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Sample records for understand contractile function

  1. Catecholamines and myocardial contractile function during hypodynamia and with an altered thyroid hormone balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pruss, G. M.; Kuznetsov, V. I.; Zhilinskaya, A. A.

    1980-01-01

    The dynamics of catecholamine content and myocardial contractile function during hypodynamia were studied in 109 white rats whose motor activity was severely restricted for up to 30 days. During the first five days myocardial catecholamine content, contractile function, and physical load tolerance decreased. Small doses of thyroidin counteracted this tendency. After 15 days, noradrenalin content and other indices approached normal levels and, after 30 days, were the same as control levels, although cardiac functional reserve was decreased. Thyroidin administration after 15 days had no noticeable effect. A detailed table shows changes in 17 indices of myocardial contractile function during hypodynamia.

  2. Muscle fatigue in frog semitendinosus: alterations in contractile function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, L. V.; Balog, E. M.; Riley, D. A.; Fitts, R. H.

    1992-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to characterize the contractile properties of the frog semitendinosus (ST) muscle before and during recovery from fatigue, to relate the observed functional changes to alterations in specific steps in the crossbridge model of muscle contraction, and to determine how fatigue affects the force-frequency relationship. The frog ST (22 degrees C) was fatigued by direct electrical stimulation with 100-ms 150-Hz trains at 1/s for 5 min. The fatigue protocol reduced peak twitch (Pt) and tetanic (Po) force to 32 and 8.5% of initial force, respectively. The decline in Pt was less than Po, in part due to a prolongation in the isometric contraction time (CT), which increased to 300% of the initial value. The isometric twitch duration was greatly prolonged as reflected by the lengthened CT and the 800% increase in the one-half relaxation time (1/2RT). Both Pt and Po showed a biphasic recovery, a rapid initial phase (2 min) followed by a slower (40 min) return to the prefatigue force. CT and 1/2RT also recovered in two phases, returning to 160 and 265% of control in the first 5 min. CT returned to the prefatigue value between 35 and 40 min, whereas even at 60 min 1/2RT was 133% of control. The maximal velocity of shortening, determined by the slack test, was significantly reduced [from 6.7 +/- 0.5 to 2.5 +/- 0.4 optimal muscle length/s] at fatigue. The force-frequency relationship was shifted to the left, so that optimal frequency for generating Po was reduced.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

  3. Update on corpus cavernosum smooth muscle contractile pathways in erectile function: a role for testosterone?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xin-Hua; Melman, Arnold; Disanto, Michael E

    2011-07-01

    Normal erectile function (EF) involves a coordinated relaxation of the arteries that supply the penis and the corpus cavernosum smooth muscle (CCSM), resulting in expansion of the sinusoids and increased intracavernous pressure. But the CCSM spends the majority of its time in the contracted state which is mediated by norepinephrine released from nerve endings and other vasoconstrictors like endothelins released from the endothelium. These agents cause smooth muscle myosin (SMM) phosphorylation by elevating intracellular calcium. When calcium returns to basal levels, the calcium sensitivity increases and prevents myosin dephosphorylation, which involves the RhoA/Rho-kinase (ROK) mechanism, thus maintaining force. Although mounting evidences demonstrate that androgens have a major influence on EF that is not just centrally mediated, this notion remains quite controversial. To summarize the current knowledge on CCSM contractile pathways, the role they play in modulating EF, and the influence of androgens. The article reviews the literature and contains some previously unpublished data on CCSM contraction signaling including the role that androgens are known to play in modulating these pathways. Data from peer-reviewed publications and previously unpublished observations. In addition to downregulation of many pro-erectile molecular mechanisms, decreased testosterone (T) levels upregulate CCSM contractility, including hyperresponsiveness to α-adrenergic agonists, increased SMM phosphorylation, alteration of SMM isoform composition, activation of RhoA/ROK signaling and modulation of sphingosine-1-phosphate regulation of CCSM tone. Decreased T levels upregulate CCSM contractile signaling. Meanwhile, it downregulates CCSM relaxation pathways synergizing to produce erectile dysfunction (ED). Although some urologists and researchers are still skeptical of the influence of androgens on penile erection, understanding these molecular control mechanisms as well as the influence

  4. 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...

  5. 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...... properties of single muscle fibres (n=378) from vastus lateralis of 9 young (24 ± 1 years) and 8 old (67 ± 2 years) healthy men with comparable levels of physical activity. Prior to immobilisation, MHC IIa fibres produced higher maximum Ca2+-activated force (approx. 32%) and specific force (approx. 33......%) and had lower Ca2+ sensitivity than MHC I fibres (p...

  6. Four days of muscle disuse impairs single fiber contractile function in young and old healthy men

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvid, Lars G; Suetta, Charlotte; Aagaard, Per

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of 4days of disuse (knee brace) on contractile function of isolated vastus lateralis fibers (n=486) from 11 young (24.3±0.9yrs) and 11 old (67.2±1.0yrs) healthy men having comparable levels of physical activity. Prior to disuse single fiber...

  7. Store-operated Ca2+ entry supports contractile function in hearts of hibernators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga V Nakipova

    Full Text Available Hibernators have a distinctive ability to adapt to seasonal changes of body temperature in a range between 37°C and near freezing, exhibiting, among other features, a unique reversibility of cardiac contractility. The adaptation of myocardial contractility in hibernation state relies on alterations of excitation contraction coupling, which becomes less-dependent from extracellular Ca2+ entry and is predominantly controlled by Ca2+ release from sarcoplasmic reticulum, replenished by the Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA. We found that the specific SERCA inhibitor cyclopiazonic acid (CPA, in contrast to its effect in papillary muscles (PM from rat hearts, did not reduce but rather potentiated contractility of PM from hibernating ground squirrels (GS. In GS ventricles we identified drastically elevated, compared to rats, expression of Orai1, Stim1 and Trpc1/3/4/5/6/7 mRNAs, putative components of store operated Ca2+ channels (SOC. Trpc3 protein levels were found increased in winter compared to summer GS, yet levels of Trpc5, Trpc6 or Trpc7 remained unchanged. Under suppressed voltage-dependent K+, Na+ and Ca2+ currents, the SOC inhibitor 2-aminoethyl diphenylborinate (2-APB diminished whole-cell membrane currents in isolated cardiomyocytes from hibernating GS, but not from rats. During cooling-reheating cycles (30°C-7°C-30°C of ground squirrel PM, 2-APB did not affect typical CPA-sensitive elevation of contractile force at low temperatures, but precluded the contractility at 30°C before and after the cooling. Wash-out of 2-APB reversed PM contractility to control values. Thus, we suggest that SOC play a pivotal role in governing the ability of hibernator hearts to maintain their function during the transition in and out of hibernating states.

  8. Esophagogastric junction contractile integral (EGJ-CI) quantifies changes in EGJ barrier function with surgical intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, D; Patel, A; Mello, M; Shriver, A; Gyawali, C P

    2016-05-01

    Esophagogastric junction contractile integral (EGJ-CI) assesses EGJ barrier function on esophageal high resolution manometry (HRM). We assessed EGJ-CI values in achalasia and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) to determine if postoperative EGJ-CI changes reflected surgical intervention. Twenty-one achalasia patients (42.8 ± 3.2 years, 62% F) with HRM before and after Heller myotomy (HM) and 68 GERD patients (53.9 ± 1.8 years, 66% F) undergoing antireflux surgery (ARS) were compared to 21 healthy controls (27.6 ± 0.6 years, 52% F). Esophagogastric junction contractile integral (mmHg.cm) was calculated using the distal contractile integral measurement across the EGJ, measured above the gastric baseline and corrected for respiration. Pre and postsurgical EGJ-CI and conventional lower esophageal sphincter pressure (LESP) metrics were compared within and between these groups using non-parametric tests. Correlation between EGJ-CI and conventional LESP metrics was assessed. Baseline EGJ-CI was higher in achalasia compared to GERD (p integral declined by 59.2% after HM in achalasia (p = 0.001), and increased by 26.3% after ARS in GERD (p = 0.005). End-expiratory and basal LESP decreased by 74.5% and 64.5% with HM, but increased by only 17.8% and 4.3% with ARS. Differences were noted between Dor vs Toupet fundoplication in achalasia (p = 0.007), and partial vs complete ARS in GERD (p = 0.03). Esophagogastric junction contractile integral correlated modestly with both end-expiratory and basal LESP (Pearson's r of 0.8 for all), but was less robust in GERD (0.7). Esophagogastric junction contractile integral has clinical utility in assessing EGJ barrier function at baseline and after surgical intervention to the EGJ, and could complement conventional EGJ metrics. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. An Acanthamoeba castellanii metacaspase associates with the contractile vacuole and functions in osmoregulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saheb, Entsar; Trzyna, Wendy; Bush, John

    2013-03-01

    Acanthamoeba castellanii is a free-living protozoan. Some strains are opportunistic pathogens. A type-I metacaspase was identified in A. castellanii (Acmcp) and was shown to be expressed through the encystation process. The model organism, Dictyostelium discoideum, has been used here as a model for studying these caspase-like proteins. Separate cell lines expressing a GFP-tagged version of the full length Acmcp protein, as well as a deletion proline region mutant of Acmcp protein (GFP-Acmcp-dpr), have been introduced into D. discoideum. Both mutants affect the cellular metabolism, characterized by an increase in the growth rate. Microscopic imaging revealed an association between Acmcp and the contractile vacuole system in D. discoideum. The treatment of cells with selected inhibitors in different environments added additional support to these findings. This evidence shows that Acmcp plays an important role in contractile vacuole regulation and mediated membrane trafficking in D. discoideum. Additionally, the severe defect in contractile vacuole function in GFP-Acmcp-dpr mutant cells suggests that the proline-rich region in Acmcp has an essential role in binding this protein with other partners to maintain this process. Furthermore, Yeast two-hybrid system identified there are weak interactions of the Dictyostelium contractile vacuolar proteins, including Calmodulin, RabD, Rab11 and vacuolar proton ATPase, with Acmcp protein. Taken together, our findings suggest that A. castellanii metacaspase associate with the contractile vacuole and have an essential role in cell osmoregulation, which contributes to its attractiveness as a possible target for treatment therapies against A. castellanii infection. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.......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....... properties of single muscle fibres (n = 378) from vastus lateralis of nine young (24 ± 1 years) and eight old (67 ± 2 years) healthy men with comparable levels of physical activity. Prior to immobilisation, MHC IIa fibres produced higher maximum Ca(2+)-activated force (approx. 32%) and specific force (approx...

  11. Quantifying inter-species differences in contractile function through biophysical modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tøndel, Kristin; Land, Sander; Niederer, Steven A; Smith, Nicolas P

    2015-03-01

    Animal models and measurements are frequently used to guide and evaluate clinical interventions. In this context, knowledge of inter-species differences in physiology is crucial for understanding the limitations and relevance of animal experimental assays for informing clinical applications. Extensive effort has been put into studying the structure and function of cardiac contractile proteins and how differences in these translate into the functional properties of muscles. However, integrating this knowledge into a quantitative description, formalising and highlighting inter-species differences both in the kinetics and in the regulation of physiological mechanisms, remains challenging. In this study we propose and apply a novel approach for the quantification of inter-species differences between mouse, rat and human. Assuming conservation of the fundamental physiological mechanisms underpinning contraction, biophysically based computational models are fitted to simulate experimentally recorded phenotypes from multiple species. The phenotypic differences between species are then succinctly quantified as differences in the biophysical model parameter values. This provides the potential of quantitatively establishing the human relevance of both animal-based experimental and computational models for application in a clinical context. Our results indicate that the parameters related to the sensitivity and cooperativity of calcium binding to troponin C and the activation and relaxation rates of tropomyosin/crossbridge binding kinetics differ most significantly between mouse, rat and human, while for example the reference tension, as expected, shows only minor differences between the species. Hence, while confirming expected inter-species differences in calcium sensitivity due to large differences in the observed calcium transients, our results also indicate more unexpected differences in the cooperativity mechanism. Specifically, the decrease in the unbinding rate of

  12. GRK2 – A Link Between Myocardial Contractile Function and Cardiac Metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodall, Meryl C.; Ciccarelli, Michele; Woodall, Benjamin P.; Koch, Walter J.

    2014-01-01

    Heart failure (HF) causes a tremendous burden on the worldwide healthcare system, affecting more than 23 million people. There are many cardiovascular disorders that contribute to the development of HF and multiple risk factors that accelerate its occurrence, but regardless of its underlying cause, HF is characterized by a marked decrease in myocardial contractility and loss of pump function. One biomarker molecule consistently shown to be upregulated in human HF and several animal models is G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) kinase 2 (GRK2), a kinase originally discovered to be involved in GPCR desensitization, especially β-adrenergic receptors (βARs). Indeed, higher levels of GRK2 can impair βAR-mediated inotropic reserve and its inhibition or molecular reduction has shown to improve pump function in several animal models including a pre-clinical pig model of HF. Recently, non-classical roles for GRK2 in cardiovascular disease have been described, including negative regulation of insulin signaling, a role in myocyte cell survival and apoptotic signaling, and it has been shown to be localized in/on mitochondria. These new roles of GRK2 suggest that GRK2 may be a nodal link in the myocyte, influencing both cardiac contractile function and cell metabolism and survival and contributing to HF independent of its canonical role on GPCR desensitization. In this review, classical and non-classical roles for GRK2 will be discussed, focusing on recently discovered roles for GRK2 in cardiomyocyte metabolism and the effects that these roles may have on myocardial contractile function and HF development. PMID:24812353

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. Dobutamine enhances both contractile function and energy reserves in hypoperfused canine right ventricle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, K D; Downey, H F; Bian, X; Fu, M; Mallet, R T

    2000-12-01

    Although the beta(1)-adrenergic agent dobutamine is used clinically to provide inotropic support to the failing myocardium, it could jeopardize the myocardium by depleting energy reserves. This investigation delineated the contractile and energetic effects of low versus high dobutamine doses in the hypoperfused right ventricular (RV) myocardium. The right coronary artery (RCA) of anesthetized dogs was cannulated for controlled perfusion with arterial blood, and regional RV contractile function was measured. RCA perfusion pressure was lowered from 100 mmHg baseline to 40 mmHg, and flow fell by 54%. At 15-min hypoperfusion, dobutamine was infused into the RCA at either 0.01 (low-dose dobutamine) or 0.06 microgram. kg(-1). min(-1) (high-dose dobutamine) for 15 min. Regional power (systolic segment shortening x isometric developed force x heart rate) stabilized at 63% of baseline during hypoperfusion. Low-dose dobutamine restored power to baseline but did not increase RV myocardial O(2) consumption (MVO(2)) and thus increased myocardial O(2) utilization efficiency (O(2)UE:power/MVO(2)). At 5 min, high-dose dobutamine enhancement of power was similar to that of low-dose dobutamine, but by 15 min, power and O(2)UE fell to untreated levels. Remarkably, low-dose dobutamine tripled cytosolic phosphorylation potential; in contrast, high-dose dobutamine lowered phosphorylation potential to 45% of the untreated value. Analyses of glucose uptake and glycolytic intermediates revealed sustained enhancement of glycolysis by low-dose dobutamine, but glycolysis became limited at glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase during high-dose dobutamine treatment. In summary, low-dose dobutamine improved mechanical performance and efficiency of the hypoperfused RV myocardium while increasing myocardial energy reserves, but high-dose dobutamine failed to sustain improved function and depleted energy reserves. Dobutamine is capable of improving both contractile function and cellular

  15. Biventricular Pacing Cardiac Contractility Modulation Improves Cardiac Contractile Function via Upregulating SERCA2 and miR-133 in a Rabbit Model of Congestive Heart Failure

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    Bin Ning

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To compare the effects of biventricular electrical pacing and conventional single-ventricular pacing for cardiac contractility modulation (CCM on cardiac contractile function and to delineate the underlying molecular mechanisms. Methods: Forty rabbits were divided into four groups before surgery: healthy control, HF sham, HF left ventricular pacing CCM (LVP-CCM, and HF biventricular pacing CCM (BVP-CCM groups with n=10 for each group. A rabbit model of chronic heart failure was established by ligating ascending aortic root of rabbits. Then electrical stimulations during the absolute refractory period were delivered to the anterior wall of left ventricle in the LVP-CCM group and on the anterior wall of both left and right ventricles in the BVP-CCM group lasting six hours per day for seven days. Changes in ventricular structure, cardiac function and electrocardiogram were monitored before and after CCM stimulation. Results: Compared with the sham-operated group, heart weight, heart weight index, LV end-systolic diameter (LVESD, LV end-diastolic diameter (LVEDD in the LVP-CCM and BVP-CCM groups were significantly decreased (ppp2+-ATPase (SERCA2a protein levels were upregulated by 1.7 and 2.4 fold, along with simultaneous upregulation of a cardiac-enriched microRNA miR-133 levels by 2.6 and 3.3 fold, in LVP-CCM and BVP-CCM, respectively, compared to sham. Conclusions: Biventricular pacing CCM is superior to conventional monoventricular pacing CCM, producing greater improvement cardiac contractile function. Greater upregulation of SERCA2 and miR-133 may account, at least partially, for the improvement by BVP-CCM.

  16. 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.

  17. Oxidative Stress in Hypertensive Patients Induces an Increased Contractility in Vein Grafts Independent of Endothelial Function

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    Claudio Joo Turoni

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. To evaluate the impact of oxidative stress on vascular reactivity to vasoconstrictors and on nitric oxide (NO bioavailability in saphenous vein (SV graft with endothelial dysfunction from hypertensive patients (HT. Methods. Endothelial function, vascular reactivity, oxidative state, nitrites and NO release were studied in isolated SV rings from HT and normotensive patients (NT. Only rings with endothelial dysfunction were used. Results. HT rings presented a hyperreactivity to vasoconstrictors that was reverted by diphenylene iodonium (DPI. In NT, no effect of DPI was obtained, but Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME increased the contractile response. NO was present in SV rings without endothelial function. Nitrites were higher in NT than in HT (1066.1 ± 86.3 pmol/mg; n=11 versus 487.8 ± 51.6; n=23; P<0.01 and inhibited by nNOS inhibitor. L-arginine reversed this effect. Antioxidant agents increased nitrites and NO contents only in HT. The anti-nNOS-stained area by immunohistochemistry was higher in NT than HT. HT showed an elevation of oxidative state. Conclusions. Extraendothelial NO counter-regulates contractility in SV. However, this action could be altered in hypertensive situations by an increased oxidative stress or a decreased ability of nNOS to produce NO. Further studies should be performed to evaluate the implication of these results in graft patency rates.

  18. 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.

  19. Does phototherapy enhance skeletal muscle contractile function and postexercise recovery? A systematic review.

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    Borsa, Paul A; Larkin, Kelly A; True, Jerry M

    2013-01-01

    Recently, researchers have shown that phototherapy administered to skeletal muscle immediately before resistance exercise can enhance contractile function, prevent exercise-induced cell damage, and improve postexercise recovery of strength and function. To critically evaluate original research addressing the ability of phototherapeutic devices, such as lasers and light-emitting diodes (LEDs), to enhance skeletal muscle contractile function, reduce exercise-induced muscle fatigue, and facilitate postexercise recovery. We searched the electronic databases PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science, Scopus, and Rehabilitation & Physical Medicine without date limitations for the following key words: laser therapy, phototherapy, fatigue, exercise, circulation, microcirculation, and photobiomodulation. Eligible studies had to be original research published in English as full papers, involve human participants, and receive a minimum score of 7 out of 10 on the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale. Data of interest included elapsed time to fatigue, total number of repetitions to fatigue, total work performed, maximal voluntary isometric contraction (strength), electromyographic activity, and postexercise biomarker levels. We recorded the PEDro scores, beam characteristics, and treatment variables and calculated the therapeutic outcomes and effect sizes for the data sets. In total, 12 randomized controlled trials met the inclusion criteria. However, we excluded data from 2 studies, leaving 32 data sets from 10 studies. Twenty-four of the 32 data sets contained differences between active phototherapy and sham (placebo-control) treatment conditions for the various outcome measures. Exposing skeletal muscle to single-diode and multidiode laser or multidiode LED therapy was shown to positively affect physical performance by delaying the onset of fatigue, reducing the fatigue response, improving postexercise recovery, and protecting cells from exercise-induced damage

  20. Post-exercise contractility, diastolic function, and pressure: Operator-independent sensor-based intelligent monitoring for heart failure telemedicine

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    Giannoni Massimo

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background New sensors for intelligent remote monitoring of the heart should be developed. Recently, a cutaneous force-frequency relation recording system has been validated based on heart sound amplitude and timing variations at increasing heart rates. Aim To assess sensor-based post-exercise contractility, diastolic function and pressure in normal and diseased hearts as a model of a wireless telemedicine system. Methods We enrolled 150 patients and 22 controls referred for exercise-stress echocardiography, age 55 ± 18 years. The sensor was attached in the precordial region by an ECG electrode. Stress and recovery contractility were derived by first heart sound amplitude vibration changes; diastolic times were acquired continuously. Systemic pressure changes were quantitatively documented by second heart sound recording. Results Interpretable sensor recordings were obtained in all patients (feasibility = 100%. Post-exercise contractility overshoot (defined as increase > 10% of recovery contractility vs exercise value was more frequent in patients than controls (27% vs 8%, p 1 in 20 patients and in none of the controls (p 1 in only 3 patients (p Conclusion Post-exercise contractility, diastolic time and pressure changes can be continuously measured by a cutaneous sensor. Heart disease affects not only exercise systolic performance, but also post-exercise recovery, diastolic time intervals and blood pressure changes – in our study, all of these were monitored by a non-invasive wearable sensor.

  1. 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

  2. Growth differentiation factor 15 impairs aortic contractile and relaxing function through altered caveolar signaling of the endothelium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mazagova, Magdalena; Buikema, Hendrik; Landheer, Sjoerd W.; Vavrinec, Peter; van Buiten, Azuwerus; Henning, Robert H.; Deelman, Leo E.

    Mazagova M, Buikema H, Landheer SW, Vavrinec P, van Buiten A, Henning RH, Deelman LE. Growth differentiation factor 15 impairs aortic contractile and relaxing function through altered caveolar signaling of the endothelium. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 304: H709-H718, 2013. First published

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

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    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…

  4. Fiber-type-specific sensitivities and phenotypic adaptations to dietary fat overload differentially impact fast- versus slow-twitch muscle contractile function in C57BL/6J mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ciapaite, Jolita; van den Berg, Sjoerd A.; Houten, Sander M.; Nicolay, Klaas; van Dijk, Ko Willems; Jeneson, Jeroen A.

    2015-01-01

    High-fat diets (HFDs) have been shown to interfere with skeletal muscle energy metabolism and cause peripheral insulin resistance. However, understanding of HFD impact on skeletal muscle primary function, i.e., contractile performance, is limited. Male C57BL/6J mice were fed HFD containing lard

  5. Fiber-type-specific sensitivities and phenotypic adaptations to dietary fat overload differentially impact fast- versus slow-twitch muscle contractile function in C57BL/6J mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ciapaite, Jolita; van den Berg, Sjoerd A.; Houten, Sander M.; Nicolay, Klaas; van Dijk, Ko Willems; Jeneson, Jeroen

    High-fat diets (HFDs) have been shown to interfere with skeletal muscle energy metabolism and cause peripheral insulin resistance. However, understanding of HFD impact on skeletal muscle primary function, i.e., contractile performance, is limited. Male C57BL/6J mice were fed HFD containing lard

  6. 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

  7. Cardiac contractile function during coronary stenosis in dogs: association of adenosine in glycolytic dependence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, H K; Sturgeon, C; Segil, L J; Ripper, R L; Law, W R

    1997-05-01

    We tested the hypothesis that during critical coronary stenosis, endogenous adenosine alters myocardial glucose utilization to support myocardial contractile function (MCF). Anesthetized mongrel dogs were instrumented to measure hemodynamic variables, regional MCF (sonomicrometry), and substrate uptakes. Critical coronary artery stenosis was established with a screw clamp on the left circumflex coronary artery (LCX). Either 8-phenyltheophylline (3 x 10(-7) mol/min; adenosine-receptor blockade), iodoacetate (1 x 10(-5) mol/min; glycolysis blockade), or vehicle was infused into the LCX and the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD). Critical coronary stenosis caused small decreases in arterial blood pressure and LCX blood flow, but no significant changes in MCF or other hemodynamics. There was a significant decrease in the O2 supply-to-consumption ratio in the stenotic region and an increased glucose uptake. Infusion of either 8-phenyltheophylline or iodoacetate caused a decrease in MCF in the stenotic LCX region concomitant with a decreased glucose uptake and without further changes in blood flow. This was not seen in the nonstenotic (LAD) region. These data support the hypothesis, indicating that glycolysis is vital for maintaining regional MCF during a decrease in the myocardial O2 supply-to-consumption ratio and that adenosine is important in this regard, independent of its vasoactive properties.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Age-dependent changes in contractile function and passive elastic properties of myocardium from mice lacking muscle LIM protein (MLP).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unsöld, Bernhard; Schotola, Hanna; Jacobshagen, Claudius; Seidler, Tim; Sossalla, Samuel; Emons, Julius; Klede, Stefanie; Knöll, Ralph; Guan, Kaomei; El-Armouche, Ali; Linke, Wolfgang A; Kögler, Harald; Hasenfuss, Gerd

    2012-04-01

    Muscle LIM protein (MLP) null mice are often used as a model for human dilated cardiomyopathy. So far, little is known about the time course and pathomechanisms leading to the development of the adult phenotype. We systematically analysed the contractile phenotype, myofilament calcium (Ca(2)(+)) responsiveness, passive myocardial mechanics, histology, and mRNA expression in mice aged 4 and 12 weeks. In 4-week-old animals, there was no significant difference in the force-frequency relationship (FFR) and catecholamine response of intact isolated papillary muscles between wild-type (WT) and MLP null myocardium. In 12-week-old animals, WT myocardium exhibited a significantly positive FFR, while that of MLP null mice was significantly negative, and the inotropic response to catecholamines was significantly reduced in MLP null mice. This time course of decline in contractile function was confirmed in vivo by echocardiography. Whereas at 4 weeks of age MLP null mice and WT littermates showed similar levels of SERCA2a (sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) ATPase) expression, the expression was significantly lower in 12-week-old MLP null mice compared with littermate controls. Myofilament Ca(2)(+) responsiveness was not affected by the lack of MLP, irrespective of age. Whereas in 4-week-old animals MLP null myocardium showed a trend to an increased compliance compared with the WT, myocardium of 12-week-old MLP null mice was significantly less compliant than WT myocardium. Parallel to the decrease in compliance there was an increase in fibrosis in the MLP null animals. Our data suggest that MLP deficiency does not primarily influence myocardial contractility. A lack of MLP leads to an age-dependent impairment of excitation-contraction coupling with resulting contractile dysfunction and secondary fibrosis.

  14. Fractalkine depresses cardiomyocyte contractility.

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    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. [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.

  18. Expression of mitochondrial regulatory genes parallels respiratory capacity and contractile function in a rat model of hypoxia-induced right ventricular hypertrophy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chronic hypobaric hypoxia (CHH) increases load on the right ventricle (RV) resulting in RV hypertrophy. We hypothesized that CHH elicits distinct responses, i.e., the hypertrophied RV, unlike the left ventricle (LV), displaying enhanced mitochondrial respiratory and contractile function. Wistar rats...

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  1. Magnetically Bioprinted Human Myometrial 3D Cell Rings as A Model for Uterine Contractility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Glauco R; Tseng, Hubert; Gage, Jacob A; Mani, Arunmani; Desai, Pujan; Leonard, Fransisca; Liao, Angela; Longo, Monica; Refuerzo, Jerrie S; Godin, Biana

    2017-03-23

    Deregulation in uterine contractility can cause common pathological disorders of the female reproductive system, including preterm labor, infertility, inappropriate implantation, and irregular menstrual cycle. A better understanding of human myometrium contractility is essential to designing and testing interventions for these important clinical problems. Robust studies on the physiology of human uterine contractions require in vitro models, utilizing a human source. Importantly, uterine contractility is a three-dimensionally (3D)-coordinated phenomenon and should be studied in a 3D environment. Here, we propose and assess for the first time a 3D in vitro model for the evaluation of human uterine contractility. Magnetic 3D bioprinting is applied to pattern human myometrium cells into rings, which are then monitored for contractility over time and as a function of various clinically relevant agents. Commercially available and patient-derived myometrium cells were magnetically bioprinted into rings in 384-well formats for throughput uterine contractility analysis. The bioprinted uterine rings from various cell origins and patients show different patterns of contractility and respond differently to clinically relevant uterine contractility inhibitors, indomethacin and nifedipine. We believe that the novel system will serve as a useful tool to evaluate the physiology of human parturition while enabling high-throughput testing of multiple agents and conditions.

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

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    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

  3. Copper sulfate affects Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) cardiomyocytes structure and contractile function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Andrade Waldemarin, Kátia Cristina; Alves, Rosiane Nascimento; Beletti, Marcelo Emílio; Rantin, Francisco Tadeu; Kalinin, Ana Lúcia

    2012-04-01

    Copper sulfate (CuSO(4))is an inorganic chemical product worldwide used as an algaecide and a fungicide in aquaculture and agriculture and being discharged into freshwater environments where it can affect the freshwater fauna, especially fishes. The impact of copper on fish cardiac function was analyzed in two groups of Nile tilapias, Oreochromis niloticus (control group and group exposed to 1 mg l(-1) of CuSO(4) for 96 h). Structural and ultra-structural changes were studied and related to perturbations of the inotropic and chronotropic responses of ventricle strips. Fish of Cu exposed group did not show significant alterations in the medium diameter and in the percentage of collagen in the cardiac myocytes when evaluated through the light microscope. However, the ultrastructural analysis revealed cellular swelling followed by mitochondrial swelling. The myofibrils did not show significant variations among groups. Force contraction was significantly decreased, and rates of time to tension increase (contraction) and decrease (relaxation) were significantly augmented after copper exposure. The results suggest that the copper sulfate impairs the oxidative mitochondrial function and consequently alters the cardiac performance of this species.

  4. The physiological significance of a coronary stenosis differentially affects contractility and mitochondrial function in viable chronically dysfunctional myocardium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, Brian J; Young, Rebeccah F; Suzuki, Gen; Fallavollita, James A; Canty, John M

    2013-07-01

    The reversibility of viable dysfunctional myocardium after revascularization is variable and the reasons for this are unknown. Using 2D-DIGE, we tested the hypothesis that this could reflect the extent of molecular remodeling of myocardial tissue in the absence of infarction. Swine with a progressive left anterior descending (LAD) stenosis were studied 2 months (n = 18) or 3 months (n = 22) post-instrumentation. Coronary flow reserve (vasodilated/rest) was severely reduced at 2 months (LAD 2.6 ± 0.4 versus 5.1 ± 0.4 in normal, p affected by stenosis severity (e.g., troponin T, 2 months 0.82 ± 0.03 vs. 0.74 ± 0.03 at 3 months, p-ns). In contrast, mitochondrial function and proteins were normal at 2 months but declined with progression to a critical stenosis (state 3 respiration at 3 months 145 ± 13 vs. 216 ± 5 ng-atoms O2 mg(-1) min(-1) at 2 months, p fashion, increases in stress (e.g., αB-crystalline 2.13 ± 0.2 vs. 1.17 ± 0.13 at 2 months, p < 0.05) and cytoskeletal proteins (e.g., desmin 1.63 ± 0.12 vs. 1.24 ± 0.10 at 2 months, p < 0.05) only developed with more advanced remodeling from a critical stenosis. We conclude that similar degrees of chronic contractile dysfunction can have diverse intrinsic molecular adaptations to ischemia. This spectrum of adaptations may underlie variability in the time course and extent of reversibility in viable chronically dysfunctional myocardium after revascularization.

  5. Effects of gestational and postnatal exposure to chronic intermittent hypoxia on diaphragm muscle contractile function in the rat

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    Fiona B Mcdonald

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Alterations to the supply of oxygen during early life presents a profound stressor to physiological systems with aberrant remodeling that is often long-lasting. Chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH is a feature of apnea of prematurity, chronic lung disease and sleep apnea. CIH affects respiratory control but there is a dearth of information concerning the effects of CIH on respiratory muscles, including the diaphragm – the major pump muscle of breathing. We investigated the effects of exposure to gestational CIH (gCIH and postnatal CIH (pCIH on diaphragm muscle function in male and female rats. CIH consisted of exposure in environmental chambers to 90s of hypoxia reaching 5% O2 at nadir, once every 5 min, 8 hrs a day. Exposure to gCIH started within 24 hours of identification of a copulation plug and continued until day 20 of gestation; animals were studied on postnatal day 22 or 42. For pCIH, pups were born in normoxia and within 24h of delivery were exposed with dams to CIH for 3 weeks; animals were studied on postnatal day 22 or 42. Sham groups were exposed to normoxia in parallel. Following gas exposures, diaphragm muscle contractile and endurance properties were examined ex vivo. Neither gCIH nor pCIH exposure had effects on diaphragm muscle force-generating capacity or endurance in either sex. Similarly, early life exposure to CIH did not affect muscle tolerance of severe hypoxic stress determined ex vivo. The findings contrast with our recent observation of upper airway dilator muscle weakness following exposure to pCIH. Thus the present study suggests a relative resilience to hypoxic stress in diaphragm muscle. Co-ordinated activity of thoracic pump and upper airway dilator muscles is required for optimal control of upper airway caliber. A mismatch in the force-generating capacity of the complementary muscle groups could have adverse consequences for the control of airway patency and respiratory homeostasis.

  6. Fiber-type-specific sensitivities and phenotypic adaptations to dietary fat overload differentially impact fast- versus slow-twitch muscle contractile function in C57BL/6J mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciapaite, Jolita; van den Berg, Sjoerd A; Houten, Sander M; Nicolay, Klaas; van Dijk, Ko Willems; Jeneson, Jeroen A

    2015-02-01

    High-fat diets (HFDs) have been shown to interfere with skeletal muscle energy metabolism and cause peripheral insulin resistance. However, understanding of HFD impact on skeletal muscle primary function, i.e., contractile performance, is limited. Male C57BL/6J mice were fed HFD containing lard (HFL) or palm oil (HFP), or low-fat diet (LFD) for 5weeks. Fast-twitch (FT) extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and slow-twitch (ST) soleus muscles were characterized with respect to contractile function and selected biochemical features. In FT EDL muscle, a 30%-50% increase in fatty acid (FA) content and doubling of long-chain acylcarnitine (C14-C18) content in response to HFL and HFP feeding were accompanied by increase in protein levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α, mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation complexes and acyl-CoA dehydrogenases involved in mitochondrial FA β-oxidation. Peak force of FT EDL twitch and tetanic contractions was unaltered, but the relaxation time (RT) of twitch contractions was 30% slower compared to LFD controls. The latter was caused by accumulation of lipid intermediates rather than changes in the expression levels of proteins involved in calcium handling. In ST soleus muscle, no evidence for lipid overload was found in any HFD group. However, particularly in HFP group, the peak force of twitch and tetanic contractions was reduced, but RT was faster than LFD controls. The latter was associated with a fast-to-slow shift in troponin T isoform expression. Taken together, these data highlight fiber-type-specific sensitivities and phenotypic adaptations to dietary lipid overload that differentially impact fast- versus slow-twitch skeletal muscle contractile function. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. [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.

  8. 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

  9. Cellular contractility requires ubiquitin mediated proteolysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuval Cinnamon

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cellular contractility, essential for cell movement and proliferation, is regulated by microtubules, RhoA and actomyosin. The RhoA dependent kinase ROCK ensures the phosphorylation of the regulatory Myosin II Light Chain (MLC Ser19, thereby activating actomyosin contractions. Microtubules are upstream inhibitors of contractility and their depolymerization or depletion cause cells to contract by activating RhoA. How microtubule dynamics regulates RhoA remains, a major missing link in understanding contractility. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We observed that contractility is inhibited by microtubules not only, as previously reported, in adherent cells, but also in non-adhering interphase and mitotic cells. Strikingly we observed that contractility requires ubiquitin mediated proteolysis by a Cullin-RING ubiquitin ligase. Inhibition of proteolysis, ubiquitination and neddylation all led to complete cessation of contractility and considerably reduced MLC Ser19 phosphorylation. CONCLUSIONS: Our results imply that cells express a contractility inhibitor that is degraded by ubiquitin mediated proteolysis, either constitutively or in response to microtubule depolymerization. This degradation seems to depend on a Cullin-RING ubiquitin ligase and is required for cellular contractions.

  10. Effect of acute hyperglycemia on left ventricular contractile function in diabetic patients with and without heart failure: two randomized cross-over studies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roni Nielsen

    Full Text Available It is unknown whether changes in circulating glucose levels due to short-term insulin discontinuation affect left ventricular contractile function in type 2 diabetic patients with (T2D-HF and without (T2D-nonHF heart failure.In two randomized cross-over-designed trials, 18 insulin-treated type 2 diabetic patients with (Ejection Fraction (EF 36 ± 6%, n = 10 (trial 2 and without systolic heart failure (EF 60 ± 3%, n = 8 (trial 1 were subjected to hyper- and normoglycemia for 9-12 hours on two different occasions. Advanced echocardiography, bicycle exercise tests and 6-minute hall walk distance were applied.Plasma glucose levels differed between study arms (6.5 ± 0.8 mM vs 14.1 ± 2.6 mM (T2D-HF, 5.8 ± 0.4 mM vs 9.9 ± 2.1 mM (T2D-nonHF, p<0.001. Hyperglycemia was associated with an increase in several parameters: maximal global systolic tissue velocity (Vmax (p<0.001, maximal mitral annulus velocity (S'max (p<0.001, strain rate (p = 0.02 and strain (p = 0.05. Indices of increased myocardial systolic contractile function were significant in both T2D-HF (Vmax: 14%, p = 0.02; S'max: 10%, p = 0.04, T2D-nonHF (Vmax: 12%, p<0.01; S'max: 9%, p<0.001 and in post exercise S'max (7%, p = 0.049 during hyperglycemia as opposed to normoglycemia. LVEF did not differ between normo- and hyperglycemia (p = 0.17, and neither did peak exercise capacity nor catecholamine levels. Type 2 diabetic heart failure patients' 6-minute hall walk distance improved by 7% (p = 0.02 during hyperglycemia as compared with normoglycemia.Short-term hyperglycemia by insulin discontinuation is associated with an increase in myocardial systolic contractile function in type 2 diabetic patients with and without heart failure and with a slightly prolonged walking distance in type 2 diabetic heart failure patients. (Clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT00653510.

  11. 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.

  12. Decreased cardiac SERCA2 expression, SR Ca uptake, and contractile function in hypothyroidism are attenuated in SERCA2 overexpressing transgenic rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, Roland; Rehfeld, Uwe; Reissfelder, Christoph; Fechner, Henry; Seppet, Enn; Kreutz, Reinhold

    2011-03-01

    The sarco/endoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+)-ATPase SERCA2a has a key role in controlling cardiac contraction and relaxation. In hypothyroidism, decreased expression of the thyroid hormone (TH)-responsive SERCA2 gene contributes to slowed SR Ca(2+) reuptake and relaxation. We investigated whether cardiac expression of a TH-insensitive SERCA2a cDNA minigene can rescue SR Ca(2+) handling and contractile function in female SERCA2a-transgenic rats (TG) with experimental hypothyroidism. Wild-type rats (WT) and TG were rendered hypothyroid by 6-N-propyl-2-thiouracil treatment for 6 wk; control rats received no treatment. In vivo measured left ventricular (LV) hemodynamic parameters were compared with SERCA2a expression and function in LV tissue. Hypothyroidism decreased LV peak systolic pressure, dP/dt(max), and dP/dt(min) in both WT and TG. However, loss of function was less in TG. Thus slowed relaxation in hypothyroidism was found to be 1.5-fold faster in TG compared with WT (P hypothyroid TG (P hypothyroid WT), and the hypothyroidism-caused decline of LV SERCA2a mRNA expression in TG by -24% was markedly less than the decrease of -49% in WT (P hypothyroid rat heart. However, SR Ca(2+) uptake and in vivo heart function were only partially rescued.

  13. 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.

  14. K(ATP) channel gain-of-function leads to increased myocardial L-type Ca(2+) current and contractility in Cantu syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Mark D; Singh, Gautam K; Zhang, Hai Xia; Uchida, Keita; Kozel, Beth A; Stein, Phyllis K; Kovacs, Atilla; Westenbroek, Ruth E; Catterall, William A; Grange, Dorothy Katherine; Nichols, Colin G

    2016-06-14

    Cantu syndrome (CS) is caused by gain-of-function (GOF) mutations in genes encoding pore-forming (Kir6.1, KCNJ8) and accessory (SUR2, ABCC9) KATP channel subunits. We show that patients with CS, as well as mice with constitutive (cGOF) or tamoxifen-induced (icGOF) cardiac-specific Kir6.1 GOF subunit expression, have enlarged hearts, with increased ejection fraction and increased contractility. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings from cGOF or icGOF ventricular myocytes (VM) show increased basal L-type Ca(2+) current (LTCC), comparable to that seen in WT VM treated with isoproterenol. Mice with vascular-specific expression (vGOF) show left ventricular dilation as well as less-markedly increased LTCC. Increased LTCC in KATP GOF models is paralleled by changes in phosphorylation of the pore-forming α1 subunit of the cardiac voltage-gated calcium channel Cav1.2 at Ser1928, suggesting enhanced protein kinase activity as a potential link between increased KATP current and CS cardiac pathophysiology.

  15. Altered energy state reversibly controls smooth muscle contractile function in human saphenous vein during acute hypoxia-reoxygenation: Role of glycogen, AMP-activated protein kinase, and insulin-independent glucose uptake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyla, Rajkumar; Pichavaram, Prahalathan; Fairaq, Arwa; Park, Mary Anne; Kozak, Mark; Kamath, Vinayak; Patel, Vijay S; Segar, Lakshman

    2015-09-01

    Hypoxia is known to promote vasodilation of coronary vessels through several mediators including cardiac-derived adenosine and endothelium-derived prostanoids and nitric oxide. To date, the impact of endogenous glycogen depletion in vascular smooth muscle and the resultant alterations in cellular energy state (e.g., AMP-activated protein kinase, AMPK) on the contractile response to G protein-coupled receptor agonists (e.g., serotonin, 5-HT) has not yet been studied. In the present study, ex vivo exposure of endothelium-denuded human saphenous vein rings to hypoxic and glucose-deprived conditions during KCl-induced contractions for 30 min resulted in a marked depletion of endogenous glycogen by ∼80% (from ∼1.78 μmol/g under normoxia to ∼0.36 μmol/g under hypoxia). Importantly, glycogen-depleted HSV rings, which were maintained under hypoxia/reoxygenation and glucose-deprived conditions, exhibited significant increases in basal AMPK phosphorylation (∼6-fold ↑) and 5-HT-induced AMPK phosphorylation (∼19-fold ↑) with an accompanying suppression of 5-HT-induced maximal contractile response (∼68% ↓), compared with respective controls. Exposure of glycogen-depleted HSV rings to exogenous D-glucose, but not the inactive glucose analogs, prevented the exaggerated increase in 5-HT-induced AMPK phosphorylation and restored 5-HT-induced maximal contractile response. In addition, the ability of exogenous D-glucose to rescue cellular stress and impaired contractile function occurred through GLUT1-mediated but insulin/GLUT4-independent mechanisms. Together, the present findings from clinically-relevant human saphenous vein suggest that the loss of endogenous glycogen in vascular smooth muscle and the resultant accentuation of AMPK phosphorylation by GPCR agonists may constitute a yet another mechanism of metabolic vasodilation of coronary vessels in ischemic heart disease. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Abstract 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 ...

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. Understanding Microbial Communities: Function, Structure and Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-02-11

    microbial communities: Function, structure and dynamics’, at the Isaac Newton Institute, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, from August to...dynamics’, at the Isaac Newton Institute, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, from August to December 2014. The programme involved over 150...Communities: Function, Structure and Dynamics’, at the Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge University, UK, from 19th August 2014 – 19th December 2014

  20. Geometrical Origins of Contractility in Disordered Actomyosin Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Lenz

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Movement within eukaryotic cells largely originates from localized forces exerted by myosin motors on scaffolds of actin filaments. Although individual motors locally exert both contractile and extensile forces, large actomyosin structures at the cellular scale are overwhelmingly contractile, suggesting that the scaffold serves to favor contraction over extension. While this mechanism is well understood in highly organized striated muscle, its origin in disordered networks such as the cell cortex is unknown. Here, we develop a mathematical model of the actin scaffold’s local two- or three-dimensional mechanics and identify four competing contraction mechanisms. We predict that one mechanism dominates, whereby local deformations of the actin break the balance between contraction and extension. In this mechanism, contractile forces result mostly from motors plucking the filaments transversely rather than buckling them longitudinally. These findings shed light on recent in vitro experiments and provide a new geometrical understanding of contractility in the myriad of disordered actomyosin systems found in vivo.

  1. Relationship of Physical Function to Single Muscle Fiber Contractility in Older Adults: Effects of Resistance Training with and without Caloric Restriction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhong-Min; Leng, Xiaoyan; Messi, María Laura; Choi, Seung J; Marsh, Anthony P; Nicklas, Barbara; Delbono, Osvaldo

    2018-03-13

    Previous studies support beneficial effects of both resistance exercise training (RT) and caloric restriction (CR) on skeletal muscle strength and physical performance. The goal of this study was to determine the effects of adding CR to RT on single-muscle fiber contractility responses to RT in older overweight and obese adults. We analyzed contractile properties in 1,253 single myofiber from muscle biopsies of the vastus lateralis, as well as physical performance and thigh muscle volume, in 31 older (65-80 yrs), overweight or obese (body mass index= 27-35 kg/m2) men (n=19) and women (n=12) who were randomly assigned to a standardized, progressive RT intervention with CR (RT+CR; n=15) or without CR (RT; n=16) for 5 months. Both interventions evoked an increase in force normalized to CSA, in type-I and type-II fibers and knee extensor quality. However, these improvements were not different between intervention groups. In the RT group, changes in total thigh fat volume inversely correlated with changes in type-II fiber force (r = -0.691; p=0.019). Within the RT+CR group, changes in gait speed correlated positively with changes in type-I fiber CSA (r=0.561; p=0.030). In addition, increases in type-I normalized fiber force were related to decreases in thigh intermuscular fat volume (r= -0.539; p= 0.038). Single muscle fiber force and knee extensor quality improve with RT and RT+CR; however, CR does not enhance improvements in single muscle fiber contractility or whole muscle in response to RT in older overweight and obese men and women.

  2. Actomyosin contractility rotates the cell nucleus

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24445418

  3. Contractile network models for adherent cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guthardt Torres, P; Bischofs, I B; Schwarz, U S

    2012-01-01

    Cells sense the geometry and stiffness of their adhesive environment by active contractility. For strong adhesion to flat substrates, two-dimensional contractile network models can be used to understand how force is distributed throughout the cell. Here we compare the shape and force distribution for different variants of such network models. In contrast to Hookean networks, cable networks reflect the asymmetric response of biopolymers to tension versus compression. For passive networks, contractility is modeled by a reduced resting length of the mechanical links. In actively contracting networks, a constant force couple is introduced into each link in order to model contraction by molecular motors. If combined with fixed adhesion sites, all network models lead to invaginated cell shapes, but only actively contracting cable networks lead to the circular arc morphology typical for strongly adhering cells. In this case, shape and force distribution are determined by local rather than global determinants and thus are suited to endow the cell with a robust sense of its environment. We also discuss nonlinear and adaptive linker mechanics as well as the relation to tissue shape. © 2012 American Physical Society

  4. Redox regulation in skeletal muscle during contractile activity and aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palomero, J; Jackson, M J

    2010-04-01

    Skeletal muscle has the ability to adapt and remodel after functional, mechanical, and metabolic stresses by activation of different adaptation mechanisms that induce gene expression, biochemical changes, and structural remodeling. Skeletal muscle cells continuously generate reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS), which can act as mediators in cellular signaling pathways that regulate the adaptation mechanisms. There is strong evidence that indicates that RONS are generated in skeletal muscle cells during contractile activity and this induces the activation of transcription factors which modulate gene expression of antioxidant and protective proteins. Thus, it has been proposed that RONS act as signals that modulate the adaptation mechanisms in skeletal muscle and other cells. Structural and functional changes occur in skeletal muscle during aging and are characterized by a reduction of muscle mass and force (sarcopenia). The causes are known, however, there is considerable support for an involvement of RONS in the process of aging and sarcopenia. Several studies indicate that adaptive responses of skeletal muscle that are activated and regulated by RONS are disrupted during aging. This reduction of skeletal muscle adaptation to contractile activity during aging might be responsible for the loss of muscle mass and function and the progressive deterioration of this organ. In summary, there is sufficient evidence that indicates that cellular redox regulation in skeletal muscle is crucial in the physiology and pathology of skeletal muscle. However, new methodologies and experimental models are required for understanding the complex biology of RONS in the cell. This will provide future interventions that mitigate pathologies and aging of skeletal muscle.

  5. 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.

  6. The benefit of enhanced contractility in the infarct borderzone: A virtual experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhihong eZhang

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available A. Objectives Contractile function in the normally perfused infarct borderzone (BZ is depressed. However, the impact of reduced BZ contractility on left ventricular (LV pump function is unknown. As a consequence, there have been no therapies specifically designed to improve BZ contractility. We tested the hypothesis that an improvement in borderzone contractility will improve LV pump function.B. Methods From a previously reported study, magnetic resonance (MRI images with non-invasive tags were used to calculate 3D myocardial strain in five sheep 16 weeks after anteroapical myocardial infarction. Animal specific finite element (FE models were created using MRI data and LV pressure obtained at early diastolic filling. Analysis of borderzone function using those FE models has been previously reported. Chamber stiffness, pump function (Starling’s law and stress in the fiber, cross fiber and circumferential directions were calculated. Animal-specific FE models were performed for three cases: a impaired BZ contractility (INJURED; b BZ contractility fully restored (100% BZ IMPROVEMENT; or c BZ contractility partially restored (50% BZ IMPROVEMENT.C. Results 100% BZ IMPROVEMENT and 50% BZ IMPROVEMENT both caused an upward shift in the Starling relationship, resulting in a large (36% and 26% increase in stroke volume at LVPED = 20 mm Hg (8.0 ml, p<0.001. Moreover, there were a leftward shift in the end systolic pressure volume relationship, resulting in a 7% and 5% increase in LVPES at 110 mm Hg (7.7 ml, p<0.005. It showed that even 50% BZ IMPROVEMENT was sufficient to drive much of the calculated increase in function. D. Conclusions. Improved borderzone contractility has a beneficial effect on LV pump function. Partial improvement of borderzone contractility was sufficient to drive much of the calculated increase in function. Therapies specifically designed to improve borderzone contractility should be developed.

  7. Fast-to-Slow Transition of Skeletal Muscle Contractile Function and Corresponding Changes in Myosin Heavy and Light Chain Formation in the R6/2 Mouse Model of Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hering, Tanja; Braubach, Peter; Landwehrmeyer, G Bernhard; Lindenberg, Katrin S; Melzer, Werner

    2016-01-01

    Huntington´s disease (HD) is a hereditary neurodegenerative disease resulting from an expanded polyglutamine sequence (poly-Q) in the protein huntingtin (HTT). Various studies report atrophy and metabolic pathology of skeletal muscle in HD and suggest as part of the process a fast-to-slow fiber type transition that may be caused by the pathological changes in central motor control or/and by mutant HTT in the muscle tissue itself. To investigate muscle pathology in HD, we used R6/2 mice, a common animal model for a rapidly progressing variant of the disease expressing exon 1 of the mutant human gene. We investigated alterations in the extensor digitorum longus (EDL), a typical fast-twitch muscle, and the soleus (SOL), a slow-twitch muscle. We focussed on mechanographic measurements of excised muscles using single and repetitive electrical stimulation and on the expression of the various myosin isoforms (heavy and light chains) using dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) of whole muscle and single fiber preparations. In EDL of R6/2, the functional tests showed a left shift of the force-frequency relation and decrease in specific force. Moreover, the estimated relative contribution of the fastest myosin isoform MyHC IIb decreased, whereas the contribution of the slower MyHC IIx isoform increased. An additional change occurred in the alkali MyLC forms showing a decrease in 3f and an increase in 1f level. In SOL, a shift from fast MyHC IIa to the slow isoform I was detectable in male R6/2 mice only, and there was no evidence of isoform interconversion in the MyLC pattern. These alterations point to a partial remodeling of the contractile apparatus of R6/2 mice towards a slower contractile phenotype, predominantly in fast glycolytic fibers.

  8. Fast-to-Slow Transition of Skeletal Muscle Contractile Function and Corresponding Changes in Myosin Heavy and Light Chain Formation in the R6/2 Mouse Model of Huntington's Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanja Hering

    Full Text Available Huntington´s disease (HD is a hereditary neurodegenerative disease resulting from an expanded polyglutamine sequence (poly-Q in the protein huntingtin (HTT. Various studies report atrophy and metabolic pathology of skeletal muscle in HD and suggest as part of the process a fast-to-slow fiber type transition that may be caused by the pathological changes in central motor control or/and by mutant HTT in the muscle tissue itself. To investigate muscle pathology in HD, we used R6/2 mice, a common animal model for a rapidly progressing variant of the disease expressing exon 1 of the mutant human gene. We investigated alterations in the extensor digitorum longus (EDL, a typical fast-twitch muscle, and the soleus (SOL, a slow-twitch muscle. We focussed on mechanographic measurements of excised muscles using single and repetitive electrical stimulation and on the expression of the various myosin isoforms (heavy and light chains using dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE of whole muscle and single fiber preparations. In EDL of R6/2, the functional tests showed a left shift of the force-frequency relation and decrease in specific force. Moreover, the estimated relative contribution of the fastest myosin isoform MyHC IIb decreased, whereas the contribution of the slower MyHC IIx isoform increased. An additional change occurred in the alkali MyLC forms showing a decrease in 3f and an increase in 1f level. In SOL, a shift from fast MyHC IIa to the slow isoform I was detectable in male R6/2 mice only, and there was no evidence of isoform interconversion in the MyLC pattern. These alterations point to a partial remodeling of the contractile apparatus of R6/2 mice towards a slower contractile phenotype, predominantly in fast glycolytic fibers.

  9. 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.

  10. Understanding Control Function and Failure From a Process Perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heussen, Kai; Lind, Morten

    2012-01-01

    In control design, fault-identification and fault tolerant control, the controlled process is usually perceived as a dynamical process, captured in a mathematical model. The design of a control system for a complex process, however, begins typically long before these mathematical models become...... relevant and available. To consider the role of control functions in process design, a good qualitative understanding of the process as well as of control functions is required. As the purpose of a control function is closely tied to the process functions, its failure has a direct effects on the process...... behaviour and its function. This paper presents a formal methodology for the qualitative representation of control functions in relation to their process context. Different types of relevant process and control abstractions are introduced and their application to formal analysis of control failure modes...

  11. Experimental and Computational Insight Into Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Paracrine Signaling and Heterocellular Coupling Effects on Cardiac Contractility and Arrhythmogenicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayourian, Joshua; Cashman, Timothy J; Ceholski, Delaine K; Johnson, Bryce V; Sachs, David; Kaji, Deepak A; Sahoo, Susmita; Hare, Joshua M; Hajjar, Roger J; Sobie, Eric A; Costa, Kevin D

    2017-08-04

    Myocardial delivery of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) is an emerging therapy for treating the failing heart. However, the relative effects of hMSC-mediated heterocellular coupling (HC) and paracrine signaling (PS) on human cardiac contractility and arrhythmogenicity remain unresolved. The objective is to better understand hMSC PS and HC effects on human cardiac contractility and arrhythmogenicity by integrating experimental and computational approaches. Extending our previous hMSC-cardiomyocyte HC computational model, we incorporated experimentally calibrated hMSC PS effects on cardiomyocyte L-type calcium channel/sarcoendoplasmic reticulum calcium-ATPase activity and cardiac tissue fibrosis. Excitation-contraction simulations of hMSC PS-only and combined HC+PS effects on human cardiomyocytes were representative of human engineered cardiac tissue (hECT) contractile function measurements under matched experimental treatments. Model simulations and hECTs both demonstrated that hMSC-mediated effects were most pronounced under PS-only conditions, where developed force increased ≈4-fold compared with non-hMSC-supplemented controls during physiological 1-Hz pacing. Simulations predicted contractility of isolated healthy and ischemic adult human cardiomyocytes would be minimally sensitive to hMSC HC, driven primarily by PS. Dominance of hMSC PS was also revealed in simulations of fibrotic cardiac tissue, where hMSC PS protected from potential proarrhythmic effects of HC at various levels of engraftment. Finally, to study the nature of the hMSC paracrine effects on contractility, proteomic analysis of hECT/hMSC conditioned media predicted activation of PI3K/Akt signaling, a recognized target of both soluble and exosomal fractions of the hMSC secretome. Treating hECTs with exosome-enriched, but not exosome-depleted, fractions of the hMSC secretome recapitulated the effects observed with hMSC conditioned media on hECT-developed force and expression of calcium

  12. The paradox of the first cycle of chemotherapy-transient improvement of contractility and diastolic function after the first cycle of anthracycline-based chemotherapy: a prospective clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stachowiak, Paweł; Wojtarowicz, Andrzej; Milchert-Leszczyńska, Marta; Safranow, Krzysztof; Falco, Michał; Kaliszczak, Robert; Kornacewicz-Jach, Zdzisława

    2017-11-10

    Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, and anthracyclines are the most commonly administered drugs for these patients. Cardiotoxicity is one of the complications, which limits the success of this therapy. Very few studies have evaluated anthracycline toxicities within the first few hours after the first infusion, and the majority of published studies were performed in animal models. The present study aimed to evaluate changes in echocardiographic parameters in women with breast cancer 24 hours after receiving the first dose of an anthracycline. The present study included 75 chemotherapy-naive female patients without heart failure, who were diagnosed with breast cancer and were scheduled to undergo anthracycline-based chemotherapy (epirubicin and doxorubicin). During their visits to the Heart Center, the patients underwent detail echocardiographic examination, including assessment of systolic and diastolic function and longitudinal strain. There were no differences in baseline echocardiographic parameters between patients with and those without cardiotoxicity. Cardiotoxicity was observed during follow-up in 14 patients (18.7%). Improvements in left ventricular ejection fraction and global longitudinal strain were observed at 24 hours after administration of the cytotoxic agent in the subgroup of patients without further cardiotoxicity. The changes were transient and the assessment of left ventricular ejection fraction after completion of chemotherapy revealed similar values to those before the treatment. The findings of our study suggest that transient improvement in contractility and systolic and diastolic function might occur 24 hours after anthracycline administration, especially in patients who do not develop cardiotoxicity.

  13. Understanding schizoaffective disorder: from psychobiology to psychosocial functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correll, Christoph U

    2010-01-01

    Psychobiologic evidence and psychosocial functioning in patients with schizoaffective disorder suggest that the disease may be a distinct disorder, a variant of schizophrenia or affective disorders, the comorbidity of schizophrenia and a mood disorder, or an intermediate disorder on a spectrum that ranges from schizophrenia to mood disorders. These data, although inconclusive, contribute to clinicians' understanding of the etiology of the disorder. Further research may lead to an increased understanding of the disorder, improved treatment, and, ultimately, better outcomes. © Copyright 2010 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

  14. Using functional genetics to understand breast cancer biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashworth, Alan; Bernards, Rene

    2010-07-01

    Genetic screens were for long the prerogative of those that studied model organisms. The discovery in 2001 that gene silencing through RNA interference (RNAi) can also be brought about in mammalian cells paved the way for large scale loss-of-function genetic screens in higher organisms. In this article, we describe how functional genetic studies can help us understand the biology of breast cancer, how it can be used to identify novel targets for breast cancer therapy, and how it can help in the identification of those patients that are most likely to respond to a given therapy.

  15. 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

  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

    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.

  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. Alteration of contractile and regulatory proteins in estrogen-induced hypertrophy of female rabbit bladder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Alpha Dian-Yu; Levin, Robert M; Kogan, Barry A; Whitbeck, Catherine; Leggett, Robert E; Kearns, Christine; Mannikarottu, Anita

    2006-11-01

    Estrogen is essential to mediate physiologic functions in female bladders. Deficiency of estrogen has been speculated to be an etiologic factor for bladder dysfunction in postmenopausal women. Our previous studies have demonstrated that estrogen supplementation in female rabbits induces a "functional hypertrophy" of the urinary bladder smooth muscle. The present study investigated the alterations in the contractile and regulatory proteins in this model. Twenty New Zealand white female rabbits were separated into five groups of 4 rabbits each. Group 1 served as the control, groups 2 to 6 underwent ovariectomy (Ovx), and group 2 served as the Ovx without estradiol treatment group. Two weeks after Ovx, groups 3 to 5 were given 17-beta estradiol (1 mg/kg/day) by subcutaneous implant for 1, 3, and 7 days, respectively. The expression of the contractile and regulatory proteins, such as myosin light chain kinase, rho-kinase, and caldesmon, was analyzed by Western blotting. The expression of myosin light chain kinase was enhanced by estradiol supplementation. The expression of rho-kinase-alpha was increased significantly (20-fold) after Ovx, which was downregulated after estrogen supplementation. No significant change was seen in rho-kinase-beta after Ovx or estradiol supplementation. The expression of caldesmon isoforms was enhanced by 1-day estradiol supplementation but decreased to lower levels than those of the control group by 3 and 7 days of estrogen treatment. The results of the present study have provided more understanding about the role of the contractile and regulatory proteins in detrusor muscle, in both dysfunctional atrophy induced by Ovx and functional hypertrophy induced by estrogen supplementation.

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. Peritubular Contractile Cells in Testis and Epididymis of the Dog, Canis lupus familiaris

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gunter F. Egger

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Contractile cells surrounding the tubular system of the mammalian testis and epididymis are supposed to contribute to the initial transport of spermatozoa from the testis to epididymis. Testicular peritubular smooth muscle cells have been characterised in detail especially in rodents and humans. The aim of our study was to assess the distribution of peritubular contractile cells of the canine tubuli seminiferi, rete testis channels, ductuli efferentes, and ductus epididymidis by immunohistochemistry and transmission electron microscopy and to classify these cells with respect to their possible physiological function. The entire tubular system of the canine testis and epididymis is surrounded by contractile cells expressing smooth muscle actin, smooth muscle myosin and desmin, which are enveloped, at least partly, by a basal lamina. Some contractile cells of the tubuli seminiferi, rete channels, and efferent ducts and sometimes also single peritubular cells of the ductus epididymidis express vimentin. Contractile cells of seminiferous tubules and efferent ducts represent an intermediate cell type exhibiting characteristics of both smooth muscle cells (SMC and myofibroblasts, those of rete channels stellate myofibroblasts, and those of the ductus epididymidis SMC. Differences in structure and arrangement of the contractile cells between seminiferous tubules, rete channels, efferent ducts, and ductus epididymidis suggest different functions. Myofibroblasts and contractile cells similar to them could be mainly responsible for the maintenance of an appropriate tissue turgor, whereas contraction of SMC of the ductus epididymidis might cause propulsion of spermatozoa by peristaltic waves.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The paradox of the first cycle of chemotherapy—transient improvement of contractility and diastolic function after the first cycle of anthracycline-based chemotherapy: a prospective clinical trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stachowiak, Paweł; Wojtarowicz, Andrzej; Milchert-Leszczyńska, Marta; Safranow, Krzysztof; Falco, Michał; Kaliszczak, Robert; Kornacewicz-Jach, Zdzisława

    2017-01-01

    Aims Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, and anthracyclines are the most commonly administered drugs for these patients. Cardiotoxicity is one of the complications, which limits the success of this therapy. Very few studies have evaluated anthracycline toxicities within the first few hours after the first infusion, and the majority of published studies were performed in animal models. The present study aimed to evaluate changes in echocardiographic parameters in women with breast cancer 24 hours after receiving the first dose of an anthracycline. Materials and Methods and Results The present study included 75 chemotherapy-naive female patients without heart failure, who were diagnosed with breast cancer and were scheduled to undergo anthracycline-based chemotherapy (epirubicin and doxorubicin). During their visits to the Heart Center, the patients underwent detail echocardiographic examination, including assessment of systolic and diastolic function and longitudinal strain. There were no differences in baseline echocardiographic parameters between patients with and those without cardiotoxicity. Cardiotoxicity was observed during follow-up in 14 patients (18.7%). Improvements in left ventricular ejection fraction and global longitudinal strain were observed at 24 hours after administration of the cytotoxic agent in the subgroup of patients without further cardiotoxicity. The changes were transient and the assessment of left ventricular ejection fraction after completion of chemotherapy revealed similar values to those before the treatment. Conclusions The findings of our study suggest that transient improvement in contractility and systolic and diastolic function might occur 24 hours after anthracycline administration, especially in patients who do not develop cardiotoxicity. PMID:29221219

  6. Understanding the Structural Basis of Adhesion GPCR Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araç, Demet; Sträter, Norbert; Seiradake, Elena

    2016-01-01

    Unlike conventional G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), adhesion GPCRs (aGPCRs) have large extracellular regions that are autoproteolytically cleaved from their membrane-embedded seven-pass transmembrane helices. Autoproteolysis occurs within the conserved GPCR-Autoproteolysis INducing (GAIN) domain that is juxtaposed to the transmembrane domain and cleaves the last beta strand of the GAIN domain. The other domains of the extracellular region are variable and specific to each aGPCR and are likely involved in adhering to various ligands. Emerging evidence suggest that extracellular regions may modulate receptor function and that ligand binding to the extracellular regions may induce receptor activation via multiple mechanisms. Here, we summarize current knowledge about the structural understanding for the extracellular regions of aGPCRs and discuss their possible functional roles that emerge from the available structural information.

  7. Contractility, differential tension and membrane removal lead zebrafish epiboly biomechanics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsal, Maria; Hernández-Vega, Amayra; Martin-Blanco, Enrique

    2017-07-18

    Precise tissue remodeling during development is essential for shaping embryos and optimal organ function. Epiboly is an early gastrulation event by which the blastoderm expands around the yolk to engulf it. Three different layers are involved in this process, an epithelial layer (the enveloping layer, EVL), the embryo proper, constituted by the deep cells (DCs), and the yolk cell. Although teleost epiboly has been studied for many years, a clear understanding of its mechanics was still missing. Here we present new information on the cellular, molecular and mechanical elements involved in epiboly that, together with some other recent data and upon comparison with previous biomechanical models, lets conclude that the expansion of the epithelia is passive and driven by active cortical contraction and membrane removal in the adjacent layer, the External Yolk Syncytial Layer (E-YSL). The isotropic actomyosin contraction of the E-YSL cortex generates an anisotropic stress pattern and a directional net movement consequence of the differences in the deformation response of the 2 opposites adjacent domains (EVL and the Yolk Cytoplasmic Layer - YCL). Contractility is accompanied by the local formation of membrane folds and its removal by Rab5ab dependent macropinocytosis. The increase in area of the epithelia during the expansion is achieved by cell-shape changes (flattening) responding to spherical geometrical cues. The counterbalance between the geometry of the embryo and forces dissipation among different elements is therefore essential for epiboly global coordination.

  8. Obesity Appears to Be Associated With Altered Muscle Protein Synthetic and Breakdown Responses to Increased Nutrient Delivery in Older Men, but Not Reduced Muscle Mass or Contractile Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murton, Andrew J; Marimuthu, Kanagaraj; Mallinson, Joanne E; Selby, Anna L; Smith, Kenneth; Rennie, Michael J; Greenhaff, Paul L

    2015-09-01

    Obesity is increasing, yet despite the necessity of maintaining muscle mass and function with age, the effect of obesity on muscle protein turnover in older adults remains unknown. Eleven obese (BMI 31.9 ± 1.1 kg · m(-2)) and 15 healthy-weight (BMI 23.4 ± 0.3 kg · m(-2)) older men (55-75 years old) participated in a study that determined muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and leg protein breakdown (LPB) under postabsorptive (hypoinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp) and postprandial (hyperinsulinemic hyperaminoacidemic-euglycemic clamp) conditions. Obesity was associated with systemic inflammation, greater leg fat mass, and patterns of mRNA expression consistent with muscle deconditioning, whereas leg lean mass, strength, and work done during maximal exercise were no different. Under postabsorptive conditions, MPS and LPB were equivalent between groups, whereas insulin and amino acid administration increased MPS in only healthy-weight subjects and was associated with lower leg glucose disposal (LGD) (63%) in obese men. Blunting of MPS in the obese men was offset by an apparent decline in LPB, which was absent in healthy-weight subjects. Lower postprandial LGD in obese subjects and blunting of MPS responses to amino acids suggest that obesity in older adults is associated with diminished muscle metabolic quality. This does not, however, appear to be associated with lower leg lean mass or strength. © 2015 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.

  9. DESIGN OF LEARNING MATERIALS ON LIMIT FUNCTION BASED MATHEMATICAL UNDERSTANDING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muchamad Subali Noto

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available In learning process, students are currently cannot be separated from learning difficulties, including the study material algebra limit function. It because the level of students' mathematical understanding regarding the material is still quite low. This study aimed to analyze the barriers to student learning, designing learning materials based on the material mathematics understanding algebra limit function is valid, determine teacher intervention during the implementation of learning materials and to analyze barriers to student learning after the implementation of learning materials. This research is a qualitative research study design using the form Didactical Design Research. Stages of research conducted: 1 analysis of the situation didactic before learning, 2 analysis of metapedadidatik and 3 the retrospective analysis. Data collection techniques used were tests, interviews, questionnaires, and documentation. The instrument used was a matter TKPM (Comprehension Mathematical Ability Test, interview, validation sheet materials, and documentation guidelines. Research results obtained are students experiencing obstacle to learning the material limit algebra functions. These obstacles are 1 students' difficulties in relating the material prerequisites to limit problems. 2 students can not write properly limit symbol, 3 students can not apply a limit theorem, 4 students are not able to determine the limit value at one point, and 5 students cannot determine the value of the limit at infinity. Learning materials that have been made have validation level of  with very valid criteria. The response was given when the student intervention, generally in accordance with response prediction so that interventions carried out in accordance with the design that has been made. After learning materials student learning obstacles implemented reduced/minimized.

  10. Stimulation of the cardiopulmonary baroreflex enhances ventricular contractility in awake dogs: a mathematical analysis study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sala-Mercado, Javier A; Moslehpour, Mohsen; Hammond, Robert L; Ichinose, Masashi; Chen, Xiaoxiao; Evan, Sell; O'Leary, Donal S; Mukkamala, Ramakrishna

    2014-08-15

    The cardiopulmonary baroreflex responds to an increase in central venous pressure (CVP) by decreasing total peripheral resistance and increasing heart rate (HR) in dogs. However, the direction of ventricular contractility change is not well understood. The aim was to elucidate the cardiopulmonary baroreflex control of ventricular contractility during normal physiological conditions via a mathematical analysis. Spontaneous beat-to-beat fluctuations in maximal ventricular elastance (Emax), which is perhaps the best available index of ventricular contractility, CVP, arterial blood pressure (ABP), and HR were measured from awake dogs at rest before and after β-adrenergic receptor blockade. An autoregressive exogenous input model was employed to jointly identify the three causal transfer functions relating beat-to-beat fluctuations in CVP to Emax (CVP → Emax), which characterizes the cardiopulmonary baroreflex control of ventricular contractility, ABP to Emax, which characterizes the arterial baroreflex control of ventricular contractility, and HR to Emax, which characterizes the force-frequency relation. The CVP → Emax transfer function showed a static gain of 0.037 ± 0.010 ml(-1) (different from zero; P baroreflex. Following β-adrenergic receptor blockade, the CVP → Emax transfer function showed a static gain of 0.0007 ± 0.0113 ml(-1) (different from control; P baroreflex increases ventricular contractility through β-adrenergic receptor system mediation. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

  11. Impact of Severe Thermal Injury on Cardiac Contractility and Metabolism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A. Goldzon

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: to experimentally study cardiac functional and metabolic disturbances in the acute period of severe thermal injury. Material and methods. Experiments were carried out on 25 outbred male albino rats anesthesized with Nembutal (50 mg/kg intraperitoneally. Five-mm-thick copper plates heated up to 60°C were used to simulate thermal injury. Skin contact with the thermal agent lasted 15 seconds. Myocardial contractility and metabolism were examined using the specimen of the isolated isovolumically contracted heart. Results. Severe thermal injury was found to induce acute heart failure caused by cardiac bioenergy impairment, hypoxia, metabolic acidosis, and cardiomyocyte membrane destruction. Key words: thermal injury, cardiac contractility and metabolism.

  12. Sandy Soil Microaggregates: Rethinking Our Understanding of Hydraulic Function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paradiś, Ashley; Brueck, Christopher; Meisenheimer, Douglas; Wanzek, Thomas; Dragila, Maria Ines

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated the peculiar structure of microaggregates in coarse sandy soils that exhibit only external porosity and investigated their control on soil hydrology. The microstructure underpins a hydrologic existence that differs from finer textured soils where aggregates have internal porosity. Understanding the impact of these microaggregates on soil hydrology will permit improved agricultural irrigation management and estimates associated with ecosystem capacity and resiliency. Microstructure was investigated using a digital microscope, and aspects of the structure were quantified by sedimentation and computed microtomography. Sandy soil microaggregates were observed to be comprised of a solid sand-grain core that is coated with fines, presumably cemented by organic media. This microstructure leads to three distinct water pools during drainage: capillary water, followed by thick films (1–20 μm) enveloping the outer surfaces of the crusted microaggregates, followed by adsorbed thin films (<1 μm). The characteristics of the thick films were investigated using an analytical model. These films may provide as much as 10 to 40% saturation in the range of plant-available water. Using lubrication theory, it was predicted that thick film drainage follows a power law function with an exponent of 2. Thick films may also have a role in the geochemical evolution of soils and in ecosystem function because they provide contiguous water and gas phases at relatively high moisture contents. And, because the rough outer crust of these microaggregates can provide good niches for microbial activity, biofilm physics will dominate thick film processes, and consequently hydrologic, biologic, and geochemical functions for coarse sandy soils.

  13. Predictive K-PLSR myocardial contractility modeling with phase contrast MR velocity mapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Su-Lin; Wu, Qian; Huntbatch, Andrew; Yang, Guang-Zhong

    2007-01-01

    With the increasing versatility of CMR, further understanding of intrinsic contractility of the myocardium can be achieved by performing subject-specific modeling by integrating structural and functional information available. The recent introduction of the virtual tagging framework allows for visualization of the localized deformation of the myocardium based on phase contrast myocardial velocity mapping. The purpose of this study is to examine the use of a non-linear, Kernel-Partial Least Squares Regression (K-PLSR) predictive motion modeling scheme for the virtual tagging framework. The method allows for the derivation of a compact non-linear deformation model such that the entire deformation field can be predicted by a limited number of control points. When applied to virtual tagging, the technique can be used to predictively guide the mesh refinement based on the motion of the coarse grid, thus greatly reducing the search space and increasing the convergence speed of the algorithm. The effectiveness and numerical accuracy of the proposed technique are assessed with both numerically simulated data sets and in vivo phase contrast CMR velocity mapping from a group of 7 subjects. The technique presented has a distinct advantage over the conventional mesh refinement scheme and brings CMR myocardial contractility analysis closer to routine clinical practice.

  14. Comparative Auditory Neuroscience: Understanding the Evolution and Function of Ears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manley, Geoffrey A

    2017-02-01

    Comparative auditory studies make it possible both to understand the origins of modern ears and the factors underlying the similarities and differences in their performance. After all lineages of land vertebrates had independently evolved tympanic middle ears in the early Mesozoic era, the subsequent tens of millions of years led to the hearing organ of lizards, birds, and mammals becoming larger and their upper frequency limits higher. In extant species, lizard papillae remained relatively small (70 mm (made possible by coiling), as do their upper frequency limits (from 12 to >200 kHz). The auditory organs of the three amniote groups differ characteristically in their cellular structure, but their hearing sensitivity and frequency selectivity within their respective hearing ranges hardly differ. In the immediate primate ancestors of humans, the cochlea became larger and lowered its upper frequency limit. Modern humans show an unusual trend in frequency selectivity as a function of frequency. It is conceivable that the frequency selectivity patterns in humans were influenced in their evolution by the development of speech.

  15. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kreiner-Møller, Eskil

    2014-01-01

    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...... their effect. In paper I, we investigated the known effect of adult lung function loci on the development of lung function and bronchial responsiveness in children from birth until 7 years of age in the COPSAC2000 birth cohort of 411 children. We measured lung function and bronchial responsiveness at one month...... of age using the raised volume rapid thoracoabdominal compression technique in sedated neonates and repeated the measurements at age 7 utilizing traditional spirometry assessments. Lung function genetic variants identified in adults were not associated with neonatal lung function or bronchial...

  17. 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

  18. Comparative Auditory Neuroscience: Understanding the Evolution and Function of Ears

    OpenAIRE

    Manley, Geoffrey A.

    2016-01-01

    Comparative auditory studies make it possible both to understand the origins of modern ears and the factors underlying the similarities and differences in their performance. After all lineages of land vertebrates had independently evolved tympanic middle ears in the early Mesozoic era, the subsequent tens of millions of years led to the hearing organ of lizards, birds, and mammals becoming larger and their upper frequency limits higher. In extant species, lizard papillae remained relatively s...

  19. Nitrate supplementation enhances the contractile properties of human skeletal muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haider, Georg; Folland, Jonathan P

    2014-12-01

    Dietary nitrate supplementation positively affects cardiovascular function at rest and energy metabolism during exercise in humans and has recently also been reported to markedly enhance the in vitro contractile properties of mouse fast-twitch muscle. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of short-term nitrate supplementation on the in vivo contractile properties of the skeletal muscle and voluntary muscle function of humans. In a double-blind, randomized, crossover design, 19 healthy untrained men (21 ± 3 yr) ingested a nitrate-rich concentrated beetroot juice (NIT; nitrate dosage, approximately 9.7 mmol·d) and a placebo (PLA) for seven consecutive days. After the last supplementation dose, force was recorded while participants completed a series of voluntary and involuntary (electrically evoked) unilateral isometric contractions of the knee extensors. NIT enhanced the peak force response to low-frequency electrical stimulation, as follows: maximal twitch (NIT, 149 ± 41 N, vs PLA, 138 ± 37 N; P = 0.008; effect size, r (ES) = 0.56) and submaximal 1- to 20-Hz contractions (5%-10%, ES = 0.53-0.63). Whereas explosive (rising phase) force production during the first 50 ms of evoked maximal twitch and octet contractions (eight electrical impulses at 300 Hz) was also 3%-15% greater after NIT compared with that after PLA (P = 0.023-0.048, ES = 0.52-0.59), explosive voluntary force remained similar (P = 0.510, ES = 0.16). Maximum voluntary force was also unchanged after NIT (P = 0.539, ES = 0.15). These results indicate that 7 d of dietary nitrate supplementation enhanced the in vivo contractile properties of the human skeletal muscle. Specifically, nitrate supplementation improved excitation-contraction coupling at low frequencies of stimulation and enhanced evoked explosive force production but did not affect maximum or explosive voluntary force production in untrained individuals.

  20. 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...

  1. Understanding doublecortin-like kinase gene function through transgenesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schenk, Geert J.

    2010-01-01

    Doublecortin (DCX) and DCX-domain containing Doublecortin-Like Kinase (DCLK) gene splice variants function during embryonic development, where they play a role in microtubule binding. Although a role for the DCLK gene during embryogenesis is clearly established, it encodes multiple, different

  2. 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,…

  3. Understanding and quantifying urban forest structure, functions, and value

    Science.gov (United States)

    David J. Nowak; Daniel E. Crane; Jeffrey T. Walton; Daniel B. Twardus; John F. Dwyer

    2002-01-01

    Trees in urban areas can have a significant impact on human health and the environment. Unfortunately, there is relatively little data about the structure, health, functions, and long-term changes in this important resource. In the United States, a number of efforts are underway to assess urban forest attributes at the local to national scales. In addition, tools are...

  4. A short-term statin treatment changes the contractile properties of fast-twitch skeletal muscles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piette, Antoine Boulanger; Dufresne, Sébastien S; Frenette, Jérôme

    2016-10-28

    Cumulative evidence indicates that statins induce myotoxicity. However, the lack of understanding of how statins affect skeletal muscles at the structural, functional, and physiological levels hampers proper healthcare management. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the early after-effects of lovastatin on the slow-twitch soleus (Sol) and fast-twitch extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles. Adult C57BL/6 mice were orally administrated with placebo or lovastatin [50 mg/kg/d] for 28 days. At the end of the treatment, the isometric ex vivo contractile properties of the Sol and EDL muscles were measured. Subtetanic and tetanic contractions were assessed and contraction kinetics were recorded. The muscles were then frozen for immunohistochemical analyses. Data were analyzed by two-way ANOVA followed by an a posteriori Tukey's test. The short-term lovastatin treatment did not induce muscle mass loss, muscle fiber atrophy, or creatine kinase (CK) release. It had no functional impact on slow-twitch Sol muscles. However, subtetanic stimulations at 10 Hz provoked greater force production in fast-twitch EDL muscles. The treatment also decreased the maximal rate of force development (dP/dT) of twitch contractions and prolonged the half relaxation time (1/2RT) of tetanic contractions of EDL muscles. An early short-term statin treatment induced subtle but significant changes in some parameters of the contractile profile of EDL muscles, providing new insights into the selective initiation of statin-induced myopathy in fast-twitch muscles.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Students' Understanding of the General Notion of a Function of Two Variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Planell, Rafael; Trigueros Gaisman, Maria

    2012-01-01

    In this study we analyze students' understanding of two-variable function; in particular we consider their understanding of domain, possible arbitrary nature of function assignment, uniqueness of function image, and range. We use APOS theory and semiotic representation theory as a theoretical framework to analyze data obtained from interviews with…

  8. Human Engineered Heart Tissue: Analysis of Contractile Force.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannhardt, Ingra; Breckwoldt, Kaja; Letuffe-Brenière, David; Schaaf, Sebastian; Schulz, Herbert; Neuber, Christiane; Benzin, Anika; Werner, Tessa; Eder, Alexandra; Schulze, Thomas; Klampe, Birgit; Christ, Torsten; Hirt, Marc N; Huebner, Norbert; Moretti, Alessandra; Eschenhagen, Thomas; Hansen, Arne

    2016-07-12

    Analyzing contractile force, the most important and best understood function of cardiomyocytes in vivo is not established in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CM). This study describes the generation of 3D, strip-format, force-generating engineered heart tissues (EHT) from hiPSC-CM and their physiological and pharmacological properties. CM were differentiated from hiPSC by a growth factor-based three-stage protocol. EHTs were generated and analyzed histologically and functionally. HiPSC-CM in EHTs showed well-developed sarcomeric organization and alignment, and frequent mitochondria. Systematic contractility analysis (26 concentration-response curves) reveals that EHTs replicated canonical response to physiological and pharmacological regulators of inotropy, membrane- and calcium-clock mediators of pacemaking, modulators of ion-channel currents, and proarrhythmic compounds with unprecedented precision. The analysis demonstrates a high degree of similarity between hiPSC-CM in EHT format and native human heart tissue, indicating that human EHTs are useful for preclinical drug testing and disease modeling. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. 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...

  10. Elastomeric contractile actuators for hand rehabilitation splints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpi, Federico; Mannini, Andrea; De Rossi, Danilo

    2008-03-01

    The significant electromechanical performances typically shown by dielectric elastomer actuators make this polymer technology particularly attractive for possible active orthoses for rehabilitation. Folded contractile actuators made of dielectric elastomers were recently described as a simple configuration, suitable to easily implement linear contractile devices. This paper describes an application of folded actuators for so-called hand splints: they consist of orthotic systems for hand rehabilitation. The dynamic versions of the state-of-the-art splints typically include elastic bands, which exert a passive elastic resistance to voluntary elongations of one or more fingers. In order to provide such splints with the possibility of electrically modulating the compliance of the resistive elements, the substitution of the passive elastic bands with the contractile actuators is here described. The electrical activation of the actuators is used to vary the compliance of the system; this enables modulations of the force that acts as an antagonist to voluntary finger movements, according to programmable rehabilitation exercises. The paper reports results obtained from the first prototype implementations of such a type of system.

  11. Lidocaine decreases the xylazine-evoked contractility in pregnant cows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccinno, M; Rizzo, A; Mutinati, M; D'Onghia, G; Sciorsci, R L

    2016-08-01

    The objective of this in vitro study was to evaluate and compare the effects of xylazine on basal uterine contractility of bovine pregnant uterine strips and that of lidocaine on xylazine-sensitized bovine pregnant uterine strips, at different stages of pregnancy. Basal contractility was evaluated in an isolated organ bath and the functionality of the strips throughout the experiment was evaluated using a dose of carbachol (10(-5)M). Uterine motility, expressed with amplitude, frequency of contractions as well as the area under the curve, was recorded in different stages of pregnancy and data were collected at 15-min intervals (5-min before and 5-min after xylazine administration and 5-min after lidocaine addition on the plateau contraction induced by xylazine). Uterine motility increased in all the stages of pregnancy after xylazine addition and gradually decreased after treatment with lidocaine. These data suggest that lidocaine might decrease the tonic effect induced by xylazine on bovine pregnant uteri. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. Distinct and Shared Determinants of Cardiomyocyte Contractility in Multi-Lineage Competent Ethnically Diverse Human iPSCs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomov, Martin L; Olmsted, Zachary T; Dogan, Haluk; Gongorurler, Eda; Tsompana, Maria; Otu, Hasan H; Buck, Michael; Chang, Eun-Ah; Cibelli, Jose; Paluh, Janet L

    2016-12-05

    The realization of personalized medicine through human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology can be advanced by transcriptomics, epigenomics, and bioinformatics that inform on genetic pathways directing tissue development and function. When possible, population diversity should be included in new studies as resources become available. Previously we derived replicate iPSC lines of African American, Hispanic-Latino and Asian self-designated ethnically diverse (ED) origins with normal karyotype, verified teratoma formation, pluripotency biomarkers, and tri-lineage in vitro commitment. Here we perform bioinformatics of RNA-Seq and ChIP-seq pluripotency data sets for two replicate Asian and Hispanic-Latino ED-iPSC lines that reveal differences in generation of contractile cardiomyocytes but similar and robust differentiation to multiple neural, pancreatic, and smooth muscle cell types. We identify shared and distinct genes and contributing pathways in the replicate ED-iPSC lines to enhance our ability to understand how reprogramming to iPSC impacts genes and pathways contributing to cardiomyocyte contractility potential.

  13. 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.

  14. Students' Understanding of the Function-Derivative Relationship When Learning Economic Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ariza, Angel; Llinares, Salvador; Valls, Julia

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study is to characterise students' understanding of the function-derivative relationship when learning economic concepts. To this end, we use a fuzzy metric (Chang 1968) to identify the development of economic concept understanding that is defined by the function-derivative relationship. The results indicate that the understanding…

  15. Smoothelin-B deficiency results in reduced arterial contractility, hypertension, and cardiac hypertrophy in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2008-08-19

    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(-/-) mice) previously revealed a critical role for smoothelin-A in intestinal smooth muscle contraction. Here, we report on the generation and cardiovascular phenotype of mice lacking only smoothelin-B (Smtn-B(-/-)). Myograph studies revealed that the contractile capacity of the saphenous and femoral arteries was strongly reduced in Smtn-B(-/-) mice, regardless of the contractile agonist used to trigger contraction. Arteries from Smtn-A/B(-/-) compound mutant mice exhibited a similar contractile deficit. Smtn-B(-/-) arteries had a normal architecture and expressed normal levels of other smooth muscle cell-specific genes, including smooth muscle myosin heavy chain, alpha-smooth muscle actin, and smooth muscle-calponin. Decreased contractility of Smtn-B(-/-) arteries was paradoxically accompanied by increased mean arterial pressure (20 mm Hg) and concomitant cardiac hypertrophy despite normal parasympathetic and sympathetic tone in Smtn-B(-/-) mice. Magnetic resonance imaging experiments revealed that cardiac function was not changed, whereas distension of the proximal aorta during the cardiac cycle was increased in Smtn-B(-/-) mice. However, isobaric pulse wave velocity and pulse pressure measurements indicated normal aortic distensibility. Collectively, our results identify smoothelins as key determinants of arterial smooth muscle contractility and cardiovascular performance. Studies on mutations in the Smtn gene or alterations in smoothelin levels in connection to hypertension in humans are warranted.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Novel method to study pericyte contractility and responses to ischaemia in vitro using electrical impedance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuhaus, Ain A; Couch, Yvonne; Sutherland, Brad A; Buchan, Alastair M

    2017-06-01

    Pericytes are contractile vascular mural cells overlying capillary endothelium, and they have been implicated in a variety of functions including regulation of cerebral blood flow. Recent work has suggested that both in vivo and ex vivo, ischaemia causes pericytes to constrict and die, which has implications for microvascular reperfusion. Assessing pericyte contractility in tissue slices and in vivo is technically challenging, while in vitro techniques remain unreliable. Here, we used isolated cultures of human brain vascular pericytes to examine their contractile potential in vitro using the iCelligence electrical impedance system. Contraction was induced using the vasoactive peptide endothelin-1, and relaxation was demonstrated using adenosine and sodium nitroprusside. Endothelin-1 treatment also resulted in increased proliferation, which we were able to monitor in the same cell population from which we recorded contractile responses. Finally, the observation of pericyte contraction in stroke was reproduced using chemical ischaemia, which caused a profound and irreversible contraction clearly preceding cell death. These data demonstrate that isolated pericytes retain a contractile phenotype in vitro, and that it is possible to quantify this contraction using real-time electrical impedance recordings, providing a significant new platform for assessing the effects of vasoactive and vasculoprotective compounds on pericyte contractility.

  1. Intestine of dystrophic mice presents enhanced contractile resistance to stretching despite morphological impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Gabriel A; Silva, Luisa R; Rosa, Eloi F; Aboulafia, Jeannine; Freymüller-Haapalainen, Edna; Souccar, Caden; Nouailhetas, Viviane L A

    2014-02-01

    Protein dystrophin is a component of the dystrophin-associated protein complex, which links the contractile machinery to the plasma membrane and to the extracellular matrix. Its absence leads to a condition known as Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a disease characterized by progressive skeletal muscle degeneration, motor disability, and early death. In mdx mice, the most common DMD animal model, loss of muscle cells is observed, but the overall disease alterations are less intense than in DMD patients. Alterations in gastrointestinal tissues from DMD patients and mdx mice are not yet completely understood. Thus, we investigated the possible relationships between morphological (light and electron microscopy) and contractile function (by recording the isometric contractile response) with alterations in Ca²⁺ handling in the ileum of mdx mice. We evidenced a 27% reduction in the ileal muscular layer thickness, a partial damage to the mucosal layer, and a partial damage to mitochondria of the intestinal myocytes. Functionally, the ileum from mdx presented an enhanced responsiveness during stretch, a mild impairment in both the electromechanical and pharmacomechanical signaling associated with altered calcium influx-induced contraction, with no alterations in the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca²⁺ storage (maintenance of the caffeine and thapsigargin-induced contraction) compared with control animals. Thus, it is evidenced that the protein dystrophin plays an important role in the preservation of both the microstructure and ultrastructure of mice intestine, while exerting a minor but important role concerning the intestinal contractile responsiveness and calcium handling.

  2. 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…

  3. Contractile Dysfunction in Sarcomeric Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacIver, David H; Clark, Andrew L

    2016-09-01

    The pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the clinical phenotype of sarcomeric hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are controversial. The development of cardiac hypertrophy in hypertension and aortic stenosis is usually described as a compensatory mechanism that normalizes wall stress. We suggest that an important abnormality in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is reduced contractile stress (the force per unit area) generated by myocardial tissue secondary to abnormalities such as cardiomyocyte disarray. In turn, a progressive deterioration in contractile stress provokes worsening hypertrophy and disarray. A maintained or even exaggerated ejection fraction is explained by the increased end-diastolic wall thickness producing augmented thickening. We propose that the nature of the hemodynamic load in an individual with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy could determine its phenotype. Hypertensive patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are more likely to develop exaggerated concentric hypertrophy; athletic individuals an asymmetric pattern; and inactive individuals a more apical hypertrophy. The development of a left ventricular outflow tract gradient and mitral regurgitation may be explained by differential regional strain resulting in mitral annular rotation. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1991-01-01

    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......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......, the peak ejection rate and changes in end-systolic volume. Also the diastolic function evaluated by the peak filling rate remained normal. Furthermore, no sign of backward failure could be demonstrated since the central blood volume was not significantly increased. Both systolic and diastolic blood...

  5. A device for rapid and quantitative measurement of cardiac myocyte contractility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaitas, Angelo; Malhotra, Ricky; Li, Tao; Herron, Todd; Jalife, José

    2015-03-01

    Cardiac contractility is the hallmark of cardiac function and is a predictor of healthy or diseased cardiac muscle. Despite advancements over the last two decades, the techniques and tools available to cardiovascular scientists are limited in their utility to accurately and reliably measure the amplitude and frequency of cardiomyocyte contractions. Isometric force measurements in the past have entailed cumbersome attachment of isolated and permeabilized cardiomyocytes to a force transducer followed by measurements of sarcomere lengths under conditions of submaximal and maximal Ca2+ activation. These techniques have the inherent disadvantages of being labor intensive and costly. We have engineered a micro-machined cantilever sensor with an embedded deflection-sensing element that, in preliminary experiments, has demonstrated to reliably measure cardiac cell contractions in real-time. Here, we describe this new bioengineering tool with applicability in the cardiovascular research field to effectively and reliably measure cardiac cell contractility in a quantitative manner. We measured contractility in both primary neonatal rat heart cardiomyocyte monolayers that demonstrated a beat frequency of 3 Hz as well as human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes with a contractile frequency of about 1 Hz. We also employed the β-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol (100 nmol l-1) and observed that our cantilever demonstrated high sensitivity in detecting subtle changes in both chronotropic and inotropic responses of monolayers. This report describes the utility of our micro-device in both basic cardiovascular research as well as in small molecule drug discovery to monitor cardiac cell contractions.

  6. Right ventricle contractility during early postoperative period after coronary artery bypass grafting with cardiopulmonary bypass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    А. Е. Баутин

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Emphasis in this research was placed on contractility of the right ventricle with regard to its relationship with systemic hemodynamics in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG under cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB. The study included 25 patients (14 males, 11 females, mean age was 587 years admitted to ICU after CABG under CPB. All patients required inotropic therapy. The criterion for prescribing inotropic support in the postoperative period was a drop of the stroke volume index of the left ventricle below 35 ml/m 2 provided that the values of this indicator were normal before the perfusion period. Patients with previous pathology of the right ventricle or right coronary artery were excluded from the study. To evaluate the right ventricular function and systemic hemodynamics indicators, use was made of the PiCCO plus system and VoLEF addon device. It was found out that reduced contractility of the right ventricle may cause the reduction in stroke volume of the left ventricle with normal contractility. It was also observed that the increase of preload in patients with right ventricular ejection fraction less than 30% does not improve its function but leads to the increase of its end-diastolic volume. In 68% of cases, the need in inotropic agents in the early postoperative period after CABG was associated with the drop in right ventricle contractility, in 40% - with isolated right ven-tricular dysfunction. Patients with isolated reduction in right ventricle contractility required a longer period of inotropic support and ICU stay as compared with those with left ventricular failure.

  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. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krause, S.; Le Roux, X.; Niklaus, P.A.; van Bodegom, P.M.; Lennon, J.T.; Bertilsson, S.A.; Grossart, H.P.; Philippot, L.; Bodelier, P.L.E.

    2014-01-01

    In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. Physical models have gender‐specific effects on student understanding of protein structure–function relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Michelle A.; Chang, Wesley S.; Dent, Erik W.; Nordheim, Erik V.; Franzen, Margaret A.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Understanding how basic structural units influence function is identified as a foundational/core concept for undergraduate biological and biochemical literacy. It is essential for students to understand this concept at all size scales, but it is often more difficult for students to understand structure–function relationships at the molecular level, which they cannot as effectively visualize. Students need to develop accurate, 3‐dimensional mental models of biomolecules to understand how biomolecular structure affects cellular functions at the molecular level, yet most traditional curricular tools such as textbooks include only 2‐dimensional representations. We used a controlled, backward design approach to investigate how hand‐held physical molecular model use affected students' ability to logically predict structure–function relationships. Brief (one class period) physical model use increased quiz score for females, whereas there was no significant increase in score for males using physical models. Females also self‐reported higher learning gains in their understanding of context‐specific protein function. Gender differences in spatial visualization may explain the gender‐specific benefits of physical model use observed. © 2016 The Authors Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 44(4):326–335, 2016. PMID:26923186

  12. Physical models have gender-specific effects on student understanding of protein structure-function relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes-Lorman, Robin M; Harris, Michelle A; Chang, Wesley S; Dent, Erik W; Nordheim, Erik V; Franzen, Margaret A

    2016-07-08

    Understanding how basic structural units influence function is identified as a foundational/core concept for undergraduate biological and biochemical literacy. It is essential for students to understand this concept at all size scales, but it is often more difficult for students to understand structure-function relationships at the molecular level, which they cannot as effectively visualize. Students need to develop accurate, 3-dimensional mental models of biomolecules to understand how biomolecular structure affects cellular functions at the molecular level, yet most traditional curricular tools such as textbooks include only 2-dimensional representations. We used a controlled, backward design approach to investigate how hand-held physical molecular model use affected students' ability to logically predict structure-function relationships. Brief (one class period) physical model use increased quiz score for females, whereas there was no significant increase in score for males using physical models. Females also self-reported higher learning gains in their understanding of context-specific protein function. Gender differences in spatial visualization may explain the gender-specific benefits of physical model use observed. © 2016 The Authors Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 44(4):326-335, 2016. © 2016 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  13. BK channel activation by NS11021 decreases excitability and contractility of urinary bladder smooth muscle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Layne, Jeffrey J; Nausch, Bernhard; Olesen, Søren-Peter

    2009-01-01

    reduction was blocked by pretreatment with the BK channel blocker iberiotoxin. NS11021 (3 microM) had no effect on contractions evoked by nerve stimulation. These findings indicate that activating BK channels reduces the force of UBSM spontaneous phasic contractions, principally through decreasing......Large-conductance Ca(2+)-activated potassium (BK) channels play an important role in regulating the function and activity of urinary bladder smooth muscle (UBSM), and the loss of BK channel function has been shown to increase UBSM excitability and contractility. However, it is not known whether...... activation of BK channels has the converse effect of reducing UBSM excitability and contractility. Here, we have sought to investigate this possibility by using the novel BK channel opener NS11021. NS11021 (3 microM) caused an approximately threefold increase in both single BK channel open probability (P...

  14. 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…

  15. Evaluation of muscle function of the extensor digitorum longus muscle ex vivo and tibialis anterior muscle in situ in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hakim, Chady H; Wasala, Nalinda B; Duan, Dongsheng

    2013-02-09

    Body movements are mainly provided by mechanical function of skeletal muscle. Skeletal muscle is composed of numerous bundles of myofibers that are sheathed by intramuscular connective tissues. Each myofiber contains many myofibrils that run longitudinally along the length of the myofiber. Myofibrils are the contractile apparatus of muscle and they are composed of repeated contractile units known as sarcomeres. A sarcomere unit contains actin and myosin filaments that are spaced by the Z discs and titin protein. Mechanical function of skeletal muscle is defined by the contractile and passive properties of muscle. The contractile properties are used to characterize the amount of force generated during muscle contraction, time of force generation and time of muscle relaxation. Any factor that affects muscle contraction (such as interaction between actin and myosin filaments, homeostasis of calcium, ATP/ADP ratio, etc.) influences the contractile properties. The passive properties refer to the elastic and viscous properties (stiffness and viscosity) of the muscle in the absence of contraction. These properties are determined by the extracellular and the intracellular structural components (such as titin) and connective tissues (mainly collagen) (1-2). The contractile and passive properties are two inseparable aspects of muscle function. For example, elbow flexion is accomplished by contraction of muscles in the anterior compartment of the upper arm and passive stretch of muscles in the posterior compartment of the upper arm. To truly understand muscle function, both contractile and passive properties should be studied. The contractile and/or passive mechanical properties of muscle are often compromised in muscle diseases. A good example is Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a severe muscle wasting disease caused by dystrophin deficiency (3). Dystrophin is a cytoskeletal protein that stabilizes the muscle cell membrane (sarcolemma) during muscle contraction (4). In the

  16. 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......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...

  17. Improving understanding of the functional diversity of fisheries by exploring the influence of global catch reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, Kirsty L; Watson, Reg A; Halpern, Benjamin S; Fulton, Elizabeth A; Blanchard, Julia L

    2017-09-06

    Functional diversity is thought to enhance ecosystem resilience, driving research focused on trends in the functional composition of fisheries, most recently with new reconstructions of global catch data. However, there is currently little understanding of how accounting for unreported catches (e.g. small-scale and illegal fisheries, bycatch and discards) influences functional diversity trends in global fisheries. We explored how diversity estimates varied among reported and unreported components of catch in 2010, and found these components had distinct functional fingerprints. Incorporating unreported catches had little impact on global-scale functional diversity patterns. However, at smaller, management-relevant scales, the effects of incorporating unreported catches were large (changes in functional diversity of up to 46%). Our results suggest there is greater uncertainty about the risks to ecosystem integrity and resilience from current fishing patterns than previously recognized. We provide recommendations and suggest a research agenda to improve future assessments of functional diversity of global fisheries.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Baseplate assembly of phage Mu: Defining the conserved core components of contractile-tailed phages and related bacterial systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Büttner, Carina R; Wu, Yingzhou; Maxwell, Karen L; Davidson, Alan R

    2016-09-06

    Contractile phage tails are powerful cell puncturing nanomachines that have been co-opted by bacteria for self-defense against both bacteria and eukaryotic cells. The tail of phage T4 has long served as the paradigm for understanding contractile tail-like systems despite its greater complexity compared with other contractile-tailed phages. Here, we present a detailed investigation of the assembly of a "simple" contractile-tailed phage baseplate, that of Escherichia coli phage Mu. By coexpressing various combinations of putative Mu baseplate proteins, we defined the required components of this baseplate and delineated its assembly pathway. We show that the Mu baseplate is constructed through the independent assembly of wedges that are organized around a central hub complex. The Mu wedges are comprised of only three protein subunits rather than the seven found in the equivalent structure in T4. Through extensive bioinformatic analyses, we found that homologs of the essential components of the Mu baseplate can be identified in the majority of contractile-tailed phages and prophages. No T4-like prophages were identified. The conserved simple baseplate components were also found in contractile tail-derived bacterial apparatuses, such as type VI secretion systems, Photorhabdus virulence cassettes, and R-type tailocins. Our work highlights the evolutionary connections and similarities in the biochemical behavior of phage Mu wedge components and the TssF and TssG proteins of the type VI secretion system. In addition, we demonstrate the importance of the Mu baseplate as a model system for understanding bacterial phage tail-derived systems.

  1. 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

  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. 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

  4. Students' Perceptions and Development of Conceptual Understanding Regarding Trigonometry and Trigonometric Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cetin, Omer Faruk

    2015-01-01

    This study aims to analyse university level mathematics education students' perceptions on conceptual understanding of trigonometry and trigonometric functions and their content development of these concepts. A case study was conducted with 90 freshman students of Elementary Mathematics Department. The data were gathered via a scale; they included…

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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...

  8. 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…

  9. Thermal acclimation in rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax, leads to faster myotomal muscle contractile properties and improved swimming performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John R. Woytanowski

    2013-01-01

    Rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax display an impressive ability to acclimate to very cold water temperatures. These fish express both anti-freeze proteins and glycerol in their plasma, liver, muscle and other tissues to avoid freezing at sub-zero temperatures. Maintenance of glycerol levels requires active feeding in very cold water. To understand how these fish can maintain activity at cold temperatures, we explored thermal acclimation by the myotomal muscle of smelt exposed to cold water. We hypothesized that cold-acclimated fish would show enhanced swimming ability due to shifts in muscle contractile properties. We also predicted that shifts in swimming performance would be associated with changes in the expression patterns of muscle proteins such as parvalbumin (PV and myosin heavy chain (MyHC. Swimming studies show significantly faster swimming by smelt acclimated to 5°C compared to fish acclimated to 20°C when tested at a common test temperature of 10°C. The cold-acclimated fish also had faster muscle contractile properties, such as a maximum shortening velocity (Vmax almost double that of warm-acclimated fish at the same test temperature. Cold-acclimation is associated with a modest increase in PV levels in the swimming muscle. Fluorescence microscopy using anti-MyHC antibodies suggests that MyHC expression in the myotomal muscle may shift in response to exposure to cold water. The complex set of physiological responses that comprise cold-acclimation in smelt includes modifications in muscle function to permit active locomotion in cold water.

  10. The contractility of elongated microvilli in early sea urchin embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiegel, Evelyn; Howard, Louisa; Spiegel, Melvin

    1990-04-01

    Elongated microvilli attach the early sea urchin embryo to the fertilization envelope and support it in a concentric position within the perivitelline space. The contractility of the elongated microvilli was demonstrated in several ways. (1) During normal cleavage, these microvilli change their length to adapt to the change in shape and numbers of blastomeres. (2) When treated with calcium-free sea water, embryos become eccentrically located and the microvilli extend further than normal on one side; when returned to normal sea water, the embryos become centered again. (3) Several agents cause the fertilization envelope to become higher and thinner than normal and the elongated microvilli to extend correspondingly if treated within ten min after fertilization. In some cases, both elongated microvilli and fertilization envelope return to normal size when returned to normal sea water. (4) Fertilization in a papain solution causes the elongated microvilli and the fertilization envelope to contract to the surface of the embryo. (5) Refertilization after the papain-induced contraction can bring about the elongation of these microvilli and the elevation of the fertilization envelope a second time. It was also shown that elongated microvilli are extended immediately upon fertilization, at the same time as the short microvilli. The firm adherence of the tips of elongated microvilli to the fertilization envelope by means of extracellular matrix fibers is shown in a high voltage electron microscope stereoimage. This allows us to understand why it is that when the elongated microvilli extend or contract, the fertilization envelope also extends and contracts accordingly.

  11. Understanding heavy-oil molecular functionality and relations to fluid properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andersen, S.I. [Schlumberger, DBR Technology Center, Edmonton AB (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    In the heavy oil industry, knowing oil properties is important to optimizing recovery, transport and refinery. Nitrogen, sulfur and oxygen compounds (NSOs) have an important impact on these properties but this is often overlooked. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the impact of functional groups in connection with heavy oil and asphaltenes. Experiments were carried out with asphaltenes altered by chemical surgery that removed specific functional interactions. Titration calorimetry and fluorescence spectroscopy were then done. Results highlighted the fact that functional groups are of key importance in the determination of heavy oil properties and that acidity can be considered the most important interaction. This paper demonstrated that the determination of specific interactions could be more important in assessing heavy oil properties than understanding their hydrocarbon structure; further work is needed to fully understand the role of sulfur and nitrogen species.

  12. FRET biosensor uncovers cAMP nano-domains at β-adrenergic targets that dictate precise tuning of cardiac contractility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surdo, Nicoletta C; Berrera, Marco; Koschinski, Andreas; Brescia, Marcella; Machado, Matias R; Carr, Carolyn; Wright, Peter; Gorelik, Julia; Morotti, Stefano; Grandi, Eleonora; Bers, Donald M; Pantano, Sergio; Zaccolo, Manuela

    2017-04-20

    Compartmentalized cAMP/PKA signalling is now recognized as important for physiology and pathophysiology, yet a detailed understanding of the properties, regulation and function of local cAMP/PKA signals is lacking. Here we present a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based sensor, CUTie, which detects compartmentalized cAMP with unprecedented accuracy. CUTie, targeted to specific multiprotein complexes at discrete plasmalemmal, sarcoplasmic reticular and myofilament sites, reveals differential kinetics and amplitudes of localized cAMP signals. This nanoscopic heterogeneity of cAMP signals is necessary to optimize cardiac contractility upon adrenergic activation. At low adrenergic levels, and those mimicking heart failure, differential local cAMP responses are exacerbated, with near abolition of cAMP signalling at certain locations. This work provides tools and fundamental mechanistic insights into subcellular adrenergic signalling in normal and pathological cardiac function.

  13. Slow force response and auto-regulation of contractility in heterogeneous myocardium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markhasin, Vladimir S; Balakin, Alexander A; Katsnelson, Leonid B; Konovalov, Pavel; Lookin, Oleg N; Protsenko, Yuri; Solovyova, Olga

    2012-01-01

    Classically, the slow force response (SFR) of myocardium refers to slowly developing changes in cardiac muscle contractility induced by external mechanical stimuli, e.g. sustained stretch. We present evidence for an intra-myocardial SFR (SFR(IM)), caused by the internal mechanical interactions of muscle segments in heterogeneous myocardium. Here we study isometric contractions of a pair of end-to-end connected functionally heterogeneous cardiac muscles (an in-series muscle duplex). Duplex elements can be either biological muscles (BM), virtual muscles (VM), or a hybrid combination of BM and VM. The VM implements an Ekaterinburg-Oxford mathematical model accounting for the ionic and myofilament mechanisms of excitation-contraction coupling in cardiomyocytes. SFR(IM) is expressed in gradual changes in the overall duplex force and in the individual contractility of each muscle, induced by cyclic auxotonic deformations of coupled muscles. The muscle that undergoes predominant cyclic shortening shows force enhancement upon return to its isometric state in isolation, whereas average cyclic lengthening may decrease the individual muscle contractility. The mechanical responses are accompanied with slow and opposite changes in the shape and duration of both the action potential and Ca²⁺ transient in the cardiomyocytes of interacting muscles. Using the mathematical model we found that the contractility changes in interacting muscles follow the alterations in the sarcoplasmic reticulum loading in cardiomyocytes which result from the length-dependent Ca²⁺ activation of myofilaments and intracellular mechano-electrical feedback. The SFR(IM) phenomena unravel an important mechanism of cardiac functional auto-regulation applicable to the heart in norm and pathology, especially to hearts with severe electrical and/or mechanical dyssynchrony. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...... indicated a time limit for such a recovery. We therefore investigated the extent of viable myocardium in patients with impaired LV function due to ischemic heart disease after a prolonged strategy of medical treatment and its relation to changes in clinical variables after CABG. METHODS: Forty......-five consecutive patients with a mean duration of ischemic heart symptoms of 9 years and LV ejection fraction (EF) stress...

  17. Recent advances in understanding lung function development [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik Melén

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Recent years have witnessed critical contributions to our understanding of the determinants and long-term implications of lung function development. In this article, we review studies that have contributed to advances in understanding lung function development and its critical importance for lung health into adult life. In particular, we have focused on early life determinants that include genetic factors, perinatal events, environmental exposures, lifestyle, infancy lower respiratory tract infections, and persistent asthma phenotypes. Longitudinal studies have conclusively demonstrated that lung function deficits that are established by school age may track into adult life and increase the risk of adult lung obstructive diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Furthermore, these contributions have provided initial evidence in support of a direct influence by early life events on an accelerated decline of lung function and an increased susceptibility to its environmental determinants well into adult life. As such, we argue that future health-care programs based on precision medicine approaches that integrate deep phenotyping with tailored medication and advice to patients should also foster optimal lung function growth to be fully effective.

  18. The Importance of Understanding Hierarchical Relations between High Order Mental Functions in Clinical Practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benedetto Farina

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The state-of-the-art in studies on mentalization suggests that capacity to understand other minds (mindreading, self introspection and consciousness, mental time travel in the past and the present, linguistic communication, are different components of a hierarchical organization of several functions reflecting the evolutionary development of the specie and integrates increasingly complex, mutually coordinated brain levels. The understanding of the precise hierarchical relations between them, that reflect the phylo- and ontogenetic evolutionary pathway for adaptation to the complex interpersonal and socio-cultural environment, has an essential application in psychopathology and psychotherapy, in particular for those clinical conditions where the normal integration of high order mental functions is hampered by developmental relational trauma.

  19. 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.

  20. Improvement of diaphragm and limb muscle isotonic contractile performance by K+ channel blockade

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pollarine Jennifer

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The K+ channel blocking aminopyridines greatly improve skeletal muscle isometric contractile performance during low to intermediate stimulation frequencies, making them potentially useful as inotropic agents for functional neuromuscular stimulation applications. Most restorative applications involve muscle shortening; however, previous studies on the effects of aminopyridines have involved muscle being held at constant length. Isotonic contractions differ substantially from isometric contractions at a cellular level with regards to factors such as cross-bridge formation and energetic requirements. The present study tested effects of 3,4-diaminopyridine (DAP on isotonic contractile performance of diaphragm, extensor digitorum longus (EDL and soleus muscles from rats. During contractions elicited during 20 Hz stimulation, DAP improved work over a range of loads for all three muscles. In contrast, peak power was augmented for the diaphragm and EDL but not the soleus. Maintenance of increased work and peak power was tested during repetitive fatigue-inducing stimulation using a single load of 40% and a stimulation frequency of 20 Hz. Work and peak power of both diaphragm and EDL were augmented by DAP for considerable periods of time, whereas that of soleus muscle was not affected significantly. These results demonstrate that DAP greatly improves both work and peak power of the diaphragm and EDL muscle during isotonic contractions, which combined with previous data on isometric contractions indicates that this agent is suitable for enhancing muscle performance during a range of contractile modalities.

  1. Acute pergolide exposure stiffens engineered valve interstitial cell tissues and reduces contractility in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capulli, Andrew K; MacQueen, Luke A; O'Connor, Blakely B; Dauth, Stephanie; Parker, Kevin Kit

    2016-01-01

    Medications based on ergoline-derived dopamine and serotonin agonists are associated with off-target toxicities that include valvular heart disease (VHD). Reports of drug-induced VHD resulted in the withdrawal of appetite suppressants containing fenfluramine and phentermine from the US market in 1997 and pergolide, a Parkinson's disease medication, in 2007. Recent evidence suggests that serotonin receptor activity affected by these medications modulates cardiac valve interstitial cell activation and subsequent valvular remodeling, which can lead to cardiac valve fibrosis and dysfunction similar to that seen in carcinoid heart disease. Failure to identify these risks prior to market and continued use of similar drugs reaffirm the need to improve preclinical evaluation of drug-induced VHD. Here, we present two complimentary assays to measure stiffness and contractile stresses generated by engineered valvular tissues in vitro. As a case study, we measured the effects of acute (24 h) pergolide exposure to engineered porcine aortic valve interstitial cell (AVIC) tissues. Pergolide exposure led to increased tissue stiffness, but it decreased both basal and active contractile tone stresses generated by AVIC tissues. Pergolide exposure also disrupted AVIC tissue organization (i.e., tissue anisotropy), suggesting that the mechanical properties and contractile functionality of these tissues are governed by their ability to maintain their structure. We expect further use of these assays to identify off-target drug effects that alter the phenotypic balance of AVICs, disrupt their ability to maintain mechanical homeostasis, and lead to VHD. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Impaired contractility and remodeling of the upper gastrointestinal tract in diabetes mellitus type-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frokjaer, Jens Brondum; Andersen, Soren-Due; Ejskjaer, Niels; Funch-Jensen, Peter; Drewes, Asbjorn-Mohr; Gregersen, Hans

    2007-09-28

    To investigate that both the neuronal function of the contractile system and structural apparatus of the gastrointestinal tract are affected in patients with longstanding diabetes and auto mic neuropathy. The evoked esophageal and duodenal contractile activity to standardized bag distension was assessed using a specialized ultrasound-based probe. Twelve type-1 diabetic patients with autonomic neuropathy and severe gastrointestinal symptoms and 12 healthy controls were studied. The geometry and biomechanical parameters (strain, tension/stress, and stiffness) were assessed. The diabetic patients had increased frequency of distension-induced contractions (6.0 +/- 0.6 vs 3.3 +/- 0.5, P 0.14). The impaired contractile activity with an imbalance in the distension-induced contractions likely reflects neuronal abnormalities due to autonomic neuropathy. However, structural changes and remodeling of the gastrointestinal tract are also evident and may add to the neuronal changes. This may contribute to the pathophysiology of diabetic gut dysfunction and impact on future management of diabetic patients with gastrointestinal symptoms.

  3. Acute Pergolide Exposure Stiffens Engineered Valve Interstitial Cell Tissues and Reduces Contractility In Vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capulli, Andrew K.; MacQueen, Luke A.; O’Connor, Blakely B.; Dauth, Stephanie; Parker, Kevin Kit

    2016-01-01

    Medications based on ergoline-derived dopamine and serotonin agonists are associated with off-target toxicities that include valvular heart disease (VHD). Reports of drug-induced VHD resulted in the withdrawal of appetite suppressants containing fenfluramine and phentermine from the U.S. market in 1997 and pergolide, a Parkinson’s disease medication, in 2007. Recent evidence suggests that serotonin receptor activity affected by these medications modulates cardiac valve interstitial cell activation and subsequent valvular remodeling, which can lead to cardiac valve fibrosis and dysfunction similar to that seen in carcinoid heart disease. Failure to identify these risks prior to market, and continued use of similar drugs, reaffirms the need to improve preclinical evaluation of drug-induced VHD. Here, we present two complimentary assays to measure stiffness and contractile stresses generated by engineered valvular tissues in vitro. As a case study, we measured the effects of acute (24 hr) pergolide exposure to engineered porcine aortic valve interstitial cell (AVIC) tissues. Pergolide exposure led to increased tissue stiffness but it decreased both basal and active contractile tone stresses generated by AVIC tissues. Pergolide exposure also disrupted AVIC tissue organization (i.e., tissue anisotropy), suggesting that the mechanical properties and contractile functionality of these tissues are governed by their ability to maintain their structure. We expect further use of these assays to identify off-target drug effects that alter the phenotypic balance of AVICs, disrupt their ability to maintain mechanical homeostasis, and lead to VHD. PMID:27174867

  4. Morphology, ultrastructure and contractile properties of muscles responsible for superior tentacle movements of the snail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krajcs, Nóra; Márk, L; Elekes, K; Kiss, T

    2012-01-01

    Bending, twitching and quivering are different types of tentacle movements observed during olfactory orientation of the snail. Three recently discovered special muscles, spanning along the length of superior tentacles from the tip to the base, seem to be responsible for the execution of these movements. In this study we have investigated the ultrastructure, contractile properties and protein composition of these muscles. Our ultrastructural studies show that smooth muscle fibers are loosely embedded in a collagen matrix and they are coupled with long sarcolemma protrusions. The muscle fibers apparently lack organized SR and transverse tubular system. Instead subsarcolemmal vesicles and mitochondria have been shown to be possible Ca2+ pools for contraction. It was shown that external Ca2+ is required for contraction elicited by high (40 mM) K+ or 10-4 M ACh. Caffeine (5 mM) induced contraction in Ca2+-free solution suggesting the presence of a substantial intracellular Ca2+ pool. High-resolution electrophoretic analysis of columellar and tentacular muscles did not reveal differences in major contractile proteins, such as actin, myosin and paramyosin. Differences were observed however in several bands representing presumably regulatory enzymes. It is concluded that, the ultrastructural, biochemical and contractile properties of the string muscles support their special physiological function.

  5. Short term doxycycline treatment induces sustained improvement in myocardial infarction border zone contractility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spaulding, Kimberly; Takaba, Kiyoaki; Collins, Alexander; Faraji, Farshid; Wang, Guanying; Aguayo, Esteban; Ge, Liang; Saloner, David; Wallace, Arthur W; Baker, Anthony J; Lovett, David H; Ratcliffe, Mark B

    2018-01-01

    Decreased contractility in the non-ischemic border zone surrounding a MI is in part due to degradation of cardiomyocyte sarcomeric components by intracellular matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2). We recently reported that MMP-2 levels were increased in the border zone after a MI and that treatment with doxycycline for two weeks after MI was associated with normalization of MMP-2 levels and improvement in ex-vivo contractile protein developed force in the myocardial border zone. The purpose of the current study was to determine if there is a sustained effect of short term treatment with doxycycline (Dox) on border zone function in a large animal model of antero-apical myocardial infarction (MI). Antero-apical MI was created in 14 sheep. Seven sheep received doxycycline 0.8 mg/kg/hr IV for two weeks. Cardiac MRI was performed two weeks before, and then two and six weeks after MI. Two sheep died prior to MRI at six weeks from surgical/anesthesia-related causes. The remaining 12 sheep completed the protocol. Doxycycline induced a sustained reduction in intracellular MMP-2 by Western blot (3649±643 MI+Dox vs 9236±114 MI relative intensity; p = 0.0009), an improvement in ex-vivo contractility (65.3±2.0 MI+Dox vs 39.7±0.8 MI mN/mm2; pborder zone six weeks after MI. These findings were associated with a reduction in intracellular MMP-2 activity.

  6. Ecosystem function in waste stabilisation ponds: Improving water quality through a better understanding of biophysical coupling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghadouani, Anas; Reichwaldt, Elke S.; Coggins, Liah X.; Ivey, Gregory N.; Ghisalberti, Marco; Zhou, Wenxu; Laurion, Isabelle; Chua, Andrew

    2014-05-01

    Wastewater stabilisation ponds (WSPs) are highly productive systems designed to treat wastewater using only natural biological and chemical processes. Phytoplankton, microbial communities and hydraulics play important roles for ecosystem functionality of these pond systems. Although WSPs have been used for many decades, they are still considered as 'black box' systems as very little is known about the fundamental ecological processes which occur within them. However, a better understanding of how these highly productive ecosystems function is particularly important for hydrological processes, as treated wastewater is commonly discharged into streams, rivers, and oceans, and subject to strict water quality guidelines. WSPs are known to operate at different levels of efficiency, and treatment efficiency of WSPs is dependent on physical (flow characteristics and sludge accumulation and distribution) and biological (microbial and phytoplankton communities) characteristics. Thus, it is important to gain a better understanding of the role and influence of pond hydraulics and vital microbial communities on pond performance and WSP functional stability. The main aim of this study is to investigate the processes leading to differences in treatment performance of WSPs. This study uses a novel and innovative approach to understand these factors by combining flow cytometry and metabolomics to investigate various biochemical characteristics, including the metabolite composition and microbial community within WSPs. The results of these analyses will then be combined with results from the characterisation of pond hydrodynamics and hydraulic performance, which will be performed using advanced hydrodynamic modelling and advanced sludge profiling technology. By understanding how hydrodynamic and biological processes influence each other and ecosystem function and stability in WSPs, we will be able to propose ways to improve the quality of the treatment using natural processes, with

  7. Understanding, predicting and controlling the physicochemical functionality of rice protein ingredients

    OpenAIRE

    Amagliani, Luca

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this research was to characterise the nutrient composition and protein profile of a range of intact and hydrolysed rice protein ingredients, to benchmark their physicochemical properties against those of selected commercial dairy protein ingredients, and to develop tailored solutions for understanding, predicting, modifying and controlling their functionality in food systems. The rice protein ingredients studied had protein contents in the range 32-78%, and lower levels of calcium ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barak, Miri; Hussein-Farraj, Rania

    2013-04-01

    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 model-based learning and animations of biomolecules affect students' chemical understanding. Applying the mixed methods research paradigm, pre- and post-questionnaires as well as class-observations were employed in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data. The research population included 175 grade twelve students, divided into three research groups: (a) hands-on exploration of animations, (b) teacher's demonstrations of animations, (c) traditional learning using textbooks. Findings indicated that the integration of model-based learning and 3D animations enhanced students' understanding of proteins' structure and function and their ability to transfer across different levels of chemistry understanding. Findings also indicated that teachers' demonstrations of animations may enhance students' `knowledge'—a low order thinking skill; however, in order to enhance higher levels of thinking, students should be able to explore 3D animations on their own. Applying constructivist and interpretative analysis of the data, three themes were raised, corresponding to cognitive, affective, and social aspects of learning while exploring web-based models and animations.

  9. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Sascha; Le Roux, Xavier; Niklaus, Pascal A; Van Bodegom, Peter M; Lennon, Jay T; Bertilsson, Stefan; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Philippot, Laurent; Bodelier, Paul L E

    2014-01-01

    In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity in maintaining multiple ecosystem processes and services. In this paper, we highlight studies that have focused on BEF of microbial communities with an emphasis on integrating trait-based approaches to microbial ecology. In doing so, we explore some of the inherent challenges and opportunities of understanding BEF using microbial systems. For example, microbial biologists characterize communities using gene phylogenies that are often unable to resolve functional traits. Additionally, experimental designs of existing microbial BEF studies are often inadequate to unravel BEF relationships. We argue that combining eco-physiological studies with contemporary molecular tools in a trait-based framework can reinforce our ability to link microbial diversity to ecosystem processes. We conclude that such trait-based approaches are a promising framework to increase the understanding of microbial BEF relationships and thus generating systematic principles in microbial ecology and more generally ecology.

  10. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sascha eKrause

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity in maintaining multiple ecosystem processes and services. In this paper, we highlight studies that have focused on BEF of microbial communities with an emphasis on integrating trait-based approaches to microbial ecology. In doing so, we explore some of the inherent challenges and opportunities of understanding BEF using microbial systems. For example, microbial biologists characterize communities using gene phylogenies that are often unable to resolve functional traits. Additionally, experimental designs of existing microbial BEF studies are often inadequate to unravel BEF relationships. We argue that combining eco-physiological studies with contemporary molecular tools in a trait-based framework can reinforce our ability to link microbial diversity to ecosystem processes. We conclude that such trait-based approaches are a promising framework to increase the understanding of microbial BEF relationships and thus generating systematic principles in microbial ecology and more generally ecology.

  11. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Sascha; Le Roux, Xavier; Niklaus, Pascal A.; Van Bodegom, Peter M.; Lennon, Jay T.; Bertilsson, Stefan; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Philippot, Laurent; Bodelier, Paul L. E.

    2014-01-01

    In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity in maintaining multiple ecosystem processes and services. In this paper, we highlight studies that have focused on BEF of microbial communities with an emphasis on integrating trait-based approaches to microbial ecology. In doing so, we explore some of the inherent challenges and opportunities of understanding BEF using microbial systems. For example, microbial biologists characterize communities using gene phylogenies that are often unable to resolve functional traits. Additionally, experimental designs of existing microbial BEF studies are often inadequate to unravel BEF relationships. We argue that combining eco-physiological studies with contemporary molecular tools in a trait-based framework can reinforce our ability to link microbial diversity to ecosystem processes. We conclude that such trait-based approaches are a promising framework to increase the understanding of microbial BEF relationships and thus generating systematic principles in microbial ecology and more generally ecology. PMID:24904563

  12. Understanding the cognitive underpinnings of functional impairments in early dementia: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giebel, Clarissa M; Challis, David; Montaldi, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    Early dementia is marked by cognitive and functional impairments, and although studies indicate an association between these, detailed analyses exploring this relationship are rare. It is crucial to understand how specific cognitive deficits underlie functional deficits to develop successful cognitive interventions. This paper reviews the evidence of impairment in everyday functioning and in working, long-term and prospective memory in early dementia. Findings are evaluated with respect to the relationship between cognitive and functional impairments. From the literature searches, 17 studies on everyday functioning and 40 studies on memory were obtained. Studies were only included if patients had an official diagnosis and were in the early stages of dementia. Complex instrumental activities of daily living were subject to greater impairment than basic activities of daily living. In particular, early dementia patients struggle with finance tasks; a deficit linked to impaired working memory. Regarding cognition, long-term memory is the earliest form of memory to decline as is well recognised. Evidence also indicates deficits in working and prospective memory, with inconsistent evidence about impairments of the former. A major limitation of the literature is a lack of studies assessing individual everyday activities and the associated error patterns that might occur. This review critically assesses the status of translational research for everyday activities in early dementia, an area with critical implications for cognitive-based rehabilitation. Further research is required into the detailed assessment of individual everyday activity and specific memory deficits, in order to effectively map cognitive functions onto functional performance.

  13. Understanding immune function as a pace of life trait requires environmental context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tieleman, B Irene

    2018-01-01

    This article provides a brief historical perspective on the integration of physiology into the concept of the pace of life of birds, evaluates the fit of immune function into this framework, and asks what it will take to fruitfully understand immune functioning of birds in pace of life studies in the future. In the late 1970s, physiology started to seriously enter avian life history ecology, with energy as the main currency of interest, inspired by David Lack's work in the preceding decades emphasizing how food availability explained life history variation. In an effort to understand the trade-off between survival and reproduction, and specifically the mortality costs associated with hard work, in the 1980s and 1990s, other physiological phenomena entered the realm of animal ecologists, including endocrinology, oxidative stress, and immunology. Reviewing studies thus far to evaluate the role of immune function in a life history context and particularly to address the questions whether immune function (1) consistently varies with life history variation among free-living bird species and (2) mediates life history trade-offs in experiments with free-living bird species; I conclude that, unlike energy metabolism, the immune system does not closely covary with life history among species nor mediates the classical trade-offs within individuals. Instead, I propose that understanding the tremendous immunological variation uncovered among free-living birds over the past 25 years requires a paradigm shift. The paradigm should shift from viewing immune function as a costly trait involved in life history trade-offs to explicitly including the benefits of the immune system and placing it firmly in an environmental and ecological context. A first step forward will be to quantify the immunobiotic pressures presented by diverse environmental circumstances that both shape and challenge the immune system of free-living animals. Current developments in the fields of infectious

  14. 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.

  15. Actin in dividing cells: contractile ring filaments bind heavy meromyosin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, T E

    1973-06-01

    Many microfilaments and microtubules are well preserved after glycerol-extraction of HeLa cells at room temperature (22 degrees ). Incubation in heavy meromyosin from rabbit skeletal muscle results in conspicuous and characteristic "decoration" of microfilaments of the contractile ring. Decoration is completely prevented by 10 mM ATP or 2 mM pyrophosphate, and fails to occur if heavy meromyosin is either omitted or replaced by egg albumin, a nonspecific protein. Decorated microfilaments have a substructure consisting of polarized, repeating arrowheads 27-35 nm apart. The specificity of these results strongly suggests that microfilaments of the contractile ring in HeLa cells are closely related to muscle actin. Very thin undecorated strands among the microfilaments of the contractile ring possibly represent a myosin component. These findings are discussed in terms of: the actomyosin-like properties of the contractile ring as a mechanochemical organelle that causes cell cleavage; the probable universal occurrence of actin-like protein in all dividing animal cells; and the contractile ring's combined sensitivity to cytochalasin B and its affinity for heavy meromyosin, a combination unique among microfilamentous organelles.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Functional traits can improve our understanding of niche- and dispersal-based processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Feng; Xun, Yanhan; Cai, Huiying; Jin, Guangze

    2018-03-01

    Ecologists often determine the relative importance of niche- and dispersal-based processes via variation partitioning based on species composition. Functional traits and their proxies of phylogeny are expected to increase the detection of niche-based processes and reduce the unexplained variation relative to species identity. We collected eight adult tree traits and phylogenetic data of 41 species and employed a phylogenetic fuzzy weighting method to address this issue in a 9-ha temperate forest dynamics plot. We used redundancy analysis to relate species, phylogenetic and functional compositions to environmental (soil resources and topography) and spatial variables. We also performed multi-scaled analyses on spatial variables by adding environment as the covariates to determine if functional traits increase the detection of niche-based processes at broad scales. The functional traits and intraspecific variation of the wood density among ontogenetic stages could dramatically increase the detection of niche-based processes and reduce the unexplained variation relative to species identity. Phylogenetic and functional compositions were mainly driven by total soil P and elevation, while species composition was weakly affected by multiple environmental variables. After controlling for the environment, a larger amount of the compositional variations in seed mass and maximum height were explained by finer-scaled spatial variables, indicating that dispersal processes may be important at fine spatial scales. Our results suggested that considering functional traits and their intraspecific variations could improve our understanding of ecological processes and increase our ability to predict the responses of plants to environmental change.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pim P. Valentijn

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available 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 understand the complexity of integrated care.Methods:  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.Results: 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.Discussion:  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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staal, Jerome A.; Pei, Yanxin; Rood, Brian R.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27775567

  6. 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.

  7. Functional Diversity as a New Framework for Understanding the Ecology of an Emerging Generalist Pathogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Aaron; Guégan, Jean-François; Benbow, M Eric; Williamson, Heather; Small, Pamela L C; Quaye, Charles; Boakye, Daniel; Merritt, Richard W; Gozlan, Rodolphe E

    2016-09-01

    Emerging infectious disease outbreaks are increasingly suspected to be a consequence of human pressures exerted on natural ecosystems. Previously, host taxonomic communities have been used as indicators of infectious disease emergence, and the loss of their diversity has been implicated as a driver of increased presence. The mechanistic details in how such pathogen-host systems function, however, may not always be explained by taxonomic variation or loss. Here we used machine learning and methods based on Gower's dissimilarity to quantify metrics of invertebrate functional diversity, in addition to functional groups and their taxonomic diversity at sites endemic and non-endemic for the model generalist pathogen Mycobacterium ulcerans, the causative agent of Buruli ulcer. Changes in these metrics allowed the rapid categorisation of the ecological niche of the mycobacterium's hosts and the ability to relate specific host traits to its presence in aquatic ecosystems. We found that taxonomic diversity of hosts and overall functional diversity loss and evenness had no bearing on the mycobacterium's presence, or whether the site was in an endemic area. These findings, however, provide strong evidence that generalist environmentally persistent bacteria such as M. ulcerans can be associated with specific functional traits rather than taxonomic groups of organisms, increasing our understanding of emerging disease ecology and origin.

  8. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    -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...

  10. 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

    through the target cell membrane. Subsequently, the bacteriophage genome is injected through the tube. The structural transformation of the bacteriophage T4 baseplate upon binding to the host cell has been recently described in near-atomic detail. In this review we discuss structural elements and features...... of this mechanism that are likely to be conserved in all contractile injection systems (systems evolutionary and structurally related to contractile bacteriophage tails). These include the type VI secretion system (T6SS), which is used by bacteria to transfer effectors into other bacteria and into eukaryotic cells...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Heightened Pelvic Floor Muscle Tone and Altered Contractility in Women With Provoked Vestibulodynia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morin, Mélanie; Binik, Yitzchak M; Bourbonnais, Daniel; Khalifé, Samir; Ouellet, Stéphane; Bergeron, Sophie

    2017-04-01

    Pelvic floor muscle (PFM) dysfunctions are reported to be involved in provoked vestibulodynia (PVD). Although heightened PFM tone has been suggested, the relative contribution of active and passive components of tone remains misunderstood. Likewise, alterations in PFM contractility have been scarcely studied. To compare PFM tone, including the relative contribution of its active and passive components, and muscular contractility in women with PVD and asymptomatic controls. Fifty-six asymptomatic women and 56 women with PVD participated in the study. The PVD diagnosis was confirmed by a gynecologist based on a standardized examination. PFM function was evaluated using a dynamometric speculum combined with surface electromyography (EMG). PFM general tone was evaluated in static conditions at different vaginal apertures and during repeated dynamic cyclic stretching. The active contribution of tone was characterized using the ratio between EMG in a static position and during stretching and the proportion of women presenting PFM activation during stretching. Contribution of the passive component was evaluated using resting forces, stiffness, and hysteresis in women sustaining a negligible EMG signal during stretching. PFM contractility, such as strength, speed of contraction, coordination, and endurance, also was assessed during voluntary isometric efforts. Greater PFM resting forces and stiffness were found in women with PVD compared with controls, indicating an increased general tone. An increased active component also was found in women with PVD because they presented a superior EMG ratio, and a larger proportion of them presented PFM activation during stretching. Higher passive properties also were found in women with PVD. Women with PVD also showed decreased strength, speed of contraction, coordination, and endurance compared with controls. Findings provide further evidence of the contribution of PFM alterations in the etiology of PVD. These alterations should be

  14. 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.

  15. TRPM4 Is a Novel Component of the Adhesome Required for Focal Adhesion Disassembly, Migration and Contractility.

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    Mónica Cáceres

    Full Text Available Cellular migration and contractility are fundamental processes that are regulated by a variety of concerted mechanisms such as cytoskeleton rearrangements, focal adhesion turnover, and Ca2+ oscillations. TRPM4 is a Ca2+-activated non-selective cationic channel (Ca2+-NSCC that conducts monovalent but not divalent cations. Here, we used a mass spectrometry-based proteomics approach to identify putative TRPM4-associated proteins. Interestingly, the largest group of these proteins has actin cytoskeleton-related functions, and among these nine are specifically annotated as focal adhesion-related proteins. Consistent with these results, we found that TRPM4 localizes to focal adhesions in cells from different cellular lineages. We show that suppression of TRPM4 in MEFs impacts turnover of focal adhesions, serum-induced Ca2+ influx, focal adhesion kinase (FAK and Rac activities, and results in reduced cellular spreading, migration and contractile behavior. Finally, we demonstrate that the inhibition of TRPM4 activity alters cellular contractility in vivo, affecting cutaneous wound healing. Together, these findings provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, for a TRP channel specifically localized to focal adhesions, where it performs a central role in modulating cellular migration and contractility.

  16. TRPM4 Is a Novel Component of the Adhesome Required for Focal Adhesion Disassembly, Migration and Contractility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cáceres, Mónica; Ortiz, Liliana; Recabarren, Tatiana; Romero, Anibal; Colombo, Alicia; Leiva-Salcedo, Elías; Varela, Diego; Rivas, José; Silva, Ian; Morales, Diego; Campusano, Camilo; Almarza, Oscar; Simon, Felipe; Toledo, Hector; Park, Kang-Sik; Trimmer, James S.; Cerda, Oscar

    2015-01-01

    Cellular migration and contractility are fundamental processes that are regulated by a variety of concerted mechanisms such as cytoskeleton rearrangements, focal adhesion turnover, and Ca2+ oscillations. TRPM4 is a Ca2+-activated non-selective cationic channel (Ca2+-NSCC) that conducts monovalent but not divalent cations. Here, we used a mass spectrometry-based proteomics approach to identify putative TRPM4-associated proteins. Interestingly, the largest group of these proteins has actin cytoskeleton-related functions, and among these nine are specifically annotated as focal adhesion-related proteins. Consistent with these results, we found that TRPM4 localizes to focal adhesions in cells from different cellular lineages. We show that suppression of TRPM4 in MEFs impacts turnover of focal adhesions, serum-induced Ca2+ influx, focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and Rac activities, and results in reduced cellular spreading, migration and contractile behavior. Finally, we demonstrate that the inhibition of TRPM4 activity alters cellular contractility in vivo, affecting cutaneous wound healing. Together, these findings provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, for a TRP channel specifically localized to focal adhesions, where it performs a central role in modulating cellular migration and contractility. PMID:26110647

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kampe, Aaron R; Peters, Susan E

    2013-01-01

    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. 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.

  19. AMP-activated protein kinase deficiency rescues paraquat-induced cardiac contractile dysfunction through an autophagy-dependent mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qiurong; Yang, Lifang; Hua, Yinan; Nair, Sreejayan; Xu, Xihui; Ren, Jun

    2014-11-01

    Paraquat, a quaternary nitrogen herbicide, is a highly toxic prooxidant resulting in multi-organ failure including the heart although the underlying mechanism still remains elusive. This study was designed to examine the role of the cellular fuel sensor AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in paraquat-induced cardiac contractile and mitochondrial injury. Wild-type and transgenic mice with overexpression of a mutant AMPK α2 subunit (kinase dead, KD), with reduced activity in both α1 and α2 subunits, were administered with paraquat (45 mg/kg) for 48 h. Paraquat elicited cardiac mechanical anomalies including compromised echocardiographic parameters (elevated left ventricular end-systolic diameter and reduced factional shortening), suppressed cardiomyocyte contractile function, intracellular Ca(2+) handling, reduced cell survival, and overt mitochondrial damage (loss in mitochondrial membrane potential). In addition, paraquat treatment promoted phosphorylation of AMPK and autophagy. Interestingly, deficiency in AMPK attenuated paraquat-induced cardiac contractile and intracellular Ca(2+) derangement. The beneficial effect of AMPK inhibition was associated with inhibition of the AMPK-TSC-mTOR-ULK1 signaling cascade. In vitro study revealed that inhibitors for AMPK and autophagy attenuated paraquat-induced cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction. Taken together, our findings revealed that AMPK may mediate paraquat-induced myocardial anomalies possibly by regulating the AMPK/mTOR-dependent autophagy. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, Guang-Ni; Yang, Kai; Xu, Zu-Peng; Zhu, Liang; Hou, Li-Na; Qi, Hong; Chen, Hong-Zhuan, E-mail: hongzhuan_chen@hotmail.com; Cui, Yong-Yao, E-mail: yongyaocui@yahoo.com.cn

    2012-07-01

    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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. Contractile properties of muscle fibers from the deep and superficial digital flexors of horses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butcher, M T; Chase, P B; Hermanson, J W; Clark, A N; Brunet, N M; Bertram, J E A

    2010-10-01

    Equine digital flexor muscles have independent tendons but a nearly identical mechanical relationship to the main joint they act upon. Yet these muscles have remarkable diversity in architecture, ranging from long, unipennate fibers ("short" compartment of DDF) to very short, multipennate fibers (SDF). To investigate the functional relevance of the form of the digital flexor muscles, fiber contractile properties were analyzed in the context of architecture differences and in vivo function during locomotion. Myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform fiber type was studied, and in vitro motility assays were used to measure actin filament sliding velocity (V(f)). Skinned fiber contractile properties [isometric tension (P(0)/CSA), velocity of unloaded shortening (V(US)), and force-Ca(2+) relationships] at both 10 and 30°C were characterized. Contractile properties were correlated with MHC isoform and their respective V(f). The DDF contained a higher percentage of MHC-2A fibers with myosin (heavy meromyosin) and V(f) that was twofold faster than SDF. At 30°C, P(0)/CSA was higher for DDF (103.5 ± 8.75 mN/mm(2)) than SDF fibers (81.8 ± 7.71 mN/mm(2)). Similarly, V(US) (pCa 5, 30°C) was faster for DDF (2.43 ± 0.53 FL/s) than SDF fibers (1.20 ± 0.22 FL/s). Active isometric tension increased with increasing Ca(2+) concentration, with maximal Ca(2+) activation at pCa 5 at each temperature in fibers from each muscle. In general, the collective properties of DDF and SDF were consistent with fiber MHC isoform composition, muscle architecture, and the respective functional roles of the two muscles in locomotion.

  5. Towards an integrated understanding of how micro scale processes shape groundwater ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Susanne I; Cuthbert, Mark O; Schwientek, Marc

    2017-08-15

    Micro scale processes are expected to have a fundamental role in shaping groundwater ecosystems and yet they remain poorly understood and under-researched. In part, this is due to the fact that sampling is rarely carried out at the scale at which microorganisms, and their grazers and predators, function and thus we lack essential information. While set within a larger scale framework in terms of geochemical features, supply with energy and nutrients, and exchange intensity and dynamics, the micro scale adds variability, by providing heterogeneous zones at the micro scale which enable a wider range of redox reactions. Here we outline how understanding micro scale processes better may lead to improved appreciation of the range of ecosystems functions taking place at all scales. Such processes are relied upon in bioremediation and we demonstrate that ecosystem modelling as well as engineering measures have to take into account, and use, understanding at the micro scale. We discuss the importance of integrating faunal processes and computational appraisals in research, in order to continue to secure sustainable water resources from groundwater. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Understanding the Functions of Long Non-Coding RNAs through Their Higher-Order Structures

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    Rui Li

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Although thousands of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs have been discovered in eukaryotes, very few molecular mechanisms have been characterized due to an insufficient understanding of lncRNA structure. Therefore, investigations of lncRNA structure and subsequent elucidation of the regulatory mechanisms are urgently needed. However, since lncRNA are high molecular weight molecules, which makes their crystallization difficult, obtaining information about their structure is extremely challenging, and the structures of only several lncRNAs have been determined so far. Here, we review the structure–function relationships of the widely studied lncRNAs found in the animal and plant kingdoms, focusing on the principles and applications of both in vitro and in vivo technologies for the study of RNA structures, including dimethyl sulfate-sequencing (DMS-seq, selective 2′-hydroxyl acylation analyzed by primer extension-sequencing (SHAPE-seq, parallel analysis of RNA structure (PARS, and fragmentation sequencing (FragSeq. The aim of this review is to provide a better understanding of lncRNA biological functions by studying them at the structural level.

  7. Consumer understanding and use of health claims: the case of functional foods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Annunziata, Azzurra; Mariani, Angela; Vecchio, Riccardo

    2014-01-01

    As widely acknowledged functional foods (FFs) may contribute to improve human health due to the presence of specific components useful for their protective action against several diseases. However it is essential that consumers are able to comprehend and assess the properties of FFs health claims play a central role in helping consumers to select among food alternatives, beyond providing protection against unsupported or misleading statements about foods properties. At the same time health claims are the main marketing tool that the food industry could use to differentiate FFs from other products. Clearly, massive investments in research and development are necessary to enter the FF market segment, together with the possibility to protect innovation through patents. Current paper aims to examine factors influencing consumer understanding and use of food health claims on FFs, as well as providing several indications for developers, marketers and policy makers. After a brief review of the literature the results of a quantitative survey conducted online on 650 Italian consumers are presented. Results show that consumer use and understanding of health claims on FFs depend on different variables such as socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge and confidence with nutrition information but also wording and variables related specifically to the product. Furthermore, different segments with a diverse degree of use and understanding of health claims have been identified. Therefore, to boost market growth, more efforts are needed by policy makers and marketers to provide better information on nutrition and health aspects of FF using an approach capable to ensure truthful, significant and clear information. Finally some recent patents related to the FFs market with specific regard to components and/or functionality investigated in the current paper are reviewed.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 a stand...

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

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    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.

  11. Systolic Intrinsic Frequency and Various Measures of Left Ventricle Contractility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pahlevan, Niema

    2017-11-01

    There has been growing interest during past six decades to introduce new indices for quantifying left ventricular (LV) contractility. We have recently introduced a new method, called intrinsic frequency (IF), for analyzing the dynamics of systemic circulation. IF method models LV and arterial network as an object rotating around an origin where the angular velocity of the rotation during systole (when LV and arterial network are coupled) and diastole (when arterial network is decoupled) are intrinsic frequencies, ω1 and ω2 respectively. ω1 and ω2 can be extracted from a carotid pulse waveform using IF method. In this study, Huntington Medical Research Institutes heart study data have been used to compare ω1 with various measures of LV contractility such as ejection fraction, mean velocity of circumferential fiber shortening, LV end-systolic meridional wall stress, and maximal LV power corrected for end-diastolic volume. Here, LV contractility indices were computed noninvasively from cardiac MRI and tonometry data. The results indicate that ω1 can be used as a surrogate of LV contractility. This is clinically significant since ω1 can be accurately obtained by a standard iPhone camera.

  12. Understanding human thiol dioxygenase enzymes: structure to function, and biology to pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Bibekananda; Kulharia, Mahesh; Mantha, Anil K

    2017-04-01

    Amino acid metabolism is a significant metabolic activity in humans, especially of sulphur-containing amino acids, methionine and cysteine (Cys). Cys is cytotoxic and neurotoxic in nature; hence, mammalian cells maintain a constant intracellular level of Cys. Metabolism of Cys is mainly regulated by two thiol dioxygenases: cysteine dioxygenase (CDO) and 2-aminoethanethiol dioxygenase (ADO). CDO and ADO are the only human thiol dioxygenases reported with a role in Cys metabolism and localized to mitochondria. This metabolic pathway is important in various human disorders, as it is responsible for the synthesis of antioxidant glutathione and is also for the synthesis of hypotaurine and taurine. CDO is the most extensively studied protein, whose high-resolution crystallographic structures have been solved. As compared to CDO, ADO is less studied, even though it has a key role in cysteamine metabolism. To further understand ADO's structure and function, the three-dimensional structures have been predicted from I-TASSER and SWISS-MODEL servers and validated with PROCHECK software. Structural superimposition approach using iPBA web server further confirmed near-identical structures (including active sites) for the predicted protein models of ADO as compared to CDO. In addition, protein-protein interaction and their association in patho-physiology are crucial in understanding protein functions. Both ADO and CDO interacting partner profiles have been presented using STRING database. In this study, we have predicted a 3D model structure for ADO and summarized the biological roles and the pathological consequences which are associated with the altered expression and functioning of ADO and CDO in case of cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and other human diseases. © 2017 The Authors. International Journal of Experimental Pathology © 2017 International Journal of Experimental Pathology.

  13. Understanding the bonding nature of uranyl ion and functionalized graphene: a theoretical study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Qun-Yan; Lan, Jian-Hui; Wang, Cong-Zhi; Xiao, Cheng-Liang; Zhao, Yu-Liang; Wei, Yue-Zhou; Chai, Zhi-Fang; Shi, Wei-Qun

    2014-03-20

    Studying the bonding nature of uranyl ion and graphene oxide (GO) is very important for understanding the mechanism of the removal of uranium from radioactive wastewater with GO-based materials. We have optimized 22 complexes between uranyl ion and GO applying density functional theory (DFT) combined with quasi-relativistic small-core pseudopotentials. The studied oxygen-containing functional groups include hydroxyl, carboxyl, amido, and dimethylformamide. It is observed that the distances between uranium atoms and oxygen atoms of GO (U-OG) are shorter in the anionic GO complexes (uranyl/GO(-/2-)) compared to the neutral GO ones (uranyl/GO). The formation of hydrogen bonds in the uranyl/GO(-/2-) complexes can enhance the binding ability of anionic GO toward uranyl ions. Furthermore, the thermodynamic calculations show that the changes of the Gibbs free energies in solution are relatively more negative for complexation reactions concerning the hydroxyl and carboxyl functionalized anionic GO complexes. Therefore, both the geometries and thermodynamic energies indicate that the binding abilities of uranyl ions toward GO modified by hydroxyl and carboxyl groups are much stronger compared to those by amido and dimethylformamide groups. This study can provide insights for designing new nanomaterials that can efficiently remove radionuclides from radioactive wastewater.

  14. Understanding the complexities of functional ability in Alzheimer's disease: more than just basic and instrumental factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahle-Wrobleski, Kristin; Coley, Nicola; Lepage, Benoit; Cantet, Christelle; Vellas, Bruno; Andrieu, Sandrine

    2014-05-01

    Dementia of the Alzheimer's type (AD) is defined by both cognitive and functional decline; new criteria allow for identification of milder, non-functionally impaired patients. Understanding loss of autonomy in AD is essential, as later stages represent a significant burden and cost to patients, their families, and society. The purpose of the present analyses was to determine the factor structure of the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living Scale (ADCS-ADL) in a cohort of AD patients. Baseline ADCS-ADL assessments of 734 AD patients from the PLASA study were included in an exploratory factor analysis (EFA). Because the ADCS-ADL was designed to assess change over time, change from baseline scores over 2 years were also analyzed using an EFA. Factorial solutions were evaluated based on cross-loading, non-loadings, and number of items per factor. Mean age at baseline was 79.3, mean MMSE was 19.8 and 73.3% of participants were female. Baseline data suggested a 4-factor solution that included factors for basic ADLs (BADLs), domestic/household activities, communication/engagement with the environment, and outside activities. The change scores EFA suggested a 2-factor solution of BADLs and instrumental ADLs (IADLs). Distinct factors of IADLs should be considered for further validation as areas of attention to catch early functional decline.

  15. Understanding multicellular function and disease with human tissue-specific networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greene, Casey S.; Krishnan, Arjun; Wong, Aaron K.; Ricciotti, Emanuela; Zelaya, Rene A.; Himmelstein, Daniel S.; Zhang, Ran; Hartmann, Boris M.; Zaslavsky, Elena; Sealfon, Stuart C.; Chasman, Daniel I.; FitzGerald, Garret A.; Dolinski, Kara; Grosser, Tilo; Troyanskaya, Olga G.

    2016-01-01

    Tissue and cell-type identity lie at the core of human physiology and disease. Understanding the genetic underpinnings of complex tissues and individual cell lineages is crucial for developing improved diagnostics and therapeutics. We present genome-wide functional interaction networks for 144 human tissues and cell types developed using a data-driven Bayesian methodology that integrates thousands of diverse experiments spanning tissue and disease states. Tissue-specific networks predict lineage-specific responses to perturbation, reveal genes’ changing functional roles across tissues, and illuminate disease-disease relationships. We introduce NetWAS, which combines genes with nominally significant GWAS p-values and tissue-specific networks to identify disease-gene associations more accurately than GWAS alone. Our webserver, GIANT, provides an interface to human tissue networks through multi-gene queries, network visualization, analysis tools including NetWAS, and downloadable networks. GIANT enables systematic exploration of the landscape of interacting genes that shape specialized cellular functions across more than one hundred human tissues and cell types. PMID:25915600

  16. A Small Molecule Inhibitor of Sarcomere Contractility Acutely Relieves Left Ventricular Outflow Tract Obstruction in Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua A Stern

    Full Text Available Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM is an inherited disease of the heart muscle characterized by otherwise unexplained thickening of the left ventricle. Left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT obstruction is present in approximately two-thirds of patients and substantially increases the risk of disease complications. Invasive treatment with septal myectomy or alcohol septal ablation can improve symptoms and functional status, but currently available drugs for reducing obstruction have pleiotropic effects and variable therapeutic responses. New medical treatments with more targeted pharmacology are needed, but the lack of preclinical animal models for HCM with LVOT obstruction has limited their development. HCM is a common cause of heart failure in cats, and a subset exhibit systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve leading to LVOT obstruction. MYK-461 is a recently-described, mechanistically novel small molecule that acts at the sarcomere to specifically inhibit contractility that has been proposed as a treatment for HCM. Here, we use MYK-461 to test whether direct reduction in contractility is sufficient to relieve LVOT obstruction in feline HCM. We evaluated mixed-breed cats in a research colony derived from a Maine Coon/mixed-breed founder with naturally-occurring HCM. By echocardiography, we identified five cats that developed systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve and LVOT obstruction both at rest and under anesthesia when provoked with an adrenergic agonist. An IV MYK-461 infusion and echocardiography protocol was developed to serially assess contractility and LVOT gradient at multiple MYK-461 concentrations. Treatment with MYK-461 reduced contractility, eliminated systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve and relieved LVOT pressure gradients in an exposure-dependent manner. Our findings provide proof of principle that acute reduction in contractility with MYK-461 is sufficient to relieve LVOT obstruction. Further, these studies

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Tropomyosin isoforms differentially affect muscle contractility in the head and body regions in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Dawn E; Watabe, Eichi; Ono, Kanako; Kwak, Euiyoung; Kuroyanagi, Hidehito; Ono, Shoichiro

    2018-03-01

    Tropomyosin, one of major actin-filament binding proteins, regulates actin-myosin interaction and actin filament stability. Multicellular organisms express a number of tropomyosin isoforms, but understanding of isoform-specific tropomyosin functions is incomplete. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has a single tropomyosin gene, lev-11 , which has been reported to express four isoforms by using two separate promoters and alternative splicing. Here, we report a fifth tropomyosin isoform, LEV-11O, which is produced by alternative splicing which includes a newly identified seventh exon, exon 7a. By visualizing specific splicing events in vivo , we find that exon 7a is predominantly selected in a subset of the body wall muscles in the head, while exon 7b, which is alternative to exon 7a, is utilized in the rest of the body. Point mutations in exon 7a and exon 7b cause resistance to levamisole-induced muscle contraction specifically in the head and the main body, respectively. Overexpression of LEV-11O, but not LEV-11A, in the main body results in weak levamisole resistance. These results demonstrate that specific tropomyosin isoforms are expressed in the head and body regions of the muscles and differentially contribute to the regulation of muscle contractility. © 2018 by The American Society for Cell Biology.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

    2012-11-01

    Until recently, clinicians and researchers have performed gait assessments and cognitive assessments separately when evaluating older adults, but increasing evidence from clinical practice, epidemiological studies, and clinical trials shows that gait and cognition are interrelated in older adults. Quantifiable alterations in gait in 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 article reviews the importance of the interrelationship between gait and cognition in aging and presents evidence that gait assessments can provide a window into the understanding of cognitive function and dysfunction 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. A potential complementary approach for reducing the risk of falls by improving certain aspects of cognition through nonpharmacological and pharmacological treatments is also presented. Untangling the relationship between early gait disturbances and early cognitive changes may be helpful in identifying older adults at risk of experiencing mobility decline, falls, and progression to dementia. © 2012, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2012, The American Geriatrics Society.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. High-Throughput Screening of Myometrial Calcium-Mobilization to Identify Modulators of Uterine Contractility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herington, Jennifer L; Swale, Daniel R; Brown, Naoko; Shelton, Elaine L; Choi, Hyehun; Williams, Charles H; Hong, Charles C; Paria, Bibhash C; Denton, Jerod S; Reese, Jeff

    2015-01-01

    The uterine myometrium (UT-myo) is a therapeutic target for preterm labor, labor induction, and postpartum hemorrhage. Stimulation of intracellular Ca2+-release in UT-myo cells by oxytocin is a final pathway controlling myometrial contractions. The goal of this study was to develop a dual-addition assay for high-throughput screening of small molecular compounds, which could regulate Ca2+-mobilization in UT-myo cells, and hence, myometrial contractions. Primary murine UT-myo cells in 384-well plates were loaded with a Ca2+-sensitive fluorescent probe, and then screened for inducers of Ca2+-mobilization and inhibitors of oxytocin-induced Ca2+-mobilization. The assay exhibited robust screening statistics (Z´ = 0.73), DMSO-tolerance, and was validated for high-throughput screening against 2,727 small molecules from the Spectrum, NIH Clinical I and II collections of well-annotated compounds. The screen revealed a hit-rate of 1.80% for agonist and 1.39% for antagonist compounds. Concentration-dependent responses of hit-compounds demonstrated an EC50 less than 10μM for 21 hit-antagonist compounds, compared to only 7 hit-agonist compounds. Subsequent studies focused on hit-antagonist compounds. Based on the percent inhibition and functional annotation analyses, we selected 4 confirmed hit-antagonist compounds (benzbromarone, dipyridamole, fenoterol hydrobromide and nisoldipine) for further analysis. Using an ex vivo isometric contractility assay, each compound significantly inhibited uterine contractility, at different potencies (IC50). Overall, these results demonstrate for the first time that high-throughput small-molecules screening of myometrial Ca2+-mobilization is an ideal primary approach for discovering modulators of uterine contractility.

  9. High-Throughput Screening of Myometrial Calcium-Mobilization to Identify Modulators of Uterine Contractility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herington, Jennifer L.; Swale, Daniel R.; Brown, Naoko; Shelton, Elaine L.; Choi, Hyehun; Williams, Charles H.; Hong, Charles C.; Paria, Bibhash C.; Denton, Jerod S.; Reese, Jeff

    2015-01-01

    The uterine myometrium (UT-myo) is a therapeutic target for preterm labor, labor induction, and postpartum hemorrhage. Stimulation of intracellular Ca2+-release in UT-myo cells by oxytocin is a final pathway controlling myometrial contractions. The goal of this study was to develop a dual-addition assay for high-throughput screening of small molecular compounds, which could regulate Ca2+-mobilization in UT-myo cells, and hence, myometrial contractions. Primary murine UT-myo cells in 384-well plates were loaded with a Ca2+-sensitive fluorescent probe, and then screened for inducers of Ca2+-mobilization and inhibitors of oxytocin-induced Ca2+-mobilization. The assay exhibited robust screening statistics (Z´ = 0.73), DMSO-tolerance, and was validated for high-throughput screening against 2,727 small molecules from the Spectrum, NIH Clinical I and II collections of well-annotated compounds. The screen revealed a hit-rate of 1.80% for agonist and 1.39% for antagonist compounds. Concentration-dependent responses of hit-compounds demonstrated an EC50 less than 10μM for 21 hit-antagonist compounds, compared to only 7 hit-agonist compounds. Subsequent studies focused on hit-antagonist compounds. Based on the percent inhibition and functional annotation analyses, we selected 4 confirmed hit-antagonist compounds (benzbromarone, dipyridamole, fenoterol hydrobromide and nisoldipine) for further analysis. Using an ex vivo isometric contractility assay, each compound significantly inhibited uterine contractility, at different potencies (IC50). Overall, these results demonstrate for the first time that high-throughput small-molecules screening of myometrial Ca2+-mobilization is an ideal primary approach for discovering modulators of uterine contractility. PMID:26600013

  10. 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.

  11. Role of UCP3 in state 4 respiration during contractile activity-induced mitochondrial biogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ljubicic, Vladimir; Adhihetty, Peter J; Hood, David A

    2004-09-01

    In an effort to better characterize uncoupling protein-3 (UCP3) function in skeletal muscle, we assessed basal UCP3 protein content in rat intermyofibrillar (IMF) and subsarcolemmal (SS) mitochondrial subfractions in conjunction with measurements of state 4 respiration. UCP3 content was 1.3-fold (P respiration was 2.6-fold greater (P respiration by approximately 40% (P respiration in IMF mitochondria only. We used chronic electrical stimulation (3 h/day for 7 days) to investigate the relationship between changes in UCP3 protein expression and alterations in state 4 respiration during contractile activity-induced mitochondrial biogenesis. UCP3 content was increased by 1.9- and 2.3-fold in IMF and SS mitochondria, respectively, which exceeded the concurrent 40% (P respiration by 1.4-fold (P respiration in IMF mitochondria, which was independent of the induced twofold difference in UCP3 content due to chronic contractile activity. Thus modifications in UCP3 function are more important than changes in UCP3 expression in modifying state 4 respiration. This effect is evident in IMF but not SS mitochondria. We conclude that UCP3 at physiological concentrations accounts for a significant portion of state 4 respiration in both IMF and SS mitochondria, with the contribution being greater in the IMF subfraction. In addition, the contradiction between human and rat training studies with respect to UCP3 protein expression may partly be explained by the greater than twofold difference in mitochondrial UCP3 content between rat and human skeletal muscle.

  12. 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. 

  13. 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

  14. Disordered Actomyosin Is Sufficient to Promote Cooperative and Telescopic Contractility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murrell, Michael; Linsmeier, Ian; Banerjee, Shiladitya; Kim, Tae Yoon; Jung, Wonyeong; Oakes, Patrick

    While the molecular interactions between myosin motors and F-actin are well known, the relationship between F-actin organization and myosin-mediated force generation remains poorly understood. Here, we explore the accumulation of myosin-induced stresses within a 2D biomimetic model of the actomyosin cortex, where myosin activity is controlled spatially and temporally using light. By controlling the geometry and the duration of myosin activation, we show that contraction of disordered actomyosin is highly cooperative, telescopic with the activation area and generates a pattern of mechanical stresses consistent with those observed in contractile cells. We quantitatively reproduce these properties using an in vitro isotropic model of the actomyosin cytoskeleton, and explore the physical origins of telescopic contractility in disordered networks using agent-based simulations. NSF CMMI-1525316.

  15. Spontaneous oscillations of elastic contractile materials with turnover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dierkes, Kai; Sumi, Angughali; Solon, Jérôme; Salbreux, Guillaume

    2014-10-03

    Single and collective cellular oscillations driven by the actomyosin cytoskeleton have been observed in numerous biological systems. Here, we propose that these oscillations can be accounted for by a generic oscillator model of a material turning over and contracting against an elastic element. As an example, we show that during dorsal closure of the Drosophila embryo, experimentally observed changes in actomyosin concentration and oscillatory cell shape changes can, indeed, be captured by the dynamic equations studied here. We also investigate the collective dynamics of an ensemble of such contractile elements and show that the relative contribution of viscous and friction losses yields different regimes of collective oscillations. Taking into account the diffusion of force-producing molecules between contractile elements, our theoretical framework predicts the appearance of traveling waves, resembling the propagation of actomyosin waves observed during morphogenesis.

  16. 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.

  17. Effect of Aloe Barbadensis on Rat's Uterine Contractility | Iranloye ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The present study was undertaken to investigate the effect of the aqueous extract of Aloe barbadensis on the contractility of the uterine stip of a rat. Aqueous extract at final bath concentrations (FBC)1x10-4 mg/ml to 3x101 mg/ml produced a progressive increase in frequency of contraction of the uterine strip. The force of ...

  18. Intrauterine Telemetry to Measure Mouse Contractile Pressure In Vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rada, Cara C.; Pierce, Stephanie L.; Grotegut, Chad A.; England, Sarah K.

    2015-01-01

    A complex integration of molecular and electrical signals is needed to transform a quiescent uterus into a contractile organ at the end of pregnancy. Despite the discovery of key regulators of uterine contractility, this process is still not fully understood. Transgenic mice provide an ideal model in which to study parturition. Previously, the only method to study uterine contractility in the mouse was ex vivo isometric tension recordings, which are suboptimal for several reasons. The uterus must be removed from its physiological environment, a limited time course of investigation is possible, and the mice must be sacrificed. The recent development of radiometric telemetry has allowed for longitudinal, real-time measurements of in vivo intrauterine pressure in mice. Here, the implantation of an intrauterine telemeter to measure pressure changes in the mouse uterus from mid-pregnancy until delivery is described. By comparing differences in pressures between wild type and transgenic mice, the physiological impact of a gene of interest can be elucidated. This technique should expedite the development of therapeutics used to treat myometrial disorders during pregnancy, including preterm labor. PMID:25867820

  19. Multicellular contractility contributes to the emergence of mesothelioma nodules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czirok, Andras

    Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) nodules arise from the mesothelial lining of the pleural cavity by a poorly understood mechanism. We demonstrate that macroscopic multicellular aggregates, reminiscent of the MPM nodules found in patients, develop when MPM cell lines are cultured at high cell densities for several weeks. Surprisingly, the nodule-like aggregates do not arise by excessive local cell proliferation, but by myosin II-driven cell contractility. Contractile nodules contain prominent actin cables that can span several cells. Several features of the in vitro MPM nodule development can be explained by a computational model that assumes uniform and steady intercellular contractile forces within a monolayer of cells, and a mechanical load-dependent lifetime of cell-cell contacts. The model behaves as a self-tensioned Maxwell fluid and exhibits an instability that leads to pattern formation. Altogether, our findings suggest that inhibition of the actomyosin system may provide a hitherto not utilized therapeutic approach to affect MPM growth. NIH R01-GM102801.

  20. 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...... was correlated to the LV extent of myocardial metabolism--blood flow reverse mismatch. Most of the patients experienced an improvement in their angina pectoris, heart failure symptoms and exercise capacity after CABG; the overall 3-year survival was 77%. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with chronic ischemic heart disease...... indicated a time limit for such a recovery. We therefore investigated the extent of viable myocardium in patients with impaired LV function due to ischemic heart disease after a prolonged strategy of medical treatment and its relation to changes in clinical variables after CABG. METHODS: Forty...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. An Analysis of Grade 11 Learners' Levels of Understanding of Functions in Terms of APOS Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chimhande, Tinoda; Naidoo, Ana; Stols, Gerrit

    2017-01-01

    This article reports on a study of six Grade 11 learners' levels of understanding of concepts related to the function definition and representation. Task-based clinical interviews were used to elicit the learners' interpretations and reasoning when working with these function-related concepts. Indicators for Action-Process-Object-Schema (APOS)…

  5. α-Actinin links extracellular matrix rigidity-sensing contractile units with periodic cell-edge retractions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meacci, Giovanni; Wolfenson, Haguy; Liu, Shuaimin; Stachowiak, Matthew R.; Iskratsch, Thomas; Mathur, Anurag; Ghassemi, Saba; Gauthier, Nils; Tabdanov, Erdem; Lohner, James; Gondarenko, Alexander; Chander, Ashok C.; Roca-Cusachs, Pere; O’Shaughnessy, Ben; Hone, James; Sheetz, Michael P.

    2016-01-01

    During spreading and migration, the leading edges of cells undergo periodic protrusion–retraction cycles. The functional purpose of these cycles is unclear. Here, using submicrometer polydimethylsiloxane pillars as substrates for cell spreading, we show that periodic edge retractions coincide with peak forces produced by local contractile units (CUs) that assemble and disassemble along the cell edge to test matrix rigidity. We find that, whereas actin rearward flow produces a relatively constant force inward, the peak of local contractile forces by CUs scales with rigidity. The cytoskeletal protein α-actinin is shared between these two force-producing systems. It initially localizes to the CUs and subsequently moves inward with the actin flow. Knockdown of α-actinin causes aberrant rigidity sensing, loss of CUs, loss of protrusion–retraction cycles, and, surprisingly, enables the cells to proliferate on soft matrices. We present a model based on these results in which local CUs drive rigidity sensing and adhesion formation. PMID:27122603

  6. Adenylyl cyclase-mediated effects contribute to increased Isoprenaline-induced cardiac contractility in TRPM4-deficient mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uhl, Sebastian; Mathar, Ilka; Vennekens, Rudi; Freichel, Marc

    2014-09-01

    measured contractility under ischemic conditions. Here, Trpm4(-/-) papillary muscles showed improved contractile function in comparison to wild type. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that TRPM4 has a limiting effect on cardiac contractility specifically in ATP depleting conditions. The increased positive inotropic response in Trpm4(-/-) papillary muscles evoked by stimulation of adenylyl cyclase activity is not observed without active enhancement of ATP hydrolysis. Furthermore, the contractility of Trpm4(-/-) papillary muscles was also increased during ischemic simulation. These data underscore the potential of TRPM4 inactivation as an approach to increase inotropy in specific conditions associated with increased catecholamine levels, such as heart failure and ischemia. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Taurine depresses cardiac contractility and enhances systemic heart glucose utilization in the cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacCormack, Tyson J; Callaghan, N I; Sykes, A V; Driedzic, W R

    2016-02-01

    Taurine is the most abundant amino acid in the blood of the cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis, where levels can exceed 200 mmol L(-1). In mammals, intracellular taurine modulates cardiac Ca(2+) handling and carbohydrate metabolism at much lower concentrations but it is not clear if it exerts similar actions in cephalopods. Blood Ca(2+) levels are high in cephalopods and we hypothesized that taurine would depress cardiac Ca(2+) flux and modulate contractility in systemic and branchial hearts of cuttlefish. Heart performance was assessed with an in situ perfused systemic heart preparation and contractility was evaluated using isometrically contracting systemic and branchial heart muscle rings. Stroke volume, cardiac output, and Ca(2+) sensitivity were significantly lower in systemic hearts perfused with supplemental taurine (100 mmol L(-1)) than in controls. In muscle ring preparations, taurine impaired relaxation at high contraction frequencies, an effect abolished by supra-physiological Ca(2+) levels. Taurine did not affect oxygen consumption in non-contracting systemic heart muscle, but extracellular glucose utilization was twice that of control preparations. Collectively, our results suggest that extracellular taurine depresses cardiac Ca(2+) flux and potentiates glucose utilization in cuttlefish. Variations in taurine levels may represent an important mechanism for regulating cardiovascular function and metabolism in cephalopods.

  8. Natural Antioxidant-Isoliquiritigenin Ameliorates Contractile Dysfunction of Hypoxic Cardiomyocytes via AMPK Signaling Pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoyu Zhang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Isoliquiritigenin (ISL, a simple chalcone-type flavonoid, is derived from licorice compounds and is mainly present in foods, beverages, and tobacco. Reactive oxygen species (ROS is a critical factor involved in modulating cardiac stress response signaling during ischemia and reperfusion. We hypothesize that ISL as a natural antioxidant may protect heart against ischemic injury via modulating cellular redox status and regulating cardioprotective signaling pathways. The fluorescent probe H2DCFDA was used to measure the level of intracellular ROS. The glucose uptake was determined by 2-deoxy-D-glucose-3H accumulation. The IonOptix System measured the contractile function of isolated cardiomyocytes. The results demonstrated that ISL treatment markedly ameliorated cardiomyocytes contractile dysfunction caused by hypoxia. ISL significantly stimulated cardioprotective signaling, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK signaling pathways. The ROS fluorescent probe H2DCFDA determination indicated that ISL significantly reduced cardiac ROS level during hypoxia/reoxygenation. Moreover, ISL reduced the mitochondrial potential (Δψ of isolated mouse cardiomyocytes. Taken together, ISL as a natural antioxidant demonstrated the cardioprotection against ischemic injury that may attribute to the activation of AMPK and ERK signaling pathways and balance of cellular redox status.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 mo...

  11. 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

  12. A Functional Approach towards Understanding the Role of the Mitochondrial Respiratory Chain in an Endomycorrhizal Symbiosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercy, Louis; Lucic-Mercy, Eva; Nogales, Amaia; Poghosyan, Areg; Schneider, Carolin; Arnholdt-Schmitt, Birgit

    2017-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are crucial components of fertile soils, able to provide several ecosystem services for crop production. Current economic, social and legislative contexts should drive the so-called “second green revolution” by better exploiting these beneficial microorganisms. Many challenges still need to be overcome to better understand the mycorrhizal symbiosis, among which (i) the biotrophic nature of AMF, constraining their production, while (ii) phosphate acts as a limiting factor for the optimal mycorrhizal inoculum application and effectiveness. Organism fitness and adaptation to the changing environment can be driven by the modulation of mitochondrial respiratory chain, strongly connected to the phosphorus processing. Nevertheless, the role of the respiratory function in mycorrhiza remains largely unexplored. We hypothesized that the two mitochondrial respiratory chain components, alternative oxidase (AOX) and cytochrome oxidase (COX), are involved in specific mycorrhizal behavior. For this, a complex approach was developed. At the pre-symbiotic phase (axenic conditions), we studied phenotypic responses of Rhizoglomus irregulare spores with two AOX and COX inhibitors [respectively, salicylhydroxamic acid (SHAM) and potassium cyanide (KCN)] and two growth regulators (abscisic acid – ABA and gibberellic acid – Ga3). At the symbiotic phase, we analyzed phenotypic and transcriptomic (genes involved in respiration, transport, and fermentation) responses in Solanum tuberosum/Rhizoglomus irregulare biosystem (glasshouse conditions): we monitored the effects driven by ABA, and explored the modulations induced by SHAM and KCN under five phosphorus concentrations. KCN and SHAM inhibited in vitro spore germination while ABA and Ga3 induced differential spore germination and hyphal patterns. ABA promoted mycorrhizal colonization, strong arbuscule intensity and positive mycorrhizal growth dependency (MGD). In ABA treated plants, R. irregulare

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Continuum mechanical model for cross-linked actin networks with contractile bundles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, J. P. S.; Parente, M. P. L.; Natal Jorge, R. M.

    2018-01-01

    In the context of a mechanical approach to cell biology, there is a close relationship between cellular function and mechanical properties. In recent years, an increasing amount of attention has been given to the coupling between biochemical and mechanical signals by means of constitutive models. In particular, on the active contractility of the actin cytoskeleton. Given the importance of the actin contraction on the physiological functions, this study propose a constitutive model to describe how the filamentous network controls its mechanics actively. Embedded in a soft isotropic ground substance, the network behaves as a viscous mechanical continuum, comprised of isotropically distributed cross-linked actin filaments and actomyosin bundles. Trough virtual rheometry experiments, the present model relates the dynamics of the myosin motors with the network stiffness, which is to a large extent governed by the time-scale of the applied deformations/forces.

  18. Spatio-temporal changes of lymphatic contractility and drainage patterns following lymphadenectomy in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunkuk Kwon

    Full Text Available To investigate the redirection of lymphatic drainage post-lymphadenectomy using non-invasive near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF imaging, and to subsequently assess impact on metastasis.Cancer-acquired lymphedema arises from dysfunctional fluid transport after lymphadenectomy performed for staging and to disrupt drainage pathways for regional control of disease. However, little is known about the normal regenerative processes of the lymphatics in response to lymphadenectomy and how these responses can be accelerated, delayed, or can impact metastasis.Changes in lymphatic "pumping" function and drainage patterns were non-invasively and longitudinally imaged using NIRF lymphatic imaging after popliteal lymphadenectomy in mice. In a cohort of mice, B16F10 melanoma was inoculated on the dorsal aspect of the paw 27 days after lymphadenectomy to assess how drainage patterns affect metastasis.NIRF imaging demonstrates that, although lymphatic function and drainage patterns change significantly in early response to popliteal lymph node (PLN removal in mice, these changes are transient and regress dramatically due to a high regenerative capacity of the lymphatics and co-opting of collateral lymphatic pathways around the site of obstruction. Metastases followed the pattern of collateral pathways and could be detected proximal to the site of lymphadenectomy.Both lymphatic vessel regeneration and co-opting of contralateral vessels occur following lymphadenectomy, with contractile function restored within 13 days, providing a basis for preclinical and clinical investigations to hasten lymphatic repair and restore contractile lymphatic function after surgery to prevent cancer-acquired lymphedema. Patterns of cancer metastasis after lymphadenectomy were altered, consistent with patterns of re-directed lymphatic drainage.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Understanding the hydrological functioning of headwater streams using periodic observations of river flow state

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaufort, Aurélien; Leblois, Etienne; Pella, Hervé; Datry, Thibault; Sauquet, Eric

    2017-04-01

    Due to their upstream position in river networks, many headwater streams (HS) experience recurrent flow cessation and/or drying events. They have many ecological values since they are located at the interface between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and contribute to good status of rivers (sediment flux, input of organic matter…). However, the understanding of HS remains limited because gauging stations are preferentially located along perennial rivers and, consequently, the proportion of intermittent rivers (IR) is highly underestimated. In France, the observation network ONDE ("Observatoire National Des Etiages", in French) was designed by ONEMA to complement discharge data from the conventional French River Flow Monitoring network (HYDRO) to better understand HS dynamics. ONDE provides visual observations of flow state at 3300 sites along river channels located throughout France since 2012. One observation is made every month between April and October and the frequency of observations may increase during drought period to 4 visits / month. One of the following flow states is assigned at each observation: "flowing", "no flow" or "dry". The objective of this work is to combine and valorize information from both networks in order to describe the hydrological functioning of headwater streams at a regional scale. A special attention is given to characterize spatial distribution and frequency of flow intermittence and to explore how flow intermittence patterns are related to environmental drivers. A first analyze of the ONDE network indicated that 35% of sites have shown that at least one zero-flow event between 2012 and 2016 against only 8% with the HYDRO database considering gauging stations as intermittent when the mean number of zero flows ≥ 5 days/year. The proportion of zero-flow events for 93 ONDE sites was higher than 50%. Conversely, no drying events were observed for 1680 sites (50 %) during the observation period. These dry events mainly occurs during

  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. 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

  4. 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…

  5. Understanding fungal functional biodiversity during the mitigation of environmentally dispersed pentachlorophenol in cork oak forest soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Varela, Adelia; Martins, Celso; Nunez, Oscar; Martins, Isabel; Houbraken, Jos A. M. P.; Martins, Tiago M.; Leitao, M. Cristina; McLellan, Iain; Vetter, Walter; Galceran, M. Teresa; Samson, Robert A.; Hursthouse, Andrew; Pereira, Cristina Silva

    Pentachlorophenol (PCP) is globally dispersed and contamination of soil with this biocide adversely affects its functional biodiversity, particularly of fungi – key colonizers. Their functional role as a community is poorly understood, although a few pathways have been already elucidated in pure

  6. Challenges in microbial ecology: building predictive understanding of community function and dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Widder, S.; Allen, R.J.; Pfeiffer, T.; Curtis, T.P.; Wiuf, C.; Sloan, W.T.; Cordero, O.X.; Brown, S.P.; Momeni, B.; Shou, W.; Kettle, H.; Flint, H.J.; Haas, A.F.; Laroche, B.; Kreft, J.U.; Rainey, P.B.; Freilich, S.; Schuster, S.; Milferstedt, K.; van der Meer, J.R.; Groβkopf, T.; Huisman, J.; Free, A.; Picioreanu, C.; Quince, C.; Klapper, I.; Labarthe, S.; Smets, B.F.; Wang, H; Soyer, O.S.

    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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heinen, J.; Dubbeldam, D.

    2016-01-01

    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

  8. 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.

  9. The Effect of the Use of Number Lines Representations on Student Understanding of Basic Function Concepts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, James R.

    Researchers and educators are calling for increased use of technology and attention to function concepts in school mathematics. Students often have considerable difficulty gleaning pointwise and global information from Cartesian (R squared) representations of functions, whether they are hand- or machine-produced. Described here is an interactive…

  10. 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.

  11. Fiber plucking: large emergent contractility in stiff biopolymer networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronceray, Pierre; Broedersz, Chase; Lenz, Martin

    The mechanical properties of the cell depend crucially on the tension of its cytoskeleton. Contractile stresses in this fiber network originate from the forces exerted by active motor proteins. Importantly, experimentally observed cell-scale stresses are much larger than would be expected from linear elastic transmission of the molecular forces. We have recently proposed a mechanism for this nonlinear stress amplification, involving extended filament buckling in the network. We propose here an alternate mechanism: when active forces are exerted transversely on a filament, they induce a nonlinear tension in the plucked fiber. The resulting contractile response in the far-field can overwhelm dramatically the linear stress prediction. Importantly, such a plucking force amplification relies on the surrounding network to be stiff and only moderately stressed. These conditions compete with those required to observe amplification due to fiber buckling. Fiber networks thus provide several distinct pathways for living systems to amplify their molecular forces. Their relative importance in biological relevant situations could be assessed using experimentally testable scaling laws.

  12. Pelvic floor muscle contractility: digital assessment vs transperineal ultrasound.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Delft, K; Thakar, R; Sultan, A H

    2015-02-01

    A significant reduction in hiatal area and anteroposterior diameter can be induced by pelvic floor muscle contraction, and this has been demonstrated using three-dimensional/four-dimensional (3D/4D) transperineal ultrasound (TPS) in a small group of women. Our objective was to correlate pelvic floor muscle contractility using digital assessment with the change in TPS hiatus measurements during maximum pelvic floor muscle contraction. Nulliparous pregnant women were recruited from the antenatal clinic. Pelvic floor muscle contractility was assessed by digital palpation using the validated Modified Oxford Scale (MOS). Subsequently, women underwent 3D/4D TPS. Measurements of the hiatal area and anteroposterior diameter were taken from the rendered ultrasound images at rest and at maximum contraction, and differences in measurements were expressed as percentages. Spearman's rank (ρ) was used to assess the correlation. Four hundred and fifty-nine assessments were performed, of which 268 were from women at around 36 weeks' gestation, and 191 were from women following delivery at 3 months postpartum. The overall correlation between MOS and TPS was found to be ρ = 0.47 for hiatal area (P biofeedback when training patients in pelvic floor muscle exercises. As TPS is non-intrusive, it may be the method of choice for some women. Copyright © 2014 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. 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...

  14. Contractile properties of rat fast-twitch skeletal muscle during reinnervation - Effects of testosterone and castration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeagle, S. P.; Mayer, R. F.; Max, S. R.

    1983-01-01

    The peroneal nerve of subject rats were crushed 1 cm from the muscle in order to examine the isometric contractile properties of skeletal muscle in the recovery sequency during reinnervation of normal, castrated, and testosterone-treated rats. The particular muscle studied was the extensor digitorum longus, with functional reinnervation first observed 8-9 days after nerve crush. No evidence was found that either castration or testosterone injections altered the process of reinnervation after the nerve crush, with the conclusion being valid at the 0.05 p level. The most reliable index of reinnervation was found to be the twitch:tetanus ratio, a factor of use in future studies of the reinnervation of skeletal muscle.

  15. The meaning of isometries as function of a set of points and the process of understanding of geometric transformation

    OpenAIRE

    Thaqi, Xhevdet; Gimenez, Joaquim; Aljimi, Ekrem

    2015-01-01

    International audience; In this paper, we try to show that in the process of understanding of isometric transformations, the meaning of isometric transformations is characterized as a function of whole figure to whole figure, as a function of the parts of the figure to the correspondent parts of the figure, and as a function of the set of points of figure to set of points of the same or other figures. This perception of isometric transformation has been observed in an experimental study which...

  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. 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.

  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. 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…

  20. Metagenomics-enabled understanding of the functions and activities of microbial communities at ERSP field research

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tiedje, James M. [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States)

    2014-01-08

    The focus of our work is to better understand the bioremediation of uranium in the subsurface. To evaluate the natural occurring uranium-immobilizing bacterial populations, we have anaerobically enriched uranium contaminated soil sediments (FW107, FW102-2, and FW102-3) collected from ORNL iFRC site (S3 area).

  1. 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…

  2. On the role of patterns in understanding the functioning of soil-vegetation-atmosphere systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    In this paper, we review the role of patterns to improve our understanding of water, mass and energy exchange processes in soil-vegetation-atmosphere systems. We explore the main mechanisms that lead to the formation of patterns in these systems and discuss different approaches to characterizing and...

  3. 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...

  4. Drosophila Malpighian Tubules: A Model for Understanding Kidney Development, Function, and Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gautam, Naveen Kumar; Verma, Puja; Tapadia, Madhu G

    The Malpighian tubules of insects are structurally simple but functionally important organs, and their integrity is important for the normal excretory process. They are functional analogs of human kidneys which are important physiological organs as they maintain water and electrolyte balance in the blood and simultaneously help the body to get rid of waste and toxic products after various metabolic activities. In addition, it receives early indications of insults to the body such as immune challenge and other toxic components and is essential for sustaining life. According to National Vital Statistics Reports 2016, renal dysfunction has been ranked as the ninth most abundant cause of death in the USA. This chapter provides detailed descriptions of Drosophila Malpighian tubule development, physiology, immune function and also presents evidences that Malpighian tubules can be used as a model organ system to address the fundamental questions in developmental and functional disorders of the kidney.

  5. 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

  6. Expanding our understanding of leaf functional syndromes in savanna systems: the role of plant growth form.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossatto, Davi Rodrigo; Franco, Augusto Cesar

    2017-04-01

    The assessment of leaf strategies has been a common theme in ecology, especially where multiple sources of environmental constraints (fire, seasonal drought, nutrient-poor soils) impose a strong selection pressure towards leaf functional diversity, leading to inevitable tradeoffs among leaf traits, and ultimately to niche segregation among coexisting species. As diversification on leaf functional strategies is dependent on integration at whole plant level, we hypothesized that regardless of phylogenetic relatedness, leaf trait functional syndromes in a multivariate space would be associated with the type of growth form. We measured traits related to leaf gas exchange, structure and nutrient status in 57 coexisting species encompassing all Angiosperms major clades, in a wide array of plant morphologies (trees, shrubs, sub-shrubs, herbs, grasses and palms) in a savanna of Central Brazil. Growth forms differed in mean values for the studied functional leaf traits. We extracted 4 groups of functional typologies: grasses (elevated leaf dark respiration, light-saturated photosynthesis on a leaf mass and area basis, lower values of leaf Ca and Mg), herbs (high values of SLA, leaf N and leaf Fe), palms (high values of stomatal conductance, leaf transpiration and leaf K) and woody eudicots (sub-shrubs, shrubs and trees; low SLA and high leaf Ca and Mg). Despite the large range of variation among species for each individual trait and the independent evolutionary trajectory of individual species, growth forms were strongly associated with particular leaf trait combinations, suggesting clear evolutionary constraints on leaf function for morphologically similar species in savanna ecosystems.

  7. 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

  8. 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....

  9. The Effect of Creatine Kinase Inhibition on Contractile Properties of Human Resistance Arteries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Taherzadeh, Zhila; Karamat, Fares A.; Ankum, Willem M.; Clark, Joseph F.; van Montfrans, Gert A.; van Bavel, Ed; Brewster, Lizzy M.

    2016-01-01

    Creatine kinase (CK) is a main predictor of blood pressure, and this is thought to largely depend on high resistance artery contractility. We previously reported an association between vascular contractility and CK in normotensive pregnancy, but pregnancy is a strong CK inducer, and data on human

  10. Reliability of contractile properties of the knee extensor muscles in individuals with post-polio syndrome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Voorn, Eric L.; Brehm, Merel A.; Beelen, Anita; de Haan, Arnold; Nollet, Frans; Gerrits, Karin H. L.

    2014-01-01

    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

  11. 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

  12. Effects of lengthening contraction on calcium kinetics and skeletal muscle contractility in humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, J S; Madsen, K; Jørgensen, L V

    2005-01-01

    We have tested the hypothesis that the altered muscle contractility after lengthening contractions (LC) is caused by altered calcium (Ca2+) kinetics.......We have tested the hypothesis that the altered muscle contractility after lengthening contractions (LC) is caused by altered calcium (Ca2+) kinetics....

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Improved contractile force generation of tissue-engineered skeletal muscle constructs by IGF-I and Bcl-2 gene transfer with electrical pulse stimulation

    OpenAIRE

    Ikeda, Kazushi; Ito, Akira; Sato, Masanori; Kawabe, Yoshinori; Kamihira, Masamichi

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Tissue-engineered skeletal muscle constructs should be designed to generate contractile force with directional movement. Because electrical impulses from a somatic nervous system are crucial for in vivo skeletal muscle development, electrical pulse stimulation (EPS) culture as an artificial exercise is essential to fabricate functional skeletal muscle tissues in vitro. To further improve muscle functions, the activation of cell-signaling pathways from myogenic growth factors, su...

  16. 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.

  17. Understanding Pervasive Language Impairment in Young Children: Exploring Patterns in Narrative Language and Functional Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waters, Anna Jeddeloh

    2013-01-01

    Research has identified language impairment as a pervasive disability (Bishop & Edmundson, 1987; Greenhalgh & Strong, 2001). Classroom communication behaviors have a role in the maintenance of special education eligibility and functional communication difficulties for young children with language impairment. This paper reviews the…

  18. 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

  19. Excisional Precision Matters: Understanding the Influence of Excisional Volume Loss on Renal Function After Partial Nephrectomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagenais, Julien; Maurice, Matthew J; Mouracade, Pascal; Kara, Onder; Malkoc, Ercan; Kaouk, Jihad H

    2017-08-01

    Renal function after partial nephrectomy (PN) may depend on modifiable factors including ischemia time, excision of healthy parenchyma (excisional volume loss, EVL), and reconstructive methods. We retrospectively reviewed our institutional robotic PN database to identify the predictors of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) preservation (GFR-P) at 3-12 mo postoperatively, during which GFR decline plateaus. Baseline clinical, sociodemographic, and radiologic characteristics were captured. Univariate and multivariate (MV) linear regression analyses were performed and marginal effects were employed to examine the relative effect of EVL on renal function. A total of 647 patients who underwent robotic PN had GFR data at a median follow-up of 6 mo. On MV models, EVL was significantly correlated with GFR-P following log transformation (p=0.001). Each doubling of EVL caused a 1.5% decrease in GFR-P. Ischemia time and tumor complexity were not significantly associated with GFR-P. In summary, GFR-P after PN appears to be significantly associated with the excised volume of benign parenchyma. At a high-volume tertiary care center, we investigated the impact of surgical factors on kidney function after kidney cancer surgery. We found that the surgical precision with which the tumor is excised significantly impacts kidney function at 3-12 mo after surgery. Copyright © 2017 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Quality of life and social production functions : A framework for understanding health effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ormel, J.; Lindenberg, S.; Steverink, N.; Vonkorff, M.

    1997-01-01

    Quality of life (QofL) has emerged as a new outcome paradigm. It is now the endpoint in various taxonomies of patient outcomes, in which relationships are modeled amongst biological abnormalities, symptom status, functional status, disability, health perceptions and quality of life. Although current

  1. 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...

  2. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leister, Dario Michael

    2016-01-01

    of plant nuclear genomes that have emerged since 2000. Here I review the results of these attempts to reconstruct the evolution and functions of plant DNA-containing organelles, focusing in particular on data from nuclear genomes. In addition, I discuss proteomic approaches to the direct identification...

  4. 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…

  5. Maternal yolk testosterone in canary eggs : toward a better understanding of mechanisms and function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Muller, Wendt; Boonen, Sofie; Groothuis, Ton G. G.; Eens, Marcel

    2010-01-01

    Maternal yolk androgens in avian eggs have been shown to affect numerous offspring traits. These changes in offspring phenotype represent examples of maternal effects and are thought to adjust offspring development to the posthatching environment. When studying the functional consequences of yolk

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. Understanding Parent-Child Social Informant Discrepancy in Youth with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerner, Matthew D.; Calhoun, Casey D.; Mikami, Amori Yee; De Los Reyes, Andres

    2012-01-01

    We investigated discrepancies between parent- and self-reported social functioning among youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Three distinct samples showed discrepancies indicating that parents viewed their children as performing one standard deviation below a standardization mean, while youth viewed themselves as comparably-skilled…

  9. Regulator of calcineurin 1 modulates vascular contractility and stiffness through the upregulation of COX-2-derived prostanoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Redondo, Ana B; Esteban, Vanesa; Briones, Ana M; Díaz Del Campo, Lucía S; González-Amor, María; Méndez-Barbero, Nerea; Campanero, Miguel R; Redondo, Juan M; Salaices, Mercedes

    2018-01-05

    Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) derived-prostanoids participate in the altered vascular function and mechanical properties in cardiovascular diseases. We investigated whether regulator of calcineurin 1 (Rcan1) participates in vascular contractility and stiffness through the regulation of COX-2. For this, wild type (Rcan1 +/+ ) and Rcan1-deficient (Rcan1 -/- ) mice untreated or treated with the COX-2 inhibitor rofecoxib were used. Vascular function and structure were analysed by myography. COX-2 and phospo-p65 expression were studied by western blotting and immunohistochemistry and TXA 2 production by ELISA. We found that Rcan1 deficiency increases COX-2 and IL-6 expression and NF-κB activation in arteries and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). Adenoviral-mediated re-expression of Rcan1.4 in Rcan1 -/- VSMC normalized COX-2 expression. Phenylephrine-induced vasoconstrictor responses were greater in aorta from Rcan1 -/- compared to Rcan1 +/+ mice. This increased response were diminished by etoricoxib, furegrelate, SQ 29548, cyclosporine A and parthenolide, inhibitors of COX-2, TXA 2 synthase, TP receptors, calcineurin and NF-κB, respectively. Endothelial removal and NOS inhibition increased phenylephrine responses only in Rcan1 +/+ mice. TXA 2 levels were greater in Rcan1 -/- mice. In small mesenteric arteries, vascular function and structure were similar in both groups of mice; however, vessels from Rcan1 -/- mice displayed an increase in vascular stiffness that was diminished by rofecoxib. In conclusion, our results suggest that Rcan1 might act as endogenous negative modulator of COX-2 expression and activity by inhibiting calcineurin and NF-kB pathways to maintain normal contractility and vascular stiffness in aorta and small mesenteric arteries, respectively. Our results uncover a new role for Rcan1 in vascular contractility and mechanical properties. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Sharpening the edges of understanding the structure/function of the LPA1 receptor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murph, Mandi; Nguyen, Giang; Radhakrishna, Harish; Mills, Gordon B.

    2008-01-01

    Since the molecular cloning of the vzg-1/Edg-2/LPA1 gene, studies have attempted to characterize LPA1 receptor functionality into a single categorical role, different from the other Edg-family LPA receptors. The desire to categorize LPA1 function has highlighted its complexity and demonstrated that the LPA1 receptor does not have one absolute function throughout every system. The central nervous system is highly enriched in the LPA1 receptor, suggesting an integral role in neuronal processes. Metastatic and invasive breast cancer also appears to have LPA-mediated LPA1 receptor functions that enhance phenotypes associated with tumorigenesis. LPA1 possesses a number of motifs conserved among G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs): a DRY-like motif, a PDZ domain, Ser/Thr predicted sites of phosphorylation, a dileucine motif, double cysteines in the tail and conserved residues that stabilize structure and determine ligand binding. The third intracellular loop of the LPA1 receptor may be the crux of receptor signaling and attenuation with phosphorylation of Thr-236 potentially a key determinant of basal LPA1 signaling. Mutagenesis data supports the notion that Thr-236 regulates this process since mutating Thr-236 to Ala-236 increased basal and LPA-mediated serum response factor (SRF) signaling activity and Lys-236 further increased this basal signaling. Here we describe progress on defining the major functions of the LPA1 receptor, discuss a context dependent dualistic role as both a negative regulator in cancer and a proto-oncogene, outline its structural components at the molecular amino-acid level and present mutagenesis data on the third intracellular loop of the receptor. PMID:18501205

  11. 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.

  12. Effect of beta-alanine and carnosine supplementation on muscle contractility in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Everaert, Inge; Stegen, Sanne; Vanheel, Bert; Taes, Youri; Derave, Wim

    2013-01-01

    Enhanced carnosine levels have been shown to be ergogenic for high-intensity exercise performances, although the role of carnosine in the control of muscle function is poorly understood. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of long-term supplementation with increasing doses of carnosine and beta-alanine on muscle carnosine, anserine, and taurine levels and on in vitro contractility and fatigue in mice. Male Naval Medical Research Institute mice (n = 66) were control fed or supplemented with either carnosine (0.1%, 0.5%, or 1.8%) or beta-alanine (0.6 or 1.2%) in their drinking water for 8-12 wk. Soleus and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) were tested for in vitro contractile properties, and carnosine, anserine, and taurine content were measured in EDL and tibialis anterior by high-performance liquid chromatography. Only supplementation with 1.8% carnosine and 1.2% beta-alanine resulted in markedly higher carnosine (up to +160%) and anserine levels (up to +46%) compared with control mice. Beta-alanine supplementation (1.2%) resulted in increased fatigue resistance in the beginning of the fatigue protocol in soleus (+2%-4%) and a marked leftward shift of the force-frequency relation in EDL (10%-31% higher relative forces). Comparable with humans, beta-alanine availability seems to be the rate-limiting step for synthesis of muscle histidine-containing dipeptides in mice. Moreover, muscle histidine-containing dipeptides loading in mice moderately and muscle dependently affects excitation-contraction coupling and fatigue.

  13. Atrophy and hypertrophy of skeletal muscles: structural and functional aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boonyarom, O; Inui, K

    2006-10-01

    This review summarizes current information on structural and functional changes that occur during muscle atrophy and hypertrophy. Most published studies consider an increase in total mass of a muscle as hypertrophy, whereas a decrease in total mass of a muscle is referred to as atrophy. In hypertrophy, the rate of synthesis is much higher than the rate of degradation of muscle contractile proteins, leading to an increase in the size or volume of an organ due to enlargement of existing cells. When a muscle remains in disuse for a long period, the rate of degradation of contractile proteins becomes greater than the rate of replacement, resulting in muscle atrophy. This defect may occur as a result of lack of nutrition, loss of nerve supply, micro-gravity, ageing, systemic disease, prolonged immobilization or disuse. An understanding of the specific modifications that occur during muscle atrophy and hypertrophy may facilitate the development of novel techniques, as well as new therapies for affected muscles.

  14. Contractile reaction of isolated frog aorta after X-irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Michailov, M.C.; Prechter, I.; Greimel, H.; Welscher, U.E.

    1983-01-01

    The action of X-rays (50 kV, filtered by 0.3 mm Al) on helical strip of frog aorta (rana esculenta) has been investigated. The isolated preparations have a stable basal tone and are radio-sensitive to X-rays which induce reversible, dose-dependent, contractile responses. After repeated irradiational tachyphylaxis appears. The threshold doses are about 250 R at 3 to 6 kR/min, antiadrenergic (phentolamine, propranolol), anticholinergic (atropin), antihistaminic (Neo-Bridal) and serotoninergic (Deseril) drugs have no visible influence on the X-ray induced reaction, i.e. these action mechanisms of the irradiation-induced contraction do not seem probable. Theophylline and cAMP inhibit the X-ray contraction probably non-specifically. Indometacin also inhibits the X-ray contraction: this suggests participation of prostaglandin-mechanism on the contraction of frog aorta after irradiation. (orig.) [de

  15. Contractile Changes in the Vasculature After Subchronic Smoking

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haanes, Kristian Agmund; Kruse, Lars Schack; Johansson, Helle Wulf

    2016-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Cigarette smoking is a well-known risk factor for developing cardiovascular diseases, but the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Recent data suggest that vasocontractile receptor modulation could be an important factor. Surfactant protein D (SP-D) is important in the particle...... clearance in the lungs and knock-out (KO) mice for this protein develop emphysema. SP-D is also weakly expressed in the vasculature. We aimed to investigate whether SP-D was important in the cardiovascular response to cigarette smoke exposure (CSE), by utilizing SP-D KO mice and a myograph setup. METHODS......: Wild type (WT) and SP-D KO mice were exposed to cigarette smoke (CS) or room air for 12 weeks. The pulmonary artery, left anterior descending coronary artery, and basilar artery (BA) were isolated and mounted in wire myographs. Contractile concentration response curves to endothelin-1 and UDP were...

  16. Tool use ability depends on understanding of functional dynamics and not specific joint contribution profiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ross eParry

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Researchers in cognitive neuroscience have become increasingly interested in how different aspects of tool use are integrated and represented by the brain. Comparatively less attention has been directed towards tool use actions themselves and how effective tool use behaviors are coordinated. In response, we take this opportunity to consider the mechanical principles of tool use actions and their relationship to motor learning. Using kinematic analysis, we examine both functional dynamics and joint contribution profiles of subjects with different levels of experience in a primordial percussive task. Our results show that the ability to successfully produce stone flakes using the Oldowan method did not correspond with any particular joint contribution profile. Rather, expertise in this tool use action was principally associated with the subject’s ability to regulate the functional parameters that define the task itself.

  17. CHRONIC FUNCTIONAL CONSTIPATION IN CHILDREN — FROM UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM TO THE PROPER TREATMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V.F. Privorotskiy

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Functional origin is known in 95% of children with constipation. According to ICD-10 there is traditional distinction between syndrome of irritated bowel and proper functional constipation which have wide spectrum of causes. Rome criteria III propose initial diagnostic criteria of these disorders but the use of the criteria in pediatrics is frequently complicated. Clinical practice of pediatrician demands differentiation of constipations into hypertonic and hypotonic ones. Treatment programs include necessary component — laxative drugs which are useful in cases of subcompensated and decompensated types of constipation. One of the laxative drugs is Forlax containing polyethyleneglycol 4.000; it can be given to children 6 months old and older. The literature data shows high efficiency and safety of the drug.Key words: children, constipation, laxative drugs.(Voprosy sovremennoi pediatrii — Current Pediatrics. 2010;9(6:69-77

  18. How the mind understands other minds: cognitive psychology, attachment and reflective function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giannoni, Massimo; Corradi, Marina

    2006-04-01

    Jung's epistemological relativistic attitude was very advanced for his time and very much in line with the contemporary philosophy of science. Further, Jung states that the patient's unconscious has the capacity to represent itself by creating metaphors which give the therapist all the help he might need in treating his patient. As such, Jungian analysts have not been encouraged to embark on theoretical work and as a result, the Jungian movement has been lacking those theories that connect general psychological principles with clinical practices. In an attempt to enlarge our 'middle-range theories', we shall discuss Peter Fonagy's concept of reflective function. In our opinion, the theoretical hypothesis regarding the instinct of reading the mind (Baron-Cohen 1995) and Fonagy's idea of reflective function are extremely useful in our Jungian clinical practice and these concepts are utilizable because they are not at odds with analytical psychology's general epistemological and theoretical framework.

  19. Computerized Electroencephalogram. A model of understanding the brain function in childhood psychosis and its treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simeon, J; Itil, T M

    1975-09-01

    Computer analysis of the electroencephalogram (CEEG) in psychotic children before and after pharmacotherapy, normal children of schizophrenic mothers, and matched normal children of normal parents indicated significant intergroup differences. The psychotic children had more slow, as well as very fast, EEG waves. With drug therapy the EEG showed a partial "normalization," as fast EEG activity decreased. The EEG and auditory evoked potential of children of schizophrenic mothers were strikingly similar to those of psychotic children and schizophrenic adults, with significant decreases of the average EEG amplitude and the evoked potential latencies. Psychotic children were distinctly differentiated from the normal children by discriminant function analysis of the EEG and EP. Quantitative analysis of brain functions in the mentally ill can help determine the neurophysiological correlates of behavior, a more scientific diagnostic classification, prognosis, and selection of therapy.

  20. Analysis of Undergraduate Students’ Mathematical Understanding Ability of the Limit of Function Based on APOS Theory Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afgani, M. W.; Suryadi, D.; Dahlan, J. A.

    2017-09-01

    The aim of this study was to know the level of undergraduate students’ mathematical understanding ability based on APOS theory perspective. The APOS theory provides an evaluation framework to describe the level of students’ understanding and mental structure about their conception to a mathematics concept. The levels of understanding in APOS theory are action, process, object, and schema conception. The subjects were 59 students of mathematics education whom had attended a class of the limit of function at a university in Palembang. The method was qualitative descriptive with 4 test items. The result showed that most of students were still at the level of action conception. They could calculate and use procedure precisely to the mathematics objects that was given, but could not reach the higher conception yet.

  1. Predicting future forests: Understanding diverse phenological responses within a community and functional trait framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolkovich, E. M.; Flynn, D. F. B.

    2016-12-01

    In recent years increasing attention has focused on plant phenology as an important indicator of the biological impacts of climate change, as many plants have shifted their leafing and flowering earlier with increasing temperatures. As data have accumulated, researchers have found a link between phenological responses to warming and plant performance and invasions. Such work suggests phenology may not only be a major impact of warming, but a critical predictor of future plant performance. Yet alongside this increasing interest in phenology, important issues remain unanswered: responses to warming for species at the same site or in the same genus vary often by weeks or more and the explanatory power of phenology for performance and invasions when analyzed across diverse datasets remains low. We propose progress can come from explicitly considering phenology within a community context and as a critical plant trait correlated with other major plant functional traits. Here, we lay out a framework for our proposal: specifically we review how we expect phenology and phenological cues of different species within a community to vary and what other functional traits are predicted to co-vary with phenological traits. Much research currently suggests phenology is a critical functional trait that is shaped strongly by the environment. Plants are expected to adjust their phenologies to avoid periods of high abiotic risk and/or high competition. Thus we may expect phenology to correlate strongly to other traits involved in mitigating risk and high competition. Results from recent meta-analyses as well as experimental and observational research from 28 species in northeastern North American temperate forests suggest that species within a community show the predicted diversified set of phenological cues. We review early work on links to other functional traits and in closing review how these correlations may in turn determine the diversity of phenological responses observed for

  2. Understanding right ventricular dysfunction and functional tricuspid regurgitation accompanying mitral valve disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas Abello, Lina Maria; Klein, Allan L; Marwick, Thomas H; Nowicki, Edward R; Rajeswaran, Jeevanantham; Puwanant, Sarinya; Blackstone, Eugene H; Pettersson, Gösta B

    2013-05-01

    The study objective was to correlate the degree of tricuspid regurgitation with clinical indicators of right-sided heart failure and both qualitative and quantitative measures of right-sided heart morphology and function in patients with degenerative mitral valve disease. From 2001 to 2007, 1833 patients with degenerative mitral valve disease, structurally normal tricuspid valve, and no coronary artery disease underwent surgery. Right-sided heart morphology (right ventricular base-to-apex length, tethering distance and area, and right atrial systolic area) and right ventricular function (tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion, myocardial performance index, and tricuspid valve annular shortening) were measured on preoperative transthoracic echocardiograms for 100 randomly selected patients from each of tricuspid regurgitation grades 0, 1+, and 2+, and for all 93 patients with tricuspid regurgitation grade 3+/4+. Multivariable regression was used to evaluate the association of left- and right-sided heart morphology and function with tricuspid regurgitation. Increasing tricuspid regurgitation grade was associated with higher right ventricular pressure (P tricuspid regurgitation was present. When tricuspid regurgitation was 3+/4+, both tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion and myocardial performance index were almost certainly abnormal. Changes in right-sided heart morphology and right ventricular dysfunction were synergistic in relation to severity of tricuspid regurgitation. Functional tricuspid regurgitation accompanying mitral valve disease is associated with proportional changes in right-sided heart morphology; however, severe tricuspid regurgitation is nearly always associated with right ventricular dysfunction, suggesting a synergistic relationship. Right ventricular dysfunction is likely as important as tricuspid regurgitation because it offers an explanation for the negative prognostic impact of tricuspid regurgitation and has implications for the

  3. Understanding the Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Executive Function, Complex Task Performance and Situation Awareness

    OpenAIRE

    Grugle, Nancy Lynn

    2005-01-01

    Both sleep deprivation and loss of situation awareness (SA) have been cited as primary causal factors contributing to the accident and injury rate in the military and civilian sector (e.g., transportation). Despite the numerous references to both factors as causal in nature, much of the literature on the effects of sleep deprivation on executive function is anecdotal. Research has produced mixed results regarding the nature and extent of performance degradation on a variety of lower-level a...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. Beyond localized and distributed accounts of brain functions. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Pessoa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cauda, Franco; Costa, Tommaso; Tamietto, Marco

    2014-09-01

    Recent evidence in cognitive neuroscience lends support to the idea that network models of brain architecture provide a privileged access to the understanding of the relation between brain organization and cognitive processes [1]. The core perspective holds that cognitive processes depend on the interactions among distributed neuronal populations and brain structures, and that the impact of a given region on behavior largely depends on its pattern of anatomical and functional connectivity [2,3].

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grönvall, Erik; Verdezoto, Nervo

    2013-01-01

    Monitoring of health parameters in non-clinical settings is one strategy to address the increasingly aging population and age-related disabilities and diseases. However, challenges exist when introducing self-monitoring activities in people’s everyday life. An active lifestyle can challenge......-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....

  11. Science Education initiation and the understanding of scientific phenomena: the function of non-formal activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Dalcin

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Research evaluates the development of scientific initiation among Basic Level students as they are stimulated to experience cognitive processes in the production of knowledge. Such processes are a strategy to build significant knowledge. Informal teaching (non-formal and outside of the classroom activities contributes to education outside the borders of the classroom promoting experiments that allow greater development and creativity through an interactive type of learning. Carrying out research and presenting its results, make young scholars improve their communication skills as well as allows them to exchange and build new conceptions about scientific knowledge. Thus, they are able to acquire an integral vision and understanding of the world. Reality is unveiled through information, knowledge, technique and theory based on social demand rather than their imposition on society. Demand for knowledge and use of theory and practice have a dialectic relationship

  12. Calcium-induced contraction and contractile protein of gallbladder smooth muscle after high-cholesterol feeding of prairie dogs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, Y. F.; Weisbrodt, N. W.; Moody, F. G.; Coelho, J. C.; Gouma, D. J.

    1987-01-01

    Feeding a high-cholesterol diet to prairie dogs causes a reduction in contractile responses of gallbladder smooth muscle from these animals. In this study, the influence of cholesterol feeding on the contractile response to calcium and on the concentration of the contractile proteins actin and

  13. 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.

  14. 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. This article was corrected on 11 Nov 2015. See the end of the full text for details.

  15. 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).

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Understanding charge transfer of Li+ and Na+ ions scattered from metal surfaces with high work function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Lin; Wu Wen-Bin; Liu Pin-Yang; Xiao Yun-Qing; Li Guo-Peng; Liu Yi-Ran; Jiang Hao-Yu; Guo Yan-Ling; Chen Xi-Meng

    2016-01-01

    For Li + and Na + ions scattered from high work function metal surfaces, efficient neutralization is observed, and it cannot be explained by the conventional free electron model. In order to explain these experimental data, we investigate the velocity-dependent neutral fraction with the modified Brako–Newns (BN) model. The calculated results are in agreement with the experimental data. We find that the parallel velocity effect plays an important role in neutralizing the Li + and Na + ions for large angle scattering. The nonmonotonic velocity behavior of neutral fraction is strongly related to the distance-dependent coupling strength between the atomic level and metal states. (paper)

  19. Lack of miR-133a Decreases Contractility of Diabetic Hearts: A Role for Novel Cross Talk Between Tyrosine Aminotransferase and Tyrosine Hydroxylase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nandi, Shyam Sundar; Zheng, Hong; Sharma, Neeru M; Shahshahan, Hamid R; Patel, Kaushik P; Mishra, Paras K

    2016-10-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have a fundamental role in diabetic heart failure. The cardioprotective miRNA-133a (miR-133a) is downregulated, and contractility is decreased in diabetic hearts. Norepinephrine (NE) is a key catecholamine that stimulates contractility by activating β-adrenergic receptors (β-AR). NE is synthesized from tyrosine by the rate-limiting enzyme, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), and tyrosine is catabolized by tyrosine aminotransferase (TAT). However, the cross talk/link between TAT and TH in the heart is unclear. To determine whether miR-133a plays a role in the cross talk between TH and TAT and regulates contractility by influencing NE biosynthesis and/or β-AR levels in diabetic hearts, Sprague-Dawley rats and miR-133a transgenic (miR-133aTg) mice were injected with streptozotocin to induce diabetes. The diabetic rats were then treated with miR-133a mimic or scrambled miRNA. Our results revealed that miR-133a mimic treatment improved the contractility of the diabetic rat's heart concomitant with upregulation of TH, cardiac NE, β-AR, and downregulation of TAT and plasma levels of NE. In miR-133aTg mice, cardiac-specific miR-133a overexpression prevented upregulation of TAT and suppression of TH in the heart after streptozotocin was administered. Moreover, miR-133a overexpression in CATH.a neuronal cells suppressed TAT with concomitant upregulation of TH, whereas knockdown and overexpression of TAT demonstrated that TAT inhibited TH. Luciferase reporter assay confirmed that miR-133a targets TAT. In conclusion, miR-133a controls the contractility of diabetic hearts by targeting TAT, regulating NE biosynthesis, and consequently, β-AR and cardiac function. © 2016 by the American Diabetes Association.

  20. 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

  1. Intestinal ischemia-reperfusion induced diaphragm contractility dysfunction: Electrophysiological and ultrastructural study in a neonatal rat model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taşkınlar, Hakan; Naycı, Ali; Çömelekoğlu, Ülkü; Polat, Gürbüz; Zorludemir, Suzan; Avlan, Dinçer

    2016-03-01

    To evaluate the remote effect of intestinal ischemia reperfusion (IR) injury mediated by tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) on diaphragm contractility functions and whether administration of NAC may counteract the possible detrimental effects in an experimental neonatal rat model. 40 Wistar rat pups were randomized into four groups; ten animals in each. Intestinal ischemia was conducted by obstructing mesentery of intestines by a silk loop. In the control group; only laparotomy was performed. After 1h ischemia, reperfusion was conducted for 1h in 1h group, 24h for 24h group and 24h for 24h+NAC group but administration of NAC (150mg/kg/day) intraperitoneally twice a day was performed. Inflammatory response was evaluated by tissue TNF-α level and contractility functions by mechanic activity studies of the diaphragm. Electrophysiology of the diaphragm and the phrenic nerve was conducted to determine neuropathy or myopathy and transmission electron microscopy was performed to evaluate ultrastructural changes in the phrenic nerve. Diaphragm tissue TNF-α level significantly increased in 1h and 24h groups (P=0.004, P=0.0001; respectively). Diaphragm mechanic activation force and duration significantly decreased at 1h and 24h (P=0.004, P=0.02 and P=0.0001, P=0.0001; respectively). NAC administration significantly prevented decrease in the maximal contraction and the duration (PIntestinal IR induced elevation of TNF-α level in the diaphragm. Impairment in the diaphragm contractility and neuropathic changes in the phrenic nerve occurred even in the first hour of reperfusion. NAC administration prevented these detrimental effects. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Maximum Entropy Production As a Framework for Understanding How Living Systems Evolve, Organize and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallino, J. J.; Algar, C. K.; Huber, J. A.; Fernandez-Gonzalez, N.

    2014-12-01

    The maximum entropy production (MEP) principle holds that non equilibrium systems with sufficient degrees of freedom will likely be found in a state that maximizes entropy production or, analogously, maximizes potential energy destruction rate. The theory does not distinguish between abiotic or biotic systems; however, we will show that systems that can coordinate function over time and/or space can potentially dissipate more free energy than purely Markovian processes (such as fire or a rock rolling down a hill) that only maximize instantaneous entropy production. Biological systems have the ability to store useful information acquired via evolution and curated by natural selection in genomic sequences that allow them to execute temporal strategies and coordinate function over space. For example, circadian rhythms allow phototrophs to "predict" that sun light will return and can orchestrate metabolic machinery appropriately before sunrise, which not only gives them a competitive advantage, but also increases the total entropy production rate compared to systems that lack such anticipatory control. Similarly, coordination over space, such a quorum sensing in microbial biofilms, can increase acquisition of spatially distributed resources and free energy and thereby enhance entropy production. In this talk we will develop a modeling framework to describe microbial biogeochemistry based on the MEP conjecture constrained by information and resource availability. Results from model simulations will be compared to laboratory experiments to demonstrate the usefulness of the MEP approach.

  3. 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.

  4. Molecular understanding of a potential functional link between antimicrobial and amyloid peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Mingzhen; Zhao, Jun; Zheng, Jie

    2014-10-14

    Antimicrobial and amyloid peptides do not share common sequences, typical secondary structures, or normal biological activity but both the classes of peptides exhibit membrane-disruption ability to induce cell toxicity. Different membrane-disruption mechanisms have been proposed for antimicrobial and amyloid peptides, individually, some of which are not exclusive to either peptide type, implying that certain common principles may govern the folding and functions of different cytolytic peptides and associated membrane disruption mechanisms. Particularly, some antimicrobial and amyloid peptides have been identified to have dual complementary amyloid and antimicrobial properties, suggesting a potential functional link between amyloid and antimicrobial peptides. Given that some similar structural and membrane-disruption characteristics exist between the two classes of peptides, this review summarizes major findings, recent advances, and future challenges related to antimicrobial and amyloid peptides and strives to illustrate the similarities, differences, and relationships in the sequences, structures, and membrane interaction modes between amyloid and antimicrobial peptides, with a special focus on direct interactions of the peptides with the membranes. We hope that this review will stimulate further research at the interface of antimicrobial and amyloid peptides - which has been studied less intensively than either type of peptides - to decipher a possible link between both amyloid pathology and antimicrobial activity, which can guide drug design and peptide engineering to influence peptide-membrane interactions important in human health and diseases.

  5. 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 simulations. In particular, modern computational tools are employed to elucidate the relationship between structure, dynamics, and function in proteins. Computer-based laboratory protocols that we introduced in three modules allow students to visualize the secondary, super-secondary, and tertiary structures of proteins, analyze non-covalent interactions in protein-ligand complexes, develop three-dimensional structural models (homology model) for new protein sequences and evaluate their structural qualities, and study proteins' intrinsic dynamics to understand their functions. In the fourth module, students are assigned to an authentic research problem, where they apply their laboratory skills (acquired in modules 1-3) to answer conceptual biophysical questions. Through this process, students gain in-depth understanding of protein dynamics-the missing link between structure and function. Additionally, the requirement of term papers sharpens students' writing and communication skills. Finally, these projects result in new findings that are communicated in peer-reviewed journals. © 2016 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. Understanding the Impact of Preservation Methods on the Integrity and Functionality of Placental Allografts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Amy; Gyurdieva, Alexandra; Dhall, Sandeep; Danilkovitch, Alla; Duan-Arnold, Yi

    2017-08-01

    Human placental membranes (hPMs) have a long history in treating burns and wounds. The composition of hPMs includes structural matrix, growth factors, and neonatal cells, all of which contribute to their regenerative potential. However, most hPM products are devitalized after dehydration and irradiation. We compared the functionality of single-layer viable cryopreserved human amniotic membrane (vCHAM) with multilayer devitalized dehydrated human amnion/chorion membrane (dHACM) in wound-relevant models to determine the effect of different processing methods on hPMs. Viable cryopreserved human amniotic membrane and dHACM were compared with fresh hPM for structural integrity and viability. Viable cell persistence in vCHAM over time was evaluated in vitro and in vivo in a diabetic chronic wound mouse model. Proliferation of cells within fresh hPM and vCHAM was evaluated with bromodeoxyuridine and Ki-67 staining, and proliferation of isolated cells in culture was evaluated. Growth factor release over time and in vitro response to chronic wound stimuli (tumor necrosis factor α, lipopolysaccharide, and hypoxia) were used to compare the functionality of vCHAM and dHACM. The structure and thickness of fresh hPM were retained in vCHAM but were compromised in dHACM. Similar to fresh hPM, vCHAM contained viable cells, whereas dHACM did not. Cells in vCHAM remained viable after 4 and 7 days in culture and in an in vitro chronic wound environment and after 4 and 8 days in vivo after application to a mouse chronic wound. Staining for bromodeoxyuridine and Ki-67 did not reveal proliferative cells within fresh hPM and vCHAM. However, isolated cells proliferated in culture. Viable cryopreserved human amniotic membrane increased platelet-derived growth factor BB, hepatocyte growth factor, and epidermal growth factor levels over time and responded to chronic wound stimuli in vitro by significantly increasing levels of vascular endothelial growth factor and prostaglandin E2

  9. Knowledge-Based Functional-Symbol Understanding In Electronic Circuit Diagram Interpretation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, C. L.; Tou, J. T.

    1986-03-01

    The AUTORED system is a computer-based system for automatic reading of electronic circuit diagrams, which was developed several years ago. This paper presents some of our new results in AUTORED research. The design of AUTORED consists of two major components: automatic interpretation of electronic diagrams, and organization of interpretation results into a knowledge base for CAD applications. An electronic circuit diagram may be segmented into three parts which are the graphical functional symbols, the connection line segments, and the denotations. New techniques for extracting symbols and denotations from the circuit diagram are presented in this paper. These techniques are designed for junction and corner extraction, line segment tracing and linking, line segment classification, connection-line segment removal and blocking, symbol locating and denotation character grouping. A knowledge base is developed to facilitate the tracing, template-matching, and categorization processes.

  10. Understanding reaction mechanisms in organic chemistry from catastrophe theory applied to the electron localization function topology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polo, Victor; Andres, Juan; Berski, Slawomir; Domingo, Luis R; Silvi, Bernard

    2008-08-07

    Thom's catastrophe theory applied to the evolution of the topology of the electron localization function (ELF) gradient field constitutes a way to rationalize the reorganization of electron pairing and a powerful tool for the unambiguous determination of the molecular mechanisms of a given chemical reaction. The identification of the turning points connecting the ELF structural stability domains along the reaction pathway allows a rigorous characterization of the sequence of electron pair rearrangements taking place during a chemical transformation, such as multiple bond forming/breaking processes, ring closure processes, creation/annihilation of lone pairs, transformations of C-C multiple bonds into single ones. The reaction mechanism of some relevant organic reactions: Diels-Alder, 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition and Cope rearrangement are reviewed to illustrate the potential of the present approach.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duncan J MacGregor

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

  13. The contributions of mental state understanding and executive functioning to preschool-aged children's lie-telling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leduc, Karissa; Williams, Shanna; Gomez-Garibello, Carlos; Talwar, Victoria

    2017-06-01

    In this study, preschool-aged children's lie-telling behaviour was examined in relation to mental state understanding and executive functioning. Sixty-seven children aged between 25 and 43 months (M age in months  = 34.80, SD = 4.39) participated in a temptation resistance paradigm (TRP). Children completed emerging ToM tasks measuring the following mental states: (1) diverse beliefs, (2) diverse desires, and (3) knowledge access. Children also completed measures of inhibitory control and working memory. In total, 63 of the 67 children peeked at the toy during the TRP, and a total of 26 of those children denied their transgression to the research assistant. Inhibitory control and understanding of knowledge access predicted lie-telling behaviour. Results are discussed in relation to a developmental model of children's lie-telling behaviour. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? The relationship between lie-telling, executive functioning, and ToM has been established in older children (aged 4 and above). Inhibitory control plays a role in young children's lie-telling (aged 2-4). Children above 3 years of age have some understanding of mental states. What does this study add? Very young children (2-3-year-olds) also possess an understanding of mental states. Mental state understanding is related to 2-3-year-old children's lie-telling behaviours and may be more predictive than inhibitory control. While the results were not significant, this study is the first to look at the unique role of working memory in very young children's lie-telling. © 2016 The British Psychological Society.

  14. Understanding collaborative care implementation in the Department of Veterans Affairs: core functions and implementation challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipschitz, Jessica M; Benzer, Justin K; Miller, Christopher; Easley, Siena R; Leyson, Jenniffer; Post, Edward P; Burgess, James F

    2017-10-10

    The collaborative care model is an evidence-based practice for treatment of depression in which designated care managers provide clinical services, often by telephone. However, the collaborative care model is infrequently adopted in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Almost all VA medical centers have adopted a co-located or embedded approach to integrating mental health care for primary care patients. Some VA medical centers have also adopted a telephone-based collaborative care model where depression care managers support patient education, patient activation, and monitoring of adherence and progress over time. This study evaluated two research questions: (1) What does a dedicated care manager offer in addition to an embedded-only model? (2) What are the barriers to implementing a dedicated depression care manager? This study involved 15 qualitative, multi-disciplinary, key informant interviews at two VA medical centers where reimbursement options were the same- both with embedded mental health staff, but one with a depression care manager. Participant interviews were recorded and transcribed. Thematic analysis was used to identify descriptive and analytical themes. Findings suggested that some of the core functions of depression care management are provided as part of embedded-only mental health care. However, formal structural attention to care management may improve the reliability of care management functions, in particular monitoring of progress over time. Barriers to optimal implementation were identified at both sites. Themes from the care management site included finding assertive care managers to hire, cross-discipline integration and collaboration, and primary care provider burden. Themes from interviews at the embedded site included difficulty getting care management on leaders' agendas amidst competing priorities and logistics (staffing and space). Providers and administrators see depression care management as a valuable healthcare service that

  15. Jackhammer esophagus: Assessing the balance between prepeak and postpeak contractile integral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Y; Carlson, D A; Lin, Z; Alhalel, N; Pandolfino, J E

    2017-11-29

    We hypothesized that symptoms in Jackhammer esophagus (JH) are associated with an imbalance between the prepeak and postpeak phases of contraction. Thus, we developed a method to distinguish the contractile integral components of prepeak and postpeak phase contractile activity to determine the contribution of each phase and their association with dysphagia. Patients diagnosed with JH were enrolled and compared to controls. The first five intact swallows during manometry were analyzed. A single swallow was divided into a prepeak and postpeak phase. The contractile integral of each phase and its corresponding time-controlled integral were computed. All metrics were compared between controls and JH patients subcategorized by the impaction dysphagia question (IDQ) score with cut-off of 6. Thirty eight JH patients and 71 controls were included. Twelve JH patients had IDQ ≤ 6 and 26 with IDQ > 6. JH patients had higher contractile integral in both phases, and a higher ratio between postpeak to prepeak contractile integral independent of duration. Similarly, JH patients with an IDQ > 6 had higher contractile metrics than those with IDQ ≤ 6. There was a correlation between the IDQ score and the ratio within the postpeak to prepeak contractile integral (r = .375). Abnormalities in contractile integral of the postpeak phase are more significant in JH with higher dysphagia scores Although the total postpeak contractile integral was higher in symptomatic patients, this was associated with longer duration of postpeak activity suggesting that dysphagia patients with JH have a defect in the postpeak phase of peristalsis. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Progress in understanding the molecular oxygen paradox - function of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species in cell signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuksal, Nidhi; Chalker, Julia; Mailloux, Ryan J

    2017-10-26

    The molecular oxygen (O2) paradox was coined to describe its essential nature and toxicity. The latter characteristic of O2 is associated with the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can damage structures vital for cellular function. Mammals are equipped with antioxidant systems to fend off the potentially damaging effects of ROS. However, under certain circumstances antioxidant systems can become overwhelmed leading to oxidative stress and damage. Over the past few decades, it has become evident that ROS, specifically H2O2, are integral signaling molecules complicating the previous logos that oxyradicals were unfortunate by-products of oxygen metabolism that indiscriminately damage cell structures. To avoid its potential toxicity whilst taking advantage of its signaling properties, it is vital for mitochondria to control ROS production and degradation. H2O2 elimination pathways are well characterized in mitochondria. However, less is known about how H2O2 production is controlled. The present review examines the importance of mitochondrial H2O2 in controlling various cellular programs and emerging evidence for how production is regulated. Recently published studies showing how mitochondrial H2O2 can be used as a secondary messenger will be discussed in detail. This will be followed with a description of how mitochondria use S-glutathionylation to control H2O2 production.

  17. Understanding charge transfer of Li+ and Na+ ions scattered from metal surfaces with high work function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lin; Wu, Wen-Bin; Liu, Pin-Yang; Xiao, Yun-Qing; Li, Guo-Peng; Liu, Yi-Ran; Jiang, Hao-Yu; Guo, Yan-Ling; Chen, Xi-Meng

    2016-08-01

    For Li+ and Na+ ions scattered from high work function metal surfaces, efficient neutralization is observed, and it cannot be explained by the conventional free electron model. In order to explain these experimental data, we investigate the velocity-dependent neutral fraction with the modified Brako-Newns (BN) model. The calculated results are in agreement with the experimental data. We find that the parallel velocity effect plays an important role in neutralizing the Li+ and Na+ ions for large angle scattering. The nonmonotonic velocity behavior of neutral fraction is strongly related to the distance-dependent coupling strength between the atomic level and metal states. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11405078 and 11474140), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China (Grant Nos. lzujbky-2014-169 and lzujbky-2015-244), the Project sponsored by the Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars, the State Education Ministry, and the National Students’ Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training Program (Grant Nos. 201410730069 and 201510730078).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Feng; Gao, Zeng-Xin; Cai, Feng; Sinkemani, Arjun; Xie, Zhi-Yang; Shi, Rui; Wei, Ji-Nan; Wu, Xiao-Tao

    2017-08-22

    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.

  19. Toward a Comprehensive Understanding of Executive Cognitive Function in Implicit Racial Bias

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    Ito, Tiffany A.; Friedman, Naomi P.; Bartholow, Bruce D.; Correll, Joshua; Loersch, Chris; Altamirano, Lee J.; Miyake, Akira

    2014-01-01

    Although performance on laboratory-based implicit bias tasks often is interpreted strictly in terms of the strength of automatic associations, recent evidence suggests that such tasks are influenced by higher-order cognitive control processes, so-called executive functions (EFs). However, extant work in this area has been limited by failure to account for the unity and diversity of EFs, focus on only a single measure of bias and/or EF, and relatively small sample sizes. The current study sought to comprehensively model the relation between individual differences in EFs and the expression of racial bias in three commonly used laboratory measures. Participants (N=485) completed a battery of EF tasks (session 1) and three racial bias tasks (session 2), along with numerous individual difference questionnaires. The main findings were as follows: (1) measures of implicit bias were only weakly intercorrelated; (2) EF and estimates of automatic processes both predicted implicit bias and also interacted, such that the relation between automatic processes and bias expression was reduced at higher levels of EF; (3) specific facets of EF were differentially associated with overall task performance and controlled processing estimates across different bias tasks; (4) EF did not moderate associations between implicit and explicit measures of bias; and (5) external, but not internal, motivation to control prejudice depended on EF to reduce bias expression. Findings are discussed in terms of the importance of global and specific EF abilities in determining expression of implicit racial bias. PMID:25603372

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Understanding How Space Travel Affects Blood Vessels: Arterial Remodeling and Functional Adaptations Induced by Microgravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delp, Michael; Vasques, Marilyn; Aquilina, Rudy (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Ever rise quickly from the couch to get something from the kitchen and suddenly feel dizzy? With a low heart rate and relaxed muscles, the cardiovascular system does not immediately provide the resistance necessary to keep enough blood going to your head. Gravity wins, at least for a short time, before your heart and blood vessels can respond to the sudden change in position and correct the situation. Actually, the human cardiovascular system is quite well adapted to the constant gravitational force of the Earth. When standing, vessels in the legs constrict to prevent blood from collecting in the lower extremities. In the space environment, the usual head-to-foot blood pressure and tissue fluid gradients that exist during the upright posture on Earth are removed. The subsequent shift in fluids from the lower to the upper portions of the body triggers adaptations within the cardiovascular system to accommodate the new pressure and fluid gradients. In animal models that simulate microgravity, the vessels in the head become more robust while those in the lower limbs become thin and lax. Similar changes may also occur in humans during spaceflight and while these adaptations are appropriate for a microgravity environment, they can cause problems when the astronauts return to Earth or perhaps another planet. Astronauts often develop orthostatic intolerance which means they become dizzy or faint when standing upright. This dizziness can persist for a number of days making routine activities difficult. In an effort to understand the physiological details of these cardiovascular adaptations, Dr. Michael Delp at Texas A&M University, uses the rat as a model for his studies. For the experiment flown on STS-107, he will test the hypothesis that blood vessels in the rats' hindlimbs become thinner, weaker, and constrict less in response to pressure changes and to chemical signals when exposed to microgravity. In addition, he will test the hypothesis that arteries in the brain

  2. Understanding of emotional experience in autism: insights from the personal accounts of high-functioning children with autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Losh, Molly; Capps, Lisa

    2006-09-01

    In this study, the authors investigate emotional understanding in autism through a discourse analytic framework to provide a window into children's strategies for interpreting emotional versus nonemotional encounters and consider the implications for the mechanisms underlying emotional understanding in typical development. Accounts were analyzed for thematic content and discourse structure. Whereas high-functioning children with autism were able to discuss contextually appropriate accounts of simple emotions, their strategies for interpreting all types of emotional (but not nonemotional) experiences differed from those used by typically developing children. High-functioning children with autism were less inclined to organize their emotional accounts in personalized causal-explanatory frameworks and displayed a tendency to describe visually salient elements of experiences seldom observed among comparison children. Findings suggest that children with autism possess less coherent representations of emotional experiences and use alternative strategies for interpreting emotionally evocative encounters. Discussion focuses on the significance of these findings for informing the nature of emotional dysfunction in autism as well as implications for theories of emotional understanding in typical development.

  3. 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 (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.

  4. 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.

  5. Understanding Zika Virus Stability and Developing a Chimeric Vaccine through Functional Analysis

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    Xuping Xie

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Compared with other flaviviruses, Zika virus (ZIKV is uniquely associated with congenital diseases in pregnant women. One recent study reported that (i ZIKV has higher thermostability than dengue virus (DENV [a flavivirus closely related to ZIKV], which might contribute to the disease outcome; (ii the higher thermostability of ZIKV could arise from an extended loop structure in domain III of the viral envelope (E protein and an extra hydrogen-bond interaction between E molecules (V. A. Kostyuchenko, E. X. Y. Lim, S. Zhang, G. Fibriansah, T.-S. Ng, J. S. G. Ooi, J. Shi, and S.-M. Lok, Nature 533:425–428, 2016, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature17994. Here we report the functional analysis of the structural information in the context of complete ZIKV and DENV-2 virions. Swapping the prM-E genes between ZIKV and DENV-2 switched the thermostability of the chimeric viruses, identifying the prM-E proteins as the major determinants for virion thermostability. Shortening the extended loop of the E protein by 1 amino acid was lethal for ZIKV assembly/release. Mutations (Q350I and T351V that abolished the extra hydrogen-bond interaction between the E proteins did not reduce ZIKV thermostability, indicating that the extra interaction does not increase the thermostability. Interestingly, mutant T351V was attenuated in A129 mice defective in type I interferon receptors, even though the virus retained the wild-type thermostability. Furthermore, we found that a chimeric ZIKV with the DENV-2 prM-E and a chimeric DENV-2 with the ZIKV prM-E were highly attenuated in A129 mice; these chimeric viruses were highly immunogenic and protective against DENV-2 and ZIKV challenge, respectively. These results indicate the potential of these chimeric viruses for vaccine development.

  6. 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.

  7. Mania secondary to focal brain lesions: implications for understanding the functional neuroanatomy of bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satzer, David; Bond, David J

    2016-05-01

    Approximately 3.5 million Americans will experience a manic episode during their lifetimes. The most common causes are psychiatric illnesses such as bipolar I disorder and schizoaffective disorder, but mania can also occur secondary to neurological illnesses, brain injury, or neurosurgical procedures. For this narrative review, we searched Medline for articles on the association of mania with stroke, brain tumors, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative disorders, epilepsy, and neurosurgical interventions. We discuss the epidemiology, features, and treatment of these cases. We also review the anatomy of the lesions, in light of what is known about the neurobiology of bipolar disorder. The prevalence of mania in patients with brain lesions varies widely by condition, from brain areas. Right-sided lesions causing hypo-functionality or disconnection (e.g., stroke; neoplasms) and left-sided excitatory lesions (e.g., epileptogenic foci) are frequently observed. Secondary mania should be suspected in patients with neurological deficits, histories atypical for classic bipolar disorder, and first manic episodes after the age of 40 years. Treatment with antimanic medications, along with specific treatment for the underlying neurologic condition, is typically required. Typical lesion locations fit with current models of bipolar disorder, which implicate hyperactivity of left-hemisphere reward-processing brain areas and hypoactivity of bilateral prefrontal emotion-modulating regions. Lesion studies complement these models by suggesting that right-hemisphere limbic-brain hypoactivity, or a left/right imbalance, may be relevant to the pathophysiology of mania. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. A Foray into Fungal Ecology: Understanding Fungi and Their Functions Across Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Tool-use training in a species of rodent: the emergence of an optimal motor strategy and functional understanding.

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    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.

  16. Contractile Force of Human Extraocular Muscle: A Theoretical Analysis

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    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Deactivation rate and shortening velocity as determinants of contractile frequency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, R L

    1990-08-01

    The kinetic properties of muscle that could influence locomotor frequency include rate of activation, rate of cross-bridge "attachment", intrinsic shortening velocity, and rate of deactivation. The latter two mechanisms are examined using examples from high-speed running in lizards and escape swimming in scallops. During running, inertial loading and elastic energy storage probably mitigate the effects of thermal alterations in intrinsic muscle shortening velocity. The result is a rather low thermal dependence of stride frequency over a 15-20 degree C temperature range. However, at lower temperatures, the longer times required for deactivation cause the thermal dependence of frequency to increase greatly. Scallops use a single muscle to swim by jet propulsion. In vivo shortening velocity in these animals also shows a low thermal dependence. As with high-speed running, the mechanics of jet propulsion may limit the effects of thermally induced changes in intrinsic shortening velocity. The largest thermal effect during swimming is on the initial phase of valve opening. The effects of temperature on the rate of deactivation of the adductor muscle could play an important role in limiting reextension of the muscle, which is dependent on elastic energy storage in the hinge ligament. These examples illustrate that the relative importance of various intrinsic contractile properties in controlling locomotor performance depends on the mechanics of the movements.

  20. Reduced calcium responsiveness characterizes contractile dysfunction following coronary microembolization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skyschally, Andreas; Gres, Petra; van Caster, Patrick; van de Sand, Anita; Boengler, Kerstin; Schulz, Rainer; Heusch, Gerd

    2008-11-01

    We addressed calcium responsiveness in microembolized myocardium at 6 h after coronary microembolization (ME). In anesthetized pigs calcium responsiveness was determined as the increase of a myocardial work index (WI; LV pressure development vs. wall thickening) in response to a graded intracoronary infusion of CaCl(2) at baseline and at 6 h after ME or placebo, respectively. At baseline, CaCl(2 )infusion increased WI in both groups (ME: 296 +/- 22 to 468 +/- 47 mmHg*mm; placebo: 324 +/- 24 to 485 +/- 38 mmHg*mm; mean +/- SEM). At 6 h after ME, WI was decreased by 159 +/- 16 mmHg*mm (P < 0.05 vs. baseline) and remained reduced at any calcium concentration, whereas it was unchanged with placebo. The calcium concentration in coronary blood necessary to achieve the half maximal increase in WI remained unchanged from baseline to 6 h and did not differ between placebo and ME. The ME-induced myocardial dysfunction is not related to an altered calcium sensitivity, but is characterized by a reduced maximal contractile force.

  1. In vitro myometrial contractility reflects indication for caesarean section.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quenby, S; Matthew, A; Zhang, J; Dawood, F; Wray, S

    2011-11-01

    To assess the extent to which in vitro measurements of myometrial contractility reflect the clinical indication for caesarean section. A prospective, observational hypothesis-generating study. Women were recruited from Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust and experiments were performed in the Physiology Department at the University of Liverpool. Myometrial samples were taken from women undergoing a caesarean section during labour (n = 50) or from women having a repeat nonlabouring caesarean section (n = 70). The demographic characteristics of the women and indications for current and previous caesarean sections were recorded. The force, frequency and duration of spontaneous contractions of myometrial strips, and changes in the intracellular calcium concentration of the strips, were measured. Kruskall-Wallis and post hoc tests were used to assess the significance of differences between groups. Samples from women whose caesarean section was for fetal distress/acidosis (scalp pH force than those from women whose caesarean section was for delay in the first stage of labour (P force than did samples from women whose first caesarean section was for delay in the first stage of labour (P = 0.03). These findings suggest that the myometrium contracts with greater force in women who have a caesarean section for fetal distress. © 2011 The Authors BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology © 2011 RCOG.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Mechanism of cytokinetic contractile ring constriction in fission yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stachowiak, Matthew R; Laplante, Caroline; Chin, Harvey F; Guirao, Boris; Karatekin, Erdem; Pollard, Thomas D; O'Shaughnessy, Ben

    2014-06-09

    Cytokinesis involves constriction of a contractile actomyosin ring. The mechanisms generating ring tension and setting the constriction rate remain unknown because the organization of the ring is poorly characterized, its tension was rarely measured, and constriction is coupled to other processes. To isolate ring mechanisms, we studied fission yeast protoplasts, in which constriction occurs without the cell wall. Exploiting the absence of cell wall and actin cortex, we measured ring tension and imaged ring organization, which was dynamic and disordered. Computer simulations based on the amounts and biochemical properties of the key proteins showed that they spontaneously self-organize into a tension-generating bundle. Together with rapid component turnover, the self-organization mechanism continuously reassembles and remodels the constricting ring. Ring constriction depended on cell shape, revealing that the ring operates close to conditions of isometric tension. Thus, the fission yeast ring sets its own tension, but other processes set the constriction rate. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  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

    2011-01-01

    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

  8. PaGenBase: a pattern gene database for the global and dynamic understanding of gene function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian-Bo Pan

    Full Text Available Pattern genes are a group of genes that have a modularized expression behavior under serial physiological conditions. The identification of pattern genes will provide a path toward a global and dynamic understanding of gene functions and their roles in particular biological processes or events, such as development and pathogenesis. In this study, we present PaGenBase, a novel repository for the collection of tissue- and time-specific pattern genes, including specific genes, selective genes, housekeeping genes and repressed genes. The PaGenBase database is now freely accessible at http://bioinf.xmu.edu.cn/PaGenBase/. In the current version (PaGenBase 1.0, the database contains 906,599 pattern genes derived from the literature or from data mining of more than 1,145,277 gene expression profiles in 1,062 distinct samples collected from 11 model organisms. Four statistical parameters were used to quantitatively evaluate the pattern genes. Moreover, three methods (quick search, advanced search and browse were designed for rapid and customized data retrieval. The potential applications of PaGenBase are also briefly described. In summary, PaGenBase will serve as a resource for the global and dynamic understanding of gene function and will facilitate high-level investigations in a variety of fields, including the study of development, pathogenesis and novel drug discovery.

  9. Platelets as Contractile Nanomachines for Targeting Drug Delivery in Hemostasis and Thrombosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-01

    AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-13-1-0495 TITLE: Platelets as Contractile Nanomachines for Targeting Drug Delivery in Hemostasis and Thrombosis PRINCIPAL...TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Platelets as Contractile Nanomachines for Targeting Drug Delivery in Hemostasis and Thrombosis 5b. GRANT...controlled nanocarriers as a novel and potentially paradigm-shifting strategy for targeted drug delivery to achieve hemostasis during bleeding. We have

  10. Effect of heart rate and myocardial contractile force on coronary resistance.

    OpenAIRE

    Saito, Daiji; Ueeda, Masayuki; Hina, Kazuyoshi; Watanabe, Hirofumi; Mima, Tsutomu; Hasui, Masahiro; Yamada, Nobuyuki; Haraoka, Shoichi; Tsuji, Takao

    1988-01-01

    The effect of the heart rate and myocardial contractile force on the extravascular resistance to blood flow of the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) was evaluated in 15 mongrel dogs anesthetized with sodium pentobarbital. The LAD was maximally dilated by intracoronary infusion of adenosine, which precluded the influence of vasomotor tone. Increases in the heart rate and myocardial contractile force decreased coronary blood flow in the absence of a change in coronary perfusion pre...

  11. A study of ventricular contractility and other parameters possibly related to vasodepressor syncope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyatt, K. H.; Sullivan, R. W.; Spears, W. R.; Vetter, W. R.

    1973-01-01

    The effects of diminished orthostatic and exercise tolerance resulting from prolonged bedrest were studied by noninvasion methods to determine if alterations in myocardial contractility were induced by bedrest. These methods were apexcardiography, systolic time intervals, and echocardiography. It is concluded that bedrest causes detrimental alterations in the contractile state of the myocardium which accounts for the decreases in maximal oxygen uptaken during exercise after bedrest. Tabulated test data are included.

  12. Accuracy of Dobutamine Stress Echocardiography in Detecting Recovery of Contractile Reserve after Revascularization of Ischemic Myocardium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abas Ali karimi

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: This study was designed to investigate the accuracy of dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE in detecting the post-revascularization recovery rate of contractile reserve (CR in ischemic myocardium. Methods: A total of 112 segments from seven patients with low ejection fraction (<35% and coronary artery disease were evaluated with DSE one week before and 12 weeks after coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of DSE for detecting the recovery rate of CR were calculated based upon their standard definition and were presented with 95% confidence intervals (CI. Results: The mean baseline left ventricular ejection fraction was 31±4%, which reached 35±7% after CABG unremarkably. The recovery rates of resting function and CR were 18.2% and 50% for hypokinetic and 15.6% and 24.1 for akinetic segments respectively. Specificity, sensitivity, and positive and negative predictive values of DSE for detecting the recovery of CR were 83% (CI=69-97, 89% (CI=83-96, 94% (CI = 88-99, and 73 % (CI = 55-88, respectively. Conclusion: Despite acceptable sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value, DSE has a relatively lower negative predictive value for detecting the recovery of CR in ischemic myocardium and, consequently, the full extent of myocardial viability. Further sensitive techniques may, therefore, be needed to provide complementary information regarding long-term functional outcome.

  13. Alternative Conformational Model of a Seed Protein DeK1 for Better Understanding of Structure-Function Relationship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Surya Bhushan Kumar

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Understanding of the cell development and differentiation processes in plant seeds in general is poor. One gene, among others, that predominantly regulates the aleurone cell formation, differentiation and specification in seeds is called defective kernel (DeK1 and several cell biology and genetic experiments have unequivocally established this fact. However, the mechanism behind such processes is still unclear and understanding the protein functionality of DeK1 is vital to elucidating its role in endosperm cell development. Only preliminary investigations have been performed for just one domain of the protein in vitro and its functional implications have been highlighted lately. An initial attempt at in silico modeling of the protein has shown promise and necessitated thorough investigation of the protein to help understand structure-function relationship in details thus corroborating experimental findings and laying foundation for further studies. DeK1 sequences in public databases were used as raw material for elaborate computational analysis of the protein. DeK1 is a multi-pass membrane protein with interesting structural features and the present analysis provides an alternative model for DeK1 structure that can help pan both in vitro and in vivo studies. The transmembrane helices were shown to have a number of conserved charged and polar residues that can form salt bridges and help in ligand binding or transmitting an external signal in addition to maintaining structural integrity. The protein possesses a big loop of about 280-300 amino acid residues on the cytoplasmic side of the membrane. It has a number of putative phosphorylation sites, multiple cysteine residues and a high density of charged residues, all of which could be important for protein-protein interaction and signaling pathways. The loop has a nuclear localization propensity as well. The long C-terminal tail of DeK1 with homology to calpain domain may be activated by the big

  14. Escherichia coli-mediated impairment of ureteric contractility is uropathogenic E. coli specific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floyd, Rachel V; Upton, Mathew; Hultgren, Scott J; Wray, Susan; Burdyga, Theodor V; Winstanley, Craig

    2012-11-15

    Ureters are fundamental for keeping kidneys free from uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), but we have shown that 2 strains (J96 and 536) can subvert this role and reduce ureteric contractility. To determine whether this is (1) a widespread feature of UPEC, (2) exhibited only by UPEC, and (3) dependent upon type 1 fimbriae, we analyzed strains representing epidemiologically important multilocus sequence types ST131, ST73, and ST95 and non-UPEC E. coli. Contractility and calcium transients in intact rat ureters were compared between strains. Mannose and fim mutants were used to investigate the role of type 1 fimbriae. Non-UPEC had no significant effect on contractility, with a mean decrease after 8 hours of 8.8%, compared with 8.8% in controls. UPEC effects on contractility were strain specific, with decreases from 9.47% to 96.7%. Mannose inhibited the effects of the most potent strains (CFT073 and UTI89) but had variable effects among other UPEC strains. Mutation and complementation studies showed that the effects of the UTI89 cystitis isolate were fimH dependent. We find that (1) non-UPEC do not affect ureteric contractility, (2) impairment of contractility is a common feature of UPEC, and (3) the mechanism varies between strains, but for the most potent UPEC type 1 fimbriae are involved.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Reliability of contractile properties of the knee extensor muscles in individuals with post-polio syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voorn, Eric L; Brehm, Merel A; Beelen, Anita; de Haan, Arnold; Nollet, Frans; Gerrits, Karin H L

    2014-01-01

    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.

  18. Comparative analysis of mouse skeletal muscle fibre type composition and contractile responses to calcium channel blocker

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Järvilehto Matti

    2005-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In this study, we examined the correlation between excitation-contraction coupling characteristics and skeletal muscle fibre type by (1 localizing the distribution of dihydropyridine receptor (DHPR protein and (2 comparing the effect of DHPR blocker on muscles with different fibre type composition, in order to better understand the differences between contractile phenotypes of fibres and to explain the contradictory reports to date on the interaction of dihydropyridines with skeletal muscle isoform of DHPR. Results Histochemical experiments revealed that fluorophore conjugated dihydropyridines stain selectively the membranes of muscle fibres. The staining was most evident in type IIA fibres. The major fibre type in gluteus and femoris, revealed by mATPase staining, was IIA (45.0 and 38.1 %, respectively. In gastrocnemius the content of IIA fibres was 22.7 %. Contraction forces before and after the addition of blocker for the three muscles investigated were: gluteus 0.075 ± 0.017 N vs. 0.052 ± 0.011 N, femoris 0.045 ± 0.005 N vs. 0.033 ± 0.005 N and gastrocnemius 0.089 ± 0.016 N vs. 0.075 ± 0.014 N, respectively. The attenuation of contraction force proportional to the cross-sectional area of the muscle was significantly (P = 0.023 higher in gluteus (28.3 ± 3.5 % and femoris (27.6 ± 3.2 % as compared to gastrocnemius (16.1 ± 2.5 %. However, no significant change in the control measurements was observed ruling out the possibility of fatigue. Conclusion The results indicate that the attenuation of the contraction force was largest in muscles with a high percentage of type IIA fibres. This supports our finding that the abundance of dihydropyridine receptors of IIA fibres outnumbers that in the other fibre types. The present data show that the correlation of density of dihydropyridine receptors can be one of the important factors influencing the overall contractile properties of the muscle and for its part explain the

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Understanding soil erosion process within herbaceous vegetative hedges using plant functional traits approach in North-West Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kervroëdan, Léa; Armand, Romain; Saunier, Mathieu; Faucon, Michel-Pierre

    2017-04-01

    Runoff and soil erosion induce major environmental and economic damages. Concentrated runoff control by aboveground plant biomass in upstream areas constitutes a key feature to reduce runoff and soil erosion in Western Europe (WE). Indeed, aboveground plant biomass can reduce runoff and soil erosion respectively by increasing hydraulic roughness and trapping sediments. However, studies of plant effect on runoff reduction are usually based on the taxonomical characterisation of species and do not refer to effect of aboveground plant functional traits. Plant functional traits approach allows to understand ecosystem processes and quantify services. Traits effect could vary depending on hydrological processes (i.e., discharge) and their aggregation could have a synergetic effect on hydraulic roughness and erosion reduction. In this study, objectives are to i) examine effects of aboveground plant functional traits of herbaceous hedges on hydraulic roughness; ii) test the effects of their aggregation on hydraulic roughness. Seven aboveground functional traits were measured on 14 indigenous plant species from North-West Europe with a high morphological variability (stem and leaf densities; stem diameter, stiffness and dry matter content; leaf area and specific leaf area (SLA)). Those species are perennial herbaceous caespitose or comprising dry biomass in winter. Effects of plant functional traits and their abundance within the community on hydraulic roughness were examined using a runoff simulator at four discharges. Furthermore, the effect of plant functional diversity was analysed using four monospecific (mono-trait) conditions compared to multispecific (multi-traits) conditions. Results showed traits and their abundance influence hydraulic roughness. Indeed, leaf density and leaf area (traits), as well as plant community weighted stem, leaf and shoot areas, stem diameter and SLA are significantly correlated to hydraulic roughness. Moreover, leaf density and leaf area

  4. Association of Adiposity and Mental Health Functioning across the Lifespan: Findings from Understanding Society (The UK Household Longitudinal Study)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Background Evidence on the adiposity-mental health associations is mixed, with studies finding positive, negative or no associations, and less is known about how these associations may vary by age. Objective To examine the association of adiposity -body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and percentage body fat (BF%)- with mental health functioning across the adult lifespan. Methods Data from 11,257 participants (aged 18+) of Understanding Society: the UK Household Longitudinal Study (waves 2 and 3, 5/2010-7/2013) were employed. Regressions of mental health functioning, assessed by the Mental Component Summary (MCS-12) and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), on adiposity measures (continuous or dichotomous indicators) were estimated adjusted for covariates. Polynomial age-adiposity interactions were estimated. Results Higher adiposity was associated with poorer mental health functioning. This emerged in the 30s, increased up to mid-40s (all central adiposity and obesity-BF% measures) or early 50s (all BMI measures) and then decreased with age. Underlying physical health generally accounted for these associations except for central adiposity, where associations remained statistically significant from the mid-30s to50s. Cardiovascular, followed by arthritis and endocrine, conditions played the greatest role in attenuating the associations under investigation. Conclusions We found strong age-specific patterns in the adiposity-mental health functioning association that varied across adiposity measures. Underlying physical health had the dominant role in attenuating these associations. Policy makers and health professionals should target increased adiposity, mainly central adiposity, as it is a risk factor for poor mental health functioning in those aged between mid-30s to 50 years. PMID:26849046

  5. Association of Adiposity and Mental Health Functioning across the Lifespan: Findings from Understanding Society (The UK Household Longitudinal Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Apostolos Davillas

    Full Text Available Evidence on the adiposity-mental health associations is mixed, with studies finding positive, negative or no associations, and less is known about how these associations may vary by age.To examine the association of adiposity -body mass index (BMI, waist circumference (WC and percentage body fat (BF%- with mental health functioning across the adult lifespan.Data from 11,257 participants (aged 18+ of Understanding Society: the UK Household Longitudinal Study (waves 2 and 3, 5/2010-7/2013 were employed. Regressions of mental health functioning, assessed by the Mental Component Summary (MCS-12 and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12, on adiposity measures (continuous or dichotomous indicators were estimated adjusted for covariates. Polynomial age-adiposity interactions were estimated.Higher adiposity was associated with poorer mental health functioning. This emerged in the 30s, increased up to mid-40s (all central adiposity and obesity-BF% measures or early 50s (all BMI measures and then decreased with age. Underlying physical health generally accounted for these associations except for central adiposity, where associations remained statistically significant from the mid-30s to 50s. Cardiovascular, followed by arthritis and endocrine, conditions played the greatest role in attenuating the associations under investigation.We found strong age-specific patterns in the adiposity-mental health functioning association that varied across adiposity measures. Underlying physical health had the dominant role in attenuating these associations. Policy makers and health professionals should target increased adiposity, mainly central adiposity, as it is a risk factor for poor mental health functioning in those aged between mid-30s to 50 years.

  6. Depressed myocardial contractile reserve in patients with obstructive sleep apnea assessed by tissue Doppler imaging with dobutamine stress echocardiography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okuda, Nobuaki; Ito, Takahide; Emura, Narutsugu; Suwa, Michihiro; Hayashi, Tetsuya; Yoneda, Hiroshi; Kitaura, Yasushi

    2007-04-01

    Hypoxia has been suggested to affect myocardial contractile function in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). We sought to determine whether myocardial contractile reserve (MCR), as evaluated by echocardiographic tissue Doppler imaging with dobutamine stress (TDDS), might be depressed in OSA patients. Thirty patients with suspected OSA (25 men and 5 women; mean age, 51 +/- 11 years [+/- SD]) underwent overnight polysomnography and TDDS. Peak myocardial systolic velocity (Sm) and peak myocardial early diastolic velocity (Em) in the 12 myocardial segments of the left ventricular (LV) walls were averaged, and the mean Sm and Em during TDDS were compared between patients with apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) /= 15/h (group 2, n = 17). MCR was calculated as the difference between the resting and peak Sm during TDDS. In both groups, Sm increased dose dependently during TDDS. However, the relative increase in Sm was significantly lower in group 2, resulting in a lower value of MCR (5.5 +/- 1.2 cm/s vs 7.4 +/- 1.3 cm/s, p Em was lower in group 2 compared with group 1 throughout TDDS. MCR was correlated significantly with AHI (r = - 0.67, p Em (r = 0.53, p cardiac involvement.

  7. 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.

  8. Histamine-enhanced contractile responses of gastric smooth muscle via interstitial cells of Cajal in the Syrian hamster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naganuma, S; Shiina, T; Yasuda, S; Suzuki, Y; Shimizu, Y

    2017-11-21

    Gastric motility is controlled by the autonomic and enteric nervous systems and by interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs). Although histamine is known to be released from enterochromaffin-like cells in the gastric mucosa, its regulatory roles in gastric motility are still controversial. Therefore, we investigated the functional roles of histamine in gastric motility. Stomach preparations from hamsters were used because the stomach of hamsters can be easily separated into the forestomach and the glandular stomach. A whole preparation of the stomach was mounted in a Magnus tube, and mechanical responses were recorded using a force transducer. Exogenous application of histamine had little effect on contractile activity of the glandular stomach. In contrast, the monoamine evoked regular, periodic contractions in the forestomach. An H1 receptor agonist reproduced the contractile responses and an H1 receptor antagonist blocked histamine-evoked contractions. Atropine and tetrodotoxin did not affect the histamine-evoked contractions. Pretreatment with drugs that inhibit the activity of ICCs abolished the effects of histamine. The findings suggest that histamine regulates gastric motility by acting on ICCs via H1 receptors in the hamster. The remarkable ability of histamine to induce rhythmic contractions would be useful for treatment of gastric dysmotility. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Reduced rate of knee extensor torque development in older adults with knee osteoarthritis is associated with intrinsic muscle contractile deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callahan, Damien M; Tourville, Timothy W; Slauterbeck, James R; Ades, Philip A; Stevens-Lapsley, Jennifer; Beynnon, Bruce D; Toth, Michael J

    2015-12-01

    We examined the effect of knee osteoarthritis on the rate of torque development (RTD) of the knee extensors in older adults with advanced-stage knee osteoarthritis (OA; n=15) and recreationally-active controls (n=15) of similar age, sex and health status, as well as the relationship between RTD and the size and contractility of single muscle fibers. OA participants had lower RTD when expressed in absolute terms (Nm/ms). There were sex differences in peak RTD (Pmuscle, and was mitigated when RTD was normalized to peak torque (PT). In knee OA volunteers, we found strong correlations between the RTD expressed relative to PT and the velocity of contraction of single myosin heavy chain (MHC) I and IIA/X muscle fibers (r=0.652 and 0.862; both Pmuscle contractile kinetics in patients with advanced-stage knee osteoarthritis and healthy older adults is related, in part, to the size and function of single muscle fibers. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. LPS and cytokines inhibit rat cardiomyocyte contractility in vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobai, Ion A.; Morse, Justin C.; Siwik, Deborah A.; Colucci, Wilson S.

    2014-01-01

    Background Sepsis-induced cardiomyopathy (SIC) is thought to be the result of detrimental effects of inflammatory mediators on cardiac muscle. Here we studied the effects of prolonged (24 ± 4 h) exposure of adult rat ventricular myocytes (ARVM) to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukins-1 (IL-1) and -6 (IL-6). Materials and methods We measured sarcomere shortening (SS) and cellular calcium (Ca2+) transients (ΔCai, with fura-2AM) in isolated cardiomyocytes externally paced at 5Hz at 37 °C. Results SS decreased after incubation with LPS (100 µg/ml), IL-1 (100 ng/ml) and IL-6 (30 ng/ml), but not with lesser doses of these mediators, or TNF (10 –100 ng/ml). A combination of LPS (100 µg/ml), TNF, IL-1 and IL-6 (each 100 ng/ml; i.e. “Cytomix-100”) induced a maximal decrease in SS and ΔCai. Sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ load (CaSR, measured with caffeine) was unchanged by Cytomix-100, however, SR fractional release (ΔCai/CaSR) was decreased. Underlying these effects, Ca2+ influx into the cell (via L-type Ca2+ channels) and Ca2+ extrusion via Na+/Ca2+ exchange were decreased by Cytomix-100. SR Ca2+ pump (SERCA) was not affected. Conclusions Prolonged exposure of ARVM to a mixture of LPS and inflammatory cytokines inhibits cell contractility. The effect is mediated by the inhibition of Ca2+ influx via LTCC, and partially opposed by the inhibition of Na+/Ca2+ exchange. Since both mechanisms are commonly seen in animal models of SIC, we conclude that prolonged challenge with Cytomix-100 of ARVM may represent an accurate in vitro model for SIC. PMID:25439505

  12. Lipopolysaccharide and cytokines inhibit rat cardiomyocyte contractility in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobai, Ion A; Morse, Justin C; Siwik, Deborah A; Colucci, Wilson S

    2015-02-01

    Sepsis-induced cardiomyopathy (SIC) is thought to be the result of detrimental effects of inflammatory mediators on the cardiac muscle. Here we studied the effects of prolonged (24 ± 4 h) exposure of adult rat ventricular myocytes (ARVM) to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukins-1 (IL-1) and IL-6. We measured sarcomere shortening (SS) and cellular calcium (Ca(2+)) transients (ΔCai, with fura-2 AM) in isolated cardiomyocytes externally paced at 5 Hz at 37°C. SS decreased after incubation with LPS (100 μg/mL), IL-1 (100 ng/mL), and IL-6 (30 ng/mL), but not with lesser doses of these mediators, or TNF (10-100 ng/mL). A combination of LPS (100 μg/mL), TNF, IL-1, and IL-6 (each 100 ng/mL; i.e., "Cytomix-100") induced a maximal decrease in SS and ΔCai. Sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+) load (CaSR, measured with caffeine) was unchanged by Cytomix-100; however, SR fractional release (ΔCai/CaSR) was decreased. Underlying these effects, Ca(2+) influx into the cell (via L-type Ca(2+) channels, LTCC) and Ca(2+) extrusion via Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchange were decreased by Cytomix-100. SR Ca(2+) pump (SERCA) (SR Ca(2+) ATPase) was not affected. Prolonged exposure of ARVM to a mixture of LPS and inflammatory cytokines inhibits cell contractility. The effect is mediated by the inhibition of Ca(2+) influx via LTCC, and partially opposed by the inhibition of Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchange. Because both mechanisms are commonly seen in animal models of SIC, we conclude that prolonged challenge with Cytomix-100 of ARVM may represent an accurate in vitro model for SIC. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. Understanding Multifunctional Agricultural Land by Using Low Cost and Open Source Solutions to Quantify Ecosystem Function and Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsmoo, Joel; Anderson, Karen; Brazier, Richard; Macleod, Kit; Wilkinson, Mark

    2016-04-01

    There is a need to advance our understanding of how the spatial structure of farmed landscapes contributes to the provision of functions and services. Agricultural land is of critical importance in NW Europe, covering large parts of NW Europe's temperate land. Moreover, these agricultural areas are primarily intensively managed, with a focus on maximizing food and fibre production. Such landscapes therefore can provide a wealth of ecosystem goods and services (ESs) including regulation of climate, erosion regulation, hydrology, water quality, nutrient cycling and biodiversity conservation. However, it has been shown they are key sources of sediment, phosphorous, nitrogen and storm runoff contributing to flooding, and therefore it is likely that most agricultural landscapes do not maximize the services or benefits that they might provide. The focus of this study is the spatio-temporal assessment of carbon sequestration (particularly through proxies such as above-ground biomass) and hydrological processes on agricultural land. Understanding and quantifying both of these is important to (a) inform payments for ecosystem services frameworks, (b) evaluate and improve carbon sequestration models, (c) manage the flood risk, (d) downstream water security and (e) water quality. Quantifying both of these ESs is dependent on data describing the fine spatial and temporal structure and function of the landscape. Common practice has been to use remote sensing techniques, e.g. satellites, providing coarse spatial resolution (around 30cm at 20° off nadir) and/or temporal resolution (around 5 days revisit time at solutions have on the accuracy of the final product, the digital surface model (DSM), by using recently acquired data. Specifically, when applied in a structurally complex field site with irregular surface roughness patterns, over a land use gradient, from livestock grazing to agricultural crops. We will demonstrate the added value of using very fine detail data

  15. 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.

  16. Distensibility of portacaval shunts in portal hypertensive cats: index of contractility model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inglés, A C; Legare, D J; Lautt, W W

    1994-06-01

    Complete shunting of portal blood flow through portacaval shunts was obtained using a constrictor around the portal vein to gradually produce a total occlusion. After 4 weeks, acute experiments were conducted in anesthetized cats. Blood from the femoral artery was shunted through a pump to supply and control the entire portal blood flow. As shunted portal blood flow was varied over a wide range, the portal shunt resistance showed distensibility. Decreasing portal venous pressure from 15.0 +/- 0.9 to 11.1 +/- 0.6 mmHg (1 mmHg = 133.3 Pa) resulted in elevations of resistance of 58%. The relation between the resistance (R) and the distending pressure (Pd) was a constant, the index of contractility (IC), where IC = R.Pd3. In steady state, the IC was 485 +/- 55 mmHg4.mL-1.min.kg and did not change passively in response to changes in portal blood flow. In conclusion, portacaval shunts are passively distensible, and resistance is altered as a cubic function of the distending pressure. Because resistance is altered both actively and passively, the IC should prove useful to differentiate these alternatives for evaluation of changes in portal hypertensive therapy.

  17. Proposed biological linkages between obesity, stress, and inefficient uterine contractility during labor in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowe, Nancy K; Corwin, Elizabeth J

    2011-05-01

    Cesarean delivery has reached epidemic proportions in contemporary western healthcare. For otherwise healthy first-time (nulliparous) women at term gestation with a single fetus in a head down position, the most common clinical diagnosis prompting cesarean delivery is dystocia, including clinical terms such as uterine dysfunction, failure to progress, arrest of dilation and/or arrest of descent of the fetal head. In 2006, the cesarean rate for this lowest risk population of childbearing women was 26% in the United States despite the goal of Healthy People 2010 to reduce this rate to 15% from a baseline of 18% in 1998. While multiple lines of evidence suggest that the nulliparous uterus is particularly vulnerable to a diagnosis of uterine dysfunction during labor, pathophysiologic explanations for this dysfunction have not been well described. The acute stress response has been implicated as one factor in this dysfunction for many years, while more recently the growing epidemic of adiposity among women of childbearing age has been suggested as an additional pathway by which myometrial cell function may be disrupted. Using both clinical and in vitro evidence, we hypothesize a combined model in which pathways of acute stress and changes associated with maternal adiposity, particularly exaggerated levels of cholesterol and leptin, may independently and synergistically impair the contractile apparatus of the myocyte leading to the clinical diagnosis of uterine dystocia and subsequent cesarean delivery. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Overexpression of TEAD-1 in transgenic mouse striated muscles produces a slower skeletal muscle contractile phenotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsika, Richard W; Schramm, Christine; Simmer, Gretchen; Fitzsimons, Daniel P; Moss, Richard L; Ji, Juan

    2008-12-26

    TEA domain (TEAD) transcription factors serve important functional roles during embryonic development and in striated muscle gene expression. Our previous work has implicated a role for TEAD-1 in the fast-to-slow fiber-type transition in response to mechanical overload. To investigate whether TEAD-1 is a modulator of slow muscle gene expression in vivo, we developed transgenic mice expressing hemagglutinin (HA)-tagged TEAD-1 under the control of the muscle creatine kinase promoter. We show that striated muscle-restricted HA-TEAD-1 expression induced a transition toward a slow muscle contractile protein phenotype, slower shortening velocity (Vmax), and longer contraction and relaxation times in adult fast twitch extensor digitalis longus muscle. Notably, HA-TEAD-1 overexpression resulted in an unexpected activation of GSK-3alpha/beta and decreased nuclear beta-catenin and NFATc1/c3 protein. These effects could be reversed in vivo by mechanical overload, which decreased muscle creatine kinase-driven TEAD-1 transgene expression, and in cultured satellite cells by TEAD-1-specific small interfering RNA. These novel in vivo data support a role for TEAD-1 in modulating slow muscle gene expression.

  19. 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.

  20. Sequential effects of GSNO and H2O2 on the Ca2+ sensitivity of the contractile apparatus of fast- and slow-twitch skeletal muscle fibers from the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, Timothy; Posterino, Giuseppe S

    2009-05-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) and nitric oxide (NO), have been shown to differentially alter the Ca(2+) sensitivity of the contractile apparatus of fast-twitch skeletal muscle, leading to the proposal that normal muscle function is controlled by perturbations in the amounts of these two groups of molecules (28). However, no previous studies have examined whether these opposing actions are retained when the contractile apparatus is subjected to both molecule types. Using mechanically skinned fast- and slow-twitch skeletal muscle fibers of the rat, we compared the effects of sequential addition of nitrosoglutathione (GSNO), a NO donor, and H(2)O(2) on the Ca(2+) sensitivity of the contractile apparatus. As expected from previous reports in fast-twitch fibers, when added separately, GSNO (1 mM) reduced the Ca(2+) sensitivity of the contractile apparatus, whereas H(2)O(2) (10 mM; added during contractions) increased the Ca(2+) sensitivity of the contractile apparatus. When added sequentially to the same fiber, such that the oxidation by one molecule (e.g., GSNO) preceded the oxidation by the other (e.g., H(2)O(2)), and vice versa, the individual effects of both molecules on the Ca(2+) sensitivity were retained. Interestingly, neither molecule had any effect on the Ca(2+) sensitivity of slow-twitch skeletal muscle. The data show that H(2)O(2) and GSNO retain the capacity to independently affect the contractile apparatus to modulate force. Furthermore, the absence of effects in slow-twitch muscle may further explain why this fiber type is relatively insensitive to fatigue.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Short-term incubation of equine laminar veins with cortisol and insulin alters contractility in vitro: possible implications for the pathogenesis of equine laminitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keen, J A; McGorum, B C; Hillier, C; Nally, J E

    2013-08-01

    This study investigated the effects of cortisol and insulin, hormones that affect both glycaemic status and vascular function, on the in vitro contractility of isolated healthy equine small laminar veins. Small veins (150-500 μm) draining the digital laminae from healthy horses or ponies were investigated by wire myography. Concentration response curves were constructed for noradrenaline (NA), phenylephrine (PE), endothelin-1 (ET-1) and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) in the presence of either cortisol (10(-6 ) m) or insulin (1000 μIU/mL). Cortisol significantly increased the maximum contractility of laminar veins to the vasoconstrictors NA and 5-HT but decreased the maximal contraction to ET-1. Insulin decreased the contractility of vessels to PE and ET-1. It is possible that short-term cortisol excess could enhance venoconstrictor responses to 5-HT and NA in laminar veins in vivo, thereby predisposing to laminitis. Additionally, a reduction in the ability of insulin to counteract alpha-adrenoreceptor and ET-1-mediated contraction, likely to occur in subjects with insulin resistance, may further exacerbate venoconstriction in animals prone to laminitis. These mechanisms may also predispose horses with disorders such as equine Cushing's disease and equine metabolic syndrome to laminitis. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Understanding sex differences in form and function of bird song: The importance of studying song learning processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharina eRiebel

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Birdsong is a culturally transmitted mating signal. Due to historical and geographical biases, song (learning has been predominantly studied in the temperate zones, where female song is rare. Consequently, mechanisms and function of song learning have been almost exclusively studied in male birds and under the premise that inter- and intrasexual selection favoured larger repertoires and complex songs in males. However, female song is not rare outside the temperate zones and song in both sexes probably is the ancestral state in songbirds. Some song dimorphisms seen today might therefore be manifestations of secondary losses of female song. What selection pressures have favoured such losses and other sexual dimorphisms in song? Combined mapping of phylogenetic and ecological correlates of sex differences in song structure and function might provide important clues to the evolution of male and female song. This requires parameterization of the degree of sexual dimorphism. Simple comparison of male-female song might not provide enough resolution, because the same magnitude of difference (e.g. repertoire overlap could result from different processes: the sexes could differ in how well they learn (‘copying fidelity’ or from whom they learn (‘model selection’. Different learning mechanisms might provide important pointers towards different selection pressures. Investigating sex-specific learning could therefore help to identify the social and ecological selection pressures contributing to sex differences in adult song. The study of female song learning in particular could be crucial to our understanding of i song function in males and females and ii the evolution of sex-specific song.

  5. Understanding the relationship between brain and upper limb function in children with unilateral motor impairments: A multimodal approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinstein, Maya; Green, Dido; Rudisch, Julian; Zielinski, Ingar M; Benthem-Muñiz, Marta; Jongsma, Marijtje L A; McClelland, Verity; Steenbergen, Bert; Shiran, Shelly; Ben Bashat, Dafna; Barker, Gareth J

    2018-01-01

    ) and a mixed (n = 1) connectivity pattern; again without clear association with MMs. No differences were found between children with and without MMs in lesion scores, motor fMRI laterality indices, CST diffusivity values, and upper limb function. In the genu, midbody, and splenium of the CC, higher fractional anisotropy values were found in children with MMs compared to children without MMs. The EEG data indicated a stronger mu-restoration above the contralateral hemisphere in 6/8 children and above the ipsilateral hemisphere in 2/8 children. The current results demonstrate benefits from the use of different modalities when studying upper-limb function in children with CP; not least to accommodate to the variations in tolerance and feasibility of implementation of the differing methods. These exposed multiple individual brain-reorganization patterns corresponding to different functional motor abilities. Additional research is warranted to understand the transactional influences of early brain injury, neuroplasticity and developmental and environmental factors on hand function in order to develop targeted interventions. Copyright © 2017 European Paediatric Neurology Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. Magnitude-dependent proliferation and contractility modulation of human bladder smooth muscle cells under physiological stretch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, De-Yi; Wazir, Romel; Du, Caigan; Tian, Ye; Yue, Xuan; Wei, Tang-Qiang; Wang, Kun-Jie

    2015-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to describe and test a kind of stretch pattern which is based on modified BOSE BioDynamic system to produce optimum physiological stretch during bladder cycle. Moreover, we aimed to emphasize the effects of physiological stretch's amplitude upon proliferation and contractility of human bladder smooth muscle cells (HBSMCs). HBSMCs were seeded onto silicone membrane and subjected to stretch simulating bladder cycle at the range of stretches and time according to customized software on modified BOSE BioDynamic bioreactor. Morphological changes were assessed using immunofluorescence and confocal laser scanning microscope. Cell proliferation and cell viability were determined by BrdU incorporation assay and Cell Counting Kit-8, respectively. Contractility of the cells was determined using collagen gel contraction assay. RT-PCR was used to assess phenotypic and contractility markers. HBSMCs were found to show morphologically spindle-shaped and orientation at various elongations in the modified bioreactor. Stretch-induced proliferation and viability depended on the magnitude of stretch, and stretches also regulate contractility and contraction markers in a magnitude-dependent manner. We described and tested a kind of stretch pattern which delivers physiological stretch implemented during bladder cycle. The findings also showed that mechanical stretch can promote magnitude-dependent morphological, proliferative and contractile modulation of HBSMCs in vitro.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The effects of homocysteine-related compounds on cardiac contractility, coronary flow, and oxidative stress markers in isolated rat heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zivkovic, Vladimir; Jakovljevic, Vladimir; Djordjevic, Dusica; Vuletic, Milena; Barudzic, Nevena; Djuric, Dragan

    2012-11-01

    Research on the effects of homocysteine on the vascular wall, especially in endothelial and smooth muscle cells, has indicated that increased homocysteine levels lead to cellular stress and cell damage. Considering the adverse effects of homocysteine on vascular function and the role of oxidative stress in these mechanisms, the aim of this study was to estimate the influence of different homocysteine isoforms on cardiac contractility, coronary flow, and oxidative stress markers in isolated rat heart. The hearts of male Wistar albino rats (n = 36, age 8 weeks, body mass 180-200 g), were excised and retrogradely perfused according to the Langendorff technique at a constant perfusion pressure (70 cmH(2)O) and administered with three isoforms of 10 μM homocysteine [DL-Hcy, DL-Hcy thiolactone-hydrochloride (TLHC) and L-Hcy TLHC). After the insertion and placement of the sensor in the left ventricle, the parameters of heart function: maximum rate of pressure development in the left ventricle (dP/dt max), minimum rate of pressure development in the left ventricle (dP/dt min), systolic left ventricular pressure (SLVP), diastolic left ventricular pressure (DLVP), mean blood pressure (MBP) and heart rate (HR)] were continuously registered. Flowmetry was used to evaluate the coronary flow. Markers of oxidative stress: index of lipid peroxidation measured as TBARS, nitric oxide measured through nitrites (NO(2)(-)), superoxide anion radical (O(2)(-)), and hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) in the coronary venous effluent were assessed spectrophotometrically. Our results showed that administration of Hcy compounds in concentration of 10 μM induced depression of cardiac contractility, manifested by a decrease in dp/dt max after administration of any Hcy compound, decrease in dp/dt min after administration of L-Hcy TLHC, decrease in SLVP after administration of DL-Hcy TLHC and DL-Hcy, and the drop in CF after administration of any Hcy compound. Regarding the effects of Hcy on

  11. Computational modeling of a forward lunge: towards a better understanding of the function of the cruciate ligaments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alkjær, Tine; Wieland, Maja R; Andersen, Michael S; Simonsen, Erik B; Rasmussen, John

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the function of the cruciate ligaments during a forward lunge movement. The mechanical roles of the anterior and posterior cruciate ligament (ACL, PCL) during sagittal plane movements, such as forward lunging, are unclear. A forward lunge movement contains a knee joint flexion and extension that is controlled by the quadriceps muscle. The contraction of the quadriceps can cause anterior tibial translation, which may strain the ACL at knee joint positions close to full extension. However, recent findings suggest that it is the PCL rather than the ACL which is strained during forward lunging. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to establish a musculoskeletal model of the forward lunge to computationally investigate the complete mechanical force equilibrium of the tibia during the movement to examine the loading pattern of the cruciate ligaments. A healthy female was selected from a group of healthy subjects who all performed a forward lunge on a force platform, targeting a knee flexion angle of 90°. Skin-markers were placed on anatomical landmarks on the subject and the movement was recorded by five video cameras. The three-dimensional kinematic data describing the forward lunge movement were extracted and used to develop a biomechanical model of the lunge movement. The model comprised two legs including femur, crus, rigid foot segments and the pelvis. Each leg had 35 independent muscle units, which were recruited according to a minimum fatigue criterion. This approach allowed a full understanding of the mechanical equilibrium of the knee joint, which revealed that the PCL had an important stabilizing role in the forward lunge movement. In contrast, the ACL did not have any significant mechanical function during the lunge movement. Furthermore, the results showed that m. gluteus maximus may play a role as a knee stabilizer in addition to the hamstring muscles. PMID:23057673

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Contractile properties are disrupted in Becker muscular dystrophy, but not in limb girdle type 2I

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Løkken, Nicoline; Hedermann, Gitte; Thomsen, Carsten

    2016-01-01

    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....

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Arabidopsis mutants in sphingolipid synthesis as tools to understand the structure and function of membrane microdomains in plasmodesmata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ARIADNA eGONZÁLEZ-SOLÍS

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Plasmodesmata –intercellular channels that communicate adjacent cells– possess complex membranous structures. Recent evidences indicate that plasmodesmata contain membrane microdomains. In order to understand how these submembrane regions collaborate to plasmodesmata function, it is necessary to characterize their size, composition and dynamics. An approach that can shed light on these microdomain features is based on the use of Arabidopsis mutants in sphingolipid synthesis. Sphingolipids are canonical components of microdomains together with sterols and some glycerolipids. Moreover, sphingolipids are transducers in pathways that display programmed cell death as a defense mechanism against pathogens. The study of Arabidopsis mutants would allow determining which structural features of the sphingolipids are important for the formation and stability of microdomains, and if defense signaling networks using sphingoid bases as second messengers are associated to plasmodesmata operation. Such studies need to be complemented by analysis of the ultrastructure and the use of protein probes for plasmodesmata microdomains and may constitute a very valuable source of information to analyze these membrane structures.

  18. Arabidopsis mutants in sphingolipid synthesis as tools to understand the structure and function of membrane microdomains in plasmodesmata

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Solís, Ariadna; Cano-Ramírez, Dora L.; Morales-Cedillo, Francisco; Tapia de Aquino, Cinthya; Gavilanes-Ruiz, Marina

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodesmata—intercellular channels that communicate adjacent cells—possess complex membranous structures. Recent evidences indicate that plasmodesmata contain membrane microdomains. In order to understand how these submembrane regions collaborate to plasmodesmata function, it is necessary to characterize their size, composition and dynamics. An approach that can shed light on these microdomain features is based on the use of Arabidopsis mutants in sphingolipid synthesis. Sphingolipids are canonical components of microdomains together with sterols and some glycerolipids. Moreover, sphingolipids are transducers in pathways that display programmed cell death as a defense mechanism against pathogens. The study of Arabidopsis mutants would allow determining which structural features of the sphingolipids are important for the formation and stability of microdomains, and if defense signaling networks using sphingoid bases as second messengers are associated to plasmodesmata operation. Such studies need to be complemented by analysis of the ultrastructure and the use of protein probes for plasmodesmata microdomains and may constitute a very valuable source of information to analyze these membrane structures. PMID:24478783

  19. The Effects of Histamine H3 Receptors on Contractile Responses on Rat Gastric Fundus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aşkın Hekimoğlu

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to determine the effects of histamine receptors on the gastrointestinal system smooth muscle contractions and the role of histamine H3 receptors on these effects. İsolated rat gastric fundus preparations were hanged on isolated organ bath and histamine receptor agonist and anthagonists were added to the bath solution and the electrical field stimulation-induced contractile responses were evaluated. In our study groups after blocking one of the histamine receptors H1, H2,H3; contractile responses were observed. Then, other two receptors were blocked one by one or combination of them to observe the changes on the contractile responses given to the electrical stimulation .To blocke histamine receptors pyrilamine (10-6м as H1 receptor blocker, famotidine (10-6м as H2 receptor blocker and thioperamide (10-5м as H3 receptor blocker and various combination of them were used. All groups were treated with H3 receptor anthagonist thioperamide (10-5м and agonist (R-α-methylhistamine (RMHA on 10-8, 10-7, 10-6 ve 10-5 molar concentrations cumulatively to observe its mediator effects on contractile responses. We suggested that (R-α-methylhistamine mediates the inhibition on the contractile effects of rat gastric fundus. This conclusion was supported by these findings: a the selective agonists (RMHA caused a dumping of the contractile effect of acetylcholine; b the effect of (RMHA was prevented by the selective H3 receptor antagonist thioperamide.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. Acute aerobic swimming exercise induces distinct effects in the contractile reactivity of rat ileum to KCl and carbachol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Layanne Cabral Da Cunha Araujo

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Aerobic exercise promotes short-term physiological changes in the intestinal smooth muscle associated to the ischemia-reperfusion process; however, few studies have demonstrated its effect on the intestinal contractile function. Thus, this work describes our observations regarding the influence of acute aerobic swimming exercise in the contractile reactivity, oxidative stress and morphology of rat ileum. Wistar rats were divided into sedentary (SED and acutely exercised (EX-AC groups. Animals were acclimated by 10, 10 and 30 min of swimming exercise in intercalated days one week before exercise. Then they were submitted to forced swimming for 1 h with a metal of 3% of their body weight attached to their body. Animals were euthanized immediately after the exercise section and the ileum was suspended in organ baths for monitoring isotonic contractions. The analysis of lipid peroxidation was performed in order to determinate the malondialdehyde (MDA levels as a marker of oxidative stress, and intestinal smooth muscle morphology by histological staining. Cumulative concentration-response curves to KCl were altered in the EX-AC with an increase in both its efficacy and potency (Emax = 153.2 ± 2.8%, EC50 = 1.3 ± 0.1 x 10-2 M compared to the SED group (Emax = 100%, EC50 = 1.8 ± 0.1 x 10-2 M. Interestingly, carbachol had its efficacy and potency reduced in the EX-AC (Emax = 67.1 ± 1.4%, EC50 = 9.8 ± 1.4 x 10-7 M compared to the SED group (Emax = 100%, EC50 = 2.0 ± 0.2 x 10-7 M. The exercise did not alter the MDA levels in the ileum (5.4 ± 0.6 µmol/mL in the EX-AC compared to the SED group (8.4 ± 1.7 µmol/mL. Moreover, neither the circular nor the longitudinal smooth muscle layers thickness were modified by the exercise (66.2 ± 6.0 and 40.2 ± 2.6 µm, respectively compared to the SED group (61.6 ± 6.4 and 34.8 ± 3.7 µm, respectively. Therefore, the ileum sensitivity to contractile agents is differentially altered by the acute aerobic

  4. Acute Aerobic Swimming Exercise Induces Distinct Effects in the Contractile Reactivity of Rat Ileum to KCl and Carbachol

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araujo, Layanne C. da Cunha; de Souza, Iara L. L.; Vasconcelos, Luiz H. C.; Brito, Aline de Freitas; Queiroga, Fernando R.; Silva, Alexandre S.; da Silva, Patrícia M.; Cavalcante, Fabiana de Andrade; da Silva, Bagnólia A.

    2016-01-01

    Aerobic exercise promotes short-term physiological changes in the intestinal smooth muscle associated to the ischemia-reperfusion process; however, few studies have demonstrated its effect on the intestinal contractile function. Thus, this work describes our observations regarding the influence of acute aerobic swimming exercise in the contractile reactivity, oxidative stress, and morphology of rat ileum. Wistar rats were divided into sedentary (SED) and acutely exercised (EX-AC) groups. Animals were acclimated by 10, 10, and 30 min of swimming exercise in intercalated days 1 week before exercise. Then they were submitted to forced swimming for 1 h with a metal of 3% of their body weight attached to their body. Animals were euthanized immediately after the exercise section and the ileum was suspended in organ baths for monitoring isotonic contractions. The analysis of lipid peroxidation was performed in order to determinate the malondialdehyde (MDA) levels as a marker of oxidative stress, and intestinal smooth muscle morphology by histological staining. Cumulative concentration-response curves to KCl were altered in the EX-AC with an increase in both its efficacy and potency (Emax = 153.2 ± 2.8%, EC50 = 1.3 ± 0.1 × 10−2 M) compared to the SED group (Emax = 100%, EC50 = 1.8 ± 0.1 × 10−2 M). Interestingly, carbachol had its efficacy and potency reduced in the EX-AC (Emax = 67.1 ± 1.4%, EC50 = 9.8 ± 1.4 × 10−7 M) compared to the SED group (Emax = 100%, EC50 = 2.0 ± 0.2 × 10−7 M). The exercise did not alter the MDA levels in the ileum (5.4 ± 0.6 μ mol/mL) in the EX-AC compared to the SED group (8.4 ± 1.7 μ mol/mL). Moreover, neither the circular nor the longitudinal smooth muscle layers thickness were modified by the exercise (66.2 ± 6.0 and 40.2 ± 2.6 μm, respectively), compared to the SED group (61.6 ± 6.4 and 34.8 ± 3.7 μm, respectively). Therefore, the ileum sensitivity to contractile agents is differentially altered by the acute aerobic

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Modulation of Cardiac Contractility – a New Method in the Treatment of Heart Failure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Petrukhina

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The review analyzes new treatment for patients with chronic heart failure (CHF with low ejection fraction – cardiac contractility modulation (CCM. CCM is carried out by supplying electric signals to an absolutely refractory ventricular myocardium, to elicit a positive inotropic effect without increasing myocardial oxygen consumption. These effects are independent on QRS duration; consequently, the therapy might be beneficial for patients who are not candidates for cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT. It should be noted that the use of CCM treatment of CHF should begin only with maximum active therapy when its efficacy is not enough. It is not an alternative, but complement to the most active treatment of patients. Clinical studies primarily focused on patients with normal QRS duration because the CPT is optimal treatment of patients with prolonged QRS. The article focuses on the prerequisites for the development of the method and discusses the results obtained when evaluating the clinical efficacy and safety of treatment of patients with CHF in randomized clinical trials FIX-HF-3 (n=25, FIX-HF-4 (n=164, FIX-HF-5 (n=428. The total number of patients included into these studies was 617 people. Baseline patient characteristics were similar for all 3 studies. All participants received optimal medical therapy, had a normal QRS duration. All patients were II and III functional class (by NYHA. The studies analyzed the changes in NYHA class, ejection fraction, peak oxygen consumption (VO2, the precursor of brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP level. Quality of life was assessed by the Minnesota questionnaire; the mortality rate was compared with that predicted by MAGGIC scale. CCM therapy had beneficial effect on the survival and quality of life in patients with CHF. However, more data is needed to assess long-term effects of the CCM therapy.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Clinical comparison of bladder contractility parameters calculated from isometric contractions and pressure-flow studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R. van Mastrigt (Ron); D.J. Griffiths (Derek)

    1987-01-01

    textabstractParameters describing the contractility of the urinary bladder can be calculated from both isometric contractions and pressure-flow studies. The first method has the advantage of making very little demand either on the patient or on the urodynamicist, and the disadvantage of yielding a

  12. Transforming growth factor-beta 1 specifically induce proteins involved in the myofibroblast contractile apparatus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Malmström, Johan; Lindberg, Henrik Have; Lindberg, Claes

    2004-01-01

    is to participate in the depolymerization and stabilization of the microfilaments. These results show that TGF-beta(1) induces not only alpha-SMA but a whole set of actin-associated proteins that may contribute to the increased contractile properties of the myofibroblast. These proteins accompany the induced...

  13. Contractile speed and fatigue of adductor pollicis muscle in multiple sclerosis.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruiter, C.J. de; Jongen, P.J.H.; Woude, L.H.V. van der; Haan, A. de

    2001-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to investigate differences in contractile speed, force, and fatigability of the adductor pollicis muscle between 12 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and 8 sedentary control subjects matched for age and gender. There were no differences between the patients with MS

  14. Contractile speed and fatigue of adductor pollicis muscle in multiple sclerosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Ruiter, C.J.; Jongen, P.J.H.; van der Woude, L.H.V.; de Haan, A.

    2001-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to investigate differences in contractile speed, force, and fatigability of the adductor pollicis muscle between 12 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and 8 sedentary control subjects matched for age and gender. There were no differences between the patients with MS

  15. Analysis of Contractility and Invasion Potential of Two Canine Mammary Tumor Cell Lines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaisa Rajakylä

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Cancer cells are surrounded by a mechanically and biochemically distinct microenvironment that undergoes dynamic changes throughout the neoplastic progression. During this progression, some cancer cells acquire abnormal characteristics that potentiate their escape from the primary tumor site, to establish secondary tumors in distant organs. Recent studies with several human cancer cell lines have shown that the altered physical properties of tumor cells, such as their ability to apply high traction forces to the surroundings, are directly linked with their potential to invade and metastasize. To test the hypothetical interconnection between actomyosin-mediated traction forces and invasion potential within 3D-microenvironment, we utilized two canine mammary tumor cell lines with different contractile properties. These cell lines, canine mammary tumor (CMT-U27 and CMT-U309, were found to have distinct expression patterns of lineage-specific markers and organization of actin-based structures. In particular, CMT-U309 carcinoma cells were typified by thick contractile actomyosin bundles that exerted high forces to their environment, as measured by traction force microscopy. These high contractile forces also correlated with the prominent invasiveness of the CMT-U309 cell line. Furthermore, we found high contractility and 3D-invasion potential to be dependent on the activity of 5′AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK, as blocking AMPK signaling was found to reverse both of these features. Taken together, our findings implicate that actomyosin forces correlate with the invasion potential of the studied cell lines.

  16. Relaxation-systolic pressure relation. A load-independent assessment of left ventricular contractility

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gillebert, T. C.; Leite-Moreira, A. F.; de Hert, S. G.

    1997-01-01

    This contribution reviews the regulation of left ventricular pressure (LVP) fall by load and relates this regulation to left ventricular contractility. Load regulation of LVP fall has to be distinguished from neurohumoral regulation, from effects induced by arterial reflected waves and from

  17. Effects of Myocardial Contractility on Microemboli Production by Mechanical Heart Valves in a Bovine Model

    OpenAIRE

    Deklunder, Ghislaine; Lecroart, Jean-Louis; Conger, Jeff L.; Lapeyre, Didier; Gregoric, Igor; Rose, Harris; Tamez, Daniel; Frazier, O. H.

    2000-01-01

    Microemboli caused by mechanical heart valves have the potential to cause cerebrovascular events. We investigated the effects of myocardial contractility and heart rate on microemboli production in association with conventional and experimental mechanical heart valves implanted in the mitral position in a bovine model.

  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

    2015-04-15

    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 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 clenbuterol-treated animals demonstrated decreased amplitude after 14 days (-19%, P clenbuterol treatment reduces contractile efficiency, with altered contraction and relaxation kinetics, but without directly altering the contractile machinery. Lower Ca(2+) release during contraction could partially explain these deleterious effects. © 2015 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2015 The Physiological Society.

  19. 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.

  20. The novel β3-adrenoceptor agonist mirabegron reduces carbachol-induced contractile activity in detrusor tissue from patients with bladder outflow obstruction with or without detrusor overactivity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svalø, Julie; Nordling, Jørgen; Bouchelouche, Kirsten

    2013-01-01

    prostatic hyperplasia undergoing cystoscopy and from patients undergoing radical prostatectomy/cystectomy (in total 33 donors). Detrusor contractility was evaluated by organ bath studies and strips were incubated with carbachol (1μM) to induce and enhance tension. Both mirabegron and isoprenaline reduced...... preparations from patients with bladder outflow obstruction (BOO) with and without detrusor overactivity (DO), and from patients with normal bladder function. We compared the effects to those of isoprenaline, a non-selective β-adrenoceptor agonist. Detrusor specimens were obtained from patients with benign...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Characterisation of the contractile dynamics of the resting ex vivo urinary bladder of the pig.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lentle, Roger G; Reynolds, Gordon W; Janssen, Patrick W M; Hulls, Corrin M; King, Quinten M; Chambers, John Paul

    2015-12-01

    To characterise the area and movements of ongoing spontaneous localised contractions in the resting porcine urinary bladder and relate these to ambient intravesical pressure (Pves ), to further our understanding of their genesis and role in accommodating incoming urine. We used image analysis to quantify the areas and movements of discrete propagating patches of contraction (PPCs) on the anterior, anterolateral and posterior surfaces of the urinary bladders of six pigs maintained ex vivo with small incremental increases in volume. We then correlated the magnitude of Pves and cyclic changes in Pves with parameters derived from spatiotemporal maps. Contractile movements in the resting bladder consisted only of PPCs that covered around a fifth of the surface of the bladder, commenced at various sites, and were of ≈6 s in duration. They propagated at around 6 mm/s, mainly across the anterior and lateral surface of the bladder by various, sometimes circular, routes in a quasi-stable rhythm, and did not traverse the trigone. The frequencies of these rhythms were low (3.15 cycles/min) and broadly similar to those of cyclic changes in Pves (3.55 cycles/min). Each PPC was associated with a region of stretching (positive strain rate) and these events occurred in a background of more constant strain. The amplitudes of cycles in Pves and the areas undergoing PPCs increased after a sudden increase in Pves but the frequency of cycles of Pves and of origin of PPCs did not change. Peaks in Pves cycles occurred when PPCs were traversing the upper half of the bladder, which was more compliant. The velocity of propagation of PPCs was similar to that of transverse propagation of action potentials in bladder myocytes and significantly greater than that reported in interstitial cells. The size of PPCs, their frequency and their rate of propagation were not affected by intra-arterial dosage with tetrodotoxin or lidocaine. The origin and duration of PPCs influence both Pves and cyclic

  4. 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)

  5. Dynamic MR cholangiography after fatty meal loading. Cystic contractility and dynamic evaluation of biliary stasis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Omata, Takayuki; Saito, Kazuhiro; Kotake, Fumio; Mizokami, Yuji; Matsuoka, Takeshi; Abe, Kimihiko [Tokyo Medical Coll., Ami, Ibaraki (Japan). Kasumigaura Hospital

    2002-07-01

    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)

  6. 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

  7. Effect of Agonist and Antagonist on the In Vitro Contractility of Inflamed Vermiform Appendix.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Phani Bhushan; Tiwary, Pushpakant; Singh, Sanjeev K; Pandey, Ratna; Roy, Atanu; Kar, Amrita Ghosh; Basu, Somprakas; Tiwari, Anil Kumar

    2017-06-01

    Appendicitis poses a great health problem worldwide. Previous studies demonstrated structural damage to neuronal network and interstitial cell of Cajal in appendicitis. Above observations suggest for the alterations in appendicular motility/contractility in appendicitis. But the mechanisms involved in mediating the contractility in inflamed vermiform appendix is not known till date. The present in vitro study was performed to find out the mechanisms responsible for contractility in the inflamed human vermiform appendix. Contractions of the longitudinal muscle strips of inflamed appendix were recorded in vitro at 37±0.5°C. Control contractions were recorded for 30 min after an initial tension of 0.5 gram. Initially dose-response experiments of agonists (acetylcholine, serotonin and histamine) were performed separately and the dose that produced maximum contraction was determined with each agonist. This maximal dose of agonist was used to elicit contractions in next series of experiments before and after pre-treatment with appropriate antagonists like atropine, ondansetron (5-HT 3 antagonist) and chlorpheniramine maleate respectively. Acetylcholine (ACh) and serotonin (5-HT) elicited maximum amplitude of contraction at 10 µM and 1 µM concentration respectively. These contractions were significantly blocked by prior exposure of muscle strips with atropine (100 µM) and ondansetron (10 µM). Histamine produced very low amplitude of contractions in comparison to ACh or 5-HT and did not exhibit dose-response relations. The histamine induced contractions were blocked by H 1 antagonist chlorpheniramine maleate (100 µM). The observations suggested that the contractility of longitudinal muscle strips of inflamed vermiform appendix in human beings was predominantly mediated by muscarinic and serotonergic (5-HT 3 ) mechanisms, whereas, histaminergic mechanisms played a minor role in mediating the contractility.

  8. Phosphodiesterase 4D (PDE4D) regulates baseline sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ release and cardiac contractility, independently of L-type Ca2+current

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, Jeremy A.; Zhao, Dongling; Farman, Gerrie P.; Jones, Peter; Tian, Xixi; Wilson, Lindsay S.; Ahmad, Faiyaz; Chen, S.R. Wayne; Movsesian, Matthew A.; Manganiello, Vincent; Maurice, Donald H.; Conti, Marco; Backx, Peter H.

    2014-01-01

    Rationale Baseline contractility of mouse hearts is modulated in a PI3Kγ-dependent manner by type 4 phosphodiesterases (PDE4), which regulate cAMP levels within microdomains containing the sarcoplasmic reticular (SR) calcium-ATPase (SERCA2a). Objective To determine whether PDE4D regulates basal cAMP levels, phospholamban (PLN) phosphorylation and SERCA2a activity in SR microdomains. Methods & Results We assessed myocardial function in PDE4D-deficient (PDE4D−/−) and littermate wild-type (WT) mice at 10-12 weeks of age. Baseline cardiac contractility in PDE4D−/− mice was elevated in vivo and in Langendorff perfused hearts, while isolated PDE4D−/− cardiomyocytes showed increased Ca2+ transient amplitudes and SR Ca2+content, but unchanged ICa(L), compared to WT. The PKA inhibitor, Rp-cAMPS, lowered Ca2+ transient amplitudes and SR Ca2+ content in PDE4D−/− cardiomyocytes to WT levels. The PDE4 inhibitor rolipram (ROL) had no effect on cardiac contractility, Ca2+ transients or SR Ca2+ content in PDE4D−/− preparations but increased these parameters in WT hearts to levels indistinguishable from those in PDE4D−/−. The functional changes in PDE4D−/− myocardium were associated with increased PLN phosphorylation (pPLN) but not RyR2 receptor phosphorylation. ROL increased pPLN in WT cardiomyocytes to levels indistinguishable from those in PDE4D−/− cardiomyocytes. In murine and failing human hearts, PDE4D co-immunoprecipitated with SERCA2a but not with RyR2. Conclusions PDE4D regulates basal cAMP levels in SR microdomains through its interactions with SERCA2a-PLN. Since Ca2+ transient amplitudes are reduced in failing human myocardium, these observations may have therapeutic implications for patients with heart failure. PMID:21903937

  9. 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

  10. Active fascial contractility: Fascia may be able to contract in a smooth muscle-like manner and thereby influence musculoskeletal dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schleip, R; Klingler, W; Lehmann-Horn, F

    2005-01-01

    Dense connective tissue sheets, commonly known as fascia, play an important role as force transmitters in human posture and movement regulation. Fascia is usually seen as having a passive role, transmitting mechanical tension which is generated by muscle activity or external forces. However, there is some evidence to suggest that fascia may be able to actively contract in a smooth muscle-like manner and consequently influence musculoskeletal dynamics. General support for this hypothesis came with the discovery of contractile cells in fascia, from theoretical reflections on the biological advantages of such a capacity, and from the existence of pathological fascial contractures. Further evidence to support this hypothesis is offered by in vitro studies with fascia which have been reported in the literature: the biomechanical demonstration of an autonomous contraction of the human lumbar fascia, and the pharmacological induction of temporary contractions in normal fascia from rats. If verified by future research, the existence of an active fascial contractility could have interesting implications for the understanding of musculoskeletal pathologies with an increased or decreased myofascial tonus. It may also offer new insights and a deeper understanding of treatments directed at fascia, such as manual myofascial release therapies or acupuncture. Further research to test this hypothesis is suggested.

  11. Oleanolic acid: a novel cardioprotective agent that blunts hyperglycemia-induced contractile dysfunction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rudo F Mapanga

    Full Text Available Diabetes constitutes a major health challenge. Since cardiovascular complications are common in diabetic patients this will further increase the overall burden of disease. Furthermore, stress-induced hyperglycemia in non-diabetic patients with acute myocardial infarction is associated with higher in-hospital mortality. Previous studies implicate oxidative stress, excessive flux through the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway (HBP and a dysfunctional ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS as potential mediators of this process. Since oleanolic acid (OA; a clove extract possesses antioxidant properties, we hypothesized that it attenuates acute and chronic hyperglycemia-mediated pathophysiologic molecular events (oxidative stress, apoptosis, HBP, UPS and thereby improves contractile function in response to ischemia-reperfusion. We employed several experimental systems: 1 H9c2 cardiac myoblasts were exposed to 33 mM glucose for 48 hr vs. controls (5 mM glucose; and subsequently treated with two OA doses (20 and 50 µM for 6 and 24 hr, respectively; 2 Isolated rat hearts were perfused ex vivo with Krebs-Henseleit buffer containing 33 mM glucose vs. controls (11 mM glucose for 60 min, followed by 20 min global ischemia and 60 min reperfusion ± OA treatment; 3 In vivo coronary ligations were performed on streptozotocin treated rats ± OA administration during reperfusion; and 4 Effects of long-term OA treatment (2 weeks on heart function was assessed in streptozotocin-treated rats. Our data demonstrate that OA treatment blunted high glucose-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis in heart cells. OA therapy also resulted in cardioprotection, i.e. for ex vivo and in vivo rat hearts exposed to ischemia-reperfusion under hyperglycemic conditions. In parallel, we found decreased oxidative stress, apoptosis, HBP flux and proteasomal activity following ischemia-reperfusion. Long-term OA treatment also improved heart function in streptozotocin-diabetic rats. These

  12. 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…

  13. 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.)

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  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. Functional traits of trees on and off termite mounds: Understanding the origin of biotically-driven heterogeneity in savannas

    OpenAIRE

    van der Plas, F.; Howison, R.; Reinders, J.; Fokkema, W.; Olff, H.

    2013-01-01

    Questions In African savannas, Macrotermes termites contribute to small-scale heterogeneity by constructing large mounds. Operating as islands of high nutrient and water availability and low fire frequency, these mounds support distinct, diverse communities of trees that have been shown to be highly attractive to browsers. However, the distinct traits of tree species on termite mounds have hardly been studied, even though this may help to understand processes determining (1) their characteris...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.