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Sample records for understand contractile function

  1. Operative contractility: a functional concept of the inotropic state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curiel, Roberto; Perez-Gonzalez, Juan; Torres, Edwar; Landaeta, Ruben; Cerrolaza, Miguel

    2005-10-01

    1. Initial unsuccessful attempts to evaluate ventricular function in terms of the 'heart as a pump' led to focusing on the 'heart as a muscle' and to the concept of myocardial contractility. However, no clinically ideal index exists to assess the contractile state. The aim of the present study was to develop a mathematical model to assess cardiac contractility. 2. A tri-axial system was conceived for preload (PL), afterload (AL) and contractility, where stroke volume (SV) was represented as the volume of the tetrahedron. Based on this model, 'operative' contractility ('OperCon') was calculated from the readily measured values of PL, AL and SV. The model was tested retrospectively under a variety of different experimental and clinical conditions, in 71 studies in humans and 29 studies in dogs. A prospective echocardiographic study was performed in 143 consecutive subjects to evaluate the ability of the model to assess contractility when SV and PL were measured volumetrically (mL) or dimensionally (cm). 3. With inotropic interventions, OperCon changes were comparable to those of ejection fraction (EF), velocity of shortening (Vcf) and dP/dt-max. Only with positive inotropic interventions did elastance (Ees) show significantly larger changes. With load manipulations, OperCon showed significantly smaller changes than EF and Ees and comparable changes to Vcf and dP/dt-max. Values of OperCon were similar when AL was represented by systolic blood pressure or wall stress and when volumetric or dimensional values were used. 4. Operative contractility is a reliable, simple and versatile method to assess cardiac contractility.

  2. Myocardial contractile function in survived neonatal piglets after cardiopulmonary bypass

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    Popov Aron-Frederik

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hemodynamic function may be depressed in the early postoperative stages after cardiac surgery. The aim of this study was the analysis of the myocardial contractility in neonates after cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB and mild hypothermia. Methods Three indices of left ventricular myocardial contractile function (dP/dt, (dP/dt/P, and wall thickening were studied up to 6 hours after CPB in neonatal piglets (CPB group; n = 4. The contractility data were analysed and then compared to the data of newborn piglets who also underwent median thoracotomy and instrumentation for the same time intervals but without CPB (non-CPB group; n = 3. Results Left ventricular dP/dtmax and (dP/dtmax/P remained stable in CPB group, while dP/dtmax decreased in non-CPB group 5 hours postoperatively (1761 ± 205 mmHg/s at baseline vs. 1170 ± 205 mmHg/s after 5 h; p max and (dP/dtmax/P there were no statistically significant differences between the two groups. Comparably, although myocardial thickening decreased in the non-CPB group the differences between the two groups were not statistically significant. Conclusions The myocardial contractile function in survived neonatal piglets remained stable 6 hours after cardiopulmonary bypass and mild hypothermia probably due to regional hypercontractility.

  3. Transient impairments in single muscle fibre contractile function after prolonged cycling in elite endurance athletes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvid, L G; Gejl, Kasper Degn; Bech, R D

    2013-01-01

    Prolonged muscle activity impairs whole-muscle performance and function. However, little is known about the effects of prolonged muscle activity on the contractile function of human single muscle fibres. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of prolonged exercise and subsequent...... recovery on the contractile function of single muscle fibres obtained from elite athletes....

  4. Effects of ageing on single muscle fibre contractile function following short-term immobilisation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvid, Lars G; Ørtenblad, Niels; Aagaard, Per

    2011-01-01

    Very little attention has been given to the combined effect of healthy ageing and short-term disuse on the contractile function of human single muscle fibres. Therefore, the present study investigated the effects of 2 weeks of lower limb cast immobilisation (i.e. disuse) on selected contractile...

  5. Modifying influence of incorporated 137Cs upon the mechanisms of adrenergic control over contractile myucard function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lobanok, L.M.; Bulanova, K.Ya.; Gerasimovich, N.V.; Sineleva, M.V.; Milyutin, A.A.

    1994-01-01

    Incorporated 137 Cs (absorbed dose of 0.26 Gy) causes decrease of myocard's contractile function and intropic response to β-adrenagonists effect, isoproterenol-stimulated adenylate cyclase activity and β-adrenoreceptors affinity. Adrenergic effects, mediated by α-adrenergic structures on heart contractile function, on the contrary, become stronger, that is due to the increase of the receptors' dencity on sarcolemma surface

  6. The Functional Lumen Imaging Probe Detects Esophageal Contractility not Observed with Manometry in Patients with Achalasia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Dustin A.; Lin, Zhiyue; Kahrilas, Peter J.; Sternbach, Joel; Donnan, Erica N.; Friesen, Laurel; Listernick, Zoe; Mogni, Benjamin; Pandolfino, John E.

    2015-01-01

    Background & Aims The functional lumen imaging probe (FLIP) could improve characterization of achalasia subtypes by detecting non-occlusive esophageal contractions not observed with standard manometry. We aimed to evaluate for esophageal contractions during volumetric distention in patients with achalasia using FLIP topography. Methods Fifty one treatment-naïve patients with achalasia, defined and sub-classified by high-resolution esophageal pressure topography, and 10 asymptomatic individuals (controls) were evaluated with the FLIP during endoscopy. During stepwise distension, simultaneous intra-bag pressures and 16 channels of cross-sectional areas were measured; data were exported to software that generated FLIP topography plots. Esophageal contractility was identified by noting periods of reduced luminal diameter. Esophageal contractions were further characterized by propagation direction, repetitiveness, and based on whether they were occluding or non-occluding. Results Esophageal contractility was detected in all 10 controls: 8/10 had repetitive, antegrade, contractions and 9/10 had occluding contractions. Contractility was detected in 27% (4/15) of patients with type I achalasia and 65% (18/26, including 9 with occluding contractions) of patients with type II achalasia. Contractility was detected in all 10 patients with type III achalasia; 8 of these patients had a pattern of contractility not observed in controls (repetitive, retrograde contractions). Conclusions Esophageal contractility not observed with manometry can be detected in patients with achalasia using FLIP topography. The presence and patterns of contractility detected with FLIP topography may represent variations in pathophysiology, such as mechanisms of pan-esophageal pressurization in patients with type II achalasia. These findings could have implications for additional sub-classification to supplement prediction of the achalasia disease course. PMID:26278501

  7. [Gallbladder contractility in children with functional abdominal pain or irritable bowel syndrome].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwańczak, Franciszek; Siedlecka-Dawidko, Jolanta; Iwanczak, Barbara

    2013-07-01

    III Rome Criteria of functional gastrointestinal disorders in children, distinguished the disturbances with abdominal pain, to which irritable bowel syndrome, functional abdominal pains, functional dyspepsia and abdominal migraine were included. THE AIM OF THE STUDY was sonographic assessment of the gallbladder and its contractility in functional abdominal pain and irritable bowel syndrome in children. The study comprised 96 children aged 6 to 18 years, 59 girls and 37 boys. Depending on diagnosis, the children were divided into three groups. 38 children with functional abdominal pain constituted the first group, 26 children with irritable bowel syndrome were included to the second group, the third group consisted of 32 healthy children (control group). Diagnosis of functional abdominal pain and irritable bowel syndrome was made based on the III Rome Criteria. In irritable bowel syndrome both forms with diarrhea (13) and with constipation (13) were observed. Anatomy and contractility of the gallbladder were assessed by ultrasound examination. The presence of septum, wall thickness, thick bile, vesicle volume in fasting state and 30th and 60th minute after test meal were taken into consideration. Test meal comprised about 15% of caloric requirement of moderate metabolism. Children with bile stones and organic diseases were excluded from the study. Thickened vesicle wall and thick bile were present more frequently in children with irritable bowel syndrome and functional abdominal pain than in control group (p functional abdominal pain than in irritable bowel syndrome and control group (p = 0.003, p = 0.05). Vesicle contractility after test meal was greatest in children with functional abdominal pain. Evaluation of diminished (smaller than 30%) and enlarged (greater then 80%) gallbladder contractility at 30th and 60th minute after test meal demonstrated disturbances of contractility in children with irritable bowel syndrome and functional abdominal pain. In children

  8. Effects of ageing on single muscle fibre contractile function following short-term immobilisation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvid, Lars G; Ortenblad, Niels; Aagaard, Per

    2011-01-01

    Very little attention has been given to the combined effects of healthy ageing and short-term disuse on the contractile function of human single muscle fibres. Therefore, the present study investigated the effects of 2 weeks of lower limb cast immobilisation (i.e. disuse) on selected contractile...... IIa: young 18% and old 25%; P selective decrease in Ca(2+) sensitivity in MHC IIa fibres of young (P ....05), respectively. In conclusion, 2 weeks of lower limb immobilisation caused greater impairments in single muscle fibre force and specific force in MHC IIa than MHC I fibres independently of age. In contrast, immobilisation-induced changes in Ca(2+) sensitivity that were dependent on age and MHC isoform....

  9. Myocardial mitochondrial and contractile function are preserved in mice lacking adiponectin.

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    Martin Braun

    Full Text Available Adiponectin deficiency leads to increased myocardial infarct size following ischemia reperfusion and to exaggerated cardiac hypertrophy following pressure overload, entities that are causally linked to mitochondrial dysfunction. In skeletal muscle, lack of adiponectin results in impaired mitochondrial function. Thus, it was our objective to investigate whether adiponectin deficiency impairs mitochondrial energetics in the heart. At 8 weeks of age, heart weight-to-body weight ratios were not different between adiponectin knockout (ADQ-/- mice and wildtypes (WT. In isolated working hearts, cardiac output, aortic developed pressure and cardiac power were preserved in ADQ-/- mice. Rates of fatty acid oxidation, glucose oxidation and glycolysis were unchanged between groups. While myocardial oxygen consumption was slightly reduced (-24% in ADQ-/- mice in isolated working hearts, rates of maximal ADP-stimulated mitochondrial oxygen consumption and ATP synthesis in saponin-permeabilized cardiac fibers were preserved in ADQ-/- mice with glutamate, pyruvate or palmitoyl-carnitine as a substrate. In addition, enzymatic activity of respiratory complexes I and II was unchanged between groups. Phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase and SIRT1 activity were not decreased, expression and acetylation of PGC-1α were unchanged, and mitochondrial content of OXPHOS subunits was not decreased in ADQ-/- mice. Finally, increasing energy demands due to prolonged subcutaneous infusion of isoproterenol did not differentially affect cardiac contractility or mitochondrial function in ADQ-/- mice compared to WT. Thus, mitochondrial and contractile function are preserved in hearts of mice lacking adiponectin, suggesting that adiponectin may be expendable in the regulation of mitochondrial energetics and contractile function in the heart under non-pathological conditions.

  10. Evolutionarily conserved sites in yeast tropomyosin function in cell polarity, transport and contractile ring formation

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    Susanne Cranz-Mileva

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Tropomyosin is a coiled-coil protein that binds and regulates actin filaments. The tropomyosin gene in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, cdc8, is required for formation of actin cables, contractile rings, and polar localization of actin patches. The roles of conserved residues were investigated in gene replacement mutants. The work validates an evolution-based approach to identify tropomyosin functions in living cells and sites of potential interactions with other proteins. A cdc8 mutant with near-normal actin affinity affects patch polarization and vacuole fusion, possibly by affecting Myo52p, a class V myosin, function. The presence of labile residual cell attachments suggests a delay in completion of cell division and redistribution of cell patches following cytokinesis. Another mutant with a mild phenotype is synthetic negative with GFP-fimbrin, inferring involvement of the mutated tropomyosin sites in interaction between the two proteins. Proteins that assemble in the contractile ring region before actin do so in a mutant cdc8 strain that cannot assemble condensed actin rings, yet some cells can divide. Of general significance, LifeAct-GFP negatively affects the actin cytoskeleton, indicating caution in its use as a biomarker for actin filaments.

  11. PPARγ Ligands Regulate Noncontractile and Contractile Functions of Airway Smooth Muscle: Implications for Asthma Therapy

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    Chantal Donovan

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In asthma, the increase in airway smooth muscle (ASM can contribute to inflammation, airway wall remodeling and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR. Targetting peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ, a receptor upregulated in ASM in asthmatic airways, may provide a novel approach to regulate these contributions. This review summarises experimental evidence that PPARγ ligands, such as rosiglitazone (RGZ and pioglitazone (PGZ, inhibit proliferation and inflammatory cytokine production from ASM in vitro. In addition, inhaled administration of these ligands reduces inflammatory cell infiltration and airway remodelling in mouse models of allergen-induced airways disease. PPARγ ligands can also regulate ASM contractility, with acute treatment eliciting relaxation of mouse trachea in vitro through a PPARγ-independent mechanism. Chronic treatment can protect against the loss of bronchodilator sensitivity to β2-adrenoceptor agonists and inhibit the development of AHR associated with exposure to nicotine in utero or following allergen challenge. Of particular interest, a small clinical trial has shown that oral RGZ treatment improves lung function in smokers with asthma, a group that is generally unresponsive to conventional steroid treatment. These combined findings support further investigation of the potential for PPARγ agonists to target the noncontractile and contractile functions of ASM to improve outcomes for patients with poorly controlled asthma.

  12. Pulmonary artery radiocardiography and rheography in the diagnosis of hemodynamic and contractile function impairments of the right ventricle in patients with obstructive bronchitis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paleev, N.P.; Cherejskaya, N.K.; Tsar'kova, L.N.; Baklykova, S.N.; Novoderezhkina, L.B.; Oblovatskaya, O.G.; Dubinina, E.B.

    1990-01-01

    Radiocardiography and rheography of the pulmonary artery were used to examine impairments in hemodynamics and contractile function of the right ventricle in 40 patients with chronic obstructive bronchitis complicated with persistent hypertension. Right ventricular hemodynamic and contractile impairments were shown to be not equivalent with similar clinical and functional signs of pulmonary hypertension. This fact indicates that the use of special techiques is of practical value in the determination of right ventricular hemodynamics and myocardial contractility in patients with chronic obstructive bronchitis. Radiocardiography and rheography of the pulmonary artery are sufficiently reliable noninvasive techniques for examining the hemodynamics and contractile function of the right ventricular myocardium

  13. The Functional Lumen Imaging Probe Detects Esophageal Contractility Not Observed With Manometry in Patients With Achalasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Dustin A; Lin, Zhiyue; Kahrilas, Peter J; Sternbach, Joel; Donnan, Erica N; Friesen, Laurel; Listernick, Zoe; Mogni, Benjamin; Pandolfino, John E

    2015-12-01

    The functional lumen imaging probe (FLIP) could improve the characterization of achalasia subtypes by detecting nonocclusive esophageal contractions not observed with standard manometry. We aimed to evaluate esophageal contractions during volumetric distention in patients with achalasia using FLIP topography. Fifty-one treatment-naive patients with achalasia, defined and subclassified by high-resolution esophageal pressure topography, and 10 asymptomatic individuals (controls) were evaluated with the FLIP during endoscopy. During stepwise distension, simultaneous intrabag pressures and 16 channels of cross-sectional areas were measured; data were exported to software that generated FLIP topography plots. Esophageal contractility was identified by noting periods of reduced luminal diameter. Esophageal contractions were characterized further by propagation direction, repetitiveness, and based on whether they were occluding or nonoccluding. Esophageal contractility was detected in all 10 controls: 8 of 10 had repetitive antegrade contractions and 9 of 10 had occluding contractions. Contractility was detected in 27% (4 of 15) of patients with type I achalasia and in 65% (18 of 26, including 9 with occluding contractions) of patients with type II achalasia. Contractility was detected in all 10 patients with type III achalasia; 8 of these patients had a pattern of contractility that was not observed in controls (repetitive retrograde contractions). Esophageal contractility not observed with manometry can be detected in patients with achalasia using FLIP topography. The presence and patterns of contractility detected with FLIP topography may represent variations in pathophysiology, such as mechanisms of panesophageal pressurization in patients with type II achalasia. These findings could have implications for additional subclassification to supplement prediction of the achalasia disease course. Copyright © 2015 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights

  14. Exposure to low mercury concentration in vivo impairs myocardial contractile function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Furieri, Lorena Barros; Fioresi, Mirian; Junior, Rogerio Faustino Ribeiro; Bartolome, Maria Visitacion; Fernandes, Aurelia Araujo; Cachofeiro, Victoria; Lahera, Vicente; Salaices, Mercedes; Stefanon, Ivanita; Vassallo, Dalton Valentim

    2011-01-01

    Increased cardiovascular risk after mercury exposure has been described but cardiac effects resulting from controlled chronic treatment are not yet well explored. We analyzed the effects of chronic exposure to low mercury concentrations on hemodynamic and ventricular function of isolated hearts. Wistar rats were treated with HgCl 2 (1st dose 4.6 μg/kg, subsequent dose 0.07 μg/kg/day, im, 30 days) or vehicle. Mercury treatment did not affect blood pressure (BP) nor produced cardiac hypertrophy or changes of myocyte morphometry and collagen content. This treatment: 1) in vivo increased left ventricle end diastolic pressure (LVEDP) without changing left ventricular systolic pressure (LVSP) and heart rate; 2) in isolated hearts reduced LV isovolumic systolic pressure and time derivatives, and β-adrenergic response; 3) increased myosin ATPase activity; 4) reduced Na + -K + ATPase (NKA) activity; 5) reduced protein expression of SERCA and phosphorylated phospholamban on serine 16 while phospholamban expression increased; as a consequence SERCA/phospholamban ratio reduced; 6) reduced sodium/calcium exchanger (NCX) protein expression and α-1 isoform of NKA, whereas α-2 isoform of NKA did not change. Chronic exposure for 30 days to low concentrations of mercury does not change BP, heart rate or LVSP but produces small but significant increase of LVEDP. However, in isolated hearts mercury treatment promoted contractility dysfunction as a result of the decreased NKA activity, reduction of NCX and SERCA and increased PLB protein expression. These findings offer further evidence that mercury chronic exposure, even at small concentrations, is an environmental risk factor affecting heart function. - Highlights: → Unchanges blood pressure, heart rate, systolic pressure. → Increases end diastolic pressure. → Promotes cardiac contractility dysfunction. → Decreases NKA activity, NCX and SERCA, increases PLB protein expression. → Small concentrations constitutes

  15. Effect of a Periodized Power Training Program on the Functional Performances and Contractile Properties of the Quadriceps in Sprinters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamandulis, Sigitas; Skurvydas, Albertas; Brazaitis, Marius; Stanislovaitis, Aleksas; Duchateau, Jacques; Stanislovaitiene, Jurate

    2012-01-01

    Our purpose was to compare the effect of a periodized preparation consisting of power endurance training and high-intensity power training on the contractile properties of the quadriceps muscle and functional performances in well trained male sprinters (n = 7). After 4 weeks of high-intensity power training, 60-m sprint running time improved by an…

  16. Microtubule depolymerization normalizes in vivo myocardial contractile function in dogs with pressure-overload left ventricular hypertrophy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koide, M.; Hamawaki, M.; Narishige, T.; Sato, H.; Nemoto, S.; DeFreyte, G.; Zile, M. R.; Cooper G, I. V.; Carabello, B. A.

    2000-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Because initially compensatory myocardial hypertrophy in response to pressure overloading may eventually decompensate to myocardial failure, mechanisms responsible for this transition have long been sought. One such mechanism established in vitro is densification of the cellular microtubule network, which imposes a viscous load that inhibits cardiocyte contraction. METHODS AND RESULTS: In the present study, we extended this in vitro finding to the in vivo level and tested the hypothesis that this cytoskeletal abnormality is important in the in vivo contractile dysfunction that occurs in experimental aortic stenosis in the adult dog. In 8 dogs in which gradual stenosis of the ascending aorta had caused severe left ventricular (LV) pressure overloading (gradient, 152+/-16 mm Hg) with contractile dysfunction, LV function was measured at baseline and 1 hour after the intravenous administration of colchicine. Cardiocytes obtained by biopsy before and after in vivo colchicine administration were examined in tandem. Microtubule depolymerization restored LV contractile function both in vivo and in vitro. CONCLUSIONS: These and additional corroborative data show that increased cardiocyte microtubule network density is an important mechanism for the ventricular contractile dysfunction that develops in large mammals with adult-onset pressure-overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy.

  17. Differences in Contractile Function of Myofibrils within Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes vs. Adult Ventricular Myofibrils Are Related to Distinct Sarcomeric Protein Isoforms

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    Bogdan Iorga

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Characterizing the contractile function of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs is key for advancing their utility for cellular disease models, promoting cell based heart repair, or developing novel pharmacological interventions targeting cardiac diseases. The aim of the present study was to understand whether steady-state and kinetic force parameters of β-myosin heavy chain (βMyHC isoform-expressing myofibrils within human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hESC-CMs differentiated in vitro resemble those of human ventricular myofibrils (hvMFs isolated from adult donor hearts. Contractile parameters were determined using the same micromechanical method and experimental conditions for both types of myofibrils. We identified isoforms and phosphorylation of main sarcomeric proteins involved in the modulation of force generation of both, chemically demembranated hESC-CMs (d-hESC-CMs and hvMFs. Our results indicate that at saturating Ca2+ concentration, both human-derived contractile systems developed forces with similar rate constants (0.66 and 0.68 s−1, reaching maximum isometric force that was significantly smaller for d-hESC-CMs (42 kPa than for hvMFs (94 kPa. At submaximal Ca2+-activation, where intact cardiomyocytes normally operate, contractile parameters of d-hESC-CMs and hvMFs exhibited differences. Ca2+ sensitivity of force was higher for d-hESC-CMs (pCa50 = 6.04 than for hvMFs (pCa50 = 5.80. At half-maximum activation, the rate constant for force redevelopment was significantly faster for d-hESC-CMs (0.51 s−1 than for hvMFs (0.28 s−1. During myofibril relaxation, kinetics of the slow force decay phase were significantly faster for d-hESC-CMs (0.26 s−1 than for hvMFs (0.21 s−1, while kinetics of the fast force decay were similar and ~20x faster. Protein analysis revealed that hESC-CMs had essentially no cardiac troponin-I, and partially non-ventricular isoforms of some other sarcomeric proteins

  18. Effects of high-altitude exercise training on contractile function of rat skinned cardiomyocyte.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazorla, O; Aït Mou, Y; Goret, L; Vassort, G; Dauzat, M; Lacampagne, A; Tanguy, S; Obert, P

    2006-09-01

    Previous studies have questioned whether there is an improved cardiac function after high-altitude training. Accordingly, the present study was designed specifically to test whether this apparent blunted response of the whole heart to training can be accounted for by altered mechanical properties at the cellular level. Adult rats were trained for 5 weeks under normoxic (N, NT for sedentary and trained animals, respectively) or hypobaric hypoxic (H, HT) conditions. Cardiac morphology and function were evaluated by echocardiography. Calcium Ca2+ sensitivity of the contractile machinery was estimated in skinned cardiomyocytes isolated from the left ventricular (LV) sub-epicardium (Epi) and sub-endocardium (Endo) at short and long sarcomere lengths (SL). Cardiac remodelling was harmonious (increase in wall thickness with chamber dilatation) in NT rats and disharmonious (hypertrophy without chamber dilatation) in HT rats. Contrary to NT rats, HT rats did not exhibit enhancement in global cardiac performance evaluated by echocardiography. Stretch- dependent Ca2+ sensitization of the myofilaments (cellular index of the Frank-Starling mechanism) increased from Epi to Endo in N rats. Training in normoxic conditions further increased this stretch-dependent Ca2+ sensitization. Chronic hypoxia did not significantly affect myofibrilar Ca2+ sensitivity. In contrast, high-altitude training decreased Ca2+ sensitivity of the myofilaments at both SL, mostly in Endo cells, resulting in a loss of the transmural gradient of the stretch-dependent Ca2+ sensitization. Expression of myosin heavy chain isoforms was affected both by training and chronic hypoxia but did not correlate with mechanical data. Training at sea level increased the transmural gradient of stretch-dependent Ca2+ sensitization of the myofilaments, accounting for an improved Frank-Starling mechanism. High-altitude training depressed myofilament response to Ca2+, especially in the Endo layer. This led to a reduction in

  19. The neuromechanical functional contractile properties of the thigh muscles measured using tensiomyography in male athletes and non-athletes

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    Toskić Lazar

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Involuntary neuromechanical muscle contractile properties, especially of the extensor muscles and knee joint flexors as the largest muscle groups of the caudal part of the body, play an important role in both everyday movement and sport. Based on these data we can obtain important information on the functional properties of muscles. The basic means of evaluation of the functional involuntary neuromechanical muscles contractile properties is the non-invasive tensiomyographic method (TMG. The aim of this study was to determine the differences between the involuntary neuromechanical contractile properties of the thigh muscles measured using the TMG method on a sample of male athletes and non-athletes. The sample of participants was made up of 17 athletes and 10 non-athletes. By applying the multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA and the t-test, we achieved results which indicate that of the overall 30 variables, a difference was determined among 13 of them. Most of the differences were determined for the extensor muscles of the right knee, especially of the rectus femoris muscle. It was also shown that in addition to the main knee joint extensor muscle (rectus femoris the main knee joint flexor muscle (biceps femoris also takes part in the definition of the difference between athletes and non-athletes. The results have shown that the following variables: contraction time (Tc and delay contraction time (Td are the functional parameters for which the highest difference between athletes and non-athletes were determined (from t = -2.284, p < 0.05 for the vastus lateralis of the right leg to t = -4.018, p < 0.01 for the rectus femoris of the left leg. These results have shown that it is possible to determine the differences in the functional involuntary neuromechanical contractile properties of the thigh muscles among trained and untrained individuals using the tensiomyographic method, but at the same time indicated that these differences were very

  20. Contractile Defect Caused by Mutation in MYBPC3 Revealed under Conditions Optimized for Human PSC-Cardiomyocyte Function

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    Matthew J. Birket

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Maximizing baseline function of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs is essential for their effective application in models of cardiac toxicity and disease. Here, we aimed to identify factors that would promote an adequate level of function to permit robust single-cell contractility measurements in a human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC model of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM. A simple screen revealed the collaborative effects of thyroid hormone, IGF-1 and the glucocorticoid analog dexamethasone on the electrophysiology, bioenergetics, and contractile force generation of hPSC-CMs. In this optimized condition, hiPSC-CMs with mutations in MYBPC3, a gene encoding myosin-binding protein C, which, when mutated, causes HCM, showed significantly lower contractile force generation than controls. This was recapitulated by direct knockdown of MYBPC3 in control hPSC-CMs, supporting a mechanism of haploinsufficiency. Modeling this disease in vitro using human cells is an important step toward identifying therapeutic interventions for HCM.

  1. Generation of Functional Cardiomyocytes from Efficiently Generated Human iPSCs and a Novel Method of Measuring Contractility.

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    Sheeja Rajasingh

    Full Text Available Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs derived cardiomyocytes (iCMCs would provide an unlimited cell source for regenerative medicine and drug discoveries. The objective of our study is to generate functional cardiomyocytes from human iPSCs and to develop a novel method of measuring contractility of CMCs. In a series of experiments, adult human skin fibroblasts (HSF and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs were treated with a combination of pluripotent gene DNA and mRNA under specific conditions. The iPSC colonies were identified and differentiated into various cell lineages, including CMCs. The contractile activity of CMCs was measured by a novel method of frame-by-frame cross correlation (particle image velocimetry-PIV analysis. Our treatment regimen transformed 4% of HSFs into iPSC colonies at passage 0, a significantly improved efficiency compared with use of either DNA or mRNA alone. The iPSCs were capable of differentiating both in vitro and in vivo into endodermal, ectodermal and mesodermal cells, including CMCs with >88% of cells being positive for troponin T (CTT and Gata4 by flow cytometry. We report a highly efficient combination of DNA and mRNA to generate iPSCs and functional iCMCs from adult human cells. We also report a novel approach to measure contractility of iCMCs.

  2. Generation of Functional Cardiomyocytes from Efficiently Generated Human iPSCs and a Novel Method of Measuring Contractility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajasingh, Sheeja; Thangavel, Jayakumar; Czirok, Andras; Samanta, Saheli; Roby, Katherine F; Dawn, Buddhadeb; Rajasingh, Johnson

    2015-01-01

    Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived cardiomyocytes (iCMCs) would provide an unlimited cell source for regenerative medicine and drug discoveries. The objective of our study is to generate functional cardiomyocytes from human iPSCs and to develop a novel method of measuring contractility of CMCs. In a series of experiments, adult human skin fibroblasts (HSF) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were treated with a combination of pluripotent gene DNA and mRNA under specific conditions. The iPSC colonies were identified and differentiated into various cell lineages, including CMCs. The contractile activity of CMCs was measured by a novel method of frame-by-frame cross correlation (particle image velocimetry-PIV) analysis. Our treatment regimen transformed 4% of HSFs into iPSC colonies at passage 0, a significantly improved efficiency compared with use of either DNA or mRNA alone. The iPSCs were capable of differentiating both in vitro and in vivo into endodermal, ectodermal and mesodermal cells, including CMCs with >88% of cells being positive for troponin T (CTT) and Gata4 by flow cytometry. We report a highly efficient combination of DNA and mRNA to generate iPSCs and functional iCMCs from adult human cells. We also report a novel approach to measure contractility of iCMCs.

  3. Functions of nonmuscle myosin II in assembly of the cellular contractile system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Shutova

    Full Text Available The contractile system of nonmuscle cells consists of interconnected actomyosin networks and bundles anchored to focal adhesions. The initiation of the contractile system assembly is poorly understood structurally and mechanistically, whereas system's maturation heavily depends on nonmuscle myosin II (NMII. Using platinum replica electron microscopy in combination with fluorescence microscopy, we characterized the structural mechanisms of the contractile system assembly and roles of NMII at early stages of this process. We show that inhibition of NMII by a specific inhibitor, blebbistatin, in addition to known effects, such as disassembly of stress fibers and mature focal adhesions, also causes transformation of lamellipodia into unattached ruffles, loss of immature focal complexes, loss of cytoskeleton-associated NMII filaments and peripheral accumulation of activated, but unpolymerized NMII. After blebbistatin washout, assembly of the contractile system begins with quick and coordinated recovery of lamellipodia and focal complexes that occurs before reappearance of NMII bipolar filaments. The initial formation of focal complexes and subsequent assembly of NMII filaments preferentially occurred in association with filopodial bundles and concave actin bundles formed by filopodial roots at the lamellipodial base. Over time, accumulating NMII filaments help to transform the precursor structures, focal complexes and associated thin bundles, into stress fibers and mature focal adhesions. However, semi-sarcomeric organization of stress fibers develops at much slower rate. Together, our data suggest that activation of NMII motor activity by light chain phosphorylation occurs at the cell edge and is uncoupled from NMII assembly into bipolar filaments. We propose that activated, but unpolymerized NMII initiates focal complexes, thus providing traction for lamellipodial protrusion. Subsequently, the mechanical resistance of focal complexes activates a

  4. 2-Deoxyadenosine triphosphate restores the contractile function of cardiac myofibril from adult dogs with naturally occurring dilated cardiomyopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Yuanhua; Hogarth, Kaley A; O'Sullivan, M Lynne; Regnier, Michael; Pyle, W Glen

    2016-01-01

    Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a major type of heart failure resulting from loss of systolic function. Naturally occurring canine DCM is a widely accepted experimental paradigm for studying human DCM. 2-Deoxyadenosine triphosphate (dATP) can be used by myosin and is a superior energy substrate over ATP for cross-bridge formation and increased systolic function. The objective of this study was to evaluate the beneficial effect of dATP on contractile function of cardiac myofibrils from dogs with naturally occurring DCM. We measured actomyosin NTPase activity and contraction/relaxation properties of isolated myofibrils from nonfailing (NF) and DCM canine hearts. NTPase assays indicated replacement of ATP with dATP significantly increased myofilament activity in both NF and DCM samples. dATP significantly improved maximal tension of DCM myofibrils to the NF sample level. dATP also restored Ca(2+) sensitivity of tension that was reduced in DCM samples. Similarly, dATP increased the kinetics of contractile activation (kACT), with no impact on the rate of cross-bridge tension redevelopment (kTR). Thus, the activation kinetics (kACT/kTR) that were reduced in DCM samples were restored for dATP to NF sample levels. dATP had little effect on relaxation. The rate of early slow-phase relaxation was slightly reduced with dATP, but its duration was not, nor was the fast-phase relaxation or times to 50 and 90% relaxation. Our findings suggest that myosin utilization of dATP improves cardiac myofibril contractile properties of naturally occurring DCM canine samples, restoring them to NF levels, without compromising relaxation. This suggests elevation of cardiac dATP is a promising approach for the treatment of DCM. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. [Role of sialic acid loss in the myocardium in depressing the contractile function of the heart muscle during stress].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meerson, F Z; Saulia, A I; Gudumak, V S

    1985-01-01

    Under conditions of stress a time-dependent decrease in content of sialic acids was found in adult rats; within 9 hrs of the animal immobilization the sialic acid content was decreased by 40% as compared with controls. At the same time, activities of trypsin and LDHI were increased in blood serum. The data obtained suggest that activation of proteases occurring during the stress led to increased hydrolysis of base components of glycocalyx and to impairment of the cardiomyocyte sarcolemma. These phenomena appear to be responsible for the post-stress deterioration of heart muscle contractile functions.

  7. Fractalkine depresses cardiomyocyte contractility.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Taube

    Full Text Available Our laboratory reported that male mice with cardiomyocyte-selective knockout of the prostaglandin E2 EP4 receptor sub-type (EP4 KO exhibit reduced cardiac function. Gene array on left ventricles (LV showed increased fractalkine, a chemokine implicated in heart failure. We therefore hypothesized that fractalkine is regulated by PGE2 and contributes to depressed contractility via alterations in intracellular calcium.Fractalkine was measured in LV of 28-32 week old male EP4 KO and wild type controls (WT by ELISA and the effect of PGE2 on fractalkine secretion was measured in cultured neonatal cardiomyocytes and fibroblasts. The effect of fractalkine on contractility and intracellular calcium was determined in Fura-2 AM-loaded, electrical field-paced cardiomyocytes. Cardiomyocytes (AVM from male C57Bl/6 mice were treated with fractalkine and responses measured under basal conditions and after isoproterenol (Iso stimulation.LV fractalkine was increased in EP4 KO mice but surprisingly, PGE2 regulated fractalkine secretion only in fibroblasts. Fractalkine treatment of AVM decreased both the speed of contraction and relaxation under basal conditions and after Iso stimulation. Despite reducing contractility after Iso stimulation, fractalkine increased the Ca(2+ transient amplitude but decreased phosphorylation of cardiac troponin I, suggesting direct effects on the contractile machinery.Fractalkine depresses myocyte contractility by mechanisms downstream of intracellular calcium.

  8. Effect of lead on cholinergic contractile function in the forestomach, ileum and colon of the male Wistar rat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryden, E.B.

    1986-01-01

    Gastrointestinal symptoms, including colic, are signs of lead poisoning in man, but the mechanism of these effects has not been elucidated. In order to understand the effects of lead on acetylcholine (ACh)-mediated responses, studies were undertaken to determine the isometric contractile response to methacholine, KCl and electric field stimulation in rat forestomach, ileum and colon under conditions of in vitro and in vivo treatment with lead acetate. Rats were dosed with 4% lead acetate in their diet, NIH-07, for 7 weeks, which resulted in renal and hematologic toxicity and blood lead levels of 180-389 ug/dl (1.2 x 10 -5 M). Tissues from in vivo treated rats were exposed to 1.2 x 10 -5 M lead acetate during in vitro contractile studies. E/sub max/ or ED 50 methacholine was not affected by 1.2 x 10 -5 M lead acetate, administered in vitro to control tissue. In the forestomach, a 10-fold higher concentration of lead (16 x 10 -5 M), administered in vitro, increased baseline tension and inhibition response to methacholine. However, in vivo lead treatment potentiated response to methacholine in the forestomach and increased baseline tension in the presence of physostigmine. The EFS response, attributable to ACh release, was not affected in the forestomach or ileum by 1.2 x 10 -5 M in vitro lead treatment. These data indicate that lead, administered in vivo in concentrations which cause renal and hematologic toxicity, does not impair cholinergic contractile response in gastrointestinal smooth muscle. Instead, the response to methacholine may be potentiated in the forestomach. Possible mechanisms of lead-induced potentiation of baseline or evoked tension include increased levels of non-elicited ACh release, inhibition of acetylcholinesterase or sensitization of muscarinic receptors

  9. Action of ouabain and an amino-cardenolide on Na+-pump function and contractility of isolated canine heart cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Porterfield, L.M.; Songu-Mize, E.; Chryssanthis, T.; Caldwell, R.W.

    1986-01-01

    Viable, rod-shaped, Ca ++ -tolerant cells were isolated from the cardiac ventricle of adult mongrel dogs, a digitalis-sensitive species. These cells do not contract spontaneously but contractions were driven by electrical field stimulation. Changes in contractile amplitude were assessed by computer-assisted analysis of recorded phase contrast images. Addition of a polar aminocardenolide (AC), ASI-222, produced a dose-related increase in contractility with a concentration producing a 50% maximal response (RC 50 ) of 4 x 10 -8 M. For ouabain (OB) the RC 50 was 7 x 10 -7 M. Cellular Na + -pump (NaP) function was determined as digitalis-sensitive 86 Rb + -uptake. Addition of AC and OB to these cells produced a dose-related decrease in 86 Rb + -uptake; concentrations which produced a 50% inhibition (IC 50 ) of NaP function were of 6 x 10 -8 M and 1.2 x 10 -6 M for AC and OB, respectively. Their data indicates that in isolated dog heart cells AC is both a more potent inotropic agent and an inhibitor of NaP function by 15-20 fold than OB. The RC 50 and IC 50 for these processes correlate for each glycoside

  10. Influence of intracellular acidosis on contractile function in the working rat heart

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeffrey, F.M.H.; Malloy, C.R.; Radda, G.K.

    1987-01-01

    The decrease in myocardial contractility during ischemia, hypoxia, and extracellular acidosis has been attributed to intracellular acidosis. Previous studies of the relationship between pH and contractile state have utilized respiratory or metabolic acidosis to alter intracellular pH. The authors developed a model in the working perfused rat heart to study the effects of intracellular acidosis with normal external pH and optimal O 2 delivery. Intracellular pH and high-energy phosphates were monitored by 31 P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Hearts were perfused to a steady state with a medium containing 10 mM NH 4 Cl. Acidosis induced a substantial decrease in aortic flow and stroke volume which was associated with little change in peak systolic pressure. It was concluded that (1) for the same intracellular acidosis the influence on tension development was more pronounced with a combined extra- and intracellular acidosis than with an isolated intracellular acidosis, and (2) stroke volume at constant preload was impaired by intracellular acidosis even though changes in developed pressure were minimal. These observations suggest that isolated intracellular acidosis has adverse effects on diastolic compliance and/or relaxation

  11. LET-99 functions in the astral furrowing pathway, where it is required for myosin enrichment in the contractile ring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Kari L; Rose, Lesilee S

    2017-09-01

    The anaphase spindle determines the position of the cytokinesis furrow, such that the contractile ring assembles in an equatorial zone between the two spindle poles. Contractile ring formation is mediated by RhoA activation at the equator by the centralspindlin complex and midzone microtubules. Astral microtubules also inhibit RhoA accumulation at the poles. In the Caenorhabditis elegans one-cell embryo, the astral microtubule-dependent pathway requires anillin, NOP-1, and LET-99. LET-99 is well characterized for generating the asymmetric cortical localization of the Gα-dependent force-generating complex that positions the spindle during asymmetric division. However, whether the role of LET-99 in cytokinesis is specific to asymmetric division and whether it acts through Gα to promote furrowing are unclear. Here we show that LET-99 contributes to furrowing in both asymmetrically and symmetrically dividing cells, independent of its function in spindle positioning and Gα regulation. LET-99 acts in a pathway parallel to anillin and is required for myosin enrichment into the contractile ring. These and other results suggest a positive feedback model in which LET-99 localizes to the presumptive cleavage furrow in response to the spindle and myosin. Once positioned there, LET-99 enhances myosin accumulation to promote furrowing in both symmetrically and asymmetrically dividing cells. © 2017 Price and Rose. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  12. α,β-Unsaturated aldehyde pollutant acrolein suppresses cardiomyocyte contractile function: Role of TRPV1 and oxidative stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Zhenbiao; He, Emily Y; Scott, Glenda I; Ren, Jun

    2015-01-01

    Air pollution is associated with an increased prevalence of heart disease and is known to trigger a proinflammatory response via stimulation of transient receptor potential vanilloid cation channels (TRPV1, also known as the capsaicin receptor). This study was designed to examine the effect of acrolein, an essential α,β-unsaturated aldehyde pollutant, on myocardial contractile function and the underlying mechanism involved with a focus on TRPV1 and oxidative stress. Cardiomyocyte mechanical and intracellular Ca(2+) properties were evaluated using an IonOptix MyoCam® system including peak shortening (PS), maximal velocity of shortening/relengthening (± dL/dt), time-to-PS (TPS), time-to-90% relengthening (TR90 ), fura-2 fluorescence intensity (FFI) and intracellular Ca(2+) decay. Changes in apoptosis and TRPV1 were evaluated using Western blot analysis. The degree of oxidative stress was assessed using the ratio between reduced and oxidized glutathione. Results obtained revealed that exposure of cardiomyocytes to acrolein acutely compromised contractile and intracellular Ca(2+) properties including depressed PS, ± dL/dt and ΔFFI, as well as prolonged TR90 and intracellular Ca(2+) decay. In addition, acrolein exposure upregulated TRPV1 associated with an increase in both apoptosis and oxidative stress. However, the acrolein-induced cardiomyocyte contractile and intracellular Ca(2+) anomalies, as well as apoptosis (as evidenced by Bcl-2, Bax, FasL, Caspase-3 and -8), were negated by the reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger glutathione or the TRPV1 antagonist capsazepine. Collectively these data suggest that the α,β-unsaturated aldehyde pollutant acrolein may play a role in the pathogenesis and sequelae of air pollution-induced heart disease via a TRPV1- and oxidative stress-dependent mechanism. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. AB286. SPR-13 Sex differences and participation of Toll-like receptor 4 to rat bladder contractile function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szasz, Theodora; Burgess, Beth; Webb, R. Clinton

    2016-01-01

    Objective Innate immune mechanisms have been implicated in the pathophysiology of chronic sterile conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. We have recently demonstrated that Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) activation by endogenous molecules such as high mobility group box-1 (HMGB1) contributes to hypertrophy and hypercontractility in diabetic bladder dysfunction. It has been reported that women have a higher frequency of overactive bladder symptoms, while men have higher detrusor overactivity. We hypothesized that sex differences in the contribution of TLR4 to bladder contraction may underlie the sex differences observed clinically. Methods Female and male rat bladder contractile responses to carbacholine (CCh) and electrical field stimulation (EFS) were measured in the presence and absence of TLR4 inhibitor CLI-095 and in the presence and absence of urothelium. Results We observed that contractile responses to both CCh and EFS were higher in the male than the female bladder segments in both the presence and absence of urothelium [CCh Emax (mN): male + urothelium =84.3±1.2, male – urothelium =83.7±1.2, female + urothelium =49.8±0.8, female – urothelium =59.2±1.1; EFS 32 Hz (mN): male + urothelium= 84.9±7.1, male – urothelium =66.8±5.2, female + urothelium =57.8±5.9, female – urothelium =54.5±3.5]. Incubation of bladder segments with the TLR4 inhibitor CLI-095 significantly decreased contractile responses to both CCh and EFS in both sexes, irrespective of the presence of urothelium [CCh Emax (mN): male + urothelium =91.1±0.8, male – urothelium =75.4±1.8, female + urothelium =42.9±1.1, female – urothelium =52.5±1.1; EFS 32 Hz (mN): male + urothelium =80.8±7.9, male – urothelium =59.6±10.6, female + urothelium =43.3±2.6, female – urothelium =46.4±1.9]. Conclusions Our data suggest that although there are sex differences in the contractile function of the rat bladder in basal conditions, the participation of TLR4 to bladder contraction

  14. Contractile function and motor unit firing rates of the human hamstrings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, Eric A; Rice, Charles L

    2017-01-01

    Neuromuscular properties of the lower limb in health, aging, and disease are well described for major lower limb muscles comprising the quadriceps, triceps surae, and dorsiflexors, with the notable exception of the posterior thigh (hamstrings). The purpose of this study was to further characterize major muscles of the lower limb by comprehensively exploring contractile properties in relation to spinal motor neuron output expressed as motor unit firing rates (MUFRs) in the hamstrings of 11 (26.5 ± 3.8) young men. Maximal isometric voluntary contraction (MVC), voluntary activation, stimulated contractile properties including a force-frequency relationship, and MUFRs from submaximal to maximal voluntary contractile intensities were assessed in the hamstrings. Strength and MUFRs were assessed at two presumably different muscle lengths by varying the knee joint angles (90° and 160°). Knee flexion MVCs were 60-70% greater in the extended position (160°). The frequency required to elicit 50% of maximum tetanic torque was 16-17 Hz. Mean MUFRs at 25-50% MVC were 9-31% less in the biceps femoris compared with the semimembranosus-semitendinosus group. Knee joint angle (muscle length) influenced MUFRs such that mean MUFRs were greater in the shortened (90°) position at 50% and 100% MVC. Compared with previous reports, mean maximal MUFRs in the hamstrings are greater than those in the quadriceps and triceps surae and somewhat less than those in the tibialis anterior. Mean maximal MUFRs in the hamstrings are influenced by changes in knee joint angle, with lower firing rates in the biceps femoris compared with the semimembranosus-semitendinosus muscle group. We studied motor unit firing rates (MUFRs) at various voluntary contraction intensities in the hamstrings, one of the only major lower limb muscles to have MUFRs affected by muscle length changes. Within the hamstrings muscle-specific differences have greater impact on MUFRs than length changes, with the biceps femoris

  15. [Contractile function of the heart and myocardium antioxidant system in rats of August and Wistar strains during ischemia and reperfusion].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sazontova, T G; Belkina, L M; Zhukova, A G; Kirillina, T N; Arkhipenko, Iu V

    2004-01-01

    In August rats, local myocardial ischemia caused by 30-min occlusion of the coronary artery induced a slight depression of the contractile function of the heart; the latter was restored after 15-min reperfusion more rapidly than in Wistar rats. In August rats, the activities of antioxidant protection enzymes were lower than in Wistar rats. In comparison with Wistar rats, these enzyme activities were decreased in a lesser degree under ischemia and were restored in a greater degree under reperfusion. It may thus be concluded that the higher stability of antiradical protection parameters in August rats is one of the mechanisms responsible for the enhanced resistance of the heart to ischemia- and reperfusion-induced injuries.

  16. Functional Loss of Bmsei Causes Thermosensitive Epilepsy in Contractile Mutant Silkworm, Bombyx mori

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, Hongyi; Cheng, Tingcai; Huang, Xiaofeng; Zhou, Mengting; Zhang, Yinxia; Dai, Fangyin; Mita, Kazuei; Xia, Qingyou; Liu, Chun

    2015-07-01

    The thermoprotective mechanisms of insects remain largely unknown. We reported the Bombyx mori contractile (cot) behavioral mutant with thermo-sensitive seizures phenotype. At elevated temperatures, the cot mutant exhibit seizures associated with strong contractions, rolling, vomiting, and a temporary lack of movement. We narrowed a region containing cot to ~268 kb by positional cloning and identified the mutant gene as Bmsei which encoded a potassium channel protein. Bmsei was present in both the cell membrane and cytoplasm in wild-type ganglia but faint in cot. Furthermore, Bmsei was markedly decreased upon high temperature treatment in cot mutant. With the RNAi method and injecting potassium channel blockers, the wild type silkworm was induced the cot phenotype. These results demonstrated that Bmsei was responsible for the cot mutant phenotype and played an important role in thermoprotection in silkworm. Meanwhile, comparative proteomic approach was used to investigate the proteomic differences. The results showed that the protein of Hsp-1 and Tn1 were significantly decreased and increased on protein level in cot mutant after thermo-stimulus, respectively. Our data provide insights into the mechanism of thermoprotection in insect. As cot phenotype closely resembles human epilepsy, cot might be a potential model for the mechanism of epilepsy in future.

  17. 2-Deoxyadenosine triphosphate restores the contractile function of cardiac myofibril from adult dogs with naturally occurring dilated cardiomyopathy

    OpenAIRE

    Cheng, Yuanhua; Hogarth, Kaley A.; O'Sullivan, M. Lynne; Regnier, Michael; Pyle, W. Glen

    2015-01-01

    1) First report to characterize and define the contractile kinetics and defects associated with naturally occurring dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs. 2) Novel findings that dATP is able to reverse the contractile defects associated with naturally occurring canine DCM.

  18. Sequential biventricular pacing improves regional contractility, longitudinal function and dyssynchrony in patients with heart failure and prolonged QRS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ring Margareta

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Aims Biventricular pacing (BiP is an effective treatment in systolic heart failure (HF patients with prolonged QRS. However, approximately 35% of the patients receiving BiP are classified as non-responders. The aim of this study is to evaluate the acute effects of VV-optimization on systolic heart function. Methods Twenty-one HF patients aged 72 (46-88 years, QRS 154 (120-190 ms, were studied with echocardiography, Tissue Doppler Imaging (TDI and 3D-echo the first day after receiving a BiP device. TDI was performed; during simultaneous pacing (LV-lead pacing 4 ms before the RV-lead and during sequential pacing (LV 20 and 40 ms before RV and RV 20 and 40 ms before LV-lead pacing. Systolic heart function was studied by tissue tracking (TT for longitudinal function and systolic maximal velocity (SMV for regional contractility and signs of dyssynchrony assessed by time-delays standard deviation of aortic valve opening to SMV, AVO-SMV/SD and tissue synchronization imaging (TSI. Results The TT mean value preoperatively was 4,2 ± 1,5 and increased at simultaneous pacing to 5,0 ± 1,2 mm (p Conclusions VV-optimization in the acute phase improves systolic heart function more than simultaneous BiP pacing. Long-term effects should be evaluated in prospective randomized trials.

  19. Work Capacity of the Bladder During Voiding: A Novel Method to Evaluate Bladder Contractile Function and Bladder Outlet Obstruction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ning Liu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Work in voiding (WIV of the bladder may be used to evaluate bladder status throughout urination rather than at a single time point. Few studies, however, have assessed WIV owing to the complexity of its calculations. We have developed a method of calculating work capacity of the bladder while voiding and analyzed the associations of bladder work parameters with bladder contractile function and bladder outlet obstruction (BOO. Methods: The study retrospectively evaluated 160 men and 23 women, aged >40 years and with a detrusor pressure at maximal flow rate (P det Q max of ≥40 cmH 2 O in men, who underwent urodynamic testing. The bladder power integration method was used to calculate WIV; WIV per second (WIV/t and WIV per liter of urine voided (WIV/v were also calculated. In men, the relationships between these work capacity parameters and P det Q max and Abrams-Griffiths (AG number were determined using linear-by-linear association tests, and relationships between work capacity parameters and BOO grade were investigated using Spearman′s association test. Results: The mean WIV was 1.15 ± 0.78 J and 1.30 ± 0.88 J, mean WIV/t was 22.95 ± 14.45 mW and 23.78 ± 17.02 mW, and mean WIV/v was 5.59 ± 2.32 J/L and 2.83 ± 1.87 J/L in men and women, respectively. In men, WIV/v showed significant positive associations with P det Q max (r = 0.845, P = 0.000, AG number (r = 0.814, P = 0.000, and Schafer class (r = 0.726, P = 0.000. Conversely, WIV and WIV/t showed no associations with P det Q max or AG number. In patients with BOO (Schafer class > II, WIV/v correlated positively with increasing BOO grade. Conclusions: WIV can be calculated from simple urodynamic parameters using the bladder power integration method. WIV/v may be a marker of BOO grade, and the bladder contractile function can be evaluated by WIV and WIV/t.

  20. Detecting cardiac contractile activity in the early mouse embryo using multiple modalities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiann-mun eChen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The heart is one of the first organs to develop during mammalian embryogenesis. In the mouse, it starts to form shortly after gastrulation, and is derived primarily from embryonic mesoderm. The embryonic heart is unique in having to perform a mechanical contractile function while undergoing complex morphogenetic remodelling. Approaches to imaging the morphogenesis and contractile activity of the developing heart are important in understanding not only how this remodelling is controlled but also the origin of congenital heart defects. Here, we describe approaches for visualising contractile activity in the developing mouse embryo, using brightfield time lapse microscopy and confocal microscopy of calcium transients. We describe an algorithm for enhancing this image data and quantifying contractile activity from it. Finally we describe how atomic force microscopy can be used to record contractile activity prior to it being microscopically visible.

  1. Improvement of cardiac contractile function by peptide-based inhibition of NF-κB in the utrophin/dystrophin-deficient murine model of muscular dystrophy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guttridge Denis C

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD is an inherited and progressive disease causing striated muscle deterioration. Patients in their twenties generally die from either respiratory or cardiac failure. In order to improve the lifespan and quality of life of DMD patients, it is important to prevent or reverse the progressive loss of contractile function of the heart. Recent studies by our labs have shown that the peptide NBD (Nemo Binding Domain, targeted at blunting Nuclear Factor κB (NF-κB signaling, reduces inflammation, enhances myofiber regeneration, and improves contractile deficits in the diaphragm in dystrophin-deficient mdx mice. Methods To assess whether cardiac function in addition to diaphragm function can be improved, we investigated physiological and histological parameters of cardiac muscle in mice deficient for both dystrophin and its homolog utrophin (double knockout = dko mice treated with NBD peptide. These dko mice show classic pathophysiological hallmarks of heart failure, including myocyte degeneration, an impaired force-frequency response and a severely blunted β-adrenergic response. Cardiac contractile function at baseline and frequencies and pre-loads throughout the in vivo range as well as β-adrenergic reserve was measured in isolated cardiac muscle preparations. In addition, we studied histopathological and inflammatory markers in these mice. Results At baseline conditions, active force development in cardiac muscles from NBD treated dko mice was more than double that of vehicle-treated dko mice. NBD treatment also significantly improved frequency-dependent behavior of the muscles. The increase in force in NBD-treated dko muscles to β-adrenergic stimulation was robustly restored compared to vehicle-treated mice. However, histological features, including collagen content and inflammatory markers were not significantly different between NBD-treated and vehicle-treated dko mice. Conclusions We conclude

  2. Gestational changes in left ventricular myocardial contractile function: new insights from two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sengupta, Shantanu P; Bansal, Manish; Hofstra, Leonard; Sengupta, Partho P; Narula, Jagat

    2017-01-01

    The goal of this study was to evaluate the impact of pregnancy and labor on left ventricular (LV) myocardial mechanics using speckle tracking echocardiography (STE). Pregnancy is characterized by profound hormonal and hemodynamic alterations that directly or indirectly influence cardiac structure and function. However, the impact of these changes on left ventricular (LV) myocardial contractile function has not been fully elucidated. In this prospective, longitudinal study, 35 pregnant women underwent serial clinical and echocardiographic evaluation during each trimester and at labor. Two dimensional STE was performed to measure global LV longitudinal, circumferential and radial strain (GLS, GCS and GRS, respectively). Similar data obtained from 20 nulliparous, age-matched women were used as control. All strain values during pregnancy were adjusted for age and hemodynamic parameters. There was a progressive increase in heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, cardiac output and LV stroke-work during pregnancy. LV end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes also increased progressively but LV ejection fraction remained unaltered, except for slight reduction during the second trimester. Compared to the controls, GLS and GCS were reduced in the first trimester itself (GLS -22.39 ± 5.43 % vs. -18.66 ± 0.64 %, P 0.0002; GCS -20.84 ± 3.20 vs. -17.88 ± 0.09, P counterbalancing changes in the myocardial mechanics. LV longitudinal and circumferential strain are reduced whereas radial strain is increased. These counterbalancing changes serve to maintain overall LV ejection performance within a normal range and enable the maternal heart to meet the hemodynamic demands of pregnancy and labor.

  3. Structural comparison of contractile nanomachines

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    Sebastian Kube

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Contractile molecular machines are a common feature among bacteriophages and prokaryotes. Due to their stability and the large size, contractile-tailed bacteriophages are traditionally investigated by electron microscopic methods. Complemented by crystallographic studies, a molecular model of contraction for the T4 phage was developed. Lately, also related contractile structures like the Photorhabdus virulence cassette-like particles, the R-Type pyocins and the contractile tubule of the bacterial Type VI secretion system have been analyzed by cryo electron microscopy. Photorhabdus virulence cassette particles and R-Type pyocins are toxin complexes reminiscent of bacteriophage tails that are secreted by bacteria to kill their insect host or competing bacteria. In contrast, the Type VI secretion system is an intracellular apparatus for injection of effector proteins into bacterial and eukaryotic cells. Although it shares homology with other contractile systems, the Type VI secretion system is additionally equipped with a recycling function, which makes it suitable for multiple rounds of action. Starting from the 3D reconstructions, we compare these molecular machines structurally and functionally to their viral counterparts and summarize the current knowledge on their respective mode of action.

  4. IGF-1 Alleviates High Fat Diet-Induced Myocardial Contractile Dysfunction: Role of Insulin Signaling and Mitochondrial Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yingmei; Yuan, Ming; Bradley, Katherine M.; Dong, Feng; Anversa, Piero; Ren, Jun

    2012-01-01

    Obesity is often associated with reduced plasma IGF-1 levels, oxidative stress, mitochondrial damage and cardiac dysfunction. This study was designed to evaluate the impact of IGF-1 on high fat diet-induced oxidative, myocardial, geometric and mitochondrial responses. FVB and cardiomyocyte-specific IGF-1 overexpression transgenic mice were fed a low (10%) or high fat (45%) diet to induce obesity. High fat diet feeding led to glucose intolerance, elevated plasma levels of leptin, interleukin-6, insulin and triglyceride as well as reduced circulating IGF-1 levels. Echocardiography revealed reduced fractional shortening, increased end systolic and diastolic diameter, increased wall thickness, and cardiac hypertrophy in high fat-fed FVB mice. High fat diet promoted ROS generation, apoptosis, protein and mitochondrial damage, reduced ATP content, cardiomyocyte cross-sectional area, contractile and intracellular Ca2+ dysregulation, including depressed peak shortening and maximal velocity of shortening/relengthening, prolonged duration of relengthening, and dampened intracellular Ca2+ rise and clearance. Western blot analysis revealed disrupted phosphorylation of insulin receptor, post-receptor signaling molecules IRS-1 (tyrosine/serine phosphorylation), Akt, GSK3β, Foxo3a, mTOR, as well as downregulated expression of mitochondrial proteins PPARγ coactivator 1α (PGC1α) and UCP-2. Intriguingly, IGF-1 mitigated high fat diet feeding-induced alterations in ROS, protein and mitochondrial damage, ATP content, apoptosis, myocardial contraction, intracellular Ca2+ handling and insulin signaling, but not whole body glucose intolerance and cardiac hypertrophy. Exogenous IGF-1 treatment also alleviated high fat diet-induced cardiac dysfunction. Our data revealed that IGF-1 alleviates high fat diet-induced cardiac dysfunction despite persistent cardiac remodeling, possibly due to preserved cell survival, mitochondrial function and insulin signaling. PMID:22275536

  5. Insulin-Like Growth Factor I (IGF-1) Deficiency Ameliorates Sex Difference in Cardiac Contractile Function and Intracellular Ca2+ Homeostasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceylan-Isik, Asli F.; Li, Qun; Ren, Jun

    2011-01-01

    Sex difference in cardiac contractile function exists which may contribute to the different prevalence in cardiovascular diseases between genders. However, the precise mechanisms of action behind sex difference in cardiac function are still elusive. Given that sex difference exists in insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1) cascade, this study is designed to evaluate the impact of severe liver IGF-1 deficiency (LID) on sex difference in cardiac function. Echocardiographic, cardiomyocyte contractile and intracellular Ca2+ properties were evaluated including ventricular geometry, fractional shortening, peak shortening, maximal velocity of shortening/relengthening (± dL/dt), time-to-peak shortening (TPS), time-to-90% relengthening (TR90), fura-fluorescence intensity (FFI) and intracellular Ca2+ clearance. Female C57 mice exhibited significantly higher plasma IGF-1 levels than their male counterpart. LID mice possessed comparably low IGF-1 levels in both sexes. Female C57 and LID mice displayed lower body, heart and liver weights compared to male counterparts. Echocardiographic analysis revealed larger LV mass in female C57 but not LID mice without sex difference in other cardiac geometric indices. Myocytes from female C57 mice exhibited reduced peak shortening, ± dL/dt, longer TPS, TR90 and intracellular Ca2+ clearance compared with males. Interestingly, this sex difference was greatly attenuated or abolished by IGF-1 deficiency. Female C57 mice displayed significantly decreased mRNA and protein levels of Na+-Ca2+ exchanger, SERCA2a and phosphorylated phospholamban as well as SERCA activity compared with male C57 mice. These sex differences in Ca2+ regulatory proteins were abolished or overtly attenuated by IGF-1 deficiency. In summary, our data suggested that IGF-1 deficiency may significantly attenuated or mitigate the sex difference in cardiomyocyte contractile function associated with intracellular Ca2+ regulation. PMID:21763763

  6. Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1) deficiency ameliorates sex difference in cardiac contractile function and intracellular Ca(2+) homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceylan-Isik, Asli F; Li, Qun; Ren, Jun

    2011-10-10

    Sex difference in cardiac contractile function exists which may contribute to the different prevalence in cardiovascular diseases between genders. However, the precise mechanisms of action behind sex difference in cardiac function are still elusive. Given that sex difference exists in insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1) cascade, this study is designed to evaluate the impact of severe liver IGF-1 deficiency (LID) on sex difference in cardiac function. Echocardiographic, cardiomyocyte contractile and intracellular Ca(2+) properties were evaluated including ventricular geometry, fractional shortening, peak shortening, maximal velocity of shortening/relengthening (±dL/dt), time-to-peak shortening (TPS), time-to-90% relengthening (TR(90)), fura-fluorescence intensity (FFI) and intracellular Ca(2+) clearance. Female C57 mice exhibited significantly higher plasma IGF-1 levels than their male counterpart. LID mice possessed comparably low IGF-1 levels in both sexes. Female C57 and LID mice displayed lower body, heart and liver weights compared to male counterparts. Echocardiographic analysis revealed larger LV mass in female C57 but not LID mice without sex difference in other cardiac geometric indices. Myocytes from female C57 mice exhibited reduced peak shortening, ±dL/dt, longer TPS, TR(90) and intracellular Ca(2+) clearance compared with males. Interestingly, this sex difference was greatly attenuated or abolished by IGF-1 deficiency. Female C57 mice displayed significantly decreased mRNA and protein levels of Na(+)-Ca(2+) exchanger, SERCA2a and phosphorylated phospholamban as well as SERCA activity compared with male C57 mice. These sex differences in Ca(2+) regulatory proteins were abolished or overtly attenuated by IGF-1 deficiency. In summary, our data suggested that IGF-1 deficiency may significantly attenuated or mitigate the sex difference in cardiomyocyte contractile function associated with intracellular Ca(2+) regulation. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland

  7. Prospective Teachers' Understandings: Function and Composite Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meel, David E.

    2003-01-01

    The current education reform efforts place greater emphasis on conceptual understanding and focus attention on teacher preparation, especially on the adequacy of teachers' mathematical knowledge of the material they will be teaching. This paper discusses the responses of 20 prospective elementary and special education mathematics specialists to…

  8. [The cardioprotective action of the anticonvulsant preparation sodium valproate in disorders of cardiac contractile function caused by acute myocardial infarct in rats].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belkina, L M; Korchazhkina, N B; Kamskova, Iu G; Fomin, N A

    1997-01-01

    The preventive and therapeutical effects of sodium valproate (SV), 200 mg/kg, on cardiac contractile disorders (developed pressure, rate-pressure products, dp/dt) were studied in rats having 2-day myocardial infarction (MI). The postinfarction rather than preinfarction use of SV substantially restricted the depressed resting left ventricular function. Given by two regimens, SV increased cardiac resistance to the maximum isometric load induced by 60-sec ligation of the ascending aorta. The cardioprotective effect of the drug was shown due to its positive chronotropic action rather than its inotropic one. Thus, SV may be used as an effective drug for the prevention and treatment of postinfarct cardiac dysfunctions.

  9. Passive heating following the prematch warm-up in soccer: examining the time-course of changes in muscle temperature and contractile function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Paul W M; Cross, Rebecca; Lovell, Ric

    2015-12-01

    This study examined changes in muscle temperature, electrically evoked muscle contractile properties, and voluntary power before and after a soccer specific active warm-up and subsequent rest period. Ten amateur soccer players performed two experimental sessions that involved performance of a modified FIFA 11+ soccer specific warm-up, followed by a 12.5-min rest period where participants were required to wear either normal clothing or a passive electrical heating garment was applied to the upper thigh muscles. Assessments around the warm-up and cool-down included measures of maximal torque, rate of torque development, muscle temperature (Tm), and electrically evoked measures of quadriceps contractile function. Tm was increased after the warm-up by 3.2 ± 0.7°C (P warm-up between 20% and 30% (P warm-up did not effect variables measured. While Tm was reduced by 1.4 ± 0.4°C after the rest period (P warm-up levels. Voluntary and evoked rate of torque development remained elevated from pre warm-up levels at the end of the cool-down (P warm-up elevated muscle temperature by 3.2°C and was associated with concomitant increases of between 20% and 30% in voluntary rate of torque development, which seems explained by elevations in rate-dependent measures of intrinsic muscle contractile function. Application of a passive heating garment did not attenuate declines in muscle temperature during a 12.5-min rest period. © 2015 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American Physiological Society and The Physiological Society.

  10. The influence of D2O, perchlorate, and variation in temperature on the potential-dependent contractile function of frog skeletal muscle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foulks, J.G.; Morishita, L.

    1985-01-01

    D 2 O and perchlorate manifest opposing effects on the contractile function of skeletal muscle (amplitude of twitches and maximum K contractures, potential dependence of contraction and inactivation), and when combined the influence of one may effectively antagonize that of the other. The ratio of perchlorate concentrations required to produce effects of equal intensity, (e.g., twitch enhancement and restoration of maximum K contractures in media lacking divalent cations or containing a depressant concentration of a cationic amphipath) in H 2 O and D 2 O solutions was generally rather constant. These findings are compatible with the view that both agents can influence contractile function by virtue of their effects on solvent structure. In the absence of divalent cations, the effects of reduced temperature resemble those of D 2 O whereas the effects of increased temperature resemble those of the chaotropic anion. However, in other media, variation in temperature was found to result in additional nonsolvent effects so that low temperature could oppose rather than enhance the effects of D 2 O. These observations are discussed in terms of a model which postulates a role for solvent influences on the kinetics of two separate potential-dependent conformational transitions of membrane proteins which mediate the activation and inactivation of contraction in skeletal muscle

  11. David's Understanding of Functions and Periodicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerson, Hope

    2008-01-01

    This is a study of David, a senior enrolled in a high school precalculus course. David's understandings of functions and periodicity was explored, through clinical interviews and contextualized through classroom observations. Although David's precalculus class was traditional his understanding of periodic functions was unconventional David engaged…

  12. Culture, executive function, and social understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Charlie; Koyasu, Masuo; Oh, Seungmi; Ogawa, Ayako; Short, Benjamin; Huang, Zhao

    2009-01-01

    Much of the evidence from the West has shown links between children's developing self-control (executive function), their social experiences, and their social understanding (Carpendale & Lewis, 2006, chapters 5 and 6), across a range of cultures including China. This chapter describes four studies conducted in three Oriental cultures, suggesting that the relationships among social interaction, executive function, and social understanding are different in these cultures, implying that social and executive skills are underpinned by key cultural processes.

  13. Students' Understanding of Exponential and Logarithmic Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Keith

    Exponential, and logarithmic functions are pivotal mathematical concepts that play central roles in advanced mathematics. Unfortunately, these are also concepts that give students serious difficulty. This report describe a theory of how students acquire an understanding of these functions by prescribing a set of mental constructions that a student…

  14. Glucagon-like peptide-1 reduces contractile function and fails to boost glucose utilization in normal hearts in the presence of fatty acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, T Dung; Shingu, Yasushige; Amorim, Paulo A; Schwarzer, Michael; Doenst, Torsten

    2013-10-09

    GLP-1 and exendin-4, which are used as insulin sensitizers or weight reducing drugs, were shown to improve glucose uptake in the heart. However, the direct effects of GLP-1 or exendin-4 on normal hearts in the presence of fatty acids, the main cardiac substrates, have never been investigated. We therefore assessed the effects of GLP-1 or exendin-4 on myocardial glucose uptake (GU), glucose oxidation (GO) and cardiac performance (CP) under conditions of fatty acid utilization. Rat hearts were perfused with only glucose (5 mM) or glucose (5 mM) plus oleate (0.4 mM) as substrates for 60 min. After 30 min, GLP-1 or exendin-4 (0.5 nM or 5 nM) was added. In the absence of oleate, GLP-1 increased both GU and GO. Exendin-4 increased GO but showed no effect on GU. Neither GLP-1 nor exendin-4 affected CP. However, when oleate was present, GLP-1 failed to stimulate glucose utilization and exendin-4 even decreased GU. Furthermore, now GLP-1 reduced CP. In contrast to prior reports, this negative inotropic effect could not be blocked by the protein kinase A inhibitor H-89. We then measured myocardial GO and CP in rats receiving a 4-week GLP-1 infusion. Interestingly, this chronic treatment resulted in a significant reduction in both GO and CP. Under the influence of oleate, GLP-1 reduces contractile function and fails to stimulate glucose utilization in normal hearts. Exendin-4 may acutely reduce cardiac glucose uptake but not contractility. We suggest advanced investigation of heart function and metabolism in patients treating with these peptides. © 2013.

  15. Impaired right ventricular contractile function in childhood obesity and its association with right and left ventricular changes: a cine DENSE cardiac magnetic resonance study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jing, Linyuan; Pulenthiran, Arichanah; Nevius, Christopher D; Mejia-Spiegeler, Abba; Suever, Jonathan D; Wehner, Gregory J; Kirchner, H Lester; Haggerty, Christopher M; Fornwalt, Brandon K

    2017-06-28

    Pediatric obesity is a growing public health problem, which is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death. Left ventricular (LV) remodeling (increased myocardial mass and thickness) and contractile dysfunction (impaired longitudinal strain) have been documented in obese children, but little attention has been paid to the right ventricle (RV). We hypothesized that obese/overweight children would have evidence of RV remodeling and contractile dysfunction. One hundred and three children, ages 8-18 years, were prospectively recruited and underwent cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR), including both standard cine imaging and displacement encoding with stimulated echoes (DENSE) imaging, which allowed for quantification of RV geometry and function/mechanics. RV free wall longitudinal strain was quantified from the end-systolic four-chamber DENSE image. Linear regression was used to quantify correlations of RV strain with LV strain and measurements of body composition (adjusted for sex and height). Analysis of variance was used to study the relationship between RV strain and LV remodeling types (concentric remodeling, eccentric/concentric hypertrophy). The RV was sufficiently visualized with DENSE in 70 (68%) subjects, comprising 36 healthy weight (13.6 ± 2.7 years) and 34 (12.1 ± 2.9 years) obese/overweight children. Obese/overweight children had a 22% larger RV mass index (8.2 ± 0.9 vs 6.7 ± 1.1 g/m 2.7 , p right ventricles in obese/overweight children.

  16. 17β-Estradiol-induced interaction of estrogen receptor α and human atrial essential myosin light chain modulates cardiac contractile function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duft, Karolin; Schanz, Miriam; Pham, Hang; Abdelwahab, Ahmed; Schriever, Cindy; Kararigas, Georgios; Dworatzek, Elke; Davidson, Mercy M; Regitz-Zagrosek, Vera; Morano, Ingo; Mahmoodzadeh, Shokoufeh

    2017-01-01

    Chronic increased workload of the human heart causes ventricular hypertrophy, re-expression of the atrial essential myosin light chain (hALC-1), and improved contractile function. Although hALC-1 is an important positive inotropic regulator of the human heart, little is known about its regulation. Therefore, we investigated the role of the sex hormone 17β-estradiol (E2) on hALC-1 gene expression, the underlying molecular mechanisms, and the impact of this regulatory process on cardiac contractile function. We showed that E2 attenuated hALC-1 expression in human atrial tissues of both sexes and in human ventricular AC16 cells. E2 induced the nuclear translocation of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and hALC-1 in AC16 cells, where they cooperatively regulate the transcriptional activity of hALC-1 gene promoter. E2-activated ERα required the estrogen response element (ERE) motif within the hALC-1 gene promoter to reduce its transcriptional activity (vehicle: 15.55 ± 4.80 vs. E2: 6.51 ± 3.69; ~2 fold). This inhibitory effect was potentiated in the presence of hALC-1 (vehicle: 11.13 ± 3.66 vs. E2: 2.18 ± 1.10; ~5 fold), and thus, hALC-1 acts as a co-repressor of ERα-mediated transcription. Yeast two-hybrid screening of a human heart cDNA library revealed that ERα interacts physically with hALC-1 in the presence of E2. This interaction was confirmed by Co-Immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence in human atrium. As a further novel effect, we showed that chronic E2-treatment of adult mouse cardiomyocytes overexpressing hALC-1 resulted in reduced cell-shortening amplitude and twitching kinetics of these cells independent of Ca 2+ activation levels. Together, our data showed that the expression of hALC-1 gene is, at least partly, regulated by E2/ERα, while hALC-1 acts as a co-repressor. The inotropic effect of hALC-1 overexpression in cardiomyocytes can be significantly repressed by E2.

  17. Contractile Defect Caused by Mutation in MYBPC3 Revealed under Conditions Optimized for Human PSC-Cardiomyocyte Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.J. Birket (Matthew J.); M.C. Ribeiro (Marcelo C.); G. Kosmidis (Georgios); D. Ward (Dorien); A.R. Leitoguinho (Ana Rita); V. van de Pol (Vera); C. Dambrot (Cheryl); H.D. Devalla (Harsha D.); R.P. Davis (Richard P.); P.G. Mastroberardino (Pier); D.E. Atsma (Douwe); R. Passier (Robert); C.L. Mummery (Christine)

    2015-01-01

    textabstractMaximizing baseline function of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs) is essential for their effective application in models of cardiac toxicity and disease. Here, we aimed to identify factors that would promote an adequate level of function to permit robust

  18. Implication of advanced glycation end products (Ages) and their receptor (Rage) on myocardial contractile and mitochondrial functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neviere, Remi; Yu, Yichi; Wang, Lei; Tessier, Frederic; Boulanger, Eric

    2016-08-01

    Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) play an important role for the development and/or progression of cardiovascular diseases, mainly through induction of oxidative stress and inflammation. AGEs are a heterogeneous group of molecules formed by non-enzymatic reaction of reducing sugars with amino acids of proteins, lipids and nucleic acids. AGEs are mainly formed endogenously, while recent studies suggest that diet constitutes an important exogenous source of AGEs. The presence and accumulation of AGEs in various cardiac cell types affect extracellular and intracellular structure and function. AGEs contribute to a variety of microvascular and macrovascular complications through the formation of cross-links between molecules in the basement membrane of the extracellular matrix and by engaging the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE). Activation of RAGE by AGEs causes up regulation of the transcription factor nuclear factor-κB and its target genes. of the RAGE engagement stimulates oxidative stress, evokes inflammatory and fibrotic reactions, which all contribute to the development and progression of devastating cardiovascular disorders. This review discusses potential targets of glycation in cardiac cells, and underlying mechanisms that lead to heart failure with special interest on AGE-induced mitochondrial dysfunction in the myocardium.

  19. A thermodynamical model for stress-fiber organization in contractile cells

    OpenAIRE

    Foucard, Louis; Vernerey, Franck J.

    2012-01-01

    Cell mechanical adaptivity to external stimuli is vital to many of its biological functions. A critical question is therefore to understand the formation and organization of the stress fibers from which emerge the cell’s mechanical properties. By accounting for the mechanical aspects and the viscoelastic behavior of stress fibers, we here propose a thermodynamic model to predict the formation and orientation of stress fibers in contractile cells subjected to constant or cyclic stretch and dif...

  20. Atomic Structure of Type VI Contractile Sheath from Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salih, Osman; He, Shaoda; Planamente, Sara; Stach, Lasse; MacDonald, James T; Manoli, Eleni; Scheres, Sjors H W; Filloux, Alain; Freemont, Paul S

    2018-02-06

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa has three type VI secretion systems (T6SSs), H1-, H2-, and H3-T6SS, each belonging to a distinct group. The two T6SS components, TssB/VipA and TssC/VipB, assemble to form tubules that conserve structural/functional homology with tail sheaths of contractile bacteriophages and pyocins. Here, we used cryoelectron microscopy to solve the structure of the H1-T6SS P. aeruginosa TssB1C1 sheath at 3.3 Å resolution. Our structure allowed us to resolve some features of the T6SS sheath that were not resolved in the Vibrio cholerae VipAB and Francisella tularensis IglAB structures. Comparison with sheath structures from other contractile machines, including T4 phage and R-type pyocins, provides a better understanding of how these systems have conserved similar functions/mechanisms despite evolution. We used the P. aeruginosa R2 pyocin as a structural template to build an atomic model of the TssB1C1 sheath in its extended conformation, allowing us to propose a coiled-spring-like mechanism for T6SS sheath contraction. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  1. Understanding Linear Functions and Their Representations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Pamela J.

    2015-01-01

    Linear functions are an important part of the middle school mathematics curriculum. Students in the middle grades gain fluency by working with linear functions in a variety of representations (NCTM 2001). Presented in this article is an activity that was used with five eighth-grade classes at three different schools. The activity contains 15 cards…

  2. Understanding the Executive Functioning Heterogeneity in Schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raffard, Stephane; Bayard, Sophie

    2012-01-01

    Schizophrenia is characterized by heterogeneous brain abnormalities involving cerebral regions implied in the executive functioning. The dysexecutive syndrome is one of the most prominent and functionally cognitive features of schizophrenia. Nevertheless, it is not clear to what extend executive deficits are heterogeneous in schizophrenia…

  3. Actomyosin contractility rotates the cell nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Abhishek; Maitra, Ananyo; Sumit, Madhuresh; Ramaswamy, Sriram; Shivashankar, G V

    2014-01-21

    The cell nucleus functions amidst active cytoskeletal filaments, but its response to their contractile stresses is largely unexplored. We study the dynamics of the nuclei of single fibroblasts, with cell migration suppressed by plating onto micro-fabricated patterns. We find the nucleus undergoes noisy but coherent rotational motion. We account for this observation through a hydrodynamic approach, treating the nucleus as a highly viscous inclusion residing in a less viscous fluid of orientable filaments endowed with active stresses. Lowering actin contractility selectively by introducing blebbistatin at low concentrations drastically reduced the speed and coherence of the angular motion of the nucleus. Time-lapse imaging of actin revealed a correlated hydrodynamic flow around the nucleus, with profile and magnitude consistent with the results of our theoretical approach. Coherent intracellular flows and consequent nuclear rotation thus appear to be an intrinsic property of cells.

  4. Spontaneous actin dynamics in contractile rings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruse, Karsten; Wollrab, Viktoria; Thiagarajan, Raghavan; Wald, Anne; Riveline, Daniel

    Networks of polymerizing actin filaments are known to be capable to self-organize into a variety of structures. For example, spontaneous actin polymerization waves have been observed in living cells in a number of circumstances, notably, in crawling neutrophils and slime molds. During later stages of cell division, they can also spontaneously form a contractile ring that will eventually cleave the cell into two daughter cells. We present a framework for describing networks of polymerizing actin filaments, where assembly is regulated by various proteins. It can also include the effects of molecular motors. We show that the molecular processes driven by these proteins can generate various structures that have been observed in contractile rings of fission yeast and mammalian cells. We discuss a possible functional role of each of these patterns. The work was supported by Agence Nationale de la Recherche, France, (ANR-10-LABX-0030-INRT) and by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft through SFB1027.

  5. Understanding gene functions and disease mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fuchs, Helmut; Aguilar-Pimentel, Juan Antonio; Amarie, Oana V.

    2018-01-01

    Since decades, model organisms have provided an important approach for understanding the mechanistic basis of human diseases. The German Mouse Clinic (GMC) was the first phenotyping facility that established a collaboration-based platform for phenotype characterization of mouse lines. In order...... to address individual projects by a tailor-made phenotyping strategy, the GMC advanced in developing a series of pipelines with tests for the analysis of specific disease areas. For a general broad analysis, there is a screening pipeline that covers the key parameters for the most relevant disease areas...

  6. Understanding D-Ribose and Mitochondrial Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diane E. Mahoney

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Mitochondria are important organelles referred to as cellular powerhouses for their unique properties of cellular energy production.  With many pathologic conditions and aging, mitochondrial function declines, and there is a reduction in the production of adenosine triphosphate. The energy carrying molecule generated by cellular respiration and by pentose phosphate pathway, an alternative pathway of glucose metabolism. D-ribose is a naturally occurring monosaccharide found in the cells and particularly in the mitochondria is essential in energy production. Without sufficient energy, cells cannot maintain integrity and function. Supplemental D-ribose has been shown to improve cellular processes when there is mitochondrial dysfunction. When individuals take supplemental D-ribose, it can bypass part of the pentose pathway to produce D-ribose-5-phosphate for the production of energy. In this article, we review how energy is produced by cellular respiration, the pentose pathway, and the use of supplemental D-ribose.

  7. Effects of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) on the expression of ubiquitin ligases, protein synthesis pathways and contractile function in extensor digitorum longus (EDL) of fed and fasting rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerlinger-Romero, Frederico; Guimarães-Ferreira, Lucas; Yonamine, Caio Yogi; Salgueiro, Rafael Barrera; Nunes, Maria Tereza

    2018-03-01

    Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB), a leucine metabolite, enhances the gain of skeletal muscle mass by increasing protein synthesis or attenuating protein degradation or both. The aims of this study were to investigate the effect of HMB on molecular factors controlling skeletal muscle protein synthesis and degradation, as well as muscle contractile function, in fed and fasted conditions. Wistar rats were supplied daily with HMB (320 mg/kg body weight diluted in NaCl-0.9%) or vehicle only (control) by gavage for 28 days. After this period, some of the animals were subjected to a 24-h fasting, while others remained in the fed condition. The EDL muscle was then removed, weighed and used to evaluate the genes and proteins involved in protein synthesis (AKT/4E-BP1/S6) and degradation (Fbxo32 and Trim63). A sub-set of rats were used to measure in vivo muscle contractile function. HMB supplementation increased AKT phosphorylation during fasting (three-fold). In the fed condition, no differences were detected in atrogenes expression between control and HMB supplemented group; however, HMB supplementation did attenuate the fasting-induced increase in their expression levels. Fasting animals receiving HMB showed improved sustained tetanic contraction times (one-fold) and an increased muscle to tibia length ratio (1.3-fold), without any cross-sectional area changes. These results suggest that HMB supplementation under fasting conditions increases AKT phosphorylation and attenuates the increased of atrogenes expression, followed by a functional improvement and gain of skeletal muscle weight, suggesting that HMB protects skeletal muscle against the deleterious effects of fasting.

  8. [A basis for application of cardiac contractility variability in the Evaluation and assessment of exercise and fitness].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bu, Bin; Wang, Aihua; Han, Haijun; Xiao, Shouzhong

    2010-06-01

    Cardiac contractility variability (CCV) is a new concept which is introduced in the research field of cardiac contractility in recent years, that is to say, there are some disparities between cardiac contractilities when heart contracts. The changing signals of cardiac contractility contain a plenty of information on the cardiovascular function and disorder. In order to collect and analyze the message, we could quantitatively evaluate the tonicity and equilibrium of cardiac sympathetic nerve and parasympathetic nerve, and the effects of bio-molecular mechanism on the cardiovascular activities. By analyzing CCV, we could further understand the background of human being's heritage characteristics, nerve types, the adjusting mechanism, the molecular biology, and the adjustment of cardiac automatic nerve. With the development of the computing techniques, the digital signal processing method and its application in medical field, this analysis has been progressing greatly. By now, the assessment of CCV, just like the analysis of heart rate variability, is mainly via time domain and frequency domain analysis. CCV is one of the latest research fields in human cardiac signals being scarcely reported in the field of sports medicine; however, its research progresses are of important value for cardiac physiology and pathology in sports medicine and rehabilitation medicine.

  9. Undergraduate Mathematics Students' Understanding of the Concept of Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardini, Caroline; Pierce, Robyn; Vincent, Jill; King, Deborah

    2014-01-01

    Concern has been expressed that many commencing undergraduate mathematics students have mastered skills without conceptual understanding. A pilot study carried out at a leading Australian university indicates that a significant number of students, with high tertiary entrance ranks, have very limited understanding of the concept of function,…

  10. Considerations for Contractile Electroactive Materials and Actuators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lenore Rasmussen, David Schramm, Paul Rasmussen, Kevin Mullaly, Ras Labs, LLC, Intelligent Materials for Prosthetics & Automation, Lewis D. Meixler, Daniel Pearlman and Alice Kirk

    2011-05-23

    Ras Labs produces contractile electroactive polymer (EAP) based materials and actuators that bend, swell, ripple, and contract (new development) with low electric input. In addition, Ras Labs produces EAP materials that quickly contract and expand, repeatedly, by reversing the polarity of the electric input, which can be cycled. This phenomenon was explored using molecular modeling, followed by experimentation. Applied voltage step functions were also investigated. High voltage steps followed by low voltage steps produced a larger contraction followed by a smaller contraction. Actuator control by simply adjusting the electric input is extremely useful for biomimetic applications. Muscles are able to partially contract. If muscles could only completely contract, nobody could hold an egg, for example, without breaking it. A combination of high and low voltage step functions could produce gross motor function and fine manipulation within the same actuator unit. Plasma treated electrodes with various geometries were investigated as a means of providing for more durable actuation.

  11. A thermodynamical model for stress-fiber organization in contractile cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foucard, Louis; Vernerey, Franck J

    2012-01-02

    Cell mechanical adaptivity to external stimuli is vital to many of its biological functions. A critical question is therefore to understand the formation and organization of the stress fibers from which emerge the cell's mechanical properties. By accounting for the mechanical aspects and the viscoelastic behavior of stress fibers, we here propose a thermodynamic model to predict the formation and orientation of stress fibers in contractile cells subjected to constant or cyclic stretch and different substrate stiffness. Our results demonstrate that the stress fibers viscoelastic behavior plays a crucial role in their formation and organization and shows good consistency with various experiments.

  12. Understanding squeezing of quantum states with the Wigner function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Royer, Antoine

    1994-01-01

    The Wigner function is argued to be the only natural phase space function evolving classically under quadratic Hamiltonians with time-dependent bilinear part. This is used to understand graphically how certain quadratic time-dependent Hamiltonians induce squeezing of quantum states. The Wigner representation is also used to generalize Ehrenfest's theorem to the quantum uncertainties. This makes it possible to deduce features of the quantum evolution, such as squeezing, from the classical evolution, whatever the Hamiltonian.

  13. Understanding Informal Urban Land Market Functioning in Peri ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Understanding Informal Urban Land Market Functioning in Peri-urban Areas of Secondary Towns of Rwanda: Case Study of Tumba Sector, Butare Town. ... Land price is negotiable and varies greatly based on the land size and its specific location and is higher than the reference land price. Land right transfer is evidenced ...

  14. Left ventricular contractile function after distal protection in primary percutaneous coronary intervention Results from the Drug Elution and Distal Protection in ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction trial

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kofoed, K F; Kelbæk, H; Thuesen, L

    2011-01-01

    Coronary intervention (PCI) may result in an increased infarct size. We evaluated the effect of distal protection during PCI for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) on myocardial function.......Coronary intervention (PCI) may result in an increased infarct size. We evaluated the effect of distal protection during PCI for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) on myocardial function....

  15. Modulatory effects of taurine on jejunal contractility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Q.Y. Yao

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid is widely distributed in animal tissues and has diverse pharmacological effects. However, the role of taurine in modulating smooth muscle contractility is still controversial. We propose that taurine (5-80 mM can exert bidirectional modulation on the contractility of isolated rat jejunal segments. Different low and high contractile states were induced in isolated jejunal segments of rats to observe the effects of taurine and the associated mechanisms. Taurine induced stimulatory effects on the contractility of isolated rat jejunal segments at 3 different low contractile states, and inhibitory effects at 3 different high contractile states. Bidirectional modulation was not observed in the presence of verapamil or tetrodotoxin, suggesting that taurine-induced bidirectional modulation is Ca2+ dependent and requires the presence of the enteric nervous system. The stimulatory effects of taurine on the contractility of isolated jejunal segments was blocked by atropine but not by diphenhydramine or by cimetidine, suggesting that muscarinic-linked activation was involved in the stimulatory effects when isolated jejunal segments were in a low contractile state. The inhibitory effects of taurine on the contractility of isolated jejunal segments were blocked by propranolol and L-NG-nitroarginine but not by phentolamine, suggesting that adrenergic β receptors and a nitric oxide relaxing mechanism were involved when isolated jejunal segments were in high contractile states. No bidirectional effects of taurine on myosin phosphorylation were observed. The contractile states of jejunal segments determine taurine-induced stimulatory or inhibitory effects, which are associated with muscarinic receptors and adrenergic β receptors, and a nitric oxide associated relaxing mechanism.

  16. Modulatory effects of taurine on jejunal contractility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yao, Q.Y.; Chen, D.P.; Ye, D.M.; Diao, Y.P.; Lin, Y. [Dalian Medical University, Dalian, Liaoning (China)

    2014-10-14

    Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) is widely distributed in animal tissues and has diverse pharmacological effects. However, the role of taurine in modulating smooth muscle contractility is still controversial. We propose that taurine (5-80 mM) can exert bidirectional modulation on the contractility of isolated rat jejunal segments. Different low and high contractile states were induced in isolated jejunal segments of rats to observe the effects of taurine and the associated mechanisms. Taurine induced stimulatory effects on the contractility of isolated rat jejunal segments at 3 different low contractile states, and inhibitory effects at 3 different high contractile states. Bidirectional modulation was not observed in the presence of verapamil or tetrodotoxin, suggesting that taurine-induced bidirectional modulation is Ca{sup 2+} dependent and requires the presence of the enteric nervous system. The stimulatory effects of taurine on the contractility of isolated jejunal segments was blocked by atropine but not by diphenhydramine or by cimetidine, suggesting that muscarinic-linked activation was involved in the stimulatory effects when isolated jejunal segments were in a low contractile state. The inhibitory effects of taurine on the contractility of isolated jejunal segments were blocked by propranolol and L-NG-nitroarginine but not by phentolamine, suggesting that adrenergic β receptors and a nitric oxide relaxing mechanism were involved when isolated jejunal segments were in high contractile states. No bidirectional effects of taurine on myosin phosphorylation were observed. The contractile states of jejunal segments determine taurine-induced stimulatory or inhibitory effects, which are associated with muscarinic receptors and adrenergic β receptors, and a nitric oxide associated relaxing mechanism.

  17. Modulatory effects of taurine on jejunal contractility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yao, Q.Y.; Chen, D.P.; Ye, D.M.; Diao, Y.P.; Lin, Y.

    2014-01-01

    Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) is widely distributed in animal tissues and has diverse pharmacological effects. However, the role of taurine in modulating smooth muscle contractility is still controversial. We propose that taurine (5-80 mM) can exert bidirectional modulation on the contractility of isolated rat jejunal segments. Different low and high contractile states were induced in isolated jejunal segments of rats to observe the effects of taurine and the associated mechanisms. Taurine induced stimulatory effects on the contractility of isolated rat jejunal segments at 3 different low contractile states, and inhibitory effects at 3 different high contractile states. Bidirectional modulation was not observed in the presence of verapamil or tetrodotoxin, suggesting that taurine-induced bidirectional modulation is Ca 2+ dependent and requires the presence of the enteric nervous system. The stimulatory effects of taurine on the contractility of isolated jejunal segments was blocked by atropine but not by diphenhydramine or by cimetidine, suggesting that muscarinic-linked activation was involved in the stimulatory effects when isolated jejunal segments were in a low contractile state. The inhibitory effects of taurine on the contractility of isolated jejunal segments were blocked by propranolol and L-NG-nitroarginine but not by phentolamine, suggesting that adrenergic β receptors and a nitric oxide relaxing mechanism were involved when isolated jejunal segments were in high contractile states. No bidirectional effects of taurine on myosin phosphorylation were observed. The contractile states of jejunal segments determine taurine-induced stimulatory or inhibitory effects, which are associated with muscarinic receptors and adrenergic β receptors, and a nitric oxide associated relaxing mechanism

  18. Modulatory effects of taurine on jejunal contractility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Q.Y.; Chen, D.P.; Ye, D.M.; Diao, Y.P.; Lin, Y.

    2014-01-01

    Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) is widely distributed in animal tissues and has diverse pharmacological effects. However, the role of taurine in modulating smooth muscle contractility is still controversial. We propose that taurine (5-80 mM) can exert bidirectional modulation on the contractility of isolated rat jejunal segments. Different low and high contractile states were induced in isolated jejunal segments of rats to observe the effects of taurine and the associated mechanisms. Taurine induced stimulatory effects on the contractility of isolated rat jejunal segments at 3 different low contractile states, and inhibitory effects at 3 different high contractile states. Bidirectional modulation was not observed in the presence of verapamil or tetrodotoxin, suggesting that taurine-induced bidirectional modulation is Ca2+ dependent and requires the presence of the enteric nervous system. The stimulatory effects of taurine on the contractility of isolated jejunal segments was blocked by atropine but not by diphenhydramine or by cimetidine, suggesting that muscarinic-linked activation was involved in the stimulatory effects when isolated jejunal segments were in a low contractile state. The inhibitory effects of taurine on the contractility of isolated jejunal segments were blocked by propranolol and L-NG-nitroarginine but not by phentolamine, suggesting that adrenergic β receptors and a nitric oxide relaxing mechanism were involved when isolated jejunal segments were in high contractile states. No bidirectional effects of taurine on myosin phosphorylation were observed. The contractile states of jejunal segments determine taurine-induced stimulatory or inhibitory effects, which are associated with muscarinic receptors and adrenergic β receptors, and a nitric oxide associated relaxing mechanism. PMID:25387674

  19. Modeling the dispersion effects of contractile fibers in smooth muscles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murtada, Sae-Il; Kroon, Martin; Holzapfel, Gerhard A.

    2010-12-01

    Micro-structurally based models for smooth muscle contraction are crucial for a better understanding of pathological conditions such as atherosclerosis, incontinence and asthma. It is meaningful that models consider the underlying mechanical structure and the biochemical activation. Hence, a simple mechanochemical model is proposed that includes the dispersion of the orientation of smooth muscle myofilaments and that is capable to capture available experimental data on smooth muscle contraction. This allows a refined study of the effects of myofilament dispersion on the smooth muscle contraction. A classical biochemical model is used to describe the cross-bridge interactions with the thin filament in smooth muscles in which calcium-dependent myosin phosphorylation is the only regulatory mechanism. A novel mechanical model considers the dispersion of the contractile fiber orientations in smooth muscle cells by means of a strain-energy function in terms of one dispersion parameter. All model parameters have a biophysical meaning and may be estimated through comparisons with experimental data. The contraction of the middle layer of a carotid artery is studied numerically. Using a tube the relationships between the internal pressure and the stretches are investigated as functions of the dispersion parameter, which implies a strong influence of the orientation of smooth muscle myofilaments on the contraction response. It is straightforward to implement this model in a finite element code to better analyze more complex boundary-value problems.

  20. Compensatory Hypertrophy of Skeletal Muscle: Contractile Characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ianuzzo, C. D.; Chen, V.

    1977-01-01

    Describes an experiment using rats that demonstrates contractile characteristics of normal and hypertrophied muscle. Compensatory hypertrophy of the plantaris muscle is induced by surgical removal of the synergistic gastrocnemium muscle. Includes methods for determination of contractile properties of normal and hypertrophied muscle and…

  1. Algae as nutritional and functional food sources: revisiting our understanding

    OpenAIRE

    Wells, Mark L.; Potin, Philippe; Craigie, James S.; Raven, John A.; Merchant, Sabeeha S.; Helliwell, Katherine E.; Smith, Alison G.; Camire, Mary Ellen; Brawley, Susan H.

    2016-01-01

    Global demand for macroalgal and microalgal foods is growing, and algae are increasingly being consumed for functional benefits beyond the traditional considerations of nutrition and health. There is substantial evidence for the health benefits of algal-derived food products, but there remain considerable challenges in quantifying these benefits, as well as possible adverse effects. First, there is a limited understanding of nutritional composition across algal species, geographical regions, ...

  2. Assessment of Myocardial Contractile Function Using Global and Segmental Circumferential Strain following Intracoronary Stem Cell Infusion after Myocardial Infarction: MRI Feature Tracking Feasibility Study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhatti, Sabha; Al-Khalidi, Hussein; Hor, Kan; Hakeem, Abdul; Taylor, Michael; Quyyumi, Arshed A.; Oshinski, John; Pecora, Andrew L.; Kereiakes, Dean; Chung, Eugene; Pedrizzetti, Gianni; Miszalski-Jamka, Tomasz; Mazur, Wojciech

    2012-01-01

    Background. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) strain analysis is a sensitive method to assess myocardial function. Our objective was to define the feasibility of MRI circumferential strain (ε cc ) analysis in assessing subtle changes in myocardial function following stem cell therapy. Methods and Results. Patients in the Amorcyte Phase I trial were randomly assigned to treatment with either autologous bone-marrow-derived stem cells infused into the infarct-related artery 5 to 11 days following primary PCI or control. MRI studies were obtained at baseline, 3, and 6 months. ε cc was measured in the short axis views at the base, mid and apical slices of the left ventricle (LV) for each patient (13 treatments and 10 controls). Mid-anterior LV ε cc improved between baseline −18.5 ± 8.6 and 3 months −22.6 ± 7.0, P = 0.03. There were no significant changes in ε cc at 3 months and 6 months compared to baseline for other segments. There was excellent intraobserver and interobserver agreement for basal and mid circumferential strain. Conclusion. MRI segmental strain analysis is feasible in assessment of regional myocardial function following cell therapy with excellent intra- and inter-observer variability's. Using this method, a modest interval change in segmental ε cc was detected in treatment group

  3. The role of apical contractility in determining cell morphology in multilayered epithelial sheets and tubes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhen Tan, Rui; Lai, Tanny; Chiam, K.-H.

    2017-08-01

    A multilayered epithelium is made up of individual cells that are stratified in an orderly fashion, layer by layer. In such tissues, individual cells can adopt a wide range of shapes ranging from columnar to squamous. From histological images, we observe that, in flat epithelia such as the skin, the cells in the top layer are squamous while those in the middle and bottom layers are columnar, whereas in tubular epithelia, the cells in all layers are columnar. We develop a computational model to understand how individual cell shape is governed by the mechanical forces within multilayered flat and curved epithelia. We derive the energy function for an epithelial sheet of cells considering intercellular adhesive and intracellular contractile forces. We determine computationally the cell morphologies that minimize the energy function for a wide range of cellular parameters. Depending on the dominant adhesive and contractile forces, we find four dominant cell morphologies for the multilayered-layered flat sheet and three dominant cell morphologies for the two-layered curved sheet. We study the transitions between the dominant cell morphologies for the two-layered flat sheet and find both continuous and discontinuous transitions and also the presence of multistable states. Matching our computational results with histological images, we conclude that apical contractile forces from the actomyosin belt in the epithelial cells is the dominant force determining cell shape in multilayered epithelia. Our computational model can guide tissue engineers in designing artificial multilayered epithelia, in terms of figuring out the cellular parameters needed to achieve realistic epithelial morphologies.

  4. Recent molecular approaches to understanding astrocyte function in vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David eDavila

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are a predominant glial cell type in the nervous systems, and are becoming recognized as important mediators of normal brain function as well as neurodevelopmental, neurological, and neurodegenerative brain diseases. Although numerous potential mechanisms have been proposed to explain the role of astrocytes in the normal and diseased brain, research into the physiological relevance of these mechanisms in vivo is just beginning. In this review, we will summarize recent developments in innovative and powerful molecular approaches, including knockout mouse models, transgenic mouse models, and astrocyte-targeted gene transfer/expression, which have led to advances in understanding astrocyte biology in vivo that were heretofore inaccessible to experimentation. We will examine the recently improved understanding of the roles of astrocytes - with an emphasis on astrocyte signaling - in the context of both the healthy and diseased brain, discuss areas where the role of astrocytes remains debated, and suggest new research directions.

  5. Understanding emergent functions in self-assembled fibrous networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinko, Robert; Keten, Sinan

    2015-09-01

    Understanding self-assembly processes of nanoscale building blocks and characterizing their properties are both imperative for designing new hierarchical, network materials for a wide range of structural, optoelectrical, and transport applications. Although the characterization and choices of these material building blocks have been well studied, our understanding of how to precisely program a specific morphology through self-assembly still must be significantly advanced. In the recent study by Xie et al (2015 Nanotechnology 26 205602), the self-assembly of end-functionalized nanofibres is investigated using a coarse-grained molecular model and offers fundamental insight into how to control the structural morphology of nanofibrous networks. Varying nanoscale networks are observed when the molecular interaction strength is changed and the findings suggest that self-assembly through the tuning of molecular interactions is a key strategy for designing nanostructured networks with specific topologies.

  6. Respiratory syncytial virus infection in sheep bronchial explants is associated with enhanced ETB receptor-mediate contractile functional and autoradiographic studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandes, L.B.; D'Aprile, A.C.; Betts, R.J.; Goldie, R.G.

    2001-01-01

    Full text: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an important precipitant of asthma in children. The impact of RSV infection on endothelin (ET) receptor density and function in airways is unknown. In the present study, sheep bronchial rings were maintained as explants in culture for up to 48 h. During this time, both the structural integrity of the epithelium and carbachol responsiveness were preserved. Bronchial rings in culture were exposed to non-infected culture medium or to RSV (1/50 TCID 50 ) for 0, 24 and 48 h which caused marked damage to and loss of the epithelium. RSV infection did not significantly alter responsiveness to ET-1 at either 24 (Control EC 40 = 102 nM, 95% confidence limits, 76-138 nM vs RSV EC 40 = 66 nM, 95% confidence limits, 48-91 nM, n=5-6, P>0.05) or 48 h (Control EC 40 35 nM, 95% confidence limits, 19-66 nM vs RSV EC 40 = 55 nM, 95% confidence limits, 32-93 nM, n=8, P>0.05). As seen previously (Goldie et al., 1994), sarafotoxin S6c (StxS6c, ET B -selective) did not cause contraction in non-infected sheep bronchial explants. In contrast, StxS6c (300 nM) increased tone by 8±3% carbachol Emax (n=6-8) in explants exposed to RSV for 24 or 48 h. Light microscopic autoradiography was used to determine the relative distribution of ET A and ET B receptors using [ 125 I]-ET-1, BQ-123 (ET A -selective) and StxS6c. Sheep airway smooth muscle contains a homogeneous population of ET A receptors (Goldie et al., 1994). Since StxS6c caused significant contraction in RSV-infected bronchial explants, it was surprising that autoradiographic techniques failed to detect airway smooth muscle ET B receptors in these preparations. It is likely that ET B receptors fell below the level of detection of autoradiography. The significant StxS6c-induced contraction of sheep bronchi suggests the novel expression of ET B receptors triggered by RSV which might be relevant to RSV-associated asthma. Copyright (2001) Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental

  7. Algae as nutritional and functional food sources: revisiting our understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Mark L; Potin, Philippe; Craigie, James S; Raven, John A; Merchant, Sabeeha S; Helliwell, Katherine E; Smith, Alison G; Camire, Mary Ellen; Brawley, Susan H

    2017-01-01

    Global demand for macroalgal and microalgal foods is growing, and algae are increasingly being consumed for functional benefits beyond the traditional considerations of nutrition and health. There is substantial evidence for the health benefits of algal-derived food products, but there remain considerable challenges in quantifying these benefits, as well as possible adverse effects. First, there is a limited understanding of nutritional composition across algal species, geographical regions, and seasons, all of which can substantially affect their dietary value. The second issue is quantifying which fractions of algal foods are bioavailable to humans, and which factors influence how food constituents are released, ranging from food preparation through genetic differentiation in the gut microbiome. Third is understanding how algal nutritional and functional constituents interact in human metabolism. Superimposed considerations are the effects of harvesting, storage, and food processing techniques that can dramatically influence the potential nutritive value of algal-derived foods. We highlight this rapidly advancing area of algal science with a particular focus on the key research required to assess better the health benefits of an alga or algal product. There are rich opportunities for phycologists in this emerging field, requiring exciting new experimental and collaborative approaches.

  8. Towards new understanding of the heart structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torrent-Guasp, Francisco; Kocica, Mladen J; Corno, Antonio F; Komeda, Masashi; Carreras-Costa, Francesc; Flotats, A; Cosin-Aguillar, Juan; Wen, Han

    2005-02-01

    Structure and function in any organ are inseparable categories, both in health and disease. Whether we are ready to accept, or not, many questions in cardiovascular medicine are still pending, due to our insufficient insight in the basic science. Even so, any new concept encounters difficulties, mainly arising from our inert attitude, which may result either in unjustified acceptance or denial. The ventricular myocardial band concept, developed over the last 50 years, has revealed unavoidable coherence and mutual coupling of form and function in the ventricular myocardium. After more than five centuries long debate on macroscopic structure of the ventricular myocardium, this concept has provided a promising ground for its final understanding. Recent validations of the ventricular myocardial band, reviewed here, as well as future research directions that are pointed out, should initiate much wider scientific interest, which would, in turn, lead to reconciliation of some exceeded concepts about developmental, electrical, mechanical and energetical events in human heart. The benefit of this, of course, would be the most evident in the clinical arena.

  9. Thick filament length and isoform composition determine self-organized contractile units in actomyosin bundles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thoresen, Todd; Lenz, Martin; Gardel, Margaret L

    2013-02-05

    Diverse myosin II isoforms regulate contractility of actomyosin bundles in disparate physiological processes by variations in both motor mechanochemistry and the extent to which motors are clustered into thick filaments. Although the role of mechanochemistry is well appreciated, the extent to which thick filament length regulates actomyosin contractility is unknown. Here, we study the contractility of minimal actomyosin bundles formed in vitro by mixtures of F-actin and thick filaments of nonmuscle, smooth, and skeletal muscle myosin isoforms with varied length. Diverse myosin II isoforms guide the self-organization of distinct contractile units within in vitro bundles with shortening rates similar to those of in vivo myofibrils and stress fibers. The tendency to form contractile units increases with the thick filament length, resulting in a bundle shortening rate proportional to the length of constituent myosin thick filament. We develop a model that describes our data, providing a framework in which to understand how diverse myosin II isoforms regulate the contractile behaviors of disordered actomyosin bundles found in muscle and nonmuscle cells. These experiments provide insight into physiological processes that use dynamic regulation of thick filament length, such as smooth muscle contraction. Copyright © 2013 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Voltage imaging to understand connections and functions of neuronal circuits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antic, Srdjan D.; Empson, Ruth M.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding of the cellular mechanisms underlying brain functions such as cognition and emotions requires monitoring of membrane voltage at the cellular, circuit, and system levels. Seminal voltage-sensitive dye and calcium-sensitive dye imaging studies have demonstrated parallel detection of electrical activity across populations of interconnected neurons in a variety of preparations. A game-changing advance made in recent years has been the conceptualization and development of optogenetic tools, including genetically encoded indicators of voltage (GEVIs) or calcium (GECIs) and genetically encoded light-gated ion channels (actuators, e.g., channelrhodopsin2). Compared with low-molecular-weight calcium and voltage indicators (dyes), the optogenetic imaging approaches are 1) cell type specific, 2) less invasive, 3) able to relate activity and anatomy, and 4) facilitate long-term recordings of individual cells' activities over weeks, thereby allowing direct monitoring of the emergence of learned behaviors and underlying circuit mechanisms. We highlight the potential of novel approaches based on GEVIs and compare those to calcium imaging approaches. We also discuss how novel approaches based on GEVIs (and GECIs) coupled with genetically encoded actuators will promote progress in our knowledge of brain circuits and systems. PMID:27075539

  11. Supporting Teachers' Understandings of Function through Online Professional Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverman, Jason

    2017-01-01

    This article explores one segment of an extended research and development project that was conducted to better understand the ways online teacher professional development can support teachers' development of deep and connected mathematical understandings. In particular, this article discusses teachers' understandings of the concept of…

  12. A Functional Conceptualization of Understanding Science in the News

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Megan M.

    The idea that the public should have the capacity for understanding science in the news has been embraced by scientists, educators, and policymakers alike. An oft-cited goal of contemporary science education, in fact, is to enhance students' understanding of science in the news. But what exactly does it mean to understand science in the news? Surprisingly few have asked this question, or considered the significance of its answer. This dissertation steps away from issues of science teaching and learning to examine the nature of understanding science in the news itself. My work consolidates past scholarship from the multiple fields concerned with the relationship between science and society to produce a theoretical model of understanding science in the news as a complex, multidimensional process that involves an understanding of science as well as journalism. This thesis begins by exploring the relationship between the understanding implicit in understanding science in the news and understanding science. Many assume these two ways of knowing are one in the same. To rebut this assumption, I examine the types of knowledge necessary for understanding science and understanding science in the news. I then use the literature devoted to scientific literacy to show how past research has imagined the knowledge necessary to understand science in the news. Next, I argue that one of the principle difficulties with these conceptualizations is that they define science in the news in essentially the same terms as science. They also, I suggest, oversimplify how and why public interacts with science in the news. This dissertation concludes with a proposal for one way we might think about understanding science in the news on its own terms rather than those of understanding science. This dissertation attempts to connect two fields of research that rarely intersect, despite their multiple common interests: science education and mass communication. It considers the notion of

  13. Developing high-performance cross-functional teams: Understanding motivations, functional loyalties, and teaming fundamentals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, M.A.

    1996-08-01

    Teamwork is the key to the future of effective technology management. Today`s technologies and markets have become too complex for individuals to work alone. Global competition, limited resources, cost consciousness, and time pressures have forced organizations and project managers to encourage teamwork. Many of these teams will be cross-functional teams that can draw on a multitude of talents and knowledge. To develop high-performing cross-functional teams, managers must understand motivations, functional loyalties, and the different backgrounds of the individual team members. To develop a better understanding of these issues, managers can learn from experience and from literature on teams and teaming concepts. When studying the literature to learn about cross-functional teaming, managers will find many good theoretical concepts, but when put into practice, these concepts have varying effects. This issue of varying effectiveness is what drives the research for this paper. The teaming concepts were studied to confirm or modify current understanding. The literature was compared with a {open_quotes}ground truth{close_quotes}, a survey of the reality of teaming practices, to examine the teaming concepts that the literature finds to be critical to the success of teams. These results are compared to existing teams to determine if such techniques apply in real-world cases.

  14. The role of voltage-gated potassium channels in the regulation of mouse uterine contractility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abel Peter W

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Uterine smooth muscle cells exhibit ionic currents that appear to be important in the control of uterine contractility, but how these currents might produce the changes in contractile activity seen in pregnant myometrium has not been established. There are conflicting reports concerning the role of voltage-gated potassium (Kv channels and large-conductance, calcium-activated potassium (BK channels in the regulation of uterine contractility. In this study we provide molecular and functional evidence for a role for Kv channels in the regulation of spontaneous contractile activity in mouse myometrium, and also demonstrate a change in Kv channel regulation of contractility in pregnant mouse myometrium. Methods Functional assays which evaluated the effects of channel blockers and various contractile agonists were accomplished by quantifying contractility of isolated uterine smooth muscle obtained from nonpregnant mice as well as mice at various stages of pregnancy. Expression of Kv channel proteins in isolated uterine smooth muscle was evaluated by Western blots. Results The Kv channel blocker 4-aminopyridine (4-AP caused contractions in nonpregnant mouse myometrium (EC50 = 54 micromolar, maximal effect at 300 micromolar but this effect disappeared in pregnant mice; similarly, the Kv4.2/Kv4.3 blocker phrixotoxin-2 caused contractions in nonpregnant, but not pregnant, myometrium. Contractile responses to 4-AP were not dependent upon nerves, as neither tetrodotoxin nor storage of tissues at room temperature significantly altered these responses, nor were responses dependent upon the presence of the endometrium. Spontaneous contractions and contractions in response to 4-AP did not appear to be mediated by BK, as the BK channel-selective blockers iberiotoxin, verruculogen, or tetraethylammonium failed to affect either spontaneous contractions or 4-AP-elicited responses. A number of different Kv channel alpha subunit proteins were

  15. Prolonged ischemic heart disease and coronary artery bypass - relation to contractile reserve

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kofoed, Klaus F; Bangsgaard, Regitze; Carstensen, Steen

    2002-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: A major effect of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) in patients with ischemic heart disease and impaired left ventricular (LV) contractile function is believed to be an improvement in LV function due to recovery of dysfunctional, but viable myocardium. However, recent studies have...

  16. Understanding the Importance of the Teres Minor for Shoulder Function: Functional Anatomy and Pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Matthew D; Edwards, Thomas Bradley; Walch, Gilles

    2018-03-01

    Although the teres minor is often overlooked in a normal shoulder, it becomes a key component in maintaining shoulder function when other rotator cuff tendons fail. The teres minor maintains a balanced glenohumeral joint and changes from an insignificant to the most significant external rotator in the presence of major rotator cuff pathology. The presence or absence of the teres minor provides prognostic information on the outcomes of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty and tendon transfers. Clinical tests include the Patte test, the Neer dropping sign, the external rotation lag sign, and the Hertel drop sign. Advanced imaging of the teres minor can be used for classification using the Walch system. Understanding the function and pathology surrounding the teres minor is paramount in comprehensive management of the patient with shoulder pathology. Appropriate clinical examination and imaging of the teres minor are important for preoperative stratification and postoperative expectations.

  17. Associations among False Belief Understanding, Counterfactual Reasoning, and Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guajardo, Nicole R.; Parker, Jessica; Turley-Ames, Kandi

    2009-01-01

    The primary purposes of the present study were to clarify previous work on the association between counterfactual thinking and false belief performance to determine (1) whether these two variables are related and (2) if so, whether executive function skills mediate the relationship. A total of 92 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds completed false belief,…

  18. Effect of heat stress on contractility of tissue-engineered artificial skeletal muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takagi, Shunya; Nakamura, Tomohiro; Fujisato, Toshia

    2018-01-23

    The effects of heat stress on tissue like skeletal muscle have been widely studied. However, the mechanism responsible for the effect of heat stress is still unclear. A useful experimental tissue model is necessary because muscle function in cell culture may differ from native muscle and measuring its contractility is difficult. We previously reported three-dimensional tissue-engineered artificial skeletal muscle (TEM) that can be easily set in a measurement apparatus for quantitative evaluation of contractility. We have now applied TEM to the investigation of heat stress. We analyzed contractility immediately after thermal exposure at 39 °C for 24 or 48 h to evaluate the acute effects and after thermal exposure followed by normal culture to evaluate the aftereffects. Peak twitch contractile force and time-to-peak twitch were used as contractile parameters. Heat stress increased the TCF in the early stage (1 week) after normal culture; the TCF decreased temporarily in the middle to late stages (2-3 weeks). These results suggest that heat stress may affect both myoblast fusion and myotube differentiation in the early stage of TEM culture, but not myotube maturation in the late stage. The TCF increase rate with thermal exposure was significantly higher than that without thermal exposure. Although detailed analysis at the molecular level is necessary for further investigation, our artificial skeletal muscle may be a promising tool for heat stress investigation.

  19. Slack length reduces the contractile phenotype of the Swine carotid artery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rembold, Christopher M; Garvey, Sean M; Tejani, Ankit D

    2013-01-01

    Contraction is the primary function of adult arterial smooth muscle. However, in response to vessel injury or inflammation, arterial smooth muscle is able to phenotypically modulate from the contractile state to several 'synthetic' states characterized by proliferation, migration and/or increased cytokine secretion. We examined the effect of tissue length (L) on the phenotype of intact, isometrically held, initially contractile swine carotid artery tissues. Tissues were studied (1) without prolonged incubation at the optimal length for force generation (1.0 Lo, control), (2) with prolonged incubation for 17 h at 1.0 Lo, or (3) with prolonged incubation at slack length (0.6 Lo) for 16 h and then restoration to 1.0 Lo for 1 h. Prolonged incubation at 1.0 Lo minimally reduced the contractile force without substantially altering the mediators of contraction (crossbridge phosphorylation, shortening velocity or stimulated actin polymerization). Prolonged incubation of tissues at slack length (0.6 Lo), despite return of length to 1.0 Lo, substantially reduced contractile force, reduced crossbridge phosphorylation, nearly abolished crossbridge cycling (shortening velocity) and abolished stimulated actin polymerization. These data suggest that (1) slack length treatment significantly alters the contractile phenotype of arterial tissue, and (2) slack length treatment is a model to study acute phenotypic modulation of intact arterial smooth muscle. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  20. Functional health literacy and healthy eating: Understanding the brazilian food guide recommendations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Auristela Magalhães Coelho

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To assess the relationship between the functional health literacy of Unified Heath System users and the understanding of food servings in the pocket version of the Brazilian Food Guide. Methods: Functional health literacy was assessed by the Brief Test of functional health literacy. Two dialogue rounds were conducted with patients with adequate functional health literacy (Group 1 and inadequate functional health literacy (Group 2. The dialogues were recorded and analyzed according to the discourse of the collective subject. Results: Most (58.0% users had inadequate functional health literacy. Five core areas were identified: understands serving sizes; does not understand serving sizes; serving sizes are confusing; unfamiliar/uncommon foods; small letters. Group 2 had more trouble understanding. Conclusion: Difficulty understanding hinders health promotion. Individuals need to have access to educational materials that are easier to understand and developed taking their functional health literacy into account.

  1. Galectin-3 and fibulin-1 in systolic heart failure - relation to glucose metabolism and left ventricular contractile reserve

    OpenAIRE

    Holmager, Pernille; Egstrup, Michael; Gustafsson, Ida; Schou, Morten; Dahl, Jordi S.; Rasmussen, Lars Melholt; M?ller, Jacob E.; Tuxen, Christian; Faber, Jens; Kistorp, Caroline

    2017-01-01

    Background: Heart failure (HF) patients with diabetes (DM) have an adverse prognosis and reduced functional capacity, which could be associated with cardiac fibrosis, increased chamber stiffness and reduced left ventricular (LV) contractile reserve. Galectin-3 (Gal-3) and fibulin-1 are circulating biomarkers potentially reflecting cardiac fibrosis. We hypothesize that plasma levels of Gal-3 and fibulin-1 are elevated in HF patients with DM and are associated with reduced LV contractile reserv...

  2. Nitrogen cycling in corals: the key to understanding holobiont functioning?

    KAUST Repository

    Rädecker, Nils

    2015-04-01

    Corals are animals that form close mutualistic associations with endosymbiotic photosynthetic algae of the genus Symbiodinium. Together they provide the calcium carbonate framework of coral reef ecosystems. The importance of the microbiome (i.e., bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses) to holobiont functioning has only recently been recognized. Given that growth and density of Symbiodinium within the coral host is highly dependent on nitrogen availability, nitrogen-cycling microbes may be of fundamental importance to the stability of the coral–algae symbiosis and holobiont functioning, in particular under nutrient-enriched and -depleted scenarios. We summarize what is known about nitrogen cycling in corals and conclude that disturbance of microbial nitrogen cycling may be tightly linked to coral bleaching and disease.

  3. A genetic approach to understanding asthma and lung function development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kreiner-Møller, Eskil

    2014-01-01

    that are most robustly associated with persistent and severe childhood onset asthma. However, it is unknown how the 17q21 common variants are associated with the persistence of symptoms into adulthood. In paper II,we investigated the effect of the 17q21 locus on current adult asthma and related traits......Asthma is a common heritable disease of the airways with recurrent episodes of symptoms and reversible airflow obstruction that has increased dramatically in prevalence. The disease is highly heterogeneous with varying age at onset and clinical presentation and most likely represents several...... responsiveness, but were associated with lung function growth. This suggests that these loci do not exert their effects prenatally and indicate a potential window of opportunity in early childhood for preventing lung function decline and maintaining respiratory health. The 17q21 locus harbors common variants...

  4. Nitrogen cycling in corals: the key to understanding holobiont functioning?

    KAUST Repository

    Rä decker, Nils; Pogoreutz, Claudia; Voolstra, Christian R.; Wiedenmann, Jö rg; Wild, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Corals are animals that form close mutualistic associations with endosymbiotic photosynthetic algae of the genus Symbiodinium. Together they provide the calcium carbonate framework of coral reef ecosystems. The importance of the microbiome (i.e., bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses) to holobiont functioning has only recently been recognized. Given that growth and density of Symbiodinium within the coral host is highly dependent on nitrogen availability, nitrogen-cycling microbes may be of fundamental importance to the stability of the coral–algae symbiosis and holobiont functioning, in particular under nutrient-enriched and -depleted scenarios. We summarize what is known about nitrogen cycling in corals and conclude that disturbance of microbial nitrogen cycling may be tightly linked to coral bleaching and disease.

  5. Acute hypoxia limits endurance but does not affect muscle contractile properties.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Degens, H.; Sanchez Horneros, J.M.; Hopman, M.T.E.

    2006-01-01

    Acute hypoxia causes skeletal muscle dysfunction in vitro, but little is known about its effect on muscle function in vivo. In 10 healthy male subjects, isometric contractile properties and fatigue resistance of the quadriceps muscle were determined during normoxia and hypoxia using electrically

  6. Contractile responses to ergotamine and dihydroergotamine in the perfused middle cerebral artery of rat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tfelt-Hansen, Peer; Nilsson, Elisabeth; Edvinsson, Lars

    2007-01-01

    mmHg and luminally perfused. All vessels used attained spontaneous contractile tone (34.9+/-1.8% of resting tone) and responded to luminal adenosine triphosphate (ATP) with dilatation (24.1+/-4.0%), which showed functioning endothelium. Luminally added ergotamine or DHE induced maximal contractions...

  7. Towards understanding the biological function of hopanoids (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doughty, D. M.; Hunter, R.; Summons, R. E.; Newman, D. K.

    2010-12-01

    Rhodopseudomonas palustris TIE-1 expresses bacterial hopanoid lipids that are structurally similar and evolutionarily related to eukaryotic sterols. The genome of R. palustris TIE-1 contains two copies of the hpnN gene (hpnN1 and hpnN2) that are orthologs of genes encoding eukaryotic sterol and lipid transporters. Hopanoid localization to the outer membrane was found to be dependent upon hpnN1. Since the cell cycle of R. palustris TIE-1 is obligately bimodal with each cell division resulting in the generation of one mother and one swarmer cell, evidence was obtained that hopanoids where specifically localized to the outer membrane of mother cells. The sequestration of hopanoids to the mother cells was also disrupted by the deletion of the hpnN1 gene. Mutants lacking the hopanoid transporters were able to grow normally at 30 °C but showed decreased growth at 38 °C. The hopanoid transporter mutant formed cellular filaments when grown at elevated temperature. Because sedimentary steranes and hopanes comprise some of the earliest evidence for the emergence of distinct bacteria and eukaryotic phyla, a better appreciation of the function of hopanoids will improve our ability to interpret the evolution of life on Earth.

  8. Impact of Cardiac Contractility during Cerebral Blood Flow in Ischemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silver, Brian

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Objective: In cerebral regions affected by ischemia, intrinsic vascular autoregulation is often lost. Blood flow delivery depends upon cardiac function and may be influenced by neuro-endocrine mediated myocardial suppression. Our objective is to evaluate the relation between ejection fraction (EF and transcranial doppler (TCD peak systolic velocities (PSV in patients with cerebral ischemic events.Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study from an existing TCD registry. We evaluated patients admitted within 24 hours of onset of a focal neurological deficit who had an echocardiogram and TCD performed within 72 hours of admission.Results: We identified 58 patients from March to October 2003. Eighty-one percent (n=47 had a hospital discharge diagnosis of ischemic stroke and 18.9% (n=11 had a diagnosis of transient ischemic attack. Fourteen patients had systolic dysfunction (EF50% compared to those with systolic dysfunction (EF<50% was as follows: middle cerebral artery 62.0 + 28.6 cm/s vs. 51.0 + 23.3 cm/s, p=0.11; anterior cerebral artery 52.1 + 21.6 cm/s vs. 45.9 + 22.7 cm/s, p=0.28; internal carotid artery 56.5 + 20.1 cm/s vs. 46.4 + 18.4 cm/s, p=0.04; ophthalmic artery 18.6 + 7.2 cm/s vs. 15.3 + 5.2 cm/s, p=0.11; vertebral artery 34.0 + 13.9 cm/s vs. 31.6 + 15.0 cm/s, p=0.44.Conclusion: Cerebral blood flow in the internal carotid artery territory appears to be higher in cerebral ischemia patients with preserved left ventricular contractility. Our study was unable to differentiate pre-existing cardiac dysfunction from neuro-endocrine mediated myocardial stunning. Future research is necessary to better understand heart-brain interactions in this setting and to further explore the underlying mechanisms and consequences of neuro-endocrine mediated cardiac dysfunction. [West J Emerg Med. 2011;12(2:227-232.

  9. Sex differences and the effects of ovariectomy on the β-adrenergic contractile response

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntosh, Victoria J.; Chandrasekera, P. Charukeshi

    2011-01-01

    The presence of sex differences in myocardial β-adrenergic responsiveness is controversial, and limited studies have addressed the mechanism underlying these differences. Studies were performed using isolated perfused hearts from male, intact female and ovariectomized female mice to investigate sex differences and the effects of ovarian hormone withdrawal on β-adrenergic receptor function. Female hearts exhibited blunted contractile responses to the β-adrenergic receptor agonist isoproterenol (ISO) compared with males but not ovariectomized females. There were no sex differences in β1-adrenergic receptor gene or protein expression. To investigate the role of adenylyl cyclase, phosphodiesterase, and the cAMP-signaling cascade in generating sex differences in the β-adrenergic contractile response, dose-response studies were performed in isolated perfused male and female hearts using forskolin, 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX), and 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)adenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (CPT-cAMP). Males showed a modestly enhanced contractile response to forskolin at 300 nM and 5 μM compared with females, but there were no sex differences in the response to IBMX or CPT-cAMP. The role of the A1 adenosine receptor (A1AR) in antagonizing the β-adrenergic contractile response was investigated using both the A1AR agonist 2-chloro-N6-cyclopentyl-adenosine and A1AR knockout (KO) mice. Intact females showed an enhanced A1AR anti-adrenergic effect compared with males and ovariectomized females. The β-adrenergic contractile response was potentiated in both male and female A1ARKO hearts, with sex differences no longer present above 1 nM ISO. The β-adrenergic contractile response is greater in male hearts than females, and minor differences in the action of adenylyl cyclase or the A1AR may contribute to these sex differences. PMID:21685268

  10. Cell stiffness, contractile stress and the role of extracellular matrix

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An, Steven S.; Kim, Jina; Ahn, Kwangmi; Trepat, Xavier; Drake, Kenneth J.; Kumar, Sarvesh; Ling, Guoyu; Purington, Carolyn; Rangasamy, Tirumalai; Kensler, Thomas W.; Mitzner, Wayne; Fredberg, Jeffrey J.; Biswal, Shyam

    2009-01-01

    Here we have assessed the effects of extracellular matrix (ECM) composition and rigidity on mechanical properties of the human airway smooth muscle (ASM) cell. Cell stiffness and contractile stress showed appreciable changes from the most relaxed state to the most contracted state: we refer to the maximal range of these changes as the cell contractile scope. The contractile scope was least when the cell was adherent upon collagen V, followed by collagen IV, laminin, and collagen I, and greatest for fibronectin. Regardless of ECM composition, upon adherence to increasingly rigid substrates, the ASM cell positively regulated expression of antioxidant genes in the glutathione pathway and heme oxygenase, and disruption of a redox-sensitive transcription factor, nuclear erythroid 2 p45-related factor (Nrf2), culminated in greater contractile scope. These findings provide biophysical evidence that ECM differentially modulates muscle contractility and, for the first time, demonstrate a link between muscle contractility and Nrf2-directed responses.

  11. Cell stiffness, contractile stress and the role of extracellular matrix

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    An, Steven S., E-mail: san@jhsph.edu [Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Room E-7616, Baltimore, MD 21205 (United States); Kim, Jina [Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Room E-7616, Baltimore, MD 21205 (United States); Ahn, Kwangmi [Division of Biostatistics, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA 17033 (United States); Trepat, Xavier [CIBER, Enfermedades Respiratorias, 07110 Bunyola (Spain); Drake, Kenneth J. [Division of Molecular and Integrative Physiological Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115 (United States); Kumar, Sarvesh; Ling, Guoyu; Purington, Carolyn; Rangasamy, Tirumalai; Kensler, Thomas W.; Mitzner, Wayne [Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Room E-7616, Baltimore, MD 21205 (United States); Fredberg, Jeffrey J. [Division of Molecular and Integrative Physiological Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115 (United States); Biswal, Shyam [Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Room E-7616, Baltimore, MD 21205 (United States); Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205 (United States)

    2009-05-15

    Here we have assessed the effects of extracellular matrix (ECM) composition and rigidity on mechanical properties of the human airway smooth muscle (ASM) cell. Cell stiffness and contractile stress showed appreciable changes from the most relaxed state to the most contracted state: we refer to the maximal range of these changes as the cell contractile scope. The contractile scope was least when the cell was adherent upon collagen V, followed by collagen IV, laminin, and collagen I, and greatest for fibronectin. Regardless of ECM composition, upon adherence to increasingly rigid substrates, the ASM cell positively regulated expression of antioxidant genes in the glutathione pathway and heme oxygenase, and disruption of a redox-sensitive transcription factor, nuclear erythroid 2 p45-related factor (Nrf2), culminated in greater contractile scope. These findings provide biophysical evidence that ECM differentially modulates muscle contractility and, for the first time, demonstrate a link between muscle contractility and Nrf2-directed responses.

  12. Changes in contractile activation characteristics of rat fast and slow skeletal muscle fibres during regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregorevic, Paul; Plant, David R; Stupka, Nicole; Lynch, Gordon S

    2004-07-15

    Damaged skeletal muscle fibres are replaced with new contractile units via muscle regeneration. Regenerating muscle fibres synthesize functionally distinct isoforms of contractile and regulatory proteins but little is known of their functional properties during the regeneration process. An advantage of utilizing single muscle fibre preparations is that assessment of their function is based on the overall characteristics of the contractile apparatus and regulatory system and as such, these preparations are sensitive in revealing not only coarse, but also subtle functional differences between muscle fibres. We examined the Ca(2+)- and Sr(2+)-activated contractile characteristics of permeabilized fibres from rat fast-twitch (extensor digitorum longus) and slow-twitch (soleus) muscles at 7, 14 and 21 days following myotoxic injury, to test the hypothesis that fibres from regenerating fast and slow muscles have different functional characteristics to fibres from uninjured muscles. Regenerating muscle fibres had approximately 10% of the maximal force producing capacity (P(o)) of control (uninjured) fibres, and an altered sensitivity to Ca(2+) and Sr(2+) at 7 days post-injury. Increased force production and a shift in Ca(2+) sensitivity consistent with fibre maturation were observed during regeneration such that P(o) was restored to 36-45% of that in control fibres by 21 days, and sensitivity to Ca(2+) and Sr(2+) was similar to that of control (uninjured) fibres. The findings support the hypothesis that regenerating muscle fibres have different contractile activation characteristics compared with mature fibres, and that they adopt properties of mature fast- or slow-twitch muscle fibres in a progressive manner as the regeneration process is completed.

  13. The Interplay between Students' Understandings of Proportional and Functional Relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Ana; Strachota, Susanne; Knuth, Eric; Blanton, Maria; Isler, Isil; Gardiner, Angela

    2017-01-01

    This research explores the interplay between students' understandings of proportional and functional relationships. Approximately 90 students participated in an early algebra intervention in Grades 3- 5. Before the intervention and after each year of the intervention, we evaluated their understandings of proportional and functional relationships.…

  14. Working with Functions without Understanding: An Assessment of the Perceptions of Basotho College Mathematics Specialists on the Idea of Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polaki, Mokaeane Victor

    2005-01-01

    It is a well-known fact that the idea of function plays a unifying role in the development of mathematical concepts. Yet research has shown that many students do not understand it adequately even though they have experienced a great deal of success in performing a plethora of operations on function, and on using functions to solve various types of…

  15. Validation of an in vitro contractility assay using canine ventricular myocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harmer, A.R., E-mail: alex.harmer@astrazeneca.com; Abi-Gerges, N.; Morton, M.J.; Pullen, G.F.; Valentin, J.P.; Pollard, C.E.

    2012-04-15

    Measurement of cardiac contractility is a logical part of pre-clinical safety assessment in a drug discovery project, particularly if a risk has been identified or is suspected based on the primary- or non-target pharmacology. However, there are limited validated assays available that can be used to screen several compounds in order to identify and eliminate inotropic liability from a chemical series. We have therefore sought to develop an in vitro model with sufficient throughput for this purpose. Dog ventricular myocytes were isolated using a collagenase perfusion technique and placed in a perfused recording chamber on the stage of a microscope at ∼ 36 °C. Myocytes were stimulated to contract at a pacing frequency of 1 Hz and a digital, cell geometry measurement system (IonOptix™) was used to measure sarcomere shortening in single myocytes. After perfusion with vehicle (0.1% DMSO), concentration–effect curves were constructed for each compound in 4–30 myocytes taken from 1 or 2 dog hearts. The validation test-set was 22 negative and 8 positive inotropes, and 21 inactive compounds, as defined by their effect in dog, cynolomolgous monkey or humans. By comparing the outcome of the assay to the known in vivo contractility effects, the assay sensitivity was 81%, specificity was 75%, and accuracy was 78%. With a throughput of 6–8 compounds/week from 1 cell isolation, this assay may be of value to drug discovery projects to screen for direct contractility effects and, if a hazard is identified, help identify inactive compounds. -- Highlights: ► Cardiac contractility is an important physiological function of the heart. ► Assessment of contractility is a logical part of pre-clinical drug safety testing. ► There are limited validated assays that predict effects of compounds on contractility. ► Using dog myocytes, we have developed an in vitro cardiac contractility assay. ► The assay predicted the in vivo contractility with a good level of accuracy.

  16. Cadmium translocation by contractile roots differs from that in regular, non-contractile roots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lux, Alexander; Lackovič, Andrej; Van Staden, Johannes; Lišková, Desana; Kohanová, Jana; Martinka, Michal

    2015-06-01

    Contractile roots are known and studied mainly in connection with the process of shrinkage of their basal parts, which acts to pull the shoot of the plant deeper into the ground. Previous studies have shown that the specific structure of these roots results in more intensive water uptake at the base, which is in contrast to regular root types. The purpose of this study was to find out whether the basal parts of contractile roots are also more active in translocation of cadmium to the shoot. Plants of the South African ornamental species Tritonia gladiolaris were cultivated in vitro for 2 months, at which point they possessed well-developed contractile roots. They were then transferred to Petri dishes with horizontally separated compartments of agar containing 50 µmol Cd(NO3)2 in the region of the root base or the root apex. Seedlings of 4-d-old maize (Zea mays) plants, which do not possess contractile roots, were also transferred to similar Petri dishes. The concentrations of Cd in the leaves of the plants were compared after 10 d of cultivation. Anatomical analyses of Tritonia roots were performed using appropriately stained freehand cross-sections. The process of contraction required specific anatomical adaptation of the root base in Tritonia, with less lignified and less suberized tissues in comparison with the subapical part of the root. These unusual developmental characteristics were accompanied by more intensive translocation of Cd ions from the basal part of contractile roots to the leaves than from the apical-subapical root parts. The opposite effects were seen in the non-contractile roots of maize, with higher uptake and transport by the apical parts of the root and lower uptake and transport by the basal part. The specific characteristics of contractile roots may have a significant impact on the uptake of ions, including toxic metals from the soil surface layers. This may be important for plant nutrition, for example in the uptake of nutrients from

  17. Effect of spaceflight on the isotonic contractile properties of single skeletal muscle fibers in the rhesus monkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitts, R. H.; Romatowski, J. G.; Blaser, C.; De La Cruz, L.; Gettelman, G. J.; Widrick, J. J.

    2000-01-01

    Experiments from both Cosmos and Space Shuttle missions have shown weightlessness to result in a rapid decline in the mass and force of rat hindlimb extensor muscles. Additionally, despite an increased maximal shortening velocity, peak power was reduced in rat soleus muscle post-flight. In humans, declines in voluntary peak isometric ankle extensor torque ranging from 15-40% have been reported following long- and short-term spaceflight and prolonged bed rest. Complete understanding of the cellular events responsible for the fiber atrophy and the decline in force, as well as the development of effective countermeasures, will require detailed knowledge of how the physiological and biochemical processes of muscle function are altered by spaceflight. The specific purpose of this investigation was to determine the extent to which the isotonic contractile properties of the slow- and fast-twitch fiber types of the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) were altered by a 14-day spaceflight.

  18. Contractility Dispersion in Long QT Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MH Nikoo

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Previous studies, using M mode echocardiography, provided unexpected evidence of a mechanical alteration in patients with long QT syndrome. The aim of this study was to evaluate entire left ventricular (LV wall motion characteristics in patients with long QT syndrome using tissue Doppler imaging. Methods: We enrolled 17 patients with congenital long QT syndrome [11 female and 6 male], aged 21 to 45 years. 10 subjects without cardiac disease were also selected as a control group. Two-dimensional tissue Doppler imaging (TDI recording of the LV was obtained from the basal and mid-segments from apical four-chamber, two-chamber, and long-axis views. ‘Myocardial Contraction Duration’ [MCD] was defined as the time from start of R wave on ECG to end of S wave on TDI. MCD was measured in the six LV wall positions: septal, anteroseptal, lateral, inferior, posterior and anterior positions.Results: LV contractility dispersion was significantly greater in long QT syndrome patients compared to control group [0.051 ± 0.011 vs. 0.016 ± 0.06; P < 0.001]. Conclusion: Our study evaluated left ventricular dispersion of contractility duration in patients with long QT syndrome. This mechanical dispersion may be a reflection of the inhomogeneity of repolarisation in the long QT syndrome.

  19. Developing Essential Understanding of Functions for Teaching Mathematics in Grades 9-12

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloyd, Gwendolyn; Beckmann, Sybilla; Zbiek, Rose Mary; Cooney, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Are sequences functions? What can't the popular "vertical line test" be applied in some cases to determine if a relation is a function? How does the idea of rate of change connect with simpler ideas about proportionality as well as more advanced topics in calculus? Helping high school students develop a robust understanding of functions requires…

  20. Matrix elasticity regulates the optimal cardiac myocyte shape for contractility

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCain, Megan L.; Yuan, Hongyan; Pasqualini, Francesco S.; Campbell, Patrick H.

    2014-01-01

    Concentric hypertrophy is characterized by ventricular wall thickening, fibrosis, and decreased myocyte length-to-width aspect ratio. Ventricular thickening is considered compensatory because it reduces wall stress, but the functional consequences of cell shape remodeling in this pathological setting are unknown. We hypothesized that decreases in myocyte aspect ratio allow myocytes to maximize contractility when the extracellular matrix becomes stiffer due to conditions such as fibrosis. To test this, we engineered neonatal rat ventricular myocytes into rectangles mimicking the 2-D profiles of healthy and hypertrophied myocytes on hydrogels with moderate (13 kPa) and high (90 kPa) elastic moduli. Actin alignment was unaffected by matrix elasticity, but sarcomere content was typically higher on stiff gels. Microtubule polymerization was higher on stiff gels, implying increased intracellular elastic modulus. On moderate gels, myocytes with moderate aspect ratios (∼7:1) generated the most peak systolic work compared with other cell shapes. However, on stiffer gels, low aspect ratios (∼2:1) generated the most peak systolic work. To compare the relative contributions of intracellular vs. extracellular elasticity to contractility, we developed an analytical model and used our experimental data to fit unknown parameters. Our model predicted that matrix elasticity dominates over intracellular elasticity, suggesting that the extracellular matrix may potentially be a more effective therapeutic target than microtubules. Our data and model suggest that myocytes with lower aspect ratios have a functional advantage when the elasticity of the extracellular matrix decreases due to conditions such as fibrosis, highlighting the role of the extracellular matrix in cardiac disease. PMID:24682394

  1. Contractile injection systems of bacteriophages and related systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Taylor, Nicholas M I; van Raaij, Mark J; Leiman, Petr G

    2018-01-01

    Contractile tail bacteriophages, or myobacteriophages, use a sophisticated biomolecular structure to inject their genome into the bacterial host cell. This structure consists of a contractile sheath enveloping a rigid tube that is sharpened by a spike-shaped protein complex at its tip. The spike ...

  2. Thrombopoietin modulates cardiac contractility in vitro and contributes to myocardial depressing activity of septic shock serum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupia, Enrico; Spatola, Tiziana; Cuccurullo, Alessandra; Bosco, Ornella; Mariano, Filippo; Pucci, Angela; Ramella, Roberta; Alloatti, Giuseppe; Montrucchio, Giuseppe

    2010-09-01

    Thrombopoietin (TPO) is a humoral growth factor that has been shown to increase platelet activation in response to several agonists. Patients with sepsis have increased circulating TPO levels, which may enhance platelet activation, potentially participating to the pathogenesis of multi-organ failure. Aim of this study was to investigate whether TPO affects myocardial contractility and participates to depress cardiac function during sepsis. We showed the expression of the TPO receptor c-Mpl on myocardial cells and tissue by RT-PCR, immunofluorescence and western blotting. We then evaluated the effect of TPO on the contractile function of rat papillary muscle and isolated heart. TPO did not change myocardial contractility in basal conditions, but, when followed by epinephrine (EPI) stimulation, it blunted the enhancement of contractile force induced by EPI both in papillary muscle and isolated heart. An inhibitor of TPO prevented TPO effect on cardiac inotropy. Treatment of papillary muscle with pharmacological inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, NO synthase, and guanilyl cyclase abolished TPO effect, indicating NO as the final mediator. We finally studied the role of TPO in the negative inotropic effect exerted by human septic shock (HSS) serum and TPO cooperation with TNF-alpha and IL-1beta. Pre-treatment with the TPO inhibitor prevented the decrease in contractile force induced by HSS serum. Moreover, TPO significantly amplified the negative inotropic effect induced by TNF-alpha and IL-1beta in papillary muscle. In conclusion, TPO negatively modulates cardiac inotropy in vitro and contributes to the myocardial depressing activity of septic shock serum.

  3. Towards understanding the evolution and functional diversification of DNA-containing plant organelles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leister, Dario Michael

    2016-01-01

    direct way to reconstruct the evolutionary history of plastids and mitochondria is to sequence and analyze their relatively small genomes. However, understanding the functional diversification of these organelles requires the identification of their complete protein repertoires - which is the ultimate...

  4. Understanding Linear Function: A Comparison of Selected Textbooks from England and Shanghai

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuqian; Barmby, Patrick; Bolden, David

    2017-01-01

    This study describes a comparison of how worked examples in selected textbooks from England and Shanghai presented possible learning trajectories towards understanding linear function. Six selected English textbooks and one Shanghai compulsory textbook were analysed with regards to the understanding required for pure mathematics knowledge in…

  5. Understanding Early Elementary Children's Conceptual Knowledge of Plant Structure and Function through Drawings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Janice L.; Ellis, Jane P.; Jones, Alan M.

    2014-01-01

    This study examined children's drawings to explain children's conceptual understanding of plant structure and function. The study explored whether the children's drawings accurately reflect their conceptual understanding about plants in a manner that can be interpreted by others. Drawing, survey, interview, and observational data were collected…

  6. Genome sequence of Haloplasma contractile, an unusual contractile bacterium from a deep-sea anoxic brine lake.

    KAUST Repository

    Antunes, Andre; Alam, Intikhab; El Dorry, Hamza; Siam, Rania; Robertson, Anthony J.; Bajic, Vladimir B.; Stingl, Ulrich

    2011-01-01

    We present the draft genome of Haloplasma contractile, isolated from a deep-sea brine and representing a new order between Firmicutes and Mollicutes. Its complex morphology with contractile protrusions might be strongly influenced by the presence of seven MreB/Mbl homologs, which appears to be the highest copy number ever reported.

  7. Genome sequence of Haloplasma contractile, an unusual contractile bacterium from a deep-sea anoxic brine lake.

    KAUST Repository

    Antunes, Andre

    2011-09-01

    We present the draft genome of Haloplasma contractile, isolated from a deep-sea brine and representing a new order between Firmicutes and Mollicutes. Its complex morphology with contractile protrusions might be strongly influenced by the presence of seven MreB/Mbl homologs, which appears to be the highest copy number ever reported.

  8. Predicting changes in cardiac myocyte contractility during early drug discovery with in vitro assays

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morton, M.J., E-mail: michael.morton@astrazeneca.com [Discovery Sciences, AstraZeneca, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 4TG (United Kingdom); Armstrong, D.; Abi Gerges, N. [Drug Safety and Metabolism, AstraZeneca, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 4TG (United Kingdom); Bridgland-Taylor, M. [Discovery Sciences, AstraZeneca, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 4TG (United Kingdom); Pollard, C.E.; Bowes, J.; Valentin, J.-P. [Drug Safety and Metabolism, AstraZeneca, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 4TG (United Kingdom)

    2014-09-01

    Cardiovascular-related adverse drug effects are a major concern for the pharmaceutical industry. Activity of an investigational drug at the L-type calcium channel could manifest in a number of ways, including changes in cardiac contractility. The aim of this study was to define which of the two assay technologies – radioligand-binding or automated electrophysiology – was most predictive of contractility effects in an in vitro myocyte contractility assay. The activity of reference and proprietary compounds at the L-type calcium channel was measured by radioligand-binding assays, conventional patch-clamp, automated electrophysiology, and by measurement of contractility in canine isolated cardiac myocytes. Activity in the radioligand-binding assay at the L-type Ca channel phenylalkylamine binding site was most predictive of an inotropic effect in the canine cardiac myocyte assay. The sensitivity was 73%, specificity 83% and predictivity 78%. The radioligand-binding assay may be run at a single test concentration and potency estimated. The least predictive assay was automated electrophysiology which showed a significant bias when compared with other assay formats. Given the importance of the L-type calcium channel, not just in cardiac function, but also in other organ systems, a screening strategy emerges whereby single concentration ligand-binding can be performed early in the discovery process with sufficient predictivity, throughput and turnaround time to influence chemical design and address a significant safety-related liability, at relatively low cost. - Highlights: • The L-type calcium channel is a significant safety liability during drug discovery. • Radioligand-binding to the L-type calcium channel can be measured in vitro. • The assay can be run at a single test concentration as part of a screening cascade. • This measurement is highly predictive of changes in cardiac myocyte contractility.

  9. Predicting changes in cardiac myocyte contractility during early drug discovery with in vitro assays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morton, M.J.; Armstrong, D.; Abi Gerges, N.; Bridgland-Taylor, M.; Pollard, C.E.; Bowes, J.; Valentin, J.-P.

    2014-01-01

    Cardiovascular-related adverse drug effects are a major concern for the pharmaceutical industry. Activity of an investigational drug at the L-type calcium channel could manifest in a number of ways, including changes in cardiac contractility. The aim of this study was to define which of the two assay technologies – radioligand-binding or automated electrophysiology – was most predictive of contractility effects in an in vitro myocyte contractility assay. The activity of reference and proprietary compounds at the L-type calcium channel was measured by radioligand-binding assays, conventional patch-clamp, automated electrophysiology, and by measurement of contractility in canine isolated cardiac myocytes. Activity in the radioligand-binding assay at the L-type Ca channel phenylalkylamine binding site was most predictive of an inotropic effect in the canine cardiac myocyte assay. The sensitivity was 73%, specificity 83% and predictivity 78%. The radioligand-binding assay may be run at a single test concentration and potency estimated. The least predictive assay was automated electrophysiology which showed a significant bias when compared with other assay formats. Given the importance of the L-type calcium channel, not just in cardiac function, but also in other organ systems, a screening strategy emerges whereby single concentration ligand-binding can be performed early in the discovery process with sufficient predictivity, throughput and turnaround time to influence chemical design and address a significant safety-related liability, at relatively low cost. - Highlights: • The L-type calcium channel is a significant safety liability during drug discovery. • Radioligand-binding to the L-type calcium channel can be measured in vitro. • The assay can be run at a single test concentration as part of a screening cascade. • This measurement is highly predictive of changes in cardiac myocyte contractility

  10. Developing Preservice Teachers' Understanding of Function Using a Vending Machine Metaphor Applet

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCulloch, Allison; Lovett, Jennifer; Edgington, Cyndi

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the use of a Vending Machine applet as a cognitive root for the development of preservice teachers understanding of function. The applet was designed to purposefully problematize common misconceptions associated with the algebraic nature of typical function machines. Findings indicated affordances and…

  11. An Active Learning Exercise to Facilitate Understanding of Nephron Function: Anatomy and Physiology of Renal Transporters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirks-Naylor, Amie J.

    2016-01-01

    Renal transport is a central mechanism underlying electrolyte homeostasis, acid base balance and other essential functions of the kidneys in human physiology. Thus, knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the nephron is essential for the understanding of kidney function in health and disease. However, students find this content difficult to…

  12. Three good reasons for heart surgeons to understand cardiac metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doenst, Torsten; Bugger, Heiko; Schwarzer, Michael; Faerber, Gloria; Borger, Michael A; Mohr, Friedrich W

    2008-05-01

    It is the principal goal of cardiac surgeons to improve or reinstate contractile function with, through or after a surgical procedure on the heart. Uninterrupted contractile function of the heart is irrevocably linked to the uninterrupted supply of energy in the form of ATP. Thus, it would appear natural that clinicians interested in myocardial contractile function are interested in the way the heart generates ATP, i.e. the processes generally referred to as energy metabolism. Yet, it may appear that the relevance of energy metabolism in cardiac surgery is limited to the area of cardioplegia, which is a declining research interest. It is the goal of this review to change this trend and to illustrate the role and the therapeutic potential of metabolism and metabolic interventions for management. We present three compelling reasons why cardiac metabolism is of direct, practical interest to the cardiac surgeon and why a better understanding of energy metabolism might indeed result in improved surgical outcomes: (1) To understand cardioplegic arrest, ischemia and reperfusion, one needs a working knowledge of metabolism; (2) hyperglycemia is an underestimated and modifiable risk factor; (3) acute metabolic interventions can be effective in patients undergoing cardiac surgery.

  13. Stress and strain in the contractile and cytoskeletal filaments of airway smooth muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Linhong; Bosse, Ynuk; Brown, Nathan; Chin, Leslie Y M; Connolly, Sarah C; Fairbank, Nigel J; King, Greg G; Maksym, Geoffrey N; Paré, Peter D; Seow, Chun Y; Stephen, Newman L

    2009-10-01

    Stress and strain are omnipresent in the lung due to constant lung volume fluctuation associated with respiration, and they modulate the phenotype and function of all cells residing in the airways including the airway smooth muscle (ASM) cell. There is ample evidence that the ASM cell is very sensitive to its physical environment, and can alter its structure and/or function accordingly, resulting in either desired or undesired consequences. The forces that are either conferred to the ASM cell due to external stretching or generated inside the cell must be borne and transmitted inside the cytoskeleton (CSK). Thus, maintaining appropriate levels of stress and strain within the CSK is essential for maintaining normal function. Despite the importance, the mechanisms regulating/dysregulating ASM cytoskeletal filaments in response to stress and strain remained poorly understood until only recently. For example, it is now understood that ASM length and force are dynamically regulated, and both can adapt over a wide range of length, rendering ASM one of the most malleable living tissues. The malleability reflects the CSK's dynamic mechanical properties and plasticity, both of which strongly interact with the loading on the CSK, and all together ultimately determines airway narrowing in pathology. Here we review the latest advances in our understanding of stress and strain in ASM cells, including the organization of contractile and cytoskeletal filaments, range and adaptation of functional length, structural and functional changes of the cell in response to mechanical perturbation, ASM tone as a mediator of strain-induced responses, and the novel glassy dynamic behaviors of the CSK in relation to asthma pathophysiology.

  14. Numerical investigation of perforated polymer microcantilever sensor for contractile behavior of cardiomyocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khoa Nguyen, Trieu; Lee, Dong-Weon; Lee, Bong-Kee

    2017-06-01

    In this study, a numerical investigation of microcantilever sensors for detecting the contractile behavior of cardiomyocytes (CMs) was performed. Recently, a novel surface-patterned perforated SU-8 microcantilever sensor has been developed for the preliminary screening of cardiac toxicity. From the contractile motion of the CMs cultured on the microcantilever surface, a macroscopic bending of the microcantilever was obtained, which is considered to reflect a physiological change. As a continuation of the previous research, a novel numerical method based on a surface traction model was proposed and verified to further understand the bending behavior of the microcantilevers. Effects of various factors, including surface traction magnitude, focal area of CMs, and stiffness of microcantilever, on the bending displacement were investigated. From static and transient analyses, the focal area was found to be the most crucial factor. In addition, the current result can provide a design guideline for various micromechanical devices based on the same principle.

  15. Cell density and actomyosin contractility control the organization of migrating collectives within an epithelium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loza, Andrew J.; Koride, Sarita; Schimizzi, Gregory V.; Li, Bo; Sun, Sean X.; Longmore, Gregory D.

    2016-01-01

    The mechanisms underlying collective migration are important for understanding development, wound healing, and tumor invasion. Here we focus on cell density to determine its role in collective migration. Our findings show that increasing cell density, as might be seen in cancer, transforms groups from broad collectives to small, narrow streams. Conversely, diminishing cell density, as might occur at a wound front, leads to large, broad collectives with a distinct leader–follower structure. Simulations identify force-sensitive contractility as a mediator of how density affects collectives, and guided by this prediction, we find that the baseline state of contractility can enhance or reduce organization. Finally, we test predictions from these data in an in vivo epithelium by using genetic manipulations to drive collective motion between predicted migratory phases. This work demonstrates how commonly altered cellular properties can prime groups of cells to adopt migration patterns that may be harnessed in health or exploited in disease. PMID:27605707

  16. The Effects of an Undergraduate Algebra Course on Prospective Middle School Teachers' Understanding of Functions, Especially Quadratic Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Jonathan T.

    2010-01-01

    Although current reform movements have stressed the importance of developing prospective middle school mathematics teachers' subject matter knowledge and understandings, there is a dearth of research studies with regard to prospective middle school teachers' confidence and knowledge with respect to quadratic functions. This study was intended to…

  17. Controlled chaos: three-dimensional kinematics, fiber histochemistry, and muscle contractile dynamics of autotomized lizard tails.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higham, Timothy E; Lipsett, Kathryn R; Syme, Douglas A; Russell, Anthony P

    2013-01-01

    The ability to shed an appendage occurs in both vertebrates and invertebrates, often as a tactic to avoid predation. The tails of lizards, unlike most autotomized body parts of animals, exhibit complex and vigorous movements once disconnected from the body. Despite the near ubiquity of autotomy across groups of lizards and the fact that this is an extraordinary event involving the self-severing of the spinal cord, our understanding of why and how tails move as they do following autotomy is sparse. We herein explore the histochemistry and physiology of the tail muscles of the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), a species that exhibits vigorous and variable tail movements following autotomy. To confirm that the previously studied tail movements of this species are generally representative of geckos and therefore suitable for in-depth muscle studies, we quantified the three-dimensional kinematics of autotomized tails in three additional species. The movements of the tails of all species were generally similar and included jumps, flips, and swings. Our preliminary analyses suggest that some species of gecko exhibit short but high-frequency movements, whereas others exhibit larger-amplitude but lower-frequency movements. We then compared the ATPase and oxidative capacity of muscle fibers and contractile dynamics of isolated muscle bundles from original tails, muscle from regenerate tails, and fast fibers from an upper limb muscle (iliofibularis) of the leopard gecko. Histochemical analysis revealed that more than 90% of the fibers in original and regenerate caudal muscles had high ATPase but possessed a superficial layer of fibers with low ATPase and high oxidative capacity. We found that contraction kinetics, isometric force, work, power output, and the oscillation frequency at which maximum power was generated were lowest in the original tail, followed by the regenerate tail and then the fast fibers of the iliofibularis. Muscle from the original tail exhibited

  18. Challenges in microbial ecology: Building predictive understanding of community function and dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Widder, Stefanie; Allen, Rosalind J.; Pfeiffer, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    The importance of microbial communities (MCs) cannot be overstated. MCs underpin the biogeochemical cycles of the earth's soil, oceans and the atmosphere, and perform ecosystem functions that impact plants, animals and humans. Yet our ability to predict and manage the function of these highly...... complex, dynamically changing communities is limited. Building predictive models that link MC composition to function is a key emerging challenge in microbial ecology. Here, we argue that addressing this challenge requires close coordination of experimental data collection and method development...... is needed to achieve significant progress in our understanding of MC dynamics and function, and we make specific practical suggestions as to how this could be achieved....

  19. Genetic fuzzy system predicting contractile reactivity patterns of small arteries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tang, J; Sheykhzade, Majid; Clausen, B F

    2014-01-01

    strategies. Results show that optimized fuzzy systems (OFSs) predict contractile reactivity of arteries accurately. In addition, OFSs identified significant differences that were undetectable using conventional analysis in the responses of arteries between groups. We concluded that OFSs may be used...

  20. Regional gastrointestinal contractility parameters using the wireless motility capsule

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Farmer, A D; Wegeberg, A-M L; Brock, B

    2018-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The wireless motility capsule concurrently measures temperature, pH and pressure as it traverses the gastrointestinal tract. AIMS: To describe normative values for motility/contractility parameters across age, gender and testing centres. METHODS: Healthy participants underwent...

  1. Cardiac myofibrillar contractile properties during the progression from hypertension to decompensated heart failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanft, Laurin M; Emter, Craig A; McDonald, Kerry S

    2017-07-01

    Heart failure arises, in part, from a constellation of changes in cardiac myocytes including remodeling, energetics, Ca 2+ handling, and myofibrillar function. However, little is known about the changes in myofibrillar contractile properties during the progression from hypertension to decompensated heart failure. The aim of the present study was to provide a comprehensive assessment of myofibrillar functional properties from health to heart disease. A rodent model of uncontrolled hypertension was used to test the hypothesis that myocytes in compensated hearts exhibit increased force, higher rates of force development, faster loaded shortening, and greater power output; however, with progression to overt heart failure, we predicted marked depression in these contractile properties. We assessed contractile properties in skinned cardiac myocyte preparations from left ventricles of Wistar-Kyoto control rats and spontaneous hypertensive heart failure (SHHF) rats at ~3, ~12, and >20 mo of age to evaluate the time course of myofilament properties associated with normal aging processes compared with myofilaments from rats with a predisposition to heart failure. In control rats, the myofilament contractile properties were virtually unchanged throughout the aging process. Conversely, in SHHF rats, the rate of force development, loaded shortening velocity, and power all increased at ~12 mo and then significantly fell at the >20-mo time point, which coincided with a decrease in left ventricular fractional shortening. Furthermore, these changes occurred independent of changes in β-myosin heavy chain but were associated with depressed phosphorylation of myofibrillar proteins, and the fall in loaded shortening and peak power output corresponded with the onset of clinical signs of heart failure. NEW & NOTEWORTHY This novel study systematically examined the power-generating capacity of cardiac myofilaments during the progression from hypertension to heart disease. Previously

  2. Considerations for Contractile Electroactive Materials and Actuators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rasmussen, Lenore; Erickson, Carl J.; Meixler, Lewis D.; Ascione, George; Gentile, Charles A.; Tilson, Carl; Bernasek, Stephen L.; Abelev, Esta

    2010-02-19

    Ras Labs produces electroactive polymer (EAP) based materials and actuators that bend, swell, ripple and now contract (new development) with low electric input. This is an important attribute because of the ability of contraction to produce life-like motion. The mechanism of contraction is not well understood. Radionuclide-labeled experiments were conducted to follow the movement of electrolytes and water in these EAPs when activated. Extreme temperature experiments were performed on the contractile EAPs with very favorable results. One of the biggest challenges in developing these actuators, however, is the electrode-EAP interface because of the pronounced movement of the EAP. Plasma treatments of metallic electrodes were investigated in order to improve the attachment of the embedded electrodes to the EAP material. Surface analysis, adhesive testing, and mechanical testing were conducted to test metal surfaces and metal-polymer interfaces. The nitrogen plasma treatment of titanium produced a strong metal-polymer interface; however, oxygen plasma treatment of both stainless steel and titanium produced even stronger metal-polymer interfaces. Plasma treatment of the electrodes allows for the embedded electrodes and the EAP material of the actuator to work and move as a unit, with no detachment, by significantly improving the metal-polymer interface.

  3. The construction of an amino acid network for understanding protein structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Wenying; Zhou, Jianhong; Sun, Maomin; Chen, Jiajia; Hu, Guang; Shen, Bairong

    2014-06-01

    Amino acid networks (AANs) are undirected networks consisting of amino acid residues and their interactions in three-dimensional protein structures. The analysis of AANs provides novel insight into protein science, and several common amino acid network properties have revealed diverse classes of proteins. In this review, we first summarize methods for the construction and characterization of AANs. We then compare software tools for the construction and analysis of AANs. Finally, we review the application of AANs for understanding protein structure and function, including the identification of functional residues, the prediction of protein folding, analyzing protein stability and protein-protein interactions, and for understanding communication within and between proteins.

  4. Understanding the function of bacterial and eukaryotic thiolases II by integrating evolutionary and functional approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Ana Romina; Soto, Gabriela; Mozzicafreddo, Matteo; Garcia, Araceli Nora; Cuccioloni, Massimiliano; Angeletti, Mauro; Salerno, Juan Carlos; Ayub, Nicolás Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Acetoacetyl-CoA thiolase (EC 2.3.1.9), commonly named thiolase II, condenses two molecules of acetyl-CoA to give acetoacetyl-CoA and CoA. This enzyme acts in anabolic processes as the first step in the biosynthesis of isoprenoids and polyhydroxybutyrate in eukaryotes and bacteria, respectively. We have recently reported the evolutionary and functional equivalence of these enzymes, suggesting that thiolase II could be the rate limiting enzyme in these pathways and presented evidence indicating that this enzyme modulates the availability of reducing equivalents during abiotic stress adaptation in bacteria and plants. However, these results are not sufficient to clarify why thiolase II was evolutionary selected as a critical enzyme in the production of antioxidant compounds. Regarding this intriguing topic, we propose that thiolase II could sense changes in the acetyl-CoA/CoA ratio induced by the inhibition of the tricarboxylic acid cycle under abiotic stress. Thus, the high level of evolutionary and functional constraint of thiolase II may be due to the connection of this enzyme with an ancient and conserved metabolic route. © 2013.

  5. Cellular Architecture Regulates Collective Calcium Signaling and Cell Contractility.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian Sun

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available A key feature of multicellular systems is the ability of cells to function collectively in response to external stimuli. However, the mechanisms of intercellular cell signaling and their functional implications in diverse vascular structures are poorly understood. Using a combination of computational modeling and plasma lithography micropatterning, we investigate the roles of structural arrangement of endothelial cells in collective calcium signaling and cell contractility. Under histamine stimulation, endothelial cells in self-assembled and microengineered networks, but not individual cells and monolayers, exhibit calcium oscillations. Micropatterning, pharmacological inhibition, and computational modeling reveal that the calcium oscillation depends on the number of neighboring cells coupled via gap junctional intercellular communication, providing a mechanistic basis of the architecture-dependent calcium signaling. Furthermore, the calcium oscillation attenuates the histamine-induced cytoskeletal reorganization and cell contraction, resulting in differential cell responses in an architecture-dependent manner. Taken together, our results suggest that endothelial cells can sense and respond to chemical stimuli according to the vascular architecture via collective calcium signaling.

  6. A human in vitro model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy muscle formation and contractility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesmith, Alexander P; Wagner, Matthew A; Pasqualini, Francesco S; O'Connor, Blakely B; Pincus, Mark J; August, Paul R; Parker, Kevin Kit

    2016-10-10

    Tongue weakness, like all weakness in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), occurs as a result of contraction-induced muscle damage and deficient muscular repair. Although membrane fragility is known to potentiate injury in DMD, whether muscle stem cells are implicated in deficient muscular repair remains unclear. We hypothesized that DMD myoblasts are less sensitive to cues in the extracellular matrix designed to potentiate structure-function relationships of healthy muscle. To test this hypothesis, we drew inspiration from the tongue and engineered contractile human muscle tissues on thin films. On this platform, DMD myoblasts formed fewer and smaller myotubes and exhibited impaired polarization of the cell nucleus and contractile cytoskeleton when compared with healthy cells. These structural aberrations were reflected in their functional behavior, as engineered tongues from DMD myoblasts failed to achieve the same contractile strength as healthy tongue structures. These data suggest that dystrophic muscle may fail to organize with respect to extracellular cues necessary to potentiate adaptive growth and remodeling. © 2016 Nesmith et al.

  7. Permanent Distal Occlusion of Middle Cerebral Artery in Rat Causes Local Increased ETB, 5-HT1B and AT1 Receptor-Mediated Contractility Downstream of Occlusion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Marianne N P; Hornbak, Malene; Larsen, Stine S

    2013-01-01

    Background/Aims: In response to experimental stroke, a characteristic functional and expressional upregulation of contractile G-protein-coupled receptors has been uncovered in the affected cerebral vasculature; however, the mechanism initiating this phenomenon remains unknown. Methods: Using...... a model of permanent distal occlusion of rat middle cerebral arteries, we investigated whether there was a regional difference in receptor-mediated contractility of segments located upstream and downstream of the occlusion site. The contractile response to endothelin, angiotensin and 5-hydroxytryptamine...... receptor stimulation was studied by sensitive wire myograph. Results: Only downstream segments exhibited an augmented contractile response to stimulation with each of the three ligands, with the response towards sarafotoxin 6c being especially augmented compared to sham, upstream and contralateral controls...

  8. Cardiac-specific overexpression of catalase attenuates lipopolysaccharide-induced myocardial contractile dysfunction: role of autophagy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turdi, Subat; Han, Xuefeng; Huff, Anna F; Roe, Nathan D; Hu, Nan; Gao, Feng; Ren, Jun

    2012-09-15

    Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from gram-negative bacteria is a major initiator of sepsis, leading to cardiovascular collapse. Accumulating evidence has indicated a role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cardiovascular complications in sepsis. This study was designed to examine the effect of cardiac-specific overexpression of catalase in LPS-induced cardiac contractile dysfunction and the underlying mechanism(s) with a focus on autophagy. Catalase transgenic and wild-type FVB mice were challenged with LPS (6 mg/kg) and cardiac function was evaluated. Levels of oxidative stress, autophagy, apoptosis, and protein damage were examined using fluorescence microscopy, Western blot, TUNEL assay, caspase-3 activity, and carbonyl formation. A Kaplan-Meier curve was constructed for survival after LPS treatment. Our results revealed a lower mortality in catalase mice compared with FVB mice after LPS challenge. LPS injection led to depressed cardiac contractile capacity as evidenced by echocardiography and cardiomyocyte contractile function, the effect of which was ablated by catalase overexpression. LPS treatment induced elevated TNF-α level, autophagy, apoptosis (TUNEL, caspase-3 activation, cleaved caspase-3), production of ROS and O(2)(-), and protein carbonyl formation, the effects of which were significantly attenuated by catalase overexpression. Electron microscopy revealed focal myocardial damage characterized by mitochondrial injury after LPS treatment, which was less severe in catalase mice. Interestingly, LPS-induced cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction was prevented by the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine and the autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine. Taken together, our data revealed that catalase protects against LPS-induced cardiac dysfunction and mortality, which may be associated with inhibition of oxidative stress and autophagy. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Cardiac-Specific Overexpression of Catalase Attenuates Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Myocardial Contractile Dysfunction: Role of Autophagy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turdi, Subat; Han, Xuefeng; Huff, Anna F.; Roe, Nathan D.; Hu, Nan; Gao, Feng; Ren, Jun

    2012-01-01

    Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Gram-negative bacteria is a major initiator of sepsis, leading to cardiovascular collapse. Accumulating evidence has indicated a role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cardiovascular complication in sepsis. This study was designed to examine the effect of cardiac-specific overexpression of catalase in LPS-induced cardiac contractile dysfunction and the underlying mechanism(s) with a focus on autophagy. Catalase transgenic and wild-type FVB mice were challenged with LPS (6 mg/kg) and cardiac function was evaluated. Levels of oxidative stress, autophagy, apoptosis and protein damage were examined using fluorescence microscopy, Western blot, TUNEL assay, caspase-3 activity and carbonyl formation. Kaplan-Meier curve was constructed for survival following LPS treatment. Our results revealed a lower mortality in catalase mice compared with FVB mice following LPS challenge. LPS injection led to depressed cardiac contractile capacity as evidenced by echocardiography and cardiomyocyte contractile function, the effect of which was ablated by catalase overexpression. LPS treatment induced elevated TNF-α level, autophagy, apoptosis (TUNEL, caspase-3 activation, cleaved caspase-3), production of ROS and O2−, and protein carbonyl formation, the effects of which were significantly attenuated by catalase overexpression. Electron microscopy revealed focal myocardial damage characterized by mitochondrial injury following LPS treatment, which was less severe in catalase mice. Interestingly, LPS-induced cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction was prevented by antioxidant NAC and the autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine. Taken together, our data revealed that catalase protects against LPS-induced cardiac dysfunction and mortality, which may be associated with inhibition of oxidative stress and autophagy. PMID:22902401

  10. Integrating Model-Based Learning and Animations for Enhancing Students' Understanding of Proteins Structure and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barak, Miri; Hussein-Farraj, Rania

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes a study conducted in the context of chemistry education reforms in Israel. The study examined a new biochemistry learning unit that was developed to promote in-depth understanding of 3D structures and functions of proteins and nucleic acids. Our goal was to examine whether, and to what extent teaching and learning via…

  11. Urban ecological stewardship: understanding the structure, function and network of community-based urban land management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erika s. Svendsen; Lindsay K. Campbell

    2008-01-01

    Urban environmental stewardship activities are on the rise in cities throughout the Northeast. Groups participating in stewardship activities range in age, size, and geography and represent an increasingly complex and dynamic arrangement of civil society, government and business sectors. To better understand the structure, function and network of these community-based...

  12. Dynamic Graphics in Excel for Teaching Statistics: Understanding the Probability Density Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coll-Serrano, Vicente; Blasco-Blasco, Olga; Alvarez-Jareno, Jose A.

    2011-01-01

    In this article, we show a dynamic graphic in Excel that is used to introduce an important concept in our subject, Statistics I: the probability density function. This interactive graphic seeks to facilitate conceptual understanding of the main aspects analysed by the learners.

  13. An Epistemological Inquiry into Organic Chemistry Education: Exploration of Undergraduate Students' Conceptual Understanding of Functional Groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akkuzu, Nalan; Uyulgan, Melis Arzu

    2016-01-01

    This study sought to determine the levels of conceptual understanding of undergraduate students regarding organic compounds within different functional groups. A total of 60 students who were enrolled in the Department of Secondary Science and Mathematics Education of a Faculty of Education at a state university in Turkey and who had followed an…

  14. A contractile and counterbalancing adhesion system controls the 3D shape of crawling cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnette, Dylan T; Shao, Lin; Ott, Carolyn; Pasapera, Ana M; Fischer, Robert S; Baird, Michelle A; Der Loughian, Christelle; Delanoe-Ayari, Helene; Paszek, Matthew J; Davidson, Michael W; Betzig, Eric; Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer

    2014-04-14

    How adherent and contractile systems coordinate to promote cell shape changes is unclear. Here, we define a counterbalanced adhesion/contraction model for cell shape control. Live-cell microscopy data showed a crucial role for a contractile meshwork at the top of the cell, which is composed of actin arcs and myosin IIA filaments. The contractile actin meshwork is organized like muscle sarcomeres, with repeating myosin II filaments separated by the actin bundling protein α-actinin, and is mechanically coupled to noncontractile dorsal actin fibers that run from top to bottom in the cell. When the meshwork contracts, it pulls the dorsal fibers away from the substrate. This pulling force is counterbalanced by the dorsal fibers' attachment to focal adhesions, causing the fibers to bend downward and flattening the cell. This model is likely to be relevant for understanding how cells configure themselves to complex surfaces, protrude into tight spaces, and generate three-dimensional forces on the growth substrate under both healthy and diseased conditions.

  15. The challenges of understanding glycolipid functions: An open outlook based on molecular simulations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manna, M.; Rog, T.; Vattulainen, I.

    2014-01-01

    and molecular simulations can be used to shed light on the role of glycolipids in membrane structure and dynamics, receptor function, and other phenomena related to emergence of diseases such as Parkinson's. The cases we discuss highlight the challenge to understand how glycolipids function in cell membranes......, and the significant added value that one would gain by bridging molecular simulations with experiments. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Tools to study lipid functions. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.......Glycolipids are the most complex lipid type in cell membranes, characterized by a great diversity of different structures and functions. The underlying atomistic/molecular interactions and mechanisms associated with these functions are not well understood. Here we discuss how atomistic...

  16. PTP1B triggers integrin-mediated repression of myosin activity and modulates cell contractility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana E. González Wusener

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Cell contractility and migration by integrins depends on precise regulation of protein tyrosine kinase and Rho-family GTPase activities in specific spatiotemporal patterns. Here we show that protein tyrosine phosphatase PTP1B cooperates with β3 integrin to activate the Src/FAK signalling pathway which represses RhoA-myosin-dependent contractility. Using PTP1B null (KO cells and PTP1B reconstituted (WT cells, we determined that some early steps following cell adhesion to fibronectin and vitronectin occurred robustly in WT cells, including aggregation of β3 integrins and adaptor proteins, and activation of Src/FAK-dependent signalling at small puncta in a lamellipodium. However, these events were significantly impaired in KO cells. We established that cytoskeletal strain and cell contractility was highly enhanced at the periphery of KO cells compared to WT cells. Inhibition of the Src/FAK signalling pathway or expression of constitutive active RhoA in WT cells induced a KO cell phenotype. Conversely, expression of constitutive active Src or myosin inhibition in KO cells restored the WT phenotype. We propose that this novel function of PTP1B stimulates permissive conditions for adhesion and lamellipodium assembly at the protruding edge during cell spreading and migration.

  17. PTP1B triggers integrin-mediated repression of myosin activity and modulates cell contractility

    Science.gov (United States)

    González Wusener, Ana E.; González, Ángela; Nakamura, Fumihiko; Arregui, Carlos O.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Cell contractility and migration by integrins depends on precise regulation of protein tyrosine kinase and Rho-family GTPase activities in specific spatiotemporal patterns. Here we show that protein tyrosine phosphatase PTP1B cooperates with β3 integrin to activate the Src/FAK signalling pathway which represses RhoA-myosin-dependent contractility. Using PTP1B null (KO) cells and PTP1B reconstituted (WT) cells, we determined that some early steps following cell adhesion to fibronectin and vitronectin occurred robustly in WT cells, including aggregation of β3 integrins and adaptor proteins, and activation of Src/FAK-dependent signalling at small puncta in a lamellipodium. However, these events were significantly impaired in KO cells. We established that cytoskeletal strain and cell contractility was highly enhanced at the periphery of KO cells compared to WT cells. Inhibition of the Src/FAK signalling pathway or expression of constitutive active RhoA in WT cells induced a KO cell phenotype. Conversely, expression of constitutive active Src or myosin inhibition in KO cells restored the WT phenotype. We propose that this novel function of PTP1B stimulates permissive conditions for adhesion and lamellipodium assembly at the protruding edge during cell spreading and migration. PMID:26700725

  18. Levothyroxine treatment generates an abnormal uterine contractility patterns in an in vitro animal model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corriveau, Stéphanie; Blouin, Simon; Raiche, Évelyne; Nolin, Marc-Antoine; Rousseau, Éric; Pasquier, Jean-Charles

    2015-12-01

    Abnormal uterine contraction patterns were recently demonstrated in uterine strips from pregnant women treated with Levothyroxine (T4). These abnormalities were correlated with an increased risk of C-section delivery and associated surgical complications. To date, no study has investigated whether uterine contractility is modified by hypothyroidism or T4 treatment. Herein, we analyze the physiological role of T4 on uterine contractions. Female non-pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats ( N  = 22) were used and divided into four groups: 1) control, 2) hypothyroidism, 3) hypothyroidism treated with low T4 doses (20 μg/kg/day) and 4) with high T4 doses (100 μg/kg/day). Hypothyroidism was induced by an iodine-deficient diet. Isometric tension measurements were performed in vitro on myometrium tissues in isolated organ baths. Contractile activity parameters were quantified (amplitude, duration, frequency and area under the curve) using pharmacological tools to assess their effect. Screening of thyroid function confirmed a hypothyroid state for all rats under iodine-free diet to which T4 was subsequently administered to counterbalance hypothyroidism. Results demonstrate that hypothyroidism significantly decreased contractile duration (-17%) and increased contractile frequency (+26%), while high doses of T4 increased duration (+200%) and decreased frequency (-51%). These results thus mimic the pattern of abnormal contractions previously observed in uterine tissue from T4-treated hypothyroid pregnant women. Our data suggest that changes in myometrial reactivity are induced by T4 treatment. Thus, in conjunction with our previous observations on human myometrial strips, management of hypothyroidism should be improved to reduce the rate of C-sections in this group of patients.

  19. Biases in the experimental annotations of protein function and their effect on our understanding of protein function space.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra M Schnoes

    Full Text Available The ongoing functional annotation of proteins relies upon the work of curators to capture experimental findings from scientific literature and apply them to protein sequence and structure data. However, with the increasing use of high-throughput experimental assays, a small number of experimental studies dominate the functional protein annotations collected in databases. Here, we investigate just how prevalent is the "few articles - many proteins" phenomenon. We examine the experimentally validated annotation of proteins provided by several groups in the GO Consortium, and show that the distribution of proteins per published study is exponential, with 0.14% of articles providing the source of annotations for 25% of the proteins in the UniProt-GOA compilation. Since each of the dominant articles describes the use of an assay that can find only one function or a small group of functions, this leads to substantial biases in what we know about the function of many proteins. Mass-spectrometry, microscopy and RNAi experiments dominate high throughput experiments. Consequently, the functional information derived from these experiments is mostly of the subcellular location of proteins, and of the participation of proteins in embryonic developmental pathways. For some organisms, the information provided by different studies overlap by a large amount. We also show that the information provided by high throughput experiments is less specific than those provided by low throughput experiments. Given the experimental techniques available, certain biases in protein function annotation due to high-throughput experiments are unavoidable. Knowing that these biases exist and understanding their characteristics and extent is important for database curators, developers of function annotation programs, and anyone who uses protein function annotation data to plan experiments.

  20. Biases in the Experimental Annotations of Protein Function and Their Effect on Our Understanding of Protein Function Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnoes, Alexandra M.; Ream, David C.; Thorman, Alexander W.; Babbitt, Patricia C.; Friedberg, Iddo

    2013-01-01

    The ongoing functional annotation of proteins relies upon the work of curators to capture experimental findings from scientific literature and apply them to protein sequence and structure data. However, with the increasing use of high-throughput experimental assays, a small number of experimental studies dominate the functional protein annotations collected in databases. Here, we investigate just how prevalent is the “few articles - many proteins” phenomenon. We examine the experimentally validated annotation of proteins provided by several groups in the GO Consortium, and show that the distribution of proteins per published study is exponential, with 0.14% of articles providing the source of annotations for 25% of the proteins in the UniProt-GOA compilation. Since each of the dominant articles describes the use of an assay that can find only one function or a small group of functions, this leads to substantial biases in what we know about the function of many proteins. Mass-spectrometry, microscopy and RNAi experiments dominate high throughput experiments. Consequently, the functional information derived from these experiments is mostly of the subcellular location of proteins, and of the participation of proteins in embryonic developmental pathways. For some organisms, the information provided by different studies overlap by a large amount. We also show that the information provided by high throughput experiments is less specific than those provided by low throughput experiments. Given the experimental techniques available, certain biases in protein function annotation due to high-throughput experiments are unavoidable. Knowing that these biases exist and understanding their characteristics and extent is important for database curators, developers of function annotation programs, and anyone who uses protein function annotation data to plan experiments. PMID:23737737

  1. Understanding of the correlation between work function and surface morphology of metals and alloys

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xue, Mingshan; Wang, Wenfeng; Wang, Fajun; Ou, Junfei; Li, Changquan; Li, Wen

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: •The inherent correlation between the work function and surface morphology was focused on. •The change of the work function of metals and alloys as a function of surface roughness was investigated by scanning Kelvin probe. •The lightning rod effect was used to describe the electron transport at a rough surface. -- Abstract: The relationships between material behaviors and its structures are extremely complicated, and the understanding of these relationships is of much significance for revealing the physical, chemical and mechanical properties of various materials. In this study, the change of the work function (WF) of metals and alloys as a function of surface roughness was investigated by scanning Kelvin probe, with the aim of understanding the inherent correlation between the WF and surface morphology using a simple and intuitive way. It was demonstrated that at the rough surface of Cu and Ag, the sharp micro/nanostructures induced a lower WF, just as the lightning rod effect providing a direct and fast path for electron transport. While for Al and Mg alloys, the rough surface resulted in an increase of the WF owing to the effect of surface oxide layers, just as the anti-lightning rod effect providing a protected layer to confine the electron transport

  2. Understanding how prevocational training on care farms can lead to functioning, motivation and well-being.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellingsen-Dalskau, Lina H; Berget, Bente; Pedersen, Ingeborg; Tellnes, Gunnar; Ihlebæk, Camilla

    2016-12-01

    Prevocational training aims to improve basic vocational and social skills, supporting return to work for people who have been out of work for a long time. Care farms provide prevocational training; the aim of the study was to use the self-determination theory to gain an understanding of how these programmes can lead to healthy functioning and motivation for clients. A total of 194 participants in prevocational training on care farms answered questions about demographic information, their perception of being a colleague, the social community on the farm, experiencing nature and animals and need satisfaction. A cross-sectional design resulting in a structural equation model was used to understand how elements of the care farm context influence satisfaction of three psychological needs. The results showed that a feeling of being a useful colleague led to competence, experiencing a sense of group belonging led to relatedness and autonomy, while receiving social support from the farmer led to satisfaction of all three needs for the participants. The results explain how prevocational training can stimulate participants' functionality, motivation and well-being. This understanding enables initiators and managers of prevocational training to understand and further strengthen the need-supportive elements of such programmes. Implications for Rehabilitation Prevocational training on care farms can facilitate motivation, functioning and well-being for clients. Making clients feel like useful colleagues that belong to a client group will strengthen the positive qualities of these programmes. Support, understanding and acknowledgement from the farmer are the most important elements for a positive development for the clients.

  3. Investigating Cardiac MRI Based Right Ventricular Contractility As A Novel Non-Invasive Metric of Pulmonary Arterial Pressure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menon, Prahlad G; Adhypak, Srilakshmi M; Williams, Ronald B; Doyle, Mark; Biederman, Robert WW

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND We test the hypothesis that cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging-based indices of four-dimensional (4D) (three dimensions (3D) + time) right ventricle (RV) function have predictive values in ascertaining invasive pulmonary arterial systolic pressure (PASP) measurements from right heart catheterization (RHC) in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). METHODS We studied five patients with idiopathic PAH and two age and sex-matched controls for RV function using a novel contractility index (CI) for amplitude and phase to peak contraction established from analysis of regional shape variation in the RV endocardium over 20 cardiac phases, segmented from CMR images in multiple orientations. RESULTS The amplitude of RV contractility correlated inversely with RV ejection fraction (RVEF; R2 = 0.64, P = 0.03) and PASP (R2 = 0.71, P = 0.02). Phase of peak RV contractility also correlated inversely to RVEF (R2 = 0.499, P = 0.12) and PASP (R2 = 0.66, P = 0.04). CONCLUSIONS RV contractility analyzed from CMR offers promising non-invasive metrics for classification of PAH, which are congruent with invasive pressure measurements. PMID:25624777

  4. Effect of Propafenone on the Contractile Activity of Latissimus Dorsi Muscle Isolated in an Organ Chamber: Experimental Study in Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Simões

    2002-03-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To study the effect of propafenone on the contractile function of latissimus dorsi muscle isolated from rats in an organ chamber. METHODS: We studied 20 latissimus dorsi muscles of Wistar rats and divided them into 2 groups: group I (n=10, or control group - we studied the feasibility of muscle contractility; group II (n=10, in which the contralateral muscles were grouped - we analyzed the effect of propafenone on muscle contractility. After building a muscle ring, 8 periods of sequential 2-minute baths were performed, with intervals of preprogrammed electrical stimulation using a pacemaker of 50 stimuli/min. In group II, propafenone, at the concentration of 9.8 µg/mL, was added to the bath in period 2 and withdrawn in period 4. RESULTS: In group I, no significant depression in muscle contraction occurred up to period 5 (p>0.05. In group II, a significant depression occurred in all periods, except between the last 2 periods (p0.05. CONCLUSION: Propafenone had a depressing effect on the contractile function of latissimus dorsi muscle isolated from rats and studied in an organ chamber.

  5. Annexin C4 in A. fumigatus: a proteomics approach to understand the function.

    OpenAIRE

    Khalaj , Vahid; Azarian , Bahareh; Enayati , Somayeh; Vaziri , Behrouz

    2011-01-01

    International audience; Annexin C4 has been identified as a new member of fungal annexin family. In search of function, we have generated an annexin C4 disruptant strain of human pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus. Detailed phenotypic analysis confirmed a non essential role of annexin C4 in the growth and sporulation of this pathogen. We applied a comparative proteomics strategy to understand the possible role of this protein in the fungus. The modification of respiratory chain proteins and stre...

  6. From Process Understanding Via Soil Functions to Sustainable Soil Management - A Systemic Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wollschlaeger, U.; Bartke, S.; Bartkowski, B.; Daedlow, K.; Helming, K.; Kogel-Knabner, I.; Lang, B.; Rabot, E.; Russell, D.; Stößel, B.; Weller, U.; Wiesmeier, M.; Rabot, E.; Vogel, H. J.

    2017-12-01

    Fertile soils are central resources for the production of biomass and the provision of food and energy. A growing world population and latest climate targets lead to an increasing demand for both, food and bio-energy, which requires preserving and improving the long-term productivity of soils as a bio-economic resource. At the same time, other soil functions and ecosystem services need to be maintained: filter for clean water, carbon sequestration, provision and recycling of nutrients, and habitat for biological activity. All these soil functions result from the interaction of a multitude of physical, chemical and biological processes that are not yet sufficiently understood. In addition, we lack understanding about the interplay between the socio-economic system and the soil system and how soil functions benefit human wellbeing. Hence, a solid and integrated assessment of soil quality requires the consideration of the ensemble of soil functions and its relation to soil management to finally be able to develop site-specific options for sustainable soil management. We present an integrated modeling approach that investigates the influence of soil management on the ensemble of soil functions. It is based on the mechanistic relationships between soil functional attributes, each explained by a network of interacting processes as derived from scientific evidence. As the evidence base required for feeding the model is for the most part stored in the existing scientific literature, another central component of our work is to set up a public "knowledge-portal" providing the infrastructure for a community effort towards a comprehensive knowledge base on soil processes as a basis for model developments. The connection to the socio-economic system is established using the Drivers-Pressures-Impacts-States-Responses (DPSIR) framework where our improved understanding about soil ecosystem processes is linked to ecosystem services and resource efficiency via the soil functions.

  7. Calcium-responsive contractility during fertilization in sea urchin eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stack, Christianna; Lucero, Amy J; Shuster, Charles B

    2006-04-01

    Fertilization triggers a reorganization of oocyte cytoskeleton, and in sea urchins, there is a dramatic increase in cortical F-actin. However, the role that myosin II plays during fertilization remains largely unexplored. Myosin II is localized to the cortical cytoskeleton both before and after fertilization and to examine myosin II contractility in living cells, Lytechinus pictus eggs were observed by time-lapse microscopy. Upon sperm binding, a cell surface deflection traversed the egg that was followed by and dependent on the calcium wave. The calcium-dependence of surface contractility could be reproduced in unfertilized eggs, where mobilization of intracellular calcium in unfertilized eggs under compression resulted in a marked contractile response. Lastly, inhibition of myosin II delayed absorption of the fertilization cone, suggesting that myosin II not only responds to the same signals that activate eggs but also participates in the remodeling of the cortical actomyosin cytoskeleton during the first zygotic cell cycle. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  8. Cardiac-specific catalase overexpression rescues anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiac contractile dysfunction: role of oxidative stress and autophagy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kandadi, Machender R; Yu, Xuejun; Frankel, Arthur E; Ren, Jun

    2012-11-07

    Lethal and edema toxins secreted by Bacillus anthracis during anthrax infection were found to incite serious cardiovascular complications. However, the underlying mechanisms in anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiac anomalies remain unknown. This study was designed to evaluate the impact of antioxidant enzyme catalase in anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction. Wild type (WT) and cardiac-specific catalase overexpression mice were challenged with lethal toxin (2 μg/g, intraperotineally (i.p.)). Cardiomyocyte contractile and intracellular Ca(2+) properties were assessed 18 h later using an IonOptix edge-detection system. Proteasome function was assessed using chymotrypsin-like and caspase-like activities. GFP-LC3 puncta and Western blot analysis were used to evaluate autophagy and protein ubiquitination. Lethal toxin exposure suppressed cardiomyocyte contractile function (suppressed peak shortening, maximal velocity of shortening/re-lengthening, prolonged duration of shortening/re-lengthening, and impaired intracellular Ca(2+) handling), the effects of which were alleviated by catalase. In addition, lethal toxin triggered autophagy, mitochondrial and ubiquitin-proteasome defects, the effects of which were mitigated by catalase. Pretreatment of cardiomyocytes from catalase mice with the autophagy inducer rapamycin significantly attenuated or ablated catalase-offered protection against lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte dysfunction. On the other hand, the autophagy inhibitor 3-MA ablated or significantly attenuated lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile anomalies. Our results suggest that catalase is protective against anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile and intracellular Ca(2+) anomalies, possibly through regulation of autophagy and mitochondrial function.

  9. Cardiac-specific catalase overexpression rescues anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiac contractile dysfunction: role of oxidative stress and autophagy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kandadi Machender R

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Lethal and edema toxins secreted by Bacillus anthracis during anthrax infection were found to incite serious cardiovascular complications. However, the underlying mechanisms in anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiac anomalies remain unknown. This study was designed to evaluate the impact of antioxidant enzyme catalase in anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction. Methods Wild type (WT and cardiac-specific catalase overexpression mice were challenged with lethal toxin (2 μg/g, intraperotineally (i.p.. Cardiomyocyte contractile and intracellular Ca2+ properties were assessed 18 h later using an IonOptix edge-detection system. Proteasome function was assessed using chymotrypsin-like and caspase-like activities. GFP-LC3 puncta and Western blot analysis were used to evaluate autophagy and protein ubiquitination. Results Lethal toxin exposure suppressed cardiomyocyte contractile function (suppressed peak shortening, maximal velocity of shortening/re-lengthening, prolonged duration of shortening/re-lengthening, and impaired intracellular Ca2+ handling, the effects of which were alleviated by catalase. In addition, lethal toxin triggered autophagy, mitochondrial and ubiquitin-proteasome defects, the effects of which were mitigated by catalase. Pretreatment of cardiomyocytes from catalase mice with the autophagy inducer rapamycin significantly attenuated or ablated catalase-offered protection against lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte dysfunction. On the other hand, the autophagy inhibitor 3-MA ablated or significantly attenuated lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile anomalies. Conclusions Our results suggest that catalase is protective against anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile and intracellular Ca2+ anomalies, possibly through regulation of autophagy and mitochondrial function.

  10. ASSESSING CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING IN MATHEMATICS: Using Derivative Function to Solve Connected Problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nevin ORHUN

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Open and distance education plays an important role in the actualization of cultural goals as well as in societal developments. This is an independent teaching and learning method for mathematics which forms the dynamic of scientific thinking. Distance education is an important alternative to traditional teaching applications. These contributions brought by technology enable students to participate actively in having access to information and questioning it. Such an application increases students’ motivation and teaches how mathematics can be used in daily life. Derivative is a mathematical concept which can be used in many areas of daily life. The aim of this study is to enable the concept of derivatives to be understood well by using the derivative function in the solution of various problems. It also aims at interpreting difficulties theoretically in the solution of problems and determining mistakes in terms of teaching methods. In this study, how various aspects of derivatives are understood is emphasized. These aspects concern the explanation of concepts and process, and also their application to certain concepts in physics. Students’ depth of understanding of derivatives was analyzed based on two aspects of understanding; theoretical analysis and contextual application. Follow-up interviews were conducted with five students. The results show that the students preferred to apply an algebraic symbolic aspect instead of using logical meanings of function and its derivative. In addition, in relation to how the graph of the derivative function affects the aspect of function, it was determined that the students displayed low performance.

  11. Blood pressure and the contractility of a human leg muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luu, Billy L; Fitzpatrick, Richard C

    2013-11-01

    These studies investigate the relationships between perfusion pressure, force output and pressor responses for the contracting human tibialis anterior muscle. Eight healthy adults were studied. Changing the height of tibialis anterior relative to the heart was used to control local perfusion pressure. Electrically stimulated tetanic force output was highly sensitive to physiological variations in perfusion pressure showing a proportionate change in force output of 6.5% per 10 mmHg. This perfusion-dependent change in contractility begins within seconds and is reversible with a 53 s time constant, demonstrating a steady-state equilibrium between contractility and perfusion pressure. These stimulated contractions did not produce significant cardiovascular responses, indicating that the muscle pressor response does not play a major role in cardiovascular regulation at these workloads. Voluntary contractions at forces that would require constant motor drive if perfusion pressure had remained constant generated a central pressor response when perfusion pressure was lowered. This is consistent with a larger cortical drive being required to compensate for the lost contractility with lower perfusion pressure. The relationship between contractility and perfusion for this large postural muscle was not different from that of a small hand muscle (adductor pollicis) and it responded similarly to passive peripheral and active central changes in arterial pressure, but extended over a wider operating range of pressures. If we consider that, in a goal-oriented motor task, muscle contractility determines central motor output and the central pressor response, these results indicate that muscle would fatigue twice as fast without a pressor response. From its extent, timing and reversibility we propose a testable hypothesis that this change in contractility arises through contraction- and perfusion-dependent changes in interstitial K(+) concentration.

  12. Understanding volatility correlation behavior with a magnitude cross-correlation function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jun, Woo Cheol; Oh, Gabjin; Kim, Seunghwan

    2006-06-01

    We propose an approach for analyzing the basic relation between correlation properties of the original signal and its magnitude fluctuations by decomposing the original signal into its positive and negative fluctuation components. We use this relation to understand the following phenomenon found in many naturally occurring time series: the magnitude of the signal exhibits long-range correlation, whereas the original signal is short-range correlated. The applications of our approach to heart rate variability signals and high-frequency foreign exchange rates reveal that the difference between the correlation properties of the original signal and its magnitude fluctuations is induced by the time organization structure of the correlation function between the magnitude fluctuations of positive and negative components. We show that this correlation function can be described well by a stretched-exponential function and is related to the nonlinearity and the multifractal structure of the signals.

  13. Understanding volatility correlation behavior with a magnitude cross-correlation function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jun, Woo Cheol; Oh, Gabjin; Kim, Seunghwan

    2006-06-01

    We propose an approach for analyzing the basic relation between correlation properties of the original signal and its magnitude fluctuations by decomposing the original signal into its positive and negative fluctuation components. We use this relation to understand the following phenomenon found in many naturally occurring time series: the magnitude of the signal exhibits long-range correlation, whereas the original signal is short-range correlated. The applications of our approach to heart rate variability signals and high-frequency foreign exchange rates reveal that the difference between the correlation properties of the original signal and its magnitude fluctuations is induced by the time organization structure of the correlation function between the magnitude fluctuations of positive and negative components. We show that this correlation function can be described well by a stretched-exponential function and is related to the nonlinearity and the multifractal structure of the signals.

  14. Comparison of contractile and extensile pneumatic artificial muscles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillsbury, Thomas E.; Wereley, Norman M.; Guan, Qinghua

    2017-09-01

    Pneumatic artificial muscles (PAMs) are used in robotic and prosthetic applications due to their high power to weight ratio, controllable compliance, and simple design. Contractile PAMs are typically used in traditional hard robotics in place of heavy electric motors. As the field of soft robotics grows, extensile PAMs are beginning to have increased usage. This work experimentally tests, models, and compares contractile and extensile PAMs to demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of each type of PAM and applications for which they are best suited.

  15. Effect of cadmium on myocardial contractility and calcium fluxes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pilati, C.F.

    1979-01-01

    The effect of cadmium on myocardial mechanical performance and calcium fluxes was studied in kitten isometric papillary muscles and in isovolumic Langendorff-perfused rabbit hearts. Therefore, it is concluded that cadmium-induced decreases in contractility are not primarily the result of cadmium interference with ATP metabolic processes. Furthermore, these results imply that cadmium causes no structural alterations of the contractile proteins. These data suggest that cadmium may be competing with the calcium needed for excitation-contraction coupling. During experiments using radioisotopic calcium, a statistically significant cellular influx of calcium was observed following the onset of 100 μM Cd ++ perfusion of isolated, Langendorff-prepared rabbit hearts

  16. Understanding integrated care: a comprehensive conceptual framework based on the integrative functions of primary care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentijn, Pim P; Schepman, Sanneke M; Opheij, Wilfrid; Bruijnzeels, Marc A

    2013-01-01

    Primary care has a central role in integrating care within a health system. However, conceptual ambiguity regarding integrated care hampers a systematic understanding. This paper proposes a conceptual framework that combines the concepts of primary care and integrated care, in order to understand the complexity of integrated care. The search method involved a combination of electronic database searches, hand searches of reference lists (snowball method) and contacting researchers in the field. The process of synthesizing the literature was iterative, to relate the concepts of primary care and integrated care. First, we identified the general principles of primary care and integrated care. Second, we connected the dimensions of integrated care and the principles of primary care. Finally, to improve content validity we held several meetings with researchers in the field to develop and refine our conceptual framework. The conceptual framework combines the functions of primary care with the dimensions of integrated care. Person-focused and population-based care serve as guiding principles for achieving integration across the care continuum. Integration plays complementary roles on the micro (clinical integration), meso (professional and organisational integration) and macro (system integration) level. Functional and normative integration ensure connectivity between the levels. The presented conceptual framework is a first step to achieve a better understanding of the inter-relationships among the dimensions of integrated care from a primary care perspective.

  17. Effects of testosterone on contractile properties of sexually dimorphic forelimb muscles in male bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana, Shaw 1802

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron R. Kampe

    2013-07-01

    This study examined the effects of testosterone (T on the contractile properties of two sexually dimorphic forelimb muscles and one non-dimorphic muscle in male bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana, Shaw 1802. The dimorphic muscles in castrated males with testosterone replacement (T+ achieved higher forces and lower fatigability than did castrated males without replaced testosterone (T0 males, but the magnitude of the differences was low and many of the pair-wise comparisons of each muscle property were not statistically significant. However, when taken as a whole, the means of seven contractile properties varied in the directions expected of masculine values in T+ animals in the sexually dimorphic muscles. Moreover, these data, compared with previous data on male and female bullfrogs, show that values for T+ males are similar to normal males and are significantly different from females. The T0 males tended to be intermediate in character between T+ males and females, generally retaining masculine values. This suggests that the exposure of young males to T in their first breeding season produces a masculinizing effect on the sexually dimorphic muscles that is not reversed between breeding seasons when T levels are low. The relatively minor differences in contractile properties between T+ and T0 males may indicate that as circulating T levels rise during breeding season in normal males, contractile properties can be enhanced rapidly to maximal functional levels for breeding success.

  18. Protective effects of anisodamine on cigarette smoke extract-induced airway smooth muscle cell proliferation and tracheal contractility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu, Guang-Ni; Yang, Kai; Xu, Zu-Peng; Zhu, Liang; Hou, Li-Na; Qi, Hong; Chen, Hong-Zhuan; Cui, Yong-Yao

    2012-01-01

    Anisodamine, an antagonist of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs), has been used therapeutically to improve smooth muscle function, including microvascular, intestinal and airway spasms. Our previous studies have revealed that airway hyper-reactivity could be prevented by anisodamine. However, whether anisodamine prevents smoking-induced airway smooth muscle (ASM) cell proliferation remained unclear. In this study, a primary culture of rat ASM cells was used to evaluate an ASM phenotype through the ability of the cells to proliferate and express contractile proteins in response to cigarette smoke extract (CSE) and intervention of anisodamine. Our results showed that CSE resulted in an increase in cyclin D1 expression concomitant with the G0/G1-to-S phase transition, and high expression of M2 and M3. Functional studies showed that tracheal hyper-contractility accompanied contractile marker α-SMA high-expression. These changes, which occur only after CSE stimulation, were prevented and reversed by anisodamine, and CSE-induced cyclin D1 expression was significantly inhibited by anisodamine and the specific inhibitor U0126, BAY11-7082 and LY294002. Thus, we concluded that the protective and reversal effects and mechanism of anisodamine on CSE-induced events might involve, at least partially, the ERK, Akt and NF-κB signaling pathways associated with cyclin D1 via mAChRs. Our study validated that anisodamine intervention on ASM cells may contribute to anti-remodeling properties other than bronchodilation. -- Highlights: ► CSE induces tracheal cell proliferation, hyper-contractility and α-SMA expression. ► Anisodamine reverses CSE-induced tracheal hyper-contractility and cell proliferation. ► ERK, PI3K, and NF-κB pathways and cyclin D1 contribute to the reversal effect.

  19. Combining computer modelling and cardiac imaging to understand right ventricular pump function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walmsley, John; van Everdingen, Wouter; Cramer, Maarten J; Prinzen, Frits W; Delhaas, Tammo; Lumens, Joost

    2017-10-01

    Right ventricular (RV) dysfunction is a strong predictor of outcome in heart failure and is a key determinant of exercise capacity. Despite these crucial findings, the RV remains understudied in the clinical, experimental, and computer modelling literature. This review outlines how recent advances in using computer modelling and cardiac imaging synergistically help to understand RV function in health and disease. We begin by highlighting the complexity of interactions that make modelling the RV both challenging and necessary, and then summarize the multiscale modelling approaches used to date to simulate RV pump function in the context of these interactions. We go on to demonstrate how these modelling approaches in combination with cardiac imaging have improved understanding of RV pump function in pulmonary arterial hypertension, arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, dyssynchronous heart failure and cardiac resynchronization therapy, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and repaired tetralogy of Fallot. We conclude with a perspective on key issues to be addressed by computational models of the RV in the near future. Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author 2017. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. A Proteogenomic Approach to Understanding MYC Function in Metastatic Medulloblastoma Tumors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerome A. Staal

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children, and medulloblastoma is the most prevalent malignant childhood/pediatric brain tumor. Providing effective treatment for these cancers, with minimal damage to the still-developing brain, remains one of the greatest challenges faced by clinicians. Understanding the diverse events driving tumor formation, maintenance, progression, and recurrence is necessary for identifying novel targeted therapeutics and improving survival of patients with this disease. Genomic copy number alteration data, together with clinical studies, identifies c-MYC amplification as an important risk factor associated with the most aggressive forms of medulloblastoma with marked metastatic potential. Yet despite this, very little is known regarding the impact of such genomic abnormalities upon the functional biology of the tumor cell. We discuss here how recent advances in quantitative proteomic techniques are now providing new insights into the functional biology of these aggressive tumors, as illustrated by the use of proteomics to bridge the gap between the genotype and phenotype in the case of c-MYC-amplified/associated medulloblastoma. These integrated proteogenomic approaches now provide a new platform for understanding cancer biology by providing a functional context to frame genomic abnormalities.

  1. Understanding the Functionality of Human Activity Hotspots from Their Scaling Pattern Using Trajectory Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Jia

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Human activity hotspots are the clusters of activity locations in space and time, and a better understanding of their functionality would be useful for urban land use planning and transportation. In this article, using trajectory data, we aim to infer the functionality of human activity hotspots from their scaling pattern in a reliable way. Specifically, a large number of stopping locations are extracted from trajectory data, which are then aggregated into activity hotspots. Activity hotspots are found to display scaling patterns in terms of the sublinear scaling relationships between the number of stopping locations and the number of points of interest (POIs, which indicates economies of scale of human interactions with urban land use. Importantly, this scaling pattern remains stable over time. This finding inspires us to devise an allometric ruler to identify the activity hotspots, whose functionality could be reliably estimated using the stopping locations. Thereafter, a novel Bayesian inference model is proposed to infer their urban functionality, which examines the spatial and temporal information of stopping locations covering 75 days. Experimental results suggest that the functionality of identified activity hotspots are reliably inferred by stopping locations, such as the railway station.

  2. Comparative Approaches to Understanding the Relation Between Aging and Physical Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justice, Jamie N; Cesari, Matteo; Seals, Douglas R; Shively, Carol A; Carter, Christy S

    2016-10-01

    Despite dedicated efforts to identify interventions to delay aging, most promising interventions yielding dramatic life-span extension in animal models of aging are often ineffective when translated to clinical trials. This may be due to differences in primary outcomes between species and difficulties in determining the optimal clinical trial paradigms for translation. Measures of physical function, including brief standardized testing batteries, are currently being proposed as biomarkers of aging in humans, are predictive of adverse health events, disability, and mortality, and are commonly used as functional outcomes for clinical trials. Motor outcomes are now being incorporated into preclinical testing, a positive step toward enhancing our ability to translate aging interventions to clinical trials. To further these efforts, we begin a discussion of physical function and disability assessment across species, with special emphasis on mice, rats, monkeys, and man. By understanding how physical function is assessed in humans, we can tailor measurements in animals to better model those outcomes to establish effective, standardized translational functional assessments with aging. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Towards a Stochastic Predictive Understanding of Ecosystem Functioning and Resilience to Environmental Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappas, C.

    2017-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystem processes respond differently to hydrometeorological variability across timescales, and so does our scientific understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Process-based modeling of ecosystem functioning is therefore challenging, especially when long-term predictions are envisioned. Here we analyze the statistical properties of hydrometeorological and ecosystem variability, i.e., the variability of ecosystem process related to vegetation carbon dynamics, from hourly to decadal timescales. 23 extra-tropical forest sites, covering different climatic zones and vegetation characteristics, are examined. Micrometeorological and reanalysis data of precipitation, air temperature, shortwave radiation and vapor pressure deficit are used to describe hydrometeorological variability. Ecosystem variability is quantified using long-term eddy covariance flux data of hourly net ecosystem exchange of CO2 between land surface and atmosphere, monthly remote sensing vegetation indices, annual tree-ring widths and above-ground biomass increment estimates. We find that across sites and timescales ecosystem variability is confined within a hydrometeorological envelope that describes the range of variability of the available resources, i.e., water and energy. Furthermore, ecosystem variability demonstrates long-term persistence, highlighting ecological memory and slow ecosystem recovery rates after disturbances. We derive an analytical model, combining deterministic harmonics and stochastic processes, that represents major mechanisms and uncertainties and mimics the observed pattern of hydrometeorological and ecosystem variability. This stochastic framework offers a parsimonious and mathematically tractable approach for modelling ecosystem functioning and for understanding its response and resilience to environmental changes. Furthermore, this framework reflects well the observed ecological memory, an inherent property of ecosystem functioning that is currently not

  4. Actin—Towards a Deeper Understanding of the Relationship Between Tissue Context, Cellular Function and Tumorigenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spencer, Virginia A.

    2011-01-01

    It is well-established that the actin cytoskeleton plays an important role in tumor development yet the contribution made by nuclear actin is ill-defined. In a recent study, nuclear actin was identified as a key mediator through which laminin type III (LN1) acts to control epithelial cell growth. In the breast, epithelial tumors are surrounded by an environment which lacks LN1. These findings point to actin as a potential mediator of tumor development. Here our current understanding of the roles of cytoplasmic and nuclear actin in normal and tumor cell growth is reviewed, relating these functions to cell phenotype in a tissue context

  5. Understanding Service Composition with Non-functional Properties Using Declarative Model-to-model Transformations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Max Mäuhlhäuser

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Developing applications comprising service composition is a complex task. Therefore, to lower the skill barrier for developers, it is important to describe the problem at hand on an abstract level and not to focus on implementation details. This can be done using declarative programming which allows to describe only the result of the problem (which is what the developer wants rather than the description of the implementation. We therefore use purely declarative model-to-model transformations written in a universal model transformation language which is capable of handling even non functional properties using optimization and mathematical programming. This makes it easier to understand and describe service composition and non-functional properties for the developer.

  6. The prefrontal landscape: implications of functional architecture for understanding human mentation and the central executive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldman-Rakic, P S

    1996-10-29

    The functional architecture of prefrontal cortex is central to our understanding of human mentation and cognitive prowess. This region of the brain is often treated as an undifferentiated structure, on the one hand, or as a mosaic of psychological faculties, on the other. This paper focuses on the working memory processor as a specialization of prefrontal cortex and argues that the different areas within prefrontal cortex represent iterations of this function for different information domains, including spatial cognition, object cognition and additionally, in humans, semantic processing. According to this parallel processing architecture, the 'central executive' could be considered an emergent property of multiple domain-specific processors operating interactively. These processors are specializations of different prefrontal cortical areas, each interconnected both with the domain-relevant long-term storage sites in posterior regions of the cortex and with appropriate output pathways.

  7. Inhalation of Budesonide/Formoterol Increases Diaphragm Muscle Contractility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiyohiko Shindoh

    2012-01-01

    Conclusions: BUD/FORM inhalation has an inotropic effect on diaphragm muscle, protects diaphragm muscle deterioration after endotoxin injection, and inhibits NO production. Increments in muscle contractility with BUD/FORM inhalation are induced through a synergistic effect of an anti-inflammatory agent and 02-agonist.

  8. Clinical Relationship between Steatocholecystitis and Gallbladder Contractility Measured by Cholescintigraphy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chang Seok Bang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Contractility of gallbladder is known to be decreased in fatty gallbladder diseases. However, clinical estimation data about this relationship is still lacking. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between steatocholecystitis and contractility of gallbladder. Methods. Patients with cholecystitis (steatocholecystitis versus nonsteatocholecystitis who underwent cholescintigraphy before cholecystectomy were retrospectively evaluated in a single teaching hospital of Korea. The association of steatocholecystitis with contractility of gallbladder, measured by preoperative cholescintigraphy, was assessed by univariable and multivariable analysis. Results. A total of 432 patients were finally enrolled (steatocholecystitis versus nonsteatocholecystitis; 75 versus 357, calculous versus acalculous cholecystitis; 316 versus 116. In the multivariable analysis, age (OR: 0.94, 95% CI: 0.90–0.99, P=0.01 and total serum cholesterol (OR: 1.02, 95% CI: 1.01–1.04, P=0.04 were related to steatocholecystitis in patients with acalculous cholecystitis. Only age (OR: 0.97, 95% CI: 0.94–0.99, P=0.004 was significantly related to steatocholecystitis in patients with calculous cholecystitis. However, ejection fraction of gallbladder reflecting contractility measured by cholescintigraphy was not related to steatocholecystitis irrespective of presence of gallbladder stone in patients with cholecystitis. Conclusion. Ejection fraction of gallbladder measured by cholescintigraphy cannot be used for the detection or confirmation of steatocholecystitis.

  9. Stalk-length-dependence of the contractility of Vorticella convallaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gul Chung, Eun; Ryu, Sangjin

    2017-12-01

    Vorticella convallaria is a sessile protozoan of which the spasmoneme contracts on a millisecond timescale. Because this contraction is induced and powered by the binding of calcium ions (Ca2+), the spasmoneme showcases Ca2+-powered cellular motility. Because the isometric tension of V. convallaria increases linearly with its stalk length, it is hypothesized that the contractility of V. convallaria during unhindered contraction depends on the stalk length. In this study, the contractile force and energetics of V. convallaria cells of different stalk lengths were evaluated using a fluid dynamic drag model which accounts for the unsteadiness and finite Reynolds number of the water flow caused by contracting V. convallaria and the wall effect of the no-slip substrate. It was found that the contraction displacement, peak contraction speed, peak contractile force, total mechanical work, and peak power depended on the stalk length. The observed stalk-length-dependencies were simulated using a damped spring model, and the model estimated that the average spring constant of the contracting stalk was 1.34 nN µm-1. These observed length-dependencies of Vorticella’s key contractility parameters reflect the biophysical mechanism of the spasmonemal contraction, and thus they should be considered in developing a theoretical model of the Vorticella spasmoneme.

  10. Bladder contractility is modulated by Kv7 channels in pig detrusor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svalø, Julie; Bille, Michala; Parameswaran Theepakaran, Neeraja

    2013-01-01

    Kv7 channels are involved in smooth muscle relaxation, and accordingly we believe that they constitute potential targets for the treatment of overactive bladder syndrome. We have therefore used myography to examine the function of Kv7 channels in detrusor, i.e. pig bladder, with a view...... relaxation, suggesting that Kv7.2 and/or Kv7.4 channels constitute the subtypes that are relevant to bladder contractility. The effects of retigabine and ML213 were attenuated by pre-incubation with 10µM XE991 (Kv7.1-7.5 channel blocker) (P...

  11. Making Sense of Abstract Algebra: Exploring Secondary Teachers' Understandings of Inverse Functions in Relation to Its Group Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasserman, Nicholas H.

    2017-01-01

    This article draws on semi-structured, task-based interviews to explore secondary teachers' (N = 7) understandings of inverse functions in relation to abstract algebra. In particular, a concept map task is used to understand the degree to which participants, having recently taken an abstract algebra course, situated inverse functions within its…

  12. An attempt to understand kidney's protein handling function by comparing plasma and urine proteomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lulu Jia

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: With the help of proteomics technology, the human plasma and urine proteomes, which closely represent the protein compositions of the input and output of the kidney, respectively, have been profiled in much greater detail by different research teams. Many datasets have been accumulated to form "reference profiles" of the plasma and urine proteomes. Comparing these two proteomes may help us understand the protein handling aspect of kidney function in a way, however, which has been unavailable until the recent advances in proteomics technology. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: After removing secreted proteins downstream of the kidney, 2611 proteins in plasma and 1522 in urine were identified with high confidence and compared based on available proteomic data to generate three subproteomes, the plasma-only subproteome, the plasma-and-urine subproteome, and the urine-only subproteome, and they correspond to three groups of proteins that are handled in three different ways by the kidney. The available experimental molecular weights of the proteins in the three subproteomes were collected and analyzed. Since the functions of the overrepresented proteins in the plasma-and-urine subproteome are probably the major functions that can be routinely regulated by excretion from the kidney in physiological conditions, Gene Ontology term enrichment in the plasma-and-urine subproteome versus the whole plasma proteome was analyzed. Protease activity, calcium and growth factor binding proteins, and coagulation and immune response-related proteins were found to be enriched. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The comparison method described in this paper provides an illustration of a new approach for studying organ functions with a proteomics methodology. Because of its distinctive input (plasma and output (urine, it is reasonable to predict that the kidney will be the first organ whose functions are further elucidated by proteomic methods in the near future. It

  13. Isolation and maintenance-free culture of contractile myotubes from Manduca sexta embryos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda L Baryshyan

    Full Text Available Skeletal muscle tissue engineering has the potential to treat tissue loss and degenerative diseases. However, these systems are also applicable for a variety of devices where actuation is needed, such as microelectromechanical systems (MEMS and robotics. Most current efforts to generate muscle bioactuators are focused on using mammalian cells, which require exacting conditions for survival and function. In contrast, invertebrate cells are more environmentally robust, metabolically adaptable and relatively autonomous. Our hypothesis is that the use of invertebrate muscle cells will obviate many of the limitations encountered when mammalian cells are used for bioactuation. We focus on the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta, due to its easy availability, large size and well-characterized muscle contractile properties. Using isolated embryonic cells, we have developed culture conditions to grow and characterize contractile M. sexta muscles. The insect hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone was used to induce differentiation in the system, resulting in cells that stained positive for myosin, contract spontaneously for the duration of the culture, and do not require media changes over periods of more than a month. These cells proliferate under normal conditions, but the application of juvenile hormone induced further proliferation and inhibited differentiation. Cellular metabolism under normal and low glucose conditions was compared for C2C12 mouse and M. sexta myoblast cells. While differentiated C2C12 cells consumed glucose and produced lactate over one week as expected, M. sexta muscle did not consume significant glucose, and lactate production exceeded mammalian muscle production on a per cell basis. Contractile properties were evaluated using index of movement analysis, which demonstrated the potential of these cells to perform mechanical work. The ability of cultured M. sexta muscle to continuously function at ambient conditions without medium replenishment

  14. Understanding deep roots and their functions in ecosystems: an advocacy for more unconventional research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierret, Alain; Maeght, Jean-Luc; Clément, Corentin; Montoroi, Jean-Pierre; Hartmann, Christian; Gonkhamdee, Santimaitree

    2016-01-01

    Background Deep roots are a common trait among a wide range of plant species and biomes, and are pivotal to the very existence of ecosystem services such as pedogenesis, groundwater and streamflow regulation, soil carbon sequestration and moisture content in the lower troposphere. Notwithstanding the growing realization of the functional significance of deep roots across disciplines such as soil science, agronomy, hydrology, ecophysiology or climatology, research efforts allocated to the study of deep roots remain incommensurate with those devoted to shallow roots. This is due in part to the fact that, despite technological advances, observing and measuring deep roots remains challenging. Scope Here, other reasons that explain why there are still so many fundamental unresolved questions related to deep roots are discussed. These include the fact that a number of hypotheses and models that are widely considered as verified and sufficiently robust are only partly supported by data. Evidence has accumulated that deep rooting could be a more widespread and important trait among plants than usually considered based on the share of biomass that it represents. Examples that indicate that plant roots have different structures and play different roles with respect to major biochemical cycles depending on their position within the soil profile are also examined and discussed. Conclusions Current knowledge gaps are identified and new lines of research for improving our understanding of the processes that drive deep root growth and functioning are proposed. This ultimately leads to a reflection on an alternative paradigm that could be used in the future as a unifying framework to describe and analyse deep rooting. Despite the many hurdles that pave the way to a practical understanding of deep rooting functions, it is anticipated that, in the relatively near future, increased knowledge about the deep rooting traits of a variety of plants and crops will have direct and tangible

  15. Changes in muscle fiber contractility and extracellular matrix production during skeletal muscle hypertrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendias, Christopher L; Schwartz, Andrew J; Grekin, Jeremy A; Gumucio, Jonathan P; Sugg, Kristoffer B

    2017-03-01

    Skeletal muscle can adapt to increased mechanical loads by undergoing hypertrophy. Transient reductions in whole muscle force production have been reported during the onset of hypertrophy, but contractile changes in individual muscle fibers have not been previously studied. Additionally, the extracellular matrix (ECM) stores and transmits forces from muscle fibers to tendons and bones, and determining how the ECM changes during hypertrophy is important in understanding the adaptation of muscle tissue to mechanical loading. Using the synergist ablation model, we sought to measure changes in muscle fiber contractility, collagen content, and cross-linking, and in the expression of several genes and activation of signaling proteins that regulate critical components of myogenesis and ECM synthesis and remodeling during muscle hypertrophy. Tissues were harvested 3, 7, and 28 days after induction of hypertrophy, and nonoverloaded rats served as controls. Muscle fiber specific force (sF o ), which is the maximum isometric force normalized to cross-sectional area, was reduced 3 and 7 days after the onset of mechanical overload, but returned to control levels by 28 days. Collagen abundance displayed a similar pattern of change. Nearly a quarter of the transcriptome changed over the course of overload, as well as the activation of signaling pathways related to hypertrophy and atrophy. Overall, this study provides insight into fundamental mechanisms of muscle and ECM growth, and indicates that although muscle fibers appear to have completed remodeling and regeneration 1 mo after synergist ablation, the ECM continues to be actively remodeling at this time point. NEW & NOTEWORTHY This study utilized a rat synergist ablation model to integrate changes in single muscle fiber contractility, extracellular matrix composition, activation of important signaling pathways in muscle adaption, and corresponding changes in the muscle transcriptome to provide novel insight into the basic

  16. Long-term vascular contractility assay using genipin-modified muscular thin films

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hald, Eric S; Steucke, Kerianne E; Reeves, Jack A; Win, Zaw; Alford, Patrick W

    2014-01-01

    Vascular disease is a leading cause of death globally and typically manifests chronically due to long-term maladaptive arterial growth and remodeling. To date, there is no in vitro technique for studying vascular function over relevant disease time courses that both mimics in vivo-like tissue structure and provides a simple readout of tissue stress. We aimed to extend tissue viability in our muscular thin film contractility assay by modifying the polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrate with micropatterned genipin, allowing extracellular matrix turnover without cell loss. To achieve this, we developed a microfluidic delivery system to pattern genipin and extracellular matrix proteins on PDMS prior to cell seeding. Tissues constructed using this method showed improved viability and maintenance of in vivo-like lamellar structure. Functional contractility of tissues fabricated on genipin-modified substrates remained consistent throughout two weeks in culture. These results suggest that muscular thin films with genipin-modified PDMS substrates are a viable method for conducting functional studies of arterial growth and remodeling in vascular diseases. (paper)

  17. Functional understanding of the diverse exon-intron structures of human GPCR genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammond, Dorothy A; Olman, Victor; Xu, Ying

    2014-02-01

    The GPCR genes have a variety of exon-intron structures even though their proteins are all structurally homologous. We have examined all human GPCR genes with at least two functional protein isoforms, totaling 199, aiming to gain an understanding of what may have contributed to the large diversity of the exon-intron structures of the GPCR genes. The 199 genes have a total of 808 known protein splicing isoforms with experimentally verified functions. Our analysis reveals that 1301 (80.6%) adjacent exon-exon pairs out of the total of 1,613 in the 199 genes have either exactly one exon skipped or the intron in-between retained in at least one of the 808 protein splicing isoforms. This observation has a statistical significance p-value of 2.051762 * e(-09), assuming that the observed splicing isoforms are independent of the exon-intron structures. Our interpretation of this observation is that the exon boundaries of the GPCR genes are not randomly determined; instead they may be selected to facilitate specific alternative splicing for functional purposes.

  18. Revisiting the Holy Grail: using plant functional traits to understand ecological processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, Jennifer L; Larson, Julie E; Ames, Gregory M; Butterfield, Bradley J; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Firn, Jennifer; Laughlin, Daniel C; Sutton-Grier, Ariana E; Williams, Laura; Wright, Justin

    2017-05-01

    One of ecology's grand challenges is developing general rules to explain and predict highly complex systems. Understanding and predicting ecological processes from species' traits has been considered a 'Holy Grail' in ecology. Plant functional traits are increasingly being used to develop mechanistic models that can predict how ecological communities will respond to abiotic and biotic perturbations and how species will affect ecosystem function and services in a rapidly changing world; however, significant challenges remain. In this review, we highlight recent work and outstanding questions in three areas: (i) selecting relevant traits; (ii) describing intraspecific trait variation and incorporating this variation into models; and (iii) scaling trait data to community- and ecosystem-level processes. Over the past decade, there have been significant advances in the characterization of plant strategies based on traits and trait relationships, and the integration of traits into multivariate indices and models of community and ecosystem function. However, the utility of trait-based approaches in ecology will benefit from efforts that demonstrate how these traits and indices influence organismal, community, and ecosystem processes across vegetation types, which may be achieved through meta-analysis and enhancement of trait databases. Additionally, intraspecific trait variation and species interactions need to be incorporated into predictive models using tools such as Bayesian hierarchical modelling. Finally, existing models linking traits to community and ecosystem processes need to be empirically tested for their applicability to be realized. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  19. Integrated Analysis of Contractile Kinetics, Force Generation, and Electrical Activity in Single Human Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan David Kijlstra

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The quantitative analysis of cardiomyocyte function is essential for stem cell-based approaches for the in vitro study of human cardiac physiology and pathophysiology. We present a method to comprehensively assess the function of single human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte (hPSC-CMs through simultaneous quantitative analysis of contraction kinetics, force generation, and electrical activity. We demonstrate that statistical analysis of movies of contracting hPSC-CMs can be used to quantify changes in cellular morphology over time and compute contractile kinetics. Using a biomechanical model that incorporates substrate stiffness, we calculate cardiomyocyte force generation at single-cell resolution and validate this approach with conventional traction force microscopy. The addition of fluorescent calcium indicators or membrane potential dyes allows the simultaneous analysis of contractility and calcium handling or action potential morphology. Accordingly, our approach has the potential for broad application in the study of cardiac disease, drug discovery, and cardiotoxicity screening.

  20. Using Brain Oscillations and Corticospinal Excitability to Understand and Predict Post-Stroke Motor Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aurore Thibaut

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available What determines motor recovery in stroke is still unknown and finding markers that could predict and improve stroke recovery is a challenge. In this study, we aimed at understanding the neural mechanisms of motor function recovery after stroke using neurophysiological markers by means of cortical excitability (transcranial magnetic stimulation—TMS and brain oscillations (electroencephalography—EEG. In this cross-sectional study, 55 subjects with chronic stroke (62 ± 14 yo, 17 women, 32 ± 42 months post-stroke were recruited in two sites. We analyzed TMS measures (i.e., motor threshold—MT—of the affected and unaffected sides and EEG variables (i.e., power spectrum in different frequency bands and different brain regions of the affected and unaffected hemispheres and their correlation with motor impairment as measured by Fugl-Meyer. Multiple univariate and multivariate linear regression analyses were performed to identify the predictors of good motor function. A significant interaction effect of MT in the affected hemisphere and power in beta bandwidth over the central region for both affected and unaffected hemispheres was found. We identified that motor function positively correlates with beta rhythm over the central region of the unaffected hemisphere, while it negatively correlates with beta rhythm in the affected hemisphere. Our results suggest that cortical activity in the affected and unaffected hemisphere measured by EEG provides new insights on the association between high-frequency rhythms and motor impairment, highlighting the role of an excess of beta in the affected central cortical region in poor motor function in stroke recovery.

  1. Moderate ethanol administration accentuates cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction and mitochondrial injury in high fat diet-induced obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Fang; Lei, Yonghong; Wang, Qiurong; Esberg, Lucy B; Huang, Zaixing; Scott, Glenda I; Li, Xue; Ren, Jun

    2015-03-18

    Light to moderate drinking confers cardioprotection although it remains unclear with regards to the role of moderate drinking on cardiac function in obesity. This study was designed to examine the impact of moderate ethanol intake on myocardial function in high fat diet intake-induced obesity and the mechanism(s) involved with a focus on mitochondrial integrity. C57BL/6 mice were fed low or high fat diet for 16 weeks prior to ethanol challenge (1g/kg/d for 3 days). Cardiac contractile function, intracellular Ca(2+) homeostasis, myocardial histology, and mitochondrial integrity [aconitase activity and the mitochondrial proteins SOD1, UCP-2 and PPARγ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α)] were assessed 24h after the final ethanol challenge. Fat diet intake compromised cardiomyocyte contractile and intracellular Ca(2+) properties (depressed peak shortening and maximal velocities of shortening/relengthening, prolonged duration of relengthening, dampened intracellular Ca(2+) rise and clearance without affecting duration of shortening). Although moderate ethanol challenge failed to alter cardiomyocyte mechanical property under low fat diet intake, it accentuated high fat diet intake-induced changes in cardiomyocyte contractile function and intracellular Ca(2+) handling. Moderate ethanol challenge failed to affect fat diet intake-induced cardiac hypertrophy as evidenced by H&E staining. High fat diet intake reduced myocardial aconitase activity, downregulated levels of mitochondrial protein UCP-2, PGC-1α, SOD1 and interrupted intracellular Ca(2+) regulatory proteins, the effect of which was augmented by moderate ethanol challenge. Neither high fat diet intake nor moderate ethanol challenge affected protein or mRNA levels as well as phosphorylation of Akt and GSK3β in mouse hearts. Taken together, our data revealed that moderate ethanol challenge accentuated high fat diet-induced cardiac contractile and intracellular Ca(2+) anomalies as well as mitochondrial injury. Copyright

  2. Using Sandia's Z Machine and Density Functional Theory Simulations to Understand Planetary Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Root, Seth

    2017-06-01

    The use of Z, NIF, and Omega have produced many breakthrough results in high pressure physics. One area that has greatly benefited from these facilities is the planetary sciences. The high pressure behavior of planetary materials has implications for numerous geophysical and planetary processes. The continuing discovery of exosolar super-Earths demonstrates the need for accurate equation of state data to better inform our models of their interior structures. Planetary collision processes, such as the moon-forming giant impact, require understanding planetary materials over a wide-range of pressures and temperatures. Using Z, we examined the shock compression response of some common planetary materials: MgO, Mg2SiO4, and Fe2O3 (hematite). We compare the experimental shock compression measurements with density functional theory (DFT) based quantum molecular dynamics (QMD) simulations. The combination of experiment and theory provides clearer understanding of planetary materials properties at extreme conditions. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-mission laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.

  3. Metabolomics: An Essential Tool to Understand the Function of Peroxisome Proliferator–Activated Receptor Alpha

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montanez, Jessica E.; Peters, Jeffrey M.; Correll, Jared B.; Gonzalez, Frank J.; Patterson, Andrew D.

    2013-01-01

    The peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor (PPAR) family of nuclear hormone transcription factors (PPARα, PPARβ/δ, and PPARγ) is regulated by a wide array of ligands including natural and synthetic chemicals. PPARs have important roles in control of energy metabolism and are known to influence inflammation, differentiation, carcinogenesis, and chemical toxicity. As such, PPARs have been targeted as therapy for common disorders such as cancer, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes. The recent application of metabolomics, or the global, unbiased measurement of small molecules found in biofluids, or extracts from cells, tissues, or organisms, has advanced our understanding of the varied and important roles that the PPARs have in normal physiology as well as in pathophysiological processes. Continued development and refinement of analytical platforms, and the application of new bioinformatics strategies, have accelerated the widespread use of metabolomics and have allowed further integration of small molecules into systems biology. Recent studies using metabolomics to understand PPARα function, as well as to identify PPARα biomarkers associated with drug efficacy/toxicity and drug-induced liver injury, will be discussed. PMID:23197196

  4. Potential use of MEG to understand abnormalities in auditory function in clinical populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric eLarson

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Magnetoencephalography (MEG provides a direct, non-invasive view of neural activity with millisecond temporal precision. Recent developments in MEG analysis allow for improved source localization and mapping of connectivity between brain regions, expanding the possibilities for using MEG as a diagnostic tool. In this paper, we first describe inverse imaging methods (e.g., minimum-norm estimation and functional connectivity measures, and how they can provide insights into cortical processing. We then offer a perspective on how these techniques could be used to understand and evaluate auditory pathologies that often manifest during development. Here we focus specifically on how MEG inverse imaging, by providing anatomically-based interpretation of neural activity, may allow us to test which aspects of cortical processing play a role in (central auditory processing disorder ([C]APD. Appropriately combining auditory paradigms with MEG analysis could eventually prove useful for a hypothesis-driven understanding and diagnosis of (CAPD or other disorders, as well as the evaluation of the effectiveness of intervention strategies.

  5. Separate effects of ischemia, hypoxia, and contractility on thallium-201 kinetics in rabbit myocardium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leppo, J.A.; Macneil, P.B.; Moring, A.F.; Apstein, C.S.

    1986-01-01

    The effects of hypoxia and ischemia, as well as altered contractility, on thallium-201 ( 201 TI) kinetics were evaluated in 42 isolated isovolumetrically contracting rabbit hearts. In Group A, three subgroups (n = 7 each) were studied that had either normal flow and oxygenation, hypoxia and normal flow, or ischemic flow and normal perfusate oxygen content. In Group B, three subgroups (n = 7 each) were studied and all hearts had normal flow but the contractile state was either enhanced with isoproterenol or impaired by hypocalcemia. A hemoglobin-free buffer perfusate was used in all experiments and multiple timed collections of arterial and coronary sinus effluent were used to model myocardial isotope activity during 30 min of constant uptake followed by 30 min of tracer clearance. During ischemia, hypoxia and hypocalcemia peak developed pressure and peak positive and negative dP/dt were all significantly reduced when compared to normal hemodynamic parameters (p less than 0.01). As expected, isoproterenol significantly elevated these parameters (p less than 0.04). Myocardial 201 TI kinetics were adequately described utilizing a bi-exponential model having a fast and slow component. Only ischemic hearts had significantly lower rate constants for 201 TI uptake and clearance than normal hearts (p less than 0.001). The mean (+/- s.d.) myocardial uptake and clearance rates for 201 TI (%/min) varied between 4.86 +/- 0.87 and 7.18 +/- 1.45 for the remaining groups of hearts. Therefore, myocardial 201 TI kinetics appear to be dominated by coronary flow and may not reflect marked alterations in the metabolic and contractile state. These data suggest that normal 201 TI uptake in impaired or hypercontractile cells, receiving normal flow, may not represent normal cellular function

  6. Opportunities to Target Specific Contractile Abnormalities with Smooth Muscle Protein Kinase Inhibitors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annegret Ulke-Lemée

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Smooth muscle is a major component of most hollow organ systems (e.g., airways, vasculature, bladder and gut/gastrointestine; therefore, the coordinated regulation of contraction is a key property of smooth muscle. When smooth muscle functions normally, it contributes to general health and wellness, but its dysfunction is associated with morbidity and mortality. Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK is central to calcium-independent, actomyosin-mediated contractile force generation in the vasculature, thereby playing a role in smooth muscle contraction, cell motility and adhesion. Recent evidence supports an important role for ROCK in the increased vasoconstriction and remodeling observed in various models of hypertension. This review will provide a commentary on the development of specific ROCK inhibitors and their clinical application. Fasudil will be discussed as an example of bench-to-bedside development of a clinical therapeutic that is used to treat conditions of vascular hypercontractility. Due to the wide spectrum of biological processes regulated by ROCK, many additional clinical indications might also benefit from ROCK inhibition. Apart from the importance of ROCK in smooth muscle contraction, a variety of other protein kinases are known to play similar roles in regulating contractile force. The zipper-interacting protein kinase (ZIPK and integrin-linked kinase (ILK are two well-described regulators of contraction. The relative contribution of each kinase to contraction depends on the muscle bed as well as hormonal and neuronal stimulation. Unfortunately, specific inhibitors for ZIPK and ILK are still in the development phase, but the success of fasudil suggests that inhibitors for these other kinases may also have valuable clinical applications. Notably, the directed inhibition of ZIPK with a pseudosubstrate molecule shows unexpected effects on the contractility of gastrointestinal smooth muscle.

  7. Understanding the Effects of Long-duration Space Flight on Astronant Functional Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloomberg, Jacob J.; Batson, Crystal D.; Buxton, Roxanne E.; Feiveson, Al H.; Kofman, Igor S.; Lee, Stuart M. C.; Miller, Chris A.; Mulavara, Ajitkumar P.; Peters, Brian T.; Phillips, Tiffany; hide

    2014-01-01

    Space flight is known to cause alterations in multiple physiological systems including changes in sensorimotor, cardiovascular, and neuromuscular systems. These physiological changes cause balance, gait and visual disturbances, cardiovascular deconditioning, and loss of muscle mass and strength. These changes may affect a crewmember's ability to perform critical mission tasks immediately after landing on a planetary surface. To understand how changes in physiological function affect functional performance, an interdisciplinary pre- and postflight testing regimen, Functional Task Test (FTT), was developed to systematically evaluate both astronaut functional performance and related physiological changes. Ultimately this information will be used to assess performance risks and inform the design of countermeasures for exploration class missions. We are currently conducting the FTT study on International Space Station (ISS) crewmembers before and after 6-month expeditions. Additionally, in a corresponding study we are using the FTT protocol on subjects before and after 70 days of 6deg head-down bed-rest as an analog for space flight. Bed-rest provides the opportunity for us to investigate the role of prolonged axial body unloading in isolation from the other physiological effects produced by exposure to the microgravity environment of space flight. Therefore, the bed rest analog allows us to investigate the impact of body unloading on both functional tasks and on the underlying physiological factors that lead to decrement in performance and then compare them with the results obtained in our space flight study. Functional tests included ladder climbing, hatch opening, jump down, manual manipulation of objects and tool use, seat egress and obstacle avoidance, recovery from a fall and object translation tasks. Physiological measures included assessments of postural and gait control, dynamic visual acuity, fine motor control, plasma volume, heart rate, blood pressure

  8. A stepwise procedure to test contractility and susceptibility to injury for the rodent quadriceps muscle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen J.P. Pratt

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available In patients with muscle injury or muscle disease, assessment of muscle damage is typically limited to clinical signs, such as tenderness, strength, range of motion, and more recently, imaging studies.  Biological markers can also be used in measuring muscle injury, such as increased creatine kinase levels in the blood, but these are not always correlated with loss in muscle function (i.e. loss of force production.  This is even true of histological findings from animals, which provide a “direct measure” of damage, but do not account for loss of function.  The most comprehensive measure of the overall health of the muscle is contractile force.  To date, animal models testing contractile force have been limited to the muscle groups moving the ankle.  Here we describe an in vivo animal model for the quadriceps, with abilities to measure torque, produce a reliable muscle injury, and follow muscle recovery within the same animal over time.  We also describe a second model used for direct measurement of force from an isolated quadriceps muscle in situ. 

  9. Dietary nitrate increases tetanic [Ca2+]i and contractile force in mouse fast-twitch muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, Andrés; Schiffer, Tomas A; Ivarsson, Niklas; Cheng, Arthur J; Bruton, Joseph D; Lundberg, Jon O; Weitzberg, Eddie; Westerblad, Håkan

    2012-08-01

    Dietary inorganic nitrate has profound effects on health and physiological responses to exercise. Here, we examined if nitrate, in doses readily achievable via a normal diet, could improve Ca(2+) handling and contractile function using fast- and slow-twitch skeletal muscles from C57bl/6 male mice given 1 mm sodium nitrate in water for 7 days. Age matched controls were provided water without added nitrate. In fast-twitch muscle fibres dissected from nitrate treated mice, myoplasmic free [Ca(2+)] was significantly greater than in Control fibres at stimulation frequencies from 20 to 150 Hz, which resulted in a major increase in contractile force at ≤ 50 Hz. At 100 Hz stimulation, the rate of force development was ∼35% faster in the nitrate group. These changes in nitrate treated mice were accompanied by increased expression of the Ca(2+) handling proteins calsequestrin 1 and the dihydropyridine receptor. No changes in force or calsequestrin 1 and dihydropyridine receptor expression were measured in slow-twitch muscles. In conclusion, these results show a striking effect of nitrate supplementation on intracellular Ca(2+) handling in fast-twitch muscle resulting in increased force production. A new mechanism is revealed by which nitrate can exert effects on muscle function with applications to performance and a potential therapeutic role in conditions with muscle weakness.

  10. Gait and Cognition: A Complementary Approach to Understanding Brain Function and the Risk of Falling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montero-Odasso, Manuel; Verghese, Joe; Beauchet, Olivier; Hausdorff, Jeffrey M.

    2012-01-01

    Until recently, clinicians and researchers have performed gait assessments and cognitive assessments separately when evaluating older adults. Increasing evidence from clinical practice, epidemiological studies, and clinical trials shows that gait and cognition are inter-related in older adults. Quantifiable alterations in gait among older adults are associated with falls, dementia, and disability. At the same time, emerging evidence indicates that early disturbances in cognitive processes such as attention, executive function, and working memory are associated with slower gait and gait instability during single and dual-task testing, and that these cognitive disturbances assist in the prediction of future mobility loss, falls, and progression to dementia. This paper reviews the importance of the gait-cognition inter-relationship in aging and presents evidence that gait assessments can provide a window into the understanding of cognitive function and dysfunctions, and fall risk in older people in clinical practice. To this end, the benefits of dual-task gait assessments (e.g., walking while performing an attention-demanding task) as a marker of fall risk are summarized. Further, we also present a potential complementary approach for reducing the risk of falls by improving certain aspects of cognition through both non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatments. Untangling the relationship between early gait disturbances and early cognitive changes may be helpful for identifying older adults at higher risk of experiencing mobility decline, falls and the progression to dementia. PMID:23110433

  11. Understanding the Role of Negative Emotions in Adult Learning and Achievement: A Social Functional Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Anna D; Fitness, Julie

    2018-02-20

    The role of emotions in adult learning and achievement has received increasing attention in recent years. However, much of the emphasis has been on test anxiety, rather than the wider spectrum of negative emotions such as sadness, grief, boredom and anger. This paper reports findings of a qualitative study exploring the experience and functionality of negative emotions at university. Thirty-six academic staff and students from an Australian university were interviewed about emotional responses to a range of learning events. Data analysis was informed by a prototype approach to emotion research. Four categories of discrete negative emotions (anger, sadness, fear, boredom) were considered by teachers and students to be especially salient in learning, with self-conscious emotions (guilt, embarrassment, shame) mentioned by more students than staff. While negative emotions were frequently viewed as detrimental to motivation, performance and learning, they were also construed under some circumstances as beneficial. The findings are discussed in relation to the value of social functional approaches for a better understanding of the diverse roles of negative emotions in learning and achievement.

  12. Understanding the Role of Negative Emotions in Adult Learning and Achievement: A Social Functional Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna D. Rowe

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The role of emotions in adult learning and achievement has received increasing attention in recent years. However, much of the emphasis has been on test anxiety, rather than the wider spectrum of negative emotions such as sadness, grief, boredom and anger. This paper reports findings of a qualitative study exploring the experience and functionality of negative emotions at university. Thirty-six academic staff and students from an Australian university were interviewed about emotional responses to a range of learning events. Data analysis was informed by a prototype approach to emotion research. Four categories of discrete negative emotions (anger, sadness, fear, boredom were considered by teachers and students to be especially salient in learning, with self-conscious emotions (guilt, embarrassment, shame mentioned by more students than staff. While negative emotions were frequently viewed as detrimental to motivation, performance and learning, they were also construed under some circumstances as beneficial. The findings are discussed in relation to the value of social functional approaches for a better understanding of the diverse roles of negative emotions in learning and achievement.

  13. Understanding the Role of Negative Emotions in Adult Learning and Achievement: A Social Functional Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitness, Julie

    2018-01-01

    The role of emotions in adult learning and achievement has received increasing attention in recent years. However, much of the emphasis has been on test anxiety, rather than the wider spectrum of negative emotions such as sadness, grief, boredom and anger. This paper reports findings of a qualitative study exploring the experience and functionality of negative emotions at university. Thirty-six academic staff and students from an Australian university were interviewed about emotional responses to a range of learning events. Data analysis was informed by a prototype approach to emotion research. Four categories of discrete negative emotions (anger, sadness, fear, boredom) were considered by teachers and students to be especially salient in learning, with self-conscious emotions (guilt, embarrassment, shame) mentioned by more students than staff. While negative emotions were frequently viewed as detrimental to motivation, performance and learning, they were also construed under some circumstances as beneficial. The findings are discussed in relation to the value of social functional approaches for a better understanding of the diverse roles of negative emotions in learning and achievement. PMID:29461487

  14. Nonketotic hyperglycinemia: Functional assessment of missense variants in GLDC to understand phenotypes of the disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bravo-Alonso, Irene; Navarrete, Rosa; Arribas-Carreira, Laura; Perona, Almudena; Abia, David; Couce, María Luz; García-Cazorla, Angels; Morais, Ana; Domingo, Rosario; Ramos, María Antonia; Swanson, Michael A; Van Hove, Johan L K; Ugarte, Magdalena; Pérez, Belén; Pérez-Cerdá, Celia; Rodríguez-Pombo, Pilar

    2017-06-01

    The rapid analysis of genomic data is providing effective mutational confirmation in patients with clinical and biochemical hallmarks of a specific disease. This is the case for nonketotic hyperglycinemia (NKH), a Mendelian disorder causing seizures in neonates and early-infants, primarily due to mutations in the GLDC gene. However, understanding the impact of missense variants identified in this gene is a major challenge for the application of genomics into clinical practice. Herein, a comprehensive functional and structural analysis of 19 GLDC missense variants identified in a cohort of 26 NKH patients was performed. Mutant cDNA constructs were expressed in COS7 cells followed by enzymatic assays and Western blot analysis of the GCS P-protein to assess the residual activity and mutant protein stability. Structural analysis, based on molecular modeling of the 3D structure of GCS P-protein, was also performed. We identify hypomorphic variants that produce attenuated phenotypes with improved prognosis of the disease. Structural analysis allows us to interpret the effects of mutations on protein stability and catalytic activity, providing molecular evidence for clinical outcome and disease severity. Moreover, we identify an important number of mutants whose loss-of-functionality is associated with instability and, thus, are potential targets for rescue using folding therapeutic approaches. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Advances in the understanding of the BBSome complex structure and function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hernandez-Hernandez V

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Victor Hernandez-Hernandez, Dagan JenkinsGenetics and Genomic Medicine Programme, UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UKAbstract: Bardet–Biedl syndrome (BBS is an autosomal recessive condition characterized by important clinical features, including obesity, blindness, renal cystic disease, and intellectual disability. BBS is caused by mutations in >20 genes, a subset of which form the so-called BBSome. The BBSome is a complex that coats intracellular vesicles and interacts with key proteins, such as small GTPases, that regulate the trafficking of these vesicles to the base of cilia. Cilia are microtubular protusions present on the surface of most cells that are defective in a key group of disorders known as ciliopathies, of which BBS is one. BBSome components particularly localize to the basal body of cilia, and also centrosomes, where they interact with pericentriolar material proteins that regulate their function. The BBSome also facilitates the transport of key cargo within cilia by acting as an adaptor protein for intraflagellar transport complexes, and as such BBS mutations lead to a variety of functional defects in cilia in a tissue- and cell-type-specific manner. This might include defects in photoreceptor trafficking linked to the connecting cilium, abnormal hedgehog signaling within bone, and aberrant calcium signaling in response to fluid flow along renal tubules, although the precise mechanisms are still not completely understood. Taken together, the BBSome is an important complex that may be targeted for treatment of a variety of common and important disorders, and understanding the precise function of the BBSome will be essential to capitalize on this translationally.Keywords: retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator, polycystin, disrupted in schizophrenia 1, Hedgehog signaling, calcium signaling, photoreceptors

  16. Understanding the HIV-1 protease reactivity with DFT: what do we gain from recent functionals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrec, J; Sautet, P; Fleurat-Lessard, P

    2011-07-07

    The modeling of HIV-1 plays a crucial role in the understanding of its reactivity and its interactions with specific drugs. In this work, we propose a medium sized model to test the ability of a variety of quantum chemistry approaches to provide reasonable geometric parameters and energetics for this system. Although our model is large enough to include the main polarizing groups of the active site, it is small enough to be used within full quantum studies up to the second order Møller-Plesset (MP2) level with extrapolations to coupled cluster CCSD(T) level. These high level calculations are used as reference to assess the ability of electronic structure methods (semiempirical and DFT) to provide accurate geometries and energies for the HIV-1 protease reaction. All semiempirical methods fail to describe the geometry of the protease active site. Within DFT, pure generalized gradient approximation (GGA) functionals have difficulty in reproducing the reaction energy and underestimate the barrier. Hybrid and/or meta GGA approaches do not yield a consistent improvement. The best results are obtained with hybrid GGA B3LYP or X3LYP and with hybrid meta GGA functionals with a fraction of exact exchange around 30-40%, such as M06, B1B95, or BMK functionals. On the basis of these results, we propose an accurate and computationally efficient strategy, employing quantum chemistry methods. This is applied here to study the protonation state of the reaction intermediate and could be easily used in further QM/MM studies.

  17. Understanding recovery: changes in the relationships of the International Classification of Functioning (ICF) components over time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, A M; Perruccio, A V; Ibrahim, S; Hogg-Johnson, S; Wong, R; Badley, E M

    2012-12-01

    The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health framework describes human functioning through body structure and function, activity and participation in the context of a person's social and physical environment. This work tested the temporal relationships of these components. Our hypotheses were: 1) there would be associations among physical impairment, activity limitations and participation restrictions within time; 2) prior status of a component would be associated with future status; 3) prior status of one component would influence status of a second component (e.g. prior activity limitations would be associated with current participation restrictions); and, 4) the magnitude of the within time relationships of the components would vary over time. Participants from Canada with primary hip or knee joint replacement (n = 931), an intervention with predictable improvement in pain and disability, completed standardized outcome measures pre-surgery and five times in the first year post-surgery. These included physical impairment (pain), activity limitations and participation restrictions. ICF component relationships were evaluated cross-sectionally and longitudinally using path analysis adjusting for age, sex, BMI, hip vs. knee, low back pain and mood. All component scores improved significantly over time. The path coefficients supported the hypotheses in that both within and across time, physical impairment was associated with activity limitation and activity limitation was associated with participation restriction; prior status and change in a component were associated with current status in another component; and, the magnitude of the path coefficients varied over time with stronger associations among components to three months post surgery than later in recovery with the exception of the association between impairment and participation restrictions which was of similar magnitude at all times. This work enhances understanding of the

  18. Effects of Silodosin and Tamsulosin on the Seminal Vesicle Contractile Response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Tokumasa; Takeya, Mitsue; Nakamura, Kei-ichiro; Matsuoka, Kei

    2016-01-01

    To understand the mechanisms underlying ejaculation dysfunction caused by α1A-adrenocetor (AR) antagonists, the effects of α1A-AR antagonists on the contractile responses of the seminal vesicle were investigated. Isolated seminal vesicles from guinea pigs were cannulated and pressurized, and the changes in the intraluminal pressure were recorded. Periodic applications of electrical stimulation (ES) caused biphasic increase in the intraluminal pressure, that is, initial and subsequent contractions. The effects of silodosin and tamsulosin, α1A-AR antagonists, on the contractile responses were examined. The ES-induced biphasic contractions were blocked by tetrodotoxin (TTX). Silodosin and tamsulosin suppressed the initial contractions in a dose-dependent manner, while also exerting various inhibitory effects on the subsequent contractions. Increases in the intraluminal pressure facilitated spontaneous phasic contractions. The spontaneous contractions were not affected by TTX or α1A-AR antagonists, but were abolished by nifedipine. The initial contractions triggered by neuronal excitations were suppressed by silodosin and tamsulosin, suggesting that the ejaculation dysfunction may be attributed to the α1A-AR antagonist-mediated suppression of nerve-evoked contractions in the seminal vesicle. The subsequent contractions may be induced by mechanical stimulation associated with the initial, nerve-evoked contractions. Alternatively, other transmitters may be involved to various degrees in the neuromuscular transmission of the seminal vesicle. © 2014 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  19. Protein kinase Cα deletion causes hypotension and decreased vascular contractility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wynne, Brandi M; McCarthy, Cameron G; Szasz, Theodora; Molina, Patrick A; Chapman, Arlene B; Webb, R Clinton; Klein, Janet D; Hoover, Robert S

    2018-03-01

    Protein kinase Cα (PKCα) is a critical regulator of multiple cell signaling pathways including gene transcription, posttranslation modifications and activation/inhibition of many signaling kinases. In regards to the control of blood pressure, PKCα causes increased vascular smooth muscle contractility, while reducing cardiac contractility. In addition, PKCα has been shown to modulate nephron ion transport. However, the role of PKCα in modulating mean arterial pressure (MAP) has not been investigated. In this study, we used a whole animal PKCα knock out (PKC KO) to test the hypothesis that global PKCα deficiency would reduce MAP, by a reduction in vascular contractility. Radiotelemetry measurements of ambulatory blood pressure (day/night) were obtained for 18 h/day during both normal chow and high-salt (4%) diet feedings. PKCα mice had a reduced MAP, as compared with control, which was not normalized with high-salt diet (14 days). Metabolic cage studies were performed to determine urinary sodium excretion. PKC KO mice had a significantly lower diastolic, systolic and MAP as compared with control. No significant differences in urinary sodium excretion were observed between the PKC KO and control mice, whether fed normal chow or high-salt diet. Western blot analysis showed a compensatory increase in renal sodium chloride cotransporter expression. Both aorta and mesenteric vessels were removed for vascular reactivity studies. Aorta and mesenteric arteries from PKC KO mice had a reduced receptor-independent relaxation response, as compared with vessels from control. Vessels from PKC KO mice exhibited a decrease in maximal contraction, compared with controls. Together, these data suggest that global deletion of PKCα results in reduced MAP due to decreased vascular contractility.

  20. Cognitive Shifting as a Predictor of Progress in Social Understanding in High-Functioning Adolescents with Autism: A Prospective Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Hans J. C.; And Others

    1993-01-01

    This prospective study of 17 high-functioning residentially treated adolescents with autism found that cognitive shifting, as measured by card sorting tests, was the only significant factor in predicting progress in social understanding. (Author/JDD)

  1. Recently active contractile deformation in the forearc of southern Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, S. R.; Farber, D.; Audin, L.; Finkel, R. C.

    2010-12-01

    In the Precordillera and Western Cordillera of southern Peru (14°-18°S), vast pediment surfaces have been abandoned through drainage diversion and river incision, with the major drainages carving deep canyons. Within this region, we have identified range-sub-parallel contractile structures that accommodate significant distributed crustal deformation. Young geomorphic features document both the presence and youthfulness of these contractile structures. Here, we determine exposure ages on geomorphic features such as pediment surfaces and fluvial terraces using in situ produced cosmogenic radionuclides, in conjunction with field and remote mapping. This chronologic data reveals that ancient surfaces have been preserved as a result of very low erosion rates. We measure this rate to be chronology and geomorphic mapping, we calculate a Pleistocene river incision rate of ~0.3mm/yr determined from data collected along exoreic rivers. This rate is consistent with longer-term incision rates measured in other localities along this margin. We suggest that, in this region of southern Peru, the steep western wedge of the Andean margin supports the high topography of the Altiplano through a combination of uplift along steeply dipping contractile west-vergent structures and isostatic responses to the focused removal of large amounts of crustal material through canyon incision. Further, that these range sub-parallel structures are related at depth to a thrust system that plays a role in not only the maintenance of the Andean margin, but potentially in its formation as well.

  2. Effects of hypoxia and hypercapnia on geniohyoid contractility and endurance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmone, R J; Van Lunteren, E

    1991-08-01

    Sleep apnea and other respiratory diseases produce hypoxemia and hypercapnia, factors that adversely affect skeletal muscle performance. To examine the effects of these chemical alterations on force production by an upper airway dilator muscle, the contractile and endurance characteristics of the geniohyoid muscle were examined in situ during severe hypoxia (arterial PO2 less than 40 Torr), mild hypoxia (PO2 45-65 Torr), and hypercapnia (PCO2 55-80 Torr) and compared with hyperoxic-normocapnic conditions in anesthetized cats. Muscles were studied at optimal length, and contractile force was assessed in response to supramaximal electrical stimulation of the hypoglossal nerve (n = 7 cats) or geniohyoid muscle (n = 2 cats). There were no significant changes in the twitch kinetics or force-frequency curve of the geniohyoid muscle during hypoxia or hypercapnia. However, the endurance of the geniohyoid, as reflected in the fatigue index (ratio of force at 2 min to initial force in response to 40-Hz stimulation at a duty cycle 0.33), was significantly reduced by severe hypoxia but not by hypercapnia or mild hypoxia. In addition, the downward shift in the force-frequency curve after the repetitive stimulation protocol was greater during hypoxia than hyperoxia, especially at higher frequencies. In conclusion, the ability of the geniohyoid muscle to maintain force output during high levels of activation is adversely affected by severe hypoxia but not mild hypoxia or hypercapnia. However, none of these chemical perturbations affected muscle contractility acutely.

  3. Urban Ecological Stewardship: Understanding the Structure, Function and Network of Community-based Urban Land Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsay K. Campbell

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Urban environmental stewardship activities are on the rise in cities throughout the Northeast. Groups participating in stewardship activities range in age, size, and geography and represent an increasingly complex and dynamic arrangement of civil society, government and business sectors. To better understand the structure, function and network of these community-based urban land managers, an assessment was conducted in 2004 by the research subcommittee of the Urban Ecology Collaborative. The goal of the assessment was to better understand the role of stewardship organizations engaged in urban ecology initiatives in selected major cities in the Northeastern U.S.: Boston, New Haven, New York City, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. A total of 135 active organizations participated in this assessment. Findings include the discovery of a dynamic social network operating within cities, and a reserve of social capital and expertise that could be better utilized. Although often not the primary land owner, stewardship groups take an increasingly significant responsibility for a wide range of land use types including street and riparian corridors, vacant lots, public parks and gardens, green roofs, etc. Responsibilities include the delivery of public programs as well as daily maintenance and fundraising support. While most of the environmental stewardship organizations operate on staffs of zero or fewer than ten, with small cohorts of community volunteers, there is a significant difference in the total amount of program funding. Nearly all respondents agree that committed resources are scarce and insufficient with stewards relying upon and potentially competing for individual donations, local foundations, and municipal support. This makes it a challenge for the groups to grow beyond their current capacity and to develop long-term programs critical to resource management and education. It also fragments groups, making it difficult for planners and

  4. Structure of the Elastin-Contractile Units in the Thoracic Aorta and How Genes That Cause Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms and Dissections Disrupt This Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karimi, Ashkan; Milewicz, Dianna M

    2016-01-01

    The medial layer of the aorta confers elasticity and strength to the aortic wall and is composed of alternating layers of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and elastic fibres. The SMC elastin-contractile unit is a structural unit that links the elastin fibres to the SMCs and is characterized by the following: (1) layers of elastin fibres that are surrounded by microfibrils; (2) microfibrils that bind to the integrin receptors in focal adhesions on the cell surface of the SMCs; and (3) SMC contractile filaments that are linked to the focal adhesions on the inner side of the membrane. The genes that are altered to cause thoracic aortic aneurysms and aortic dissections encode proteins involved in the structure or function of the SMC elastin-contractile unit. Included in this gene list are the genes encoding protein that are structural components of elastin fibres and microfibrils, FBN1, MFAP5, ELN, and FBLN4. Also included are genes that encode structural proteins in the SMC contractile unit, including ACTA2, which encodes SMC-specific α-actin and MYH11, which encodes SMC-specific myosin heavy chain, along with MYLK and PRKG1, which encode kinases that control SMC contraction. Finally, mutations in the gene encoding the protein linking integrin receptors to the contractile filaments, FLNA, also predispose to thoracic aortic disease. Thus, these data suggest that functional SMC elastin-contractile units are important for maintaining the structural integrity of the aorta. Copyright © 2016 Canadian Cardiovascular Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. The effect of N-acetylcysteine on cardiac contractility to dobutamine in rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Xing; Xia, Zhengyuan; Leo, Joyce M; Pang, Catherine C Y

    2005-09-05

    We examined if myocardial depression at the acute phase of diabetes (3 weeks after injection of streptozotocin, 60 mg/kg i.v.) is due to activation of inducible nitric oxide synthase and production of peroxynitrite, and if treatment with N-acetylcysteine (1.2 g/day/kg for 3 weeks, antioxidant) improves cardiac function. Four groups of rats were used: control, N-acetylcysteine-treated control, diabetic and N-acetylcysteine-treated diabetic. Pentobarbital-anaesthetized diabetic rats, relative to the controls, had reduced left ventricular contractility to dobutamine (1-57 microg/min/kg). The diabetic rats also had increased myocardial levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, immunostaining of inducible nitric oxide synthase and nitrotyrosine, and similar baseline 15-F2t-isoprostane. N-acetylcysteine did not affect responses in the control rats; but increased cardiac contractility to dobutamine, reduced myocardial immunostaining of inducible nitric oxide synthase and nitrotyrosine and level of 15-F2t-isoprostane, and increased cardiac contractility to dobutamine in the diabetic rats. Antioxidant supplementation in diabetes reduces oxidative stress and improves cardiac function.

  6. Izalpinin from fruits of Alpinia oxyphylla with antagonistic activity against the rat bladder contractility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Yuan; Tan, Yin-Feng; Xu, Peng; Li, Hailong; Li, Yong-Hui; Chen, Wen-Ya; Zhang, Jun-Qing; Chen, Feng; Huang, Guo-Jun

    2014-01-01

    Alpinia oxyphylla (Zingiberaceae), an herbaceous perennial plant, its capsular fruit is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of different urinary incontinence symptoms including frequency, urgency and nocturia. These symptoms are similar to the overactive bladder syndrome. In our lab, we found that the 95% ethanol extract of the capsular fruits exhibited significant anti-muscarinic activity. Some constituents in capsular fruits including flavonoids (e.g., izalpinin and tectochrysin), diarylheptanoids (e.g., yakuchinone A and yakuchinone B) and sesquiterpenes (e.g., nootkatone), are regarded as representative chemicals with putative pharmacological activities. This study aimed to evaluate the in vitro antagonistic actions of izalpinin on carbachol-induced contraction of the rat detrusor muscle. In vitro inhibition of rat detrusor contractile response to carbachol was used to study the functional activity of izalpinin. The isolated detrusor strips of rats were mounted in organ baths containing oxygenated Krebs' solution. The cumulative consecutive concentration-response curves to carbachol-evoked contractions in strips of rat bladder were obtained. Carbachol induced concentration-dependent contractions of isolated rat bladder detrusor strips. The vehicle DMSO had no impact on the contraction response. The contraction effects were concentration-dependently antagonized by izalpinin, with a mean EC50 value of 0.35 µM. The corresponding cumulative agonist concentration-response curves shifted right-ward. Izalpinin exhibits inhibitory role of muscarinic receptor-related detrusor contractile activity, and it may be a promising lead compound to treat overactive bladder.

  7. Jatropha curcas, a biofuel crop: functional genomics for understanding metabolic pathways and genetic improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maghuly, Fatemeh; Laimer, Margit

    2013-10-01

    Jatropha curcas is currently attracting much attention as an oilseed crop for biofuel, as Jatropha can grow under climate and soil conditions that are unsuitable for food production. However, little is known about Jatropha, and there are a number of challenges to be overcome. In fact, Jatropha has not really been domesticated; most of the Jatropha accessions are toxic, which renders the seedcake unsuitable for use as animal feed. The seeds of Jatropha contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which negatively impact the biofuel quality. Fruiting of Jatropha is fairly continuous, thus increasing costs of harvesting. Therefore, before starting any improvement program using conventional or molecular breeding techniques, understanding gene function and the genome scale of Jatropha are prerequisites. This review presents currently available and relevant information on the latest technologies (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) to decipher important metabolic pathways within Jatropha, such as oil and toxin synthesis. Further, it discusses future directions for biotechnological approaches in Jatropha breeding and improvement. © 2013 The Authors. Biotechnology Journal published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  8. Multilevel functional genomics data integration as a tool for understanding physiology: a network biology perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidsen, Peter K; Turan, Nil; Egginton, Stuart; Falciani, Francesco

    2016-02-01

    The overall aim of physiological research is to understand how living systems function in an integrative manner. Consequently, the discipline of physiology has since its infancy attempted to link multiple levels of biological organization. Increasingly this has involved mathematical and computational approaches, typically to model a small number of components spanning several levels of biological organization. With the advent of "omics" technologies, which can characterize the molecular state of a cell or tissue (intended as the level of expression and/or activity of its molecular components), the number of molecular components we can quantify has increased exponentially. Paradoxically, the unprecedented amount of experimental data has made it more difficult to derive conceptual models underlying essential mechanisms regulating mammalian physiology. We present an overview of state-of-the-art methods currently used to identifying biological networks underlying genomewide responses. These are based on a data-driven approach that relies on advanced computational methods designed to "learn" biology from observational data. In this review, we illustrate an application of these computational methodologies using a case study integrating an in vivo model representing the transcriptional state of hypoxic skeletal muscle with a clinical study representing muscle wasting in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. The broader application of these approaches to modeling multiple levels of biological data in the context of modern physiology is discussed. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  9. Complexities in Understanding Attentional Functioning among Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly eLane

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Parental reports of attention problems and clinical symptomatology of ADHD among children with fetal alcohol syndrome disorder (FASD were assessed in relation to performance on standardized subtests of attantional control/shifting and selective attention from the Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch; Manly et al., 1998. The participants included 14 children with FASD with a mean CA of 11.7 years and a mean MA of 9.7 years, and 14 typically developing (TD children with no reported history of prenatal exposure to alcohol or attention problems with a mean CA of 8.4 years and a mean MA of 9.6 years. The children with FASD were rated by their caregivers as having clinically significant attention difficulties for their developmental age. The reported symptomatology for the majority of the children with FASD were consistent with a diagnosis of ADHD, combined type, and only one child had a score within the average range. These reports are consistent with the finding here that the children with FASD demonstrated difficulties on the Creature Counting subtest of attentional control/shifting, but inconsistent with the finding that they outperformed the TD children on the Map Mission subtest of selective attention. These findings are considered within the context of the complexity in understanding attentional functioning among children with FASD and discrepancies across sources of information and components of attention.

  10. A brief histone in time: understanding the combinatorial functions of histone PTMs in the nucleosome context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Marlee K; Cheung, Peter

    2016-02-01

    It has been over 50 years since Allfrey et al. proposed that histone acetylation regulates RNA synthesis, and the study of histone modifications has progressed at an extraordinary pace for the past two decades. In this review, we provide a perspective on some key events and advances in our understanding of histone modifications. We also highlight reagents and tools from past to present that facilitated progress in this research field. Using histone H3 phosphorylation as an underlying thread, we review the rationale that led to the proposal of the histone code hypothesis, as well as examples that illustrate the concepts of combinatorial histone modifications and cross-talk pathways. We further highlight the importance of investigating these mechanisms in the context of nucleosomes rather than just at the histone level and present current and developing approaches for such studies. Overall, research on histone modifications has yielded great mechanistic insights into the regulation of genomic functions, and extending these studies using nucleosomes will further elucidate the complexity of these pathways in a more physiologically relevant context.

  11. Stochastic Ratcheting on a Funneled Energy Landscape Is Necessary for Highly Efficient Contractility of Actomyosin Force Dipoles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komianos, James E.; Papoian, Garegin A.

    2018-04-01

    Current understanding of how contractility emerges in disordered actomyosin networks of nonmuscle cells is still largely based on the intuition derived from earlier works on muscle contractility. In addition, in disordered networks, passive cross-linkers have been hypothesized to percolate force chains in the network, hence, establishing large-scale connectivity between local contractile clusters. This view, however, largely overlooks the free energy of cross-linker binding at the microscale, which, even in the absence of active fluctuations, provides a thermodynamic drive towards highly overlapping filamentous states. In this work, we use stochastic simulations and mean-field theory to shed light on the dynamics of a single actomyosin force dipole—a pair of antiparallel actin filaments interacting with active myosin II motors and passive cross-linkers. We first show that while passive cross-linking without motor activity can produce significant contraction between a pair of actin filaments, driven by thermodynamic favorability of cross-linker binding, a sharp onset of kinetic arrest exists at large cross-link binding energies, greatly diminishing the effectiveness of this contractility mechanism. Then, when considering an active force dipole containing nonmuscle myosin II, we find that cross-linkers can also serve as a structural ratchet when the motor dissociates stochastically from the actin filaments, resulting in significant force amplification when both molecules are present. Our results provide predictions of how actomyosin force dipoles behave at the molecular level with respect to filament boundary conditions, passive cross-linking, and motor activity, which can explicitly be tested using an optical trapping experiment.

  12. Stochastic Ratcheting on a Funneled Energy Landscape Is Necessary for Highly Efficient Contractility of Actomyosin Force Dipoles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James E. Komianos

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Current understanding of how contractility emerges in disordered actomyosin networks of nonmuscle cells is still largely based on the intuition derived from earlier works on muscle contractility. In addition, in disordered networks, passive cross-linkers have been hypothesized to percolate force chains in the network, hence, establishing large-scale connectivity between local contractile clusters. This view, however, largely overlooks the free energy of cross-linker binding at the microscale, which, even in the absence of active fluctuations, provides a thermodynamic drive towards highly overlapping filamentous states. In this work, we use stochastic simulations and mean-field theory to shed light on the dynamics of a single actomyosin force dipole—a pair of antiparallel actin filaments interacting with active myosin II motors and passive cross-linkers. We first show that while passive cross-linking without motor activity can produce significant contraction between a pair of actin filaments, driven by thermodynamic favorability of cross-linker binding, a sharp onset of kinetic arrest exists at large cross-link binding energies, greatly diminishing the effectiveness of this contractility mechanism. Then, when considering an active force dipole containing nonmuscle myosin II, we find that cross-linkers can also serve as a structural ratchet when the motor dissociates stochastically from the actin filaments, resulting in significant force amplification when both molecules are present. Our results provide predictions of how actomyosin force dipoles behave at the molecular level with respect to filament boundary conditions, passive cross-linking, and motor activity, which can explicitly be tested using an optical trapping experiment.

  13. Understanding the Structure-Function Relationships of Dendrimers in Environmental and Biomedical Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bo

    We are living an era wherein nanoparticles (NPs) have been widely applied in our lives. Dendrimers are special polymeric NPs with unique physiochemical properties, which have been intensely explored for a variety of applications. Current studies on dendrimers are bottlenecked by insufficient understandings of their structure and dynamic behaviors from a molecular level. With primarily computational approaches supplemented by many other experimental technics, this dissertation aims to establish structure-function relationships of dendrimers in environmental and biomedical applications. More specifically, it thoroughly investigates the interactions between dendrimers and different biomolecules including carbon-based NPs, metal-based NPs, and proteins/peptides. Those results not only provide profound knowledge for evaluating the impacts of dendrimers on environmental and biological systems but also facilitate designing next-generation functional polymeric nanomaterials. The dissertation is organized as following. Chapter 1 provides an overview of current progresses on dendrimer studies, where methodology of Discrete Molecular Dynamics (DMD), my major research tool, is also introduced. Two directions of utilizing dendrimers will be discussed in following chapters. Chapter 2 will focus on environmental applications of dendrimers, where two back-to-back studies are presented. I will start from describing some interesting observations from experiments i.e. dendrimers dispersed model oil molecules. Then, I will reveal why surface chemistries of dendrimers lead to different remediation efficiencies by computational modelings. Finally, I will demonstrate different scenarios of dendrimer-small molecules association. Chapter 3 is centered on dendrimers in the biomedical applications including two subtopics. In the first topic, we will discuss dendrimers as surfactants that modulating the interactions between proteins and NPs. Some fundamental concepts regarding to NPs

  14. Predictive Understanding of Mountainous Watershed Hydro-Biogeochemical Function and Response to Perturbations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, S. S.; Williams, K. H.; Agarwal, D.; Banfield, J. F.; Beller, H. R.; Bouskill, N.; Brodie, E.; Maxwell, R. M.; Nico, P. S.; Steefel, C. I.; Steltzer, H.; Tokunaga, T. K.; Wainwright, H. M.; Dwivedi, D.; Newcomer, M. E.

    2017-12-01

    Recognizing the societal importance, vulnerability and complexity of mountainous watersheds, the `Watershed Function' project is developing a predictive understanding of how mountainous watersheds retain and release downgradient water, nutrients, carbon, and metals. In particular, the project is exploring how early snowmelt, drought, floods and other disturbances will influence mountainous watershed dynamics at seasonal to decadal timescales. Located in the 300km2 East River headwater catchment of the Upper Colorado River Basin, the project is guided by several constructs. First, the project considers the integrated role of surface and subsurface flow and biogeochemical reactions - from bedrock to the top of the vegetative canopy, from terrestrial through aquatic compartments, and from summit to receiving waters. The project takes a system-of-systems perspective, focused on developing new methods to quantify the cumulative watershed hydrobiogeochemical response to perturbations based on information from select subsystems within the watershed, each having distinct vegetation-subsurface biogeochemical-hydrological characteristics. A `scale-adaptive' modeling capability, in development using adaptive mesh refinement methods, serves as the organizing framework for the SFA. The scale-adaptive approach is intended to permit simulation of system-within-systems behavior - and aggregation of that behavior - from genome through watershed scales. This presentation will describe several early project discoveries and advances made using experimental, observational and numerical approaches. Among others, examples may include:quantiying how seasonal hydrological perturbations drive biogeochemical responses across critical zone compartments, with a focus on N and C transformations; metagenomic documentation of the spatial variability in floodplain meander microbial ecology; 3D reactive transport simulations of couped hydrological-biogeochemical behavior in the hyporheic zone; and

  15. The effects of space flight on the contractile apparatus of antigravity muscles: implications for aging and deconditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, K. M.; Caiozzo, V. J.; Haddad, F.; Baker, M. J.; Herrick, R. E.

    1994-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that the unloading of skeletal muscle, as occurring during exposure to space flight, exerts a profound effect on both the mass (cross sectional area) of skeletal muscle fibers and the relative expression of protein isoforms comprising the contractile system. Available information suggests that slow (type I) fibers, comprising chiefly the antigravity muscles of experimental animals, in addition to atrophying, undergo alterations in the type of myosin heavy chain (MHC) expressed such that faster isoforms become concomitantly expressed in a sub-population of slow fibers when insufficient force-bearing activity is maintained on the muscle. Consequently, these transformations in both mass and myosin heavy chain phenotype could exert a significant impact on the functional properties of skeletal muscle as manifest in the strength, contractile speed, and endurance scope of the muscle. To further explore these issues, a study was performed in which young adult male rats were exposed to zero gravity for six days, following which, the antigravity soleus muscle was examined for a) contractile properties, determined in situ and b) isomyosin expression, as studied using biochemical, molecular biology, and histochemical/immunohistochemical techniques.

  16. Towards a Tissue-Engineered Contractile Fontan-Conduit: The Fate of Cardiac Myocytes in the Subpulmonary Circulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Biermann

    Full Text Available The long-term outcome of patients with single ventricles improved over time, but remains poor compared to other congenital heart lesions with biventricular circulation. Main cause for this unfavourable outcome is the unphysiological hemodynamic of the Fontan circulation, such as subnormal systemic cardiac output and increased systemic-venous pressure. To overcome this limitation, we are developing the concept of a contractile extracardiac Fontan-tunnel. In this study, we evaluated the survival and structural development of a tissue-engineered conduit under in vivo conditions. Engineered heart tissue was generated from ventricular heart cells of neonatal Wistar rats, fibrinogen and thrombin. Engineered heart tissues started beating around day 8 in vitro and remained contractile in vivo throughout the experiment. After culture for 14 days constructs were implanted around the right superior vena cava of Wistar rats (n = 12. Animals were euthanized after 7, 14, 28 and 56 days postoperatively. Hematoxylin and eosin staining showed cardiomyocytes arranged in thick bundles within the engineered heart tissue-conduit. Immunostaining of sarcomeric actin, alpha-actin and connexin 43 revealed a well -developed cardiac myocyte structure. Magnetic resonance imaging (d14, n = 3 revealed no constriction or stenosis of the superior vena cava by the constructs. Engineered heart tissues survive and contract for extended periods after implantation around the superior vena cava of rats. Generation of larger constructs is warranted to evaluate functional benefits of a contractile Fontan-conduit.

  17. Building an Understanding of Functions: A Series of Activities for Pre-Calculus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carducci, Olivia M.

    2008-01-01

    Building block toys can be used to illustrate various concepts connected with functions including graphs and rates of change of linear and exponential functions, piecewise functions, and composition of functions. Five brief activities suitable for a pre-calculus course are described.

  18. Contribution of contractile state of the non-infarcted area to global ventricular performance after acute myocardial infarction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nishimura, Tsunehiko; Yasuda, Tsunehiro; Gold, H.K.; Leinbach, R.C.; Boucher, C.A.; McKusick, K.A.; Strauss, H.W.

    1986-01-01

    To evaluate the regional contractile state of the non-infarcted zone and to determine the contribution of this area to left ventricular (LV) performance, 112 patients (42 anterior and 70 inferior infarction) with their first acute myocardial infarction were investigated by radionuclide ventriculography at admission and 10 days after admission. Wall motion at the non-infarcted area was defined as hyperkinetic, normal, or hypokinetic, if radial chord shortening had above normal, normal, or below normal values, respectively, by quantitative wall motion analysis. Hyperkinetic, normal, and hypokinetic wall motion of the non-infarcted area were observed in three (7 %), 12 (29 %), and 27 (64 %) patients in anterior infarction and 14 (20 %), 28 (40 %), and 28 (40 %) in inferior infarction, respectively. In the patients with hypokinetic wall motion at the non-infarcted area, the infarct involved more than 30 % of the left ventricle manifesting akinetic contractile segment (ACS), radial chord shortening in the infarcted area was severely depressed, and the incidence of multi-vessel involvement was higher compared with those with hyperkinetic or normal wall motion. In serial measurements, radial chord shortening in the infarcted and non-infarcted area, percent ACS, left ventricular ejection fraction, and left ventricular end-diastolic volume index did not change significantly from acute to follow-up study in any group. In conclusion, our data indicated that the non-infarcted area following acute infarction had various contractile states and these conditions were determined primarily by the severity and extent of infarct and underlying coronary artery disease. Furthermore, the contractile state of the non-infarcted area has a supplemental role in determination of LV function following acute infarction. (author)

  19. Inhibition of CYP2E1 attenuates chronic alcohol intake-induced myocardial contractile dysfunction and apoptosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Rong-Huai; Gao, Jian-Yuan; Guo, Hai-Tao; Scott, Glenda I; Eason, Anna R; Wang, Xiao-Ming; Ren, Jun

    2013-01-01

    Alcohol intake is associated with myocardial contractile dysfunction and apoptosis although the precise mechanism is unclear. This study was designed to examine the effect of the cytochrome P450 enzyme CYP2E1 inhibition on ethanol-induced cardiac dysfunction. Adult male mice were fed a 4% ethanol liquid or pair-fed control diet for 6weeks. Following 2weeks of diet feeding, a cohort of mice started to receive the CYP2E1 inhibitor diallyl sulfide (100mg/kg/d, i.p.) for the remaining feeding duration. Cardiac function was assessed using echocardiographic and IonOptix systems. Western blot analysis was used to evaluate CYP2E1, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), iNOS, the intracellular Ca(2+) regulatory proteins sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase, Na(+)Ca(2+) exchanger and phospholamban, pro-apoptotic protein cleaved caspase-3, Bax, c-Jun-NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) and apoptosis signal-regulating kinase (ASK-1). Ethanol led to elevated levels of CYP2E1, iNOS and phospholamban, decreased levels of HO-1 and Na(+)Ca(2+) exchanger, cardiac contractile and intracellular Ca(2+) defects, cardiac fibrosis, overt O(2)(-) production, and apoptosis accompanied with increased phosphorylation of JNK and ASK-1, the effects were significantly attenuated or ablated by diallyl sulfide. Inhibitors of JNK and ASK-1 but not HO-1 inducer or iNOS inhibitor obliterated ethanol-induced cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction, substantiating a role for JNK and ASK-1 signaling in ethanol-induced myocardial injury. Taken together, these findings suggest that ethanol metabolism through CYP2E1 may contribute to the pathogenesis of alcoholic cardiomyopathy including myocardial contractile dysfunction, oxidative stress and apoptosis, possibly through activation of JNK and ASK-1 signaling. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Integrating community assembly and biodiversity to better understand ecosystem function: the Community Assembly and the Functioning of Ecosystems (CAFE) approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bannar-Martin, K.; Kremer, C.; Ernest, S.K. Morgan; Leibold, M.; Auge, H.; Chase, J.; Declerck, S.A.J.; Eisenhauer, Nico; Harpole, W.S.; Hillebrand, H.; Isbell, F.; Koffel, T.; Larsen, S.; Narwani, A.; Petermann, J.; Roscher, C.; Sarmento Cabral, J.; Supp, S.

    2018-01-01

    The research of a generation of ecologists was catalysed by the recognition that the number and identity of species in communities influences the functioning of ecosystems. The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) is most often examined by controlling species richness

  1. Integrating community assembly and biodiversity to better understand ecosystem function: the Community Assembly and the Functioning of Ecosystems (CAFE) approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bannar-Martin, Katherine H; Kremer, Colin T; Ernest, S K Morgan; Leibold, Mathew A; Auge, Harald; Chase, Jonathan; Declerck, Steven A J; Eisenhauer, Nico; Harpole, Stanley; Hillebrand, Helmut; Isbell, Forest; Koffel, Thomas; Larsen, Stefano; Narwani, Anita; Petermann, Jana S; Roscher, Christiane; Cabral, Juliano Sarmento; Supp, Sarah R

    2018-02-01

    The research of a generation of ecologists was catalysed by the recognition that the number and identity of species in communities influences the functioning of ecosystems. The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) is most often examined by controlling species richness and randomising community composition. In natural systems, biodiversity changes are often part of a bigger community assembly dynamic. Therefore, focusing on community assembly and the functioning of ecosystems (CAFE), by integrating both species richness and composition through species gains, losses and changes in abundance, will better reveal how community changes affect ecosystem function. We synthesise the BEF and CAFE perspectives using an ecological application of the Price equation, which partitions the contributions of richness and composition to function. Using empirical examples, we show how the CAFE approach reveals important contributions of composition to function. These examples show how changes in species richness and composition driven by environmental perturbations can work in concert or antagonistically to influence ecosystem function. Considering how communities change in an integrative fashion, rather than focusing on one axis of community structure at a time, will improve our ability to anticipate and predict changes in ecosystem function. © 2017 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Understanding the Pathophysiology of Spinocerebellar Ataxias through genetics, neurophysiology, structural and functional neuroimaging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pramod Kumar Pal

    2015-12-01

    largely absent with additional activity in contralateral cortices and in thalami in patients with SCA1; increased thalamic function could be one of the causes for disinhibition of the motor cortex contributing to uncoordinated movements.Studies on larger cohort of each subtype of SCAs to validate the above findings, follow-up studies to determine the rate and nature of progression of neurodegeneration and evaluation of pre-symptomatic genetically confirmed SCAs will help understand the pathophysiology of the SCAs.

  3. An examination of student attitudes and understanding of exponential functions using interactive instructional multimedia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singleton, Cynthia M.

    The purpose of this study was to examine students' attitudes and understanding of exponential functions using InterAct Math, a mathematics tutorial software. The researcher used a convenience sampling of a total of 78 students from two intact pre-calculus classes; the students in the experimental group totaled 41 and the control group totaled 37. The two groups were exposed to the same curriculum content taught by the same instructor, the researcher. The experimental group used the mathematics tutorial software as an integral part of the instructional delivery. The control group used traditional instruction without integration of the educational technology. Data were collected during a two week span using a mixed-methodology to address the major research questions: (1) Is there a statistically significant difference in the mean achievement test scores between the experimental and the control groups? (2) Is there a statistically significant difference in students' attitudes toward learning mathematics between the experimental group and the control group? The researcher utilized paired t-tests and independent t-tests as statistical methods to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention and to establish whether there was a significant difference between the experimental and control groups. Based on the analyses of the quantitative data, it was established that the students who received the InterAct Math tutorial (experimental group) did not perform better than the control group on exponential functions, graphs and applications. However, the quantitative part of the study (Aiken-Dreger Mathematics Attitude Scale) revealed that, while students in the experimental and control groups started with similar attitudes about mathematics and the integration of technology, their attitudes were significantly different at the conclusion of the study. The fear of mathematics was reduced for the experimental group at the end of the study, and their enjoyment of the subject matter

  4. Beta adrenergic overstimulation impaired vascular contractility via actin-cytoskeleton disorganization in rabbit cerebral artery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyoung Kyu Kim

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Beta adrenergic overstimulation may increase the vascular damage and stroke. However, the underlying mechanisms of beta adrenergic overstimulation in cerebrovascular dysfunctions are not well known. We investigated the possible cerebrovascular dysfunction response to isoproterenol induced beta-adrenergic overstimulation (ISO in rabbit cerebral arteries (CAs. METHODS: ISO was induced in six weeks aged male New Zealand white rabbit (0.8-1.0 kg by 7-days isoproterenol injection (300 μg/kg/day. We investigated the alteration of protein expression in ISO treated CAs using 2DE proteomics and western blot analysis. Systemic properties of 2DE proteomics result were analyzed using bioinformatics software. ROS generation and following DNA damage were assessed to evaluate deteriorative effect of ISO on CAs. Intracellular Ca(2+ level change and vascular contractile response to vasoactive drug, angiotensin II (Ang II, were assessed to evaluate functional alteration of ISO treated CAs. Ang II-induced ROS generation was assessed to evaluated involvement of ROS generation in CA contractility. RESULTS: Proteomic analysis revealed remarkably decreased expression of cytoskeleton organizing proteins (e.g. actin related protein 1A and 2, α-actin, capping protein Z beta, and vimentin and anti-oxidative stress proteins (e.g. heat shock protein 9A and stress-induced-phosphoprotein 1 in ISO-CAs. As a cause of dysregulation of actin-cytoskeleton organization, we found decreased level of RhoA and ROCK1, which are major regulators of actin-cytoskeleton organization. As functional consequences of proteomic alteration, we found the decreased transient Ca(2+ efflux and constriction response to angiotensin II and high K(+ in ISO-CAs. ISO also increased basal ROS generation and induced oxidative damage in CA; however, it decreased the Ang II-induced ROS generation rate. These results indicate that ISO disrupted actin cytoskeleton proteome network

  5. Resolving the role of actoymyosin contractility in cell microrheology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher M Hale

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Einstein's original description of Brownian motion established a direct relationship between thermally-excited random forces and the transport properties of a submicron particle in a viscous liquid. Recent work based on reconstituted actin filament networks suggests that nonthermal forces driven by the motor protein myosin II can induce large non-equilibrium fluctuations that dominate the motion of particles in cytoskeletal networks. Here, using high-resolution particle tracking, we find that thermal forces, not myosin-induced fluctuating forces, drive the motion of submicron particles embedded in the cytoskeleton of living cells. These results resolve the roles of myosin II and contractile actomyosin structures in the motion of nanoparticles lodged in the cytoplasm, reveal the biphasic mechanical architecture of adherent cells-stiff contractile stress fibers interdigitating in a network at the cell cortex and a soft actin meshwork in the body of the cell, validate the method of particle tracking-microrheology, and reconcile seemingly disparate atomic force microscopy (AFM and particle-tracking microrheology measurements of living cells.

  6. Effect of serotonin on small intestinal contractility in healthy volunteers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, M.B.; Arif, F.; Gregersen, H.

    2008-01-01

    The physiological significance of serotonin released into the intestinal lumen for the regulation of motility is unknown in humans. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of serotonin infused into the lumen of the gastric antrum, duodenum or the jejunum, on antro-duodeno-jejunal contrac......The physiological significance of serotonin released into the intestinal lumen for the regulation of motility is unknown in humans. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of serotonin infused into the lumen of the gastric antrum, duodenum or the jejunum, on antro......-duodeno-jejunal contractility in healthy human volunteers. Manometric recordings were obtained and the effects of either a standard meal, continuous intravenous infusion of serotonin (20 nmol/kg/min) or intraluminal bolus infusions of graded doses of serotonin (2.5, 25 or 250 nmol) were compared. In addition, platelet......-depleted plasma levels of serotonin, blood pressure, heart rate and electrocardiogram were evaluated. All subjects showed similar results. Intravenous serotonin increased migrating motor complex phase In frequency 3-fold and migrating velocity 2-fold. Intraluminal infusion of serotonin did not change contractile...

  7. Leucine elicits myotube hypertrophy and enhances maximal contractile force in tissue engineered skeletal muscle in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Neil R W; Turner, Mark C; Farrington, Robert; Player, Darren J; Lewis, Mark P

    2017-10-01

    The amino acid leucine is thought to be important for skeletal muscle growth by virtue of its ability to acutely activate mTORC1 and enhance muscle protein synthesis, yet little data exist regarding its impact on skeletal muscle size and its ability to produce force. We utilized a tissue engineering approach in order to test whether supplementing culture medium with leucine could enhance mTORC1 signaling, myotube growth, and muscle function. Phosphorylation of the mTORC1 target proteins 4EBP-1 and rpS6 and myotube hypertrophy appeared to occur in a dose dependent manner, with 5 and 20 mM of leucine inducing similar effects, which were greater than those seen with 1 mM. Maximal contractile force was also elevated with leucine supplementation; however, although this did not appear to be enhanced with increasing leucine doses, this effect was completely ablated by co-incubation with the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin, showing that the augmented force production in the presence of leucine was mTOR sensitive. Finally, by using electrical stimulation to induce chronic (24 hr) contraction of engineered skeletal muscle constructs, we were able to show that the effects of leucine and muscle contraction are additive, since the two stimuli had cumulative effects on maximal contractile force production. These results extend our current knowledge of the efficacy of leucine as an anabolic nutritional aid showing for the first time that leucine supplementation may augment skeletal muscle functional capacity, and furthermore validates the use of engineered skeletal muscle for highly-controlled investigations into nutritional regulation of muscle physiology. © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Cellular Physiology Published by wiley periodicals, Inc.

  8. Symbolic Understanding of Pictures in Low-Functioning Children with Autism: The Effects of Iconicity and Naming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, Calum; Allen, Melissa L.

    2015-01-01

    This research investigated whether symbolic understanding of pictures in low-functioning children with autism is mediated by iconicity and language. In Experiment 1, participants were taught novel words paired with unfamiliar pictures that varied in iconicity (black-and-white line drawings, greyscale photographs, colour line drawings, colour…

  9. Expression and function of nuclear receptor coregulators in brain : understanding the cell-specific effects of glucocorticoids

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laan, Siem van der

    2008-01-01

    Currently, the raising awareness of the role of glucocorticoids in the onset of numerous (neuro)-pathologies constitutes the increasing necessity of understanding the mechanisms of action of glucocorticoids in bodily processes and brain functioning. Glucocorticoids mediate their effects by binding

  10. Group Theory of Wannier Functions Providing the Basis for a Deeper Understanding of Magnetism and Superconductivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ekkehard Krüger

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents the group theory of optimally-localized and symmetry-adapted Wannier functions in a crystal of any given space group G or magnetic group M. Provided that the calculated band structure of the considered material is given and that the symmetry of the Bloch functions at all of the points of symmetry in the Brillouin zone is known, the paper details whether or not the Bloch functions of particular energy bands can be unitarily transformed into optimally-localized Wannier functions symmetry-adapted to the space group G, to the magnetic group M or to a subgroup of G or M. In this context, the paper considers usual, as well as spin-dependent Wannier functions, the latter representing the most general definition of Wannier functions. The presented group theory is a review of the theory published by one of the authors (Ekkehard Krüger in several former papers and is independent of any physical model of magnetism or superconductivity. However, it is suggested to interpret the special symmetry of the optimally-localized Wannier functions in the framework of a nonadiabatic extension of the Heisenberg model, the nonadiabatic Heisenberg model. On the basis of the symmetry of the Wannier functions, this model of strongly-correlated localized electrons makes clear predictions of whether or not the system can possess superconducting or magnetic eigenstates.

  11. Genetics and evolution of function-valued traits: understanding environmentally responsive phenotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stinchcombe, John R; Kirkpatrick, Mark

    2012-11-01

    Many central questions in ecology and evolutionary biology require characterizing phenotypes that change with time and environmental conditions. Such traits are inherently functions, and new 'function-valued' methods use the order, spacing, and functional nature of the data typically ignored by traditional univariate and multivariate analyses. These rapidly developing methods account for the continuous change in traits of interest in response to other variables, and are superior to traditional summary-based analyses for growth trajectories, morphological shapes, and environmentally sensitive phenotypes. Here, we explain how function-valued methods make flexible use of data and lead to new biological insights. These approaches frequently offer enhanced statistical power, a natural basis of interpretation, and are applicable to many existing data sets. We also illustrate applications of function-valued methods to address ecological, evolutionary, and behavioral hypotheses, and highlight future directions. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Na+,K+-pump stimulation improves contractility in isolated muscles of mice with hyperkalemic periodic paralysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clausen, Torben; Nielsen, Ole Bækgaard; Clausen, Johannes D; Pedersen, Thomas Holm; Hayward, Lawrence J

    2011-07-01

    In patients with hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HyperKPP), attacks of muscle weakness or paralysis are triggered by K(+) ingestion or rest after exercise. Force can be restored by muscle work or treatment with β(2)-adrenoceptor agonists. A missense substitution corresponding to a mutation in the skeletal muscle voltage-gated Na(+) channel (Na(v)1.4, Met1592Val) causing human HyperKPP was targeted into the mouse SCN4A gene (mutants). In soleus muscles prepared from these mutant mice, twitch, tetanic force, and endurance were markedly reduced compared with soleus from wild type (WT), reflecting impaired excitability. In mutant soleus, contractility was considerably more sensitive than WT soleus to inhibition by elevated [K(+)](o). In resting mutant soleus, tetrodotoxin (TTX)-suppressible (22)Na uptake and [Na(+)](i) were increased by 470 and 58%, respectively, and membrane potential was depolarized (by 16 mV, P Na(+),K(+) pump-mediated (86)Rb uptake was 83% larger than in WT. Salbutamol stimulated (86)Rb uptake and reduced [Na(+)](i) both in mutant and WT soleus. Stimulating Na(+),K(+) pumps with salbutamol restored force in mutant soleus and extensor digitorum longus (EDL). Increasing [Na(+)](i) with monensin also restored force in soleus. In soleus, EDL, and tibialis anterior muscles of mutant mice, the content of Na(+),K(+) pumps was 28, 62, and 33% higher than in WT, respectively, possibly reflecting the stimulating effect of elevated [Na(+)](i) on the synthesis of Na(+),K(+) pumps. The results confirm that the functional disorders of skeletal muscles in HyperKPP are secondary to increased Na(+) influx and show that contractility can be restored by acute stimulation of the Na(+),K(+) pumps. Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) restored force in mutant soleus but caused no detectable increase in (86)Rb uptake. Repeated excitation and capsaicin also restored contractility, possibly because of the release of endogenous CGRP from nerve endings in the isolated

  13. Muscle contractility decrement and correlated morphology during the pathogenesis of streptozotocin-diabetic mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahim, M A; el-Sabban, F; Davidson, N

    1998-06-01

    affects presynaptically the neuromuscular junction as well as muscle itself. Actions at both sites may contribute to the functional alterations seen in muscle contractile properties and may play a role in the pathogenesis of diabetic neuromyopathy.

  14. Contractility of the guinea pig bladder measured in situ and in vitro

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.M. Groen (Jan); R. van Mastrigt (Ron); J.L.H.R. Bosch (Ruud)

    1994-01-01

    textabstractTo study the relative importance of neurogenic factors in detrusor contractility and to relate a total bladder in vitro contractility model to a previously described bladder wall strip model, active intravesical pressure values were compared in situ and in vitro in eight male guinea

  15. Free radicals in hypoxic rat diaphragm contractility: no role for xanthine oxidase.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heunks, L.M.A.; Machiels, H.A.; Abreu, R.A. de; Zhu, X.; Heijden, E. van der; Dekhuijzen, P.N.R.

    2001-01-01

    Recent evidence indicates that hypoxia enhances the generation of oxidants. Little is known about the role of free radicals in contractility of the rat diaphragm during hypoxia. We hypothesized that antioxidants improve contractility of the hypoxic rat diaphragm and that xanthine oxidase (XO) is an

  16. The molecular understanding of interfacial interactions of functionalized graphene and chitosan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Hong-ping; Luo, Xue-gang; Lin, Xiao-yan; Lu, Xiong; Tang, Youhong

    2016-01-01

    Graphical abstract: The type of the functional groups can be used to modulating interactions between graphene sheet and chitosan. - Highlights: • Investigate interfacial interactions between chitosan and functionalized graphene by DFT. • Observe covalent linkages between COOH-modified graphene and chitosan units. • Multi-functionalized graphene regulates the interfacial interactions with chitosan. • It is useful for guiding the preparation of graphene/chitosan composites. - Abstract: Graphene-reinforced chitosan scaffolds have been extensively studied for several years as promising hard tissue replacements. However, the interfacial interactions between graphene and chitosan are strongly related to the solubility, processability, and mechanical properties of graphene-reinforced chitosan (G–C) composites. The functionalization of graphene is regarded as the most effective way to improve the abovementioned properties of the G–C composite. In this study, the interfacial interactions between chitosan and functionalized graphene sheets with carboxylization (COOH-), amination (NH 2 -), and hydroxylation (OH-) groups were systematically studied at the electronic level using the method of ab initio simulations based on quantum mechanics theory and the observations were compared with reported experimental results. The covalent linkages between COOH-modified graphene and the chitosan units were demonstrated and the combination of multi-functionalization on graphene could regulate the interfacial interactions between graphene and the chitosan. The interfacial interactions between chitosan and properly functionalized graphene are critical for the preparation of G–C-based composites for tissue engineering scaffolds and other applications.

  17. On the Axiomatization of Mathematical Understanding: Continuous Functions in the Transition to Topology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheshire, Daniel C.

    2017-01-01

    The introduction to general topology represents a challenging transition for students of advanced mathematics. It requires the generalization of their previous understanding of ideas from fields like geometry, linear algebra, and real or complex analysis to fit within a more abstract conceptual system. Students must adopt a new lexicon of…

  18. Understanding integrated care: a comprehensive conceptual framework based on the integrative functions of primary care.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Valentijn, P.P.; Schepman, S.M.; Opheij, W.; Bruijnzeels, M.A.

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: Primary care has a central role in integrating care within a health system. However, conceptual ambiguity regarding integrated care hampers a systematic understanding. This paper proposes a conceptual framework that combines the concepts of primary care and integrated care, in order to

  19. Understanding the Attitude-Action Gap: Functional Integration of Environmental Aspects in Car Purchase Intentions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mairesse, Olivier; Macharis, Cathy; Lebeau, Kenneth; Turcksin, Laurence

    2012-01-01

    This study aims at understanding how a general positive attitude toward the environment results in a limited purchase of environmentally friendlier cars, often referred to as the attitude-action gap. In a first experiment 27 volunteers performed a judgment task on car purchase intention. Participants were asked to evaluate the probability of…

  20. Teachers' Understanding of the Role of Executive Functions in Mathematics Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmore, Camilla; Cragg, Lucy

    2014-09-01

    Cognitive psychology research has suggested an important role for executive functions, the set of skills that monitor and control thought and action, in learning mathematics. However, there is currently little evidence about whether teachers are aware of the importance of these skills and, if so, how they come by this information. We conducted an online survey of teachers' views on the importance of a range of skills for mathematics learning. Teachers rated executive function skills, and in particular inhibition and shifting, to be important for mathematics. The value placed on executive function skills increased with increasing teaching experience. Most teachers reported that they were aware of these skills, although few knew the term "executive functions." This awareness had come about through their teaching experience rather than from formal instruction. Researchers and teacher educators could do more to highlight the importance of these skills to trainee or new teachers.

  1. Teachers' Understanding of the Role of Executive Functions in Mathematics Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmore, Camilla; Cragg, Lucy

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive psychology research has suggested an important role for executive functions, the set of skills that monitor and control thought and action, in learning mathematics. However, there is currently little evidence about whether teachers are aware of the importance of these skills and, if so, how they come by this information. We conducted an online survey of teachers' views on the importance of a range of skills for mathematics learning. Teachers rated executive function skills, and in particular inhibition and shifting, to be important for mathematics. The value placed on executive function skills increased with increasing teaching experience. Most teachers reported that they were aware of these skills, although few knew the term “executive functions.” This awareness had come about through their teaching experience rather than from formal instruction. Researchers and teacher educators could do more to highlight the importance of these skills to trainee or new teachers. PMID:25674156

  2. Gene networks, occlusal clocks, and functional patches: new understanding of pattern and process in the evolution of the dentition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polly, P David

    2015-05-01

    Our understanding of the evolution of the dentition has been transformed by advances in the developmental biology, genetics, and functional morphology of teeth, as well as the methods available for studying tooth form and function. The hierarchical complexity of dental developmental genetics combined with dynamic effects of cells and tissues during development allow for substantial, rapid, and potentially non-linear evolutionary changes. Studies of selection on tooth function in the wild and evolutionary functional comparisons both suggest that tooth function and adaptation to diets are the most important factors guiding the evolution of teeth, yet selection against random changes that produce malocclusions (selectional drift) may be an equally important factor in groups with tribosphenic dentitions. These advances are critically reviewed here.

  3. ATP-induced changes in rat skeletal muscle contractility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabdrakhmanov, A I; Khayrullin, A E; Grishin, C H; Ziganshin, A U

    2015-01-01

    Extracellular purine compounds, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and adenosine, are involved in regulation of many cell functions, engaging in rapid and long-term cellular processes. The nucleotides, including ATP, exert their extracellular effects by influencing membrane P2 receptors. ATP outside of the cell rapidly is metabolized by the ecto-enzyme system to produce adenosine, which acts on separate adenosine (P1) receptors. Since adenosine and ATP often are functional antagonists, ATP degradation not only limits its effect, but also brings new ligand with different, often opposing, properties. Great variety and widespread of P2 and adenosine receptors in the body emphasize the important physiological and pathophysiological significance of these receptors, and make them very attractive as targets for potential drug action.The existence of several subtypes of P2 and adenosine receptors has been shown in the skeletal muscles. ATP as a co-transmitter is densely packed together with classical neurotransmitters in the presynaptic vesicles of vertebral motor units but until recently ATP was refused to have its own functional role there and was recognized only as a source of adenosine. However, on the eve of the third millennium there appeared data that ATP, released from the nerve ending and acting on presynaptic P2 receptors, suppresses subsequent quantum release of acetylcholine. The final product of its degradation, adenosine, performs a similar inhibitory effect acting on presynaptic adenosine receptors.Despite the fact that the mechanisms of presynaptic inhibitory action of ATP and other purines were studied earlier, the object of those studies was usually neuromuscular synapse of cold-blooded animals. The few studies, in which experiments were carried out on preparations of warm-blooded animals, described the basic effects of purines. These often were guided by the convenience of preparation of the synapses of the diaphragm. We think that those results cannot be

  4. Beyond Self-Monitoring: Understanding Non-functional Aspects of Home-based Healthcare Technology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grönvall, Erik; Verdezoto, Nervo

    2013-01-01

    the appropriation of healthcare technologies and people with comorbidity may have diverse but co-existing monitoring needs. In this paper, we seek to understand home-based health monitoring practices to better design and integrate them into people’s everyday life. We perform an analysis of socio......-technical complexities in home-based healthcare technologies through three case studies of self-monitoring: 1) pre-eclampsia (i.e. pregnancy poisoning), 2) heart conditions, and 3) preventive care. Through the analysis seven themes emerged (people, resources, places, routines, knowledge, control and motivation) that can...... facilitate the understanding of home-based healthcare activities. We present three modes of self-monitoring use and provide a set of design recommendations for future Ubicomp designs of home-based healthcare technology....

  5. Understanding the functions and relationships of the glymphatic system and meningeal lymphatics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Louveau, Antoine; Plog, Benjamin A; Antila, Salli

    2017-01-01

    to the peripheral (CNS-draining) lymph nodes. We speculate on the relationship between the two systems and their malfunction that may underlie some neurological diseases. Although much remains to be investigated, these new discoveries have changed our understanding of mechanisms underlying CNS immune privilege...... and CNS drainage. Future studies should explore the communications between the glymphatic system and meningeal lymphatics in CNS disorders and develop new therapeutic modalities targeting these systems....

  6. Perfusion-induced changes in cardiac contractility depend on capillary perfusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dijkman, M A; Heslinga, J W; Sipkema, P; Westerhof, N

    1998-02-01

    The perfusion-induced increase in cardiac contractility (Gregg phenomenon) is especially found in heart preparations that lack adequate coronary autoregulation and thus protection of changes in capillary pressure. We determined in the isolated perfused papillary muscle of the rat whether cardiac muscle contractility is related to capillary perfusion. Oxygen availability of this muscle is independent of internal perfusion, and perfusion may be varied or even stopped without loss of function. Muscles contracted isometrically at 27 degrees C (n = 7). During the control state stepwise increases in perfusion pressure resulted in all muscles in a significant increase in active tension. Muscle diameter always increased with increased perfusion pressure, but muscle segment length was unaffected. Capillary perfusion was then obstructed by plastic microspheres (15 microns). Flow, at a perfusion pressure of 66.6 +/- 26.2 cmH2O, reduced from 17.6 +/- 5.4 microliters/min in the control state to 3.2 +/- 1.3 microliters/min after microspheres. Active tension developed by the muscle in the unperfused condition before microspheres and after microspheres did not differ significantly (-12.8 +/- 29.4% change). After microspheres similar perfusion pressure steps as in control never resulted in an increase in active tension. Even at the two highest perfusion pressures (89.1 +/- 28.4 and 106.5 +/- 31.7 cmH2O) that were applied a significant decrease in active tension was found. We conclude that the Gregg phenomenon is related to capillary perfusion.

  7. Troglitazone stimulates β-arrestin-dependent cardiomyocyte contractility via the angiotensin II type 1A receptor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tilley, Douglas G.; Nguyen, Anny D.; Rockman, Howard A.

    2010-01-01

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) agonists are commonly used to treat cardiovascular diseases, and are reported to have several effects on cardiovascular function that may be due to PPARγ-independent signaling events. Select angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) interact with and modulate PPARγ activity, thus we hypothesized that a PPARγ agonist may exert physiologic effects via the angiotensin II type 1 A receptor (AT1 A R). In AT1 A R-overexpressing HEK 293 cells, both angiotensin II (Ang II) and the PPARγ agonist troglitazone (Trog) enhanced AT1 A R internalization and recruitment of endogenous β-arrestin1/2 (βarr1/2) to the AT1 A R. A fluorescence assay to measure diacylglycerol (DAG) accumulation showed that although Ang II induced AT1 A R-G q protein-mediated DAG accumulation, Trog had no impact on DAG generation. Trog-mediated recruitment of βarr1/2 was selective to AT1 A R as the response was prevented by an ARB- and Trog-mediated βarr1/2 recruitment to β1-adrenergic receptor (β1AR) was not observed. In isolated mouse cardiomyocytes, Trog increased both % and rate of cell shortening to a similar extent as Ang II, effects which were blocked with an ARB. Additionally, these effects were found to be βarr2-dependent, as cardiomyocytes isolated from βarr2-KO mice showed blunted contractile responses to Trog. These findings show for the first time that the PPARγ agonist Trog acts at the AT1 A R to simultaneously block G q protein activation and induce the recruitment of βarr1/2, which leads to an increase in cardiomyocyte contractility.

  8. Pentamidine rescues contractility and rhythmicity in a Drosophila model of myotonic dystrophy heart dysfunction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mouli Chakraborty

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Up to 80% of individuals with myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1 will develop cardiac abnormalities at some point during the progression of their disease, the most common of which is heart blockage of varying degrees. Such blockage is characterized by conduction defects and supraventricular and ventricular tachycardia, and carries a high risk of sudden cardiac death. Despite its importance, very few animal model studies have focused on the heart dysfunction in DM1. Here, we describe the characterization of the heart phenotype in a Drosophila model expressing pure expanded CUG repeats under the control of the cardiomyocyte-specific driver GMH5-Gal4. Morphologically, expression of 250 CUG repeats caused abnormalities in the parallel alignment of the spiral myofibrils in dissected fly hearts, as revealed by phalloidin staining. Moreover, combined immunofluorescence and in situ hybridization of Muscleblind and CUG repeats, respectively, confirmed detectable ribonuclear foci and Muscleblind sequestration, characteristic features of DM1, exclusively in flies expressing the expanded CTG repeats. Similarly to what has been reported in humans with DM1, heart-specific expression of toxic RNA resulted in reduced survival, increased arrhythmia, altered diastolic and systolic function, reduced heart tube diameters and reduced contractility in the model flies. As a proof of concept that the fly heart model can be used for in vivo testing of promising therapeutic compounds, we fed flies with pentamidine, a compound previously described to improve DM1 phenotypes. Pentamidine not only released Muscleblind from the CUG RNA repeats and reduced ribonuclear formation in the Drosophila heart, but also rescued heart arrhythmicity and contractility, and improved fly survival in animals expressing 250 CUG repeats.

  9. Low thermal dependence of the contractile properties of a wing muscle in the bat Carollia perspicillata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rummel, Andrea D; Swartz, Sharon M; Marsh, Richard L

    2018-05-29

    Temperature affects contractile rate properties in muscle, which may affect locomotor performance. Endotherms are known to maintain high core body temperatures, but temperatures in the periphery of the body can fluctuate. Such a phenomenon occurs in bats, whose wing musculature is relatively poorly insulated, resulting in substantially depressed temperatures in the distal wing. We examined a wing muscle in the small-bodied tropical bat Carollia perspicillata and a hindlimb muscle in the laboratory mouse at 5°C intervals from 22 to 42°C to determine the thermal dependence of the contractile properties of both muscles. We found that the bat ECRL had low thermal dependence from near body temperature to 10°C lower, with Q 10 values of less than 1.5 for relaxation from contraction and shortening velocities in that interval, and with no significant difference in some rate properties in the interval between 32 and 37°C. In contrast, for all temperature intervals below 37°C, Q 10 values for the mouse EDL were 1.5 or higher, and rate properties differed significantly across successive temperature intervals from 37 to 22°C. An ANCOVA analysis found that the thermal dependencies of all measured isometric and isotonic rate processes were significantly different between the bat and mouse muscles. The relatively low thermal dependence of the bat muscle likely represents a downward shift of its optimal temperature and may be functionally significant in light of the variable operating temperatures of bat wing muscles. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  10. Improved sphincter contractility after allogenic muscle-derived progenitor cell injection into the denervated rat urethra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannon, Tracy W; Lee, Ji Youl; Somogyi, George; Pruchnic, Ryan; Smith, Christopher P; Huard, Johnny; Chancellor, Michael B

    2003-11-01

    To study the physiologic outcome of allogenic transplant of muscle-derived progenitor cells (MDPCs) in the denervated female rat urethra. MDPCs were isolated from muscle biopsies of normal 6-week-old Sprague-Dawley rats and purified using the preplate technique. Sciatic nerve-transected rats were used as a model of stress urinary incontinence. The experimental group was divided into three subgroups: control, denervated plus 20 microL saline injection, and denervated plus allogenic MDPCs (1 to 1.5 x 10(6) cells) injection. Two weeks after injection, urethral muscle strips were prepared and underwent electrical field stimulation. The pharmacologic effects of d-tubocurare, phentolamine, and tetrodotoxin on the urethral strips were assessed by contractions induced by electrical field stimulation. The urethral tissues also underwent immunohistochemical staining for fast myosin heavy chain and CD4-activated lymphocytes. Urethral denervation resulted in a significant decrease of the maximal fast-twitch muscle contraction amplitude to only 8.77% of the normal urethra and partial impairment of smooth muscle contractility. Injection of MDPCs into the denervated sphincter significantly improved the fast-twitch muscle contraction amplitude to 87.02% of normal animals. Immunohistochemistry revealed a large amount of new skeletal muscle fiber formation at the injection site of the urethra with minimal inflammation. CD4 staining showed minimal lymphocyte infiltration around the MDPC injection sites. Urethral denervation resulted in near-total abolishment of the skeletal muscle and partial impairment of smooth muscle contractility. Allogenic MDPCs survived 2 weeks in sciatic nerve-transected urethra with minimal inflammation. This is the first report of the restoration of deficient urethral sphincter function through muscle-derived progenitor cell tissue engineering. MDPC-mediated cellular urethral myoplasty warrants additional investigation as a new method to treat stress urinary

  11. Using Genetically Engineered Animal Models in the Postgenomic Era to Understand Gene Function in Alcoholism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reilly, Matthew T.; Harris, R. Adron; Noronha, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    Over the last 50 years, researchers have made substantial progress in identifying genetic variations that underlie the complex phenotype of alcoholism. Not much is known, however, about how this genetic variation translates into altered biological function. Genetic animal models recapitulating specific characteristics of the human condition have helped elucidate gene function and the genetic basis of disease. In particular, major advances have come from the ability to manipulate genes through a variety of genetic technologies that provide an unprecedented capacity to determine gene function in the living organism and in alcohol-related behaviors. Even newer genetic-engineering technologies have given researchers the ability to control when and where a specific gene or mutation is activated or deleted, allowing investigators to narrow the role of the gene’s function to circumscribed neural pathways and across development. These technologies are important for all areas of neuroscience, and several public and private initiatives are making a new generation of genetic-engineering tools available to the scientific community at large. Finally, high-throughput “next-generation sequencing” technologies are set to rapidly increase knowledge of the genome, epigenome, and transcriptome, which, combined with genetically engineered mouse mutants, will enhance insight into biological function. All of these resources will provide deeper insight into the genetic basis of alcoholism. PMID:23134044

  12. Cardiac contractility, central haemodynamics and blood pressure regulation during semistarvation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stokholm, K H; Breum, L; Astrup, A

    1991-01-01

    pressure (BP) declined. The fall in BP was caused by the reduction in cardiac output as the total peripheral resistance was unchanged. Finally, the decline in total blood volume was not significant. These findings together with a reduction in heart rate indicated that a reduced sympathetic tone via......Eight obese patients were studied before and after 2 weeks of treatment by a very-low-calorie diet (VLCD). Cardiac output and central blood volume (pulmonary blood volume and left atrial volume) were determined by indicator dilution (125I-albumin) and radionuclide angiocardiography (first pass...... and equilibrium technique by [99Tcm]red blood cells). Cardiac output decreased concomitantly with the reduction in oxygen uptake as the calculated systemic arteriovenous difference of oxygen was unaltered. There were no significant decreases in left ventricular contractility indices, i.e. the ejection fraction...

  13. Nerve Regeneration: Understanding Biology and Its Influence on Return of Function After Nerve Transfers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Tessa

    2016-05-01

    Poor functional outcomes are frequent after peripheral nerve injuries despite the regenerative support of Schwann cells. Motoneurons and, to a lesser extent, sensory neurons survive the injuries but outgrowth of axons across the injury site is slow. The neuronal regenerative capacity and the support of regenerating axons by the chronically denervated Schwann cells progressively declines with time and distance of the injury from the denervated targets. Strategies, including brief low-frequency electrical stimulation that accelerates target reinnervation and functional recovery, and the insertion of cross-bridges between a donor nerve and a recipient denervated nerve stump, are effective in promoting functional outcomes after complete and incomplete injuries. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Estimation of Time-Varying Coherence and Its Application in Understanding Brain Functional Connectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng Liu

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Time-varying coherence is a powerful tool for revealing functional dynamics between different regions in the brain. In this paper, we address ways of estimating evolutionary spectrum and coherence using the general Cohen's class distributions. We show that the intimate connection between the Cohen's class-based spectra and the evolutionary spectra defined on the locally stationary time series can be linked by the kernel functions of the Cohen's class distributions. The time-varying spectra and coherence are further generalized with the Stockwell transform, a multiscale time-frequency representation. The Stockwell measures can be studied in the framework of the Cohen's class distributions with a generalized frequency-dependent kernel function. A magnetoencephalography study using the Stockwell coherence reveals an interesting temporal interaction between contralateral and ipsilateral motor cortices under the multisource interference task.

  15. Towards an understanding of structure-function relationships of elongation factor Tu

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wiborg, O; Andersen, C; Knudsen, Charlotte Rohde

    1994-01-01

    In light of the recently determined structure of elongation factor Tu, and taking into account chemical studies mapping functional sites, a number of residues have been selected for site-directed mutagenesis studies. Gly94, Gly126, His66, His118, Lys89 and Asp90 have each been point-mutated. Prel......In light of the recently determined structure of elongation factor Tu, and taking into account chemical studies mapping functional sites, a number of residues have been selected for site-directed mutagenesis studies. Gly94, Gly126, His66, His118, Lys89 and Asp90 have each been point...

  16. Contributions from cognitive neuroscience to understanding functional mechanisms of visual search.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Humphreys, G.W.; Hodsoll, J.; Olivers, C.N.L.; Yoon, E.Y.

    2006-01-01

    We argue that cognitive neuroscience can contribute not only information about the neural localization of processes underlying visual search, but also information about the functional nature of these processes. First we present an overview of recent work on whether search for form - colour

  17. The function of the long dorsal sacroiliac ligament : its implications for understanding low back pain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pool-Goudzwaard, A.L.; Vleeming, A; Hammudoghlu, D; Stoeckart, R.; Snijders, C.; Mens, Jan M A

    1996-01-01

    STUDY DESIGN: In embalmed human bodies the tension of the long dorsal sacroiliac ligament was measured during incremental loading of anatomical structures that are biomechanically relevant. OBJECTIVES: To assess the function of the long dorsal sacroiliac ligament. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: In many

  18. A Visualisation-Based Semiotic Analysis of Learners' Conceptual Understanding of Graphical Functional Relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mudaly, Vimolan

    2014-01-01

    Within the South African school curriculum, the section on graphical functional relationships consists of signs which include symbols, notation and imagery. In a previous article we explored the role visualisation played in the way learners understood mathematical concepts. That paper reported on the learners' fixation with the physical features…

  19. Understanding Functional Reuse of ERP Requirements in the Telecommunication Sector: an Empirical Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Daneva, Maia

    2014-01-01

    This paper is an empirical study on the application of Function Points (FP) and a FP-based reuse measurement model in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) projects in three organizations in the telecommunication sector. The findings of the study are used to compare the requirements reuse for one

  20. A Dyadic Approach to Understanding the Link Between Sexual Functioning and Sexual Satisfaction in Heterosexual Couples

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pascoal, Patrícia M.; Byers, E. Sandra; Alvarez, Maria-João; Santos-Iglesias, Pablo; Nobre, Pedro J.; Pereira, Cicero Roberto; Laan, Ellen

    2017-01-01

    Researchers have demonstrated that several dimensions of sexual functioning (e.g., sexual desire, arousal, orgasm) are associated with the sexual satisfaction of individuals in a committed mixed-sex (male-female) relationship. We extended this research by comparing a dyadic model that included both

  1. Probability density of wave function of excited photoelectron: understanding XANES features

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šipr, Ondřej

    2001-01-01

    Roč. 8, - (2001), s. 232-234 ISSN 0909-0495 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA202/99/0404 Institutional research plan: CEZ:A02/98:Z1-010-914 Keywords : XANES * PED - probability density of wave function Subject RIV: BM - Solid Matter Physics ; Magnetism Impact factor: 1.519, year: 2001

  2. Understanding the Emergence and Functioning of River Committees in a Catchment of the Pangani Basin, Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans C. Komakech

    2011-06-01

    To explain the difference in the performance of the three RCs we need to consider factors related to heterogeneity. We find that the functioning of RCs is strongly influenced by group size, spatial distance, heterogeneity of users and uses, and market forces.

  3. Phloem function: A key to understanding and manipulating plant responses to rising atmospheric [CO2]?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration ([CO2]) directly stimulates photosynthesis and reduces stomatal conductance in C3 plants. Both of these physiological effects have the potential to alter phloem function at elevated [CO2]. Recent research has clearly established that photosynthetic...

  4. Understanding the Contribution of Zinc Transporters in the Function of the Early Secretory Pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kambe, Taiho; Matsunaga, Mayu; Takeda, Taka-Aki

    2017-10-19

    More than one-third of newly synthesized proteins are targeted to the early secretory pathway, which is comprised of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), Golgi apparatus, and other intermediate compartments. The early secretory pathway plays a key role in controlling the folding, assembly, maturation, modification, trafficking, and degradation of such proteins. A considerable proportion of the secretome requires zinc as an essential factor for its structural and catalytic functions, and recent findings reveal that zinc plays a pivotal role in the function of the early secretory pathway. Hence, a disruption of zinc homeostasis and metabolism involving the early secretory pathway will lead to pathway dysregulation, resulting in various defects, including an exacerbation of homeostatic ER stress. The accumulated evidence indicates that specific members of the family of Zn transporters (ZNTs) and Zrt- and Irt-like proteins (ZIPs), which operate in the early secretory pathway, play indispensable roles in maintaining zinc homeostasis by regulating the influx and efflux of zinc. In this review, the biological functions of these transporters are discussed, focusing on recent aspects of their roles. In particular, we discuss in depth how specific ZNT transporters are employed in the activation of zinc-requiring ectoenzymes. The means by which early secretory pathway functions are controlled by zinc, mediated by specific ZNT and ZIP transporters, are also subjects of this review.

  5. Functional Esophageal Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aziz, Qasim; Fass, Ronnie; Gyawali, C Prakash; Miwa, Hiroto; Pandolfino, John E; Zerbib, Frank

    2016-02-15

    Functional esophageal disorders consist of a disease category that present with esophageal symptoms (heartburn, chest pain, dysphagia, globus) not explained by mechanical obstruction (stricture, tumor, eosinophilic esophagitis), major motor disorders (achalasia, EGJ outflow obstruction, absent contractility, distal esophageal spasm, jackhammer esophagus), or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). While mechanisms responsible are unclear, it is theorized that visceral hypersensitivity and hypervigilance play an important role in symptom generation, in the context of normal or borderline function. Treatments directed at improving borderline motor dysfunction or reducing reflux burden to sub-normal levels have limited success in symptom improvement. In contrast, strategies focused on modulating peripheral triggering and central perception are mechanistically viable and clinically meaningful. However, outcome data from these treatment options are limited. Future research needs to focus on understanding mechanisms underlying visceral hypersensitivity and hypervigilance so that appropriate targets and therapies can be developed. Copyright © 2016 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Assessment of drug-induced arrhythmic risk using limit cycle and autocorrelation analysis of human iPSC-cardiomyocyte contractility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kirby, R. Jason [Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics, 6400 Sanger Rd, Orlando, FL 32827 (United States); Qi, Feng [Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, Applied Bioinformatics Facility, 6400 Sanger Rd, Orlando, FL 32827 (United States); Phatak, Sharangdhar; Smith, Layton H. [Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics, 6400 Sanger Rd, Orlando, FL 32827 (United States); Malany, Siobhan, E-mail: smalany@sbpdiscovery.org [Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics, 6400 Sanger Rd, Orlando, FL 32827 (United States)

    2016-08-15

    Cardiac safety assays incorporating label-free detection of human stem-cell derived cardiomyocyte contractility provide human relevance and medium throughput screening to assess compound-induced cardiotoxicity. In an effort to provide quantitative analysis of the large kinetic datasets resulting from these real-time studies, we applied bioinformatic approaches based on nonlinear dynamical system analysis, including limit cycle analysis and autocorrelation function, to systematically assess beat irregularity. The algorithms were integrated into a software program to seamlessly generate results for 96-well impedance-based data. Our approach was validated by analyzing dose- and time-dependent changes in beat patterns induced by known proarrhythmic compounds and screening a cardiotoxicity library to rank order compounds based on their proarrhythmic potential. We demonstrate a strong correlation for dose-dependent beat irregularity monitored by electrical impedance and quantified by autocorrelation analysis to traditional manual patch clamp potency values for hERG blockers. In addition, our platform identifies non-hERG blockers known to cause clinical arrhythmia. Our method provides a novel suite of medium-throughput quantitative tools for assessing compound effects on cardiac contractility and predicting compounds with potential proarrhythmia and may be applied to in vitro paradigms for pre-clinical cardiac safety evaluation. - Highlights: • Impedance-based monitoring of human iPSC-derived cardiomyocyte contractility • Limit cycle analysis of impedance data identifies aberrant oscillation patterns. • Nonlinear autocorrelation function quantifies beat irregularity. • Identification of hERG and non-hERG inhibitors with known risk of arrhythmia • Automated software processes limit cycle and autocorrelation analyses of 96w data.

  7. Assessment of drug-induced arrhythmic risk using limit cycle and autocorrelation analysis of human iPSC-cardiomyocyte contractility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kirby, R. Jason; Qi, Feng; Phatak, Sharangdhar; Smith, Layton H.; Malany, Siobhan

    2016-01-01

    Cardiac safety assays incorporating label-free detection of human stem-cell derived cardiomyocyte contractility provide human relevance and medium throughput screening to assess compound-induced cardiotoxicity. In an effort to provide quantitative analysis of the large kinetic datasets resulting from these real-time studies, we applied bioinformatic approaches based on nonlinear dynamical system analysis, including limit cycle analysis and autocorrelation function, to systematically assess beat irregularity. The algorithms were integrated into a software program to seamlessly generate results for 96-well impedance-based data. Our approach was validated by analyzing dose- and time-dependent changes in beat patterns induced by known proarrhythmic compounds and screening a cardiotoxicity library to rank order compounds based on their proarrhythmic potential. We demonstrate a strong correlation for dose-dependent beat irregularity monitored by electrical impedance and quantified by autocorrelation analysis to traditional manual patch clamp potency values for hERG blockers. In addition, our platform identifies non-hERG blockers known to cause clinical arrhythmia. Our method provides a novel suite of medium-throughput quantitative tools for assessing compound effects on cardiac contractility and predicting compounds with potential proarrhythmia and may be applied to in vitro paradigms for pre-clinical cardiac safety evaluation. - Highlights: • Impedance-based monitoring of human iPSC-derived cardiomyocyte contractility • Limit cycle analysis of impedance data identifies aberrant oscillation patterns. • Nonlinear autocorrelation function quantifies beat irregularity. • Identification of hERG and non-hERG inhibitors with known risk of arrhythmia • Automated software processes limit cycle and autocorrelation analyses of 96w data

  8. Understanding heterogeneity among elderly consumers: an evaluation of segmentation approaches in the functional food market.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Zanden, Lotte D T; van Kleef, Ellen; de Wijk, René A; van Trijp, Hans C M

    2014-06-01

    It is beneficial for both the public health community and the food industry to meet nutritional needs of elderly consumers through product formats that they want. The heterogeneity of the elderly market poses a challenge, however, and calls for market segmentation. Although many researchers have proposed ways to segment the elderly consumer population, the elderly food market has received surprisingly little attention in this respect. Therefore, the present paper reviewed eight potential segmentation bases on their appropriateness in the context of functional foods aimed at the elderly: cognitive age, life course, time perspective, demographics, general food beliefs, food choice motives, product attributes and benefits sought, and past purchase. Each of the segmentation bases had strengths as well as weaknesses regarding seven evaluation criteria. Given that both product design and communication are useful tools to increase the appeal of functional foods, we argue that elderly consumers in this market may best be segmented using a preference-based segmentation base that is predictive of behaviour (for example, attributes and benefits sought), combined with a characteristics-based segmentation base that describes consumer characteristics (for example, demographics). In the end, the effectiveness of (combinations of) segmentation bases for elderly consumers in the functional food market remains an empirical matter. We hope that the present review stimulates further empirical research that substantiates the ideas presented in this paper.

  9. Mechanistic understanding of N-glycosylation in Ebola virus glycoprotein maturation and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bin; Wang, Yujie; Frabutt, Dylan A; Zhang, Xihe; Yao, Xiaoyu; Hu, Dan; Zhang, Zhuo; Liu, Chaonan; Zheng, Shimin; Xiang, Shi-Hua; Zheng, Yong-Hui

    2017-04-07

    The Ebola virus (EBOV) trimeric envelope glycoprotein (GP) precursors are cleaved into the receptor-binding GP 1 and the fusion-mediating GP 2 subunits and incorporated into virions to initiate infection. GP 1 and GP 2 form heterodimers that have 15 or two N -glycosylation sites (NGSs), respectively. Here we investigated the mechanism of how N -glycosylation contributes to GP expression, maturation, and function. As reported before, we found that, although GP 1 NGSs are not critical, the two GP 2 NGSs, Asn 563 and Asn 618 , are essential for GP function. Further analysis uncovered that Asn 563 and Asn 618 regulate GP processing, demannosylation, oligomerization, and conformation. Consequently, these two NGSs are required for GP incorporation into EBOV-like particles and HIV type 1 (HIV-1) pseudovirions and determine viral transduction efficiency. Using CRISPR/Cas9 technology, we knocked out the two classical endoplasmic reticulum chaperones calnexin (CNX) and/or calreticulin (CRT) and found that both CNX and CRT increase GP expression. Nevertheless, NGSs are not required for the GP interaction with CNX or CRT. Together, we conclude that, although Asn 563 and Asn 618 are not required for EBOV GP expression, they synergistically regulate its maturation, which determines its functionality. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  10. Understanding the value of plant diversity for ecosystem functioning through niche theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Purves, Drew W.; Loreau, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity experiments have generated robust empirical results supporting the hypothesis that ecosystems function better when they contain more species. Given that ecosystems provide services that are valued by humans, this inevitably suggests that the loss of species from natural ecosystems could diminish their value. This raises two important questions. First, will experimental results translate into the real world, where species are being lost at an alarming rate? And second, what are the benefits and pitfalls of such valuation exercises? We argue that the empirical results obtained in experiments are entirely consistent with well-established theories of species coexistence. We then examine the current body of work through the lens of niche theory and highlight where closer links with theory could open up opportunities for future research. We argue that niche theory predicts that diversity–functioning relationships are likely to be stronger (and require more species) in the field than in simplified experimental settings. However, we caution that while many of the biological processes that promote coexistence can also generate diversity–function relationships, there is no simple mapping between the two. This implies that valuation exercises need to proceed with care. PMID:27928043

  11. Understanding the response of pulsed electric field on osteoblast functions in three-dimensional mesh structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, A; Nune, K C; Misra, Rdk

    2016-10-01

    The endogenous electric field plays a determining role in impacting biological functions including communication with the physiological system, brain, and bone regeneration by influencing cellular functions. From this perspective, the objective of the study described here is to elucidate the effect of external electric field under dynamic conditions, in providing a guiding cue to osteoblasts in terms of cell-cell interactions and synthesis of prominent adhesion and cytoskeleton proteins. This was accomplished using pulsed direct current electric field of strength 0.1-1 V/cm. The electric field provided guided cue to the cells to migrate toward cathode. Membrane blebbing or necrosis was nearly absent in the vicinity of cathode at 0.1 and 0.5 V/cm electric field strength. Moreover, a higher cell proliferation as well as higher expression of vinculin and densely packed actin stress fibers was observed. At anode, the cells though healthy but expression of actin and vinculin was less. We underscore for the first time that the biological functionality can be favorably modulated on 3D printed scaffolds in the presence of electric field and under dynamic conditions with consequent positive effect on cell proliferation, growth, and expression level of prominent proteins. © The Author(s) 2016.

  12. Using analyses of amino Acid coevolution to understand protein structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashenberg, Orr; Laub, Michael T

    2013-01-01

    Determining which residues of a protein contribute to a specific function is a difficult problem. Analyses of amino acid covariation within a protein family can serve as a useful guide by identifying residues that are functionally coupled. Covariation analyses have been successfully used on several different protein families to identify residues that work together to promote folding, enable protein-protein interactions, or contribute to an enzymatic activity. Covariation is a statistical signal that can be measured in a multiple sequence alignment of homologous proteins. As sequence databases have expanded dramatically, covariation analyses have become easier and more powerful. In this chapter, we describe how functional covariation arises during the evolution of proteins and how this signal can be distinguished from various background signals. We discuss the basic methodology for performing amino acid covariation analysis, using bacterial two-component signal transduction proteins as an example. We provide practical suggestions for each step of the process including assembly of protein sequences, construction of a multiple sequence alignment, measurement of covariation, and analysis of results. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Proceedings of RIKEN BNL Research Center Workshop: Understanding QGP through Spectral Functions and Euclidean Correlators (Volume 89)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mocsy, A.; Petreczky, P.

    2008-01-01

    In the past two decades, one of the most important goals of the nuclear physics community has been the production and characterization of the new state of matter--Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP). Understanding how properties of hadrons change in medium, particularly, the bound state of a very heavy quark and its antiquark, known as quarkonium, as well as determining the transport coefficients is crucial for identifying the properties of QGP and for the understanding of the experimental data from RHIC. On April 23rd, more than sixty physicists from twenty-seven institutions gathered for this three-day topical workshop held at BNL to discuss how to understand the properties of the new state of matter obtained in ultra-relativistic heavy ion collisions (particularly at RHIC-BNL) through spectral functions. In-medium properties of the different particle species and the transport properties of the medium are encoded in spectral functions. The former could yield important signatures of deconfinement and chiral symmetry restoration at high temperatures and densities, while the later are crucial for the understanding of the dynamics of ultra-relativistic heavy ion collisions. Participants at the workshop are experts in various areas of spectral function studies. The workshop encouraged direct exchange of scientific information among experts, as well as between the younger and the more established scientists. The workshops success is evident from the coherent picture that developed of the current understanding of transport properties and in-medium particle properties, illustrated in the current proceedings. The following pages show calculations of meson spectral functions in lattice QCD, as well as implications of these for quarkonia melting/survival in the quark gluon plasma; Lattice calculations of the transport coefficients (shear and bulk viscosities, electric conductivity); Calculation of spectral functions and transport coefficients in field theories using weak coupling

  14. Progesterone Metabolites Produced by Cytochrome P450 3A Modulate Uterine Contractility in a Murine Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patil, Avinash S.; Swamy, Geeta K.; Murtha, Amy P.; Heine, R. Phillips; Zheng, Xiaomei; Grotegut, Chad A.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: We seek to characterize the effect of progesterone metabolites on spontaneous and oxytocin-induced uterine contractility. Study Design: Spontaneous contractility was studied in mouse uterine horns after treatment with progesterone, 2α-hydroxyprogesterone, 6β-hydroxyprogesterone (6β-OHP), 16α-hydroxyprogesterone (16α-OHP), or 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17-OHPC) at 10−9 to 10−6 mol/L. Uterine horns were exposed to progestins (10−6 mol/L), followed by increasing concentrations of oxytocin (1-100 nmol/L) to study oxytocin-induced contractility. Contraction parameters were compared for each progestin and matched vehicle control using repeated measures 2-way analysis of variance. In vitro metabolism of progesterone by recombinant cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) microsomes (3A5, 3A5, and 3A7) identified major metabolites. Results: Oxytocin-induced contractile frequency was decreased by 16α-OHP (P = .03) and increased by 6β-OHP (P = .05). Progesterone and 17-OHPC decreased oxytocin-induced contractile force (P = .02 and P = .04, respectively) and frequency (P = .02 and P = .03, respectively). Only progesterone decreased spontaneous contractile force (P = .02). Production of 16α-OHP and 6β-OHP metabolites were confirmed in all CYP3A isoforms tested. Conclusion: Progesterone metabolites produced by maternal or fetal CYP3A enzymes influence uterine contractility. PMID:26037300

  15. Insight from Mitochondrial Functions and Proteomics to Understand Cardiometabolic Disorders in Survivors of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leahy, Jade; Spahis, Schohraya; Bonneil, Eric; Garofalo, Carole; Grimard, Guy; Morel, Sophia; Laverdière, Caroline; Krajinovic, Maja; Drouin, Simon; Delvin, Edgard; Sinnett, Daniel; Marcil, Valérie; Levy, Emile

    2018-03-18

    Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (cALL) is the most prevalent form of cancer in children. Due to advances in treatment and therapy, young cALL subjects now achieve a 90% survival rate. However, this tremendous advance does not come without consequence since ~2/3 of cALL survivors are affected by long-term and late, severe complications. Although the metabolic syndrome is a very serious sequel of cALL, the mechanisms remain undefined. It is also surprising to note that the mitochondrion, a central organelle in metabolic functions and the main cellular energy generator, have not yet been explored. To determine whether cALL survivors exhibit impairments in their mitochondrial functions and proteomic profiling in relationship with metabolic disorders in cALL survivors compared to healthy controls. Anthropometric measures, metabolic characteristics and lipid profiles were assessed, mitochondria isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and proteomic analyzed. Our data demonstrated that metabolically Unhealthy survivors exhibited several metabolic syndrome components (e.g. overweight, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, inflammation) whereas Healthy cALL survivors resemble the Controls. In line with these abnormalities, functional experiments in these subjects revealed a significant decrease in the protein expression of mitochondrial antioxidant superoxide dismutase, PGC1-α transcription factor (a key modulator of mitochondrion biogenesis), and an increase in pro-apoptotic cytochrome c. Proteomic analysis of mitochondria by mass spectrometry revealed changes in the regulation of proteins related to inflammation, apoptosis, energy production, redox and antioxidant activity, fatty acid β-oxidation, protein transport and metabolism, and signalling pathways between groups. Through the use of proteomic analysis, our work demonstrated a number of significant alterations in protein expression in mitochondria of cALL survivors, especially the metabolically

  16. Beyond form and functioning: Understanding how contextual factors influence village health committees in northern India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerry Scott

    Full Text Available Health committees are a common strategy to foster community participation in health. Efforts to strengthen committees often focus on technical inputs to improve committee form (e.g. representative membership and functioning (e.g. meeting procedures. However, porous and interconnected contextual spheres also mediate committee effectiveness. Using a framework for contextual analysis, we explored the contextual features that facilitated or hindered Village Health, Sanitation and Nutrition Committee (VHSNC functionality in rural north India. We conducted interviews (n = 74, focus groups (n = 18 and observation over 1.5 years. Thematic content analysis enabled the identification and grouping of themes, and detailed exploration of sub-themes. While the intervention succeeded in strengthening committee form and functioning, participant accounts illuminated the different ways in which contextual influences impinged on VHSNC efficacy. Women and marginalized groups navigated social hierarchies that curtailed their ability to assert themselves in the presence of men and powerful local families. These dynamics were not static and unchanging, illustrated by pre-existing cross-caste problem solving, and the committee's creation of opportunities for the careful violation of social norms. Resource and capacity deficits in government services limited opportunities to build relationships between health system actors and committee members and engendered mistrust of government institutions. Fragmented administrative accountability left committee members bearing responsibility for improving local health without access to stakeholders who could support or respond to their efforts. The committee's narrow authority was at odds with widespread community needs, and committee members struggled to involve diverse government services across the health, sanitation, and nutrition sectors. Multiple parallel systems (political decentralization, media and other village groups

  17. Beyond form and functioning: Understanding how contextual factors influence village health committees in northern India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Kerry; George, Asha S; Harvey, Steven A; Mondal, Shinjini; Patel, Gupteswar; Ved, Rajani; Garimella, Surekha; Sheikh, Kabir

    2017-01-01

    Health committees are a common strategy to foster community participation in health. Efforts to strengthen committees often focus on technical inputs to improve committee form (e.g. representative membership) and functioning (e.g. meeting procedures). However, porous and interconnected contextual spheres also mediate committee effectiveness. Using a framework for contextual analysis, we explored the contextual features that facilitated or hindered Village Health, Sanitation and Nutrition Committee (VHSNC) functionality in rural north India. We conducted interviews (n = 74), focus groups (n = 18) and observation over 1.5 years. Thematic content analysis enabled the identification and grouping of themes, and detailed exploration of sub-themes. While the intervention succeeded in strengthening committee form and functioning, participant accounts illuminated the different ways in which contextual influences impinged on VHSNC efficacy. Women and marginalized groups navigated social hierarchies that curtailed their ability to assert themselves in the presence of men and powerful local families. These dynamics were not static and unchanging, illustrated by pre-existing cross-caste problem solving, and the committee's creation of opportunities for the careful violation of social norms. Resource and capacity deficits in government services limited opportunities to build relationships between health system actors and committee members and engendered mistrust of government institutions. Fragmented administrative accountability left committee members bearing responsibility for improving local health without access to stakeholders who could support or respond to their efforts. The committee's narrow authority was at odds with widespread community needs, and committee members struggled to involve diverse government services across the health, sanitation, and nutrition sectors. Multiple parallel systems (political decentralization, media and other village groups) presented

  18. Receiver functions analysis in Northern Tanzania to understand the earliest stage of rifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiberi, C.; Albaric, J.; Deschamps, A.; Deverchere, J.; Ebinger, C. J.; Ferdinand, R. W.; Gautier, S.; Lambert, C.; Msabi, M.; Mtelela, K.; Muzuka, A.; Perrot, J.; Rasendra, N.; Roecker, S. W.; Rodzianko, A.; Witkin, E.

    2013-12-01

    The East African Rift (EAR) is the site of stretching and breakup of the lithosphere in response to a combination of regional pulling forces and mantle upwellings. Deformation results from complex interactions between magmatic intrusions, faulting, asthenospheric dynamism and far field stresses. It thus involves both deep processes and local inherited fabrics. In the frame of two international projects CRAFTI (NSF) and CoLiBrEA (ANR), we gather our skills to lead a multidisciplinary project in order to characterize the factors involved in continental rifting. We target the first 5 My of a magmatic rift initiating in thick (>150 km) continental lithosphere, where we can directly image and detect fault and magma interactions, the role of inherited and rheological heterogeneities of the lithosphere on rift localisation. We deployed 35 broadband seismic stations in Natron and Ngorongoro areas in January 2013 to characterize crustal and mantle structures of the rift. The stations were equipped by 3 component sensors and Reftek Recorders to continuously record teleseisms as well as local seismicity. We present here a receiver function analyse on the teleseismic events recorded during the first 6 months of the experiment. Both P- and S-waves receiver functions were proceeded to document the modification of the crust and the mantle due to plate stretching and magmatic processes. The Vp/Vs ratio informs on the state of the crust, which is affected by magmatic and fluids intrusions at different depths. The S-wave receiver function gives insight into the lithosphere state and the nature of the mantle beneath the rift (archean or plume affected).

  19. Understanding handpump sustainability: Determinants of rural water source functionality in the Greater Afram Plains region of Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Michael B; Shields, Katherine F; Chan, Terence U; Christenson, Elizabeth; Cronk, Ryan D; Leker, Hannah; Samani, Destina; Apoya, Patrick; Lutz, Alexandra; Bartram, Jamie

    2015-10-01

    Safe drinking water is critical to human health and development. In rural sub-Saharan Africa, most improved water sources are boreholes with handpumps; studies suggest that up to one third of these handpumps are nonfunctional at any given time. This work presents findings from a secondary analysis of cross-sectional data from 1509 water sources in 570 communities in the rural Greater Afram Plains (GAP) region of Ghana; one of the largest studies of its kind. 79.4% of enumerated water sources were functional when visited; in multivariable regressions, functionality depended on source age, management, tariff collection, the number of other sources in the community, and the district. A Bayesian network (BN) model developed using the same data set found strong dependencies of functionality on implementer, pump type, management, and the availability of tools, with synergistic effects from management determinants on functionality, increasing the likelihood of a source being functional from a baseline of 72% to more than 97% with optimal management and available tools. We suggest that functionality may be a dynamic equilibrium between regular breakdowns and repairs, with management a key determinant of repair rate. Management variables may interact synergistically in ways better captured by BN analysis than by logistic regressions. These qualitative findings may prove generalizable beyond the study area, and may offer new approaches to understanding and increasing handpump functionality and safe water access.

  20. Magnetic Resonance Assessment of Hypertrophic and Pseudo-Hypertrophic Changes in Lower Leg Muscles of Boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Their Relationship to Functional Measurements.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ravneet S Vohra

    Full Text Available The primary objectives of this study were to evaluate contractile and non-contractile content of lower leg muscles of boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD and determine the relationships between non-contractile content and functional abilities.Lower leg muscles of thirty-two boys with DMD and sixteen age matched unaffected controls were imaged. Non-contractile content, contractile cross sectional area and non-contractile cross sectional area of lower leg muscles (tibialis anterior, extensor digitorum longus, peroneal, medial gastrocnemius and soleus were assessed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI. Muscle strength, timed functional tests and the Brooke lower extremity score were also assessed.Non-contractile content of lower leg muscles (peroneal, medial gastrocnemius, and soleus was significantly greater than control group (p<0.05. Non-contractile content of lower leg muscles correlated with Brooke score (rs = 0.64-0.84 and 30 feet walk (rs = 0.66-0.80. Dorsiflexor (DF and plantarflexor (PF specific torque was significantly different between the groups.Overall, non-contractile content of the lower leg muscles was greater in DMD than controls. Furthermore, there was an age dependent increase in contractile content in the medial gastrocnemius of boys with DMD. The findings of this study suggest that T1 weighted MR images can be used to monitor disease progression and provide a quantitative estimate of contractile and non-contractile content of tissue in children with DMD.

  1. Understanding predictors of functional recovery and outcome 30 months following early childhood head injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Vicki A; Catroppa, Cathy; Dudgeon, Paul; Morse, Sue A; Haritou, Flora; Rosenfeld, Jeffrey V

    2006-01-01

    Much is known about outcome following traumatic brain injury (TBI) in school-age children; however, recovery in early childhood is less well understood. Some argue that such injuries should lead to good outcome, because of the plasticity of the developing brain. Other purport that the young brain is vulnerable, with injury likely to result in a substantial impairment (H. G. Taylor & J. Alden, 1997). The aim of this study was to examine outcomes following TBI during early childhood, to plot recovery over the 30 months postinjury, and to identify predictors of outcome. The study compared 3 groups of children sustaining mild, moderate, and severe TBI, ages 2.0 to 6.11 years at injury, with healthy controls. Groups were comparable for preinjury adaptive and behavioral function, psychosocial characteristics, age, and gender. Results suggested a strong association between injury severity and outcomes across all domains. Further, 30-month outcome was predicted by injury severity, family factors, and preinjury levels of child function. In conclusion, children with more severe injuries and lower preinjury adaptive abilities, and whose families are coping poorly, are at greatest risk of long-term impairment in day-to-day skills, even several years postinjury.

  2. Chinese Herbal Medicine for Functional Abdominal Pain Syndrome: From Clinical Findings to Basic Understandings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Liu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Functional abdominal pain syndrome (FAPS is one of the less common functional gastrointestinal disorders. Conventional therapy has unsatisfactory response to it so people turn to Chinese medicine for help. Currently, we reviewed the whole picture of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM clinical and basic application in the treatment of FAPS, especially the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM syndrome, the single herb, and Chinese medicine formulae, thus to provide a solid base to further develop evidence-based study for this common gastrointestinal complaint in the future. We developed the search strategy and set the inclusion and exclusion criteria for article search. From the included articles, we totally retrieved 586 records according to our searching criteria, of which 16 were duplicate records and 291 were excluded for reasons of irrelevance. The full text of 279 articles was retrieved for detailed assessment, of which 123 were excluded for various reasons. The number one used single herb is Radix Ginseng. The most common syndrome was liver qi depression. The most frequently used classic formula was Si-Mo-Tang. This reflected the true situation of clinical practice of Chinese medicine practitioners and could be further systematically synthesized as key points of the therapeutic research for FAPS.

  3. Chinese Herbal Medicine for Functional Abdominal Pain Syndrome: From Clinical Findings to Basic Understandings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tao; Wang, Ning; Zhang, Li; Zhong, Linda

    2016-01-01

    Functional abdominal pain syndrome (FAPS) is one of the less common functional gastrointestinal disorders. Conventional therapy has unsatisfactory response to it so people turn to Chinese medicine for help. Currently, we reviewed the whole picture of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) clinical and basic application in the treatment of FAPS, especially the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) syndrome, the single herb, and Chinese medicine formulae, thus to provide a solid base to further develop evidence-based study for this common gastrointestinal complaint in the future. We developed the search strategy and set the inclusion and exclusion criteria for article search. From the included articles, we totally retrieved 586 records according to our searching criteria, of which 16 were duplicate records and 291 were excluded for reasons of irrelevance. The full text of 279 articles was retrieved for detailed assessment, of which 123 were excluded for various reasons. The number one used single herb is Radix Ginseng. The most common syndrome was liver qi depression. The most frequently used classic formula was Si-Mo-Tang. This reflected the true situation of clinical practice of Chinese medicine practitioners and could be further systematically synthesized as key points of the therapeutic research for FAPS.

  4. Spot light on skeletal muscles: optogenetic stimulation to understand and restore skeletal muscle function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Bremen, Tobias; Send, Thorsten; Sasse, Philipp; Bruegmann, Tobias

    2017-08-01

    Damage of peripheral nerves results in paralysis of skeletal muscle. Currently, the only treatment option to restore proper function is electrical stimulation of the innervating nerve or of the skeletal muscles directly. However this approach has low spatial and temporal precision leading to co-activation of antagonistic muscles and lacks cell-type selectivity resulting in pain or discomfort by stimulation of sensible nerves. In contrast to electrical stimulation, optogenetic methods enable spatially confined and cell-type selective stimulation of cells expressing the light sensitive channel Channelrhodopsin-2 with precise temporal control over the membrane potential. Herein we summarize the current knowledge about the use of this technology to control skeletal muscle function with the focus on the direct, non-neuronal stimulation of muscle fibers. The high temporal flexibility of using light pulses allows new stimulation patterns to investigate skeletal muscle physiology. Furthermore, the high spatial precision of focused illumination was shown to be beneficial for selective stimulation of distinct nearby muscle groups. Finally, the cell-type specific expression of the light-sensitive effector proteins in muscle fibers will allow pain-free stimulation and open new options for clinical treatments. Therefore, we believe that direct optogenetic stimulation of skeletal muscles is a very potent method for basic scientists that also harbors several distinct advantages over electrical stimulation to be considered for clinical use in the future.

  5. Understanding the corrosion behavior of isomorphous Cu–Ni alloy from its electron work function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huang, X.C.; Lu, H.; Li, D.Y., E-mail: dongyang.li@ualberta.ca

    2016-04-15

    The electrode potential or galvanic series is usually used to reflect the nobility of metals and semi-metals. However, this potential is environment-dependent and the intrinsic nobility of a metal is ultimately governed by its electron stability, which can be represented by the electron work function (EWF). This article reports our studies on the corrosion behavior of isomorphous Cu–Ni alloy in HCl and NaCl solutions, respectively. It was demonstrated that the EWF of the alloy increased as the Ni concentration was increased, so did the corrosion resistance in the acidic solution. In the sodium chloride solution, however, the trend was reversed due to adsorption, hydrolysis and the formation of oxide scale on Cu-rich samples, which more or less prevented them from further corrosion in this solution. In order to confirm this, corrosive wear tests were performed to analyze the performance of the alloy when the effect of oxide scale was eliminated or minimized by the mechanical action. - Highlights: • Increasing %Ni resulted in higher overall electron work function of Cu–Ni alloy. • Higher EWF corresponded to higher resistance to corrosion in a HCl solution. • Trend was reversed in a NaCl solution due to the formation of oxide scale. • During slurry-jet tests, alloys with higher EWFs performed better.

  6. Understanding the corrosion behavior of isomorphous Cu–Ni alloy from its electron work function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huang, X.C.; Lu, H.; Li, D.Y.

    2016-01-01

    The electrode potential or galvanic series is usually used to reflect the nobility of metals and semi-metals. However, this potential is environment-dependent and the intrinsic nobility of a metal is ultimately governed by its electron stability, which can be represented by the electron work function (EWF). This article reports our studies on the corrosion behavior of isomorphous Cu–Ni alloy in HCl and NaCl solutions, respectively. It was demonstrated that the EWF of the alloy increased as the Ni concentration was increased, so did the corrosion resistance in the acidic solution. In the sodium chloride solution, however, the trend was reversed due to adsorption, hydrolysis and the formation of oxide scale on Cu-rich samples, which more or less prevented them from further corrosion in this solution. In order to confirm this, corrosive wear tests were performed to analyze the performance of the alloy when the effect of oxide scale was eliminated or minimized by the mechanical action. - Highlights: • Increasing %Ni resulted in higher overall electron work function of Cu–Ni alloy. • Higher EWF corresponded to higher resistance to corrosion in a HCl solution. • Trend was reversed in a NaCl solution due to the formation of oxide scale. • During slurry-jet tests, alloys with higher EWFs performed better.

  7. Ordering Interfluves: a Simple Proposal for Understanding Critical Zone Evolution and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brecheisen, Z. S.; Richter, D., Jr.; Moon, S.; Halpin, P. N.

    2015-12-01

    A geomorphic interfluve ordering system, a reciprocal to the Hortonian-Strahler stream network order, is envisioned at the Calhoun Critical Zone Observatory (CCZO) in the South Carolina Piedmont. In this system the narrowest and most highly dissected interfluves (gentle ridges and hilltops) are 1st order and increase in rank dendritically through interfluve branching and broadening. Interfluve order attends to the structure, function, and management of residual porous-solid systems in the transport of water, solutes, and eroded solids in our deeply weathered (>30m soil/saprolite) critical zone. Recently generated geospatial data regarding the interactions of geomorphology, human land use, and forest ecology further strengthen the utility of this system. These upland networks and corresponding "land-sheds" have potential in linking recent work in the fields of geophysics and geomorphology regarding bedrock weathering front dynamics. Patterns of bedrock weathering depth, landcover & land-use change, and soil erosion are considered as they correspond to interfluve order. With LiDAR mapping and the burgeoning development and utilization of geophysical techniques and models enabling new quantitative research of critical zone landscape structure and function, many physiographic regions could benefit from a system that delineates and orders interfluve networks.

  8. Understanding and solving disorder in the substitution pattern of amino functionalized MIL-47(V).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinen, Jurn; Dubbeldam, David

    2016-03-14

    Electronic energies and elastic constants of four amino functionalized MIL-47(V) supercells were computed using plane wave density functional theory to determine the influence of the substituent positions on the organic linker. An inverse relationship between the ab initio energies and the elastic constants was found, indicating that the high electronic stability correlates with high mechanical stability. Torsion in all supercells was induced upon substitution, which caused strain in the NH2-MIL-47(V) supercell. The combined effect of the substituent bulkiness and the induced torsion reduced the pore volume of the NH2-MIL-47(V) structures by >7% and the surface area by >14% with respect to MIL-47(V). This reduction was confirmed by lower saturation capacities of methane, CO2 and benzene. When unfavourable substituent positions are chosen, large torsions caused a further reduction of the saturation capacity. Differences in surface area, pore volume and saturation capacity illustrate the importance of choosing the correct NH2-MIL-47(V) supercell.

  9. A dual-factor model of mental health: toward a more comprehensive understanding of youth functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antaramian, Susan P; Scott Huebner, E; Hills, Kimberly J; Valois, Robert F

    2010-10-01

    Traditional mental health models focus on psychological problems and distress; accordingly, health is viewed as the absence of illness or disability. In contrast, a dual-factor model of mental health incorporates both indicators of positive subjective well-being (SWB) and measures of psychopathological symptoms to comprehensively determine an individual's psychological adjustment. This study used such a dual-factor model to measure the mental health status of young adolescents. A total of 764 middle school students were classified into one of four distinct groups based on having high or low psychopathology and high or low SWB. Furthermore, group differences in student engagement, academic achievement, and environmental support for learning were investigated. Results demonstrated the existence of a traditionally neglected group of adolescents (low SWB and low psychopathology) who are nonetheless at risk for academic and behavior problems in school and who performed no better than the most troubled group of adolescents. Overall, both the presence of positive well-being and the absence of symptoms were necessary for ensuring the most advantageous school performance. These results highlight the importance of incorporating positive indicators of well-being along with traditional negative factors in more fully understanding relationships between individuals' mental health and educational outcomes. © 2010 American Orthopsychiatric Association.

  10. Understanding the protective effects of wine components and their metabolites in the brain function

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    Esteban-Fernández A.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Moderate wine consumption has been suggested to exert a positive effect in prevention of neurodegenerative process and cognitive impairment. With the ultimate aim of achieving a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind this benefit, we have investigated the role of certain wine- derived phenolic metabolites and aroma compounds in the MAPK cascade (including ERK1/2, p38, one of the routes directly related to inflammation in neuronal cells. Some of the tested phenolic compounds, especially in the case of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, showed a significant neuroprotective effect against SIN-1-induced neuronal death. Regarding their effect over MAPK phosphorylation, inmunoblotting technique revealed a beneficial and significant decrease on the phosphorylation of p38 and ERK1/2 kinases after incubation with wine constituents. In addition, activity of caspase3-like protease, an executor of neuronal apoptosis and a downstream signal of MAPK, was significantly diminished by 3-(3-hydroxyphenyl propionic acid and linalool, counterbalancing the increase produced by SIN-1. Altogether, these results suggest that wine aroma, phenolic compounds and their gut metabolites could exert neuroprotective actions by modulating MAPK signalling and caspase-3 proteases activation, which are known to play a key role in oxidative/ nitrosative stress-induced response.

  11. Understanding the functions and relationships of the glymphatic system and meningeal lymphatics.

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    Louveau, Antoine; Plog, Benjamin A; Antila, Salli; Alitalo, Kari; Nedergaard, Maiken; Kipnis, Jonathan

    2017-09-01

    Recent discoveries of the glymphatic system and of meningeal lymphatic vessels have generated a lot of excitement, along with some degree of skepticism. Here, we summarize the state of the field and point out the gaps of knowledge that should be filled through further research. We discuss the glymphatic system as a system that allows CNS perfusion by the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and interstitial fluid (ISF). We also describe the recently characterized meningeal lymphatic vessels and their role in drainage of the brain ISF, CSF, CNS-derived molecules, and immune cells from the CNS and meninges to the peripheral (CNS-draining) lymph nodes. We speculate on the relationship between the two systems and their malfunction that may underlie some neurological diseases. Although much remains to be investigated, these new discoveries have changed our understanding of mechanisms underlying CNS immune privilege and CNS drainage. Future studies should explore the communications between the glymphatic system and meningeal lymphatics in CNS disorders and develop new therapeutic modalities targeting these systems.

  12. Caenorhabditis elegans as a model for understanding ROS function in physiology and disease

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    Antonio Miranda-Vizuete

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available ROS (reactive oxygen species are potentially damaging by-products of aerobic metabolism which, unchecked, can have detrimental effects on cell function. However, it is now widely accepted that, at physiological levels, certain ROS play important roles in cell signaling, acting as second messengers to regulate cell choices that contribute to the development, adaptation and survival of plants and animals. Despite important recent advances in the biochemical tools available to study redox-signaling, the molecular mechanisms underlying most of these responses remain poorly understood, particularly in multicellular organisms. As we will review here, C. elegans has emerged as a powerful animal model to elucidate these and other aspects of redox biology.

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

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    Duncan J MacGregor

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

  14. Alterations in serotonin receptor-induced contractility of bovine lateral saphenous vein in cattle grazing endophyte-infected tall fescue.

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    Klotz, J L; Brown, K R; Xue, Y; Matthews, J C; Boling, J A; Burris, W R; Bush, L P; Strickland, J R

    2012-02-01

    As part of a 2-yr study documenting the physiologic impact of grazing endophyte-infected tall fescue on growing cattle, 2 experiments were conducted to characterize and evaluate effects of grazing 2 levels of toxic endophyte-infected tall fescue pastures on vascular contractility and serotonin receptors. Experiment 1 examined vasoconstrictive activities of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5HT), α-methylserotonin (ME5HT; a 5HT(2) receptor agonist), d-lysergic acid (LSA), and ergovaline (ERV) on lateral saphenous veins collected from steers immediately removed from a high-endophyte-infected tall fescue pasture (HE) or a low-endophyte-infected mixed-grass (LE) pasture. Using the same pastures, Exp. 2 evaluated effects of grazing 2 levels of toxic endophyte-infected tall fescue on vasoconstrictive activities of (±)-1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane hydrochloride (DOI), BW 723C86 (BW7), CGS-12066A (CGS), and 5-carboxamidotryptamine hemiethanolate maleate (5CT), agonists for 5HT(2A),( 2B), 5HT(1B), and 5HT(7) receptors, respectively. One-half of the steers in Exp. 2 were slaughtered immediately after removal from pasture, and the other one-half were fed finishing diets for >91 d before slaughter. For Exp. 1, maximal contractile intensities were greater (P 91 d. Experiment 1 demonstrated that grazing of HE pastures for 89 to 105 d induces functional alterations in blood vessels, as evidenced by reduced contractile capacity and altered serotonergic receptor activity. Experiment 2 demonstrated that grazing HE pastures alters vascular responses, which may be mediated through altered serotonin receptor activities, and these alterations may be ameliorated by the removal of ergot alkaloid exposure as demonstrated by the absence of differences in finished steers.

  15. Pretreatment with remifentanil protects against the reduced-intestinal contractility related to the ischemia and reperfusion injury in rat

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    Hale Sayan-Ozacmak

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Serious functional and structural alterations of gastrointestinal tract are observed in failure of blood supply, leading to gastrointestinal dismotility. Activation of opioid receptors provides cardioprotective effect against ischemia-reperfusion (I/R injury. The aim of the present study was to determine whether or not remifentanil could reduce I/R injury of small intestine. METHODS: Male Wistar Albino rats were subjected to mesenteric ischemia (30 min followed by reperfusion (3 h. Four groups were designed: sham control; remifentanil alone; I/R control; and remifentanil + I/R. Animals in remifentanil + I/R group were subjected to infusion of remifentanil (2 ug kg-1 min-1 for 60 min, half of which started before inducing ischemia. Collecting the ileum tissues, evaluation of damage was based on contractile responses to carbachol, levels of lipid peroxidation and neutrophil infiltration, and observation of histopathological features in intestinal tissue. RESULTS: Following reperfusion, a significant decrease in carbachol-induced contractile response, a remarkable increase in both lipid peroxidation and neutrophil infiltration, and a significant injury in mucosa were observed. An average contractile response of remifentanil + I/R group was significantly different from that of the I/R group. Lipid peroxidation and neutrophil infiltration were also significantly suppressed by the treatment. The tissue samples of the I/R group were grade 4 in histopathological evaluation. In remifentanil + I/R group, on the other hand, the mucosal damage was moderate, staging as grade 1. CONCLUSIONS: The pretreatment with remifentanil can attenuate the intestinal I/R injury at a remarkable degree possibly by lowering lipid peroxidation and leukocyte infiltration.

  16. Removal of urothelium affects bladder contractility and release of ATP but not release of NO in rat urinary bladder

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    Boone Timothy B

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The objective of our work was to investigate both the contractile function and the release of ATP and NO from strips of bladder tissue after removal of the urothelium. Methods The method of removal was a gentle swabbing motion rather than a sharp surgical cutting to separate the urothelium from the smooth muscle. The contractile response and ATP and NO release were measured in intact as well as on swabbed preparations. The removal of the urothelial layer was affirmed microscopically. Results After the swabbing, the smaller contractions were evoked by electrical as well as by chemical stimulation (50 μM carbachol or 50 μM α, β meATP. Electrical stimulation, carbachol and substance P (5 μM evoked lower release of ATP in the swabbed strips than in intact strips. Although release of NO evoked by electrical stimulation or substance P was not changed, release of NO evoked by carbachol was significantly less in the swabbed preparations. Conclusion Since swabbing removes only the urothelium, the presence of the suburothelial layer may explain the difference between our findings and those of others who found an increase in contractility. Evoked release of ATP is reduced in swabbed strips, indicating that ATP derives solely from the urothelium. On the other hand, electrical stimulation and substance P evoke identical degrees of NO release in both intact and swabbed preparations, suggesting that NO can be released from the suburothelium. Conversely, carbachol-induced release of NO is lower in swabbed strips, implying that the cholinergic receptors (muscarinic or nicotinic are located in the upper layer of the urothelium.

  17. Overview of experimental progress on understanding photon strength functions with an emphasis of the Oslo method

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    Krticka, Milan

    2015-10-01

    The so-called Photon Strength Functions (PSFs) for different multipolarities are, together with the Nuclear Level Density (NLD) the key entities describing the statistical γ-decay of nucleus. It is well known that PSFs at energies above the threshold for particle emission are well described by the Lorentzian shape of the Giant Electric Dipole Resonance (GEDR). On the other hand, shapes of RSFs at the low-energy tail of GEDR are known rather poorly. Information on the PSFs at the GEDR tail can be obtained from several different experimental techniques. They will be summarized and the most important ones briefly introduced in this contribution. Special emphasis will be put on the so-called Oslo method which allows simultaneous extraction of the NLD and the PSFs from particle- γ coincidence measurements. This method has been used for determining the NLD and the PSFs in many nuclei in A ~ 45- 240 range during past years. Examples of the most interesting results obtained with this method will be shown. The results will be compared to information on the PSFs available from other experimental techniques. The strengths and the weaknesses of the method will be thoroughly discussed.

  18. Formation, function, and exhaustion of notochordal cytoplasmic vacuoles within intervertebral disc: current understanding and speculation

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    Sinkemani, Arjun; Xie, Zhi-Yang; Shi, Rui; Wei, Ji-Nan; Wu, Xiao-Tao

    2017-01-01

    Notochord nucleus pulposus cells are characteristic of containing abundant and giant cytoplasmic vacuoles. This review explores the embryonic formation, biological function, and postnatal exhaustion of notochord vacuoles, aiming to characterize the signal network transforming the vacuolated nucleus pulposus cells into the vacuole-less chondrocytic cells. Embryonically, the cytoplasmic vacuoles within vertebrate notochord originate from an evolutionarily conserved vacuolation process during neurulation, which may continue to provide mechanical and signal support in constructing a mammalian intervertebral disc. For full vacuolation, a vacuolating specification from dorsal organizer cells, synchronized convergent extension, well-structured notochord sheath, and sufficient post-Golgi trafficking in notochord cells are required. Postnatally, age-related and species-specific exhaustion of vacuolated nucleus pulposus cells could be potentiated by Fas- and Fas ligand-induced apoptosis, intolerance to mechanical stress and nutrient deficiency, vacuole-mediated proliferation check, and gradual de-vacuolation within the avascular and compression-loaded intervertebral disc. These results suggest that the notochord vacuoles are active and versatile organelles for both embryonic notochord and postnatal nucleus pulposus, and may provide novel information on intervertebral disc degeneration to guide cell-based regeneration. PMID:28915712

  19. Understanding how commensal obligate anaerobic bacteria regulate immune functions in the large intestine.

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    Maier, Eva; Anderson, Rachel C; Roy, Nicole C

    2014-12-24

    The human gastrointestinal tract is colonised by trillions of commensal bacteria, most of which are obligate anaerobes residing in the large intestine. Appropriate bacterial colonisation is generally known to be critical for human health. In particular, the development and function of the immune system depends on microbial colonisation, and a regulated cross-talk between commensal bacteria, intestinal epithelial cells and immune cells is required to maintain mucosal immune homeostasis. This homeostasis is disturbed in various inflammatory disorders, such as inflammatory bowel diseases. Several in vitro and in vivo studies indicate a role for Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, Bacteroides fragilis, Akkermansia muciniphila and segmented filamentous bacteria in maintaining intestinal immune homeostasis. These obligate anaerobes are abundant in the healthy intestine but reduced in several inflammatory diseases, suggesting an association with protective effects on human health. However, knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the effects of obligate anaerobic intestinal bacteria remains limited, in part due to the difficulty of co-culturing obligate anaerobes together with oxygen-requiring human epithelial cells. By using novel dual-environment co-culture models, it will be possible to investigate the effects of the unstudied majority of intestinal microorganisms on the human epithelia. This knowledge will provide opportunities for improving human health and reducing the risk of inflammatory diseases.

  20. Understanding How Commensal Obligate Anaerobic Bacteria Regulate Immune Functions in the Large Intestine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maier, Eva; Anderson, Rachel C.; Roy, Nicole C.

    2014-01-01

    The human gastrointestinal tract is colonised by trillions of commensal bacteria, most of which are obligate anaerobes residing in the large intestine. Appropriate bacterial colonisation is generally known to be critical for human health. In particular, the development and function of the immune system depends on microbial colonisation, and a regulated cross-talk between commensal bacteria, intestinal epithelial cells and immune cells is required to maintain mucosal immune homeostasis. This homeostasis is disturbed in various inflammatory disorders, such as inflammatory bowel diseases. Several in vitro and in vivo studies indicate a role for Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, Bacteroides fragilis, Akkermansia muciniphila and segmented filamentous bacteria in maintaining intestinal immune homeostasis. These obligate anaerobes are abundant in the healthy intestine but reduced in several inflammatory diseases, suggesting an association with protective effects on human health. However, knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the effects of obligate anaerobic intestinal bacteria remains limited, in part due to the difficulty of co-culturing obligate anaerobes together with oxygen-requiring human epithelial cells. By using novel dual-environment co-culture models, it will be possible to investigate the effects of the unstudied majority of intestinal microorganisms on the human epithelia. This knowledge will provide opportunities for improving human health and reducing the risk of inflammatory diseases. PMID:25545102

  1. TREK-1 Channel Expression in Smooth Muscle as a Target for Regulating Murine Intestinal Contractility: Therapeutic Implications for Motility Disorders

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    Ruolin Ma

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Gastrointestinal (GI motility disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS can occur when coordinated smooth muscle contractility is disrupted. Potassium (K+ channels regulate GI smooth muscle tone and are key to GI tract relaxation, but their molecular and functional phenotypes are poorly described. Here we define the expression and functional roles of mechano-gated K2P channels in mouse ileum and colon. Expression and distribution of the K2P channel family were investigated using quantitative RT-PCR (qPCR, immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy. The contribution of mechano-gated K2P channels to mouse intestinal muscle tension was studied pharmacologically using organ bath. Multiple K2P gene transcripts were detected in mouse ileum and colon whole tissue preparations. Immunohistochemistry confirmed TREK-1 expression was smooth muscle specific in both ileum and colon, whereas TREK-2 and TRAAK channels were detected in enteric neurons but not smooth muscle. In organ bath, mechano-gated K2P channel activators (Riluzole, BL-1249, flufenamic acid, and cinnamyl 1-3,4-dihydroxy-alpha-cyanocinnamate induced relaxation of KCl and CCh pre-contracted ileum and colon tissues and reduced the amplitude of spontaneous contractions. These data reveal the specific expression of mechano-gated K2P channels in mouse ileum and colon tissues and highlight TREK-1, a smooth muscle specific K2P channel in GI tract, as a potential therapeutic target for combating motility pathologies arising from hyper-contractility.

  2. Administration of imatinib mesylate in rats impairs the neonatal development of intramuscular interstitial cells in bladder and results in altered contractile properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gevaert, Thomas; Hutchings, Graham; Everaerts, Wouter; Prenen, Hans; Roskams, Tania; Nilius, Bernd; De Ridder, Dirk

    2014-04-01

    The KIT receptor is considered as a reliable marker for a subpopulation of interstitial cells (IC), and by persistent neonatal inhibition of KIT we have investigated the role of this receptor in the development of IC-networks in bladder and we have observed the functional consequences of this inhibition. Newborn rat pups were treated daily with the KIT inhibitor imatinib mesylate (IM). After 7 days animals were sacrificed and bladder samples were dissected for morphological and functional studies. Morphological research consisted of immunohistochemistry with IC specific antigens (KIT and vimentin) and electron microscopy. The functional studies were based on isolated bladder strips in organ baths, in which spontaneous bladder contractility and the response to a non-subtype selective muscarinic agonist was evaluated. Suburothelial and intramuscular IC were found and characterized in neonatal rat bladder. IM-treatment induced a significant decrease in numbers of IC based on specific immunohistochemical markers, and electron microscopy revealed evidence of IC cell injury. These morphological alterations were observed on intramuscular IC only and not on IC in the suburothelium. Isolated muscle strips from IM-treated animals had a lower contractile frequency and an altered response to muscarinic agonists. The present study shows the presence of regional subpopulations of IC in neonatal rat bladder, provides evidence for a dependence on KIT of the development of intramuscular IC and supports the hypothesis that a poor development of networks of intramuscular IC might have repercussions on spontaneous and muscarinic-induced bladder contractility. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. A Foray into Fungal Ecology: Understanding Fungi and Their Functions Across Ecosystems

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    Francis, N.; Dunkirk, N. C.; Peay, K.

    2015-12-01

    Despite their incredible diversity and importance to terrestrial ecosystems, fungi are not included in a standard high school science curriculum. This past summer, however, my work for the Stanford EARTH High School Internship program introduced me to fungal ecology through experiments involving culturing, genomics and root dissections. The two fungal experiments I worked on had very different foci, both searching for answers to broad ecological questions of fungal function and physiology. The first, a symbiosis experiment, sought to determine if the partners of the nutrient exchange between pine trees and their fungal symbionts could choose one another. The second experiment, a dung fungal succession project, compared the genetic sequencing results of fungal extractions from dung versus fungal cultures from dung. My part in the symbiosis experiment involved dissection, weighing and encapsulation of root tissue samples characterized based on the root thickness and presence of ectomycorrhizal fungi. The dung fungi succession project required that I not only learn how to culture various genera of dung fungi but also learn how to extract DNA and RNA for sequencing from the fungal tissue. Although I primarily worked with dung fungi cultures and thereby learned about their unique physiologies, I also learned about the different types of genetic sequencing since the project compared sequences of cultured fungi versus Next Generation sequencing of all fungi present within a dung pellet. Through working on distinct fungal projects that reassess how information about fungi is known within the field of fungal ecology, I learned not only about the two experiments I worked on but also many past related experiments and inquiries through reading scientific papers. Thanks to my foray into fungal research, I now know not only the broader significance of fungi in ecological research but also how to design and conduct ecological experiments.

  4. Recombinant yeast as a functional tool for understanding bitterness and cucurbitacin biosynthesis in watermelon (Citrullus spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidovich-Rikanati, Rachel; Shalev, Lior; Baranes, Nadine; Meir, Ayala; Itkin, Maxim; Cohen, Shahar; Zimbler, Kobi; Portnoy, Vitaly; Ebizuka, Yutaka; Shibuya, Masaaki; Burger, Yosef; Katzir, Nurit; Schaffer, Arthur A; Lewinsohn, Efraim; Tadmor, Ya'akov

    2015-01-01

    Cucurbitacins are a group of bitter-tasting oxygenated tetracyclic triterpenes that are produced in the family Cucurbitaceae and other plant families. The natural roles of cucurbitacins in plants are probably related to defence against pathogens and pests. Cucurbitadienol, a triterpene synthesized from oxidosqualene, is the first committed precursor to cucurbitacins produced by a specialized oxidosqualene cyclase termed cucurbitadienol synthase. We explored cucurbitacin accumulation in watermelon in relation to bitterness. Our findings show that cucurbitacins are accumulated in bitter-tasting watermelon, Citrullus lanatus var. citroides, as well as in their wild ancestor, C. colocynthis, but not in non-bitter commercial cultivars of sweet watermelon (C. lanatus var. lanatus). Molecular analysis of genes expressed in the roots of several watermelon accessions led to the isolation of three sequences (CcCDS1, CcCDS2 and ClCDS1), all displaying high similarity to the pumpkin CpCPQ, encoding a protein previously shown to possess cucurbitadienol synthase activity. We utilized the Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain BY4743, heterozygous for lanosterol synthase, to probe for possible encoded cucurbitadienol synthase activity of the expressed watermelon sequences. Functional expression of the two sequences isolated from C. colocynthis (CcCDS1 and CcCDS2) in yeast revealed that only CcCDS2 possessed cucurbitadienol synthase activity, while CcCDS1 did not display cucurbitadienol synthase activity in recombinant yeast. ClCDS1 isolated from C. lanatus var. lanatus is almost identical to CcCDS1. Our results imply that CcCDS2 plays a role in imparting bitterness to watermelon. Yeast has been an excellent diagnostic tool to determine the first committed step of cucurbitacin biosynthesis in watermelon. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  5. The effects of RSR13 on microvascular Po2 kinetics and muscle contractile performance in the rat arterial ligation model of peripheral arterial disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Aiko; Poole, David C; Kano, Yutaka

    2017-10-01

    Exercise intolerance and claudication are symptomatic of peripheral arterial disease. There is a close relationship between muscle O 2 delivery, microvascular oxygen partial pressure (P mv O 2 ), and contractile performance. We therefore hypothesized that a reduction of hemoglobin-oxygen affinity via RSR13 would maintain a higher P mv O 2 and enhance blood-muscle O 2 transport and contractile function. In male Wistar rats (12 wk of age), we created hindlimb ischemia via right-side iliac artery ligation (AL). The contralateral (left) muscle served as control (CONT). Seven days after AL, phosphorescence-quenching techniques were used to measure P mv O 2 at rest and during contractions (electrical stimulation; 1 Hz, 300 s) in tibialis anterior muscle (TA) under saline ( n = 10) or RSR13 ( n = 10) conditions. RSR13 at rest increased TA P mv O 2 in CONT (13.9 ± 1.6 to 19.3 ± 1.9 Torr, P < 0.05) and AL (9.0 ± 0.5 to 9.9 ± 0.7 Torr, P < 0.05). Furthermore, RSR13 extended maintenance of the initial TA force (i.e., improved contractile performance) such that force was not decreased significantly until contraction 240 vs. 150 in CONT and 80 vs. 20 in AL. This improved muscle endurance with RSR13 was accompanied by a greater ΔP mv O 2 (P mv O 2 decrease from baseline) (CONT, 7.4 ± 1.0 to 11.2 ± 1.3; AL, 6.9 ± 0.5 to 8.6 ± 0.6 Torr, both P < 0.05). Whereas RSR13 did not alter the kinetics profile of P mv O 2 (i.e., mean response time) substantially during contractions, muscle force was elevated, and the ratio of muscle force to P mv O 2 increased. In conclusion, reduction of hemoglobin-oxygen affinity via RSR13 in AL increased P mv O 2 and improved muscle contractile performance most likely via enhanced blood-muscle O 2 diffusion. NEW & NOTEWORTHY This is the first investigation to examine the effect of RSR13 (erythrocyte allosteric effector) on skeletal muscle microvascular oxygen partial pressure kinetics and contractile function using an arterial ligation model of

  6. Some aspects of executive functions as predictors of understanding textual mathematical tasks in students with mild intellectual disability

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    Japundža-Milisavljević Mirjana

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The most significant segment during the process of solving mathematical tasks is translation from mathematical to native language, in the basis o which, among others, are the following factors: resistance to distraction and forming adequate verbal strategies. The goal of this research is to evaluate the contribution of some aspects of executive functions in explaining the variance of solving illustrative mathematical tasks in students with mild intellectual disability. The sample consists of 90 students with mild intellectual disability aged from 12 to 16 (M=14.7; SD=1.6, of both sexes (44.4% boys and 55.6% girls. The Twenty questions test and the Stroop test were used to estimate the executive functions. Verbal problem tasks were used for the purpose of understanding mathematical language The obtained results show that the estimated aspects of executive functions are significant predictors of understanding mathematical language in students with intellectual disabilities. The strongest predictor is distraction resistance (p=0.01.

  7. From understanding cellular function to novel drug discovery: the role of planar patch-clamp array chip technology

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    Christophe ePy

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available All excitable cell functions rely upon ion channels that are embedded in their plasma membrane. Perturbations of ion channel structure or function result in pathologies ranging from cardiac dysfunction to neurodegenerative disorders. Consequently, to understand the functions of excitable cells and to remedy their pathophysiology, it is important to understand the ion channel functions under various experimental conditions – including exposure to novel drug targets. Glass pipette patch-clamp is the state of the art technique to monitor the intrinsic and synaptic properties of neurons. However, this technique is labor-intensive and has low data throughput. Planar patch-clamp chips, integrated into automated systems, offer high throughputs but are limited to isolated cells from suspensions, resulting in questionable models of true physiological function, and are unsuitable for studies involving neuronal communication. Multi-electrode arrays (MEA, in contrast, have the ability to monitor network activity by measuring local field potentials from multiple extracellular sites, but specific ion channel activity is challenging to extract from these multiplexed signals. Here we describe a novel planar patch-clamp chip technology that enables the simultaneous high resolution electrophysiological interrogation of individual neurons at multiple sites in synaptically connected neuronal networks, thereby combining the advantages of MEA and patch-clamp techniques. Each neuron can be probed through an aperture that connects to a dedicated subterranean microfluidic channel. Neurons growing in networks are aligned to the apertures by physisorbed or chemisorbed chemical cues. In this review, we describe the design and fabrication process of these chips, the approach to the chemical patterning for cell placement, and present physiological data from cultured neuronal cells.

  8. Quantifying esophagogastric junction contractility with a novel HRM topographic metric, the EGJ-Contractile Integral: normative values and preliminary evaluation in PPI non-responders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicodème, F; Pipa-Muniz, M; Khanna, K; Kahrilas, P J; Pandolfino, J E

    2014-03-01

    Despite its obvious pathophysiological relevance, the clinical utility of measures of esophagogastric junction (EGJ) contractility is unsubstantiated. High-resolution manometry (HRM) may improve upon this with its inherent ability to integrate the magnitude of contractility over time and length of the EGJ. This study aimed to develop a novel HRM metric summarizing EGJ contractility and test its ability distinguish among subgroups of proton pump inhibitor non-responders (PPI-NRs). 75 normal controls and 88 PPI-NRs were studied. All underwent HRM. PPI-NRs underwent pH-impedance monitoring on PPI therapy scored in terms of acid exposure, number of reflux events, and reflux-symptom correlation and grouped as meeting all criteria, some criteria, or no criteria of abnormality. Control HRM studies were used to establish normal values for candidate EGJ contractility metrics, which were then compared in their ability to differentiate among PPI-NR subgroups. The EGJ contractile integral (EGJ-CI), a metric integrating contractility across the EGJ for three respiratory cycles, best distinguished the All Criteria PPI-NR subgroup from controls and other PPI-NR subgroups. Normal values (median, [IQR]) for this measure were 39 mmHg-cm [25-55 mmHg-cm]. The correlation between the EGJ-CI and a previously proposed metric, the lower esophageal sphincter-pressure integral, that used a fixed 10 s time frame and an atmospheric as opposed to gastric pressure reference was weak. Among HRM metrics tested, the EGJ-CI was best in distinguishing PPI-NRs meeting all criteria of abnormality on pH-impedance testing. Future prospective studies are required to explore its utility in management of broader groups of gastroesophageal reflux disease patients. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. The value of eutherian-marsupial comparisons for understanding the function of glucocorticoids in female mammal reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanson, Kerry V; Parrott, Marissa L

    2015-11-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "SBN 2014". Chronic stress is known to inhibit female reproductive function. Consequently, it is often assumed that glucocorticoid (GC) concentrations should be negatively correlated with reproductive success because of the role they play in stress physiology. In contrast, a growing body of evidence indicates that GCs play an active role in promoting reproductive function. It is precisely because GCs are so integral to the entire process that disruptions to adrenal activity have negative consequences for reproduction. The goal of this paper is to draw attention to the increasing evidence showing that increases in adrenal activity are important for healthy female reproduction. Furthermore, we outline several hypotheses about the functional role(s) that GCs may play in mediating reproduction and argue that comparative studies between eutherian and marsupial mammals, which exhibit some pronounced differences in reproductive physiology, may be particularly useful for testing different hypotheses about the functional role of GCs in reproduction. Much of our current thinking about GCs and reproduction comes from research involving stress-induced levels of GCs and has led to broad assumptions about the effects of GCs on reproduction. Unfortunately, this has left a gaping hole in our knowledge about basal GC levels and how they may influence reproductive function, thereby preventing a broader understanding of adrenal physiology and obscuring potential solutions for reproductive dysfunction. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Adipose-derived stem cells inhibit the contractile myofibroblast in Dupuytren's disease.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhoekx, J.S.; Mudera, V.; Walbeehm, E.T.; Hovius, S.E.

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: In an attempt to provide minimally invasive treatment for Dupuytren's disease, percutaneous disruption of the affected tissue followed by lipografting is being tested. Contractile myofibroblasts drive this fibroproliferative disorder, whereas stem cells have recently been implicated in

  11. Considerations for Contractile Electroactive Polymeric Materials and Actuators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rasmussen, Lenore; Erickson, Carl J.; Meixler, Lewis D.; Ascione, George; Gentile, Charles A.; Tilson, Charles; Bernasek, Stephen L.; Abelev, Esta

    2009-06-16

    Ras Labs produces electroactive polymer (EAP) based materials and actuators that bend, swell, ripple and now contract (new development) with low electric input. This is an important attribute because of the ability of contraction to produce life-like motion. The mechanism of contraction is not well understood. Radionuclide-labeled experiments were conducted to follow the movement of electrolytes and water in these EAPs when activated. Extreme temperature experiments were performed on the contractile EAPs with very favorable results. One of the biggest challenges in developing these actuators, however, is the electrode-EAP interface because of the pronounced movement of the EAP. Plasma treatments of metallic electrodes were investigated in order to improve the attachment of the embedded electrodes to the EAP material. Surface analysis, adhesive testing, and mechanical testing were conducted to test metal surfaces and metal-polymer interfaces. The nitrogen plasma treatment of titanium produced a strong metal-polymer interface; however, oxygen plasma treatment of both stainless steel and titanium produced even stronger metal-polymer interfaces. Plasma treatment of the electrodes allows for the embedded electrodes and the EAP material of the actuator to work and move as a unit, with no detachment, by significantly improving the metal-polymer interface.

  12. Mechanism of action of ethanol on heart contractility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oquendo-Muriente, I.; De Mello, W.C.

    1986-01-01

    Ethanol depresses heart contractility. To investigate the mechanism of the negative inotropic action of ethanol, rat ventricular strips were dissected and mounted vertically in a transparent chamber. The preparation was superfused initially with normal oxygenated Tyrode solution (32.5 0 C) and electrically stimulated (1 Hz). After 1 hour of equilibration, contractures were elicited by exposing the muscle strips to high K + (100 mM) solution. Studies on the influence of (Ca 2+ ) 0 on K + contractures showed that the first rapid component of the contracture (58 mg/sec - S.E. +/- 8; n = 8) was greatly dependent upon (Ca 2+ ) 0 while the second slow component (20 mg/sec - S.E. +/- 5; n = 8) was slightly altered. The addition of ethanol (400 mg/100 ml) to high K solution abolished the fast component and reduced the amplitude of the second phase of K contractures. Similar results were obtained with verapamil (10 -5 M). These results, as well as studies on the effect of the drug on 45 Ca fluxes support the view that ethanol decreases the permeability of the heart cell membrane to Ca

  13. Mechanism of action of ethanol on heart contractility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oquendo-Muriente, I.; De Mello, W.C.

    1986-03-05

    Ethanol depresses heart contractility. To investigate the mechanism of the negative inotropic action of ethanol, rat ventricular strips were dissected and mounted vertically in a transparent chamber. The preparation was superfused initially with normal oxygenated Tyrode solution (32.5/sup 0/C) and electrically stimulated (1 Hz). After 1 hour of equilibration, contractures were elicited by exposing the muscle strips to high K/sup +/ (100 mM) solution. Studies on the influence of (Ca/sup 2 +/)/sub 0/ on K/sup +/ contractures showed that the first rapid component of the contracture (58 mg/sec - S.E. +/- 8; n = 8) was greatly dependent upon (Ca/sup 2 +/)/sub 0/ while the second slow component (20 mg/sec - S.E. +/- 5; n = 8) was slightly altered. The addition of ethanol (400 mg/100 ml) to high K solution abolished the fast component and reduced the amplitude of the second phase of K contractures. Similar results were obtained with verapamil (10/sup -5/ M). These results, as well as studies on the effect of the drug on /sup 45/Ca fluxes support the view that ethanol decreases the permeability of the heart cell membrane to Ca.

  14. Contractile Force of Human Extraocular Muscle: A Theoretical Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongmei Guo

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim. The length-contractile force relationships of six human extraocular muscles (EOMs in primary innervations should be determined during eye movement modeling and surgery of clinical EOMs. This study aims to investigate these relationships. Method. The proposal is based on the assumption that six EOMs have similar constitutive relationships, with the eye suspended in the primary position. The constitutive relationships of EOMs are obtained by optimizing from previous experimental data and the theory of mechanical equilibrium using traditional model. Further, simulate the existing experiment of resistance force, and then compare the simulated results with the existing experimental results. Finally, the mechanical constitutive relationships of EOMs are obtained. Results. The results show that the simulated resistance forces from the other four EOMs except for the horizontal recti well agree with previous experimental results. Conclusion. The mechanical constitutive relationships of six EOMs in primary innervations are obtained, and the rationality of the constitutive relationships is verified. Whereafter, the active stress-strain relationships of the six EOMs in the primary innervations are obtained. The research results can improve the eye movement model to predict the surgical amounts of EOMs before EOM surgery more precisely.

  15. Postextrasystolic potentiation and contractile reserve: requirements and restrictions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lust, R M; Lutherer, L O; Gardner, M E; Cooper, M W

    1982-12-01

    These studies were conducted to examine the basic characteristics of postextrasystolic potentiation (PESP) and the relationship of loading effects to PESP. Measurements of left ventricular (LV) and aortic pressures, the rate of pressure rise, and echocardiographically determined LV dimensions were made in anesthetized open-chest dogs. The hearts were paced, and timed extrasystoles were introduced that were followed by postextrasystoles (PES). PES's were elicited after an interval equal to either a full compensatory pause or a time when the diastolic properties of the LV could not be distinguished from control (isolength). Potentiation of contraction for the PES's introduced after an isolength pause was dependent on both the heart rate and the extrasystolic interval, whereas the PES's that occurred after a full pause showed no dependence on either of these intervals. PESP elicited during the isolength period was not dependent on either preload and afterload. It is concluded that PESP depends on the combination of heart rate and extrasystolic and postextrasystolic intervals. Further, PESP may be inaccurate in assessing contractile reserve unless the heart rate and extrasystolic interval are known and the PES is introduced after an isolength pause.

  16. Considerations for Contractile Electroactive Polymeric Materials and Actuators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rasmussen, L.; Erickson, Carl J.; Meixler, Lewis D.; Ascione, G.; Gentile, Charles A.; Tilson, C.; Bernasek, Stephen L.; Abelev, E.

    2009-01-01

    Ras Labs produces electroactive polymer (EAP) based materials and actuators that bend, swell, ripple and now contract (new development) with low electric input. This is an important attribute because of the ability of contraction to produce life-like motion. The mechanism of contraction is not well understood. Radionuclide-labeled experiments were conducted to follow the movement of electrolytes and water in these EAPs when activated. Extreme temperature experiments were performed on the contractile EAPs with very favorable results. One of the biggest challenges in developing these actuators, however, is the electrode-EAP interface because of the pronounced movement of the EAP. Plasma treatments of metallic electrodes were investigated in order to improve the attachment of the embedded electrodes to the EAP material. Surface analysis, adhesive testing, and mechanical testing were conducted to test metal surfaces and metal-polymer interfaces. The nitrogen plasma treatment of titanium produced a strong metal-polymer interface; however, oxygen plasma treatment of both stainless steel and titanium produced even stronger metal-polymer interfaces. Plasma treatment of the electrodes allows for the embedded electrodes and the EAP material of the actuator to work and move as a unit, with no detachment, by significantly improving the metal-polymer interface

  17. Interleukin-6 downregulated vascular smooth muscle cell contractile proteins via ATG4B-mediated autophagy in thoracic aortic dissection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Zhao; Qiao, Fan; Lu, Qijue; Ma, Ye; Liu, Yang; Lu, Fanglin; Xu, Zhiyun

    2017-12-01

    -regulation. ATG4B knockdown blocked IL-6-induced autophagy and α-SMA and SM22α degradation, while ATG4B overexpression partly replaced the function of IL-6 in human VSMCs. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that IL-6 downregulated expression of VSMCs contractile proteins α-SMA and SM22α via enhancing ATG4B-mediated autophagy in TAD.

  18. Global and Regional Left Ventricular Contractile Impairment In Patients With Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sony Jacob

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: To assess regional systolic function and global contractile function in patients with WPW Syndrome.Method: Eleven cases with manifest Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW syndrome in sinus rhythm were compared to 11 age matched controls. 2D strain analysis was performed and peak segmental radial strain (pRS values obtained from basal ventricular parasternal short-axis images (70 ± 5 frames/sec using a dedicated software package. Heterogeneity of radial strain pattern in six circumferential basal left ventricular segments was measured in terms of standard deviations of peak RS (SDpRS or range (difference between maximum and minimum peak RS i.e. RangepRS. Spectral Doppler (continuous wave measurements were acquired through the left ventricular outflow tract to determine Pre Ejection Period (PEP, Left Ventricular Ejection Time (LVET and measures of left ventricular systolic performance. Results: LV segmental radial strain was profoundly heterogeneous in WPW cases in contrast to fairly homogenous strain pattern in normal subjects. Wide SDpRS values 17.5 ± 8.9 vs 3.3 ± 1.4, p<0.001 and RangepRS 42.7 ± 20.8 vs.8.5 ± 3.6 , p<0.001 were observed among WPW and healthy subjects respectively. PEP (132.4 ± 14.7 vs 4.7 ± 0.5ms, p<0.001 and corrected PEP (76.1 ± 8.0 vs 2.7 ± 0.4ms, p<0.001 were significantly longer in WPW patients compared to controls. The PEP/LVET ratio was also significantly greater in WPW cohort (0.49 ± 0.04 vs. 0.28 ± 0.05, p <0.001 suggesting global systolic dysfunction. Conclusion: Patients with manifest preexcitation (predominantly those with right-sided pathways have regional and global contractile dysfunction resulting from aberrant impulse propagation inherent to the preexcited state.

  19. Enhancement of contractile force generation of artificial skeletal muscle tissues by mild and transient heat treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Masanori; Ikeda, Kazushi; Kanno, Shota; Ito, Akira; Kawabe, Yoshinori; Kamihira, Masamichi

    2014-01-01

    Artificial skeletal muscle tissues composed of cells are expected to be used for applications of regenerative medicine and drug screening. Generally, however, the physical forces generated by tissue-engineered skeletal muscle are lower than those of skeletal muscle tissues found in the body. Local hyperthermia is used for many diseases including muscle injuries. It was recently reported that mild heat treatment improved skeletal muscle functions. In this study, we investigated the effects of mild heat treatment on the tissue-engineered skeletal muscle tissues in vitro. We used magnetite cationic liposomes to label C2C12 myoblast cells magnetically, and constructed densely packed artificial skeletal muscle tissues by using magnetic force. Cell culture at 39°C promoted the differentiation of myoblast cells into myotubes. Moreover, the mild and transient heat treatment improved the contractile properties of artificial skeletal muscle tissue constructs. These findings indicate that the culture method using heat treatment is a useful approach to enhance functions of artificial skeletal muscle tissue.

  20. Reliability of contractile properties of the knee extensor muscles in individuals with post-polio syndrome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric L Voorn

    Full Text Available To assess the reliability of contractile properties of the knee extensor muscles in 23 individuals with post-polio syndrome (PPS and 18 age-matched healthy individuals.Contractile properties of the knee extensors were assessed from repeated electrically evoked contractions on 2 separate days, with the use of a fixed dynamometer. Reliability was determined for fatigue resistance, rate of torque development (MRTD, and early and late relaxation time (RT50 and RT25, using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC and standard error of measurement (SEM, expressed as % of the mean.In both groups, reliability for fatigue resistance was good, with high ICCs (>0.90 and small SEM values (PPS: 7.1%, healthy individuals: 7.0%. Reliability for contractile speed indices varied, with the best values found for RT50 (ICCs>0.82, SEM values <2.8%. We found no systematic differences between test and retest occasions, except for RT50 in healthy subjects (p = 0.016.In PPS and healthy individuals, the reliability of fatigue resistance, as obtained from electrically evoked contractions is high. The reliability of contractile speed is only moderate, except for RT50 in PPS, demonstrating high reliability.This was the first study to examine the reliability of electrically evoked contractile properties in individuals with PPS. Our results demonstrate its potential to study mechanisms underlying muscle fatigue in PPS and to evaluate changes in contractile properties over time in response to interventions or from natural course.

  1. A comparative study of contractility of the heart ventricle in some ectothermic vertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergey Kharin

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to analyze contractility of the heart ventricle in selected reptilian and amphibian species having the same ventricular excitation pattern. Systolic time intervals and indices of contractility of the heart ventricle were measured in anaesthetized frogs, snakes, and tortoises by use of polycardiography. The electromechanical delay was significantly shorter in tortoises compared with the other two species. The isovolumetric contraction time in frogs was approximately twofold longer than in reptiles. The pre-ejection period was the longest in frogs and the shortest in tortoises, whereas snakes were intermediate. The ejection time was slightly longer in tortoises compared with the other two species. The greatest isovolumetric contraction index and the smallest myocardial tension index corresponded to the frog and tortoise heart ventricle, respectively. The intrasystolic index in tortoises was significantly greater than in frogs, whereas quite similar to that in snakes. The frog ventricle had lower contractility compared with the reptilian one. Although ventricular contractility tended to be lower in snakes compared with tortoises, this difference was not statistically significant. Possible causes for these differences are discussed. We suppose a large variety in ventricular contractility among amphibian and reptilian species having the same ventricular activation pattern. This variety may be conditioned by heart anatomy, intracardiac shunting, lifestyles, and habitats. It can only be hypothesized that on the average, ventricular contractility is higher in reptiles compared with amphibians and in chelonians compared with snakes.

  2. Bistable front dynamics in a contractile medium: Travelling wave fronts and cortical advection define stable zones of RhoA signaling at epithelial adherens junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budnar, Srikanth; Yap, Alpha S.

    2017-01-01

    Mechanical coherence of cell layers is essential for epithelia to function as tissue barriers and to control active tissue dynamics during morphogenesis. RhoA signaling at adherens junctions plays a key role in this process by coupling cadherin-based cell-cell adhesion together with actomyosin contractility. Here we propose and analyze a mathematical model representing core interactions involved in the spatial localization of junctional RhoA signaling. We demonstrate how the interplay between biochemical signaling through positive feedback, combined with diffusion on the cell membrane and mechanical forces generated in the cortex, can determine the spatial distribution of RhoA signaling at cell-cell junctions. This dynamical mechanism relies on the balance between a propagating bistable signal that is opposed by an advective flow generated by an actomyosin stress gradient. Experimental observations on the behavior of the system when contractility is inhibited are in qualitative agreement with the predictions of the model. PMID:28273072

  3. Bistable front dynamics in a contractile medium: Travelling wave fronts and cortical advection define stable zones of RhoA signaling at epithelial adherens junctions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rashmi Priya

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Mechanical coherence of cell layers is essential for epithelia to function as tissue barriers and to control active tissue dynamics during morphogenesis. RhoA signaling at adherens junctions plays a key role in this process by coupling cadherin-based cell-cell adhesion together with actomyosin contractility. Here we propose and analyze a mathematical model representing core interactions involved in the spatial localization of junctional RhoA signaling. We demonstrate how the interplay between biochemical signaling through positive feedback, combined with diffusion on the cell membrane and mechanical forces generated in the cortex, can determine the spatial distribution of RhoA signaling at cell-cell junctions. This dynamical mechanism relies on the balance between a propagating bistable signal that is opposed by an advective flow generated by an actomyosin stress gradient. Experimental observations on the behavior of the system when contractility is inhibited are in qualitative agreement with the predictions of the model.

  4. Tool-use training in a species of rodent: the emergence of an optimal motor strategy and functional understanding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazuo Okanoya

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Tool use is defined as the manipulation of an inanimate object to change the position or form of a separate object. The expansion of cognitive niches and tool-use capabilities probably stimulated each other in hominid evolution. To understand the causes of cognitive expansion in humans, we need to know the behavioral and neural basis of tool use. Although a wide range of animals exhibit tool use in nature, most studies have focused on primates and birds on behavioral or psychological levels and did not directly address questions of which neural modifications contributed to the emergence of tool use. To investigate such questions, an animal model suitable for cellular and molecular manipulations is needed. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We demonstrated for the first time that rodents can be trained to use tools. Through a step-by-step training procedure, we trained degus (Octodon degus to use a rake-like tool with their forelimbs to retrieve otherwise out-of-reach rewards. Eventually, they mastered effective use of the tool, moving it in an elegant trajectory. After the degus were well trained, probe tests that examined whether they showed functional understanding of the tool were performed. Degus did not hesitate to use tools of different size, colors, and shapes, but were reluctant to use the tool with a raised nonfunctional blade. Thus, degus understood the functional and physical properties of the tool after extensive training. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings suggest that tool use is not a specific faculty resulting from higher intelligence, but is a specific combination of more general cognitive faculties. Studying the brains and behaviors of trained rodents can provide insights into how higher cognitive functions might be broken down into more general faculties, and also what cellular and molecular mechanisms are involved in the emergence of such cognitive functions.

  5. Formation of contractile networks and fibers in the medial cell cortex through myosin-II turnover, contraction, and stress-stabilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, Wei; Wei, Ming-Tzo; Ou-Yang, H Daniel; Jedlicka, Sabrina S; Vavylonis, Dimitrios

    2015-01-01

    The morphology of adhered cells depends crucially on the formation of a contractile meshwork of parallel and cross-linked fibers along the contacting surface. The motor activity and minifilament assembly of non-muscle myosin-II is an important component of cortical cytoskeletal remodeling during mechanosensing. We used experiments and computational modeling to study cortical myosin-II dynamics in adhered cells. Confocal microscopy was used to image the medial cell cortex of HeLa cells stably expressing myosin regulatory light chain tagged with GFP (MRLC-GFP). The distribution of MRLC-GFP fibers and focal adhesions was classified into three types of network morphologies. Time-lapse movies show: myosin foci appearance and disappearance; aligning and contraction; stabilization upon alignment. Addition of blebbistatin, which perturbs myosin motor activity, leads to a reorganization of the cortical networks and to a reduction of contractile motions. We quantified the kinetics of contraction, disassembly and reassembly of myosin networks using spatio-temporal image correlation spectroscopy (STICS). Coarse-grained numerical simulations include bipolar minifilaments that contract and align through specified interactions as basic elements. After assuming that minifilament turnover decreases with increasing contractile stress, the simulations reproduce stress-dependent fiber formation in between focal adhesions above a threshold myosin concentration. The STICS correlation function in simulations matches the function measured in experiments. This study provides a framework to help interpret how different cortical myosin remodeling kinetics may contribute to different cell shape and rigidity depending on substrate stiffness. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Shortening actin filaments cause force generation in actomyosin network to change from contractile to extensile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Nitin; Gardel, Margaret

    Motor proteins in conjunction with filamentous proteins convert biochemical energy into mechanical energy which serves a number of cellular processes including cell motility, force generation and intracellular cargo transport. In-vitro experiments suggest that the forces generated by kinesin motors on microtubule bundles are extensile in nature whereas myosin motors on actin filaments are contractile. It is not clear how qualitatively similar systems can show completely different behaviors in terms of the nature of force generation. In order to answer this question, we carry out in vitro experiments where we form quasi 2D filamentous actomyosin networks and vary the length of actin filaments by adding capping protein. We show that when filaments are much shorter than their typical persistence length (approximately 10 microns), the forces generated are extensile and we see active nematic defect propagation, as seen in the microtubule-kinesin system. Based on this observation, we claim that the rigidity of rods plays an important role in dictating the nature of force generation in such systems. In order to understand this transition, we selectively label individual filaments and find that longer filaments show considerable bending and buckling, making them difficult to slide and extend along their length.

  7. Chiropractic physicians: toward a select conceptual understanding of bureaucratic structures and functions in the health care institution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fredericks, Marcel; Kondellas, Bill; Hang, Lam; Fredericks, Janet; Ross, Michael Wv

    2011-12-01

    The purpose of this article is to present select concepts and theories of bureaucratic structures and functions so that chiropractic physicians and other health care professionals can use them in their respective practices. The society-culture-personality model can be applied as an organizational instrument for assisting chiropractors in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients irrespective of locality. Society-culture-personality and social meaningful interaction are examined in relationship to the structural and functional aspects of bureaucracy within the health care institution of a society. Implicit in the examination of the health care bureaucratic structures and functions of a society is the focus that chiropractic physicians and chiropractic students learn how to integrate, synthesize, and actualize values and virtues such as empathy, integrity, excellence, diversity, compassion, caring, and understanding with a deep commitment to self-reflection. It is essential that future and current chiropractic physicians be aware of the structural and functional aspects of an organization so that chiropractic and other health care professionals are able to deliver care that involves the ingredients of quality, affordability, availability, accessibility, and continuity for their patients.

  8. Chiropractic physicians: toward a select conceptual understanding of bureaucratic structures and functions in the health care institution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fredericks, Marcel; Kondellas, Bill; Hang, Lam; Fredericks, Janet; Ross, Michael WV

    2011-01-01

    Objective The purpose of this article is to present select concepts and theories of bureaucratic structures and functions so that chiropractic physicians and other health care professionals can use them in their respective practices. The society-culture-personality model can be applied as an organizational instrument for assisting chiropractors in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients irrespective of locality. Discussion Society-culture-personality and social meaningful interaction are examined in relationship to the structural and functional aspects of bureaucracy within the health care institution of a society. Implicit in the examination of the health care bureaucratic structures and functions of a society is the focus that chiropractic physicians and chiropractic students learn how to integrate, synthesize, and actualize values and virtues such as empathy, integrity, excellence, diversity, compassion, caring, and understanding with a deep commitment to self-reflection. Conclusion It is essential that future and current chiropractic physicians be aware of the structural and functional aspects of an organization so that chiropractic and other health care professionals are able to deliver care that involves the ingredients of quality, affordability, availability, accessibility, and continuity for their patients. PMID:22693481

  9. Understanding large multiprotein complexes: applying a multiple allosteric networks model to explain the function of the Mediator transcription complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Brian A

    2010-01-15

    The regulation of transcription and of many other cellular processes involves large multi-subunit protein complexes. In the context of transcription, it is known that these complexes serve as regulatory platforms that connect activator DNA-binding proteins to a target promoter. However, there is still a lack of understanding regarding the function of these complexes. Why do multi-subunit complexes exist? What is the molecular basis of the function of their constituent subunits, and how are these subunits organized within a complex? What is the reason for physical connections between certain subunits and not others? In this article, I address these issues through a model of network allostery and its application to the eukaryotic RNA polymerase II Mediator transcription complex. The multiple allosteric networks model (MANM) suggests that protein complexes such as Mediator exist not only as physical but also as functional networks of interconnected proteins through which information is transferred from subunit to subunit by the propagation of an allosteric state known as conformational spread. Additionally, there are multiple distinct sub-networks within the Mediator complex that can be defined by their connections to different subunits; these sub-networks have discrete functions that are activated when specific subunits interact with other activator proteins.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  12. Analysis on oscillating actuator frequency influence of the fluid flow characterization for 2D contractile water jet thruster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaari, M. F.; Abu Bakar, H.; Nordin, N.; Saw, S. K.; Samad, Z.

    2013-12-01

    Contractile body is an alternative mechanism instead of rotating blade propeller to generate water jet for locomotion. The oscillating motion of the actuator at different frequencies varies the pressure and volume of the pressure chamber in time to draw in and jet out the water at a certain mass flow rate. The aim of this research was to analyze the influence of the actuating frequency of the fluid flow in the pressure chamber of the thruster during this inflation-deflation process. A 70mm × 70mm × 18mm (L × W × T) 2D water jet thruster was fabricated for this purpose. The contractile function was driven using two lateral pneumatic actuators where the fluid flow analysis was focused on the X-Y plane vector. Observation was carried out using a video camera and Matlab image measurement technique to determine the volume of the flowing mass. The result demonstrated that the greater actuating frequency decreases the fluid flow rate and the Reynolds number. This observation shows that the higher frequency would give a higher mass flow rate during water jet generation.

  13. Global meta-analysis of leaf area index in wetlands indicates uncertainties in understanding of their ecosystem function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dronova, I.; Taddeo, S.; Foster, K.

    2017-12-01

    Projecting ecosystem responses to global change relies on the accurate understanding of properties governing their functions in different environments. An important variable in models of ecosystem function is canopy leaf area index (LAI; leaf area per unit ground area) declared as one of the Essential Climate Variables in the Global Climate Observing System and extensively measured in terrestrial landscapes. However, wetlands have been largely under-represented in these efforts, which globally limits understanding of their contribution to carbon sequestration, climate regulation and resilience to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. This study provides a global synthesis of >350 wetland-specific LAI observations from 182 studies and compares LAI among wetland ecosystem and vegetation types, biomes and measurement approaches. Results indicate that most wetland types and even individual locations show a substantial local dispersion of LAI values (average coefficient of variation 65%) due to heterogeneity of environmental properties and vegetation composition. Such variation indicates that mean LAI values may not sufficiently represent complex wetland environments, and the use of this index in ecosystem function models needs to incorporate within-site variation in canopy properties. Mean LAI did not significantly differ between direct and indirect measurement methods on a pooled global sample; however, within some of the specific biomes and wetland types significant contrasts between these approaches were detected. These contrasts highlight unique aspects of wetland vegetation physiology and canopy structure affecting measurement principles that need to be considered in generalizing canopy properties in ecosystem models. Finally, efforts to assess wetland LAI using remote sensing strongly indicate the promise of this technology for cost-effective regional-scale modeling of canopy properties similar to terrestrial systems. However, such efforts urgently require more

  14. A data-model integration approach toward improved understanding on wetland functions and hydrological benefits at the catchment scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeo, I. Y.; Lang, M.; Lee, S.; Huang, C.; Jin, H.; McCarty, G.; Sadeghi, A.

    2017-12-01

    The wetland ecosystem plays crucial roles in improving hydrological function and ecological integrity for the downstream water and the surrounding landscape. However, changing behaviours and functioning of wetland ecosystems are poorly understood and extremely difficult to characterize. Improved understanding on hydrological behaviours of wetlands, considering their interaction with surrounding landscapes and impacts on downstream waters, is an essential first step toward closing the knowledge gap. We present an integrated wetland-catchment modelling study that capitalizes on recently developed inundation maps and other geospatial data. The aim of the data-model integration is to improve spatial prediction of wetland inundation and evaluate cumulative hydrological benefits at the catchment scale. In this paper, we highlight problems arising from data preparation, parameterization, and process representation in simulating wetlands within a distributed catchment model, and report the recent progress on mapping of wetland dynamics (i.e., inundation) using multiple remotely sensed data. We demonstrate the value of spatially explicit inundation information to develop site-specific wetland parameters and to evaluate model prediction at multi-spatial and temporal scales. This spatial data-model integrated framework is tested using Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) with improved wetland extension, and applied for an agricultural watershed in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain, USA. This study illustrates necessity of spatially distributed information and a data integrated modelling approach to predict inundation of wetlands and hydrologic function at the local landscape scale, where monitoring and conservation decision making take place.

  15. Magnetic Resonance Assessment of Hypertrophic and Pseudo-Hypertrophic Changes in Lower Leg Muscles of Boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Their Relationship to Functional Measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vohra, Ravneet S; Lott, Donovan; Mathur, Sunita; Senesac, Claudia; Deol, Jasjit; Germain, Sean; Bendixen, Roxanna; Forbes, Sean C; Sweeney, H Lee; Walter, Glenn A; Vandenborne, Krista

    2015-01-01

    The primary objectives of this study were to evaluate contractile and non-contractile content of lower leg muscles of boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and determine the relationships between non-contractile content and functional abilities. Lower leg muscles of thirty-two boys with DMD and sixteen age matched unaffected controls were imaged. Non-contractile content, contractile cross sectional area and non-contractile cross sectional area of lower leg muscles (tibialis anterior, extensor digitorum longus, peroneal, medial gastrocnemius and soleus) were assessed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Muscle strength, timed functional tests and the Brooke lower extremity score were also assessed. Non-contractile content of lower leg muscles (peroneal, medial gastrocnemius, and soleus) was significantly greater than control group (pmuscles correlated with Brooke score (rs = 0.64-0.84) and 30 feet walk (rs = 0.66-0.80). Dorsiflexor (DF) and plantarflexor (PF) specific torque was significantly different between the groups. Overall, non-contractile content of the lower leg muscles was greater in DMD than controls. Furthermore, there was an age dependent increase in contractile content in the medial gastrocnemius of boys with DMD. The findings of this study suggest that T1 weighted MR images can be used to monitor disease progression and provide a quantitative estimate of contractile and non-contractile content of tissue in children with DMD.

  16. Effects of endothelin, calcium channel blockade and EDRF inhibition on the contractility of human uteroplacental arteries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fried, G; Liu, Y A

    1994-08-01

    In order to examine the possibility that endothelin might be important in the regulation of placental blood flow, human uteroplacental vessels were superfused in vitro to study the contractile effect of endothelin as compared with a known strong contractor of placental blood vessels, serotonin (5-HT). The contractile responses were compared in the presence and absence of calcium channel blocking agents, as well as in the presence of L-NMA, an inhibitor of EDRF/nitric oxide. Endothelin (ET, 10(-10)-10(-6) M) and 5-HT (10(-8)-10(-4) M) induced contractions in the vessels. Maximal contractions in the presence of endothelin were elicited at 10(-7) M, whereas 5-HT elicited maximal contractions at 10(-5) M. At 10(-7) M, ET was more potent than 5-HT. The calcium-channel blocking agents nifedipine, diltiazem and NiCl2 relaxed the vessels by 5-15% from baseline. The contractile response to ET in the presence of nifedipine or diltiazem was reduced by 55 and 67%, respectively. The response of 5-HT in the presence of nifedipine was reduced by 58%. The contractile response to 5-HT as well as ET in the presence of both nifedipine and NiCl2 was not significantly lower than in the presence of nifedipine only. The EDRF-inhibiting agent L-NMA caused a small contractile response at concentrations of 10(-6)-10(-5) M. ET as well as 5-HT added after pretreatment with L-NMA produced a larger contractile response than ET or 5-HT alone. The results show that ET has a strong contractile effect on placental blood vessels at concentrations likely to occur during labor and delivery. The mechanism whereby ET as well as 5-HT contracts placental vessel smooth muscle appears to partly involve nifedipine- and diltiazem-sensitive calcium channels, but almost half of the response depends on mobilization of calcium through other means.

  17. Understanding Catalytic Activity Trends for NO Decomposition and CO Oxidation using Density Functional Theory and Microkinetic Modeling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Falsig, Hanne

    -metal surfaces by combining a database of adsorption energies on stepped metal surfaces with known Brønsted–Evans–Polanyi (BEP) relations for the activation barriers of dissociation of diatomic molecules over stepped transition- and noble-metal surfaces. The potential energy diagram directly points to why Pd......The main aim of this thesis is to understand the catalytic activity of transition metals and noble metals for the direct decomposition of NO and the oxidation of CO. The formation of NOx from combustion of fossil and renewable fuels continues to be a dominant environmental issue. We take one step...... towards rationalizing trends in catalytic activity of transition metal catalysts for NO decomposition by combining microkinetic modelling with density functional theory calculations. We establish the full potential energy diagram for the direct NO decomposition reaction over stepped transition...

  18. Simulation modeling to understand how selective foraging by beaver can drive the structure and function of a willow community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peinetti, H.R.; Baker, B.W.; Coughenour, M.B.

    2009-01-01

    Beaver-willow (Castor-Salix) communities are a unique and vital component of healthy wetlands throughout the Holarctic region. Beaver selectively forage willow to provide fresh food, stored winter food, and construction material. The effects of this complex foraging behavior on the structure and function of willow communities is poorly understood. Simulation modeling may help ecologists understand these complex interactions. In this study, a modified version of the SAVANNA ecosystem model was developed to better understand how beaver foraging affects the structure and function of a willow community in a simulated riparian ecosystem in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado (RMNP). The model represents willow in terms of plant and stem dynamics and beaver foraging in terms of the quantity and quality of stems cut to meet the energetic and life history requirements of beaver. Given a site where all stems were equally available, the model suggested a simulated beaver family of 2 adults, 2 yearlings, and 2 kits required a minimum of 4 ha of willow (containing about10 stems m-2) to persist in a steady-state condition. Beaver created a willow community where the annual net primary productivity (ANPP) was 2 times higher and plant architecture was more diverse than the willow community without beaver. Beaver foraging created a plant architecture dominated by medium size willow plants, which likely explains how beaver can increase ANPP. Long-term simulations suggested that woody biomass stabilized at similar values even though availability differed greatly at initial condition. Simulations also suggested that willow ANPP increased across a range of beaver densities until beaver became food limited. Thus, selective foraging by beaver increased productivity, decreased biomass, and increased structural heterogeneity in a simulated willow community.

  19. Ecosystem function in complex mountain terrain: Combining models and long-term observations to advance process-based understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieder, William R.; Knowles, John F.; Blanken, Peter D.; Swenson, Sean C.; Suding, Katharine N.

    2017-04-01

    Abiotic factors structure plant community composition and ecosystem function across many different spatial scales. Often, such variation is considered at regional or global scales, but here we ask whether ecosystem-scale simulations can be used to better understand landscape-level variation that might be particularly important in complex terrain, such as high-elevation mountains. We performed ecosystem-scale simulations by using the Community Land Model (CLM) version 4.5 to better understand how the increased length of growing seasons may impact carbon, water, and energy fluxes in an alpine tundra landscape. The model was forced with meteorological data and validated with observations from the Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research Program site. Our results demonstrate that CLM is capable of reproducing the observed carbon, water, and energy fluxes for discrete vegetation patches across this heterogeneous ecosystem. We subsequently accelerated snowmelt and increased spring and summer air temperatures in order to simulate potential effects of climate change in this region. We found that vegetation communities that were characterized by different snow accumulation dynamics showed divergent biogeochemical responses to a longer growing season. Contrary to expectations, wet meadow ecosystems showed the strongest decreases in plant productivity under extended summer scenarios because of disruptions in hydrologic connectivity. These findings illustrate how Earth system models such as CLM can be used to generate testable hypotheses about the shifting nature of energy, water, and nutrient limitations across space and through time in heterogeneous landscapes; these hypotheses may ultimately guide further experimental work and model development.

  20. Hydrologic Synthesis Across the Critical Zone Observatory Network: A Step Towards Understanding the Coevolution of Critical Zone Function and Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wlostowski, A. N.; Harman, C. J.; Molotch, N. P.

    2017-12-01

    generation). Storage-discharge relationships vary widely across the Network, and may be associated with inter-site differences in sub-surface architecture. Moving forward, we seek to reconcile top-down analysis results against the bottom-up understanding of critical zone structure and hydrologic function at each CZO site.

  1. 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate vehicle, castor oil, enhances the contractile effect of oxytocin in human myometrium in pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Sullivan, Michael D; Hehir, Mark P; O'Brien, Yvonne M; Morrison, John J

    2010-05-01

    The possibility exists that the vehicle for 17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate, castor oil, exerts an effect on human uterine contractility. The aim of this study was to evaluate its effects on contractility of myometrial preparations that were obtained during pregnancy. Myometrial strips were suspended under isometric conditions. Contractility was induced with oxytocin. Strips were incubated in castor oil or physiologic salt solution and suspended for a further oxytocin challenge. Contractile integrals were compared between both groups. Strips that were exposed to castor oil demonstrated increased contractile activity that was elicited by oxytocin (mean contractility value, 165.53%+/-17.03%; n=8; P=.004), compared with control strips (mean contractility value, 72.57%+/-7.48%; n=8; P=.003). There was a significant increase in contractile activity of the castor oil-exposed strips, compared with those that were exposed to physiologic salt solution (n=8; Pcastor oil results in enhanced oxytocin-induced contractility. Copyright (c) 2010 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Inhibition of isolated human myometrium contractility by minoxidil and reversal by glibenclamide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prabhakaran, S S; Dhanasekar, K R; Thomas, E; Jose, R; Peedicayil, J; Samuel, P

    2010-03-01

    This study investigated the ability of the antihypertensive drug minoxidil to inhibit potassium chloride (KCl)-induced contractility of the isolated human myometrium. Twelve strips of myometrium obtained from 12 patients who underwent hysterectomy were triggered to contract with 55 mM KCl before and after incubation with 3 concentrations (1, 3 and 10 microM) of minoxidil. The percent inhibition by minoxidil on the extent of contraction, and the area under the contractile curve of KCl-induced contraction of the myometrial strips was determined. Furthermore, the effect of 10 microM glibenclamide on the inhibition generated by 3 microM minoxidil on KCl-induced contractility was studied. It was found that minoxidil produced a concentration-dependent inhibition of KCl-induced contractility of the myometrium and that glibenclamide reversed this inhibitory effect. These results suggest that the inhibitory effect of minoxidil on isolated human myometrium contractility may prove useful in clinical conditions requiring relaxation of the myometrium. 2010 Prous Science, S.A.U. or its licensors. All rights reserved.

  3. Using extremely halophilic bacteria to understand the role of surface charge and surface hydration in protein evolution, folding, and function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoff, Wouter; Deole, Ratnakar; Osu Collaboration

    2013-03-01

    Halophilic Archaea accumulate molar concentrations of KCl in their cytoplasm as an osmoprotectant, and have evolved highly acidic proteomes that only function at high salinity. We examine osmoprotection in the photosynthetic Proteobacteria Halorhodospira halophila. We find that H. halophila has an acidic proteome and accumulates molar concentrations of KCl when grown in high salt media. Upon growth of H. halophila in low salt media, its cytoplasmic K + content matches that of Escherichia coli, revealing an acidic proteome that can function in the absence of high cytoplasmic salt concentrations. These findings necessitate a reassessment of two central aspects of theories for understanding extreme halophiles. We conclude that proteome acidity is not driven by stabilizing interactions between K + ions and acidic side chains, but by the need for maintaining sufficient solvation and hydration of the protein surface at high salinity through strongly hydrated carboxylates. We propose that obligate protein halophilicity is a non-adaptive property resulting from genetic drift in which constructive neutral evolution progressively incorporates weakly stabilizing K + binding sites on an increasingly acidic protein surface.

  4. Understanding the notion of function and articulation of semiotic records that represent between students entering a program Engineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raúl Prada-Núñez

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to assess the understanding of the notion of function and the ability to articulate different semiotic registers for representation by new students in the university in Colombia. Immediate context is taken as the Faculty of Engineering at a public university. Epistemologically the study is based on symbolic interaction by analyzing the meanings that students attributed to this mathematical concept when addressing problem solving. The methodology, therefore, is qualitatively and use of theoretical coding is done. For analysis of the results it has been applied grounded theory with a structured approach. The information generated by this study corresponds to a test that showed students two graphic representations with the intent to identify which of them was a function, besides which should argue their response. Altogether 86 arguments around the concept are analyzed. Data analysis was done through atlas.ti 7.0 software. The system allows a glimpse of emerging categories the following findings: conceptual deficiencies, diversity in conceptual approaches, conceptual referents, semiotic representations, and finally highlight the various conceptual variations.

  5. Understanding the Formation of Kinetically Stable Compounds and the Development of Thin Film Pair Distribution Function Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Suzannah Rebecca

    Navigating the synthesis landscape poses many challenges when developing novel solid state materials. Advancements in both synthesis and characterization are necessary to facilitate the targeting of specific materials. This dissertation discusses the formation of chalcogenide heterostructures and their properties in the first part and the development of thin film pair distribution function analysis (tfPDF) in the second part. The heterostructures were formed by the self-assembly of designed precursors deposited by physical vapor deposition in a modulated elemental reactants approach, which provides the control and predictability to synthesis. Specifically, a series of (BiSe)1+delta(TiSe2) n, where n = 2,3,&4, were synthesized to explore the extent of charge transfer from the BiSe to TiSe2 layers. To further explore the role Bi plays in charge donation, a family of structurally similar compounds, (Bix Sn1-xSe)1+deltaTiSe2, where 0≥x≥1, were synthesized and characterized. Electrical measurements show doping efficiency decreases as x increases, correlated with the structural distortion and the formation of periodic antiphase boundaries containing Bi-Bi pairs. The first heterostructures composed of three unique structural types were synthesized and Bi2Se3 layer thickness was used to tune electrical properties and further explore charge transfer. To better understand the potential energy landscape on which these kinetically stable compounds exist, two investigations were undertaken. The first was a study of the formation and subsequent decomposition of [(BiSe)1+delta]n(TiSe2)n compounds, where n= 2&3, the second an investigation of precursor structure for thermodynamically stable FeSb2 and kinetically stable FeSb3. The second section describes the development of thin film pair distribution function analysis, a technique in which total scattering data for pair distribution function (PDF) analysis is obtained from thin films, suitable for local structure analysis

  6. Spatial differences of cellular origins and in vivo hypoxia modify contractile properties of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells: lessons for arterial tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, S M; Soueid, A; Smith, T; Brown, R A; Haworth, S G; Mudera, V

    2007-01-01

    Tissue engineering of functional arteries is challenging. Within the pulmonary artery wall, smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) have site-specific developmental and functional phenotypes, reflecting differing contractile roles. The force generated by PASMCs isolated from the inner 25% and outer 50% of the media of intrapulmonary elastic arteries from five normal and eight chronically hypoxic (hypertensive) 14 day-old piglets was quantified in a three-dimensional (3D) collagen construct, using a culture force monitor. Outer medial PASMCs from normal piglets exerted more force (528 +/- 50 dynes) than those of hypoxic piglets (177 +/- 42 dynes; p engineering of major blood vessels.

  7. Contractile properties are disrupted in Becker muscular dystrophy, but not in limb girdle type 2I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Løkken, Nicoline; Hedermann, Gitte; Thomsen, Carsten; Vissing, John

    2016-09-01

    We investigated whether a linear relationship between muscle strength and cross-sectional area (CSA) is preserved in calf muscles of patients with Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD, n = 14) and limb-girdle type 2I muscular dystrophy (LGMD2I, n = 11), before and after correcting for muscle fat infiltration. The Dixon magnetic resonance imaging technique was used to quantify fat and calculate a fat-free contractile CSA. Strength was assessed by dynamometry. Muscle strength/CSA relationships were significantly lower in patients versus controls. The strength/contractile-CSA relationship was still severely lowered in BMD, but was almost normalized in LGMD2I. Our findings suggest close to intact contractile properties in LGMD2I, which are severely disrupted in BMD. Ann Neurol 2016;80:466-471. © 2016 American Neurological Association.

  8. Suppression of guinea pig ileum induced contractility by plasma albumin of hibernators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, David S.; Ambler, Douglas L.; Henschel, Timothy M.; Oeltgen, Peter R.; Nilekani, Sita P.; Amstrup, Steven C.

    1992-01-01

    Previous studies suggest that hibernation may be regulated by internal opioids and that the putative “hibernation induction trigger” (HIT) may itself be an opioid. This study examined the effect of plasma albumin (known to bind HIT) on induced contractility of the guinea pig ileum muscle strip. Morphine (400 nM) depressed contractility and 100 nM naloxone restored it. Ten milligrams of lyophilized plasma albumin fractions from hibernating ground squirrels, woodchucks, black bears, and polar bears produced similar inhibition, with partial reversal by naloxone. Five hundredths mg of d-Ala2-d-Leu5-enkephalin (DADLE) also inhibited contractility and naloxone reversed it. Conclusions are that hibernating individuals of these species contain an HIT substance that is opioid in nature and summer animals do not; an endogenous opioid similar to leu-enkephalin may be the HIT compound or give rise to it.

  9. Mechanobiological induction of long-range contractility by diffusing biomolecules and size scaling in cell assemblies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasbiswas, K.; Alster, E.; Safran, S. A.

    2016-06-01

    Mechanobiological studies of cell assemblies have generally focused on cells that are, in principle, identical. Here we predict theoretically the effect on cells in culture of locally introduced biochemical signals that diffuse and locally induce cytoskeletal contractility which is initially small. In steady-state, both the concentration profile of the signaling molecule as well as the contractility profile of the cell assembly are inhomogeneous, with a characteristic length that can be of the order of the system size. The long-range nature of this state originates in the elastic interactions of contractile cells (similar to long-range “macroscopic modes” in non-living elastic inclusions) and the non-linear diffusion of the signaling molecules, here termed mechanogens. We suggest model experiments on cell assemblies on substrates that can test the theory as a prelude to its applicability in embryo development where spatial gradients of morphogens initiate cellular development.

  10. Plasticity of TOM complex assembly in skeletal muscle mitochondria in response to chronic contractile activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph, Anna-Maria; Hood, David A

    2012-03-01

    We investigated the assembly of the TOM complex within skeletal muscle under conditions of chronic contractile activity-induced mitochondrial biogenesis. Tom40 import into mitochondria was increased by chronic contractile activity, as was its time-dependent assembly into the TOM complex. These changes coincided with contractile activity-induced augmentations in the expression of key protein import machinery components Tim17, Tim23, and Tom22, as well as the cytosolic chaperone Hsp90. These data indicate the adaptability of the TOM protein import complex and suggest a regulatory role for the assembly of this complex in exercise-induced mitochondrial biogenesis. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. and Mitochondria Research Society. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.

  11. Effects of minoxidil and nitroprusside on reflex increases in myocardial contractility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robie, N W

    1978-01-01

    1 The effects of nitroprusside and minoxidil on increases in myocardial contractility resulting from carotid artery occlusion were investigated in anaesthetized dogs. The results were compared with those produced by intravenous influsion of noradrenaline. 2 Nitroprusside and minoxidil attenuated the pressor responses produced by carotid artery occlusion. 3 Nitroprusside, but not minoxidil, attenuated the maximal myocardial contractility resulting from carotid occlusion. 4 The pressor and contractility responses to noradrenaline infusion were unaffected by either agent. 5 Nitroprusside failed to alter the myocardial responses produced by dimethylphenylpiperazinium. 6 These results, in conjunction with those of other investigators who have demonstrated that nitroprusside does not affect the release of noradrenaline from adrenergic neurons, suggest that nitroprusside may inhibit sympathetic nervous system reflex activity via an afferent and/or central component. PMID:620094

  12. Clinical Characteristics and Associated Systemic Diseases in Patients With Esophageal "Absent Contractility"-A Clinical Algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laique, Sobia; Singh, Tavankit; Dornblaser, David; Gadre, Abhishek; Rangan, Vikram; Fass, Ronnie; Kirby, Donald; Chatterjee, Soumya; Gabbard, Scott

    2018-01-19

    This study was carried out to assess the clinical characteristics and associated systemic diseases seen in patients diagnosed with absent contractility as per the Chicago Classification version 3.0, allowing us to propose a diagnostic algorithm for their etiologic testing. The Chicago Classification version 3.0 has redefined major and minor esophageal motility disorders using high-resolution esophageal manometry. There is a dearth of publications based on research on absent contractility, which historically has been associated with myopathic processes such as systemic sclerosis (SSc). We conducted a retrospective, multicenter study. Data of patients diagnosed with absent contractility were pooled from Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH (January 2006 to July 2016) and Metrohealth Medical Center, Cleveland, OH (July 2014 to July 2016) and included: age, gender, associated medical conditions, surgical history, medications, and specific antibody testing. A total of 207 patients, including 57 male individuals and 150 female individuals, with mean age of 56.1 and 60.0 years, respectively, were included. Disease distribution was as follows: SSc (diffuse or limited cutaneous) 132, overlap syndromes 7, systemic lupus erythematosus17, Sjögren syndrome 4, polymyositis 3, and dermatomyositis 3. Various other etiologies including gastroesophageal reflux disease, postradiation esophagitis, neuromuscular disorders, and surgical complications were seen in the remaining cohort. Most practitioners use the term "absent contractility" interchangeably with "scleroderma esophagus"; however, only 63% of patients with absent contractility had SSc. Overall, 20% had another systemic autoimmune rheumatologic disease and 16% had a nonrheumatologic etiology for absent contractility. Therefore, alternate diagnosis must be sought in these patients. We propose an algorithm for their etiologic evaluation.

  13. Accessory left atrial diverticulae: contractile properties depicted with 64-slice cine-cardiac CT.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Killeen, Ronan P

    2012-02-01

    To assess the contractility of accessory left atrial appendages (LAAs) using multiphasic cardiac CT. We retrospectively analyzed the presence, location, size and contractile properties of accessory LAAs using multiphasic cardiac 64-slice CT in 102 consecutive patients (63 males, 39 females, mean age 57). Multiplanar reformats were used to create image planes in axial oblique, sagittal oblique and coronal oblique planes. For all appendages with an orifice diameter >or= 10 mm, axial and sagittal diameters and appendage volumes were recorded in atrial diastole and systole. Regression analysis was performed to assess which imaging appearances best predicted accessory appendage contractility. Twenty-three (23%) patients demonstrated an accessory LAA, all identified along the anterior LA wall. Dimensions for axial oblique (AOD) and sagittal oblique (SOD) diameters and sagittal oblique length (SOL) were 6.3-19, 3.4-20 and 5-21 mm, respectively. All appendages (>or=10 mm) demonstrated significant contraction during atrial systole (greatest diameter reduction was AOD [3.8 mm, 27%]). Significant correlations were noted between AOD-contraction and AOD (R = 0.57, P < 0.05) and SOD-contraction and AOD, SOD and SOL (R = 0.6, P < 0.05). Mean diverticulum volume in atrial diastole was 468.4 +\\/- 493 mm(3) and in systole was 171.2 +\\/- 122 mm(3), indicating a mean change in volume of 297.2 +\\/- 390 mm(3), P < 0.0001. Stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed SOL to be the strongest independent predictor of appendage contractility (R(2) = 0.86, P < 0.0001) followed by SOD (R(2) = 0.91, P < 0.0001). Accessory LAAs show significant contractile properties on cardiac CT. Those accessory LAAs with a large sagittal height or depth should be evaluated for contractile properties, and if present should be examined for ectopic activity during electrophysiological studies.

  14. Adaptation of motor unit contractile properties in rat medial gastrocnemius to treadmill endurance training: Relationship to muscle mitochondrial biogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kryściak, Katarzyna; Majerczak, Joanna; Kryściak, Jakub; Łochyński, Dawid; Kaczmarek, Dominik; Drzymała-Celichowska, Hanna; Krutki, Piotr; Gawedzka, Anna; Guzik, Magdalena; Korostynski, Michał; Szkutnik, Zbigniew; Pyza, Elżbieta; Jarmuszkiewicz, Wiesława; Zoladz, Jerzy A; Celichowski, Jan

    2018-01-01

    This study aimed at investigating the effects of 2, 4 and 8 weeks of endurance training on the contractile properties of slow (S), fast fatigue resistant (FR) and fast fatigable (FF) motor units (MUs) in rat medial gastrocnemius (MG) in relation to the changes in muscle mitochondrial biogenesis. The properties of functionally isolated MUs were examined in vivo. Mitochondrial biogenesis was judged based on the changes in mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA), the content of the electron transport chain (ETC) proteins and PGC-1α in the MG. Moreover, the markers of mitochondria remodeling mitofusins (Mfn1, Mfn2) and dynamin-like protein (Opa1) were studied using qPCR. A proportion of FR MUs increased from 37.9% to 50.8% and a proportion of FF units decreased from 44.7% to 26.6% after 8 weeks of training. The increased fatigue resistance, shortened twitch duration, and increased ability to potentiate force were found as early as after 2 weeks of endurance training, predominantly in FR MUs. Moreover, just after 2 weeks of the training an enhancement of the mitochondrial network remodeling was present as judged by an increase in expression of Mfn1, Opa1 and an increase in PGC-1α in the slow part of MG. Interestingly, no signs of intensification of mitochondrial biogenesis assessed by ETC proteins content and mtDNA in slow and fast parts of gastrocnemius were found at this stage of the training. Nevertheless, after 8 weeks of training an increase in the ETC protein content was observed, but mainly in the slow part of gastrocnemius. Concluding, the functional changes in MUs' contractile properties leading to the enhancement of muscle performance accompanied by an activation of signalling that controls the muscle mitochondrial network reorganisation and mitochondrial biogenesis belong to an early muscle adaptive responses that precede an increase in mitochondrial ETC protein content.

  15. The Ever-Evolving Concept of the Gene: The Use of RNA/Protein Experimental Techniques to Understand Genome Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Cipriano

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The completion of the human genome sequence together with advances in sequencing technologies have shifted the paradigm of the genome, as composed of discrete and hereditable coding entities, and have shown the abundance of functional noncoding DNA. This part of the genome, previously dismissed as “junk” DNA, increases proportionally with organismal complexity and contributes to gene regulation beyond the boundaries of known protein-coding genes. Different classes of functionally relevant nonprotein-coding RNAs are transcribed from noncoding DNA sequences. Among them are the long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs, which are thought to participate in the basal regulation of protein-coding genes at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Although knowledge of this field is still limited, the ability of lncRNAs to localize in different cellular compartments, to fold into specific secondary structures and to interact with different molecules (RNA or proteins endows them with multiple regulatory mechanisms. It is becoming evident that lncRNAs may play a crucial role in most biological processes such as the control of development, differentiation and cell growth. This review places the evolution of the concept of the gene in its historical context, from Darwin's hypothetical mechanism of heredity to the post-genomic era. We discuss how the original idea of protein-coding genes as unique determinants of phenotypic traits has been reconsidered in light of the existence of noncoding RNAs. We summarize the technological developments which have been made in the genome-wide identification and study of lncRNAs and emphasize the methodologies that have aided our understanding of the complexity of lncRNA-protein interactions in recent years.

  16. Spontaneous and α-adrenoceptor-induced contractility in human collecting lymphatic vessels require chloride

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mohanakumar, Sheyanth; Majgaard, Jens; Telinius, Niklas

    2018-01-01

    - with the impermeant anion aspartate and inhibition of Cl- transport and channels with the clinical diuretics furosemide and bendroflumethiazide, as well as DIDS and NPPB. The molecular expression of calcium-activated chloride channels was investigated by RT-PCR and proteins localized using immunoreactivity....... Spontaneous and norepinephrine-induced contractility in human lymphatic vessels was highly abrogated after Cl- substitution with aspartate. 100‒300µM DIDS or NPPB inhibited spontaneous contractile behavior. Norepinephrine-stimulated tone was furthermore markedly abrogated by 200µM DIDS. Furosemide lowered...

  17. Of mice and men: how animal models advance our understanding of T-cell function in RA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobezda, Tamás; Ghassemi-Nejad, Sheida; Mikecz, Katalin; Glant, Tibor T; Szekanecz, Zoltán

    2014-03-01

    The involvement of autoreactive T cells in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as well as in autoimmune animal models of arthritis has been well established; however, unanswered questions, such as the role of joint-homing T cells, remain. Animal models of arthritis are superb experimental tools in demonstrating how T cells trigger joint inflammation, and thus can help to further our knowledge of disease mechanisms and potential therapies. In this Review, we discuss the similarities and differences in T-cell subsets and functions between RA and mouse arthritis models. For example, various T-cell subsets are involved in both human and mouse arthritis, but differences might exist in the cytokine regulation and plasticity of these cells. With regard to joint-homing T cells, an abundance of synovial T cells is present in humans compared with mice. On the other hand, local expansion of type 17 T-helper (TH17) cells is observed in some animal models, but not in RA. Finally, whereas T-cell depletion therapy essentially failed in RA, antibody targeting of T cells can work, at least preventatively, in most arthritis models. Clearly, additional human and animal studies are needed to fill the gap in our understanding of the specific contribution of T-cell subsets to arthritis in mice and men.

  18. Towards an understanding of students’ thinking in learning new and unfamiliar concepts: Focus on the factorial function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satsope Maoto

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available This study used participant observation to explore students’ thinking when learning the concept of factorial functions. First-year university students undertaking a mathematics methodology course were asked to find the number of ways in which five people could sit around a circular table with five seats. Using grounded theory as a qualitative research strategy, we analysed student responses and written reflections according to the sequence of their experiential realities: practical and textual experiences. This was followed by an analysis of their reflections on both experiences in a pedagogical context. We found that the way basic mathematics operations are learned impacts on the student’s ability to experience components of new problems as familiar. Consequently, they encounter these problems as new and unfamiliar. At the same time we found that engagement with practical experience does allow for the emergence of representations that have the potential to be used as foundations for learning new and unfamiliar concepts. The blending of practical, textual and teaching experiences provoked students’ thinking and ultimately their understanding of a given new and unfamiliar mathematics concept.

  19. Understanding the Function of Genes Involved in Inherited Retinal Degeneration-Insights into the Pathogenesis and Function of C8ORF37

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharif, Ali Sakawa

    -downs identified KTN1, RAB28, UCHL1, and PSMD14 suggesting that C8ORF37 may have a role in protein homeostasis. Chapter 4 concludes and discusses the impact of generating and characterizing C8orf37 animal models for future studies in understanding photoreceptor function and in the development of therapeutics against retinal degeneration.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Deletion of Dicer in smooth muscle affects voiding pattern and reduces detrusor contractility and neuroeffector transmission.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mardjaneh Karbalaei Sadegh

    Full Text Available MicroRNAs have emerged as important regulators of smooth muscle phenotype and may play important roles in pathogenesis of various smooth muscle related disease states. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of miRNAs for urinary bladder function. We used an inducible and smooth muscle specific Dicer knockout (KO mouse which resulted in significantly reduced levels of miRNAs, including miR-145, miR-143, miR-22, miR125b-5p and miR-27a, from detrusor preparations without mucosa. Deletion of Dicer resulted in a disturbed micturition pattern in vivo and reduced depolarization-induced pressure development in the isolated detrusor. Furthermore, electrical field stimulation revealed a decreased cholinergic but maintained purinergic component of neurogenic activation in Dicer KO bladder strips. The ultrastructure of detrusor smooth muscle cells was well maintained, and the density of nerve terminals was similar. Western blotting demonstrated reduced contents of calponin and desmin. Smooth muscle α-actin, SM22α and myocardin were unchanged. Activation of strips with exogenous agonists showed that depolarization-induced contraction was preferentially reduced; ATP- and calyculin A-induced contractions were unchanged. Quantitative real time PCR and western blotting demonstrated reduced expression of Cav1.2 (Cacna1c. It is concluded that smooth muscle miRNAs play an important role for detrusor contractility and voiding pattern of unrestrained mice. This is mediated in part via effects on expression of smooth muscle differentiation markers and L-type Ca(2+ channels in the detrusor.

  2. The Effect of Substrate Elasticity and Actomyosin Contractility on Different Forms of Endocytosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Missirlis, Dimitris

    2014-01-01

    Substrate mechanical properties have emerged as potent determinants of cell functions and fate. We here tested the hypothesis that different forms of endocytosis are regulated by the elasticity of the synthetic hydrogels cells are cultured on. Towards this objective, we quantified cell-associated fluorescence of the established endocytosis markers transferrin (Tf) and cholera toxin subunit B (CTb) using a flow-cytometry based protocol, and imaged marker internalization using microscopy techniques. Our results demonstrated that clathrin-mediated endocytosis of Tf following a 10-minute incubation with a fibroblast cell line was lower on the softer substrates studied (5 kPa) compared to those with elasticities of 40 and 85 kPa. This effect was cancelled after 1-hour incubation revealing that intracellular accumulation of Tf at this time point did not depend on substrate elasticity. Lipid-raft mediated endocytosis of CTb, on the other hand, was not affected by substrate elasticity in the studied range of time and substrate elasticity. The use of pharmacologic contractility inhibitors revealed inhibition of endocytosis for both Tf and CTb after a 10-minute incubation and a dissimilar effect after 1 hour depending on the inhibitor type. Further, the internalization of fluorescent NPs, used as model drug delivery systems, showed a dependence on substrate elasticity, while transfection efficiency was unaffected by it. Finally, an independence on substrate elasticity of Tf and CTb association with HeLa cells indicated that there are cell-type differences in this respect. Overall, our results suggest that clathrin-mediated but not lipid-raft mediated endocytosis is potentially influenced by substrate mechanics at the cellular level, while intracellular trafficking and accumulation show a more complex dependence. Our findings are discussed in the context of previous work on how substrate mechanics affect the fundamental process of endocytosis and highlight important

  3. Cold stress accentuates pressure overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy and contractile dysfunction: role of TRPV1/AMPK-mediated autophagy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Songhe; Xu, Dezhong

    2013-12-06

    Severe cold exposure and pressure overload are both known to prompt oxidative stress and pathological alterations in the heart although the interplay between the two remains elusive. Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) is a nonselective cation channel activated in response to a variety of exogenous and endogenous physical and chemical stimuli including heat and capsaicin. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of cold exposure on pressure overload-induced cardiac pathological changes and the mechanism involved. Adult male C57 mice were subjected to abdominal aortic constriction (AAC) prior to exposure to cold temperature (4 °C) for 4 weeks. Cardiac geometry and function, levels of TRPV1, mitochondrial, and autophagy-associated proteins including AMPK, mTOR, LC3B, and P62 were evaluated. Sustained cold stress triggered cardiac hypertrophy, compromised depressed myocardial contractile capacity including lessened fractional shortening, peak shortening, and maximal velocity of shortening/relengthening, enhanced ROS production, and mitochondrial injury, the effects of which were negated by the TRPV1 antagonist SB366791. Western blot analysis revealed upregulated TRPV1 level and AMPK phosphorylation, enhanced ratio of LC3II/LC3I, and downregulated P62 following cold exposure. Cold exposure significantly augmented AAC-induced changes in TRPV1, phosphorylation of AMPK, LC3 isoform switch, and p62, the effects of which were negated by SB366791. In summary, these data suggest that cold exposure accentuates pressure overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy and contractile defect possibly through a TRPV1 and autophagy-dependent mechanism. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  4. In vitro contractile effects of agents used in the clinical management of postpartum haemorrhage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, John J; Crosby, David A; Crankshaw, Denis J

    2016-10-15

    Uterine atony is a major cause of postpartum haemorrhage and maternal mortality. However, the comparative pharmacology of agents used to treat this condition is poorly understood. This study evaluates, using human pregnant myometrium in vitro, a range of contractile parameters for agents used in the clinical treatment of atonic postpartum haemorrhage. The effects of oxytocin, carbetocin, ergometrine, carboprost, syntometrine and misoprostol were investigated in 146 myometrial strips from 19 donors. The potency and maximal response values were obtained, and compared, using both maximal amplitude and mean contractile force as indices of contraction. Single, EC50 concentrations of the agents were administered and both force and contraction peak parameters were compared during a 15-min exposure. Differences were considered significant when Poxytocin and carbetocin being the most potent. The most important difference between the agents was in their ability to increase the mean contractile force, with oxytocin superior to all agents except syntometrine. In single dose experiments, mean contractile force was the parameter that separated the agents. In this respect, oxytocin was not statistically different from carboprost or syntometrine, but was superior to all other agents. These findings support a clear role for oxytocin as the first line agent for treatment of postpartum haemorrhage and raise doubts about the potential clinical usefulness of misoprostol. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Smoothelin-B deficiency results in reduced arterial contractility, hypertension, and cardiac hypertrophy in mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rensen, Sander S.; Niessen, Petra M.; van Deursen, Jan M.; Janssen, Ben J.; Heijman, Edwin; Hermeling, Evelien; Meens, Merlijn; Lie, Natascha; Gijbels, Marion J.; Strijkers, Gustav J.; Doevendans, Pieter A.; Hofker, Marten H.; de Mey, Jo G. R.; van Eys, Guillaume J.

    2008-01-01

    Smoothelins are actin-binding proteins that are abundantly expressed in healthy visceral (smoothelin-A) and vascular (smoothelin-B) smooth muscle. Their expression is strongly associated with the contractile phenotype of smooth muscle cells. Analysis of mice lacking both smoothelins (Smtn-A/B(-/-)

  6. Effect of a Carbohydrate-Rich Diet on Rat Detrusor Smooth Muscle Contractility: An Experimental Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mustafa Suat Bolat

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. We aimed to investigate the effect of a carbohydrate-rich diet on detrusor contractility in rats. Materials and Methods. Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized into two groups. The control group received regular food and water. The study group received carbohydrate-rich diet for six weeks. The rats’ detrusor muscle was isolated for pharmacological and histopathological examinations. Results. In the control and study groups, mean body weights were 431.5 ± 27.6 g and 528.0 ± 36.2 g, respectively (p < 0.001. Electrical stimulation of the detrusor strips of the control group resulted in gradual contraction. A decreased contractile response was shown in the study group. Acetylcholine in 10-7-10-3 molar concentration produced a decreased contractile response in the study group, compared to the control group (p < 0.01. The study group showed marked subepithelial and intermuscular fibrosis in the bladder. Conclusion. Carbohydrate-rich diet causes marked subepithelial and extracellular fibrosis and changes in contractility in the detrusor within a six-week period. Changes have higher costs in therapeutic choices and correction of these changes remains difficult. Putting an end to carbohydrate-rich diet would seem to be more cost-effective than dealing with the effects of consuming it in high proportions which should be the national policy worldwide.

  7. Effect of short-term outlet obstruction on rat bladder nerve density and contractility

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barendrecht, M. M.; Chichester, P.; Michel, M. C.; Levin, R. M.

    2007-01-01

    1 The present study was designed to investigate the relationship between innervation density and contractile responses to field stimulation and exogenous agonists at early time points after induction of bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) in rats. 2 When compared with sham-operated animals, 1, 3 and 7

  8. Gallbladder contractility and mucus secretion after cholesterol feeding in the prairie dog

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, Y. F.; Moody, F. G.; Weisbrodt, N. W.; Zalewsky, C. A.; Coelho, J. C.; Senninger, N.; Gouma, D.

    1986-01-01

    The purpose of our study was to evaluate changes in gallbladder contractility and mucus secretion in vitro during the early stages of gallstone formation in prairie dogs. Thirty-two animals were divided into five groups. Control animals were fed a trace cholesterol diet. Experimental animals were

  9. Hydrogen ion changes and contractile behavior in the perfused rat heart

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cingolani, H.E.; Maas, A.H.J.; Zimmerman, A.N.E.; Meijler, F.L.

    1975-01-01

    The effect of acid-base alterations was analyzed using isolated rat hearts perfused at constant coronary perfusion pressure, and stimulated to contract at constant rate. The amount of shortening in the major axis and its derivative were measured to assess myocardial contractility. Both the

  10. The importance of myocardial contractile reserve in predicting response to cardiac resynchronization therapy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kloosterman, Mariëlle; Damman, Kevin; Van Veldhuisen, Dirk J; Rienstra, Michiel; Maass, Alexander H

    AimTo perform a meta-analysis and systematic review of published data to assess the relationship between contractile reserve and response to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) in patients with heart failure. Methods and resultsWe searched MEDLINE/PubMed and Cochrane for all papers published up

  11. Influence of a protocol of Pilates exercises on the contractility of the pelvic floor muscles of non-institutionalized elderly persons

    OpenAIRE

    Souza, Ligia Muniz de; Pegorare, Ana Beatriz Gomes de Souza; Christofoletti, Gustavo; Barbosa, Suzi Rosa Miziara

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Objective: To investigate the influence of a protocol of Pilates exercises on the functionality and contractility of the pelvic floor muscles (PFM) of older women living in the city of Campo Grande, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Method: Ten women (median age of 63.4±4.5 years) with little or no pelvic floor dysfunction were subjected to 24 sessions of Pilates exercises lasting one hour each, for 12 weeks. The pressure of the pelvic floor muscles (PFM) was assessed using a perineometer (cmH2...

  12. Pharmacological radionuclide ventriculography for detection of myocardial contractile reserve in patients after myocardial infarction: head-to-head comparison of low dose dobutamine and low dose dypiridamole

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petrasinovic, Z.; Ostojic, M.; Beleslin, B.; Stojkovic, S.; Nedeljkovic, M.; Stankovic, G.; Dikic, A.; Pavlovic, S.; Sobic, D.

    2002-01-01

    Background. Low dose pharmacological stress echocardiography with either dobutamine or dipyridamole infusion has been proposed for recognition of myocardial viability. However, dependence on adequate acoustic window, observer experience, and the mild degree of wall motion changes make the viability assessment by stress echocardiography especially bothersome. The objective of the study was to evaluate the ability of low dose dobutamine and low dose dipyridamole radionuclide ventriculography to detect contractile reserve in patients after myocardial infarction and functional recovery after coronary angioplasty. Methods. The study group consisted of 20 consecutive patients (52±10 years, 17 male) with previous myocardial infarction and resting regional dyssynergy, in whom diagnostic cardiac catheterization revealed significant one-vessel coronary artery stenosis suitable for angioplasty. Each patient underwent equilibrium 99m-Tc radionuclide ventriculography which was performed at rest and during low dose dipyridamole (0.28 mg/kg over 2 minutes) and low dose dobutamine infusion (up to 10 mcg/kg/min). Left ventricular global and regional ejection fractions were determined. Increase of regional ejection fraction for >5% (inferoapical and posterolateral regions) or >10% (anteroseptal regions) during low dose dobutamine and dipyridamole in infarcted regions, as well as in the follow up period, was considered as index of contractile reserve. After 8 weeks of successful angioplasty, resting radionuclide ventriculography was repeated in all patients in order to identify functional recovery of the infarct zone. Results. Out of the 180 analyzed segments (20x9), 90 regional ejection fractions have shown depressed contractility. The mean of the regional ejection fractions showing depressed contractility increased from the resting value of 34±12% to 42±14% in the follow-up period (p=0.06). Of the 90 with baseline dyssynergy, 46 were responders during low-dose dobutamine (51

  13. Teaching Teaching & Understanding Understanding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2006-01-01

    "Teaching Teaching & Understanding Understanding" is a 19-minute award-winning short-film about teaching at university and higher-level educational institutions. It is based on the "Constructive Alignment" theory developed by Prof. John Biggs. The film delivers a foundation for understanding what...

  14. Myocardial Contractile Dysfunction is Present Without Histopathology in a Mouse Model of Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy-2F and is Prevented after Claudin-5 Virotherapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nima Milani-Nejad

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available AbstractMutations in several members of the dystrophin glycoprotein complex lead to skeletal and cardiomyopathies. Cardiac care for these muscular dystrophies consists of management of symptoms with standard heart medications after detection of reduced whole heart function. Recent evidence from both Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients and animal models suggests that myocardial dysfunction is present before myocardial damage or deficiencies in whole heart function, and that treatment prior to heart failure symptoms may be beneficial. To determine whether this same early myocardial dysfunction is present in other muscular dystrophy cardiomyopathies, we conducted a physiological assessment of cardiac function at the tissue level in the δ-sarcoglycan null mouse model (Sgcd-/- of Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2F. Baseline cardiac contractile force measurements using ex vivo intact linear muscle preparations, were severely depressed in these mice without the presence of histopathology. Virotherapy with claudin-5 prevents the onset of cardiomyopathy in another muscular dystrophy model. After virotherapy with claudin-5, the cardiac contractile force deficits in Sgcd-/- mice are no longer significant. These studies suggest that screening Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy patients using methods that detect earlier functional changes may provide a longer therapeutic window for cardiac care.

  15. Gene transfer of heterologous G protein-coupled receptors to cardiomyocytes: differential effects on contractility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laugwitz, K L; Weig, H J; Moretti, A; Hoffmann, E; Ueblacker, P; Pragst, I; Rosport, K; Schömig, A; Ungerer, M

    2001-04-13

    In heart failure, reduced cardiac contractility is accompanied by blunted cAMP responses to beta-adrenergic stimulation. Parathyroid hormone (PTH)-related peptide and arginine vasopressin are released from the myocardium in response to increased wall stress but do not stimulate contractility or adenylyl cyclase at physiological concentrations. To bypass the defective beta-adrenergic signaling cascade, recombinant P1 PTH/PTH-related peptide receptors (rPTH1-Rs) and V(2) vasopressin receptors (rV(2)-Rs), which are normally not expressed in the myocardium and which are both strongly coupled to adenylyl cyclase, and recombinant beta(2)-adrenergic receptors (rbeta(2)-ARs) were overexpressed in cardiomyocytes by viral gene transfer. The capacity of endogenous hormones to increase contractility via the heterologous, recombinant receptors was compared. Whereas V(2)-Rs are uniquely coupled to Gs, PTH1-Rs and beta(2)-ARs are also coupled to other G proteins. Gene transfer of rPTH1-Rs or rbeta(2)-ARs to adult cardiomyocytes resulted in maximally increased basal contractility, which could not be further stimulated by adding receptor agonists. Agonists at rPTH1-Rs induced increased cAMP formation and phospholipase C activity. In contrast, healthy or failing rV(2)-R-expressing cardiomyocytes showed unaltered basal contractility. Their contractility and cAMP formation increased only at agonist exposure, which did not activate phospholipase C. In summary, we found that gene transfer of PTH1-Rs to cardiomyocytes results in constitutive activity of the transgene, as does that of beta(2)-ARS: In the absence of receptor agonists, rPTH1-Rs and rbeta(2)-ARs increase basal contractility, coupling to 2 G proteins simultaneously. In contrast, rV(2)-Rs are uniquely coupled to Gs and are not constitutively active, retaining their property to be activated exclusively on agonist stimulation. Therefore, gene transfer of V(2)-Rs might be more suited to test the effects of c

  16. Lifting the nebula: novel insights into skeletal muscle contractility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ottenheijm, Coen A C; Granzier, Henk

    2010-10-01

    Nebulin is a giant protein and a constituent of the skeletal muscle sarcomere. The name of this protein refers to its unknown (i.e., nebulous) function. However, recent rapid advances reveal that nebulin plays important roles in the regulation of muscle contraction. When these functions of nebulin are compromised, muscle weakness ensues, as is the case in patients with nemaline myopathy.

  17. PKA catalytic subunit compartmentation regulates contractile and hypertrophic responses to β-adrenergic signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jason H.; Polanowska-Grabowska, Renata K.; Smith, Jeffrey S.; Shields, Charles W.; Saucerman, Jeffrey J.

    2014-01-01

    β-adrenergic signaling is spatiotemporally heterogeneous in the cardiac myocyte, conferring exquisite control to sympathetic stimulation. Such heterogeneity drives the formation of protein kinase A (PKA) signaling microdomains, which regulate Ca2+ handling and contractility. Here, we test the hypothesis that the nucleus independently comprises a PKA signaling microdomain regulating myocyte hypertrophy. Spatially-targeted FRET reporters for PKA activity identified slower PKA activation and lower isoproterenol sensitivity in the nucleus (t50 = 10.60±0.68 min; EC50 = 89.00 nmol/L) than in the cytosol (t50 = 3.71±0.25 min; EC50 = 1.22 nmol/L). These differences were not explained by cAMP or AKAP-based compartmentation. A computational model of cytosolic and nuclear PKA activity was developed and predicted that differences in nuclear PKA dynamics and magnitude are regulated by slow PKA catalytic subunit diffusion, while differences in isoproterenol sensitivity are regulated by nuclear expression of protein kinase inhibitor (PKI). These were validated by FRET and immunofluorescence. The model also predicted differential phosphorylation of PKA substrates regulating cell contractility and hypertrophy. Ca2+ and cell hypertrophy measurements validated these predictions and identified higher isoproterenol sensitivity for contractile enhancements (EC50 = 1.84 nmol/L) over cell hypertrophy (EC50 = 85.88 nmol/L). Over-expression of spatially targeted PKA catalytic subunit to the cytosol or nucleus enhanced contractile and hypertrophic responses, respectively. We conclude that restricted PKA catalytic subunit diffusion is an important PKA compartmentation mechanism and the nucleus comprises a novel PKA signaling microdomain, insulating hypertrophic from contractile β-adrenergic signaling responses. PMID:24225179

  18. Retosiban Prevents Stretch-Induced Human Myometrial Contractility and Delays Labor in Cynomolgus Monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aye, Irving L M H; Moraitis, Alexandros A; Stanislaus, Dinesh; Charnock-Jones, D Stephen; Smith, Gordon C S

    2018-03-01

    Stretch of the myometrium promotes its contractility and is believed to contribute to the control of parturition at term and to the increased risk of preterm birth in multiple pregnancies. To determine the effects of the putative oxytocin receptor (OTR) inverse agonist retosiban on (1) the contractility of human myometrial explants and (2) labor in nonhuman primates. Human myometrial biopsies were obtained at planned term cesarean, and explants were exposed to stretch in the presence and absence of a range of drugs, including retosiban. The in vivo effects of retosiban were determined in cynomolgus monkeys. Prolonged mechanical stretch promoted myometrial extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 phosphorylation. Moreover, stretch-induced stimulation of myometrial contractility was prevented by ERK1/2 inhibitors. Retosiban (10 nM) prevented stretch-induced stimulation of myometrial contractility and phosphorylation of ERK1/2. Moreover, the inhibitory effect of retosiban on stretch-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation was prevented by coincubation with a 100-fold excess of a peptide OTR antagonist, atosiban. Compared with vehicle-treated cynomolgus monkeys, treatment with oral retosiban (100 to 150 days of gestational age) reduced the risk of spontaneous delivery (hazard ratio = 0.07, 95% confidence interval 0.01 to 0.60, P = 0.015). The OTR acts as a uterine mechanosensor, whereby stretch increases myometrial contractility through agonist-free activation of the OTR. Retosiban prevents this through inverse agonism of the OTR and, in vivo, reduced the likelihood of spontaneous labor in nonhuman primates. We hypothesize that retosiban may be an effective preventative treatment of preterm birth in high-risk multiple pregnancies, an area of unmet clinical need.

  19. Dynamic MR cholangiography after fatty meal loading. Cystic contractility and dynamic evaluation of biliary stasis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Omata, Takayuki; Saito, Kazuhiro; Kotake, Fumio; Mizokami, Yuji; Matsuoka, Takeshi; Abe, Kimihiko

    2002-01-01

    Dynamic MR cholangiography was conducted on patients with cholelithiasis or choledocholithiasis who had consumed a fatty test meal (Molyork) and the cystic contractility and dynamics of biliary stasis was evaluated. The subjects were 25 with intracystic cholelithiasis, 10 with choledocholithiasis and 10 normal controls. For an imaging sequence, the rapid acquisition with relaxation enhancement (RARE) method was employed and imaging was conducted for 40 min (every 30 s following Molyork administration) without breath-holding. The gallbladder contraction ratio was computed and the contractile ratio for the common bile duct was calculated. To determine the bile flow to the duodenum, the high-intensity signal, indicating the flow from the lower common bile duct, and perfusion of the duodenum were observed in dynamic mode on the monitor with the naked eye and interpreted as positive bile flow. The frequency of this flow was visually monitored. The gallbladder contractile ratio was significantly reduced in patients with cholelithiasis or choledocholithiasis compared with the controls. In a comparison with the normal controls, no sequential changes were noted in the mean contractile ratio of the common bile duct of the patients with cholelithiasis or choledocholithiasis. The mean frequency of bile flow observed for each 40 min period was 13±2.4, 6±2.2, and 4±1.3 times for the controls, those with intracystic cholelithiasis, and those with choledocholithiasis, respectively. Compared with the controls, the latter two patient groups showed evident reductions in the frequency of bile flow to the duodenum (p<0.001). Dynamic MRC combined with Molyork loading makes it possible to compute cystic contractile ratios and perform a dynamic examination of bile flow under non-invasive, near-physiological conditions. (author)

  20. Apelin and APJ orchestrate complex tissue-specific control of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and contractility in the hypertrophy-heart failure transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parikh, Victoria Nicole; Liu, Jing; Shang, Ching; Woods, Christopher; Chang, Alex Chia Yu; Zhao, Mingming; Charo, David N; Grunwald, Zachary; Huang, Yong; Seo, Kinya; Tsao, Philip S; Bernstein, Daniel; Ruiz-Lozano, Pilar; Quertermous, Thomas; Ashley, Euan A

    2018-05-18

    The G protein coupled receptor APJ is a promising therapeutic target for heart failure. Constitutive deletion of APJ in the mouse is protective against the hypertrophy-heart failure transition via elimination of ligand-independent, β-arrestin dependent stretch transduction. However, the cellular origin of this stretch transduction and the details of its interaction with apelin signaling remain unknown. We generated mice with conditional elimination of APJ in the endothelium (APJ endo-/- ) and myocardium (APJ myo-/- ). No baseline difference was observed in LV function in APJ endo-/- , APJ myo-/- or controls (APJ endo+/+ , APJ myo+/+ ). After exposure to transaortic constriction (TAC), APJ endo-/- animals developed left ventricular failure while APJ myo-/- were protected. At the cellular level, carbon fiber stretch of freshly isolated single cardiomyocytes demonstrated decreased contractile response to stretch in APJ -/- cardiomyocytes compared to APJ +/+ cardiomyocytes. Calcium transient did not change with stretch in either APJ -/- or APJ +/+ cardiomyocytes. Application of apelin to APJ +/+ cardiomyocytes resulted in decreased calcium transient. Further, hearts of mice treated with apelin exhibited decreased phosphorylation at Troponin I (cTnI) N-terminal residues (Ser 22,23), consistent with increased calcium sensitivity. These data establish that APJ stretch transduction is mediated specifically by myocardial APJ, that APJ is necessary for stretch-induced increases in contractility, and that apelin opposes APJ's stretch-mediated hypertrophy signaling by lowering calcium transient while maintaining contractility through myofilament calcium sensitization. These findings underscore apelin's unique potential as a therapeutic agent that can simultaneously support cardiac function and protect against the hypertrophy-heart failure transition.

  1. Neural control of left ventricular contractility in the dog heart: synaptic interactions of negative inotropic vagal preganglionic neurons in the nucleus ambiguus with tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive terminals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massari, V J; Dickerson, L W; Gray, A L; Lauenstein, J M; Blinder, K J; Newsome, J T; Rodak, D J; Fleming, T J; Gatti, P J; Gillis, R A

    1998-08-17

    Recent physiological evidence indicates that vagal postganglionic control of left ventricular contractility is mediated by neurons found in a ventricular epicardial fat pad ganglion. In the dog this region has been referred to as the cranial medial ventricular (CMV) ganglion [J.L. Ardell, Structure and function of mammalian intrinsic cardiac neurons, in: J.A. Armour, J.L. Ardell (Eds.). Neurocardiology, Oxford Univ. Press, New York, 1994, pp. 95-114; B.X. Yuan, J.L. Ardell, D.A. Hopkins, A.M. Losier, J.A. Armour, Gross and microscopic anatomy of the canine intrinsic cardiac nervous system, Anat. Rec., 239 (1994) 75-87]. Since activation of the vagal neuronal input to the CMV ganglion reduces left ventricular contractility without influencing cardiac rate or AV conduction, this ganglion contains a functionally selective pool of negative inotropic parasympathetic postganglionic neurons. In the present report we have defined the light microscopic distribution of preganglionic negative inotropic neurons in the CNS which are retrogradely labeled from the CMV ganglion. Some tissues were also processed for the simultaneous immunocytochemical visualization of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH: a marker for catecholaminergic neurons) and examined with both light microscopic and electron microscopic methods. Histochemically visualized neurons were observed in a long slender column in the ventrolateral nucleus ambiguus (NA-VL). The greatest number of retrogradely labeled neurons were observed just rostral to the level of the area postrema. TH perikarya and dendrites were commonly observed interspersed with vagal motoneurons in the NA-VL. TH nerve terminals formed axo-dendritic synapses upon negative inotropic vagal motoneurons, however the origin of these terminals remains to be determined. We conclude that synaptic interactions exist which would permit the parasympathetic preganglionic vagal control of left ventricular contractility to be modulated monosynaptically by

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

    OpenAIRE

    Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Understanding Mathematic Concept in Relation and Function Method through Active Learning Type Group to Group Distributed LKS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudri, F.; Rahmi, R.; Haryono, Y.

    2018-04-01

    This research is motivated by the lack of understanding of mathematical concepts students and teachers have not familiarize students discussed in groups. This researchaims to determine whether an understanding of mathematical concepts junior class VIII SMPN 2 in Ranah Batahan Kabupaten Pasaman Barat by applying active learning strategy group to group types with LKS better than conventional learning. The type of research is experimental the design of randomized trials on the subject. The population in the study were all students VIII SMPN 2 Ranah Batahan Kabupaten Pasaman Barat in year 2012/2013 which consists of our class room experiment to determine the grade and control class with do nerandomly, so that classes VIII1 elected as a experiment class and class VIII4 as a control class. The instruments used in the test empirically understanding mathematical concepts are shaped by the essay with rt=0,82 greater than rt=0,468 means reliable tests used. The data analysis technique used is the test with the help of MINITAB. Based on the results of the data analisis known that both of the sample are normal and homogenity in real rate α = 0,05, so the hypothesis of this research is received. So, it can be concluded students’ understanding mathematical concept applied the active Group to Group learning strategy with LKS is better than the students’ understanding mathematical concept with Conventional Learning.

  4. Using Solution Strategies to Examine and Promote High-School Students' Understanding of Exponential Functions: One Teacher's Attempt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brendefur, Jonathan

    2014-01-01

    Much research has been conducted on how elementary students develop mathematical understanding and subsequently how teachers might use this information. This article builds on this type of work by investigating how one high-school algebra teacher designs and conducts a lesson on exponential functions. Through a lesson study format she studies with…

  5. A Comparative Study of the Use and Understanding of Self-Presentational Display Rules in Children with High Functioning Autism and Asperger's Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbaro, Josephine; Dissanayake, Cheryl

    2007-01-01

    The use and understanding of self-presentational display rules (SPDRs) was investigated in 21 children with high-functioning autism (FHA), 18 children with Asperger's disorder (AspD) and 20 typically developing (TD) children (all male, aged 4- to 11-years, matched on mental age). Their behaviour was coded during a deception scenario to assess use…

  6. How Tactile and Function Information Affect Young Children's Ability to Understand the Nature of Food-Appearing, Deceptive Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Christina Miles

    2008-01-01

    Preschool children's (N = 64) ability to use tactile information and function cues on less-realistic and more-realistic food-appearing, deceptive objects was examined before and after training on the function of deceptive objects. They also responded to appearance and reality questions about deceptive objects. Half of the children (F-S:…

  7. Understanding Different Levels of Group Functionality: Activity Systems Analysis of an Intercultural Telecollaborative Multilingual Digital Storytelling Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priego, Sabrina; Liaw, Meei-Ling

    2017-01-01

    An Activity Theory framework has been increasingly applied for understanding the tension or contradictions in telecollaboration. However, to date, few researchers have applied it to the analysis of digital stories, and none of them, to our knowledge, have used it to analyze the co-creation of multilingual digital stories. In this study, we explore…

  8. Students' Understanding of External Representations of the Potassium Ion Channel Protein Part II: Structure-Function Relationships and Fragmented Knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harle, Marissa; Towns, Marcy H.

    2012-01-01

    Research that has focused on external representations in biochemistry has uncovered student difficulties in comprehending and interpreting external representations. This study focuses on students' understanding of three external representations (ribbon diagram, wireframe, and hydrophobic/hydrophilic) of the potassium ion channel protein. Analysis…

  9. Effect of changes in contractility on the index of myocardial performance in the dysfunctional left ventricle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lavine Steven J

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The index of myocardial performance has prognostic power in patients with cardiomyopathy and following myocardial infarction. As the index of myocardial performance has been shown to be preload and afterload dependent, the effect of altering contractility on IMP and its components with left ventricular dysfunction has been incompletely delineated. Methods Chronic left ventricular dysfunction was induced in 10 canines using coronary microsphere embolization. Each dog was instrumented and imaged with 2D echo and Doppler. At the same atrially paced rate, contractility was increased with a dobutamine infusion and then following 4 weeks of oral digoxin. Results With chronic left ventricular dysfunction, a reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (42 ± 3%, p Conclusion Increased inotropy with digoxin and dobutamine reduced the index of myocardial performance in dogs with left ventricular dysfunction. Shortened isovolumic contraction time, increased diastolic filling period, and reduced left ventricular end diastolic pressure with digoxin may provide insight into its efficacy in heart failure.

  10. An Estimating Method of Contractile State Changes Come From Continuous Isometric Contraction of Skeletal Muscle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Park, H.J.; Lee, S.J. [Wonkwang University, Iksan (Korea)

    2003-01-01

    In this study was proposed that a new estimating method for investigation of contractile state changes which generated from continuous isometric contraction of skeletal muscle. The physiological changes (EMG, ECG) and the psychological changes by CNS(central nervous system) were measured by experiments, while the muscle of subjects contracted continuously with isometric contraction in constant load. The psychological changes were represented as three-step-change named 'fatigue', 'pain' and 'sick(greatly pain)' from oral test, and the method which compared physiological change with psychological change on basis of these three steps was developed. The result of analyzing the physiological signals, EMG and ECG signal changes were observed at the vicinity of judging point in time of psychological changes. Namely, it is supposed that contractile states have three kind of states pattern (stable, fatigue, pain) instead of two states (stable, fatigue). (author). 24 refs., 7 figs.

  11. Measuring the Contractile Response of Isolated Tissue Using an Image Sensor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Díaz-Martín

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Isometric or isotonic transducers have traditionally been used to study the contractile/relaxation effects of drugs on isolated tissues. However, these mechanical sensors are expensive and delicate, and they are associated with certain disadvantages when performing experiments in the laboratory. In this paper, a method that uses an image sensor to measure the contractile effect of drugs on blood vessel rings and other luminal organs is presented. The new method is based on an image-processing algorithm, and it provides a fast, easy and non-expensive way to analyze the effects of such drugs. In our tests, we have obtained dose-response curves from rat aorta rings that are equivalent to those achieved with classical mechanic sensors.

  12. Effect of a crude sulfated polysaccharide from Halymenia floresia (Rhodophyta on gastrointestinal smooth muscle contractility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Ronaldo Vasconcelos Graça

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this work was to study the effect of Halymenia floresia (Hf on duodenum contractility, and on experimental protocols of gastric compliance (GC in rats. Fraction Hf2s exhibited a concentration-dependent myocontractile effect (EC50 12.48 µg/ml, and an inhibitory effect after consecutive washing. The contractile response promoted by Hf2s in the duodenum strips was completely inhibited by verapamil, and the effects were prevented in the presence of Ca2+-free medium. The pretreatment with atropine prevented the Hf2s myocontractile effect. Hf2s was also capable to decrease the GC (from 3.8±0.06 to 3.4±0.13 ml, P<0.05, which did not return to basal levels after more 50 min of observation. These results indicated that the algal polysaccharide possessed in vitro and in vivo gastrointestinal effects.

  13. New insights into roles of acidocalcisomes and contractile vacuole complex in osmoregulation in protists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Docampo, Roberto; Jimenez, Veronica; Lander, Noelia; Li, Zhu-Hong; Niyogi, Sayantanee

    2013-01-01

    While free-living protists are usually subjected to hyposmotic environments, parasitic protists are also in contact with hyperosmotic habitats. Recent work in one of these parasites, Trypanosoma cruzi, has revealed that its contractile vacuole complex, which usually collects and expels excess water as a mechanism of regulatory volume decrease after hyposmotic stress, has also a role in cell shrinking when the cells are submitted to hyperosmotic stress. Trypanosomes also have an acidic calcium store rich in polyphosphate (polyP), named the acidocalcisome, which is involved in their response to osmotic stress. Here, we review newly emerging insights on the role of acidocalcisomes and the contractile vacuole complex in the cellular response to hyposmotic and hyperosmotic stresses. We also review the current state of knowledge on the composition of these organelles and their other roles in calcium homeostasis and protein trafficking. © 2013, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

  14. New Insights into the Roles of Acidocalcisomes and the Contractile Vacuole Complex in Osmoregulation in Protists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Docampo, Roberto; Jimenez, Veronica; Lander, Noelia; Li, Zhu-Hong; Niyogi, Sayantanee

    2013-01-01

    While free-living protists are usually subjected to hyposmotic environments, parasitic protists are also in contact with hyperosmotic habitats. Recent work in one of these parasites, Trypanosoma cruzi, has revealed that its contractile vacuole complex, which usually collects and expels excess water as a mechanism of regulatory volume decrease after hyposmotic stress, has also a role in cell shrinking when the cells are submitted to hyperosmotic stress. Trypanosomes also have an acidic calcium store rich in polyphosphate (polyP), named the acidocalcisome, which is involved in their response to osmotic stress. Here, we review newly emerging insights on the role of acidocalcisomes and the contractile vacuole complex in the cellular response to hyposmotic and hyperosmotic stresses. We also review the current state of knowledge on the composition of these organelles and their other roles in calcium homeostasis and protein trafficking. PMID:23890380

  15. The Study of Fetal Rat Model of Intra-Amniotic Isoproterenol Injection Induced Heart Dysfunction and Phenotypic Switch of Contractile Proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yifei Li

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available To establish a reliable isoproterenol induced heart dysfunction fetal rat model and understand the switches of contractile proteins, 45 pregnant rats were divided into 15 mg/kg-once, 15 mg/kg-twice, sham-operated once, sham-operated twice, and control groups. And 18 adult rats were divided into isoproterenol-treated and control groups. H&E staining, Masson staining, and transmission electron microscope were performed. Apoptotic rate assessed by TUNEL analysis and expressions of ANP, BNP, MMP-2, and CTGF of hearts were measured. Intra-amniotic injections of isoproterenol were supplied on E14.5 and E15.5 for fetuses and 7-day continuous intraperitoneal injections were performed for adults. Then echocardiography was performed with M-mode view assessment on E18.5 and 6 weeks later, respectively. Isoproterenol twice treated fetuses exhibited significant changes in histological evaluation, and mitochondrial damages were significantly severe with increased apoptotic rate. ANP and BNP increased and that of MMP-2 increased in isoproterenol twice treated group compared to control group, without CTGF. The isoforms transition of troponin I and myosin heavy chain of fetal heart dysfunction were opposite to adult procedure. The administration of intra-amniotic isoproterenol to fetal rats could induce heart dysfunction and the regulation of contractile proteins of fetuses was different from adult procedure.

  16. The Masticatory Contractile Load Induced Expression and Activation of Akt1/PKBα in Muscle Fibers at the Myotendinous Junction within Muscle-Tendon-Bone Unit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yüksel Korkmaz

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The cell specific detection of enzyme activation in response to the physiological contractile load within muscle-tendon-bone unit is essential for understanding of the mechanical forces transmission from muscle cells via tendon to the bone. The hypothesis that the physiological mechanical loading regulates activation of Akt1/PKBα at Thr308 and at Ser473 in muscle fibers within muscle-tendon-bone unit was tested using quantitative immunohistochemistry, confocal double fluorescence analysis, and immunoblot analysis. In comparison to the staining intensities in peripheral regions of the muscle fibers, Akt1/PKBα was detected with a higher staining intensity in muscle fibers at the myotendinous junction (MTJ areas. In muscle fibers at the MTJ areas, Akt1/PKBα is dually phosphorylated at Thr308 and Ser473. The immunohistochemical results were confirmed by immunoblot analysis. We conclude that contractile load generated by masticatory muscles induces local domain-dependent expression of Akt1/PKBα as well as activation by dually phosphorylation at Thr308 and Ser473 in muscle fibers at the MTJ areas within muscle-tendon-bone unit.

  17. Influence of genotype on contractile protein differentiation in different bovine muscles during foetal life

    OpenAIRE

    Gagnière , Hélène; Ménissier , François; Geay , Yves; Picard , Brigitte

    2000-01-01

    International audience; The purpose of this work was to compare muscle fibre differentiation in two genetic types: "normal charolais" and double-muscled (DM) "INRA 95" cattles displaying muscle hypertrophy. Six muscles with different contractile and metabolic characteristics in adult animal: Masseter, Diaphragma (Di), Biceps femoris (BF), Longissimus thoracis, Semitendinosus and Cutaneus trunci (CT) were excised from 60 to 260-day-old fœtuses of both genotypes. These muscles present different...

  18. Chronic clenbuterol treatment compromises force production without directly altering skeletal muscle contractile machinery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Py, G; Ramonatxo, C; Sirvent, P; Sanchez, A M J; Philippe, A G; Douillard, A; Galbès, O; Lionne, C; Bonnieu, A; Chopard, A; Cazorla, O; Lacampagne, A; Candau, R B

    2015-01-01

    Clenbuterol is a β2-adrenergic receptor agonist known to induce skeletal muscle hypertrophy and a slow-to-fast phenotypic shift. The aim of the present study was to test the effects of chronic clenbuterol treatment on contractile efficiency and explore the underlying mechanisms, i.e. the muscle contractile machinery and calcium-handling ability. Forty-three 6-week-old male Wistar rats were randomly allocated to one of six groups that were treated with either subcutaneous equimolar doses of clenbuterol (4 mg kg−1 day−1) or saline solution for 9, 14 or 21 days. In addition to the muscle hypertrophy, although an 89% increase in absolute maximal tetanic force (Po) was noted, specific maximal tetanic force (sPo) was unchanged or even depressed in the slow twitch muscle of the clenbuterol-treated rats (P muscle contraction and relaxation force kinetics indicated that clenbuterol treatment significantly reduced the rate constant of force development and the slow and fast rate constants of relaxation in extensor digitorum longus muscle (P fast rate constant of relaxation in soleus muscle (P fibres (fast twitch fibres) from clenbuterol-treated animals demonstrated decreased amplitude after 14 days (−19%, P < 0.01) and 21 days (−25%, P < 0.01). In conclusion, we showed that chronic clenbuterol treatment reduces contractile efficiency, with altered contraction and relaxation kinetics, but without directly altering the contractile machinery. Lower Ca2+ release during contraction could partially explain these deleterious effects. PMID:25656230

  19. Matching of sarcoplasmic reticulum and contractile properties in rat fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trinh, Huong H; Lamb, Graham D

    2006-07-01

    1. The twitch characteristics (fast-twitch or slow-twitch) of skeletal muscle fibres are determined not only by the contractile apparatus properties of the fibre, but also by the time-course of Ca2+ release and re-uptake by the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). The present study examined, in individual fibres from non-transforming muscle of the rat, whether particular SR properties are matched to the contractile apparatus properties of the fibre, in particular in the case of fibres with fast-twitch contractile apparatus located in a slow-twitch muscle, namely the soleus. 2. Force was recorded in single, mechanically skinned fibres from extensor digitorum longus (EDL), gastrocnemius, peroneus longus and soleus muscles. Using repeated cycles in which the SR was emptied of all releasable Ca2+ and then reloaded, it was possible to determine the relative amount of Ca2+ present in the SR endogenously, the maximum SR capacity and the rate of Ca2+ loading. The sensitivity of the contractile apparatus to Ca2+ and Sr2+ was used to classify the fibres as fast-twitch (FT), slow-twitch (ST) or mixed (fibres examined) and thereby identify the likely troponin C and myosin heavy chain types present. 3. There was no significant difference in SR properties between the groups of FT fibres obtained from the four different muscles, including soleus. Despite some overlap in the SR properties of individual fibres between the FT and ST groups, the properties of the FT fibres in all four muscles studied were significantly different from those of the ST and mixed fibres. 4. In general, in FT fibres the SR had a larger capacity and the endogenous Ca2+ content was a relatively lower percentage of maximum compared with ST fibres. Importantly, in terms of their SR properties, FT fibres from soleus muscle more closely resembled FT fibres from other muscles than they did ST fibres from soleus muscle.

  20. Myosin phosphorylation improves contractile economy of mouse fast skeletal muscle during staircase potentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunda, Jordan; Gittings, William; Vandenboom, Rene

    2018-01-30

    Phosphorylation of the myosin regulatory light chain (RLC) by skeletal myosin light chain kinase (skMLCK) potentiates rodent fast twitch muscle but is an ATP-requiring process. Our objective was to investigate the effect of skMLCK-catalyzed RLC phosphorylation on the energetic cost of contraction and the contractile economy (ratio of mechanical output to metabolic input) of mouse fast twitch muscle in vitro (25°C). To this end, extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles from wild-type (WT) and from skMLCK-devoid (skMLCK -/- ) mice were subjected to repetitive low-frequency stimulation (10 Hz for 15 s) to produce staircase potentiation of isometric twitch force, after which muscles were quick frozen for determination of high-energy phosphate consumption (HEPC). During stimulation, WT muscles displayed significant potentiation of isometric twitch force while skMLCK -/- muscles did not (i.e. 23% versus 5% change, respectively). Consistent with this, RLC phosphorylation was increased ∼3.5-fold from the unstimulated control value in WT but not in skMLCK -/- muscles. Despite these differences, the HEPC of WT muscles was not greater than that of skMLCK -/- muscles. As a result of the increased contractile output relative to HEPC, the calculated contractile economy of WT muscles was greater than that of skMLCK -/- muscles. Thus, our results suggest that skMLCK-catalyzed phosphorylation of the myosin RLC increases the contractile economy of WT mouse EDL muscle compared with skMLCK -/- muscles without RLC phosphorylation. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  1. Cardiac-Specific Overexpression of Catalase Attenuates Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Myocardial Contractile Dysfunction: Role of Autophagy

    OpenAIRE

    Turdi, Subat; Han, Xuefeng; Huff, Anna F.; Roe, Nathan D.; Hu, Nan; Gao, Feng; Ren, Jun

    2012-01-01

    Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Gram-negative bacteria is a major initiator of sepsis, leading to cardiovascular collapse. Accumulating evidence has indicated a role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cardiovascular complication in sepsis. This study was designed to examine the effect of cardiac-specific overexpression of catalase in LPS-induced cardiac contractile dysfunction and the underlying mechanism(s) with a focus on autophagy. Catalase transgenic and wild-type FVB mice were challenged ...

  2. Robust gap repair in the contractile ring ensures timely completion of cytokinesis.

    OpenAIRE

    Silva, AM; Osório, DS; Pereira, AJ; Maiato, H; Pinto, IM; Rubinstein, B; Gassmann, R; Telley, IA; Carvalho, AX

    2016-01-01

    Cytokinesis in animal cells requires the constriction of an actomyosin contractile ring, whose architecture and mechanism remain poorly understood. We use laser microsurgery to explore the biophysical properties of constricting rings in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. Laser cutting causes rings to snap open. However, instead of disintegrating, ring topology recovers and constriction proceeds. In response to severing, a finite gap forms and is repaired by recruitment of new material in an acti...

  3. Changes in contractile properties of muscles receiving repeat injections of botulinum toxin (Botox).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortuna, Rafael; Vaz, Marco Aurélio; Youssef, Aliaa Rehan; Longino, David; Herzog, Walter

    2011-01-04

    Botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) is a frequently used therapeutic tool to denervate muscles in the treatment of neuromuscular disorders. Although considered safe by the US Food and Drug Administration, BTX-A can produce adverse effects in target and non-target muscles. With an increased use of BTX-A for neuromuscular disorders, the effects of repeat injections of BTX-A on strength, muscle mass and structure need to be known. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the changes in strength, muscle mass and contractile material in New Zealand White (NZW) rabbits. Twenty NZW rabbits were divided into 4 groups: control and 1, 3 and 6 months of unilateral, repeat injections of BTX-A into the quadriceps femoris. Outcome measures included knee extensor torque, muscle mass and the percentage of contractile material in the quadriceps muscles of the target and non-injected contralateral hindlimbs. Strength in the injected muscles was reduced by 88%, 89% and 95% in the 1, 3 and 6 months BTX-A injected hindlimbs compared to controls. Muscle mass was reduced by 50%, 42% and 31% for the vastus lateralis (VL), rectus femoris (RF) and vastus medialis (VM), respectively, at 1 month, by 68%, 51% and 50% at 3 months and by 76%, 44% and 13% at 6 months. The percentage of contractile material was reduced for the 3 and 6 months animals to 80-64%, respectively, and was replaced primarily by fat. Similar, but less pronounced results were also observed for the quadriceps muscles of the contralateral hindlimbs, suggesting that repeat BTX-A injections cause muscle atrophy and loss of contractile tissue in target muscles and also in non-target muscles that are far removed from the injection site. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. The role of coherence of mind and reflective functioning in understanding binge-eating disorder and co-morbid overweight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxwell, Hilary; Tasca, Giorgio A; Grenon, Renee; Faye, Megan; Ritchie, Kerri; Bissada, Hany; Balfour, Louise

    2017-08-01

    Coherence of mind and reflective functioning may impact negative affect and interpersonal functioning over and above the effects of symptoms of depression and interpersonal problems that contribute to symptoms of binge-eating disorder (BED) and overweight/obesity. Matched samples of overweight women with BED and overweight and normal weight women without BED completed the Adult Attachment Interview, a measure of depressive symptoms, and a measure of interpersonal problems. Greater symptoms of depression distinguished women with BED from the matched comparison samples. Greater interpersonal problems differentiated women with BED from overweight women without BED. Coherence of Mind scores did not differentiate the samples. However, lower Reflective Functioning scores did distinguish both women with BED and overweight women without BED from normal weight women. Lower reflective functioning may lead to binge eating independent of depressive symptoms and interpersonal problems.

  5. Advances in the understanding of early Huntington's disease using the functional imaging techniques of PET and SPET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andrews, T.C.; Brooks, D.J.

    1998-01-01

    The functional imaging techniques of positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission tomography (SPET) have been used to study regional brain function in Huntington's disease (HD) in vivo. Reduced striatal glucose metabolism and dopamine receptor binding are evident in all symptomatic HD patients and in ∼50% of asymptomatic adult mutation carriers. These characteristics correlate with clinical measures of disease severity. Reduced cortical glucose metabolism and dopamine receptor binding, together with reduced striatal and cortical opioid receptor binding, have also been demonstrated in symptomatic patients with HD. Repeat PET measures of striatal function have been used to monitor the progression of this disease objectively. In the future, functional imaging will provide a valuable way of assessing the efficacy of both fetal striatal cell implants and putative neuroprotective agents, such as nerve growth factors. (Copyright (c) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam. All rights reserved.)

  6. Significance of functional disease-causal/susceptible variants identified by whole-genome analyses for the understanding of human diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hitomi, Yuki; Tokunaga, Katsushi

    2017-01-01

    Human genome variation may cause differences in traits and disease risks. Disease-causal/susceptible genes and variants for both common and rare diseases can be detected by comprehensive whole-genome analyses, such as whole-genome sequencing (WGS), using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology and genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Here, in addition to the application of an NGS as a whole-genome analysis method, we summarize approaches for the identification of functional disease-causal/susceptible variants from abundant genetic variants in the human genome and methods for evaluating their functional effects in human diseases, using an NGS and in silico and in vitro functional analyses. We also discuss the clinical applications of the functional disease causal/susceptible variants to personalized medicine.

  7. Echocardiographic assessment of right ventricular contractile reserve in patients with pulmonary hypertension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Ana Rita; Loureiro, Maria José; Lopes, Liliana; Cotrim, Carlos; Lopes, Luís; Repolho, Débora; Pereira, Hélder

    2014-03-01

    Right ventricular function is a major determinant of prognosis in pulmonary hypertension. The aim of this study was to assess and compare right ventricular contractile reserve in healthy subjects (controls) and in subjects with pulmonary hypertension (cases). In this prospective study of seven cases and seven controls undergoing treadmill stress echocardiography, right ventricular S-wave velocity, tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE), right ventricular fractional area change (RVFAC) and stroke volume index were assessed at rest and with exercise. The increase in each parameter between rest and exercise for cases and controls was analyzed and the magnitude of change in each parameter with exercise between cases and controls was compared. A significant increase in S-wave velocity was observed in cases (rest: 9.4 ± 3.1; exercise: 13.7 ± 4.8 cm/s [p < 0.05]). In controls there was a statistically significant increase in S-wave velocity (12.9 ± 2.3 to 23.0 ± 7.2 cm/s [p < 0.005]), TAPSE (25.7 ± 2.4 to 31.0 ± 3.5 mm [p < 0.05]) and RVFAC (53.8 ± 14.7% to 64.4 ± 9.9% [p < 0.005]). The magnitude of change in S-wave velocity (cases: 4.3 ± 3.3; controls: 10.1 ± 5.5 cm/s [p < 0.05]), TAPSE (cases: 0.6 ± 2.5; controls: 5.3 ± 3.8 mm [p < 0.05]) and RVFAC (cases: -0.4 ± 11.8; controls: 10.6 ± 5.9% [p < 0.05]) was significantly different between cases and controls. S-wave velocity, TAPSE and RVFAC increased significantly with exercise in controls. S-wave velocity was the only parameter that showed a significant increase in cases, although the magnitude of this increase was significantly less than in controls. Copyright © 2013 Sociedade Portuguesa de Cardiologia. Published by Elsevier España. All rights reserved.

  8. Vinculin contributes to Cell Invasion by Regulating Contractile Activation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mierke, Claudia Tanja

    2008-07-01

    Vinculin is a component of the focal adhesion complex and is described as a mechano-coupling protein connecting the integrin receptor and the actin cytoskeleton. Vinculin knock-out (k.o.) cells (vin-/-) displayed increased migration on a 2-D collagen- or fibronectin-coated substrate compared to wildtype cells, but the role of vinculin in cell migration through a 3-D connective tissue is unknown. We determined the invasiveness of established tumor cell lines using a 3-D collagen invasion assay. Gene expression analysis of 4 invasive and 4 non-invasive tumor cell lines revealed that vinculin expression was significantly increased in invasive tumor cell lines. To analyze the mechanisms by which vinculin increased cell invasion in a 3-D gel, we studied mouse embryonic fibroblasts wildtype and vin-/- cells. Wildtype cells were 3-fold more invasive compared vin-/- cells. We hypothesized that the ability to generate sufficient traction forces is a prerequisite for tumor cell migration in a 3-D connective tissue matrix. Using traction microscopy, we found that wildtype exerted 3-fold higher tractions on fibronectin-coated polyacrylamide gels compared to vin-/- cells. These results show that vinculin controls two fundamental functions that lead to opposite effects on cell migration in a 2-D vs. a 3-D environment: On the one hand, vinculin stabilizes the focal adhesions (mechano-coupling function) and thereby reduces motility in 2-D. On the other hand, vinculin is also a potent activator of traction generation (mechano-regulating function) that is important for cell invasion in a 3-D environment.

  9. Impact of tamsulosin and nifedipine on contractility of pregnant rat ureters in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haddad, Lisette; Corriveau, Stéphanie; Rousseau, Eric; Blouin, Simon; Pasquier, Jean-Charles; Ponsot, Yves; Roy-Lacroix, Marie-Ève

    2018-01-01

    To evaluate the in vitro effect of tamsulosin and nifedipine on the contractility of pregnant rat ureters and to perform quantitative analysis of the pharmacological effects. Medical expulsive therapy (MET) is commonly used to treat urolithiasis. However, this treatment is seldom used in pregnant women since no studies support this practice. This was an in vitro study on animal tissue derived from pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats. A total of 124 ureteral segments were mounted in an organ bath system and contractile response to methacholine (MCh) was assessed. Tamsulosin or nifedipine were added at cumulative concentrations (0.001-1 μM). The area under the curve (AUC) from isometric tension measurements was calculated. The effect of pharmacological agents and the respective controls were assessed by calculating the AUC for each 5-min interval. Statistical analyses were performed using the Mann-Whitney-Wilcoxon nonparametric test. Both drugs displayed statistically significant inhibitory activity at concentrations of 0.1 and 1 μM for tamsulosin and 1 μM for nifedipine when calculated as the AUC as compared to DMSO controls. Tamsulosin and nifedipine directly inhibit MCh-induced contractility of pregnant rat ureters. Further work is needed to determine the clinical efficacy of these medications for MET in pregnancy.

  10. Changes of contractile responses due to simulated weightlessness in rat soleus muscle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elkhammari, A.; Noireaud, J.; Léoty, C.

    1994-08-01

    Some contractile and electrophysiological properties of muscle fibers isolated from the slow-twitch soleus (SOL) and fast-twitch extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles of rats were compared with those measured in SOL muscles from suspended rats. In suspendede SOL (21 days of tail-suspension) membrane potential (Em), intracellular sodium activity (aiNa) and the slope of the relationship between Em and log [K]o were typical of fast-twitch muscles. The relation between the maximal amplitude of K-contractures vs Em was steeper for control SOL than for EDL and suspended SOL muscles. After suspension, in SOL muscles the contractile threshold and the inactivation curves for K-contractures were shifted to more positive Em. Repriming of K-contractures was unaffected by suspencion. The exposure of isolated fibers to perchlorate (ClO4-)-containing (6-40 mM) solutions resulted ina similar concentration-dependent shift to more negative Em of activation curves for EDL and suspended SOL muscles. On exposure to a Na-free TEA solution, SOL from control and suspended rats, in contrast to EDL muscles, generated slow contractile responses. Suspended SOL showed a reduced sensitivity to the contracture-producing effect of caffeine compared to control muscles. These results suggested that the modification observed due to suspension could be encounted by changes in the characteristics of muscle fibers from slow to fast-twitch type.

  11. Carboxyl-terminal-dependent recruitment of nonmuscle myosin II to megakaryocyte contractile ring during polyploidization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badirou, Idinath; Pan, Jiajia; Legrand, Céline; Wang, Aibing; Lordier, Larissa; Boukour, Siham; Roy, Anita; Vainchenker, William; Chang, Yunhua

    2014-10-16

    Endomitosis is a unique megakaryocyte (MK) differentiation process that is the consequence of a late cytokinesis failure associated with a contractile ring defect. Evidence from in vitro studies has revealed the distinct roles of 2 nonmuscle myosin IIs (NMIIs) on MK endomitosis: only NMII-B (MYH10), but not NMII-A (MYH9), is localized in the MK contractile ring and implicated in mitosis/endomitosis transition. Here, we studied 2 transgenic mouse models in which nonmuscle myosin heavy chain (NMHC) II-A was genetically replaced either by II-B or by a chimeric NMHCII that combined the head domain of II-A with the rod and tail domains of II-B. This study provides in vivo evidence on the specific role of NMII-B on MK polyploidization. It demonstrates that the carboxyl-terminal domain of the heavy chains determines myosin II localization to the MK contractile ring and is responsible for the specific role of NMII-B in MK polyploidization.

  12. Local 3D matrix microenvironment regulates cell migration through spatiotemporal dynamics of contractility-dependent adhesions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, Andrew D.; Carvajal, Nicole; Jin, Albert; Matsumoto, Kazue; Yamada, Kenneth M.

    2015-11-01

    The physical properties of two-dimensional (2D) extracellular matrices (ECMs) modulate cell adhesion dynamics and motility, but little is known about the roles of local microenvironmental differences in three-dimensional (3D) ECMs. Here we generate 3D collagen gels of varying matrix microarchitectures to characterize their regulation of 3D adhesion dynamics and cell migration. ECMs containing bundled fibrils demonstrate enhanced local adhesion-scale stiffness and increased adhesion stability through balanced ECM/adhesion coupling, whereas highly pliable reticular matrices promote adhesion retraction. 3D adhesion dynamics are locally regulated by ECM rigidity together with integrin/ECM association and myosin II contractility. Unlike 2D migration, abrogating contractility stalls 3D migration regardless of ECM pore size. We find force is not required for clustering of activated integrins on 3D native collagen fibrils. We propose that efficient 3D migration requires local balancing of contractility with ECM stiffness to stabilize adhesions, which facilitates the detachment of activated integrins from ECM fibrils.

  13. Cellular contractility and substrate elasticity: a numerical investigation of the actin cytoskeleton and cell adhesion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronan, William; Deshpande, Vikram S; McMeeking, Robert M; McGarry, J Patrick

    2014-04-01

    Numerous experimental studies have established that cells can sense the stiffness of underlying substrates and have quantified the effect of substrate stiffness on stress fibre formation, focal adhesion area, cell traction, and cell shape. In order to capture such behaviour, the current study couples a mixed mode thermodynamic and mechanical framework that predicts focal adhesion formation and growth with a material model that predicts stress fibre formation, contractility, and dissociation in a fully 3D implementation. Simulations reveal that SF contractility plays a critical role in the substrate-dependent response of cells. Compliant substrates do not provide sufficient tension for stress fibre persistence, causing dissociation of stress fibres and lower focal adhesion formation. In contrast, cells on stiffer substrates are predicted to contain large amounts of dominant stress fibres. Different levels of cellular contractility representative of different cell phenotypes are found to alter the range of substrate stiffness that cause the most significant changes in stress fibre and focal adhesion formation. Furthermore, stress fibre and focal adhesion formation evolve as a cell spreads on a substrate and leading to the formation of bands of fibres leading from the cell periphery over the nucleus. Inhibiting the formation of FAs during cell spreading is found to limit stress fibre formation. The predictions of this mutually dependent material-interface framework are strongly supported by experimental observations of cells adhered to elastic substrates and offer insight into the inter-dependent biomechanical processes regulating stress fibre and focal adhesion formation.

  14. EXERCISE PERFORMANCE AND MUSCLE CONTRACTILE PROPERTIES AFTER CREATINE MONOHYDRATE SUPPLEMENTATION IN AEROBIC-ANAEROBIC TRAINING RATS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nickolay Boyadjiev

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of creatine monohydrate supplementation on exercise performance and contractile variables in aerobic-anaerobic training rats. Twenty 90-day-old male Sprague Dawley rats were divided into two groups - creatine (Cr and controls (K. The creatine group received creatine monohydrate as a nutritional supplement, whereas the control group was given placebo. Both groups were trained 5 days a week on a treadmill for 20 days in a mixed (aerobic-anaerobic metabolic working regimen (27 m·min-1, 15% elevation for 40 min. The exercise performance (sprint-test, contractile properties (m. tibialis anterior, oxidative enzyme activity (SDH, LDH, NADH2 in m. soleus and blood hematological and chemical variables were assessed in the groups at the end of the experiment. It was found out that creatine supplementation improved the exercise performance after 20 days of administration in a dose of 60 mg per day on the background of a mixed (aerobic-anaerobic exercise training. At the end of the trial the Cr-group demonstrated better values for the variables which characterize the contractile properties of m. tibialis anterior containing predominantly types IIA and IIB muscle fibers. On the other hand, a higher oxidative capacity was found out in m. soleus (type I muscle fibers as a result of 20-day creatine supplementation. No side effects of creatine monohydrate supplementation were assessed by the hematological and blood biochemical indices measured in this study

  15. Robust gap repair in the contractile ring ensures timely completion of cytokinesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Ana M; Osório, Daniel S; Pereira, Antonio J; Maiato, Helder; Pinto, Inês Mendes; Rubinstein, Boris; Gassmann, Reto; Telley, Ivo Andreas; Carvalho, Ana Xavier

    2016-12-19

    Cytokinesis in animal cells requires the constriction of an actomyosin contractile ring, whose architecture and mechanism remain poorly understood. We use laser microsurgery to explore the biophysical properties of constricting rings in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. Laser cutting causes rings to snap open. However, instead of disintegrating, ring topology recovers and constriction proceeds. In response to severing, a finite gap forms and is repaired by recruitment of new material in an actin polymerization-dependent manner. An open ring is able to constrict, and rings repair from successive cuts. After gap repair, an increase in constriction velocity allows cytokinesis to complete at the same time as controls. Our analysis demonstrates that tension in the ring increases while net cortical tension at the site of ingression decreases throughout constriction and suggests that cytokinesis is accomplished by contractile modules that assemble and contract autonomously, enabling local repair of the actomyosin network. Consequently, cytokinesis is a highly robust process impervious to discontinuities in contractile ring structure. © 2016 Silva et al.

  16. Adaptive responses of mouse skeletal muscle to contractile activity: The effect of age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasilaki, A; McArdle, F; Iwanejko, L M; McArdle, A

    2006-11-01

    This study has characterised the time course of two major transcriptional adaptive responses to exercise (changes in antioxidant defence enzyme activity and heat shock protein (HSP) content) in muscles of adult and old male mice following isometric contractions and has examined the mechanisms involved in the age-related reduction in transcription factor activation. Muscles of B6XSJL mice were subjected to isometric contractions and analysed for antioxidant defence enzyme activities, heat shock protein content and transcription factor DNA binding activity. Data demonstrated a significant increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase activity and HSP content of muscles of adult mice following contractile activity which was associated with increased activation of the transcription factors, nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), activator protein-1 (AP-1) and heat shock factor (HSF) following contractions. Significant increases in SOD and catalase activity and heat shock cognate (HSC70) content were seen in quiescent muscles of old mice. The increase in antioxidant defence enzyme activity following contractile activity seen in muscles of adult mice was not seen in muscles of old mice and this was associated with a failure to fully activate NF-kappaB and AP-1 following contractions. In contrast, although the production of HSPs was also reduced in muscles of old mice following contractile activity compared with muscles of adult mice following contractions, this was not due to a gross reduction in the DNA binding activity of HSF.

  17. Understanding the function and dysfunction of the immune system in lung cancer: the role of immune checkpoints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karachaliou, Niki; Cao, Maria Gonzalez; Teixidó, Cristina; Viteri, Santiago; Morales-Espinosa, Daniela; Santarpia, Mariacarmela; Rosell, Rafael

    2015-06-01

    Survival rates for metastatic lung cancer, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC), are poor with 5-year survivals of less than 5%. The immune system has an intricate and complex relationship with tumorigenesis; a groundswell of research on the immune system is leading to greater understanding of how cancer progresses and presenting new ways to halt disease progress. Due to the extraordinary power of the immune system-with its capacity for memory, exquisite specificity and central and universal role in human biology-immunotherapy has the potential to achieve complete, long-lasting remissions and cures, with few side effects for any cancer patient, regardless of cancer type. As a result, a range of cancer therapies are under development that work by turning our own immune cells against tumors. However deeper understanding of the complexity of immunomodulation by tumors is key to the development of effective immunotherapies, especially in lung cancer.

  18. Understanding the function and dysfunction of the immune system in lung cancer: the role of immune checkpoints

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karachaliou, Niki; Cao, Maria Gonzalez; Teixidó, Cristina; Viteri, Santiago; Morales-Espinosa, Daniela; Santarpia, Mariacarmela; Rosell, Rafael

    2015-01-01

    Survival rates for metastatic lung cancer, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC), are poor with 5-year survivals of less than 5%. The immune system has an intricate and complex relationship with tumorigenesis; a groundswell of research on the immune system is leading to greater understanding of how cancer progresses and presenting new ways to halt disease progress. Due to the extraordinary power of the immune system—with its capacity for memory, exquisite specificity and central and universal role in human biology—immunotherapy has the potential to achieve complete, long-lasting remissions and cures, with few side effects for any cancer patient, regardless of cancer type. As a result, a range of cancer therapies are under development that work by turning our own immune cells against tumors. However deeper understanding of the complexity of immunomodulation by tumors is key to the development of effective immunotherapies, especially in lung cancer

  19. Tunable deformation modes shape contractility in active biopolymer networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stam, Samantha; Banerjee, Shiladitya; Weirich, Kim; Freedman, Simon; Dinner, Aaron; Gardel, Margaret

    Biological polymer-based materials remodel under active, molecular motor-driven forces to perform diverse physiological roles, such as force transmission and spatial self-organization. Critical to understanding these biomaterials is elucidating the role of microscopic polymer deformations, such as stretching, bending, buckling, and relative sliding, on material remodeling. Here, we report that the shape of motor-driven deformations can be used to identify microscopic deformation modes and determine how they propagate to longer length scales. In cross-linked actin networks with sufficiently low densities of the motor protein myosin II, microscopic network deformations are predominantly uniaxial, or dominated by sliding. However, longer-wavelength modes are mostly biaxial, or dominated by bending and buckling, indicating that deformations with uniaxial shapes do not propagate across length scales significantly larger than that of individual polymers. As the density of myosin II is increased, biaxial modes dominate on all length scales we examine due to buildup of sufficient stress to produce smaller-wavelength buckling. In contrast, when we construct networks from unipolar, rigid actin bundles, we observe uniaxial, sliding-based contractions on 1 to 100 μm length scales. Our results demonstrate the biopolymer mechanics can be used to tune deformation modes which, in turn, control shape changes in active materials.

  20. From inflammation to wound healing: using a simple model to understand the functional versatility of murine macrophages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Childs, Lauren M; Paskow, Michael; Morris, Sidney M; Hesse, Matthias; Strogatz, Steven

    2011-11-01

    Macrophages are fundamental cells of the innate immune system. Their activation is essential for such distinct immune functions as inflammation (pathogen-killing) and tissue repair (wound healing). An open question has been the functional stability of an individual macrophage cell: whether it can change its functional profile between different immune responses such as between the repair pathway and the inflammatory pathway. We studied this question theoretically by constructing a rate equation model for the key substrate, enzymes and products of the pathways; we then tested the model experimentally. Both our model and experiments show that individual macrophages can switch from the repair pathway to the inflammation pathway but that the reverse switch does not occur.

  1. Can We Understand Why Cognitive Function Predicts Mortality? Results from the Caerphilly Prospective Study (CaPS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallacher, John; Bayer, Anthony; Dunstan, Frank; Yarnell, John; Elwood, Peter; Ben-Shlomo, Yoav

    2009-01-01

    The association between cognitive function and mortality is of increasing interest. We followed 1870 men aged 55-69 years at cognitive assessment for 16 years to establish associations with all case and cause specific mortality. Cognitive assessment included AH4, 4 choice reaction time (used as estimates of mid-life cognition) and the National…

  2. Incorporating Modeling and Simulations in Undergraduate Biophysical Chemistry Course to Promote Understanding of Structure-Dynamics-Function Relationships in Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hati, Sanchita; Bhattacharyya, Sudeep

    2016-01-01

    A project-based biophysical chemistry laboratory course, which is offered to the biochemistry and molecular biology majors in their senior year, is described. In this course, the classroom study of the structure-function of biomolecules is integrated with the discovery-guided laboratory study of these molecules using computer modeling and…

  3. Specifying Links between Executive Functioning and Theory of Mind during Middle Childhood: Cognitive Flexibility Predicts Social Understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bock, Allison M.; Gallaway, Kristin C.; Hund, Alycia M.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to specify the development of and links between executive functioning and theory of mind during middle childhood. One hundred four 7- to 12-year-old children completed a battery of age-appropriate tasks measuring working memory, inhibition, flexibility, theory of mind, and vocabulary. As expected, spatial working…

  4. Understanding the effects of packing and chemical terminations on the optical excitations of azobenzene-functionalized self-assembled monolayers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cocchi, Caterina; Draxl, Claudia

    2017-10-01

    In a first-principles study based on many-body perturbation theory, we analyze the optical excitations of azobenzene-functionalized self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) with increasing packing density and different terminations, considering for comparison the corresponding gas-phase molecules and dimers. Intermolecular coupling increases with the density of the chromophores independently of the functional groups. The intense π → π* resonance that triggers photo-isomerization is present in the spectra of isolated dimers and diluted SAMs, but it is almost completely washed out in tightly packed architectures. Intermolecular coupling is partially inhibited by mixing differently functionalized azobenzene derivatives, in particular when large groups are involved. In this way, the excitation band inducing the photo-isomerization process is partially preserved and the effects of dense packing partly counterbalanced. Our results suggest that a tailored design of azobenzene-functionalized SAMs which optimizes the interplay between the packing density of the chromophores and their termination can lead to significant improvements in the photo-switching efficiency of these systems.

  5. On understanding the relationship between structure in the potential surface and observables in classical dynamics: A functional sensitivity analysis approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Judson, R.S.; Rabitz, H.

    1987-01-01

    The relationship between structure in the potential surface and classical mechanical observables is examined by means of functional sensitivity analysis. Functional sensitivities provide maps of the potential surface, highlighting those regions that play the greatest role in determining the behavior of observables. A set of differential equations for the sensitivities of the trajectory components are derived. These are then solved using a Green's function method. It is found that the sensitivities become singular at the trajectory turning points with the singularities going as eta -3 /sup // 2 , with eta being the distance from the nearest turning point. The sensitivities are zero outside of the energetically and dynamically allowed region of phase space. A second set of equations is derived from which the sensitivities of observables can be directly calculated. An adjoint Green's function technique is employed, providing an efficient method for numerically calculating these quantities. Sensitivity maps are presented for a simple collinear atom--diatom inelastic scattering problem and for two Henon--Heiles type Hamiltonians modeling

  6. Dyslexia and psycho-social functioning: an exploratory study of the role of self-esteem and understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terras, Melody M; Thompson, Lucy C; Minnis, Helen

    2009-11-01

    Individuals with dyslexia may have lower self-esteem and exhibit more emotional and behavioural difficulties than those without reading problems. However, the nature of any relationship between self-esteem and psychopathology remains unknown. This exploratory study assessed levels of self-esteem using the Self-Perception Profile for Children (Manual for the Self-Perception Profile for Children. University of Denver, CO: Denver; 1985) and psycho-social adjustment using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (J. Child Psychol. Psychiatry, 1997; 38: 581-586) and examined child and parent understanding, attitudes and the perceived impact of reading difficulties on daily life. Sixty-eight children assessed as dyslexic on the basis of discrepancy scores (mean age 11.2 years; 44 male), and their parents, participated. No global self-esteem deficit was found, but the mean score for both child and parent-rated scholastic competence was significantly lower than that of the general population. Rates of social, emotional and behavioural difficulties were significantly higher than in the general population and were correlated with self-esteem. For children who had high global self-worth, both children and their parents had more positive attitudes towards their reading difficulties and were less likely to perceive a negative impact on relationships. The association between academic self-esteem and emotional symptoms is consistent with the proposed link between dyslexia and internalizing difficulties. Good self-esteem and a good understanding of dyslexia may help children avoid some of these difficulties. Further research with larger more representative samples is necessary as understanding the factors that promote successful psycho-social adjustment is essential to the development of effective prevention and intervention strategies.

  7. A global, myosin light chain kinase-dependent increase in myosin II contractility accompanies the metaphase-anaphase transition in sea urchin eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucero, Amy; Stack, Christianna; Bresnick, Anne R; Shuster, Charles B

    2006-09-01

    Myosin II is the force-generating motor for cytokinesis, and although it is accepted that myosin contractility is greatest at the cell equator, the temporal and spatial cues that direct equatorial contractility are not known. Dividing sea urchin eggs were placed under compression to study myosin II-based contractile dynamics, and cells manipulated in this manner underwent an abrupt, global increase in cortical contractility concomitant with the metaphase-anaphase transition, followed by a brief relaxation and the onset of furrowing. Prefurrow cortical contractility both preceded and was independent of astral microtubule elongation, suggesting that the initial activation of myosin II preceded cleavage plane specification. The initial rise in contractility required myosin light chain kinase but not Rho-kinase, but both signaling pathways were required for successful cytokinesis. Last, mobilization of intracellular calcium during metaphase induced a contractile response, suggesting that calcium transients may be partially responsible for the timing of this initial contractile event. Together, these findings suggest that myosin II-based contractility is initiated at the metaphase-anaphase transition by Ca2+-dependent myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) activity and is maintained through cytokinesis by both MLCK- and Rho-dependent signaling. Moreover, the signals that initiate myosin II contractility respond to specific cell cycle transitions independently of the microtubule-dependent cleavage stimulus.

  8. A Global, Myosin Light Chain Kinase-dependent Increase in Myosin II Contractility Accompanies the Metaphase–Anaphase Transition in Sea Urchin Eggs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucero, Amy; Stack, Christianna; Bresnick, Anne R.

    2006-01-01

    Myosin II is the force-generating motor for cytokinesis, and although it is accepted that myosin contractility is greatest at the cell equator, the temporal and spatial cues that direct equatorial contractility are not known. Dividing sea urchin eggs were placed under compression to study myosin II-based contractile dynamics, and cells manipulated in this manner underwent an abrupt, global increase in cortical contractility concomitant with the metaphase–anaphase transition, followed by a brief relaxation and the onset of furrowing. Prefurrow cortical contractility both preceded and was independent of astral microtubule elongation, suggesting that the initial activation of myosin II preceded cleavage plane specification. The initial rise in contractility required myosin light chain kinase but not Rho-kinase, but both signaling pathways were required for successful cytokinesis. Last, mobilization of intracellular calcium during metaphase induced a contractile response, suggesting that calcium transients may be partially responsible for the timing of this initial contractile event. Together, these findings suggest that myosin II-based contractility is initiated at the metaphase–anaphase transition by Ca2+-dependent myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) activity and is maintained through cytokinesis by both MLCK- and Rho-dependent signaling. Moreover, the signals that initiate myosin II contractility respond to specific cell cycle transitions independently of the microtubule-dependent cleavage stimulus. PMID:16837551

  9. Improving patients' understanding of terms and phrases commonly used in self-reported measures of sexual function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Angel M; Flynn, Kathryn E; Hahn, Elizabeth A; Jeffery, Diana D; Keefe, Francis J; Reeve, Bryce B; Schultz, Wesley; Reese, Jennifer Barsky; Shelby, Rebecca A; Weinfurt, Kevin P

    2014-08-01

    There is a significant gap in research regarding the readability and comprehension of existing sexual function measures. Patient-reported outcome measures may use terms not well understood by respondents with low literacy. This study aims to test comprehension of words and phrases typically used in sexual function measures to improve validity for all individuals, including those with low literacy. We recruited 20 men and 28 women for cognitive interviews on version 2.0 of the Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System(®) (PROMIS(®) ) Sexual Function and Satisfaction measures. We assessed participants' reading level using the word reading subtest of the Wide Range Achievement Test. Sixteen participants were classified as having low literacy. In the first round of cognitive interviews, each survey item was reviewed by five or more people, at least two of whom had lower than a ninth-grade reading level (low literacy). Patient feedback was incorporated into a revised version of the items. In the second round of interviews, an additional three or more people (at least one with low literacy) reviewed each revised item. Participants with low literacy had difficulty comprehending terms such as aroused, orgasm, erection, ejaculation, incontinence, and vaginal penetration. Women across a range of literacy levels had difficulty with clinical terms like labia and clitoris. We modified unclear terms to include parenthetical descriptors or slang equivalents, which generally improved comprehension. Common words and phrases used across measures of self-reported sexual function are not universally understood. Researchers should appreciate these misunderstandings as a potential source of error in studies using self-reported measures of sexual function. This study also provides evidence for the importance of including individuals with low literacy in cognitive pretesting during the measure development. © 2014 International Society for Sexual Medicine.

  10. Myocardial contractility in the echo lab: molecular, cellular and pathophysiological basis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bombardini Tonino

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract In the standard accepted concept, contractility is the intrinsic ability of heart muscle to generate force and to shorten, independently of changes in the preload or afterload with fixed heart rates. At molecular level the crux of the contractile process lies in the changing concentrations of Ca2+ ions in the myocardial cytosol. Ca2+ ions enter through the calcium channel that opens in response to the wave of depolarization that travels along the sarcolemma. These Ca2+ ions "trigger" the release of more calcium from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR and thereby initiate a contraction-relaxation cycle. In the past, several attempts were made to transfer the pure physiological concept of contractility, expressed in the isolated myocardial fiber by the maximal velocity of contraction of unloaded muscle fiber (Vmax, to the in vivo beating heart. Suga and Sagawa achieved this aim by measuring pressure/volume loops in the intact heart: during a positive inotropic intervention, the pressure volume loop reflects a smaller end-systolic volume and a higher end-systolic pressure, so that the slope of the pressure volume relationship moves upward and to the left. The pressure volume relationship is the most reliable index for assessing myocardial contractility in the intact circulation and is almost insensitive to changes in preload and after load. This is widely used in animal studies and occasionally clinically. The limit of the pressure volume relationship is that it fails to take into account the frequency-dependent regulation of contractility: the frequency-dependent control of transmembrane Ca2+ entry via voltage-gated Ca2+ channels provides cardiac cells with a highly sophisticated short-term system for the regulation of intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis. An increased stimulation rate increases the force of contraction: the explanation is repetitive Ca2+ entry with each depolarization and, hence, an accumulation of cytosolic calcium. As the heart

  11. Understanding the Biological Roles of Pectins in Plants through Physiological and Functional Characterizations of Plant and Fungal Mutants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stranne, Maria

    The plant cell wall is a dynamic structure and it is involved in regulating a number of physiological features of plants such as physical strength, growth, cell differentiation, intercellular communication, water movement and defense responses. Pectins constitute a major class of plant cell wall...... polysaccharides and consist of backbones rich in galacturonic acids, which are decorated with a range of functional groups including acetyl esters and arabinan sidechains. Although much effort has been made to uncover biological functions of pectins in plants and remarkable progresses have taken place, many...... aspects remain elusive. Studies described in this thesis aimed at gaining new insights into the biological roles of pectin acetylation and arabinosylation in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The thesis consists of four chapters: physiological characterization of cell wall mutants affected in cell...

  12. Endothelial mineralocorticoid receptor ablation does not alter blood pressure, kidney function or renal vessel contractility

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laursen, Sidsel B.; Finsen, Stine; Marcussen, Niels

    2018-01-01

    afferent arterioles. Urinary sodium excretion was determined by use of metabolic cages. EC-MR transgenics had markedly decreased MR expression in isolated aortic endothelial cells as compared to littermates (WT). Blood pressure and effective renal plasma flow at baseline and following AngII infusion...... vasculature and examined this by ablating the Nr3c2 gene in endothelial cells (EC-MR) in mice. Blood pressure, heart rate and PAH clearance were measured using indwelling catheters in conscious mice. The role of the MR in EC on contraction and relaxation was investigated in the renal artery and in perfused......Aldosterone blockade confers substantial cardiovascular and renal protection. The effects of aldosterone on mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) expressed in endothelial cells (EC) within the renal vasculature have not been delineated. We hypothesized that lack of MR in EC may be protective in renal...

  13. Subtle abnormalities in contractile function are an early manifestation of sarcomere mutations in dilated cardiomyopathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lakdawala, Neal K; Thune, Jens J; Colan, Steven D

    2012-01-01

    Sarcomere mutations cause both dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM); however, the steps leading from mutation to disease are not well described. By studying mutation carriers before a clinical diagnosis develops, we characterize the early manifestations of sarcomere...... mutations in DCM and investigate how these manifestations differ from sarcomere mutations associated with HCM....

  14. Metabolomics: A Window for Understanding Long Term Physical Consequences of Distrubed Sleep and Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Function in Posttraumatic Stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-09-01

    Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Function in Posttraumatic Stress PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Sabra Inslicht, Ph.D. RECIPIENT: Northern California Institute...Posttraumatic Stress 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-16-1-0313 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Sabra Inslicht, PhD 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 5e. TASK NUMBER...ABSTRACT Post-traumatic stress (PTS) is a common psychiatric condition that may result after combat exposure and can have a profound effect on sleep

  15. Micro morphological and Chemical Approaches to Understand Changes in Ecological Functions of Metal-Impacted Soils under Various Land Uses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Acosta, J.A; Martinez, S.M; Faz, A; Van Mourik, J.M; Arocena, J.M

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the changes in faunal activities as measures of the ecological functions of soils impacted by potentially toxic metals (PTMs) under urban, industrial, agricultural, and natural uses. Concentrations and distributions of Zn, Cd, Pb, Cu, Mn, and Fe were estimated by sequential chemical extractions, while relicts and present faunal activities were studied by micro morphological analyses. Urban and natural lands were contaminated with Pb, Cd, and Zn. Micro arthropods and fungi are observed to be active in the litter decomposition in natural, agricultural and urban lands which indicates that total concentration of PTMs in soils is not a good indicator to evaluate the limitations of PTMs to fauna activity. Metals immobilization on carbonates and Fe/Mn oxides, and fertilizations reduced the negative effects of metals on faunal activity. Micro morphological analyses showed the impacts of metal on soil ecological functions in industrial site, where the surface soils are devoid of any evidence of faunal activity; likely due to high proportion of Pb and Zn in organic components. Therefore, the impacts of metals in soil fauna activities, hence ecological functions of soils, are best evaluated by the knowledge of metal partitioning on solid phases in combination with observations of fauna activities using micro morphological techniques.

  16. The Olivo-cerebellar System: A Key to understanding the functional significance of intrinsic oscillatory brain properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodolfo R Llinas

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The reflexological view of brain function (Sherrington 1906 has played a crucial role in defining both the nature of connectivity and the role of the synaptic interactions among neuronal circuits. One implicit assumption of this view, however, has been that CNS function is fundamentally driven by sensory input. This view was questioned as early as the beginning of the last century when a possible role for intrinsic activity in CNS function was proposed by Thomas Graham Brow (Brown 1911; Brown 1914. However, little progress was made in addressing intrinsic neuronal properties in vertebrates until the discovery of calcium conductances in vertebrate central neurons leading dendritic electroresponsiveness (Llinas and Hess 1976, Llinas and Sugimori 1980a and b and subthreshold neuronal oscillation in mammalian inferior olive (IO neurons (Llinas and Yarom 1981; Llinas and Yarom 1981.This happened in parallel with a similar set of findings concerning invertebrate neuronal system (Marder and Bucher 2001. The generalization into a more global view of intrinsic rhythmicity, at forebrain level, occurred initially with the demonstration that the thalamus has similar oscillatory properties (Llinas and Jahnsen 1982 and the ionic properties responsible for some oscillatory activity were, in fact, similar to those in the IO (Jahnsen and Llinas 1984; Llinas 1988. Thus lending support to the view that not only motricity, but cognitive properties, are organized as coherent oscillatory states (Pare, deCurtis et al. 1992; Singer 1993; Hardcastle 1997; Llinas, Ribary et al. 1998; Varela, Lachaux et al. 2001.

  17. Micromorphological and Chemical Approaches to Understand Changes in Ecological Functions of Metal-Impacted Soils under Various Land Uses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. A. Acosta

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the changes in faunal activities as measures of the ecological functions of soils impacted by potentially toxic metals (PTMs under urban, industrial, agricultural, and natural uses. Concentrations and distributions of Zn, Cd, Pb, Cu, Mn, and Fe were estimated by sequential chemical extractions, while relicts and present faunal activities were studied by micromorphological analyses. Urban and natural lands were contaminated with Pb, Cd, and Zn. Microarthropods and fungi are observed to be active in the litter decomposition in natural, agricultural and urban lands which indicates that total concentration of PTMs in soils is not a good indicator to evaluate the limitations of PTMs to fauna activity. Metals immobilization on carbonates and Fe/Mn oxides, and fertilizations reduced the negative effects of metals on faunal activity. Micromorphological analyses showed the impacts of metal on soil ecological functions in industrial site, where the surface soils are devoid of any evidence of faunal activity; likely due to high proportion of Pb and Zn in organic components. Therefore, the impacts of metals in soil fauna activities, hence ecological functions of soils, are best evaluated by the knowledge of metal partitioning on solid phases in combination with observations of fauna activities using micromorphological techniques.

  18. An Empirical Study of Financial Shared Services: Understanding of an organization moves towards establishing financial shared service as a strategic finance function

    OpenAIRE

    Nik Mustaffa, Nik Azah Karimah

    2009-01-01

    This paper is prepared to understand an organization moves towards establishing financial shared service as a strategic finance function. The research is conducted by selected few multinational organizations from oil and gas industry to analyze the purpose of the move, how organizations are restructure and values generated from the financial shared services. The research also will extend towards identifying various challenges faced by the organizations during the restructuring process. The is...

  19. A functional genomics approach to understand the control and regulation of storage protein biosynthesis in barley grain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vincze, É; Hansen, M; Bowra, S

    2008-01-01

    assembled in our laboratory. To identify coregulated genes, a distance matrix was constructed and we identified three clusters corresponding to the early, middle and late seed development. The gene expression pattern associated with the clusters was investigated using pathway specific analysis with specific......The aim of the study was to obtain an insight into amino acid and storage protein metabolism in the developing barley grain at the molecular level. Our strategy was to analyse the transcriptome of relevant pathways in developing grains of field grown barley using a grain specific microarray...... pathways in the barley grain. The study described here could provide a strong complement to existing knowledge assisting further  understanding of seed development and thereby provide a foundation for plant breeding towards storage protein with improved nutritional quality....

  20. Using Whole Stream {delta}{sup 15}N Additions to Understand the Effects of Land Use Change on Stream Function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deegan, L. A.; Neill, C.; Thomas, S.; Haupert, C. [Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA (United States); Victoria, R. L.; Krusche, A. V.; Ballester, M. V.R. [Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo (Brazil)

    2013-05-15

    In this paper we introduce an emerging new technique; the use of {delta}{sup 15}N stable isotope tracers to understand both short term and long term alterations in stream ecosystem nitrogen biogeochemistry and food web dynamics. The use of {delta}{sup 15}N isotopes to determine stream nitrogen cycling was developed in small tundra streams in Alaska (USA), but a network of researchers using similar technique has rapidly grown to answer questions about nitrogen cycling and stream food webs in a variety of ecosystem types and subject to human modifications. Here we provide an overview of some of the information that can be provided using stable isotope additions and describe the general approach of an isotope addition experiment. To illustrate the scope of isotope applicability some examples are provided of work undertaken in the Brazilian Amazon. (author)

  1. Understanding and Calibrating Density-Functional-Theory Calculations Describing the Energy and Spectroscopy of Defect Sites in Hexagonal Boron Nitride.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimers, Jeffrey R; Sajid, A; Kobayashi, Rika; Ford, Michael J

    2018-03-13

    Defect states in 2-D materials present many possible uses but both experimental and computational characterization of their spectroscopic properties is difficult. We provide and compare results from 13 DFT and ab initio computational methods for up to 25 excited states of a paradigm system, the V N C B defect in hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN). Studied include: (i) potentially catastrophic effects for computational methods arising from the multireference nature of the closed-shell and open-shell states of the defect, which intrinsically involves broken chemical bonds, (ii) differing results from DFT and time-dependent DFT (TDDFT) calculations, (iii) comparison of cluster models to periodic-slab models of the defect, (iv) the starkly differing effects of nuclear relaxation on the various electronic states that control the widths of photoabsorption and photoemission spectra as broken bonds try to heal, (v) the effect of zero-point energy and entropy on free-energy differences, (vi) defect-localized and conduction/valence-band transition natures, and (vii) strategies needed to ensure that the lowest-energy state of a defect can be computationally identified. Averaged state-energy differences of 0.3 eV are found between CCSD(T) and MRCI energies, with thermal effects on free energies sometimes also being of this order. However, DFT-based methods can perform very poorly. Simple generalized-gradient functionals like PBE fail at the most basic level and should never be applied to defect states. Hybrid functionals like HSE06 work very well for excitations within the triplet manifold of the defect, with an accuracy equivalent to or perhaps exceeding the accuracy of the ab initio methods used. However, HSE06 underestimates triplet-state energies by on average of 0.7 eV compared to closed-shell singlet states, while open-shell singlet states are predicted to be too low in energy by 1.0 eV. This leads to misassignment of the ground state of the V N C B defect. Long

  2. Understanding the Form, Function, and Logic of Clandestine Insurgent and Terrorist Networks: The First Step in Effective Counternetwork Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-01

    are examples of this external non- professional genre . These groups function much like the U.S. Army Special Forces conducting unconventional warfare...security force vehicle the IED was built to destroy, and conducts the operation. If he films the event, then he drops off the film at a drop-off point...and notifies the cell leader that the operation is complete. The cell leader directs the media cell to pick up the film from the drop-off site, and

  3. The use of Functional Resonance Analysis Method (FRAM) in a mid-air collision to understand some characteristics of the air traffic management system resilience

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rodrigues de Carvalho, Paulo Victor

    2011-01-01

    The Functional Resonance Analysis Model (FRAM) defines a systemic framework to model complex systems for accident analysis purposes. We use FRAM in the mid-air collision between flight GLO1907, a commercial aircraft Boeing 737-800, and flight N600XL, an executive jet EMBRAER E-145, to investigate key resilience characteristics of the Air Traffic Management System (ATM). This ATM system related accident occurred at 16:56 Brazilian time on September 29, 2006 in the Amazonian sky. FRAM analysis of flight monitoring functions showed system constraints (equipment, training, time, and supervision) that produce variability in system behavior, creating demand resources mismatches in an attempt to perceive and control the developing situation. This variability also included control and coordination breakdowns and automation surprises (TCAS functioning). The analysis showed that under normal variability conditions (without catastrophic failures) the ATM system (pilots, controllers, supervisors, and equipment) was not able to close the control loops of the flight monitoring functions using feedback or feedforward strategies to achieve an adequate control of an aircraft flying in the controlled air space. Our findings shed some light on the resilience of Brazilian ATM system operation and indicated that there is a need of a deeper understanding on how the system is actually functioning. - Highlights: → The Functional Resonance Analysis Model (FRAM) was used in a mid-air collision over Amazon. → The aim was to understand key resilience characteristics of the Air Traffic Management System (ATM). → The analysis showed how, under normal conditions, the system was not able to control flight functions. → The findings shed some light about the resilience of Brazilian ATM system operation.

  4. The use of Functional Resonance Analysis Method (FRAM) in a mid-air collision to understand some characteristics of the air traffic management system resilience

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodrigues de Carvalho, Paulo Victor, E-mail: paulov@ien.gov.br [National Nuclear Energy Commission/Nuclear Engineering Institute, Cidade Universitaria-Ilha do Fundao, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 21945-970 (Brazil)

    2011-11-15

    The Functional Resonance Analysis Model (FRAM) defines a systemic framework to model complex systems for accident analysis purposes. We use FRAM in the mid-air collision between flight GLO1907, a commercial aircraft Boeing 737-800, and flight N600XL, an executive jet EMBRAER E-145, to investigate key resilience characteristics of the Air Traffic Management System (ATM). This ATM system related accident occurred at 16:56 Brazilian time on September 29, 2006 in the Amazonian sky. FRAM analysis of flight monitoring functions showed system constraints (equipment, training, time, and supervision) that produce variability in system behavior, creating demand resources mismatches in an attempt to perceive and control the developing situation. This variability also included control and coordination breakdowns and automation surprises (TCAS functioning). The analysis showed that under normal variability conditions (without catastrophic failures) the ATM system (pilots, controllers, supervisors, and equipment) was not able to close the control loops of the flight monitoring functions using feedback or feedforward strategies to achieve an adequate control of an aircraft flying in the controlled air space. Our findings shed some light on the resilience of Brazilian ATM system operation and indicated that there is a need of a deeper understanding on how the system is actually functioning. - Highlights: > The Functional Resonance Analysis Model (FRAM) was used in a mid-air collision over Amazon. > The aim was to understand key resilience characteristics of the Air Traffic Management System (ATM). > The analysis showed how, under normal conditions, the system was not able to control flight functions. > The findings shed some light about the resilience of Brazilian ATM system operation.

  5. Self-assembly of the yeast actomyosin contractile ring as an aggregation process: kinetics of formation and instability regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojkic, Nikola; Vavylonis, Dimitrios

    2009-03-01

    Fission yeast cells assemble an equatorial contractile ring for cytokinesis, the last step of mitosis. The ring assembles from ˜ 65 membrane-bound ``nodes''' containing myosin motors and other proteins. Actin filaments that grow out from the nodes establish transient connections among the nodes and aid in pulling them together in a process that appears as pair-wise attraction (Vavylonis et al. Science 97:319, 2008). We used scaling arguments, coarse grained stability analysis of homogeneous states, and Monte Carlo simulations of simple models, to explore the conditions that yield fast and efficient ring formation, as opposed to formation of isolated clumps. We described our results as a function of: number of nodes, rate of establishing connections, range of node interaction, distance traveled per node interaction and broad band width, w. Uniform cortical 2d distributions of nodes are stable over short times due to randomness of connections among nodes, but become unstable over long times due to fluctuations in the initial node distribution. Successful condensation of nodes into a ring requires sufficiently small w such that lateral contraction occurs faster then clump formation.

  6. Examining platelet-fibrin interactions during traumatic shock in a swine model using platelet contractile force and clot elastic modulus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Nathan J; Martin, Erika J; Brophy, Donald F; Ward, Kevin R

    2011-07-01

    A significant proportion of severely injured patients develop early coagulopathy, characterized by abnormal clot formation, which impairs resuscitation and increases mortality. We have previously demonstrated an isolated decrease in clot strength by thrombelastography in a swine model of nonresuscitated traumatic shock. In order to more closely examine platelet-fibrin interactions in this setting, we define the observed decrease in clot strength in terms of platelet-induced clot contraction and clot elastic modulus using the Hemostasis Analysis System (HAS) (Hemodyne Inc., Richmond, Virginia, USA). Whole blood was sampled for HAS measurements, metabolic measurements, cell counts, and fibrinogen concentration at baseline prior to injury and again at a predetermined level of traumatic shock defined by oxygen debt. Male swine (N=17) received femur fracture and controlled arterial hemorrhage to achieve an oxygen debt of 80 ml/kg. Platelet counts were unchanged, but fibrinogen concentration was reduced significantly during shock (167.6 vs. 66.7 mg/dl, P=0.0007). Platelet contractile force generated during clot formation did not change during shock (11.7 vs. 10.4 kdynes, P=0.41), but clot elastic modulus was dynamically altered, resulting in a lower final value (22.9 vs. 17.3 kdynes/cm, Pshock, platelet function was preserved, whereas terminal clot elastic modulus was reduced during shock in a manner most consistent with early changes in the mechanical properties of the developing fibrin fiber network.

  7. Understanding Resilience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang eWu

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Resilience is the ability to adapt successfully in the face of stress and adversity. Stressful life events, trauma and chronic adversity can have a substantial impact on brain function and structure, and can result in the development of PTSD, depression and other psychiatric disorders. However, most individuals do not develop such illnesses after experiencing stressful life events, and are thus thought to be resilient. Resilience as successful adaptation relies on effective responses to environmental challenges and ultimate resistance to the deleterious effects of stress, therefore a greater understanding of the factors that promote such effects is of great relevance. This review focuses on recent findings regarding genetic, epigenetic, developmental, psychosocial and neurochemical factors that are considered essential contributors to the development of resilience. Neural circuits and pathways involved in mediating resilience are also discussed. The growing understanding of resilience factors will hopefully lead to the development of new pharmacological and psychological interventions for enhancing resilience and mitigating the untoward consequences.

  8. Understanding the functional anatomy of the frontalis and glabellar complex for optimal aesthetic botulinum toxin type A therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenc, Z Paul; Smith, Stacy; Nestor, Mark; Nelson, Diane; Moradi, Amir

    2013-10-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNTA) is approved for the treatment of glabellar lines and also is commonly injected in an off-label fashion in the frontalis (i.e., frontalis epicranius) muscle to improve the appearance of horizontal forehead lines. This study aimed to review and discuss both the anatomy and physiology of the frontalis muscle and its relationship with antagonist muscles in the upper face and to provide a guide for the use of BoNTA to treat forehead rhytides while minimizing the occurrence of complications such as brow ptosis. A PubMed search was conducted to identify practitioner opinion and clinical publications on the efficacy and safety of BoNTA for aesthetic treatment of the upper face. The use of BoNTA produces durable improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe horizontal forehead lines. Dose and injection technique must be adjusted and individualized based on the variable anatomy and function/mass of muscles in the forehead and upper face as well as on patient goals. Optimal aesthetic outcomes can be achieved by skillfully balancing the opposing effects of the frontalis muscle and its intricate interactions with the procerus, corrugator supercilii, depressor supercilii, and orbicularis oculi muscles. The use of BoNTA to improve the aesthetic appearance of horizontal forehead lines is optimized when clinicians take into account variations in frontalis muscle function and position, anatomy of the brow, and proper injection technique when they devise individualized treatment regimens.

  9. Understanding changes in cardiovascular pathophysiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chummun, Harry

    Cardiovascular pathophysiological changes, such as hypertension and enlarged ventricles, reflect the altered functions of the heart and its circulation during ill-health. This article examines the normal and altered anatomy of the cardiac valves, the contractile elements and enzymes of the myocardium, the significance of the different factors associated with cardiac output, and the role of the autonomic nervous system in the heart beat. It also explores how certain diseases alter these functions and result in cardiac symptoms. Nurses can benefit from knowledge of these specific changes, for example, by being able to ask relevant questions in order to ascertain the nature of a patients condition, by being able to take an effective patient history and by being able to read diagnostic results, such as electrocardiograms and cardiac enzyme results. All this will help nurses to promote sound cardiac care based on a physiological rationale.

  10. Conotoxins as Tools to Understand the Physiological Function of Voltage-Gated Calcium (CaV Channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Ramírez

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Voltage-gated calcium (CaV channels are widely expressed and are essential for the completion of multiple physiological processes. Close regulation of their activity by specific inhibitors and agonists become fundamental to understand their role in cellular homeostasis as well as in human tissues and organs. CaV channels are divided into two groups depending on the membrane potential required to activate them: High-voltage activated (HVA, CaV1.1–1.4; CaV2.1–2.3 and Low-voltage activated (LVA, CaV3.1–3.3. HVA channels are highly expressed in brain (neurons, heart, and adrenal medulla (chromaffin cells, among others, and are also classified into subtypes which can be distinguished using pharmacological approaches. Cone snails are marine gastropods that capture their prey by injecting venom, “conopeptides”, which cause paralysis in a few seconds. A subset of conopeptides called conotoxins are relatively small polypeptides, rich in disulfide bonds, that target ion channels, transporters and receptors localized at the neuromuscular system of the animal target. In this review, we describe the structure and properties of conotoxins that selectively block HVA calcium channels. We compare their potency on several HVA channel subtypes, emphasizing neuronal calcium channels. Lastly, we analyze recent advances in the therapeutic use of conotoxins for medical treatments.

  11. Understanding the experiences of people with disfigurements: An integration of four models of social and psychological functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, G

    2000-05-01

    Both psychological (Cash, 1996; Partridge, 1998; Leary et al ., 1998) and sociological (Goffman, 1968) models have been used to explain the personal and social consequences of cosmetic blemishes. In this study, people with the skin disease vitiligo were asked to describe a situation in which their condition had recently affected their lives. Consistent with theories of body image disturbance, incidents usually involved a triggering event when concerns about appearance were raised due to bodily exposure or enacted stigma. These events led respondents to be vigilant to others' behaviour, to be self-conscious and to attribute the cause of the event to their appearance. Theories of social anxiety could be used to account for how the respondents used impression management strategies such as avoidance and concealment. Respondents described how they could be uncertain as to how to deal with others' behaviour, illustrating the relevance of social skills models. In addition, avoidance/concealment had a number of social and personal costs, including the loss of valued activities, reluctance to develop intimate relationships and continuing anxiety. Thus, theories of body image, social anxiety, social skills and the sociology of stigma could be used to understand the respondents' experiences. It seems likely that therapeutic interventions based on different models are useful because they influence different aspects of the above process.

  12. The scope and consequences of metaphoric thinking: Using individual differences in metaphor usage to understand how metaphor functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fetterman, Adam K; Bair, Jessica L; Werth, Marc; Landkammer, Florian; Robinson, Michael D

    2016-03-01

    People often think, feel, and behave metaphorically according to conceptual metaphor theory. There are normative sources of support for this theory, but individual differences have received scant attention. This is surprising because people are likely to differ in the frequency with which they use metaphors and, therefore, the frequency with which they experience the costs and benefits of metaphoric thinking. To investigate these ideas, a 5-study program of research (total N = 532) was conducted. Study 1 developed and validated a Metaphor Usage Measure (MUM), finding that people were fairly consistent in their tendencies toward literal thought and language on the one hand versus metaphoric thought and language on the other. These differences were, in turn, consequential. Although metaphor usage predicted susceptibility to metaphor transfer effects (Studies 2 and 3), it was also linked to higher levels of emotional understanding (Studies 4 and 5). The findings provide support for several key premises of conceptual metaphor theory in the context of a new measure that can be used to track the consequences of metaphoric thinking. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  13. Bridging the gap between theory and practice: dynamic systems theory as a framework for understanding and promoting recovery of function in children and youth with acquired brain injuries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levac, Danielle; DeMatteo, Carol

    2009-11-01

    A theoretical framework can help physiotherapists understand and promote recovery of function in children and youth with acquired brain injuries (ABI). Physiotherapy interventions for this population have traditionally been based in hierarchical-maturational theories of motor development emphasizing the role of the central nervous system (CNS) in controlling motor behaviour. In contrast, Dynamic Systems Theory (DST) views movement as resulting from the interaction of many subsystems within the individual, features of the functional task to be accomplished, and the environmental context in which the movement takes place. DST is now a predominant theoretical framework in pediatric physiotherapy. The purpose of this article is to describe how DST can be used to understand and promote recovery of function after pediatric ABI. A DST-based approach for children and youth with ABI does not treat the impaired CNS in isolation but rather emphasizes the role of all subsystems, including the family and the environment, in influencing recovery. The emphasis is on exploration, problem solving, and practice of functional tasks. A case scenario provides practical recommendations for the use of DST to inform physiotherapy interventions and clinical decision making in the acute phase of recovery from ABI. Future research is required to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions based in this theoretical framework.

  14. Understanding the gut-kidney axis in nephrolithiasis: an analysis of the gut microbiota composition and functionality of stone formers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ticinesi, Andrea; Milani, Christian; Guerra, Angela; Allegri, Franca; Lauretani, Fulvio; Nouvenne, Antonio; Mancabelli, Leonardo; Lugli, Gabriele Andrea; Turroni, Francesca; Duranti, Sabrina; Mangifesta, Marta; Viappiani, Alice; Ferrario, Chiara; Dodi, Rossella; Dall'Asta, Margherita; Del Rio, Daniele; Ventura, Marco; Meschi, Tiziana

    2018-04-28

    The involvement of the gut microbiota in the pathogenesis of calcium nephrolithiasis has been hypothesised since the discovery of the oxalate-degrading activity of Oxalobacter formigenes , but never comprehensively studied with metagenomics. The aim of this case-control study was to compare the faecal microbiota composition and functionality between recurrent idiopathic calcium stone formers (SFs) and controls. Faecal samples were collected from 52 SFs and 48 controls (mean age 48±11). The microbiota composition was analysed through 16S rRNA microbial profiling approach. Ten samples (five SFs, five controls) were also analysed with deep shotgun metagenomics sequencing, with focus on oxalate-degrading microbial metabolic pathways. Dietary habits, assessed through a food-frequency questionnaire, and 24-hour urinary excretion of prolithogenic and antilithogenic factors, including calcium and oxalate, were compared between SFs and controls, and considered as covariates in the comparison of microbiota profiles. SFs exhibited lower faecal microbial diversity than controls (Chao1 index 1460±363vs 1658±297, fully adjusted p=0.02 with stepwise backward regression analysis). At multivariate analyses, three taxa ( Faecalibacterium , Enterobacter , Dorea ) were significantly less represented in faecal samples of SFs. The Oxalobacter abundance was not different between groups. Faecal samples from SFs exhibited a significantly lower bacterial representation of genes involved in oxalate degradation, with inverse correlation with 24-hour oxalate excretion (r=-0.87, p=0.002). The oxalate-degrading genes were represented in several bacterial species, whose cumulative abundance was inversely correlated with oxaluria (r=-0.85, p=0.02). Idiopathic calcium SFs exhibited altered gut microbiota composition and functionality that could contribute to nephrolithiasis physiopathology. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All

  15. The effect of exercise hypertrophy and disuse atrophy on muscle contractile properties: a mechanomyographic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Than, Christian; Tosovic, Danijel; Seidl, Laura; Mark Brown, J

    2016-12-01

    To determine whether mechanomyographic (MMG) determined contractile properties of the biceps brachii change during exercise-induced hypertrophy and subsequent disuse atrophy. Healthy subjects (mean ± SD, 23.7 ± 2.6 years, BMI 21.8 ± 2.4, n = 19) performed unilateral biceps curls (9 sets × 12 repetitions, 5 sessions per week) for 8 weeks (hypertrophic phase) before ceasing exercise (atrophic phase) for the following 8 weeks (non-dominant limb; treatment, dominant limb; control). MMG measures of muscle contractile properties (contraction time; T c , maximum displacement; D max , contraction velocity; V c ), electromyographic (EMG) measures of muscle fatigue (median power frequency; MPF), strength measures (maximum voluntary contraction; MVC) and measures of muscle thickness (ultrasound) were obtained. Two-way repeated measures ANOVA showed significant differences (P muscle thickness was greater than control, reflecting gross hypertrophy. MMG variables Dmax (weeks 2, 7) and Vc (weeks 7, 8) declined. During the atrophic phase, MVC (weeks 9-12) and muscle thickness (weeks 9, 10) initially remained high before declining to control levels, reflecting gross atrophy. MMG variables D max (weeks 9, 14) and V c (weeks 9, 14, 15) also declined during the atrophic phase. No change in T c was found throughout the hypertrophic or atrophic phases. MMG detects changes in contractile properties during stages of exercise-induced hypertrophy and disuse atrophy suggesting its applicability as a clinical tool in musculoskeletal rehabilitation.

  16. Contractile profile of esophageal and gastric fundus strips in experimental doxorubicin-induced esophageal atresia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F.A. Capeto

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Esophageal atresia (EA is characterized by esophageal and gastric motility changes secondary to developmental and postsurgical damage. This study evaluated the in vitro contractile profile of the distal esophagus and gastric fundus in an experimental model of EA induced by doxorubicin (DOXO. Wistar pregnant rats received DOXO 2.2 mg/kg on the 8th and 9th gestational days. On day 21.5, fetuses were collected, sacrificed, and divided into groups: control, DOXO without EA (DOXO-EA, and DOXO with EA (DOXO+EA. Strips from the distal esophagus and gastric fundus were mounted on a wire myograph and isolated organ-bath system, respectively, and subjected to increasing concentrations of carbamylcholine chloride (carbachol, CCh. The isolated esophagus was also stimulated with increasing concentrations of KCl. In esophagus, the concentration-effect curves were reduced in response to CCh in the DOXO+EA and DOXO-EA groups compared to the control group (P0.05. In response to KCl, the distal esophagus samples in the three groups were not statistically different with regard to Emax or EC50 values (P>0.05. No significant difference was noted for EC50 or Emax values in fundic strips stimulated with CCh (P>0.05. In conclusion, exposure of dams to DOXO during gestation inhibited the contractile behavior of esophageal strips from offspring in response to CCh but not KCl, regardless of EA induction. The gastric fundus of DOXO-exposed offspring did not have altered contractile responsiveness to cholinergic stimulation.

  17. Contractility-afterload mismatch in patients with protein-losing enteropathy after the Fontan operation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozawa, Hideto; Ueno, Takayoshi; Iwai, Shigemitsu; Kawata, Hiroaki; Nishigaki, Kyouichi; Kishimoto, Hidefumi; Sawa, Yoshiki

    2014-10-01

    This study aimed to clarify the relationship between onset of protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) and Fontan circulation, with special reference to the development of contractility-afterload mismatch. The PLE group comprised 9 patients who experienced PLE after undergoing the Fontan operation, and the control group consisted of 32 patients had did not experienced PLE more than 10 years after the Fontan operation. The study compared the pre- and postoperative values of arterial elastance (Ea), end-systolic elastance (Ees), and contractility-afterload mismatch (Ea/Ees). Furthermore, the variations in the values were examined during the preoperative, postoperative, and midterm postoperative periods in seven PLE patients who underwent cardiac catheterization at the onset of PLE and during the pre- and postintervention periods in three PLE patients who underwent surgical intervention to improve the Fontan circulation after the onset of PLE. Comparison of the values obtained before and after Fontan operations showed that the Ea values increased significantly in the PLE group. However, the pre- and postoperative Ees values did not differ in the two groups. During the postoperative period, Ea/Ees increased significantly, and the Ea and Ea/Ees values increased continuously until the onset of PLE in the PLE group. In the patients who underwent surgical intervention to improve the Fontan circulation after the onset of PLE, the Ea/Ees decreased significantly, and the serum albumin levels improved after the intervention. Contractility-afterload mismatch, mainly caused by the increase in the afterload of the systemic ventricle, may have an important role in the development of PLE after the Fontan operation.

  18. Altered Ca fluxes and contractile state during pH changes in cultured heart cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, D.; Smith, T.W.

    1987-01-01

    The authors studied mechanisms underlying changes in myocardial contractile state produced by intracellular (pH/sub i/) or extracellular (pH 0 ) changes in pH using cultured chick embryo ventricular cells. A change in pH 0 of HEPES-buffered medium from 7.4 to 6.0 or to 8.8 changed the amplitude of cell motion by -85 or +60%, and 45 Ca uptake at 10 s by -29 or +22%, respectively. The pH 0 induced change in Ca uptake was not sensitive to nifedipine but was Na gradient dependent. Changes in pH/sub i/ produced by NH 4 Cl or preincubation in media at pH values ranging from 6.0 to 8.8 failed to alter significantly 45 Ca uptake or efflux. However, larger changes in pH/sub i/ were associated with altered Ca uptake. Changes in pH 0 from 7.5 to 6.0 or to 8.8 were associated with initial changes in 45 Ca efflux by +17 or -18%, respectively, and these effects were not Na dependent. Exposure of cells to 20 mM NH 4 Cl produced intracellular alkalinization and a positive inotropic effect, whereas subsequent removal of NH 4 Cl caused intracellular acidification and a negative inotropic effect. There was, however, a lack of close temporal relationships between pH/sub i/ and contractile state. These results indicated that pH 0 -induced changes in contractile state in cultured heart cells are closely correlated with altered transarcolemmal Ca movements and presumably are due to these Ca flux changes

  19. Acute exposure to lead increases myocardial contractility independent of hypertension development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fioresi, M.; Furieri, L.B.; Simões, M.R.; Ribeiro, R.F. Junior; Meira, E.F.; Fernandes, A.A.; Stefanon, I.; Vassallo, D.V.

    2013-01-01

    We studied the effects of the acute administration of small doses of lead over time on hemodynamic parameters in anesthetized rats to determine if myocardial contractility changes are dependent or not on the development of hypertension. Male Wistar rats received 320 µg/kg lead acetate iv once, and their hemodynamic parameters were measured for 2 h. Cardiac contractility was evaluated in vitro using left ventricular papillary muscles as were Na + ,K + -ATPase and myosin Ca 2+ -ATPase activities. Lead increased left- (control: 112 ± 3.7 vs lead: 129 ± 3.2 mmHg) and right-ventricular systolic pressures (control: 28 ± 1.2 vs lead: 34 ± 1.2 mmHg) significantly without modifying heart rate. Papillary muscles were exposed to 8 µM lead acetate and evaluated 60 min later. Isometric contractions increased (control: 0.546 ± 0.07 vs lead: 0.608 ± 0.06 g/mg) and time to peak tension decreased (control: 268 ± 13 vs lead: 227 ± 5.58 ms), but relaxation time was unchanged. Post-pause potentiation was similar between groups (n = 6 per group), suggesting no change in sarcoplasmic reticulum activity, evaluated indirectly by this protocol. After 1-h exposure to lead acetate, the papillary muscles became hyperactive in response to a β-adrenergic agonist (10 µM isoproterenol). In addition, post-rest contractions decreased, suggesting a reduction in sarcolemmal calcium influx. The heart samples treated with 8 µM lead acetate presented increased Na + ,K + -ATPase (approximately 140%, P < 0.05 for control vs lead) and myosin ATPase (approximately 30%, P < 0.05 for control vs lead) activity. Our results indicated that acute exposure to low lead concentrations produces direct positive inotropic and lusitropic effects on myocardial contractility and increases the right and left ventricular systolic pressure, thus potentially contributing to the early development of hypertension

  20. Facilitated ethanol metabolism promotes cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction through autophagy in murine hearts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Rui; Hu, Nan; Kandadi, Machender R; Ren, Jun

    2012-04-01

    Chronic drinking leads to myocardial contractile dysfunction where ethanol metabolism plays an essential role. Acetaldehyde, the main ethanol metabolite, mediates alcohol-induced cell injury although the underlying mechanism is still elusive. This study was designed to examine the mechanism involved in accelerated ethanol metabolism-induced cardiac defect with a focus on autophagy. Wild-type FVB and cardiac-specific overexpression of alcohol dehydrogenase mice were placed on a 4% nutrition-balanced alcohol diet for 8 weeks. Myocardial histology, immunohistochemistry, autophagy markers and signal molecules were examined. Expression of micro RNA miR-30a, a potential target of Beclin 1, was evaluated by real-time PCR. Chronic alcohol intake led to cardiac acetaldehyde accumulation, hypertrophy and overt autophagosome accumulation (LC3-II and Atg7), the effect of which was accentuated by ADH. Signaling molecules governing autophagy initiation including class III PtdIns3K, phosphorylation of mTOR and p70S6K were enhanced and dampened, respectively, following alcohol intake. These alcohol-induced signaling responses were augmented by ADH. ADH accentuated or unmasked alcohol-induced downregulation of Bcl-2, Bcl-xL and MiR-30a. Interestingly, ADH aggravated alcohol-induced p62 accumulation. Autophagy inhibition using 3-MA abolished alcohol-induced cardiomyocyte contractile anomalies. Moreover, acetaldehyde led to cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction and autophagy induction, which was ablated by 3-MA. Ethanol or acetaldehyde increased GFP-LC3 puncta in H9c2 cells, the effect of which was ablated by 3-MA but unaffected by lysosomal inhibition using bafilomycin A(1), E64D and pepstatin A. In summary, these data suggested that facilitated acetaldehyde production via ADH following alcohol intake triggered cardiac autophagosome formation along with impaired lysosomal degradation, en route to myocardial defect.

  1. Functional brain imaging: what has it brought to our understanding of neuropathic pain? A special focus on allodynic pain mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peyron, Roland

    2016-02-01

    Brain responses to nociception are well identified. The same is not true for allodynic pain, a strong painful sensation in response to touch or innocuous cold stimuli that may be experienced by patients with neuropathic pain. Brain (or spinal cord) reorganization that may explain this paradoxical perception still remains largely unknown. Allodynic pain is associated with abnormally increased activity in SII and in the anterior insular cortex, contralateral and/or ipsilateral to allodynia. Because a bilateral increase in activity has been repeatedly reported in these areas in nociceptive conditions, the observed activation during allodynia can explain that a physiologically nonpainful stimulus could be perceived by the damaged nervous system as a painful one. Both secondary somatosensory and insular cortices receive input from the thalamus, which is a major relay of sensory and spinothalamic pathways, the involvement of which is known to be crucial for the development of neuropathic pain. Both thalamic function and structure have been reported to be abnormal or impaired in neuropathic pain conditions including in the basal state, possibly explaining the spontaneous component of neuropathic pain. A further indication as to how the brain can create neuropathic pain response in SII and insular cortices stems from examples of diseases, including single-case reports in whom a focal brain lesion leads to central pain disappearance. Additional studies are required to certify the contribution of these areas to the disease processes, to disentangle abnormalities respectively related to pain and to deafferentation, and, in the future, to guide targeting of stimulation studies.

  2. The cognitive processing of somatic anxiety: Using functional measurement to understand and address the fear of pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rolf A. Peterson

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Although anxiety has both dispositional and situational determinants, little is known about how individuals' anxiety-related sensitivities and their expectations about stressful events combine to determine anxiety. This research used Information Integration Theory and Functional Measurement to assess how participants' anxiety sensitivity and event expectancy are cognitively integrated to determine their anxiety about physical pain. Two studies were conducted-one with university students and one with anxiety clinic patients-in which participants were presented with multiple scenarios of a physically painful event, each representing a different degree of event probability, from which subjective expectancies were derived. Independent variables included anxiety sensitivity (low, moderate, high and event expectancy (low, medium, high, no probability information. Participants were asked to indicate their anxiety (dependent measure in each expectancy condition in this 3 X 4 mixed, quasi-experimental design. The results of both studies strongly suggest that anxiety sensitivity and event expectancy are integrated additively to produce somatic anxiety. Additional results and their implications for the treatment of anxiety-related disorders are also discussed.

  3. Understanding the cognitive and genetic underpinnings of procrastination: Evidence for shared genetic influences with goal management and executive function abilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustavson, Daniel E; Miyake, Akira; Hewitt, John K; Friedman, Naomi P

    2015-12-01

    Previous research has suggested that individual differences in procrastination are tied to everyday goal-management abilities, but little research has been conducted on specific cognitive abilities that may underlie tendencies for procrastination, such as executive functions (EFs). In this study, we used behavioral genetics methodology to investigate 2 hypotheses about the relationships between procrastination and EF ability: (a) that procrastination is negatively correlated with general EF ability, and (b) that this relationship is due to the genetic components of procrastination that are most related to other everyday goal-management abilities. The results confirmed both of these hypotheses. Procrastination was related to worse general EF ability at both the phenotypic and genetic levels, and this relationship was due to the component of procrastination shared with self-report measures of everyday goal-management failures. These results were observed even after controlling for potential self-report biases stemming from the urge to respond in a socially desirable manner. Together, these findings provide strong evidence for growing theories of procrastination emphasizing the importance of goal-related cognitive abilities and further highlight important genetic influences that underlie procrastination. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  4. Progress in the structural understanding of voltage-gated calcium channel (CaV) function and modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minor, Daniel L; Findeisen, Felix

    2010-01-01

    Voltage-gated calcium channels (CaVs) are large, transmembrane multiprotein complexes that couple membrane depolarization to cellular calcium entry. These channels are central to cardiac action potential propagation, neurotransmitter and hormone release, muscle contraction, and calcium-dependent gene transcription. Over the past six years, the advent of high-resolution structural studies of CaV components from different isoforms and CaV modulators has begun to reveal the architecture that underlies the exceptionally rich feedback modulation that controls CaV action. These descriptions of CaV molecular anatomy have provided new, structure-based insights into the mechanisms by which particular channel elements affect voltage-dependent inactivation (VDI), calcium‑dependent inactivation (CDI), and calcium‑dependent facilitation (CDF). The initial successes have been achieved through structural studies of soluble channel domains and modulator proteins and have proven most powerful when paired with biochemical and functional studies that validate ideas inspired by the structures. Here, we review the progress in this growing area and highlight some key open challenges for future efforts.

  5. Toward Probabilistic Diagnosis and Understanding of Depression Based on Functional MRI Data Analysis with Logistic Group LASSO.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Shimizu

    Full Text Available Diagnosis of psychiatric disorders based on brain imaging data is highly desirable in clinical applications. However, a common problem in applying machine learning algorithms is that the number of imaging data dimensions often greatly exceeds the number of available training samples. Furthermore, interpretability of the learned classifier with respect to brain function and anatomy is an important, but non-trivial issue. We propose the use of logistic regression with a least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO to capture the most critical input features. In particular, we consider application of group LASSO to select brain areas relevant to diagnosis. An additional advantage of LASSO is its probabilistic output, which allows evaluation of diagnosis certainty. To verify our approach, we obtained semantic and phonological verbal fluency fMRI data from 31 depression patients and 31 control subjects, and compared the performances of group LASSO (gLASSO, and sparse group LASSO (sgLASSO to those of standard LASSO (sLASSO, Support Vector Machine (SVM, and Random Forest. Over 90% classification accuracy was achieved with gLASSO, sgLASSO, as well as SVM; however, in contrast to SVM, LASSO approaches allow for identification of the most discriminative weights and estimation of prediction reliability. Semantic task data revealed contributions to the classification from left precuneus, left precentral gyrus, left inferior frontal cortex (pars triangularis, and left cerebellum (c rus1. Weights for the phonological task indicated contributions from left inferior frontal operculum, left post central gyrus, left insula, left middle frontal cortex, bilateral middle temporal cortices, bilateral precuneus, left inferior frontal cortex (pars triangularis, and left precentral gyrus. The distribution of normalized odds ratios further showed, that predictions with absolute odds ratios higher than 0.2 could be regarded as certain.

  6. Neural stem cells and neuro/gliogenesis in the central nervous system: understanding the structural and functional plasticity of the developing, mature, and diseased brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaguchi, Masahiro; Seki, Tatsunori; Imayoshi, Itaru; Tamamaki, Nobuaki; Hayashi, Yoshitaka; Tatebayashi, Yoshitaka; Hitoshi, Seiji

    2016-05-01

    Neurons and glia in the central nervous system (CNS) originate from neural stem cells (NSCs). Knowledge of the mechanisms of neuro/gliogenesis from NSCs is fundamental to our understanding of how complex brain architecture and function develop. NSCs are present not only in the developing brain but also in the mature brain in adults. Adult neurogenesis likely provides remarkable plasticity to the mature brain. In addition, recent progress in basic research in mental disorders suggests an etiological link with impaire