirac δ(x)-potential, and hence are extensions of the known SUSY quantum mechanics to those with general point singularities and walls. The self-adjointness of the supercharge in relation to the self-adjointness of the Hamiltonian is also discussed

  18. Polymers under mechanical stress- an NMR investigation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boehme, Ute; Scheler, Ulrich [Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (Germany); Xu, Bo; Leisen, Johannes; Beckham, Haskell W. [Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia (United States)


    Low-field NMR using permanent magnets in Halbach arrangements permit NMR investigation without the limits present in high-field NMR. The lower field in conjunction with confined stray field permit the application of NMR, in particular relaxation NMR in a stretching apparatus and a rheometer. Crystalline and amorphous fraction of semi-crystalline polymers are distinguished by their transverse relaxation times. Upon mechanical load the relaxation times of the amorphous fraction changes as seen in in-situ measurements on polypropylene rods. During the formation of a neck the crystalline fraction becomes more prominent.

  19. Mechanisms Underlying Sex Differences in Cannabis Use. (United States)

    Calakos, Katina C; Bhatt, Shivani; Foster, Dawn W; Cosgrove, Kelly P


    Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit substance worldwide. In recent decades, highly concentrated products have flooded the market, and prevalence rates have increased. Gender differences exist in cannabis use, as men have higher prevalence of both cannabis use and cannabis use disorder (CUD), while women progress more rapidly from first use to CUD. This paper reviews findings from preclinical and human studies examining the sex-specific neurobiological underpinnings of cannabis use and CUD, and associations with psychiatric symptoms. Sex differences exist in the endocannabinoid system, in cannabis exposure effects on brain structure and function, and in the co-occurrence of cannabis use with symptoms of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia. In female cannabis users, anxiety symptoms correlate with larger amygdala volume and social anxiety disorder symptoms correlate with CUD symptoms. Female cannabis users are reported to be especially vulnerable to earlier onset of schizophrenia, and mixed trends emerge in the correlation of depressive symptoms with cannabis exposure in females and males. As prevalence of cannabis use may continue to increase given the shifting policy landscape regarding marijuana laws, understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of cannabis exposure in females and males is key. Examining these mechanisms may help inform future research on sex-specific pharmacological and behavioral interventions for women and men with high-risk cannabis use, comorbid psychiatric disease, and CUD.

  20. Habitats under Mechanical and Herbicide Management Regimes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendy-Ann P. Isaac


    Full Text Available Commelina diffusa is a colonising species of banana orchard habitats in St. Vincent in the Windward Islands of the Caribbean. In the present study, the population dynamics of C. diffusa were investigated in response to mechanical weed management with either a rotary string trimmer or glufosinate in ruderal and banana habitats. The study focused on density and size distribution of the weed over time and their response to two weed management strategies. The population dynamics of C. diffusa differed between the two habitats. Seedling establishment appeared to be an important factor influencing the dynamics of C. diffusa in banana orchards as there was little recruitment of seeds with less flower production compared with ruderal habitats where plants produced more flowers. Plants of C. diffusa in the banana orchard habitat had a longer growth cycle. In the banana orchard habitat, the C. diffusa population was greater and the plants were shorter with mechanical management than in areas treated with glufosinate. The results suggest that it is possible to manipulate the dynamics of C. diffusa in banana orchards as there is less chance of seed recruitment. Further research is necessary to refine an IPM approach for the management of C. diffusa.

  1. Physical and chemical mechanisms underlying hematoma evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cho, K.J.; Fanders, B.L.; Smid, A.R.; McLaughlin, P.


    Angiostat, a new collagen embolic material supplied at a concentration of 35 mg/ml (Target Therapeutics, Los Angeles) was used for flow-directed hepatic artery embolization in a series of rabbits to examine its acute effects on hepatic microcirculation. Arteriograms were obtained both before and after embolization. The aorta and portal vein were perfused with two different colors of Microfil after the animals were killed,. Cleared liver specimens were examined under a dissection microscope. Extent of dearterialization, status of portal sinusoidal perfusion, and collateral formation after embolization with Angiostat were evaluated. Results will be compared with results achieved using other liquid and particulate embolic agents

  2. Environmental genotoxicity: Probing the underlying mechanisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shugart, L. [Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States); Theodorakis, C. [Tennessee Univ., Knoxville, TN (United States)


    Environmental pollution is a complex issue because of the diversity of anthropogenic agents, both chemical and physical, that have been detected and catalogued. The consequences to biota from exposure to genotoxic agents present an additional problem because of the potential for these agents to produce adverse change at the cellular and organismal levels. Past studies in genetic toxicology at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory have focused on structural damage to the DNA of environmental species that may occur after exposure to genotoxic agents and the use of this information to document exposure and to monitor remediation. In an effort to predict effects at the population, community and ecosystem levels, current studies in genetic ecotoxicology are attempting to characterize the biological mechanisms at the gene level that regulate and limit the response of an individual organism to genotoxic factors in their environment.

  3. Structural and Mechanical Properties of Intermediate Filaments under Extreme Conditions and Disease (United States)

    Qin, Zhao

    Intermediate filaments are one of the three major components of the cytoskeleton in eukaryotic cells. It was discovered during the recent decades that intermediate filament proteins play key roles to reinforce cells subjected to large-deformation as well as participate in signal transduction. However, it is still poorly understood how the nanoscopic structure, as well as the biochemical properties of these protein molecules contribute to their biomechanical functions. In this research we investigate the material function of intermediate filaments under various extreme mechanical conditions as well as disease states. We use a full atomistic model and study its response to mechanical stresses. Learning from the mechanical response obtained from atomistic simulations, we build mesoscopic models following the finer-trains-coarser principles. By using this multiple-scale model, we present a detailed analysis of the mechanical properties and associated deformation mechanisms of intermediate filament network. We reveal the mechanism of a transition from alpha-helices to beta-sheets with subsequent intermolecular sliding under mechanical force, which has been inferred previously from experimental results. This nanoscale mechanism results in a characteristic nonlinear force-extension curve, which leads to a delocalization of mechanical energy and prevents catastrophic fracture. This explains how intermediate filament can withstand extreme mechanical deformation of > 1 00% strain despite the presence of structural defects. We combine computational and experimental techniques to investigate the molecular mechanism of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, a premature aging disease. We find that the mutated lamin tail .domain is more compact and stable than the normal one. This altered structure and stability may enhance the association of intermediate filaments with the nuclear membrane, providing a molecular mechanism of the disease. We study the nuclear membrane association

  4. Molecular mechanisms underlying the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. (United States)

    Bergsland, E K


    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a disease that is extremely difficult to manage and is markedly increasing in incidence. Malignant transformation generally occurs in the setting of liver dysfunction related to a number of different diseases, including viral hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease, and aflatoxin exposure. Short of surgical or ablative approaches, no standard therapy exists for HCC and the prognosis is poor. Perhaps our best hope is that further elucidation of the specific molecular features underlying the disease will translate into innovative, and potentially disease-specific strategies to manage this difficult cancer. Exposure to aflatoxin is associated with a specific mutation in the tumor-suppressor gene p53. The exact molecular events underlying hepatocarcinogenesis in the setting of viral infection have yet to be elucidated, although there is evidence to suggest that virus-encoded proteins contribute to malignant transformation. Both hepatitis B X antigen and hepatitis C core protein appear to interact with a variety of cellular proteins leading to alterations in signal transduction and transcriptional activity. These events presumably cooperate to facilitate malignant progression by promoting extended hepatocyte survival, evasion of the immune response, and acquisition of mutations through genomic instability. Copyright 2001 by W.B. Saunders Company.

  5. Physiological mechanisms underlying animal social behaviour. (United States)

    Seebacher, Frank; Krause, Jens


    Many species of animal live in groups, and the group represents the organizational level within which ecological and evolutionary processes occur. Understanding these processes, therefore, relies on knowledge of the mechanisms that permit or constrain group formation. We suggest that physiological capacities and differences in physiology between individuals modify fission-fusion dynamics. Differences between individuals in locomotor capacity and metabolism may lead to fission of groups and sorting of individuals into groups with similar physiological phenotypes. Environmental impacts such as hypoxia can influence maximum group sizes and structure in fish schools by altering access to oxygenated water. The nutritional environment determines group cohesion, and the increase in information collected by the group means that individuals should rely more on social information and form more cohesive groups in uncertain environments. Changing environmental contexts require rapid responses by individuals to maintain group coordination, which are mediated by neuroendocrine signalling systems such as nonapeptides and steroid hormones. Brain processing capacity may constrain social complexity by limiting information processing. Failure to evaluate socially relevant information correctly limits social interactions, which is seen, for example, in autism. Hence, functioning of a group relies to a large extent on the perception and appropriate processing of signals from conspecifics. Many if not all physiological systems are mechanistically linked, and therefore have synergistic effects on social behaviour. A challenge for the future lies in understanding these interactive effects, which will improve understanding of group dynamics, particularly in changing environments.This article is part of the themed issue 'Physiological determinants of social behaviour in animals'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  6. The YfiBNR signal transduction mechanism reveals novel targets for the evolution of persistent Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis airways.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob G Malone

    Full Text Available The genetic adaptation of pathogens in host tissue plays a key role in the establishment of chronic infections. While whole genome sequencing has opened up the analysis of genetic changes occurring during long-term infections, the identification and characterization of adaptive traits is often obscured by a lack of knowledge of the underlying molecular processes. Our research addresses the role of Pseudomonas aeruginosa small colony variant (SCV morphotypes in long-term infections. In the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients, the appearance of SCVs correlates with a prolonged persistence of infection and poor lung function. Formation of P. aeruginosa SCVs is linked to increased levels of the second messenger c-di-GMP. Our previous work identified the YfiBNR system as a key regulator of the SCV phenotype. The effector of this tripartite signaling module is the membrane bound diguanylate cyclase YfiN. Through a combination of genetic and biochemical analyses we first outline the mechanistic principles of YfiN regulation in detail. In particular, we identify a number of activating mutations in all three components of the Yfi regulatory system. YfiBNR is shown to function via tightly controlled competition between allosteric binding sites on the three Yfi proteins; a novel regulatory mechanism that is apparently widespread among periplasmic signaling systems in bacteria. We then show that during long-term lung infections of CF patients, activating mutations invade the population, driving SCV formation in vivo. The identification of mutational "scars" in the yfi genes of clinical isolates suggests that Yfi activity is both under positive and negative selection in vivo and that continuous adaptation of the c-di-GMP network contributes to the in vivo fitness of P. aeruginosa during chronic lung infections. These experiments uncover an important new principle of in vivo persistence, and identify the c-di-GMP network as a valid target for novel anti

  7. TGF-β signal transduction spreading to a wider field: a broad variety of mechanisms for context-dependent effects of TGF-β. (United States)

    Ikushima, Hiroaki; Miyazono, Kohei


    Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β signaling is involved in almost all major cell behaviors under physiological and pathological conditions, and its regulatory system has therefore been vigorously investigated. The fundamental elements in TGF-β signaling are TGF-β ligands, their receptors, and intracellular Smad effectors. The TGF-β ligand induces the receptors directly to phosphorylate and activate Smad proteins, which then form transcriptional complexes to control target genes. One of the classical questions in the field of research on TGF-β signaling is how this cytokine induces multiple cell responses depending on cell type and cellular context. Possible answers to this question include cross-interaction with other signaling pathways, different repertoires of Smad-binding transcription factors, and genetic alterations, especially in cancer cells. In addition to these genetic paradigms, recent work has extended TGF-β research into new fields, including epigenetic regulation and non-coding RNAs. In this review, we first describe the basic machinery of TGF-β signaling and discuss several factors that comprise TGF-β signaling networks. We then address mechanisms by which TGF-β induces several responses in a cell-context-dependent fashion. In addition to classical frames, the interaction of TGF-β signaling with epigenetics and microRNA is discussed.

  8. Comparative analysis reveals the underlying mechanism of vertebrate seasonal reproduction. (United States)

    Ikegami, Keisuke; Yoshimura, Takashi


    Animals utilize photoperiodic changes as a calendar to regulate seasonal reproduction. Birds have highly sophisticated photoperiodic mechanisms and functional genomics analysis in quail uncovered the signal transduction pathway regulating avian seasonal reproduction. Birds detect light with deep brain photoreceptors. Long day (LD) stimulus induces secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from the pars tuberalis (PT) of the pituitary gland. PT-derived TSH locally activates thyroid hormone (TH) in the hypothalamus, which induces gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and hence gonadotropin secretion. However, during winter, low temperatures increase serum TH for adaptive thermogenesis, which accelerates germ cell apoptosis by activating the genes involved in metamorphosis. Therefore, TH has a dual role in the regulation of seasonal reproduction. Studies using TSH receptor knockout mice confirmed the involvement of PT-derived TSH in mammalian seasonal reproduction. In addition, studies in mice revealed that the tissue-specific glycosylation of TSH diversifies its function in the circulation to avoid crosstalk. In contrast to birds and mammals, one of the molecular machineries necessary for the seasonal reproduction of fish are localized in the saccus vasculosus from the photoreceptor to the neuroendocrine output. Thus, comparative analysis is a powerful tool to uncover the universality and diversity of fundamental properties in various organisms. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Signaling mechanism underlying the histamine-modulated action of hypoglossal motoneurons. (United States)

    Liu, Zi-Long; Wu, Xu; Luo, Yan-Jia; Wang, Lu; Qu, Wei-Min; Li, Shan-Qun; Huang, Zhi-Li


    Histamine, an important modulator of the arousal states of the central nervous system, has been reported to contribute an excitatory drive at the hypoglossal motor nucleus to the genioglossus (GG) muscle, which is involved in the pathogenesis of obstructive sleep apnea. However, the effect of histamine on hypoglossal motoneurons (HMNs) and the underlying signaling mechanisms have remained elusive. Here, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were conducted using neonatal rat brain sections, which showed that histamine excited HMNs with an inward current under voltage-clamp and a depolarization membrane potential under current-clamp via histamine H1 receptors (H1Rs). The phospholipase C inhibitor U-73122 blocked H1Rs-mediated excitatory effects, but protein kinase A inhibitor and protein kinase C inhibitor did not, indicating that the signal transduction cascades underlying the excitatory action of histamine on HMNs were H1R/Gq/11 /phospholipase C/inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3). The effects of histamine were also dependent on extracellular Na(+) and intracellular Ca(2+), which took place via activation of Na(+)-Ca(2+) exchangers. These results identify the signaling molecules associated with the regulatory effect of histamine on HMNs. The findings of this study may provide new insights into therapeutic approaches in obstructive sleep apnea. We proposed the post-synaptic mechanisms underlying the modulation effect of histamine on hypoglossal motoneuron. Histamine activates the H1Rs via PLC and IP3, increases Ca(2+) releases from intracellular stores, promotes Na(+) influx and Ca(2+) efflux via the NCXs, and then produces an inward current and depolarizes the neurons. Histamine modulates the excitability of HMNs with other neuromodulators, such as noradrenaline, serotonin and orexin. We think that these findings should provide an important new direction for drug development for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. © 2016 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  10. Molecular electroporation and the transduction of oligoarginines (United States)

    Cahill, Kevin


    Certain short polycations, such as TAT and polyarginine, rapidly pass through the plasma membranes of mammalian cells by an unknown mechanism called transduction as well as by endocytosis and macropinocytosis. These cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) promise to be medically useful when fused to biologically active peptides. I offer a simple model in which one or more CPPs and the phosphatidylserines of the inner leaflet form a kind of capacitor with a voltage in excess of about 200 mV, high enough to create a molecular electropore. The model is consistent with an empirical upper limit on the cargo peptide of 40-60 amino acids and with experimental data on how the transduction of a polyarginine-fluorophore into mouse C2C12 myoblasts depends on the number of arginines in the CPP and on the CPP concentration. The model makes three testable predictions.

  11. On the nanotoxicity of PAMAM dendrimers: Superfect® stimulates the EGFR-ERK1/2 signal transduction pathway via an oxidative stress-dependent mechanism in HEK 293 cells. (United States)

    Akhtar, Saghir; Chandrasekhar, Bindu; Attur, Sreeja; Yousif, Mariam H M; Benter, Ibrahim F


    Polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers are cationic branch-like macromolecules that may serve as drug delivery systems for gene-based therapies such as RNA interference. For their safe use in the clinic, they should ideally only enhance drug delivery to target tissues and exhibit no adverse effects. However, little is known about their toxicological profiles in terms of their interactions with cellular signal transduction pathways such as the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). The EGFR is an important signaling cascade that regulates cell growth, differentiation, migration, survival and apoptosis. Here, we investigated the impact of naked, unmodified Superfect (SF), a commercially available generation 6 PAMAM dendrimer, on the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase-extracellular-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) signaling pathway in human embryonic kidney (HEK 293) cells. At concentrations routinely used for transfection, SF exhibited time and dose-dependent stimulation of EGFR and ERK1/2 phosphorylation whereas AG1478, a selective EGFR tyrosine kinase antagonist, inhibited EGFR-ERK1/2 signaling. SF-induced phosphorylation of EGFR for 1h was partly reversible upon removal of the dendrimer and examination of cells 24 later. Co-treatment of SF with epidermal growth factor (EGF) ligand resulted in greater EGFR stimulation than either agent alone implying that the stimulatory effects of SF and the ligand are synergistic. Dendrimer-induced stimulation of EGFR-ERK1/2 signaling could be attenuated by the antioxidants apocynin, catalase and tempol implying that an oxidative stress dependent mechanism was involved. These results show for the first time that PAMAM dendrimers, aside from their ability to improve drug delivery, can modulate the important EGFR-ERK1/2 cellular signal transduction pathway - a novel finding that may have a bearing on their safe application as drug delivery systems. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Dissecting the signaling mechanisms underlying recognition and preference of food odors. (United States)

    Harris, Gareth; Shen, Yu; Ha, Heonick; Donato, Alessandra; Wallis, Samuel; Zhang, Xiaodong; Zhang, Yun


    Food is critical for survival. Many animals, including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, use sensorimotor systems to detect and locate preferred food sources. However, the signaling mechanisms underlying food-choice behaviors are poorly understood. Here, we characterize the molecular signaling that regulates recognition and preference between different food odors in C. elegans. We show that the major olfactory sensory neurons, AWB and AWC, play essential roles in this behavior. A canonical Gα-protein, together with guanylate cyclases and cGMP-gated channels, is needed for the recognition of food odors. The food-odor-evoked signal is transmitted via glutamatergic neurotransmission from AWC and through AMPA and kainate-like glutamate receptor subunits. In contrast, peptidergic signaling is required to generate preference between different food odors while being dispensable for the recognition of the odors. We show that this regulation is achieved by the neuropeptide NLP-9 produced in AWB, which acts with its putative receptor NPR-18, and by the neuropeptide NLP-1 produced in AWC. In addition, another set of sensory neurons inhibits food-odor preference. These mechanistic logics, together with a previously mapped neural circuit underlying food-odor preference, provide a functional network linking sensory response, transduction, and downstream receptors to process complex olfactory information and generate the appropriate behavioral decision essential for survival. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/339389-15$15.00/0.

  13. Mechanisms underlying epithelium-dependent relaxation in rat bronchioles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kroigaard, Christel; Dalsgaard, Thomas; Simonsen, Ulf


    This study investigated the mechanisms underlying epithelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EpDHF)-type relaxation in rat bronchioles. Immunohistochemistry was performed, and rat bronchioles and pulmonary arteries were mounted in microvascular myographs for functional studies. An opener of small...

  14. Underlying Mechanisms of Improving Physical Activity Behavior after Rehabilitation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Ploeg, Hidde P.; Streppel, Kitty R.M.; van der Beek, Allard J.; Woude, Luc H.V.; van Harten, Willem H.; Vollenbroek-Hutten, Miriam Marie Rosé; van Mechelen, Willem


    Background: Regular physical activity is beneficial for the health and functioning of people with a disability. Effective components of successful physical activity promotion interventions should be identified and disseminated. Purpose: To study the underlying mechanisms of the combined sport

  15. High speed control of electro-mechanical transduction Advanced Drive Techniques for Optimized Step-and-Settle Response of MEMS Micromirrors


    Imboden, Matthias; Chang, Jackson; Pollock, Corey; Lowell, Evan; Akbulut, Mehmet; Morrison, Jessica; Stark, Thomas; Bifano, Thomas G.; Bishop, David J.


    Micro/Nano Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS/NEMS) provide the engineer with a powerful set of solutions to a wide variety of technical challenges. However, because they are mechanical systems, response times can be a limitation. In some situations, advanced engineered drive techniques can improve response times by as much as a thousand, significantly opening up the application space for MEMS/NEMS solutions.

  16. Stress analysis in a functionally graded disc under mechanical loads ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Stress analysis in a functionally graded disc under mechanical loads and a steady state temperature distribution. HASAN ÇALLIO ˘GLU. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Pamukkale University, 20070,. Denizli, Turkey e-mail: MS received 25 November 2009; revised 12 August 2010; accepted.

  17. Cytoplasmic transduction peptide (CTP): New approach for the delivery of biomolecules into cytoplasm in vitro and in vivo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Daeyou; Jeon, Choonju; Kim, Jeong-Hwan; Kim, Mi-Seon; Yoon, Cheol-Hee; Choi, In-Soo; Kim, Sung-Hoon; Bae, Yong-Soo


    The protein transduction domain (PTD) of HIV-1 TAT has been extensively documented with regard to its membrane transduction potential, as well as its efficient delivery of biomolecules in vivo. However, the majority of PTD and PTD-conjugated molecules translocate to the nucleus rather than to the cytoplasm after transduction, due to the functional nuclear localization sequence (NLS). Here, we report a cytoplasmic transduction peptide (CTP), which was deliberately designed to ensure the efficient cytoplasmic delivery of the CTP-fused biomolecules. In comparison with PTD, CTP and its fusion partners exhibited a clear preference for cytoplasmic localization, and also markedly enhanced membrane transduction potential. Unlike the mechanism underlying PTD-mediated transduction, CTP-mediated transduction occurs independently of the lipid raft-dependent macropinocytosis pathway. The CTP-conjugated Smac/DIABLO peptide (Smac-CTP) was also shown to be much more efficient than Smac-PTD in the blockage of the antiapoptotic properties of XIAP, suggesting that cytoplasmic functional molecules can be more efficiently targeted by CTP-mediated delivery. In in vivo trafficking studies, CTP-fused β-gal exhibited unique organ tropisms to the liver and lymph nodes when systemically injected into mice, whereas PTD-β-gal exhibited no such tropisms. Taken together, our findings implicate CTP as a novel delivery peptide appropriate for (i) molecular targeting to cytoplasmic compartments in vitro, (ii) the development of class I-associated CTL vaccines, and (iii) special drug delivery in vivo, without causing any untoward effects on nuclear genetic material

  18. Mechanism of attenuation of leptin signaling under chronic ligand stimulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bamberg-Lemper Simone


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Leptin is an adipocyte-derived hormone that acts via its hypothalamic receptor (LEPRb to regulate energy balance. A downstream effect essential for the weight-regulatory action of leptin is the phosphorylation and activation of the latent transcription factor STAT3 by LEPRb-associated Janus kinases (JAKs. Obesity is typically associated with chronically elevated leptin levels and a decreased ability of LEPRb to activate intracellular signal transduction pathways (leptin resistance. Here we have studied the roles of the intracellular tyrosine residues in the negative feedback regulation of LEPRb-signaling under chronic leptin stimulation. Results Mutational analysis showed that the presence of either Tyr985 and Tyr1077 in the intracellular domain of LEPRb was sufficient for the attenuation of STAT3 phosphorylation, whereas mutation of both tyrosines rendered LEPRb resistant to feedback regulation. Overexpression and RNA interference-mediated downregulation of suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3 revealed that both Tyr985 and Tyr1077 were capable of supporting the negative modulatory effect of SOCS3 in reporter gene assays. In contrast, the inhibitory effect of SOCS1 was enhanced by the presence of Tyr985 but not Tyr1077. Finally, the reduction of the STAT-phosphorylating activity of the LEPRb complex after 2 h of leptin stimulation was not accompanied by the dephosphorylation or degradation of LEPRb or the receptor-associated JAK molecule, but depended on Tyr985 and/or Tyr1077. Conclusions Both Tyr985 and Tyr1077 contribute to the negative regulation of LEPRb signaling. The inhibitory effects of SOCS1 and SOCS3 differ in the dependence on the tyrosine residues in the intracellular domain of LEPRb.

  19. Unraveling the signaling and signal transduction mechanisms controlling arbuscular mycorrhiza development Desenredando os mecanismo de sinalização e transdução de sinais que controlam o desenvolvimento de micorrizas arbusculares

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcio Rodrigues Lambais


    Full Text Available Arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM are the most widespread symbiotic associations between plant roots and soil fungi. AM can contribute to increasing the survival and fitness of plants to limiting environments mostly due to their ability in improving nutrient uptake from the soil solution. Despite their ecological significance, the mechanisms controlling AM development and functioning are largely unknown. The obligate mutualistic nature of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF has hampered the advances on the understanding and application of the symbiosis. Significant alterations in the genetic programs of both symbionts are required for the successful establishment of an AM, and complex signaling and signal transduction mechanisms are likely involved. The analyses of legume mutants affected in the development of nitrogen fixing nodules and AM suggest that part of the signal transduction pathways involved in the regulation of both symbioses are conserved. Even though the use of genomics of model plants has helped to advance our understanding of the regulatory mechanisms in AM, identifying the signal molecules involved in plant-AMF communication and determining their transduction pathways is still essential for its biotechnological application in agriculture.As micorrizas arbusculares (MAs são as associações simbióticas entre raízes de plantas e fungos mais comuns na natureza. Elas podem contribuir para o aumento da sobrevivência e adaptação das plantas a ambientes limitantes, principalmente devido a sua maior capacidade em absorver nutrientes da solução do solo. Apesar de sua importância ecológica, os mecanismos que controlam o desenvolvimento e fisiologia das MAs são pouco conhecidos. A natureza mutualística obrigatória dos fungos micorrízicos arbusculares (FMAs tem limitado os avanços na compreensão e aplicação da simbiose. Alterações significativas nos programas genéticos de ambos simbiontes são necessárias para o

  20. Amount of fear extinction changes its underlying mechanisms. (United States)

    An, Bobae; Kim, Jihye; Park, Kyungjoon; Lee, Sukwon; Song, Sukwoon; Choi, Sukwoo


    There has been a longstanding debate on whether original fear memory is inhibited or erased after extinction. One possibility that reconciles this uncertainty is that the inhibition and erasure mechanisms are engaged in different phases (early or late) of extinction. In this study, using single-session extinction training and its repetition (multiple-session extinction training), we investigated the inhibition and erasure mechanisms in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala of rats, where neural circuits underlying extinction reside. The inhibition mechanism was prevalent with single-session extinction training but faded when single-session extinction training was repeated. In contrast, the erasure mechanism became prevalent when single-session extinction training was repeated. Moreover, ablating the intercalated neurons of amygdala, which are responsible for maintaining extinction-induced inhibition, was no longer effective in multiple-session extinction training. We propose that the inhibition mechanism operates primarily in the early phase of extinction training, and the erasure mechanism takes over after that.

  1. Towards the systematic discovery of signal transduction networks using phosphorylation dynamics data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yachie Nozomu


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Phosphorylation is a ubiquitous and fundamental regulatory mechanism that controls signal transduction in living cells. The number of identified phosphoproteins and their phosphosites is rapidly increasing as a result of recent mass spectrometry-based approaches. Results We analyzed time-course phosphoproteome data obtained previously by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry with the stable isotope labeling using amino acids in cell culture (SILAC method. This provides the relative phosphorylation activities of digested peptides at each of five time points after stimulating HeLa cells with epidermal growth factor (EGF. We initially calculated the correlations between the phosphorylation dynamics patterns of every pair of peptides and connected the strongly correlated pairs to construct a network. We found that peptides extracted from the same intracellular fraction (nucleus vs. cytoplasm tended to be close together within this phosphorylation dynamics-based network. The network was then analyzed using graph theory and compared with five known signal-transduction pathways. The dynamics-based network was correlated with known signaling pathways in the NetPath and Phospho.ELM databases, and especially with the EGF receptor (EGFR signaling pathway. Although the phosphorylation patterns of many proteins were drastically changed by the EGF stimulation, our results suggest that only EGFR signaling transduction was both strongly activated and precisely controlled. Conclusions The construction of a phosphorylation dynamics-based network provides a useful overview of condition-specific intracellular signal transduction using quantitative time-course phosphoproteome data under specific experimental conditions. Detailed prediction of signal transduction based on phosphoproteome dynamics remains challenging. However, since the phosphorylation profiles of kinase-substrate pairs on the specific pathway were localized in the dynamics

  2. Cellular semiotics and signal transduction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruni, Luis Emilio


    (s)" in signal transduction; i.e.: how specificity is determined, how ubiquitous signals or messengers convey specific information, how undesired cross-talk is avoided, how redundancy integrates the system. This chapter proposes a basic conceptual toolbox for interpreting empirical data that deals...

  3. Mechanical Property Analysis of Circular Polymer Membrane under Uniform Pressure


    Jianbing, Sang; Xiang, Li; Sufang, Xing; Wenjia, Wang


    Mechanical property analysis of circular hyperelastic polymer membrane under uniform pressure has been researched in this work. The polymer membrane material is assumed to be homogeneous and isotropic and incompressibility of materials has been considered. Based on the modified stain energy function from Gao and nonmomental theory of axial symmetry thin shell, finite deformation analysis of polymer membrane under uniform pressure has been proposed in current configuration and governing equati...

  4. Emotional responses to music: the need to consider underlying mechanisms. (United States)

    Juslin, Patrik N; Västfjäll, Daniel


    Research indicates that people value music primarily because of the emotions it evokes. Yet, the notion of musical emotions remains controversial, and researchers have so far been unable to offer a satisfactory account of such emotions. We argue that the study of musical emotions has suffered from a neglect of underlying mechanisms. Specifically, researchers have studied musical emotions without regard to how they were evoked, or have assumed that the emotions must be based on the "default" mechanism for emotion induction, a cognitive appraisal. Here, we present a novel theoretical framework featuring six additional mechanisms through which music listening may induce emotions: (1) brain stem reflexes, (2) evaluative conditioning, (3) emotional contagion, (4) visual imagery, (5) episodic memory, and (6) musical expectancy. We propose that these mechanisms differ regarding such characteristics as their information focus, ontogenetic development, key brain regions, cultural impact, induction speed, degree of volitional influence, modularity, and dependence on musical structure. By synthesizing theory and findings from different domains, we are able to provide the first set of hypotheses that can help researchers to distinguish among the mechanisms. We show that failure to control for the underlying mechanism may lead to inconsistent or non-interpretable findings. Thus, we argue that the new framework may guide future research and help to resolve previous disagreements in the field. We conclude that music evokes emotions through mechanisms that are not unique to music, and that the study of musical emotions could benefit the emotion field as a whole by providing novel paradigms for emotion induction.

  5. Study on Mechanical Properties of Barite Concrete under Impact Load (United States)

    Chen, Z. F.; Cheng, K.; Wu, D.; Gan, Y. C.; Tao, Q. W.


    In order to research the mechanical properties of Barite concrete under impact load, a group of concrete compression tests was carried out under the impact load by using the drop test machine. A high-speed camera was used to record the failure process of the specimen during the impact process. The test results show that:with the increase of drop height, the loading rate, the peak load, the strain under peak load, the strain rate and the dynamic increase factor (DIF) all increase gradually. The ultimate tensile strain is close to each other, and the time of impact force decreases significantly, showing significant strain rate effect.

  6. Damage mechanisms in PBT-GF30 under thermo-mechanical cyclic loading

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schaaf, A.; De Monte, M.; Hoffmann, C.; Vormwald, M.; Quaresimin, M.


    The scope of this paper is the investigation of damage mechanisms at microscopic scale on a short glass fiber reinforced polybutylene terephthalate (PBT-GF30) under thermo-mechanical cyclic loading. In addition the principal mechanisms are verified through micro mechanical FE models. In order to investigate the fatigue behavior of the material both isothermal strain controlled fatigue (ISCF) tests at three different temperatures and thermo-mechanical fatigue (TMF) tests were conducted on plain and notched specimens, manufactured by injection molding. The goal of the work is to determine the damage mechanisms occurring under TMF conditions and to compare them with the mechanisms occurring under ISCF. For this reason fracture surfaces of TMF and ISCF samples loaded at different temperature levels were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy. Furthermore, specimens that failed under TMF were examined on microsections revealing insight into both crack initiation and crack propagation. The findings of this investigation give valuable information about the main damage mechanisms of PBT-GF30 under TMF loading and serve as basis for the development of a TMF life estimation methodology

  7. Neural Circuitry and Plasticity Mechanisms Underlying Delay Eyeblink Conditioning (United States)

    Freeman, John H.; Steinmetz, Adam B.


    Pavlovian eyeblink conditioning has been used extensively as a model system for examining the neural mechanisms underlying associative learning. Delay eyeblink conditioning depends on the intermediate cerebellum ipsilateral to the conditioned eye. Evidence favors a two-site plasticity model within the cerebellum with long-term depression of…

  8. A possible realization of Einstein's causal theory underlying quantum mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yussouff, M.


    It is shown that a new microscopic mechanics formulated earlier can be looked upon as a possible causal theory underlying quantum mechanics, which removes Einstein's famous objections against quantum theory. This approach is free from objections raised against Bohm's hidden variable theory and leads to a clear physical picture in terms of familiar concepts, if self interactions are held responsible for deviations from classical behaviour. The new level of physics unfolded by this approach may reveal novel frontiers in high-energy physics. (author)

  9. Permeability and mechanical properties of cracked glass under pressure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ougier-Simonin, A.


    Crack initiation and growth in brittle solids under tension have been extensively studied by various experimental, theoretical and numerical approaches. If has been established that dynamic brittle fracture is related to fundamental physical parameters and processes, such as crack speed, crack branching, surface roughening, and dynamic instabilities. On the other hand, less studies have been done in the area of compressive fracture despite its vital importance in geology, material science and engineering applications (such as the improvement and the insurance of the nuclear wastes storage). The present work aims to investigate thermo-mechanical cracking effects on elastic wave velocities, mechanical strength and permeability und r pressure to evaluate damage evolution, brittle failure and transport properties on a synthetic glass (SON 68), and to highlight the very different behavior of the glass amorphous structure compared to any rock structure. The original glass, produced in ideal conditions of slow cooling that prevent from any crack formation, exhibits a linear and reversible mechanical behavior and isotropic elastic velocities, as expected. It also presents a high strength as it fails at about 700 MPa of deviatoric stress for a confining pressure of 15 MPa. We choose to apply to some original glass samples a reproducible method (thermal treatment with a thermal shock of T=100,200 and 300 C) which creates cracks with a homogeneous distribution. The impact of the thermal treatment is clearly visible through the elastic wave velocity measurements as we observe crack closure under hydrostatic conditions (at about 30 MPa). For T ≥ 200 C, the glass mechanical behavior becomes non linear and records an irreversible damage. The total damage observed with the acoustic emissions in these samples underlines the combination of the thermal and the mechanical cracks which drive to the sample failure. The results obtained with pore fluid pressure show a very small

  10. Vascular endothelium receptors and transduction mechanisms

    CERN Document Server

    Gillis, C; Ryan, Una; Proceedings of the Advanced Studies Institute on "Vascular Endothelium: Receptors and Transduction Mechanisms"


    Beyond their obvious role of a barrier between blood and tissue, vascular endothelial cells are now firmly established as active and essential participants in a host of crucial physiological and pathophysiological functions. Probably the two most important factors responsible for promoting the current knowledge of endothelial functions are 1) observations in the late sixties-early seventies that many non-ventilatory properties of the lung could be attributed to the pulmonary endothelium and 2) the establishment, in the early and mid-seventies of procedures for routine culture of vascular endothelial cells. Many of these endothelial functions require the presence of receptors on the surface of the plasma membrane. There is now evidence for the existence among others of muscarinic, a-and /3-adrenergic, purine, insulin, histamine, bradykinin, lipoprotein, thrombin, paf, fibronectin, vitronectin, interleukin and albumin receptors. For some of these ligands, there is evidence only for the existence of endothelial ...

  11. Multidrug resistance and retroviral transduction potential in human small cell lung cancer cell lines

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Theilade, M D; Gram, G J; Jensen, P B


    for the gibbon ape leukemia virus (GALV-1) receptor or had specificity for the amphotropic murine leukemia virus (MLV-A) receptor were used for transduction of five SCLC cell lines differing by a range of MDR mechanisms. Transduction efficiencies in these cell lines were compared by calculating the percentage...... of blue colonies after X-Gal staining of the cells grown in soft agar. All examined SCLC cell lines were transducible with either vector. Transduction efficiencies varied from 5.7% to 33.5% independent of the presence of MDR. These results indicate that MDR does not severely impair transduction of SCLC...

  12. Frictional behaviour of polymer films under mechanical and electrostatic loads

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ginés, R; Christen, R; Motavalli, M; Bergamini, A; Ermanni, P


    Different polymer foils, namely polyimide, FEP, PFA and PVDF were tested on a setup designed to measure the static coefficient of friction between them. The setup was designed according to the requirements of a damping device based on electrostatically tunable friction. The foils were tested under different mechanically applied forces and showed reproducible results for the static coefficient of friction. With the same setup the measurements were performed under an electric field as the source of the normal force. Up to a certain electric field the values were in good agreement. Beyond this field discrepancies were found. (paper)

  13. Energy metabolism and transduction in smooth muscle. (United States)

    Lynch, R M; Paul, R J


    compartmentation of energy utilization may be highly advantageous, since oxidative metabolism is closely coordinated with mechanical activity and therefore regulation of blood flow. Future investigations will attempt to elucidate which intracellular signals which are responsible for the regulation of these functionally independent compartments of energy metabolism and transduction in VSM. In more general terms, our findings provide a basis from which future questions concerning the regulation of cellular metabolism must be directed. The cellular cytoplasm can no longer be envisioned as a homogeneous compartment, but rather a complex array of functional subcompartments which may be individual

  14. Reliability Issues and Solutions in Flexible Electronics Under Mechanical Fatigue (United States)

    Yi, Seol-Min; Choi, In-Suk; Kim, Byoung-Joon; Joo, Young-Chang


    Flexible devices are of significant interest due to their potential expansion of the application of smart devices into various fields, such as energy harvesting, biological applications and consumer electronics. Due to the mechanically dynamic operations of flexible electronics, their mechanical reliability must be thoroughly investigated to understand their failure mechanisms and lifetimes. Reliability issue caused by bending fatigue, one of the typical operational limitations of flexible electronics, has been studied using various test methodologies; however, electromechanical evaluations which are essential to assess the reliability of electronic devices for flexible applications had not been investigated because the testing method was not established. By employing the in situ bending fatigue test, we has studied the failure mechanism for various conditions and parameters, such as bending strain, fatigue area, film thickness, and lateral dimensions. Moreover, various methods for improving the bending reliability have been developed based on the failure mechanism. Nanostructures such as holes, pores, wires and composites of nanoparticles and nanotubes have been suggested for better reliability. Flexible devices were also investigated to find the potential failures initiated by complex structures under bending fatigue strain. In this review, the recent advances in test methodology, mechanism studies, and practical applications are introduced. Additionally, perspectives including the future advance to stretchable electronics are discussed based on the current achievements in research.

  15. Control of a perturbed under-actuated mechanical system

    KAUST Repository

    Zayane, Chadia


    In this work, the trajectory tracking problem for an under-actuated mechanical system in presence of unknown input disturbances is addressed. The studied inertia wheel inverted pendulum falls in the class of non minimum phase systems. The proposed high order sliding mode control architecture including a controller and differentiator allows to track accurately the predefined trajectory and to stabilize the internal dynamics. The robustness of the proposed approach is illustrated through different perturbation and output noise configurations.

  16. Neural mechanisms underlying morphine withdrawal in addicted patients: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nima Babhadiashar


    Full Text Available Morphine is one of the most potent alkaloid in opium, which has substantial medical uses and needs and it is the first active principle purified from herbal source. Morphine has commonly been used for relief of moderate to severe pain as it acts directly on the central nervous system; nonetheless, its chronic abuse increases tolerance and physical dependence, which is commonly known as opiate addiction. Morphine withdrawal syndrome is physiological and behavioral symptoms that stem from prolonged exposure to morphine. A majority of brain regions are hypofunctional over prolonged abstinence and acute morphine withdrawal. Furthermore, several neural mechanisms are likely to contribute to morphine withdrawal. The present review summarizes the literature pertaining to neural mechanisms underlying morphine withdrawal. Despite the fact that morphine withdrawal is a complex process, it is suggested that neural mechanisms play key roles in morphine withdrawal.

  17. An NMDA Receptor-Dependent Mechanism Underlies Inhibitory Synapse Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinglong Gu


    Full Text Available In the mammalian brain, GABAergic synaptic transmission provides inhibitory balance to glutamatergic excitatory drive and controls neuronal output. The molecular mechanisms underlying the development of GABAergic synapses remain largely unclear. Here, we report that NMDA-type ionotropic glutamate receptors (NMDARs in individual immature neurons are the upstream signaling molecules essential for GABAergic synapse development, which requires signaling via Calmodulin binding motif in the C0 domain of the NMDAR GluN1 subunit. Interestingly, in neurons lacking NMDARs, whereas GABAergic synaptic transmission is strongly reduced, the tonic inhibition mediated by extrasynaptic GABAA receptors is increased, suggesting a compensatory mechanism for the lack of synaptic inhibition. These results demonstrate a crucial role for NMDARs in specifying the development of inhibitory synapses, and suggest an important mechanism for controlling the establishment of the balance between synaptic excitation and inhibition in the developing brain.

  18. Giant panda׳s tooth enamel: Structure, mechanical behavior and toughening mechanisms under indentation. (United States)

    Weng, Z Y; Liu, Z Q; Ritchie, R O; Jiao, D; Li, D S; Wu, H L; Deng, L H; Zhang, Z F


    The giant panda׳s teeth possess remarkable load-bearing capacity and damage resistance for masticating bamboos. In this study, the hierarchical structure and mechanical behavior of the giant panda׳s tooth enamel were investigated under indentation. The effects of loading orientation and location on mechanical properties of the enamel were clarified and the evolution of damage in the enamel under increasing load evaluated. The nature of the damage, both at and beneath the indentation surfaces, and the underlying toughening mechanisms were explored. Indentation cracks invariably were seen to propagate along the internal interfaces, specifically the sheaths between enamel rods, and multiple extrinsic toughening mechanisms, e.g., crack deflection/twisting and uncracked-ligament bridging, were active to shield the tips of cracks from the applied stress. The giant panda׳s tooth enamel is analogous to human enamel in its mechanical properties, yet it has superior hardness and Young׳s modulus but inferior toughness as compared to the bamboo that pandas primarily feed on, highlighting the critical roles of the integration of underlying tissues in the entire tooth and the highly hydrated state of bamboo foods. Our objective is that this study can aid the understanding of the structure-mechanical property relations in the tooth enamel of mammals and further provide some insight on the food habits of the giant pandas. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Integrated Electromechanical Transduction Schemes for Polymer MEMS Sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damien Thuau


    Full Text Available Polymer Micro ElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS have the potential to constitute a powerful alternative to silicon-based MEMS devices for sensing applications. Although the use of commercial photoresists as structural material in polymer MEMS has been widely reported, the integration of functional polymer materials as electromechanical transducers has not yet received the same amount of interest. In this context, we report on the design and fabrication of different electromechanical schemes based on polymeric materials ensuring different transduction functions. Piezoresistive transduction made of carbon nanotube-based nanocomposites with a gauge factor of 200 was embedded within U-shaped polymeric cantilevers operating either in static or dynamic modes. Flexible resonators with integrated piezoelectric transduction were also realized and used as efficient viscosity sensors. Finally, piezoelectric-based organic field effect transistor (OFET electromechanical transduction exhibiting a record sensitivity of over 600 was integrated into polymer cantilevers and used as highly sensitive strain and humidity sensors. Such advances in integrated electromechanical transduction schemes should favor the development of novel all-polymer MEMS devices for flexible and wearable applications in the future.

  20. Diffusion wave and signal transduction in biological live cells


    Fan, Tian You; Fan, Lei


    Transduction of mechanical stimuli into biochemical signals is a fundamental subject for cell physics. In the experiments of FRET signal in cells a wave propagation in nanoscope was observed. We here develop a diffusion wave concept and try to give an explanation to the experimental observation. The theoretical prediction is in good agreement to result of the experiment.

  1. Mechanical properties of graphene nanoribbons under uniaxial tensile strain (United States)

    Yoneyama, Kazufumi; Yamanaka, Ayaka; Okada, Susumu


    Based on the density functional theory with the generalized gradient approximation, we investigated the mechanical properties of graphene nanoribbons in terms of their edge shape under a uniaxial tensile strain. The nanoribbons with armchair and zigzag edges retain their structure under a large tensile strain, while the nanoribbons with chiral edges are fragile against the tensile strain compared with those with armchair and zigzag edges. The fracture started at the cove region, which corresponds to the border between the zigzag and armchair edges for the nanoribbons with chiral edges. For the nanoribbons with armchair edges, the fracture started at one of the cove regions at the edges. In contrast, the fracture started at the inner region of the nanoribbons with zigzag edges. The bond elongation under the tensile strain depends on the mutual arrangement of covalent bonds with respect to the strain direction.

  2. Peripheral Receptor Mechanisms Underlying Orofacial Muscle Pain and Hyperalgesia (United States)

    Saloman, Jami L.

    Musculoskeletal pain conditions, particularly those associated with temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMD) are severely debilitating and affect approximately 12% of the population. Identifying peripheral nociceptive mechanisms underlying mechanical hyperalgesia, a prominent feature of persistent muscle pain, could contribute to the development of new treatment strategies for the management of TMD and other muscle pain conditions. This study provides evidence of functional interactions between ligand-gated channels, P2X3 and TRPV1/TRPA1, in trigeminal sensory neurons, and proposes that these interactions underlie the development of mechanical hyperalgesia. In the masseter muscle, direct P2X3 activation, via the selective agonist αβmeATP, induced a dose- and time-dependent hyperalgesia. Importantly, the αβmeATP-induced hyperalgesia was prevented by pretreatment of the muscle with a TRPV1 antagonist, AMG9810, or the TRPA1 antagonist, AP18. P2X3 was co-expressed with both TRPV1 and TRPA1 in masseter muscle afferents confirming the possibility for intracellular interactions. Moreover, in a subpopulation of P2X3 /TRPV1 positive neurons, capsaicin-induced Ca2+ transients were significantly potentiated following P2X3 activation. Inhibition of Ca2+-dependent kinases, PKC and CaMKII, prevented P2X3-mechanical hyperalgesia whereas blockade of Ca2+-independent PKA did not. Finally, activation of P2X3 induced phosphorylation of serine, but not threonine, residues in TRPV1 in trigeminal sensory neurons. Significant phosphorylation was observed at 15 minutes, the time point at which behavioral hyperalgesia was prominent. Similar data were obtained regarding another nonselective cation channel, the NMDA receptor (NMDAR). Our data propose P2X3 and NMDARs interact with TRPV1 in a facilitatory manner, which could contribute to the peripheral sensitization underlying masseter hyperalgesia. This study offers novel mechanisms by which individual pro-nociceptive ligand

  3. Signal Transduction in Histidine Kinases: Insights from New Structures (United States)

    Bhate, Manasi P.; Molnar, Kathleen S.; Goulian, Mark; DeGrado, William F.


    Histidine kinases (HKs) are major players in bacterial signaling. There has been an explosion of new HK crystal structures in the last five years. We globally analyze the structures of HKs to yield insights into the mechanisms by which signals are transmitted to and across protein structures in this family. We interpret known enzymological data in the context of new structural data to show how asymmetry across the dimer interface is a key feature of signal transduction in HKs, and discuss how different HK domains undergo asymmetric-to-symmetric transitions during signal transduction and catalysis. A thermodynamic framework for signaling that encompasses these various properties is presented and the consequences of weak thermodynamic coupling are discussed. The synthesis of observations from enzymology, structural biology, protein engineering and thermodynamics paves the way for a deeper molecular understanding of histidine kinase signal transduction. PMID:25982528

  4. Mechanical properties of a collagen fibril under simulated degradation. (United States)

    Malaspina, David C; Szleifer, Igal; Dhaher, Yasin


    Collagen fibrils are a very important component in most of the connective tissue in humans. An important process associated with several physiological and pathological states is the degradation of collagen. Collagen degradation is usually mediated by enzymatic and non-enzymatic processes. In this work we use molecular dynamics simulations to study the influence of simulated degradation on the mechanical properties of the collagen fibril. We applied tensile stress to the collagen fiber at different stages of degradation. We compared the difference in the fibril mechanical priorities due the removal of enzymatic crosslink, surface degradation and volumetric degradation. As anticipated, our results indicated that, regardless of the degradation scenario, fibril mechanical properties is reduced. The type of degradation mechanism (crosslink, surface or volumetric) expressed differential effect on the change in the fibril stiffness. Our simulation results showed dramatic change in the fibril stiffness with a small amount of degradation. This suggests that the hierarchical structure of the fibril is a key component for the toughness and is very sensitive to changes in the organization of the fibril. The overall results are intended to provide a theoretical framework for the understanding the mechanical behavior of collagen fibrils under degradation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Sensory Transduction of the CO2 Response of Guard Cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dr. Eduardo Zeiger


    Stomata have a key role in the regulation of gas exchange and intercellular CO2 concentrations of leaves. Guard cells sense internal and external signals in the leaf environment and transduce these signals into osmoregulatory processes that control stomatal apertures. This research proposal addresses the characterization of the sensory transduction of the CO2 signal in guard cells. Recent studies have shown that in Vicia leaves kept at constant light and temperature in a growth chamber, changes in ambient CO2 concentrations cause large changes in guard cell zeaxanthin that are linear with CO2-dependent changes in stomatal apertures. Research proposed here will test the hypothesis that zeaxanthin function as a transducer of CO2 signals in guard cells. Three central aspects of this hypothesis will be investigated: CO2 sensing by the carboxylation reaction of Rubisco in the guard cell chloroplast, which would modulate zeaxanthin concentrations via changes in lumen pH; transduction of the CO2 signal by zeaxanthin via a transducing cascade that controls guard cell osmoregulation; and blue light dependence of the CO2 signal transduction by zeaxanthin, required for the formation of an isomeric form of zeaxanthin that is physiologically active as a transducer. The role of Rubisco in CO2 sensing will be investigated in experiments characterizing the stomatal response to CO2 in the Arabidopsis mutants R100 and rca-, which have reduced rates of Rubisco-dependent carboxylation. The role of zeaxanthin as a CO2 transducer will be studied in npq1, a zeaxanthin-less mutant. The blue light-dependence of CO2 sensing will be studied in experiments characterizing the stomatal response to CO2 under red light. Arabidopsis mutants will also be used in further studies of an acclimation of the stomatal response to CO2, and a possible role of the xanthophyll cycle of the guard cell chloroplast in acclimations of the stomatal response to CO2. Studies on the osmoregulatory role of sucrose in

  6. Oxygen sensing and signal transduction in hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction. (United States)

    Sommer, Natascha; Strielkov, Ievgen; Pak, Oleg; Weissmann, Norbert


    Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction (HPV), also known as the von Euler-Liljestrand mechanism, is an essential response of the pulmonary vasculature to acute and sustained alveolar hypoxia. During local alveolar hypoxia, HPV matches perfusion to ventilation to maintain optimal arterial oxygenation. In contrast, during global alveolar hypoxia, HPV leads to pulmonary hypertension. The oxygen sensing and signal transduction machinery is located in the pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) of the pre-capillary vessels, albeit the physiological response may be modulated in vivo by the endothelium. While factors such as nitric oxide modulate HPV, reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been suggested to act as essential mediators in HPV. ROS may originate from mitochondria and/or NADPH oxidases but the exact oxygen sensing mechanisms, as well as the question of whether increased or decreased ROS cause HPV, are under debate. ROS may induce intracellular calcium increase and subsequent contraction of PASMCs via direct or indirect interactions with protein kinases, phospholipases, sarcoplasmic calcium channels, transient receptor potential channels, voltage-dependent potassium channels and L-type calcium channels, whose relevance may vary under different experimental conditions. Successful identification of factors regulating HPV may allow development of novel therapeutic approaches for conditions of disturbed HPV. Copyright ©ERS 2016.

  7. Physical aspects of sensory transduction on seeing, hearing and smelling. (United States)

    Yoshioka, Tohru; Sakakibara, Manabu


    What is the general principle of sensory transduction? Sensory transduction is defined as energy transformation from the external world to the internal world. The energy of the external world, such as thermal energy (heat), electro-magnetic energy (light), mechanical energy (sound) and the energy from molecules (chemicals), is converted into electrochemical events in the animal nervous system. The following five classes of special sense receptors are utilized for energy conversion: vision (photo); audition (sound); taste and smell (chemo); and tactile (mechano). There are also other special sense receptors, including thermo and noxious receptors. The focus of this study is on photoreceptors, sound-receptors and odorant-receptors because the transduction mechanisms of these receptors are explained biochemically and understood by a common physical principle; these biochemical models are well known in neuroscience. The following notable problems are inherent in these biochemical models: the cGMP ionophore model of the vertebrate photoreceptor cannot explain the fast photo-response (∼msec); the tip links connection model of stereocilia in the basilar membrane for opening the K(+) channel on the tip of a hair has difficulty explaining the high frequency vibration of hair cells without a damping of the oscillation, and the odorant shape-specific receptor model for olfactory transduction has difficulty in discriminating the minute differences among similar fragrant smells of essential oils with different molecular shapes. These difficulties might arise from a lack of the physical sense when the transduction models were proposed. This article will reconsider these problems and propose rational models for visual, olfactory and auditory transduction.

  8. Temporomandibular disorders and painful comorbidities: clinical association and underlying mechanisms. (United States)

    Costa, Yuri Martins; Conti, Paulo César Rodrigues; de Faria, Flavio Augusto Cardoso; Bonjardim, Leonardo Rigoldi


    The association between temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) and headaches, cervical spine dysfunction, and fibromyalgia is not artefactual. The aim of this review is to describe the comorbid relationship between TMD and these three major painful conditions and to discuss the clinical implications and the underlying pain mechanisms involved in these relationships. Common neuronal pathways and central sensitization processes are acknowledged as the main factors for the association between TMD and primary headaches, although the establishment of cause-effect mechanisms requires further clarification and characterization. The biomechanical aspects are not the main factors involved in the comorbid relationship between TMD and cervical spine dysfunction, which can be better explained by the neuronal convergence of the trigeminal and cervical spine sensory pathways as well as by central sensitization processes. The association between TMD and fibromyalgia also has supporting evidence in the literature, and the proposed main mechanism underlying this relationship is the impairment of the descending pain inhibitory system. In this particular scenario, a cause-effect relationship is more likely to occur in one direction, that is, fibromyalgia as a risk factor for TMD. Therefore, clinical awareness of the association between TMD and painful comorbidities and the support of multidisciplinary approaches are required to recognize these related conditions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Failure Mechanisms of Brittle Rocks under Uniaxial Compression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Taoying


    Full Text Available The behaviour of a rock mass is determined not only by the properties of the rock matrix, but mostly by the presence and properties of discontinuities or fractures within the mass. The compression test on rock-like specimens with two prefabricated transfixion fissures, made by pulling out the embedded metal inserts in the pre-cured period was carried out on the servo control uniaxial loading tester. The influence of the geometry of pre-existing cracks on the cracking processes was analysed with reference to the experimental observation of crack initiation and propagation from pre-existing flaws. Based on the rock fracture mechanics and the stress-strain curves, the evolution failure mechanism of the fissure body was also analyzed on the basis of exploring the law of the compression-shear crack initiation, wing crack growth and rock bridge connection. Meanwhile, damage fracture mechanical models of a compression-shear rock mass are established when the rock bridge axial transfixion failure, tension-shear combined failure, or wing crack shear connection failure occurs on the specimen under axial compression. This research was of significance in studying the failure mechanism of fractured rock mass.

  10. Mechanisms underlying HIV-1 Vpu-mediated viral egress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas eRoy


    Full Text Available Viruses such as lentiviruses that are responsible for long lasting infections, have to evade several level of cellular immune mechanisms to persist and efficiently disseminate in the host. Over the past decades, many evidences have emerged regarding the major role of accessory proteins of primate lentiviruses (Human (HIV and simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIV in viral evasion from the host immune defense. This short review will provide an overview of the mechanism whereby the accessory protein Vpu contributes to this escape. Vpu is a multifunctional protein that was shown to contribute to viral egress by down-regulating several mediators of the immune system such as CD4, CD1d, NTB-A and the restriction factor BST2. The mechanisms underlying its activity are not fully characterized but rely on its ability to interfere with the host machinery regulating proteins turnover and vesicular trafficking. This review will focus on our current understanding of the mechanisms whereby Vpu down-regulates CD4 and BST2 expression level to favour viral egress.

  11. Mechanical Design of AM Fabricated Prismatic Rods under Torsion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manzhirov Alexander V.


    Full Text Available We study the stress-strain state of viscoelastic prismatic rods fabricated or repaired by additive manufacturing technologies under torsion. An adequate description of the processes involved is given by methods of a new scientific field, mechanics of growing solids. Three main stages of the deformation process (before the beginning of growth, in the course of growth, and after the termination of growth are studied. Two versions of statement of two problems are given: (i given the torque, find the stresses, displacements, and torsion; (ii given the torsion, find the stresses, displacements, and torque. Solution methods using techniques of complex analysis are presented. The results can be used in mechanical and instrument engineering.

  12. Nanomaterials modulate stem cell differentiation: biological interaction and underlying mechanisms. (United States)

    Wei, Min; Li, Song; Le, Weidong


    Stem cells are unspecialized cells that have the potential for self-renewal and differentiation into more specialized cell types. The chemical and physical properties of surrounding microenvironment contribute to the growth and differentiation of stem cells and consequently play crucial roles in the regulation of stem cells' fate. Nanomaterials hold great promise in biological and biomedical fields owing to their unique properties, such as controllable particle size, facile synthesis, large surface-to-volume ratio, tunable surface chemistry, and biocompatibility. Over the recent years, accumulating evidence has shown that nanomaterials can facilitate stem cell proliferation and differentiation, and great effort is undertaken to explore their possible modulating manners and mechanisms on stem cell differentiation. In present review, we summarize recent progress in the regulating potential of various nanomaterials on stem cell differentiation and discuss the possible cell uptake, biological interaction and underlying mechanisms.

  13. Controlling Signal Transduction with Synthetic Ligands (United States)

    Spencer, David M.; Wandless, Thomas J.; Schreiber, Stuart L.; Crabtree, Gerald R.


    Dimerization and oligomerization are general biological control mechanisms contributing to the activation of cell membrane receptors, transcription factors, vesicle fusion proteins, and other classes of intra- and extracellular proteins. Cell permeable, synthetic ligands were devised that can be used to control the intracellular oligomerization of specific proteins. To demonstrate their utility, these ligands were used to reduce intracellular oligomerization of cell surface receptors that lacked their transmembrane and extracellular regions but contained intracellular signaling domains. Addition of these ligands to cells in culture resulted in signal transmission and specific target gene activation. Monomeric forms of the ligands blocked the pathway. This method of ligandregulated activation and termination of signaling pathways has the potential to be applied wherever precise control of a signal transduction pathway is desired.

  14. Age differences in the underlying mechanisms of stereotype threat effects. (United States)

    Popham, Lauren E; Hess, Thomas M


    The goals of the present study were to (a) examine whether age differences exist in the mechanisms underlying stereotype threat effects on cognitive performance and (b) examine whether emotion regulation abilities may buffer against threat effects on performance. Older and younger adults were exposed to positive or negative age-relevant stereotypes, allowing us to examine the impact of threat on regulatory focus and working memory. Self-reported emotion regulation measures were completed prior to the session. Older adults' performance under threat suggested a prevention-focused approach to the task, indexed by increased accuracy and reduced speed. The same pattern was observed in younger adults, but the effects were not as strong. Age differences emerged when examining the availability of working memory resources under threat, with young adults showing decrements, whereas older adults did not. Emotion regulation abilities moderated threat effects in young adults but not in older adults. The results provide support for the notion that stereotype threat may lead to underperformance through somewhat different pathways in older and younger adults. Future research should further examine whether the underlying reason for this age difference is rooted in age-related improvements in emotion regulation. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:

  15. Electrochemical mechanism of tin membrane electrodeposition under ultrasonic waves. (United States)

    Nan, Tianxiang; Yang, Jianguang; Chen, Bing


    Tin was electrodeposited from chloride solutions using a membrane cell under ultrasonic waves. Cyclic voltammetry (CV), linear sweep voltammetry (LSV), chronoamperometry (CHR), and chronopotentiometry were applied to investigate the electrochemical mechanism of tin electrodeposition under ultrasonic field. Chronoamperometry curves showed that the initial process of tin electrodeposition followed the diffusion controlled three-dimensional nucleation and grain growth mechanism. The analysis of the cyclic voltammetry and linear sweep voltammetry diagrams showed that the application of ultrasound can change the tin membrane electro-deposition reaction from diffusion to electrochemical control, and the optimum parameters for tin electrodeposition were H + concentration 3.5 mol·L -1 , temperature 35 °C and ultrasonic power 100 W. The coupling ultrasonic field played a role in refining the grain in this process. The growth of tin crystals showed no orientation preferential, and the tin deposition showed a tendency to form a regular network structure after ultrasonic coupling. While in the absence of ultrasonic coupling, the growth of tin crystals has a high preferential orientation, and the tin deposition showed a tendency to form tin whiskers. Ultrasonic coupling was more favorable for obtaining a more compact and smoother cathode tin layer. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Mechanisms Underlying the Antidepressant Response and Treatment Resistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marjorie Rose Levinstein


    Full Text Available Depression is a complex and heterogeneous disorder affecting millions of Americans. There are several different medications and other treatments that are available and effective for many patients with depression. However, a substantial percentage of patients fail to achieve remission with these currently available interventions, and relapse rates are high. Therefore, it is necessary to determine both the mechanisms underlying the antidepressant response and the differences between responders and non-responders to treatment. Delineation of these mechanisms largely relies on experiments that utilize animal models. Therefore, this review provides an overview of the various mouse models that are currently used to assess the antidepressant response, such as chronic mild stress, social defeat, and chronic corticosterone. We discuss how these mouse models can be used to advance our understanding of the differences between responders and non-responders to antidepressant treatment. We also provide an overview of experimental treatment modalities that are used for treatment-resistant depression, such as deep brain stimulation and ketamine administration. We will then review the various genetic polymorphisms and transgenic mice that display resistance to antidepressant treatment. Finally, we synthesize the published data to describe a potential neural circuit underlying the antidepressant response and treatment resistance.

  17. Cancer, signal transduction and nanotechnology. (United States)

    Sengupta, Poulomi; Basu, Sudipta; Sengupta, Shiladitya


    Understanding the mechanisms underlying different cellular signaling pathways implicated in the pathogenesis of cancer are leading to the identification of novel drug targets as well as novel drug candidates. Multiple targeted therapeutics that modulate aberrant molecular pathways have already reached the clinic. However, targeted therapeutics can exert mechanism-driven side effects as a result of the implication of the molecular target in normal physiological functions besides tumorigenesis. We hypothesize that targeted therapeutics can be optimized by merging them with nanotechnology, which offers the potential for preferential targeting to the tumor, resulting in increased intratumoral concentrations of the active agent with reduced distribution to other parts of the body. This review will address some of the emerging concepts that integrate these two disciplines to engineer novel nanovectors that target different signaling pathways.

  18. Autophagy as a Possible Underlying Mechanism of Nanomaterial Toxicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Cohignac


    Full Text Available The rapid development of nanotechnologies is raising safety concerns because of the potential effects of engineered nanomaterials on human health, particularly at the respiratory level. Since the last decades, many in vivo studies have been interested in the pulmonary effects of different classes of nanomaterials. It has been shown that some of them can induce toxic effects, essentially depending on their physico-chemical characteristics, but other studies did not identify such effects. Inflammation and oxidative stress are currently the two main mechanisms described to explain the observed toxicity. However, the exact underlying mechanism(s still remain(s unknown and autophagy could represent an interesting candidate. Autophagy is a physiological process in which cytoplasmic components are digested via a lysosomal pathway. It has been shown that autophagy is involved in the pathogenesis and the progression of human diseases, and is able to modulate the oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory responses. A growing amount of literature suggests that a link between nanomaterial toxicity and autophagy impairment could exist. In this review, we will first summarize what is known about the respiratory effects of nanomaterials and we will then discuss the possible involvement of autophagy in this toxicity. This review should help understand why autophagy impairment could be taken as a promising candidate to fully understand nanomaterials toxicity.

  19. Effects of manual hyperinflation in preterm newborns under mechanical ventilation. (United States)

    Viana, Camila Chaves; Nicolau, Carla Marques; Juliani, Regina Celia Turola Passos; Carvalho, Werther Brunow de; Krebs, Vera Lucia Jornada


    To assess the effects of manual hyperinflation, performed with a manual resuscitator with and without the positive end-expiratory pressure valve, on the respiratory function of preterm newborns under mechanical ventilation. Cross-sectional study of hemodynamically stable preterm newborns with gestational age of less than 32 weeks, under mechanical ventilation and dependent on it at 28 days of life. Manual hyperinflation was applied randomly, alternating the use or not of the positive end-expiratory pressure valve, followed by tracheal aspiration for ending the maneuver. For nominal data, the two-tailed Wilcoxon test was applied at the 5% significance level and 80% power. Twenty-eight preterm newborns, with an average birth weight of 1,005.71 ± 372.16g, an average gestational age of 28.90 ± 1.79 weeks, an average corrected age of 33.26 ± 1.78 weeks, and an average mechanical ventilation time of 29.5 (15 - 53) days, were studied. Increases in inspiratory and expiratory volumes occurred between time-points A5 (before the maneuver) and C1 (immediately after tracheal aspiration) in both the maneuver with the valve (p = 0.001 and p = 0.009) and without the valve (p = 0.026 and p = 0.001), respectively. There was also an increase in expiratory resistance between time-points A5 and C1 (p = 0.044). Lung volumes increased when performing the maneuver with and without the valve, with a significant difference in the first minute after aspiration. There was a significant difference in expiratory resistance between the time-points A5 (before the maneuver) and C1 (immediately after tracheal aspiration) in the first minute after aspiration within each maneuver.

  20. Exploration of mechanisms underlying the strain-rate-dependent mechanical property of single chondrocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nguyen, Trung Dung; Gu, YuanTong, E-mail: [School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland (Australia)


    Based on the characterization by Atomic Force Microscopy, we report that the mechanical property of single chondrocytes has dependency on the strain-rates. By comparing the mechanical deformation responses and the Young's moduli of living and fixed chondrocytes at four different strain-rates, we explore the deformation mechanisms underlying this dependency property. We found that the strain-rate-dependent mechanical property of living cells is governed by both of the cellular cytoskeleton and the intracellular fluid when the fixed chondrocytes are mainly governed by their intracellular fluid, which is called the consolidation-dependent deformation behavior. Finally, we report that the porohyperelastic constitutive material model which can capture the consolidation-dependent behavior of both living and fixed chondrocytes is a potential candidature to study living cell biomechanics.

  1. Signal transduction in cells of the immune system in microgravity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huber Kathrin


    Full Text Available Abstract Life on Earth developed in the presence and under the constant influence of gravity. Gravity has been present during the entire evolution, from the first organic molecule to mammals and humans. Modern research revealed clearly that gravity is important, probably indispensable for the function of living systems, from unicellular organisms to men. Thus, gravity research is no more or less a fundamental question about the conditions of life on Earth. Since the first space missions and supported thereafter by a multitude of space and ground-based experiments, it is well known that immune cell function is severely suppressed in microgravity, which renders the cells of the immune system an ideal model organism to investigate the influence of gravity on the cellular and molecular level. Here we review the current knowledge about the question, if and how cellular signal transduction depends on the existence of gravity, with special focus on cells of the immune system. Since immune cell function is fundamental to keep the organism under imnological surveillance during the defence against pathogens, to investigate the effects and possible molecular mechanisms of altered gravity is indispensable for long-term space flights to Earth Moon or Mars. Thus, understanding the impact of gravity on cellular functions on Earth will provide not only important informations about the development of life on Earth, but also for therapeutic and preventive strategies to cope successfully with medical problems during space exploration.

  2. Quantum Transduction with Adaptive Control. (United States)

    Zhang, Mengzhen; Zou, Chang-Ling; Jiang, Liang


    Quantum transducers play a crucial role in hybrid quantum networks. A good quantum transducer can faithfully convert quantum signals from one mode to another with minimum decoherence. Most investigations of quantum transduction are based on the protocol of direct mode conversion. However, the direct protocol requires the matching condition, which in practice is not always feasible. Here we propose an adaptive protocol for quantum transducers, which can convert quantum signals without requiring the matching condition. The adaptive protocol only consists of Gaussian operations, feasible in various physical platforms. Moreover, we show that the adaptive protocol can be robust against imperfections associated with finite squeezing, thermal noise, and homodyne detection, and it can be implemented to realize quantum state transfer between microwave and optical modes.

  3. [Progress on Hedgehog signaling transduction]. (United States)

    Tang, Ying; Cheng, Steven


    Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway plays an important role during embryonic development and pattern formation. Disruption of Hh pathway results in various developmental disorders and increasing cancer incidence. Here we provide a comprehensive review of the pathway members, focusing on how mammalian Hh regulates the Gli family of transcription factors through its downstream members, the so-called "canonical signaling pathway". Hh signaling pathway is highly conserved among species, and primary cilia plays an important role as a "signaling center" during vertebrate signal transduction. Further, in the past few years, numerous studies have shown that Hh signal can also be transduced through Gli-independent ways collectively referred to as "non-canonical signaling pathways", which can be subdivided into two modules: (i) those not requiring Smo and (ii) those downstream of Smo that do not require Gli transcription factors. Thus, we review the rapid progress on canonical and non-canonical Hh pathways.

  4. The mechanisms underlying fructose-induced hypertension: a review (United States)

    Klein, Alice Victoria; Kiat, Hosen


    We are currently in the midst of an epidemic of metabolic disorders, which may, in part, be explained by excess fructose intake. This theory is supported by epidemiological observations as well as experimental studies in animals and humans. Rising consumption of fructose has been matched with growing rates of hypertension, leading to concern from public health experts. At this stage, the mechanisms underlying fructose-induced hypertension have not been fully characterized and the bulk of our knowledge is derived from animal models. Animal studies have shown that high-fructose diets up-regulate sodium and chloride transporters, resulting in a state of salt overload that increases blood pressure. Excess fructose has also been found to activate vasoconstrictors, inactivate vasodilators, and over-stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. Further work is required to determine the relevance of these findings to humans and to establish the level at which dietary fructose increases the risk of developing hypertension PMID:25715094

  5. Degradation Mechanisms of Transparent Polyurethane Interlayer under UV Irradiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    OU Yingchun


    Full Text Available According to the ageing problem of laminated transparency, the trasparent polyurethane film used as interlayer had been irradiated by fluorescent ultraviolet lamp for 0 h, 200 h, 300 h, and 500 h respectively. With the aid of ultraviolet/visible spectrophotometer, FTIR and SEM etc., the color, structure and morphology of the materials were studied. SEM shows that when the irradiation time is increased to 500 h, the film surface cracks. The UV degradation mechanisms are that -CH2- of the position connecting the O and N from hard segment and the soft segment are easy to oxidize and produce hydrogen peroxide under UV and oxygen, which is furtherly oxidized to CO, and some part of the C-O and C-N bonds is cracked through β scission, and then the materials are fractured.

  6. Nonlinear mechanical response of supercooled melts under applied forces (United States)

    Cárdenas, Heliana; Frahsa, Fabian; Fritschi, Sebastian; Nicolas, Alexandre; Papenkort, Simon; Voigtmann, Thomas; Fuchs, Matthias


    We review recent progress on a microscopic theoretical approach to describe the nonlinear response of glass-forming colloidal dispersions under strong external forcing leading to homogeneous and inhomogeneous flow. Using mode-coupling theory (MCT), constitutive equations for the rheology of viscoelastic shear-thinning fluids are obtained. These are, in suitably simplified form, employed in continuum fluid dynamics, solved by a hybrid-Lattice Boltzmann (LB) algorithm that was developed to deal with long-lasting memory effects. The combined microscopic theoretical and mesoscopic numerical approach captures a number of phenomena far from equilibrium, including the yielding of metastable states, process-dependent mechanical properties, and inhomogeneous pressure-driven channel flow.

  7. Simulated airplane headache: a proxy towards identification of underlying mechanisms. (United States)

    Bui, Sebastian Bao Dinh; Petersen, Torben; Poulsen, Jeppe Nørgaard; Gazerani, Parisa


    Airplane Headache (AH) occurs during flights and often appears as an intense, short lasting headache during take-off or landing. Reports are limited on pathological mechanisms underlying the occurrence of this headache. Proper diagnosis and treatments would benefit from identification of potential pathways involved in AH pathogenesis. This study aimed at providing a simulated airplane headache condition as a proxy towards identification of its underlying mechanisms. Fourteen participants including 7 volunteers suffering from AH and 7 healthy matched controls were recruited after meeting the diagnostic and safety criteria based on an approved study protocol. Simulation of AH was achieved by entering a pressure chamber with similar characteristics of an airplane flight. Selected potential biomarkers including salivary prostaglandin E 2 (PGE 2 ), cortisol, facial thermo-images, blood pressure, pulse, and saturation pulse oxygen (SPO) were defined and values were collected before, during and after flight simulation in the pressure chamber. Salivary samples were analyzed with ELISA techniques, while data analysis and statistical tests were handled with SPSS version 22.0. All participants in the AH-group experienced a headache attack similar to AH experience during flight. The non-AH-group did not experience any headaches. Our data showed that the values for PGE 2 , cortisol and SPO were significantly different in the AH-group in comparison with the non-AH-group during the flight simulation in the pressure chamber. The pressure chamber proved useful not only to provoke AH-like attack but also to study potential biomarkers for AH in this study. PGE 2 , and cortisol levels together with SPO presented dysregulation during the simulated AH-attack in affected individuals compared with healthy controls. Based on these findings we propose to use pressure chamber as a model to induce AH, and thus assess new potential biomarkers for AH in future studies.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander eChervyakov


    Full Text Available Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS is an effective method used to diagnose and treat many neurological disorders. Although repetitive TMS (rTMS has been used to treat a variety of serious pathological conditions including stroke, depression, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, pain, and migraines, the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the effects of long-term TMS remain unclear. In the present review, the effects of rTMS on neurotransmitters and synaptic plasticity are described, including the classic interpretations of TMS effects on synaptic plasticity via long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD. We also discuss the effects of rTMS on the genetic apparatus of neurons, glial cells and the prevention of neuronal death. The neurotrophic effects of rTMS on dendritic growth and sprouting and neurotrophic factors are described, including change in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF concentration under the influence of rTMS. Also, non-classical effects of TMS related to biophysical effects of magnetic fields are described, including the quantum effects, the magnetic spin effects, genetic magnetoreception, the macromolecular effects of TMS, and the electromagnetic theory of consciousness. Finally, we discuss possible interpretations of TMS effects according to dynamical systems theory. Evidence suggests that a rTMS-induced magnetic field should be considered a separate physical factor that can be impactful at the subatomic level and that rTMS is capable of significantly altering the reactivity of molecules (radicals. It is thought that these factors underlie the therapeutic benefits of therapy with TMS. Future research on these mechanisms will be instrumental to the development of more powerful and reliable TMS treatment protocols.

  9. Nonlinear Mechanics of MEMS Rectangular Microplates under Electrostatic Actuation

    KAUST Repository

    Saghir, Shahid


    The first objective of the dissertation is to develop a suitable reduced order model capable of investigating the nonlinear mechanical behavior of von-Karman plates under electrostatic actuation. The second objective is to investigate the nonlinear static and dynamic behavior of rectangular microplates under small and large actuating forces. In the first part, we present and compare various approaches to develop reduced order models for the nonlinear von-Karman rectangular microplates actuated by nonlinear electrostatic forces. The reduced-order models aim to investigate the static and dynamic behavior of the plate under small and large actuation forces. A fully clamped microplate is considered. Different types of basis functions are used in conjunction with the Galerkin method to discretize the governing equations. First we investigate the convergence with the number of modes retained in the model. Then for validation purpose, a comparison of the static results is made with the results calculated by a nonlinear finite element model. The linear eigenvalue problem for the plate under the electrostatic force is solved for a wide range of voltages up to pull-in. In the second part, we present an investigation of the static and dynamic behavior of a fully clamped microplate. We investigate the effect of different non-dimensional design parameters on the static response. The forced-vibration response of the plate is then investigated when the plate is excited by a harmonic AC load superimposed to a DC load. The dynamic behavior is examined near the primary and secondary (superharmonic and subharmonic) resonances. The microplate shows a strong hardening behavior due to the cubic nonlinearity of midplane stretching. However, the behavior switches to softening as the DC load is increased. Next, near-square plates are studied to understand the effect of geometric imperfections of microplates. In the final part of the dissertation, we investigate the mechanical behavior of

  10. Mechanisms underlying the social enhancement of vocal learning in songbirds. (United States)

    Chen, Yining; Matheson, Laura E; Sakata, Jon T


    Social processes profoundly influence speech and language acquisition. Despite the importance of social influences, little is known about how social interactions modulate vocal learning. Like humans, songbirds learn their vocalizations during development, and they provide an excellent opportunity to reveal mechanisms of social influences on vocal learning. Using yoked experimental designs, we demonstrate that social interactions with adult tutors for as little as 1 d significantly enhanced vocal learning. Social influences on attention to song seemed central to the social enhancement of learning because socially tutored birds were more attentive to the tutor's songs than passively tutored birds, and because variation in attentiveness and in the social modulation of attention significantly predicted variation in vocal learning. Attention to song was influenced by both the nature and amount of tutor song: Pupils paid more attention to songs that tutors directed at them and to tutors that produced fewer songs. Tutors altered their song structure when directing songs at pupils in a manner that resembled how humans alter their vocalizations when speaking to infants, that was distinct from how tutors changed their songs when singing to females, and that could influence attention and learning. Furthermore, social interactions that rapidly enhanced learning increased the activity of noradrenergic and dopaminergic midbrain neurons. These data highlight striking parallels between humans and songbirds in the social modulation of vocal learning and suggest that social influences on attention and midbrain circuitry could represent shared mechanisms underlying the social modulation of vocal learning.

  11. Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Environmental Toxicants: Epigenetics as an Underlying Mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nguyen Quoc Vuong Tran


    Full Text Available The increasing prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders, especially autism spectrum disorders (ASD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, calls for more research into the identification of etiologic and risk factors. The Developmental Origin of Health and Disease (DOHaD hypothesizes that the environment during fetal and childhood development affects the risk for many chronic diseases in later stages of life, including neurodevelopmental disorders. Epigenetics, a term describing mechanisms that cause changes in the chromosome state without affecting DNA sequences, is suggested to be the underlying mechanism, according to the DOHaD hypothesis. Moreover, many neurodevelopmental disorders are also related to epigenetic abnormalities. Experimental and epidemiological studies suggest that exposure to prenatal environmental toxicants is associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. In addition, there is also evidence that environmental toxicants can result in epigenetic alterations, notably DNA methylation. In this review, we first focus on the relationship between neurodevelopmental disorders and environmental toxicants, in particular maternal smoking, plastic-derived chemicals (bisphenol A and phthalates, persistent organic pollutants, and heavy metals. We then review studies showing the epigenetic effects of those environmental factors in humans that may affect normal neurodevelopment.

  12. Thermal stability of nafion membranes under mechanical stress

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quintilii, M.; Struis, R. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)


    The feasibility of adequately modified fluoro-ionomer membranes (NAFION{sup R}) is demonstrated for the selective separation of methanol synthesis products from the raw reactor gas at temperatures around 200{sup o}C. For an economically relevant application of this concept on a technical scale the Nafion membranes should be thin ({approx_equal}10 {mu}m) and thermally stable over a long period of time (1-2 years). In cooperation with industry (Methanol Casale SA, Lugano (CH)), we test the thermal stability of Nafion hollow fibers and supported Nafion thin sheet membranes at temperatures between 160 and 200{sup o}C under mechanical stress by applying a gas pressure difference over the membrane surface ({Delta}P{<=} 40 bar). Tests with the hollow fibers revealed that Nafion has visco-elastic properties. Tests with 50 {mu}m thin Nafion sheets supported by a porous metal carrier at 200{sup o}C and {Delta}P=39 bar showed no mechanical defects over a period of 92 days. (author) 5 figs., 4 refs.

  13. Using Drosophila to discover mechanisms underlying type 2 diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald W. Alfa


    Full Text Available Mechanisms of glucose homeostasis are remarkably well conserved between the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and mammals. From the initial characterization of insulin signaling in the fly came the identification of downstream metabolic pathways for nutrient storage and utilization. Defects in these pathways lead to phenotypes that are analogous to diabetic states in mammals. These discoveries have stimulated interest in leveraging the fly to better understand the genetics of type 2 diabetes mellitus in humans. Type 2 diabetes results from insulin insufficiency in the context of ongoing insulin resistance. Although genetic susceptibility is thought to govern the propensity of individuals to develop type 2 diabetes mellitus under appropriate environmental conditions, many of the human genes associated with the disease in genome-wide association studies have not been functionally studied. Recent advances in the phenotyping of metabolic defects have positioned Drosophila as an excellent model for the functional characterization of large numbers of genes associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Here, we examine results from studies modeling metabolic disease in the fruit fly and compare findings to proposed mechanisms for diabetic phenotypes in mammals. We provide a systematic framework for assessing the contribution of gene candidates to insulin-secretion or insulin-resistance pathways relevant to diabetes pathogenesis.

  14. Mechanisms underlying temperature extremes in Iberia: a Lagrangian perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João A. Santos


    Full Text Available The mechanisms underlying the occurrence of temperature extremes in Iberia are analysed considering a Lagrangian perspective of the atmospheric flow, using 6-hourly ERA-Interim reanalysis data for the years 1979–2012. Daily 2-m minimum temperatures below the 1st percentile and 2-m maximum temperatures above the 99th percentile at each grid point over Iberia are selected separately for winter and summer. Four categories of extremes are analysed using 10-d backward trajectories initialized at the extreme temperature grid points close to the surface: winter cold (WCE and warm extremes (WWE, and summer cold (SCE and warm extremes (SWE. Air masses leading to temperature extremes are first transported from the North Atlantic towards Europe for all categories. While there is a clear relation to large-scale circulation patterns in winter, the Iberian thermal low is important in summer. Along the trajectories, air mass characteristics are significantly modified through adiabatic warming (air parcel descent, upper-air radiative cooling and near-surface warming (surface heat fluxes and radiation. High residence times over continental areas, such as over northern-central Europe for WCE and, to a lesser extent, over Iberia for SWE, significantly enhance these air mass modifications. Near-surface diabatic warming is particularly striking for SWE. WCE and SWE are responsible for the most extreme conditions in a given year. For WWE and SCE, strong temperature advection associated with important meridional air mass transports are the main driving mechanisms, accompanied by comparatively minor changes in the air mass properties. These results permit a better understanding of mechanisms leading to temperature extremes in Iberia.

  15. Different neurophysiological mechanisms underlying word and rule extraction from speech.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth De Diego Balaguer

    Full Text Available The initial process of identifying words from spoken language and the detection of more subtle regularities underlying their structure are mandatory processes for language acquisition. Little is known about the cognitive mechanisms that allow us to extract these two types of information and their specific time-course of acquisition following initial contact with a new language. We report time-related electrophysiological changes that occurred while participants learned an artificial language. These changes strongly correlated with the discovery of the structural rules embedded in the words. These changes were clearly different from those related to word learning and occurred during the first minutes of exposition. There is a functional distinction in the nature of the electrophysiological signals during acquisition: an increase in negativity (N400 in the central electrodes is related to word-learning and development of a frontal positivity (P2 is related to rule-learning. In addition, the results of an online implicit and a post-learning test indicate that, once the rules of the language have been acquired, new words following the rule are processed as words of the language. By contrast, new words violating the rule induce syntax-related electrophysiological responses when inserted online in the stream (an early frontal negativity followed by a late posterior positivity and clear lexical effects when presented in isolation (N400 modulation. The present study provides direct evidence suggesting that the mechanisms to extract words and structural dependencies from continuous speech are functionally segregated. When these mechanisms are engaged, the electrophysiological marker associated with rule-learning appears very quickly, during the earliest phases of exposition to a new language.

  16. Understanding and imitating unfamiliar actions: distinct underlying mechanisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana C Carmo

    Full Text Available The human "mirror neuron system" has been proposed to be the neural substrate that underlies understanding and, possibly, imitating actions. However, since the brain activity with mirror properties seems insufficient to provide a good description for imitation of actions outside one's own repertoire, the existence of supplementary processes has been proposed. Moreover, it is unclear whether action observation requires the same neural mechanisms as the explicit access to their meaning. The aim of this study was two-fold as we investigated whether action observation requires different processes depending on 1 whether the ultimate goal is to imitate or understand the presented actions and 2 whether the to-be-imitated actions are familiar or unfamiliar to the subject. Participants were presented with both meaningful familiar actions and meaningless unfamiliar actions that they had to either imitate or discriminate later. Event-related Potentials were used as differences in brain activity could have been masked by the use of other techniques with lower temporal resolution. In the imitation task, a sustained left frontal negativity was more pronounced for meaningless actions than for meaningful ones, starting from an early time-window. Conversely, observing unfamiliar versus familiar actions with the intention of discriminating them led to marked differences over right centro-posterior scalp regions, in both middle and latest time-windows. These findings suggest that action imitation and action understanding may be sustained by dissociable mechanisms: while imitation of unfamiliar actions activates left frontal processes, that are likely to be related to learning mechanisms, action understanding involves dedicated operations which probably require right posterior regions, consistent with their involvement in social interactions.

  17. Mechanical properties and failure mechanisms of graphene under a central load. (United States)

    Wang, Shuaiwei; Yang, Baocheng; Zhang, Shouren; Yuan, Jinyun; Si, Yubing; Chen, Houyang


    By employing molecular dynamics simulations, the evolution of deformation of a monolayer graphene sheet under a central transverse loading are investigated. Dependence of mechanical responses on the symmetry (shape) of the loading domain, on the size of the graphene sheet, and on temperature, is determined. It is found that the symmetry of the loading domain plays a central role in fracture strength and strain. By increasing the size of the graphene sheet or increasing temperature, the tensile strength and fracture strain decrease. The results have demonstrated that the breaking force and breaking displacement are sensitive to both temperature and the symmetry of the loading domain. In addition, we find that the intrinsic strength of graphene under a central load is much smaller than that of graphene under a uniaxial load. By examining the deformation processes, two failure mechanisms are identified namely, brittle bond breaking and plastic relaxation. In the second mechanism, the Stone-Wales transformation occurs. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Microcracking in composite laminates under thermal and mechanical loading. Thesis (United States)

    Maddocks, Jason R.


    Composites used in space structures are exposed to both extremes in temperature and applied mechanical loads. Cracks in the matrix form, changing the laminate thermoelastic properties. The goal of the present investigation is to develop a predictive methodology to quantify microcracking in general composite laminates under both thermal and mechanical loading. This objective is successfully met through a combination of analytical modeling and experimental investigation. In the analysis, the stress and displacement distributions in the vicinity of a crack are determined using a shear lag model. These are incorporated into an energy based cracking criterion to determine the favorability of crack formation. A progressive damage algorithm allows the inclusion of material softening effects and temperature-dependent material properties. The analysis is implemented by a computer code which gives predicted crack density and degraded laminate properties as functions of any thermomechanical load history. Extensive experimentation provides verification of the analysis. AS4/3501-6 graphite/epoxy laminates are manufactured with three different layups to investigate ply thickness and orientation effects. Thermal specimens are cooled to progressively lower temperatures down to -184 C. After conditioning the specimens to each temperature, cracks are counted on their edges using optical microscopy and in their interiors by sanding to incremental depths. Tensile coupons are loaded monotonically to progressively higher loads until failure. Cracks are counted on the coupon edges after each loading. A data fit to all available results provides input parameters for the analysis and shows them to be material properties, independent of geometry and loading. Correlation between experiment and analysis is generally very good under both thermal and mechanical loading, showing the methodology to be a powerful, unified tool. Delayed crack initiation observed in a few cases is attributed to a

  19. Human hematopoietic cell culture, transduction, and analyses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bonde, Jesper; Wirthlin, Louisa; Kohn, Donald B


    This unit provides methods for introducing genes into human hematopoietic progenitor cells. The Basic Protocol describes isolation of CD34(+) cells, transduction of these cells with a retroviral vector on fibronectin-coated plates, assaying the efficiency of transduction, and establishing long-te...

  20. Architectures and representations for string transduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chrupala, Grzegorz


    String transduction problems are ubiquitous in natural language processing: they include transliteration, grapheme-to-phoneme conversion, text normalization and translation. String transduction can be reduced to the simpler problems of sequence labeling by expressing the target string as a sequence

  1. Protein phosphorylation and its role in archaeal signal transduction (United States)

    Esser, Dominik; Hoffmann, Lena; Pham, Trong Khoa; Bräsen, Christopher; Qiu, Wen; Wright, Phillip C.; Albers, Sonja-Verena; Siebers, Bettina


    Reversible protein phosphorylation is the main mechanism of signal transduction that enables cells to rapidly respond to environmental changes by controlling the functional properties of proteins in response to external stimuli. However, whereas signal transduction is well studied in Eukaryotes and Bacteria, the knowledge in Archaea is still rather scarce. Archaea are special with regard to protein phosphorylation, due to the fact that the two best studied phyla, the Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeaota, seem to exhibit fundamental differences in regulatory systems. Euryarchaeota (e.g. halophiles, methanogens, thermophiles), like Bacteria and Eukaryotes, rely on bacterial-type two-component signal transduction systems (phosphorylation on His and Asp), as well as on the protein phosphorylation on Ser, Thr and Tyr by Hanks-type protein kinases. Instead, Crenarchaeota (e.g. acidophiles and (hyper)thermophiles) only depend on Hanks-type protein phosphorylation. In this review, the current knowledge of reversible protein phosphorylation in Archaea is presented. It combines results from identified phosphoproteins, biochemical characterization of protein kinases and protein phosphatases as well as target enzymes and first insights into archaeal signal transduction by biochemical, genetic and polyomic studies. PMID:27476079

  2. Mechanical Modeling of a WIPP Drum Under Pressure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, Jeffrey A. [Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM (United States)


    Mechanical modeling was undertaken to support the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) technical assessment team (TAT) investigating the February 14th 2014 event where there was a radiological release at the WIPP. The initial goal of the modeling was to examine if a mechanical model could inform the team about the event. The intention was to have a model that could test scenarios with respect to the rate of pressurization. It was expected that the deformation and failure (inability of the drum to contain any pressure) would vary according to the pressurization rate. As the work progressed there was also interest in using the mechanical analysis of the drum to investigate what would happen if a drum pressurized when it was located under a standard waste package. Specifically, would the deformation be detectable from camera views within the room. A finite element model of a WIPP 55-gallon drum was developed that used all hex elements. Analyses were conducted using the explicit transient dynamics module of Sierra/SM to explore potential pressurization scenarios of the drum. Theses analysis show similar deformation patterns to documented pressurization tests of drums in the literature. The calculated failure pressures from previous tests documented in the literature vary from as little as 16 psi to 320 psi. In addition, previous testing documented in the literature shows drums bulging but not failing at pressures ranging from 69 to 138 psi. The analyses performed for this study found the drums failing at pressures ranging from 35 psi to 75 psi. When the drums are pressurized quickly (in 0.01 seconds) there is significant deformation to the lid. At lower pressurization rates the deformation of the lid is considerably less, yet the lids will still open from the pressure. The analyses demonstrate the influence of pressurization rate on deformation and opening pressure of the drums. Analyses conducted with a substantial mass on top of the closed drum demonstrate that the

  3. Video analysis of concussion injury mechanism in under-18 rugby (United States)

    Hendricks, Sharief; O'Connor, Sam; Lambert, Michael; Brown, James C; Burger, Nicholas; Mc Fie, Sarah; Readhead, Clint; Viljoen, Wayne


    Background Understanding the mechanism of injury is necessary for the development of effective injury prevention strategies. Video analysis of injuries provides valuable information on the playing situation and athlete-movement patterns, which can be used to formulate these strategies. Therefore, we conducted a video analysis of the mechanism of concussion injury in junior-level rugby union and compared it with a representative and matched non-injury sample. Methods Injury reports for 18 concussion events were collected from the 2011 to 2013 under-18 Craven Week tournaments. Also, video footage was recorded for all 3 years. On the basis of the injury events, a representative ‘control’ sample of matched non-injury events in the same players was identified. The video footage, which had been recorded at each tournament, was then retrospectively analysed and coded. 10 injury events (5 tackle, 4 ruck, 1 aerial collision) and 83 non-injury events were analysed. Results All concussions were a result of contact with an opponent and 60% of players were unaware of the impending contact. For the measurement of head position on contact, 43% had a ‘down’ position, 29% the ‘up and forward’ and 29% the ‘away’ position (n=7). The speed of the injured tackler was observed as ‘slow’ in 60% of injurious tackles (n=5). In 3 of the 4 rucks in which injury occurred (75%), the concussed player was acting defensively either in the capacity of ‘support’ (n=2) or as the ‘jackal’ (n=1). Conclusions Training interventions aimed at improving peripheral vision, strengthening of the cervical muscles, targeted conditioning programmes to reduce the effects of fatigue, and emphasising safe and effective playing techniques have the potential to reduce the risk of sustaining a concussion injury. PMID:27900149

  4. Video analysis of concussion injury mechanism in under-18 rugby. (United States)

    Hendricks, Sharief; O'Connor, Sam; Lambert, Michael; Brown, James C; Burger, Nicholas; Mc Fie, Sarah; Readhead, Clint; Viljoen, Wayne


    Understanding the mechanism of injury is necessary for the development of effective injury prevention strategies. Video analysis of injuries provides valuable information on the playing situation and athlete-movement patterns, which can be used to formulate these strategies. Therefore, we conducted a video analysis of the mechanism of concussion injury in junior-level rugby union and compared it with a representative and matched non-injury sample. Injury reports for 18 concussion events were collected from the 2011 to 2013 under-18 Craven Week tournaments. Also, video footage was recorded for all 3 years. On the basis of the injury events, a representative 'control' sample of matched non-injury events in the same players was identified. The video footage, which had been recorded at each tournament, was then retrospectively analysed and coded. 10 injury events (5 tackle, 4 ruck, 1 aerial collision) and 83 non-injury events were analysed. All concussions were a result of contact with an opponent and 60% of players were unaware of the impending contact. For the measurement of head position on contact , 43% had a 'down' position, 29% the 'up and forward' and 29% the 'away' position (n=7). The speed of the injured tackler was observed as 'slow' in 60% of injurious tackles (n=5). In 3 of the 4 rucks in which injury occurred (75%), the concussed player was acting defensively either in the capacity of 'support' (n=2) or as the 'jackal' (n=1). Training interventions aimed at improving peripheral vision, strengthening of the cervical muscles, targeted conditioning programmes to reduce the effects of fatigue, and emphasising safe and effective playing techniques have the potential to reduce the risk of sustaining a concussion injury.

  5. Underlying Mechanisms of Tinnitus: Review and Clinical Implications (United States)

    Henry, James A.; Roberts, Larry E.; Caspary, Donald M.; Theodoroff, Sarah M.; Salvi, Richard J.


    Background The study of tinnitus mechanisms has increased tenfold in the last decade. The common denominator for all of these studies is the goal of elucidating the underlying neural mechanisms of tinnitus with the ultimate purpose of finding a cure. While these basic science findings may not be immediately applicable to the clinician who works directly with patients to assist them in managing their reactions to tinnitus, a clear understanding of these findings is needed to develop the most effective procedures for alleviating tinnitus. Purpose The goal of this review is to provide audiologists and other health-care professionals with a basic understanding of the neurophysiological changes in the auditory system likely to be responsible for tinnitus. Results It is increasingly clear that tinnitus is a pathology involving neuroplastic changes in central auditory structures that take place when the brain is deprived of its normal input by pathology in the cochlea. Cochlear pathology is not always expressed in the audiogram but may be detected by more sensitive measures. Neural changes can occur at the level of synapses between inner hair cells and the auditory nerve and within multiple levels of the central auditory pathway. Long-term maintenance of tinnitus is likely a function of a complex network of structures involving central auditory and nonauditory systems. Conclusions Patients often have expectations that a treatment exists to cure their tinnitus. They should be made aware that research is increasing to discover such a cure and that their reactions to tinnitus can be mitigated through the use of evidence-based behavioral interventions. PMID:24622858

  6. Mechanisms underlying recovery of zooplankton in Lake Orta after liming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta Piscia


    Full Text Available The goal of this study was to improve the understanding of the large-scale mechanisms underlying the recovery of the zooplankton of Lake Orta from historical contamination, following reduced input of ammonia and metals and the subsequent 1989/90 liming intervention. The industrial pollution had been severe and long-lasting (1929-1990. Zooplankton biodiversity has improved, but most of the new taxa appearing in our counts are rotifers, while many calanoids and the large cladoceran predators (Bythotrephes and Leptodora that are common in the nearby Lake Maggiore, were still absent from Lake Orta 17 years after liming. To aid understanding of the large-scale mechanisms controlling changes in annual richness, we assessed the annual persistence (P of Crustacea and Rotifera taxa as an estimator of whether propagules that survived introduction, as result of the natural recolonization process, also thrived. We found that the rate of introduction of zooplankton colonists and their persistence in the water column of Lake Orta changed from 1971 to 2007. New rotifer taxa appeared in the lake after the mid-1980s, when discharge of toxic substances decreased, but their annual persistence was low (P<0.5 until the turn of the century. The numerical values of rotifer and crustacean persistence in Lake Orta were unexpectedly high in 2001 and 2007 (0.55 and 0.72 for rotifers, 0.85 and 0.86 for crustacean, respectively, much higher than in limed lakes in Sudbury, Canada, and in adjacent Lake Maggiore. We hypothesize this could be related to the lack of Cladoceran predators and zooplanktivorous fish in the pelagic waters of Lake Orta.

  7. The behavior of the planetary rings under the Kozai Mechanism (United States)

    Sucerquia, M. A.; Ramírez, C. V.; Zuluaga, J. I.


    Rings are one of the main feature of almost all giant planets in the Solar System. Even though thousands of exoplanets have been discovered to date, no evidence of exoplanetary rings have been found despite the effort made in the development and enhancing of techniques and methods for direct or indirect detection. In the transit of a ringed planet, the dynamic of the ring itself could play a meaningful role due to the so called Kozai Mechanism (KM) acting on each particle of it. When some specific initial conditions of the ring are fulfilled (as a ring inclination greater than ˜ 39°), KM generates short periodic changes in the inclination and eccentricity of each particle, leading to a meaningful characteristic collective behavior of the ring: it changes its width, inclination and optical depth. These changes induce periodic variations on the eclipsed area of the parent star, generating slight changes in the observed transit signal. Under this mechanism, light curves depths and shapes oscillate according to the fluctuations of the ring. To show this effect we have performed numerical simulations of the dynamic of a system of particles to asses the ring inclination and width variations over time. We have calculated the expected variations in the transit depth and finally, we have estimated the effect on the light curve of a hypothetical ringed exoplanet affected by the KM. The detection of this effect could be used as an alternative method to detect/confirm exoplanetary rings, and also it could be considered as a way to explain anomalous light curves patterns of exoplanets, as the case of KIC 8462852 star.

  8. Neural Mechanisms Underlying Hyperphagia in Prader-Willi Syndrome (United States)

    Holsen, Laura M.; Zarcone, Jennifer R.; Brooks, William M.; Butler, Merlin G.; Thompson, Travis I.; Ahluwalia, Jasjit S.; Nollen, Nicole L.; Savage, Cary R.


    Objective Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a genetic disorder associated with developmental delay, obesity, and obsessive behavior related to food consumption. The most striking symptom of PWS is hyperphagia; as such, PWS may provide important insights into factors leading to overeating and obesity in the general population. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the neural mechanisms underlying responses to visual food stimuli, before and after eating, in individuals with PWS and a healthy weight control (HWC) group. Research Methods and Procedures Participants were scanned once before (pre-meal) and once after (post-meal) eating a standardized meal. Pictures of food, animals, and blurred control images were presented in a block design format during acquisition of functional magnetic resonance imaging data. Results Statistical contrasts in the HWC group showed greater activation to food pictures in the pre-meal condition compared with the post-meal condition in the amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex (medial PFC), and frontal operculum. In comparison, the PWS group exhibited greater activation to food pictures in the post-meal condition compared with the pre-meal condition in the orbitofrontal cortex, medial PFC, insula, hippocampus, and parahippocampal gyrus. Between-group contrasts in the pre- and post-meal conditions confirmed group differences, with the PWS group showing greater activation than the HWC group after the meal in food motivation networks. Discussion Results point to distinct neural mechanisms associated with hyperphagia in PWS. After eating a meal, the PWS group showed hyperfunction in limbic and para-limbic regions that drive eating behavior (e.g., the amygdala) and in regions that suppress food intake (e.g., the medial PFC). PMID:16861608

  9. Neural mechanisms underlying hyperphagia in Prader-Willi syndrome. (United States)

    Holsen, Laura M; Zarcone, Jennifer R; Brooks, William M; Butler, Merlin G; Thompson, Travis I; Ahluwalia, Jasjit S; Nollen, Nicole L; Savage, Cary R


    Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a genetic disorder associated with developmental delay, obesity, and obsessive behavior related to food consumption. The most striking symptom of PWS is hyperphagia; as such, PWS may provide important insights into factors leading to overeating and obesity in the general population. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the neural mechanisms underlying responses to visual food stimuli, before and after eating, in individuals with PWS and a healthy weight control (HWC) group. Participants were scanned once before (pre-meal) and once after (post-meal) eating a standardized meal. Pictures of food, animals, and blurred control images were presented in a block design format during acquisition of functional magnetic resonance imaging data. Statistical contrasts in the HWC group showed greater activation to food pictures in the pre-meal condition compared with the post-meal condition in the amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex (medial PFC), and frontal operculum. In comparison, the PWS group exhibited greater activation to food pictures in the post-meal condition compared with the pre-meal condition in the orbitofrontal cortex, medial PFC, insula, hippocampus, and parahippocampal gyrus. Between-group contrasts in the pre- and post-meal conditions confirmed group differences, with the PWS group showing greater activation than the HWC group after the meal in food motivation networks. Results point to distinct neural mechanisms associated with hyperphagia in PWS. After eating a meal, the PWS group showed hyperfunction in limbic and paralimbic regions that drive eating behavior (e.g., the amygdala) and in regions that suppress food intake (e.g., the medial PFC).

  10. Mechanisms Underlying HIV-Associated Noninfectious Lung Disease. (United States)

    Presti, Rachel M; Flores, Sonia C; Palmer, Brent E; Atkinson, Jeffrey J; Lesko, Catherine R; Lau, Bryan; Fontenot, Andrew P; Roman, Jesse; McDyer, John F; Twigg, Homer L


    Pulmonary disease remains a primary source of morbidity and mortality in persons living with HIV (PLWH), although the advent of potent combination antiretroviral therapy has resulted in a shift from predominantly infectious to noninfectious pulmonary complications. PLWH are at high risk for COPD, pulmonary hypertension, and lung cancer even in the era of combination antiretroviral therapy. The underlying mechanisms of this are incompletely understood, but recent research in both human and animal models suggests that oxidative stress, expression of matrix metalloproteinases, and genetic instability may result in lung damage, which predisposes PLWH to these conditions. Some of the factors that drive these processes include tobacco and other substance use, direct HIV infection and expression of specific HIV proteins, inflammation, and shifts in the microbiome toward pathogenic and opportunistic organisms. Further studies are needed to understand the relative importance of these factors to the development of lung disease in PLWH. Copyright © 2017 American College of Chest Physicians. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. [Neurophysiologic mechanisms of arterial hypertension under experimental chronic emotional stress]. (United States)

    Baumann, H; Martin, G; Urmantscheeva, T G; Degen, G; Wolter, F; Chasabova, W A; Gurk, C; Hinays, I; Läuter, J


    Neurophysiological studies were conducted with subhuman primates (macaca mulatta) in order to obtain an estimate of central nervous effects of socio-emotional stress. This was combined with continuously aggravated conditioning procedures in view of the possible significance of chronic environmental stress escalation for etiology and pathogenesis of an arterial hypertension model. Our conclusions are based on evoked potentials (EP) as integrative characteristics of cerebral information processing. The EPs were recorded by means of electrodes chronically implanted in brain structures of emotional and cardio-vascular relevance. Multivariate mathematico-statistical analyses of average EPs (AEP) provide an objective measure of stress sensibility of the individual, particularly of the effects of acute and chronic environmental stress factors upon the functional organization of the CNS. By means of a quantitative approach to AEP we were able to demonstrate a disjunction between distinct limbic and hypothalamic structures starting under stress conditions of subchronic character. We assume that the constancy of functionally antagonistic hyperactive excitation foci at diencephalic and supradiencephalic levels and their specific interaction with the equally stress related neocortical functional insufficiency constitutes a decisive pathogenetic central mechanism of neurotic behaviour. Long-term changes of amplification of external and internal afferences could be demonstrated on the basis of hypo- and hyperreactive neuroelectric functional patterns. These processes cause cerebro-visceral regulatory diseases as, e. g., a primary arterial hypertension by restriction of neocortical control and the corresponding efferent reactions for re-establishment of the dynamic homeostasis.

  12. Deciphering Molecular Mechanism Underlying Hypolipidemic Activity of Echinocystic Acid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Han


    Full Text Available Our previous study showed that a triterpene mixture, consisting of echinocystic acid (EA and oleanolic acid (OA at a ratio of 4 : 1, dose-dependently ameliorated the hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis in rabbits fed with high fat/high cholesterol diets. This study was aimed at exploring the mechanisms underlying antihyperlipidemic effect of EA. Molecular docking simulation of EA was performed using Molegro Virtual Docker (version: 4.3.0 to investigate the potential targets related to lipid metabolism. Based on the molecular docking information, isotope labeling method or spectrophotometry was applied to examine the effect of EA on the activity of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA reductase, acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT, and diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT in rat liver microsomes. Our results revealed a strong affinity of EA towards ACAT and DGAT in molecular docking analysis, while low binding affinity existed between EA and HMG-CoA reductase as well as between EA and cholesteryl ester transfer protein. Consistent with the results of molecular docking, in vitro enzyme activity assays showed that EA inhibited ACAT and DGAT, with IC50 values of 103 and 139 μM, respectively, and exhibited no significant effect on HMG-CoA reductase activity. The present findings suggest that EA may exert hypolipidemic effect by inhibiting the activity of ACAT and DGAT.

  13. Molecular mechanisms underlying phosphate sensing, signaling, and adaptation in plants. (United States)

    Zhang, Zhaoliang; Liao, Hong; Lucas, William J


    As an essential plant macronutrient, the low availability of phosphorus (P) in most soils imposes serious limitation on crop production. Plants have evolved complex responsive and adaptive mechanisms for acquisition, remobilization and recycling of phosphate (Pi) to maintain P homeostasis. Spatio-temporal molecular, physiological, and biochemical Pi deficiency responses developed by plants are the consequence of local and systemic sensing and signaling pathways. Pi deficiency is sensed locally by the root system where hormones serve as important signaling components in terms of developmental reprogramming, leading to changes in root system architecture. Root-to-shoot and shoot-to-root signals, delivered through the xylem and phloem, respectively, involving Pi itself, hormones, miRNAs, mRNAs, and sucrose, serve to coordinate Pi deficiency responses at the whole-plant level. A combination of chromatin remodeling, transcriptional and posttranslational events contribute to globally regulating a wide range of Pi deficiency responses. In this review, recent advances are evaluated in terms of progress toward developing a comprehensive understanding of the molecular events underlying control over P homeostasis. Application of this knowledge, in terms of developing crop plants having enhanced attributes for P use efficiency, is discussed from the perspective of agricultural sustainability in the face of diminishing global P supplies. © 2014 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  14. Fatigue life prediction of mechanical structures under stochastic loading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leitner Bohuš


    Full Text Available Problems of fatigue life prediction of materials and structures are discussed in the paper. Service loading is assumed as a continuous loading process with possible discontinuous events, which are caused by various operating conditions. The damage in a material is due to a cumulative degradation process. The damaging process is then represented either by rain-flow matrices or by a fatigue damage function which is derived using some hypothesis of a fatigue failure criterion. Presented theoretical procedure enables a very effective estimation of a service life and/or reliable evaluation of residual life of any structures under various types of loading and environmental conditions. This approach creates a good basis for powerful expert systems in structural and mechanical engineering. The aim of the paper is to present briefly some results of analysis of load-bearing steel structure loads of special railway crane PKP 25/20i which was utilized in some specific ad relatively hard operating conditions. Virtual models of the structure were being used in an analysis of acting working dynamics loads influence to be able to forecast fatigue life of load-bearing of the crane jib.

  15. Neural mechanisms underlying the induction and relief of perceptual curiosity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marieke eJepma


    Full Text Available Curiosity is one of the most basic biological drives in both animals and humans, and has been identified as a key motive for learning and discovery. Despite the importance of curiosity and related behaviors, the topic has been largely neglected in human neuroscience; hence little is known about the neurobiological mechanisms underlying curiosity. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to investigate what happens in our brain during the induction and subsequent relief of perceptual curiosity. Our core findings were that (i the induction of perceptual curiosity, through the presentation of ambiguous visual input, activated the anterior insula and anterior cingulate cortex, brain regions sensitive to conflict and arousal; (ii the relief of perceptual curiosity, through visual disambiguation, activated regions of the striatum that have been related to reward processing; and (iii the relief of perceptual curiosity was associated with hippocampal activation and enhanced incidental memory. These findings provide the first demonstration of the neural basis of human perceptual curiosity. Our results provide neurobiological support for a classic psychological theory of curiosity, which holds that curiosity is an aversive condition of increased arousal whose termination is rewarding and facilitates memory.

  16. Spread of Epidemic on Complex Networks Under Voluntary Vaccination Mechanism (United States)

    Xue, Shengjun; Ruan, Feng; Yin, Chuanyang; Zhang, Haifeng; Wang, Binghong

    Under the assumption that the decision of vaccination is a voluntary behavior, in this paper, we use two forms of risk functions to characterize how susceptible individuals estimate the perceived risk of infection. One is uniform case, where each susceptible individual estimates the perceived risk of infection only based on the density of infection at each time step, so the risk function is only a function of the density of infection; another is preferential case, where each susceptible individual estimates the perceived risk of infection not only based on the density of infection but only related to its own activities/immediate neighbors (in network terminology, the activity or the number of immediate neighbors is the degree of node), so the risk function is a function of the density of infection and the degree of individuals. By investigating two different ways of estimating the risk of infection for susceptible individuals on complex network, we find that, for the preferential case, the spread of epidemic can be effectively controlled; yet, for the uniform case, voluntary vaccination mechanism is almost invalid in controlling the spread of epidemic on networks. Furthermore, given the temporality of some vaccines, the waves of epidemic for two cases are also different. Therefore, our work insight that the way of estimating the perceived risk of infection determines the decision on vaccination options, and then determines the success or failure of control strategy.

  17. Mechanisms underlying the antihypertensive effects of garlic bioactives. (United States)

    Shouk, Reem; Abdou, Aya; Shetty, Kalidas; Sarkar, Dipayan; Eid, Ali H


    Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide with hypertension being a major contributing factor to cardiovascular disease-associated mortality. On a population level, non-pharmacological approaches, such as alternative/complementary medicine, including phytochemicals, have the potential to ameliorate cardiovascular risk factors, including high blood pressure. Several epidemiological studies suggest an antihypertensive effect of garlic (Allium sativum) and of many its bioactive components. The aim of this review is to present an in-depth discussion regarding the molecular, biochemical and cellular rationale underlying the antihypertensive properties of garlic and its bioactive constituents with a primary focus on S-allyl cysteine and allicin. Key studies, largely from PubMed, were selected and screened to develop a comprehensive understanding of the specific role of garlic and its bioactive constituents in the management of hypertension. We also reviewed recent advances focusing on the role of garlic bioactives, S-allyl cysteine and allicin, in modulating various parameters implicated in the pathogenesis of hypertension. These parameters include oxidative stress, nitric oxide bioavailability, hydrogen sulfide production, angiotensin converting enzyme activity, expression of nuclear factor-κB and the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells. This review suggests that garlic and garlic derived bioactives have significant medicinal properties with the potential for ameliorating hypertension and associated morbidity; however, further clinical and epidemiological studies are required to determine completely the specific physiological and biochemical mechanisms involved in disease prevention and management. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Endothelial cell oxidative stress and signal transduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Endothelial dysfunction (ED is an early event in atherosclerotic disease, preceding clinical manifestations and complications. Increased reactive oxygen species (ROS have been implicated as important mechanisms that contribute to ED, and ROS’s may function as intracellular messengers that modulate signaling pathways. Several intracellular signal events stimulated by ROS have been defined, including the identification of two members of the mitogen activated protein kinase family (ERK1/2 and big MAP kinase, BMK1, tyrosine kinases (Src and Syk and different isoenzymes of PKC as redox-sensitive kinases. ROS regulation of signal transduction components include the modification in the activity of transcriptional factors such as NFkB and others that result in changes in gene expression and modifications in cellular responses. In order to understand the intracellular mechanisms induced by ROS in endothelial cells (EC, we are studying the response of human umbilical cord vein endothelial cells to increased ROS generation by different pro-atherogenic stimuli. Our results show that Homocysteine (Hcy and oxidized LDL (oxLDL enhance the activity and expression of oxidative stress markers, such as NFkB and heme oxygenase 1. These results suggest that these pro-atherogenic stimuli increase oxidative stress in EC, and thus explain the loss of endothelial function associated with the atherogenic process

  19. Tuning piezoresistive transduction in nanomechanical resonators by geometrical asymmetries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Llobet, J.; Sansa, M.; Lorenzoni, M.; Pérez-Murano, F., E-mail: [Institut de Microelectrònica de Barcelona (IMB-CNM CSIC), Campus UAB, 08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Borrisé, X. [Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2), Campus UAB, 08193 Bellaterra Spain (Spain); San Paulo, A. [Instituto de Microelectrónica de Madrid (IMM-CSIC), 28760 Tres Cantos, Madrid (Spain)


    The effect of geometrical asymmetries on the piezoresistive transduction in suspended double clamped beam nanomechanical resonators is investigated. Tapered silicon nano-beams, fabricated using a fast and flexible prototyping method, are employed to determine how the asymmetry affects the transduced piezoresistive signal for different mechanical resonant modes. This effect is attributed to the modulation of the strain in pre-strained double clamped beams, and it is confirmed by means of finite element simulations.

  20. Signal Transduction in Histidine Kinases: Insights from New Structures


    Bhate, Manasi P.; Molnar, Kathleen S.; Goulian, Mark; DeGrado, William F.


    Histidine kinases (HKs) are major players in bacterial signaling. There has been an explosion of new HK crystal structures in the last five years. We globally analyze the structures of HKs to yield insights into the mechanisms by which signals are transmitted to and across protein structures in this family. We interpret known enzymological data in the context of new structural data to show how asymmetry across the dimer interface is a key feature of signal transduction in HKs, and discuss how...

  1. Mechanism of crack initiation and crack growth under thermal and mechanical fatigue loading

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Utz, S.; Soppa, E.; Silcher, H.; Kohler, C.


    The present contribution is focused on the experimental investigations and numerical simulations of the deformation behaviour and crack development in the austenitic stainless steel X6CrNiNb18-10 under thermal and mechanical cyclic loading in HCF and LCF regimes. The main objective of this research is the understanding of the basic mechanisms of fatigue damage and the development of simulation methods, which can be applied further in safety evaluations of nuclear power plant components. In this context the modelling of crack initiation and crack growth inside the material structure induced by varying thermal or mechanical loads are of particular interest. The mechanisms of crack initiation depend among other things on the type of loading, microstructure, material properties and temperature. The Nb-stabilized austenitic stainless steel in the solution-annealed condition was chosen for the investigations. Experiments with two kinds of cyclic loading - pure thermal and pure mechanical - were carried out and simulated. The fatigue behaviour of the steel X6CrNiNb18-10 under thermal loading was studied within the framework of the joint research project [4]. Interrupted thermal cyclic tests in the temperature range of 150 C to 300 C combined with non-destructive residual stress measurements (XRD) and various microscopic investigations, e.g. in SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope), were used to study the effects of thermal cyclic loading on the material. This thermal cyclic loading leads to thermal induced stresses and strains. As a result intrusions and extrusions appear inside the grains (at the surface), at which microcracks arise and evolve to a dominant crack. Finally, these microcracks cause a continuous and significant decrease of residual stresses. The fatigue behaviour of the steel X6CrNiNb18-10 under mechanical loading at room temperature was studied within the framework of the research project [5], [8]. With a combination of interrupted LCF tests and EBSD

  2. Mechanism of crack initiation and crack growth under thermal and mechanical fatigue loading

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Utz, S.; Soppa, E.; Silcher, H.; Kohler, C. [Stuttgart Univ. (Germany). Materials Testing Inst.


    The present contribution is focused on the experimental investigations and numerical simulations of the deformation behaviour and crack development in the austenitic stainless steel X6CrNiNb18-10 under thermal and mechanical cyclic loading in HCF and LCF regimes. The main objective of this research is the understanding of the basic mechanisms of fatigue damage and the development of simulation methods, which can be applied further in safety evaluations of nuclear power plant components. In this context the modelling of crack initiation and crack growth inside the material structure induced by varying thermal or mechanical loads are of particular interest. The mechanisms of crack initiation depend among other things on the type of loading, microstructure, material properties and temperature. The Nb-stabilized austenitic stainless steel in the solution-annealed condition was chosen for the investigations. Experiments with two kinds of cyclic loading - pure thermal and pure mechanical - were carried out and simulated. The fatigue behaviour of the steel X6CrNiNb18-10 under thermal loading was studied within the framework of the joint research project [4]. Interrupted thermal cyclic tests in the temperature range of 150 C to 300 C combined with non-destructive residual stress measurements (XRD) and various microscopic investigations, e.g. in SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope), were used to study the effects of thermal cyclic loading on the material. This thermal cyclic loading leads to thermal induced stresses and strains. As a result intrusions and extrusions appear inside the grains (at the surface), at which microcracks arise and evolve to a dominant crack. Finally, these microcracks cause a continuous and significant decrease of residual stresses. The fatigue behaviour of the steel X6CrNiNb18-10 under mechanical loading at room temperature was studied within the framework of the research project [5], [8]. With a combination of interrupted LCF tests and EBSD

  3. Mechanisms underlying the antihypertensive properties of Urtica dioica. (United States)

    Qayyum, Rahila; Qamar, Hafiz Misbah-Ud-Din; Khan, Shamim; Salma, Umme; Khan, Taous; Shah, Abdul Jabbar


    Urtica dioica has traditionally been used in the management of cardiovascular disorders especially hypertension. The aim of this study was to explore pharmacological base of its use in hypertension. Crude methanolic extract of U. dioica (Ud.Cr) and its fractions (Ud.EtAc, Ud.nHex, Ud.Chl and Ud.Aq) were tested in vivo on normotensive and hypertensive rats under anesthesia for blood pressure lowering effect. In-vitro experiments on rat and rabbit aortae were employed to probe the vasorelaxation mechanism(s). The responses were measured using pressure and force transducers connected to PowerLab Data Acquisition System. Ud.Cr and fractions were found more effective antihypertensive in hypertensive rats than normotensive with remarkable potency exhibited by the ethyl acetate fraction. The effect was same in the presence of atropine. In isolated rat aortic rings, Ud.Cr and all its fractions exhibited L-NAME sensitive endothelium-dependent vasodilator effect and also inhibit K(+) (80 mM)-induced pre-contractions. In isolated rabbit thoracic aortic rings Ud.Cr and its fractions induced relaxation with more potency against K(+) (80 mM) than phenylephrine (1 µM) like verapamil, showing Ud.EtAc fraction the most potent one. Pre-incubation of aortic rings with Ud.Cr and its fractions exhibited Ca(2+) channel blocking activity comparable with verapamil by shifting Ca(2+) concentration response curves to the right. Ud.Cr and its fractions also ablated the intracellular Ca(2+) release by suppressing PE peak formation in Ca(2+) free medium. When tested on basal tension, the crude extract and all fractions were devoid of any vasoconstrictor effect. These data indicate that crude methanolic extract and its fractions possess antihypertensive effect. Identification of NO-mediated vasorelaxation and calcium channel blocking effects explain the antihypertensive potential of U. dioica and provide a potential pharmacological base to its medicinal use in the management of hypertension.

  4. Antioxidant Property of Jobelyn as the Possible Mechanism Underlying

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Solomon Umukoro


    Full Text Available   Introduction: Amnesia or loss of memory is the cardinal hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder associated with ageing process. Although, AD had been discovered over a century ago, drugs which could cure or halt the progression of the disease are yet to see the light of the day. However, there has been a growing interest in the use of phytomedicines with multipronged mechanisms of action that could target various aspects of the pathologies of AD. Jobelyn (JB is a potent antioxidant African polyherbal formulation with active components that have been acclaimed to show neuroprotection. T his investigation was carried out to evaluate whether JB has anti-amnesic and antioxidant activities.   Methods: The alteration of alternation behavior in the Y-maze paradigm was utilized as the test for memory function in mice. The effect of JB on a cetylcholinesterase (AChE activity, malondialdehyde (MDA level and the concentrations of glutathione (GSH in the frontal cortex and hippocampus were assessed in rats as means of providing insight into the mechanism underlying its anti-amnesic activity. The animals were given JB (1, 2.5 or 5mg/kg, i.p. daily for 7 days before the biochemical assays or test for memory functions were carried out.   Results: JB was found to produce a significant increase in the level of alternation behavior compared with the control, suggesting anti-amnesic activity. Also, JB reversed the memory impairment induced by scopolamine, which further indicates anti-amnesic property. Furthermore, JB demonstrated a significant inhibition of MDA formation in the frontal cortex and hippocampus of rats, indicating antioxidant property. In addition, it increased the defense armory of the brain tissues, as it significantly increased the concentrations of GSH in the frontal cortex and hippocampus of rats. However, JB did not demonstrate any inhibitory effect against AChE activity in the frontal cortex and

  5. Bronchopulmonary dysplasia: understanding of the underlying pathological mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Fanni


    better understanding of the underlying pathological mechanisms of BPD might provide insight into development of new therapeutic and preventive strategies.  Proceedings of the International Course on Perinatal Pathology (part of the 10th International Workshop on Neonatology · October 22nd-25th, 2014 · Cagliari (Italy · October 25th, 2014 · The role of the clinical pathological dialogue in problem solving Guest Editors: Gavino Faa, Vassilios Fanos, Peter Van Eyken

  6. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying β-Adrenergic Receptor-Mediated Cross-Talk between Sympathetic Neurons and Immune Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dianne Lorton


    Full Text Available Cross-talk between the sympathetic nervous system (SNS and immune system is vital for health and well-being. Infection, tissue injury and inflammation raise firing rates of sympathetic nerves, increasing their release of norepinephrine (NE in lymphoid organs and tissues. NE stimulation of β2-adrenergic receptors (ARs in immune cells activates the cAMP-protein kinase A (PKA intracellular signaling pathway, a pathway that interfaces with other signaling pathways that regulate proliferation, differentiation, maturation and effector functions in immune cells. Immune–SNS cross-talk is required to maintain homeostasis under normal conditions, to develop an immune response of appropriate magnitude after injury or immune challenge, and subsequently restore homeostasis. Typically, β2-AR-induced cAMP is immunosuppressive. However, many studies report actions of β2-AR stimulation in immune cells that are inconsistent with typical cAMP–PKA signal transduction. Research during the last decade in non-immune organs, has unveiled novel alternative signaling mechanisms induced by β2-AR activation, such as a signaling switch from cAMP–PKA to mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK pathways. If alternative signaling occurs in immune cells, it may explain inconsistent findings of sympathetic regulation of immune function. Here, we review β2-AR signaling, assess the available evidence for alternative signaling in immune cells, and provide insight into the circumstances necessary for “signal switching” in immune cells.

  7. Dynamic disorder and the energetic costs of information transduction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thill, Peter


    We study a model of dynamic disorder relevant for signal transduction pathways in which enzymatic reaction rates fluctuate over several orders of magnitude. For the simple networks we consider, dynamic disorder drives the system far from equilibrium and imposes an energetic burden for high fidelity signaling capability. We study how the dynamics of the underlying stochastic behavior in the reaction rate process is related to the energetic cost of transmitting information through the network

  8. Alteration mechanisms of UOX spent fuel under water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Muzeau, B.


    The mechanisms of spent fuel alteration in aqueous media need to be understood on the assumption of a direct disposal of the assemblies in a geological formation or for long duration storage in pool. This work is a contribution to the study of the effects of the alpha and/or beta/gamma radiolysis of water on the oxidation and the dissolution of the UO 2 matrix of UOX spent fuel. The effects of the alpha radiolysis, predominant in geological disposal conditions, were quantified by using samples of UO 2 doped with plutonium. The leaching experiments highlighted two types of control for the matrix alteration according to the alpha activity. The first is based on the radiolytic oxidation of the surface and leads to a continuous release of uranium in solution whereas the second is based on a control by the solubility of uranium. An activity threshold, between 18 MBq.g -1 and 33 MBq.g -1 , was defined in a carbonated water. The value of this threshold is dependent on the experimental conditions and the presence or not of electro-active species such as hydrogen in the system. The effects of the alpha/beta/gamma radiolysis in relation with the storage conditions were also quantified. The experimental data obtained on spent fuel indicate that the alteration rate of the matrix based on the behaviour of tracer elements (caesium and strontium) reached a maximum value of some mg.m -2 .d -1 , even under very oxidizing conditions. The solubility of uranium and the nature of the secondary phases depend however on the extent of the oxidizing conditions. (author)

  9. Unraveling the Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Nasopharyngeal Bacterial Community Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wouter A. A. de Steenhuijsen Piters


    Full Text Available The upper respiratory tract is colonized by a diverse array of commensal bacteria that harbor potential pathogens, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae. As long as the local microbial ecosystem—also called “microbiome”—is in balance, these potentially pathogenic bacterial residents cause no harm to the host. However, similar to macrobiological ecosystems, when the bacterial community structure gets perturbed, potential pathogens can overtake the niche and cause mild to severe infections. Recent studies using next-generation sequencing show that S. pneumoniae, as well as other potential pathogens, might be kept at bay by certain commensal bacteria, including Corynebacterium and Dolosigranulum spp. Bomar and colleagues are the first to explore a specific biological mechanism contributing to the antagonistic interaction between Corynebacterium accolens and S. pneumoniae in vitro [L. Bomar, S. D. Brugger, B. H. Yost, S. S. Davies, K. P. Lemon, mBio 7(1:e01725-15, 2016, doi:10.1128/mBio.01725-15]. The authors comprehensively show that C. accolens is capable of hydrolyzing host triacylglycerols into free fatty acids, which display antipneumococcal properties, suggesting that these bacteria might contribute to the containment of pneumococcus. This work exemplifies how molecular epidemiological findings can lay the foundation for mechanistic studies to elucidate the host-microbe and microbial interspecies interactions underlying the bacterial community structure. Next, translation of these results to an in vivo setting seems necessary to unveil the magnitude and importance of the observed effect in its natural, polymicrobial setting.

  10. Cognitive mechanisms underlying instructed choice exploration of small city maps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofia eSakellaridi


    Full Text Available We investigated the cognitive mechanisms underlying the exploration and decision-making in realistic and novel environments. Twelve human subjects were shown small circular U.S. city maps with two locations highlighted on the circumference, as possible choices for a post office (targets. At the beginning of a trial, subjects fixated a spot at the center of the map and ultimately chose one of the two locations. A space syntax analysis of the map paths (from the center to each target revealed that the chosen location was associated with the less convoluted path, as if subjects navigated mentally the paths in an ant’s way, i.e. by staying within street boundaries, and ultimately choosing the target that could be reached from the center in the shortest way, and the fewest turns and intersections. The subjects’ strategy for map exploration and decision making was investigated by monitoring eye position during the task. This revealed a restricted exploration of the map delimited by the location of the two alternative options and the center of the map. Specifically, subjects explored the areas around the two target options by repeatedly looking at them before deciding which one to choose, presumably implementing an evaluation and decision-making process. The ultimate selection of a specific target was significantly associated with the time spent exploring the area around that target. Finally, an analysis of the sequence of eye fixations revealed that subjects tended to look systematically towards the target ultimately chosen even from the beginning of the trial. This finding indicates an early cognitive selection bias for the ensuing decision process.

  11. Plant-insect interactions under bacterial influence: ecological implications and underlying mechanisms. (United States)

    Sugio, Akiko; Dubreuil, Géraldine; Giron, David; Simon, Jean-Christophe


    Plants and insects have been co-existing for more than 400 million years, leading to intimate and complex relationships. Throughout their own evolutionary history, plants and insects have also established intricate and very diverse relationships with microbial associates. Studies in recent years have revealed plant- or insect-associated microbes to be instrumental in plant-insect interactions, with important implications for plant defences and plant utilization by insects. Microbial communities associated with plants are rich in diversity, and their structure greatly differs between below- and above-ground levels. Microbial communities associated with insect herbivores generally present a lower diversity and can reside in different body parts of their hosts including bacteriocytes, haemolymph, gut, and salivary glands. Acquisition of microbial communities by vertical or horizontal transmission and possible genetic exchanges through lateral transfer could strongly impact on the host insect or plant fitness by conferring adaptations to new habitats. Recent developments in sequencing technologies and molecular tools have dramatically enhanced opportunities to characterize the microbial diversity associated with plants and insects and have unveiled some of the mechanisms by which symbionts modulate plant-insect interactions. Here, we focus on the diversity and ecological consequences of bacterial communities associated with plants and herbivorous insects. We also highlight the known mechanisms by which these microbes interfere with plant-insect interactions. Revealing such mechanisms in model systems under controlled environments but also in more natural ecological settings will help us to understand the evolution of complex multitrophic interactions in which plants, herbivorous insects, and micro-organisms are inserted. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions

  12. Protein Transduction Based Therapies for Breast Cancer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Robbins, Paul D


    We have demonstrated that certain transduction peptides such as 12 lysines and 12 arginines can facilitateinternalization into breast tumor lines with higher efficiency than smaller polymers of cationic amino acids...

  13. Capacitive axial position and speed transduction system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jimenez D, H.; Flores Ll, H.; Cabral P, A.; Ramirez J, F.J.; Galindo, S.


    A new and inexpensive circuit arrangement of a capacitive axial position and speed transduction system is described. Design details and the theory of operation of the device are briefly outlined together with performance results. (author)

  14. Protein Transduction Based Therapies for Breast Cancer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Robbins, Paul D


    We have demonstrated that certain transduction peptides such as 12 lysines and 12 arginines can facilitate internalization into breast tumor lines with higher efficiency than smaller polymers of cationic amino acids...

  15. Protein Transduction Based Therapies for Breast Cancer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Robbins, Paul D


    We have demonstrated that certain transduction peptides such as 12 lysines and 12 arginines can facilitate internalization into breast tumor lines with higher efficiency than smaller polymers of cationic amino acids...

  16. Molecular Mechanics: The Method and Its Underlying Philosophy. (United States)

    Boyd, Donald B.; Lipkowitz, Kenny B.


    Molecular mechanics is a nonquantum mechanical method for solving problems concerning molecular geometries and energy. Methodology based on: the principle of combining potential energy functions of all structural features of a particular molecule into a total force field; derivation of basic equations; and use of available computer programs is…

  17. Potential Mechanisms Underlying Centralized Pain and Emerging Therapeutic Interventions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivia C. Eller-Smith


    Full Text Available Centralized pain syndromes are associated with changes within the central nervous system that amplify peripheral input and/or generate the perception of pain in the absence of a noxious stimulus. Examples of idiopathic functional disorders that are often categorized as centralized pain syndromes include fibromyalgia, chronic pelvic pain syndromes, migraine, and temporomandibular disorder. Patients often suffer from widespread pain, associated with more than one specific syndrome, and report fatigue, mood and sleep disturbances, and poor quality of life. The high degree of symptom comorbidity and a lack of definitive underlying etiology make these syndromes notoriously difficult to treat. The main purpose of this review article is to discuss potential mechanisms of centrally-driven pain amplification and how they may contribute to increased comorbidity, poorer pain outcomes, and decreased quality of life in patients diagnosed with centralized pain syndromes, as well as discuss emerging non-pharmacological therapies that improve symptomology associated with these syndromes. Abnormal regulation and output of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA axis is commonly associated with centralized pain disorders. The HPA axis is the primary stress response system and its activation results in downstream production of cortisol and a dampening of the immune response. Patients with centralized pain syndromes often present with hyper- or hypocortisolism and evidence of altered downstream signaling from the HPA axis including increased Mast cell (MC infiltration and activation, which can lead to sensitization of nearby nociceptive afferents. Increased peripheral input via nociceptor activation can lead to “hyperalgesic priming” and/or “wind-up” and eventually to central sensitization through long term potentiation in the central nervous system. Other evidence of central modifications has been observed through brain imaging studies of functional

  18. [Study on main pharmacodynamics and underlying mechanisms of 999 Ganmaoling]. (United States)

    Xu, Qi-Hua; He, Rong; Peng, Bo; Ye, Zu-Guang; Li, Jian-Rong; Zhang, Yue-Fei; Dai, Zhi


    To observe synergistic effects of 999 Ganmaoling (GML) and its Chinese/Western materia medica (CMM and WMM) on pharmacodynamic action and to study underlying mechanisms, their anti-inflammatory, antipyretic effects were compared by assaying the increased capillary permeability induced by glacial acetic acid in mice, ear swelling induced by Xylene in mice, non-specific pleurisy induced by carrageenan in rats, and yeast induced fever in rats. Crystal violet (CV) and microbial activity (XTT) assay were used to evaluate the inhibition of GML and its CMM and WMM on KPN biofilm formation, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was applied for observing KPN biofilm morphology changes. The results showed that compared with control group, GML could reduce exudation amount of Evans-Blue and the degree of Ear swelling significantly, and CMM and WMM have no significant effects. The concentration of TNF-α and IL-1β of rat pleural effusion in GML, CMM and WMM group decreased significantly. The concentration of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-8 in GML group, TNF-α, IL-8 in WMM group and IL-8 in CMM in rats serum decreased significantly. The body temperature in rats decreased significantly in GML and WMM group after 4-8 h of administration. CMM group showed no significant difference in rat body temperature compare with control. Compared with control group, GML (55-13.75 g•L⁻¹) could inhibit KPN biofilm formation and reduce number of viable cells in the KPN biofilm. CMM (45-22.5 g•L⁻¹) and WMM (10 g•L⁻¹) could also inhibit KPN biofilm formation and reduce number of viable cells (P<0.01). Result of SEM also showed that GML (55 g•L⁻¹) and its CMM (45 g•L⁻¹) and WMM (10 g•L⁻¹) could interfere the bacterial arrangement of KPN biofilm and extracellular matrix. GML and its CMM & WMM could inhibit the formation of KPN biofilm, CMM & WMM in GML showed synergism and complementation in inhibit KPN biofilm. Results showed that GML had obvious anti-inflammatory and

  19. Investigation of the charge effect on the electrochemical transduction in a quinone-based DNA sensor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reisberg, S.; Piro, B.; Noel, V.


    To elucidate the mechanism involved in the electrochemical transduction process of a conducting polymer-based DNA sensor, peptide nucleic acids (PNA) were used. PNA are DNA analogues having similar hybridization properties but are neutral. This allows to discriminate the electrostatic effect of D...... strands from the steric hindrance generated on the bioelectrode upon hybridization. It can be concluded that DNA conformational changes are determinant in the transduction process and that the electrostatic effect is negligible....

  20. Mechanisms and pharmacogenetic signals underlying thiazide diuretics blood pressure response. (United States)

    Shahin, Mohamed H; Johnson, Julie A


    Thiazide (TZD) diuretics are among the most commonly prescribed antihypertensives globally; however their chronic blood pressure (BP) lowering mechanism remains unclear. Herein we discuss the current evidence regarding specific mechanisms regulating the antihypertensive effects of TZDs, suggesting that TZDs act via multiple complex and interacting mechanisms, including natriuresis with short term use and direct vasodilatory effects chronically. Additionally, we review pharmacogenomics signals that have been associated with TZDs BP-response in several cohorts (i.e. NEDD4L, PRKCA, EDNRA-GNAS, and YEATS4) and discuss how these genes might be related to TZD BP-response mechanism. Understanding the association between these genes and TZD BP mechanism might facilitate the development of new drugs and therapeutic approaches based on a deeper understanding of the determinants of BP-response. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  1. Mechanical response of collagen molecule under hydrostatic compression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saini, Karanvir; Kumar, Navin


    Proteins like collagen are the basic building blocks of various body tissues (soft and hard). Collagen molecules find their presence in the skeletal system of the body where they bear mechanical loads from different directions, either individually or along with hydroxy-apatite crystals. Therefore, it is very important to understand the mechanical behavior of the collagen molecule which is subjected to multi-axial state of loading. The estimation of strains of collagen molecule along different directions resulting from the changes in hydrostatic pressure magnitude, can provide us new insights into its mechanical behavior. In the present work, full atomistic simulations have been used to study global (volumetric) as well as local (along different directions) mechanical properties of the hydrated collagen molecule which is subjected to different hydrostatic pressure magnitudes. To estimate the local mechanical properties, the strains of collagen molecule along its longitudinal and transverse directions have been acquired at different hydrostatic pressure magnitudes. In spite of non-homogeneous distribution of atoms within the collagen molecule, the calculated values of local mechanical properties have been found to carry the same order of magnitude along the longitudinal and transverse directions. It has been demonstrated that the values of global mechanical properties like compressibility, bulk modulus, etc. as well as local mechanical properties like linear compressibility, linear elastic modulus, etc. are functions of magnitudes of applied hydrostatic pressures. The mechanical characteristics of collagen molecule based on the atomistic model have also been compared with that of the continuum model in the present work. The comparison showed up orthotropic material behavior for the collagen molecule. The information on collagen molecule provided in the present study can be very helpful in designing the future bio-materials.

  2. Mechanical Characterization of Anion Exchange Membranes Under Controlled Environmental Conditions (United States)


    supporting textiles and test the mechanical properties. Even though their films were only 10 microns, the SER fixture was used by applying double stick tape...aramid and stainless steel. The authors conclude that supporting textile has a large impact on mechanical properties due to the difference in...Elongation) are depicted. 2.2 Conductivity Ionic conductivity was measured by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy using a four- electrode in-plane

  3. Features wear nodes mechanization wing aircraft operating under dynamic loads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    А.М. Хімко


    Full Text Available  The conducted researches of titanic alloy ВТ-22 at dynamic loading with cycled sliding and dynamic loading in conditions of rolling with slipping. It is established that roller jamming in the carriage increases wear of rod of mechanization of a wing to twenty times. The optimum covering for strengthening wearied sites and restoration of working surfaces of wing’s mechanization rod is defined.

  4. Synthetic oligorotaxanes exert high forces when folding under mechanical load (United States)

    Sluysmans, Damien; Hubert, Sandrine; Bruns, Carson J.; Zhu, Zhixue; Stoddart, J. Fraser; Duwez, Anne-Sophie


    Folding is a ubiquitous process that nature uses to control the conformations of its molecular machines, allowing them to perform chemical and mechanical tasks. Over the years, chemists have synthesized foldamers that adopt well-defined and stable folded architectures, mimicking the control expressed by natural systems1,2. Mechanically interlocked molecules, such as rotaxanes and catenanes, are prototypical molecular machines that enable the controlled movement and positioning of their component parts3-5. Recently, combining the exquisite complexity of these two classes of molecules, donor-acceptor oligorotaxane foldamers have been synthesized, in which interactions between the mechanically interlocked component parts dictate the single-molecule assembly into a folded secondary structure6-8. Here we report on the mechanochemical properties of these molecules. We use atomic force microscopy-based single-molecule force spectroscopy to mechanically unfold oligorotaxanes, made of oligomeric dumbbells incorporating 1,5-dioxynaphthalene units encircled by cyclobis(paraquat-p-phenylene) rings. Real-time capture of fluctuations between unfolded and folded states reveals that the molecules exert forces of up to 50 pN against a mechanical load of up to 150 pN, and displays transition times of less than 10 μs. While the folding is at least as fast as that observed in proteins, it is remarkably more robust, thanks to the mechanically interlocked structure. Our results show that synthetic oligorotaxanes have the potential to exceed the performance of natural folding proteins.

  5. Sensors and signal transduction pathways in vertebrate cell volume regulation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoffmann, Else K; Pedersen, Stine F


    to the identification of transporter binding partners such as protein kinases and phosphatases, cytoskeletal elements and lipids. Considerable progress has also been made recently in understanding the upstream elements in volume sensing and volume-sensitive signal transduction, and salient features of these systems...... will be discussed. In contrast to the simple pathway of osmosensing in yeast, cells from vertebrate organisms appear to exhibit multiple volume sensing systems, the specific mechanism(s) activated being cell type- and stimulus-dependent. Candidate sensors include integrins and growth factor receptors, while other...

  6. Mechanism and kinetics of mineral weathering under acid conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Anbeek, C.


    This study deals with the relationships between crystal structure, grain diameter, surface morphology and dissolution kinetics for feldspar and quartz under acid conditions.

    Intensively ground samples from large, naturally weathered mineral fragments are frequently used in

  7. Performance of multifilamentary Nb3Sn under mechanical load

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Easton, D.S.; Schwall, R.E.


    The critical current of a commercial multifilamentary Nb 3 Sn conductor has been measured under the application of uniaxial tension at 4.2 K and following bending at room temperature. Significant reductions in J/subc/ are observed under uniaxial loading. Results are presented for a monolithic conductor manufactured by the bronze diffusion technique and for cable conductors formed by the tin-dip technique

  8. Decentralized control mechanism underlying interlimb coordination of millipedes. (United States)

    Kano, Takeshi; Sakai, Kazuhiko; Yasui, Kotaro; Owaki, Dai; Ishiguro, Akio


    Legged animals exhibit adaptive and resilient locomotion through interlimb coordination. The long-term goal of this study is to clarify the relationship between the number of legs and the inherent decentralized control mechanism for interlimb coordination. As a preliminary step, the study focuses on millipedes as they represent the species with the greatest number of legs among various animal species. A decentralized control mechanism involving local force feedback was proposed based on the qualitative findings of behavioural experiments in which responses to the removal of part of the terrain and leg amputation were observed. The proposed mechanism was implemented in a developed millipede-like robot to demonstrate that the robot can adapt to the removal of the part of the terrain and leg amputation in a manner similar to that in behavioural experiments.

  9. Advanced waterflooding in chalk reservoirs: Understanding of underlying mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zahid, Adeel; Sandersen, Sara Bülow; Stenby, Erling Halfdan


    Over the last decade, a number of studies have shown SO42−, Ca2+ and Mg2+ to be potential determining ions, which may be added to the injected brine for improving oil recovery during waterflooding in chalk reservoirs. However the understanding of the mechanism leading to an increase in oil recove...... of a microemulsion phase could be the possible reasons for the observed increase in oil recovery with sulfate ions at high temperature in chalk reservoirs besides the mechanism of the rock wettability alteration, which has been reported in most previous studies.......Over the last decade, a number of studies have shown SO42−, Ca2+ and Mg2+ to be potential determining ions, which may be added to the injected brine for improving oil recovery during waterflooding in chalk reservoirs. However the understanding of the mechanism leading to an increase in oil recovery...

  10. Epigenetic mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of neurogenetic diseases. (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F


    There have been considerable advances in uncovering the complex genetic mechanisms that underlie nervous system disease pathogenesis, particularly with the advent of exome and whole genome sequencing techniques. The emerging field of epigenetics is also providing further insights into these mechanisms. Here, we discuss our understanding of the interplay that exists between genetic and epigenetic mechanisms in these disorders, highlighting the nascent field of epigenetic epidemiology-which focuses on analyzing relationships between the epigenome and environmental exposures, development and aging, other health-related phenotypes, and disease states-and next-generation research tools (i.e., those leveraging synthetic and chemical biology and optogenetics) for examining precisely how epigenetic modifications at specific genomic sites affect disease processes.

  11. Multidrug resistance and retroviral transduction potential in human small cell lung cancer cell lines

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Theilade, M D; Gram, G J; Jensen, P B


    Multidrug resistance (MDR) remains a major problem in the successful treatment of small cell lung cancer (SCLC). New treatment strategies are needed, such as gene therapy specifically targeting the MDR cells in the tumor. Retroviral LacZ gene-containing vectors that were either pseudotyped...... for the gibbon ape leukemia virus (GALV-1) receptor or had specificity for the amphotropic murine leukemia virus (MLV-A) receptor were used for transduction of five SCLC cell lines differing by a range of MDR mechanisms. Transduction efficiencies in these cell lines were compared by calculating the percentage...... of blue colonies after X-Gal staining of the cells grown in soft agar. All examined SCLC cell lines were transducible with either vector. Transduction efficiencies varied from 5.7% to 33.5% independent of the presence of MDR. These results indicate that MDR does not severely impair transduction of SCLC...

  12. A review of mechanisms underlying anticarcinogenicity by brassica vegetables

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhoeven, D.T.H.; Verhagen, H.; Goldbohm, R.A.; Brandt, P.A. van den; Poppel, G. van


    The mechanisms by which brassica vegetables might decrease the risk of cancer are reviewed in this paper. Brassicas, including all types of cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, may be protective against cancer due to their relatively high glucosinolate content. Glucosinolates are

  13. Peer influence: neural mechanisms underlying in-group conformity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stallen, M.; Smidts, A.; Sanfey, A.G.


    People often conform to the behavior of others with whom they identify. However, it is unclear what fundamental mechanisms underlie this type of conformity. Here, we investigate the processes mediating in-group conformity by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants completed

  14. Peer influence: Neural mechanisms underlying in-group conformity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Stallen (Mirre); A. Smidts (Ale); A.G. Sanfey (Alan)


    textabstractPeople often conform to the behavior of others with whom they identify. However, it is unclear what fundamental mechanisms underlie this type of conformity. Here, we investigate the processes mediating in-group conformity by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

  15. Survival under stress: molecular mechanisms of metabolic rate ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Studies in my laboratory are analysing the molecular mechanisms and regulatory events that underlie transitions to and from hypometabolic states In systems including anoxia-tolerant turtles and molluscs, estivating snails and toads, hibernating small mammals, and freeze tolerant frogs and insects. Our newest research ...

  16. Underlying mechanisms of transient luminous events: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. V. Surkov


    Full Text Available Transient luminous events (TLEs occasionally observed above a strong thunderstorm system have been the subject of a great deal of research during recent years. The main goal of this review is to introduce readers to recent theories of electrodynamics processes associated with TLEs. We examine the simplest versions of these theories in order to make their physics as transparent as possible. The study is begun with the conventional mechanism for air breakdown at stratospheric and mesospheric altitudes. An electron impact ionization and dissociative attachment to neutrals are discussed. A streamer size and mobility of electrons as a function of altitude in the atmosphere are estimated on the basis of similarity law. An alternative mechanism of air breakdown, runaway electron mechanism, is discussed. In this section we focus on a runaway breakdown field, characteristic length to increase avalanche of runaway electrons and on the role played by fast seed electrons in generation of the runaway breakdown. An effect of thunderclouds charge distribution on initiation of blue jets and gigantic jets is examined. A model in which the blue jet is treated as upward-propagating positive leader with a streamer zone/corona on the top is discussed. Sprite models based on streamer-like mechanism of air breakdown in the presence of atmospheric conductivity are reviewed. To analyze conditions for sprite generation, thunderstorm electric field arising just after positive cloud-to-ground stroke is compared with the thresholds for propagation of positively/negatively charged streamers and with runway breakdown. Our own estimate of tendril's length at the bottom of sprite is obtained to demonstrate that the runaway breakdown can trigger the streamer formation. In conclusion we discuss physical mechanisms of VLF (very low frequency and ELF (extremely low frequency phenomena associated with sprites.

  17. Uncovering signal transduction networks from high-throughput data by integer linear programming. (United States)

    Zhao, Xing-Ming; Wang, Rui-Sheng; Chen, Luonan; Aihara, Kazuyuki


    Signal transduction is an important process that transmits signals from the outside of a cell to the inside to mediate sophisticated biological responses. Effective computational models to unravel such a process by taking advantage of high-throughput genomic and proteomic data are needed to understand the essential mechanisms underlying the signaling pathways. In this article, we propose a novel method for uncovering signal transduction networks (STNs) by integrating protein interaction with gene expression data. Specifically, we formulate STN identification problem as an integer linear programming (ILP) model, which can be actually solved by a relaxed linear programming algorithm and is flexible for handling various prior information without any restriction on the network structures. The numerical results on yeast MAPK signaling pathways demonstrate that the proposed ILP model is able to uncover STNs or pathways in an efficient and accurate manner. In particular, the prediction results are found to be in high agreement with current biological knowledge and available information in literature. In addition, the proposed model is simple to be interpreted and easy to be implemented even for a large-scale system.

  18. Mechanisms underlying social inequality in post-menopausal breast cancer. (United States)

    Hvidtfeldt, Ulla Arthur


    This thesis is based on studies conducted in the period 2010-2014 at Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen and at Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York. The results are presented in three scientific papers and a synopsis. The main objective of the thesis was to determine mechanisms underlying social inequality (defined by educational level) in postmenopausal breast cancer (BC) by addressing mediating effects through hormone therapy (HT) use, BMI, lifestyle and reproductive factors. The results of previous studies suggest that the higher risk of postmenopausal BC among women of high socioeconomic position (SEP) may be explained by reproductive factors and health behaviors. Women of higher SEP generally have fewer children and give birth at older ages than women of low SEP, and these factors have been found to affect the risk of BC - probably through altered hormone levels. Adverse effects on BC risk have also been documented for modifiable health behaviors that may affect hormone levels, such as alcohol consumption, high BMI, physical inactivity, and HT use. Alcohol consumption and HT use are likewise more common among women of higher SEP. The analyses were based on the Social Inequality in Cancer (SIC) cohort and a subsample of the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study (WHI-OS). The SIC cohort was derived by pooling 6 individual studies from the Copenhagen area including 33,562 women (1,733 BC cases) aged 50-70 years at baseline. The subsample of WHI-OS consisted of two case-cohort studies with measurements of endogenous estradiol (N = 1,601) and insulin (N = 791). Assessment of mediation often relies on comparing multiplicative models with and without the potential mediator. Such approaches provide potentially biased results, because they do not account for mediator-outcome confounding, exposure-dependent mediator-outcome confounding, exposure-mediator interaction and interactions

  19. Biomolecular Cell-Signaling Mechanisms and Dental Implants: A Review on the Regulatory Molecular Biologic Patterns Under Functional and Immediate Loading. (United States)

    Romanos, Georgios E


    Bone tissue adapts its structure and mass to the stresses of mechanical loading. The purpose of this review article was to summarize recent advances on cell signaling relating to the phenomenon of bone remodeling, focused on bone ossification and healing at the interface of dental implants and bone under loading conditions. When a dental implant is placed within an osteotomy, osteocytes, osteoblasts, and osteoclasts are all present. As functional loads are imposed, the remodeling processes adapt the peri-implant bony tissues to mechanical stimuli over time and reestablish a steady state. Based on the current literature, this article demonstrates fundamental information to these remodeling processes, such as the conversion of mechanical cues to electrical or biochemical signals. Multiple intracellular signals are involved in cellular mechanotransduction; the two Wnt signaling pathways (the canonical, β-catenin-dependent and the noncanonical, β-catenin-independent Wnt pathway) are particularly significant. Knowledge of how these molecular signaling pathways are translated into intracellular signals that regulate cell behavior may provide new therapeutic approaches to enhancing osteogenesis, especially around implants with immediate function or placed in areas of poor bone quality. New knowledge about the primary cilia as an organelle and bone cellular mechanosensor is critical for endochondral ossification and proper signal transduction. Other mechanisms, such as the expression of sclerostin as a negative regulator of bone formation (due to deactivation of the Wnt receptor) and downregulation of sclerostin under loading conditions, also present new understanding of the cellular and pericellular mechanics of bone. The complexity of the cell signaling pathways and the mechanisms involved in the mechanoregulation of the bone formation provide new technologies and perspectives for mechanically induced cellular response. Future novel therapeutic approaches based on the

  20. Transduction of normal and malignant oral epithelium by particle bombardment. (United States)

    Shillitoe, E J; Noonan, S; Hinkle, C C; Marini, F C; Kellman, R M


    Although genetic approaches to the treatment and prevention of oral cancer are being developed, there are no suitable methods of transduction of the oral mucosa or early cancers. We therefore tested the technique of particle bombardment for its ability to transduce oral cancer cells in vitro and normal epithelium of the hamster cheek pouch in vivo. A gene gun was used to transfer a plasmid that encoded a marker/suicide fusion gene, beta-galactosidase-thymidine kinase (GAL-TEK), under control of a CMV promoter. For comparison we used the method of lipofection and an adenovirus vector. Particle bombardment transduced up to 13% of cells in culture, resulting in a 24.3% reduction in growth in the presence of ganciclovir. The efficiency of transduction was similar to that of lipofection but was much less than that of the adenovirus vector, which transduced 54% of cells and completely inhibited their growth in the presence of ganciclovir. Transduction of the hamster cheek pouch by particle bombardment produced expression of beta-galactosidase as judged by macroscopic staining, for up to 5 days. However, histological examination showed that the transduced cells were rare and superficial, and that administration of systemic ganciclovir did not lead to any changes in the tissue. Improvements in efficiency are necessary before the gene gun can be used in the management of oral cancer.

  1. Mechanical response of human female breast skin under uniaxial stretching. (United States)

    Kumaraswamy, N; Khatam, Hamed; Reece, Gregory P; Fingeret, Michelle C; Markey, Mia K; Ravi-Chandar, Krishnaswamy


    Skin is a complex material covering the entire surface of the human body. Studying the mechanical properties of skin to calibrate a constitutive model is of great importance to many applications such as plastic or cosmetic surgery and treatment of skin-based diseases like decubitus ulcers. The main objective of the present study was to identify and calibrate an appropriate material constitutive model for skin and establish certain universal properties that are independent of patient-specific variability. We performed uniaxial tests performed on breast skin specimens freshly harvested during mastectomy. Two different constitutive models - one phenomenological and another microstructurally inspired - were used to interpret the mechanical responses observed in the experiments. Remarkably, we found that the model parameters that characterize dependence on previous maximum stretch (or preconditioning) exhibited specimen-independent universal behavior. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Peer influence: Neural mechanisms underlying in-group conformity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirre eStallen


    Full Text Available People often conform to the behavior of others with whom they identify. However, it is unclear what fundamental mechanisms underlie this type of conformity. Here, we investigate the processes mediating in-group conformity by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. Participants completed a perceptual decision-making task while undergoing fMRI, during which they were exposed to the judgments of both in-group and out-group members. Our data suggest that conformity to the in-group is mediated by both positive affect as well as the cognitive capacity of perspective taking. Examining the processes that drive in-group conformity by utilizing a basic decision-making paradigm combined with neuroimaging methods provides important insights into the potential mechanisms of conformity. These results may provide an integral step in developing more effective campaigns using group conformity as a tool for behavioral change.

  3. Peer influence: neural mechanisms underlying in-group conformity. (United States)

    Stallen, Mirre; Smidts, Ale; Sanfey, Alan G


    People often conform to the behavior of others with whom they identify. However, it is unclear what fundamental mechanisms underlie this type of conformity. Here, we investigate the processes mediating in-group conformity by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants completed a perceptual decision-making task while undergoing fMRI, during which they were exposed to the judgments of both in-group and out-group members. Our data suggest that conformity to the in-group is mediated by both positive affect as well as the cognitive capacity of perspective taking. Examining the processes that drive in-group conformity by utilizing a basic decision-making paradigm combined with neuroimaging methods provides important insights into the potential mechanisms of conformity. These results may provide an integral step in developing more effective campaigns using group conformity as a tool for behavioral change.

  4. Molecular Mechanism Underlying Lymphatic Metastasis in Pancreatic Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiwen Xiao


    Full Text Available As the most challenging human malignancies, pancreatic cancer is characterized by its insidious symptoms, low rate of surgical resection, high risk of local invasion, metastasis and recurrence, and overall dismal prognosis. Lymphatic metastasis, above all, is recognized as an early adverse event in progression of pancreatic cancer and has been described to be an independent poor prognostic factor. It should be noted that the occurrence of lymphatic metastasis is not a casual or stochastic but an ineluctable and designed event. Increasing evidences suggest that metastasis-initiating cells (MICs and the microenvironments may act as a double-reed style in this crime. However, the exact mechanisms on how they function synergistically for this dismal clinical course remain largely elusive. Therefore, a better understanding of its molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in pancreatic lymphatic metastasis is urgently required. In this review, we will summarize the latest advances on lymphatic metastasis in pancreatic cancer.

  5. Mental imagery in music performance: underlying mechanisms and potential benefits. (United States)

    Keller, Peter E


    This paper examines the role of mental imagery in music performance. Self-reports by musicians, and various other sources of anecdotal evidence, suggest that covert auditory, motor, and/or visual imagery facilitate multiple aspects of music performance. The cognitive and motor mechanisms that underlie such imagery include working memory, action simulation, and internal models. Together these mechanisms support the generation of anticipatory images that enable thorough action planning and movement execution that is characterized by efficiency, temporal precision, and biomechanical economy. In ensemble performance, anticipatory imagery may facilitate interpersonal coordination by enhancing online predictions about others' action timing. Overlap in brain regions subserving auditory imagery and temporal prediction is consistent with this view. It is concluded that individual differences in anticipatory imagery may be a source of variation in expressive performance excellence and the quality of ensemble cohesion. Engaging in effortful musical imagery is therefore justified when artistic perfection is the goal. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.

  6. Neural mechanisms underlying context-dependent shifts in risk preferences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Losecaat Vermeer, A.B.; Boksem, M.A.S.; Sanfey, A.G.


    Studies of risky decision-making have demonstrated that humans typically prefer risky options after incurring a financial loss, while generally preferring safer options after a monetary gain. Here, we examined the neural processes underlying these inconsistent risk preferences by investigating the

  7. [Mechanisms underlying glucocorticoid resistance in chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps]. (United States)

    Zhang, Y Y; Lou, H F; Wang, C S; Zhang, L


    Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs in the nasal and sinus mucosa, which is a common disease in otorhinolaryngology. At present, CRSwNP can be effectively treated by glucocorticoids (GC). GC binds to GC receptors in the nasal mucosa, affects the expression of inflammatory genes, inhibits the activation and action of eosinophils, T cell-associated inflammatory responses in nasal polyps, as well as tissue remodeling. However, there are some patients fall reponse to GC, so called GC resistance. The study suggests that the possible mechanism of CRSwNP GC resistance is mainly related to GC receptor abnormal, the role of cytokines and transcription factors, such as Th cells and IL-8. In addition, MAPK-related kinases and histone deacetylase in the GC signaling pathway also play important roles in the GC resistance process. This paper reviews the mechanism of GC treatment of CRSwNP, the mechanism of GC resistance and alternative treatment of GC.

  8. The Survival Advantage: Underlying Mechanisms and Extant Limitations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie A. Kazanas


    Full Text Available Recently, researchers have begun to investigate the function of memory in our evolutionary history. According to Nairne and colleagues (e.g., Nairne, Pandeirada, and Thompson, 2008; Nairne, Thompson, and Pandeirada, 2007, the best mnemonic strategy for learning lists of unrelated words may be one that addresses the same problems that our Pleistocene ancestors faced: fitness-relevant problems including securing food and water, as well as protecting themselves from predators. Survival processing has been shown to promote better recall and recognition memory than many well-known mnemonic strategies (e.g., pleasantness ratings, imagery, generation, etc.. However, the survival advantage does not extend to all types of stimuli and tasks. The current review presents research that has replicated Nairne et al.'s (2007 original findings, in addition to the research designs that fail to replicate the survival advantage. In other words, there are specific manipulations in which survival processing does not appear to benefit memory any more than other strategies. Potential mechanisms for the survival advantage are described, with an emphasis on those that are the most plausible. These proximate mechanisms outline the memory processes that may contribute to the advantage, although the ultimate mechanism may be the congruity between the survival scenario and Pleistocene problem-solving.

  9. Passive and active response of bacteria under mechanical compression (United States)

    Garces, Renata; Miller, Samantha; Schmidt, Christoph F.; Byophysics Team; Institute of Medical Sciences Collaboration

    Bacteria display simple but fascinating cellular structures and geometries. Their shapes are the result of the interplay between osmotic pressure and cell wall construction. Typically, bacteria maintain a high difference of osmotic pressure (on the order of 1 atm) to the environment. This pressure difference (turgor pressure) is supported by the cell envelope, a composite of lipid membranes and a rigid cell wall. The response of the cell envelope to mechanical perturbations such as geometrical confinements is important for the cells survival. Another key property of bacteria is the ability to regulate turgor pressure after abrupt changes of external osmotic conditions. This response relies on the activity of mechanosensitive (MS) channels: membrane proteins that release solutes in response to excessive stress in the cell envelope. We here present experimental data on the mechanical response of the cell envelope and on turgor regulation of bacteria subjected to compressive forces. We indent living cells with micron-sized beads attached to the cantilever of an atomic force microscope (AFM). This approach ensures global deformation of the cell. We show that such mechanical loading is sufficient to gate mechanosensitive channels in isosmotic conditions.

  10. Phosphorene under strain:electronic, mechanical and piezoelectric responses (United States)

    Drissi, L. B.; Sadki, S.; Sadki, K.


    Structural, electronic, elastic and piezoelectric properties of pure phosphorene under in-plane strain are investigated using first-principles calculations based on density functional theory. The two critical yielding points are determined along armchair and zigzag directions. It is shown that the buckling, the band gap and the charge transfer can be controlled under strains. A semiconductor to metallic transition is observed in metastable region. Polar plots of Young's modulus, Poisson ratio, sound velocities and Debye temperature exhibit evident anisotropic feature of phosphorene and indicate auxetic behavior for some angles θ. Our calculations show also that phosphorene has both in-plane and out-of-plane piezoelectric responses comparable to known 2D materials. The findings of this work reveal the great potential of pure phosphorene in nanomechanical applications.

  11. Salinity stress induces the production of 2-(2-phenylethyl)chromones and regulates novel classes of responsive genes involved in signal transduction in Aquilaria sinensis calli. (United States)

    Wang, Xiaohui; Gao, Bowen; Liu, Xiao; Dong, Xianjuan; Zhang, Zhongxiu; Fan, Huiyan; Zhang, Le; Wang, Juan; Shi, Shepo; Tu, Pengfei


    Agarwood, is a resinous portion derived from Aquilaria sinensis, has been widely used in traditional medicine and incense. 2-(2-phenylethyl)chromones are principal components responsible for the quality of agarwood. However, the molecular basis of 2-(2-phenylethyl)chromones biosynthesis and regulation remains almost unknown. Our research indicated that salt stress induced production of several of 2-(2-phenylethyl)chromones in A. sinensis calli. Transcriptome analysis of A. sinensis calli treated with NaCl is required to further facilitate the multiple signal pathways in response to salt stress and to understand the mechanism of 2-(2-phenylethyl)chromones biosynthesis. Forty one 2-(2-phenylethyl)chromones were identified from NaCl-treated A. sinensis calli. 93 041 unigenes with an average length of 1562 nt were generated from the control and salt-treated calli by Illmunina sequencing after assembly, and the unigenes were annotated by comparing with the public databases including NR, Swiss-Prot, KEGG, COG, and GO database. In total, 18 069 differentially expressed transcripts were identified by the transcriptome comparisons on the control calli and calli induced by 24 h or 120 h salinity stress. Numerous genes involved in signal transduction pathways including the genes responsible for hormone signal transduction, receptor-like kinases, MAPK cascades, Ca(2+) signal transduction, and transcription factors showed clear differences between the control calli and NaCl-treated calli. Furthermore, our data suggested that the genes annotated as chalcone synthases and O-methyltransferases may contribute to the biosynthesis of 2-(2-phenylethyl)chromones. Salinity stress could induce the production of 41 2-(2-phenylethyl)chromones in A. sinensis calli. We conducted the first deep-sequencing transcriptome profiling of A. sinensis under salt stress and observed a large number of differentially expressed genes in response to salinity stress. Moreover, salt stress induced

  12. Electronic, mechanical and dielectric properties of silicane under tensile strain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jamdagni, Pooja, E-mail:; Sharma, Munish; Ahluwalia, P. K. [Physics Department, Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India 171005 (India); Kumar, Ashok [Physics Department, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India, 160014 (India); Thakur, Anil [Physics Department, Govt. Collage Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India,173212 (India)


    The electronic, mechanical and dielectric properties of fully hydrogenated silicene i.e. silicane in stable configuration are studied by means of density functional theory based calculations. The band gap of silicane monolayer can be flexibly reduced to zero when subjected to bi-axial tensile strain, leading to semi-conducting to metallic transition, whereas the static dielectric constant for in-plane polarization increases monotonically with increasing strain. Also the EEL function show the red shift in resonance peak with tensile strain. Our results offer useful insight for the application of silicane monolayer in nano-optical and electronics devices.

  13. Electronic, mechanical and dielectric properties of silicane under tensile strain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jamdagni, Pooja; Sharma, Munish; Ahluwalia, P. K.; Kumar, Ashok; Thakur, Anil


    The electronic, mechanical and dielectric properties of fully hydrogenated silicene i.e. silicane in stable configuration are studied by means of density functional theory based calculations. The band gap of silicane monolayer can be flexibly reduced to zero when subjected to bi-axial tensile strain, leading to semi-conducting to metallic transition, whereas the static dielectric constant for in-plane polarization increases monotonically with increasing strain. Also the EEL function show the red shift in resonance peak with tensile strain. Our results offer useful insight for the application of silicane monolayer in nano-optical and electronics devices

  14. Studies on Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Line Vildbrad

    The polyglutamine (polyQ) disorders comprise nine diseases characterized by an expanded polyQ tract within the respective proteins. These disorders are rare but include the well-known Huntington’s disease, and several spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs). The diseases usually strike midlife and progress....... Even though a range of mechanisms contributing to polyQ diseases have been uncovered, there is still no treatment available. One of the more common polyQ diseases is SCA3, which is caused by a polyQ expansion in the ataxin-3 protein that normally functions as a deubiquitinating enzyme involved...

  15. New insights into transduction pathways that regulate boar sperm function. (United States)

    Hurtado de Llera, A; Martin-Hidalgo, D; Gil, M C; Garcia-Marin, L J; Bragado, M J


    Detailed molecular mechanisms mediating signal transduction cascades that regulate boar sperm function involving Ser/Thr and tyrosine phosphorylation of proteins have been reviewed previously. Therefore, this review will focus in those kinase pathways identified recently (functional spermatozoa processes. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a cell energy sensor kinase that was first identified in mammalian spermatozoa in 2012, and since then it has emerged as an essential regulator of boar sperm function. Signaling pathways leading to AMPK activation in boar sperm are highlighted in this review (PKA, CaMKKα/β, and PKC as well as Ca(2+) and cAMP messengers as upstream regulators). Interestingly, stimuli considered as cell stress (hyperosmotic stress, inhibition of mitochondrial activity, absence of intracellular Ca(2+)) markedly activate AMPK in boar spermatozoa. Moreover, AMPK plays a remarkable and necessary regulatory role in mammalian sperm function, controlling essential boar sperm functional processes such as motility, viability, mitochondrial membrane potential, organization and fluidity of plasma membrane, and outer acrosome membrane integrity. These mentioned processes are all required under fluctuating environment of spermatozoa when transiting through the female reproductive tract to achieve fertilization. An applied role of AMPK in artificial insemination techniques is also suggested as during boar seminal doses preservation at 17 °C, physiological levels of AMPK activity markedly increase (maximum on Day 7) and result essential to maintain the aforementioned fundamental sperm processes. Moreover, regulation of sperm function exerted by the glycogen synthase kinase 3 and Src family kinase pathways is summarized. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Ethanol Neurotoxicity in the Developing Cerebellum: Underlying Mechanisms and Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ambrish Kumar


    Full Text Available Ethanol is the main constituent of alcoholic beverages that exerts toxicity to neuronal development. Ethanol affects synaptogenesis and prevents proper brain development. In humans, synaptogenesis takes place during the third trimester of pregnancy, and in rodents this period corresponds to the initial few weeks of postnatal development. In this period neuronal maturation and differentiation begin and neuronal cells start migrating to their ultimate destinations. Although the neuronal development of all areas of the brain is affected, the cerebellum and cerebellar neurons are more susceptible to the damaging effects of ethanol. Ethanol’s harmful effects include neuronal cell death, impaired differentiation, reduction of neuronal numbers, and weakening of neuronal plasticity. Neuronal development requires many hormones and growth factors such as retinoic acid, nerve growth factors, and cytokines. These factors regulate development and differentiation of neurons by acting through various receptors and their signaling pathways. Ethanol exposure during development impairs neuronal signaling mechanisms mediated by the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA receptors, the retinoic acid receptors, and by growth factors such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I, and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF. In combination, these ethanol effects disrupt cellular homeostasis, reduce the survival and migration of neurons, and lead to various developmental defects in the brain. Here we review the signaling mechanisms that are required for proper neuronal development, and how these processes are impaired by ethanol resulting in harmful consequences to brain development.

  17. Brainstem mechanisms underlying the cough reflex and its regulation. (United States)

    Mutolo, Donatella


    Cough is a very important airway protective reflex. Cough-related inputs are conveyed to the caudal nucleus tractus solitarii (cNTS) that projects to the brainstem respiratory network. The latter is reconfigured to generate the cough motor pattern. A high degree of modulation is exerted on second-order neurons and the brainstem respiratory network by sensory inputs and higher brain areas. Two medullary structures proved to have key functions in cough production and to be strategic sites of action for centrally active drugs: the cNTS and the caudal ventral respiratory group (cVRG). Drugs microinjected into these medullary structures caused downregulation or upregulation of the cough reflex. The results suggest that inhibition and disinhibition are prominent regulatory mechanisms of this reflex and that both the cNTS and the cVRG are essential in the generation of the entire cough motor pattern. Studies on the basic neural mechanisms subserving the cough reflex may provide hints for novel therapeutic approaches. Different proposals for further investigations are advanced. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Internal insulation failure mechanisms of HV equipment under service conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lokhanin, A.K.; Morozova, T.I. [All-Russian Electrochemical Inst. (Russian Federation); Shneider, G.Y. [Electrozavod Holding Company (Russian Federation); Sokolov, V.V. [Scientific and Engineering Centre, ZTZ Service Research Inst. (Russian Federation); Chornogotsky, V.M. [Ukrainian Transformer Research Inst. (Ukraine)


    Failure mechanisms in oil-barrier transformer insulation and oil-paper condenser type insulation of transformers and HV bushing were discussed with reference to typical defects and failure modes of oil-barrier insulation of transformers, shunt reactor, condenser type bushing and instrument current transformers. It was noted that insulation problems predominantly involve the impairment of insulation, and that the relative rate of major failures in shunt reactors is about 1 per cent. It was suggested that bushings can cause about 45 per cent of major transformer failures, with aged mode failure occurring most frequently. The failure rate of 220-500 kV CTs accounts for more than 60 per cent of total instrument transformer failures. Two failure modes were observed: ionisation-mode and aging-mode failures. The reduction of switching surge breakdown voltage due to deposit of insoluble aging products was discussed. A long-term dielectric strength test revealed the following 2 mechanisms of insulation breakdown: accidental breakdown during the first period of aging and wearing mode breakdown due to degradation of materials at the last stage of the calculated terms of aging. Issues concerning the mechanism of the incipient irreversible failure in oil-barrier insulation were discussed, as well as issues concerning creeping discharge and large failures during normal operating conditions. It was suggested that the occurrence of surface discharge is associated with increased voltage due to oil breakdown progressing into insulation destruction and surface discharge as a self-firing phenomenon. Failure modes induced by peculiar oil and staining of internal porcelain were reviewed. It was noted that the discharges across the inner part of the transformer and porcelain were the out-come of a typical aging-mode phenomenon in the bushing. In addition, failure modes induced by staining the outer surface of bottom porcelain were discussed, as well as failure of oil-filled paper

  19. Parametric study of control mechanism of cortical bone remodeling under mechanical stimulus (United States)

    Wang, Yanan; Qin, Qing-Hua


    The control mechanism of mechanical bone remodeling at cellular level was investigated by means of an extensive parametric study on a theoretical model described in this paper. From a perspective of control mechanism, it was found that there are several control mechanisms working simultaneously in bone remodeling which is a complex process. Typically, an extensive parametric study was carried out for investigating model parameter space related to cell differentiation and apoptosis which can describe the fundamental cell lineage behaviors. After analyzing all the combinations of 728 permutations in six model parameters, we have identified a small number of parameter combinations that can lead to physiologically realistic responses which are similar to theoretically idealized physiological responses. The results presented in the work enhanced our understanding on mechanical bone remodeling and the identified control mechanisms can help researchers to develop combined pharmacological-mechanical therapies to treat bone loss diseases such as osteoporosis.

  20. Mechanisms Underlying Profibrotic Epithelial Phenotype and Epithelial-Mesenchymal Crosstalk

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bialik, Janne Folke

    , their roles in epithelial reprogramming are unclear. The aim of this thesis was to elucidate (i) the mechanism of TGFβ-induced TAZ expression in kidney fibrosis, (ii) the roles of MRTF and TAZ in PEP, (iii) how MRTF and TAZ regulate the oxidative state of the epithelium, and (iv) if the ensuing ROS production...... and TAZ prevented this, linking the cytoskeleton to the oxidative state of the cell. In Paper II TGFβ-induced increase in TAZ expression was investigated. Using pharmacological inhibition we show that non-canonical signaling via p38 and its downstream target MK2 mediates this upregulation. Furthermore......, MRTF regulates TAZ expression in a translocation-independent manner. Pharmacological inhibition of Nox4, a known activator of p38, resulted in decreased TAZ, suggesting a feedback loop in which Nox4 regulates TAZ and MRTF, which in turn regulates Nox4. In Paper III we investigated cytokine expression...

  1. Mechanisms underlying rapid aldosterone effects in the kidney.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Thomas, Warren


    The steroid hormone aldosterone is a key regulator of electrolyte transport in the kidney and contributes to both homeostatic whole-body electrolyte balance and the development of renal and cardiovascular pathologies. Aldosterone exerts its action principally through the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), which acts as a ligand-dependent transcription factor in target tissues. Aldosterone also stimulates the activation of protein kinases and secondary messenger signaling cascades that act independently on specific molecular targets in the cell membrane and also modulate the transcriptional action of aldosterone through MR. This review describes current knowledge regarding the mechanisms and targets of rapid aldosterone action in the nephron and how aldosterone integrates these responses into the regulation of renal physiology.

  2. Mechanisms underlying rapid aldosterone effects in the kidney.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Thomas, Warren


    The steroid hormone aldosterone is a key regulator of electrolyte transport in the kidney and contributes to both homeostatic whole-body electrolyte balance and the development of renal and cardiovascular pathologies. Aldosterone exerts its action principally through the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), which acts as a ligand-dependent transcription factor in target tissues. Aldosterone also stimulates the activation of protein kinases and secondary messenger signaling cascades that act independently on specific molecular targets in the cell membrane and also modulate the transcriptional action of aldosterone through MR. This review describes current knowledge regarding the mechanisms and targets of rapid aldosterone action in the nephron and how aldosterone integrates these responses into the regulation of renal physiology.

  3. Neural mechanisms underlying neurooptometric rehabilitation following traumatic brain injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hudac CM


    Full Text Available Caitlin M Hudac1, Srinivas Kota1, James L Nedrow2, Dennis L Molfese1,31Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2Oculi Vision Rehabilitation, 3Center for Brain, Biology, and Behavior, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NEAbstract: Mild to severe traumatic brain injuries have lasting effects on everyday functioning. Issues relating to sensory problems are often overlooked or not addressed until well after the onset of the injury. In particular, vision problems related to ambient vision and the magnocellular pathway often result in posttrauma vision syndrome or visual midline shift syndrome. Symptoms from these syndromes are not restricted to the visual domain. Patients commonly experience proprioceptive, kinesthetic, vestibular, cognitive, and language problems. Neurooptometric rehabilitation often entails the use of corrective lenses, prisms, and binasal occlusion to accommodate the unstable magnocellular system. However, little is known regarding the neural mechanisms engaged during neurooptometric rehabilitation, nor how these mechanisms impact other domains. Event-related potentials from noninvasive electrophysiological recordings can be used to assess rehabilitation progress in patients. In this case report, high-density visual event-related potentials were recorded from one patient with posttrauma vision syndrome and secondary visual midline shift syndrome during a pattern reversal task, both with and without prisms. Results indicate that two factors occurring during the end portion of the P148 component (168–256 milliseconds poststimulus onset map onto two separate neural systems that were engaged with and without neurooptometric rehabilitation. Without prisms, neural sources within somatosensory, language, and executive brain regions engage inefficient magnocellular system processing. However, when corrective prisms were worn, primary visual areas were appropriately engaged. The impact of using early

  4. Mechanical characterization of stomach tissue under uniaxial tensile action. (United States)

    Jia, Z G; Li, W; Zhou, Z R


    In this article, the tensile properties of gastric wall were investigated by using biomechanical test and theoretical analysis. The samples of porcine stomach strips from smaller and greater curvature of the stomach were cut in longitudinal and circumferential direction, respectively. The loading-unloading, stress relaxation, strain creep, tensile fracture tests were performed at mucosa-submucosa, serosa-muscle and intact layer, respectively. Results showed that the biomechanical properties of the porcine stomach depended on the layers, orientations and locations of the gastric wall and presented typical viscoelastic, nonlinear and anisotropic mechanical properties. During loading-unloading test, the stress of serosa-muscle layer in the longitudinal direction was 15-20% more than that in the circumferential direction at 12% stretch ratio, while it could reach about 40% for the intact layer and 50% for the mucosa-submucosa layer. The results of stress relaxation and strain creep showed that the variation degree was obviously faster in the circumferential direction than that in the longitudinal direction, and the ultimate residual values were also different for the different layers, orientations and locations. In the process of fracture test, the serosa-muscle layer fractured firstly followed by the mucosa-submucosa layer when the intact layer was tested, the longitudinal strips firstly began to fracture and the required stress value was about twice as much as that in the circumferential strips. The anisotropy and heterogeneity of mechanical characterization of the porcine stomach were related to its complicated geometry, structure and functions. The results would help us to understand the biomechanics of soft organ tissue. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Mechanisms underlying probucol-induced hERG-channel deficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shi YQ


    Full Text Available Yuan-Qi Shi,1,* Cai-Chuan Yan,1,* Xiao Zhang,1 Meng Yan,1 Li-Rong Liu,1 Huai-Ze Geng,1 Lin Lv,1 Bao-Xin Li1,21Department of Pharmacology, Harbin Medical University, 2State-Province Key Laboratory of Biopharmaceutical Engineering, Harbin, Heilongjiang, People’s Republic of China*These authors contributed equally to this workAbstract: The hERG gene encodes the pore-forming α-subunit of the rapidly activating delayed rectifier potassium channel (IKr, which is important for cardiac repolarization. Reduction of IhERG due to genetic mutations or drug interferences causes long QT syndrome, leading to life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias (torsades de pointes or sudden death. Probucol is a cholesterol-lowering drug that could reduce hERG current by decreasing plasma membrane hERG protein expression and eventually cause long QT syndrome. Here, we investigated the mechanisms of probucol effects on IhERG and hERG-channel expression. Our data demonstrated that probucol reduces SGK1 expression, known as SGK isoform, in a concentration-dependent manner, resulting in downregulation of phosphorylated E3 ubiquitin ligase Nedd4-2 expression, but not the total level of Nedd4-2. As a result, the hERG protein reduces, due to the enhanced ubiquitination level. On the contrary, carbachol could enhance the phosphorylation level of Nedd4-2 as an alternative to SGK1, and thus rescue the ubiquitin-mediated degradation of hERG channels caused by probucol. These discoveries provide a novel mechanism of probucol-induced hERG-channel deficiency, and imply that carbachol or its analog may serve as potential therapeutic compounds for the handling of probucol cardiotoxicity.Keywords: long QT, hERG potassium channels, probucol, SGK1, Nedd4-2

  6. Algorithmic mechanisms for reliable crowdsourcing computation under collusion. (United States)

    Fernández Anta, Antonio; Georgiou, Chryssis; Mosteiro, Miguel A; Pareja, Daniel


    We consider a computing system where a master processor assigns a task for execution to worker processors that may collude. We model the workers' decision of whether to comply (compute the task) or not (return a bogus result to save the computation cost) as a game among workers. That is, we assume that workers are rational in a game-theoretic sense. We identify analytically the parameter conditions for a unique Nash Equilibrium where the master obtains the correct result. We also evaluate experimentally mixed equilibria aiming to attain better reliability-profit trade-offs. For a wide range of parameter values that may be used in practice, our simulations show that, in fact, both master and workers are better off using a pure equilibrium where no worker cheats, even under collusion, and even for colluding behaviors that involve deviating from the game.

  7. Signal transduction and activation of the NADPH oxidase in eosinophils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark A Lindsay


    Full Text Available Activation of the eosinophil NADPH oxidase and the subsequent release of toxic oxygen radicals has been implicated in the mechanism of parasite killing and inflammation. At present, little is known of the signal transduction pathway that govern agonist-induced activation of the respiratory burst and is the subject of this review. In particular, we focus on the ability of leukotrine B4 to activate the NADPH oxidase in guinea-pig peritoneal eosinophils which can be obtained in sufficient number and purity for detailed biochemical experiments to be performed.

  8. Mechanisms of microstructural changes of fuel under irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia, P.; Carlot, G.; Dorado, B.; Maillard, S.; Sabathier, C.; Martin, G.; Oh, J.Y.; Welland, M.J.


    Nuclear fuels are subjected to high levels of radiation damage mainly due to the slowing of fission fragments, which results in substantial modifications of the initial fuel microstructure. Microstructure changes alter practically all engineering fuel properties such as atomic transport or thermomechanical properties so understanding these changes is essential to predicting the performance of fuel elements. Also, with increasing burn-up, the fuel drifts away from its initial composition as the fission process produces new chemical elements. Because nuclear fuels operate at high temperature and usually under high-temperature gradients, damage annealing, foreign atom or defect clustering and migration occur on multiple time and length scales, which make long-term predictions difficult. The end result is a fuel microstructure which may show extensive differences on the scale of a single fuel pellet. The main challenge we are faced with is, therefore, to identify the phenomena occurring on the atom scale that are liable to have macroscopic effects that will determine the microstructure changes and ultimately the life-span of a fuel element. One step towards meeting this challenge is to develop and apply experimental or modelling methods capable of connecting events that occur over very short length and timescales to changes in the fuel microstructure over engineering length and timescales. In the first part of this chapter, we provide an overview of some of the more important microstructure modifications observed in nuclear fuels. The emphasis is placed on oxide fuels because of the extensive amount of data available in relation to these materials under neutron or ion irradiation. When possible and relevant, the specifics of other types of fuels such as metallic or carbide fuels are alluded to. Throughout this chapter but more specifically in the latter part, we attempt to give examples of how modelling and experimentation at various scales can provide us with

  9. Separable mechanisms underlying global feature-based attention. (United States)

    Bondarenko, Rowena; Boehler, Carsten N; Stoppel, Christian M; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schoenfeld, Mircea A; Hopf, Jens-Max


    Feature-based attention is known to operate in a spatially global manner, in that the selection of attended features is not bound to the spatial focus of attention. Here we used electromagnetic recordings in human observers to characterize the spatiotemporal signature of such global selection of an orientation feature. Observers performed a simple orientation-discrimination task while ignoring task-irrelevant orientation probes outside the focus of attention. We observed that global feature-based selection, indexed by the brain response to unattended orientation probes, is composed of separable functional components. One such component reflects global selection based on the similarity of the probe with task-relevant orientation values ("template matching"), which is followed by a component reflecting selection based on the similarity of the probe with the orientation value under discrimination in the focus of attention ("discrimination matching"). Importantly, template matching occurs at ∼150 ms after stimulus onset, ∼80 ms before the onset of discrimination matching. Moreover, source activity underlying template matching and discrimination matching was found to originate from ventral extrastriate cortex, with the former being generated in more anterolateral and the latter in more posteromedial parts, suggesting template matching to occur in visual cortex higher up in the visual processing hierarchy than discrimination matching. We take these observations to indicate that the population-level signature of global feature-based selection reflects a sequence of hierarchically ordered operations in extrastriate visual cortex, in which the selection based on task relevance has temporal priority over the selection based on the sensory similarity between input representations.

  10. Neural mechanisms underlying melodic perception and memory for pitch. (United States)

    Zatorre, R J; Evans, A C; Meyer, E


    The neural correlates of music perception were studied by measuring cerebral blood flow (CBF) changes with positron emission tomography (PET). Twelve volunteers were scanned using the bolus water method under four separate conditions: (1) listening to a sequence of noise bursts, (2) listening to unfamiliar tonal melodies, (3) comparing the pitch of the first two notes of the same set of melodies, and (4) comparing the pitch of the first and last notes of the melodies. The latter two conditions were designed to investigate short-term pitch retention under low or high memory load, respectively. Subtraction of the obtained PET images, superimposed on matched MRI scans, provides anatomical localization of CBF changes associated with specific cognitive functions. Listening to melodies, relative to acoustically matched noise sequences, resulted in CBF increases in the right superior temporal and right occipital cortices. Pitch judgments of the first two notes of each melody, relative to passive listening to the same stimuli, resulted in right frontal-lobe activation. Analysis of the high memory load condition relative to passive listening revealed the participation of a number of cortical and subcortical regions, notably in the right frontal and right temporal lobes, as well as in parietal and insular cortex. Both pitch judgment conditions also revealed CBF decreases within the left primary auditory cortex. We conclude that specialized neural systems in the right superior temporal cortex participate in perceptual analysis of melodies; pitch comparisons are effected via a neural network that includes right prefrontal cortex, but active retention of pitch involves the interaction of right temporal and frontal cortices.

  11. Mechanisms underlying the formation of induced pluripotent stem cells (United States)

    González, Federico; Huangfu, Danwei


    Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) offer unique opportunities for studying human biology, modeling diseases and for therapeutic applications. The simplest approach so far to generate human PSCs lines is through reprogramming of somatic cells from an individual by defined factors, referred to simply as reprogramming. Reprogramming circumvents the ethical issues associated with human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and nuclear transfer hESCs (nt-hESCs), and the resulting induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) retain the same basic genetic makeup as the somatic cell used for reprogramming. Since the first report of iPSCs by Takahashi and Yamanaka, the molecular mechanisms of reprogramming have been extensively investigated. A better mechanistic understanding of reprogramming is fundamental not only to iPSC biology and improving the quality of iPSCs for therapeutic use, but also to our understanding of the molecular basis of cell identity, pluripotency and plasticity. Here we summarize the genetic, epigenetic and cellular events during reprogramming, and the roles of various factors identified thus far in the reprogramming process. PMID:26383234

  12. The neural sociometer: brain mechanisms underlying state self-esteem. (United States)

    Eisenberger, Naomi I; Inagaki, Tristen K; Muscatell, Keely A; Byrne Haltom, Kate E; Leary, Mark R


    On the basis of the importance of social connection for survival, humans may have evolved a "sociometer"-a mechanism that translates perceptions of rejection or acceptance into state self-esteem. Here, we explored the neural underpinnings of the sociometer by examining whether neural regions responsive to rejection or acceptance were associated with state self-esteem. Participants underwent fMRI while viewing feedback words ("interesting," "boring") ostensibly chosen by another individual (confederate) to describe the participant's previously recorded interview. Participants rated their state self-esteem in response to each feedback word. Results demonstrated that greater activity in rejection-related neural regions (dorsal ACC, anterior insula) and mentalizing regions was associated with lower-state self-esteem. Additionally, participants whose self-esteem decreased from prescan to postscan versus those whose self-esteem did not showed greater medial prefrontal cortical activity, previously associated with self-referential processing, in response to negative feedback. Together, the results inform our understanding of the origin and nature of our feelings about ourselves.

  13. Raynaud's Phenomenon: A Brief Review of the Underlying Mechanisms. (United States)

    Fardoun, Manal M; Nassif, Joseph; Issa, Khodr; Baydoun, Elias; Eid, Ali H


    Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) is characterized by exaggerated cold-induced vasoconstriction. This augmented vasoconstriction occurs by virtue of a reflex response to cooling via the sympathetic nervous system as well as by local activation of α 2C adrenoceptors (α 2C -AR). In a cold-initiated, mitochondrion-mediated mechanism involving reactive oxygen species and the Rho/ROCK pathway, cytoskeletal rearrangement in vascular smooth muscle cells orchestrates the translocation of α 2C -AR to the cell membrane, where this receptor readily interacts with its ligand. Different parameters are involved in this spatial and functional rescue of α 2C -AR. Of notable relevance is the female hormone, 17β-estradiol, or estrogen. This is consistent with the high prevalence of RP in premenopausal women compared to age-matched males. In addition to dissecting the role of these various players, the contribution of pollution as well as genetic background to the onset and prevalence of RP are also discussed. Different therapeutic approaches employed as treatment modalities for this disease are also highlighted and analyzed. The lack of an appropriate animal model for RP mandates that more efforts be undertaken in order to better understand and eventually treat this disease. Although several lines of treatment are utilized, it is important to note that precaution is often effective in reducing severity or frequency of RP attacks.

  14. Neural mechanisms underlying social conformity in an ultimatum game

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenyu eWei


    Full Text Available When individuals’ actions are incongruent with those of the group they belong to, they may change their initial behavior in order to conform to the group norm. This phenomenon is known as social conformity. In the present study, we used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to investigate brain activity in response to group opinion during an ultimatum game. Results showed that participants changed their choices when these choices conflicted with the normative opinion of the group they were members of, especially in conditions of unfair treatment. The fMRI data revealed that a conflict with group norms activated the brain regions involved in norm violations and behavioral adjustment. Furthermore, in the reject-unfair condition, we observed that a conflict with group norms activated the medial frontal gyrus. These findings contribute to recent research examining neural mechanisms involved in detecting violations of social norms, and provide information regarding the neural representation of conformity behavior in an economic game.

  15. Adhesive wear mechanism under combined electric diamond grinding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Popov Vyacheslav


    Full Text Available The article provides a scientific substantiation of loading of metal-bond diamond grinding wheels and describes the mechanism of contact interaction (interlocking of wheels with tool steel as well as its general properties having an influence on combined electric diamond grinding efficiency. The study concluded that a loaded layer can be formed in a few stages different by nature. It is known, that one of the causes of grinding degradation is a continuous loading of active grits (abrasive grinding tool by workpiece chips. It all affects the diamond grinding wheels efficiency and grinding ability with a result in increase of tool pressure, contact temperature and wheels specific removal rate. Science has partially identified some various methods to minimize grinding wheel loading, however, as to loading of metal-bond diamond grinding wheels the search is still in progress. Therefore, research people have to state, that in spite of the fact that the wheels made of cubic boron nitride are of little use as applied to ceramic, ultrahard, hard-alloyed hard-to-machine and nano-materials of the time, but manufactures have to apply cubic boron nitride wheels wherein diamond ones preferable.

  16. Linking Pesticide Exposure with Pediatric Leukemia: Potential Underlying Mechanisms. (United States)

    Hernández, Antonio F; Menéndez, Pablo


    Leukemia is the most common cancer in children, representing 30% of all childhood cancers. The disease arises from recurrent genetic insults that block differentiation of hematopoietic stem and/or progenitor cells (HSPCs) and drives uncontrolled proliferation and survival of the differentiation-blocked clone. Pediatric leukemia is phenotypically and genetically heterogeneous with an obscure etiology. The interaction between genetic factors and environmental agents represents a potential etiological driver. Although information is limited, the principal toxic mechanisms of potential leukemogenic agents (e.g., etoposide, benzene metabolites, bioflavonoids and some pesticides) include topoisomerase II inhibition and/or excessive generation of free radicals, which may induce DNA single- and double-strand breaks (DNA-DSBs) in early HSPCs. Chromosomal rearrangements (duplications, deletions and translocations) may occur if these lesions are not properly repaired. The initiating hit usually occurs in utero and commonly leads to the expression of oncogenic fusion proteins. Subsequent cooperating hits define the disease latency and occur after birth and may be of a genetic, epigenetic or immune nature (i.e., delayed infection-mediated immune deregulation). Here, we review the available experimental and epidemiological evidence linking pesticide exposure to infant and childhood leukemia and provide a mechanistic basis to support the association, focusing on early initiating molecular events.

  17. Raynaud's Phenomenon: a Brief Review of the Underlying Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manal Fardoun


    Full Text Available Raynaud's phenomenon (RP is characterized by exaggerated cold-induced vasoconstriction. This augmented vasoconstriction occurs by virtue of a reflex response to cooling via the sympathetic nervous system as well as by local activation of α2C adrenoceptors (α2C-AR. In a cold-initiated, mitochondrion-mediated mechanism involving reactive oxygen species and the Rho/ROCK pathway, cytoskeletal rearrangement in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs orchestrates the translocation of α2C-AR to the cell membrane, where this receptor readily interacts with its ligand. Different parameters are involved in this spatial and functional rescue of α2C-AR. Of notable relevance is the female hormone, 17β-estradiol, or estrogen. This is consistent with the high prevalence of RP in pre-menopausal women compared to age-matched males. In addition to dissecting the role of these various players, the contribution of pollution as well as genetic background to the onset and prevalence of RP are also discussed. Different therapeutic approaches employed as treatment modalities for this disease are also highlighted and analyzed. The lack of an appropriate animal model for RP mandates that more efforts be undertaken in order to better understand and eventually treat this disease. Although several lines of treatment are utilized, it is important to note that precaution is often effective in reducing severity or frequency of RP attacks.

  18. Assessing mechanical vulnerability in water distribution networks under multiple failures (United States)

    Berardi, Luigi; Ugarelli, Rita; Røstum, Jon; Giustolisi, Orazio


    Understanding mechanical vulnerability of water distribution networks (WDN) is of direct relevance for water utilities since it entails two different purposes. On the one hand, it might support the identification of severe failure scenarios due to external causes (e.g., natural or intentional events) which result into the most critical consequences on WDN supply capacity. On the other hand, it aims at figure out the WDN portions which are more prone to be affected by asset disruptions. The complexity of such analysis stems from the number of possible scenarios with single and multiple simultaneous shutdowns of asset elements leading to modifications of network topology and insufficient water supply to customers. In this work, the search for the most disruptive combinations of multiple asset failure events is formulated and solved as a multiobjective optimization problem. The higher vulnerability failure scenarios are detected as those causing the lower supplied demand due to the lower number of simultaneous failures. The automatic detection of WDN topology, subsequent to the detachments of failed elements, is combined with pressure-driven analysis. The methodology is demonstrated on a real water distribution network. Results show that, besides the failures causing the detachment of reservoirs, tanks, or pumps, there are other different topological modifications which may cause severe WDN service disruptions. Such information is of direct relevance to support planning asset enhancement works and improve the preparedness to extreme events.

  19. Obstructive sleep apnea and dyslipidemia: evidence and underlying mechanism. (United States)

    Adedayo, Ajibola Monsur; Olafiranye, Oladipupo; Smith, David; Hill, Alethea; Zizi, Ferdinand; Brown, Clinton; Jean-Louis, Girardin


    Over the past half century, evidence has been accumulating on the emergence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most prevalent sleep-disordered breathing, as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. A significant body of research has been focused on elucidating the complex interplay between OSA and cardiovascular risk factors, including dyslipidemia, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus that portend increased morbidity and mortality in susceptible individuals. Although a clear causal relationship of OSA and dyslipidemia is yet to be demonstrated, there is increasing evidence that chronic intermittent hypoxia, a major component of OSA, is independently associated and possibly the root cause of the dyslipidemia via the generation of stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase-1 and reactive oxygen species, peroxidation of lipids, and sympathetic system dysfunction. The aim of this review is to highlight the relationship between OSA and dyslipidemia in the development of atherosclerosis and present the pathophysiologic mechanisms linking its association to clinical disease. Issues relating to epidemiology, confounding factors, significant gaps in research and future directions are also discussed.

  20. Energy transduction in lactic acid bacteria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poolman, Bert

    In the discovery of some general principles of energy transduction, lactic acid bacteria have played an important role. In this review, the energy transducing processes of lactic acid bacteria are discussed with the emphasis on the major developments of the past 5 years. This work not only includes

  1. Radioinduced intestinal fibrosis: from molecular mechanisms to therapy applications. Contribution of the TGF--{beta}1, of the CTGF and of the transduction pathway of the Rho/ROCK signal; La fibrose intestinale radio-induite: des mecanismes moleculaires aux applications therapeutiques. Roles du TGF-{beta}1, du CTGF et de la voie de transduction du signal Rho/ROCK

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haydont, V


    Delayed radiation enteritis is an intestinal fibrosis induced by accidental or therapeutic radiation for pelvic and abdominal cancer treatments. Studies of molecular mechanisms involved in the development and maintenance of fibrosis have showed the respective contribution of CTGF, low TGF-{beta}1 concentrations and Rho/ROCK pathway. Thus, based on the relationship between CTGF, TGF-{beta}1 and Rho pathway, 2 therapeutics strategies have been develop. First, a pravastatin curative gift leads to a fibro-lysis involving an inhibition of Rho and in cascade a reduction of CTGF expression and extracellular matrix deposition. The data suggest that reversal of established radiation fibrosis in the gut is possible. Second, a pravastatin prophylactic gift prevents the installation of a chronic fibrosis but does not protect the tumor. On the base of these results, the radiation therapy department of the Institut Gustave Roussy will soon initiate 2 clinical trials. (author)

  2. Neural mechanism underlying autobiographical memory modulated by remoteness and emotion (United States)

    Ge, Ruiyang; Fu, Yan; Wang, DaHua; Yao, Li; Long, Zhiying


    Autobiographical memory is the ability to recollect past events from one's own life. Both emotional tone and memory remoteness can influence autobiographical memory retrieval along the time axis of one's life. Although numerous studies have been performed to investigate brain regions involved in retrieving processes of autobiographical memory, the effect of emotional tone and memory age on autobiographical memory retrieval remains to be clarified. Moreover, whether the involvement of hippocampus in consolidation of autobiographical events is time dependent or independent has been controversial. In this study, we investigated the effect of memory remoteness (factor1: recent and remote) and emotional valence (factor2: positive and negative) on neural correlates underlying autobiographical memory by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique. Although all four conditions activated some common regions known as "core" regions in autobiographical memory retrieval, there are some other regions showing significantly different activation for recent versus remote and positive versus negative memories. In particular, we found that bilateral hippocampal regions were activated in the four conditions regardless of memory remoteness and emotional valence. Thus, our study confirmed some findings of previous studies and provided further evidence to support the multi-trace theory which believes that the role of hippocampus involved in autobiographical memory retrieval is time-independent and permanent in memory consolidation.

  3. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Origin and Diversification of the Angiosperm Flower (United States)

    Theissen, Guenter; Melzer, Rainer


    Background Understanding the mode and mechanisms of the evolution of the angiosperm flower is a long-standing and central problem of evolutionary biology and botany. It has essentially remained unsolved, however. In contrast, considerable progress has recently been made in our understanding of the genetic basis of flower development in some extant model species. The knowledge that accumulated this way has been pulled together in two major hypotheses, termed the ‘ABC model’ and the ‘floral quartet model’. These models explain how the identity of the different types of floral organs is specified during flower development by homeotic selector genes encoding transcription factors. Scope We intend to explain how the ‘ABC model’ and the ‘floral quartet model’ are now guiding investigations that help to understand the origin and diversification of the angiosperm flower. Conclusions Investigation of orthologues of class B and class C floral homeotic genes in gymnosperms suggest that bisexuality was one of the first innovations during the origin of the flower. The transition from dimer to tetramer formation of floral homeotic proteins after establishment of class E proteins may have increased cooperativity of DNA binding of the transcription factors controlling reproductive growth. That way, we hypothesize, better ‘developmental switches’ originated that facilitated the early evolution of the flower. Expression studies of ABC genes in basally diverging angiosperm lineages, monocots and basal eudicots suggest that the ‘classical’ ABC system known from core eudicots originated from a more fuzzy system with fading borders of gene expression and gradual transitions in organ identity, by sharpening of ABC gene expression domains and organ borders. Shifting boundaries of ABC gene expression may have contributed to the diversification of the angiosperm flower many times independently, as may have changes in interactions between ABC genes and their target

  4. Enhancement of sleep slow waves: underlying mechanisms and practical consequences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele eBellesi


    Full Text Available Even modest sleep restriction, especially the loss of sleep slow wave activity, is invariably associated with slower EEG activity during wake, the occurrence of local sleep in an otherwise awake brain, and impaired performance due to cognitive and memory deficits. Recent studies not only confirm the beneficial role of sleep in memory consolidation, but also point to a specific role for sleep slow waves. Thus, the implementation of methods to enhance sleep slow waves without unwanted arousals or lightening of sleep could have significant practical implications. Here we first review the evidence that it is possible to enhance sleep slow waves in humans using transcranial direct-current stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Since these methods are currently impractical and their safety is questionable, especially for chronic long-term exposure, we then discuss novel data suggesting that it is possible to enhance slow waves using sensory stimuli. We consider the physiology of the K-complex, a peripheral evoked slow wave, and show that, among different sensory modalities, acoustic stimulation is the most effective in increasing the magnitude of slow waves, likely through the activation of non-lemniscal ascending pathways to the thalamo-cortical system. In addition, we discuss how intensity and frequency of the acoustic stimuli, as well as exact timing and pattern of stimulation, affect sleep enhancement. Finally, we discuss automated algorithms that read the EEG and, in real-time, adjust the stimulation parameters in a closed-loop manner to obtain an increase in sleep slow waves and avoid undesirable arousals. In conclusion, while discussing the mechanisms that underlie the generation of sleep slow waves, we review the converging evidence showing that acoustic stimulation is safe and represents an ideal tool for slow wave sleep enhancement.

  5. Thin circular cylinder under axisymmetrical thermal and mechanical loading

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arnaudeau, F.; Zarka, J.; Gerij, J.


    To assess structural integrity of components subjected to cyclic thermal loadings one must look at thermal ratchetting as a possible failure mode. Considering a thin circular cylinder subjected to constant internal pressure and cyclically varying thermal gradient through the thickness Bree, J. Strain Analysis 2 (1967) No.3, obtained a diagram that serves as a foundation for many design rules (e.g.: ASME code). The upper part of the french LMFBR main vessel is subjected to an axisymmetrical axial thermal loading and an axial load (own weight). Operation of the reactor leads to cyclic variations of the axial thermal loading. The question that arises is whether or not the Bree diagram is realistic for such loading conditions. A special purpose computer code (Ratch) was developed to analyse a thin circular cylinder subjected to axisymmetrical mechanical and thermal loadings. The Mendelson's approach of this problem is followed. Classical Kirchoff-Love hypothesis of thin shells is used and a state of plane stress is assumed. Space integrations are performed by Gaussian quadrature in the axial direction and by Simpson's one third rule throughout the thickness. Thermoelastic-plastic constitutive equations are solved with an implicit scheme (Nguyen). Thermovisco-plastic constitutive equations are solved with an explicit time integration scheme (Treanor's algorithm especially fitted). A Bree type diagram is obtained for an axial step of temperature which varies cyclically and a sustained constant axial load. The material behavior is assumed perfectly plastic and creep effect is not considered. Results show that the domain where no ratchetting occurs is reduced when compared with the domain predicted by the Bree diagram

  6. Compression under a mechanical counter pressure space suit glove (United States)

    Waldie, James M A.; Tanaka, Kunihiko; Tourbier, Dietmar; Webb, Paul; Jarvis, Christine W.; Hargens, Alan R.


    Background: Current gas-pressurized space suits are bulky stiff shells severely limiting astronaut function and capability. A mechanical counter pressure (MCP) space suit in the form of a tight elastic garment could dramatically improve extravehicular activity (EVA) dexterity, but also be advantageous in safety, cost, mass and volume. The purpose of this study was to verify that a prototype MCP glove exerts the design compression of 200 mmHg, a pressure similar to the current NASA EVA suit. Methods: Seven male subjects donned a pressure measurement array and MCP glove on the right hand, which was placed into a partial vacuum chamber. Average compression was recorded on the palm, the bottom of the middle finger, the top of the middle finger and the dorsum of the hand at pressures of 760 (ambient), 660 and 580 mmHg. The vacuum chamber was used to simulate the pressure difference between the low breathing pressure of the current NASA space suits (approximately 200 mmHg) and an unprotected hand in space. Results: At ambient conditions, the MCP glove compressed the dorsum of the hand at 203.5 +/- 22.7 mmHg, the bottom of the middle finger at 179.4 +/- 16.0 mmHg, and the top of the middle finger at 183.8 +/- 22.6 mmHg. The palm compression was significantly lower (59.6 +/- 18.8 mmHg, pglove compression with the chamber pressure reductions. Conclusions: The MCP glove compressed the dorsum of the hand and middle finger at the design pressure.

  7. Neural mechanisms underlying cognitive inflexibility in Parkinson's disease. (United States)

    Lange, Florian; Seer, Caroline; Loens, Sebastian; Wegner, Florian; Schrader, Christoph; Dressler, Dirk; Dengler, Reinhard; Kopp, Bruno


    Cognitive inflexibility is a hallmark of executive dysfunction in Parkinson's disease (PD). This deficit consistently manifests itself in a PD-related increase in the number of perseverative errors committed on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). However, the neural processes underlying perseverative WCST performance in PD are still largely unknown. The present study is the first to investigate the event-related potential (ERP) correlates of cognitive inflexibility on the WCST in PD patients. Thirty-two PD patients and 35 matched control participants completed a computerized version of the WCST while the electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded. Behavioral results revealed the expected increase in perseverative errors in patients with PD. ERP analysis focused on two established indicators of executive processes: the fronto-central P3a as an index of attentional orienting and the sustained parietal positivity (SPP) as an index of set-shifting processes. In comparison to controls, P3a amplitudes were significantly attenuated in PD patients. Regression analysis further revealed that P3a and SPP amplitudes interactively contributed to the prediction of perseverative errors in PD patients: The number of perseverative errors was only increased when both ERP amplitudes were attenuated. Notably, the two ERP markers of executive processes accounted for more than 40% of the variance in perseverative errors in PD patients. We conclude that cognitive inflexibility in PD occurs when the neural bases of multiple executive processes are affected by the pathophysiology of PD. The combined measurement of P3a and SPP might yield an electrophysiological marker of cognitive inflexibility in PD. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Design principles and developmental mechanisms underlying retinal mosaics. (United States)

    Reese, Benjamin E; Keeley, Patrick W


    Most structures within the central nervous system (CNS) are composed of different types of neuron that vary in both number and morphology, but relatively little is known about the interplay between these two features, i.e. about the population dynamics of a given cell type. How such arrays of neurons are distributed within a structure, and how they differentiate their dendrites relative to each other, are issues that have recently drawn attention in the invertebrate nervous system, where the genetic and molecular underpinnings of these organizing principles are being revealed in exquisite detail. The retina is one of the few locations where these principles have been extensively studied in the vertebrate CNS, indeed, where the design principles of 'mosaic regularity' and 'uniformity of coverage' were first explicitly defined, quantified, and related to each other. Recent studies have revealed a number of genes that influence the formation of these histotypical features in the retina, including homologues of those invertebrate genes, although close inspection reveals that they do not always mediate comparable developmental processes nor elucidate fundamental design principles. The present review considers just how pervasive these features of 'mosaic regularity' and 'uniform dendritic coverage' are within the mammalian retina, discussing the means by which such features can be assessed in the mature and developing nervous system and examining the limitations associated with those assessments. We then address the extent to which these two design principles co-exist within different populations of neurons, and how they are achieved during development. Finally, we consider the neural phenotypes obtained in mutant nervous systems, to address whether a prospective gene of interest underlies those very design principles. © 2014 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  9. Photodegradation kinetics, products and mechanism of timolol under simulated sunlight

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Yong, E-mail: [School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074 (China); Liang, Qi; Zhou, Danna [College of Material Science and Chemical Engineering, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074 (China); Wang, Zongping, E-mail: [School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074 (China); Tao, Tao [School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074 (China); Zuo, Yuegang [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02747 (United States)


    Highlights: ► The indirect degradation of timolol is first investigated in fulvic acid solution. ► {sup 3}FA{sup *} and {sup 1}O{sub 2} accounted for the degradation of timolol in the aerated FA solutions. ► The presence of halides inhibited the degradation in the order of Cl{sup −} < Br{sup −} < I{sup −}. ► The role of I{sup −} in the degradation was first found to be concentration-dependent. ► The photoproducts of timolol were identified by LC-DAD/ESI-MS/MS analysis. -- Abstract: The photodegradation of β-blocker timolol in fulvic acid (FA) solution was investigated under simulated sunlight. The triplet excited state of FA ({sup 3}FA{sup *}) and singlet oxygen ({sup 1}O{sub 2}) were the main reactive species responsible for the degradation of timolol in the aerated FA solutions. Both dissolved oxygen and iodide ions (I{sup −}) are the efficient quenchers of {sup 3}FA{sup *}. The photodegradation was drastically accelerated after removing the dissolved oxygen. The presence of I{sup −} inhibited the photosensitized degradation of timolol in the deoxygenated FA solutions, whereas the role of I{sup −} in the reaction was concentration-dependent in the aerated solutions. The other halide ions such as chloride (Cl{sup −}) and bromide (Br{sup −}) exhibited less effect on the photodegradation of timolol in both aerated and deoxygenated solutions. By LC-DAD/ESI-MS/MS analysis, the photoproducts of timolol in both aerated and deoxygenated FA solutions were identified. Electron transfer interaction occurred between {sup 3}FA{sup *} and amine moiety of timolol, leading to the cleavage of C–O bond in the side chain and oxidation of the hexatomic ring. These findings suggest the photosensitized degradation was a significant pathway for the elimination of timolol in natural waters.

  10. Dynamic behavior of ultra large graphene-based membranes using electrothermal transduction (United States)

    Al-mashaal, A. K.; Wood, G. S.; Torin, A.; Mastropaolo, E.; Newton, M. J.; Cheung, R.


    This letter reports an experimental study of an electrothermal actuator made from an ultra-large graphene-based bilayer thin film with a diameter to thickness aspect ratio of ˜10 000. Suspended thin films consisting of multilayer graphene and 350-500 nm-thick Poly(methyl methacrylate) have been transferred over circular cavities with a diameter of 3.5 mm. The use of bilayer materials with different mechanical and thermal properties results in thin film structures that can be induced to vibrate mechanically under the electrothermal transduction mechanism. The dynamic response of the bilayer has been investigated electrothermally by driving the structures with a combination of alternating current and direct current actuation voltages ( Va c and Vd c) and characterizing their resonant frequencies. It has been found that the bilayer thin film structure behaves as a membrane. In addition, the actuation configurations affect not only the amplitude of vibration but also the tuning of the resonant frequency of the vibrating membranes. The existence of Joule heating-induced tension lowers the mechanical stiffness of the membrane and hence shifts the resonant frequency downwards by -108187 ppm. A resonant frequency of 3.26 kHz with a vibration amplitude of 4.34 nm has been achieved for 350 nm-thick membranes under actuation voltages of 1 V of Va c and 8 V of Vd c.

  11. Modeling evolution of crosstalk in noisy signal transduction networks (United States)

    Tareen, Ammar; Wingreen, Ned S.; Mukhopadhyay, Ranjan


    Signal transduction networks can form highly interconnected systems within cells due to crosstalk between constituent pathways. To better understand the evolutionary design principles underlying such networks, we study the evolution of crosstalk for two parallel signaling pathways that arise via gene duplication. We use a sequence-based evolutionary algorithm and evolve the network based on two physically motivated fitness functions related to information transmission. We find that one fitness function leads to a high degree of crosstalk while the other leads to pathway specificity. Our results offer insights on the relationship between network architecture and information transmission for noisy biomolecular networks.

  12. Tyrosine phosphorylation in signal transduction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roberts, T.M.; Kaplan, D.; Morgan, W.; Keller, T.; Mamon, H.; Piwnica-Worms, H.; Druker, B.; Whitman, M.; Morrison, D.; Cohen, B.; Schaffhausen, B.; Cantley, L.; Rapp, U.


    Recent work has focused on the elucidation of the mechanisms by which membrane-bound tyrosine kinases transmit signals within the cell. To examine the role of tyrosine phosphorylation the authors have employed the following strategy. First, they have utilized antibodies to phosphotyrosine (anti-P.Tyr) to identify candidate substrates of various tyrosine kinases, such as pp60 c-src , the CSF- receptor, or the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptor. Second, they have attempted to characterize the biochemical properties of the putative substrates and to determine in what manner these properties are modified by phosphorylation on tyrosine residues. In this endeavor, they are recapitulating the classic biochemical analysis used to study the effect of kinases on metabolism. The final portion of our work consists of using modern molecular biological strategies to clone the genes or cDNAs for the substrates and overproduce the relevant proteins for studies in vitro in defined systems. This paper describes the first and second aspects of this strategy, the identification and characterization of novel substrate molecules

  13. Myosin individualized: single nucleotide polymorphisms in energy transduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wieben Eric D


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Myosin performs ATP free energy transduction into mechanical work in the motor domain of the myosin heavy chain (MHC. Energy transduction is the definitive systemic feature of the myosin motor performed by coordinating in a time ordered sequence: ATP hydrolysis at the active site, actin affinity modulation at the actin binding site, and the lever-arm rotation of the power stroke. These functions are carried out by several conserved sub-domains within the motor domain. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs affect the MHC sequence of many isoforms expressed in striated muscle, smooth muscle, and non-muscle tissue. The purpose of this work is to provide a rationale for using SNPs as a functional genomics tool to investigate structurefunction relationships in myosin. In particular, to discover SNP distribution over the conserved sub-domains and surmise what it implies about sub-domain stability and criticality in the energy transduction mechanism. Results An automated routine identifying human nonsynonymous SNP amino acid missense substitutions for any MHC gene mined the NCBI SNP data base. The routine tested 22 MHC genes coding muscle and non-muscle isoforms and identified 89 missense mutation positions in the motor domain with 10 already implicated in heart disease and another 8 lacking sequence homology with a skeletal MHC isoform for which a crystallographic model is available. The remaining 71 SNP substitutions were found to be distributed over MHC with 22 falling outside identified functional sub-domains and 49 in or very near to myosin sub-domains assigned specific crucial functions in energy transduction. The latter includes the active site, the actin binding site, the rigid lever-arm, and regions facilitating their communication. Most MHC isoforms contained SNPs somewhere in the motor domain. Conclusions Several functional-crucial sub-domains are infiltrated by a large number of SNP substitution sites suggesting these

  14. Fracture mechanics in new designed power module under thermo-mechanical loads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Durand Camille


    Full Text Available Thermo-mechanically induced failure is a major reliability issue in the microelectronic industry. On this account, a new type of Assembly Interconnected Technology used to connect MOSFETs in power modules has been developed. The reliability is increased by using a copper clip soldered on the top side of the chip, avoiding the use of aluminium wire bonds, often responsible for the failure of the device. Thus the new designed MOSFET package does not follow the same failure mechanisms as standard modules. Thermal and power cycling tests were performed on these new packages and resulting failures were analyzed. Thermo-mechanical simulations including cracks in the aluminium metallization and intermetallics (IMC were performed using Finite Element Analysis in order to better understand crack propagation and module behaviour.

  15. Characterization of the ABA signal transduction pathway in Vitis vinifera. (United States)

    Boneh, Uri; Biton, Iris; Schwartz, Amnon; Ben-Ari, Giora


    The plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) regulates many key processes in plants including the response to abiotic stress. ABA signal transduction consists of a double-negative regulatory mechanism, whereby ABA-bound PYR/RCARs inhibit PP2C activity, and PP2Cs inactivate SnRK2s. We studied and analyzed the various genes participating in the ABA signaling cascade of the grape (Vitis vinifera). The grape ABA signal transduction consists of at least six SnRK2s. Yeast two-hybrid system was used to test direct interactions between core components of grape ABA signal transduction. We found that a total of forty eight interactions can occur between the various components. Exogenous abscisic acid (ABA) and abiotic stresses such as drought, high salt concentration and cold, were applied to vines growing in a hydroponic system. These stresses regulated the expression of various grape SnRK2s as well as ABFs in leaves and roots. Based on the interactions between SnRK2s and its targets and the expression pattern, we suggest that VvSnRK2.1 and VvSnRK2.6, can be considered the major VvSnRK2 candidates involved in the stomata response to abiotic stress. Furthermore, we found that the expression pattern of the two grape ABF genes indicates organ specificity of these genes. The key role of ABA signaling in response to abiotic stresses makes the genes involve in this signaling potential candidates for manipulation in programs designed to improve fruit tree performance in extreme environments. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Signal transduction and chemotaxis in mast cells

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dráber, Petr; Hálová, Ivana; Polakovičová, Iva; Kawakami, T.


    Roč. 778, jaro (2016), s. 11-23 ISSN 0014-2999 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-09807S; GA ČR(CZ) GBP302/12/G101; GA ČR(CZ) GA14-00703S Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : Mast cell * IgE receptor * KIT receptor * Signal transduction * Chemotaxis * Plasma membrane Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.896, year: 2016

  17. Interactivity effects in social media marketing on brand engagement: an investigation of underlying mechanisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Antheunis, M.L.; van Noort, G.; Eisend, M.; Langner, T.


    Although, SNS advertising spending increases, research on SNS campaigning is still underexposed. First, this study aims to investigate the effect of SNS campaign interactivity on the receivers brand engagement, taking four underlying mechanisms into account (brand identification, campaign

  18. Signal transduction by interferon-α through arachidonic acid metabolism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hannigan, G.E.; Williams, B.R.G.


    Molecular mechanisms that mediate signal transduction by growth inhibitory cytokines are poorly understood. Type 1 (α and β) interferons (IFNs) are potent growth inhibitory cytokines whose biological activities depend on induced changes in gene expression. IFN-α induced the transient activation of phospholipase A 2 in 3T3 fibroblasts and rapid hydrolysis of [ 3 H]arachidonic acid (AA) from prelabeled phospholipid pools. The phospholipase inhibitor, bromophenacyl bromide (BPB), specifically blocked IFN-induced binding of nuclear factors to a conserved, IFN-regulated enhancer element, the interferon-stimulated response element (ISRE). BPB also caused a dose-dependent inhibition of IFN-α-induced ISRE-dependent transcription in transient transfection assays. Specific inhibition of AA oxygenation by eicosatetraynoic acid prevented IFN-α induction of factor binding to the ISRE. Treatment of intact cells with inhibitors of fatty acid cyclooxygenase or lipoxygenase enzymes resulted in amplification of IFN-α-induced ISRE binding and gene expression. Thus, IFN-α receptor-coupled AA hydrolysis may function in activation of latent transcription factors by IFN-α and provides a system for studying the role of AA metabolism in transduction of growth inhibitory signals

  19. micro-mechanical experimental investigation and modelling of strain and damage of argillaceous rocks under combined hydric and mechanical loads

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, L.


    The hydro-mechanical behavior of argillaceous rocks, which are possible host rocks for underground radioactive nuclear waste storage, is investigated by means of micro-mechanical experimental investigations and modellings. Strain fields at the micrometric scale of the composite structure of this rock, are measured by the combination of environmental scanning electron microscopy, in situ testing and digital image correlation technique. The evolution of argillaceous rocks under pure hydric loading is first investigated. The strain field is strongly heterogeneous and manifests anisotropy. The observed nonlinear deformation at high relative humidity (RH) is related not only to damage, but also to the nonlinear swelling of the clay mineral itself, controlled by different local mechanisms depending on RH. Irreversible deformations are observed during hydric cycles, as well as a network of microcracks located in the bulk of the clay matrix and/or at the inclusion-matrix interface. Second, the local deformation field of the material under combined hydric and mechanical loadings is quantified. Three types of deformation bands are evidenced under mechanical loading, either normal to stress direction (compaction), parallel (microcracking) or inclined (shear). Moreover, they are strongly controlled by the water content of the material: shear bands are in particular prone to appear at high RH states. In view of understanding the mechanical interactions a local scale, the material is modeled as a composite made of non-swelling elastic inclusions embedded in an elastic swelling clay matrix. The internal stress field induced by swelling strain incompatibilities between inclusions and matrix, as well as the overall deformation, is numerically computed at equilibrium but also during the transient stage associated with a moisture gradient. An analytical micro-mechanical model based on Eshelby's solution is proposed. In addition, 2D finite element computations are performed. Results

  20. Effects of matrine on JAK-STAT signaling transduction pathways in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The current study aims to investigate the effects of matrine on the JAK-STAT signaling transduction pathways in bleomycin (BLM)-induced pulmonary fibrosis (PF) and to explore its action mechanism. A total of 72 male C57BL/6 mice were randomized into the control, model, and treatment groups. PF models were ...

  1. Microbial Mechanisms Underlying Acidity-induced Reduction in Soil Respiration Under Nitrogen Fertilization (United States)

    Niu, S.; Li, Y.


    Terrestrial ecosystems are receiving increasing amounts of reactive nitrogen (N) due to anthropogenic activities, which largely changes soil respiration and its feedback to climate change. N enrichment can not only increase N availability but also induce soil acidification, both may affect soil microbial activity and root growth with a consequent impact on soil respiration. However, it remains unclear whether elevated N availability or soil acidity has greater impact on soil respiration (Rs). We conducted a manipulative experiment to simulate N enrichment (10 g m-2 yr-1 NH4NO3) and soil acidity (0.552 mol H+ m-2 yr-1 sulfuric acid) and studied their effects on Rs and its components in a temperate forest. Our results showed that soil pH was reduced by 0.2 under N addition or acid addition treatment. Acid addition significantly decreased autotrophic respiration (Ra) and heterotrophic respiration (Rh) by 21.5% and 22.7% in 2014, 34.8% and 21.9% in 2015, respectively, resulting in a reduction of Rs by 22.2% in 2014 and 26.1% in 2015. Nitrogen enrichment reduced Ra, Rh, Rs by 21.9%, 16.2%, 18.6% in 2014 and 22.1%, 5.9%, 11.7% in 2015, respectively. The reductions of Rs and its components were attributable to decrease of fine root biomass, microbial biomass, and cellulose degrading enzymes. N addition did not change microbial community but acid addition increased both fungal and arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi PLFAs, and N plus acid addition significantly enhanced fungal to bacterial ratio. All the hydrolase enzymes were reduced more by soil acidity (43-50%) than nitrogen addition (30-39%). Structural equation model showed that soil acidity played more important role than N availability in reducing soil respiration mainly by changing microbial extracellular enzymes. We therefore suggest that N deposition induced indirect effect of soil acidification on microbial properties is critical and should be taken into account to better understand and predict ecosystem C cycling in

  2. Cognitive mechanisms underlying disorganization of thought in a genetic syndrome (47,XXY)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Rijn, Sophie; Aleman, Andre; De Sonneville, Leo; Swaab, Hanna

    Because of the risk for development of psychopathology such as psychotic symptoms, it has been suggested that studying men with the XXY karyotype may help in the search for underlying cognitive, neural and genetic mechanisms. The aim of this study was to identify cognitive mechanisms that may

  3. Study of signal transduction mechanism of angiotensin 2 receptor by means of site-directed mutagenesis; Bui totsuzen hen'iho wo mochiita anjiotenshin 2 reseputa no joho dentatsu kiko no kaimei

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yamano, Yoshiaki [Tottori University, Tottori (Japan). Faculty of Agriculture


    The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays an important role in the regulation of blood pressure. In order to clarify the signaling mechanism mediated by angiotensin 2 receptor, Gq-protein binding amino acid residues of this receptor were clarified by site-directed mutagenesis study. Amino acid residues in the carboxyl tail region were changed by alanines, individually. These mutated receptors were expressed stably in CHO cells, and GTP effect and second messenger molecules were determined, and three residues (Y 312, F313 and L 314) in this region were determined to be concerned for the binding of Gq protein. The other signaling systems, Gi, MAP kinase, JAK-STAT mediated, were reported to be concerned for this receptor. Novel drags for high blood pressure therapy would be explored by clarifying these signaling mechanisms. (author)


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iosif TEMPEA


    Full Text Available The paper presents a synthesis of the Double SCARA Robot modelling, leading to an optimal solution, from workspace point of view, as well as precision and stability of the endeffector in performing the planned trajectory. For the design of the final mechanism CATIA software has been used, as well as NASTRAN/PATRAN software, for the mechanism analysis under mechanical and thermal loads.

  5. The effects of different size gold nanoparticles on mechanical properties of vascular smooth muscle cells under mechanical stretching (United States)

    Kieu, Tri Minh

    Nanotechnology is an emerging and promising frontier for medicine and biomedical research due to its potential for applications such as drug delivery, imaging enhancement, and cancer treatment. While these materials may possess significant possibilities, the effects of these particles in the body and how the particles affect the cells is not fully understood. In this study, vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) will be exposed to 5 and 20 nm diameter citrate AuNPs under mechanical conditions. The cytotoxicity properties of these particles will be investigated using LDH and MTT assays. Atomic force microscopy will be used to study how the size of the nanoparticles affect the mechanical properties of the VSMCs. Immunofluorescence staining for alpha actin will also be performed to enhance understanding of the phenotypic shift. The LDH and MTT cytotoxicity assay results demonstrated that neither 5 nor 20 nm diameter nanoparticles are cytotoxic to the cells. However, the mechanical properties and cell morphology of the VSMCs was altered. Under static conditions, both AuNP treatments decreased the mechanical properties of the cells. The size of the nanoparticles had a softening effect on elastic modulus of the cell and sign of a synthetic phenotype was observed. The VSMCs subjected to mechanical stretching exhibited higher elastic modulus compared to the static experimental groups. Again, both AuNPs treatments decreased the mechanical properties of the cells and signs of more synthetic phenotype was seen. However, the size of the nanoparticles did not have any influence on cell's elastic modulus unlike the static treated cells. The mechanical testing condition provided a better look at how these particles would affect the cells in vivo. While the nanoparticles are not cytotoxic to the VSMCs, they are altering the mechanical properties and phenotype of the cell.

  6. Analysis of the gravitaxis signal transduction chain in Euglena gracilis (United States)

    Nasir, Adeel

    Abstract Euglena gracilis is a photosynthetic, eukaryotic flagellate. It can adapt autotrophic and heterotrophic mode of growth and respond to different stimuli, this makes it an organism of choice for different research disciplines. It swims to reach a suitable niche by employing different stimuli such as oxygen, light, gravity and different chemicals. Among these stimuli light and gravity are the most important. Phototaxis (locomotion under light stimulus) and gravitaxis (locomotion under gravity stimulus) synergistically help cells to attain an optimal niche in the environment. However, in the complete absence of light or under scarcity of detectable light, cells can totally depend on gravity to find its swimming path. Therefore gravity has certain advantages over other stimuli.Unlike phototatic signal transduction chain of Euglena gracilis no clear primary gravity receptor has been identified in Euglena cells so far. However, there are some convincing evidence that TRP like channels act as a primary gravity receptor in Euglena gracilis.Use of different inhibitors gave rise to the involvement of protein kinase and calmodulin proteins in signal transduction chain of Euglena gracilis. Recently, specific calmodulin (Calmodulin 2) and protein kinase (PKA) have been identified as potential candidates of gravitactic signal transduction chain. Further characterization and investigation of these candidates was required. Therefore a combination of biochemical and genetic techniques was employed to localize proteins in cells and also to find interacting partners. For localization studies, specific antibodies were raised and characterized. Specificity of antibodies was validated by knockdown mutants, Invitro-translated proteins and heterologously expressed proteins. Cell fractionation studies, involving separation of the cell body and flagella for western blot analysis and confocal immunofluorescence studies were performed for subcellular localization. In order to find

  7. Comparison of mechanical and thermodynamic properties of fcc and bcc titanium under high pressure (United States)

    Zhang, Yongmei; Zhao, Yuhong; Hou, Hua; Wen, Zhiqin; Duan, Meiling


    The mechanical and thermodynamic properties of fcc and bcc Ti have been discussed based on the first-principles calculation combined with the quasi-harmonic Debye model. We find that the bulk modulus B, shear modulus G, Young’s modulus E of fcc Ti are larger, while Poisson’s ratio σ is smaller than that of bcc Ti under the same pressure, which indicates the better mechanical performance of fcc Ti compared with bcc Ti. The values of B/G and σ indicate that mechanically stable fcc structure is much less ductile than the bcc structure, while mechanically metastable fcc structure has better ductility than stable bcc structure under high pressure. The normalized volume, isothermal bulk modulus, heat capacity, volume thermal expansion coefficient and Debye temperature under pressure and temperature for fcc and bcc Ti are predicted.


    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Speelmans, G.; Poolman, B.; Konings, W.N

    For microoganisms to live under extreme physical conditions requires important adaptations of the cells. In many organisms the use of Na+ instead of protons as coupling ion in energy transduction is associated with such adaptation. This review focuses on the enzymes that are responsible for the

  9. Effects of osmotic stress on the activity of MAPKs and PDGFR-beta-mediated signal transduction in NIH-3T3 fibroblasts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, M-B; Christensen, Søren Tvorup; Hoffmann, E K


    Signaling in cell proliferation, cell migration, and apoptosis is highly affected by osmotic stress and changes in cell volume, although the mechanisms underlying the significance of cell volume as a signal in cell growth and death are poorly understood. In this study, we used NIH-3T3 fibroblasts...... in a serum- and nutrient-free inorganic medium (300 mosM) to analyze the effects of osmotic stress on MAPK activity and PDGF receptor (PDGFR)-beta-mediated signal transduction. We found that hypoosmolarity (cell swelling at 211 mosM) induced the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of ERK1/2, most...

  10. Radioinduced intestinal fibrosis: from molecular mechanisms to therapy applications. Contribution of the TGF--β1, of the CTGF and of the transduction pathway of the Rho/ROCK signal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haydont, V.


    Delayed radiation enteritis is an intestinal fibrosis induced by accidental or therapeutic radiation for pelvic and abdominal cancer treatments. Studies of molecular mechanisms involved in the development and maintenance of fibrosis have showed the respective contribution of CTGF, low TGF-β1 concentrations and Rho/ROCK pathway. Thus, based on the relationship between CTGF, TGF-β1 and Rho pathway, 2 therapeutics strategies have been develop. First, a pravastatin curative gift leads to a fibro-lysis involving an inhibition of Rho and in cascade a reduction of CTGF expression and extracellular matrix deposition. The data suggest that reversal of established radiation fibrosis in the gut is possible. Second, a pravastatin prophylactic gift prevents the installation of a chronic fibrosis but does not protect the tumor. On the base of these results, the radiation therapy department of the Institut Gustave Roussy will soon initiate 2 clinical trials. (author)

  11. Mechanical behaviour and microstructural evolution of alloy 800H under biaxial cyclic loading

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dolabella Portella, P.; Feng Jiao; Oesterle, W.; Ziebs, J.


    The mechanical behaviour of alloy 800H under biaxial cyclic loading was investigated at room temperature and at 800 C. The low-cycle fatigue experiments were carried out using tubular specimens under axial and torsional loading with constant total equivalent strain amplitude following either proportional or nonproportional loading paths. The cyclic hardening observed under nonproportional loading was clearly higher than that under proportional loading. The extra hardening due to the nonproportional loading path was more pronounced at room temperature. The evolution of the dislocation structure was characterized by transmission electron microscopy of specimens after interrupted fatigue tests. The changes in the dislocation structure and the precipitation phenomena are in accordance with the observed mechanical behaviour of the specimens. Twinning was observed in very few grains of some specimens and does not influence the extra hardening under nonproportional loading, martensite was not detected in any specimen. (orig.)

  12. Simulated evolution of signal transduction networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Mobashir

    Full Text Available Signal transduction is the process of routing information inside cells when receiving stimuli from their environment that modulate the behavior and function. In such biological processes, the receptors, after receiving the corresponding signals, activate a number of biomolecules which eventually transduce the signal to the nucleus. The main objective of our work is to develop a theoretical approach which will help to better understand the behavior of signal transduction networks due to changes in kinetic parameters and network topology. By using an evolutionary algorithm, we designed a mathematical model which performs basic signaling tasks similar to the signaling process of living cells. We use a simple dynamical model of signaling networks of interacting proteins and their complexes. We study the evolution of signaling networks described by mass-action kinetics. The fitness of the networks is determined by the number of signals detected out of a series of signals with varying strength. The mutations include changes in the reaction rate and network topology. We found that stronger interactions and addition of new nodes lead to improved evolved responses. The strength of the signal does not play any role in determining the response type. This model will help to understand the dynamic behavior of the proteins involved in signaling pathways. It will also help to understand the robustness of the kinetics of the output response upon changes in the rate of reactions and the topology of the network.

  13. Adenovirus transduction: More complicated than receptor expression. (United States)

    Sharma, Priyanka; Martis, Prithy C; Excoffon, Katherine J D A


    The abundance and accessibility of a primary virus receptor are critical factors that impact the susceptibility of a host cell to virus infection. The Coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR) has two transmembrane isoforms that occur due to alternative splicing and differ in localization and function in polarized epithelia. To determine the relevance of isoform-specific expression across cell types, the abundance and localization of both isoforms were determined in ten common cell lines, and correlated with susceptibility to adenovirus transduction relative to polarized primary human airway epithelia. Data show that the gene and protein expression for each isoform of CAR varies significantly between cell lines and polarization, as indicated by high transepithelial resistance, is inversely related to adenovirus transduction. In summary, the variability of polarity and isoform-specific expression among model cells are critical parameters that must be considered when evaluating the clinical relevance of potential adenovirus-mediated gene therapy and anti-adenovirus strategies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. [Development of Researches on Mechanisms of Acupuncture Intervention in Improving Myocar-dial Ischemia by Balancing Interaction between β-adrenergic Receptor and Acetylcholinergic Receptor Signal Transduction Pathway of Myocardiocytes]. (United States)

    Shi, Li; Gao, Jun-Hong; Zhao, Ji-Ping; Zhu, Bing; Yu, Xiao-Chun; Rong, Pei-Jing


    The imbalance of autonomic nervous function after myocardial ischemia (MI) accelerates the development of ischemic myocardial injury. The beta-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) and muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (M-AChR) are the main receptor types of the cardiomyocyte and the binding sites of the cardiac sympathetic and parasympathetic transmitters. In the present paper, the authors review recent progress of experimental researches on the mechanisms of acupuncture therapy in the prevention and treatment of MI, mainly focusing on the signaling of β 1 -AR and M 2 -AChR subtypes. Results showed that acupuncture could attenuate the injury of myocardial ischemia via down-regulating the over expression of β 1 -AR and up-regulating the expression of M 2 -AChR protein. Correspondingly, acupuncture intervention could reverse the abnormal expression of the intracellular stimulatory G protein and inhibitory G protein caused by MI, and suppress the activity of cellular adenylate cyclase. In addition, acupuncture could also enhance the activity of nitric oxide synthase and the level of nitric oxide in the ischemic cardiomyocytes, and increase the synthesis of cyclic guanosine monophosphate, ultimately reducing the level of cyclic adenosine 3', 5'monophosphate, and lowering the activity of protein kinase A and the inward flow of Ca 2+ in cardiomyocytes. In this way, the ischemic myocardial injury is improved at last. However, some results of acupuncture intervention are not identical and need being confirmed further by more approaches.

  15. An investigation of the mechanism underlying teacher aggression : Testing I3 theory and the General Aggression Model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Montuoro, Paul; Mainhard, Tim


    Background: Considerable research has investigated the deleterious effects of teachers responding aggressively to students who misbehave, but the mechanism underlying this dysfunctional behaviour remains unknown. Aims: This study investigated whether the mechanism underlying teacher aggression

  16. Tensile mechanical behavior of hollow and filled carbon nanotubes under tension or combined tension-torsion (United States)

    Jeong, Byeong-Woo; Lim, Jang-Keun; Sinnott, Susan B.


    The tensile mechanical behavior of hollow and filled single-walled carbon nanotubes under tension or combined tension-torsion is examined using classical molecular dynamics simulations. These simulations indicate that the tensile strength under combined tension-torsion can be increased by filling the carbon nanotubes, and the amount of this increase depends on the kind of filling material. They also predict that the tensile strength under combined tension-torsion decreases linearly under applied torsion. The tensile strength can be modified by adjusting the system temperature and through chemical functionalization to the carbon nanotube walls.

  17. How diagnostic tests help to disentangle the mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain symptoms in painful neuropathies. (United States)

    Truini, Andrea; Cruccu, Giorgio


    Neuropathic pain, ie, pain arising directly from a lesion or disease affecting the somatosensory afferent pathway, manifests with various symptoms, the commonest being ongoing burning pain, electrical shock-like sensations, and dynamic mechanical allodynia. Reliable insights into the mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain symptoms come from diagnostic tests documenting and quantifying somatosensory afferent pathway damage in patients with painful neuropathies. Neurophysiological investigation and skin biopsy studies suggest that ongoing burning pain primarily reflects spontaneous activity in nociceptive-fiber pathways. Electrical shock-like sensations presumably arise from high-frequency ectopic bursts generated in demyelinated, nonnociceptive, Aβ fibers. Although the mechanisms underlying dynamic mechanical allodynia remain debatable, normally innocuous stimuli might cause pain by activating spared and sensitized nociceptive afferents. Extending the mechanistic approach to neuropathic pain symptoms might advance targeted therapy for the individual patient and improve testing for new drugs.

  18. Visualization of hot spot formation in energetic materials under periodic mechanical excitation using phosphor thermography (United States)

    Casey, Alex; Fenoglio, Gabriel; Detrinidad, Humberto


    Under mechanical excitation, energy is known to localize within an energetic material resulting in `hot spot' formation. While many formation mechanisms have been proposed, additional insight to heat generation mechanisms, the effect of binder/crystal interfaces, and predication capabilities can be gained by quantifying the initiation and growth of the hot spots. Phosphor thermography is a well established temperature sensing technique wherein an object's temperature is obtained by collecting the temperature dependent luminescence of an optically excited phosphor. Herein, the phosphor thermography technique has been applied to Dow Corning Sylgard® 184/octahydro 1,3,5,7 tetranitro 1,3,5,7 tetrazocine (HMX) composite materials under mechanical excitation in order to visualize the evolution of the temperature field, and thus hot spot formation, within the binder. Funded by AFOSR. Supported by the Department of Defense (DoD) through the National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG) Program.

  19. Transductive Ridge Regression in Structure-activity Modeling. (United States)

    Marcou, Gilles; Delouis, Grace; Mokshyna, Olena; Horvath, Dragos; Lachiche, Nicolas; Varnek, Alexandre


    In this article we consider the application of the Transductive Ridge Regression (TRR) approach to structure-activity modeling. An original procedure of the TRR parameters optimization is suggested. Calculations performed on 3 different datasets involving two types of descriptors demonstrated that TRR outperforms its non-transductive analogue (Ridge Regression) in more than 90 % of cases. The most significant transductive effect was observed for small datasets. This suggests that transduction may be particularly useful when the data are expensive or difficult to collect. © 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  20. A Computational Study on the Structure, Dynamics and Mechanoelectric Transduction of Vestibular Hair cell


    Nam, Jong-Hoon


    The hair cell, a specialized cell in the inner ear, is responsible for hearing and balance. The hair cell is an exquisite sensor that captures mechanical stimuli and generates neurosensory signals. A theory called gating theory has been developed and widely used to analyze the experimental data of hair cell transduction. Despite increasing knowledge about molecular structures of hair cells, the mechanical model in the gating theory remained simple. Efforts to make the most of the recent f...

  1. A Cross-Cultural Approach to Psychological Mechanisms Underlying Emotional Reactions to Music


    Barradas, Gonçalo


    Music plays a crucial role in everyday life by enabling listeners to seek individual emotional experiences. To explain why such emotions occur, we must understand the underlying process that mediates between surface-level features of the music and aroused emotions. This thesis aimed to investigate how musical emotions are mediated by psychological mechanisms from a cross-cultural perspective. Study I manipulated four mechanisms by selecting ecologically valid pieces of music that featured inf...

  2. Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying adverse reactions associated with a kinase inhibitor using systems toxicology. (United States)

    Amemiya, Takahiro; Honma, Masashi; Kariya, Yoshiaki; Ghosh, Samik; Kitano, Hiroaki; Kurachi, Yoshihisa; Fujita, Ken-Ichi; Sasaki, Yasutsuna; Homma, Yukio; Abernethy, Darrel R; Kume, Haruki; Suzuki, Hiroshi


    Targeted kinase inhibitors are an important class of agents in anticancer therapeutics, but their limited tolerability hampers their clinical performance. Identification of the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of adverse reactions will be helpful in establishing a rational method for the management of clinically adverse reactions. Here, we selected sunitinib as a model and demonstrated that the molecular mechanisms underlying the adverse reactions associated with kinase inhibitors can efficiently be identified using a systems toxicological approach. First, toxicological target candidates were short-listed by comparing the human kinase occupancy profiles of sunitinib and sorafenib, and the molecular mechanisms underlying adverse reactions were predicted by sequential simulations using publicly available mathematical models. Next, to evaluate the probability of these predictions, a clinical observation study was conducted in six patients treated with sunitinib. Finally, mouse experiments were performed for detailed confirmation of the hypothesized molecular mechanisms and to evaluate the efficacy of a proposed countermeasure against adverse reactions to sunitinib. In silico simulations indicated the possibility that sunitinib-mediated off-target inhibition of phosphorylase kinase leads to the generation of oxidative stress in various tissues. Clinical observations of patients and mouse experiments confirmed the validity of this prediction. The simulation further suggested that concomitant use of an antioxidant may prevent sunitinib-mediated adverse reactions, which was confirmed in mouse experiments. A systems toxicological approach successfully predicted the molecular mechanisms underlying clinically adverse reactions associated with sunitinib and was used to plan a rational method for the management of these adverse reactions.

  3. Mechanisms Underlying Stress Fracture and the Influence of Sex and Race/Ethnicity (United States)


    AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-16-1-0652 TITLE: Mechanisms Underlying Stress Fracture and the Influence of Sex and Race/Ethnicity PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR...5a. CONTRACT NUMBER W81XWH-16-1-0652 Mechanisms Underlying Stress Fracture and the Influence of Sex and Race/Ethnicity 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH...Email addresses:;; ; E-Mail: 5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 7

  4. Comparative proteomics of peanut gynophore development under dark and mechanical stimulation. (United States)

    Sun, Yong; Wang, Qingguo; Li, Zhen; Hou, Lei; Dai, Shaojun; Liu, Wei


    Peanut (Arachis hypogaea. L) is an important leguminous crop and source of proteins and lipids. It has attracted widespread attention of researchers due to its unique growth habit of geocarpy, which is regulated by geotropism, negative phototropism, and haptotropism. However, the protein expression pattern and molecular regulatory mechanism underlying the physiological processes of peanut remain unknown. In this study, the peanut gynophores under five treatment conditions were used for proteomic analysis, including aerial growth of the gynophores, the gynophores penetrated into the soil, as well as aerial growth of the gynophores under mechanical stimulation, dark, and mechanical stimulation combined with dark. The analysis of protein abundances in peanut gynophores under these conditions were conducted using comparative proteomic approaches. A total of 27 differentially expressed proteins were identified and further classified into nine biological functional groups of stress and defense, carbohydrate and energy metabolism, metabolism, photosynthesis, cell structure, signaling, transcription, protein folding and degradation, and function unknown. By searching gene functions against peanut database, 10 genes with similar annotations were selected as corresponding changed proteins, and their variation trends in gynophores under such growth conditions were further verified using quantitative real-time PCR. Overall, the investigation will benefit to enrich our understanding of the internal mechanisms of peanut gynophore development and lay a foundation for breeding and improving crop varieties and qualities.

  5. Model test study of evaporation mechanism of sand under constant atmospheric condition


    CUI, Yu Jun; DING, Wenqi; SONG, Weikang


    The evaporation mechanism of Fontainebleau sand using a large-scale model chamber is studied. First, the evaporation test on a layer of water above sand surface is performed under various atmospheric conditions, validating the performance of the chamber and the calculation method of actual evaporation rate by comparing the calculated and measured cumulative evaporations. Second,the evaporation test on sand without water layer is conducted under constant atmospheric condition. Both the evoluti...

  6. Mechanical behavior of confined self-compacting reinforced concrete circular columns under concentric axial loading


    Khairallah, Fouad


    While there is abundant research information on ordinary confined concrete, there are little data on the behavior of Self-Compacting Concrete (SCC) under such condition. Due to higher shrinkage and lower coarse aggregate content of SCC compared to that of Normal Concrete (NC), its composite performance under confined conditions needs more investigation. This paper has been devoted to investigate and compare the mechanical behavior of confined concrete circular columns cast with SCC and NC und...

  7. Ultrastructural changes of cell walls under intense mechanical treatment of selective plant raw material

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bychkov, Aleksey L.; Ryabchikova, E.I.; Korolev, K.G.; Lomovsky, O.I.


    Structural changes of cell walls under intense mechanical treatment of corn straw and oil-palm fibers were studied by electron and light microscopy. Differences in the character of destruction of plant biomass were revealed, and the dependence of destruction mechanisms on the structure of cell walls and lignin content was demonstrated. We suggest that the high reactivity of the particles of corn straw (about 18% of lignin) after intense mechanical treatment is related to disordering of cell walls and an increase of the surface area, while in the case of oil palm (10% of lignin) the major contribution into an increase in the reactivity is made by an increase of surface area. -- Highlights: ► Structure of cell walls determines the processes of plant materials' destruction. ► Ultrastructure of highly lignified materials strongly disordering by mechanical action. ► Ultrastructure of low-lignified materials is not disordering by mechanical action.

  8. Cyclophilin A promotes HIV-1 reverse transcription but its effect on transduction correlates best with its effect on nuclear entry of viral cDNA. (United States)

    De Iaco, Alberto; Luban, Jeremy


    The human peptidyl-prolyl isomerase Cyclophilin A (CypA) binds HIV-1 capsid (CA) and influences early steps in the HIV-1 replication cycle. The mechanism by which CypA regulates HIV-1 transduction efficiency is unknown. Disruption of CypA binding to CA, either by genetic means or by the competitive inhibitor cyclosporine A (CsA), reduces the efficiency of HIV-1 transduction in some cells but not in others. Transduction of certain cell types increases significantly when CypA binding to particular HIV-1 CA mutants, i.e., A92E, is prevented. Previous studies have suggested that this cell type-specific effect is due to a dominant-acting, CypA-dependent restriction factor. Here we investigated the mechanism by which CypA regulates HIV-1 transduction efficiency using 27 different human cell lines, 32 HeLa subclones, and several previously characterized HIV-1 CA mutants. Disruption of CypA binding to wild-type CA, or to any of the mutant CAs, caused a decrease in HIV-1 reverse transcription in all the cell lines analyzed here. This block to reverse transcription, though, did not correlate with cell type-specific effects on transduction efficiency. The level of 2-LTR circles, a marker for nuclear transport of the viral cDNA that results from reverse transcription, correlated closely with effects on infectivity. No correlation was observed between the cell type-specific effects on infectivity and the steady-state CypA protein levels in these cells. Instead, as indicated by a fate-of-capsid assay, CsA released the HIV-1 CA core from an apparent state of hyperstabilization, in a cell type-specific manner. These data demonstrate that, while CypA promotes reverse transcription under all conditions tested here, its effect on HIV-1 infectivity correlates more closely with effects on nuclear entry of the viral cDNA. The data also support the hypothesis that a cell-type specific CypA-dependent restriction factor blocks HIV-1 replication by delaying CA core uncoating and hindering

  9. Arm-in-Arm Response Regulator Dimers Promote Intermolecular Signal Transduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baker, Anna W.; Satyshur, Kenneth A.; Morales, Neydis Moreno; Forest, Katrina T. (UW)



    Bacteriophytochrome photoreceptors (BphPs) and their cognate response regulators make up two-component signal transduction systems which direct bacteria to mount phenotypic responses to changes in environmental light quality. Most of these systems utilize single-domain response regulators to transduce signals through unknown pathways and mechanisms. Here we describe the photocycle and autophosphorylation kinetics of RtBphP1, a red light-regulated histidine kinase from the desert bacteriumRamlibacter tataouinensis. RtBphP1 undergoes red to far-red photoconversion with rapid thermal reversion to the dark state. RtBphP1 is autophosphorylated in the dark; this activity is inhibited under red light. The RtBphP1 cognate response regulator, theR. tataouinensisbacteriophytochrome response regulator (RtBRR), and a homolog, AtBRR fromAgrobacterium tumefaciens, crystallize unexpectedly as arm-in-arm dimers, reliant on a conserved hydrophobic motif, hFWAhL (where h is a hydrophobic M, V, L, or I residue). RtBRR and AtBRR dimerize distinctly from four structurally characterized phytochrome response regulators found in photosynthetic organisms and from all other receiver domain homodimers in the Protein Data Bank. A unique cacodylate-zinc-histidine tag metal organic framework yielded single-wavelength anomalous diffraction phases and may be of general interest. Examination of the effect of the BRR stoichiometry on signal transduction showed that phosphorylated RtBRR is accumulated more efficiently than the engineered monomeric RtBRR (RtBRRmon) in phosphotransfer reactions. Thus, we conclude that arm-in-arm dimers are a relevant signaling intermediate in this class of two-component regulatory systems.

  10. Nonlinear Dynamic Analysis of Telescopic Mechanism for Truss Structure Bridge Inspection Vehicle Under Pedestrian Excitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenwen Sui

    Full Text Available Abstract Nonlinear dynamic analysis of an axially moving telescopic mechanism for truss structure bridge inspection vehicle under pedestrian excitation is carried out. A biomechanically inspired inverted-pendulum model is utilized to simplify the pedestrian. The nonlinear equations of motion for the beam-pedestrian system are derived using the Hamilton's principle. The equations are transformed into two ordinary differential equations by applying the Galerkin's method at the first two orders. The solutions to the equations are acquired by using the Newmark-β method associated with the Newton-Raphson method. The time-dependent feature of the eigenfunctions for the two beams are taken into consideration in the solutions. Accordingly, the equations of motion for a simplified system, in which the pedestrian is regarded as moving cart, are given. In the numerical examples, dynamic responses of the telescopic mechanism in eight conditions of different beam-telescoping and pedestrian-moving directions are simulated. Comparisons between the vibrations of the beams under pedestrian excitation and corresponding moving cart are carried out to investigate the influence of the pedestrian excitation on the telescopic mechanism. The results show that the displacement of the telescopic mechanism under pedestrian excitation is smaller than that under moving cart especially when the pedestrian approaches the beams end. Additionally, compared with moving cart, the pedestrian excitation can effectively strengthen the vibration when the beam extension is small or when the pedestrian is close to the beams end.

  11. Mechanisms underlying prorenin actions on hypothalamic neurons implicated in cardiometabolic control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soledad Pitra


    Conclusions: We identified novel neuronal targets and cellular mechanisms underlying PR/PRR actions in critical hypothalamic neurons involved in cardiometabolic regulation. This fundamental mechanistic information regarding central PR/PRR actions is essential for the development of novel RAS-based therapeutic targets for the treatment of cardiometabolic disorders in obesity and hypertension.

  12. Unraveling the mechanisms underlying postural instability in Parkinson's disease using dynamic posturography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nonnekes, J.H.; Kam, D. de; Geurts, A.C.; Weerdesteijn, V.G.M.; Bloem, B.R.


    Postural instability, one of the cardinal symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), has devastating consequences for affected patients. Better strategies to prevent falls are needed, but this calls for an improved understanding of the complex mechanisms underlying postural instability. We must also

  13. The Mediated MIMIC Model for Understanding the Underlying Mechanism of DIF (United States)

    Cheng, Ying; Shao, Can; Lathrop, Quinn N.


    Due to its flexibility, the multiple-indicator, multiple-causes (MIMIC) model has become an increasingly popular method for the detection of differential item functioning (DIF). In this article, we propose the mediated MIMIC model method to uncover the underlying mechanism of DIF. This method extends the usual MIMIC model by including one variable…

  14. Deformation Microstructures and Creep Mechanisms in Advanced ZR-Based Cladding Under Biazal Loading

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K. Linga (KL) Murty


    Investigate creep behavior of Zr-based cladding tubes with attention to basic creep mechanisms and transitions in them at low stresses and/or temperatures and study the dislocation microstructures of deformed samples for correlation with the underlying micromechanism of creep

  15. Cementogenesis is inhibited under a mechanical static compressive force via Piezo1. (United States)

    Zhang, Ying-Ying; Huang, Yi-Ping; Zhao, Hua-Xiang; Zhang, Ting; Chen, Feng; Liu, Yan


    To investigate whether Piezo1, a mechanotransduction gene mediates the cementogenic activity of cementoblasts under a static mechanical compressive force. Murine cementoblasts (OCCM-30) were exposed to a 2.0 g/cm 2 static compressive force for 3, 6, 12, and 24 hours. Then the expression profile of Piezo1 and the cementogenic activity markers osteoprotegerin (Opg), osteopontin (Opn), osteocalcin (Oc), and protein tyrosine phosphataselike member A (Ptpla) were analyzed. Opg, Opn, Oc, and Ptpla expression was further measured after using siRNA to knock down Piezo1. Real-time PCR, Western blot, and cell proliferation assays were performed according to standard procedures. After mechanical stimulation, cell morphology and proliferation did not change significantly. The expression of Piezo1, Opg, Opn, Oc, and Ptpla was significantly decreased, with a high positive correlation between Opg and Piezo1 expression. After Piezo1 knockdown, the expression of Opg, Opn, Oc, and Ptpla was further decreased under mechanical stimulation. Cementogenic activity was inhibited in OCCM-30 cells under static mechanical force, a process that was partially mediated by the decrease of Piezo1. This study provides a new viewpoint of the pathogenesis mechanism of orthodontically induced root resorption and repair.

  16. Modeling the Infection Dynamics of Bacteriophages in Enteric Escherichia coli: Estimating the Contribution of Transduction to Antimicrobial Gene Spread (United States)

    Lu, Zhao; Besser, Thomas; Gröhn, Yrjö T.


    Animal-associated bacterial communities are infected by bacteriophages, although the dynamics of these infections are poorly understood. Transduction by bacteriophages may contribute to transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes, but the relative importance of transduction among other gene transfer mechanisms is unknown. We therefore developed a candidate deterministic mathematical model of the infection dynamics of enteric coliphages in commensal Escherichia coli in the large intestine of cattle. We assumed the phages were associated with the intestine and were predominantly temperate. Model simulations demonstrated how, given the bacterial ecology and infection dynamics, most (>90%) commensal enteric E. coli bacteria may become lysogens of enteric coliphages during intestinal transit. Using the model and the most liberal assumptions about transduction efficiency and resistance gene frequency, we approximated the upper numerical limits (“worst-case scenario”) of gene transfer through specialized and generalized transduction in E. coli by enteric coliphages when the transduced genetic segment is picked at random. The estimates were consistent with a relatively small contribution of transduction to lateral gene spread; for example, generalized transduction delivered the chromosomal resistance gene to up to 8 E. coli bacteria/hour within the population of 1.47 × 108 E. coli bacteria/liter luminal contents. In comparison, the plasmidic blaCMY-2 gene carried by ∼2% of enteric E. coli was transferred by conjugation at a rate at least 1.4 × 103 times greater than our generalized transduction estimate. The estimated numbers of transductants varied nonlinearly depending on the ecology of bacteria available for phages to infect, that is, on the assumed rates of turnover and replication of enteric E. coli. PMID:24814786

  17. Large Deflections Mechanical Analysis of a Suspended Single-Wall Carbon Nanotube under Thermoelectrical Loading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Assaf Ya'akobovitz


    Full Text Available Following the recent progress in integrating single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs into silicon-based micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS, new modeling tools are needed to predict their behavior under different loads, including thermal, electrical and mechanical. In the present study, the mechanical behavior of SWCNTs under thermoelectrical loading is analyzed using a large deflection geometrically nonlinear string model. The effect of the resistive heating was found to have a substantial influence on the SWCNTs behavior, including significant enhancement of the strain (up to the millistrains range and buckling due to the thermal expansion. The effect of local buckling sites was also studied and was found to enhance the local strain. The theoretical and numerical results obtained in the present study demonstrate the importance of resistive heating in the analysis of SWCNTs and provide an additional insight into the unique mechanics of suspended SWCNTs.

  18. Intercomparison of chemical mechanisms for air quality policy formulation and assessment under North American conditions. (United States)

    Derwent, Richard


    The intercomparison of seven chemical mechanisms for their suitability for air quality policy formulation and assessment is described. Box modeling techniques were employed using 44 sets of background environmental conditions covering North America to constrain the chemical development of the longer lived species. The selected mechanisms were modified to enable an unbiased assessment of the adequacy of the parameterizations of photochemical ozone production from volatile organic compound (VOC) oxidation in the presence of NO x . Photochemical ozone production rates responded differently to 30% NO x and VOC reductions with the different mechanisms, despite the striking similarities between the base-case ozone production rates. The 30% reductions in NO x and VOCs also produced changes in OH. The responses in OH to 30% reductions in NO x and VOCs appeared to be more sensitive to mechanism choice, compared with the responses in the photochemical ozone production rates. Although 30% NO x reductions generally led to decreases in OH, 30% reductions in VOCs led to increases in OH, irrespective of mechanism choice and background environmental conditions. The different mechanisms therefore gave different OH responses to NO x and VOC reductions and so would give different responses in terms of changes in the fate and behavior of air toxics, acidification and eutrophication, and fine particle formation compared with others, in response to ozone control strategies. Policymakers need to understand that there are likely to be inherent differences in the responses to ozone control strategies between different mechanisms, depending on background environmental conditions and the extents of NO x and VOC reductions under consideration. The purpose of this paper is to compare predicted ozone responses to NO x and VOC reductions with seven chemical mechanisms under North American conditions. The good agreement found between the tested mechanisms should provide some support for their

  19. Molecular transduction mechanisms in ACTH-induced grooming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gispen, W.H.; Colbern, D.; Spruijt, B.M.


    Intraventricular administration of ACTH1-24 induces excessive grooming in the rat. Ethogram analysis shows that the peptide does not alter grooming behavior seen in a novel box, but that it prolongs the duration of the grooming bout. Extensive structure-activity studies have been performed which

  20. [Pathophysiology of neuropathic pain: molecular mechanisms underlying central sensitization in the dorsal horn in neuropathic pain]. (United States)

    Yamanaka, Hiroki; Noguchi, Koichi


    Neuropathic pain syndromes are clinically characterized by spontaneous pain and evoked pain (hyperalgesia and allodynia). The optimal treatment approach for neuropathic pain is still under development because of the complex pathological mechanisms underlying this type of pain. The spinal cord is an important gateway thorough which peripheral pain signals are transmitted to the brain, and sensitization of the spinal neurons is one of the important mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain. Central sensitization represents enhancement of the function of neuronal circuits in nociceptive pathways and is a manifestation of the remarkable plasticity of the somatosensory nervous system after nerve injury. This review highlights the pathological features of central sensitization, which develops because of (1) injury-induced abnormal inputs from primary afferents, (2) increase in the excitability of dorsal horn neurons, and (3) activated glial cell-derived signals.

  1. FCJ-124 Interactive Environments as Fields of Transduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristoph Brunner


    Full Text Available This article proposes a critical inquiry of interactive environments as fields of transduction. It is argued that Gilbert Simondon’s concepts of individuation, transduction, in-formation, the preindividual, and the associated milieu enable a processual thinking of the analysis and design of interactive technologies as technogenetic emergence. These concepts offer a way for interaction design to understand interactive environments through the dynamics between fields of transduction and fields of experience in relational and affective terms. The article analyses the way in which two technological assemblages, Voz Alta and the Impossible Room, provide different experiential fields experimenting with the transductive power of digital and interactive media. We emphasise the potential for creating new modes of experience. Our aim is to underline the necessary convergences between practices of design and thought; to enable affectively engaging fields of transduction.

  2. Review of the damage mechanism in wind turbine gearbox bearings under rolling contact fatigue (United States)

    Su, Yun-Shuai; Yu, Shu-Rong; Li, Shu-Xin; He, Yan-Ni


    Wind turbine gearbox bearings fail with the service life is much shorter than the designed life. Gearbox bearings are subjected to rolling contact fatigue (RCF) and they are observed to fail due to axial cracking, surface flaking, and the formation of white etching areas (WEAs). The current study reviewed these three typical failure modes. The underlying dominant mechanisms were discussed with emphasis on the formation mechanism of WEAs. Although numerous studies have been carried out, the formation of WEAs remains unclear. The prevailing mechanism of the rubbing of crack faces that generates WEAs was questioned by the authors. WEAs were compared with adiabatic shear bands (ASBs) generated in the high strain rate deformation in terms of microstructural compositions, grain refinement, and formation mechanism. Results indicate that a number of similarities exist between them. However, substantial evidence is required to verify whether or not WEAs and ASBs are the same matters.

  3. Transformational Leadership and Organizational Citizenship Behavior: A Meta-Analytic Test of Underlying Mechanisms. (United States)

    Nohe, Christoph; Hertel, Guido


    Based on social exchange theory, we examined and contrasted attitudinal mediators (affective organizational commitment, job satisfaction) and relational mediators (trust in leader, leader-member exchange; LMX) of the positive relationship between transformational leadership and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). Hypotheses were tested using meta-analytic path models with correlations from published meta-analyses (761 samples with 227,419 individuals overall). When testing single-mediator models, results supported our expectations that each of the mediators explained the relationship between transformational leadership and OCB. When testing a multi-mediator model, LMX was the strongest mediator. When testing a model with a latent attitudinal mechanism and a latent relational mechanism, the relational mechanism was the stronger mediator of the relationship between transformational leadership and OCB. Our findings help to better understand the underlying mechanisms of the relationship between transformational leadership and OCB.

  4. Effects of delaying transplanting on agronomic traits and grain yield of rice under mechanical transplantation pattern.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qihua Liu

    Full Text Available A delay in the mechanical transplantation (MT of rice seedlings frequently occurs in Huanghuai wheat-rice rotation cropping districts of China, due to the late harvest of wheat, the poor weather conditions and the insufficiency of transplanters, missing the optimum transplanting time and causing seedlings to age. To identify how delaying transplanting rice affects the agronomic characteristics including the growth duration, photosynthetic productivity and dry matter remobilization efficiency and the grain yield under mechanical transplanting pattern, an experiment with a split-plot design was conducted over two consecutive years. The main plot includes two types of cultivation: mechanical transplanting and artificial transplanting (AT. The subplot comprises four japonica rice cultivars. The results indicate that the rice jointing, booting, heading and maturity stages were postponed under MT when using AT as a control. The tiller occurrence number, dry matter weight per tiller, accumulative dry matter for the population, leaf area index, crop growth rate, photosynthetic potential, and dry matter remobilization efficiency of the leaf under MT significantly decreased compared to those under AT. In contrast, the reduction rate of the leaf area during the heading-maturity stage was markedly enhanced under MT. The numbers of effective panicles and filled grains per panicle and the grain yield significantly decreased under MT. A significant correlation was observed between the dry matter production, remobilization and distribution characteristics and the grain yield. We infer that, as with rice from old seedlings, the decrease in the tiller occurrence, the photosynthetic productivity and the assimilate remobilization efficiency may be important agronomic traits that are responsible for the reduced grain yield under MT.

  5. Dynamic Response and Failure Mechanism of Brittle Rocks Under Combined Compression-Shear Loading Experiments (United States)

    Xu, Yuan; Dai, Feng


    A novel method is developed for characterizing the mechanical response and failure mechanism of brittle rocks under dynamic compression-shear loading: an inclined cylinder specimen using a modified split Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB) system. With the specimen axis inclining to the loading direction of SHPB, a shear component can be introduced into the specimen. Both static and dynamic experiments are conducted on sandstone specimens. Given carefully pulse shaping, the dynamic equilibrium of the inclined specimens can be satisfied, and thus the quasi-static data reduction is employed. The normal and shear stress-strain relationships of specimens are subsequently established. The progressive failure process of the specimen illustrated via high-speed photographs manifests a mixed failure mode accommodating both the shear-dominated failure and the localized tensile damage. The elastic and shear moduli exhibit certain loading-path dependence under quasi-static loading but loading-path insensitivity under high loading rates. Loading rate dependence is evidently demonstrated through the failure characteristics involving fragmentation, compression and shear strength and failure surfaces based on Drucker-Prager criterion. Our proposed method is convenient and reliable to study the dynamic response and failure mechanism of rocks under combined compression-shear loading.

  6. Inspection Mechanism and Experimental Study of Prestressed Reverse Tension Method under PC Beam Bridge Anchorage (United States)

    Peng, Zhang


    the prestress under anchorage is directly related to the structural security and performance of PC beam bridge. The reverse tension method is a kind of inspection which confirms the prestress by exerting reversed tension load on the exposed prestressing tendon of beam bridge anchoring system. The thesis elaborately expounds the inspection mechanism and mechanical effect of reverse tension method, theoretically analyzes the influential elements of inspection like tool anchorage deformation, compression of conjuncture, device glide, friction of anchorage loop mouth and elastic compression of concrete, and then presents the following formula to calculate prestress under anchorage. On the basis of model experiment, the thesis systematically studies some key issues during the reverse tension process of PC beam bridge anchorage system like the formation of stress-elongation curve, influential factors, judgment method of prestress under anchorage, variation trend and compensation scale, verifies the accuracy of mechanism analysis and demonstrates: the prestress under anchorage is less than or equal to 75% of the ultimate strength of prestressing tendon, the error of inspect result is less than 1%, which can meet with the demands of construction. The research result has provided theoretical basis and technical foundation for the promotion and application of reverse tension in bridge construction.

  7. Mechanical and electronic properties of monolayer and bilayer phosphorene under uniaxial and isotropic strains. (United States)

    Hu, Ting; Han, Yang; Dong, Jinming


    The mechanical and electronic properties of both the monolayer and bilayer phosphorenes under either isotropic or uniaxial strain have been systematically investigated using first-principles calculations. It is interesting to find that: 1) Under a large enough isotropic tensile strain, the monolayer phosphorene would lose its pucker structure and transform into a flat hexagonal plane, while two inner sublayers of the bilayer phosphorene could be bonded due to its interlayer distance contraction. 2) Under the uniaxial tensile strain along a zigzag direction, the pucker distance of each layer in the bilayer phosphorene can exhibit a specific negative Poisson's ratio. 3) The electronic properties of both the monolayer and bilayer phosphorenes are sensitive to the magnitude and direction of the applied strains. Their band gaps decrease more rapidly under isotropic compressive strain than under uniaxial strain. Also, their direct-indirect band gap transitions happen at the larger isotropic tensile strains compared with that under uniaxial strain. 4) Under the isotropic compressive strain, the bilayer phosphorene exhibits a transition from a direct-gap semiconductor to a metal. In contrast, the monolayer phosphorene initially has the direct-indirect transition and then transitions to a metal. However, under isotropic tensile strain, both the bilayer and monolayer phosphorene show the direct-indirect transition and, finally, the transition to a metal. Our numerical results may open new potential applications of phosphorene in nanoelectronics and nanomechanical devices by external isotropic strain or uniaxial strain along different directions.

  8. Asymmetric flexural behavior from bamboo's functionally graded hierarchical structure: underlying mechanisms. (United States)

    Habibi, Meisam K; Samaei, Arash T; Gheshlaghi, Behnam; Lu, Jian; Lu, Yang


    As one of the most renewable resources on Earth, bamboo has recently attracted increasing interest for its promising applications in sustainable structural purposes. Its superior mechanical properties arising from the unique functionally-graded (FG) hierarchical structure also make bamboo an excellent candidate for bio-mimicking purposes in advanced material design. However, despite its well-documented, impressive mechanical characteristics, the intriguing asymmetry in flexural behavior of bamboo, alongside its underlying mechanisms, has not yet been fully understood. Here, we used multi-scale mechanical characterizations assisted with advanced environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) to investigate the asymmetric flexural responses of natural bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) strips under different loading configurations, during "elastic bending" and "fracture failure" stages, with their respective deformation mechanisms at microstructural level. Results showed that the gradient distribution of the vascular bundles along the thickness direction is mainly responsible for the exhibited asymmetry, whereas the hierarchical fiber/parenchyma cellular structure plays a critical role in alternating the dominant factors for determining the distinctly different failure mechanisms. A numerical model has been likewise adopted to validate the effective flexural moduli of bamboo strips as a function of their FG parameters, while additional experiments on uniaxial loading of bamboo specimens were performed to assess the tension-compression asymmetry, for further understanding of the microstructure evolution of bamboo's outer and innermost layers under different bending states. This work could provide insights to help the processing of novel bamboo-based composites and enable the bio-inspired design of advanced structural materials with desired flexural behavior. Copyright © 2015 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Activation as the Main Mechanisms Underlying Graphene Toxicity against Human Cancer Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Jarosz


    Full Text Available Due to the development of nanotechnology graphene and graphene-based nanomaterials have attracted the most attention owing to their unique physical, chemical, and mechanical properties. Graphene can be applied in many fields among which biomedical applications especially diagnostics, cancer therapy, and drug delivery have been arousing a lot of interest. Therefore it is essential to understand better the graphene-cell interactions, especially toxicity and underlying mechanisms for proper use and development. This review presents the recent knowledge concerning graphene cytotoxicity and influence on different cancer cell lines.

  10. Mechanical failure of zigzag graphene nanoribbons under tensile strain induced by edge reconstruction

    KAUST Repository

    Cheng, Yingchun


    The structural and mechanical properties of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) under uniaxial tensile strain are studied by density functional theory. The ideal strength of a zigzag GNR (120 GPa) is close to that of pristine graphene. However, for a GNR with both edges reconstructed to pentagon–heptagon pairs (from hexagon–hexagon pairs) it decreases to 94 GPa and the maximum tensile strain is reduced to 15%. Our results constitute a comprehensive picture of the edge structure effect on the mechanical properties of GNRs.

  11. Gene transfer to pre-hematopoietic and committed hematopoietic precursors in the early mouse Yolk Sac: a comparative study between in situ electroporation and retroviral transduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lécluse Yann


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hematopoietic development in vertebrate embryos results from the sequential contribution of two pools of precursors independently generated. While intra-embryonic precursors harbour the features of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC, precursors formed earlier in the yolk sac (YS display limited differentiation and self-renewal potentials. The mechanisms leading to the generation of the precursors in both sites are still largely unknown, as are the molecular basis underlying their different potential. A possible approach to assess the role of candidate genes is to transfer or modulate their expression/activity in both sites. We thus designed and compared transduction protocols to target either native extra-embryonic precursors, or hematopoietic precursors. Results One transduction protocol involves transient modification of gene expression through in situ electroporation of the prospective blood islands, which allows the evolution of transfected mesodermal cells in their "normal" environment, upon organ culture. Following in situ electroporation of a GFP reporter construct into the YS cavity of embryos at post-streak (mesodermal/pre-hematopoietic precursors or early somite (hematopoietic precursors stages, high GFP expression levels as well as a good preservation of cell viability is observed in YS explants. Moreover, the erythro-myeloid progeny typical of the YS arises from GFP+ mesodermal cells or hematopoietic precursors, even if the number of targeted precursors is low. The second approach, based on retroviral transduction allows a very efficient transduction of large precursor numbers, but may only be used to target 8 dpc YS hematopoietic precursors. Again, transduced cells generate a progeny quantitatively and qualitatively similar to that of control YS. Conclusion We thus provide two protocols whose combination may allow a thorough study of both early and late events of hematopoietic development in the murine YS. In situ

  12. Reliability-based optimization of maintenance scheduling of mechanical components under fatigue. (United States)

    Beaurepaire, P; Valdebenito, M A; Schuëller, G I; Jensen, H A


    This study presents the optimization of the maintenance scheduling of mechanical components under fatigue loading. The cracks of damaged structures may be detected during non-destructive inspection and subsequently repaired. Fatigue crack initiation and growth show inherent variability, and as well the outcome of inspection activities. The problem is addressed under the framework of reliability based optimization. The initiation and propagation of fatigue cracks are efficiently modeled using cohesive zone elements. The applicability of the method is demonstrated by a numerical example, which involves a plate with two holes subject to alternating stress.

  13. CISM course on mechanical behaviour of soils under environmentally induced cyclic loads

    CERN Document Server

    Wood, David; Mechanical Behaviour of Soils Under Environmentally Induced Cyclic Loads


    The book gives a comprehensive description of the mechanical response of soils (granular and cohesive materials) under cyclic loading. It provides the geotechnical engineer with the theoretical and analytical tools necessary for the evaluation of settlements developng with time under cyclic, einvironmentally idncued loads (such as wave motion, wind actions, water table level variation) and their consequences for the serviceability and durability of structures such as the shallow or deep foundations used in offshore engineering, caisson beakwaters, ballast and airport pavements and also to interpret monitoring data, obtained from both natural and artificial slopes and earth embankments, for the purposes of risk assessment and mitigation.

  14. TMC function in hair cell transduction (United States)

    Holt, Jeffrey R.; Pan, Bifeng; Koussa, Mounir A.; Asai, Yukako


    Transmembrane channel-like (TMC) proteins 1 and 2 are necessary for hair cell mechanotransduction but their precise function is controversial. A growing body of evidence supports a direct role for TMC1 and TMC2 as components of the transduction complex. However, a number of important questions remain and alternate hypotheses have been proposed. Here we present an historical overview of the identification and cloning of Tmc genes, a discussion of mutations in TMC1 that cause deafness in mice and humans and a brief review of other members of the Tmc gene superfamily. We also examine expression of Tmc mRNAs and localization of the protein products. The review focuses on potential functions of TMC proteins and the evidence from Beethoven mice that suggests a direct role for TMC1 in hair cell mechanotransduction. Data that support alternate interpretations are also considered. The article concludes with a discussion of outstanding questions and future directions for TMC research. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled “Annual Reviews 2014”. PMID:24423408

  15. Self-organization of signal transduction. (United States)

    Scheler, Gabriele


    We propose a model of parameter learning for signal transduction, where the objective function is defined by signal transmission efficiency. We apply this to learn kinetic rates as a form of evolutionary learning, and look for parameters which satisfy the objective. This is a novel approach compared to the usual technique of adjusting parameters only on the basis of experimental data. The resulting model is self-organizing, i.e. perturbations in protein concentrations or changes in extracellular signaling will automatically lead to adaptation. We systematically perturb protein concentrations and observe the response of the system. We find compensatory or co-regulation of protein expression levels. In a novel experiment, we alter the distribution of extracellular signaling, and observe adaptation based on optimizing signal transmission. We also discuss the relationship between signaling with and without transients. Signaling by transients may involve maximization of signal transmission efficiency for the peak response, but a minimization in steady-state responses. With an appropriate objective function, this can also be achieved by concentration adjustment. Self-organizing systems may be predictive of unwanted drug interference effects, since they aim to mimic complex cellular adaptation in a unified way.

  16. Glycosphingolipid–Protein Interaction in Signal Transduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Domenico Russo


    Full Text Available Glycosphingolipids (GSLs are a class of ceramide-based glycolipids essential for embryo development in mammals. The synthesis of specific GSLs depends on the expression of distinctive sets of GSL synthesizing enzymes that is tightly regulated during development. Several reports have described how cell surface receptors can be kept in a resting state or activate alternative signalling events as a consequence of their interaction with GSLs. Specific GSLs, indeed, interface with specific protein domains that are found in signalling molecules and which act as GSL sensors to modify signalling responses. The regulation exerted by GSLs on signal transduction is orthogonal to the ligand–receptor axis, as it usually does not directly interfere with the ligand binding to receptors. Due to their properties of adjustable production and orthogonal action on receptors, GSLs add a new dimension to the control of the signalling in development. GSLs can, indeed, dynamically influence progenitor cell response to morphogenetic stimuli, resulting in alternative differentiation fates. Here, we review the available literature on GSL–protein interactions and their effects on cell signalling and development.

  17. Transduction with the antioxidant enzyme catalase protects human T cells against oxidative stress. (United States)

    Ando, Takashi; Mimura, Kousaku; Johansson, C Christian; Hanson, Mikael G; Mougiakakos, Dimitrios; Larsson, Charlotte; Martins da Palma, Telma; Sakurai, Daiju; Norell, Håkan; Li, Mingli; Nishimura, Michael I; Kiessling, Rolf


    Patients with diseases characterized by chronic inflammation, caused by infection or cancer, have T cells and NK cells with impaired function. The underlying molecular mechanisms are diverse, but one of the major mediators in this immune suppression is oxidative stress caused by activated monocytes, granulocytes, or myeloid-derived suppressor cells. Reactive oxygen species can seriously hamper the efficacy of active immunotherapy and adoptive transfer of T and NK cells into patients. In this study, we have evaluated whether enhanced expression of the antioxidant enzyme catalase in human T cells can protect them against reactive oxygen species. Human CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells retrovirally transduced with the catalase gene had increased intracellular expression and activity of catalase. Catalase transduction made CD4(+) T cells less sensitive to H(2)O(2)-induced loss-of-function, measured by their cytokine production and ability to expand in vitro following anti-CD3 stimulation. It also enhanced the resistance to oxidative stress-induced cell death after coculture with activated granulocytes, exposure to the oxidized lipid 4-hydroxynonenal, or H(2)O(2). Expression of catalase by CMV-specific CD8(+) T cells saved cells from cell death and improved their capacity to recognize CMV peptide-loaded target cells when exposed to H(2)O(2). These findings indicate that catalase-transduced T cells potentially are more efficacious for the immunotherapy of patients with advanced cancer or chronic viral infections.

  18. Dyslipidemia modulates Müller glial sensing and transduction of ambient information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika Lakk


    Full Text Available Unesterified cholesterol controls the fluidity, permeability and electrical properties of eukaryotic cell membranes. Consequently, cholesterol levels in the retina and the brain are tightly regulated whereas depletion or oversupply caused by diet or heredity contribute to neurodegenerative diseases and vision loss. Astroglia play a central role in the biosynthesis, uptake and transport of cholesterol and also drive inflammatory signaling under hypercholesterolemic conditions associated with high-fat diet (diabetes and neurodegenerative disease. A growing body of evidence shows that unesterified membrane cholesterol modulates the ability of glia to sense and transduce ambient information. Cholesterol-dependence of Müller glia - which function as retinal sentinels for metabolic, mechanical, osmotic and inflammatory signals - is mediated in part by transient receptor potential V4 (TRPV4 channels. Cholesterol supplementation facilitates, whereas depletion suppresses, TRPV4-mediated transduction of temperature and lipid agonists in Müller cells. Acute effects of cholesterol supplementation/depletion on plasma membrane ion channels and calcium homeostasis differ markedly from the effects of chronic dyslipidemia, possibly due to differential modulation of modality-dependent energy barriers associated with the functionality of polymodal channels embedded within lipid rafts. Understanding of cholesterol-dependence of TRP channels is thus providing insight into dyslipidemic pathologies associated with diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

  19. Scientific conception on mechanisms of calcium homeostasis disorders under low dose effect of ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abylaev, Zh.A.; Dospolova, Zh.G.


    Scientific conception of probable consequences of calcium homeostasis disorders in personals, exposed to low dose effect of ionizing radiation has been developed. Principle positions of the conception is that pathologic processes development have different ways of conducting. During predominance of low doses of external gamma-radiation there is leading pathologic mechanism (mechanism 1) of disorder neuroendocrine regulation of both the calcium and the phosphor. In this case sicks have disorders of both the vegetative tonus and the endocrine status. Under internal irradiation (mechanism 2) there is disfunction of organs and systems (bore changes and disorders of hormone status). These changes are considered as consequence of negative action on organism of incorporated long-living radionuclides. Radio-toxic factors action (mechanism 3) provokes the excess of hormones, which acting on bone tissue and could be cause of steroid osteoporosis. Influence of chronic stress factor (mechanism 4) enlarges and burden action on organism of low radiation doses. It is emphasized, that decisive role in development of pathologic processes has mechanism of disturbance of neuroendocrine regulation of calcium exchange

  20. Contact force and mechanical loss of multistage cable under tension and bending (United States)

    Ru, Yanyun; Yong, Huadong; Zhou, Youhe


    A theoretical model for calculating the stress and strain states of cabling structures with different loadings has been developed in this paper. We solve the problem for the first- and second-stage cable with tensile or bending strain. The contact and friction forces between the strands are presented by two-dimensional contact model. Several theoretical models have been proposed to verify the results when the triplet subjected to the tensile strain, including contact force, contact stresses, and mechanical loss. It is found that loadings will affect the friction force and the mechanical loss of the triplet. The results show that the contact force and mechanical loss are dependent on the twist pitch. A shorter twist pitch can lead to higher contact force, while the trend of mechanical loss with twist pitch is complicated. The mechanical loss may be reduced by adjusting the twist pitch reasonably. The present model provides a simple analysis method to investigate the mechanical behaviors in multistage-structures under different loads.

  1. From Sound to Significance: Exploring the Mechanisms Underlying Emotional Reactions to Music. (United States)

    Juslin, Patrik N; Barradas, Gonçalo; Eerola, Tuomas


    A common approach to studying emotional reactions to music is to attempt to obtain direct links between musical surface features such as tempo and a listener's responses. However, such an analysis ultimately fails to explain why emotions are aroused in the listener. In this article we explore an alternative approach, which aims to account for musical emotions in terms of a set of psychological mechanisms that are activated by different types of information in a musical event. This approach was tested in 4 experiments that manipulated 4 mechanisms (brain stem reflex, contagion, episodic memory, musical expectancy) by selecting existing musical pieces that featured information relevant for each mechanism. The excerpts were played to 60 listeners, who were asked to rate their felt emotions on 15 scales. Skin conductance levels and facial expressions were measured, and listeners reported subjective impressions of relevance to specific mechanisms. Results indicated that the target mechanism conditions evoked emotions largely as predicted by a multimechanism framework and that mostly similar effects occurred across the experiments that included different pieces of music. We conclude that a satisfactory account of musical emotions requires consideration of how musical features and responses are mediated by a range of underlying mechanisms.

  2. Exact solution for stresses/displacements in a multilayered hollow cylinder under thermo-mechanical loading

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yeo, W.H.; Purbolaksono, J.; Aliabadi, M.H.; Ramesh, S.; Liew, H.L.


    In this study, a new analytical solution by the recursive method for evaluating stresses/displacements in multilayered hollow cylinder under thermo-mechanical loading was developed. The results for temperature distribution, displacements and stresses obtained by using the proposed solution were shown to be in good agreement with the FEM results. The proposed analytical solution was also found to produce more accurate results than those by the analytical solution reported in literature. - Highlights: • A new analytical solution for evaluating stresses in multilayered hollow cylinder under thermo-mechanical loading. • A simple computational procedure using a recursive method. • A promising technique for evaluating the operating axial and hoop stresses in pressurized composite vessels.

  3. Music and Memory in Alzheimer's Disease and The Potential Underlying Mechanisms. (United States)

    Peck, Katlyn J; Girard, Todd A; Russo, Frank A; Fiocco, Alexandra J


    With population aging and a projected exponential expansion of persons diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD), the development of treatment and prevention programs has become a fervent area of research and discovery. A growing body of evidence suggests that music exposure can enhance memory and emotional function in persons with AD. However, there is a paucity of research that aims to identify specific underlying neural mechanisms associated with music's beneficial effects in this particular population. As such, this paper reviews existing anecdotal and empirical evidence related to the enhancing effects of music exposure on cognitive function and further provides a discussion on the potential underlying mechanisms that may explain music's beneficial effect. Specifically, this paper will outline the potential role of the dopaminergic system, the autonomic nervous system, and the default network in explaining how music may enhance memory function in persons with AD.

  4. Behavioral Effects of Upper Respiratory Tract Illnesses: A Consideration of Possible Underlying Cognitive Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew P. Smith


    Full Text Available Previous research has shown that both experimentally induced upper respiratory tract illnesses (URTIs and naturally occurring URTIs influence mood and performance. The present study investigated possible cognitive mechanisms underlying the URTI-performance changes. Those who developed a cold (N = 47 had significantly faster, but less accurate, performance than those who remained healthy (N = 54. Illness had no effect on manipulations designed to influence encoding, response organisation (stimulus-response compatilibility or response preparation. Similarly, there was no evidence that different components of working memory were impaired. Overall, the present research confirms that URTIs can have an effect on performance efficiency. Further research is required to identify the physiological and behavioral mechanisms underlying these effects.

  5. Physiological mechanisms contributing to increased water-use efficiency in winter wheat under organic fertilization. (United States)

    Wang, Linlin; Wang, Shiwen; Chen, Wei; Li, Hongbing; Deng, Xiping


    Improving the efficiency of resource utilization has received increasing research attention in recent years. In this study, we explored the potential physiological mechanisms underlying improved grain yield and water-use efficiency of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) following organic fertilizer application. Two wheat cultivars, ChangHan58 (CH58) and XiNong9871 (XN9871), were grown under the same nitrogen (N) fertilizer rate (urea-N, CK; and manure plus urea-N, M) and under two watering regimes (WW, well-watered; and WS, water stress) imposed after anthesis. The M fertilizer treatment had a higher Pn and lower gs and Tr than CK under both water conditions, in particular, it significantly increased WRC and Ψw, and decreased EWLR and MDA under WS. Also, the M treatment increased post-anthesis N uptake by 81.4 and 16.4% under WS and WW, thus increasing post-anthesis photosynthetic capacity and delaying leaf senescence. Consequently, the M treatment increased post-anthesis DM accumulation under WS and WW by 51.5 and 29.6%, WUEB by 44.5 and 50.9%, grain number per plant by 11.5 and 12.2% and 1000-grain weight by 7.3 and 3.6%, respectively, compared with CK. The grain yield under M treatment increased by 23 and 15%, and water use efficiency (WUEg) by 25 and 23%, respectively. The increased WUE under organic fertilizer treatment was due to elevated photosynthesis and decreased Tr and gs. Our results suggest that the organic fertilizer treatment enabled plants to use water more efficiently under drought stress.

  6. Detecting method for crude oil price fluctuation mechanism under different periodic time series

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao, Xiangyun; Fang, Wei; An, Feng; Wang, Yue


    Highlights: • We proposed the concept of autoregressive modes to indicate the fluctuation patterns. • We constructed transmission networks for studying the fluctuation mechanism. • There are different fluctuation mechanism under different periodic time series. • Only a few types of autoregressive modes control the fluctuations in crude oil price. • There are cluster effects during the fluctuation mechanism of autoregressive modes. - Abstract: Current existing literatures can characterize the long-term fluctuation of crude oil price time series, however, it is difficult to detect the fluctuation mechanism specifically under short term. Because each fluctuation pattern for one short period contained in a long-term crude oil price time series have dynamic characteristics of diversity; in other words, there exhibit various fluctuation patterns in different short periods and transmit to each other, which reflects the reputedly complicate and chaotic oil market. Thus, we proposed an incorporated method to detect the fluctuation mechanism, which is the evolution of the different fluctuation patterns over time from the complex network perspective. We divided crude oil price time series into segments using sliding time windows, and defined autoregressive modes based on regression models to indicate the fluctuation patterns of each segment. Hence, the transmissions between different types of autoregressive modes over time form a transmission network that contains rich dynamic information. We then capture transmission characteristics of autoregressive modes under different periodic time series through the structure features of the transmission networks. The results indicate that there are various autoregressive modes with significantly different statistical characteristics under different periodic time series. However, only a few types of autoregressive modes and transmission patterns play a major role in the fluctuation mechanism of the crude oil price, and these

  7. Adverse Effects from Clenbuterol and Ractopamine on Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the Underlying Mechanism


    Zhuang, Ziheng; Zhao, Yunli; Wu, Qiuli; Li, Min; Liu, Haicui; Sun, Lingmei; Gao, Wei; Wang, Dayong


    In the present study, we used Caenorhabditis elegans assay system to investigate in vivo toxicity from clentuberol and ractopamine and the possible underlying mechanism. Both acute and prolonged exposures to clentuberol or ractopamine decreased brood size and locomotion behavior, and induced intestinal autofluorescence and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Although acute exposure to the examined concentrations of clentuberol or ractopamine did not induce lethality, prolonged exposure ...

  8. Optimal Contract Design for Cooperative Relay Incentive Mechanism under Moral Hazard


    Zhao, Nan; Wu, Minghu; Xiong, Wei; Liu, Cong


    Cooperative relay can effectively improve spectrum efficiency by exploiting the spatial diversity in the wireless networks. However, wireless nodes may acquire different network information with various users’ location and mobility, channels’ conditions, and other factors, which results in asymmetric information between the source and the relay nodes (RNs). In this paper, the relay incentive mechanism between relay nodes and the source is investigated under the asymmetric information. By mode...

  9. Mechanisms underlying reductant-induced reactive oxygen species formation by anticancer copper(II) compounds


    Kowol, Christian R.; Heffeter, Petra; Miklos, Walter; Gille, Lars; Trondl, Robert; Cappellacci, Loredana; Berger, Walter; Keppler, Bernhard K.


    Intracellular generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) via thiol-mediated reduction of copper(II) to copper(I) has been assumed as the major mechanism underlying the anticancer activity of copper(II) complexes. The aim of this study was to compare the anticancer potential of copper(II) complexes of Triapine (3-amino-pyridine-2-carboxaldehyde thiosemicarbazone; currently in phase II clinical trials) and its terminally dimethylated derivative with that of 2-formylpyridine thiosemicarbazone a...

  10. A fracture mechanics study of tungsten failure under high heat flux loads

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Muyuan


    The performance of fusion devices is highly dependent on plasma-facing components. Tungsten is the most promising candidate material for armors in plasma-facing components in ITER and DEMO. However, the brittleness of tungsten below the ductile-to-brittle transition temperature is very critical to the reliability of plasma-facing components. In this work, thermo-mechanical and fracture behaviors of tungsten are predicted numerically under fusion relevant thermal loadings.

  11. The effects and underlying mechanisms of mirror therapy – literature review


    Urška Puh; Sonja Hlebš


    Background: Mirror therapy is a relatively new therapeutic modality, where movement of the unaffected limb is used to facilitate performance of the affected limb. Literature review of clinical studies regarding the effectiveness of mirror therapy in different groups of patients was performed. The review focussed on randomised controlled trials and studies, which explore the underlying mechanisms of mirror therapy. Conclusions: The majority of randomised controlled ...

  12. The chemical and mechanical behaviors of polymer / reactive metal systems under high strain rates (United States)

    Shen, Yubin

    As one category of energetic materials, impact-initiated reactive materials are able to release a high amount of stored chemical energy under high strain rate impact loading, and are used extensively in civil and military applications. In general, polymers are introduced as binder materials to trap the reactive metal powders inside, and also act as an oxidizing agent for the metal ingredient. Since critical attention has been paid on the metal / metal reaction, only a few types of polymer / reactive metal interactions have been studied in the literature. With the higher requirement of materials resistant to different thermal and mechanical environments, the understanding and characterization of polymer / reactive metal interactions are in great demand. In this study, PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) 7A / Ti (Titanium) composites were studied under high strain rates by utilizing the Taylor impact and SHPB tests. Taylor impact tests with different impact velocities, sample dimensions and sample configurations were conducted on the composite, equipped with a high-speed camera for tracking transient images during the sudden process. SHPB and Instron tests were carried out to obtain the stress vs. strain curves of the composite under a wide range of strain rates, the result of which were also utilized for fitting the constitutive relations of the composite based on the modified Johnson-Cook strength model. Thermal analyses by DTA tests under different flow rates accompanied with XRD identification were conducted to study the reaction mechanism between PTFE 7A and Ti when only heat was provided. Numerical simulations on Taylor impact tests and microstructural deformations were also performed to validate the constitutive model built for the composite system, and to investigate the possible reaction mechanism between two components. The results obtained from the high strain rate tests, thermal analyses and numerical simulations were combined to provide a systematic study on

  13. Modulating Conscious Movement Intention by Noninvasive Brain Stimulation and the Underlying Neural Mechanisms


    Douglas, Zachary H.; Maniscalco, Brian; Hallett, Mark; Wassermann, Eric M.; He, Biyu J.


    Conscious intention is a fundamental aspect of the human experience. Despite long-standing interest in the basis and implications of intention, its underlying neurobiological mechanisms remain poorly understood. Using high-definition transcranial DC stimulation (tDCS), we observed that enhancing spontaneous neuronal excitability in both the angular gyrus and the primary motor cortex caused the reported time of conscious movement intention to be ∼60–70 ms earlier. Slow brain waves recorded ∼2–...

  14. Diffuse and Focal Brain Injury in a Large Animal Model of PTE: Mechanisms Underlying Epileptogenesis (United States)


    Conclusions: A) Contusion injury validation and neuropathology B) Grid electrode development and testing C) Wireless Large Animal Custom Enclosure...In addition, we will test the NF-L and GFAP immunoassay to begin quantification of this biomarkers, as well as collecting serum from the animals pre...AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-16-1-0675 TITLE: Diffuse and Focal Brain Injury in a Large Animal Model of PTE: Mechanisms Underlying Epileptogenesis

  15. Different intra- and interspecific facilitation mechanisms between two Mediterranean trees under a climate change scenario. (United States)

    Gimeno, Teresa E; Escudero, Adrián; Valladares, Fernando


    In harsh environments facilitation alleviates biotic and abiotic constraints on tree recruitment. Under ongoing drier climate change, we expect facilitation to increase as a driver of coexistence. However, this might not hold under extreme abiotic stress and when the outcome depends on the interaction with other drivers such as altered herbivore pressure due to land use change. We performed a field water-manipulation experiment to quantify the importance of facilitation in two coexisting Mediterranean trees (dominant Juniperus thurifera and coexisting Quercus ilex subsp. ballota) under a climate change scenario. Shifts in canopy dominance favouring Q. ilex could be based on the extension of heterospecific facilitation to the detriment of conspecific alleviation. We found that saplings of both species transplanted under the canopy of nurse trees had greater survival probability, growth and photochemical efficiency. Intra- and interspecific facilitation mechanisms differed: alleviation of abiotic stress benefited both species during summer and J. thurifera during winter, whereas browsing protection was relevant only for Q. ilex. Facilitation was greater under the dry treatment only for Q. ilex, which partially agreed with the predictions of the stress gradient hypothesis. We conclude that present rainfall availability limits neither J. thurifera nor Q. ilex establishment. Nevertheless, under current global change scenarios, imposing increasing abiotic stress together with altered herbivore browsing, nurse trees could differentially facilitate the establishment of Q. ilex due to species-specific traits, i.e. palatability; drought, heat and cold tolerance, underlying species differences in the facilitation mechanisms and eventually triggering a change from pure juniper woodlands to mixed formations.

  16. FInal Report: First Principles Modeling of Mechanisms Underlying Scintillator Non-Proportionality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aberg, Daniel [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Sadigh, Babak [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Zhou, Fei [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)


    This final report presents work carried out on the project “First Principles Modeling of Mechanisms Underlying Scintillator Non-Proportionality” at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory during 2013-2015. The scope of the work was to further the physical understanding of the microscopic mechanisms behind scintillator nonproportionality that effectively limits the achievable detector resolution. Thereby, crucial quantitative data for these processes as input to large-scale simulation codes has been provided. In particular, this project was divided into three tasks: (i) Quantum mechanical rates of non-radiative quenching, (ii) The thermodynamics of point defects and dopants, and (iii) Formation and migration of self-trapped polarons. The progress and results of each of these subtasks are detailed.

  17. Potential neural mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of early intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder (United States)

    Sullivan, Katherine; Stone, Wendy L.; Dawson, Geraldine


    Although evidence supports the efficacy of early intervention for improving outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the mechanisms underlying their effectiveness remain poorly understood. This paper reviews the research literature on the neural bases of the early core deficits in ASD and proposes three key features of early intervention related to the neural mechanisms that may contribute to its effectiveness in improving deficit areas. These features include (1) the early onset of intensive intervention which capitalizes on the experience-expectant plasticity of the immature brain, (2) the use of treatment strategies that address core deficits in social motivation through an emphasis on positive social engagement and arousal modulation, and (3) promotion of complex neural networks and connectivity through thematic, multi-sensory and multi-domain teaching approaches. Understanding the mechanisms of effective early intervention will enable us to identify common or foundational active ingredients for promoting optimal outcomes in children with ASD. PMID:25108609

  18. Contraction and elongation: Mechanics underlying cell boundary deformations in epithelial tissue. (United States)

    Hara, Yusuke


    The cell-cell boundaries of epithelial cells form cellular frameworks at the apical side of tissues. Deformations in these boundaries, for example, boundary contraction and elongation, and the associated forces form the mechanical basis of epithelial tissue morphogenesis. In this review, using data from recent Drosophila studies on cell boundary contraction and elongation, I provide an overview of the mechanism underlying the bi-directional deformations in the epithelial cell boundary, that are sustained by biased accumulations of junctional and apico-medial non-muscle myosin II. Moreover, how the junctional tensions exist on cell boundaries in different boundary dynamics and morphologies are discussed. Finally, some future perspectives on how recent knowledge about single cell boundary-level mechanics will contribute to our understanding of epithelial tissue morphogenesis are discussed. © 2017 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.

  19. Compressive damage mechanism of GFRP composites under off-axis loading: Experimental and numerical investigations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhou, H.W.; Li, H.Y.; Gui, L.L.


    Experimental and computational studies of the microscale mechanisms of damage formation and evolution in unidirectional glass fiber reinforced polymer composites (GFRP) under axial and off-axis compressive loading are carried out. A series of compressive testing of the composites with different...... the angle between the fiber direction and the loading vector goes from 0° to 45° (by 2.3–2.6 times), and then slightly increases (when the angle approaches 80–90°). At the low angles between the fiber and the loading vector, fiber buckling and kinking are the main mechanisms of fiber failure....... With increasing the angle between the fiber and applied loading, failure of glass fibers is mainly controlled by shear cracking. For the computational analysis of the damage mechanisms, 3D multifiber unit cell models of GFRP composites and X-FEM approach to the fracture modeling were used. The computational...

  20. [Progress of researches on mechanism of acupuncture therapy underlying improvement of acute cerebral hemorrhage]. (United States)

    Wang, Fan; Wang, Hai-qiao; Dong, Gui-rong


    In the present paper, the authors review the progress of researches on the mechanism of acupuncture therapy underlying improvement of acute cerebral hemorrhage from experimental studies and research methods. The effects of acupuncture intervention mainly involve (1) lessening inflammatory reactions, (2) reducing impairment of free radicals and excitatory amino acids on cerebral neurons, (3) balancing release of vascular bioactive substances to increase regional cerebral blood flow, and (4) promoting repair and regeneration of the neural tissue, etc. In regard to the research methods, many new biological techniques such as biological molecular approaches, neuro-cellular chemical methods, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or quantitative real time-PCR, situ hybridization, western blotting, electron microscope, etc., have been extensively applied to researches on the underlying mechanism of acupuncture therapy for cerebral infarction. In addition, the authors also pointed out that in spite of achieving some bigger progresses in experimental studies, most of the results basically reflect static, isolated and regional changes rather than dynamic and whole body changes. For this reason, more vivo research techniques and noninvasive research methods are highly recommended to be used in the future research on the underlying mechanisms of acupuncture therapy for acute cerebral ischemia.

  1. Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures: so-called psychiatric comorbidity and underlying defense mechanisms. (United States)

    Beghi, Massimiliano; Negrini, Paola Beffa; Perin, Cecilia; Peroni, Federica; Magaudda, Adriana; Cerri, Cesare; Cornaggia, Cesare Maria


    In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) do not have a unique classification as they can be found within different categories: conversion, dissociative, and somatization disorders. The ICD-10, instead, considers PNES within dissociative disorders, merging the dissociative disorders and conversion disorders, although the underlying defense mechanisms are different. The literature data show that PNES are associated with cluster B (mainly borderline) personality disorders and/or to people with depressive or anxiety disorders. Defense mechanisms in patients with PNES with a prevalence of anxious/depressive symptoms are of "neurotic" type; their goal is to lead to a "split", either vertical (dissociation) or horizontal (repression). The majority of patients with this type of PNES have alexithymia traits, meaning that they had difficulties in feeling or perceiving emotions. In subjects where PNES are associated with a borderline personality, in which the symbolic function is lost, the defense mechanisms are of a more archaic nature (denial). PNES with different underlying defense mechanisms have different prognoses (despite similar severity of PNES) and need usually a different treatment (pharmacological or psychological). Thus, it appears superfluous to talk about psychiatric comorbidity, since PNES are a different symptomatic expression of specific psychiatric disorders.

  2. Mechanisms underlying the nociceptive responses induced by platelet-activating factor (PAF) in the rat paw. (United States)

    Marotta, Denise M; Costa, Robson; Motta, Emerson M; Fernandes, Elizabeth S; Medeiros, Rodrigo; Quintão, Nara L M; Campos, Maria M; Calixto, João B


    Platelet-activating factor (PAF) is an inflammatory mediator widely known to exert relevant pathophysiological functions. However, the relevance of PAF in nociception has received much less attention. Herein, we have investigated the mechanisms underlying PAF-induced spontaneous nociception and mechanical hypersensitivity in the rat paw. PAF injection (1- 30 nmol/paw) resulted in a dose-related overt nociception, whilst only the dose of 10 nmol/ paw produced a significant and time-related mechanical hypersensitivity. Local coinjection of PAF antagonist WEB2086 significantly inhibited both spontaneous nociception and mechanical hypersensitivity. Moreover, the coinjection of the natural IL-1beta receptor antagonist (IRA) notably prevented both PAF-induced nociceptive responses, whilst these responses were not altered by anti-TNFalpha coinjection. Interestingly, pretreatment with the ultrapotent vaniloid agonist resiniferotoxin, coinjection of the TRPV1 receptor antagonist SB366791, or mast cell depletion with compound 48/80 markedly prevented PAF-induced spontaneous nociception. Conversely, PAF-elicited mechanical hypersensitivity was strikingly susceptible to distinct antineutrophil-related strategies, namely the antineutrophil antibody, the selectin blocker fucoidin, the chemokine CXCR2 receptor antagonist SB225002, and the C5a receptor antibody anti-CD88. Notably, the same antineutrophil migration strategies significantly prevented the increase of myeloperoxidase activity induced by PAF. The mechanical hypersensitivity caused by PAF was also prevented by the cyclooxygenase inhibitors indomethacin or celecoxib, and by the selective beta(1) adrenergic receptor antagonist atenolol. Collectively, the present results provide consistent evidence indicating that distinct mechanisms are involved in the spontaneous nociception and mechanical hypersensitivity caused by PAF. They also support the concept that selective PAF receptor antagonists might constitute interesting

  3. Transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms underlying enhanced in vitro adipocyte differentiation by the brominated flame retardant BDE-47

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kamstra, Jorke H; Hruba, Eva; Blumberg, Bruce


    . The mechanisms by which EDCs direct preadipocytes to form adipocytes are poorly understood. Here, we examined transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms underlying the induction of in vitro adipocyte differentiation by BDE-47. Quantitative high content microscopy revealed concentration-dependent enhanced...

  4. Increasing insight into induced plant defense mechanisms using elicitors and inhibitors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruinsma, M.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Dicke, M.


    One of the strategies that plants employ to defend themselves against herbivore attack is the induced production of carnivore-attracting volatiles. Using elicitors and inhibitors of different steps of the signal-transduction pathways can improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying induced

  5. Fracture mechanics study on stress corrosion cracking behavior under corrosive environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fujii, Tomoyuki; Tohgo, Keiichiro; Shimamura, Yoshinobu; Ishizuka, Naohiro; Takanashi, Masahiro; Itabashi, Yu; Nakayama, Gen; Sakakibara, Yohei; Hirano, Takashi


    This paper deals with applicability of non-linear fracture mechanics to crack growth by stress corrosion cracking (SCC) under large-scale yielding and in a plastically deformed area. Crack growth test by compact tension specimen is carried out to evaluate crack growth rate under small-scale and large-scale yielding conditions. To evaluate the crack growth behavior from a crack initiated in a plastically deformed area, crack growth test is also carried out for a very short pre-crack in a plastically deformed four-point bending specimen. Conventional stress intensity factor (K) and equivalent stress intensity factor (K J ) defined by J integral are used as fracture mechanics parameters which characterize the crack growth rate. On da/dt-K diagram, a data band shows wide scatter, especially the crack growth rate in a plastically deformed area is higher than that under small-scale yielding condition. On the other hand, da/dt-K J diagram exhibits narrower scatter on a data band than da/dt-K diagram. The equivalent stress intensity factor is appropriate for characterization of crack growth rate by SCC under small-scale yielding through large scale yielding conditions and in a plastically deformed area. (author)

  6. Mechanical behavior of confined self-compacting reinforced concrete circular columns under concentric axial loading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fouad Khairallah


    Full Text Available While there is abundant research information on ordinary confined concrete, there are little data on the behavior of Self-Compacting Concrete (SCC under such condition. Due to higher shrinkage and lower coarse aggregate content of SCC compared to that of Normal Concrete (NC, its composite performance under confined conditions needs more investigation. This paper has been devoted to investigate and compare the mechanical behavior of confined concrete circular columns cast with SCC and NC under concentric axial loading. The parameters affecting are including concrete compressive strength and confinement configuration. Twenty column specimens were casted and confined using four confinement techniques, CFRP wrap, FRP tube, GFRP wrap, and spiral steel hoops. The performance of the tested column specimens is evaluated based on mode of failure, load–displacement curve, stress–strain characteristics, ultimate strength, ductility, and degree of confinement.

  7. First-principles calculations of mechanical and electronic properties of silicene under strain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Qin


    Full Text Available We perform first-principles calculations of mechanical and electronic properties of silicene under strains. The in-plane stiffness of silicene is much smaller than that of graphene. The yielding strain of silicene under uniform expansion in the ideal conditions is about 20%. The homogeneous strain can introduce a semimetal-metal transition. The semimetal state of silicene, in which the Dirac cone locates at the Fermi level, can only persist up to tensile strain of 7% with nearly invariant Fermi velocity. For larger strains, silicene changes into a conventional metal. The work function is found to change significantly under biaxial strain. Our calculations show that strain tuning is important for applications of silicene in nanoelectronics.

  8. Skin transcriptome reveals the intrinsic molecular mechanisms underlying hair follicle cycling in Cashmere goats under natural and shortened photoperiod conditions. (United States)

    Yang, Min; Song, Shen; Dong, Kunzhe; Chen, XiaoFei; Liu, Xuexue; Rouzi, Marhaba; Zhao, Qianjun; He, Xiaohong; Pu, Yabin; Guan, Weijun; Ma, Yuehui; Jiang, Lin


    The growth of cashmere exhibits a seasonal pattern arising from photoperiod change. However, the underlying molecular mechanism remains unclear. We profiled the skin transcriptome of six goats at seven time points during hair follicle cycling via RNA-seq. The six goats comprised three goats exposed to a natural photoperiod and three exposed to a shortened photoperiod. During hair cycle transition, 1713 genes showed differential expression, and 332 genes showed a pattern of periodic expression. Moreover, a short photoperiod induced the hair follicle to enter anagen early, and 246 genes overlapped with the periodic genes. Among these key genes, cold-shock domain containing C2 (CSDC2) was highly expressed in the epidermis and dermis of Cashmere goat skin, although its function in hair-follicle development remains unknown. CSDC2 silencing in mouse fibroblasts resulted in the decreased mRNA expression of two key hair-follicle factors, leading to reduced cell numbers and a lower cell density. Cashmere growth or molting might be controlled by a set of periodic regulatory genes. The appropriate management of short light exposure can induce hair follicles to enter full anagen early through the activation of these regulators. The CSDC2 gene is a potentially important transcription factor in the hair growth cycle.

  9. Modeling and numerical analysis of granite rock specimen under mechanical loading and fire

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luc Leroy Ngueyep. Mambou


    Full Text Available The effect of ISO 834 fire on the mechanical properties of granite rock specimen submitted to uniaxial loading is numerically investigated. Based on Newton's second law, the rate-equation model of granite rock specimen under mechanical load and fire is established. The effect of heat treatment on the mechanical performance of granite is analyzed at the center and the ends of specimen. At the free end of granite rock specimen, it is shown that from 20 °C to 500 °C, the internal stress and internal strain are weak; whereas above 500 °C, they start to increase rapidly, announcing the imminent collapse. At the center of specimen, the analysis of the internal stress and internal strain reveals that the fire reduces the mechanical performance of granite significantly. Moreover, it is found that after 3 min of exposure to fire, the mechanical energy necessary to fragment the granite can be reduced up to 80%.

  10. New developments on the neurobiological and pharmaco-genetic mechanisms underlying internet and videogame addiction. (United States)

    Weinstein, Aviv; Lejoyeux, Michel


    There is emerging evidence that the psychobiological mechanisms underlying behavioral addictions such as internet and videogame addiction resemble those of addiction for substances of abuse. Review of brain imaging, treatment and genetic studies on videogame and internet addiction. Literature search of published articles between 2009 and 2013 in Pubmed using "internet addiction" and "videogame addiction" as the search word. Twenty-nine studies have been selected and evaluated under the criteria of brain imaging, treatment, and genetics. Brain imaging studies of the resting state have shown that long-term internet game playing affected brain regions responsible for reward, impulse control and sensory-motor coordination. Brain activation studies have shown that videogame playing involved changes in reward and loss of control and that gaming pictures have activated regions similarly to those activated by cue-exposure to drugs. Structural studies have shown alterations in the volume of the ventral striatum possible as result of changes in reward. Furthermore, videogame playing was associated with dopamine release similar in magnitude to those of drugs of abuse and that there were faulty inhibitory control and reward mechanisms videogame addicted individuals. Finally, treatment studies using fMRI have shown reduction in craving for videogames and reduced associated brain activity. Videogame playing may be supported by similar neural mechanisms underlying drug abuse. Similar to drug and alcohol abuse, internet addiction results in sub-sensitivity of dopamine reward mechanisms. Given the fact that this research is in its early stage it is premature to conclude that internet addiction is equivalent to substance addictions. © American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.

  11. Entropy–enthalpy transduction caused by conformational shifts can obscure the forces driving protein–ligand binding (United States)

    Fenley, Andrew T.; Muddana, Hari S.; Gilson, Michael K.


    Molecular dynamics simulations of unprecedented duration now can provide new insights into biomolecular mechanisms. Analysis of a 1-ms molecular dynamics simulation of the small protein bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor reveals that its main conformations have different thermodynamic profiles and that perturbation of a single geometric variable, such as a torsion angle or interresidue distance, can select for occupancy of one or another conformational state. These results establish the basis for a mechanism that we term entropy–enthalpy transduction (EET), in which the thermodynamic character of a local perturbation, such as enthalpic binding of a small molecule, is camouflaged by the thermodynamics of a global conformational change induced by the perturbation, such as a switch into a high-entropy conformational state. It is noted that EET could occur in many systems, making measured entropies and enthalpies of folding and binding unreliable indicators of actual thermodynamic driving forces. The same mechanism might also account for the high experimental variance of measured enthalpies and entropies relative to free energies in some calorimetric studies. Finally, EET may be the physical mechanism underlying many cases of entropy–enthalpy compensation. PMID:23150595

  12. Single quantum dot tracking reveals that an individual multivalent HIV-1 Tat protein transduction domain can activate machinery for lateral transport and endocytosis. (United States)

    Suzuki, Yasuhiro; Roy, Chandra Nath; Promjunyakul, Warunya; Hatakeyama, Hiroyasu; Gonda, Kohsuke; Imamura, Junji; Vasudevanpillai, Biju; Ohuchi, Noriaki; Kanzaki, Makoto; Higuchi, Hideo; Kaku, Mitsuo


    The mechanisms underlying the cellular entry of the HIV-1 Tat protein transduction domain (TatP) and the molecular information necessary to improve the transduction efficiency of TatP remain unclear due to the technical limitations for direct visualization of TatP's behavior in cells. Using confocal microscopy, total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, and four-dimensional microscopy, we developed a single-molecule tracking assay for TatP labeled with quantum dots (QDs) to examine the kinetics of TatP initially and immediately before, at the beginning of, and immediately after entry into living cells. We report that even when the number of multivalent TatP (mTatP)-QDs bound to a cell was low, each single mTatP-QD first locally induced the cell's lateral transport machinery to move the mTatP-QD toward the center of the cell body upon cross-linking of heparan sulfate proteoglycans. The centripetal and lateral movements were linked to the integrity and flow of actomyosin and microtubules. Individual mTatP underwent lipid raft-mediated temporal confinement, followed by complete immobilization, which ultimately led to endocytotic internalization. However, bivalent TatP did not sufficiently promote either cell surface movement or internalization. Together, these findings provide clues regarding the mechanisms of TatP cell entry and indicate that increasing the valence of TatP on nanoparticles allows them to behave as cargo delivery nanomachines.

  13. Molecular mechanisms underlying IGF-I-induced attenuation of the growth-inhibitory activity of trastuzumab (Herceptin) on SKBR3 breast cancer cells. (United States)

    Lu, Yuhong; Zi, Xiaolin; Pollak, Michael


    The clinical usefulness of trastuzumab (Herceptin; Genentech, San Francisco, CA) in breast cancer treatment is limited by the rapid development of resistance. We previously reported that IGF-I signaling confers resistance to the growth-inhibitory actions of trastuzumab in a model system, but the underlying molecular mechanism remains unknown. We used SKBR3/neo cells (expressing few IGF-I receptors) and SKBR3/IGF-IR cells (overexpressing IGF-I receptor) as our experimental model. IGF-I antagonized the trastuzumab-induced increase in the level of the Cdk inhibitor p27(Kip1). This resulted in decreased association of p27(Kip1) with Cdk2, restoration of Cdk2 activity and attenuation of cell-cycle arrest in G(1) phase, all of which had been induced by trastuzumab treatment in SKBR3/IGF-IR cells. We also found that the decrease in p27(Kip1) induced by IGF-I was accompanied by an increase in expression of Skp2, which is a ubiquitin ligase for p27(Kip1), and by increased Skp2 association with p27(Kip1). A specific proteasome inhibitor (LLnL) completely blocked the ability of IGF-I to reduce the p27(Kip1) protein level, while IGF-I increased p27(Kip1) ubiquitination. This suggests that the action of IGF-I in conferring resistance to trastuzumab involves targeting of p27(Kip1) to the ubiquitin/proteasome degradation machinery. Finally, specific inhibitors of MAPK and PI3K suggest that the IGF-I-mediated reduction in p27(Kip1) protein level by increased degradation predominantly involves the PI3K pathway. Our results provide an example of resistance to an antineoplastic therapy that targets one tyrosine kinase receptor by increased signal transduction through an alternative pathway in a complex regulatory network. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  14. Microscale experimental investigation of deformation and damage of argillaceous rocks under cyclic hydric and mechanical loads

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Linlin; Yang, Diansen; Heripre, Eva; Chanchole, Serge; Bornert, Michel; Pouya, Ahmad; Halphen, Bernard


    Document available in abstract form only. Argillaceous rocks are possible host rocks for underground nuclear waste repositories. They exhibit complex coupled thermo-hydro-chemo-mechanical behavior, the description of which would strongly benefit from an improved experimental insight on their deformation and damage mechanisms at microscale. We present some recent observations of the evolution of these rocks at the scale of their composite microstructure, essentially made of a clay matrix with embedded carbonates and quartz particles with sizes ranging from a few to several tens of micrometers, when they are subjected to cyclic variations of relative humidity and mechanical loading. They are based on the combination of high definition and high resolution imaging in an environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM), in situ hydro-mechanical loading of the samples, and digital image correlation techniques. Samples, several millimeters in diameter, are held at a constant temperature of 2 deg. Celsius while the vapor pressure in the ESEM chamber is varied from a few to several hundreds of Pascals, generating a relative humidity ranging from about 10% up to 90%. Results show a strongly heterogeneous deformation field at microscale, which is the result of complex hydro-mechanical interactions. In particular, it can be shown that local swelling incompatibilities can generate irreversible deformations in the clay matrix, even if the overall hydric deformations seem reversible. In addition, local damage can be generated, in the form of a network of microcracks, located in the bulk of the clay matrix and/or at the interface between clay and other mineral particles. The morphology of this network, described in terms of crack length, orientation and preferred location, has been observed to be dependent on the speed of the variation of the relative humidity, and is different in a saturation or desaturation process. Besides studying the deformation and damage under hydric

  15. Interactive evolution concept for analyzing a rock salt cavern under cyclic thermo-mechanical loading (United States)

    König, Diethard; Mahmoudi, Elham; Khaledi, Kavan; von Blumenthal, Achim; Schanz, Tom


    The excess electricity produced by renewable energy sources available during off-peak periods of consumption can be used e.g. to produce and compress hydrogen or to compress air. Afterwards the pressurized gas is stored in the rock salt cavities. During this process, thermo-mechanical cyclic loading is applied to the rock salt surrounding the cavern. Compared to the operation of conventional storage caverns in rock salt the frequencies of filling and discharging cycles and therefore the thermo-mechanical loading cycles are much higher, e.g. daily or weekly compared to seasonally or yearly. The stress strain behavior of rock salt as well as the deformation behavior and the stability of caverns in rock salt under such loading conditions are unknown. To overcome this, existing experimental studies have to be supplemented by exploring the behavior of rock salt under combined thermo-mechanical cyclic loading. Existing constitutive relations have to be extended to cover degradation of rock salt under thermo-mechanical cyclic loading. At least the complex system of a cavern in rock salt under these loading conditions has to be analyzed by numerical modeling taking into account the uncertainties due to limited access in large depth to investigate material composition and properties. An interactive evolution concept is presented to link the different components of such a study - experimental modeling, constitutive modeling and numerical modeling. A triaxial experimental setup is designed to characterize the cyclic thermo-mechanical behavior of rock salt. The imposed boundary conditions in the experimental setup are assumed to be similar to the stress state obtained from a full-scale numerical simulation. The computational model relies primarily on the governing constitutive model for predicting the behavior of rock salt cavity. Hence, a sophisticated elasto-viscoplastic creep constitutive model is developed to take into account the dilatancy and damage progress, as well as

  16. Corporate debts ad credit performance under the new mechanism of reorganization of the Russian banks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergey A. Andryushin


    Full Text Available Objective to explore the dynamics and factors of formation of corporate debts the characteristics of low credit activity of the Russian banks and regulation of liquidity deficit of enterprises under the new reorganization mechanism in the Russian banking sector. Methods systematic approach to the cognition of economic phenomena which allows to study them in their dynamic development taking into account the influence of various environmental factors. The systematic approach determined selection of specific research methods empirical logical comparative and statistical. Results the article is devoted to the problems of declining credit activity of commercial banks under the conditions of economic activity revival as well as to assessing the impact of the new reorganization mechanism on this process. It is shown that in the recent years the nonfinancial sector faces the trend of optimizing the corporate debts and the liquidity deficit which reduced the demand for loans and as a consequence decreased the banksrsquo credit activity. To analyze the dynamics of deficitsurplus of liquidity in the corporate sector a new classification of liquidity deficitsurplus levels was introduced. Based on the proposed classification the risk factors were identified that influenced the dynamics of indebtedness in the corporate sector. The article also analyses the modern monetary mechanism of money supply in the economy and its transformation. It was determined that the main limitation of credit issuance by commercial banks is their capital not the reserve multiplier. The new mechanism of credit institutionsrsquo financial recovery and its impact on the banksrsquo credit activity was estimated. The conditions of liquidity deficiency reduction in the Russian companies were analyzed in the medium term. Scientific novelty for the first time on the basis of system analysis methods the growth factors of the corporate debt load were identified the peculiarities of low

  17. Theoretical modeling of mechanical homeostasis of a mammalian cell under gravity-directed vector. (United States)

    Zhou, Lüwen; Zhang, Chen; Zhang, Fan; Lü, Shouqin; Sun, Shujin; Lü, Dongyuan; Long, Mian


    Translocation of dense nucleus along gravity vector initiates mechanical remodeling of a eukaryotic cell. In our previous experiments, we quantified the impact of gravity vector on cell remodeling by placing an MC3T3-E1 cell onto upward (U)-, downward (D)-, or edge-on (E)- orientated substrate. Our experimental data demonstrate that orientation dependence of nucleus longitudinal translocation is positively correlated with cytoskeletal (CSK) remodeling of their expressions and structures and also is associated with rearrangement of focal adhesion complex (FAC). However, the underlying mechanism how CSK network and FACs are reorganized in a mammalian cell remains unclear. In this paper, we developed a theoretical biomechanical model to integrate the mechanosensing of nucleus translocation with CSK remodeling and FAC reorganization induced by a gravity vector. The cell was simplified as a nucleated tensegrity structure in the model. The cell and CSK filaments were considered to be symmetrical. All elements of CSK filaments and cytomembrane that support the nucleus were simplified as springs. FACs were simplified as an adhesion cluster of parallel bonds with shared force. Our model proposed that gravity vector-directed translocation of the cell nucleus is mechanically balanced by CSK remodeling and FAC reorganization induced by a gravitational force. Under gravity, dense nucleus tends to translocate and exert additional compressive or stretching force on the cytoskeleton. Finally, changes of the tension force acting on talin by microfilament alter the size of FACs. Results from our model are in qualitative agreement with those from experiments.

  18. Mechanisms of Mining Seismicity under Large Scale Exploitation with Multikey Strata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hu He


    Full Text Available The dynamic disasters are aggravating with the increase of exploitation scale and intensity in Chinese coal mines, to further understand this problem, we studied the mechanisms of mining tremors induced by key strata movement and instability under large scale exploitation. First the mechanisms were categorized into two groups that is main key strata fracture and movement as well as subkey strata instability again under adjacent mining activities. Based on the key strata theory in ground control we revealed three basic mechanisms of key strata destabilization that are rotary and sliding of low subkey strata, shear sliding of the high subkey strata, and the main key strata rupture and cave at limit span, respectively. The microseismic observing systems were applied to monitor the mining tremor events and verify the theoretical analysis in different coal mines. The characteristics of time-space evolution of tremors show that low inferior key strata causing the most, followed by the high inferior key strata and the main key strata least, however the released energy was just opposite.

  19. An investigation of the mechanical behavior of initially curved microplates under electrostatic actuation

    KAUST Repository

    Saghir, Shahid


    In this article, we investigate the mechanical behavior of initially curved microplates under electrostatic actuation. Microplates are essential components of many Micro-Electro-Mechanical System devices; however, they commonly undergo an initial curvature imperfection, due to the microfabrication process. Initial curvature imperfection significantly affects the mechanical behavior of microplates. In this work, we derive a dynamic analogue of the von Kármán governing equation for such plates. These equations are then used to develop a reduced order model based on the Galerkin procedure to simulate the static and dynamic behavior of the microplate. Two profiles of initial curvature commonly encountered in microfabricated structures are considered, where one assumes a variation in shape along one dimension of the plate only (cylindrical bending shape) while the other assumes a variation in shape along both dimensions of the plate. Their effects on both the static and dynamic responses of the microplates are examined and compared. We validate the reduced order model by comparing the calculated static behavior and the fundamental natural frequency with those computed by a finite element model over a range of the initial plate rise. The static behavior of the microplate is investigated when varying the DC voltage. Then, the dynamic behavior of the microplate is examined under the application of a harmonic AC voltage superimposed to a DC voltage.

  20. Music and literature: are there shared empathy and predictive mechanisms underlying their affective impact?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana eOmigie


    Full Text Available It has been suggested that music and language had a shared evolutionary precursor before becoming mainly responsible for the communication of emotive and referential meaning respectively. However, emphasis on potential differences between music and language may discourage a consideration of the commonalities that music and literature share. Indeed, one possibility is that common mechanisms underlie their affective impact, and the current paper carefully reviews relevant neuroscientific findings to examine such a prospect. First and foremost, it will be demonstrated that considerable evidence of a common role of empathy and predictive processes now exists for the two domains. However, it will also be noted that an important open question remains: namely, whether the mechanisms underlying the subjective experience of uncertainty differ between the two with respect to recruitment of phylogenetically ancient emotion areas. It will be concluded that a comparative approach may not only help to reveal general mechanisms underlying our responses to music and literature, but may also help us better understand any idiosyncrasies in their capacity for affective impact.

  1. The pathologic mechanisms underlying lumbar distraction spinal cord injury in rabbits. (United States)

    Wu, Di; Zheng, Chao; Wu, Ji; Xue, Jing; Huang, Rongrong; Wu, Di; Song, Yueming


    A reliable experimental rabbit model of distraction spinal cord injury (SCI) was established to successfully simulate gradable and replicable distraction SCI. However, further research is needed to elucidate the pathologic mechanisms underlying distraction SCI. The aim of this study was to investigate the pathologic mechanisms underlying lumbar distraction SCI in rabbits. This is an animal laboratory study. Using a self-designed spine distractor, the experimental animals were divided into a control group and 10%, 20%, and 30% distraction groups. Pathologic changes to the spinal cord microvessels in the early stage of distraction SCI were identified by perfusion of the spinal cord vasculature with ink, production of transparent specimens, observation by light microscopy, and observation of corrosion casts of the spinal cord microvascular architecture by scanning electron microscopy. Malondialdehyde (MDA) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) concentrations in the injured spinal cord tissue were measured after 8 hours. With an increasing degree and duration of distraction, the spinal cord microvessels were only partially filled and had the appearance of spasm until rupture and hemorrhage were observed. The MDA concentration increased and the SOD concentration decreased in the spinal cord tissue. Changes to the internal and external spinal cord vessels led to spinal cord ischemia, which is a primary pathologic mechanism of distraction SCI. Lipid peroxidation mediated by free radicals took part in secondary pathologic damage of distraction SCI. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Linear Analytical Solutions of Mechanical Sensitivity in Large Deflection of Unsymmetrically Layered Piezoelectric Plate under Pretension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Fu Chen


    Full Text Available Linear analytical study on the mechanical sensitivity in large deflection of unsymmetrically layered and laterally loaded piezoelectric plate under pretension is conducted. von Karman plate theory for large deflection is utilized but extended to the case of an unsymmetrically layered plate embedded with a piezoelectric layer. The governing equations thus obtained are simplified by omitting the arising nonlinear terms, yielding a Bessel or modified Bessel equation for the lateral slope. Depending on the relative magnitude of the piezoelectric effect, for both cases, analytical solutions of various geometrical responses are developed and formulated via Bessel and modified Bessel functions. The associated ultimate radial stresses are further derived following lamina constitutive law to evaluate the mechanical sensitivity of the considered plate. For a nearly monolithic plate under a very low applied voltage, the results are in good agreement with those for a single-layered case due to pure mechanical load available in literature, and thus the present approach is checked. For a two-layered unsymmetric plate made of typical silicon-based materials, a sound piezoelectric effect is illustrated particularly in a low pretension condition.

  3. Cellular and deafness mechanisms underlying connexin mutation induced hearing loss – A common hereditary deafness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey C Wingard


    Full Text Available Hearing loss due to mutations in the connexin gene family which encodes gap junctional proteins is a common form of hereditary deafness. In particular, connexin 26 (Cx26, GJB2 mutations are responsible for ~50% of nonsyndromic hearing loss, which is the highest incidence of genetic disease. In the clinic, Cx26 mutations cause various auditory phenotypes ranging from profound congenital deafness at birth to mild, progressive hearing loss in late childhood. Recent experiments demonstrate that congenital deafness mainly results from cochlear developmental disorders rather than hair cell degeneration and endocochlear potential (EP reduction, while late-onset hearing loss results from reduction of active cochlear amplification, even though cochlear hair cells have no connexin expression. Moreover, new experiments further demonstrate that the hypothesized K+-recycling disruption is not a principal deafness mechanism for connexin deficiency induced hearing loss. Additionally, there is no clear relationship between specific changes in connexin (channel functions and the phenotypes of mutation-induced hearing loss. Cx30, Cx29, Cx31, and Cx43 mutations can also cause hearing loss with distinct pathological changes in the cochlea. These new studies provide invaluable information about deafness mechanisms underlying connexin mutation induced hearing loss and also provide important information for developing new protective and therapeutic strategies for this common deafness. However, the detailed cellular mechanisms underlying these pathological changes and pathogeneses of specific-mutation induced hearing loss remain unclear. Finally, little information is available for humans. Further studies to address these deficiencies are urgently required.

  4. Mechanism Underlying the Spatial Pattern Formation of Dominant Tree Species in a Natural Secondary Forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guodong Jia

    Full Text Available Studying the spatial pattern of plant species may provide significant insights into processes and mechanisms that maintain stand stability. To better understand the dynamics of naturally regenerated secondary forests, univariate and bivariate Ripley's L(r functions were employed to evaluate intra-/interspecific relationships of four dominant tree species (Populus davidiana, Betula platyphylla, Larix gmelinii and Acer mono and to distinguish the underlying mechanism of spatial distribution. The results showed that the distribution of soil, water and nutrients was not fragmented but presented clear gradients. An overall aggregated distribution existed at most distances. No correlation was found between the spatial pattern of soil conditions and that of trees. Both positive and negative intra- and interspecific relationships were found between different DBH classes at various distances. Large trees did not show systematic inhibition of the saplings. By contrast, the inhibition intensified as the height differences increased between the compared pairs. Except for Larix, universal inhibition of saplings by upper layer trees occurred among other species, and this reflected the vertical competition for light. Therefore, we believe that competition for light rather than soil nutrients underlies the mechanism driving the formation of stand spatial pattern in the rocky mountainous areas examined.

  5. Ablation characteristics and reaction mechanism of insulation materials under slag deposition condition (United States)

    Guan, Yiwen; Li, Jiang; Liu, Yang


    Current understanding of the physical and chemical processes involved in the ablation of insulation materials by highly aluminized solid propellants is limited. The study on the heat transfer and ablation principle of ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) materials under slag deposition condition is essential for future design or modification of large solid rocket motors (SRMs) for launch application. In this paper, the alumina liquid flow pattern and the deposition principle in full-scale SRM engines are discussed. The interaction mechanism between the alumina droplets and the wall are analyzed. Then, an experimental method was developed to simulate the insulation material ablation under slag deposition condition. Experimental study was conducted based on a laboratory-scale device. Meanwhile, from the analysis of the cross-sectional morphology and chemical composition of the charring layer after ablation, the reaction mechanism of the charring layer under deposition condition was discussed, and the main reaction equation was derived. The numerical simulation and experimental results show the following. (i) The alumina droplet flow in the deposition section of the laboratory-scale device is similar to that of a full-scale SRM. (ii) The charring layer of the EPDM insulator displays a porous tight/loose structure under high-temperature slag deposition condition. (iii) A seven-step carbothermal reduction in the alumina is derived and established under high-pressure and high-temperature environment in the SRM combustion chamber. (iv) The analysis using thermodynamic software indicates that the reaction of the alumina and charring layer initially forms Al4C3 during the operation. Then, Al element and Al2OC compound are subsequently produced with the reduction in the release of gas CO as well with continuous environmental heating.

  6. Neuronal mechanisms underlying differences in spatial resolution between darks and lights in human vision. (United States)

    Pons, Carmen; Mazade, Reece; Jin, Jianzhong; Dul, Mitchell W; Zaidi, Qasim; Alonso, Jose-Manuel


    Artists and astronomers noticed centuries ago that humans perceive dark features in an image differently from light ones; however, the neuronal mechanisms underlying these dark/light asymmetries remained unknown. Based on computational modeling of neuronal responses, we have previously proposed that such perceptual dark/light asymmetries originate from a luminance/response saturation within the ON retinal pathway. Consistent with this prediction, here we show that stimulus conditions that increase ON luminance/response saturation (e.g., dark backgrounds) or its effect on light stimuli (e.g., optical blur) impair the perceptual discrimination and salience of light targets more than dark targets in human vision. We also show that, in cat visual cortex, the magnitude of the ON luminance/response saturation remains relatively constant under a wide range of luminance conditions that are common indoors, and only shifts away from the lowest luminance contrasts under low mesopic light. Finally, we show that the ON luminance/response saturation affects visual salience mostly when the high spatial frequencies of the image are reduced by poor illumination or optical blur. Because both low luminance and optical blur are risk factors in myopia, our results suggest a possible neuronal mechanism linking myopia progression with the function of the ON visual pathway.

  7. Mechanisms of weight maintenance under high- and low-protein, low-glycaemic index diets. (United States)

    Rubio-Aliaga, Isabel; Marvin-Guy, Laure F; Wang, Ping; Wagniere, Sandrine; Mansourian, Robert; Fuerholz, Andreas; Saris, Wim H M; Astrup, Arne; Mariman, Edwin C M; Kussmann, Martin


    Weight maintenance after intended weight loss is a challenge in an obesogenic environment. In a large multicentre dietary intervention study (DiOGenes), it has recently been demonstrated that a high-protein/low-glycaemic index (HP/LGI) diet was slightly more efficient in maintaining weight loss than low-protein/LGI or high-GI (LP/LGI or HGI) diets. Here, we use a proteomic approach to assess the molecular mechanisms behind this positive effect. A subset of the most successful (weight loser, n=12) and unsuccessful (weight re-gainer, n=12) individuals consuming the LGI diets with either high- or low-protein content (HP or LP/LGI), following an initial calorie deficit run-in weight loss phase, were analyzed at the plasma protein level. Proteomic analysis revealed 18 proteins regulated after 6 months of the dietary weight maintenance phase. Furthermore, 12 proteins were significantly regulated as a function of success rate under an HP diet, arising as candidate biomarkers of mechanisms of successful weight maintenance under an HP/LGI diet. Pregnancy-zone protein (PZP) and protein S (PROS1) were revealed as novel biomarkers of weight maintenance showing opposite effects. Semantic network analysis of the 12 regulated proteins revealed that under an HP/LGI an anti-atherogenic effect and alterations of fat metabolism were associated with the success of maintaining the initial weight loss. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  8. Glycation & the RAGE axis: targeting signal transduction through DIAPH1. (United States)

    Shekhtman, Alexander; Ramasamy, Ravichandran; Schmidt, Ann Marie


    The consequences of chronic disease are vast and unremitting; hence, understanding the pathogenic mechanisms mediating such disorders holds promise to identify therapeutics and diminish the consequences. The ligands of the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) accumulate in chronic diseases, particularly those characterized by inflammation and metabolic dysfunction. Although first discovered and reported as a receptor for advanced glycation end products (AGEs), the expansion of the repertoire of RAGE ligands implicates the receptor in diverse milieus, such as autoimmunity, chronic inflammation, obesity, diabetes, and neurodegeneration. Areas covered: This review summarizes current knowledge regarding the ligand families of RAGE and data from human subjects and animal models on the role of the RAGE axis in chronic diseases. The recent discovery that the cytoplasmic domain of RAGE binds to the formin homology 1 (FH1) domain, DIAPH1, and that this interaction is essential for RAGE ligand-stimulated signal transduction, is discussed. Finally, we review therapeutic opportunities targeting the RAGE axis as a means to mitigate chronic diseases. Expert commentary: With the aging of the population and the epidemic of cardiometabolic disease, therapeutic strategies to target molecular pathways that contribute to the sequelae of these chronic diseases are urgently needed. In this review, we propose that the ligand/RAGE axis and its signaling nexus is a key factor in the pathogenesis of chronic disease and that therapeutic interruption of this pathway may improve quality and duration of life.

  9. The interleukin-4 receptor: signal transduction by a hematopoietin receptor. (United States)

    Keegan, A D; Pierce, J H


    Over the last several years, the receptors for numerous cytokines have been molecularly characterized. Analysis of their amino acid sequences shows that some of these receptors bear certain motifs in their extracellular domains that define a family of receptors called the Hematopoietin receptor superfamily. Significant advances in characterizing the structure, function, and mechanisms of signal transduction have been made for several members of this family. The purpose of this review is to discuss the recent advances made for one of the family members, the interleukin (IL) 4 receptor. Other receptor systems have recently been reviewed elsewhere. The IL-4 receptor consists of, at the minimum, the cloned 140 kDa IL-4-binding chain with the potential for associating with other chains. The IL-4 receptor transduces its signal by activating a tyrosine kinase that phosphorylates cellular substrates, including the receptor itself, and the 170 kDa substrate called 4PS. Phosphorylated 4PS interacts with the SH2 domain of the enzyme PI-3'-kinase and increases its enzymatic activity. These early events in the IL-4 receptor initiated signaling pathway may trigger a series of signals that will ultimately lead to an IL-4 specific biologic outcome.

  10. Modulation of signal transduction by tea catechins and related phytochemicals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shimizu, Masahito [Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, HHSC-1509, 701 West 168 Street, NY 10032-2704 (United States); Weinstein, I. Bernard [Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, HHSC-1509, 701 West 168 Street, NY 10032-2704 (United States)]. E-mail:


    Epidemiologic studies in human populations and experimental studies in rodents provide evidence that green tea and its constituents can inhibit both the development and growth of tumors at a variety of tissue sites. In addition, EGCG, a major biologically active component of green tea, inhibits growth and induces apoptosis in a variety of cancer cell lines. The purpose of this paper is to review evidence that these effects are mediated, at least in part, through inhibition of the activity of specific receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and related downstream pathways of signal transduction. We also review evidence indicating that the antitumor effects of the related polyphenolic phytochemicals resveratrol, genistein, curcumin, and capsaicin are exerted via similar mechanisms. Some of these agents (EGCG, genistein, and curcumin) appear to directly target specific RTKs, and all of these compounds cause inhibition of the activity of the transcription factors AP-1 and NF-{kappa}B, thus inhibiting cell proliferation and enhancing apoptosis. Critical areas of future investigation include: (1) identification of the direct molecular target(s) of EGCG and related polyphenolic compounds in cells; (2) the in vivo metabolism and bioavailability of these compounds; (3) the ancillary effects of these compounds on tumor-stromal interactions; (4) the development of synergistic combinations with other antitumor agents to enhance efficacy in cancer prevention and therapy, and also minimize potential toxicities.

  11. Systematic Prediction of Scaffold Proteins Reveals New Design Principles in Scaffold-Mediated Signal Transduction (United States)

    Hu, Jianfei; Neiswinger, Johnathan; Zhang, Jin; Zhu, Heng; Qian, Jiang


    Scaffold proteins play a crucial role in facilitating signal transduction in eukaryotes by bringing together multiple signaling components. In this study, we performed a systematic analysis of scaffold proteins in signal transduction by integrating protein-protein interaction and kinase-substrate relationship networks. We predicted 212 scaffold proteins that are involved in 605 distinct signaling pathways. The computational prediction was validated using a protein microarray-based approach. The predicted scaffold proteins showed several interesting characteristics, as we expected from the functionality of scaffold proteins. We found that the scaffold proteins are likely to interact with each other, which is consistent with previous finding that scaffold proteins tend to form homodimers and heterodimers. Interestingly, a single scaffold protein can be involved in multiple signaling pathways by interacting with other scaffold protein partners. Furthermore, we propose two possible regulatory mechanisms by which the activity of scaffold proteins is coordinated with their associated pathways through phosphorylation process. PMID:26393507

  12. Mechanical properties and fracture behaviour of defective phosphorene nanotubes under uniaxial tension (United States)

    Liu, Ping; Pei, Qing-Xiang; Huang, Wei; Zhang, Yong-Wei


    The easy formation of vacancy defects and the asymmetry in the two sublayers of phosphorene nanotubes (PNTs) may result in brand new mechanical properties and failure behaviour. Herein, we investigate the mechanical properties and fracture behaviour of defective PNTs under uniaxial tension using molecular dynamics simulations. Our simulation results show that atomic vacancies cause local stress concentration and thus significantly reduce the fracture strength and fracture strain of PNTs. More specifically, a 1% defect concentration is able to reduce the fracture strength and fracture strain by as much as 50% and 66%, respectively. Interestingly, the reduction in the mechanical properties is found to depend on the defect location: a defect located in the outer sublayer has a stronger effect than one located in the inner layer, especially for PNTs with a small diameter. Temperature is also found to strongly influence the mechanical properties of both defect-free and defective PNTs. When the temperature is increased from 0 K to 400 K, the fracture strength and fracture strain of defective PNTs with a defect concentration of 1% are reduced further by 71% and 61%, respectively. These findings are of great importance for the structural design of PNTs as building blocks in nanodevices.

  13. Peripheral afferent mechanisms underlying acupuncture inhibition of cocaine behavioral effects in rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seol Ah Kim

    Full Text Available Administration of cocaine increases locomotor activity by enhancing dopamine transmission. To explore the peripheral mechanisms underlying acupuncture treatment for drug addiction, we developed a novel mechanical acupuncture instrument (MAI for objective mechanical stimulation. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether acupuncture inhibition of cocaine-induced locomotor activity is mediated through specific peripheral nerves, the afferents from superficial or deep tissues, or specific groups of nerve fibers. Mechanical stimulation of acupuncture point HT7 with MAI suppressed cocaine-induced locomotor activity in a stimulus time-dependent manner, which was blocked by severing the ulnar nerve or by local anesthesia. Suppression of cocaine-induced locomotor activity was elicited after HT7 stimulation at frequencies of either 50 (for Meissner corpuscles or 200 (for Pacinian corpuscles Hz and was not affected by block of C/Aδ-fibers in the ulnar nerve with resiniferatoxin, nor generated by direct stimulation of C/Aδ-fiber afferents with capsaicin. These findings suggest that HT7 inhibition of cocaine-induced locomotor activity is mediated by A-fiber activation of ulnar nerve that originates in superficial and deep tissue.

  14. Kidney branching morphogenesis under the control of a ligand-receptor-based Turing mechanism (United States)

    Menshykau, Denis; Iber, Dagmar


    The main signalling proteins that control early kidney branching have been defined. Yet the underlying mechanism is still elusive. We have previously shown that a Schnakenberg-type Turing mechanism can recapitulate the branching and protein expression patterns in wild-type and mutant lungs, but it is unclear whether this mechanism would extend to other branched organs that are regulated by other proteins. Here, we show that the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor-RET regulatory interaction gives rise to a Schnakenberg-type Turing model that reproduces the observed budding of the ureteric bud from the Wolffian duct, its invasion into the mesenchyme and the observed branching pattern. The model also recapitulates all relevant protein expression patterns in wild-type and mutant mice. The lung and kidney models are both based on a particular receptor-ligand interaction and require (1) cooperative binding of ligand and receptor, (2) a lower diffusion coefficient for the receptor than for the ligand and (3) an increase in the receptor concentration in response to receptor-ligand binding (by enhanced transcription, more recycling or similar). These conditions are met also by other receptor-ligand systems. We propose that ligand-receptor-based Turing patterns represent a general mechanism to control branching morphogenesis and other developmental processes.

  15. An easily reversible structural change underlies mechanisms enabling desert crust cyanobacteria to survive desiccation. (United States)

    Bar-Eyal, Leeat; Eisenberg, Ido; Faust, Adam; Raanan, Hagai; Nevo, Reinat; Rappaport, Fabrice; Krieger-Liszkay, Anja; Sétif, Pierre; Thurotte, Adrien; Reich, Ziv; Kaplan, Aaron; Ohad, Itzhak; Paltiel, Yossi; Keren, Nir


    Biological desert sand crusts are the foundation of desert ecosystems, stabilizing the sands and allowing colonization by higher order organisms. The first colonizers of the desert sands are cyanobacteria. Facing the harsh conditions of the desert, these organisms must withstand frequent desiccation-hydration cycles, combined with high light intensities. Here, we characterize structural and functional modifications to the photosynthetic apparatus that enable a cyanobacterium, Leptolyngbya sp., to thrive under these conditions. Using multiple in vivo spectroscopic and imaging techniques, we identified two complementary mechanisms for dissipating absorbed energy in the desiccated state. The first mechanism involves the reorganization of the phycobilisome antenna system, increasing excitonic coupling between antenna components. This provides better energy dissipation in the antenna rather than directed exciton transfer to the reaction center. The second mechanism is driven by constriction of the thylakoid lumen which limits diffusion of plastocyanin to P700. The accumulation of P700(+) not only prevents light-induced charge separation but also efficiently quenches excitation energy. These protection mechanisms employ existing components of the photosynthetic apparatus, forming two distinct functional modes. Small changes in the structure of the thylakoid membranes are sufficient for quenching of all absorbed energy in the desiccated state, protecting the photosynthetic apparatus from photoinhibitory damage. These changes can be easily reversed upon rehydration, returning the system to its high photosynthetic quantum efficiency. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Signaling Mechanisms Underlying Resistance Responses: What Have We Learned, and How Is It Being Applied? (United States)

    Kachroo, Aardra; Vincelli, Paul; Kachroo, Pradeep


    Plants have evolved highly specific mechanisms to resist pathogens including preformed barriers and the induction of elaborate signaling pathways. Induced signaling requires recognition of the pathogen either via conserved pathogen-derived factors or specific pathogen-encoded proteins called effectors. Recognition of these factors by host encoded receptor proteins can result in the elicitation of different tiers of resistance at the site of pathogen infection. In addition, plants induce a type of systemic immunity which is effective at the whole plant level and protects against a broad spectrum of pathogens. Advances in our understanding of pathogen-recognition mechanisms, identification of the underlying molecular components, and their significant conservation across diverse plant species has enabled the development of novel strategies to combat plant diseases. This review discusses key advances in plant defense signaling that have been adapted or have the potential to be adapted for plant protection against microbial diseases.

  17. A hypothesis regarding the molecular mechanism underlying dietary soy-induced effects on seizure propensity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cara Jean Westmark


    Full Text Available Numerous neurological disorders including fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, autism and Alzheimer’s disease are comorbid with epilepsy. We have observed elevated seizure propensity in mouse models of these disorders dependent on diet. Specifically, soy-based diets exacerbate audiogenic-induced seizures in juvenile mice. We have also found potential associations between the consumption of soy-based infant formula and seizure incidence, epilepsy comorbidity and autism diagnostic scores in autistic children by retrospective analyses of medical record data. In total, these data suggest that consumption of high levels of soy protein during postnatal development may affect neuronal excitability. Herein, we present our theory regarding the molecular mechanism underlying soy-induced effects on seizure propensity. We hypothesize that soy phytoestrogens interfere with metabotropic glutamate receptor signaling through an estrogen receptor-dependent mechanism, which results in elevated production of key synaptic proteins and decreased seizure threshold.

  18. Mechanisms Underlying the Anti-Aging and Anti-Tumor Effects of Lithocholic Bile Acid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony Arlia-Ciommo


    Full Text Available Bile acids are cholesterol-derived bioactive lipids that play essential roles in the maintenance of a heathy lifespan. These amphipathic molecules with detergent-like properties display numerous beneficial effects on various longevity- and healthspan-promoting processes in evolutionarily distant organisms. Recent studies revealed that lithocholic bile acid not only causes a considerable lifespan extension in yeast, but also exhibits a substantial cytotoxic effect in cultured cancer cells derived from different tissues and organisms. The molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the robust anti-aging and anti-tumor effects of lithocholic acid have emerged. This review summarizes the current knowledge of these mechanisms, outlines the most important unanswered questions and suggests directions for future research.

  19. Fatigue degradation and failure of rotating composite structures - Materials characterisation and underlying mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gamstedt, Kristofer; Andersen, Svend Ib Smidt


    The present review concerns rotating composite structures, in which fatigue degradation is of key concern for in-service failure. Such applications are for instance rotor blades in wind turbines, helicopter rotor blades, flywheels for energy storage,marine and aeronautical propellers, and rolls...... for paper machines. The purpose is to identify areas where impending efforts should be made to make better use of composite materials in these applications. In order to obtain better design methodologies,which would allow more reliable and slender structures, improved test methods are necessary. Furthermore......, the relation between structural, component and specimen test results should be better understood than what is presently the case. Improvedpredictive methods rely on a better understanding of the underlying damage mechanisms. With mechanism-based models, the component substructure or even the material...

  20. Molecular and Microbial Mechanisms Increasing Soil C Storage Under Future Rates of Anthropogenic N Deposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zak, Donald R.


    A growing body of evidence reveals that anthropogenic N deposition can reduce the microbial decay of plant detritus and increase soil C storage across a wide range of terrestrial ecosystems. This aspect of global change has the potential to constrain the accumulation of anthropogenic CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere, and hence slow the pace of climate warming. The molecular and microbial mechanisms underlying this biogeochemical response are not understood, and they are not a component of any coupled climate-biogeochemical model estimating ecosystem C storage, and hence, the future climate of an N-enriched Earth. Here, we report the use of genomic-enabled approaches to identify the molecular underpinnings of the microbial mechanisms leading to greater soil C storage in response to anthropogenic N deposition, thereby enabling us to better anticipate changes in soil C storage.

  1. Mechanisms underlying REBT in mood disordered patients: predicting depression from the hybrid model of learning. (United States)

    Jackson, Chris J; Izadikah, Zahra; Oei, Tian P S


    Jackson's (2005, 2008a) hybrid model of learning identifies a number of learning mechanisms that lead to the emergence and maintenance of the balance between rationality and irrationality. We test a general hypothesis that Jackson's model will predict depressive symptoms, such that poor learning is related to depression. We draw comparisons between Jackson's model and Ellis' (2004) Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and Theory (REBT) and thereby provide a set of testable learning mechanisms potentially underlying REBT. Results from 80 patients diagnosed with depression completed the learning styles profiler (LSP; Jackson, 2005) and two measures of depression. Results provide support for the proposed model of learning and further evidence that low rationality is a key predictor of depression. We conclude that the hybrid model of learning has the potential to explain some of the learning and cognitive processes related to the development and maintenance of irrational beliefs and depression. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  2. A competitive cell growth assay for the detection of subtle effects of gene transduction on cell proliferation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eekels, J. J. M.; Pasternak, A. O.; Schut, A. M.; Geerts, D.; Jeeninga, R. E.; Berkhout, B.


    RNA interference (RNAi) is a sequence-specific gene silencing mechanism with therapeutic potential against many human pathogens. To obtain a durable therapeutic effect, stable transduction of target cells with for instance a lentiviral vector that expresses a short hairpin (shRNA) inducer of the

  3. Differences in two-component signal transduction proteins among the genus Brucella: implications for host preference and pathogenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Binnewies, Tim Terence; Ussery, David; Lavín, JL


    Two-component systems (TCSs) are the predominant bacterial signal transduction mechanisms. Species of the genus Brucella are genetically highly related and differ mainly in mammalian host adaptation and pathogenesis. In this study, TCS proteins encoded in the available genome sequences of Brucell...

  4. Inquiry into Chemotherapy-Induced P53 Activation in Cancer Cells as a Model for Teaching Signal Transduction (United States)

    Srougi, Melissa C.; Carson, Susan


    Intracellular and extracellular communication is conducted through an intricate and interwoven network of signal transduction pathways. The mechanisms for how cells speak with one another are of significant biological importance to both basic and industrial scientists from a number of different disciplines. We have therefore developed and…

  5. Mechanical properties of the human spinal cord under the compressive loading. (United States)

    Karimi, Alireza; Shojaei, Ahmad; Tehrani, Pedram


    The spinal cord as the most complex and critical part of the human body is responsible for the transmission of both motor and sensory impulses between the body and the brain. Due to its pivotal role any types of physical injury in that disrupts its function following by shortfalls, including the minor motor and sensory malfunctions as well as complicate quadriplegia and lifelong ventilator dependency. In order to shed light on the injuries to the spinal cord, the application of the computational models to simulate the trauma impact loading to that are deemed required. Nonetheless, it has not been fulfilled since there is a paucity of knowledge about the mechanical properties of the spinal cord, especially the cervical one, under the compressive loading on the grounds of the difficulty in obtaining this tissue from the human body. This study was aimed at experimentally measuring the mechanical properties of the human cervical spinal cord of 24 isolated fresh samples under the unconfined compressive loading at a relatively low strain rate. The stress-strain data revealed the elastic modulus and maximum/failure stress of 40.12±6.90 and 62.26±5.02kPa, respectively. Owing to the nonlinear response of the spinal cord, the Yeoh, Ogden, and Mooney-Rivlin hyperelastic material models have also been employed. The results may have implications not only for understanding the linear elastic and nonlinear hyperelastic mechanical properties of the cervical spinal cord under the compressive loading, but also for providing a raw data for investigating the injury as a result of the trauma thru the numerical simulations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Modeling of the mechanical behavior of austenitic stainless steels under pure fatigue and fatigue relaxation loadings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hajjaji-Rachdi, Fatima


    Austenitic stainless steels are potential candidates for structural components of sodium-cooled fast neutron reactors. Many of these components will be subjected to cyclic loadings including long hold times (1 month) under creep or relaxation at high temperature. These hold times are unattainable experimentally. The aim of the present study is to propose mechanical models which take into account the involved mechanisms and their interactions during such complex loadings. First, an experimental study of the pure fatigue and fatigue-relaxation behavior of 316L(N) at 500 C has been carried out with very long hold times (10 h and 50 h) compared with the ones studied in literature. Tensile tests at 600 C with different applied strain rates have been undertaken in order to study the dynamic strain ageing phenomenon. Before focusing on more complex loadings, the mean field homogenization approach has been used to predict the mechanical behavior of different FCC metals and alloys under low cycle fatigue at room temperature. Both Hill-Hutchinson and Kroener models have been used. Next, a physically-based model based on dislocation densities has been developed and its parameters measured. The model allows predictions in a qualitative agreement with experimental data for tensile loadings. Finally, this model has been enriched to take into account visco-plasticity, dislocation climb and interaction between dislocations and solute atoms, which are influent during creep-fatigue or fatigue relaxation at high temperature. The proposed model uses three adjustable parameters only and allows rather accurate prediction of the behavior of 316L(N) steel under tensile loading and relaxation. (author) [fr

  7. Evaluation of Possible Proximate Mechanisms Underlying the Kinship Theory of Intragenomic Conflict in Social Insects. (United States)

    Galbraith, David A; Yi, Soojin V; Grozinger, Christina M


    Kinship theory provides a universal framework in which to understand the evolution of altruism, but there are many molecular and genetic mechanisms that can generate altruistic behaviors. Interestingly, kinship theory specifically predicts intragenomic conflict between maternally-derived alleles (matrigenes) and paternally-derived alleles (patrigenes) over the generation of altruistic behavior in cases where the interests of the matrigenes and patrigenes are not aligned. Under these conditions, individual differences in selfish versus altruistic behavior are predicted to arise from differential expression of the matrigenes and patrigenes (parent-specific gene expression or PSGE) that regulate selfish versus altruistic behaviors. As one of the leading theories to describe PSGE and genomic imprinting, kinship theory has been used to generate predictions to describe the reproductive division of labor in social insect colonies, which represents an excellent model system to test the hypotheses of kinship theory and examine the underlying mechanisms driving it. Recent studies have confirmed the predicted differences in the influence of matrigenes and patrigenes on reproductive division of labor in social insects, and demonstrated that these differences are associated with differences in PSGE of key genes involved in regulating reproductive physiology, providing further support for kinship theory. However, the mechanisms mediating PSGE in social insects, and how PSGE leads to differences in selfish versus altruistic behavior, remain to be determined. Here, we review the available supporting evidence for three possible epigenetic mechanisms (DNA methylation, piRNAs, and histone modification) that may generate PSGE in social insects, and discuss how these may lead to variation in social behavior. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email

  8. Experimental study of the anisotropic properties of argillite under moisture and mechanical loads

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, D.S.; Chanchole, S.; Wang, L.L.; Bornert, M.; Gatmiri, B.


    Document available in extended abstract form only. Due to various factors, such as sedimentation, layered morphology of clay mineral, in-situ stress, etc., the behavior of argillite rocks is often anisotropic. In order to study the anisotropy of the Callovo-Oxfordian (COx) argillite considered as a possible host rock for high-level radioactive nuclear waste repository in France, a series of tests including uniaxial compression and dehydration and hydration at different constant applied stress levels, are carried out using a specific setup combining mechanical and moisture loading devices. During these hydro-mechanical tests, this specific setup can also continuously capture images of the sample surfaces to be subsequently analyzed using Digital Image Correlation techniques (DIC) in order to determine full-field strains. In this study, three sampling directions are used with the angle θ between the bedding plane and the cylindrical sample axis equal to 45 deg., 60 deg. and 90 deg.. To investigate the mechanical anisotropy, uniaxial compressive tests with mechanical loading and unloading cycles are performed on several different samples at the same moisture level. The results show that the mechanical parameters (apparent modulus, failure stress) depend on loading orientation relative to the stratification plane. For a given water content, the failure stress reaches maximum values for θ =90 deg. and minimum values for θ =45 deg.. To study the hydric anisotropy, dehydration and hydration tests under stress-free conditions are performed on two cylindrical samples (θ=90 deg. and θ=60 deg.). Three cycles of hydration and dehydration are carried out by varying the relative humidity between 40% and 95%. The sample weight, the deformation measured by strain gages and the relative humidity are continuously recorded during the test by means of another specific setup described in [Pham et al., 2007]. Fig.1a illustrates the evolution of the strains of the sample EST28030-No

  9. The underlying mechanisms for development of hypertension in the metabolic syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshida Hiroshi


    Full Text Available Abstract High blood pressure is an important constituent of the metabolic syndrome. However, the underlying mechanisms for development of hypertension in the metabolic syndrome are very complicated and remain still obscure. Visceral/central obesity, insulin resistance, sympathetic overactivity, oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction, activated renin-angiotensin system, increased inflammatory mediators, and obstructive sleep apnea have been suggested to be possible factors to develop hypertension in the metabolic syndrome. Here, we will discuss how these factors influence on development of hypertension in the metabolic syndrome.

  10. Experimental Evaluation of Mechanical Properties of Friction Welded Dissimilar Steels under Varying Axial Pressures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Handa Amit


    Full Text Available The present study emphasizes on joints two industrially important materials AISI 304 with AISI 1021steels, produced by friction welding have been investigated. Samples were welded under different axial pressures ranging from 75MPa to 135MPa, at constant speed of 920rpm. The tensile strength, torsional strength, impact strength and micro hardness values of the weldments were determined and evaluated. Simultaneously the fractrography of the tensile tested specimens were carried out, so as to understand the failure analysis. It was observed that improved mechanical properties were noticed at higher axial pressures. Ductile failures of weldments were also observed at 120MPa and 135MPa axial pressures during fractography analysis.

  11. Mechanical behavior of irradiated fuel-pin cladding evaluated under transient heating and pressure conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamilton, M.L.; Johnson, G.D.; Hunter, C.W.; Duncan, D.R.


    Fast breeder fuel-pin cladding has been tested under experimental conditions simulating the temperature and pressure history characteristic of anticipated transient events. Irradiation induces severe reductions in both strength and ductility. Ductility losses are independent of the rate of temperature increase and saturate by a fluence of approx. 2 x 10 22 n/cm 2 (E > 0.1 MeV). Losses in strength are dependent on the rate of temperature increase but saturate at a fluence of approx.5 x 10 22 n/cm 2 . Evidence is presented to show that fission products are probably responsible for the degradation in mechanical properties

  12. Fracture mechanics characterization of crack growth under creep and fatigue conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hollstein, T.; Kienzler, R.


    Based on theoretical considerations and experimental evidence, several concepts have been investigated to correlate crack growth under high-temperature conditions with material parameters of fracture mechanics, e.g., stress-intensity factor K, and line integrals J and C * . It could be shown for different materials that these parameters describe the behavior of cracks independent of geometry and loading conditions within certain limits of validity. The laboratory results then can be transferred to real structures for (residual) lifetime predictions or safety analyses (Incoloy 800H, Thermon 4972, 9% chromium steel). With 45 refs., 3 tabs., 56 figs [de

  13. Morphological features and mechanics of destruction of materials with different structures under impact drop cyclic loading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Varavka Valery N.


    Full Text Available The process of erosion destruction of steels with austenitic, sorbitol and martensitic structure under the influence of high-speed liquid-drop collisions is studied. The characteristics of the morphological features and mechanisms of the process of surface degradation of steels with different structures are given. Their classification criterion is proposed on the basis of the diagrams of limiting states. Based on the theory of Paris-Erdogan, the computational and analytical model of the fatigue fracture of martensitic steel has been developed.

  14. Radiation pneumonitis and fibrosis: mechanisms underlying its pathogenesis and implications for future research. (United States)

    Tsoutsou, Pelagia G; Koukourakis, Michael I


    Radiation pneumonitis and subsequent radiation pulmonary fibrosis are the two main dose-limiting factors when irradiating the thorax that can have severe implications for patients' quality of life. In this article, the current concepts about the pathogenetic mechanisms underlying radiation pneumonitis and fibrosis are presented. The clinical course of fibrosis, a postulated acute inflammatory stage, and a late fibrotic and irreversible stage are discussed. The interplay of cells and the wide variety of molecules orchestrating the immunologic response to radiation, their interactions with specific receptors, and the cascade of events they trigger are elucidated. Finally, the implications of this knowledge with respect to the therapeutic interventions are critically presented.

  15. Acoustic and Vibration Control for an Underwater Structure under Mechanical Excitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shi-Jian Zhu


    Full Text Available Acoustic and vibration control for an underwater structure under mechanical excitation has been investigated by using negative feedback control algorithm. The underwater structure is modeled with cylindrical shells, conical shells, and circular bulkheads, of which the motion equations are built with the variational approach, respectively. Acoustic property is analyzed by the Helmholtz integration formulation with boundary element method. Based on negative feedback control algorithm, a control loop with a coupling use of piezoelectric sensor and actuator is built, and accordingly some numerical examples are carried out on active control of structural vibration and acoustic response. Effects of geometrical and material parameters on acoustic and vibration properties are investigated and discussed.

  16. An Investigation of the Mechanism Underlying Teacher Aggression: Testing I[superscript 3] Theory and the General Aggression Model (United States)

    Montuoro, Paul; Mainhard, Tim


    Background: Considerable research has investigated the deleterious effects of teachers responding aggressively to students who misbehave, but the mechanism underlying this dysfunctional behaviour remains unknown. Aims: This study investigated whether the mechanism underlying teacher aggression follows I[superscript 3] theory or General Aggression…

  17. Ca2+-sensors and ROS-GC: Interlocked sensory transduction elements: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rameshwar K Sharma


    Full Text Available From its initial discovery that ROS-GC membrane guanylate cyclase is a mono-modal Ca2+-transduction system linked exclusively with the phototransduction machinery to the successive finding that it embodies a remarkable bimodal Ca2+signaling device, its widened transduction role in the general signaling mechanisms of the sensory neuron cells was envisioned. A theoretical concept was proposed where Ca2+-modulates ROS-GC through its generated cyclic GMP via a nearby cyclic nucleotide gated channel and creates a hyper- or depolarized sate in the neuron membrane (Ca2+ Binding Proteins 1:1, 7-11, 2006. The generated electric potential then becomes a mode of transmission of the parent [Ca2+]i signal. Ca2+ and ROS-GC are interlocked messengers in multiple sensory transduction mechanisms.This comprehensive review discusses the developmental stages to the present status of this concept and demonstrates how neuronal Ca2+-sensor proteins are the interconnected elements of this elegant ROS-GC transduction system. The focus is on the dynamism of the structural composition of this system, and how it accommodates selectivity and elasticity for the Ca2+ signals to perform multiple tasks linked with the SENSES of vision, smell and possibly of taste and the pineal gland. An intriguing illustration is provided for the Ca2+ sensor GCAP1 which displays its remarkable ability for its flexibility in function from being a photoreceptor sensor to an odorant receptor sensor. In doing so it reverses its function from an inhibitor of ROS-GC to the stimulator of ONE-GC membrane guanylate cyclase.

  18. Optimal Contract Design for Cooperative Relay Incentive Mechanism under Moral Hazard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nan Zhao


    Full Text Available Cooperative relay can effectively improve spectrum efficiency by exploiting the spatial diversity in the wireless networks. However, wireless nodes may acquire different network information with various users’ location and mobility, channels’ conditions, and other factors, which results in asymmetric information between the source and the relay nodes (RNs. In this paper, the relay incentive mechanism between relay nodes and the source is investigated under the asymmetric information. By modelling multiuser cooperative relay as a labour market, a contract model with moral hazard for relay incentive is proposed. To effectively incentivize the potential RNs to participate in cooperative relay, the optimization problems are formulated to maximize the source’s utility while meeting the feasible conditions under both symmetric and asymmetric information scenarios. Numerical simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed contract design scheme for cooperative relay.

  19. Computational modeling of dynamic mechanical properties of pure polycrystalline magnesium under high loading strain rates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Qizhen


    Full Text Available Computational simulations were performed to investigate the dynamic mechanical behavior of pure polycrystalline magnesium under different high loading strain rates with the values of 800, 1000, 2000, and 3600 s−1. The Johnson-Cook model was utilized in the simulations based on finite element modeling. The results showed that the simulations provided well-matched predictions of the material behavior such as the strain rate-time history, the stress-strain curve, and the temperature increase. Under high loading strain rates, the tested material experienced linear strain hardening at the early stage of plastic deformation, increased strain hardening at the intermediate plastic deformation region, and decreased strain hardening at the region before fracture. The strain hardening rates for the studied high loading strain rate cases do not vary much with the change of strain rates.

  20. Experimental Investigation of Mechanical Properties of PVC Polymer under Different Heating and Cooling Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarkawt Rostam


    Full Text Available Due to a widely increasing usage of polymers in various industrial applications, there should be a continuous need in doing research investigations for better understanding of their properties. These applications require the usage of the polymer in different working environments subjecting the material to various temperature ranges. In this paper, an experimental investigation of mechanical properties of polyvinyl chloride (PVC polymer under heating and cooling conditions is presented. For this purpose standard samples are prepared and tested in laboratory using universal material testing apparatus. The samples are tested under different conditions including the room temperature environment, cooling in a refrigerator, and heating at different heating temperatures. It is observed that the strength of the tested samples decreases with the increasing of heating temperature and accordingly the material becomes softer. Meanwhile the cooling environments give a clear increasing to the strength of the material.

  1. Macrocrack propagation in concrete specimens under sustained loading: Study of the physical mechanisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rossi, Pierre; Boulay, Claude; Tailhan, Jean-Louis; Martin, Eric; Desnoyers, Dominic


    This study presents a series of 4-point bending tests performed to describe the delayed behavior of unreinforced pre-cracked beams under low, moderate and high sustained loading levels. The deflection creep rate, the failure time and the load level were assessed. A linear relation, in a semi-log scale, was found for the deflection creep rate at high load levels. In addition, a linear relation, in a log–log scale, between the secondary deflection creep rate and failure time was observed. Besides, it was shown that the secondary creep deflection rate increases with the sustained loading level and the macrocrack propagation rate when macrocrack propagation occurs during the sustained loading. Physical mechanisms are proposed to explain these results and may be summarized as follows: the delayed behavior of an unreinforced cracked concrete specimen under sustained loading is mainly due to the cracking evolution, thus the creation of microcracks and/or the propagation of a macrocrack

  2. Signal transduction around thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP in atopic asthma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuepper Michael


    Full Text Available Abstract Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP, a novel interleukin-7-like cytokine, triggers dendritic cell-mediated inflammatory responses ultimately executed by T helper cells of the Th2 subtype. TSLP emerged as a central player in the development of allergic symptoms, especially in the airways, and is a prime regulatory cytokine at the interface of virus- or antigen-exposed epithelial cells and dendritic cells (DCs. DCs activated by epithelium-derived TSLP can promote naïve CD4+ T cells to adopt a Th2 phenotype, which in turn recruite eosinophilic and basophilic granulocytes as well as mast cells into the airway mucosa. These different cells secrete inflammatory cytokines and chemokines operative in inducing an allergic inflammation and atopic asthma. TSLP is, thus, involved in the control of both an innate and an adaptive immune response. Since TSLP links contact of allergen with the airway epithelium to the onset and maintainance of the asthmatic syndrome, defining the signal transduction underlying TSLP expression and function is of profound interest for a better understandimg of the disease and for the development of new therapeutics.

  3. A novel approach to mechanical foot stimulation during human locomotion under body weight support. (United States)

    Gravano, S; Ivanenko, Y P; Maccioni, G; Macellari, V; Poppele, R E; Lacquaniti, F


    Input from the foot plays an essential part in perceiving support surfaces and determining kinematic events in human walking. To simulate adequate tactile pressure inputs under body weight support (BWS) conditions that represent an effective form of locomotion training, we here developed a new method of phasic mechanical foot stimulation using light-weight pneumatic insoles placed inside the shoes (under the heel and metatarsus). To test the system, we asked healthy participants to walk on a treadmill with different levels of BWS. The pressure under the stimulated areas of the feet and subjective sensations were higher at high levels of BWS and when applied to the ball and toes rather than heels. Foot stimulation did not disturb significantly the normal motor pattern, and in all participants we evoked a reliable step-synchronized triggering of stimuli for each leg separately. This approach has been performed in a general framework looking for "afferent templates" of human locomotion that could be used for functional sensory stimulation. The proposed technique can be used to imitate or partially restore surrogate contact forces under body weight support conditions. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Hypophosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 is a molecular mechanism underlying ischemic tolerance induced by either hibernation or preconditioning. (United States)

    Miyake, Shin-ichi; Wakita, Hideaki; Bernstock, Joshua D; Castri, Paola; Ruetzler, Christl; Miyake, Junko; Lee, Yang-Ja; Hallenbeck, John M


    Thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) have an extraordinary capacity to withstand prolonged and profound reductions in blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain without incurring any cellular damage. As such, the hibernation torpor of I. tridecemlineatus provides a valuable model of tolerance to ischemic stress. Herein, we report that during hibernation torpor, a marked reduction in the phosphorylation of the ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6) occurs within the brains of I. tridecemlineatus. Of note, rpS6 phosphorylation was shown to increase in the brains of rats that underwent an occlusion of the middle cerebral artery. However, such an increase was attenuated after the implementation of an ischemic preconditioning paradigm. In addition, cultured cortical neurons treated with the rpS6 kinase (S6K) inhibitors, D-glucosamine or PF4708671, displayed a decrease in rpS6 phosphorylation and a subsequent increase in tolerance to oxygen/glucose deprivation, an in vitro model of ischemic stroke. Collectively, such evidence suggests that the down-regulation of rpS6 signal transduction may account for a substantial part of the observed increase in cellular tolerance to brain ischemia that occurs during hibernation torpor and after ischemic preconditioning. Further identification and characterization of the mechanisms used by hibernating species to increase ischemic tolerance may eventually clarify how the loss of homeostatic control that occurs during and after cerebral ischemia in the clinic can ultimately be minimized and/or prevented. Mammalian hibernation provides a valuable model of tolerance to ischemic stress. Herein, we demonstrate that marked reductions in the phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6), extracellular signal-regulated kinase family of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase p44/42 (p44/42MAPK) and ribosomal protein S6 kinase (S6K) occur within the brains of both hibernating squirrels and rats, which have undergone an ischemic

  5. Robustness and fragility in the yeast high osmolarity glycerol (HOG) signal-transduction pathway. (United States)

    Krantz, Marcus; Ahmadpour, Doryaneh; Ottosson, Lars-Göran; Warringer, Jonas; Waltermann, Christian; Nordlander, Bodil; Klipp, Edda; Blomberg, Anders; Hohmann, Stefan; Kitano, Hiroaki


    Cellular signalling networks integrate environmental stimuli with the information on cellular status. These networks must be robust against stochastic fluctuations in stimuli as well as in the amounts of signalling components. Here, we challenge the yeast HOG signal-transduction pathway with systematic perturbations in components' expression levels under various external conditions in search for nodes of fragility. We observe a substantially higher frequency of fragile nodes in this signal-transduction pathway than that has been observed for other cellular processes. These fragilities disperse without any clear pattern over biochemical functions or location in pathway topology and they are largely independent of pathway activation by external stimuli. However, the strongest toxicities are caused by pathway hyperactivation. In silico analysis highlights the impact of model structure on in silico robustness, and suggests complex formation and scaffolding as important contributors to the observed fragility patterns. Thus, in vivo robustness data can be used to discriminate and improve mathematical models.

  6. Phosphoproteomics-based modeling defines the regulatory mechanism underlying aberrant EGFR signaling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shinya Tasaki

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Mutation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR results in a discordant cell signaling, leading to the development of various diseases. However, the mechanism underlying the alteration of downstream signaling due to such mutation has not yet been completely understood at the system level. Here, we report a phosphoproteomics-based methodology for characterizing the regulatory mechanism underlying aberrant EGFR signaling using computational network modeling. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our phosphoproteomic analysis of the mutation at tyrosine 992 (Y992, one of the multifunctional docking sites of EGFR, revealed network-wide effects of the mutation on EGF signaling in a time-resolved manner. Computational modeling based on the temporal activation profiles enabled us to not only rediscover already-known protein interactions with Y992 and internalization property of mutated EGFR but also further gain model-driven insights into the effect of cellular content and the regulation of EGFR degradation. Our kinetic model also suggested critical reactions facilitating the reconstruction of the diverse effects of the mutation on phosphoproteome dynamics. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our integrative approach provided a mechanistic description of the disorders of mutated EGFR signaling networks, which could facilitate the development of a systematic strategy toward controlling disease-related cell signaling.

  7. Investigation of deterioration mechanism of electrical ceramic insulating materials under high temperature

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mizutani, Yoshinobu; Ito, Tetsuo; Okamoto, Tatsuki; Kumazawa, Ryoji; Aizawa, Rie; Moriyama, Hideshige


    It is thought that ceramic insulator can be applied to electric power equipments that are under high temperature not to be able use organic materials. Our research has suggested components of mica-alumina combined insulation. As the results of and carried out temperature accelerating test, combined insulation life is expected long term over 40 years at over 500-Celsius degrees. However to construct high reliable insulating system, it is clarified deterioration mechanism on combined insulation and evaluates life of that. Therefore we carried out metal behavior test and voltage aging test using mica-sheet and alumina-cloth that are components of combined insulation under high temperature in nitrogen gas atmosphere. It is cleared two metal behavior mechanisms: One is that the opening of insulator are filled up with copper that is oxidized, the other is the metal diffuses in alumina-cloth through surface. And distance of metal behavior is able to be estimated at modulate temperature and in modulate time. It is also cleared that alumina-cloth is deteriorated by metal behavior into alumina-cloth. These results indicate that combined insulation is deteriorated from electrode side by metal behavior and is finally broken down through alumina-cloth. (author)

  8. Mechanical Behavior of Red Sandstone under Incremental Uniaxial Cyclical Compressive and Tensile Loading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baoyun Zhao


    Full Text Available Uniaxial experiments were carried out on red sandstone specimens to investigate their short-term and creep mechanical behavior under incremental cyclic compressive and tensile loading. First, based on the results of short-term uniaxial incremental cyclic compressive and tensile loading experiments, deformation characteristics and energy dissipation were analyzed. The results show that the stress-strain curve of red sandstone has an obvious memory effect in the compressive and tensile loading stages. The strains at peak stresses and residual strains increase with the cycle number. Energy dissipation, defined as the area of the hysteresis loop in the stress-strain curves, increases nearly in a power function with the cycle number. Creep test of the red sandstone was also conducted. Results show that the creep curve under each compressive or tensile stress level can be divided into decay and steady stages, which cannot be described by the conventional Burgers model. Therefore, an improved Burgers creep model of rock material is constructed through viscoplastic mechanics, which agrees very well with the experimental results and can describe the creep behavior of red sandstone better than the Burgers creep model.

  9. Leakage current transport mechanism under reverse bias in Au/Ni/GaN Schottky barrier diode (United States)

    Peta, Koteswara Rao; Kim, Moon Deock


    The leakage current transport mechanism under reverse bias of Au/Ni/GaN Schottky diode is studied using temperature dependent current-voltage (I-V-T) and capacitance-voltage (C-V) characteristics. I-V measurement in this study is in the range of 140 K-420 K in steps of 10 K. A reduction in voltage dependent barrier height and a strong internal electric field in depletion region under reverse bias suggested electric field enhanced thermionic emission in carrier transport via defect states in Au/Ni/GaN SBD. A detailed analysis of reverse leakage current revealed two different predominant transport mechanisms namely variable-range hopping (VRH) and Poole-Frenkel (PF) emission conduction at low (260 K) temperatures respectively. The estimated thermal activation energies (0.20-0.39 eV) from Arrhenius plot indicates a trap assisted tunneling of thermally activated electrons from a deep trap state into a continuum of states associated with each conductive threading dislocation.

  10. Mechanisms Underlying the Risk to Develop Drug Addiction, Insights From Studies in Drosophila melanogaster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Ryvkin


    Full Text Available The ability to adapt to environmental changes is an essential feature of biological systems, achieved in animals by a coordinated crosstalk between neuronal and hormonal programs that allow rapid and integrated organismal responses. Reward systems play a key role in mediating this adaptation by reinforcing behaviors that enhance immediate survival, such as eating or drinking, or those that ensure long-term survival, such as sexual behavior or caring for offspring. Drugs of abuse co-opt neuronal and molecular pathways that mediate natural rewards, which under certain circumstances can lead to addiction. Many factors can contribute to the transition from drug use to drug addiction, highlighting the need to discover mechanisms underlying the progression from initial drug use to drug addiction. Since similar responses to natural and drug rewards are present in very different animals, it is likely that the central systems that process reward stimuli originated early in evolution, and that common ancient biological principles and genes are involved in these processes. Thus, the neurobiology of natural and drug rewards can be studied using simpler model organisms that have their systems stripped of some of the immense complexity that exists in mammalian brains. In this paper we review studies in Drosophila melanogaster that model different aspects of natural and drug rewards, with an emphasis on how motivational states shape the value of the rewarding experience, as an entry point to understanding the mechanisms that contribute to the vulnerability of drug addiction.

  11. Molecular mechanisms underlying cardiac antihypertrophic and antifibrotic effects of natriuretic peptides. (United States)

    Calvieri, Camilla; Rubattu, Speranza; Volpe, Massimo


    Natriuretic peptides (NPs) exert well-characterized protective effects on the cardiovascular system, such as vasorelaxation, natri- and diuresis, increase of endothelial permeability, and inhibition of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. It has been reported that they also possess antihypertrophic and antifibrotic properties and contribute actively to cardiac remodeling. As a consequence, they are involved in several aspects of cardiovascular diseases. Antihypertrophic and antifibrotic actions of NPs appear to be mediated by specific signaling pathways within a more complex cellular network. Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of NPs on cardiac remodeling represents an important research objective in order to gain more insights on the complex network leading to cardiac hypertrophy, ventricular dysfunction, and transition to heart failure, and in the attempt to develop novel therapeutic agents. The aim of the present article is to review well-characterized molecular mechanisms underlying the antihypertrophic and antifibrotic effects of NPs in the heart that appear to be mainly mediated by guanylyl cyclase type A receptor. In particular, we discuss the calcineurin/NFAT, the sodium exchanger NHE-1, and the TGFβ1/Smad signaling pathways. The role of guanylyl cyclase type B receptor, along with the emerging functional significance of natriuretic peptide receptor type C as mediators of CNP antihypertrophic and antifibrotic actions in the heart are also considered.

  12. Mechanisms of action underlying the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of propolis: a brief review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcio A. R. Araujo


    Full Text Available Many biological properties have been attributed to various types of propolis, including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antitumor, wound healing, and immunomodulatory activities. This article reviewed studies published that investigated the anti-inflammatory activity of propolis of different origins and/or its isolated components, focusing on the mechanisms of action underlying this activity and also addressing some aspects of immunomodulatory effects. The search was performed of the following databases: PubMed, Science Direct, HighWire Press, Scielo, Google Academics, Research Gate and ISI Web of Knowledgement. The anti-inflammatory activity was associated with propolis or compounds such as polyphenols (flavonoids, phenolic acids and their esters, terpenoids, steroids and amino acids. CAPE is the most studied compounds. The main mechanisms underlying the anti-inflammatory activity of propolis included the inhibition of cyclooxygenase and consequent inhibition of prostaglandin biosynthesis, free radical scavenging, inhibition of nitric oxide synthesis, reduction in the concentration of inflammatory cytokines and immunosuppressive activity. Propolis was found to exert an anti-inflammatory activity in vivo and in vitro models of acute and chronic inflammation and others studies, indicating its promising potential as anti-inflammatory agent of natural origin and as a source of chemical compounds for the development of new drugs.

  13. Mechanical modeling of creep, swelling and damage under irradiation for polycrystalline metals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murakami, S.; Mizuno, M.; Okamoto, T.


    A constitutive equation of creep, swelling and damage under irradiation for polycrystalline metals applicable to structural analyses in multiaxial state of stress is developed. After reviewing microscopic mechanisms of irradiation creep and swelling, the relevant theories proposed so far from the view point of metallurgical physics and their applicability are discussed first. Then a constitutive model is developed by assuming that creep under irradiation can be decomposed into irradiation-affected thermal creep and irradiation-induced creep. By taking account of the Stress-Induced Preferential Absorption (SIPA) mechanism, the irradiation-induced creep is represented by an isotropic tensor function of order one and zero with respect to stress, which is, at the same time, the function of neutron flux and neutron fluence. The volumetric part of the irradiation-induced creep is identified with swelling. The irradiation-affected thermal creep is described by modifying Kachanov-Rabotnov theory for stress-controlled creep and creep damage by incorporating the effect of irradiation. Finally irradiation creep and swelling of 20% cold-worked type 316 stainless steel at elevated temperature are predicted by the proposed constitutive equations, and the numerical results are compared with the corresponding experimental results. (orig.)

  14. Mechanical damage in a lithium-ion pouch cell under indentation loads (United States)

    Luo, Hailing; Xia, Yong; Zhou, Qing


    The short circuit of lithium-ion batteries induced by mechanical abuse is a great concern in electric vehicle design. It remains a challenge to fully understand the nature of the mechanical damage process with the aim of improving battery crash safety. The present paper investigates the evolution of the damage process for a lithium-ion pouch cell under indentation by loading the cell to various force levels. A significant inflection point on the force-indentation curve is observed before the force peak. Post-mortem examinations indicate that the characteristic change in the local slope of the curve is related to the change occurring at the local interfaces, including three phenomena - formation of tight adhesion on the anode-separator interfaces, delamination in the separators and decoating of graphite particles from the anodes. Analysis of the fracture sequence at the onset of short circuit clearly shows that the number of short-circuited electrode pairs is equal to the number of anode layers adhered with delaminated separator material before fracture occurs. The experimental study in the present paper implies that the inflection point on the force-indentation curve may be an indicator of damage initiation inside pouch cells under indentation.

  15. Mechanisms of action underlying the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of propolis: a brief review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcio A. R. Araujo


    Full Text Available Many biological properties have been attributed to various types of propolis, including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antitumor, wound healing, and immunomodulatory activities. This article reviewed studies published that investigated the anti-inflammatory activity of propolis of different origins and/or its isolated components, focusing on the mechanisms of action underlying this activity and also addressing some aspects of immunomodulatory effects. The search was performed of the following databases: PubMed, Science Direct, HighWire Press, Scielo, Google Academics, Research Gate and ISI Web of Knowledgement. The anti-inflammatory activity was associated with propolis or compounds such as polyphenols (flavonoids, phenolic acids and their esters, terpenoids, steroids and amino acids. CAPE is the most studied compounds. The main mechanisms underlying the anti-inflammatory activity of propolis included the inhibition of cyclooxygenase and consequent inhibition of prostaglandin biosynthesis, free radical scavenging, inhibition of nitric oxide synthesis, reduction in the concentration of inflammatory cytokines and immunosuppressive activity. Propolis was found to exert an anti-inflammatory activity in vivo and in vitro models of acute and chronic inflammation and others studies, indicating its promising potential as anti-inflammatory agent of natural origin and as a source of chemical compounds for the development of new drugs.

  16. Neural mechanisms underlying transcranial direct current stimulation in aphasia: A feasibility study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lena eUlm


    Full Text Available Little is known about the neural mechanisms by which transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS impacts on language processing in post-stroke aphasia. This was addressed in a proof-of-principle study that explored the effects of tDCS application in aphasia during simultaneous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. We employed a single subject, cross-over, sham-tDCS controlled design and the stimulation was administered to an individualized perilesional stimulation site that was identified by a baseline fMRI scan and a picture naming task. Peak activity during the baseline scan was located in the spared left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG and this area was stimulated during a subsequent cross-over phase. tDCS was successfully administered to the target region and anodal- vs. sham-tDCS resulted in selectively increased activity at the stimulation site. Our results thus demonstrate that it is feasible to precisely target an individualized stimulation site in aphasia patients during simultaneous fMRI which allows assessing the neural mechanisms underlying tDCS application. The functional imaging results of this case report highlight one possible mechanism that may have contributed to beneficial behavioural stimulation effects in previous clinical tDCS trials in aphasia. In the future, this approach will allow identifying distinct patterns of stimulation effects on neural processing in larger cohorts of patients. This may ultimately yield information about the variability of tDCS-effects on brain functions in aphasia.

  17. Mechanical behavior and modelisation of Ti-6Al-4V titanium sheet under hot stamping conditions (United States)

    Sirvin, Q.; Velay, V.; Bonnaire, R.; Penazzi, L.


    The Ti-6Al-4V titanium alloy is widely used for the manufacture of aeronautical and automotive parts (solid parts). In aeronautics, this alloy is employed for its excellent mechanical behavior associated with low density, outstanding corrosion resistance and good mechanical properties up to 600°C. It is especially used for the manufacture of fuselage frames, on the pylon for carrying out the primary structure (machining forged blocks) and the secondary structure in sheet form. In this last case, the sheet metal forming can be done through various methods: at room temperature by drawing operation, at very high temperature (≃900°C) by superplastic forming (SPF) and at intermediate temperature (≥750°C) by hot forming (HF). In order to reduce production costs and environmental troubles, the cycle times reduction associated with a decrease of temperature levels are relevant. This study focuses on the behavior modelling of Ti-6Al-4V alloy at temperatures above room temperature to obtained greater formability and below SPF condition to reduce tools workshop and energy costs. The displacement field measurement obtained by Digital Image Correlation (DIC) is based on innovative surface preparation pattern adapted to high temperature exposures. Different material parameters are identified to define a model able to predict the mechanical behavior of Ti-6Al-4V alloy under hot stamping conditions. The hardening plastic model identified is introduced in FEM to simulate an omega shape forming operation.

  18. Mitochondrial Ca2+ overload underlies Abeta oligomers neurotoxicity providing an unexpected mechanism of neuroprotection by NSAIDs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Sanz-Blasco

    Full Text Available Dysregulation of intracellular Ca(2+ homeostasis may underlie amyloid beta peptide (Abeta toxicity in Alzheimer's Disease (AD but the mechanism is unknown. In search for this mechanism we found that Abeta(1-42 oligomers, the assembly state correlating best with cognitive decline in AD, but not Abeta fibrils, induce a massive entry of Ca(2+ in neurons and promote mitochondrial Ca(2+ overload as shown by bioluminescence imaging of targeted aequorin in individual neurons. Abeta oligomers induce also mitochondrial permeability transition, cytochrome c release, apoptosis and cell death. Mitochondrial depolarization prevents mitochondrial Ca(2+ overload, cytochrome c release and cell death. In addition, we found that a series of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs including salicylate, sulindac sulfide, indomethacin, ibuprofen and R-flurbiprofen depolarize mitochondria and inhibit mitochondrial Ca(2+ overload, cytochrome c release and cell death induced by Abeta oligomers. Our results indicate that i mitochondrial Ca(2+ overload underlies the neurotoxicity induced by Abeta oligomers and ii inhibition of mitochondrial Ca(2+ overload provides a novel mechanism of neuroprotection by NSAIDs against Abeta oligomers and AD.

  19. Change of plans: an evaluation of the effectiveness and underlying mechanisms of successful talent transfer. (United States)

    Collins, Rosie; Collins, Dave; MacNamara, Aine; Jones, Martin Ian


    Talent transfer (TT) is a recently formalised process used to identify and develop talented athletes by selecting individuals who have already succeeded in one sport and transferring them to another. Despite the increasing popularity of TT amongst national organisations and sport governing body professionals, however, there is little empirical evidence as to its efficacy or how it may be most efficiently employed. Accordingly, this investigation was designed to gain a deeper understanding of the effectiveness and underlying mechanisms of TT, achieved through a two-part study. Stage 1 provided a quantitative analysis of the incidence and distribution or, in this respect, epidemiology of TT, finding the most popular transfer to be sprinting to bobsleigh, with an average transfer age of 19 years. Stage 2 scrutinised the TT process and explored the specific cases revealed in stage 1 by examining the perceptions of four sport science support specialists who had worked in TT settings, finding several emergent themes which, they felt, could explain the TT processes. The most prominent theme was the psychosocial mechanism of TT, an aspect currently missing from TT initiatives, suggesting that current TT systems are poorly structured and should redress their approach to develop a more integrated scheme that encompasses all potential mechanisms of transfer.

  20. Herb pair Danggui-Honghua: mechanisms underlying blood stasis syndrome by system pharmacology approach (United States)

    Yue, Shi-Jun; Xin, Lan-Ting; Fan, Ya-Chu; Li, Shu-Jiao; Tang, Yu-Ping; Duan, Jin-Ao; Guan, Hua-Shi; Wang, Chang-Yun


    Herb pair Danggui-Honghua has been frequently used for treatment of blood stasis syndrome (BSS) in China, one of the most common clinical pathological syndromes in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). However, its therapeutic mechanism has not been clearly elucidated. In the present study, a feasible system pharmacology model based on chemical, pharmacokinetic and pharmacological data was developed via network construction approach to clarify the mechanisms of this herb pair. Thirty-one active ingredients of Danggui-Honghua possessing favorable pharmacokinetic profiles and biological activities were selected, interacting with 42 BSS-related targets to provide potential synergistic therapeutic actions. Systematic analysis of the constructed networks revealed that these targets such as HMOX1, NOS2, NOS3, HIF1A and PTGS2 were mainly involved in TNF signaling pathway, HIF-1 signaling pathway, estrogen signaling pathway and neurotrophin signaling pathway. The contribution index of every active ingredient also indicated six compounds, including hydroxysafflor yellow A, safflor yellow A, safflor yellow B, Z-ligustilide, ferulic acid, and Z-butylidenephthalide, as the principal components of this herb pair. These results successfully explained the polypharmcological mechanisms underlying the efficiency of Danggui-Honghua for BSS treatment, and also probed into the potential novel therapeutic strategies for BSS in TCM.

  1. Nuclear power for greenhouse gas mitigation under the Kyoto protocol: The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rogner, H.-H.


    At the 43rd regular session of the IAEA General Conference, Member States requested the IAEA to help countries in assessing nuclear power's role in light of global environmental challenges and energy needs. Such assistance should include support for implementing national case studies, and facilitating access to relevant information about nuclear power's role in achieving sustainable development in developing countries and in mitigating GHG emissions. The dissemination of information on CDM is of particular importance to developing countries, so as to enable Member States interested in the mechanism to take an active and informed role in the debate regarding the Kyoto Protocol and eligible CDM technologies. Therefore, the Secretariat organized a series of information seminars, workshops and training courses for Member States on the Kyoto Protocol, the Clean Development Mechanism, Joint Implementation and Emissions Trading with particular emphasis on the potential role of nuclear power for GHG mitigation. On request, the Secretariat also provided training and assistance to several Member States in the preparation of national case studies that explore the potential role of nuclear power as a CDM technology. These case studies will be presented by the respective national study teams during this side event at the 44th IAEA General Conference. Within the general criteria included in the Kyoto Protocol, the decision on which technologies are eligible for GHG mitigation under the flexibility mechanisms is a sovereign decision of each country

  2. Revealing the Neural Mechanisms Underlying the Beneficial Effects of Tai Chi: A Neuroimaging Perspective. (United States)

    Yu, Angus P; Tam, Bjorn T; Lai, Christopher W; Yu, Doris S; Woo, Jean; Chung, Ka-Fai; Hui, Stanley S; Liu, Justina Y; Wei, Gao X; Siu, Parco M


    Tai Chi Chuan (TCC), a traditional Chinese martial art, is well-documented to result in beneficial consequences in physical and mental health. TCC is regarded as a mind-body exercise that is comprised of physical exercise and meditation. Favorable effects of TCC on body balance, gait, bone mineral density, metabolic parameters, anxiety, depression, cognitive function, and sleep have been previously reported. However, the underlying mechanisms explaining the effects of TCC remain largely unclear. Recently, advances in neuroimaging technology have offered new investigative opportunities to reveal the effects of TCC on anatomical morphologies and neurological activities in different regions of the brain. These neuroimaging findings have provided new clues for revealing the mechanisms behind the observed effects of TCC. In this review paper, we discussed the possible effects of TCC-induced modulation of brain morphology, functional homogeneity and connectivity, regional activity and macro-scale network activity on health. Moreover, we identified possible links between the alterations in brain and beneficial effects of TCC, such as improved motor functions, pain perception, metabolic profile, cognitive functions, mental health and sleep quality. This paper aimed to stimulate further mechanistic neuroimaging studies in TCC and its effects on brain morphology, functional homogeneity and connectivity, regional activity and macro-scale network activity, which ultimately lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the beneficial effects of TCC on human health.

  3. Fatigue degradation and failure of rotating composite structures - Materials characterisation and underlying mechanisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gamstedt, E.K.; Andersen, S.I.


    The present review concerns rotating composite structures, in which fatigue degradation is of key concern for in-service failure. Such applications are for instance rotor blades in wind turbines, helicopter rotor blades, flywheels for energy storage, marine and aeronautical propellers, and rolls for paper machines. The purpose is to identify areas where impending efforts should be made to make better use of composite materials in these applications. In order to obtain better design methodologies, which would allow more reliable and slender structures, improved test methods are necessary. Furthermore, the relation between structural, component and specimen test results should be better understood than what is presently the case. Improved predictive methods rely on a better understanding of the underlying damage mechanisms. With mechanism-based models, the component substructure or even the material microstructure could be optimised for best possible fatigue resistance. These issues are addressed in the present report, with special emphasis on test methods, and scaling from damage mechanisms to relevant material properties. (au)

  4. Stability of Newton black films under mechanical stretch--a molecular dynamics study. (United States)

    Shen, Zhe; Sun, Huai; Liu, Xiaoyan; Liu, Wenting; Tang, Ming


    The stability of Newton black films (NBFs) under lateral mechanical stretch was investigated by nonequilibrium molecular dynamics (NEMD) simulations using force field parameters validated by accurate prediction of surface tensions. The applied strains accelerated film ruptures, enabling efficient measurements of the critical thicknesses of the films. Two representative surfactants, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) for ionic surfactant and pentaethylene glycol monododecyl ether (C12EO5H) for nonionic surfactant, were investigated and compared. The predicted critical thickness of C12EO5H-coated film is smaller than that of the SDS-coated film, which is consistent with previously reported experimental observations. Our simulation results show that while the two surfactant-coated films exhibit similar dynamic properties attributed to the Marangoni-Gibbs effect, their surface structural characteristics are quite different. Consequently the two films demonstrate distinct rupture mechanisms in which rupture starts at uncovered water domains in the SDS-coated film, but at lateral surfactant/water interfaces in the C12EO5H-coated film. Our findings provide new insights into the stabilization mechanisms of NBFs and will facilitate the design and development of new films with improved properties.

  5. Underlying mechanism of antimicrobial activity of chitosan microparticles and implications for the treatment of infectious diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soo Jin Jeon

    Full Text Available The emergence of antibiotic resistant microorganisms is a great public health concern and has triggered an urgent need to develop alternative antibiotics. Chitosan microparticles (CM, derived from chitosan, have been shown to reduce E. coli O157:H7 shedding in a cattle model, indicating potential use as an alternative antimicrobial agent. However, the underlying mechanism of CM on reducing the shedding of this pathogen remains unclear. To understand the mode of action, we studied molecular mechanisms of antimicrobial activity of CM using in vitro and in vivo methods. We report that CM are an effective bactericidal agent with capability to disrupt cell membranes. Binding assays and genetic studies with an ompA mutant strain demonstrated that outer membrane protein OmpA of E. coli O157:H7 is critical for CM binding, and this binding activity is coupled with a bactericidal effect of CM. This activity was also demonstrated in an animal model using cows with uterine diseases. CM treatment effectively reduced shedding of intrauterine pathogenic E. coli (IUPEC in the uterus compared to antibiotic treatment. Since Shiga-toxins encoded in the genome of bacteriophage is often overexpressed during antibiotic treatment, antibiotic therapy is generally not recommended because of high risk of hemolytic uremic syndrome. However, CM treatment did not induce bacteriophage or Shiga-toxins in E. coli O157:H7; suggesting that CM can be a potential candidate to treat infections caused by this pathogen. This work establishes an underlying mechanism whereby CM exert antimicrobial activity in vitro and in vivo, providing significant insight for the treatment of diseases caused by a broad spectrum of pathogens including antibiotic resistant microorganisms.

  6. Mechanical characterisation of porcine rectus sheath under uniaxial and biaxial tension.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Lyons, Mathew


    Incisional hernia development is a significant complication after laparoscopic abdominal surgery. Intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) is known to initiate the extrusion of intestines through the abdominal wall, but there is limited data on the mechanics of IAP generation and the structural properties of rectus sheath. This paper presents an explanation of the mechanics of IAP development, a study of the uniaxial and biaxial tensile properties of porcine rectus sheath, and a simple computational investigation of the tissue. Analysis using Laplace׳s law showed a circumferential stress in the abdominal wall of approx. 1.1MPa due to an IAP of 11kPa, commonly seen during coughing. Uniaxial and biaxial tensile tests were conducted on samples of porcine rectus sheath to characterise the stress-stretch responses of the tissue. Under uniaxial tension, fibre direction samples failed on average at a stress of 4.5MPa at a stretch of 1.07 while cross-fibre samples failed at a stress of 1.6MPa under a stretch of 1.29. Under equi-biaxial tension, failure occurred at 1.6MPa with the fibre direction stretching to only 1.02 while the cross-fibre direction stretched to 1.13. Uniaxial and biaxial stress-stretch plots are presented allowing detailed modelling of the tissue either in silico or in a surrogate material. An FeBio computational model of the tissue is presented using a combination of an Ogden and an exponential power law model to represent the matrix and fibres respectively. The structural properties of porcine rectus sheath have been characterised and add to the small set of human data in the literature with which it may be possible to develop methods to reduce the incidence of incisional hernia development.

  7. Colloid and radionuclide retention mechanisms in fractured rock under near-natural flow conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delos, A.; Schaefer, T.; Geckeis, H.; Guimera, J.; Carrera, J.; Fanghaenel, T.


    Full text of publication follows: Experiments in fractured host rock (Grimsel Test Site, GTS, Switzerland) revealed that the colloid relevance for actinide migration is high due to the specific geochemical groundwater conditions [1]. However, even under such conditions it is found that retention of colloids and colloid-borne actinides becomes significant under near-natural groundwater flow rates (1-10 m/a) [2]. Underlying mechanisms of colloid and radionuclide retention are not well understood up to now. The present study co-funded by the NoE ACTINET-6 focuses on (i) the kinetics of actinide-colloid interactions and (ii) the relevance of matrix diffusion as a competition process to other retention mechanisms which affect the actinides behavior in fractured rock systems such as the Grimsel granodiorite. Colloid migration is studied with well defined model colloids as e.g. fluorescence dyed carboxylated polystyrene particles, and natural colloids extracted from bentonite (FEBEX) and from fracture filling material (GTS). In order to study the influence of matrix porosity on actinides migration, those experiments are performed in columns of well defined geometry filled with microporous unmodified silica spheres, porous ceramic material and natural fracture filling material from the GTS. The behaviour of actinides (Pu(IV) and Am(III)) sorbed onto bentonite colloids is investigated in column and batch experiments. All experiments are performed under anoxic conditions. Colloid characterization methods used in this study include the combination of photon correlation spectroscopy (PCS), laser-induced breakdown detection (LIBD), fluorimetry and field flow fractionation (FFF). Experimental results and their application to the parametrisation of reactive colloid transport models are discussed. [1] Geckeis H, Schaefer T, Hauser W, Rabung T, Missana T, Degueldre C, Moeri A, Eikenberg J, Fierz T, Alexander WR (2004) Results of the Colloid and Radionuclide Retention experiment

  8. Elbow Matching Accuracy in Young and Elderly Humans under Unusual Mechanical Constraints. (United States)

    Talis, Vera L; Levik, Yuri S


    Experiment was carried out to study the proprioception accuracy of elderly (61-83 years old) and young (22-36 years old) subjects during contralateral elbow matching in sagittal plane. The subjects performed the task under ordinary condition and under experimental condition (matching forearm attached to the rocking cylindrical platform of low (LS), or high (HS) height, so that the elbow flexion was associated with tilting movement of the support and with backward movement of the upper arm). Control matching of young and elderly subjects does not differ significantly in terms of constant and absolute error. First block of LS and HS induced absolute error increase and matching arm velocity decrease in both groups, but in the second block of matching on rocking supports both arms velocity of elderly subject decreased and absolute error of elderly subjects toward the second block of rocking condition appeared lower than those of young subjects. Aftereffect of the restricted matching could be observed in elderly as a significant increase of matching arm velocity and corresponding constant error increase. It could be concluded that under unusual mechanical constraints elderly subjects tended to use "conservative" strategy followed by significant aftereffect toward the final ordinary support condition.

  9. Analysis of pellet cladding mechanical interaction margins in PWR fuel under power ramp condition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoo, Jong Sung; Lee, Jin Seok; Kim, Hyeong Koo; Chung, Jing On [Korea Nuclear Fuel, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Mitchell, David; Aleshin, Yuriy [Westinghouse Electric Company, South Carolina (Colombia)


    Small flaws in PWR and BWR fuel such as a missing pellet surface (MPS), pellet fragmentation and cladding defects, play an important role during conditions when there is pellet-cladding mechanical interaction (PCMI) under power ramp conditions. In order to confirm the margin against PWR fuel failure by PCMI with the pellet and cladding imperfections, first the separating hoop stress for cladding failure is determined using the ANSYS FEA model for failed and intact fuel rods under various power ramp conditions. Second, the idealized rod power history is developed to achieve the maximum uniform cladding stress during the normal operational transients. Finally, the stress multiplication factor is calculated with the FEA model to deal with the effect of various shapes and sizes of MPS, pellet fragmentation and cladding defects on the PCMI behavior. Then the stress multiplication factor with pellet imperfections and cladding defects allowed by manufacturing tolerances is applied to the fuel performance analysis code results using the idealized power history to confirm margin to PCMI under power ramp condition.

  10. Experimental study of the behavioural mechanisms underlying self-organization in human crowds. (United States)

    Moussaïd, Mehdi; Helbing, Dirk; Garnier, Simon; Johansson, Anders; Combe, Maud; Theraulaz, Guy


    In animal societies as well as in human crowds, many observed collective behaviours result from self-organized processes based on local interactions among individuals. However, models of crowd dynamics are still lacking a systematic individual-level experimental verification, and the local mechanisms underlying the formation of collective patterns are not yet known in detail. We have conducted a set of well-controlled experiments with pedestrians performing simple avoidance tasks in order to determine the laws ruling their behaviour during interactions. The analysis of the large trajectory dataset was used to compute a behavioural map that describes the average change of the direction and speed of a pedestrian for various interaction distances and angles. The experimental results reveal features of the decision process when pedestrians choose the side on which they evade, and show a side preference that is amplified by mutual interactions. The predictions of a binary interaction model based on the above findings were then compared with bidirectional flows of people recorded in a crowded street. Simulations generate two asymmetric lanes with opposite directions of motion, in quantitative agreement with our empirical observations. The knowledge of pedestrian behavioural laws is an important step ahead in the understanding of the underlying dynamics of crowd behaviour and allows for reliable predictions of collective pedestrian movements under natural conditions.

  11. Elbow matching accuracy in young and elderly humans under unusual mechanical constraints

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Talis


    Full Text Available Experiment was carried out to study the proprioception accuracy of elderly (61-83 years old and young (22-36 years old subjects during contralateral elbow matching in sagittal plane. The subjects performed the task under ordinary condition and under experimental condition (matching forearm attached to the rocking cylindrical platform of low (LS, or high (HS height, so that the elbow flexion was associated with tilting movement of the support and with backward movement of the upper arm. Control matching of young and elderly subjects does not differ significantly in terms of constant and absolute error. First block of LS and HS induced absolute error increase and matching arm velocity decrease in both groups, but in the second block of matching on rocking supports both arms velocity of elderly subject decreased and absolute error of elderly subjects towards the second block of rocking condition appeared lower than those of young subjects. Aftereffect of the restricted matching could be observed in elderly as a significant increase of matching arm velocity and corresponding constant error increase. It could be concluded that under unusual mechanical constraints elderly subjects tended to use conservative strategy followed by significant aftereffect towards the final ordinary support condition.

  12. Mitral valve replacement in patients under 65 years of age: mechanical or biological valves? (United States)

    Reineke, David C; Heinisch, Paul Philipp; Winkler, Bernhard; Englberger, Lars; Carrel, Thierry P


    There is controversy regarding the optimal choice of prosthetic valves in patients less than 65 years of age requiring mitral valve replacement (MVR). Recently, trends for valve replacement are moving towards biological prosthesis also in younger patients, which is justified by the fact that a later valve-in-valve procedure is feasible in the case of degeneration of the tissue valve. This strategy is increasingly recommended in aortic valve surgery but is questionable for MVR. The purpose of this review is to evaluate current guidelines and analyse evidence for biological MVR in patients under 65 years. There are differences between guidelines of the American Heart Association and those of the European Society of Cardiology concerning the choice of prostheses in patients undergoing MVR. Although the European Society of Cardiology recommends a mechanical mitral valve in patients under 65 years of age, the American Heart Association does not provide detailed advice for these patients. Mitral valve replacement with biological valves in patients under 65 years is associated with higher rates of reoperation due to structural valve deterioration. In addition, several studies showed a decreased survival after biological MVR. Evidence for biological MVR in patients less than 65 years without comorbidities or contraindication for oral anticoagulation does not exist. Recommendations for patients less than 65 years of age should not be blurred by current 'en-vogue' methods for promising but not yet proven valve-in-valve strategies.

  13. Oriented scanning is the leading mechanism underlying 5' splice site selection in mammals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keren Borensztajn


    Full Text Available Splice site selection is a key element of pre-mRNA splicing. Although it is known to involve specific recognition of short consensus sequences by the splicing machinery, the mechanisms by which 5' splice sites are accurately identified remain controversial and incompletely resolved. The human F7 gene contains in its seventh intron (IVS7 a 37-bp VNTR minisatellite whose first element spans the exon7-IVS7 boundary. As a consequence, the IVS7 authentic donor splice site is followed by several cryptic splice sites identical in sequence, referred to as 5' pseudo-sites, which normally remain silent. This region, therefore, provides a remarkable model to decipher the mechanism underlying 5' splice site selection in mammals. We previously suggested a model for splice site selection that, in the presence of consecutive splice consensus sequences, would stimulate exclusively the selection of the most upstream 5' splice site, rather than repressing the 3' following pseudo-sites. In the present study, we provide experimental support to this hypothesis by using a mutational approach involving a panel of 50 mutant and wild-type F7 constructs expressed in various cell types. We demonstrate that the F7 IVS7 5' pseudo-sites are functional, but do not compete with the authentic donor splice site. Moreover, we show that the selection of the 5' splice site follows a scanning-type mechanism, precluding competition with other functional 5' pseudo-sites available on immediate sequence context downstream of the activated one. In addition, 5' pseudo-sites with an increased complementarity to U1snRNA up to 91% do not compete with the identified scanning mechanism. Altogether, these findings, which unveil a cell type-independent 5'-3'-oriented scanning process for accurate recognition of the authentic 5' splice site, reconciliate apparently contradictory observations by establishing a hierarchy of competitiveness among the determinants involved in 5' splice site selection.

  14. Cellular mechanisms underlying acquired epilepsy: the calcium hypothesis of the induction and maintainance of epilepsy. (United States)

    Delorenzo, Robert J; Sun, David A; Deshpande, Laxmikant S


    Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders. Although epilepsy can be idiopathic, it is estimated that up to 50% of all epilepsy cases are initiated by neurological insults and are called acquired epilepsy (AE). AE develops in 3 phases: (1) the injury (central nervous system [CNS] insult), (2) epileptogenesis (latency), and (3) the chronic epileptic (spontaneous recurrent seizure) phases. Status epilepticus (SE), stroke, and traumatic brain injury (TBI) are 3 major examples of common brain injuries that can lead to the development of AE. It is especially important to understand the molecular mechanisms that cause AE because it may lead to innovative strategies to prevent or cure this common condition. Recent studies have offered new insights into the cause of AE and indicate that injury-induced alterations in intracellular calcium concentration levels [Ca(2+)](i) and calcium homeostatic mechanisms play a role in the development and maintenance of AE. The injuries that cause AE are different, but they share a common molecular mechanism for producing brain damage-an increase in extracellular glutamate concentration that causes increased intracellular neuronal calcium, leading to neuronal injury and/or death. Neurons that survive the injury induced by glutamate and are exposed to increased [Ca(2+)](i) are the cellular substrates to develop epilepsy because dead cells do not seize. The neurons that survive injury sustain permanent long-term plasticity changes in [Ca(2+)](i) and calcium homeostatic mechanisms that are permanent and are a prominent feature of the epileptic phenotype. In the last several years, evidence has accumulated indicating that the prolonged alteration in neuronal calcium dynamics plays an important role in the induction and maintenance of the prolonged neuroplasticity changes underlying the epileptic phenotype. Understanding the role of calcium as a second messenger in the induction and maintenance of epilepsy may provide novel

  15. Morphing structures and signal transduction in Mimosa pudica L. induced by localized thermal stress. (United States)

    Volkov, Alexander G; O'Neal, Lawrence; Volkova, Maia I; Markin, Vladislav S


    Leaf movements in Mimosa pudica, are in response to thermal stress, touch, and light or darkness, appear to be regulated by electrical, hydrodynamical, and chemical signal transduction. The pulvinus of the M. pudica shows elastic properties. We have found that the movements of the petiole, or pinnules, are accompanied by a change of the pulvinus morphing structures. After brief flaming of a pinna, the volume of the lower part of the pulvinus decreases and the volume of the upper part increases due to the redistribution of electrolytes between these parts of the pulvinus; as a result of these changes the petiole falls. During the relaxation of the petiole, the process goes in the opposite direction. Ion and water channel blockers, uncouplers as well as anesthetic agents diethyl ether or chloroform decrease the speed of alert wave propagation along the plant. Brief flaming of a pinna induces bidirectional propagation of electrical signal in pulvini. Transduction of electrical signals along a pulvinus induces generation of an action potential in perpendicular direction between extensor and flexor sides of a pulvinus. Inhibition of signal transduction and mechanical responses in M. pudica by volatile anesthetic agents chloroform or by blockers of voltage gated ion channels shows that the generation and propagation of electrical signals is a primary effect responsible for turgor change and propagation of an excitation. There is an electrical coupling in a pulvinus similar to the electrical synapse in the animal nerves. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  16. Proteome and phosphoproteome characterization reveals new response and defense mechanisms of Brachypodium distachyon leaves under salt stress. (United States)

    Lv, Dong-Wen; Subburaj, Saminathan; Cao, Min; Yan, Xing; Li, Xiaohui; Appels, Rudi; Sun, Dong-Fa; Ma, Wujun; Yan, Yue-Ming


    Salinity is a major abiotic stress affecting plant growth and development. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of salt response and defense in plants will help in efforts to improve the salt tolerance of crops. Brachypodium distachyon is a new model plant for wheat, barley, and several potential biofuel grasses. In the current study, proteome and phosphoproteome changes induced by salt stress were the focus. The Bd21 leaves were initially treated with salt in concentrations ranging from 80 to 320 mm and then underwent a recovery process prior to proteome analysis. A total of 80 differentially expressed protein spots corresponding to 60 unique proteins were identified. The sample treated with a median salt level of 240 mm and the control were selected for phosphopeptide purification using TiO2 microcolumns and LC-MS/MS for phosphoproteome analysis to identify the phosphorylation sites and phosphoproteins. A total of 1509 phosphoproteins and 2839 phosphorylation sites were identified. Among them, 468 phosphoproteins containing 496 phosphorylation sites demonstrated significant changes at the phosphorylation level. Nine phosphorylation motifs were extracted from the 496 phosphorylation sites. Of the 60 unique differentially expressed proteins, 14 were also identified as phosphoproteins. Many proteins and phosphoproteins, as well as potential signal pathways associated with salt response and defense, were found, including three 14-3-3s (GF14A, GF14B, and 14-3-3A) for signal transduction and several ABA signal-associated proteins such as ABF2, TRAB1, and SAPK8. Finally, a schematic salt response and defense mechanism in B. distachyon was proposed.

  17. Macro-Fiber Composite Based Transduction (United States)


    Mechanical Engineering, State Key Lab of Fluid Power and Mechatronic Systems, Denmark); Li, H.Y.; Tzou, H.S. Source: ASME International Mechanical...capacitor Novakova, Katerina (Institute of Mechatronics and Computer Engineering, Technical University ofLiberec, Czech Republic); Mokry, Pavel Source...Department of Robotics and Mechatronics , AGH University of Science and Technology, al. A. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Krakow, Poland); Rosiek, Mateusz; Martowicz

  18. Elementary signaling modes predict the essentiality of signal transduction network components. (United States)

    Wang, Rui-Sheng; Albert, Réka


    Understanding how signals propagate through signaling pathways and networks is a central goal in systems biology. Quantitative dynamic models help to achieve this understanding, but are difficult to construct and validate because of the scarcity of known mechanistic details and kinetic parameters. Structural and qualitative analysis is emerging as a feasible and useful alternative for interpreting signal transduction. In this work, we present an integrative computational method for evaluating the essentiality of components in signaling networks. This approach expands an existing signaling network to a richer representation that incorporates the positive or negative nature of interactions and the synergistic behaviors among multiple components. Our method simulates both knockout and constitutive activation of components as node disruptions, and takes into account the possible cascading effects of a node's disruption. We introduce the concept of elementary signaling mode (ESM), as the minimal set of nodes that can perform signal transduction independently. Our method ranks the importance of signaling components by the effects of their perturbation on the ESMs of the network. Validation on several signaling networks describing the immune response of mammals to bacteria, guard cell abscisic acid signaling in plants, and T cell receptor signaling shows that this method can effectively uncover the essentiality of components mediating a signal transduction process and results in strong agreement with the results of Boolean (logical) dynamic models and experimental observations. This integrative method is an efficient procedure for exploratory analysis of large signaling and regulatory networks where dynamic modeling or experimental tests are impractical. Its results serve as testable predictions, provide insights into signal transduction and regulatory mechanisms and can guide targeted computational or experimental follow-up studies. The source codes for the algorithms

  19. Hydrocarbon activation under sulfate-reducing and methanogenic conditions proceeds by different mechanisms. (United States)

    Head, Ian; Gray, Neil; Aitken, Caroline; Sherry, Angela; Jones, Martin; Larter, Stephen


    Microbial degradation of alkanes typically involves their conversion to fatty acids which are then catabolised by beta-oxidation. The critical step in this process is activation of the hydrocarbon. Under oxic conditions this is catalyzed by monooxygenase enzymes with the formation of long chain alcohols. In the absence of oxygen alternative alkane activation mechanisms have been observed or proposed. Fumarate addition to alkanes to form alkyl succinates is considered a central process in anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation. Comparative studies of crude oil degradation under sulphate-reducing and methanogenic conditions revealed distinctive patterns of compound class removal and metabolite formation. Alkyl succinates derived from C7 to C26 n-alkanes and branched chain alkanes were found in abundance in sulfate-reducing systems but these were not detected during methanogenic crude oil degradation. Only one other mechanism of alkane activation has been elucidated to date. This involves addition of carbon derived from bicarbonate/CO2 to C-3 of an alkane chain to form a 2-ethylalkane with subsequent removal of the ethyl group leading to the formation of a fatty acid 1 carbon shorter than the original alkane. 2-ethylalkanes have never been detected as metabolites of anaerobic alkane degradation and were not detected in crude oil-degrading methanogenic systems. Due to the range of alkanes present in crude oil it was not possible to infer the generation of C-odd acids from C-even alkanes which is characteristic of the C-3 carboxylation mechanism. Furthermore genes homologous to alkysuccinate synthetases were not detected in the methanogenic hydrocarbon degrading community by pyrosequencing of total DNA extracted from methanogenic enrichments cultures. beta-oxidation genes were detected and intriguingly, alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase genes were present. This offers the possibility that alkane activation in the methanogenic system does not proceed via acid metabolites

  20. Coral bleaching under thermal stress: putative involvement of host/symbiont recognition mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tambutte Sylvie


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Coral bleaching can be defined as the loss of symbiotic zooxanthellae and/or their photosynthetic pigments from their cnidarian host. This major disturbance of reef ecosystems is principally induced by increases in water temperature. Since the beginning of the 1980s and the onset of global climate change, this phenomenon has been occurring at increasing rates and scales, and with increasing severity. Several studies have been undertaken in the last few years to better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of coral bleaching but the jigsaw puzzle is far from being complete, especially concerning the early events leading to symbiosis breakdown. The aim of the present study was to find molecular actors involved early in the mechanism leading to symbiosis collapse. Results In our experimental procedure, one set of Pocillopora damicornis nubbins was subjected to a gradual increase of water temperature from 28°C to 32°C over 15 days. A second control set kept at constant temperature (28°C. The differentially expressed mRNA between the stressed states (sampled just before the onset of bleaching and the non stressed states (control were isolated by Suppression Subtractive Hybridization. Transcription rates of the most interesting genes (considering their putative function were quantified by Q-RT-PCR, which revealed a significant decrease in transcription of two candidates six days before bleaching. RACE-PCR experiments showed that one of them (PdC-Lectin contained a C-Type-Lectin domain specific for mannose. Immunolocalisation demonstrated that this host gene mediates molecular interactions between the host and the symbionts suggesting a putative role in zooxanthellae acquisition and/or sequestration. The second gene corresponds to a gene putatively involved in calcification processes (Pdcyst-rich. Its down-regulation could reflect a trade-off mechanism leading to the arrest of the mineralization process under stress

  1. Catecholamine-Stimulated Growth of Aeromonas hydrophila Requires the TonB2 Energy Transduction System but Is Independent of the Amonabactin Siderophore (United States)

    Dong, Yuhao; Liu, Jin; Pang, Maoda; Du, Hechao; Wang, Nannan; Awan, Furqan; Lu, Chengping; Liu, Yongjie


    The growth-stimulating effects of catecholamine stress hormones have been demonstrated in many pathogens. However, catecholamine-induced growth and its underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood in Aeromonas hydrophila. The present study sought to demonstrate that norepinephrine (NE), epinephrine (Epi), dopamine (Dopa), and L-dopa stimulate the growth of A. hydrophila in iron-restricted media containing serum. NE exhibited the strongest growth stimulation, which could be blocked by adrenergic antagonists. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that NE could sequester iron from transferrin, thereby providing a more accessible iron source for utilization by A. hydrophila. The deletion of the amoA gene associated with amonabactin synthesis revealed that the amonabactin siderophore is not required for NE-stimulated growth. However, the deletion of the TonB2 energy transduction system resulted in the loss of growth promotion by NE, indicating that a specific TonB-dependent outer membrane receptor might be involved in the transport of iron from transferrin. Collectively, our data show that catecholamine sensing promotes the growth of A. hydrophila in a manner that is dependent on the TonB2 energy transduction system. PMID:28018865

  2. Theory and modeling of cylindrical thermo-acoustic transduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tong, Lihong, E-mail: [School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, East China Jiaotong University, Nanchang, Jiangxi (China); Lim, C.W. [Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR (China); Zhao, Xiushao; Geng, Daxing [School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, East China Jiaotong University, Nanchang, Jiangxi (China)


    Models both for solid and thinfilm-solid cylindrical thermo-acoustic transductions are proposed and the corresponding acoustic pressure solutions are obtained. The acoustic pressure for an individual carbon nanotube (CNT) as a function of input power is investigated analytically and it is verified by comparing with the published experimental data. Further numerical analysis on the acoustic pressure response and characteristics for varying input frequency and distance are also examined both for solid and thinfilm-solid cylindrical thermo-acoustic transductions. Through detailed theoretical and numerical studies on the acoustic pressure solution for thinfilm-solid cylindrical transduction, it is concluded that a solid with smaller thermal conductivity favors to improve the acoustic performance. In general, the proposed models are applicable to a variety of cylindrical thermo-acoustic devices performing in different gaseous media. - Highlights: • Theory and modeling both for solid and thinfilm-solid cylindrical thermo-acoustic transductions are proposed. • The modeling is verified by comparing with the published experimental data. • Acoustic response characteristics of cylindrical thermo-acoustic transductions are predicted by the proposed model.

  3. Effects and mechanism on Kapton film under ozone exposure in a ground near space simulator (United States)

    Wei, Qiang; Yang, Guimin; Liu, Gang; Jiang, Haifu; Zhang, Tingting


    The effect on aircraft materials in the near space environment is a key part of air-and-space integration research. Ozone and aerodynamic fluids are important organizational factors in the near space environment and both have significant influences on the performance of aircraft materials. In the present paper a simulated ozone environment was used to test polyimide material that was rotated at the approximate velocity of 150-250 m/s to form an aerodynamic fluid field. The goal was to evaluate the performance evolution of materials under a comprehensive environment of ozone molecular corrosion and aerodynamic fluids. The research results show that corrosion and sputtering by ozone molecules results in Kapton films exhibiting a rugged "carpet-like" morphology exhibits an increase in surface roughness. The morphology after ozone exposure led to higher surface roughness and an increase in surface optical diffuse reflection, which is expressed by the lower optical transmittance and the gradual transition from light orange to brown. The mass loss test, XPS, and FTIR analysis show that the molecular chains on the surface of the Kapton film are destroyed resulting in Csbnd C bond breaking to form small volatile molecules such as CO2 or CO, which are responsible for a linear increase in mass loss per unit area. The Csbnd N and Csbnd O structures exhibit weakening tendency under ozone exposure. The present paper explores the evaluation method for Kapton's adaptability under the ozone exposure test in the near space environment, and elucidates the corrosion mechanism and damage mode of the polyimide material under the combined action of ozone corrosion and the aerodynamic fluid. This work provides a methodology for studying materials in the near-space environment.

  4. New Signal Transduction Principles for Amperometric Enzyme and Antibody based Sensors (United States)

    Warsinke, Axel


    The way of how the signal transfer from the analyte recognizing biocomponent to the sensor surface is performed influences strongly the characteristics of a biosensor e.g. response time, sensitivity and specificity. Most of the described amperometric enzyme sensors are using oxidases. The signal transduction is carried out simply by electrochemical indication of the produced hydrogen peroxide or via a sensor-immobilized redox polymer. However, due to the limited number of appropriate oxidases the range of detectable analytes is restricted. Hence, we have developed a new general principle for the sensitive transduction of the more than 400 different NAD(P) dependent dehydrogenase reactions. The transduction is based on a hydroxylase reaction which produces an electrochemically active substance under the consumption of NAD(P)H. The principle should be applicable to miniaturized sensor configuration and could be the basis for a new generation of point-of-care devices. For other analytes where no oxidases and dehydrogenases are available antibodies can be used as specific recognition element. We have developed a new principle of redox-labeled immunoassays called size exclusion redox-labeled immunoassay (SERI), where after the antigen antibody binding reaction the indication is carried out amperometrically without a washing step in between. The principle was proved for measurement of creatinine. At the moment the assay needs a relatively high amount of antibodies. However, in future it should be possible to reduce the amount of antibodies by using miniaturized microfluidic chips.

  5. The effects of stoichiometry on the mechanical properties of icosahedral boron carbide under loading. (United States)

    Taylor, DeCarlos E; McCauley, James W; Wright, T W


    The effects of stoichiometry on the atomic structure and the related mechanical properties of boron carbide (B(4)C) have been studied using density functional theory and quantum molecular dynamics simulations. Computational cells of boron carbide containing up to 960 atoms and spanning compositions ranging from 6.7% to 26.7% carbon were used to determine the effects of stoichiometry on the atomic structure, elastic properties, and stress-strain response as a function of hydrostatic, uniaxial, and shear loading paths. It was found that different stoichiometries, as well as variable atomic arrangements within a fixed stoichiometry, can have a significant impact on the yield stress of boron carbide when compressed uniaxially (by as much as 70% in some cases); the significantly reduced strength of boron carbide under shear loading is also demonstrated.

  6. Adaptive response in animals exposed to non-ionizing radiofrequency fields: some underlying mechanisms. (United States)

    Cao, Yi; Tong, Jian


    During the last few years, our research group has been investigating the phenomenon of adaptive response in animals exposed to non-ionizing radiofrequency fields. The results from several separate studies indicated a significant increase in survival, decreases in genetic damage as well as oxidative damage and, alterations in several cellular processes in mice pre-exposed to radiofrequency fields and subsequently subjected to sub-lethal or lethal doses of γ-radiation or injected with bleomycin, a radiomimetic chemical mutagen. These observations indicated the induction of adaptive response providing the animals the ability to resist subsequent damage. Similar studies conducted by independent researchers in mice and rats have supported our observation on increased survival. In this paper, we have presented a brief review of all of our own and other independent investigations on radiofrequency fields-induced adaptive response and some underlying mechanisms discussed.

  7. Adaptive Response in Animals Exposed to Non-Ionizing Radiofrequency Fields: Some Underlying Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Cao


    Full Text Available During the last few years, our research group has been investigating the phenomenon of adaptive response in animals exposed to non-ionizing radiofrequency fields. The results from several separate studies indicated a significant increase in survival, decreases in genetic damage as well as oxidative damage and, alterations in several cellular processes in mice pre-exposed to radiofrequency fields and subsequently subjected to sub-lethal or lethal doses of γ-radiation or injected with bleomycin, a radiomimetic chemical mutagen. These observations indicated the induction of adaptive response providing the animals the ability to resist subsequent damage. Similar studies conducted by independent researchers in mice and rats have supported our observation on increased survival. In this paper, we have presented a brief review of all of our own and other independent investigations on radiofrequency fields-induced adaptive response and some underlying mechanisms discussed.

  8. Nanotribological behavior analysis of graphene/metal nanocomposites via MD simulations: New concepts and underlying mechanisms (United States)

    Montazeri, A.; Mobarghei, A.


    In this article, we report a series of MD-based nanoindentation tests aimed to examine the nanotribological characteristics of metal-based nanocomposites in the presence of graphene sheets. To evaluate the effects of graphene/matrix interactions on the results, nickel and copper are selected as metals having strong and weak interactions with graphene, respectively. Consequently, the influence of graphene layers sliding and their distance from the sample surface on the nanoindentation outputs is thoroughly examined. Additionally, the temperature dependence of the results is deeply investigated with emphasis on the underlying mechanisms. To verify the accuracy of nanoindentation outputs, results of this method are compared with the data obtained via the tensile test. It is concluded that the nanoindentation results are closer to the values obtained by means of experimental setups. Employing these numerical-based experiments enables us to perform parametric studies to find out the dominant factors affecting the nanotribological behavior of these nanocomposites at the atomic-scale.

  9. Dust generation mechanisms under powerful plasma impacts to the tungsten surfaces in ITER ELM simulation experiments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Makhlaj, V.A.; Garkusha, I.E.; Aksenov, N.N.; Chuvilo, A.A.; Chebotarev, V.V.; Landman, I.; Malykhin, S.V.; Pestchanyi, S.; Pugachov, A.T.


    In recent tokamak simulation experiments with the QSPA Kh-50 facility several mechanisms of dust generation from tungsten surfaces under ITER ELM-like energy loads have been identified. Here cracking and melting are reported. The brittle destruction dominates after a few transient impacts when a network of major cracks forms on the surface. Bifurcation of major cracks results in ejection of dust particles with sizes up to ∼30 μm. Dust generation occurs also after surface melting and following resolidification when fine crack networks along the grain boundaries develop. In this process the destruction is accompanied by bridge formation due to capillary tension across the fine cracks. Next impacts (even weak melt-free ones) can destroy those bridges, which produces considerable amounts of dust particles of nm-size dust. Surface modification after the repetitive plasma pulses also results in creation of nm-size dust

  10. The Mechanisms of Traditional Chinese Medicine Underlying the Prevention and Treatment of Parkinson's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoliang Li


    Full Text Available Parkinson's disease (PD, characterized with bradykinesia, static tremor, rigidity and disturbances in balance, is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder. Along with the largely aging population in the world, the incidence is increasing year by year, which imposes the negative impacts on patients, their families and the whole society. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM has a positive prospect for the prevention and cure of PD due to its advantages of less side effects and multi-target effects. At present, the pathogenesis of PD is not yet fully discovered. This paper elaborates the mechanisms of TCM underlying the prevention and treatment of PD with regards to the inhibition of oxidative stress, the regulation of mitochondrial dysfunction, the reduction of toxic excitatory amino acids (EAA, the inhibition of neuroinflammation, the inhibition of neuronal apoptosis, and the inhibition of abnormal protein aggregation.

  11. Computer-aided study of the mechanical behavior of the jaw bone fragments under uniaxial compression (United States)

    Kolmakova, Tatyana V.


    The article presents the calculated results of the mechanical behavior of simulative bone mesovolumes under uniaxial compression with their architectonics corresponding to the human jaw bone fragments. The results of the calculation show that changes in the structure and mineral content of the bone fragments can lead to the change of their prevailing deformation response. New effective parameters were introduced to reflect the character of the distribution of stresses and strains in the bone mesovolumes. Implants are to be created and selected to correspond to the offered parameters and longitudinal modulus of elasticity of bone mesovolumes in order to maintain the stress and strain state existing in bone macrovolume during the implantation and in order to avoid bone restructuring through its borderline resorption.

  12. Mechanical vibrations of tubes bundles under transversal flow; Vibration des faisceaux de tubes sous ecoulement trasversal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hadj-Sadok, C. [ENSTA - Laboratoire de Mecanique Groupe Structure et Proprietes des Materiaux, 91 Palaiseau (France)


    Flow-induced vibrations have been a major cause of tube failure in heat exchangers. Among the various fluid excitation mechanisms, fluid-elastic coupling can cause dynamic instability and induce rapid deterioration of tubes. We present in this paper a methodology to determine fluid-elastic forces in tube bundles vibrating freely under-induced excitation. Computations of the response of loosely supported tube to fluid-elastic forces and turbulence are performed. The fluid-elastic forces were modelled as reduced velocity dependent fluid-stiffness and fluid-damping coefficients. A corrective methodology is proposed to account for the frequency dependence associated with fluid-stiffness and fluid-damping coefficients. (author). 40 refs.

  13. Dynamic analysis of composite beam with piezoelectric layers under thermo-mechanical load (United States)

    Toudehdehghan, A.; Rahman, M. M.; Nagi, Farrukh


    In this paper, the control of composite beam vibrations with sensor and actuator connected layers is considered with consideration of the effect of thermal environment. The coupling relation between electrical field and mechanical deformation with uncoupled thermal impact are used. The mathematical model of shear deformation (Timoshenko’s theory) has been applied and basic equations for piezoelectric sensors and actuators have been proposed. The equation of motion for the beam structure is obtained by the Hamilton principle and analyzed by finite element method. The control algorithm is based on proportional velocity control. Hence, the purpose of this article is to investigate the direct and inverse effects of piezoelectric on control of simply supported beam vibration under uniform temperature.

  14. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System Mediated Regulation of BK Channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhen-Ye Zhang


    Full Text Available Large-conductance calcium-activated potassium channels (BK channels belong to a family of Ca2+-sensitive voltage-dependent potassium channels and play a vital role in various physiological activities in the human body. The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system is acknowledged as being vital in the body's hormone system and plays a fundamental role in the maintenance of water and electrolyte balance and blood pressure regulation. There is growing evidence that the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system has profound influences on the expression and bioactivity of BK channels. In this review, we focus on the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of BK channels mediated by the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and its potential as a target for clinical drugs.

  15. Mechanisms underlying the associations of maternal age with adverse perinatal outcomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lawlor, Debbie A; Mortensen, Laust; Andersen, Anne-Marie Nybo


    The mechanisms underlying the association between maternal age (both young and older maternal age) and adverse perinatal outcomes are unclear. Methods We examined the association of maternal age at first birth with preterm birth (..., such as childhood socio-economic characteristics—a confounder we hypothesized would exaggerate the young maternal age–adverse outcomes association but mask the older maternal age–adverse outcome association. Results There was a U-shaped association of maternal age with risk of preterm birth (lowest risk age 24......–30 years) and SGA (lowest risk age 26–30 years) in cohort analyses. In analyses with sister control, there was a J-shaped association of maternal age with preterm birth, with a monotonic increase in risk across the maternal age range from 24 years of maternal age. For SGA, risk increased across the age...

  16. Influence of plasma on the densification mechanism of SPS under multi-field effect (United States)

    Chang, Yu-hong; Huang, Di; Jia, Cheng-chang; Cui, Zhao-wen; Wang, Cong-cong; Liang, Dong


    The densification mechanism of an Fe-based alloy powder containing tiny oxide particles under the synergic multi-field effect of spark plasma sintering (SPS) was investigated. Metallographic microscopy and scanning electron microscopy were used to observe the morphology of samples sintered at different temperatures, and the temperature distribution in an individual spherical powder particle during sintering was calculated in consideration of the influence of plasma, which was qualified and quantified through the analysis of the U- I curve. The plasma was observed to play a substantial role in activating and heating the samples at the very early stage of sintering, whereas the joule-heat effect played a dominant role during sintering. Moreover, the plasma also facilitated the diffusion and migration of materials for neck formation.

  17. Acclimation of green algae to sulfur deficiency: underlying mechanisms and application for hydrogen production. (United States)

    Antal, Taras K; Krendeleva, Tatyana E; Rubin, Andrew B


    Hydrogen is definitely one of the most acceptable fuels in the future. Some photosynthetic microorganisms, such as green algae and cyanobacteria, can produce hydrogen gas from water by using solar energy. In green algae, hydrogen evolution is coupled to the photosynthetic electron transport in thylakoid membranes via reaction catalyzed by the specific enzyme, (FeFe)-hydrogenase. However, this enzyme is highly sensitive to oxygen and can be quickly inhibited when water splitting is active. A problem of incompatibility between the water splitting and hydrogenase reaction can be overcome by depletion of algal cells of sulfur which is essential element for life. In this review the mechanisms underlying sustained hydrogen photoproduction in sulfur deprived C. reinhardtii and the recent achievements in studying of this process are discussed. The attention is focused on the biophysical and physiological aspects of photosynthetic response to sulfur deficiency in green algae.

  18. Basic psychological skills usage and competitive anxiety responses: perceived underlying mechanisms. (United States)

    Wadey, Ross; Hanton, Sheldon


    This study examined the relationship between basic psychological skills usage (i.e., goal-setting, imagery, self-talk, and relaxation) and the intensity and directional dimensions of competitive anxiety. Semistructured interviews were used on a sample of 15 elite athletes (M age = 24.3 years, SD = 4.2) from a variety of team and individual sports. Findings revealed that the participants maintained the intensity of their anxiety response prior to competition and could deploy goal-setting, imagery, or self-talk to enable facilitative interpretations of anxiety-related symptoms to performance. Higher levels of self-confidence and an optimistic outlook toward forthcoming competition were also expressed. The underlying mechanisms perceived to be responsible for these effects included effort and motivation, attentional focus, and perceived control over the anxiety response.

  19. Mechanical stability of the diamond-like carbon film on nitinol vascular stents under cyclic loading

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Hyun-Jong; Moon, Myoung-Woon; Lee, Kwang-Ryeol; Seok, Hyun-Kwang; Han, Seung-Hee; Ryu, Jae-Woo; Shin, Kyong-Min; Oh, Kyu Hwan


    The mechanical stability of diamond-like carbon (DLC) films coated on nitinol vascular stents was investigated under cyclic loading condition by employing a stent crimping system. DLC films were coated on the vascular stent of a three dimensional structure by using a hybrid ion beam system with rotating jig. The cracking or delamination of the DLC coating occurred dominantly near the hinge connecting the V-shaped segments of the stent where the maximum strain was induced by a cyclic loading of contraction and extension. However the failures were significantly suppressed as the amorphous Si (a-Si) buffer layer thickness increased. Interfacial adhesion strength was estimated from the spalled crack size in the DLC coating for various values of the a-Si buffer layer thickness

  20. Mechanical behaviour of Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) beans under loading compression (United States)

    Sigalingging, R.; Herak, D.; Kabutey, A.; Sigalingging, C.


    The uniformity of the product of the grinding process depends on various factors including the brittleness of the roasted coffee bean and it affects the extraction of soluble solids to obtain the coffee brew. Therefore, the reaching of a certain degree of brittleness is very important for the grinding to which coffee beans have to be subjected to before brewing. The aims of this study to show the mechanical behaviour of Arabica coffee beans from Tobasa (Indonesia) with roasted using different roasting time (40, 60 and 80 minutes at temperature 174 °C) under loading compression 225 kN. Universal compression testing machine was used with pressing vessel diameter 60 mm and compression speed 10 mm min-1 with different initial pressing height ranging from 20 to 60 mm. The results showed that significant correlation between roasting time and the brittleness.

  1. The mechanism for diamagnetic products formation under the radiolysis of alkali nitrates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anan' ev, Vladimir [Department of Analytical Chemistry, Kemerovo State University, Krasnaya Street, 6, Kemerovo 650043 (Russian Federation)], E-mail:


    Based on optical measurements, the kinetics of peroxynitrite accumulation in alkali nitrate crystals {gamma}-irradiated at 310 K has been investigated. The initial radiation chemical yields were calculated to be 0.60{+-}0.05, 0.14{+-}0.03, 0.35{+-}0.03, 0.65{+-}0.04 (100 eV){sup -1} for NaNO{sub 3}, KNO{sub 3}, RbNO{sub 3}, and CsNO{sub 3}, respectively. The mechanism for the radiolysis of crystalline alkali nitrates is interpreted in terms of formation of the peroxynitrite ions and the nitrite ions from high-energy singlet and triplet excited states of the nitrate ions, respectively. These states can be generating under the radiationless transitions of electrons from the cation conductivity band into the anion conductivity band accompanied by the Auger excitation of the nitrate ions.

  2. Modulation of MicroRNAs by Phytochemicals in Cancer: Underlying Mechanisms and Translational Significance (United States)

    Srivastava, Sanjeev K.; Arora, Sumit; Averett, Courey; Singh, Ajay P.


    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, endogenous noncoding RNAs that regulate a variety of biological processes such as differentiation, development, and survival. Recent studies suggest that miRNAs are dysregulated in cancer and play critical roles in cancer initiation, progression, and chemoresistance. Therefore, exploitation of miRNAs as targets for cancer prevention and therapy could be a promising approach. Extensive evidence suggests that many naturally occurring phytochemicals regulate the expression of numerous miRNAs involved in the pathobiology of cancer. Therefore, an understanding of the regulation of miRNAs by phytochemicals in cancer, their underlying molecular mechanisms, and functional consequences on tumor pathophysiology may be useful in formulating novel strategies to combat this devastating disease. These aspects are discussed in this review paper with an objective of highlighting the significance of these observations from the translational standpoint. PMID:25853141

  3. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying γ-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Accumulation in Giant Embryo Rice Seeds. (United States)

    Zhao, Guo-Chao; Xie, Mi-Xue; Wang, Ying-Cun; Li, Jian-Yue


    To uncover the molecular mechanisms underlying GABA accumulation in giant embryo rice seeds, we analyzed the expression levels of GABA metabolism genes and contents of GABA and GABA metabolic intermediates in developing grains and germinated brown rice of giant embryo rice 'Shangshida No. 5' and normal embryo rice 'Chao2-10' respectively. In developing grains, the higher GABA contents in 'Shangshida No. 5' were accompanied with upregulation of gene transcripts and intermediate contents in the polyamine pathway and downregulation of GABA catabolic gene transcripts, as compared with those in 'Chao2-10'. In germinated brown rice, the higher GABA contents in 'Shangshida No. 5' were parallel with upregulation of OsGAD and polyamine pathway gene transcripts and Glu and polyamine pathway intermediate contents and downregulation of GABA catabolic gene transcripts. These results are the first to indicate that polyamine pathway and GABA catabolic genes play a crucial role in GABA accumulation in giant embryo rice seeds.

  4. Simulation of Mechanical Behavior and Damage of a Large Composite Wind Turbine Blade under Critical Loads (United States)

    Tarfaoui, M.; Nachtane, M.; Khadimallah, H.; Saifaoui, D.


    Issues such as energy generation/transmission and greenhouse gas emissions are the two energy problems we face today. In this context, renewable energy sources are a necessary part of the solution essentially winds power, which is one of the most profitable sources of competition with new fossil energy facilities. This paper present the simulation of mechanical behavior and damage of a 48 m composite wind turbine blade under critical wind loads. The finite element analysis was performed by using ABAQUS code to predict the most critical damage behavior and to apprehend and obtain knowledge of the complex structural behavior of wind turbine blades. The approach developed based on the nonlinear FE analysis using mean values for the material properties and the failure criteria of Tsai-Hill to predict failure modes in large structures and to identify the sensitive zones.

  5. Void effect on mechanical properties of copper nanosheets under biaxial tension by molecular dynamics method (United States)

    Yang, Zailin; Yang, Qinyou; Zhang, Guowei; Yang, Yong


    The relationship between void size/location and mechanical behavior under biaxial loading of copper nanosheets containing voids are investigated by molecular dynamics method. The void location and the void radius on the model are discussed in the paper. The main reason of break is discovered by the congruent relationship between the shear stress and its dislocations. Dislocations are nucleated at the corner of system and approached to the center of void with increased deformation. Here, a higher stress is required to fail the voided sheets when smaller voids are utilized. The void radius influences the time of destruction. The larger the void radius is, the lower the shear stress and the earlier the model breaks. The void location impacts the dislocation distribution.

  6. Study of Acoustic Emission and Mechanical Characteristics of Coal Samples under Different Loading Rates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huamin Li


    Full Text Available To study the effect of loading rate on mechanical properties and acoustic emission characteristics of coal samples, collected from Sanjiaohe Colliery, the uniaxial compression tests are carried out under various levels of loading rates, including 0.001 mm/s, 0.002 mm/s, and 0.005 mm/s, respectively, using AE-win E1.86 acoustic emission instrument and RMT-150C rock mechanics test system. The results indicate that the loading rate has a strong impact on peak stress and peak strain of coal samples, but the effect of loading rate on elasticity modulus of coal samples is relatively small. When the loading rate increases from 0.001 mm/s to 0.002 mm/s, the peak stress increases from 22.67 MPa to 24.99 MPa, the incremental percentage is 10.23%, and under the same condition the peak strain increases from 0.006191 to 0.007411 and the incremental percentage is 19.71%. Similarly, when the loading rate increases from 0.002 mm/s to 0.005 mm/s, the peak stress increases from 24.99 MPa to 28.01 MPa, the incremental percentage is 12.08%, the peak strain increases from 0.007411 to 0.008203, and the incremental percentage is 10.69%. The relationship between acoustic emission and loading rate presents a positive correlation, and the negative correlation relation has been determined between acoustic emission cumulative counts and loading rate during the rupture process of coal samples.

  7. Mechanism underlying the effects of doxepin on β-amyloid -induced memory impairment in rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jimei Bu


    Full Text Available Objective(s: In previous studies, researchers observed that doxepin could improve cognitive processes and has protective effectson the central nervous system. Thus, this study was designed to analyze the effects of doxepin on β-amyloid (Aβ-induced memory impairment and neuronal toxicity in ratand to explore the underlying mechanism. Materials and Methods: Rats were treated with Aβ1-42 and doxepin was injected to validate its effects on cognitive function. The Morris water maze test was performed to detect memory function.  Aβ1-42-treated SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cell line was also used to detect the effects of doxepin and to explore the underlying mechanism. Western blotting analysis was used to detect the protein expression levels of PSD-95, synapsin 1, p-AKT and p-mTOR in rats. Results: After treated with 1 mg/kg of doxepin, Aβ1-42-treated rats showed markedly lower escape latency and higher platform-finding strategy score. Low doses of doxepin significantly reversed the effects of Aβ1-42 on the protein expression levels of PSD-95, synapsin 1, p-AKT and p-mTOR in rats.   In vitro experiment showed the consistent results. Besides, PI3K inhibitor (LY294002 treatment could markedly reversed the effects of doxepin on Aβ1-42-treated SH-SY5Y cells. Conclusion: Our results demonstrated that doxepin could protect against the Aβ1-42-induced memory impairment in rats. The protective effect of doxepin was associated with the enhancement of PSD-95 and synapsin 1 expression via PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway.

  8. LCT-coil design: Mechanical interaction between composite winding and steel casing under various test conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dolensky, B.; Messemer, G.; Zehlein, H.; Erb, J.


    Finite element computations for the structural design of the large superconducting toroidal field coil contributed by EURATOM to the Large Coil Test Facility (LCTF) at ORNL, USA were performed at KfK, using the ASKA code. The layout of the coil must consider different types of requirements: firstly, an optimal D-shaped contour minimizing circumferential stress gradients under normal operation in the toroidal arrangement must be defined. Secondly, the three-dimensional real design effects due to the actual support conditions, manufacturing tolerances etc. must be mastered for different basic operational and failure load cases. And, thirdly, the design must stand a single coil qualification test in the TOSKA-facility at KfK, Karlsruhe, FRG, before it is plugged into the LCTF. The emphasis of the paper is three-pronged according to these requirements: i) the 3D magnetic body forces as well as the underlying magnetic fields as computed by the HEDO-code are described. ii) The mechanical interaction between casing and winding as given elsewhere in terms of high stress regions, gaps, slide movements and contact forces for various load cases representing the LCTF test conditions is illustrated here by a juxtaposition of the operational deformations and stresses within the LCTF and the TOSKA. iii) Particular effects like the restraint imposed by a corset-type reinforcement of the coil in the TOSKA test facility to limit the breathing deformation are parametrically studied. Moreover, the possibilities to derive scaling laws which make essential results transferable to larger coils by extracting a 1D mechanical response from the 3D finite element model is also demonstrated. (orig./GG)

  9. Pollination ecology of two species of Elleanthus (Orchidaceae): novel mechanisms and underlying adaptations to hummingbird pollination. (United States)

    Nunes, C E P; Amorim, F W; Mayer, J L S; Sazima, M


    Relationships among floral biology, floral micromorphology and pollinator behaviour in bird-pollinated orchids are important issues to understand the evolution of the huge flower diversity within Orchidaceae. We aimed to investigate floral mechanisms underlying the interaction with pollinators in two hummingbird-pollinated orchids occurring in the Atlantic forest. We assessed floral biology, nectar traits, nectary and column micromorphologies, breeding systems and pollinators. In both species, nectar is secreted by lip calli through spaces between the medial lamellar surfaces of epidermal cells. Such a form of floral nectar secretion has not been previously described. Both species present functional protandry and are self-compatible yet pollinator-dependent. Fruit set in hand-pollination experiments was more than twice that under natural conditions, evidencing pollen limitation. The absence of fruit set in interspecific crosses suggests the existence of post-pollination barriers between these sympatric co-flowering species. In Elleanthus brasiliensis, fruits resulting from cross-pollination and natural conditions were heavier than those resulting from self-pollination, suggesting advantages to cross-pollination. Hummingbirds pollinated both species, which share at least one pollinator species. Species differences in floral morphologies led to distinct pollination mechanisms. In E. brasiliensis, attachment of pollinarium to the hummingbird bill occurs through a lever apparatus formed by an appendage in the column, another novelty to our knowledge of orchid pollination. In E. crinipes, pollinarium attachment occurs by simple contact with the bill during insertion into the flower tube, which fits tightly around it. The novelties described here illustrate the overlooked richness in ecology and morphophysiology in Orchidaceae. © 2015 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  10. Deformation and damage modes of deep argillaceous rocks under hydro-mechanical stresses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vales, F.


    An experimental identification of the hydro-mechanical behaviour of an argillite rock is proposed within a multi-scale approach. In particular, interest is focused on the spatial and temporal localization of strain and damage in a specimen during hydro-mechanical loading. Firstly, we describe the techniques used to follow the rock evolutions under loading, and in particular Digital Images Correlation (DIC), Acoustic Emission, microscopy and mercury intrusion porosimetry. Measurement errors and device limitations are discussed. The studied material is the Callovo-Oxfordian indurated argillaceous rock (or argillite) of the Bure site where ANDRA has built an underground research laboratory to study the radioactive waste storage. Petrophysical characterizations and microstructural observations by optical and scanning electron microscopy provide an identification of the constitutive phase and a characterization of their spatial distribution and typical sizes. Argillite can be described as a composite structure with a continuous clay matrix and embedded mineral particles, essentially quartz and carbonates. The typical size of these particles ranges from a few micrometers to a few hundreds micrometers, with an average close to 50 μ.m. The general experimental procedure combines two steps: in a fist time, imposed suctions bring samples to a given degree of water saturation, and, in a second time, uniaxial mechanical compression tests are performed. To understand the evolutions of the material under hydric and mechanical loading, samples are instrumented with standard measurement techniques, but also with Digital Image Correlation, at both the global scale of the sample and the local scale of the composite microstructure, and with Acoustic Emissions recording. Moisture transfers are imposed by controlled suctions on the range of 150 to 2.8 MPa, corresponding to the relative humidity range of 32 to 98%RH. During pure hydric solicitation, the changes in physical parameters

  11. Adverse effects from clenbuterol and ractopamine on nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the underlying mechanism. (United States)

    Zhuang, Ziheng; Zhao, Yunli; Wu, Qiuli; Li, Min; Liu, Haicui; Sun, Lingmei; Gao, Wei; Wang, Dayong


    In the present study, we used Caenorhabditis elegans assay system to investigate in vivo toxicity from clentuberol and ractopamine and the possible underlying mechanism. Both acute and prolonged exposures to clentuberol or ractopamine decreased brood size and locomotion behavior, and induced intestinal autofluorescence and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Although acute exposure to the examined concentrations of clentuberol or ractopamine did not induce lethality, prolonged exposure to 10 µg/L of clentuberol and ractopamine reduced lifespan. At relatively high concentrations, ractopamine exhibited more severe toxicity than clentuberol on nematodes. Overexpression of sod-2 gene encoding a Mn-SOD to prevent induction of oxidative stress effectively inhibited toxicity from clentuberol or ractopamine. Besides oxidative stress, we found that clentuberol might reduce lifespan through influencing insulin/IGF signaling pathway; however, ractopamine might reduce lifespan through affecting both insulin/IGF signaling pathway and TOR signaling pathway. Ractopamine more severely decreased expression levels of daf-16, sgk-1, skn-1, and aak-2 genes than clentuberol, and increased expression levels of daf-2 and age-1 genes at the examined concentration. Therefore, the C. elegans assay system may be useful for assessing the possible toxicity from weight loss agents, and clentuberol and ractopamine may induce toxicity through different molecular mechanisms.

  12. Adverse effects from clenbuterol and ractopamine on nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the underlying mechanism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziheng Zhuang

    Full Text Available In the present study, we used Caenorhabditis elegans assay system to investigate in vivo toxicity from clentuberol and ractopamine and the possible underlying mechanism. Both acute and prolonged exposures to clentuberol or ractopamine decreased brood size and locomotion behavior, and induced intestinal autofluorescence and reactive oxygen species (ROS production. Although acute exposure to the examined concentrations of clentuberol or ractopamine did not induce lethality, prolonged exposure to 10 µg/L of clentuberol and ractopamine reduced lifespan. At relatively high concentrations, ractopamine exhibited more severe toxicity than clentuberol on nematodes. Overexpression of sod-2 gene encoding a Mn-SOD to prevent induction of oxidative stress effectively inhibited toxicity from clentuberol or ractopamine. Besides oxidative stress, we found that clentuberol might reduce lifespan through influencing insulin/IGF signaling pathway; however, ractopamine might reduce lifespan through affecting both insulin/IGF signaling pathway and TOR signaling pathway. Ractopamine more severely decreased expression levels of daf-16, sgk-1, skn-1, and aak-2 genes than clentuberol, and increased expression levels of daf-2 and age-1 genes at the examined concentration. Therefore, the C. elegans assay system may be useful for assessing the possible toxicity from weight loss agents, and clentuberol and ractopamine may induce toxicity through different molecular mechanisms.

  13. Testosterone and attention deficits as possible mechanisms underlying impaired emotion recognition in intimate partner violence perpetrators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ángel Romero-Martínez


    Full Text Available Several studies have reported impairments in decoding emotional facial expressions in intimate partner violence (IPV perpetrators. However, the mechanisms that underlie these impaired skills are not well known. Given this gap in the literature, we aimed to establish whether IPV perpetrators (n = 18 differ in their emotion decoding process, attentional skills, and testosterone (T, cortisol (C levels and T/C ratio in comparison with controls (n = 20, and also to examine the moderating role of the group and hormonal parameters in the relationship between attention skills and the emotion decoding process. Our results demonstrated that IPV perpetrators showed poorer emotion recognition and higher attention switching costs than controls. Nonetheless,they did not differ in attention to detail and hormonal parameters. Finally, the slope predicting emotion recognition from deficits in attention switching became steeper as T levels increased, especially in IPV perpetrators, although the basal C and T/C ratios were unrelated to emotion recognition and attention deficits for both groups. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying emotion recognition deficits. These factors therefore constitute the target for future interventions.

  14. Temperature-dependent dynamic mechanical properties of magnetorheological elastomers under magnetic field

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ju, Benxiang, E-mail: [National Instrument Functional Materials Engineering Technology Research Center, Chongqing 400707 (China); Tang, Rui; Zhang, Dengyou; Yang, Bailian [National Instrument Functional Materials Engineering Technology Research Center, Chongqing 400707 (China); Yu, Miao; Liao, Changrong [College of Optoelectronic Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044 (China)


    Both anisotropic and isotropic magnetorheological elastomer (MRE) samples were fabricated by using as-prepared polyurethane (PU) matrix and carbonyl iron particles. Temperature-dependent dynamic mechanical properties of MRE were investigated and analyzed. Due to the unique structural features of as-prepared matrix, temperature has a greater impact on the properties of as-prepared MRE, especially isotropic MRE. With increasing of temperature and magnetic field, MR effect of isotropic MRE can reach up to as high as 4176.5% at temperature of 80 °C, and the mechanism of the temperature-dependent in presence of magnetic field was discussed. These results indicated that MRE is a kind of temperature-dependent material, and can be cycled between MRE and MR plastomer (MRP) by varying temperature. - Highlights: • Both anisotropic and isotropic MRE were fabricated by using as-prepared matrix. • Temperature-dependent properties of MRE under magnetic field were investigated. • As-prepared MRE can transform MRE to MRP by adjusting temperature.

  15. Study on Mechanical Characteristics of Fully Grouted Rock Bolts for Underground Caverns under Seismic Loads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guoqing Liu


    Full Text Available This study establishes an analytical model for the interaction between the bolt and surrounding rock based on the bearing mechanism of fully grouted rock bolts. The corresponding controlled differential equation for load transfer is deduced. The stress distributions of the anchorage body are obtained by solving the equations. A dynamic algorithm for the bolt considering shear damage on the anchoring interface is proposed based on the dynamic finite element method. The rationality of the algorithm is verified by a pull-out test and excavation simulation of a rounded tunnel. Then, a case study on the mechanical characteristics of the bolts in underground caverns under seismic loads is conducted. The results indicate that the seismic load may lead to stress originating from the bolts and damage on the anchoring interface. The key positions of the antiseismic support can be determined using the numerical simulation. The calculated results can serve as a reference for the antiseismic optimal design of bolts in underground caverns.

  16. The impact of electricity market design upon investment under uncertainty: The effectiveness of capacity mechanisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vries, Laurens de; Heijnen, Petra


    This paper presents an analysis of different market designs under uncertainty about the future growth rate of demand. Markets for electricity generation appear to be prone to an investment cycle due to their capital-intensiveness and the long lead time of new generation facilities. We tested the stability of different capacity mechanisms in the presence of uncertainty regarding the demand growth rate with a stochastic dynamic model. Investment decisions were assumed to maximize profit, based on an assumed growth rate of demand that was equal to the rolling average of the previous five years. All capacity mechanisms proved effective in reducing the tendency towards an investment cycle, but to different degrees. Interestingly, an oligopoly that is able to raise average prices by 10% would also be able to substantially reduce price volatility and decrease the risk of shortages by increasing the reserve margin. Benefits of such a strategy for the generating companies could be that it would deter new market entrants and stave off the political attention that shortages and price spikes would bring about. However, the benefits to consumers are compromised by the lack of economic efficiency and distributional effects of an oligopoly, while the stability of such an oligopolistic strategy can be questioned. The most attractive solution is a system of reliability contracts, which can be used to stabilize both investment and prices, while reducing market power and providing more efficient operational incentives to generating companies. (author)

  17. Mechanisms Underlying the Influence of Disruptive Child Behavior on Interparental Communication (United States)

    Wymbs, Brian T.


    Prospective and experimental manipulations of child behavior have demonstrated that disruptive child behavior causes interparental discord. However, research has yet to test for mechanisms underlying this causal pathway. There is reason to suspect parent affect and parenting behavior explain child effects on interparental relations. To investigate this hypothesis, parent couples of 9- to 12-year-old boys and girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; n=51) and without ADHD (n=39) were randomly assigned to interact with a confederate child exhibiting “disruptive” or “typical” behavior. Parents rated their own affect as well as the quality of their partner's parenting and communication immediately following the interaction. Observers also coded the quality of parenting and communication behaviors parents exhibited during the interaction. Parents who interacted with disruptive confederates reported lower positive affect and higher negative affect than those who interacted with typical confederates. Parents were also noted by their partners and observers to parent disruptive confederates more negatively than typical confederates. Multilevel mediation models with observational coding and partner ratings both found that negative parenting explained the causal pathway between disruptive child behavior and negative communication. Exploratory analyses revealed that the strength of this pathway did not differ between parents of children with and without ADHD. Parent affect was not found to explain child effects on interparental communication. Though methodological issues limit the generalizability of these findings, results indicate that negative parenting may be one mechanism through which disruptive children cause interparental discord. PMID:21875193

  18. Flexibility in the structure of spiral flowers and its underlying mechanisms. (United States)

    Wang, Peipei; Liao, Hong; Zhang, Wengen; Yu, Xianxian; Zhang, Rui; Shan, Hongyan; Duan, Xiaoshan; Yao, Xu; Kong, Hongzhi


    Spiral flowers usually bear a variable number of organs, suggestive of the flexibility in structure. The mechanisms underlying the flexibility, however, remain unclear. Here we show that in Nigella damascena, a species with spiral flowers, different types of floral organs show different ranges of variation in number. We also show that the total number of organs per flower is largely dependent on the initial size of the floral meristem, whereas the respective numbers of different types of floral organs are determined by the functional domains of corresponding genetic programmes. By conducting extensive expression and functional studies, we further elucidate the genetic programmes that specify the identities of different types of floral organs. Notably, the AGL6-lineage member NdAGL6, rather than the AP1-lineage members NdFL1/2, is an A-function gene, whereas petaloidy of sepals is not controlled by AP3- or PI-lineage members. Moreover, owing to the formation of a regulatory network, some floral organ identity genes also regulate the boundaries between different types of floral organs. On the basis of these results, we propose that the floral organ identity determination programme is highly dynamic and shows considerable flexibility. Transitions from spiral to whorled flowers, therefore, may be explained by evolution of the mechanisms that reduce the flexibility.

  19. Mechanisms of the rapid dissolution of plutonium dioxide in acidic media under oxidizing or reducing conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Madic, C.; Berger, P.; Machuron-Mandard, X.


    Until recently plutonium dioxide was known to be among the metallic oxides most difficult to dissolve. This property is understandable given the free energy of the dissolution reaction (ΔG 0 ) in acidic noncomplexing media (ΔG 0 = 32.04 kJ/mol). Thermodynamic calculations predict that PuO 2 will dissolve under oxidizing or reducing conditions. The oxidizing dissolution, leading to Pu(VI) ion in solution, is easy to perform with a strong oxidant like Ag(II). The mechanism of the oxidizing dissolution of PuO 2 wa