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Sample records for 4-fold degenerate sites

  1. Efficient site-directed saturation mutagenesis using degenerate oligonucleotides.

    PubMed

    Steffens, David L; Williams, John G K

    2007-07-01

    We describe a reliable protocol for constructing single-site saturation mutagenesis libraries consisting of all 20 naturally occurring amino acids at a specific site within a protein. Such libraries are useful for structure-function studies and directed evolution. This protocol extends the utility of Stratagene's QuikChange Site-Directed Mutagenesis Kit, which is primarily recommended for single amino acid substitutions. Two complementary primers are synthesized, containing a degenerate mixture of the four bases at the three positions of the selected codon. These primers are added to starting plasmid template and thermal cycled to produce mutant DNA molecules, which are subsequently transformed into competent bacteria. The protocol does not require purification of mutagenic oligonucleotides or PCR products. This reduces both the cost and turnaround time in high-throughput directed evolution applications. We have utilized this protocol to generate over 200 site-saturation libraries in a DNA polymerase, with a success rate of greater than 95%. PMID:17595310

  2. Human cartilage endplate permeability varies with degeneration and intervertebral disc site.

    PubMed

    DeLucca, John F; Cortes, Daniel H; Jacobs, Nathan T; Vresilovic, Edward J; Duncan, Randall L; Elliott, Dawn M

    2016-02-29

    Despite the critical functions the human cartilage endplate (CEP) plays in the intervertebral disc, little is known about its structural and mechanical properties and their changes with degeneration. Quantifying these changes with degeneration is important for understanding how the CEP contributes to the function and pathology of the disc. Therefore the objectives of this study were to quantify the effect of disc degeneration on human CEP mechanical properties, determine the influence of superior and inferior disc site on mechanics and composition, and simulate the role of collagen fibers in CEP and disc mechanics using a validated finite element model. Confined compression data and biochemical composition data were used in a biphasic-swelling model to calculate compressive extrafibrillar elastic and permeability properties. Tensile properties were obtained by applying published tensile test data to an ellipsoidal fiber distribution. Results showed that with degeneration CEP permeability decreased 50-60% suggesting that transport is inhibited in the degenerate disc. CEP fibers are organized parallel to the vertebrae and nucleus pulposus and may contribute to large shear strains (0.1-0.2) and delamination failure of the CEP commonly seen in herniated disc tissue. Fiber-reinforcement also reduces CEP axial strains thereby enhancing fluid flux by a factor of 1.8. Collectively, these results suggest that the structure and mechanics of the CEP may play critical roles in the solute transport and disc mechanics. PMID:26874969

  3. Another late complication after endovascular aneurysm repair: aneurysmal degeneration at the iliac artery landing site.

    PubMed

    Agu, Obekieze; Boardley, Dee; Adiseshiah, Mohan

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to describe a hitherto underreported late complication of infrarenal endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR), namely type Ib endoleakage resulting from aneurysmal degeneration at the iliac artery landing site. In a prospectively recorded audit, between 1994 and 2007, 297 patients underwent EVAR. All cases that developed iliac artery aneurysm (IAA) were studied. Ten cases of IAA in seven patients (2.4% of the cohort) developed 5 to 9 years after EVAR. Eight of the 10 involved the lower landing site of the stent graft. Landing site diameter before EVAR was 12 mm (range 10-15 mm). Three IAAs presented as emergencies with rapidly expanding sacs and impending rupture. All cases underwent further endovascular intervention with no < 30-day mortality. Iliac artery landing site aneurysm formation after EVAR occurs uncommonly after 5 or more years. It should be regarded as an indication for intervention prior to type Ib endoleakage development. The need for lifelong surveillance is highlighted. PMID:19344588

  4. 4-fold photocurrent enhancement in ultrathin nanoplasmonic perovskite solar cells.

    PubMed

    Cai, Boyuan; Peng, Yong; Cheng, Yi-Bing; Gu, Min

    2015-11-30

    Although perovskite materials have been widely investigated for thin-film photovoltaic devices due to the potential for high efficiency, their high toxicity has pressed the development of a solar cell structure of an ultra-thin absorber layer. But insufficient light absorption could be a result of ultra-thin perovskite films. In this paper, we propose a new nanoplasmonic solar cell that integrates metal nanoparticles at its rear/front surfaces of the perovskite layer. Plasmon-enhanced light scattering and near-field enhancement effects from lumpy sliver nanoparticles result in the photocurrent enhancement for a 50 nm thick absorber, which is higher than that for a 300 nm thick flat perovskite solar cell. We also predict the 4-fold photocurrent enhancement in an ultrathin perovskite solar cell with the absorber thickness of 10 nm. Our results pave a new way for ultrathin high-efficiency solar cells with either a lead-based or a lead-free perovskite absorption layer. PMID:26698816

  5. Radial tensile properties of the lumbar annulus fibrosus are site and degeneration dependent.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Y; Duncan, N A; Lotz, J C

    1997-11-01

    We conducted an in vitro study of the radial tensile properties of the annulus fibrosus. The stress-strain response was nonlinear, with a mean tangent modulus of 0.19 MPa at zero strain and 0.47 MPa at 70% of the yield strain. We also investigated whether these properties varied as a function of location within the disc and degree of degeneration. Specimens harvested from the middle layers of the annulus were stiffer and failed at smaller strain magnitudes than those from the inner or outer annulus (analysis of covariance, p < 0.05). Differences due to degeneration were evident; degenerated discs had a 30% decrease in yield and ultimate stress compared with normal discs. Similarity between our data and those reported for the annulus in compression suggests that these values reflect the material behavior of the interlaminar matrix and are an order of magnitude smaller than values used in previous analytical representations of this tissue. We expect that awareness of these data will result in improved understanding of the physical behavior and tolerance to injury of the annulus fibrosus. PMID:9497805

  6. Macular degeneration

    MedlinePlus Videos and Cool Tools

    ... at the center of the field of vision. Macular degeneration results from a partial breakdown of the insulating ... choroid layer of blood vessels behind the retina. Macular degeneration results in the loss of central vision only.

  7. Cerebellar Degeneration

    MedlinePlus

    ... Degeneration? Cerebellar degeneration is a process in which neurons in the cerebellum - the area of the brain ... proteins that are necessary for the survival of neurons. Associated diseases: Diseases that are specific to the ...

  8. Optimization of the degenerated interfacial ATP binding site improves the function of disease-related mutant cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) channels.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Ming-Feng; Jih, Kang-Yang; Shimizu, Hiroyasu; Li, Min; Hwang, Tzyh-Chang

    2010-11-26

    The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) chloride channel, an ATP binding cassette (ABC) protein whose defects cause the deadly genetic disease cystic fibrosis (CF), encompasses two nucleotide binding domains (NBD1 and NBD2). Recent studies indicate that in the presence of ATP, the two NBDs coalesce into a dimer, trapping an ATP molecule in each of the two interfacial composite ATP binding sites (site 1 and site 2). Experimental evidence also suggests that CFTR gating is mainly controlled by ATP binding and hydrolysis in site 2, whereas site 1, which harbors several non-canonical substitutions in ATP-interacting motifs, is considered degenerated. The CF-associated mutation G551D, by introducing a bulky and negatively charged side chain into site 2, completely abolishes ATP-induced openings of CFTR. Here, we report a strategy to optimize site 1 for ATP binding by converting two amino acid residues to ABC consensus (i.e. H1348G) or more commonly seen residues in other ABC proteins (i.e. W401Y,W401F). Introducing either one or both of these mutations into G551D-CFTR confers ATP responsiveness for this disease-associated mutant channel. We further showed that the same maneuver also improved the function of WT-CFTR and the most common CF-associated ΔF508 channels, both of which rely on site 2 for gating control. Thus, our results demonstrated that the degenerated site 1 can be rebuilt to complement or support site 2 for CFTR function. Possible approaches for developing CFTR potentiators targeting site 1 will be discussed. PMID:20861014

  9. Optimization of the Degenerated Interfacial ATP Binding Site Improves the Function of Disease-related Mutant Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) Channels*♦

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Ming-Feng; Jih, Kang-Yang; Shimizu, Hiroyasu; Li, Min; Hwang, Tzyh-Chang

    2010-01-01

    The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) chloride channel, an ATP binding cassette (ABC) protein whose defects cause the deadly genetic disease cystic fibrosis (CF), encompasses two nucleotide binding domains (NBD1 and NBD2). Recent studies indicate that in the presence of ATP, the two NBDs coalesce into a dimer, trapping an ATP molecule in each of the two interfacial composite ATP binding sites (site 1 and site 2). Experimental evidence also suggests that CFTR gating is mainly controlled by ATP binding and hydrolysis in site 2, whereas site 1, which harbors several non-canonical substitutions in ATP-interacting motifs, is considered degenerated. The CF-associated mutation G551D, by introducing a bulky and negatively charged side chain into site 2, completely abolishes ATP-induced openings of CFTR. Here, we report a strategy to optimize site 1 for ATP binding by converting two amino acid residues to ABC consensus (i.e. H1348G) or more commonly seen residues in other ABC proteins (i.e. W401Y,W401F). Introducing either one or both of these mutations into G551D-CFTR confers ATP responsiveness for this disease-associated mutant channel. We further showed that the same maneuver also improved the function of WT-CFTR and the most common CF-associated ΔF508 channels, both of which rely on site 2 for gating control. Thus, our results demonstrated that the degenerated site 1 can be rebuilt to complement or support site 2 for CFTR function. Possible approaches for developing CFTR potentiators targeting site 1 will be discussed. PMID:20861014

  10. Brane brick models, toric Calabi-Yau 4-folds and 2d (0,2) quivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franco, Sebastián; Lee, Sangmin; Seong, Rak-Kyeong

    2016-02-01

    We introduce brane brick models, a novel type of Type IIA brane configurations consisting of D4-branes ending on an NS5-brane. Brane brick models are T-dual to D1-branes over singular toric Calabi-Yau 4-folds. They fully encode the infinite class of 2 d (generically) {N}=(0,2) gauge theories on the worldvolume of the D1-branes and streamline their connection to the probed geometries. For this purpose, we also introduce new combinatorial procedures for deriving the Calabi-Yau associated to a given gauge theory and vice versa.

  11. Ultrastructural observations on the progress of nerve degeneration and regeneration at the suture site following vagal-hypoglossal nerve coaptation in cats.

    PubMed

    Hu, Ming-E; Tyan, Yeu-Sheng; Hsu, Peng-Wei; Hsu, Jee-Ching; Chang, Hung-Ming; Ling, Eng-Ang; Lan, Chyn-Tair

    2009-01-01

    Nerve degeneration and regeneration have been investigated at the suture site following proximal-to-distal vagal-hypoglossal nerve coaptation (VHC) in cats at different time points (from 3 to 315 days postoperatively; dpo). Massive axonal degeneration and myelin breakdown and removal of degraded neural debris were observed during the first 2 weeks postoperatively. This was followed by active Schwann cell multiplication and inflammatory cell invasion at 14 dpo. Schwann cells appeared mobile, and were guided to the newly developed growth cones, dividing them into axonal sprout clusters. At 18 dpo, the migrating Schwann cells were confined to the preexisting basal lamina scaffolds, forming bands of Bungner. It is suggested that the latter may play a key role in navigating the regenerating axons to their newly acquired target organ at 22 dpo. Remyelination of axons was not observed till 46 dpo. Compared with the rapid axonal reaction in other models of nerve injury, the degeneration process in VHC was protracted and, furthermore, regeneration and remyelination were delayed. The subtle remodeling of the nerve in cross-coaptation may be far greater than previously recognized, and this may have clinical importance since patients undergoing nerve crossover microsurgery exhibit delayed motor rehabilitation, apparently as a direct result of a change in target innervation. Defining the mechanisms underlying the neuroplastic program could thus potentially improve the prognosis of crossover of two different peripheral nerves. PMID:19494480

  12. Remobilization causes site-specific cyst formation in immobilization-induced knee cartilage degeneration in an immobilized rat model.

    PubMed

    Nagai, Momoko; Ito, Akira; Tajino, Junichi; Iijima, Hirotaka; Yamaguchi, Shoki; Zhang, Xiangkai; Aoyama, Tomoki; Kuroki, Hiroshi

    2016-06-01

    An understanding of the articular cartilage degenerative process is necessary for the prevention and treatment of joint disease. The present study aimed to examine how long-term immobilization-induced cartilage degeneration is aggravated by remobilization. Sixty 8-week-old male Wistar rats were used in this study. The unilateral knee joint was immobilized using an external fixator for 8 weeks. The rats were killed at 0 and 3 days, and at 1, 2, 4 and 8 weeks after removing the fixator. After the rats were killed, the maximum knee extension angles were measured. Histological sections at the medial mid-condylar region (non-contact, transitional and contact regions of the femur and tibia) were prepared and scored. The cartilage thickness and number of chondrocytes were measured, and CD44 and Col2-3/4c expression levels were assessed immunohistochemically. The histological assessment revealed progressive aggravation of cartilage degeneration in the transitional region, with a decreased number of chondrocytes and CD44-positive chondrocytes as well as poor scoring over time, particularly in the tibia. Cyst formation was confirmed in the transitional region of the tibia at 8 weeks post-remobilization. The cartilage thickness in the transitional region was thicker than that in the contact region, particularly in the tibia. Col2-3/4c expression was observed in the non-contact and transitional regions, and the knee extension angle was recovered. In conclusion, immobilization-induced cartilage degeneration was aggravated by remobilization over time in the transitional region, followed by observations of a decreased number of chondrocytes and morphological disparity between different cartilage regions. PMID:26989984

  13. Crystalline structures of polymeric hydrocarbon with 3,4-fold helical chains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lian, Chao-Sheng; Li, Han-Dong; Wang, Jian-Tao

    2015-01-01

    Molecular hydrocarbons are well-known to polymerize under pressure to form covalently bonded frameworks. Here we predict by ab initio calculations two distinct three-dimensional hydrocarbon crystalline structures composed of 3-fold and 4-fold helical CH chains in rhombohedral () and tetragonal (I41/a) symmetry, respectively. Both structures with 1:1 stoichiometry are found to be energetically more favorable than solid acetylene and cubane, and even more stable than benzene II solid at high pressure. The calculations on vibrational, electronic, and optical properties reveal that the new chiral hydrocarbons are dynamically stable with large bulk moduli around 200 GPa, and exhibit a transparent insulating behavior with indirect band gaps of 5.9 ~ 6.7 eV and anisotropic adsorption spectra. Such forms of hydrocarbon, once synthesized, would have wide applications in mechanical, optoelectronic, and biological materials.

  14. Crystalline structures of polymeric hydrocarbon with 3,4-fold helical chains

    PubMed Central

    Lian, Chao-Sheng; Li, Han-Dong; Wang, Jian-Tao

    2015-01-01

    Molecular hydrocarbons are well-known to polymerize under pressure to form covalently bonded frameworks. Here we predict by ab initio calculations two distinct three-dimensional hydrocarbon crystalline structures composed of 3-fold and 4-fold helical CH chains in rhombohedral () and tetragonal (I41/a) symmetry, respectively. Both structures with 1:1 stoichiometry are found to be energetically more favorable than solid acetylene and cubane, and even more stable than benzene II solid at high pressure. The calculations on vibrational, electronic, and optical properties reveal that the new chiral hydrocarbons are dynamically stable with large bulk moduli around 200 GPa, and exhibit a transparent insulating behavior with indirect band gaps of 5.9 ~ 6.7 eV and anisotropic adsorption spectra. Such forms of hydrocarbon, once synthesized, would have wide applications in mechanical, optoelectronic, and biological materials. PMID:25579707

  15. Macular Degeneration

    MedlinePlus

    ... common early symptom. Dry AMD happens when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down. Your gradually lose your central vision. A common early symptom is that straight lines appear crooked. Regular comprehensive eye exams can detect macular degeneration before the disease ...

  16. Synchrotron radiation circular dichroism spectroscopy study of recombinant T β4 folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Yung-Chin; Chu, Hsueh-Liang; Chen, Peng-Jen; Chang, Chia-Ching

    Thymosin beta 4 (T β4) is a 43-amino acid small peptide, has been demonstrated that it can promote cardiac repair, wound repair, tissue protection, and involve in the proliferation of blood cell precursor stem cells of bone marrow. Moreover, T β4 has been identified as a multifunction intrinsically disordered protein, which is lacking the stable tertiary structure. Owing to the small size and disordered character, the T β4 protein degrades rapidly and the storage condition is critical. Therefore, it is not easy to reveal its folding mechanism of native T β4. However, recombinant T β4 protein (rT β4), which fused with a 5-kDa peptide in its amino-terminal, is stable and possesses identical function of T β4. Therefore, rT β4 can be used to study its folding mechanism. By using over-critical folding process, stable folding intermediates of rT β4 can be obtained. Structure analysis of folding intermediates by synchrotron radiation circular dichroism (SRCD) and fluorescence spectroscopies indicate that rT β4 is a random coli major protein and its hydrophobic region becomes compact gradually. Moreover, the rT β4 folding is a two state transition. Thermal denaturation analysis indicates that rT β4 lacks stable tertiary structure. These results indicated that rT β4, similar to T β4, is an intrinsically disordered protein. Research is supported by MOST, Taiwan. MOST 103-2112-M-009-011-MY3. Corresponding author: Chia-Ching Chang; ccchang01@faculty.nctu.edu.tw.

  17. Corticobasal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Gibb, W R; Luthert, P J; Marsden, C D

    1989-10-01

    Three patients with clinical and pathological features of corticobasal degeneration are described. They presented with a progressive disease bearing some clinical resemblance to Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome and displaying some pathological features of Pick's disease. Their illness began at the age of 59 to 66 yrs with focal dystonia and myoclonus of an arm, the 'alien hand' sign, or an akinetic-rigid syndrome. They developed a supranuclear gaze palsy, parkinsonian features and mild cerebellar signs. Two patients showed constructional dyspraxia when using the arms. The duration of disease to death was 4 to 6 yrs. Pathological examination showed frontoparietal atrophy with cortical cell loss, gliosis and Pick cells, but there was no significant hippocampal disease or Pick bodies in this region. There was nerve cell loss and gliosis in the thalamus, lentiform nucleus, subthalamic nucleus, red nucleus, midbrain tegmentum, substantia nigra and locus coeruleus. Neuronal inclusions in the substantia nigra, termed corticobasal inclusions, were reminiscent of the globose neurofibrillary tangle of Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome, and other pale inclusions resembled the pale body of Parkinson's disease, but Lewy bodies and neurofibrillary tangles were generally absent. Some nigral inclusions were similar to those in Pick's disease. Despite some pathological similarities to Pick's disease we suggest that the distribution of nerve cell loss and the corticobasal inclusion are unique to corticobasal degeneration. PMID:2478251

  18. Lipoprotein(A) with An Intact Lysine Binding Site Protects the Retina From an Age-Related Macular Degeneration Phenotype in Mice (An American Ophthalmological Society Thesis)

    PubMed Central

    Handa, James T.; Tagami, Mizuki; Ebrahimi, Katayoon; Leibundgut, Gregor; Janiak, Anna; Witztum, Joseph L.; Tsimikas, Sotirios

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: To test the hypothesis that the accumulation of oxidized phospholipids (OxPL) in the macula is toxic to the retina unless neutralized by a variety of mechanisms, including binding by lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)], which is composed of apolipoprotein(a) [apo(a)] and apolipoprotein B-100 (apoB). Methods: Human maculas and eyes from two Lp(a) transgenic murine models were subjected to morphologic, ultrastructural, and immunohistochemical analysis. “Wild-type Lp(a)” mice, which express human apoB-100 and apo(a) that contains oxidized phospholipid, and “mutant LBS− Lp(a)” mice with a defective apo(a) lysine binding site (LBS) for oxidized phospholipid binding, were fed a chow or high-fat diet for 2 to 12 months. Oxidized phospholipid–containing lipoproteins were detected by immunoreactivity to E06, a murine monoclonal antibody binding to the phosphocholine headgroup of oxidized, but not native, phospholipids. Results: Oxidized phospholipids, apo(a), and apoB accumulate in maculas, including drusen, of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) samples and age-matched controls. Lp(a) mice fed a high-fat diet developed age-related changes. However, mutant LBS− Lp(a) mice fed a high-fat diet developed retinal pigment epithelial cell degeneration and drusen. These changes were associated with increased OxPL, decreased antioxidant defenses, increased complement, and decreased complement regulators. Conclusions: Human maculas accumulate Lp(a) and OxPL. Mutant LBS− Lp(a) mice, lacking the ability to bind E06-detectable oxidized phospholipid, develop AMD-like changes. The ability of Lp(a) to bind E06-detectable OxPL may play a protective role in AMD. PMID:26538774

  19. Macular degeneration (image)

    MedlinePlus

    Macular degeneration is a disease of the retina that affects the macula in the back of the eye. ... see fine details. There are two types of macular degeneration, dry and wet. Dry macular degeneration is more ...

  20. Macular Degeneration: An Overview.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chalifoux, L. M.

    1991-01-01

    This article presents information on macular degeneration for professionals helping persons with this disease adjust to their visual loss. It covers types of macular degeneration, the etiology of the disease, and its treatment. Also considered are psychosocial problems and other difficulties that persons with age-related macular degeneration face.…

  1. Intervertebral Disc Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Rannou, François; Lee, Tzong-Shyuan; Zhou, Rui-Hai; Chin, Jennie; Lotz, Jeffrey C.; Mayoux-Benhamou, Marie-Anne; Barbet, Jacques Patrick; Chevrot, Alain; Shyy, John Y.-J.

    2004-01-01

    Degeneration of the intervertebral disk (IVD) is a major pathological process implicated in low back pain and is a prerequisite to disk herniation. Although mechanical stress is an important modulator of the degeneration, the underlying molecular mechanism remains unclear. The association of human IVD degeneration, assessed by magnetic resonance imaging, with annulus fibrosus cell apoptosis and anti-cytochrome c staining revealed that the activation of the mitochondria-dependent apoptosome was a major event in the degeneration process. Mouse models of IVD degeneration were used to investigate the role of the mechanical stress in this process. The application of mechanical overload (1.3 MPa) for 24 hours induced annulus fibrosus cell apoptosis and led to severe degeneration of the mouse disks. Immunostaining revealed cytochrome c release but not Fas-L generation. The role of the caspase-9-dependent mitochondrial pathway in annulus fibrosus cell apoptosis induced by overload was investigated further with the use of cultured rabbit IVD cells in a stretch device. Mechanical overload (15% area change) induced apoptosis with increased caspase-9 activity and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential. Furthermore, Z-LEHD-FMK, a caspase-9 inhibitor, but not Z-IETD-FMK, a caspase-8 inhibitor, attenuated the overload-induced apoptosis. Our results from human samples, mouse models, and annulus fibrosus culture experiments demonstrate that the mechanical overload-induced IVD degeneration is mediated through the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway in IVD cells. PMID:14982845

  2. Double Degenerate Binary Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Yakut, K.

    2011-09-21

    In this study, angular momentum loss via gravitational radiation in double degenerate binary (DDB)systems (NS + NS, NS + WD, WD + WD, and AM CVn) is studied. Energy loss by gravitational waves has been estimated for each type of systems.

  3. Biomechanics of Disc Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Palepu, V.; Kodigudla, M.; Goel, V. K.

    2012-01-01

    Disc degeneration and associated disorders are among the most debated topics in the orthopedic literature over the past few decades. These may be attributed to interrelated mechanical, biochemical, and environmental factors. The treatment options vary from conservative approaches to surgery, depending on the severity of degeneration and response to conservative therapies. Spinal fusion is considered to be the “gold standard” in surgical methods till date. However, the association of adjacent level degeneration has led to the evolution of motion preservation technologies like spinal arthroplasty and posterior dynamic stabilization systems. These new technologies are aimed to address pain and preserve motion while maintaining a proper load sharing among various spinal elements. This paper provides an elaborative biomechanical review of the technologies aimed to address the disc degeneration and reiterates the point that biomechanical efficacy followed by long-term clinical success will allow these nonfusion technologies as alternatives to fusion, at least in certain patient population. PMID:22745914

  4. Degenerate astigmatic cavities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Courtois, Jérémie; Mohamed, Ajmal; Romanini, Daniele

    2013-10-01

    At the output of a high-finesse cavity a succession of Lissajous patterns may be observed as the cavity length is finely tuned inside a “degenerate region” around a reentrant spherical configuration. This behavior is ascribed to a small parasitic astigmatism of the cavity mirrors. Simple geometrical optics modeling confirms this hypothesis, and then a more realistic analysis using transverse Gaussian modes reveals that the Lissajous patterns correspond to an organization of the astigmatism-split modes into a finer substructure of degenerate modes relative to that of a reentrant spherical cavity. This provides a thorough understanding of the field patterns observed in the degenerate region, including an intriguing spatial symmetry of the patterns corresponding to opposite displacements with respect to a specific central cavity length. This investigation represents a generalization of the theory of reentrant spherical cavities to the astigmatic case.

  5. Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Josephs, Keith A.

    2009-01-01

    Synopsis Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is a syndromic diagnosis that encompasses at least three different variants. Imaging modalities are clinically useful in FTLD while pathology remains the gold standard for definitive diagnosis. To date three different genes have been identified that account for FTLD. PMID:17659185

  6. Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    MedlinePlus

    ... this page please turn Javascript on. Age-related Macular Degeneration What is AMD? Click for more information Age-related macular degeneration, ... the macula allows you to see fine detail. AMD Blurs Central Vision AMD blurs the sharp central ...

  7. X-82 to Treat Age-related Macular Degeneration

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2016-08-16

    Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD); Macular Degeneration; Exudative Age-related Macular Degeneration; AMD; Macular Degeneration, Age-related, 10; Eye Diseases; Retinal Degeneration; Retinal Diseases

  8. Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Rabinovici, Gil D.; Miller, Bruce L.

    2010-01-01

    Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is a clinically and pathologically heterogeneous syndrome, characterized by progressive decline in behaviour or language associated with degeneration of the frontal and anterior temporal lobes. While the seminal cases were described at the turn of the 20th century, FTLD has only recently been appreciated as a leading cause of dementia, particularly in patients presenting before the age of 65 years. Three distinct clinical variants of FTLD have been described: (i) behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia, characterized by changes in behaviour and personality in association with frontal-predominant cortical degeneration; (ii) semantic dementia, a syndrome of progressive loss of knowledge about words and objects associated with anterior temporal neuronal loss; and (iii) progressive nonfluent aphasia, characterized by effortful language output, loss of grammar and motor speech deficits in the setting of left perisylvian cortical atrophy. The majority of pathologies associated with FTLD clinical syndromes include either tau-positive (FTLD-TAU) or TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43)-positive (FTLD-TDP) inclusion bodies. FTLD overlaps clinically and pathologically with the atypical parkinsonian disorders corticobasal degeneration and progressive supranuclear palsy, and with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The majority of familial FTLD cases are caused by mutations in the genes encoding microtubule-associated protein tau (leading to FTLD-TAU) or progranulin (leading to FTLD-TDP). The clinical and pathologic heterogeneity of FTLD poses a significant diagnostic challenge, and in vivo prediction of underlying histopathology can be significantly improved by supplementing the clinical evaluation with genetic tests and emerging biological markers. Current pharmacotherapy for FTLD focuses on manipulating serotonergic or dopaminergic neurotransmitter systems to ameliorate behavioural or motor symptoms. However, recent advances in FTLD

  9. Cortical basal ganglionic degeneration.

    PubMed

    Scarmeas, N; Chin, S S; Marder, K

    2001-10-01

    In this case study, we describe the symptoms, neuropsychological testing, and brain pathology of a retired mason's assistant with cortical basal ganglionic degeneration (CBGD). CBGD is an extremely rare neurodegenerative disease that is categorized under both Parkinsonian syndromes and frontal lobe dementias. It affects men and women nearly equally, and the age of onset is usually in the sixth decade of life. CBGD is characterized by Parkinson's-like motor symptoms and by deficits of movement and cognition, indicating focal brain pathology. Neuronal cell loss is ultimately responsible for the neurological symptoms. PMID:14602941

  10. Macular degeneration - age-related

    MedlinePlus

    Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD); AMD ... distorted and wavy. There may be a small dark spot in the center of your vision that ... leafy vegetables, may also decrease your risk of age-related macular degeneration. If you have wet AMD, ...

  11. Unraveling of the E-helices and Disruption of 4-Fold Pores Are Associated with Iron Mishandling in a Mutant Ferritin Causing Neurodegeneration

    SciTech Connect

    Baraibar, Martin A.; Muhoberac, Barry B.; Garringer, Holly J.; Hurley, Thomas D.; Vidal, Ruben

    2010-03-12

    Mutations in the coding sequence of the ferritin light chain (FTL) gene cause a neurodegenerative disease known as neuroferritinopathy or hereditary ferritinopathy, which is characterized by the presence of intracellular inclusion bodies containing the mutant FTL polypeptide and by abnormal accumulation of iron in the brain. Here, we describe the x-ray crystallographic structure and report functional studies of ferritin homopolymers formed from the mutant FTL polypeptide p.Phe167SerfsX26, which has a C terminus that is altered in amino acid sequence and length. The structure was determined and refined to 2.85 {angstrom} resolution and was very similar to the wild type between residues Ile-5 and Arg-154. However, instead of the E-helices normally present in wild type ferritin, the C-terminal sequences of all 24 mutant subunits showed substantial amounts of disorder, leading to multiple C-terminal polypeptide conformations and a large disruption of the normally tiny 4-fold axis pores. Functional studies underscored the importance of the mutant C-terminal sequence in iron-induced precipitation and revealed iron mishandling by soluble mutant FTL homopolymers in that only wild type incorporated iron when in direct competition in solution with mutant ferritin. Even without competition, the amount of iron incorporation over the first few minutes differed severalfold. Our data suggest that disruption at the 4-fold pores may lead to direct iron mishandling through attenuated iron incorporation by the soluble form of mutant ferritin and that the disordered C-terminal polypeptides may play a major role in iron-induced precipitation and formation of ferritin inclusion bodies in hereditary ferritinopathy.

  12. What Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

    MedlinePlus

    ... Degeneration Diagnosis: How is AMD diagnosed? Macular Degeneration Treatment: How is AMD Treated? Macular ... macular degeneration (AMD) is a deterioration or breakdown of the eye's macula. The macula is a small area in the ...

  13. Salzmann's Nodular Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Maharana, Prafulla K; Sharma, Namrata; Das, Sujata; Agarwal, Tushar; Sen, Seema; Prakash, Gaurav; Vajpayee, Rasik B

    2016-01-01

    Salzmann's nodular degeneration (SND) is a rare, noninflammatory, slowly progressive degenerative disease of the cornea that is characterized by the appearance of nodular bluish gray opacities that vary in number and size. It is usually bilateral; most commonly occurring in people aged 50-60 years old, with a female preponderance; and often associated with a history of prior corneal inflammation. The clinical features usually depend on the location of the nodules. Generally, the nodules of SND are bluish white to gray in color, 1-2 mm in size, and round, conical or prismatic in shape. The overlying Bowman's layer is usually absent from the nodular areas and is partially replaced by granular Periodic Acid Schiff-positive eosinophilic material resembling the basement membrane. Diagnostic investigations include ultrasonic pachymetry, anterior segment optical coherence tomography, ultrasound biomicroscopy, and confocal microscopy. The majority of patients respond well to conservative management with topical lubricants; severe cases may require surgical intervention. The various surgical modalities described include superficial keratectomy, which may be combined with phototherapeutic keratectomy and keratoplasty. Various modifications of these procedures include the use of alcohol-assisted epithelial delamination, intraoperative mitomycin-C or amniotic membrane transplantation to make the procedure easy, reduce the risk of recurrence and improve postoperative comfort. Recurrences are rarely reported; overall, the visual prognosis following treatment is optimal. PMID:26462409

  14. Epidermal cells are the primary phagocytes in the fragmentation and clearance of degenerating dendrites in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Hui; Wang, Denan; Franc, Nathalie C.; Jan, Lily Yeh; Jan, Yuh-Nung

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY During developmental remodeling, neurites destined for pruning often degenerate on-site. Physical injury also induces degeneration of neurites distal to the injury site. Prompt clearance of degenerating neurites is important for maintaining tissue homeostasis and preventing inflammatory responses. Here we show that in both dendrite pruning and dendrite injury of Drosophila sensory neurons, epidermal cells rather than hemocytes are the primary phagocytes in clearing degenerating dendrites. Epidermal cells act via Draper-mediated recognition to facilitate dendrite degeneration and to engulf and degrade degenerating dendrites. Using multiple dendritic membrane markers to trace phagocytosis, we show that two members of the CD36 family, croquemort (crq) and debris buster (dsb), act at distinct stages of phagosome maturation for dendrite clearance. Our finding reveals the physiological importance of coordination between neurons and their surrounding epidermis, for both dendrite fragmentation and clearance. PMID:24412417

  15. Nutrition and retinal degenerations.

    PubMed

    Berson, E L

    2000-01-01

    Considerable progress has been made in the understanding and management of degenerative diseases of the retina involving photoreceptors. Nutritional approaches to treatment have proved successful in the case of the common forms of retinitis pigmentosa (supplementation with vitamin A), Bassen-Kornzweig disease (supplementation with vitamins A, E, and K), gyrate atrophy (low-protein, low-arginine diet and/or supplementation with vitamin B6), and Refsum disease (low-phytol, low-phytanic acid diet). The night blindness associated with Sorsby fundus dystrophy can be reversed over the short term with vitamin A. A significant trend for decreased risk for advanced or exudative ARMD has been reported among those whose diets contain a higher content of carotenoids, such as spinach and collard greens. A randomized trial is in progress to determine whether beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E as well as trace minerals, particularly zinc, will modify the course of ARMD. The difficulties that patients with retinal degenerations face as a result of their diminishing vision, sometimes over decades, cannot be underestimated. Nutritional therapy has proved effective in modifying the course of a number of these conditions; the therapeutic benefit of nutritional modification in diseases that have a genetic basis is of particular interest. Further research is warranted to determine the mechanisms by which these treatments provide their benefit as well as to identify other conditions that may yield to nutritional intervention. Risk-factor analyses of well-defined populations followed over time with food-frequency questionnaires in conjunction with careful assessments of visual function may reveal other dietary constituents that can modify the course of degenerative diseases of the retina. PMID:11064860

  16. Frontotemporal lobar degeneration: current perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Riedl, Lina; Mackenzie, Ian R; Förstl, Hans; Kurz, Alexander; Diehl-Schmid, Janine

    2014-01-01

    The term frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) refers to a group of progressive brain diseases, which preferentially involve the frontal and temporal lobes. Depending on the primary site of atrophy, the clinical manifestation is dominated by behavior alterations or impairment of language. The onset of symptoms usually occurs before the age of 60 years, and the mean survival from diagnosis varies between 3 and 10 years. The prevalence is estimated at 15 per 100,000 in the population aged between 45 and 65 years, which is similar to the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in this age group. There are two major clinical subtypes, behavioral-variant frontotemporal dementia and primary progressive aphasia. The neuropathology underlying the clinical syndromes is also heterogeneous. A common feature is the accumulation of certain neuronal proteins. Of these, the microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT), the transactive response DNA-binding protein, and the fused in sarcoma protein are most important. Approximately 10% to 30% of FTLD shows an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance, with mutations in the genes for MAPT, progranulin (GRN), and in the chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9orf72) accounting for more than 80% of familial cases. Although significant advances have been made in recent years regarding diagnostic criteria, clinical assessment instruments, neuropsychological tests, cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers, and brain imaging techniques, the clinical diagnosis remains a challenge. To date, there is no specific pharmacological treatment for FTLD. Some evidence has been provided for serotonin reuptake inhibitors to reduce behavioral disturbances. No large-scale or high-quality studies have been conducted to determine the efficacy of non-pharmacological treatment approaches in FTLD. In view of the limited treatment options, caregiver education and support is currently the most important component of the clinical management. PMID:24600223

  17. Chondroadherin Fragmentation Mediated by the Protease HTRA1 Distinguishes Human Intervertebral Disc Degeneration from Normal Aging*

    PubMed Central

    Akhatib, Bashar; Önnerfjord, Patrik; Gawri, Rahul; Ouellet, Jean; Jarzem, Peter; Heinegård, Dick; Mort, John; Roughley, Peter; Haglund, Lisbet

    2013-01-01

    Chondroadherin, a member of the leucine-rich repeat family, has previously been demonstrated to be fragmented in some juveniles with idiopathic scoliosis. This observation led us to investigate adults with disc degeneration. Immunoblotting analysis demonstrated that non-degenerate discs from three different age groups show no chondroadherin fragmentation. Furthermore, the chondroadherin fragments in adult degenerate disc and the juvenile scoliotic disc were compared via immunoblot analysis and appeared to have a similar size. We then investigated whether or not chondroadherin fragmentation increases with the severity of disc degeneration. Three different samples with different severities were chosen from the same disc, and chondroadherin fragmentation was found to be more abundant with increasing severity of degeneration. This observation led us to the creation of a neoepitope antibody to the cleavage site observed. We then observed that the cleavage site in adult degenerate discs and juvenile scoliotic discs was identical as confirmed by the neoepitope antibody. Consequently, investigation of the protease capable of cleaving chondroadherin at this site was necessary. In vitro digests of disc tissue demonstrated that ADAMTS-4 and -5; cathepsins K, B, and L; and MMP-3, -7, -12, and -13 were incapable of cleavage of chondroadherin at this site and that HTRA1 was indeed the only protease capable. Furthermore, increased protein levels of the processed form of HTRA1 were demonstrated in degenerate disc tissues via immunoblotting. The results suggest that chondroadherin fragmentation can be used as a biomarker to distinguish the processes of disc degeneration from normal aging. PMID:23673665

  18. A porous 4-fold-interpenetrated chiral framework exhibiting vapochromism, single-crystal-to-single-crystal solvent exchange, gas sorption, and a poisoning effect.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Ming-Hua; Tan, Yan-Xi; He, Yan-Ping; Yin, Zheng; Chen, Qing; Kurmoo, Mohamedally

    2013-03-01

    The synthesis and characterization of a 4-fold-interpenetrated pseudodiamond metal-organic framework (MOF), Co(II)(pybz)2·2DMF [pybz = 4-(4-pyridyl)benzoate], are reported. N,N-Dimethylformamide (DMF) of the channels can be removed to give the porous framework, and it can also be exchanged for methanol, ethanol, benzene, and cyclohexane. It is a rare example of a stable MOF based on a single octahedral building unit. The single-crystal structures of Co(II)(pybz)2·2DMF, Co(II)(pybz)2, Co(II)(pybz)2·4MeOH, and Co(II)(pybz)2·2.5EtOH have been successfully determined. In all of them, the framework is marginally modified and contains a highly distorted and strained octahedral node of cobalt with two pyridine nitrogen atoms and two chelate carboxylate groups. In air, the crystals of Co(II)(pybz)2·2DMF readily change color from claret red to light pink. Thermogravimetric analysis and Raman spectroscopy indicate a change in coordination, where the carboxylate becomes monodentate and an additional two water molecules are coordinated to each cobalt atom. In a dry solvent, this transformation does not take place. Tests show that Co(II)(pybz)2 may be a more efficient drying agent than silica gel and anhydrous CuSO4. The desolvated Co(II)(pybz)2 can absorb several gases such as CO2, N2, H2, and CH4 and also vapors of methanol, ethanol, benzene, and cyclohexane. If Co(II)(pybz)2 is exposed to air and followed by reactivation, its sorption capacity is considerably reduced, which we associate with a poisoning effect. Because of the long distance between the cobalt atoms in the structure, the magnetic properties are those of a paramagnet. PMID:23398593

  19. The crystal structure of ferritin from Chlorobium tepidum reveals a new conformation of the 4-fold channel for this protein family.

    PubMed

    Arenas-Salinas, Mauricio; Townsend, Philip D; Brito, Christian; Marquez, Valeria; Marabolli, Vanessa; Gonzalez-Nilo, Fernando; Matias, Cata; Watt, Richard K; López-Castro, Juan D; Domínguez-Vera, José; Pohl, Ehmke; Yévenes, Alejandro

    2014-11-01

    Ferritins are ubiquitous iron-storage proteins found in all kingdoms of life. They share a common architecture made of 24 subunits of five α-helices. The recombinant Chlorobium tepidum ferritin (rCtFtn) is a structurally interesting protein since sequence alignments with other ferritins show that this protein has a significantly extended C-terminus, which possesses 12 histidine residues as well as several aspartate and glutamic acid residues that are potential metal ion binding residues. We show that the macromolecular assembly of rCtFtn exhibits a cage-like hollow shell consisting of 24 monomers that are related by 4-3-2 symmetry; similar to the assembly of other ferritins. In all ferritins of known structure the short fifth α-helix adopts an acute angle with respect to the four-helix bundle. However, the crystal structure of the rCtFtn presented here shows that this helix adopts a new conformation defining a new assembly of the 4-fold channel of rCtFtn. This conformation allows the arrangement of the C-terminal region into the inner cavity of the protein shell. Furthermore, two Fe(III) ions were found in each ferroxidase center of rCtFtn, with an average FeA-FeB distance of 3 Å; corresponding to a diferric μ-oxo/hydroxo species. This is the first ferritin crystal structure with an isolated di-iron center in an iron-storage ferritin. The crystal structure of rCtFtn and the biochemical results presented here, suggests that rCtFtn presents similar biochemical properties reported for other members of this protein family albeit with distinct structural plasticity. PMID:25079050

  20. [Neuropsychological exploration in frontotemporal degeneration].

    PubMed

    Peña-Casanova, J; Böhm, P

    2000-01-01

    The present paper discusses the neuropsychological assessment in fronto-temporal lobe degeneration. Having established the neuroanatomical and functional basis for the discussion the major syndromes included in the concept of frontotemporal degeneration are reviewed from a neuropsychological standpoint. With reference to fronto-temporal dementia the different frontal or executive function tests and their limitations are discussed. With reference to progressive aphasia and semantic dementia we differentiate the distinct language profiles as observed in aphasia batteries and general neuropsychological tests. Reference is made to especially useful tests for the differentiation of the two syndromes from each other, as well as from other primary progressive disorders. Concluding remarks postulate a series of axis of cognitive function in fronto-temporal lobe degenerations, which exist at the functional as well as the anatomical level and along which the different syndromes evolve. PMID:10723171

  1. Degenerate approach to the mean field Bose-Hubbard Hamiltonian

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belemuk, Alexander M.; Ryzhov, Valentin N.

    2016-04-01

    A degenerate variant of mean field perturbation theory for the on-site Bose-Hubbard Hamiltonian is presented. We split the perturbation into two terms and perform exact diagonalization in the two-dimensional subspace corresponding to the degenerate states. The final relations for the second order ground state energy and first order wave function do not contain singularities at integer values of the chemical potentials. The resulting equation for the phase boundary between superfluid and Mott states coincides with the prediction from the conventional mean field perturbation approach.

  2. Macular Degeneration - Multiple Languages: MedlinePlus

    MedlinePlus

    ... Are Here: Home → Multiple Languages → All Health Topics → Macular Degeneration URL of this page: https://www.nlm.nih. ... V W XYZ List of All Topics All Macular Degeneration - Multiple Languages To use the sharing features on ...

  3. Ataxias and Cerebellar or Spinocerebellar Degeneration

    MedlinePlus

    ... Awards Enhancing Diversity Find People About NINDS NINDS Ataxias and Cerebellar or Spinocerebellar Degeneration Information Page Synonym(s): ... Publications and Information Publicaciones en Español What are Ataxias and Cerebellar or Spinocerebellar Degeneration? Ataxia often occurs ...

  4. Solitons in Degenerate Electron-Phonon Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foell, Charles; Clougherty, Dennis

    2004-03-01

    We consider a 1øplus 1-dimensional model describing the coupling between degenerate electron states under local Jahn-Teller interactions. In the adiabatic approximation, the equations of motion are shown to reduce to a set of coupled non-linear Schrödinger equations in the electron fields. We demonstrate that in the continuum limit solitary waves of the wave-daughter wave type are stable for sufficiently strong on-site Coulomb repulsion. Our results may have relevance to describing the electronic and optical properties of quasi-one-dimensional systems such as halogen-bridged mixed-valence transition-metal linear-chain complexes (MX chains) and polymeric fullerides.

  5. Nutritional supplements for macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    2006-02-01

    Age-related macular degeneration is the commonest cause of blindness in developed countries and the third most common worldwide. Each year in the UK, around 17,000 people become blind or partially sighted as a result of this condition, and its prevalence is likely to increase with an ageing population. Laser therapy and rarely surgery, can slow disease progression in a minority of patients but is unlikely to restore lost vision. A wide range of nutritional supplements are now on sale with promotional claims that they improve eye health. While some specialists recommend their use to patients with advanced disease, these supplements are also increasingly promoted to people with early or no signs of disease. Consequently, GPs come under pressure from patients to recommend, or even prescribe, a nutritional supplement. Here we examine the evidence for nutritional supplements in the management of age-related macular degeneration and consider which, if any, can be recommended. PMID:16550811

  6. Radial keratotomy associated endothelial degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Moshirfar, Majid; Ollerton, Andrew; Semnani, Rodmehr T; Hsu, Maylon

    2012-01-01

    Purpose To describe the presentation and clinical course of eyes with a history of radial keratotomy (RK) and varying degrees of endothelial degeneration. Methods Retrospective case series were used. Results Thirteen eyes (seven patients) were identified with clinical findings of significant guttata and a prior history of RK. The mean age of presentation for cornea evaluation was 54.3 years (range: 38–72 years), averaging 18.7 years (range: 11–33 years) after RK. The presentation of guttata varied in degree from moderate to severe. Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) ranged from 20/25 to 20/80. All patients had a history of bilateral RK, except one patient who did not develop any guttata in the eye without prior RK. No patients reported a family history of Fuch’s Dystrophy. One patient underwent a penetrating keratoplasty in one eye and a Descemet’s stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) in the other eye. Conclusions RK may induce a spectrum of endothelial degeneration. In elderly patients, the findings of guttata may signify comorbid Fuch’s dystrophy in which RK incisions could potentially hasten endothelial decomposition. In these select patients with stable cornea topography and prior RK, DSAEK may successfully treat RK endothelial degeneration. PMID:22347792

  7. Light scattering of degenerate fermions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aubin, S.; Leblanc, L. J.; Myrskog, S.; Extavour, M. H. T.; McKay, D.; Stummer, A.; Thywissen, J. H.

    2006-05-01

    We report on progress in measuring the suppression of resonant light scattering in a gas of degenerate fermions. A gas of trapped degenerate fermions is expected to exhibit narrower optical linewidths and longer excited state lifetimes than single atoms when the Fermi energy is larger than the photon recoil energy [1-3]. In this case, the number of available states into which a scattered atom can recoil is significantly reduced due to the filling of the Fermi sea. We produce a degenerate gas of 4x10^4 ultra-cold fermionic ^40K atoms by sympathetic cooling with bosonic ^87Rb in a micro-magnetic chip trap. The atoms can then be loaded into a tight dipole trap just above the surface of the chip and probed with a near resonance laser pulse. [1] Th. Busch, J. R. Anglin, J. I. Cirac, and P. Zoller, Europhys. Lett. 44, 1 (1998). [2] B. DeMarco and D. S. Jin, Phys. Rev. A 58, R4267 (1998). [3] J. Javanainen and J. Ruostekosky, Phys. Rev. A 52, 3033 (1995). Work supported by NSERC, CFI, OIT, Research Corporation, and PRO.

  8. General pathophysiology in retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Wert, Katherine J; Lin, Jonathan H; Tsang, Stephen H

    2014-01-01

    Retinal degeneration, including that seen in age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa (RP), is the most common form of neural degenerative disease in the world. There is great genetic and allelic heterogeneity of the various retinal dystrophies. Classifications of these diseases can be ambiguous, as there are similar clinical presentations in retinal degenerations arising from different genetic mechanisms. As would be expected, alterations in the activity of the phototransduction cascade, such as changes affecting the renewal and shedding of the photoreceptor OS, visual transduction, and/or retinol metabolism have a great impact on the health of the retina. Mutations within any of the molecules responsible for these visual processes cause several types of retinal and retinal pigment epithelium degenerative diseases. Apoptosis has been implicated in the rod cell loss seen in a mouse model of RP, but the precise mechanisms that connect the activation of these pathways to the loss of phosphodiesterase (PDE6β) function has yet to be defined. Additionally, the activation of apoptosis by CCAAT/-enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (CHOP), after activation of the unfolded protein response pathway, may be responsible for cell death, although the mechanism remains unknown. However, the mechanisms of cell death after loss of function of PDE6, which is a commonly studied mammalian model in research, may be generalizable to loss of function of different key proteins involved in the phototransduction cascade. PMID:24732759

  9. General Pathophysiology in Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Wert, Katherine J.; Lin, Jonathan H.; Tsang, Stephen H.

    2015-01-01

    Retinal degeneration, including that seen in age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa (RP), is the most common form of neural degenerative disease in the world. There is great genetic and allelic heterogeneity of the various retinal dystrophies. Classifications of these diseases can be ambiguous, as there are similar clinical presentations in retinal degenerations arising from different genetic mechanisms. As would be expected, alterations in the activity of the phototransduction cascade, such as changes affecting the renewal and shedding of the photoreceptor OS, visual transduction, and/ or retinol metabolism have a great impact on the health of the retina. Mutations within any of the molecules responsible for these visual processes cause several types of retinal and retinal pigment epithelium degenerative diseases. Apoptosis has been implicated in the rod cell loss seen in a mouse model of RP, but the precise mechanisms that connect the activation of these pathways to the loss of phosphodiesterase (PDE6β) function has yet to be defined. Additionally, the activation of apoptosis by CCAAT/-enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (CHOP), after activation of the unfolded protein response pathway, may be responsible for cell death, although the mechanism remains unknown. However, the mechanisms of cell death after loss of function of PDE6, which is a commonly studied mammalian model in research, may be generalizable to loss of function of different key proteins involved in the phototransduction cascade. PMID:24732759

  10. The degeneration of Y chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Charlesworth, B; Charlesworth, D

    2000-11-29

    Y chromosomes are genetically degenerate, having lost most of the active genes that were present in their ancestors. The causes of this degeneration have attracted much attention from evolutionary theorists. Four major theories are reviewed here: Muller's ratchet, background selection, the Hill Robertson effect with weak selection, and the 'hitchhiking' of deleterious alleles by favourable mutations. All of these involve a reduction in effective population size as a result of selective events occurring in a non-recombining genome, and the consequent weakening of the efficacy of selection. We review the consequences of these processes for patterns of molecular evolution and variation at loci on Y chromosomes, and discuss the results of empirical studies of these patterns for some evolving Y-chromosome and neo-Y-chromosome systems. These results suggest that the effective population sizes of evolving Y or neo-Y chromosomes are severely reduced, as expected if some or all of the hypothesized processes leading to degeneration are operative. It is, however, currently unclear which of the various processes is most important; some directions for future work to help to resolve this question are discussed. PMID:11127901

  11. Decreased Transcription Factor Binding Levels Nearby Primate Pseudogenes Suggest Regulatory Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Douglas, Gavin M; Wilson, Michael D; Moses, Alan M

    2016-06-01

    Characteristics of pseudogene degeneration at the coding level are well-known, such as a shift toward neutral rates of nonsynonymous substitutions and gain of frameshift mutations. In contrast, degeneration of pseudogene transcriptional regulation is not well understood. Here, we test two predictions of regulatory degeneration along a pseudogenized lineage: 1) Decreased transcription factor (TF) binding and 2) accelerated evolution in putative cis-regulatory regions.We find evidence for decreased TF binding levels nearby two primate pseudogenes compared with functional liver genes. However, the majority of TF-bound sequences nearby pseudogenes do not show evidence for lineage-specific accelerated rates of evolution. We conclude that decreases in TF binding level could be a marker for regulatory degeneration, while sequence degeneration in primate cis-regulatory modules may be obscured by background rates of TF binding site turnover. PMID:26882985

  12. Decreased Transcription Factor Binding Levels Nearby Primate Pseudogenes Suggest Regulatory Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Douglas, Gavin M.; Wilson, Michael D.; Moses, Alan M.

    2016-01-01

    Characteristics of pseudogene degeneration at the coding level are well-known, such as a shift toward neutral rates of nonsynonymous substitutions and gain of frameshift mutations. In contrast, degeneration of pseudogene transcriptional regulation is not well understood. Here, we test two predictions of regulatory degeneration along a pseudogenized lineage: 1) Decreased transcription factor (TF) binding and 2) accelerated evolution in putative cis-regulatory regions. We find evidence for decreased TF binding levels nearby two primate pseudogenes compared with functional liver genes. However, the majority of TF-bound sequences nearby pseudogenes do not show evidence for lineage-specific accelerated rates of evolution. We conclude that decreases in TF binding level could be a marker for regulatory degeneration, while sequence degeneration in primate cis-regulatory modules may be obscured by background rates of TF binding site turnover. PMID:26882985

  13. Microsphere embolization of nerve capillaries and fiber degeneration.

    PubMed Central

    Nukada, H.; Dyck, P. J.

    1984-01-01

    Polystyrene microspheres, the size chosen to plug capillaries and precapillaries, were injected into the arterial supply of rat sciatic nerves. They produced widespread segmental occlusion of capillaries in lower limb nerves. The clinical and pathologic effect was dose-related. One million microspheres produced selective capillary occlusion but no nerve fiber degeneration; approximately 6 million microspheres also produced selective capillary occlusion and associated foot and leg weakness, sensory loss, and fiber degeneration, beginning in a central core of the distal sciatic nerve; 30 million microspheres caused both capillary and arterial occlusion and a greater neuropathologic deficit. From these observations it is inferred that 1) occlusion of isolated precapillaries and capillaries does not produce ischemic fiber degeneration; 2) occlusion of many microvessels results in central fascicular fiber degeneration, indicating that these cores are watershed regions of poor perfusion; and 3) stereotyped pathologic alterations of nerve fibers and Schwann cells are related to dose, anatomic site, and time elapsed since injection. Images Figure 1 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 Figure 9 Figure 10 PMID:6326580

  14. Degeneration of a Nonrecombining Chromosome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, William R.

    1994-01-01

    Comparative studies suggest that sex chromosomes begin as ordinary autosomes that happen to carry a major sex determining locus. Over evolutionary time the Y chromosome is selected to stop recombining with the X chromosome, perhaps in response to accumulation of alleles beneficial to the heterogametic but harmful to the homogametic sex. Population genetic theory predicts that a nonrecombining Y chromosome should degenerate. Here this prediction is tested by application of specific selection pressures to Drosophila melanogaster populations. Results demonstrate the decay of a nonrecombining, nascent Y chromosome and the capacity for recombination to ameliorate such decay.

  15. [Age-related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Budzinskaia, M V

    2014-01-01

    The review provides an update on the pathogenesis and new treatment modalities for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The impact of polymorphism in particular genes, including complement factor H (CFH), age-related maculopathy susceptibility 2 (ARMS2/LOC387715), and serine peptidase (HTRA1), on AMD development is discussed. Clinical presentations of different forms of exudative AMD, that is classic, occult, or more often mixed choroidal neovascularization, retinal angiomatous proliferation, and choroidal polypoidal vasculopathy, are described. Particular attention is paid to the results of recent clinical trials and safety issues around the therapy. PMID:25715554

  16. Ultraviolet spectrophotometry of degenerate stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greenstein, J. L.; Oke, J. B.

    1979-01-01

    Observations of one helium- and three hydrogen-atmosphere degenerates made with the International Ultraviolet Explorer are discussed. Fluxes in the UV give temperatures in good accordance with those determined from the ground and from the ANS satellite data. Profiles of the strong L-alpha absorption in two DA's fit predictions for the expected temperatures. Gravity determination is vitiated by their steep temperature dependence. If one accepts that theoretical predictions should be correct, corrections to the absolute IUE calibration derived are an upward shift of 3-5%, with irregular residuals attaining + or - 7%.

  17. Retrograde and Wallerian Axonal Degeneration Occur Synchronously after Retinal Ganglion Cell Axotomy

    PubMed Central

    Kanamori, Akiyasu; Catrinescu, Maria-Magdalena; Belisle, Jonathan M.; Costantino, Santiago; Levin, Leonard A.

    2013-01-01

    Axonal injury and degeneration are pivotal pathological events in diseases of the nervous system. In the past decade, it has been recognized that the process of axonal degeneration is distinct from somal degeneration and that axoprotective strategies may be distinct from those that protect the soma. Preserving the cell body via neuroprotection cannot improve function if the axon is damaged, because the soma is still disconnected from its target. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms of axonal degeneration is critical for developing new therapeutic interventions for axonal disease treatment. We combined in vivo imaging with a multilaser confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope and in vivo axotomy with a diode-pumped solid-state laser to assess the time course of Wallerian and retrograde degeneration of unmyelinated retinal ganglion cell axons in living rats for 4 weeks after intraretinal axotomy. Laser injury resulted in reproducible axon loss both distal and proximal to the site of injury. Longitudinal polarization-sensitive imaging of axons demonstrated that Wallerian and retrograde degeneration occurred synchronously. Neurofilament immunostaining of retinal whole-mounts confirmed axonal loss and demonstrated sparing of adjacent axons to the axotomy site. In vivo fluorescent imaging of axonal transport and photobleaching of labeled axons demonstrated that the laser axotomy model did not affect adjacent axon function. These results are consistent with a shared mechanism for Wallerian and retrograde degeneration. PMID:22642911

  18. Mathematical glimpse on the Y chromosome degeneration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobo, M. P.

    2006-04-01

    The Y chromosomes are genetically degenerate and do not recombine with their matching partners X. Non-recombination of XY pairs has been pointed out as the key factor for the degeneration of the Y chromosome. The aim here is to show that there is a mathematical asymmetry in sex chromosomes which leads to the degeneration of Y chromosomes even in the absence of XX and XY recombination. A model for sex-chromosome evolution in a stationary regime is proposed. The consequences of their asymmetry are analyzed and lead us to a couple of conclusions. First, Y chromosome degeneration shows up sqrt{2} more often than X chromosome degeneration. Second, if nature prohibits female mortalities from beeing exactly 50%, then Y chromosome degeneration is inevitable.

  19. New mouse primary retinal degeneration (rd-3)

    SciTech Connect

    Chang, B.; Hawes, N.L.; Roderick, T.H. ); Heckenlively, J.R. )

    1993-04-01

    A new mouse retinal degeneration that appears to be an excellent candidate for modeling human retinitis pigmentosa is reported. In this degeneration, called rd-3, differentiation proceeds postnatally through 2 weeks, and photoreceptor degeneration starts by 3 weeks. The rod photoreceptor loss is essentially complete by 5 weeks, whereas remnant cone cells are seen through 7 weeks. This is the only mouse homozygous retinal degeneration reported to date in which photoreceptors are initially normal. Crosses with known mouse retinal degenerations rd, Rds, nr, and pcd are negative for retinal degeneration in offspring, and linkage analysis places rd-3 on mouse chromosome 1 at 10 [+-]2.5 cM distal to Akp-1. Homology mapping suggests that the homologous human locus should be on chromosome 1q. 32 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs.

  20. Axon degeneration: context defines distinct pathways.

    PubMed

    Geden, Matthew J; Deshmukh, Mohanish

    2016-08-01

    Axon degeneration is an essential part of development, plasticity, and injury response and has been primarily studied in mammalian models in three contexts: 1) Axotomy-induced Wallerian degeneration, 2) Apoptosis-induced axon degeneration (axon apoptosis), and 3) Axon pruning. These three contexts dictate engagement of distinct pathways for axon degeneration. Recent advances have identified the importance of SARM1, NMNATs, NAD+ depletion, and MAPK signaling in axotomy-induced Wallerian degeneration. Interestingly, apoptosis-induced axon degeneration and axon pruning have many shared mechanisms both in signaling (e.g. DLK, JNKs, GSK3α/β) and execution (e.g. Puma, Bax, caspase-9, caspase-3). However, the specific mechanisms by which caspases are activated during apoptosis versus pruning appear distinct, with apoptosis requiring Apaf-1 but not caspase-6 while pruning requires caspase-6 but not Apaf-1. PMID:27197022

  1. [Age-related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Garcia Layana, A

    1998-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the occidental world. Patients suffering this process have an important reduction on their quality of life being handicapped to read, to write, to recognise faces of their friends, or even to watch the television. One of the main problems of that disease is the absence of an effective treatment able to revert the process. Laser treatment is only useful in a limited number of patients, and even in these cases recurrent lesions are frequent. These facts and the progressive ageing of our society establish the ARMD as one of the biggest aim of medical investigations for the next century, and currently is focus of attention in the most industrialised countries. One of the most promising pieces of research is focused in the investigation of the risk factors associated with the age-related macular degeneration, in order to achieve a prophylactic treatment avoiding its appearance. Diet elements such as fat ingestion or reduced antioxidant intakes are being investigated as some of these factors, what open a new possibility for a prophylactic treatment. Finally, research is looking for new therapeutic modalities such as selective radiotherapy in order to improve or maintain the vision of these patients. PMID:10420956

  2. Photoreceptor Cells Influence Retinal Vascular Degeneration in Mouse Models of Retinal Degeneration and Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Haitao; Tang, Jie; Du, Yunpeng; Saadane, Aicha; Tonade, Deoye; Samuels, Ivy; Veenstra, Alex; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Kern, Timothy S.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Loss of photoreceptor cells is associated with retinal vascular degeneration in retinitis pigmentosa, whereas the presence of photoreceptor cells is implicated in vascular degeneration in diabetic retinopathy. To investigate how both the absence and presence of photoreceptors could damage the retinal vasculature, we compared two mouse models of photoreceptor degeneration (opsin−/− and RhoP23H/P23H ) and control C57Bl/5J mice, each with and without diabetes. Methods Retinal thickness, superoxide, expression of inflammatory proteins, ERG and optokinetic responses, leukocyte cytotoxicity, and capillary degeneration were evaluated at 1 to 10 months of age using published methods. Results Retinal photoreceptor cells degenerated completely in the opsin mutants by 2 to 4 months of age, and visual function subsided correspondingly. Retinal capillary degeneration was substantial while photoreceptors were still present, but slowed after the photoreceptors degenerated. Diabetes did not further exacerbate capillary degeneration in these models of photoreceptor degeneration, but did cause capillary degeneration in wild-type animals. Photoreceptor cells, however, did not degenerate in wild-type diabetic mice, presumably because the stress responses in these cells were less than in the opsin mutants. Retinal superoxide and leukocyte damage to retinal endothelium contributed to the degeneration of retinal capillaries in diabetes, and leukocyte-mediated damage was increased in both opsin mutants during photoreceptor cell degeneration. Conclusions Photoreceptor cells affect the integrity of the retinal microvasculature. Deterioration of retinal capillaries in opsin mutants was appreciable while photoreceptor cells were present and stressed, but was less after photoreceptors degenerated. This finding proves relevant to diabetes, where persistent stress in photoreceptors likewise contributes to capillary degeneration. PMID:27548901

  3. Genetics of Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Galimberti, Daniela; Scarpini, Elio

    2012-01-01

    Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), the most frequent neurodegenerative disorder with a presenile onset, presents with a spectrum of clinical manifestations, ranging from behavioral and executive impairment to language disorders and motor dysfunction. Familial aggregation is frequently reported, and about 10% of cases have an autosomal dominant transmission. Microtubule associated protein tau (MAPT) gene mutations have been the first ones identified and are associated with early onset behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia phenotype. More recently, progranulin gene (GRN) mutations were recognized in association with familial form of FTLD. In addition, other genes are linked to rare cases of familial FTLD. Lastly, a number of genetic risk factors for sporadic forms have also been identified. In this review, current knowledge about mutations at the basis of familial FTLD will be described, together with genetic risk factors influencing the susceptibility to FTLD. PMID:22536193

  4. Hot subdwarfs with degenerate companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mereghetti, Sandro

    2010-10-01

    Stellar evolutionary models predict that most of the hot sub-dwarfs in close binary systems have white dwarf companions. In a few cases even more massive compact objects (neutron stars or black holes) are suggested by the optical mass functions. The X-ray emission expected from accretion of the sub-dwarf's wind can reveal the nature of the compact companions and be used to derive other important information on these post-common envelope systems, as recently demonstrated by the discovery of a massive WD in HD 49798. We selected 3 promising targets from a sample of hot subdwarfs suspected to have degenerate companions. This proposal was accepted in AO9 with C priority.

  5. Laser therapy and macular degeneration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menchini, Ugo; Virgili, Gianni; Giansanti, Fabrizio; Giacomelli, Giovanni; Cappelli, Stefania

    2001-10-01

    Among macular diseases, choroidal neovascularization (CNV) is one of the most common causes of visual loss, especially in the form associated with age-related macular degeneration and pathologic myopia. Research on these diseases has recently evaluated new treatment modalities that use laser light differently; among these, photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been introduced in the clinical practice, allowing us to expand the possibility of reducing visual loss in patients affected by CNV. With PDT, a photosensitizer (verteporfin, VisudyneTM) is injected intravenously, and it selectively binds to new vessels; low-power laser light exposure then activates the drug, leading to oxidative damage of the endothelium and new vessels thrombosis. Yet, other therapies, such as transpupillary termotherapy, or the use of photocoagulation to cause feeder-vessel occlusion, could proof effective, but they need further investigation.

  6. Degenerate doping of metallic anodes

    DOEpatents

    Friesen, Cody A; Zeller, Robert A; Johnson, Paul B; Switzer, Elise E

    2015-05-12

    Embodiments of the invention relate to an electrochemical cell comprising: (i) a fuel electrode comprising a metal fuel, (ii) a positive electrode, (iii) an ionically conductive medium, and (iv) a dopant; the electrodes being operable in a discharge mode wherein the metal fuel is oxidized at the fuel electrode and the dopant increases the conductivity of the metal fuel oxidation product. In an embodiment, the oxidation product comprises an oxide of the metal fuel which is doped degenerately. In an embodiment, the positive electrode is an air electrode that absorbs gaseous oxygen, wherein during discharge mode, oxygen is reduced at the air electrode. Embodiments of the invention also relate to methods of producing an electrode comprising a metal and a doped metal oxidation product.

  7. Degenerate adiabatic perturbation theory: Foundations and applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rigolin, Gustavo; Ortiz, Gerardo

    2014-08-01

    We present details and expand on the framework leading to the recently introduced degenerate adiabatic perturbation theory [Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 170406 (2010), 10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.170406], and on the formulation of the degenerate adiabatic theorem, along with its necessary and sufficient conditions [given in Phys. Rev. A 85, 062111 (2012), 10.1103/PhysRevA.85.062111]. We start with the adiabatic approximation for degenerate Hamiltonians that paves the way to a clear and rigorous statement of the associated degenerate adiabatic theorem, where the non-Abelian geometric phase (Wilczek-Zee phase) plays a central role to its quantitative formulation. We then describe the degenerate adiabatic perturbation theory, whose zeroth-order term is the degenerate adiabatic approximation, in its full generality. The parameter in the perturbative power-series expansion of the time-dependent wave function is directly associated to the inverse of the time it takes to drive the system from its initial to its final state. With the aid of the degenerate adiabatic perturbation theory we obtain rigorous necessary and sufficient conditions for the validity of the adiabatic theorem of quantum mechanics. Finally, to illustrate the power and wide scope of the methodology, we apply the framework to a degenerate Hamiltonian, whose closed-form time-dependent wave function is derived exactly, and also to other nonexactly solvable Hamiltonians whose solutions are numerically computed.

  8. Total absorption by degenerate critical coupling

    SciTech Connect

    Piper, Jessica R. Liu, Victor; Fan, Shanhui

    2014-06-23

    We consider a mirror-symmetric resonator with two ports. We show that, when excited from a single port, complete absorption can be achieved through critical coupling to degenerate resonances with opposite symmetry. Moreover, any time two resonances with opposite symmetry are degenerate in frequency and absorption is always significantly enhanced. In contrast, when two resonances with the same symmetry are nearly degenerate, there is no absorption enhancement. We numerically demonstrate these effects using a graphene monolayer on top of a photonic crystal slab, illuminated from a single side in the near-infrared.

  9. A Monte Carlo algorithm for degenerate plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Turrell, A.E. Sherlock, M.; Rose, S.J.

    2013-09-15

    A procedure for performing Monte Carlo calculations of plasmas with an arbitrary level of degeneracy is outlined. It has possible applications in inertial confinement fusion and astrophysics. Degenerate particles are initialised according to the Fermi–Dirac distribution function, and scattering is via a Pauli blocked binary collision approximation. The algorithm is tested against degenerate electron–ion equilibration, and the degenerate resistivity transport coefficient from unmagnetised first order transport theory. The code is applied to the cold fuel shell and alpha particle equilibration problem of inertial confinement fusion.

  10. Advances in the management of macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Current management of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can be divided into two categories: first, anti-vasoendothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injection for wet macular degeneration; second, anti-oxidant vitamins for dry macular degeneration. New therapies are being developed for both of these diseases using novel technologies and different modes of administration. The hope is that some of these therapies will achieve significant improvement to current management and prevent future loss of vision in this devastating eye condition. PMID:24860651

  11. Live Imaging of Calcium Dynamics during Axon Degeneration Reveals Two Functionally Distinct Phases of Calcium Influx

    PubMed Central

    Yamagishi, Yuya; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc

    2015-01-01

    Calcium is a key regulator of axon degeneration caused by trauma and disease, but its specific spatial and temporal dynamics in injured axons remain unclear. To clarify the function of calcium in axon degeneration, we observed calcium dynamics in single injured neurons in live zebrafish larvae and tested the temporal requirement for calcium in zebrafish neurons and cultured mouse DRG neurons. Using laser axotomy to induce Wallerian degeneration (WD) in zebrafish peripheral sensory axons, we monitored calcium dynamics from injury to fragmentation, revealing two stereotyped phases of axonal calcium influx. First, axotomy triggered a transient local calcium wave originating at the injury site. This initial calcium wave only disrupted mitochondria near the injury site and was not altered by expression of the protective WD slow (WldS) protein. Inducing multiple waves with additional axotomies did not change the kinetics of degeneration. In contrast, a second phase of calcium influx occurring minutes before fragmentation spread as a wave throughout the axon, entered mitochondria, and was abolished by WldS expression. In live zebrafish, chelating calcium after the first wave, but before the second wave, delayed the progress of fragmentation. In cultured DRG neurons, chelating calcium early in the process of WD did not alter degeneration, but chelating calcium late in WD delayed fragmentation. We propose that a terminal calcium wave is a key instructive component of the axon degeneration program. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Axon degeneration resulting from trauma or neurodegenerative disease can cause devastating deficits in neural function. Understanding the molecular and cellular events that execute axon degeneration is essential for developing treatments to address these conditions. Calcium is known to contribute to axon degeneration, but its temporal requirements in this process have been unclear. Live calcium imaging in severed zebrafish neurons and temporally controlled

  12. Dispersion relations in weakly degenerate plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rocchi, F.; Molinari, V. G.; Mostacci, D.; Sumini, M.

    2001-06-01

    From a quantum mechanical point of view, electrons in laser produced plasmas can be regarded as weakly degenerate. For instance, for a plasma with electron density of 10 22 cm -3 and electron temperature of 1 eV, Sommerfeld's parameter is between 1 and 2. Under these conditions the usual dispersion relations for waves in plasmas need be corrected to account for degeneracy. In the present work, starting from the transport equation with a simplified version of the Boltzmann-Uehling-Uhlenbeck collision kernel the propagation of waves impinging on a plasma with weakly degenerate electrons is investigated and dispersion relations accounting for degeneracy are derived. These dispersion relations give the classical ones in the limit for Sommerfeld's parameter approaching zero. A shift of the wavenumber value and a non-collisional damping due to degeneracy effects are predicted which render a weakly degenerate plasma more opaque to radiation than a non-degenerate one.

  13. Degenerate neuronal systems sustaining cognitive functions

    PubMed Central

    Noppeney, Uta; Friston, Karl J; Price, Cathy J

    2004-01-01

    The remarkable resilience of cognitive functions to focal brain damage suggests that multiple degenerate neuronal systems can sustain the same function either via similar mechanisms or by implementing different cognitive strategies. In degenerate functional neuroanatomy, multiple degenerate neuronal systems might be present in a single brain where they are either co-activated or remain latent during task performance. In degeneracy over subjects, a particular function may be sustained by only one neuronal system within a subject, but by different systems over subjects. Degeneracy over subjects might have arisen from (ab)normal variation in neurodevelopmental trajectories or long-term plastic changes following structural lesions. We discuss how degenerate neuronal systems can be revealed using (1) intersubject variability, (2) multiple lesion studies and (3) an iterative approach integrating information from lesion and functional imaging studies. PMID:15610392

  14. Quantitative Pfirrmann Disc Degeneration Grading System to Overcome the Limitation of Pfirrmann Disc Degeneration Grade

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Objective Pfirrmann disc degeneration grade is one of morphologic disc degeneration grading system and it was reliable on routine T2-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) images. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the agreement of Pfirrmann disc degeneration grade, and check the alternative technique of disc degeneration grading system. Methods Fifteen volunteers (4 medical doctors related to spinal disease, 2 medical doctors not related to spinal disease, 6 nurses in spinal hospital, and 3 para-medicines) were included in this study. Three different digitalized MR images were provided all volunteers, and they checked Pfirrmann disc degeneration grade of each disc levels after careful listening to explanation. Indeed, all volunteers checked the signal intensity of disc degeneration at the points of nucleus pulposus (NP), disc membrane, ligaments, fat, and air to modify the quantitative Pfirrmann disc degeneration grade. Results Total 225 grade results of Pfirrmann disc degeneration grade and 405 signal intensity results of quantitative Pfirrmann disc degeneration grade were analyzed. Average interobserver agreement was "moderate (mean±standard deviation, 0.575±0.251)" from poor to excellent. Completely agreed levels of Pfirrmann disc degeneration grade were only 4 levels (26.67%), and the disagreement levels were observed in 11 levels; two different grades in 8 levels (53.33%) and three different grades in 3 levels (20%). Quantitative Pfirrmann disc degeneration showed relatively cluster distribution with the interobserver deviations of 0.41-1.56 at the ratio of NP and disc membrane, and it showed relatively good cluster and distribution indicating that the proposed grading system has good discrimination ability. Conclusion Pfirrmann disc degeneration grade showed the limitation of different interobserver results, but this limitation could be overcome by using quantitative techniques of MR signal intensity. Further evaluation is needed to access its advantage

  15. Microscopic Observation of Pauli Blocking in Degenerate Fermionic Lattice Gases.

    PubMed

    Omran, Ahmed; Boll, Martin; Hilker, Timon A; Kleinlein, Katharina; Salomon, Guillaume; Bloch, Immanuel; Gross, Christian

    2015-12-31

    The Pauli exclusion principle is one of the most fundamental manifestations of quantum statistics. Here, we report on its local observation in a spin-polarized degenerate gas of fermions in an optical lattice. We probe the gas with single-site resolution using a new generation quantum gas microscope avoiding the common problem of light induced losses. In the band insulating regime, we measure a strong local suppression of particle number fluctuations and a low local entropy per atom. Our work opens a new avenue for studying quantum correlations in fermionic quantum matter both in and out of equilibrium. PMID:26764988

  16. Microscopic Observation of Pauli Blocking in Degenerate Fermionic Lattice Gases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Omran, Ahmed; Boll, Martin; Hilker, Timon A.; Kleinlein, Katharina; Salomon, Guillaume; Bloch, Immanuel; Gross, Christian

    2015-12-01

    The Pauli exclusion principle is one of the most fundamental manifestations of quantum statistics. Here, we report on its local observation in a spin-polarized degenerate gas of fermions in an optical lattice. We probe the gas with single-site resolution using a new generation quantum gas microscope avoiding the common problem of light induced losses. In the band insulating regime, we measure a strong local suppression of particle number fluctuations and a low local entropy per atom. Our work opens a new avenue for studying quantum correlations in fermionic quantum matter both in and out of equilibrium.

  17. Prospectives for Gene Therapy of Retinal Degenerations

    PubMed Central

    Thumann, Gabriele

    2012-01-01

    Retinal degenerations encompass a large number of diseases in which the retina and associated retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells progressively degenerate leading to severe visual disorders or blindness. Retinal degenerations can be divided into two groups, a group in which the defect has been linked to a specific gene and a second group that has a complex etiology that includes environmental and genetic influences. The first group encompasses a number of relatively rare diseases with the most prevalent being Retinitis pigmentosa that affects approximately 1 million individuals worldwide. Attempts have been made to correct the defective gene by transfecting the appropriate cells with the wild-type gene and while these attempts have been successful in animal models, human gene therapy for these inherited retinal degenerations has only begun recently and the results are promising. To the second group belong glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy (DR). These retinal degenerations have a genetic component since they occur more often in families with affected probands but they are also linked to environmental factors, specifically elevated intraocular pressure, age and high blood sugar levels respectively. The economic and medical impact of these three diseases can be assessed by the number of individuals affected; AMD affects over 30 million, DR over 40 million and glaucoma over 65 million individuals worldwide. The basic defect in these diseases appears to be the relative lack of a neurogenic environment; the neovascularization that often accompanies these diseases has suggested that a decrease in pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), at least in part, may be responsible for the neurodegeneration since PEDF is not only an effective neurogenic and neuroprotective agent but also a potent inhibitor of neovascularization. In the last few years inhibitors of vascularization, especially antibodies against vascular endothelial cell

  18. Antioxidative nanofullerol prevents intervertebral disk degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xinlin; Jin, Li; Yao, Lu; Shen, Francis H; Shimer, Adam L; Li, Xudong

    2014-01-01

    Compelling evidence suggests that reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a pivotal role in disk degeneration. Fullerol nanoparticles prepared in aqueous solution have been demonstrated to have outstanding ability to scavenge ROS. In this report, in vitro and in vivo models were used to study the efficacy of fullerol in preventing disk degeneration. For in vitro experiments, a pro-oxidant H2O2 or an inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-1β was employed to induce degenerated phenotypes in human nucleus pulposus cells encapsulated in alginate beads, and fullerol was added in the culture medium. For the animal study, an annulus-puncture model with rabbit was created, and fullerol was injected into disks. It was shown that cytotoxicity and cellular ROS level induced by H2O2 were significantly diminished by fullerol. IL-1β-induced nitric oxide generation in culture medium was suppressed by fullerol as well. Gene-profile and biochemical assays showed that fullerol effectively reversed the matrix degradation caused by either H2O2 or IL-1β. The animal study delineated that intradiskal injection of fullerol prevented disk degeneration, increasing water and proteoglycan content and inhibiting ectopic bone formation. These results suggest that antioxidative fullerol may have a potential therapeutic application for disk degeneration. PMID:24876775

  19. Optic pathway degeneration in Japanese black cattle

    PubMed Central

    CHIBA, Shiori; FUNATO, Shingo; HORIUCHI, Noriyuki; MATSUMOTO, Kotaro; INOKUMA, Hisashi; FURUOKA, Hidefumi; KOBAYASHI, Yoshiyasu

    2014-01-01

    Degeneration of the optic pathway has been reported in various animal species including cattle. We experienced a case of bilateral optic tract degeneration characterized by severe gliosis in a Japanese black cattle without any obvious visual defects. To evaluate the significance, pathological nature and pathogenesis of the lesions, we examined the optic pathway in 60 cattle (41 Japanese black, 13 Holstein and 6 crossbreed) with or without ocular abnormalities. None of these animals had optic canal stenosis. Degenerative changes with severe gliosis in the optic pathway, which includes the optic nerve, optic chiasm and optic tract, were only observed in 8 Japanese black cattle with or without ocular abnormalities. Furthermore, strong immunoreactivity of glial fibrillary acidic protein was observed in the retinal stratum opticum and ganglion cell layer in all 5 cattle in which the optic pathway lesions could be examined. As etiological research, we also examined whether the concentrations of vitamin A and vitamin B12 or bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) infection was associated with optic pathway degeneration. However, our results suggested that the observed optic pathway degeneration was probably not caused by these factors. These facts indicate the presence of optic pathway degeneration characterized by severe gliosis that has never been reported in cattle without bilateral compressive lesions in the optic pathway or bilateral severe retinal atrophy. PMID:25421501

  20. The cell stress machinery and retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Athanasiou, Dimitra; Aguilà, Monica; Bevilacqua, Dalila; Novoselov, Sergey S; Parfitt, David A; Cheetham, Michael E

    2013-06-27

    Retinal degenerations are a group of clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorders characterised by progressive loss of vision due to neurodegeneration. The retina is a highly specialised tissue with a unique architecture and maintaining homeostasis in all the different retinal cell types is crucial for healthy vision. The retina can be exposed to a variety of environmental insults and stress, including light-induced damage, oxidative stress and inherited mutations that can lead to protein misfolding. Within retinal cells there are different mechanisms to cope with disturbances in proteostasis, such as the heat shock response, the unfolded protein response and autophagy. In this review, we discuss the multiple responses of the retina to different types of stress involved in retinal degenerations, such as retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. Understanding the mechanisms that maintain and re-establish proteostasis in the retina is important for developing new therapeutic approaches to fight blindness. PMID:23684651

  1. Potential Outcome Factors in Subacute Combined Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Vasconcelos, Olavo M; Poehm, Erika H; McCarter, Robert J; Campbell, William W; Quezado, Zenaide M N

    2006-01-01

    BACKGROUND Subacute combined degeneration is an acquired myelopathy caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. Therapy with B12 leads to improvement in most but to complete recovery in only a few patients. Prognostic indicators in subacute combined degeneration are unknown; therefore, predicting complete recovery of neurologic deficits is challenging. PURPOSE To identify potential correlates of outcome and to generate hypotheses concerning predictors of complete resolution of neurologic deficits in subacute combined degeneration. DATA SOURCE We searched EMBASE (1974 to October 2005), MEDLINE (1968 to October 2005), and references from identified reports. REPORTS SELECTION Reports of patients with subacute combined degeneration containing results of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and description of outcome and 1 patient treated by the authors. DATA EXTRACTION, SYNTHESIS We extracted data from 45 reports and 57 patients (36 males, 21 females; age range: 10 to 81) with a diagnosis of subacute combined degeneration, and estimated the strength of association between clinical, laboratory, and radiological factors and complete resolution of signs and symptoms. RESULTS Eight patients (14%) achieved clinical resolution and 49 (86%) improved with B12 therapy. The absence of sensory dermatomal deficit, Romberg, and Babinski signs were associated with a higher complete resolution rate. Patients with MRI lesions in ≤7 segments and age less than 50 also appear to have higher rates of complete resolution. CONCLUSIONS B12 therapy is reported to stop progression and improve neurologic deficits in most patients with subacute combined degeneration. However, complete resolution only occurs in a small percentage of patients and appears to be associated with factors suggestive of less severe disease at the time of diagnosis. PMID:16970556

  2. Microscopic Observation of Pauli Blocking in Degenerate Fermionic Lattice Gases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilker, Timon; Omran, Ahmed; Boll, Martin; Salomon, Guillaume; Bloch, Immanuel; Gross, Christian

    2016-05-01

    Ultracold atoms in optical lattices provide a powerful platform for the controlled study of quantum many-body physics. We present here the first studies with a new generation quantum gas microscope, which allows to observe the full atom number statistics on every site. The common problem of light induced losses during imaging is avoided by an additional small scale ``pinning lattice'' used for Raman sideband cooling in the imaging process. We report the local observation of the Pauli exclusion principle in a spin-polarized degenerate gas of 6 Li fermions in an optical lattice. In the band insulating regime, we measure a tenfold suppression of particle number fluctuations per site compared to classical particles. From the remaining fluctuations we extract a local entropy as low as 0.3 kB per atom. Our work opens an exciting avenue for studying local density and even magnetic correlations in fermionic quantum matter both in and out of equilibrium.

  3. Retinal Cell Degeneration in Animal Models

    PubMed Central

    Niwa, Masayuki; Aoki, Hitomi; Hirata, Akihiro; Tomita, Hiroyuki; Green, Paul G.; Hara, Akira

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this review is to provide an overview of various retinal cell degeneration models in animal induced by chemicals (N-methyl-d-aspartate- and CoCl2-induced), autoimmune (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis), mechanical stress (optic nerve crush-induced, light-induced) and ischemia (transient retinal ischemia-induced). The target regions, pathology and proposed mechanism of each model are described in a comparative fashion. Animal models of retinal cell degeneration provide insight into the underlying mechanisms of the disease, and will facilitate the development of novel effective therapeutic drugs to treat retinal cell damage. PMID:26784179

  4. Ion acoustic shock waves in degenerate plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Akhtar, N.; Hussain, S.

    2011-07-15

    Korteweg de Vries Burgers equation for negative ion degenerate dissipative plasma has been derived using reductive perturbation technique. The quantum hydrodynamic model is used to study the quantum ion acoustic shock waves. The effects of different parameters on quantum ion acoustic shock waves are studied. It is found that quantum parameter, electrons Fermi temperature, temperature of positive and negative ions, mass ratio of positive to negative ions, viscosity, and density ratio have significant impact on the shock wave structure in negative ion degenerate plasma.

  5. Kinematic control of robot with degenerate wrist

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barker, L. K.; Moore, M. C.

    1984-01-01

    Kinematic resolved rate equations allow an operator with visual feedback to dynamically control a robot hand. When the robot wrist is degenerate, the computed joint angle rates exceed operational limits, and unwanted hand movements can result. The generalized matrix inverse solution can also produce unwanted responses. A method is introduced to control the robot hand in the region of the degenerate robot wrist. The method uses a coordinated movement of the first and third joints of the robot wrist to locate the second wrist joint axis for movement of the robot hand in the commanded direction. The method does not entail infinite joint angle rates.

  6. Pathogenesis of tendinopathies: inflammation or degeneration?

    PubMed Central

    Abate, Michele; Gravare-Silbernagel, Karin; Siljeholm, Carl; Di Iorio, Angelo; De Amicis, Daniele; Salini, Vincenzo; Werner, Suzanne; Paganelli, Roberto

    2009-01-01

    The intrinsic pathogenetic mechanisms of tendinopathies are largely unknown and whether inflammation or degeneration has the prominent role is still a matter of debate. Assuming that there is a continuum from physiology to pathology, overuse may be considered as the initial disease factor; in this context, microruptures of tendon fibers occur and several molecules are expressed, some of which promote the healing process, while others, including inflammatory cytokines, act as disease mediators. Neural in-growth that accompanies the neovessels explains the occurrence of pain and triggers neurogenic-mediated inflammation. It is conceivable that inflammation and degeneration are not mutually exclusive, but work together in the pathogenesis of tendinopathies. PMID:19591655

  7. CT of sarcomatous degeneration in neurofibromatosis

    SciTech Connect

    Coleman, B.G.; Arger, P.H.; Dalinka, M.K.; Obringer, A.C.; Raney, B.R.; Meadows, A.T.

    1983-02-01

    Neurofibromatosis is a relatively common disorder that often involves many organ systems. One of the least understood aspects of this malady is a well documented potential for sarcomatous degeneration of neurofibromas. The inability to identify patients at risk and the lack of noninvasive screening methods for symptomatic patients often leads to late diagnosis. In six of seven subsequently proven neurofibrosarcomas, CT demonstrated low-density areas that histopathologically appeared to be due to necrosis, hemorrhage, and/or cystic degeneration. The density differences within these sarcomas were enhanced by the intravenous adminstration of iodinated contrast agents.

  8. Role of rhodopsin and arrestin phosphorylation in retinal degeneration of Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Kristaponyte, Inga; Hong, Yuan; Lu, Haiqin; Shieh, Bih-Hwa

    2012-08-01

    Arrestins belong to a family of multifunctional adaptor proteins that regulate internalization of diverse receptors including G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Defects associated with endocytosis of GPCRs have been linked to human diseases. We used enhanced green fluorescent protein-tagged arrestin 2 (Arr2) to monitor the turnover of the major rhodopsin (Rh1) in live Drosophila. We demonstrate that during degeneration of norpA(P24) photoreceptors the loss of Rh1 is parallel to the disappearance of rhabdomeres, the specialized visual organelle that houses Rh1. The cause of degeneration in norpA(P24) is the failure to activate CaMKII (Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II) and retinal degeneration C (RDGC) because of a loss of light-dependent Ca(2+) entry. A lack of activation in CaMKII, which phosphorylates Arr2, leads to hypophosphorylated Arr2, while a lack of activation of RDGC, which dephosphorylates Rh1, results in hyperphosphorylated Rh1. We investigated how reversible phosphorylation of Rh1 and Arr2 contributes to photoreceptor degeneration. To uncover the consequence underlying a lack of CaMKII activation, we characterized ala(1) flies in which CaMKII was suppressed by an inhibitory peptide, and showed that morphology of rhabdomeres was not affected. In contrast, we found that expression of phosphorylation-deficient Rh1s, which either lack the C terminus or contain Ala substitution in the phosphorylation sites, was able to prevent degeneration of norpA(P24) photoreceptors. This suppression is not due to a loss of Arr2 interaction. Importantly, co-expression of these modified Rh1s offered protective effects, which greatly delayed photoreceptor degeneration. Together, we conclude that phosphorylation of Rh1 is the major determinant that orchestrates its internalization leading to retinal degeneration. PMID:22855823

  9. Driving and Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Owsley, Cynthia; McGwin, Gerald, Jr.

    2008-01-01

    This article reviews the research literature on driving and age-related macular degeneration, which is motivated by the link between driving and the quality of life of older adults and their increased collision rate. It addresses the risk of crashes, driving performance, driving difficulty, self-regulation, and interventions to enhance, safety,…

  10. Depression in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Casten, Robin; Rovner, Barry

    2008-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of disability in the elderly, substantially degrades the quality of their lives, and is a risk factor for depression. Rates of depression in AMD are substantially greater than those found in the general population of older people, and are on par with those of other chronic and disabling…

  11. A family of degenerate Lie algebras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruz, I.

    1999-08-01

    We show that almost all the real Lie algebras with only zero- and two-dimensional coadjoint orbits are degenerate in both the smooth and analytic category. The only exceptions are the already known cases (studied for example by Dufour and Weinstein).

  12. Spectroscopic observations of cool degenerate star candidates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hintzen, P.

    1986-01-01

    Spectroscopic observations are reported for 23 Luyten Half-Second degenerate star candidates and for 13 Luyten-Palomar common proper-motion pairs containing possible degenerate star components. Twenty-five degenerate stars are identified, 20 of which lack previous spectroscopy. Most of these stars are cool - Luyten color class g or later. One star, LP 77-57, shows broad continuum depressions similar to those in LHS 1126, which Liebert and Dahn attributed to pressure-shifted C2. A second degenerate star, LHS 290, exhibits apparent strong Swan bands which are blueshifted about 75 A. Further observations, including polarimetry and photometry, are required to appraise the spectroscopic peculiarities of these stars. Finally, five cool, sharp-lined DA white dwarfs have been observed to detect lines of metals and to determine line strengths. None of these DAs show signs of Mg b or the G band, and four show no evidence of Ca II K. The attempt to detect Ca MI in the fifth star, G199-71, was inconclusive.

  13. Driving and Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Owsley, Cynthia; McGwin, Gerald

    2009-01-01

    This article reviews the research literature on driving and age-related macular degeneration, which is motivated by the link between driving and the quality of life of older adults and their increased collision rate. It addresses the risk of crashes, driving performance, driving difficulty, self-regulation, and interventions to enhance, safety, and considers directions for future research. PMID:20046818

  14. Tenascin-C and human tendon degeneration.

    PubMed Central

    Riley, G. P.; Harrall, R. L.; Cawston, T. E.; Hazleman, B. L.; Mackie, E. J.

    1996-01-01

    We investigated the distribution of tenascin in supraspinatus tendons to determine whether an alteration in tenascin expression was associated with human tendon degeneration. Tenascin was present in all of the tendons studied, although with two distinct patterns of expression. First, tenascin was associated with organized, fibrous regions of the tendon matrix that were typical of the normal tendon structure. This distribution is consistent with a role for tenascin in collagen fibril organization, perhaps maintaining the interface between fibrils and adjacent structures. Second, although tenascin was generally absent from poorly organized matrix in degenerate tendons, it was strongly associated with some rounded cells in disorganized fibrocartilaginous regions that were more abundant in pathological specimens. Tenascin was also found around infiltrating blood vessels, with more intense staining associated with a mononuclear cell infiltrate. Western blotting of tendon extracts showed differences in tenascin isoform expression, with only the small (200-kd) tenascin isoform found in normal tendons. Degenerate tendons also expressed the 300-kd isoform, consistent with a role for the larger tenascin isoform in tendon disease, potentially stimulating tenocyte proliferation, cell rounding, and fibrocartilaginous change. Proteolytic fragments of tenascin were detected but only in ruptured tendons, an indication of matrix remodeling in degenerate tendons, with fragment sizes consistent with the activity of matrix metalloproteinase enzymes. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 PMID:8780397

  15. Purinergic signaling in retinal degeneration and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Reichenbach, Andreas; Bringmann, Andreas

    2016-05-01

    Purinergic signaling is centrally involved in mediating the degeneration of the injured and diseased retina, the induction of retinal gliosis, and the protection of the retinal tissue from degeneration. Dysregulated calcium signaling triggered by overactivation of P2X7 receptors is a crucial step in the induction of neuronal and microvascular cell death under pathogenic conditions like ischemia-hypoxia, elevated intraocular pressure, and diabetes, respectively. Overactivation of P2X7 plays also a pathogenic role in inherited and age-related photoreceptor cell death and in the age-related dysfunction and degeneration of the retinal pigment epithelium. Gliosis of micro- and macroglial cells, which is induced and/or modulated by purinergic signaling and associated with an impaired homeostatic support to neurons, and the ATP-mediated propagation of retinal gliosis from a focal injury into the surrounding noninjured tissue are involved in inducing secondary cell death in the retina. On the other hand, alterations in the glial metabolism of extracellular nucleotides, resulting in a decreased level of ATP and an increased level of adenosine, may be neuroprotective in the diseased retina. Purinergic signals stimulate the proliferation of retinal glial cells which contributes to glial scarring which has protective effects on retinal degeneration and adverse effects on retinal regeneration. Pharmacological modulation of purinergic receptors, e.g., inhibition of P2X and activation of adenosine receptors, may have clinical importance for the prevention of photoreceptor, neuronal, and microvascular cell death in diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma, respectively, for the clearance of retinal edema, and the inhibition of dysregulated cell proliferation in proliferative retinopathies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Purines in Neurodegeneration and Neuroregeneration'. PMID:25998275

  16. Molecular pharmacodynamics of emixustat in protection against retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianye; Kiser, Philip D; Badiee, Mohsen; Palczewska, Grazyna; Dong, Zhiqian; Golczak, Marcin; Tochtrop, Gregory P; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2015-07-01

    Emixustat is a visual cycle modulator that has entered clinical trials as a treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This molecule has been proposed to inhibit the visual cycle isomerase RPE65, thereby slowing regeneration of 11-cis-retinal and reducing production of retinaldehyde condensation byproducts that may be involved in AMD pathology. Previously, we reported that all-trans-retinal (atRAL) is directly cytotoxic and that certain primary amine compounds that transiently sequester atRAL via Schiff base formation ameliorate retinal degeneration. Here, we have shown that emixustat stereoselectively inhibits RPE65 by direct active site binding. However, we detected the presence of emixustat-atRAL Schiff base conjugates, indicating that emixustat also acts as a retinal scavenger, which may contribute to its therapeutic effects. Using agents that lack either RPE65 inhibitory activity or the capacity to sequester atRAL, we assessed the relative importance of these 2 modes of action in protection against retinal phototoxicity in mice. The atRAL sequestrant QEA-B-001-NH2 conferred protection against phototoxicity without inhibiting RPE65, whereas an emixustat derivative incapable of atRAL sequestration was minimally protective, despite direct inhibition of RPE65. These data indicate that atRAL sequestration is an essential mechanism underlying the protective effects of emixustat and related compounds against retinal phototoxicity. Moreover, atRAL sequestration should be considered in the design of next-generation visual cycle modulators. PMID:26075817

  17. Molecular pharmacodynamics of emixustat in protection against retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jianye; Kiser, Philip D.; Badiee, Mohsen; Palczewska, Grazyna; Dong, Zhiqian; Golczak, Marcin; Tochtrop, Gregory P.; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2015-01-01

    Emixustat is a visual cycle modulator that has entered clinical trials as a treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This molecule has been proposed to inhibit the visual cycle isomerase RPE65, thereby slowing regeneration of 11-cis-retinal and reducing production of retinaldehyde condensation byproducts that may be involved in AMD pathology. Previously, we reported that all-trans-retinal (atRAL) is directly cytotoxic and that certain primary amine compounds that transiently sequester atRAL via Schiff base formation ameliorate retinal degeneration. Here, we have shown that emixustat stereoselectively inhibits RPE65 by direct active site binding. However, we detected the presence of emixustat-atRAL Schiff base conjugates, indicating that emixustat also acts as a retinal scavenger, which may contribute to its therapeutic effects. Using agents that lack either RPE65 inhibitory activity or the capacity to sequester atRAL, we assessed the relative importance of these 2 modes of action in protection against retinal phototoxicity in mice. The atRAL sequestrant QEA-B-001-NH2 conferred protection against phototoxicity without inhibiting RPE65, whereas an emixustat derivative incapable of atRAL sequestration was minimally protective, despite direct inhibition of RPE65. These data indicate that atRAL sequestration is an essential mechanism underlying the protective effects of emixustat and related compounds against retinal phototoxicity. Moreover, atRAL sequestration should be considered in the design of next-generation visual cycle modulators. PMID:26075817

  18. Pollen Tube Discharge Completes the Process of Synergid Degeneration That Is Initiated by Pollen Tube-Synergid Interaction in Arabidopsis1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Leydon, Alexander R.; Tsukamoto, Tatsuya; Dunatunga, Damayanthi; Qin, Yuan; Johnson, Mark A.; Palanivelu, Ravishankar

    2015-01-01

    In flowering plant reproduction, pollen tube reception is the signaling system that results in pollen tube discharge, synergid degeneration, and successful delivery of male gametes (two sperm cells) to the site where they can fuse with female gametes (egg cell and central cell). Some molecules required for this complex and essential signaling exchange have been identified; however, fundamental questions about the nature of the interactions between the pollen tube and the synergid cells remain to be clarified. Here, we monitor pollen tube arrival, pollen tube discharge, and synergid degeneration in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) wild type and in male and female gametophytic mutants that disrupt development and function of the gametophytes. By combining assays used previously to study these interactions and an assay that facilitates simultaneous analysis of pollen tube discharge and synergid degeneration, we find that synergid degeneration could be initiated without pollen tube discharge. Our data support the hypothesis that pollen tube-synergid contact, or signaling via secreted molecules, initiates receptive synergid degeneration. We also find that when pollen tubes successfully burst, they always discharge into a degenerated synergid. In addition to this pollen tube-dependent promotion of synergid degeneration, we also show that a basal developmental pathway mediates synergid degeneration in the absence of pollination. Our results are consistent with the model that a complex set of interactions between the pollen tube and synergid cells promote receptive synergid degeneration. PMID:26229050

  19. NEUTRINO PROCESSES IN PARTIALLY DEGENERATE NEUTRON MATTER

    SciTech Connect

    Bacca, S.; Hally, K.; Liebendoerfer, M.; Perego, A.; Pethick, C. J.; Schwenk, A.

    2012-10-10

    We investigate neutrino processes for conditions reached in simulations of core-collapse supernovae. In regions where neutrino-matter interactions play an important role, matter is partially degenerate, and we extend earlier work that addressed the degenerate regime. We derive expressions for the spin structure factor in neutron matter, which is a key quantity required for evaluating rates of neutrino processes. We show that, for essentially all conditions encountered in the post-bounce phase of core-collapse supernovae, it is a very good approximation to calculate the spin relaxation rates in the nondegenerate limit. We calculate spin relaxation rates based on chiral effective field theory interactions and find that they are typically a factor of two smaller than those obtained using the standard one-pion-exchange interaction alone.

  20. Inflammation in intervertebral disc degeneration and regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Molinos, Maria; Almeida, Catarina R.; Caldeira, Joana; Cunha, Carla; Gonçalves, Raquel M.; Barbosa, Mário A.

    2015-01-01

    Intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is one of the major causes of low back pain, a problem with a heavy economic burden, which has been increasing in prevalence as populations age. Deeper knowledge of the complex spatial and temporal orchestration of cellular interactions and extracellular matrix remodelling is critical to improve current IVD therapies, which have so far proved unsatisfactory. Inflammation has been correlated with degenerative disc disease but its role in discogenic pain and hernia regression remains controversial. The inflammatory response may be involved in the onset of disease, but it is also crucial in maintaining tissue homeostasis. Furthermore, if properly balanced it may contribute to tissue repair/regeneration as has already been demonstrated in other tissues. In this review, we focus on how inflammation has been associated with IVD degeneration by describing observational and in vitro studies as well as in vivo animal models. Finally, we provide an overview of IVD regenerative therapies that target key inflammatory players. PMID:25673296

  1. Degeneration and regeneration of ganglion cell axons.

    PubMed

    Weise, J; Ankerhold, R; Bähr, M

    2000-01-15

    The retino-tectal system has been used to study developmental aspects of axon growth, synapse formation and the establishment of a precise topographic order as well as degeneration and regeneration of adult retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons after axonal lesion. This paper reviews some novel findings that provide new insights into the mechanisms of developmental RGC axon growth, pathfinding, and target formation. It also focuses on the cellular and molecular cascades that underlie RGC degeneration following an axonal lesion and on some therapeutic strategies to enhance survival of axotomized RGCs in vivo. In addition, this review deals with problems related to the induction of regeneration after axonal lesion in the adult CNS using the retino-tectal system as model. Different therapeutic approaches to promote RGC regeneration and requirements for specific target formation of regenerating RGCs in vitro and in vivo are discussed. PMID:10649506

  2. Macular degeneration in an arc welder.

    PubMed

    Kim, Eun A; Kim, Byung-Gyu; Yi, Cheol-Ho; Kim, Il Gon; Chae, Chang-Ho; Kang, Seong-Kyu

    2007-04-01

    A male welder who had been working in an industrial machine plant for more than 20 years experienced acute intense pain in his left eye with continuous lacrimation while performing arc welding in 1997. Later in 1997, at the age of 39 yr, macular edema was found in his left eye. He was diagnosed with macular degeneration (MD) of the left eye in 2002, and with right eye MD in 2004. Radiation in the visible and near infrared (IR) spectra penetrates the eye and is absorbed by the retina, possibly causing thermal or photochemical damage. Such retinal damage may be permanent and, therefore, sight-threatening. The young age and history of an acute painful eye injury are not consistent with age related macular degeneration (AMD) but rather is likely maculopathy caused by welding arc exposure. PMID:17485886

  3. Shell nuclear explosions in degenerate dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuznetsov, O. A.; Tutukov, A. V.; Chechetkin, V. M.

    1989-08-01

    Numerical gas dynamics simulations are used to study shell nuclear explosions of degenerate carbon-oxygen dwarfs with masses of 1.17, 1.36, and 1.42 solar masses. It is assumed that the calorific capacity of the burning shell matter is between 5 X 10 to the 17th and 5 X 10 to the 18th erg/g. It is shown that, at a low calorific capacity, a remnant may form if the mass of the shell is less than 90 percent of the mass of the degenerate dwarf. In the case of high calorific capacity, a remnant may form only if the mass of the shell is less than half of the dwarf's mass.

  4. Effect of trapping in degenerate quantum plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Shah, H. A.; Qureshi, M. N. S.; Tsintsadze, N.

    2010-03-15

    In the present work we consider the effect of trapping as a microscopic process in a plasma consisting of quantum electrons and nondegenerate ions. The formation of solitary structures is investigated in two cases: first when the electrons are fully degenerate and second when small temperature effects are taken into account. It is seen that not only rarefactive but coupled rarefactive and compressive solitons are obtained under different temperature conditions.

  5. Degenerate Bose gases with uniform loss

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grišins, Pjotrs; Rauer, Bernhard; Langen, Tim; Schmiedmayer, Jörg; Mazets, Igor E.

    2016-03-01

    We theoretically investigate a weakly interacting degenerate Bose gas coupled to an empty Markovian bath. We show that in the universal phononic limit the system evolves towards an asymptotic state where an emergent temperature is set by the quantum noise of the outcoupling process. For situations typically encountered in experiments, this mechanism leads to significant cooling. Such dissipative cooling supplements conventional evaporative cooling and dominates in settings where thermalization is highly suppressed, such as in a one-dimensional quasicondensate.

  6. Equilibrium configurations of degenerate fluid spheres

    SciTech Connect

    Whitman, P.G.

    1985-04-01

    Equilibrium configurations of degenerate fluid spheres which assume a polytropic form in the ultrahigh-density regime are considered. We show that analytic solutions more general than those of Misner and Zapolsky exist which possess the asymptotic equation of state. Simple expressions are derived which indicate this nature of the fluids in the extreme relativistic limit, and the stability of these interiors is considered in the asymptotic region.

  7. Calabi-Yau manifolds and their degenerations.

    PubMed

    Tosatti, Valentino

    2012-07-01

    Calabi-Yau manifolds are geometric objects of central importance in several branches of mathematics, including differential geometry, algebraic geometry, and mathematical physics. In this paper, we give a brief introduction to the subject aimed at a general mathematical audience and present some of our results that shed some light on the possible ways in which families of Calabi-Yau manifolds can degenerate. PMID:22257362

  8. Recombination-generation currents in degenerate semiconductors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Von Roos, O.

    1978-01-01

    The classical Shockley-Read-Hall theory of free carrier recombination and generation via traps is extended to degenerate semiconductors. A concise and simple expression is found which avoids completely the concept of a Fermi level, a concept which is alien to nonequilibrium situations. Assumptions made in deriving the recombination generation current are carefully delineated and are found to be basically identical to those made in the original theory applicable to nondegenerate semiconductors.

  9. Asymmetrical alien hands in corticobasal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, David B; Drago, Valeria; Jeong, Yong; Chang, Yu-Ling; White, Keith D; Heilman, Kenneth M

    2007-03-15

    There are several forms of alien limb, but alien limb in corticobasal degeneration (CBD) is not well understood. We studied a patient with CBD who demonstrated two different types of alien limb. With his right hand he demonstrated a tactile avoidance response with levitation. With his left hand, he demonstrated continuous tactile pursuit of the examiner's hand ("tactile mitgehen"). Mitgehen is often associated with frontal dysfunction, but avoidance response and levitation are often associated with parietal dysfunction. PMID:17230447

  10. Dichromatic Langmuir waves in degenerate quantum plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Dubinov, A. E. Kitayev, I. N.

    2015-06-15

    Langmuir waves in fully degenerate quantum plasma are considered. It is shown that, in the linear approximation, Langmuir waves are always dichromatic. The low-frequency component of the waves corresponds to classical Langmuir waves, while the high-frequency component, to free-electron quantum oscillations. The nonlinear problem on the profile of dichromatic Langmuir waves is solved. Solutions in the form of a superposition of waves and in the form of beatings of its components are obtained.

  11. Inertial fusion features in degenerate plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    León, Pablo T.; Eliezer, Shalom; Piera, Mireia; Martínez-Val, José M.

    2005-04-01

    Very high plasma densities can be obtained at the end of the implosion phase in inertial fusion targets, particularly in the so-called fast-ignition scheme (Tabak et al., 1994; Mulser & Bauer, 2004), where a central hot spark is not needed at all. By properly tailoring the fuel compression stage, degenerate states can be reached (Azechi et al., 1991; Nakai et al., 1991; McCory, 1998). In that case, most of the relevant energy transfer mechanisms involving electrons are affected (Honrubia & Tikhonchuk, 2004; Bibi & Matte, 2004; Bibi et al., 2004). For instance, bremsstrahlung emission is highly suppressed (Eliezer et al., 2003). In fact, a low ignition-temperature regime appears at very high plasma densities, due to radiation leakage reduction (León et al., 2001). Stopping power and ion-electron coulomb collisions are also changed in this case, which are important mechanisms to trigger ignition by the incoming fast jet, and to launch the fusion wave from the igniting region into the colder, degenerate plasma. All these points are reviewed in this paper. Although degenerate states would not be easy to obtain by target implosion, they present a very interesting upper limit that deserves more attention in order to complete the understanding on the different domains for inertial confinement fusion.

  12. Buoyancy instabilities in degenerate, collisional, magnetized plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Philip; Quataert, Eliot

    2010-03-01

    In low-collisionality plasmas, anisotropic heat conduction due to a magnetic field leads to buoyancy instabilities for any non-zero temperature gradient. We study analogous instabilities in degenerate collisional plasmas, i.e. when the electron collision frequency is large compared to the electron cyclotron frequency. Although heat conduction is nearly isotropic in this limit, the small residual anisotropy ensures that collisional degenerate plasmas are also convectively unstable independent of the sign of the temperature gradient. We show that the range of wavelengths that are unstable is independent of the magnetic field strength, while the growth time increases with decreasing magnetic field strength. We discuss the application of these collisional buoyancy instabilities to white dwarfs and neutron stars. Magnetic tension and the low specific heat of a degenerate plasma significantly limit their effectiveness; the most promising venues for growth are in the liquid oceans of young, weakly magnetized neutron stars (B <~ 109 G) and in the cores of young, high magnetic field white dwarfs (B ~ 109 G).

  13. Propagation of disturbances in degenerate quantum systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chancellor, Nicholas; Haas, Stephan

    2011-07-01

    Disturbances in gapless quantum many-body models are known to travel an unlimited distance throughout the system. Here, we explore this phenomenon in finite clusters with degenerate ground states. The specific model studied here is the one-dimensional J1-J2 Heisenberg Hamiltonian at and close to the Majumdar-Ghosh point. Both open and periodic boundary conditions are considered. Quenches are performed using a local magnetic field. The degenerate Majumdar-Ghosh ground state allows disturbances which carry quantum entanglement to propagate throughout the system and thus dephase the entire system within the degenerate subspace. These disturbances can also carry polarization, but not energy, as all energy is stored locally. The local evolution of the part of the system where energy is stored drives the rest of the system through long-range entanglement. We also examine approximations for the ground state of this Hamiltonian in the strong field limit and study how couplings away from the Majumdar-Ghosh point affect the propagation of disturbances. We find that even in the case of approximate degeneracy, a disturbance can be propagated throughout a finite system.

  14. The progressive nature of Wallerian degeneration in wild-type and slow Wallerian degeneration (WldS) nerves

    PubMed Central

    Beirowski, Bogdan; Adalbert, Robert; Wagner, Diana; Grumme, Daniela S; Addicks, Klaus; Ribchester, Richard R; Coleman, Michael P

    2005-01-01

    Background The progressive nature of Wallerian degeneration has long been controversial. Conflicting reports that distal stumps of injured axons degenerate anterogradely, retrogradely, or simultaneously are based on statistical observations at discontinuous locations within the nerve, without observing any single axon at two distant points. As axon degeneration is asynchronous, there are clear advantages to longitudinal studies of individual degenerating axons. We recently validated the study of Wallerian degeneration using yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) in a small, representative population of axons, which greatly improves longitudinal imaging. Here, we apply this method to study the progressive nature of Wallerian degeneration in both wild-type and slow Wallerian degeneration (WldS) mutant mice. Results In wild-type nerves, we directly observed partially fragmented axons (average 5.3%) among a majority of fully intact or degenerated axons 37–42 h after transection and 40–44 h after crush injury. Axons exist in this state only transiently, probably for less than one hour. Surprisingly, axons degenerated anterogradely after transection but retrogradely after a crush, but in both cases a sharp boundary separated intact and fragmented regions of individual axons, indicating that Wallerian degeneration progresses as a wave sequentially affecting adjacent regions of the axon. In contrast, most or all WldS axons were partially fragmented 15–25 days after nerve lesion, WldS axons degenerated anterogradely independent of lesion type, and signs of degeneration increased gradually along the nerve instead of abruptly. Furthermore, the first signs of degeneration were short constrictions, not complete breaks. Conclusions We conclude that Wallerian degeneration progresses rapidly along individual wild-type axons after a heterogeneous latent phase. The speed of progression and its ability to travel in either direction challenges earlier models in which clearance of

  15. TGF-β1 is critical for Wallerian degeneration after rat sciatic nerve injury.

    PubMed

    Li, M; Zhang, P; Li, H; Zhu, Y; Cui, S; Yao, D

    2015-01-22

    Wallerian degeneration (WD) is a process of axonal degeneration distal to the injury site followed by a robust regenerative response. It involves degeneration and regeneration which can be directly induced by nerve injury and activated by transcription factors. Although WD has been studied extensively, the precise mechanisms of transcription factors regulating WD are still elusive. In this study, we reported the effect of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) on WD after rat sciatic nerve injury. The data showed that TGF-β1 may express in injured rat sciatic nerve and cultured Schwann cells (SCs). Knock down of TGF-β1 expressions resulted in the reduction of SC proliferation and apoptosis, up regulation of cytokines and Smad2, 4. Enhanced expression of TGF-β1 could promote SC proliferation and apoptosis, down regulation of cytokines and Smad2, 4. Altered expressions of TGF-β1 may affect Smad and AKT but not c-Jun and extracellular regulated protein kinase (ERK) pathways. Our results revealed the role of TGF-β1 on WD and provided the basis for the molecular mechanisms of TGF-β1-regulated nerve degeneration and/or regeneration. PMID:25451291

  16. Transneuronal Degeneration of Thalamic Nuclei following Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion in Rats.

    PubMed

    Chang, Shu-Jen; Cherng, Juin-Hong; Wang, Ding-Han; Yu, Shu-Ping; Liou, Nien-Hsien; Hsu, Ming-Lun

    2016-01-01

    Objective. Postinfarction transneuronal degeneration refers to secondary neuronal death that occurs within a few days to weeks following the disruption of input or output to synapsed neurons sustaining ischemic insults. The thalamus receives its blood supply from the posterior circulation; however, infarctions of the middle cerebral arterial may cause secondary transneuronal degeneration in the thalamus. In this study, we presented the areas of ischemia and associated transneuronal degeneration following MCAo in a rat model. Materials and Methods. Eighteen 12-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to receive middle cerebral artery occlusion surgery for 1, 7, and 14 days. Cerebral atrophy was assessed by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium hydrochloride staining. Postural reflex and open field tests were performed prior to animal sacrifice to assess the effects of occlusion on behavior. Results. Myelin loss was observed at the lesion site following ischemia. Gliosis was also observed in thalamic regions 14 days following occlusion. Differential degrees of increased vascular endothelial growth factor expression were observed at each stage of infarction. Increases in myelin basic protein levels were also observed in the 14-day group. Conclusion. The present rat model of ischemia provides evidence of transneuronal degeneration within the first 14 days of occlusion. The observed changes in protein expression may be associated with self-repair mechanisms in the damaged brain. PMID:27597962

  17. Transneuronal Degeneration of Thalamic Nuclei following Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion in Rats

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Objective. Postinfarction transneuronal degeneration refers to secondary neuronal death that occurs within a few days to weeks following the disruption of input or output to synapsed neurons sustaining ischemic insults. The thalamus receives its blood supply from the posterior circulation; however, infarctions of the middle cerebral arterial may cause secondary transneuronal degeneration in the thalamus. In this study, we presented the areas of ischemia and associated transneuronal degeneration following MCAo in a rat model. Materials and Methods. Eighteen 12-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to receive middle cerebral artery occlusion surgery for 1, 7, and 14 days. Cerebral atrophy was assessed by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium hydrochloride staining. Postural reflex and open field tests were performed prior to animal sacrifice to assess the effects of occlusion on behavior. Results. Myelin loss was observed at the lesion site following ischemia. Gliosis was also observed in thalamic regions 14 days following occlusion. Differential degrees of increased vascular endothelial growth factor expression were observed at each stage of infarction. Increases in myelin basic protein levels were also observed in the 14-day group. Conclusion. The present rat model of ischemia provides evidence of transneuronal degeneration within the first 14 days of occlusion. The observed changes in protein expression may be associated with self-repair mechanisms in the damaged brain. PMID:27597962

  18. Kramers-degenerated NV+113C spin systems in diamond: analytical description

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nizovtsev, Alexander P.; Kilin, Sergei Y.; Pushkarchuk, Alexander L.; Kuten, Semen A.

    2013-02-01

    Spin systems consisted of single electronic spin S=1 of the NV center and nearby nuclear spins I=1/2 of 13C atoms disposed in diamond lattice near the center can be used as a small register of a quantum computer or as a sensor of a magnetic field. At odd number of nuclear spins eigenvalues of the spin systems at zero external magnetic field are at least twofold degenerated (Kramers degeneration) due to time reversal invariance of the spin Hamiltonian. This degeneracy is lifted only by external magnetic field regardless of the presence of any electric (crystal) field which can also lift the degeneracy thus hindering measurement of the magnetic field. Therefore, the Kramers-degenerated spin systems can be very perspective for measurement of a local magnetic field by the NV-based single-spin quantum magnetometer. Here, we are considering analytically the simplest Kramers-degenerated spin system NV+113C consisting of a single electron spin S=1 of the NV сenter coupled by hyperfine interaction with a single nuclear spin I=1/2 of 13C atom disposed in arbitrary site of diamond lattice. Simple approximate analytical expressions are obtained for eigenvalues and eigenstates of the spin system.

  19. Vector polarons in a degenerate electron system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clougherty, Dennis P.; Foell, Charles A.

    2004-08-01

    We consider a one-dimensional model of an electron in a doubly (or nearly) degenerate band that interacts with elastic distortions. We show that the electron equations of motion reduce to a set of coupled nonlinear Schrödinger equations. For the case of interband electron-phonon coupling stemming from local Jahn-Teller interactions, multicomponent self-localized polaron solutions-vector polarons- are described and classified. The phase diagram for the different types of vector polarons in this model is presented. By interpreting the components of the orbital doublet as those of spin- (1)/(2) , our results can also be used to describe bound magnetic polarons.

  20. Degenerate Fermi Gas of {sup 87}Sr

    SciTech Connect

    DeSalvo, B. J.; Yan, M.; Mickelson, P. G.; Martinez de Escobar, Y. N.; Killian, T. C.

    2010-07-16

    We report quantum degeneracy in a gas of ultracold fermionic {sup 87}Sr atoms. By evaporatively cooling a mixture of spin states in an optical dipole trap for 10.5 s, we obtain samples well into the degenerate regime with T/T{sub F}=0.26{sub -0.06}{sup +0.05}. The main signature of degeneracy is a change in the momentum distribution as measured by time-of-flight imaging, and we also observe a decrease in evaporation efficiency below T/T{sub F{approx}}0.5.

  1. Pharmacogenetics and age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Stephen G; Brantley, Milam A

    2011-01-01

    Pharmacogenetics seeks to explain interpatient variability in response to medications by investigating genotype-phenotype correlations. There is a small but growing body of data regarding the pharmacogenetics of both nonexudative and exudative age-related macular degeneration. Most reported data concern polymorphisms in the complement factor H and age-related maculopathy susceptibility 2 genes. At this time, the data are not consistent and no definite conclusions may be drawn. As clinical trials data continue to accumulate, these relationships may become more apparent. PMID:22046503

  2. Asymptotic behavior of degenerate logistic equations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arrieta, José M.; Pardo, Rosa; Rodríguez-Bernal, Aníbal

    2015-12-01

    We analyze the asymptotic behavior of positive solutions of parabolic equations with a class of degenerate logistic nonlinearities of the type λu - n (x)uρ. An important characteristic of this work is that the region where the logistic term n (ṡ) vanishes, that is K0 = { x : n (x) = 0 }, may be non-smooth. We analyze conditions on λ, ρ, n (ṡ) and K0 guaranteeing that the solution starting at a positive initial condition remains bounded or blows up as time goes to infinity. The asymptotic behavior may not be the same in different parts of K0.

  3. Relativistic Bernstein waves in a degenerate plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Ali, Muddasir; Hussain, Azhar; Murtaza, G.

    2011-09-15

    Bernstein mode for a relativistic degenerate electron plasma is investigated. Using relativistic Vlasov-Maxwell equations, a general expression for the conductivity tensor is derived and then employing Fermi-Dirac distribution function a generalized dispersion relation for the Bernstein mode is obtained. Two limiting cases, i.e., non-relativistic and ultra-relativistic are discussed. The dispersion relations obtained are also graphically presented for some specific values of the parameters depicting how the propagation characteristics of Bernstein waves as well as the Upper Hybrid oscillations are modified with the increase in plasma number density.

  4. The non-directional pattern of axonal changes in Wallerian degeneration: a computer-aided morphometric analysis.

    PubMed Central

    Malbouisson, A M; Ghabriel, M N; Allt, G

    1984-01-01

    Wallerian degeneration was investigated to determine whether axonal changes occur progressively in a somatofugal or somatopetal direction or simultaneously along the length of the axon. Microtubule density was used as a measure of the extent of axonal degeneration and was assessed by a computer-aided analysis of electron micrographs. The left sural nerves of ten rats were crushed and 30 hours later axonal areas and axonal microtubule numbers were recorded from a large sample of axons at two sites 1 cm and 3 cm distal to the crush. The same recordings were made from the right unoperated nerve at two comparable sites. Statistical analysis of all the data provided no evidence for a somatofugal or reverse direction of degeneration. It is concluded therefore that in Wallerian degeneration axonal changes, as indicated by microtubule dissolution, occur simultaneously along the length of the axon. It is proposed that to interpret the conflicting published data on the direction of fibre degeneration, Schwann cell changes (e.g. myelin ovoid formation) and axonal changes (e.g. microtubule dissolution) should be considered independently since they have different aetiological mechanisms which may account for the differing experimental results reported. Images Fig. 1 Figs. 7-8 Figs. 9-10 PMID:6469853

  5. Family-Specific Degenerate Primer Design: A Tool to Design Consensus Degenerated Oligonucleotides

    PubMed Central

    Goñi, Sandra Elizabeth; Lozano, Mario Enrique

    2013-01-01

    Designing degenerate PCR primers for templates of unknown nucleotide sequence may be a very difficult task. In this paper, we present a new method to design degenerate primers, implemented in family-specific degenerate primer design (FAS-DPD) computer software, for which the starting point is a multiple alignment of related amino acids or nucleotide sequences. To assess their efficiency, four different genome collections were used, covering a wide range of genomic lengths: Arenavirus (10 × 104 nucleotides), Baculovirus (0.9 × 105 to 1.8 × 105 bp), Lactobacillus sp. (1 × 106 to 2 × 106 bp), and Pseudomonas sp. (4 × 106 to 7 × 106 bp). In each case, FAS-DPD designed primers were tested computationally to measure specificity. Designed primers for Arenavirus and Baculovirus were tested experimentally. The method presented here is useful for designing degenerate primers on collections of related protein sequences, allowing detection of new family members. PMID:23533783

  6. MRI and MR tractography in bilateral hypertrophic olivary degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Sen, Debraj; Gulati, Yoginder S.; Malik, Virender; Mohimen, Aneesh; Sibi, Eranki; Reddy, Deepak Chandra

    2014-01-01

    Hypertrophic olivary degeneration is a trans-synaptic neuronal degeneration associated with hypertrophy of the inferior olivary nucleus due to a lesion in the triangle of Guillain-Mollaret. Familiarity with this entity on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is essential to avoid other erroneous ominous diagnoses. We present a case of bilateral hypertrophic olivary degeneration and discuss the etiopathogenesis and MRI findings in this entity. The contributory role of MR tractography in the diagnosis is also highlighted. PMID:25489133

  7. Nodular fasciitis with degeneration and regression.

    PubMed

    Yanagisawa, Akihiro; Okada, Hideki

    2008-07-01

    Nodular fasciitis is a benign reactive proliferation that is frequently misdiagnosed as a sarcoma. This article describes a case of nodular fasciitis of 6-month duration located in the cheek, which degenerated and spontaneously regressed after biopsy. The nodule was fixed to the zygoma but was free from the overlying skin. The mass was 3.0 cm in diameter and demonstrated high signal intensity on T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. A small part of the lesion was biopsied. Pathological and immunohistochemical examinations identified the nodule as nodular fasciitis with myxoid histology. One month after the biopsy, the mass showed decreased signal intensity on T2-weighted images and measured 2.2 cm in size. The signal on T2-weighted images showed time-dependent decreases, and the mass continued to reduce in size throughout the follow-up period. The lesion presented as hypointense to the surrounding muscles on T2-weighted images and was 0.4 cm in size at 2 years of follow-up. This case demonstrates that nodular fasciitis with myxoid histology can change to that with fibrous appearance gradually with time, thus bringing about spontaneous regression. Degeneration may be involved in the spontaneous regression of nodular fasciitis with myxoid appearance. The mechanism of regression, unclarified at present, should be further studied. PMID:18650753

  8. Changes in ganglion cells during retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Saha, Susmita; Greferath, Ursula; Vessey, Kirstan A; Grayden, David B; Burkitt, Anthony N; Fletcher, Erica L

    2016-08-01

    Inherited retinal degeneration such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is associated with photoreceptor loss and concomitant morphological and functional changes in the inner retina. It is not known whether these changes are associated with changes in the density and distribution of synaptic inputs to retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). We quantified changes in ganglion cell density in rd1 and age-matched C57BL/6J-(wildtype, WT) mice using the immunocytochemical marker, RBPMS. Our data revealed that following complete loss of photoreceptors, (∼3months of age), there was a reduction in ganglion cell density in the peripheral retina. We next examined changes in synaptic inputs to A type ganglion cells by performing double labeling experiments in mice with the ganglion cell reporter lines, rd1-Thy1 and age-matched wildtype-Thy1. Ribbon synapses were identified by co-labelling with CtBP2 (RIBEYE) and conventional synapses with the clustering molecule, gephyrin. ON RGCs showed a significant reduction in RIBEYE-immunoreactive synapse density while OFF RGCs showed a significant reduction in the gephyrin-immmunoreactive synapse density. Distribution patterns of both synaptic markers across the dendritic trees of RGCs were unchanged. The change in synaptic inputs to RGCs was associated with a reduction in the number of immunolabeled rod bipolar and ON cone bipolar cells. These results suggest that functional changes reported in ganglion cells during retinal degeneration could be attributed to loss of synaptic inputs. PMID:27132232

  9. Progressive retinal degeneration in ranch mink.

    PubMed

    Hadlow, W J

    1984-01-01

    Retinal degeneration was prevalent in a large group of sapphire and pastel mink (Mustela vison) kept for studies on slow viral diseases. Nearly 78% of those two to eight years old were affected. The retinopathy was equally common in both sexes but more frequent in sapphires (85%) than in pastels (63%), and it was severe more often in sapphires than in pastels. By light microscopy, the primary change appeared to be progressive degeneration of fully developed photoreceptors, beginning in their outer segments. In many mink, including some younger ones, the rods and cones and outer nuclear layer had disappeared from all but the far periphery of the fundus. The inner retinal layers were spared until late in the disease, and the pigment epithelium remained essentially unchanged. The cause of the retinopathy was not established. It may represent an abiotrophy in which the structural integrity of the photoreceptors began to wane in many mink after they reached two years of age. Apart from reducing visual acuity, the retinopathy has implications for the photoperiodic control of fur growth and reproduction in this highly light-sensitive carnivore. PMID:6710807

  10. Metabolic anatomy of paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, N.E.; Posner, J.B.; Sidtis, J.J.; Moeller, J.R.; Strother, S.C.; Dhawan, V.; Rottenberg, D.A.

    1988-06-01

    Eleven patients with acquired cerebellar degeneration (10 of whom had paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (PCD)) were evaluated using neuropsychological tests and /sup 18/F-fluorodeoxyglucose/positron emission tomography to (1) quantify motor, cognitive, and metabolic abnormalities; (2) determine if characteristic alterations in the regional cerebral metabolic rate for glucose (rCMRGlc) are associated with PCD; and (3) correlate behavioral and metabolic measures of disease severity. Eighteen volunteer subjects served as normal controls. Although some PCD neuropsychological test scores were abnormal, these results could not, in general, be dissociated from the effects of dysarthria and ataxia. rCMRGlc was reduced in patients with PCD (versus normal control subjects) in all regions except the brainstem. Analysis of patient and control rCMRGlc data using a mathematical model of regional metabolic interactions revealed two metabolic pattern descriptors, SSF1 and SSF2, which distinguished patients with PCD from normal control subjects; SSF2, which described a metabolic coupling between cerebellum, cuneus, and posterior temporal, lateral frontal, and paracentral cortex, correlated with quantitative indices of cerebellar dysfunction. Our inability to document substantial intellectual impairment in 7 of 10 patients with PCD contrasts with the 50% incidence of dementia in PCD reported by previous investigators. Widespread reductions in PCD rCMRGlc may result from the loss of cerebellar efferents to thalamus and forebrain structures, a reverse cerebellar diaschisis.

  11. Degenerate parametric oscillation in quantum membrane optomechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benito, Mónica; Sánchez Muñoz, Carlos; Navarrete-Benlloch, Carlos

    2016-02-01

    The promise of innovative applications has triggered the development of many modern technologies capable of exploiting quantum effects. But in addition to future applications, such quantum technologies have already provided us with the possibility of accessing quantum-mechanical scenarios that seemed unreachable just a few decades ago. With this spirit, in this work we show that modern optomechanical setups are mature enough to implement one of the most elusive models in the field of open system dynamics: degenerate parametric oscillation. Introduced in the eighties and motivated by its alleged implementability in nonlinear optical resonators, it rapidly became a paradigm for the study of dissipative phase transitions whose corresponding spontaneously broken symmetry is discrete. However, it was found that the intrinsic multimode nature of optical cavities makes it impossible to experimentally study the model all the way through its phase transition. In contrast, here we show that this long-awaited model can be implemented in the motion of a mechanical object dispersively coupled to the light contained in a cavity, when the latter is properly driven with multichromatic laser light. We focus on membranes as the mechanical element, showing that the main signatures of the degenerate parametric oscillation model can be studied in state-of-the-art setups, thus opening the possibility of analyzing spontaneous symmetry breaking and enhanced metrology in one of the cleanest dissipative phase transitions. In addition, the ideas put forward in this work would allow for the dissipative preparation of squeezed mechanical states.

  12. Intra-axonal calcium changes after axotomy in wild-type and slow Wallerian degeneration axons.

    PubMed

    Adalbert, R; Morreale, G; Paizs, M; Conforti, L; Walker, S A; Roderick, H L; Bootman, M D; Siklós, L; Coleman, M P

    2012-12-01

    Calcium accumulation induces the breakdown of cytoskeleton and axonal fragmentation in the late stages of Wallerian degeneration. In the early stages there is no evidence for any long-lasting, extensive increase in intra-axonal calcium but there does appear to be some redistribution. We hypothesized that changes in calcium distribution could have an early regulatory role in axonal degeneration in addition to the late executionary role of calcium. Schmidt-Lanterman clefts (SLCs), which allow exchange of metabolites and ions between the periaxonal and extracellular space, are likely to have an increased role when axon segments are separated from the cell body, so we used the oxalate-pyroantimonate method to study calcium at SLCs in distal stumps of transected wild-type and slow Wallerian degeneration (Wld(S)) mutant sciatic nerves, in which Wallerian degeneration is greatly delayed. In wild-type nerves most SLCs show a step gradient of calcium distribution, which is lost at around 20% of SLCs within 3mm of the lesion site by 4-24h after nerve transection. To investigate further the association with Wallerian degeneration, we studied nerves from Wld(S) rats. The step gradient of calcium distribution in Wld(S) is absent in around 20% of the intact nerves beneath SLCs but 4-24h following injury, calcium distribution in transected axons remained similar to that in uninjured nerves. We then used calcium indicators to study influx and buffering of calcium in injured neurites in primary culture. Calcium penetration and the early calcium increase in this system were indistinguishable between Wld(S) and wild-type axons. However, a significant difference was observed during the following hours, when calcium increased in wild-type neurites but not in Wld(S) neurites. We conclude that there is little relationship between calcium distribution and the early stages of Wallerian degeneration at the time points studied in vivo or in vitro but that Wld(S) neurites fail to show a later

  13. Differential Modulation of Retinal Degeneration by Ccl2 and Cx3cr1 Chemokine Signalling

    PubMed Central

    Luhmann, Ulrich F. O.; Lange, Clemens A.; Robbie, Scott; Munro, Peter M. G.; Cowing, Jill A.; Armer, Hannah E. J.; Luong, Vy; Carvalho, Livia S.; MacLaren, Robert E.; Fitzke, Frederick W.; Bainbridge, James W. B.; Ali, Robin R.

    2012-01-01

    Microglia and macrophages are recruited to sites of retinal degeneration where local cytokines and chemokines determine protective or neurotoxic microglia responses. Defining the role of Ccl2-Ccr2 and Cx3cl1-Cx3cr1 signalling for retinal pathology is of particular interest because of its potential role in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Ccl2, Ccr2, and Cx3cr1 signalling defects impair macrophage trafficking, but have, in several conflicting studies, been reported to show different degrees of age-related retinal degeneration. Ccl2/Cx3cr1 double knockout (CCDKO) mice show an early onset retinal degeneration and have been suggested as a model for AMD. In order to understand phenotypic discrepancies in different chemokine knockout lines and to study how defects in Ccl2 and/or Cx3cr1 signalling contribute to the described early onset retinal degeneration, we defined primary and secondary pathological events in CCDKO mice. To control for genetic background variability, we compared the original phenotype with that of single Ccl2, Cx3cr1 and Ccl2/Cx3cr1 double knockout mice obtained from backcrosses of CCDKO with C57Bl/6 mice. We found that the primary pathological event in CCDKO mice develops in the inferior outer nuclear layer independently of light around postnatal day P14. RPE and vascular lesions develop secondarily with increasing penetrance with age and are clinically similar to retinal telangiectasia not to choroidal neovascularisation. Furthermore, we provide evidence that a third autosomal recessive gene causes the degeneration in CCDKO mice and in all affected re-derived lines and subsequently demonstrated co-segregation of the naturally occurring RD8 mutation in the Crb1 gene. By comparing CCDKO mice with re-derived CCl2−/−/Crb1Rd8/RD8, Cx3cr1−/−/Crb1Rd8/RD8 and CCl2−/−/Cx3cr1−/−/Crb1Rd8/RD8 mice, we observed a differential modulation of the retinal phenotype by genetic background and both chemokine signalling pathways. These findings

  14. Functional Rescue of Retinal Degeneration-Associated Mutant RPE65 Proteins.

    PubMed

    Jin, Minghao; Li, Songhua; Hu, Jane; Jin, Heather H; Jacobson, Samuel G; Bok, Dean

    2016-01-01

    More than 100 different mutations in the RPE65 gene are associated with inherited retinal degeneration. Although some missense mutations have been shown to abolish isomerase activity of RPE65, the molecular bases leading to loss of function and retinal degeneration remain incompletely understood. Here we show that several missense mutations resulted in significant decrease in expression level of RPE65 in the human retinal pigment epithelium cells. The 26S proteasome non-ATPase regulatory subunit 13, a newly identified negative regulator of RPE65, mediated degradation of mutant RPE65s, which were misfolded and formed aggregates in the cells. Many mutations, including L22P, T101I, and L408P, were mapped on nonactive sites of RPE65. Enzyme activities of these mutant RPE65s were significantly rescued at low temperature, whereas mutant RPE65s with a distinct active site mutation could not be rescued under the same conditions. 4-phenylbutyrate (PBA) displayed a significant synergistic effect on the low temperature-mediated rescue of the mutant RPE65s. Our results suggest that a low temperature eye mask and PBA, a FDA-approved oral medicine, may provide a promising "protein repair therapy" that can enhance the efficacy of gene therapy for delaying retinal degeneration caused by RPE65 mutations. PMID:26427455

  15. Therapeutic interventions in parkinsonism: Corticobasal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Marsili, Luca; Suppa, Antonio; Berardelli, Alfredo; Colosimo, Carlo

    2016-01-01

    Corticobasal degeneration (CBD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder resulting from pathological accumulation of tau protein and is included in the spectrum of Atypical Parkinsonism. The typical clinical phenotype of CBD is characterized by the Corticobasal syndrome (CBS). In recent years it has become clear that the clinical picture of CBS may be caused by different pathological conditions, resulting in frequent misdiagnosis. CBD has high morbidity and poor prognosis with no effective therapies. In this review, we will discuss the symptomatic treatment, the palliative care and the disease modifying strategies currently in use. Symptomatic treatment in patients with CBD may sometimes be useful for improving motor (parkinsonism, dystonia and myoclonus) and non-motor (cognitive-behavioral) symptoms, but the effects are often unsatisfactory. In addition, non-pharmacological strategies and palliative care are useful integrating components of the multidisciplinary therapeutic approach for patients with CBD. Despite many efforts, a disease-modifying treatment is still unavailable for CBD. PMID:26382843

  16. A COMPUTATIONAL MODEL OF MOTOR NEURON DEGENERATION

    PubMed Central

    Le Masson, Gwendal; Przedborski, Serge; Abbott, L.F.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY To explore the link between bioenergetics and motor neuron degeneration, we used a computational model in which detailed morphology and ion conductance are paired with intracellular ATP production and consumption. We found that reduced ATP availability increases the metabolic cost of a single action potential and disrupts K+/Na+ homeostasis, resulting in a chronic depolarization. The magnitude of the ATP shortage at which this ionic instability occurs depends on the morphology and intrinsic conductance characteristic of the neuron. If ATP shortage is confined to the distal part of the axon, the ensuing local ionic instability eventually spreads to the whole neuron and involves fasciculation-like spiking events. A shortage of ATP also causes a rise in intracellular calcium. Our modeling work supports the notion that mitochondrial dysfunction can account for salient features of the paralytic disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, including motor neuron hyperexcitability, fasciculation, and differential vulnerability of motor neuron subpopulations. PMID:25088365

  17. Hypocoercivity of linear degenerately dissipative kinetic equations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duan, Renjun

    2011-08-01

    In this paper we develop a general approach of studying the hypocoercivity for a class of linear kinetic equations with both transport and degenerately dissipative terms. As concrete examples, the relaxation operator, Fokker-Planck operator and linearized Boltzmann operator are considered when the spatial domain takes the whole space or torus and when there is a confining force or not. The key part of the developed approach is to construct some equivalent temporal energy functionals for obtaining time rates of the solution trending towards equilibrium in some Hilbert spaces. The result in the case of the linear Boltzmann equation with confining forces is new. The proof mainly makes use of the macro-micro decomposition combined with Kawashima's argument on dissipation of the hyperbolic-parabolic system. At the end, a Korn-type inequality with probability measure is provided to deal with dissipation of momentum components.

  18. [Epidemiology of age-related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Brandl, C; Stark, K J; Wintergerst, M; Heinemann, M; Heid, I M; Finger, R P

    2016-09-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the main cause of blindness in industrialized societies. Population-based epidemiological investigations generate important data on prevalence, incidence, risk factors, and future trends. This review summarizes the most important epidemiological studies on AMD with a focus on their transferability to Germany including existing evidence for the main risk factors for AMD development and progression. Future tasks, such as the standardization of grading systems and the use of recent retinal imaging technology in epidemiological studies are discussed. In Germany, epidemiological data on AMD are scarce. However, the need for epidemiological research in ophthalmology is currently being addressed by several recently started population-based studies. PMID:27541733

  19. MicroRNA in intervertebral disc degeneration.

    PubMed

    Li, Zheng; Yu, Xin; Shen, Jianxiong; Chan, Matthew T V; Wu, William Ka Kei

    2015-06-01

    Aetiology of intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is complex, with genetic, developmental, biochemical and biomechanical factors contributing to the disease process. It is becoming obvious that epigenetic processes influence evolution of IDD as strongly as the genetic background. Deregulated phenotypes of nucleus pulposus cells, including differentiation, migration, proliferation and apoptosis, are involved in all stages of progression of human IDD. Non-coding RNAs, including microRNAs, have recently been recognized as important regulators of gene expression. Research into roles of microRNAs in IDD has been very active over the past 5 years. Our review summarizes current research enlightenment towards understanding roles of microRNAs in regulating nucleus pulposus cell functions in IDD. These exciting findings support the notion that specific modulation of microRNAs may represent an attractive approach for management of IDD. PMID:25736871

  20. The muon g - 2 and degenerate supersymmetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chowdhury, Debtosh; Patel, Ketan M.; Tata, Xerxes; Vempati, Sudhir K.

    2016-04-01

    A degenerate supersymmetric particle spectrum can escape constraints from flavor physics and at the same time evade limits from the direct searches. If such a spectrum is light enough, it can also account for the observed value of the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon. Inspired by this, we consider a scenario where all the soft terms have approximately a common mass scale while allowing for small splittings. We study this scenario considering the constraints from Higgs mass, various B meson decays and the dark matter relic density. We find that, with superpartners ~ 800 - 1000 GeV, it is still possible to escape the present limits from the first run of LHC and flavor physics and can account for muon g - 2 within 2σ.

  1. Quantum Walk in Degenerate Spin Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlström, Johan; Prokof'ev, Nikolay; Svistunov, Boris

    2016-06-01

    We study the propagation of a hole in degenerate (paramagnetic) spin environments. This canonical problem has important connections to a number of physical systems, and is perfectly suited for experimental realization with ultracold atoms in an optical lattice. At the short-to-intermediate time scale that we can access using a stochastic-series-type numeric scheme, the propagation turns out to be distinctly nondiffusive with the probability distribution featuring minima in both space and time due to quantum interference, yet the motion is not ballistic, except at the beginning. We discuss possible scenarios for long-term evolution that could be explored with an unprecedented degree of detail in experiments with single-atom resolved imaging.

  2. Subwavelength total acoustic absorption with degenerate resonators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Min; Meng, Chong; Fu, Caixing; Li, Yong; Yang, Zhiyu; Sheng, Ping

    2015-09-01

    We report the experimental realization of perfect sound absorption by sub-wavelength monopole and dipole resonators that exhibit degenerate resonant frequencies. This is achieved through the destructive interference of two resonators' transmission responses, while the matching of their averaged impedances to that of air implies no backscattering, thereby leading to total absorption. Two examples, both using decorated membrane resonators (DMRs) as the basic units, are presented. The first is a flat panel comprising a DMR and a pair of coupled DMRs, while the second one is a ventilated short tube containing a DMR in conjunction with a sidewall DMR backed by a cavity. In both examples, near perfect absorption, up to 99.7%, has been observed with the airborne wavelength up to 1.2 m, which is at least an order of magnitude larger than the composite absorber. Excellent agreement between theory and experiment is obtained.

  3. Cartilage degeneration in different human joints.

    PubMed

    Kuettner, K E; Cole, A A

    2005-02-01

    Variations among joints in the initiation and progression of degeneration may be explained, in part, by metabolic, biochemical and biomechanical differences. Compared to the cartilage in the knee joint, ankle cartilage has a higher content of proteoglycans and water, as well as an increased rate of proteoglycan turnover and synthesis, all of which are responsible for its increased stiffness and reduced permeability. Chondrocytes within ankle cartilage have a decreased response to catabolic factors such as interleukin-1 and fibronectin fragments, compared to the chondrocytes of knee cartilage. Moreover, in response to damage, ankle chondrocytes synthesize proteoglycans at a higher rate than that found in knee cartilage chondrocytes, which suggests a greater capacity for repair. In addition to the cartilages of the two joints, the underlying bones also respond differently to degenerative changes. Taken together, these metabolic, biochemical and biomechanical differences may provide protection to the ankle. PMID:15694570

  4. Degenerate R-S perturbation theory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hirschfelder, J. O.; Certain, P. R.

    1973-01-01

    A concise, systematic procedure is given for determining the Rayleigh-Schrodinger energies and wave functions of degenerate states to arbitrarily high orders even when the degeneracies of the various states are resolved in arbitrary orders. The procedure is expressed in terms of an iterative cycle in which the energy through the (2n+1)st order is expressed in terms of the partially determined wave function through the n-th order. Both a direct and an operator derivation are given. The two approaches are equivalent and can be transcribed into each other. The direct approach deals with the wave functions (without the use of formal operators) and has the advantage that it resembles the usual treatment of nondegenerate perturbations and maintains close contact with the basic physics. In the operator approach, the wave functions are expressed in terms of infinite order operators which are determined by the successive resolution of the space of the zeroth order functions.

  5. Spectroscopic temperature determination of degenerate Fermi gases

    SciTech Connect

    Kostrun, Marijan; Cote, Robin

    2003-12-01

    We suggest a simple method for measuring the temperature of ultracold gases made of fermions. We show that by using a two-photon Raman probe, it is possible to obtain line shapes which reveal properties of the degenerate sample, notably its temperature T. The proposed method could be used with identical fermions in different hyperfine states interacting via s-wave scattering or identical fermions in the same hyperfine state via p-wave scattering. We illustrate the applicability of the method in realistic conditions for {sup 6}Li prepared in two different hyperfine states. We find that temperatures down to 0.05T{sub F} can be determined by this in situ method.

  6. Age-related macular degeneration: current treatments

    PubMed Central

    Hubschman, Jean Pierre; Reddy, Shantan; Schwartz, Steven D

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: Although important progress has been made in understanding age-related macular degeneration (AMD), management of the disease continues to be a challenge. AMD research has led to a widening of available treatment options and improved prognostic perspectives. This essay reviews these treatment options. Design: Interpretative essay. Methods: Literature review and interpretation. Results: Current treatments to preserve vision in patients with non-exudative AMD include antioxidant vitamins and mineral supplementations. Exudative AMD is currently most often treated monthly with anti-VEGF intravitreal injections. However, investigators are beginning to experiment with combination therapy and surgical approaches in an attempt to limit the number of treatment and reduce the financial burden on the health care system. Conclusion: By better understanding the basis and pathogenesis of AMD, newer therapies will continue to be developed that target specific pathways in patients with AMD, with the hoped for outcome of better management of the disease and improved visual acuity. PMID:19668560

  7. Topological superradiance in a degenerate Fermi gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Jian-Song; Liu, Xiong-Jun; Zhang, Wei; Yi, Wei; Guo, Guang-Can; Yi's Group Team; Liu's Group Team; Zhang's Group Team

    2015-05-01

    We predict the existence of a topological superradiant state in a two-component degenerate Fermi gas in a cavity. The superradiant light generation in the transversely driven cavity mode induces a cavity-assisted spin-orbit coupling in the system and opens a bulk gap at half filling. This mechanism can simultaneously drive a topological phase transition in the system, yielding a topological superradiant state. We map out the steady-state phase diagram of the system in the presence of an effective Zeeman field, and identify a critical tetracritical point beyond which the topological and the conventional superraidiant phase boundaries separate. We propose to detect the topological phase transition based on its signatures in either the momentum distribution of the atoms or in the cavity photon occupation.

  8. Retinas in a Dish Peek into Inherited Retinal Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Duong, Thu T; Vasireddy, Vidyullatha; Mills, Jason A; Bennett, Jean

    2016-06-01

    Human retinal degeneration can cause blindness, and the lack of relevant model systems has made identifying underlying mechanisms challenging. Parfitt et al. (2016) generate three-dimensional retinal tissue from patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells to identify how CEP290 mutations cause retinal degeneration, and show an antisense approach can correct disease-associated phenotypes. PMID:27257755

  9. 9 CFR 311.35 - Muscular inflammation, degeneration, or infiltration.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Muscular inflammation, degeneration, or infiltration. 311.35 Section 311.35 Animals and Animal Products FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE... PARTS § 311.35 Muscular inflammation, degeneration, or infiltration. (a) If muscular lesions are...

  10. 9 CFR 311.35 - Muscular inflammation, degeneration, or infiltration.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Muscular inflammation, degeneration, or infiltration. 311.35 Section 311.35 Animals and Animal Products FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE... PARTS § 311.35 Muscular inflammation, degeneration, or infiltration. (a) If muscular lesions are...

  11. [Depression in Patients with Age-Related Macular Degeneration].

    PubMed

    Narváez, Yamile Reveiz; Gómez-Restrepo, Carlos

    2012-09-01

    Age-related macular degeneration is a cause for disability in the elderly since it greatly affects their quality of life and increases depression likelihood. This article discusses the negative effect depression has on patients with age-related macular degeneration and summarizes the interventions available for decreasing their depression index. PMID:26572116

  12. 9 CFR 311.35 - Muscular inflammation, degeneration, or infiltration.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Muscular inflammation, degeneration, or infiltration. 311.35 Section 311.35 Animals and Animal Products FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE... PARTS § 311.35 Muscular inflammation, degeneration, or infiltration. (a) If muscular lesions are...

  13. 9 CFR 311.35 - Muscular inflammation, degeneration, or infiltration.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Muscular inflammation, degeneration, or infiltration. 311.35 Section 311.35 Animals and Animal Products FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE... PARTS § 311.35 Muscular inflammation, degeneration, or infiltration. (a) If muscular lesions are...

  14. 9 CFR 311.35 - Muscular inflammation, degeneration, or infiltration.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Muscular inflammation, degeneration, or infiltration. 311.35 Section 311.35 Animals and Animal Products FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE... PARTS § 311.35 Muscular inflammation, degeneration, or infiltration. (a) If muscular lesions are...

  15. Does lumbar facet arthrosis precede disc degeneration? A postmortem study.

    PubMed

    Eubanks, Jason David; Lee, Michael J; Cassinelli, Ezequiel; Ahn, Nicholas U

    2007-11-01

    It is believed lumbar degeneration begins in the disc, where desiccation and collapse lead to instability and compensatory facet arthrosis. We explored the contrary contention that facet degeneration precedes disc degeneration by examining 647 skeletal lumbar spines. Using facet osteophytosis as a measure of facet degeneration and vertebral rim osteophytosis as a measure of disc degeneration, we assumed bone degeneration in both locations equally reflected the progression of those in the soft tissues. We graded arthrosis Grade 0 to 4 on a continuum from no arthritis to ankylosis. The data were analyzed for different age groups to examine patterns of degeneration with age. Specimens younger than 30 years of age had a higher prevalence of facet osteophytosis compared with vertebral rim osteophotosis at L1-L2 and L2-L3. Specimens aged 30 to 39 years showed more facet osteophytosis than vertebral rim osteophytosis at L4-L5. Specimens older than 40 years, however, showed more vertebral rim osteophytosis compared with facet osteophytosis at all levels except L4-L5 and L5-S1. This skeletal study suggests facet osteophytosis appears early in the degenerative process, preceding vertebral rim osteophytosis of degenerating intervertebral discs. However, once facets begin deteriorating with age, vertebral rim osteophytosis overtakes continued facet osteophytosis. These data challenge the belief that facet osteophytosis follows vertebral rim osteophytosis; rather, it appears vertebral rim osteophytosis progresses more rapidly in later years, but facet osteophotosis occurs early, predominating in younger individuals. PMID:17767079

  16. Ouabain-induced cochlear degeneration in rat

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Yong; Ding, Dalian; Jiang, Haiyan; Salvi, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Ouabain, an potent inhibitor of the Na+/K+-ATPase pump, selectively destroys spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) in gerbils and mice whereas in guinea pigs it preferentially damages cochlear hair cells. To elucidate the effects of ouabain on the rat inner ear, a species widely used in research, 5 µl of 1 mM or 10 mM ouabain was applied to the round window membrane. Distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) and auditory brainstem responses (ABR) were used identify functional deficits in hair cells and neurons respectively and histological techniques were used to characterize cochlear pathologies. High-frequency ABR thresholds were elevated after treatment with 1 mM ouabain whereas DPOAEs remained normal. In contrast, 10 mM ouabain increased ABR thresholds and reduced DPOAE amplitudes. Consistent with the physiological changes, 1 mM ouabain only damaged the SGNs and auditory nerve fibers in the basal turn of the cochlea whereas 10 mM ouabain destroyed both SGNs and cochlear hair cells; damage was greatest near the base and decreased toward the apex. The nuclei of degenerating SGNs and hair cells were condensed and fragmented and many cells were TUNEL-positive, morphological features of apoptotic cell death. Thus, ouabain-induced cochlear degeneration in rats is apoptotic and concentration dependent; low concentrations preferentially damage SGNs in the base of the cochlea, producing an animal model of partial auditory neuropathy, whereas high concentrations damage both hair cells and SGNs with damage decreasing from the base towards the apex. PMID:22476946

  17. Crystallization and collapse in relativistically degenerate matter

    SciTech Connect

    Akbari-Moghanjoughi, M.

    2013-04-15

    In this paper, it is shown that a mass density limit exists beyond which the relativistically degenerate matter would crystallize. The mass density limit, found here, is quite analogous to the mass limit predicted by Chandrasekhar for a type of compact stars called white dwarfs (M{sub Ch} Asymptotically-Equal-To 1.43 Solar Mass). In this study, the old problem of white dwarf core collapse, which has been previously investigated by Chandrasekhar using hydrostatic stability criteria, is revisited in the framework of the quantum hydrodynamics model by inspection of the charge screening at atomic scales in the relativistic degeneracy plasma regime taking into account the relativistic Fermi-Dirac statistics and electron interaction features such as the quantum statistical pressure, Coulomb attraction, electron exchange-correlation, and quantum recoil effects. It is revealed that the existence of ion correlation and crystallization of matter in the relativistically degenerate plasma puts a critical mass density limit on white dwarf core region. It is shown that a white dwarf star with a core mass density beyond this critical limit can undergo the spontaneous core collapse (SCC). The SCC phenomenon, which is dominantly caused by the electron quantum recoil effect (interference and localization of the electron wave function), leads to a new exotic state of matter. In such exotic state, the relativistic electron degeneracy can lead the white dwarf crystallized core to undergo the nuclear fusion and an ultimate supernova by means of the volume reduction (due to the enhanced compressibility) and huge energy release (due to the increase in cohesive energy), under the stars huge inward gravitational pressure. Moreover, it is found that the SCC phenomenon is significantly affected by the core composition (it is more probable for heavier plasmas). The critical mass density found here is consistent with the values calculated for core density of typical white dwarf stars.

  18. Ouabain-induced cochlear degeneration in rat.

    PubMed

    Fu, Yong; Ding, Dalian; Jiang, Haiyan; Salvi, Richard

    2012-08-01

    Ouabain, a potent inhibitor of the Na+/K+-ATPase pump, selectively destroys spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) in gerbils and mice, whereas in guinea pigs it preferentially damages cochlear hair cells. To elucidate the effects of ouabain on the rat inner ear, a species widely used in research, 5 μl of 1 or 10 mM ouabain was applied to the round window membrane. Distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) and auditory brainstem responses (ABR) were used to identify functional deficits in hair cells and neurons, respectively, and histological techniques were used to characterize cochlear pathologies. High-frequency ABR thresholds were elevated after treatment with 1 mM ouabain, whereas DPOAEs remained normal. In contrast, 10 mM ouabain increased ABR thresholds and reduced DPOAE amplitudes. Consistent with the physiological changes, 1 mM ouabain only damaged the SGNs and auditory nerve fibers in the basal turn of the cochlea whereas 10 mM ouabain destroyed both SGNs and cochlear hair cells; damage was greatest near the base and decreased toward the apex. The nuclei of degenerating SGNs and hair cells were condensed and fragmented and many cells were TUNEL-positive, morphological features of apoptotic cell death. Thus, ouabain-induced cochlear degeneration in rats is apoptotic and concentration dependent; low concentrations preferentially damage SGNs in the base of the cochlea, producing an animal model of partial auditory neuropathy, whereas high concentrations damage both hair cells and SGNs with damage decreasing from the base toward the apex. PMID:22476946

  19. Retrograde Axonal Degeneration in Parkinson Disease

    PubMed Central

    Tagliaferro, Patricia; Burke, Robert E.

    2016-01-01

    In spite of tremendous research efforts we have not yet achieved two of our principal therapeutic goals in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD), to prevent its onward progression and to provide restoration of systems that have already been damaged by the time of diagnosis. There are many possible reasons for our inability to make progress. One possibility is that our efforts thus far may not have been directed towards the appropriate cellular compartments. Up until now research has been largely focused on the loss of neurons in the disease. Thus, neuroprotection approaches have been largely aimed at blocking mechanisms that lead to destruction of the neuronal cell body. Attempts to provide neurorestoration have been almost entirely focused on replacement of neurons. We herein review the evidence that the axonal component of diseased neuronal systems merit more of our attention. Evidence from imaging studies, from postmortem neurochemical studies, and from genetic animal models suggests that the axons of the dopaminergic system are involved predominantly and early in PD. Since the mechanisms of axonal destruction are distinct from those of neuron cell body degeneration, a focus on axonal neurobiology will offer new opportunities for preventing their degeneration. At present these mechanisms remain largely obscure. However, defining them is likely to offer new opportunities for neuroprotection. In relation to neurorestoration, while it has been classically believed that neurons of the adult central nervous system are incapable of new axon growth, recent evidence shows that this is not true for the dopaminergic projection. In conclusion, the neurobiology of axons is likely to offer many new approaches to protective and restorative therapeutics. PMID:27003783

  20. Preservation of retinotopic map in retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Xie, John; Wang, Gene-Jack; Yow, Lindy; Humayun, Mark S; Weiland, James D; Cela, Carlos J; Jadvar, Hossein; Lazzi, Gianluca; Dhrami-Gavazi, Elona; Tsang, Stephen H

    2012-05-01

    Retinal degenerations trigger the loss of photoreceptors and cause the remaining de-afferented neural retina to undergo remodeling. Concerns over this potential retinal synaptic reorganization following visual loss have raised questions regarding the usefulness of visual restoration via retinal electrical stimulation. We have used quantitative positron emission tomography (PET) and 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-d-glucose (FDG) to objectively evaluate the connection between the retina and the primary visual cortex under both light and transcorneal electrical stimulation (TcES) in five subjects with retinal degeneration (RD) who have had more than ten years of light-perception-only best visual acuity and five age-matched normal-sighted controls. All subjects underwent quantitative PET with FDG as the metabolic tracer during stimulation of the right eye under both light stimulation condition and transcorneal electrical stimulation (TcES) using ERG-Jet contact lens electrode. Cortical activation maps from each stimulation condition were obtained using statistical parametric mapping. TcES phosphene threshold current and qualitative visual cortex activation from both stimulation conditions were compared between the two subject groups. Average phosphene threshold current was 0.72 ± 0.18 mA for the five normal-sighted controls and 3.08 ± 2.01 mA for the retinal degenerative subjects. Phosphene threshold current was significantly higher in retinal degenerative subjects compared to normal-sighted controls (p < 0.05). We found both light stimulation and TcES resulted in retinotopically mapped primary visual cortex activation in both groups. In addition, the patterns of early visual area activation between the two subject groups are more similar during TcES than light stimulation. Our findings suggest primary visual cortex continues to maintain its retinotopy in RD subjects despite prolonged visual loss. PMID:22685713

  1. Transurethral resection and degeneration of bladder tumour

    PubMed Central

    Li, Aihua; Fang, Wei; Zhang, Feng; Li, Weiwu; Lu, Honghai; Liu, Sikuan; Wang, Hui; Zhang, Binghui

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: We evaluate the efficacy and safety of transurethral resection and degeneration of bladder tumour (TURD-Bt). Methods: In total, 56 patients with bladder tumour were treated by TURD-Bt. The results in these patients were compared with 32 patients treated by current transurethral resection of bladder tumour (TUR-Bt). Patients with or without disease progressive factors were respectively compared between the 2 groups. The factors included recurrent tumour, multiple tumours, tumour ≥3 cm in diameter, clinical stage T2, histological grade 3, adenocarcinoma, and ureteral obstruction or hydronephrosis. Results: Follow-up time was 48.55 ± 23.74 months in TURD-Bt group and 56.28 ± 17.61 months in the TUR-Bt group (p > 0.05). In patients without progressive factors, no tumour recurrence was found and overall survival was 14 (100%) in the TURD-Bt group; 3 (37.50%) patients had recurrence and overall survival was 5 (62.5%) in the TUR-Bt group. In patients with progressive factors, 8 (19.05%) patients had tumour recurrence, overall survival was 32 (76.19%) and cancer death was 3 (7.14%) in TURD-Bt group; 18 (75.00%) patients had tumour recurrence (p < 0.05), overall survival was 12 (50.00%) (p < 0.01) and cancer death was 8 (33.33%) (p < 0.05) in TUR-Bt group. No significant complication was found in TURD-Bt group. Conclusion: This study suggests that complete resection and degeneration of bladder tumour can be expected by TURD-Bt. The surgical procedure is safe and efficacious, and could be predictable and controllable before and during surgery. We would conclude that for bladder cancers without lymph node metastasis and distal metastasis, TURD-Bt could be performed to replace radical TUR-Bt and preserve the bladder. PMID:24475002

  2. Accelerated cellular senescence in degenerate intervertebral discs: a possible role in the pathogenesis of intervertebral disc degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Le Maitre, Christine Lyn; Freemont, Anthony John; Hoyland, Judith Alison

    2007-01-01

    Current evidence implicates intervertebral disc degeneration as a major cause of low back pain, although its pathogenesis is poorly understood. Numerous characteristic features of disc degeneration mimic those seen during ageing but appear to occur at an accelerated rate. We hypothesised that this is due to accelerated cellular senescence, which causes fundamental changes in the ability of disc cells to maintain the intervertebral disc (IVD) matrix, thus leading to IVD degeneration. Cells isolated from non-degenerate and degenerate human tissue were assessed for mean telomere length, senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal), and replicative potential. Expression of P16INK4A (increased in cellular senescence) was also investigated in IVD tissue by means of immunohistochemistry. RNA from tissue and cultured cells was used for real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis for matrix metalloproteinase-13, ADAMTS 5 (a disintegrin and metalloprotease with thrombospondin motifs 5), and P16INK4A. Mean telomere length decreased with age in cells from non-degenerate tissue and also decreased with progressive stages of degeneration. In non-degenerate discs, there was an age-related increase in cellular expression of P16INK4A. Cells from degenerate discs (even from young patients) exhibited increased expression of P16INK4A, increased SA-β-gal staining, and a decrease in replicative potential. Importantly, there was a positive correlation between P16INK4A and matrix-degrading enzyme gene expression. Our findings indicate that disc cell senescence occurs in vivo and is accelerated in IVD degeneration. Furthermore, the senescent phenotype is associated with increased catabolism, implicating cellular senescence in the pathogenesis of IVD degeneration. PMID:17498290

  3. Accelerated cellular senescence in degenerate intervertebral discs: a possible role in the pathogenesis of intervertebral disc degeneration.

    PubMed

    Le Maitre, Christine Lyn; Freemont, Anthony John; Hoyland, Judith Alison

    2007-01-01

    Current evidence implicates intervertebral disc degeneration as a major cause of low back pain, although its pathogenesis is poorly understood. Numerous characteristic features of disc degeneration mimic those seen during ageing but appear to occur at an accelerated rate. We hypothesised that this is due to accelerated cellular senescence, which causes fundamental changes in the ability of disc cells to maintain the intervertebral disc (IVD) matrix, thus leading to IVD degeneration. Cells isolated from non-degenerate and degenerate human tissue were assessed for mean telomere length, senescence-associated beta-galactosidase (SA-beta-gal), and replicative potential. Expression of P16INK4A (increased in cellular senescence) was also investigated in IVD tissue by means of immunohistochemistry. RNA from tissue and cultured cells was used for real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis for matrix metalloproteinase-13, ADAMTS 5 (a disintegrin and metalloprotease with thrombospondin motifs 5), and P16INK4A. Mean telomere length decreased with age in cells from non-degenerate tissue and also decreased with progressive stages of degeneration. In non-degenerate discs, there was an age-related increase in cellular expression of P16INK4A. Cells from degenerate discs (even from young patients) exhibited increased expression of P16INK4A, increased SA-beta-gal staining, and a decrease in replicative potential. Importantly, there was a positive correlation between P16INK4A and matrix-degrading enzyme gene expression. Our findings indicate that disc cell senescence occurs in vivo and is accelerated in IVD degeneration. Furthermore, the senescent phenotype is associated with increased catabolism, implicating cellular senescence in the pathogenesis of IVD degeneration. PMID:17498290

  4. Presumed immune-mediated cerebellar granuloprival degeneration in the Coton de Tuléar breed.

    PubMed

    Tipold, A; Fatzer, R; Jaggy, A; Moore, P; Vandevelde, M

    2000-10-01

    An unusual form of cerebellar granuloprival degeneration was observed in three male Coton de Tuléar puppies between 12 and 14 weeks of age from different litters showing progressive cerebellar signs beginning at 8 weeks after birth. Pathological examinations revealed a shrunken cerebellum. Histopathologically the granular cells were diminished or almost completely absent, some 'torpedos' of Purkinje cells were present. There was a marked gliosis, and occasionally small inflammatory foci were present. A marked diffuse T cell infiltration (CD3(+) cells) occurred in the lesions, B cells did not appear. CD18 staining showed an upregulation of microglial cells at the lesion site. Histopathologically the lesions resembled paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration which is caused by an autoimmune mediated T cell reaction. This congenital condition in the Coton de Tuléar dog breed could be based on a genetically defined immune defect leading to autoimmune destruction of the granular cells. PMID:11024542

  5. SARM1 activation triggers axon degeneration locally via NAD+ destruction

    PubMed Central

    Gerdts, Josiah; Brace, E.J.; Sasaki, Yo; DiAntonio, Aaron

    2015-01-01

    Axon degeneration is an intrinsic self-destruction program that underlies axon loss during injury and disease. Sterile alpha and TIR motif containing 1 (SARM1) protein is an essential mediator of axon degeneration. We report that SARM1 initiates a local destruction program involving rapid breakdown of NAD+ after injury. We used an engineered protease-sensitized SARM1 to demonstrate that SARM1 activity is required after axon injury to induce axon degeneration. Dimerization of the Toll-Interleukin Receptor (TIR) domain of SARM1 alone was sufficient to induce locally-mediated axon degeneration. Formation of the SARM1 TIR dimer triggered rapid breakdown of NAD+, whereas SARM1-induced axon destruction could be counteracted by increased NAD+ synthesis. SARM1-induced depletion of NAD+ may explain the potent axon protection in Wallerian Degeneration slow (Wlds) mutant mice. PMID:25908823

  6. Anomalous skin effects in a weakly magnetized degenerate electron plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbas, G.; Sarfraz, M.; Shah, H. A.

    2014-09-01

    Fully relativistic analysis of anomalous skin effects for parallel propagating waves in a weakly magnetized degenerate electron plasma is presented and a graphical comparison is made with the results obtained using relativistic Maxwellian distribution function [G. Abbas, M. F. Bashir, and G. Murtaza, Phys. Plasmas 18, 102115 (2011)]. It is found that the penetration depth for R- and L-waves for degenerate case is qualitatively small in comparison with the Maxwellian plasma case. The quantitative reduction due to weak magnetic field in the skin depth in R-wave for degenerate plasma is large as compared to the non-degenerate one. By ignoring the ambient magnetic field, previous results for degenerate field free case are salvaged [A. F. Alexandrov, A. S. Bogdankevich, and A. A. Rukhadze, Principles of Plasma Electrodynamics (Springer-Verlag, Berlin/Heidelberg, 1984), p. 90].

  7. Progranulin Knockout Accelerates Intervertebral Disc Degeneration in Aging Mice

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Yun-peng; Tian, Qing-yun; Liu, Ben; Cuellar, Jason; Richbourgh, Brendon; Jia, Tang-hong; Liu, Chuan-ju

    2015-01-01

    Intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is a common degenerative disease, yet much is unknown about the mechanisms during its pathogenesis. Herein we investigated whether progranulin (PGRN), a chondroprotective growth factor, is associated with IVD degeneration. PGRN was detectable in both human and murine IVD. The levels of PGRN were upregulated in murine IVD tissue during aging process. Loss of PGRN resulted in an early onset of degenerative changes in the IVD tissue and altered expressions of the degeneration-associated molecules in the mouse IVD tissue. Moreover, PGRN knockout mice exhibited accelerated IVD matrix degeneration, abnormal bone formation and exaggerated bone resorption in vertebra with aging. The acceleration of IVD degeneration observed in PGRN null mice was probably due to the enhanced activation of NF-κB signaling and β-catenin signaling. Taken together, PGRN may play a critical role in homeostasis of IVD, and may serve as a potential molecular target for prevention and treatment of disc degenerative diseases. PMID:25777988

  8. Versal unfolding of planar Hamiltonian systems at fully degenerate equilibrium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Yilei; Zhang, Weinian

    2016-07-01

    In this paper we study bifurcations of a planar Hamiltonian system at a fully degenerate equilibrium, which has a zero linearization. Since the Poincaré normal form theory is not applicable to such a degenerate system, we investigate its restrictive normal forms in the class of Hamiltonian fields and prove that such a degenerate system is of codimension 3 degeneracy in the class, so that we introduce three parameters to versally unfold the degenerate system in the class. In order to discuss further the qualitative properties of the versal unfolding, we use the Poincaré index to determine the number and distribution of hyperbolic sectors near the degenerate equilibrium. We display its all bifurcations such as pitchfork bifurcation, saddle-center bifurcation and the Bogdanov-Takens bifurcation within Hamiltonian systems.

  9. Anomalous skin effects in a weakly magnetized degenerate electron plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Abbas, G. Sarfraz, M.; Shah, H. A.

    2014-09-15

    Fully relativistic analysis of anomalous skin effects for parallel propagating waves in a weakly magnetized degenerate electron plasma is presented and a graphical comparison is made with the results obtained using relativistic Maxwellian distribution function [G. Abbas, M. F. Bashir, and G. Murtaza, Phys. Plasmas 18, 102115 (2011)]. It is found that the penetration depth for R- and L-waves for degenerate case is qualitatively small in comparison with the Maxwellian plasma case. The quantitative reduction due to weak magnetic field in the skin depth in R-wave for degenerate plasma is large as compared to the non-degenerate one. By ignoring the ambient magnetic field, previous results for degenerate field free case are salvaged [A. F. Alexandrov, A. S. Bogdankevich, and A. A. Rukhadze, Principles of Plasma Electrodynamics (Springer-Verlag, Berlin/Heidelberg, 1984), p. 90].

  10. Differential Light-induced Responses in Sectorial Inherited Retinal Degeneration*

    PubMed Central

    Ramon, Eva; Cordomí, Arnau; Aguilà, Mònica; Srinivasan, Sundaramoorthy; Dong, Xiaoyun; Moore, Anthony T.; Webster, Andrew R.; Cheetham, Michael E.; Garriga, Pere

    2014-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of genetically and clinically heterogeneous inherited degenerative retinopathies caused by abnormalities of photoreceptors or retinal pigment epithelium in the retina leading to progressive sight loss. Rhodopsin is the prototypical G-protein-coupled receptor located in the vertebrate retina and is responsible for dim light vision. Here, novel M39R and N55K variants were identified as causing an intriguing sector phenotype of RP in affected patients, with selective degeneration in the inferior retina. To gain insights into the molecular aspects associated with this sector RP phenotype, whose molecular mechanism remains elusive, the mutations were constructed by site-directed mutagenesis, expressed in heterologous systems, and studied by biochemical, spectroscopic, and functional assays. M39R and N55K opsins had variable degrees of chromophore regeneration when compared with WT opsin but showed no gross structural misfolding or altered trafficking. M39R showed a faster rate for transducin activation than WT rhodopsin with a faster metarhodopsinII decay, whereas N55K presented a reduced activation rate and an altered photobleaching pattern. N55K also showed an altered retinal release from the opsin binding pocket upon light exposure, affecting its optimal functional response. Our data suggest that these sector RP mutations cause different protein phenotypes that may be related to their different clinical progression. Overall, these findings illuminate the molecular mechanisms of sector RP associated with rhodopsin mutations. PMID:25359768

  11. Quantum degenerate atomic gases in controlled optical lattice potentials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gemelke, Nathan D.

    2007-12-01

    Since the achievement of Bose Einstein condensation in cold atomic gases, mean-field treatments of the condensed phase have provided an excellent description for the static and dynamic properties observed in experiments. Recent experimental efforts have focused on studying deviations from mean-field behavior. I will describe work on two experiments which introduce controlled single particle degeneracies with time-dependent optical potentials, aiming to induce correlated motion and nontrivial statistics in the gas. In the first experiment, an optical lattice with locally rotating site potentials is produced to investigate fractional quantum Hall effects (FQHE) in rotating Bose gases. Here, the necessary gauge potential is provided by the rotating reference frame of the gas, which, in direct analogy to the electronic system, organizes single particle states into degenerate Landau levels. At low temperatures the repulsive interaction provided by elastic scattering is expected to produce ground states with structure nearly identical to those in the FQHE. I will discuss how these effects are made experimentally feasible by working at small particle numbers in the tight trapping potentials of an optical lattice, and present first results on the use of photoassociation to probe correlation in this system. In the second experiment, a vibrated optical lattice potential alters the single-particle dispersion underlying a condensed Bose gas and offers tailored phase-matching for nonlinear atom optical processes. I will demonstrate how this leads to parametric instability in the condensed gas, and draw analogy to an optical parametric oscillator operating above threshold.

  12. Phosphorylated TDP-43 in frontotemporal lobar degeneration and ALS

    PubMed Central

    Hasegawa, Masato; Arai, Tetsuaki; Nonaka, Takashi; Kametani, Fuyuki; Yoshida, Mari; Hashizume, Yoshio; Beach, Thomas G.; Buratti, Emanuele; Baralle, Francisco; Morita, Mitsuya; Nakano, Imaharu; Oda, Tatsuro; Tsuchiya, Kuniaki; Akiyama, Haruhiko

    2009-01-01

    Objective TDP-43 is deposited as cytoplasmic and intranuclear inclusions in brains of subjects with frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitinated inclusions (FTLD-U) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Previous studies reported that abnormal phosphorylation takes place in deposited TDP-43. The aim of this study was to identify the phosphorylation sites and responsible kinases, and to clarify the pathological significance of phosphorylation of TDP-43. Methods We generated multiple antibodies specific to phosphorylated TDP-43 by immunizing phosphopeptides of TDP-43, and analyzed FTLD-U and ALS brains by immunohistochemistry, immunoelectron microscopy and immunoblots. Additionally, we performed investigations aimed at identifying the responsible kinases and we assessed the effects of phosphorylation on TDP-43 oligomerization and fibrillization. Results We identified multiple phosphorylation sites in carboxyl-terminal regions of deposited TDP-43. Phosphorylation-specific antibodies stained more inclusions than antibodies to ubiquitin and, unlike existing commercially-available anti-TDP-43 antibodies, did not stain normal nuclei. Ultrastructurally, these antibodies labeled abnormal fibers of 15 nm diameter, and on immunoblots recognized hyperphosphorylated TDP-43 at 45 kDa, with additional 22–28 kDa fragments in sarkosyl-insoluble fractions from FTLD-U and ALS brains. The phosphorylated epitopes were generated by casein kinase 1 and 2, and phosphorylation led to increased oligomerization and fibrillization of TDP-43. Interpretation These results suggest that phosphorylated TDP-43 is a major component of the inclusions, and that abnormal phosphorylation of TDP-43 is a critical step in the pathogenesis of FTLD-U and ALS. Phosphorylation-specific antibodies will be powerful tools for the investigation of these disorders. PMID:18546284

  13. [Criteria for the diagnosis of corticobasal degeneration].

    PubMed

    Shimohata, Takayoshi; Aiba, Ikuko; Nishizawa, Masatoyo

    2015-04-01

    Corticobasal degeneration (CBD) is a distinct neurodegenerative disorder characterized by widespread neuronal and glial accumulation of abnormally phosphorylated tau protein. Patients with CBD often present with corticobasal syndrome (CBS) showing impairment of the motor system, cognition, or both. Several studies demonstrate that they may also present with progressive supranuclear palsy syndrome (PSPS), aphasia, Alzheimer disease-like dementia, or behavioral changes, suggesting that CBS is merely one of the presenting phenotypes of CBD. Accurate diagnosis is important for future clinical trials using drugs aimed at modifying the underlying tau pathology. Although previous CBD diagnostic criteria reflected only CBS, Armstrong et al. proposed new diagnostic criteria for CBD in 2013 (Armstrong's criteria). The new criteria include 4 CBD phenotypes, including CBS, frontal behavioral-spatial syndrome (FBS), nonfluent/agrammatic variant of primary progressive aphasia (naPPA), and PSPS. These phenotypes were combined to create 2 sets of criteria: specific clinical research criteria for probable CBD (cr-CBD) and broader criteria for possible CBD that are more inclusive but have a higher probability of detecting other tau-based pathologies (p-CBD). However, two recent studies revealed that the sensitivity and specificity of these criteria were insufficient. Further refinement of the criteria is needed via biomarker research with prospective study designs. (Received August 19, 2014; Accepted December 26, 2014: Published April 1, 2015). PMID:25846600

  14. Diagnoses of corticobasal syndrome and corticobasal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Shimohata, Takayoshi; Aiba, Ikuko; Nishizawa, Masatoyo

    2016-03-30

    Experts use the term corticobasal syndrome (CBS) for patients with a clinical diagnosis of corticobasal degeneration (CBD), and reserve CBD for those whose conditions have been diagnosed on the basis of neuropathological analyses. Several studies demonstrated that patients with CBD may also present with progressive supranuclear syndrome (PSPS), aphasia, Alzheimer disease-like dementia or behavioral change, suggesting that CBS is merely one of the presenting phenotypes of CBD. Although previous CBD diagnostic criteria reflected only CBS, the international consortium proposed new diagnostic criteria for CBD in 2013 (Armstrong's criteria). The new criteria include 4 CBD subtypes; CBS, frontal behavioral-spatial syndrome (FBS), nonfluent/agrammatic variant of primary progressive aphasia (naPPA),and PSPS. These subtypes were combined to create 2 sets of criteria: more specific clinical research criteria for probable CBD (cr-CBD) and broader criteria for possible CBD that are more inclusive but have a higher chance to detect other tau-based pathologies (p-CBD). Two studies have already revealed that the sensitivity and specificity of the criteria were not high. Because therapeutic interventions that target abnormally-phosphorylated tau have started, further refinement of the criteria is needed via biomarker researches with prospective study designs. PMID:26876110

  15. Age-related macular degeneration: choroidal ischaemia?

    PubMed Central

    Coleman, D Jackson; Silverman, Ronald H; Rondeau, Mark J; Lloyd, Harriet O; Khanifar, Aziz A; Chan, R V Paul

    2013-01-01

    Aim Our aim is to use ultrasound to non-invasively detect differences in choroidal microarchitecture possibly related to ischaemia among normal eyes and those with wet and dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Design Prospective case series of subjects with dry AMD, wet AMD and age-matched controls. Methods Digitised 20 MHz B-scan radiofrequency ultrasound data of the region of the macula were segmented to extract the signal from the retina and choroid. This signal was processed by a wavelet transform, and statistical modelling was applied to the wavelet coefficients to examine differences among dry, wet and non-AMD eyes. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to evaluate a multivariate classifier. Results In the 69 eyes of 52 patients, 18 did not have AMD, 23 had dry AMD and 28 had wet AMD. Multivariate models showed statistically significant differences between groups. Multiclass ROC analysis of the best model showed an excellent volume-under-curve of 0.892±0.17. The classifier is consistent with ischaemia in dry AMD. Conclusions Wavelet augmented ultrasound is sensitive to the organisational elements of choroidal microarchitecture relating to scatter and fluid tissue boundaries such as seen in ischaemia and inflammation, allowing statistically significant differentiation of dry, wet and non-AMD eyes. This study further supports the association of ischaemia with dry AMD and provides a rationale for treating dry AMD with pharmacological agents to increase choroidal perfusion. ClinicalTrials.gov registration NCT00277784. PMID:23740965

  16. CERKL Knockdown Causes Retinal Degeneration in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Riera, Marina; Burguera, Demian; Garcia-Fernàndez, Jordi; Gonzàlez-Duarte, Roser

    2013-01-01

    The human CERKL gene is responsible for common and severe forms of retinal dystrophies. Despite intense in vitro studies at the molecular and cellular level and in vivo analyses of the retina of murine knockout models, CERKL function remains unknown. In this study, we aimed to approach the developmental and functional features of cerkl in Danio rerio within an Evo-Devo framework. We show that gene expression increases from early developmental stages until the formation of the retina in the optic cup. Unlike the high mRNA-CERKL isoform multiplicity shown in mammals, the moderate transcriptional complexity in fish facilitates phenotypic studies derived from gene silencing. Moreover, of relevance to pathogenicity, teleost CERKL shares the two main human protein isoforms. Morpholino injection has been used to generate a cerkl knockdown zebrafish model. The morphant phenotype results in abnormal eye development with lamination defects, failure to develop photoreceptor outer segments, increased apoptosis of retinal cells and small eyes. Our data support that zebrafish Cerkl does not interfere with proliferation and neural differentiation during early developmental stages but is relevant for survival and protection of the retinal tissue. Overall, we propose that this zebrafish model is a powerful tool to unveil CERKL contribution to human retinal degeneration. PMID:23671706

  17. Statistical physics of age related macular degeneration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Family, Fereydoon; Mazzitello, K. I.; Arizmendi, C. M.; Grossniklaus, H. E.

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness beyond the age of 50 years. The most common pathogenic mechanism that leads to AMD is choroidal neovascularization (CNV). CNV is produced by accumulation of residual material caused by aging of retinal pigment epithelium cells (RPE). The RPE is a phagocytic system that is essential for renewal of photoreceptors (rods and cones). With time, incompletely degraded membrane material builds up in the form of lipofuscin. Lipofuscin is made of free-radical-damaged protein and fat, which forms not only in AMD, but also Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease. The study of lipofuscin formation and growth is important, because of their association with cellular aging. We introduce a model of non-equilibrium cluster growth and aggregation that we have developed for studying the formation and growth of lipofuscin in the aging RPE. Our results agree with a linear growth of the number of lipofuscin granules with age. We apply the dynamic scaling approach to our model and find excellent data collapse for the cluster size distribution. An unusual feature of our model is that while small particles are removed from the RPE the larger ones become fixed and grow by aggregation.

  18. Physics of Age Related Macular Degeneration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Family, Fereydoon

    2009-11-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness beyond the age of 50 years. The most common pathogenic mechanism that leads to AMD is choroidal neovascularization (CNV). CNV is produced by accumulation of residual material caused by aging of retinal pigment epithelium cells (RPE). The RPE is a phagocytic system that is essential for renewal of photoreceptors (rods and cones). With time, incompletely degraded membrane material builds up in the form of lipofuscin. Lipofuscin is made of free-radical-damaged protein and fat, which forms not only in AMD, but also Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. The study of lipofuscin formation and growth is important, because of their association with cellular aging. In this talk I will discuss a model of non-equilibrium cluster growth that we have developed for studying the formation and growth of lipofuscin in AMD [K.I. Mazzitello, C.M. Arizmendi, Fereydoon Family, H. E. Grossniklaus, Physical Review E (2009)]. I will also present an overview of our theoretical and computational efforts in modeling some other aspects of the physics of AMD, including CNV and the breakdown of Bruch's membrane [Ongoing collaboration with Abbas Shirinifard and James A. Glazier, Biocomplexity Institute and Department of Physics, Indiana University, Y. Jiang, Los Alamos, and Hans E. Grossniklaus, Department of Ophthalmology, Emory University].

  19. [Multiple system atrophy - synuclein and neuronal degeneration].

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Mari

    2011-11-01

    Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a sporadic neurodegenerative disorder that encompasses olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA), striatonigral degeneration (SND) and Shy-Drager syndrome (SDS). The histopathological hallmarks are α-synuclein (AS) positive glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs) in oligodendroglias. AS aggregation is also found in glial nuclear inclusions (GNIs), neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCIs), neuronal nuclear inclusions (NNIs) and dystrophic neurties. Reviewing the pathological features of 102 MSA cases, OPCA-type was relatively more frequent and SND-type was less frequent in Japanese MSA cases, which suggested different phenotypic pattern of MSA might exist between races, compared to the relatively high frequency of SND-type in western countries. In early stage of MSA, NNIs, NCIs and diffuse homogenous stain of AS in neuronal nuclei and cytoplasm were observed in various vulnerable lesions including the pontine nuclei, putamen, substantia nigra, locus ceruleus, inferior olivary nucleus, intermediolateral column of thoracic cord, lower motor neurons and cortical pyramidal neurons, in additions to GCIs. These findings indicated that the primary nonfibrillar and fibrillar AS aggregation also occurred in neurons. Therefore both the direct involvement of neurons themselves and the oligodendroglia-myelin-axon mechanism may synergistically accelerate the degenerative process of MSA. PMID:22277386

  20. Linear stochastic degenerate Sobolev equations and applications†

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liaskos, Konstantinos B.; Pantelous, Athanasios A.; Stratis, Ioannis G.

    2015-12-01

    In this paper, a general class of linear stochastic degenerate Sobolev equations with additive noise is considered. This class of systems is the infinite-dimensional analogue of linear descriptor systems in finite dimensions. Under appropriate assumptions, the mild and strong well-posedness for the initial value problem are studied using elements of the semigroup theory and properties of the stochastic convolution. The final value problem is also examined and it is proved that this is uniquely strongly solvable and the solution is continuously dependent on the final data. Based on the results of the forward and backward problem, the conditions for the exact controllability are investigated for a special but important class of these equations. The abstract results are illustrated by applications in complex media electromagnetics, in the one-dimensional stochastic Dirac equation in the non-relativistic limit and in a potential application in input-output analysis in economics. Dedicated to Professor Grigoris Kalogeropoulos on the occasion of his seventieth birthday.

  1. An Interferometric Harvest of Double Degenerates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelan, Edmund

    2001-07-01

    The white dwarf {WD} mass and age distributions hold clues to the star formation history of our Galaxy and the age of the disk. To extract this information we need to carefully calibrate the WD mass-radius relation and the WD cooling curve. But to do so, we must directly determine the masses for a variety of WDs of different sub-types. The only direct method is through the orbital analysis of resolved WDs in non- interacting binary systems. Sadly, this has been done, with varying quality, for only 4 WDs {40 Eri B, Sirius B, Procyon B, and Stien 2051B}, mainly because it is extremely difficult to resolve WDs in binary systems with periods less than 50 years. We propose a high angular resolution Snapshot survey with FGS1r to observe cool WDs with the objective of discovering {resolving} double degenerate systems with modest separations and periods as short as 25 years, ideal binaries for follow up mass determinations. By carefully selecting our targets, about 10 such systems should be revealed. This will dramatically increase the number of WDs available for dynamical mass measurements {its 2 for 1.}, enabling a better calibration the WD mass-radius relation.

  2. Animal models of age related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Pennesi, Mark E.; Neuringer, Martha; Courtney, Robert J.

    2013-01-01

    Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss of those over the age of 65 in the industrialized world. The prevalence and need to develop effective treatments for AMD has lead to the development of multiple animal models. AMD is a complex and heterogeneous disease that involves the interaction of both genetic and environmental factors with the unique anatomy of the human macula. Models in mice, rats, rabbits, pigs and non-human primates have recreated many of the histological features of AMD and provided much insight into the underlying pathological mechanisms of this disease. In spite of the large number of models developed, no one model yet recapitulates all of the features of human AMD. However, these models have helped reveal the roles of chronic oxidative damage, inflammation and immune dysregulation, and lipid metabolism in the development of AMD. Models for induced choroidal neovascularization have served as the backbone for testing new therapies. This article will review the diversity of animal models that exist for AMD as well as their strengths and limitations. PMID:22705444

  3. Widespread cytoskeletal pathology characterizes corticobasal degeneration.

    PubMed Central

    Feany, M. B.; Dickson, D. W.

    1995-01-01

    Corticobasal degeneration (CBD) is a rare, progressive neurological disorder characterized by widespread neuronal and glial pathology. Using immunohistochemistry and laser confocal microscopy, we demonstrate that the nonamyloid cortical plaques of CBD are actually collections of abnormal tau in the distal processes of astrocytes. These glial cells express both vimentin and CD44, markers of astrocyte activation. Glial pathology also includes tau-positive cytoplasmic inclusions, here localized to Leu 7-expressing oligodendrocytes. In addition, a wide array of neuronal pathology is defined with tau-positive inclusions in multiple domains of a variety of cortical neurons. CBD thus exhibits widespread glial and neuronal cytoskeletal pathology, including a novel structure, the astrocytic plaque. CBD is a disease of generalized cytoskeletal disruption affecting several cell types and multiple domains of these cells. The further definition of CBD pathology refines the diagnosis and pathophysiological understanding of this unique disease and has important implications for other neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer's disease, characterized by abnormal tau deposition. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 PMID:7778678

  4. Disruption in dopaminergic innervation during photoreceptor degeneration.

    PubMed

    Ivanova, Elena; Yee, Christopher W; Sagdullaev, Botir T

    2016-04-15

    Dopaminergic amacrine cells (DACs) release dopamine in response to light-driven synaptic inputs, and are critical to retinal light adaptation. Retinal degeneration (RD) compromises the light responsiveness of the retina and, subsequently, dopamine metabolism is impaired. As RD progresses, retinal neurons exhibit aberrant activity, driven by AII amacrine cells, a primary target of the retinal dopaminergic network. Surprisingly, DACs are an exception to this physiological change; DACs exhibit rhythmic activity in healthy retina, but do not burst in RD. The underlying mechanism of this divergent behavior is not known. It is also unclear whether RD leads to structural changes in DACs, impairing functional regulation of AII amacrine cells. Here we examine the anatomical details of DACs in three mouse models of human RD to determine how changes to the dopaminergic network may underlie physiological changes in RD. By using rd10, rd1, and rd1/C57 mice we were able to dissect the impacts of genetic background and the degenerative process on DAC structure in RD retina. We found that DACs density, soma size, and primary dendrite length are all significantly reduced. Using a novel adeno-associated virus-mediated technique to label AII amacrine cells in mouse retina, we observed diminished dopaminergic contacts to AII amacrine cells in RD mice. This was accompanied by changes to the components responsible for dopamine synthesis and release. Together, these data suggest that structural alterations of the retinal dopaminergic network underlie physiological changes during RD. PMID:26356010

  5. Sprouting of axonal collaterals after spinal cord injury is prevented by delayed axonal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Collyer, E; Catenaccio, A; Lemaitre, D; Diaz, P; Valenzuela, V; Bronfman, F; Court, F A

    2014-11-01

    After an incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI), partial recovery of locomotion is accomplished with time. Previous studies have established a functional link between extension of axon collaterals from spared spinal tracts and locomotor recovery after SCI, but the tissular signals triggering collateral sprouting have not been identified. Here, we investigated whether axonal degeneration after SCI contributes to the sprouting of collaterals from axons spared after injury. To this end, we evaluated collateral sprouting from BDA-labeled uninjured corticospinal axons after spinal cord hemisection (SCI(H)) in wild type (WT) mouse and Wld(S) mouse strains, which shows a significant delay in Wallerian degeneration after injury. After SCI(H), spared fibers of WT mice extend collateral sprouts to both intact and denervated sides of the spinal cord distant from the injury site. On the contrary, in the Wld(S) mice collateral sprouting from spared fibers was greatly reduced after SCI(H). Consistent with a role for collateral sprouting in functional recovery after SCI, locomotor recovery after SCI(H) was impaired in Wld(S) mice compared to WT animals. In conclusion, our results identify axonal degeneration as one of the triggers for collateral sprouting from the contralesional uninjured fibers after an SCI(H). These results open the path for identifying molecular signals associated with tissular changes after SCI that promotes collateral sprouting and functional recovery. PMID:25079366

  6. Bmp6 Regulates Retinal Iron Homeostasis and Has Altered Expression in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Hadziahmetovic, Majda; Song, Ying; Wolkow, Natalie; Iacovelli, Jared; Kautz, Leon; Roth, Marie-Paule; Dunaief, Joshua L.

    2011-01-01

    Iron-induced oxidative stress causes hereditary macular degeneration in patients with aceruloplasminemia. Similarly, retinal iron accumulation in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) may exacerbate the disease. The cause of retinal iron accumulation in AMD is poorly understood. Given that bone morphogenetic protein 6 (Bmp6) is a major regulator of systemic iron, we examined the role of Bmp6 in retinal iron regulation and in AMD pathogenesis. Bmp6 was detected in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), a major site of pathology in AMD. In cultured RPE cells, Bmp6 was down-regulated by oxidative stress and up-regulated by iron. Intraocular Bmp6 protein injection in mice up-regulated retinal hepcidin, an iron regulatory hormone, and altered retinal labile iron levels. Bmp6−/− mice had age-dependent retinal iron accumulation and degeneration. Postmortem RPE from patients with early AMD exhibited decreased Bmp6 levels. Because oxidative stress is associated with AMD pathogenesis and down-regulates Bmp6 in cultured RPE cells, the diminished Bmp6 levels observed in RPE cells in early AMD may contribute to iron build-up in AMD. This may in turn propagate a vicious cycle of oxidative stress and iron accumulation, exacerbating AMD and other diseases with hereditary or acquired iron excess. PMID:21703414

  7. [Multi-infarct disorder presenting as corticobasal degeneration (DCB): vascular pseudo-corticobasal degeneration?].

    PubMed

    Kreisler, A; Mastain, B; Tison, F; Fénelon, G; Destée, A

    2007-12-01

    We report on five patients with a clinical presentation of corticobasal degeneration (CBD), including gradually progressive, asymmetric, L-DOPA-resistant parkinsonism associated variously with apraxia, focal action myoclonus, focal dystonia, cortical sensory loss and alien limb phenomenon. Some patients also presented an atypical CBD clinical history or signs - notably sudden onset. The disease was however not suggestive of another diagnosis. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain revealed extensive vascular lesions. Only five similar cases have been published to our knowledge. Although we cannot exclude underlying CBD pathology, our cases illustrate the fact that multi-infarct pathology can masquerade as CBD or alter the clinical phenotype of the disease. PMID:18355466

  8. Deletion of autophagy inducer RB1CC1 results in degeneration of the retinal pigment epithelium

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Jingyu; Jia, Lin; Khan, Naheed; Lin, Chengmao; Mitter, Sayak K; Boulton, Michael E; Dunaief, Joshua L; Klionsky, Daniel J; Guan, Jun-Lin; Thompson, Debra A; Zacks, David N

    2015-01-01

    Autophagy regulates cellular homeostasis and response to environmental stress. Within the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) of the eye, the level of autophagy can change with both age and disease. The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between reduced autophagy and age-related degeneration of the RPE. The gene encoding RB1CC1/FIP200 (RB1-inducible coiled-coil 1), a protein essential for induction of autophagy, was selectively knocked out in the RPE by crossing Best1-Cre mice with mice in which the Rb1cc1 gene was flanked with Lox-P sites (Rb1cc1flox/flox). Ex vivo and in vivo analyses, including western blot, immunohistochemistry, transmission electron microscopy, fundus photography, optical coherence tomography, fluorescein angiography, and electroretinography were performed to assess the structure and function of the retina as a function of age. Deletion of Rb1cc1 resulted in multiple autophagy defects within the RPE including decreased conversion of LC3-I to LC3-II, accumulation of autophagy-targeted precursors, and increased numbers of mitochondria. Age-dependent degeneration of the RPE occurred, with formation of atrophic patches, subretinal migration of activated microglial cells, subRPE deposition of inflammatory and oxidatively damaged proteins, subretinal drusenoid deposits, and occasional foci of choroidal neovascularization. There was secondary loss of photoreceptors overlying the degenerated RPE and reduction in the electroretinogram. These observations are consistent with a critical role of autophagy in the maintenance of normal homeostasis in the aging RPE, and indicate that disruption of autophagy leads to retinal phenotypes associated with age-related degeneration. PMID:26075877

  9. Delivery systems for the treatment of degenerated intervertebral discs.

    PubMed

    Blanquer, S B G; Grijpma, D W; Poot, A A

    2015-04-01

    The intervertebral disc (IVD) is the most avascular and acellular tissue in the body and therefore prone to degeneration. During IVD degeneration, the balance between anabolic and catabolic processes in the disc is deregulated, amongst others leading to alteration of extracellular matrix production, abnormal enzyme activities and production of pro-inflammatory substances like cytokines. The established treatment strategy for IVD degeneration consists of physiotherapy, pain medication by drug therapy and if necessary surgery. This approach, however, has shown limited success. Alternative strategies to increase and prolong the effects of bioactive agents and to reverse the process of IVD degeneration include the use of delivery systems for drugs, proteins, cells and genes. In view of the specific anatomy and physiology of the IVD and depending on the strategy of the therapy, different delivery systems have been developed which are reviewed in this article. PMID:25451138

  10. Construction of nonregular pointwise degenerate delay-differential systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Choudhury, A. K.

    1978-01-01

    Pointwise degenerate delay-differential systems (degeneracy at t = 2h) are reduced to Popov's construction under the regularity assumption. Necessary and sufficient conditions for the degeneracy are outlined.

  11. Degenerate higher derivative theories beyond Horndeski: evading the Ostrogradski instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langlois, David; Noui, Karim

    2016-02-01

    Theories with higher order time derivatives generically suffer from ghost-like instabilities, known as Ostrogradski instabilities. This fate can be avoided by considering ``degenerate'' Lagrangians, whose kinetic matrix cannot be inverted, thus leading to constraints between canonical variables and a reduced number of physical degrees of freedom. In this work, we derive in a systematic way the degeneracy conditions for scalar-tensor theories that depend quadratically on second order derivatives of a scalar field. We thus obtain a classification of all degenerate theories within this class of scalar-tensor theories. The quartic Horndeski Lagrangian and its extension beyond Horndeski belong to these degenerate cases. We also identify new families of scalar-tensor theories with the property that they are degenerate despite the nondegeneracy of the purely scalar part of their Lagrangian.

  12. An Unusual Case of Extensive Lattice Degeneration and Retinal Detachment

    PubMed Central

    Sarma, Saurabh Kumar; Basaiawmoit, Jennifer V.

    2016-01-01

    Lattice degeneration of the retina is not infrequently encountered on a dilated retinal examination and many of them do not need any intervention. We report a case of atypical lattice degeneration variant with peripheral retinal detachment. An asymptomatic 35-year-old lady with minimal refractive error was found to have extensive lattice degeneration, peripheral retinal detachment and fibrotic changes peripherally with elevation of retinal vessels on dilated retinal examination. There were also areas of white without pressure, chorioretinal scarring and retinal breaks. All the changes were limited to beyond the equator but were found to span 360 degrees. She was treated with barrage laser all around to prevent extension of the retinal detachment posteriorly. She remained stable till her latest follow-up two years after the barrage laser. This case is reported for its rarity with a discussion of the probable differential diagnoses. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of such findings in lattice degeneration.

  13. Single-degenerate Type Ia Supernovae Are Preferentially Overluminous

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, Robert; Jumper, Kevin

    2015-06-01

    Recent observational and theoretical progress has favored merging and helium-accreting sub-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarfs (WDs) in the double-degenerate and the double-detonation channels, respectively, as the most promising progenitors of normal Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). Thus the fate of rapidly accreting Chandrasekhar mass WDs in the single-degenerate channel remains more mysterious then ever. In this paper, we clarify the nature of ignition in Chandrasekhar-mass single-degenerate SNe Ia by analytically deriving the existence of a characteristic length scale which establishes a transition from central ignitions to buoyancy-driven ignitions. Using this criterion, combined with data from three-dimensional simulations of convection and ignition, we demonstrate that the overwhelming majority of ignition events within Chandrasekhar-mass WDs in the single-degenerate channel are buoyancy-driven, and consequently lack a vigorous deflagration phase. We thus infer that single-degenerate SNe Ia are generally expected to lead to overluminous 1991T-like SNe Ia events. We establish that the rates predicted from both the population of supersoft X-ray sources (SSSs) and binary population synthesis models of the single-degenerate channel are broadly consistent with the observed rates of overluminous SNe Ia, and suggest that the population of SSSs are the dominant stellar progenitors of SNe 1991T-like events. We further demonstrate that the single-degenerate channel contribution to the normal and failed 2002cx-like rates is not likely to exceed 1% of the total SNe Ia rate. We conclude with a range of observational tests of overluminous SNe Ia which will either support or strongly constrain the single-degenerate scenario.

  14. Degenerations of generalized Krichever-Novikov algebras on tori

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlichenmaier, Martin

    1993-08-01

    Degenerations of Lie algebras of meromorphic vector fields on elliptic curves (i.e., complex tori) which are holomorphic outside a certain set of points (markings) are studied. By an algebraic geometric degeneration process certain subalgebras of Lie algebras of meromorphic vector fields on P1, the Riemann sphere, are obtained. In case of some natural choices of the markings these subalgebras are explicitly determined. It is shown that the number of markings can change.

  15. Simulation of biological therapies for degenerated intervertebral discs.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Qiaoqiao; Gao, Xin; Temple, H Thomas; Brown, Mark D; Gu, Weiyong

    2016-04-01

    The efficacy of biological therapies on intervertebral disc repair was quantitatively studied using a three-dimensional finite element model based on a cell-activity coupled multiphasic mixture theory. In this model, cell metabolism and matrix synthesis and degradation were considered. Three types of biological therapies-increasing the cell density (Case I), increasing the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) synthesis rate (Case II), and decreasing the GAG degradation rate (Case III)-to the nucleus pulposus (NP) of each of two degenerated discs [one mildly degenerated (e.g., 80% viable cells in the NP) and one severely degenerated (e.g., 30% viable cells in the NP)] were simulated. Degenerated discs without treatment were also simulated as a control. The cell number needed, nutrition level demanded, time required for the repair, and the long-term outcomes of these therapies were analyzed. For Case I, the repair process was predicted to be dependent on the cell density implanted and the nutrition level at disc boundaries. With sufficient nutrition supply, this method was predicted to be effective for treating both mildly and severely degenerated discs. For Case II, the therapy was predicted to be effective for repairing the mildly degenerated disc, but not for the severely degenerated disc. Similar results were predicted for Case III. No change in cell density for Cases II and III were predicted under normal nutrition level. This study provides a quantitative guide for choosing proper strategies of biological therapies for different degenerated discs. © 2015 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 34:699-708, 2016. PMID:26425965

  16. Distinct optical properties of relativistically degenerate matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akbari-Moghanjoughi, M.

    2014-06-01

    In this paper, we use the collisional quantum magnetohydrodynamic (CQMHD) model to derive the transverse dielectric function of a relativistically degenerate electron fluid and investigate various optical parameters, such as the complex refractive index, the reflection and absorption coefficients, the skin-depth and optical conductivity. In this model we take into accounts effects of many parameters such as the atomic-number of the constituent ions, the electron exchange, electron diffraction effect and the electron-ion collisions. Study of the optical parameters in the solid-density, the warm-dense-matter, the big-planetary core, and the compact star number-density regimes reveals that there are distinct differences between optical characteristics of the latter and the former cases due to the fundamental effects of the relativistic degeneracy and other quantum mechanisms. It is found that in the relativistic degeneracy plasma regime, such as found in white-dwarfs and neutron star crusts, matter possess a much sharper and well-defined step-like reflection edge beyond the x-ray electromagnetic spectrum, including some part of gamma-ray frequencies. It is also remarked that the magnetic field intensity only significantly affects the plasma reflectivity in the lower number-density regime, rather than the high density limit. Current investigation confirms the profound effect of relativistic degeneracy on optical characteristics of matter and can provide an important plasma diagnostic tool for studying the physical processes within the wide scope of quantum plasma regimes be it the solid-density, inertial-confined, or astrophysical compact stars.

  17. Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration and MicroRNAs

    PubMed Central

    Piscopo, Paola; Albani, Diego; Castellano, Anna E.; Forloni, Gianluigi; Confaloni, Annamaria

    2016-01-01

    Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) includes a spectrum of disorders characterized by changes of personality and social behavior and, often, a gradual and progressive language dysfunction. In the last years, several efforts have been fulfilled in identifying both genetic mutations and pathological proteins associated with FTLD. The molecular bases undergoing the onset and progression of the disease remain still unknown. Recent literature prompts an involvement of RNA metabolism in FTLD, particularly microRNAs (miRNAs). Dysregulation of miRNAs in several disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases, and increasing importance of circulating miRNAs in different pathologies has suggested to implement the study of their possible application as biological markers and new therapeutic targets; moreover, miRNA-based therapy is becoming a powerful tool to deepen the function of a gene, the mechanism of a disease, and validate therapeutic targets. Regarding FTLD, different studies showed that miRNAs are playing an important role. For example, several reports have evaluated miRNA regulation of the progranulin gene suggesting that it is under their control, as described for miR-29b, miR-107, and miR-659. More recently, it has been demonstrated that TMEM106B gene, which protein is elevated in FTLD-TDP brains, is repressed by miR-132/212 cluster; this post-transcriptional mechanism increases intracellular levels of progranulin, affecting its pathways. These findings if confirmed could suggest that these microRNAs have a role as potential targets for some related-FTLD genes. In this review, we focus on the emerging roles of the miRNAs in the pathogenesis of FTLD. PMID:26903860

  18. Distinct optical properties of relativistically degenerate matter

    SciTech Connect

    Akbari-Moghanjoughi, M.

    2014-06-15

    In this paper, we use the collisional quantum magnetohydrodynamic (CQMHD) model to derive the transverse dielectric function of a relativistically degenerate electron fluid and investigate various optical parameters, such as the complex refractive index, the reflection and absorption coefficients, the skin-depth and optical conductivity. In this model we take into accounts effects of many parameters such as the atomic-number of the constituent ions, the electron exchange, electron diffraction effect and the electron-ion collisions. Study of the optical parameters in the solid-density, the warm-dense-matter, the big-planetary core, and the compact star number-density regimes reveals that there are distinct differences between optical characteristics of the latter and the former cases due to the fundamental effects of the relativistic degeneracy and other quantum mechanisms. It is found that in the relativistic degeneracy plasma regime, such as found in white-dwarfs and neutron star crusts, matter possess a much sharper and well-defined step-like reflection edge beyond the x-ray electromagnetic spectrum, including some part of gamma-ray frequencies. It is also remarked that the magnetic field intensity only significantly affects the plasma reflectivity in the lower number-density regime, rather than the high density limit. Current investigation confirms the profound effect of relativistic degeneracy on optical characteristics of matter and can provide an important plasma diagnostic tool for studying the physical processes within the wide scope of quantum plasma regimes be it the solid-density, inertial-confined, or astrophysical compact stars.

  19. Electron microscopic studies of macrophages in Wallerian degeneration of rat optic nerve after intravenous injection of colloidal carbon.

    PubMed Central

    Ling, E A

    1978-01-01

    The origin of macrophages in the degenerating optic nerve of rats after eye enucleation was investigated electron microscopically following intravenous labelling of mononuclear leucoytes with colloidal carbon. In the various post-operative periods studied carbon-labelled macrophages were seen at the site of lesion. At 4 and 7 days after enucleation carbon-labelled cells were seen at the site of Wallerian degeneration of the optic nerve over 4 mm distal to the site of the lesion. In the electron microscope these cells showed a flattened nucleus bearing coarse chromatin clumps, their cytoplasm contained a prominent Golgi complex and long isolate profiles of rough endoplasmic reticulum. Clusters of carbon particles in the cytoplasms were membrane-bound. Lysosomal bodies embedded with carbon particles were also observed. In relation to the blood vessels of the optic nerve, endothelial cells and pericytes with ingested carbon were seen. Macrophages in the meninges covering the optic nerve were also labelled. The results suggest that some macrophages in the region of Wallerian degeneration in the optic nerve, as well as those at the actual site of the lesion, were transformed blood leucocytes. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10 Fig. 11 PMID:649492

  20. Gene expression profile analysis of human intervertebral disc degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Kai; Wu, Dajiang; Zhu, Xiaodong; Ni, Haijian; Wei, Xianzhao; Mao, Ningfang; Xie, Yang; Niu, Yunfei; Li, Ming

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we used microarray analysis to investigate the biogenesis and progression of intervertebral disc degeneration. The gene expression profiles of 37 disc tissue samples obtained from patients with herniated discs and degenerative disc disease collected by the National Cancer Institute Cooperative Tissue Network were analyzed. Differentially expressed genes between more and less degenerated discs were identified by significant analysis of microarray. A total of 555 genes were significantly overexpressed in more degenerated discs with a false discovery rate of < 3%. Functional annotation showed that these genes were significantly associated with membrane-bound vesicles, calcium ion binding and extracellular matrix. Protein-protein interaction analysis showed that these genes, including previously reported genes such as fibronectin, COL2A1 and β-catenin, may play key roles in disc degeneration. Unsupervised clustering indicated that the widely used morphology-based Thompson grading system was only marginally associated with the molecular classification of intervertebral disc degeneration. These findings indicate that detailed, systematic gene analysis may be a useful way of studying the biology of intervertebral disc degeneration. PMID:24130454

  1. N -methyl- N -nitrosourea-induced retinal degeneration in mice.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yuan-Yuan; Liu, Shi-Liang; Hu, Dan-Ping; Xing, Yi-Qiao; Shen, Yin

    2014-04-01

    Mouse retinal degeneration models have been investigated for many years in the hope of understanding the mechanism of photoreceptor cell death. N -methyl- N -nitrosourea (MNU) has been previously shown to induce outer retinal degeneration in mice. After MNU was intraperitoneally injected in C57/BL mice, we observed a gradual decrease in the outer nuclear layer (ONL) thickness associated with photoreceptor outer segment loss, bipolar cell dendritic retraction and reactive gliosis. Reactive gliosis was confirmed by increased GFAP protein levels. More serious damage to the central retina as opposed to the peripheral retina was found in the MNU-induced retinal degeneration model. Retinal ganglion cells (RGC) appear to be spared for at least two months after MNU treatment. Following retinal vessel labelling, we observed vascular complexes in the distal vessels, indicating retinal vessel damage. In the remnant retinal photoreceptor of the MNU-treated mouse, concentrated colouring nuclei were detected by electron microscopy, together with the loss of mitochondria and displaced remnant synaptic ribbons in the photoreceptor. We also observed decreased mitochondrial protein levels and increased amounts of nitrosylation/nitration in the photoreceptors. The mechanism of MNU-induced apoptosis may result from oxidative stress or the loss of retinal blood supply. MNU-induced mouse retinal degeneration in the outer retina is a useful animal model for photoreceptor degeneration diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa (RP). PMID:24509257

  2. Development of Animal Models of Local Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Lorach, Henri; Kung, Jennifer; Beier, Corinne; Mandel, Yossi; Dalal, Roopa; Huie, Philip; Wang, Jenny; Lee, Seungjun; Sher, Alexander; Jones, Bryan William; Palanker, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Development of nongenetic animal models of local retinal degeneration is essential for studies of retinal pathologies, such as chronic retinal detachment or age-related macular degeneration. We present two different methods to induce a highly localized retinal degeneration with precise onset time, that can be applied to a broad range of species in laboratory use. Methods A 30-μm thin polymer sheet was implanted subretinally in wild-type (WT) rats. The effects of chronic retinal separation from the RPE were studied using histology and immunohistochemistry. Another approach is applicable to species with avascular retina, such as rabbits, where the photoreceptors and RPE were thermally ablated over large areas, using a high power scanning laser. Results Photoreceptors above the subretinal implant in rats degenerated over time, with 80% of the outer nuclear layer disappearing within a month, and the rest by 3 months. Similar loss was obtained by selective photocoagulation with a scanning laser. Cells in the inner nuclear layer and ganglion cell layer were preserved in both cases. However, there were signs of rewiring and decrease in the size of the bipolar cell terminals in the damaged areas. Conclusions Both methods induce highly reproducible degeneration of photoreceptors over a defined area, with complete preservation of the inner retinal neurons during the 3-month follow-up. They provide a reliable platform for studies of local retinal degeneration and development of therapeutic strategies in a wide variety of species. PMID:26207299

  3. From hidden symmetry to extra dimensions: A five-dimensional formulation of the degenerate BESS model

    SciTech Connect

    Coradeschi, Francesco; De Curtis, Stefania; Dominici, Daniele

    2010-07-01

    We consider the continuum limit of a moose model corresponding to a generalization to N sites of the degenerate BESS model. The five-dimensional formulation emerging in this limit is a realization of a RS1 type model with SU(2){sub L} x SU(2){sub R} in the bulk, broken by boundary conditions and a vacuum expectation value on the infrared brane. A low-energy effective Lagrangian is derived by means of the holographic technique and corresponding bounds on the model parameters are obtained.

  4. From hidden symmetry to extra dimensions: A five-dimensional formulation of the degenerate BESS model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coradeschi, Francesco; de Curtis, Stefania; Dominici, Daniele

    2010-07-01

    We consider the continuum limit of a moose model corresponding to a generalization to N sites of the degenerate BESS model. The five-dimensional formulation emerging in this limit is a realization of a RS1 type model with SU(2)L⊗SU(2)R in the bulk, broken by boundary conditions and a vacuum expectation value on the infrared brane. A low-energy effective Lagrangian is derived by means of the holographic technique and corresponding bounds on the model parameters are obtained.

  5. Lipofuscin accumulation, abnormal electrophysiology, and photoreceptor degeneration in mutant ELOVL4 transgenic mice: a model for macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Karan, G; Lillo, C; Yang, Z; Cameron, D J; Locke, K G; Zhao, Y; Thirumalaichary, S; Li, C; Birch, D G; Vollmer-Snarr, H R; Williams, D S; Zhang, K

    2005-03-15

    Macular degeneration is a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by photoreceptor degeneration and atrophy of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) in the central retina. An autosomal dominant form of Stargardt macular degeneration (STGD) is caused by mutations in ELOVL4, which is predicted to encode an enzyme involved in the elongation of long-chain fatty acids. We generated transgenic mice expressing a mutant form of human ELOVL4 that causes STGD. In these mice, we show that accumulation by the RPE of undigested phagosomes and lipofuscin, including the fluorophore, 2-[2,6-dimethyl-8-(2,6,6-trimethyl-1-cyclohexen-1-yl)-1E,3E,5E,7E-octatetraenyl]-1-(2-hyydroxyethyl)-4-[4-methyl-6-(2,6,6,-trimethyl-1-cyclohexen-1-yl)-1E,3E,5E-hexatrienyl]-pyridinium (A2E) is followed by RPE atrophy. Subsequently, photoreceptor degeneration occurs in the central retina in a pattern closely resembling that of human STGD and age-related macular degeneration. The ELOVL4 transgenic mice thus provide a good model for both STGD and dry age-related macular degeneration, and represent a valuable tool for studies on therapeutic intervention in these forms of blindness. PMID:15749821

  6. Tyro3 Modulates Mertk-Associated Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Vollrath, Douglas; Yasumura, Douglas; Benchorin, Gillie; Matthes, Michael T.; Feng, Wei; Nguyen, Natalie M.; Sedano, Cecilia D.; Calton, Melissa A.; LaVail, Matthew M.

    2015-01-01

    Inherited photoreceptor degenerations (IPDs) are the most genetically heterogeneous of Mendelian diseases. Many IPDs exhibit substantial phenotypic variability, but the basis is usually unknown. Mutations in MERTK cause recessive IPD phenotypes associated with the RP38 locus. We have identified a murine genetic modifier of Mertk-associated photoreceptor degeneration, the C57BL/6 (B6) allele of which acts as a suppressor. Photoreceptors degenerate rapidly in Mertk-deficient animals homozygous for the 129P2/Ola (129) modifier allele, whereas animals heterozygous for B6 and 129 modifier alleles exhibit an unusual intermixing of degenerating and preserved retinal regions, with females more severely affected than males. Mertk-deficient mice homozygous for the B6 modifier allele display degeneration only in the far periphery, even at 8 months of age, and have improved retinal function compared to animals homozygous for the 129 allele. We genetically mapped the modifier to an approximately 2-megabase critical interval that includes Tyro3, a paralog of Mertk. Tyro3 expression in the outer retina varies with modifier genotype in a manner characteristic of a cis-acting expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL), with the B6 allele conferring an approximately three-fold higher expression level. Loss of Tyro3 function accelerates the pace of photoreceptor degeneration in Mertk knockout mice, and TYRO3 protein is more abundant in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) adjacent to preserved central retinal regions of Mertk knockout mice homozygous for the B6 modifier allele. Endogenous human TYRO3 protein co-localizes with nascent photoreceptor outer segment (POS) phagosomes in a primary RPE cell culture assay, and expression of murine Tyro3 in cultured cells stimulates phagocytic ingestion of POS. Our findings demonstrate that Tyro3 gene dosage modulates Mertk-associated retinal degeneration, provide strong evidence for a direct role for TYRO3 in RPE phagocytosis, and suggest

  7. Potential regenerative treatment strategies for intervertebral disc degeneration in dogs

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Pain due to spontaneous intervertebral disc (IVD) disease is common in dogs. In chondrodystrophic (CD) dogs, IVD disease typically develops in the cervical or thoracolumbar spine at about 3–7 years of age, whereas in non-chondrodystrophic (NCD) dogs, it usually develops in the caudal cervical or lumbosacral spine at about 6–8 years of age. IVD degeneration is characterized by changes in the biochemical composition and mechanical integrity of the IVD. In the degenerated IVD, the content of glycosaminoglycan (GAG, a proteoglycan side chain) decreases and that of denatured collagen increases. Dehydration leads to tearing of the annulus fibrosus (AF) and/or disc herniation, which is clinically characterized by pain and/or neurological signs. Current treatments (physiotherapy, anti-inflammatory/analgesic medication, surgery) for IVD disease may resolve neurological deficits and reduce pain (although in many cases insufficient), but do not lead to repair of the degenerated disc. For this reason, there is interest in new regenerative therapies that can repair the degenerated disc matrix, resulting in restoration of the biomechanical function of the IVD. CD dogs are considered a suitable animal model for human IVD degeneration because of their spontaneous IVD degeneration, and therefore studies investigating cell-, growth factor-, and/or gene therapy-based regenerative therapies with this model provide information relevant to both human and canine patients. The aim of this article is to review potential regenerative treatment strategies for canine IVD degeneration, with specific emphasis on cell-based strategies. PMID:24387033

  8. Statins for age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Gehlbach, Peter; Li, Tianjing; Hatef, Elham

    2016-01-01

    Background Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive late onset disorder of the macula affecting central vision. Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over 65 years in industrialized countries. Recent epidemiologic, genetic, and pathological evidence has shown AMD shares a number of risk factors with atherosclerosis, leading to the hypothesis that statins may exert protective effects in AMD. Objectives The objective of this review was to examine the effectiveness of statins compared with other treatments, no treatment, or placebo in delaying the onset and progression of AMD. Search methods We searched CENTRAL (which contains the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group Trials Register) (2014, Issue 6), Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, Ovid MEDLINE Daily, Ovid OLDMEDLINE (January 1946 to June 2014), EMBASE (January 1980 to June 2014), Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature Database (LILACS) (January 1982 to June 2014), PubMed (January 1946 to June 2014), the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) (www.controlled-trials.com), ClinicalTrials.gov (www.clinicaltrials.gov), and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) (www.who.int/ictrp/search/en). We did not use any date or language restrictions in the electronic searches for trials. We last searched the electronic databases on 5 June 2014. Selection criteria We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared statins with other treatments, no treatment, or placebo in participants who were either susceptible to or diagnosed as having early stages of AMD. Data collection and analysis We used standard methodological procedures expected by The Cochrane Collaboration. Two authors independently evaluated the search results against the selection criteria, abstracted data, and assessed risk of bias. We did not perform meta-analysis due to heterogeneity in the interventions and outcomes among the

  9. Genetics Home Reference: Stargardt macular degeneration

    MedlinePlus

    ... or Free article on PubMed Central Walia S, Fishman GA. Natural history of phenotypic changes in Stargardt macular ... 23, 2016 The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users with ...

  10. Transplantation and Stem Cell Therapy for Cerebellar Degenerations.

    PubMed

    Cendelin, Jan

    2016-02-01

    Stem cell-based and regenerative therapy may become a hopeful treatment for neurodegenerative diseases including hereditary cerebellar degenerations. Neurotransplantation therapy mainly aims to substitute lost cells, but potential effects might include various mechanisms including nonspecific trophic effects and stimulation of endogenous regenerative processes and neural plasticity. Nevertheless, currently, there remain serious limitations. There is a wide spectrum of human hereditary cerebellar degenerations as well as numerous cerebellar mutant mouse strains that serve as models for the development of effective therapy. By now, transplantation has been shown to ameliorate cerebellar function, e.g. in Purkinje cell degeneration mice, Lurcher mutant mice and mouse models of spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 and type 2 and Niemann-Pick disease type C. Despite the lack of direct comparative studies, it appears that there might be differences in graft development and functioning between various types of cerebellar degeneration. Investigation of the relation of graft development to specific morphological, microvascular or biochemical features of the diseased host tissue in various cerebellar degenerations may help to identify factors determining the fate of grafted cells and potential of their functional integration. PMID:26155762

  11. Mechanisms of distal axonal degeneration in peripheral neuropathies.

    PubMed

    Cashman, Christopher R; Höke, Ahmet

    2015-06-01

    Peripheral neuropathy is a common complication of a variety of diseases and treatments, including diabetes, cancer chemotherapy, and infectious causes (HIV, hepatitis C, and Campylobacter jejuni). Despite the fundamental difference between these insults, peripheral neuropathy develops as a combination of just six primary mechanisms: altered metabolism, covalent modification, altered organelle function and reactive oxygen species formation, altered intracellular and inflammatory signaling, slowed axonal transport, and altered ion channel dynamics and expression. All of these pathways converge to lead to axon dysfunction and symptoms of neuropathy. The detailed mechanisms of axon degeneration itself have begun to be elucidated with studies of animal models with altered degeneration kinetics, including the slowed Wallerian degeneration (Wld(S)) and Sarm knockout animal models. These studies have shown axonal degeneration to occur through a programmed pathway of injury signaling and cytoskeletal degradation. Insights into the common disease insults that converge on the axonal degeneration pathway promise to facilitate the development of therapeutics that may be effective against other mechanisms of neurodegeneration. PMID:25617478

  12. Human Annulus Fibrosus Dynamic Tensile Modulus Increases with Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Sen, Sounok; Jacobs, Nathan T; Boxberger, John I; Elliott, Dawn M

    2012-01-01

    The annulus fibrosus (AF) of the intervertebral disc experiences cyclic tensile loading in vivo at various states of mechanical equilibrium. Disc degeneration is associated with alterations in the biochemical composition of the AF including decreased water content, decreased proteoglycan concentration, and increased collagen deposition that affect mechanical function of the AF in compression and shear. Such changes may also affect the dynamic viscoelastic properties of the AF and thus alter the disc's ability to dissipate energy under physiologic loading. The objectives of this study were to quantify the dynamic viscoelastic properties of human AF in circumferential tension and to determine the effect of degeneration on these properties. Nondegenerated and degenerated human AF tensile samples were tested in uniaxial tension over a spectrum of loading frequencies spanning 0.01Hz to 2Hz at several states of equilibrium strain to determine the dynamic viscoelastic properties (dynamic modulus, phase angle) using a linear viscoelastic model. The AF dynamic modulus increased at higher equilibrium strain levels. The AF behaved more elastically at higher frequencies with a decreased phase angle. Degeneration resulted in a higher dynamic modulus at all strain levels but had no effect on phase angle. The findings from this study elucidate the effect of degeneration on the dynamic viscoelastic properties of human AF and lend insight into the mechanical role of the AF in cyclic loading conditions. PMID:22247579

  13. Biologic Treatment of Mild and Moderate Intervertebral Disc Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Vasiliadis, Elias S; Pneumaticos, Spyros G; Evangelopoulos, Demitrios S; Papavassiliou, Athanasios G

    2014-01-01

    Disc degeneration is the most common cause of back pain in adults and has enormous socioeconomic implications. Conservative management is ineffective in most cases, and results of surgical treatment have not yet reached desirable standards. Biologic treatment options are an alternative to the above conventional management and have become very attractive in recent years. The present review highlights the currently available biologic treatment options in mild and moderate disc degeneration, where a potential for regeneration still exists. Biologic treatment options include protein-based and cell-based therapies. Protein-based therapies involve administration of biologic factors into the intervertebral disc to enhance matrix synthesis, delay degeneration or impede inflammation. These factors can be delivered by an intradiscal injection, alone or in combination with cells or tissue scaffolds and by gene therapy. Cell-based therapies comprise treatment strategies that aim to either replace necrotic or apoptotic cells, or minimize cell death. Cell-based therapies are more appropriate in moderate stages of degenerated disc disease, when cell population is diminished; therefore, the effect of administration of growth factors would be insufficient. Although clinical application of biologic treatments is far from being an everyday practice, the existing studies demonstrate promising results that will allow the future design of more sophisticated methods of biologic intervention to treat intervertebral disc degeneration. PMID:25171110

  14. RADIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF EXPERIMENTAL DISC DEGENERATION IN RABBITS

    PubMed Central

    Vialle, Emiliano; Vialle, Luiz Roberto; Arruda, André de Oliveira; Riet, Ricardo Nascimento; Krieger, Antônio Bernardo de Queiroz

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To validate radiographic evaluation of a rabbit model for disc degeneration. Methods: Lumbar intervertebral discs of New Zealand rabbits were stabbed three times with a 18G needle at a limited depth of 5mm, through lateral approach. Serial radiographic images were taken on the early pre-and postoperative periods, and after four, eight and 12 weeks of the procedure, with subsequent analysis of disc height, osteophyte formation, endplate sclerosis, and presence of disc degeneration. The statistical analysis of data was validated by the Kappa coefficient, with a confidence interval (CI) of 95%. Results: A significant reduction of disc space was found on AP X-ray images after 12 postoperative weeks, with Kappa = 0.489 for CI 95% (0.25-0.72) with p < 0.001. X-ray signs of disc degeneration also presented Kappa = 0.63 for CI 95% (0.39-0.86) with p < 0.001. The remaining assessed criteria showed positive results, but with a lower Kappa value. Conclusion: The disc degeneration model using rabbits as proposed in this study was shown to be feasible, with positive X-ray correlation between pre- and postoperative images, validating the potential to induce disc degeneration in this animal model for future studies. PMID:27022512

  15. Notochord Cells in Intervertebral Disc Development and Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    McCann, Matthew R.; Séguin, Cheryle A.

    2016-01-01

    The intervertebral disc is a complex structure responsible for flexibility, multi-axial motion, and load transmission throughout the spine. Importantly, degeneration of the intervertebral disc is thought to be an initiating factor for back pain. Due to a lack of understanding of the pathways that govern disc degeneration, there are currently no disease-modifying treatments to delay or prevent degenerative disc disease. This review presents an overview of our current understanding of the developmental processes that regulate intervertebral disc formation, with particular emphasis on the role of the notochord and notochord-derived cells in disc homeostasis and how their loss can result in degeneration. We then describe the role of small animal models in understanding the development of the disc and their use to interrogate disc degeneration and associated pathologies. Finally, we highlight essential development pathways that are associated with disc degeneration and/or implicated in the reparative response of the tissue that might serve as targets for future therapeutic approaches. PMID:27252900

  16. Mechanisms of Distal Axonal Degeneration in Peripheral Neuropathies

    PubMed Central

    Cashman, Christopher R.; Höke, Ahmet

    2015-01-01

    Peripheral neuropathy is a common complication of a variety of diseases and treatments, including diabetes, cancer chemotherapy, and infectious causes (HIV, hepatitis C, and Campylobacter jejuni). Despite the fundamental difference between these insults, peripheral neuropathy develops as a combination of just six primary mechanisms: altered metabolism, covalent modification, altered organelle function and reactive oxygen species formation, altered intracellular and inflammatory signaling, slowed axonal transport, and altered ion channel dynamics and expression. All of these pathways converge to lead to axon dysfunction and symptoms of neuropathy. The detailed mechanisms of axon degeneration itself have begun to be elucidated with studies of animal models with altered degeneration kinetics, including the slowed Wallerian degeneration (Wlds) and Sarmknockout animal models. These studies have shown axonal degeneration to occur througha programmed pathway of injury signaling and cytoskeletal degradation. Insights into the common disease insults that converge on the axonal degeneration pathway promise to facilitate the development of therapeutics that may be effective against other mechanisms of neurodegeneration. PMID:25617478

  17. Femoral head shape differences during development may identify hips at risk of degeneration.

    PubMed

    Vanden Berg-Foels, Wendy S; Schwager, Steven J; Todhunter, Rory J; Reeves, Anthony P

    2011-12-01

    Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is a common cause of elevated contact stress and early onset osteoarthritis (OA). We hypothesized that adaptation to focal loading during postnatal development would result in signature changes to the shape of the femoral head secondary center of ossification (SCO). SCO shape was evaluated in a canine model of DDH at ages 14 and 32 weeks. The evolving 3D morphology of the SCO was captured using serial quantitative computed tomography. A discrete medial representation shape model was fit to each SCO and served as the basis for quantitative thickness and bending measurements. Shape measurements were tested for associations with hip subluxation and degeneration. At 32 weeks, the SCO was thinner (flatter) in the perifoveal region, the site of focal loading; a greater bend to the SCO was present lateral to the site of thinning; SCO thinning and bending were associated with less femoral head coverage and with a higher probability of degeneration. Shape changes were not detected at 14 weeks. Measurement and visualization of SCO shape changes due to altered loading may provide a basis for identifying hips at risk of early onset OA and a tool for surgical planning of hip restructuring. PMID:21909817

  18. Electromagnetic wave equations for relativistically degenerate quantum magnetoplasmas.

    PubMed

    Masood, Waqas; Eliasson, Bengt; Shukla, Padma K

    2010-06-01

    A generalized set of nonlinear electromagnetic quantum hydrodynamic (QHD) equations is derived for a magnetized quantum plasma, including collisional, electron spin- 1/2, and relativistically degenerate electron pressure effects that are relevant for dense astrophysical systems, such as white dwarfs. For illustrative purposes, linear dispersion relations are derived for one-dimensional magnetoacoustic waves for a collisionless nonrelativistic degenerate gas in the presence of the electron spin- 1/2 contribution and for magnetoacoustic waves in a plasma containing relativistically degenerate electrons. It is found that both the spin and relativistic degeneracy at high densities tend to slow down the magnetoacoustic wave due to the Pauli paramagnetic effect and relativistic electron mass increase. The present study outlines the theoretical framework for the investigation of linear and nonlinear behaviors of electromagnetic waves in dense astrophysical systems. The results are applied to calculate the magnetoacoustic speeds for both the nonrelativistic and relativistic electron degeneracy cases typical for white dwarf stars. PMID:20866534

  19. Autophagy: A double-edged sword in intervertebral disk degeneration.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shu-Jun; Yang, Wei; Wang, Cheng; He, Wen-Si; Deng, Hai-Yang; Yan, Yi-Guo; Zhang, Jian; Xiang, Yong-Xiao; Wang, Wen-Jun

    2016-06-01

    Autophagy is a homeostatic mechanism through which intracellular damaged organelles and proteins are degraded and recycled in response to increased metabolic demands or stresses. Although primarily cytoprotective, dysfunction of autophagy is often associated with many degenerative diseases, including intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration (IDD). As a main contributing factor to low back pain, IDD is the pathological basis for various debilitating spinal diseases. Either higher or lower levels of autophagy are observed in degenerative IVD cells. Despite the precise role of autophagy in disc degeneration that is still controversial, with difference from protection to aggravation, targeting autophagy has shown promise for mitigating disc degeneration. In the current review, we summarize the changes of autophagy in degenerative IVD cells and mainly discuss the relationship between autophagy and IDD. With continued efforts, modulation of the autophagic process could be a potential and attractive therapeutic strategy for degenerative disc disease. PMID:27018178

  20. Reprogramming of adult rod photoreceptors prevents retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Montana, Cynthia L.; Kolesnikov, Alexander V.; Shen, Susan Q.; Myers, Connie A.; Kefalov, Vladimir J.; Corbo, Joseph C.

    2013-01-01

    A prime goal of regenerative medicine is to direct cell fates in a therapeutically useful manner. Retinitis pigmentosa is one of the most common degenerative diseases of the eye and is associated with early rod photoreceptor death followed by secondary cone degeneration. We hypothesized that converting adult rods into cones, via knockdown of the rod photoreceptor determinant Nrl, could make the cells resistant to the effects of mutations in rod-specific genes, thereby preventing secondary cone loss. To test this idea, we engineered a tamoxifen-inducible allele of Nrl to acutely inactivate the gene in adult rods. This manipulation resulted in reprogramming of rods into cells with a variety of cone-like molecular, histologic, and functional properties. Moreover, reprogramming of adult rods achieved cellular and functional rescue of retinal degeneration in a mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa. These findings suggest that elimination of Nrl in adult rods may represent a unique therapy for retinal degeneration. PMID:23319618

  1. Molecular mechanisms of cell death in intervertebral disc degeneration (Review)

    PubMed Central

    ZHANG, FAN; ZHAO, XUELING; SHEN, HONGXING; ZHANG, CAIGUO

    2016-01-01

    Intervertebral discs (IVDs) are complex structures that consist of three parts, namely, nucleus pulposus, annulus fibrosus and cartilage endplates. With aging, IVDs gradually degenerate as a consequence of many factors, such as microenvironment changes and cell death. Human clinical trial and animal model studies have documented that cell death, particularly apoptosis and autophagy, significantly contribute to IVD degeneration. The mechanisms underlying this phenomenon include the activation of apoptotic pathways and the regulation of autophagy in response to nutrient deprivation and multiple stresses. In this review, we briefly summarize recent progress in understanding the function and regulation of apoptosis and autophagy signaling pathways. In particular, we focus on studies that reveal the functional mechanisms of these pathways in IVD degeneration. PMID:27121482

  2. Synaptic remodeling of neuronal circuits in early retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Soto, Florentina; Kerschensteiner, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Photoreceptor degenerations are a major cause of blindness and among the most common forms of neurodegeneration in humans. Studies of mouse models revealed that synaptic dysfunction often precedes photoreceptor degeneration, and that abnormal synaptic input from photoreceptors to bipolar cells causes circuits in the inner retina to become hyperactive. Here, we provide a brief overview of frequently used mouse models of photoreceptor degenerations. We then discuss insights into circuit remodeling triggered by early synaptic dysfunction in the outer and hyperactivity in the inner retina. We discuss these insights in the context of other experimental manipulations of synaptic function and activity. Knowledge of the plasticity and early remodeling of retinal circuits will be critical for the design of successful vision rescue strategies. PMID:26500497

  3. Molecular mechanisms of cell death in intervertebral disc degeneration (Review).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Fan; Zhao, Xueling; Shen, Hongxing; Zhang, Caiguo

    2016-06-01

    Intervertebral discs (IVDs) are complex structures that consist of three parts, namely, nucleus pulposus, annulus fibrosus and cartilage endplates. With aging, IVDs gradually degenerate as a consequence of many factors, such as microenvironment changes and cell death. Human clinical trial and animal model studies have documented that cell death, particularly apoptosis and autophagy, significantly contribute to IVD degeneration. The mechanisms underlying this phenomenon include the activation of apoptotic pathways and the regulation of autophagy in response to nutrient deprivation and multiple stresses. In this review, we briefly summarize recent progress in understanding the function and regulation of apoptosis and autophagy signaling pathways. In particular, we focus on studies that reveal the functional mechanisms of these pathways in IVD degeneration. PMID:27121482

  4. Wallerian degeneration: an emerging axon death pathway linking injury and disease.

    PubMed

    Conforti, Laura; Gilley, Jonathan; Coleman, Michael P

    2014-06-01

    Axon degeneration is a prominent early feature of most neurodegenerative disorders and can also be induced directly by nerve injury in a process known as Wallerian degeneration. The discovery of genetic mutations that delay Wallerian degeneration has provided insight into mechanisms underlying axon degeneration in disease. Rapid Wallerian degeneration requires the pro-degenerative molecules SARM1 and PHR1. Nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase 2 (NMNAT2) is essential for axon growth and survival. Its loss from injured axons may activate Wallerian degeneration, whereas NMNAT overexpression rescues axons from degeneration. Here, we discuss the roles of these and other proposed regulators of Wallerian degeneration, new opportunities for understanding disease mechanisms and intriguing links between Wallerian degeneration, innate immunity, synaptic growth and cell death. PMID:24840802

  5. NAD(+) and axon degeneration revisited: Nmnat1 cannot substitute for Wld(S) to delay Wallerian degeneration.

    PubMed

    Conforti, L; Fang, G; Beirowski, B; Wang, M S; Sorci, L; Asress, S; Adalbert, R; Silva, A; Bridge, K; Huang, X P; Magni, G; Glass, J D; Coleman, M P

    2007-01-01

    The slow Wallerian degeneration protein (Wld(S)), a fusion protein incorporating full-length nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase 1 (Nmnat1), delays axon degeneration caused by injury, toxins and genetic mutation. Nmnat1 overexpression is reported to protect axons in vitro, but its effect in vivo and its potency remain unclear. We generated Nmnat1-overexpressing transgenic mice whose Nmnat activities closely match that of Wld(S) mice. Nmnat1 overexpression in five lines of transgenic mice failed to delay Wallerian degeneration in transected sciatic nerves in contrast to Wld(S) mice where nearly all axons were protected. Transected neurites in Nmnat1 transgenic dorsal root ganglion explant cultures also degenerated rapidly. The delay in vincristine-induced neurite degeneration following lentiviral overexpression of Nmnat1 was significantly less potent than for Wld(S), and lentiviral overexpressed enzyme-dead Wld(S) still displayed residual neurite protection. Thus, Nmnat1 is significantly weaker than Wld(S) at protecting axons against traumatic or toxic injury in vitro, and has no detectable effect in vivo. The full protective effect of Wld(S) requires more N-terminal sequences of the protein. PMID:16645633

  6. Lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration and related factors in Korean firefighters

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Tae-Won; Ahn, Yeon-Soon; Byun, Junsu; Lee, Jong-In; Kim, Kun-Hyung; Kim, Youngki; Song, Han-Soo; Lee, Chul-Gab; Kwon, Young-Jun; Yoon, Jin-Ha; Jeong, Kyoungsook

    2016-01-01

    Objectives The job of firefighting can cause lumbar burden and low back pain. This study aimed to identify the association between age and lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration and whether the association differs between field and administrative (non-field) firefighters. Methods Subjects were selected using a stratified random sampling method. Firefighters were stratified by geographic area, gender, age and type of job. First, 25 fire stations were randomly sampled considering regional distribution. Then firefighters were stratified by gender, age and their job and randomly selected among the strata. A questionnaire survey and MRI scans were performed, and then four radiologists used Pfirrmann classification methods to determine the grade of lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration. Results Pfirrmann grade increased with lumbar intervertebral disc level. Analysis of covariance showed that age was significantly associated with lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration (p<0.05). The value of β (parameter estimate) was positive at all lumbar intervertebral disc levels and was higher in the field group than in the administrative group at each level. In logistic regression analysis, type of job was statistically significant only with regard to the L4–5 intervertebral disc (OR 3.498, 95% CI 1.241 to 9.860). Conclusions Lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration is associated with age, and field work such as firefighting, emergency and rescue may accelerate degeneration in the L4–5 intervertebral disc. The effects of field work on lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration were not clear in discs other than at the level L4–5. PMID:27354080

  7. The macroscopic quantum phase of ultracold degenerate gases in the asymmetrical two-dimensional magnetic lattice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdelrahman, A.; Vasiliev, M.; Alameh, K.

    2011-06-01

    We investigate the existence of the macroscopic quantum phase in trapped ultracold quantum degenerate gases in an asymmetrical two-dimensional magnetic lattice. We show the key to adiabatically control the tunneling in the new two-dimensional magnetic lattice by means of external magnetic bias fields. In solving the system of coupled time-dependent differential equations, described here by the Boson Josephson Junctions (BJJs), we used an order parameter that includes both time-dependent variational parameters to describe the fractional population at each lattice site and the phase difference to quantify the macroscopic quantum phase signature. A dynamical oscillation of the fractional population and the phase difference at each individual lattice site is observed when solving the BJJs system.

  8. Key emerging issues in progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Josephs, Keith A

    2015-03-01

    It has been approximately 50 years since neurologists were introduced to the entities, "progressive supranuclear palsy" and "corticobasal degeneration". Since the two seminal publications, there have been significant advancements in our understanding of these two neurodegenerative diseases, particularly the fact that both are associated with tau. Recent advances over the past 3 years that are notable to the field are discussed in this review that covers clinical diagnosis, pathological features, neuroimaging and CSF biomarkers, genetic associations and clinical trials related to progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration. PMID:25701010

  9. Extended Hellmann-Feynman theorem for degenerate eigenstates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, G. P.; George, Thomas F.

    2004-04-01

    In a previous paper, we reported a failure of the traditional Hellmann-Feynman theorem (HFT) for degenerate eigenstates. This has generated enormous interest among different groups. In four independent papers by Fernandez, by Balawender, Hola, and March, by Vatsya, and by Alon and Cederbaum, an elegant method to solve the problem was devised. The main idea is that one has to construct and diagonalize the force matrix for the degenerate case, and only the eigenforces are well defined. We believe this is an important extension to HFT. Using our previous example for an energy level of fivefold degeneracy, we find that those eigenforces correctly reflect the symmetry of the molecule.

  10. Protective effects of hydrogen-rich saline against N-methyl-N-nitrosourea-induced photoreceptor degeneration.

    PubMed

    Chen, Tao; Tao, Ye; Yan, Weiming; Yang, Guoqing; Chen, Xuemin; Cao, Ruidan; Zhang, Lei; Xue, Junhui; Zhang, Zuoming

    2016-07-01

    The N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU)-treated rat is typically used as an animal model of chemically-induced retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been recognized as the crucial contributor to the retinal photoreceptor apoptosis seen in MNU-treated rats. In the present study, we explored the therapeutic effects of hydrogen-rich saline (HRS), a selective ROS scavenger, on MNU-induced photoreceptor degeneration. Intraperitoneal (IP) administration of HRS ameliorated MNU-induced photoreceptor degeneration in terms of morphology and function: Sharply decreased thickness of the retinal outer nuclear layer (ONL) and flattened photopic and scotopic electroretinogram (ERG) waveforms, typically seen in response to MNU treatment, were substantially rescued in rats cotreated with MNU and HRS (MNU + HRS). Moreover, the terminal deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay revealed a smaller number of apoptotic photoreceptors in the MNU + HRS group compared that in the MNU group. Compared to MNU-treated rats, retinal malondialdehyde (MDA) content in MNU + HRS rats significantly decreased while superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity significantly increased. Morphological and multi-electrode array (MEA) analyses revealed more efficient preservation of the architecture and field potential waveforms in particularly the peripheral regions of the retinas within the MNU + HRS group, compared to that in the MNU group. However, this enhanced protection of structure and function in the peripheral retina is unlikely the result of site-dependent variation in the efficacy of HRS; rather, it is most likely due to reduced susceptibility of peripheral photoreceptors to MNU-induced degeneration. Inner retinal neuron function in the MNU + HRS rats was better preserved, with fewer apoptotic photoreceptors in the ONL. Collectively, these results support the rationale for future clinical evaluation of HRS as a therapeutic agent for human RP. PMID:27215478

  11. Effects of Subretinal Gene Transfer at Different Time Points in a Mouse Model of Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Xufeng; Zhang, Hua; Han, Juanjuan; He, Ying; Zhang, Yangyang; Qi, Yan; Pang, Ji-jing

    2016-01-01

    Lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase 1 (LPCAT1) is necessary for photoreceptors to generate an important lipid component of their membranes. The absence of LPCAT1 results in early and rapid rod and cone degeneration. Retinal degeneration 11 (rd11) mice carry a mutation in the Lpcat1 gene, and are an excellent model of early-onset rapid retinal degeneration (RD). To date, no reports have documented gene therapy administration in the rd11 mouse model at different ages. In this study, the AAV8 (Y733F)-smCBA-Lpcat1 vector was subretinally injected at postnatal day (P) 10, 14, 18, or 22. Four months after injection, immunohistochemistry and analysis of retinal morphology showed that treatment at P10 rescued about 82% of the wild-type retinal thickness. However, the diffusion of the vector and the resulting rescue were limited to an area around the injection site that was only 31% of the total retinal area. Injection at P14 resulted in vector diffusion that covered approximately 84% of the retina, and we found that gene therapy was more effective against RD when exposure to light was limited before and after treatment. We observed long-term preservation of electroretinogram (ERG) responses, and preservation of retinal structure, indicating that early treatment followed by limited light exposure can improve gene therapy effectiveness for the eyes of rd11 mice. Importantly, delayed treatment still partially preserved M-cones, but not S-cones, and M-cones in the rd11 retina appeared to have a longer window of opportunity for effective preservation with gene therapy. These results provide important information regarding the effects of subretinal gene therapy in the mouse model of LPCAT1-deficiency. PMID:27228218

  12. Oocyte Degeneration Associated with Follicle Cells in Female Mactra chinensis (Bivalvia: Mactridae)

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Sung Han; Chung, Ee-Yung; Lee, Ki-Young

    2014-01-01

    Ultrastructural studies of oocyte degeneration in the oocyte, and the functions of follicle cells during oocyte degeneration are described to clarify the reproductive mechanism on oocyte degeneration of Mactra chinensis using cytological methods. Commonly, the follicle cells are attached to the oocyte. Follicle cells play an important role in oocyte degeneration. In particular, the functions of follicle cells during oocyte degeneration are associated with phagocytosis and the intracellular digestion of products. In this study, morphologically similar degenerated phagosomes (various lysosomes), which were observed in the degenerated oocytes, appeared in the follicle cells. After the spawning of the oocytes, the follicle cells were involved in oocyte degeneration through phagocytosis by phagolysosomes. Therefore, it can be assumed that follicle cells reabsorb phagosomes from degenerated oocytes. In this study, the presence of lipid granules, which occurred from degenerating yolk granules, gradually increased in degenerating oocytes. The function of follicle cells can accumulate reserves of lipid granules and glycogen in the cytoplasm, which can be employed by the vitellogenic oocyte. Based on observations of follicle cells attached to degenerating oocytes after spawning, the follicle cells of this species are involved in the lysosomal induction of oocyte degeneration for the reabsorption of phagosomes (phagolysosomes) in the cytoplasm for nutrient storage, as seen in other bivalves. PMID:25949203

  13. The Experience of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wong, Elaine Y. H.; Guymer, Robyn H.; Hassell, Jennifer B.; Keeffe, Jill E.

    2004-01-01

    This qualitative article describes the impact of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) among 15 participants: how a person makes sense of ARMD, the effect of ARMD on the person's quality of life, the psychological disturbances associated with the limitations of ARMD, and the influence of ARMD on social interactions. Such in-depth appreciation of…

  14. Awareness, Knowledge, and Concern about Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cimarolli, Verena R.; Laban-Baker, Allie; Hamilton, Wanda S.; Stuen, Cynthia

    2012-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)--a common eye disease causing vision loss--can be detected early through regular eye-health examinations, and measures can be taken to prevent visual decline. Getting eye examinations requires certain levels of awareness, knowledge, and concern related to AMD. However, little is known about AMD-related…

  15. Emerging monochromatic fluxes and colors of red degenerate stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kapranidis, S.

    1985-01-01

    The emerging monochromatic fluxes and the B-V, V-I, J-H, and V-K color indices are presented for red degenerate stars with helium atmospheres which were calculated using an equation of state and opacities based on a hot Thomas-Fermi model of the helium gas. The effective temperature range is 4500-2500 K. It is found that although the emerging fluxes resemble blackbody curves, red degenerates emit more radiation than blackbodies in the short wavelength range and less in the long wavelength range. Thus, red degenerates appear bluer than blackbodies of the same temperature. The calculated colors of these models are compared to the colors of some of the coolest known non-DA degenerate stars. In particular it is found that the B-V and V-I colors of the cool white dwarf VB 11, whose temperature had been previously estimated to be higher than 4000 K, suggest a temperature of 3750 K. If this result is correct, then VB 11 is probably the coolest known white dwarf.

  16. Gestural Imitation and Limb Apraxia in Corticobasal Degeneration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salter, Jennifer E.; Roy, Eric A.; Black, Sandra E.; Joshi, Anish; Almeida, Quincy

    2004-01-01

    Limb apraxia is a common symptom of corticobasal degeneration (CBD). While previous research has shown that individuals with CBD have difficulty imitating transitive (tool-use actions) and intransitive non-representational gestures (nonsense actions), intransitive representational gestures (actions without a tool) have not been examined. In the…

  17. Advancing Research and Treatment for Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (ARTFL)

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2016-04-29

    FTLD; Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP); Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD); Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD); PPA Syndrome; Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia (bvFTD); Semantic Variant Primary Progressive Aphasia (svPPA); Nonfluent Variant Primary Progressive Aphasia (nfvPPA); FTD With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (FTD/ALS); Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS); Oligosymptomatic PSP (oPSP); Corticobasal Syndrome (CBS)

  18. Therapeutic Approaches to Histone Reprogramming in Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Kleinman, Mark E.

    2016-01-01

    Recent data have revealed epigenetic derangements and subsequent chromatin remodeling as a potent biologic switch for chronic inflammation and cell survival which are important therapeutic targets in the pathogenesis of several retinal degenerations. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are a major component of this system and serve as a unique control of the chromatin remodeling process. With a multitude of targeted HDAC inhibitors now available, their use in both basic science and clinical studies has widened substantially. In the field of ocular biology, there are data to suggest that HDAC inhibition may suppress neovascularization and may be a possible treatment for retinitis pigmentosa and dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD). However, the effects of these inhibitors on cell survival and chemokine expression in the chorioretinal tissues remain very unclear. Here, we review the multifaceted biology of HDAC activity and pharmacologic inhibition while offering further insight into the importance of this epigenetic pathway in retinal degenerations. Our laboratory investigations aim to open translational avenues to advance dry AMD therapeutics while exploring the role of acetylation on inflammatory gene expression in the aging and degenerating retina. PMID:26427391

  19. The Effects of Simulated Microgravity on Intervertebral Disc Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Li; Feng, Gang; Reames, Davis L; Shimer, Adam L; Shen, Francis H; Li, Xudong

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND CONTEXT Astronauts experience back pain, particularly low back pain, during and after spaceflight. Recent studies have described histological and biochemical changes in rat intervertebral discs after space travel, but there is still no in vitro model to investigate the effects of microgravity on disc metabolism. PURPOSE To study the effects of microgravity on disc degeneration and to establish an in vitro simulated microgravity study model STUDY DESIGN Discs were cultured in static and rotating conditions in bioreactor, and the characteristics of disc degeneration were evaluated METHODS The mice discs were cultured in a rotating wall vessel bioreactor where the microgravity condition was simulated. Intervertebral discs were cultured in static and microgravity condition. Histology, biochemistry, and immunohistochemical assays were performed to evaluate the characteristics of the discs in microgravity condition. RESULTS Intervertebral discs cultured in rotating bioreactors were found to develop changes of disc degeneration manifested by reduced red Safranin-o staining within the annulus fibrosus, downregulated GAG content and GAG/Hypro ratio, increased MMP-3 expression, and upregulated apoptosis. CONCLUSIONS We conclude that simulated microgravity induces the molecular changes of disc degeneration. The rotating bioreactor model will provide a foundation to investigate the effects of microgravity on disc metabolism. PMID:23537452

  20. Anisotropic uniqueness classes for a degenerate parabolic equation

    SciTech Connect

    Vil'danova, V F; Mukminov, F Kh

    2013-11-30

    Anisotropic uniqueness classes of Tacklind type are identified for a degenerate linear parabolic equation of the second order in an unbounded domain. The Cauchy problem and mixed problems with boundary conditions of the first and third type are considered. Bibliography: 18 titles.

  1. Dystonia and Cerebellar Degeneration in the Leaner Mouse Mutant

    PubMed Central

    Raike, Robert S.; Hess, Ellen J.; Jinnah, H.A.

    2015-01-01

    Cerebellar degeneration is traditionally associated with ataxia. Yet, there are examples of both ataxia and dystonia occurring in individuals with cerebellar degeneration. There is also substantial evidence suggesting that cerebellar dysfunction alone may cause dystonia. The types of cerebellar defects that may cause ataxia, dystonia, or both have not been delineated. In the current study, we explored the relationship between cerebellar degeneration and dystonia using the leaner mouse mutant. Leaner mice have severe dystonia that is associated with dysfunctional and degenerating cerebellar Purkinje cells. Whereas the density of Purkinje cells was not significantly reduced in 4 week-old leaner mice, approximately 50% of the neurons were lost by 34 weeks of age. On the other hand, the dystonia and associated functional disability became significantly less severe during this same interval. In other words, dystonia improved as Purkinje cells were lost, suggesting that dysfunctional Purkinje cells, rather than Purkinje cell loss, contribute to the dystonia. These results provide evidence that distorted cerebellar function may cause dystonia and support the concept that different types of cerebellar defects can have different functional consequences. PMID:25791619

  2. Electron–ion relaxation time in moderately degenerate plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Vronskii, M. A. Koryakina, Yu. V.

    2015-09-15

    A formula is derived for the electron–ion relaxation time in a partially degenerate plasma with electron-ion interaction via a central field. The resulting expression in the form of an integral of the transport cross section generalizes the well-known Landau and Brysk approximations.

  3. Cesare Lombroso: an anthropologist between evolution and degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Mazzarello, Paolo

    Summary Cesare Lombroso (1835–1909) was a prominent Italian medical doctor and intellectual in the second half of the nineteenth century. He became world famous for his theory that criminality, madness and genius were all sides of the same psychobiological condition: an expression of degeneration , a sort of regression along the phylogenetic scale, and an arrest at an early stage of evolution. Degeneration affected criminals especially, in particular the “born delinquent” whose development had stopped at an early stage, making them the most “atavistic” types of human being. Lombroso also advocated the theory that genius was closely linked with madness. A man of genius was a degenerate, an example of retrograde evolution in whom madness was a form of “biological compensation” for excessive intellectual development. To confirm this theory, in August 1897, Lombroso, while attending the Twelfth International Medical Congress in Moscow, decided to meet the great Russian writer Lev Tolstoy in order to directly verify, in him, his theory of degeneration in the genius. Lombroso’s anthropological ideas fuelled a heated debate on the biological determinism of human behaviour. PMID:21729591

  4. Nutritional modulation of age-related macular degeneration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly worldwide. It affects 30-50 million individuals and clinical hallmarks of AMD are observed in at least one third of persons over the age of 75 in industrialized countries (Gehrs et al., 2006). Costs associated wi...

  5. Speech and Language Findings Associated with Paraneoplastic Cerebellar Degeneration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paslawski, Teresa; Duffy, Joseph R.; Vernino, Steven

    2005-01-01

    Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (PCD) is an autoimmune disease that can be associated with cancer of the breast, lung, and ovary. The clinical presentation of PCD commonly includes ataxia, visual disturbances, and dysarthria. The speech disturbances associated with PCD have not been well characterized, despite general acceptance that…

  6. Degenerated human intervertebral discs contain autoantibodies against extracellular matrix proteins.

    PubMed

    Capossela, S; Schläfli, P; Bertolo, A; Janner, T; Stadler, B M; Pötzel, T; Baur, M; Stoyanov, J V

    2014-01-01

    Degeneration of intervertebral discs (IVDs) is associated with back pain and elevated levels of inflammatory cells. It has been hypothesised that discogenic pain is a direct result of vascular and neural ingrowth along annulus fissures, which may expose the avascular nucleus pulposus (NP) to the systemic circulation and induce an autoimmune reaction. In this study, we confirmed our previous observation of antibodies in human degenerated and post-traumatic IVDs cultured in vitro. We hypothesised that the presence of antibodies was due to an autoimmune reaction against specific proteins of the disc. Furthermore we identified antigens which possibly trigger an autoimmune response in degenerative disc diseases. We demonstrated that degenerated and post-traumatic IVDs contain IgG antibodies against typical extracellular proteins of the disc, particularly proteins of the NP. We identified IgGs against collagen type II and aggrecan, confirming an autoimmune reaction against the normally immune privileged NP. We also found specific IgGs against collagens types I and V, but not against collagen type III. In conclusion, this study confirmed the association between disc degeneration and autoimmunity, and may open the avenue for future studies on developing prognostic, diagnostic and therapy-monitoring markers for degenerative disc diseases. PMID:24706108

  7. Nonlinear isothermal waves in a degenerate electron plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Dubinov, A. E.; Dubinova, A. A.

    2008-05-15

    A nonlinear differential equation describing oscillations of the chemical potential in a one-dimensional steady-state wave propagating in a degenerate electron gas against an immobile neutralizing ion background is derived, investigated, and solved exactly. It is found that the wave phase velocity is bounded below by a critical velocity, whose exact value is obtained.

  8. MicroRNAs: New players in intervertebral disc degeneration.

    PubMed

    Wang, Cheng; Wang, Wen-Jun; Yan, Yi-Guo; Xiang, Yong-Xiao; Zhang, Jian; Tang, Zhi-Han; Jiang, Zhi-Sheng

    2015-10-23

    Chronic low back pain is generally attributed to intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration (IDD), which is closely associated with apoptosis, extracellular matrix (ECM) disruption, cell proliferation and inflammatory response. Currently, there is no clinical therapy targeting the pathophysiology of disc degeneration. microRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small noncoding RNA molecules that negatively regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional levels. miRNAs not only regulate many normal physiological processes, but also play an important role in the development of most disorders, including degenerative disc disease. A variety of miRNAs are differentially expressed in degenerative human IVD tissues and cells. Among these, some of the miRNAs have been shown to be involved in multiple pathological processes during disc degeneration, including apoptosis, ECM degradation, cell proliferation and inflammatory response. This review will mainly focus on the expression profiles, roles, and therapeutic implications of miRNAs in IDD. With continued efforts, restoration of dysregulated miRNA expression may represent a promising biological treatment approach for mitigating or reversing IVD degeneration. PMID:26368266

  9. Inflammatory Mediators in Intervertebral Disk Degeneration and Discogenic Pain

    PubMed Central

    Wuertz, Karin; Haglund, Lisbet

    2013-01-01

    Although degeneration of the intervertebral disk has historically been described as a misbalance between anabolic and catabolic factors, the role of inflammatory mediators has long been neglected. However, past research clearly indicates that inflammatory mediators such as interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and tumor necrosis factor-α are expressed at higher levels in “diseased” intervertebral disks. Both disk cells as well as invading macrophages can be the source of the detected cytokines. Importantly, occurrence of inflammatory mediators in the disk can worsen the progress of degeneration by inducing the expression of matrix degrading enzymes as well as by inhibiting extracellular matrix synthesis. In addition, inflammatory mediators play a crucial role in pain development during intervertebral disk herniation (i.e., sciatica) and disk degeneration (i.e., discogenic pain). This review provides information on the most relevant inflammatory mediators during different types of disk diseases and explains how these factors can induce disk degeneration and the development of discogenic and sciatic/radiculopathic pain. PMID:24436868

  10. Cesare Lombroso: an anthropologist between evolution and degeneration.

    PubMed

    Mazzarello, Paolo

    2011-01-01

    Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909) was a prominent Italian medical doctor and intellectual in the second half of the nineteenth century. He became world famous for his theory that criminality, madness and genius were all sides of the same psychobiological condition: an expression of degeneration, a sort of regression along the phylogenetic scale, and an arrest at an early stage of evolution. Degeneration affected criminals especially, in particular the "born delinquent" whose development had stopped at an early stage, making them the most "atavistic" types of human being. Lombroso also advocated the theory that genius was closely linked with madness. A man of genius was a degenerate, an example of retrograde evolution in whom madness was a form of "biological compensation" for excessive intellectual development. To confirm this theory, in August 1897, Lombroso, while attending the Twelfth International Medical Congress in Moscow, decided to meet the great Russian writer Lev Tolstoy in order to directly verify, in him, his theory of degeneration in the genius. Lombroso's anthropological ideas fuelled a heated debate on the biological determinism of human behaviour. PMID:21729591

  11. Biological treatment strategies for disc degeneration: potentials and shortcomings

    PubMed Central

    Nerlich, Andreas G.; Boos, Norbert

    2006-01-01

    Recent advances in molecular biology, cell biology and material sciences have opened a new emerging field of techniques for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. These new treatment modalities aim for biological repair of the affected tissues by introducing cell-based tissue replacements, genetic modifications of resident cells or a combination thereof. So far, these techniques have been successfully applied to various tissues such as bone and cartilage. However, application of these treatment modalities to cure intervertebral disc degeneration is in its very early stages and mostly limited to experimental studies in vitro or in animal studies. We will discuss the potential and possible shortcomings of current approaches to biologically cure disc degeneration by gene therapy or tissue engineering. Despite the increasing number of studies examining the therapeutic potential of biological treatment strategies, a practicable solution to routinely cure disc degeneration might not be available in the near future. However, knowledge gained from these attempts might be applied in a foreseeable future to cure the low back pain that often accompanies disc degeneration and therefore be beneficial for the patient. PMID:16983559

  12. Parainflammation, chronic inflammation, and age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Chen, Mei; Xu, Heping

    2015-11-01

    Inflammation is an adaptive response of the immune system to noxious insults to maintain homeostasis and restore functionality. The retina is considered an immune-privileged tissue as a result of its unique anatomic and physiologic properties. During aging, the retina suffers from a low-grade chronic oxidative insult, which sustains for decades and increases in level with advancing age. As a result, the retinal innate-immune system, particularly microglia and the complement system, undergoes low levels of activation (parainflammation). In many cases, this parainflammatory response can maintain homeostasis in the healthy aging eye. However, in patients with age-related macular degeneration, this parainflammatory response becomes dysregulated and contributes to macular damage. Factors contributing to the dysregulation of age-related retinal parainflammation include genetic predisposition, environmental risk factors, and old age. Dysregulated parainflammation (chronic inflammation) in age-related macular degeneration damages the blood retina barrier, resulting in the breach of retinal-immune privilege, leading to the development of retinal lesions. This review discusses the basic principles of retinal innate-immune responses to endogenous chronic insults in normal aging and in age-related macular degeneration and explores the difference between beneficial parainflammation and the detrimental chronic inflammation in the context of age-related macular degeneration. PMID:26292978

  13. Decreased Expression of DREAM Promotes the Degeneration of Retinal Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Chintala, Shravan; Cheng, Mei; Zhang, Xiao

    2015-01-01

    The intrinsic mechanisms that promote the degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) following the activation of N-Methyl-D-aspartic acid-type glutamate receptors (NMDARs) are unclear. In this study, we have investigated the role of downstream regulatory element antagonist modulator (DREAM) in NMDA-mediated degeneration of the retina. NMDA, phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), and MK801 were injected into the vitreous humor of C57BL/6 mice. At 12, 24, and 48 hours after injection, expression of DREAM in the retina was determined by immunohistochemistry, western blot analysis, and electrophoretic mobility-shift assay (EMSA). Apoptotic death of cells in the retina was determined by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferace dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assays. Degeneration of RGCs in cross sections and in whole mount retinas was determined by using antibodies against Tuj1 and Brn3a respectively. Degeneration of amacrine cells and bipolar cells was determined by using antibodies against calretinin and protein kinase C (PKC)-alpha respectively. DREAM was expressed constitutively in RGCs, amacrine cells, bipolar cells, as well as in the inner plexiform layer (IPL). NMDA promoted a progressive decrease in DREAM levels in all three cell types over time, and at 48 h after NMDA-treatment very low DREAM levels were evident in the IPL only. DREAM expression in retinal nuclear proteins was decreased progressively after NMDA-treatment, and correlated with its decreased binding to the c-fos-DRE oligonucleotides. A decrease in DREAM expression correlated significantly with apoptotic death of RGCs, amacrine cells and bipolar cells. Treatment of eyes with NMDA antagonist MK801, restored DREAM expression to almost normal levels in the retina, and significantly decreased NMDA-mediated apoptotic death of RGCs, amacrine cells, and bipolar cells. Results presented in this study show for the first time that down-regulation of DREAM promotes the degeneration of RGCs, amacrine cells, and

  14. Repair of the degenerate retina by photoreceptor transplantation

    PubMed Central

    Barber, Amanda C.; Hippert, Claire; Duran, Yanai; West, Emma L.; Bainbridge, James W. B.; Warre-Cornish, Katherine; Luhmann, Ulrich F. O.; Lakowski, Jorn; Sowden, Jane C.; Ali, Robin R.; Pearson, Rachael A.

    2013-01-01

    Despite different aetiologies, age-related macular degeneration and most inherited retinal disorders culminate in the same final common pathway, the loss of photoreceptors. There are few treatments and none reverse the loss of vision. Photoreceptor replacement by transplantation is proposed as a broad treatment strategy applicable to all degenerations. Recently, we demonstrated restoration of vision following rod-photoreceptor transplantation into a mouse model of stationary night-blindness, raising the critical question of whether photoreceptor replacement is equally effective in different types and stages of degeneration. We present a comprehensive assessment of rod-photoreceptor transplantation across six murine models of inherited photoreceptor degeneration. Transplantation is feasible in all models examined but disease type has a major impact on outcome, as assessed both by the morphology and number of integrated rod-photoreceptors. Integration can increase (Prph2+/Δ307), decrease (Crb1rd8/rd8, Gnat1−/−, Rho−/−), or remain constant (PDE6βrd1/rd1, Prph2rd2/rd2) with disease progression, depending upon the gene defect, with no correlation with severity. Robust integration is possible even in late-stage disease. Glial scarring and outer limiting membrane integrity, features that change with degeneration, significantly affect transplanted photoreceptor integration. Combined breakdown of these barriers markedly increases integration in a model with an intact outer limiting membrane, strong gliotic response, and otherwise poor transplantation outcome (Rho−/−), leading to an eightfold increase in integration and restoration of visual function. Thus, it is possible to achieve robust integration across a broad range of inherited retinopathies. Moreover, transplantation outcome can be improved by administering appropriate, tailored manipulations of the recipient environment. PMID:23248312

  15. Three Studies Point to Same Risk Gene for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    MedlinePlus

    ... macular degeneration Three studies point to same risk gene for age-related macular degeneration NIH-funded research ... in Nature Genetics have converged on the same gene as a rare, but powerful risk factor for ...

  16. Spin excitation spectra of iron-based superconductors from the degenerate double-exchange model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leong, Zhidong; Lee, Wei-Cheng; Lv, Weicheng; Phillips, Philip

    2014-03-01

    Using a degenerate double-exchange model, we investigate the spin excitation spectra of iron pnictides. The model consists of local spin moments on each Fe site as well as itinerant electrons from the degenerate dxz and dyz orbitals. The local moments interact with each other through antiferromagnetic J1-J2 Heisenberg interactions, and they couple to the itinerant electrons through a ferromagnetic Hund's coupling. We employ the fermionic spinon representation for the local moments and perform a generalized RPA calculation on both spinons and itinerant electrons. We find that in the (π,0) magnetically-ordered state, the spin-wave excitation at (π, π) is pushed to a higher energy due to the presence of itinerant electrons, which is consistent with the previous study using Holstein-Primakoff transformation. In the non-ordered state, the particle-hole continuum keeps the collective spin excitation near (π, π) at a higher energy even without any C4 symmetry breaking. The implications for the recent neutron scattering measurement at high temperature will be discussed.

  17. Detection of quantum well induced single degenerate-transition-dipoles in ZnO nanorods.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Siddharth; Ghosh, Moumita; Seibt, Michael; Rao, G Mohan

    2016-02-01

    Quantifying and characterising atomic defects in nanocrystals is difficult and low-throughput using the existing methods such as high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). In this article, using a defocused wide-field optical imaging technique, we demonstrate that a single ultrahigh-piezoelectric ZnO nanorod contains a single defect site. We model the observed dipole-emission patterns from optical imaging with a multi-dimensional dipole and find that the experimentally observed dipole pattern and model-calculated patterns are in excellent agreement. This agreement suggests the presence of vertically oriented degenerate-transition-dipoles in vertically aligned ZnO nanorods. The HRTEM of the ZnO nanorod shows the presence of a stacking fault, which generates a localised quantum well induced degenerate-transition-dipole. Finally, we elucidate that defocused wide-field imaging can be widely used to characterise defects in nanomaterials to answer many difficult questions concerning the performance of low-dimensional devices, such as in energy harvesting, advanced metal-oxide-semiconductor storage, and nanoelectromechanical and nanophotonic devices. PMID:26691877

  18. Interventions for asymptomatic retinal breaks and lattice degeneration for preventing retinal detachment

    PubMed Central

    Wilkinson, Charles P

    2015-01-01

    Background Asymptomatic retinal breaks and lattice degeneration are visible lesions that are risk factors for later retinal detachment. Retinal detachments occur when fluid in the vitreous cavity passes through tears or holes in the retina and separates the retina from the underlying retinal pigment epithelium. Creation of an adhesion surrounding retinal breaks and lattice degeneration, with laser photocoagulation or cryotherapy, has been recommended as an effective means of preventing retinal detachment. This therapy is of value in the management of retinal tears associated with the symptoms of flashes and floaters and persistent vitreous traction upon the retina in the region of the retinal break, because such symptomatic retinal tears are associated with a high rate of progression to retinal detachment. Retinal tears and holes unassociated with acute symptoms and lattice degeneration are significantly less likely to be the sites of retinal breaks that are responsible for later retinal detachment. Nevertheless, treatment of these lesions frequently is recommended, in spite of the fact that the effectiveness of this therapy is unproven. Objectives The objective of this review was to assess the effectiveness and safety of techniques used to treat asymptomatic retinal breaks and lattice degeneration for the prevention of retinal detachment. Search methods We searched CENTRAL (which contains the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group Trials Register) (2014, Issue 2), Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, Ovid MEDLINE Daily, Ovid OLDMEDLINE (January 1946 to February 2014), EMBASE (January 1980 to February 2014), PubMed (January 1948 to February 2014), the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) (www.controlled-trials.com), ClinicalTrials.gov (www.clinicaltrials.gov) and the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) (www.who.int/ictrp/search/en). We did not use any date or language restrictions in

  19. Investigation of intervertebral disc degeneration using multivariate FTIR spectroscopic imaging.

    PubMed

    Mader, Kerstin T; Peeters, Mirte; Detiger, Suzanne E L; Helder, Marco N; Smit, Theo H; Le Maitre, Christine L; Sammon, Chris

    2016-06-23

    Traditionally tissue samples are analysed using protein or enzyme specific stains on serial sections to build up a picture of the distribution of components contained within them. In this study we investigated the potential of multivariate curve resolution-alternating least squares (MCR-ALS) to deconvolute 2nd derivative spectra of Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microscopic images measured in transflectance mode of goat and human paraffin embedded intervertebral disc (IVD) tissue sections, to see if this methodology can provide analogous information to that provided by immunohistochemical stains and bioassays but from a single section. MCR-ALS analysis of non-degenerate and enzymatically in vivo degenerated goat IVDs reveals five matrix components displaying distribution maps matching histological stains for collagen, elastin and proteoglycan (PG), as well as immunohistochemical stains for collagen type I and II. Interestingly, two components exhibiting characteristic spectral and distribution profiles of proteoglycans were found, and relative component/tissue maps of these components (labelled PG1 and PG2) showed distinct distributions in non-degenerate versus mildly degenerate goat samples. MCR-ALS analysis of human IVD sections resulted in comparable spectral profiles to those observed in the goat samples, highlighting the inter species transferability of the presented methodology. Multivariate FTIR image analysis of a set of 43 goat IVD sections allowed the extraction of semi-quantitative information from component/tissue gradients taken across the IVD width of collagen type I, collagen type II, PG1 and PG2. Regional component/tissue parameters were calculated and significant correlations were found between histological grades of degeneration and PG parameters (PG1: p = 0.0003, PG2: p < 0.0001); glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content and PGs (PG1: p = 0.0055, PG2: p = 0.0001); and MRI T2* measurements and PGs (PG1: p = 0.0021, PG2: p < 0.0001). Additionally

  20. Nekhoroshev stability in quasi-integrable degenerate Hamiltonian systems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzzo, M.

    A perturbation of a degenerate integrable Hamiltonian system has the form H(I,φ ,p,q)=h(I)+ɛ f(I,φ ,p,q) with (I,φ )in Rn x Tn, (p,q) in B subseteq R2m and the two-form is dI wedge dφ + dp wedge dq. In the case h is convex, Nekhoroshev theorem provides the usual bound to the motion of the actions I, but only for a time which is the smaller between the usual exponentially-long time and the escape time of (p,q) from B. Furthermore, the theorem does not provide any estimate for the `degenerate' variables (p,q) better than the a priori one dot p,dot q ~ ɛ, and actually in the literature there are examples of degenerate systems with degenerate variables that perform large chaotic motions in short times. Therefore, there is the problem of individuating which assumptions on the perturbation and on the initial data allows one to produce stability bounds for the degenerate variables over long times, thus preventing chaotic motions and escape. The problem is relevant to understand the long time stability of several systems, like the three body problem, the asteroid belt dynamical system and the fast rotations of the rigid body. In this work we show that if the `secular' hamiltonian of H, i.e the average of H with respect to the fast angles φ, is integrable (or quasi-integrable) and if it satisfies a suitable convexity condition, then a Nekhoroshev-like bound also holds for the degenerate variables (p,q) (actually for the actions of the secular integrable system) for all initial data except those with initial action I(0) in a small neighborhood of the resonant manifolds of order lower than ln 1 ɛ. It is worthwhile to note that even if the secular hamiltonian of H is integrable, strong chaotic motions can take place in short times near such low order resonant manifolds, as it can be shown on examples. This result was proved for the first time in connection with the problem of the long-time stability in the asteroid belt.

  1. Intervertebral disc degeneration in the dog. Part 1: Anatomy and physiology of the intervertebral disc and characteristics of intervertebral disc degeneration.

    PubMed

    Bergknut, Niklas; Smolders, Lucas A; Grinwis, Guy C M; Hagman, Ragnvi; Lagerstedt, Anne-Sofie; Hazewinkel, Herman A W; Tryfonidou, Marianna A; Meij, Björn P

    2013-03-01

    Intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is common in dogs and can give rise to a number of diseases, such as IVD herniation, cervical spondylomyelopathy, and degenerative lumbosacral stenosis. Although there have been many reports and reviews on the clinical aspects of canine IVD disease, few reports have discussed and reviewed the process of IVD degeneration. In this first part of a two-part review, the anatomy, physiology, histopathology, and biochemical and biomechanical characteristics of the healthy and degenerated IVD are described. In Part 2, the aspects of IVD degeneration in chondrodystrophic and non-chondrodystrophic dog breeds are discussed in depth. PMID:23177522

  2. Ataxia and Purkinje cell degeneration in mice lacking the CAMTA1 transcription factor.

    PubMed

    Long, Chengzu; Grueter, Chad E; Song, Kunhua; Qin, Song; Qi, Xiaoxia; Kong, Y Megan; Shelton, John M; Richardson, James A; Zhang, Chun-Li; Bassel-Duby, Rhonda; Olson, Eric N

    2014-08-01

    Members of the calmodulin-binding transcription activator (CAMTA) family of proteins function as calcium-sensitive regulators of gene expression in multicellular organisms ranging from plants to humans. Here, we show that global or nervous system deletion of CAMTA1 in mice causes severe ataxia with Purkinje cell degeneration and cerebellar atrophy, partially resembling the consequences of haploinsufficiency of the human CAMTA1 locus. Gene-expression analysis identified a large collection of neuronal genes that were dysregulated in the brains of CAMTA1-mutant mice, and elucidation of a consensus sequence for binding of CAMTA proteins to DNA revealed the association of CAMTA-binding sites with many of these genes. We conclude that CAMTA1 plays an essential role in the control of Purkinje cell function and survival. CAMTA1-mutant mice provide a model to study the molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases and for screening potential therapeutic interventions for such disorders. PMID:25049392

  3. Histology of spheroidal degeneration of the cornea in Labrador.

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, G. J.; Overall, M.

    1978-01-01

    Nine specimens of the corneas of patients from Labrador and Northern Newfoundland affected by spheroidal degeneration (climatic droplet keratopathy) have been examined microscopically. Histochemical stains confirmed studies of similar corneal degenerations from other geographical areas that the droplets contain a protein which does not have all the characteristic properties of elastic tissue. Staining compatible in some instances with fibrin and "fibrinoid" was found. By immunoperoxidase techniques the droplets were located in the zones of greatest concentration of various plasma constituents, especially albumin and immunoglobulins G and A. Reasons are given why the abnormal deposits are not thought to be derived directly from corneal collagen. It is suggested that some of the plasma proteins, which are known to be diffusing through the cornea from the limbal vessels under normal conditions are acted upon by the ultraviolet light reflected from the ice of Labrador and degraded so that they accumulate in the superficial stroma. Images PMID:629911

  4. Molecular pathology of age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Xiaoyan; Patel, Mrinali; Chan, Chi-Chao

    2009-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. Although the etiology and pathogenesis of AMD remain largely unclear, a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors is thought to exist. AMD pathology is characterized by degeneration involving the retinal photoreceptors, retinal pigment epithelium, and Bruch’s membrane, as well as, in some cases, alterations in choroidal capillaries. Recent research on the genetic and molecular underpinnings of AMD brings to light several basic molecular pathways and pathophysiological processes that might mediate AMD risk, progression, and/or response to therapy. This review summarizes, in detail, the molecular pathological findings in both humans and animal models, including genetic variations in CFH, CX3CR1, and ARMS2/HtrA1, as well as the role of numerous molecules implicated in inflammation, apoptosis, cholesterol trafficking, angiogenesis, and oxidative stress. PMID:19026761

  5. C1,1 regularity for degenerate elliptic obstacle problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daskalopoulos, Panagiota; Feehan, Paul M. N.

    2016-03-01

    The Heston stochastic volatility process is a degenerate diffusion process where the degeneracy in the diffusion coefficient is proportional to the square root of the distance to the boundary of the half-plane. The generator of this process with killing, called the elliptic Heston operator, is a second-order, degenerate-elliptic partial differential operator, where the degeneracy in the operator symbol is proportional to the distance to the boundary of the half-plane. In mathematical finance, solutions to the obstacle problem for the elliptic Heston operator correspond to value functions for perpetual American-style options on the underlying asset. With the aid of weighted Sobolev spaces and weighted Hölder spaces, we establish the optimal C 1 , 1 regularity (up to the boundary of the half-plane) for solutions to obstacle problems for the elliptic Heston operator when the obstacle functions are sufficiently smooth.

  6. Current-Drive Efficiency in a Degenerate Plasma

    SciTech Connect

    S. Son and N.J. Fisch

    2005-11-01

    a degenerate plasma, the rates of electron processes are much smaller than the classical model would predict, affecting the efficiencies of current generation by external non-inductive means, such as by electromagnetic radiation or intense ion beams. For electron-based mechanisms, the current-drive efficiency is higher than the classical prediction by more than a factor of 6 in a degenerate hydrogen plasma, mainly because the electron-electron collisions do not quickly slow down fast electrons. Moreover, electrons much faster than thermal speeds are more readily excited without exciting thermal electrons. In ion-based mechanisms of current drive, the efficiency is likewise enhanced due to the degeneracy effects, since the electron stopping power on slow ion beams is significantly reduced.

  7. Doppel Induces Degeneration of Cerebellar Purkinje Cells Independently of Bax

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Jiaxin; Li, Aimin; Yamaguchi, Naohiro; Sakaguchi, Suehiro; Harris, David A.

    2007-01-01

    Doppel (Dpl) is a prion protein paralog that causes neurodegeneration when expressed ectopically in the brain. To investigate the cellular mechanism underlying this effect, we analyzed Dpl-expressing transgenic mice in which the gene for the proapoptotic protein Bax had been deleted. We found that Bax deletion does not alter either clinical symptoms or Purkinje cell degeneration in Dpl transgenic mice. In addition, we observed that degenerating Purkinje cells in these animals do not display DNA fragmentation or caspase-3 activation. Our results suggest that non-Bax-dependent pathways mediate the toxic effects of Dpl in Purkinje cells, highlighting a possible role for nonapoptotic mechanisms in the death of these neurons. PMID:17569776

  8. Visual prosthetic device for bilateral end-stage macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Chun, Dal W; Heier, Jeffrey S; Raizman, Michael B

    2005-11-01

    Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the USA. For the 1.8 million patients in the most advanced stages, there are currently no available treatments to improve vision. A visual prosthetic device that provides one eye with an enlarged retinal image of the central visual field has been developed with the goal of improving central vision in patients with bilateral end-stage macular degeneration. The other eye is left unimplanted to provide peripheral vision. This device is designed for implantation in the posterior chamber of the eye during an outpatient surgical procedure. In US Food and Drug Administration clinical trials, 72% of patients experienced an improvement in their level of visual impairment (profound or severe, to severe or moderate). This was accompanied by a clinically significant improvement in quality of life. PMID:16293092

  9. Juvenile-Onset Macular Degeneration and Allied Disorders

    PubMed Central

    North, Victoria; Gelman, Rony; Tsang, Stephen H.

    2015-01-01

    While age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of central vision loss among the elderly, many inherited diseases that present earlier in life share features of AMD. These diseases of juvenile-onset macular degeneration include Stargardt disease, Best disease, retinitis pigmentosa, X-linked retinoschisis, and other allied disorders. In particular, they can be accompanied by the appearance of drusen, geographic atrophy, macular hyperpigmentation, choroidal neovascularization, and disciform scarring just as in AMD, and often may be confused for the adult form of the disease. Diagnosis based on funduscopic findings alone can be challenging. However, the use of diagnostic studies such as electroretinography, electrooculography, optical coherence tomography, and fundus autofluorescence in conjunction with genetic testing can lead to an accurate diagnosis. PMID:24732760

  10. Oral and silent reading performance with macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Lovie-Kitchin, J E; Bowers, A R; Woods, R L

    2000-09-01

    Previous studies have shown that reading rate for very large print (6 degrees, 1.86 logMAR character size) is a strong predictor of oral reading rate with low vision devices (LVDs). We investigated whether this would apply using large print sizes more readily available in clinical situations (e.g. 2 degrees, 1.4 logMAR), for subjects with macular degeneration. We assessed rauding rates--reading for understanding. A combination of near word visual acuity and large print reading rate (without LVDs) provided the best prediction of oral rauding rates (with LVDs). However, near word visual acuity alone was almost as good. Similarly, silent rauding rate was predicted best by near word visual acuity alone. We give near visual acuity limits as a clinical guide to expected oral and silent reading performance with LVDs for patients with macular degeneration. PMID:11045244

  11. Degenerate band edge resonances in periodic silicon ridge waveguides.

    PubMed

    Wood, Michael G; Burr, Justin R; Reano, Ronald M

    2015-06-01

    We experimentally demonstrate degenerate band edge resonances in periodic Si ridge waveguides that are compatible with carrier injection modulation for active electro-optical devices. The resonant cavities are designed using a combination of the plane-wave expansion method and the finite difference time domain technique. Measured and simulated quality factors of the first band edge resonances scale to the fifth power of the number of periods. Quality factor scaling is determined to be limited by fabrication imperfections. Compared to resonators based on a regular transmission band edge, degenerate band edge devices can achieve significantly larger quality factors in the same number of periods. Applications include compact electro-optical switches, modulators, and sensors that benefit from high-quality factors and large distributed electric fields. PMID:26030540

  12. Follistatin Alleviates Synovitis and Articular Cartilage Degeneration Induced by Carrageenan

    PubMed Central

    Yamada, Jun; Abula, Kahaer; Inoue, Makiko; Sekiya, Ichiro; Muneta, Takeshi

    2014-01-01

    Activins are proinflammatory cytokines which belong to the TGFβ superfamily. Follistatin is an extracellular decoy receptor for activins. Since both activins and follistatin are expressed in articular cartilage, we hypothesized that activin-follistatin signaling participates in the process of joint inflammation and cartilage degeneration. To test this hypothesis, we examined the effects of follistatin in a carrageenan-induced mouse arthritis model. Synovitis induced by intra-articular injection of carrageenan was significantly alleviated by preinjection with follistatin. Macrophage infiltration into the synovial membrane was significantly reduced in the presence of follistatin. In addition, follistatin inhibited proteoglycan erosion induced by carrageenan in articular cartilage. These data indicate that activin-follistatin signaling is involved in joint inflammation and cartilage homeostasis. Our data suggest that follistatin can be a new therapeutic target for inflammation-induced articular cartilage degeneration. PMID:25574420

  13. Smoking and Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Review and Update

    PubMed Central

    Velilla, Sara; García-Medina, José Javier; García-Layana, Alfredo; Pons-Vázquez, Sheila; Pinazo-Durán, M. Dolores; Gómez-Ulla, Francisco; Arévalo, J. Fernando; Díaz-Llopis, Manuel; Gallego-Pinazo, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the main socioeconomical health issues worldwide. AMD has a multifactorial etiology with a variety of risk factors. Smoking is the most important modifiable risk factor for AMD development and progression. The present review summarizes the epidemiological studies evaluating the association between smoking and AMD, the mechanisms through which smoking induces damage to the chorioretinal tissues, and the relevance of advising patients to quit smoking for their visual health. PMID:24368940

  14. Degenerate perturbative treatment of the hydrogenic Zeeman effect

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, A.C.

    1983-07-01

    Degenerate perturbation theory is applied to study the first 14 energy levels of the hydrogen atom in a uniform magnetic field up to the second order. The twofold degeneracy of all the levels among them in terms of the oscillator or parabolic states is completely removed. The results obtained with the use of the Pade approximant are compared with those found in the literature. Level crossings are discussed.

  15. Cardiac valve degeneration in a patient with Sneddon syndrome.

    PubMed

    Diosteanu, Raluca; Schuler, Gerhard; Müller, Ulrike

    2015-06-01

    Sneddon syndrome--a rare cause of aortic and mitral valve stenosis. Sneddon syndrome is a rare disorder that leads to repeated occurrence of cerebrovascular disease and skin manifestation, defined as livedo racemosa generalisata. The authors report the occurrence of multiple valve degenerations in a 49-year-old patient with Sneddon syndrome, which seemed to have been asymptomatic through a long period of time and was diagnosed as it needed a complex surgical intervention. PMID:25479820

  16. Suppression of Density Fluctuations in a Quantum Degenerate Fermi Gas

    SciTech Connect

    Sanner, Christian; Su, Edward J.; Keshet, Aviv; Gommers, Ralf; Shin, Yong-il; Huang Wujie; Ketterle, Wolfgang

    2010-07-23

    We study density profiles of an ideal Fermi gas and observe Pauli suppression of density fluctuations (atom shot noise) for cold clouds deep in the quantum degenerate regime. Strong suppression is observed for probe volumes containing more than 10 000 atoms. Measuring the level of suppression provides sensitive thermometry at low temperatures. After this method of sensitive noise measurements has been validated with an ideal Fermi gas, it can now be applied to characterize phase transitions in strongly correlated many-body systems.

  17. Age-related changes of mitochondrial transcription factor a expression in rotator cuff degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Ichiseki, Toru; Ueda, Shusuke; Ueda, Yoshimichi; Kaneuji, Ayumi; Kawahara, Norio; Matsumoto, Tadami

    2015-01-01

    One cause of rotator cuff tears is thought to be age-related degenerative changes occurring in the rotator cuff. Using Rat rotator cuff we determined age-related changes in mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) expression in rotator cuff degeneration to clarify the presence/absence of mitochondrial stress. The materials used were rotator cuffs (supraspinatus) of 5-, 24-, 48-, and 100-week-old Wistar Rats (five animals each). Histopathological study revealed a 4-layer structure consisting of a bone layer, calcified cartilage layer, non-calcified cartilage layer, and tendinous component), with age-related narrowing of the non-calcified cartilage layer confirmed to be present. In an immunohistochemical TFAM study positive findings of the non-calcified cartilage layer were less prominent in the 100-week-old group. In an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) study, these were more prominent in the 5-week-old to 24-week-old groups, and slightly less so in the 48-week-old group as compared to the 24-week-old one. In the 100-week-old group as compared to the 24-week-old one they were significantly less prominent (p<0.05). The non-calcified cartilage layer is a major site for the dispersion of mechanical energy, and the change in TFAM expression noted at the same site in the present study and the results of ELISA suggest that age-related changes in mitochondrial stress may be one cause of rotator cuff degeneration. PMID:26692954

  18. Degeneration of the Y chromosome in evolutionary aging models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobo, M. P.; Onody, R. N.

    2005-06-01

    The Y chromosomes are genetically degenerated and do not recombine with their matching partners X. Recombination of XX pairs is pointed out as the key factor for the Y chromosome degeneration. However, there is an additional evolutionary force driving sex-chromosomes evolution. Here we show this mechanism by means of two different evolutionary models, in which sex chromosomes with non-recombining XX and XY pairs of chromosomes is considered. Our results show three curious effects. First, we observed that even when both XX and XY pairs of chromosomes do not recombine, the Y chromosomes still degenerate. Second, the accumulation of mutations on Y chromosomes followed a completely different pattern then those accumulated on X chromosomes. And third, the models may differ with respect to sexual proportion. These findings suggest that a more primeval mechanism rules the evolution of Y chromosomes due exclusively to the sex-chromosomes asymmetry itself, i.e., the fact that Y chromosomes never experience female bodies. Over aeons, natural selection favored X chromosomes spontaneously, even if at the very beginning of evolution, both XX and XY pairs of chromosomes did not recombine.

  19. Electrostatic rogue-waves in relativistically degenerate plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Akbari-Moghanjoughi, M.

    2014-10-15

    In this paper, we investigate the modulational instability and the possibility of electrostatic rogue-wave propagations in a completely degenerate plasma with arbitrary degree of degeneracy, i.e., relativistically degenerate plasma, ranging from solid density to the astrophysical compact stars. The hydrodynamic approach along with the perturbation method is used to reduce the governing equations to the nonlinear Schrödinger equation from which the modulational instability, the growth rate of envelope excitations and the occurrence of rogue as well as super-rogue waves in the plasma, is evaluated. It is observed that the modulational instability in a fully degenerate plasma can be quite sensitive to the plasma number-density and the wavenumber of envelop excitations. It is further revealed that the relativistically degeneracy plasmas (R{sub 0} > 1) are almost always modulationally unstable. It is found, however, that the highly energetic sharply localized electrostatic rogue as well as super-rogue waves can exist in the astrophysical compact objects like white dwarfs and neutron star crusts. The later may provide a link to understand many physical processes in such stars and it may lead us to the origin of the random-localized intense short gamma-ray bursts, which “appear from nowhere and disappear without a trace” quite similar to oceanic rogue structures.

  20. Exact nonlinear excitations in double-degenerate plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Akbari-Moghanjoughi, M.

    2012-06-15

    In this work, we use the conventional hydrodynamics formalism and incorporate the Chew-Goldberger-Low double-adiabatic theory to evaluate the nonlinear electrostatic ion excitations in double-degenerate (electron spin-orbit degenerate) magnetized quantum plasmas. Based on the Sagdeev pseudopotential method, an exact general pseudopotential is calculated which leads to the allowed Mach-number range criteria for such localized density structures in an anisotropic magnetized plasma. We employ the criteria on the Mach-number range for diverse magnetized quantum plasma with different equations of state. It is remarked that various plasma fractional parameters such as the system dimensionality, ion-temperature, relativistic-degeneracy, Zeeman-energy, and plasma composition are involved in the stability of an obliquely propagating nonlinear ion-acoustic wave in a double-degenerate quantum plasma. Current study is most appropriate for nonlinear wave analysis in dense astrophysical magnetized plasma environments such as white-dwarfs and neutron-star crusts where the strong magnetic fields can be present.

  1. Advances in repairing the degenerate retina by rod photoreceptor transplantation☆

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Rachael A.

    2014-01-01

    Despite very different aetiologies, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and most inherited retinal disorders culminate in the same final common pathway, loss of the light-sensitive photoreceptors. There are few clinical treatments and none can reverse the loss of vision. Photoreceptor replacement by transplantation is proposed as a broad treatment strategy applicable to all degenerations. The past decade has seen a number of landmark achievements in this field, which together provide strong justification for continuing investigation into photoreceptor replacement strategies. These include proof of principle for restoring vision by rod-photoreceptor transplantation in mice with congenital stationary night blindness and advances in stem cell biology, which have led to the generation of complete optic structures in vitro from embryonic stem cells. The latter represents enormous potential for generating suitable and renewable donor cells with which to achieve the former. However, there are still challenges presented by the degenerating recipient retinal environment that must be addressed as we move to translating these technologies towards clinical application. PMID:24412415

  2. Accretion of gas and comets onto a nearby degenerate star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pineault, S.

    1987-04-01

    Conditions under which accretion onto a nearby degenerate star, i.e., a white dwarf (WD) or neutron star (NS), could produce a sufficient flux of high-energy radiation to threaten the Earth's protective ozone layer are investigated. Both the case of a field star making a brief encounter with the Solar System and that of a degenerate solar companion ("Nemesis") are considered. For steady accretion from the interstellar medium (ISM), no significant flux is expected from a WD or a low-mass NS. A 1 M_sun; NS could deplete the ozone layer but only if either its closest approach is on the order of 1000 AU or the local ISM density is somewhat higher than average. A field star has a probability of about 2% of making such a close encounter over the lifetime of the Solar System. In the Nemesis case, an ellipticity of 0.99 is implied for a canonical period of 26 myr. In both cases, accretion of comets from the Oort cloud could result in γ-ray bursts, whose fluence could reach a significant level if the star came near the inner edge of the comet cloud. A degenerate Nemesis, if now at the aphelion of its proposed orbit, could be potentially observable as an X-ray or γ-ray source.

  3. Ultra-long-ranged dispersion interaction between degenerate molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobson, John; Savin, Andreas

    2015-03-01

    It is known (see e.g.) that extended nano-systems with zero electronic gaps can exhibit dispersion interactions that fall off with unexpected powers of distance D. We seek to find a similar phenomenon between finite molecules that have a strictly degenerate many-electron groundstate (zero gap). As a toy model we take H3 with the atoms constrained to lie on an equilateral triangle of side a, using a minimal (s) basis set, and with spin-orbit coupling omitted. Rotational symmetry at fixed spins guarantees a degenerate time-reversed pair of three-electron states. For sufficiently small atomic spacing a where inter-atomic hopping kinetic energy dominates the electron-electron repulsion, these degenerate time-reversed pairs of states are many-electron groundstates. We confirm this groundstate degeneracy via limited-basis CI calculations. We show that the resulting dispersion energy between two such constrained H3 molecules falls off as D**(-3)instead of the usual D**(-6). Within the classification scheme proposed in ref, this effect can be interpreted as a ``type C non-additivity'' of the dispersion interaction. This model may be relevant to metal atom clusters. JFD acknowledges Australian Research Council Grant DP1096240. We benefited from discussions with Prof. Janos Angyan and Dr. Ru-Fen Liu.

  4. Humor and laughter in patients with cerebellar degeneration.

    PubMed

    Frank, B; Propson, B; Göricke, S; Jacobi, H; Wild, B; Timmann, D

    2012-06-01

    Humor is a complex behavior which includes cognitive, affective and motor responses. Based on observations of affective changes in patients with cerebellar lesions, the cerebellum may support cerebral and brainstem areas involved in understanding and appreciation of humorous stimuli and expression of laughter. The aim of the present study was to examine if humor appreciation, perception of humorous stimuli, and the succeeding facial reaction differ between patients with cerebellar degeneration and healthy controls. Twenty-three adults with pure cerebellar degeneration were compared with 23 age-, gender-, and education-matched healthy control subjects. No significant difference in humor appreciation and perception of humorous stimuli could be found between groups using the 3 Witz-Dimensionen Test, a validated test asking for funniness and aversiveness of jokes and cartoons. Furthermore, while observing jokes, humorous cartoons, and video sketches, facial expressions of subjects were videotaped and afterwards analysed using the Facial Action Coding System. Using depression as a covariate, the number, and to a lesser degree, the duration of facial expressions during laughter were reduced in cerebellar patients compared to healthy controls. In sum, appreciation of humor appears to be largely preserved in patients with chronic cerebellar degeneration. Cerebellar circuits may contribute to the expression of laughter. Findings add to the literature that non-motor disorders in patients with chronic cerebellar disease are generally mild, but do not exclude that more marked disorders may show up in acute cerebellar disease and/or in more specific tests of humor appreciation. PMID:22012411

  5. Decellularized allogeneic intervertebral disc: natural biomaterials for regenerating disc degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Zhijun; Chen, Kai; Shan, Zhi; Chen, Shuai; Wang, Jiying; Mo, Jian; Ma, Jianjun; Xu, Wenbing; Qin, An; Fan, Shunwu

    2016-01-01

    Intervertebral disc degeneration is associated with back pain and disc herniation. This study established a modified protocol for intervertebral disc (IVD) decellularization and prepared its extracellular matrix (ECM). By culturing mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)(3, 7, 14 and 21 days) and human degenerative IVD cells (7 days) in the ECM, implanting it subcutaneously in rabbit and injecting ECM microparticles into degenerative disc, the biological safety and efficacy of decellularized IVD was evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. Here, we demonstrated that cellular components can be removed completely after decellularization and maximally retain the structure and biomechanics of native IVD. We revealed that allogeneic ECM did not evoke any apparent inflammatory reaction in vivo and no cytotoxicity was found in vitro. Moreover, IVD ECM can induce differentiation of MSCs into IVD-like cells in vitro. Furthermore, allogeneic ECM microparticles are effective on the treatment of rabbit disc degeneration in vivo. In conclusion, our study developed an optimized method for IVD decellularization and we proved decellularized IVD is safe and effective for the treatment of degenerated disc diseases. PMID:26933821

  6. Coherent pulsed excitation of degenerate multistate systems: Exact analytic solutions

    SciTech Connect

    Kyoseva, E. S.; Vitanov, N. V.

    2006-02-15

    We show that the solution of a multistate system composed of N degenerate lower (ground) states and one upper (excited) state can be reduced by using the Morris-Shore transformation to the solution of a two-state system involving only the excited state and a (bright) superposition of ground states. In addition, there are N-1 dark states composed of ground states. We use this decomposition to derive analytical solutions for degenerate extensions of the most popular exactly soluble models: the resonance solution, the Rabi, Landau-Zener, Rosen-Zener, Allen-Eberly, and Demkov-Kunike models. We suggest various applications of the multistate solutions, for example, as tools for creating multistate coherent superpositions by generalized resonant {pi} pulses. We show that such generalized {pi} pulses can occur even when the upper state is far off resonance, at specific detunings, which makes it possible to operate in the degenerate ground-state manifold without populating the (possibly lossy) upper state, even transiently.

  7. Synapse loss and axon retraction in response to local muscle degeneration.

    PubMed

    Hegstrom, C D; Truman, J W

    1996-10-01

    During metamorphosis in the moth, Manduca sexta, the abdominal body-wall muscle DEO1 is remodeled to form the adult muscle DE5. As the larval muscle degenerates, its motoneuron loses its end plates and retracts axon branches from the degenerating muscle. Muscle degeneration is under the control of the insect hormones, the ecdysteroids. Topical application of an ecdysteroid mimic resulted in animals that produced a localized patch of pupal cuticle. Muscle fibers underlying the patch showed a gradient of degeneration. The motoneuron showed end-plate loss and axon retraction from degenerating regions of a given fiber but maintained its fine terminal branches and end plates on intact regions. The results suggest that local steroid treatments that result in local muscle degeneration bring about a loss of synaptic contacts from regions of muscle degeneration. PMID:8885199

  8. Proteomic analysis to elucidate degeneration of Clostridium beijerinckii NCIMB 8052 and role of Ca(2+) in strain recovery from degeneration.

    PubMed

    Lv, Jia; Jiao, Shengyin; Du, Renjia; Zhang, Ruijuan; Zhang, Yan; Han, Bei

    2016-06-01

    Degeneration of solventogenic Clostridium strains is one of the major barriers in bio-butanol production. A degenerated Clostridium beijerinckii NCIMB 8052 strain (DG-8052) was obtained without any genetic manipulation. Supplementation of CaCO3 to fermentation medium could partially recover metabolism of DG-8052 by more than 50 % increase of cell growth and solvent production. This study investigated the protein expression profile of DG-8052 and its response to CaCO3 treatment. Compared with WT-8052, the lower expressed proteins were responsible for disruption of RNA secondary structures and DNA repair, sporulation, signal transduction, transcription regulation, and membrane transport in DG-8052. Interestingly, accompanied with the decreased glucose utilization and lower solvent production, there was a decreased level of sigma-54 modulation protein which may indicate that the level of sigma-54 activity may be associated with the observed strain degeneration. For the addition of CaCO3, proteomic and biochemical study results revealed that besides buffer capacity, Ca(2+) could stabilize heat shock proteins, increase DNA synthesis and replication, and enhance expression of solventogenic enzymes in DG-8052, which has a similar contribution in WT-8052. PMID:27021843

  9. Degeneration of retinal ganglion cells in diabetic dogs and mice: Relationship to glycemic control and retinal capillary degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Howell, Scott J.; Mekhail, Mena N.; Azem, Rami; Ward, Nicole L.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate (i) the effect of diabetes on retinal ganglion cell death in diabetic dogs and mice, (ii) the effect of prolonged glycemic control on diabetes-induced death of retinal ganglion cells, (iii) whether retinal ganglion cell death in diabetes is associated with degeneration of retinal capillaries, and (iv) the effect of diet on diabetes-induced degeneration of retinal ganglion cells in mice. Methods Diabetes was induced in dogs using streptozotocin, and levels of glycemic control (good, moderate, and poor) were maintained for 5 years. Diabetes was studied in two mouse models (diabetes induced in C57Bl/6J mice using streptozotocin and spontaneously diabetic Ins2Akita mice). Retinal ganglion cell death was investigated by counting the number of axons from the ganglion cells in the optic nerve and with terminal transferase deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling and annexin V staining in mice. Results As reported previously, the development and severity of vascular lesions of diabetic retinopathy in diabetic dogs were strongly associated with glycemic control. Loss of retinal ganglion cells was extensive in dogs kept in poor glycemic control, and was essentially prevented in diabetic dogs kept in good glycemic control for the 5 years of study. In contrast, “moderate” glycemic control (intermediate between poor and good glycemic control) caused a significant increase in vascular pathology, but did not cause loss of retinal axons in the optic nerve. Using this validated optic nerve axon counting method, the two mouse models of diabetic retinopathy were studied to assess ganglion cell death. Despite 10 months of diabetes (a duration that has been shown to cause retinal capillary degeneration in both models), neither mouse model showed loss of optic nerve axons (thus suggesting no loss of retinal ganglion cells). Likewise, other parameters of cell death (terminal transferase deoxyuridine triphosphate nick

  10. MRI evaluation of spontaneous intervertebral disc degeneration in the alpaca cervical spine.

    PubMed

    Stolworthy, Dean K; Bowden, Anton E; Roeder, Beverly L; Robinson, Todd F; Holland, Jacob G; Christensen, S Loyd; Beatty, Amanda M; Bridgewater, Laura C; Eggett, Dennis L; Wendel, John D; Stieger-Vanegas, Susanne M; Taylor, Meredith D

    2015-12-01

    Animal models have historically provided an appropriate benchmark for understanding human pathology, treatment, and healing, but few animals are known to naturally develop intervertebral disc degeneration. The study of degenerative disc disease and its treatment would greatly benefit from a more comprehensive, and comparable animal model. Alpacas have recently been presented as a potential large animal model of intervertebral disc degeneration due to similarities in spinal posture, disc size, biomechanical flexibility, and natural disc pathology. This research further investigated alpacas by determining the prevalence of intervertebral disc degeneration among an aging alpaca population. Twenty healthy female alpacas comprised two age subgroups (5 young: 2-6 years; and 15 older: 10+ years) and were rated according to the Pfirrmann-grade for degeneration of the cervical intervertebral discs. Incidence rates of degeneration showed strong correlations with age and spinal level: younger alpacas were nearly immune to developing disc degeneration, and in older animals, disc degeneration had an increased incidence rate and severity at lower cervical levels. Advanced disc degeneration was present in at least one of the cervical intervertebral discs of 47% of the older alpacas, and it was most common at the two lowest cervical intervertebral discs. The prevalence of intervertebral disc degeneration encourages further investigation and application of the lower cervical spine of alpacas and similar camelids as a large animal model of intervertebral disc degeneration. PMID:26135031

  11. The Local Type Ia Supernova Progenitors: One Double-Degenerate, No Symbiotics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagnotta, Ashley; Schaefer, B. E.

    2012-01-01

    Although the basic mechanism responsible for Type Ia supernovae appears to be well understood (thermonuclear explosion of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf that has reached the Chandrasekhar mass limit), the identity of the progenitor system(s) remains a mystery. With implications from stellar evolution to frontline cosmology, it is critical to attack this problem from every possible angle. We present results from our study of three known historical Ia supernovae in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) which allow us to eliminate possible progenitor candidates for at least the local population. We used archival Hubble Space Telescope images of SNR 0509-67.5, SNR 0509-68.7, and SNR 0519-69.0 to determine the site of each explosion and then search the surrounding area for potential ex-companion stars that were left behind. The search was carried out within an error ellipse that accounts for measurement error on the geometric center of the remnant, the orbital velocity of the pre-supernova binary system, and kicks from the actual explosion. For SNR 0509-67.5, the error ellipse is empty to the HST 5σ limiting magnitude of V=26.9. Using an LMC distance modulus of 18.5, this implies that any single degenerate ex-companion must be fainter than MV=+8.4 (corresponding approximately to a K9 main sequence star), which eliminates all currently-published single-degenerate models and leads us to conclude that this system had a double-degenerate (double white dwarf) progenitor. For SNR 0509-68.7 and SNR 0519-69.0, we can eliminate the possibility of red giant and subgiant ex-companions. It has been shown that the two confident galactic Ia supernovae (Tycho's SN 1572 and SN 1006) also do not have red giant ex-companion stars. Combined with our three systems, this eliminates the symbiotic progenitor channel for all of the nearby Ia supernovae. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (AST-1109420).

  12. Impact of PICALM and CLU on hippocampal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xianfeng; Li, Jin; Liu, Bing; Li, Yonghui; Jiang, Tianzi

    2016-07-01

    PICALM and CLU are two major risk genes of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD), and there is strong molecular evidence suggesting their interaction on amyloid-beta deposition, hence finding functional dependency between their risk genotypes may lead to better understanding of their roles in LOAD development and greater clinical utility. In this study, we mainly investigated interaction effects of risk loci PICALM rs3581179 and CLU rs11136000 on hippocampal degeneration in both young and elderly adults in order to understand their neural mechanism on aging process, which may help identify robust biomarkers for early diagnosis and intervention. Besides volume we also assessed hippocampal shape phenotypes derived from diffeomorphic metric mapping and nonlinear dimensionality reduction. In elderly individuals (75.6 ± 6.7 years) significant interaction effects existed on hippocampal volume (P < 0.001), whereas in young healthy adults (19.4 ± 1.1 years) such effects existed on a shape phenotype (P = 0.01) indicating significant variation at hippocampal head and tail that mirror most AD vulnerable regions. Voxel-wise analysis also pointed to the same regions but lacked statistical power. In both cohorts, PICALM protective genotype AA only exhibited protective effects on hippocampal degeneration and cognitive performance when combined with CLU protective T allele, but adverse effects with CLU risk CC. This study revealed novel PICALM and CLU interaction effects on hippocampal degeneration along aging, and validated effectiveness of diffeomorphometry in imaging genetics study. Hum Brain Mapp 37:2419-2430, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27017968

  13. Taurine provides neuroprotection against retinal ganglion cell degeneration.

    PubMed

    Froger, Nicolas; Cadetti, Lucia; Lorach, Henri; Martins, Joao; Bemelmans, Alexis-Pierre; Dubus, Elisabeth; Degardin, Julie; Pain, Dorothée; Forster, Valérie; Chicaud, Laurent; Ivkovic, Ivana; Simonutti, Manuel; Fouquet, Stéphane; Jammoul, Firas; Léveillard, Thierry; Benosman, Ryad; Sahel, José-Alain; Picaud, Serge

    2012-01-01

    Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) degeneration occurs in numerous retinal diseases leading to blindness, either as a primary process like in glaucoma, or secondary to photoreceptor loss. However, no commercial drug is yet directly targeting RGCs for their neuroprotection. In the 70s, taurine, a small sulfonic acid provided by nutrition, was found to be essential for the survival of photoreceptors, but this dependence was not related to any retinal disease. More recently, taurine deprivation was incriminated in the retinal toxicity of an antiepileptic drug. We demonstrate here that taurine can improve RGC survival in culture or in different animal models of RGC degeneration. Taurine effect on RGC survival was assessed in vitro on primary pure RCG cultures under serum-deprivation conditions, and on NMDA-treated retinal explants from adult rats. In vivo, taurine was administered through the drinking water in two glaucomatous animal models (DBA/2J mice and rats with vein occlusion) and in a model of Retinitis pigmentosa with secondary RGC degeneration (P23H rats). After a 6-day incubation, 1 mM taurine significantly enhanced RGCs survival (+68%), whereas control RGCs were cultured in a taurine-free medium, containing all natural amino-acids. This effect was found to rely on taurine-uptake by RGCs. Furthermore taurine (1 mM) partly prevented NMDA-induced RGC excitotoxicity. Finally, taurine supplementation increased RGC densities both in DBA/2J mice, in rats with vein occlusion and in P23H rats by contrast to controls drinking taurine-free water. This study indicates that enriched taurine nutrition can directly promote RGC survival through RGC intracellular pathways. It provides evidence that taurine can positively interfere with retinal degenerative diseases. PMID:23115615

  14. Lack of Acid Sphingomyelinase Induces Age-Related Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Bill X.; Fan, Jie; Boyer, Nicholas P.; Jenkins, Russell W.; Koutalos, Yiannis; Hannun, Yusuf A.; Crosson, Craig E.

    2015-01-01

    Background Mutations of acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase) cause Niemann–Pick diseases type A and B, which are fatal inherited lipid lysosomal storage diseases, characterized with visceral organ abnormalities and neurodegeneration. However, the effects of suppressing retinal ASMase expression are not understood. The goal of this study was to determine if the disruption of ASMase expression impacts the retinal structure and function in the mouse, and begin to investigate the mechanisms underlying these abnormalities. Methods Acid sphingomyelinase knockout (ASMase KO) mice were utilized to study the roles of this sphingolipid metabolizing enzyme in the retina. Electroretinogram and morphometric analysis were used to assess the retinal function and structure at various ages. Sphingolipid profile was determined by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Western blots evaluated the level of the autophagy marker LC3-II. Results When compared to control animals, ASMase KO mice exhibited significant age-dependent reduction in ERG a- and b-wave amplitudes. Associated with these functional deficits, morphometric analysis revealed progressive thinning of retinal layers; however, the most prominent degeneration was observed in the photoreceptor and outer nuclear layer. Additional analyses of ASMase KO mice revealed early reduction in ERG c-wave amplitudes and increased lipofuscin accumulation in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Sphingolipid analyses showed abnormal accumulation of sphingomyelin and sphingosine in ASMase KO retinas. Western blot analyses showed a higher level of the autophagosome marker LC3-II. Conclusions These studies demonstrate that ASMase is necessary for the maintenance of normal retinal structure and function. The early outer retinal dysfunction, outer segment degeneration, accumulation of lipofuscin and autophagosome markers provide evidence that disruption of lysosomal function contributes to the age-dependent retinal degeneration exhibited by

  15. Sequestration of tau by granulovacuolar degeneration in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed Central

    Bondareff, W.; Wischik, C. M.; Novak, M.; Roth, M.

    1991-01-01

    Antibodies directed against three regions of tau have been used in a histologic study of granulovacuolar degeneration (GVD) in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Granulovascular degeneration complexes, consisting of a dense granule in a less-dense vacuole, were found in hippocampal pyramidal neurons in all patients studied. Anti-tau antibodies directed against the N-and C-termini, and the repeat region of tau, were found to immunolabel the granule of the GVD complex. Intracellular neurofibrillary tangles also were labeled by these antibodies. In particular, MAb6.423, which recognizes tau protein sequestered in paired helical filaments (PHF) in AD, but not the normal tau proteins so far described in human brain, labeled GVD granules. Contrarily, a generic tau marker (MAb7.51), which immunolabels all known isoforms of isolated and expressed tau protein, including PHF-tau, did not label the GVD granule. These findings demonstrate that the entire tau molecule is sequestered within the GVD granule, and that the tau protein found in GVD complexes is antigenically related to that found in PHFs. There is, however, a difference in the way in which the repeat region of tau is incorporated into the two structures, making the MAb7.51 epitope unavailable in the GVD complex. These findings suggest that the formation of GVD complexes in hippocampal pyramidal neurons vulnerable to neurofibrillary degeneration may represent an alternative pathway for dealing with an aberrant molecular complex, which contributes to the formation of GVD granules and neurofibrillary tangles in AD. Images Figure 1 PMID:1909492

  16. Decreased Proteasomal Activity Causes Photoreceptor Degeneration in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Ando, Ryo; Noda, Kousuke; Tomaru, Utano; Kamoshita, Mamoru; Ozawa, Yoko; Notomi, Shoji; Hisatomi, Toshio; Noda, Mika; Kanda, Atsuhiro; Ishibashi, Tatsuro; Kasahara, Masanori; Ishida, Susumu

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. To study the retinal degeneration caused by decreased proteasomal activity in β5t transgenic (β5t-Tg) mice, an animal model of senescence acceleration. Methods. β5t-Tg mice and age-matched littermate control (WT) mice were used. Proteasomal activities and protein level of poly-ubiquitinated protein in retinal extracts were quantified. Fundus images of β5t-Tg mice were taken and their features were assessed. For histologic evaluation, the thicknesses of inner nuclear layer (INL), outer nuclear layer (ONL), and photoreceptor outer segment (OS) were measured. For functional analysis, ERG was recorded under scotopic and photopic illumination conditions. Immunofluorescence (IF) staining and TUNEL were performed to investigate the mechanism of photoreceptor degeneration. Results. Chymotrypsin-like activity was partially suppressed in retinal tissues of β5t-Tg mice. Retinal degenerative changes with arterial attenuation were present in β5t-Tg, but not in WT mice. Inner nuclear layer thickness showed no significant change between β5t-Tg and WT mice at 1, 3, 6, and 9 months of age. By contrast, thicknesses of ONL and OS in β5t-Tg mice were significantly decreased at 3, 6, and 9 months compared with those in WT mice. Electroretinograms showed decrease of scotopic a-wave amplitude in β5t-Tg mice. The number of TUNEL-positive cells in ONL were significantly increased in β5t-Tg mice and colocalized with apoptosis-inducing factor, but not with cleaved caspase-3 and -9, indicating that the photoreceptor cell death was induced via a caspase-independent pathway. Conclusions. The current data showed that impaired proteasomal function causes photoreceptor degeneration. PMID:24994871

  17. Taurine Provides Neuroprotection against Retinal Ganglion Cell Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Froger, Nicolas; Cadetti, Lucia; Lorach, Henri; Martins, Joao; Bemelmans, Alexis-Pierre; Dubus, Elisabeth; Degardin, Julie; Pain, Dorothée; Forster, Valérie; Chicaud, Laurent; Ivkovic, Ivana; Simonutti, Manuel; Fouquet, Stéphane; Jammoul, Firas; Léveillard, Thierry; Benosman, Ryad; Sahel, José-Alain; Picaud, Serge

    2012-01-01

    Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) degeneration occurs in numerous retinal diseases leading to blindness, either as a primary process like in glaucoma, or secondary to photoreceptor loss. However, no commercial drug is yet directly targeting RGCs for their neuroprotection. In the 70s, taurine, a small sulfonic acid provided by nutrition, was found to be essential for the survival of photoreceptors, but this dependence was not related to any retinal disease. More recently, taurine deprivation was incriminated in the retinal toxicity of an antiepileptic drug. We demonstrate here that taurine can improve RGC survival in culture or in different animal models of RGC degeneration. Taurine effect on RGC survival was assessed in vitro on primary pure RCG cultures under serum-deprivation conditions, and on NMDA-treated retinal explants from adult rats. In vivo, taurine was administered through the drinking water in two glaucomatous animal models (DBA/2J mice and rats with vein occlusion) and in a model of Retinitis pigmentosa with secondary RGC degeneration (P23H rats). After a 6-day incubation, 1 mM taurine significantly enhanced RGCs survival (+68%), whereas control RGCs were cultured in a taurine-free medium, containing all natural amino-acids. This effect was found to rely on taurine-uptake by RGCs. Furthermore taurine (1 mM) partly prevented NMDA-induced RGC excitotoxicity. Finally, taurine supplementation increased RGC densities both in DBA/2J mice, in rats with vein occlusion and in P23H rats by contrast to controls drinking taurine-free water. This study indicates that enriched taurine nutrition can directly promote RGC survival through RGC intracellular pathways. It provides evidence that taurine can positively interfere with retinal degenerative diseases. PMID:23115615

  18. Experimental position-time entanglement with degenerate single photons

    SciTech Connect

    Bennett, A. J.; Gevaux, D. G.; Yuan, Z. L.; Shields, A. J.; Atkinson, P.; Ritchie, D. A.

    2008-02-15

    We report an experiment in which two-photon interference occurs between degenerate single photons that never meet. The two photons travel in opposite directions through our fiber-optic interferometer and interference occurs when the photons reach two different, spatially separated, two-by-two couplers at the same time. We show that this experiment is analogous to the conventional Franson-type entanglement experiment where the photons are entangled in position and time. We measure wave-function overlaps for the two photons as high as 94{+-}3%.

  19. Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Advances in Management and Diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Yonekawa, Yoshihiro; Miller, Joan W; Kim, Ivana K

    2015-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible visual impairment in older populations in industrialized nations. AMD is a late-onset deterioration of photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium in the central retina caused by various environmental and genetic factors. Great strides in our understanding of AMD pathogenesis have been made in the past several decades, which have translated into revolutionary therapeutic agents in recent years. In this review, we describe the clinical and pathologic features of AMD and present an overview of current diagnosis and treatment strategies. PMID:26239130

  20. Age-related macular degeneration: Complement in action.

    PubMed

    van Lookeren Campagne, Menno; Strauss, Erich C; Yaspan, Brian L

    2016-06-01

    The complement system plays a key role in host-defense against common pathogens but must be tightly controlled to avoid inflammation and tissue damage. Polymorphisms in genes encoding two important negative regulators of the alternative complement pathway, complement factor H (CFH) and complement factor I (CFI), are associated with the risk for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision impairment in the ageing population. In this review, we will discuss the genetic basis of AMD and the potential impact of complement de-regulation on disease pathogenesis. Finally, we will highlight recent therapeutic approaches aimed at controlling complement activation in patients with AMD. PMID:26742632

  1. Hydrodynamics in a Degenerate, Strongly Attractive Fermi Gas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas, John E.; Kinast, Joseph; Hemmer, Staci; Turlapov, Andrey; O'Hara, Ken; Gehm, Mike; Granade, Stephen

    2004-01-01

    In summary, we use all-optical methods with evaporative cooling near a Feshbach resonance to produce a strongly interacting degenerate Fermi gas. We observe hydrodynamic behavior in the expansion dynamics. At low temperatures, collisions may not explain the expansion dynamics. We observe hydrodynamics in the trapped gas. Our observations include collisionally-damped excitation spectra at high temperature which were not discussed above. In addition, we observe weakly damped breathing modes at low temperature. The observed temperature dependence of the damping time and hydrodynamic frequency are not consistent with collisional dynamics nor with collisionless mean field interactions. These observations constitute the first evidence for superfluid hydrodynamics in a Fermi gas.

  2. Coupling and degenerating modes in longitudinal-torsional step horns.

    PubMed

    Harkness, Patrick; Lucas, Margaret; Cardoni, Andrea

    2012-12-01

    Longitudinal-torsional vibration is used and proposed for a variety of ultrasonic applications including motors, welding, and rock-cutting. To obtain this behavior in an ultrasonic step horn one can either, (i) couple the longitudinal and torsional modes of the horn by incorporating a ring of diagonal slits in the thick base section or, (ii) place helical flutes in the thin stem section to degenerate the longitudinal mode into a modified behavior with a longitudinal-torsional motion. This paper compares the efficacy of these two design approaches using both numerical and experimental techniques. PMID:22770885

  3. Hepatic encephalopathy coexists with acquired chronic hepatocerebral degeneration.

    PubMed

    Huang, Feng-Zhen; Hou, Xuan; Zhou, Tie-Qiao; Chen, Si

    2015-07-01

    Hyperkinetic extrapyramidal syndrome is the typical clinical characteristic of acquired hepatocerebral degeneration (AHD), but is usually not observed with hepatic encephalopathy (HE). We present a case of AHD coexisting with HE. Both conditions were secondary to liver cirrhosis and hepatitis C virus infection. The brain MRI showed bilateral and symmetric high T1 signal-intensity in the globus pallidus, and diffuse high signal-intensity of the hemispheric white matter on T2-FLAIR images. As we usually neglect the existence of AHD, the diagnosis is often ignored, especially when it coexists with HE. This case highlights the need to distinguish irreversible AHD from HE. PMID:26166598

  4. Degenerate Bose-Fermi mixtures of rubidium and ytterbium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiamsuphat, Jiraphat; Vaidya, Varun; Rolston, Steven; Porto, James

    2016-05-01

    We report the realization of a quantum degenerate mixture of bosonic 87 Rb and fermionic 171 Yb atoms in a hybrid optical dipole trap with a tunable, species-dependent trapping potential. 87 Rb is shown to be a viable refrigerant for the non-interacting 171 Yb atoms, cooling up to 2. 4 × 105 Yb atoms to a temperature of T/ TF = 0.16(2) while simultaneously forming a 87 Rb Bose-Einstein condensate of 3. 5 × 105 atoms. Furthermore we demonstrate our ability to independently tailor the potentials for each species, which paves the way for studying impurities immersed in a Bose gas.

  5. Effects of Vitreomacular Adhesion on Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Eui Chun; Koh, Hyoung Jun

    2015-01-01

    Herein, we review the association between vitreomacular adhesion (VMA) and neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Meta-analyses have shown that eyes with neovascular AMD are twice as likely to have VMA as normal eyes. VMA in neovascular AMD may induce inflammation, macular traction, decrease in oxygenation, sequestering of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and other cytokines or may directly stimulate VEGF production. VMA may also interfere with the treatment effects of anti-VEGF therapy, which is the standard treatment for neovascular AMD, and releasing VMA can improve the treatment response to anti-VEGF treatment in neovascular AMD. We also reviewed currently available methods of relieving VMA. PMID:26425354

  6. An algorithm for genetic testing of frontotemporal lobar degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Rademakers, R.; Huey, E.D.; Boxer, A.L.; Mayeux, R.; Miller, B.L.; Boeve, B.F.

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To derive an algorithm for genetic testing of patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Methods: A literature search was performed to review the clinical and pathologic phenotypes and family history associated with each FTLD gene. Results: Based on the literature review, an algorithm was developed to allow clinicians to use the clinical and neuroimaging phenotypes of the patient and the family history and autopsy information to decide whether or not genetic testing is warranted, and if so, the order for appropriate tests. Conclusions: Recent findings in genetics, pathology, and imaging allow clinicians to use the clinical presentation of the patient with FTLD to inform genetic testing decisions. PMID:21282594

  7. A Detailed Investigation into Near Degenerate Exponential Random Graphs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Mei

    2016-07-01

    The exponential family of random graphs has been a topic of continued research interest. Despite the relative simplicity, these models capture a variety of interesting features displayed by large-scale networks and allow us to better understand how phases transition between one another as tuning parameters vary. As the parameters cross certain lines, the model asymptotically transitions from a very sparse graph to a very dense graph, completely skipping all intermediate structures. We delve deeper into this near degenerate tendency and give an explicit characterization of the asymptotic graph structure as a function of the parameters.

  8. Imploding and exploding shocks in negative ion degenerate plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Hussain, S.; Akhtar, N.

    2011-08-15

    Imploding and exploding shocks are studied in nonplanar geometries for negative ion degenerate plasma. Deformed Korteweg de Vries Burgers (DKdVB) equation is derived by using reductive perturbation method. Two level finite difference scheme is used for numerical analysis of DKdVB. It is observed that compressive and rarefactive shocks are observed depending on the value of quantum parameter. The effects of temperature, kinematic viscosity, mass ratio of negative to positive ions and quantum parameter on diverging and converging shocks are presented.

  9. PCR Amplicon Prediction from Multiplex Degenerate Primer and Probe Sets

    SciTech Connect

    Gardner, S. N.

    2013-08-08

    Assessing primer specificity and predicting both desired and off-target amplification products is an essential step for robust PCR assay design. Code is described to predict potential polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplicons in a large sequence database such as NCBI nt from either singleplex or a large multiplexed set of primers, allowing degenerate primer and probe bases, with target mismatch annotates amplicons with gene information automatically downloaded from NCBI, and optionally it can predict whether there are also TaqMan/Luminex probe matches within predicted amplicons.

  10. Phase diagram of QCD with four degenerate quarks

    SciTech Connect

    Cea, Paolo; Cosmai, Leonardo; D'Elia, Massimo; Papa, Alessandro

    2010-05-01

    We revisit the determination of the pseudocritical line of QCD with four degenerate quarks at nonzero temperature and baryon density by the method of analytic continuation. We determine the pseudocritical couplings at imaginary chemical potentials by high-statistics Monte Carlo simulations and reveal deviations from the simple quadratic dependence on the chemical potential visible in earlier works on the same subject. Finally, we discuss the implications of our findings for the shape of the pseudocritical line at real chemical potential, comparing different possible extrapolations.

  11. Stationary entanglement in N-atom subradiant degenerate cascade systems

    SciTech Connect

    Borrelli, Massimo; Piovella, Nicola; Paris, Matteo G. A.

    2011-01-15

    We address ultracold N-atom degenerate cascade systems and show that stationary subradiant states, already observed in the semiclassical regime, also exist in a fully quantum regime and for a small number of atoms. We explicitly evaluate the amount of stationary entanglement for the two-atom configuration and show full inseparability for the three-atom case. We also show that a continuous variable description of the systems is not suitable to detect entanglement due to the non-Gaussianity of subradiant states.

  12. PCR Amplicon Prediction from Multiplex Degenerate Primer and Probe Sets

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2013-08-08

    Assessing primer specificity and predicting both desired and off-target amplification products is an essential step for robust PCR assay design. Code is described to predict potential polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplicons in a large sequence database such as NCBI nt from either singleplex or a large multiplexed set of primers, allowing degenerate primer and probe bases, with target mismatch annotates amplicons with gene information automatically downloaded from NCBI, and optionally it can predict whether theremore » are also TaqMan/Luminex probe matches within predicted amplicons.« less

  13. Degenerate nonlinear programming with a quadratic growth condition.

    SciTech Connect

    Anitescu, M.; Mathematics and Computer Science

    2000-01-01

    We show that the quadratic growth condition and the Mangasarian-Fromovitz constraint qualification (MFCQ) imply that local minima of nonlinear programs are isolated stationary points. As a result, when started sufficiently close to such points, an L1 exact penalty sequential quadratic programming algorithm will induce at least R-linear convergence of the iterates to such a local minimum. We construct an example of a degenerate nonlinear program with a unique local minimum satisfying the quadratic growth and the MFCQ but for which no positive semidefinite augmented Lagrangian exists. We present numerical results obtained using several nonlinear programming packages on this example and discuss its implications for some algorithms.

  14. Aetiology of spheroidal degeneration of the cornea in Labrador.

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, G J

    1981-01-01

    To determine the aetiology of spheroidal degeneration of the cornea (Labrador keratopathy), total population surveys were conducted in 5 communities in coastal Labrador and northern Newfoundland. For 4 years records were also kept on all clinic patients aged 40 or more throughout the region. Both methods gave a peak prevalence at latitudes 55 degrees--56 degrees north. The greatest severity and earliest age of onset occurred around the same latitudes. Of the proposed environmental causative agents only ultraviolet radiation, reflected from ice and snow, explains the distribution of the disease. The high cumulative UV dosage is due to the unique geographical and climatic features of the region. Images PMID:7236572

  15. Present and Possible Therapies for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Kamal, Ahmed

    2014-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of blindness in the elderly population worldwide and is defined as a chronic, progressive disorder characterized by changes occurring within the macula reflective of the ageing process. At present, the prevalence of AMD is currently rising and is estimated to increase by a third by 2020. Although our understanding of the several components underpinning the pathogenesis of this condition has increased significantly, the treatment options for this condition remain substantially limited. In this review, we outline the existing arsenal of therapies available for AMD and discuss the additional role of further novel therapies currently under investigation for this debilitating disease. PMID:25097787

  16. A Detailed Investigation into Near Degenerate Exponential Random Graphs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Mei

    2016-05-01

    The exponential family of random graphs has been a topic of continued research interest. Despite the relative simplicity, these models capture a variety of interesting features displayed by large-scale networks and allow us to better understand how phases transition between one another as tuning parameters vary. As the parameters cross certain lines, the model asymptotically transitions from a very sparse graph to a very dense graph, completely skipping all intermediate structures. We delve deeper into this near degenerate tendency and give an explicit characterization of the asymptotic graph structure as a function of the parameters.

  17. Degenerate quantum codes and the quantum Hamming bound

    SciTech Connect

    Sarvepalli, Pradeep; Klappenecker, Andreas

    2010-03-15

    The parameters of a nondegenerate quantum code must obey the Hamming bound. An important open problem in quantum coding theory is whether the parameters of a degenerate quantum code can violate this bound for nondegenerate quantum codes. In this article we show that Calderbank-Shor-Steane (CSS) codes, over a prime power alphabet q{>=}5, cannot beat the quantum Hamming bound. We prove a quantum version of the Griesmer bound for the CSS codes, which allows us to strengthen the Rains' bound that an [[n,k,d

  18. Two-photon interferences with degenerate and nondegenerate paired photons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Chang; Chen, J. F.; Zhang, Shanchao; Zhou, Shuyu; Kim, Yoon-Ho; Loy, M. M. T.; Wong, G. K. L.; Du, Shengwang

    2012-02-01

    We generate narrow-band frequency-tunable entangled photon pairs from spontaneous four-wave mixing in three-level cold atoms and study their two-photon quantum interference after a beam splitter. We find that the path-exchange symmetry plays a more important role in the Hong-Ou-Mandel interference than the temporal or frequency indistinguishability, and observe coalescence interference for both degenerate and nondegenerate photons. We also observe a quantum beat in the same experimental setup using either slow or fast detectors.

  19. [Diagnostic Criteria for Atrophic Age-related Macular Degeneration].

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Kanji; Shiraga, Fumio; Ishida, Susumu; Kamei, Motohiro; Yanagi, Yasuo; Yoshimura, Nagahisa

    2015-10-01

    Diagnostic criteria for dry age-related macular degeneration is described. Criteria include visual acuity, fundscopic findings, diagnostic image findings, exclusion criteria and classification of severity grades. Essential findings to make diagnosis as "geographic atrophy" are, 1) at least 250 μm in diameter, 2) round/oval/cluster-like or geographic in shape, 3) sharp delineation, 4) hypopigmentation or depigmentation in retinal pigment epithelium, 5) choroidal vessels are more visible than in surrounding area. Severity grades were classified as mild, medium and severe by relation of geographic atrophy to the fovea and attendant findings. PMID:26571627

  20. [Glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration intricacy].

    PubMed

    Valtot, F

    2008-07-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of legal blindness among the elderly in Western nations. Age is also a well-known and well-evidenced risk factor for glaucoma. With increasing longevity and the rising prevalence of older people around the world, more and more patients will have glaucoma and AMD. Clinical evaluation of these patients still poses problems for clinicians. It is very important to order the right tests at the right time to distinguish glaucomatous defects from those caused by retinal lesions, because appropriate therapy has a beneficial effect on slowing or halting damage. PMID:18957915

  1. Photon upconversion in degenerately sulfur doped InP nanowires.

    PubMed

    Mergenthaler, K; Lehmann, S; Wallentin, J; Zhang, W; Borgström, M T; Yartsev, A; Pistol, M-E

    2015-12-28

    Radiative recombination in degenerately n-doped InP nanowires is studied for excitation above and below the Fermi energy of the electron gas, using photoluminescence. Laser-induced electron heating is observed, which allows absorption below the Fermi energy. We observe photon upconversion where photo-excited holes recombine with high |k| electrons. This can be attributed to hole scattering to high |k|-values, and the temperature dependence of this process is measured. We show that hole relaxation via phonon scattering can be observed in continuous wave excitation luminescence measurements. PMID:26585229

  2. Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Advances in Management and Diagnosis

    PubMed Central

    Yonekawa, Yoshihiro; Miller, Joan W.; Kim, Ivana K.

    2015-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible visual impairment in older populations in industrialized nations. AMD is a late-onset deterioration of photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium in the central retina caused by various environmental and genetic factors. Great strides in our understanding of AMD pathogenesis have been made in the past several decades, which have translated into revolutionary therapeutic agents in recent years. In this review, we describe the clinical and pathologic features of AMD and present an overview of current diagnosis and treatment strategies. PMID:26239130

  3. Squalamine lactate for exudative age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Connolly, Brian; Desai, Avinash; Garcia, Charles A; Thomas, Edgar; Gast, Michael J

    2006-09-01

    Squalamine lactate inhibits angiogenesis by a long-lived, intracellular mechanism of action. The drug is taken up into activated endothelial cells through caveolae, small invaginations in the cellular membrane. Subsequently, the drug binds to and "chaperones" calmodulin to an intracellular membrane compartment and blocks angiogenesis at several levels. A series of basic investigations, preclinical studies, and human clinical trials have begun to establish the proof of concept, efficacy, and safety parameters for use of squalamine lactate as a therapeutic agent for exudative age-related macular degeneration and several types of malignancies. PMID:16935213

  4. Inhibition of polyisoprenylated methylated protein methyl esterase by synthetic musks induces cell degeneration.

    PubMed

    Ayuk-Takem, Lambert; Amissah, Felix; Aguilar, Byron J; Lamango, Nazarius S

    2014-04-01

    Synthetic fragrances are persistent environmental pollutants that tend to bioaccumulate in animal tissues. They are widely used in personal care products and cleaning agents. Worldwide production of Galaxolide and Tonalide are in excess of 4500 tons annually. Because of their widespread production and use, they have been detected in surface waters and fish in the US and Europe. Consumption of contaminated water and fish from such sources leads to bioaccumulation and eventual toxicity. Since fragrances and flavors bear structural similarities to polyisoprenes, it was of interest to determine whether toxicity by Galaxolide and Tonalide may be linked with polyisoprenylated methylated protein methyl esterase (PMPMEase) inhibition. A concentration-dependent study of PMPMEase inhibition by Galaxolide and Tonalide as well as their effects on the degeneration of cultured cells were conducted. Galaxolide and Tonalide inhibited purified porcine liver PMPMEase with Ki values of 11 and 14 μM, respectively. Galaxolide and Tonalide also induced human cancer cell degeneration with EC50 values of 26 and 98 μM (neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells) and 58 and 14 μM (lung cancer A549 cells), respectively. The effects on cell viability correlate well with the inhibition of PMPMEase activity in the cultured cells. Molecular docking analysis revealed that the binding interactions are most likely between the fragrance molecules and hydrophobic amino acids in the active site of the enzyme. These results appear to suggest that the reported neurotoxicity of these compounds may be associated with their inhibition of PMPMEase. Exposure to fragrances may pose a significant risk to individuals predisposed to developing degenerative disorders. PMID:22489002

  5. A Review of Animal Models of Intervertebral Disc Degeneration: Pathophysiology, Regeneration, and Translation to the Clinic

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Lower back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Discogenic pain secondary to intervertebral disc degeneration is a significant cause of low back pain. Disc degeneration is a complex multifactorial process. Animal models are essential to furthering understanding of the degenerative process and testing potential therapies. The adult human lumbar intervertebral disc is characterized by the loss of notochordal cells, relatively large size, essentially avascular nature, and exposure to biomechanical stresses influenced by bipedalism. Animal models are compared with regard to the above characteristics. Numerous methods of inducing disc degeneration are reported. Broadly these can be considered under the categories of spontaneous degeneration, mechanical and structural models. The purpose of such animal models is to further our understanding and, ultimately, improve treatment of disc degeneration. The role of animal models of disc degeneration in translational research leading to clinical trials of novel cellular therapies is explored. PMID:27314030

  6. A Review of Animal Models of Intervertebral Disc Degeneration: Pathophysiology, Regeneration, and Translation to the Clinic.

    PubMed

    Daly, Chris; Ghosh, Peter; Jenkin, Graham; Oehme, David; Goldschlager, Tony

    2016-01-01

    Lower back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Discogenic pain secondary to intervertebral disc degeneration is a significant cause of low back pain. Disc degeneration is a complex multifactorial process. Animal models are essential to furthering understanding of the degenerative process and testing potential therapies. The adult human lumbar intervertebral disc is characterized by the loss of notochordal cells, relatively large size, essentially avascular nature, and exposure to biomechanical stresses influenced by bipedalism. Animal models are compared with regard to the above characteristics. Numerous methods of inducing disc degeneration are reported. Broadly these can be considered under the categories of spontaneous degeneration, mechanical and structural models. The purpose of such animal models is to further our understanding and, ultimately, improve treatment of disc degeneration. The role of animal models of disc degeneration in translational research leading to clinical trials of novel cellular therapies is explored. PMID:27314030

  7. Mechanical overloading causes mitochondrial superoxide and SOD2 imbalance in chondrocytes resulting in cartilage degeneration.

    PubMed

    Koike, Masato; Nojiri, Hidetoshi; Ozawa, Yusuke; Watanabe, Kenji; Muramatsu, Yuta; Kaneko, Haruka; Morikawa, Daichi; Kobayashi, Keiji; Saita, Yoshitomo; Sasho, Takahisa; Shirasawa, Takuji; Yokote, Koutaro; Kaneko, Kazuo; Shimizu, Takahiko

    2015-01-01

    Mechanical stress and aging are major risk factors of cartilage degeneration. Human studies have previously reported that oxidative damage increased, while SOD2 protein was reciprocally downregulated in osteoarthritic degenerated cartilage. However, it remains unclear whether mitochondrial superoxide imbalance in chondrocytes causes cartilage degeneration. We herein demonstrate that mechanical loading promoted mitochondrial superoxide generation and selective Sod2 downregulation in chondrocytes in vivo and that mitochondrial superoxide inducer also downregulated Sod2 expression in chondrocytes in vitro. A genetically manipulated model revealed that Sod2 deficiency in chondrocytes also resulted in mitochondrial superoxide overproduction and dysfunction, thus leading to cartilage degeneration. Intra-articular injection of a permeable antioxidant effectively suppressed the mechanical loading-induced mitochondrial superoxide generation and cartilage degeneration in mice. Our findings demonstrate that mitochondrial superoxide plays a pivotal role in the development and progression of osteoarthritis, and the mitochondrial superoxide balance may therefore be a promising target for the treatment of cartilage degeneration. PMID:26108578

  8. Mechanical overloading causes mitochondrial superoxide and SOD2 imbalance in chondrocytes resulting in cartilage degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Koike, Masato; Nojiri, Hidetoshi; Ozawa, Yusuke; Watanabe, Kenji; Muramatsu, Yuta; Kaneko, Haruka; Morikawa, Daichi; Kobayashi, Keiji; Saita, Yoshitomo; Sasho, Takahisa; Shirasawa, Takuji; Yokote, Koutaro; Kaneko, Kazuo; Shimizu, Takahiko

    2015-01-01

    Mechanical stress and aging are major risk factors of cartilage degeneration. Human studies have previously reported that oxidative damage increased, while SOD2 protein was reciprocally downregulated in osteoarthritic degenerated cartilage. However, it remains unclear whether mitochondrial superoxide imbalance in chondrocytes causes cartilage degeneration. We herein demonstrate that mechanical loading promoted mitochondrial superoxide generation and selective Sod2 downregulation in chondrocytes in vivo and that mitochondrial superoxide inducer also downregulated Sod2 expression in chondrocytes in vitro. A genetically manipulated model revealed that Sod2 deficiency in chondrocytes also resulted in mitochondrial superoxide overproduction and dysfunction, thus leading to cartilage degeneration. Intra-articular injection of a permeable antioxidant effectively suppressed the mechanical loading-induced mitochondrial superoxide generation and cartilage degeneration in mice. Our findings demonstrate that mitochondrial superoxide plays a pivotal role in the development and progression of osteoarthritis, and the mitochondrial superoxide balance may therefore be a promising target for the treatment of cartilage degeneration. PMID:26108578

  9. On deformations of one-dimensional Poisson structures of hydrodynamic type with degenerate metric

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savoldi, Andrea

    2016-06-01

    We provide a complete list of two- and three-component Poisson structures of hydrodynamic type with degenerate metric, and study their homogeneous deformations. In the non-degenerate case any such deformation is trivial, that is, can be obtained via Miura transformations. We demonstrate that in the degenerate case this class of deformations is non-trivial, and depends on a certain number of arbitrary functions. This shows that the second Poisson-Lichnerowicz cohomology group does not vanish.

  10. The role of interleukin-1 in the pathogenesis of human Intervertebral disc degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Le Maitre, Christine Lyn; Freemont, Anthony J; Hoyland, Judith Alison

    2005-01-01

    In this study, we investigated the hypotheses that in human intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration there is local production of the cytokine IL-1, and that this locally produced cytokine can induce the cellular and matrix changes of IVD degeneration. Immunohistochemistry was used to localize five members of the IL-1 family (IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-1Ra (IL-1 receptor antagonist), IL-1RI (IL-1 receptor, type I), and ICE (IL-1β-converting enzyme)) in non-degenerate and degenerate human IVDs. In addition, cells derived from non-degenerate and degenerate human IVDs were challenged with IL-1 agonists and the response was investigated using real-time PCR for a number of matrix-degrading enzymes, matrix proteins, and members of the IL-1 family. This study has shown that native disc cells from non-degenerate and degenerate discs produced the IL-1 agonists, antagonist, the active receptor, and IL-1β-converting enzyme. In addition, immunopositivity for these proteins, with the exception of IL-1Ra, increased with severity of degeneration. We have also shown that IL-1 treatment of human IVD cells resulted in increased gene expression for the matrix-degrading enzymes (MMP 3 (matrix metalloproteinase 3), MMP 13 (matrix metalloproteinase 13), and ADAMTS-4 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs)) and a decrease in the gene expression for matrix genes (aggrecan, collagen II, collagen I, and SOX6). In conclusion we have shown that IL-1 is produced in the degenerate IVD. It is synthesized by native disc cells, and treatment of human disc cells with IL-1 induces an imbalance between catabolic and anabolic events, responses that represent the changes seen during disc degeneration. Therefore, inhibiting IL-1 could be an important therapeutic target for preventing and reversing disc degeneration. PMID:15987475

  11. Effects of postdosed species on preadsorbed CO on Fe(100): Adsorption site conversion caused by site competition

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, Jiongping; Albert, M.R.; Bernasek, S.L. )

    1990-07-26

    Carbon monoxide (CO) adsorption on the clean Fe(100) surface and the c(2{times}2)CO-Fe(100) surface has been studied. The effects of postdosed oxygen(O{sub 2}) and methanethiol (CH{sub 3}SH) on preadsorbed CO were examined. These studies were performed under ultrahigh-vacuum(UHV) conditions, using high-resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy (HREELS), temperature-programmed desorption spectroscopy (TPD), Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), and low-energy electron diffraction (LEED). For CO, four associative adsorption states and one dissociative adsorption state were identified. Postdosed species were found to cause 4-fold hollow site CO molecules to migrate into lower coordination sites. This type of adsorption site conversion is discussed in terms of adsorption site competition between preadsorbed species and postdosed species.

  12. Photon upconversion in degenerately sulfur doped InP nanowires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mergenthaler, K.; Lehmann, S.; Wallentin, J.; Zhang, W.; Borgström, M. T.; Yartsev, A.; Pistol, M.-E.

    2015-12-01

    Radiative recombination in degenerately n-doped InP nanowires is studied for excitation above and below the Fermi energy of the electron gas, using photoluminescence. Laser-induced electron heating is observed, which allows absorption below the Fermi energy. We observe photon upconversion where photo-excited holes recombine with high |k| electrons. This can be attributed to hole scattering to high |k|-values, and the temperature dependence of this process is measured. We show that hole relaxation via phonon scattering can be observed in continuous wave excitation luminescence measurements.Radiative recombination in degenerately n-doped InP nanowires is studied for excitation above and below the Fermi energy of the electron gas, using photoluminescence. Laser-induced electron heating is observed, which allows absorption below the Fermi energy. We observe photon upconversion where photo-excited holes recombine with high |k| electrons. This can be attributed to hole scattering to high |k|-values, and the temperature dependence of this process is measured. We show that hole relaxation via phonon scattering can be observed in continuous wave excitation luminescence measurements. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/C5NR05472A

  13. Molecular Heterogeneity Within the Clinical Diagnosis of Pericentral Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Matsui, Rodrigo; Cideciyan, Artur V.; Schwartz, Sharon B.; Sumaroka, Alexander; Roman, Alejandro J.; Swider, Malgorzata; Huang, Wei Chieh; Sheplock, Rebecca; Jacobson, Samuel G.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To characterize in detail the phenotype and genotype of patients with pericentral retinal degeneration (PRD). Methods Patients were screened for an annular ring scotoma ranging from 3° to 40° (n = 28, ages 24–71) with kinetic perimetry. All patients had pigmentary retinopathy in the region of the dysfunction. Further studies included cross-sectional and en face imaging, static chromatic perimetry, and electroretinography. Molecular screening was performed. Results Genotypes of 14 of 28 PRD patients were identified: There were mutations in eight different genes previously associated with autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive RDs. Kinetic fields monitored in some patients over years to more than a decade could be stable or show increased extent of the scotoma. Electroretinograms were recordable but with different severities of dysfunction. Patterns of photoreceptor outer nuclear layer (ONL) loss corresponded to the distribution of visual dysfunction. Outer nuclear layer thickness topography and en face imaging indicated that the greatest disease expression was in the area of known highest rod photoreceptor density. Conclusions Molecular heterogeneity was a feature of the PRD phenotype. Many of the molecular causes were also associated with other phenotypes, such as maculopathies, typical retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and cone–rod dystrophy. The pericentral pattern of retinal degeneration is thus confirmed to be an uncommon phenotype of many different genotypes rather than a distinct disease entity. PMID:26393467

  14. Perpendicular propagating modes for weakly magnetized relativistic degenerate plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Abbas, Gohar; Bashir, M. F.; Murtaza, G.

    2012-07-15

    Using the Vlasov-Maxwell system of equations, the dispersion relations for the perpendicular propagating modes (i.e., X-mode, O-mode, and upper hybrid mode) are derived for a weakly magnetized relativistic degenerate electron plasma. By using the density (n{sub 0}=p{sub F}{sup 3}/3{pi}{sup 2} Planck-Constant-Over-Two-Pi {sup 3}) and the magnetic field values for different relativistic degenerate environments, the propagation characteristics (i.e., cutoff points, resonances, dispersions, and band widths in k-space) of these modes are examined. It is observed that the relativistic effects suppress the effect of ambient magnetic field and therefore the cutoff and resonance points shift towards the lower frequency regime resulting in enhancement of the propagation domain. The dispersion relations of these modes for the non-relativistic limit (p{sub F}{sup 2} Much-Less-Than m{sub 0}{sup 2}c{sup 2}) and the ultra-relativistic limit (p{sub F}{sup 2} Much-Greater-Than m{sub 0}{sup 2}c{sup 2}) are also presented.

  15. Dwarf spheroidal galaxies as degenerate gas of free fermions

    SciTech Connect

    Domcke, Valerie; Urbano, Alfredo E-mail: alfredo.urbano@sissa.it

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we analyze a simple scenario in which Dark Matter (DM) consists of free fermions with mass m{sub f}. We assume that on galactic scales these fermions are capable of forming a degenerate Fermi gas, in which stability against gravitational collapse is ensured by the Pauli exclusion principle. The mass density of the resulting con figuration is governed by a non-relativistic Lane-Emden equation, thus leading to a universal cored profile that depends only on one free parameter in addition to m{sub f}. After reviewing the basic formalism, we test this scenario against experimental data describing the velocity dispersion of the eight classical dwarf spheroidal galaxies of the Milky Way. We find that, despite its extreme simplicity, the model exhibits a good fit to the data and realistic predictions for the size of DM halos providing that m{sub f}≅ 200 eV. Furthermore, we show that in this setup larger galaxies correspond to the non-degenerate limit of the gas. We propose a concrete realization of this model in which DM is produced non-thermally via inflaton decay. We show that imposing the correct relic abundance and the bound on the free-streaming length constrains the inflation model in terms of inflaton mass, its branching ratio into DM and the reheating temperature.

  16. Procedural learning in Parkinson's disease and cerebellar degeneration.

    PubMed

    Pascual-Leone, A; Grafman, J; Clark, K; Stewart, M; Massaquoi, S; Lou, J S; Hallett, M

    1993-10-01

    We compared procedural learning, translation of procedural knowledge into declarative knowledge, and use of declarative knowledge in age-matched normal volunteers (n = 30), patients with Parkinson's disease (n = 20), and patients with cerebellar degeneration (n = 15) by using a serial reaction time task. Patients with Parkinson's disease achieved procedural knowledge and used declarative knowledge of the task to improve performance, but they required a larger number of repetitions of the task to translate procedural knowledge into declarative knowledge. Patients with cerebellar degeneration did not show performance improvement due to procedural learning, failed to achieve declarative knowledge, and showed limited use of declarative knowledge of the task to improve their performance. Both basal ganglia and cerebellum are involved in procedural learning, but their roles are different. The normal influence of the basal ganglia on the prefrontal cortex may be required for timely access of information to and from the working memory buffer, while the cerebellum may index and order events in the time domain and be therefore essential for any cognitive functions involving sequences. PMID:8215247

  17. Present and future treatment possibilities in macular degeneration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, E.; Wegner, A.; Pfeiler, T.; Mertz, M.

    2005-11-01

    Purpose: To discuss present and future treatment possibilities in different types of choroidal neovascularisation. Methods: Presented are angiographic- and OCT-findings in patients with macular degeneration of different origin. Choroidal neovascularisations, which are not likely to respond positively to established procedures like thermal laser coagulation or photodynamic therapy will be discussed. Results and conclusions: Present study-guidelines and new methods of pharmacological intervention are analysed in different patterns of macular degeneration. Conventional laser coagulation in the treatment of classic, extrafoveal CNV and photodynamic therapy of predominantly classic subfoveal CNV still represent a gold standard. There are new recommendations, loosening the tight criteria of the TAP and VIP-guidelines, which cover, for instance, wider visual acuity ranges and the treatment of juxtafoveally located choroidal neovascularisations. Positive findings in literature confirm the role of PDT in pathologic myopia and other non-AMD CNV. Studies about surgical procedures, like macula- or RPE-translocation after surgical removal or thermal laser destruction of the CNV are in progress and are expected to show promising results. Phase II/III studies will soon point out the effect of anti-VEGF agents. The application of intravitreal (triamcinolone) or peribulbar (anecortave acetat) steroids could be useful. The combination with surgical or laser techniques could bring further benefit to the patient.

  18. The brain basis of musicophilia: evidence from frontotemporal lobar degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Fletcher, Phillip D.; Downey, Laura E.; Witoonpanich, Pirada; Warren, Jason D.

    2013-01-01

    Musicophilia, or abnormal craving for music, is a poorly understood phenomenon that has been associated in particular with focal degeneration of the temporal lobes. Here we addressed the brain basis of musicophilia using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) on MR volumetric brain images in a retrospectively ascertained cohort of patients meeting clinical consensus criteria for frontotemporal lobar degeneration: of 37 cases ascertained, 12 had musicophilia, and 25 did not exhibit the phenomenon. The syndrome of semantic dementia was relatively over-represented among the musicophilic subgroup. A VBM analysis revealed significantly increased regional gray matter volume in left posterior hippocampus in the musicophilic subgroup relative to the non-musicophilic group (p < 0.05 corrected for regional comparisons); at a relaxed significance threshold (p < 0.001 uncorrected across the brain volume) musicophilia was associated with additional relative sparing of regional gray matter in other temporal lobe and prefrontal areas and atrophy of gray matter in posterior parietal and orbitofrontal areas. The present findings suggest a candidate brain substrate for musicophilia as a signature of distributed network damage that may reflect a shift of hedonic processing toward more abstract (non-social) stimuli, with some specificity for particular neurodegenerative pathologies. PMID:23801975

  19. Mouse Models of Stargardt 3 Dominant Macular Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Barabas, Peter; Gorusupudi, Aruna; Bernstein, Paul S; Krizaj, David

    2016-01-01

    Stargardt type 3 macular degeneration is dependent on a dominant defect in a single gene, ELOVL4 (elongase of very long chain fatty acids 4). The encoded enzyme, ELOVL4, is required for the synthesis of very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (VLC-PUFAs), a rare class of > C24 lipids. In vitro expression studies suggest that mutated ELOVL4(STGD3) proteins fold improperly, resulting in ER stress and formation of cytosolic aggresomes of wild type and mutant ELOVL4. Although a number of mouse models have been developed to determine whether photoreceptor cell loss in STGD3 results from depletion of VLC-PUFAs, aggresome-dependent cell stress or a combination of these two factors, none of these models adequately recapitulates the disease phenotype in humans. Thus, the precise molecular mechanism by which ELOVL4 mutation causes photoreceptor degeneration in mice and in human patients remains to be characterized. This mini review compares and evaluates current STGD3 mouse models and determines what conclusions can be drawn from past work. PMID:26427404

  20. Symmetry of quantum phase space in a degenerate Hamiltonian system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berman, G. P.; Demikhovskii, V. Ya.; Kamenev, D. I.

    2000-09-01

    The structure of the global "quantum phase space" is analyzed for the harmonic oscillator perturbed by a monochromatic wave in the limit when the perturbation amplitude is small. Usually, the phenomenon of quantum resonance was studied in nondegenerate [G. M. Zaslavsky, Chaos in Dynamic Systems (Harwood Academic, Chur, 1985)] and degenerate [Demikhovskii, Kamenev, and Luna-Acosta, Phys. Rev. E 52, 3351 (1995)] classically chaotic systems only in the particular regions of the classical phase space, such as the center of the resonance or near the separatrix. The system under consideration is degenerate, and even an infinitely small perturbation generates in the classical phase space an infinite number of the resonant cells which are arranged in the pattern with the axial symmetry of the order 2μ (where μ is the resonance number). We show analytically that the Husimi functions of all Floquet states (the quantum phase space) have the same symmetry as the classical phase space. This correspondence is demonstrated numerically for the Husimi functions of the Floquet states corresponding to the motion near the elliptic stable points (centers of the classical resonance cells). The derived results are valid in the resonance approximation when the perturbation amplitude is small enough, and the stochastic layers in the classical phase space are exponentially thin. The developed approach can be used for studying a global symmetry of more complicated quantum systems with chaotic behavior.

  1. Rare earth nanoparticles prevent retinal degeneration induced by intracellular peroxides:

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Junping; Patil, Swanand; Seal, Sudipta; McGinnis, James F.

    2006-11-01

    Photoreceptor cells are incessantly bombarded with photons of light, which, along with the cells' high rate of oxygen metabolism, continuously exposes them to elevated levels of toxic reactive oxygen intermediates (ROIs). Vacancy-engineered mixed-valence-state cerium oxide nanoparticles (nanoceria particles) scavenge ROIs. Our data show that nanoceria particles prevent increases in the intracellular concentrations of ROIs in primary cell cultures of rat retina and, in vivo, prevent loss of vision due to light-induced degeneration of photoreceptor cells. These data indicate that the nanoceria particles may be effective in inhibiting the progression of ROI-induced cell death, which is thought to be involved in macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and other blinding diseases, as well as the ROI-induced death of other cell types in diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, stroke and so on. The use of nanoceria particles as a direct therapy for multiple diseases represents a novel strategy and suggests that they may represent a unique platform technology.

  2. Quasi-degenerate perturbation theory using matrix product states.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Sandeep; Jeanmairet, Guillaume; Alavi, Ali

    2016-01-21

    In this work, we generalize the recently proposed matrix product state perturbation theory (MPSPT) for calculating energies of excited states using quasi-degenerate (QD) perturbation theory. Our formulation uses the Kirtman-Certain-Hirschfelder canonical Van Vleck perturbation theory, which gives Hermitian effective Hamiltonians at each order, and also allows one to make use of Wigner's 2n + 1 rule. Further, our formulation satisfies Granovsky's requirement of model space invariance which is important for obtaining smooth potential energy curves. Thus, when we use MPSPT with the Dyall Hamiltonian, we obtain a model space invariant version of quasi-degenerate n-electron valence state perturbation theory (NEVPT), a property that the usual formulation of QD-NEVPT2 based on a multipartitioning technique lacked. We use our method on the benchmark problems of bond breaking of LiF which shows ionic to covalent curve crossing and the twist around the double bond of ethylene where significant valence-Rydberg mixing occurs in the excited states. In accordance with our previous work, we find that multi-reference linearized coupled cluster theory is more accurate than other multi-reference theories of similar cost. PMID:26801016

  3. Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration with anti-Yo antibodies - a review.

    PubMed

    Venkatraman, Anand; Opal, Puneet

    2016-08-01

    The ataxic syndrome associated with Anti-Yo antibody, or Purkinje cell cytoplasmic antibody type 1 (PCA1), is the most common variant of paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (PCD). The typical presentation involves the subacute development of pancerebellar deficits with a clinical plateau within 6 months. The vast majority of cases have been reported in women with pelvic or breast tumors. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain is often normal in the early stages, with cerebellar atrophy seen later. The underlying mechanism is believed to be an immunological reaction to cerebellar degeneration-related protein 2 (CDR2), a protein usually found in the cerebellum that is ectopically produced by tumor cells. Although both B- and T-cell abnormalities are seen, there is debate about the relative importance of the autoantibodies and cytotoxic T lymphocytes in the neuronal loss. Cerebrospinal fluid abnormalities, primarily elevated protein, lymphocytic pleocytosis, and oligoclonal bands, are common in the early stages. The low prevalence of this condition has not allowed for large-scale randomized controlled trials. Immunotherapies, such as steroids, intravenous immune globulins, and plasma exchange, have been extensively used in managing this condition, with limited success. Although some reports indicate benefit from antitumor therapies like surgery and chemotherapy, this has not been consistently observed. The prognosis for anti-Yo PCD is almost uniformly poor, with most patients left bedridden. Further studies are required to clarify the pathophysiology and provide evidence-based treatment options. PMID:27606347

  4. Quasi-degenerate perturbation theory using matrix product states

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Sandeep; Jeanmairet, Guillaume; Alavi, Ali

    2016-01-01

    In this work, we generalize the recently proposed matrix product state perturbation theory (MPSPT) for calculating energies of excited states using quasi-degenerate (QD) perturbation theory. Our formulation uses the Kirtman-Certain-Hirschfelder canonical Van Vleck perturbation theory, which gives Hermitian effective Hamiltonians at each order, and also allows one to make use of Wigner's 2n + 1 rule. Further, our formulation satisfies Granovsky's requirement of model space invariance which is important for obtaining smooth potential energy curves. Thus, when we use MPSPT with the Dyall Hamiltonian, we obtain a model space invariant version of quasi-degenerate n-electron valence state perturbation theory (NEVPT), a property that the usual formulation of QD-NEVPT2 based on a multipartitioning technique lacked. We use our method on the benchmark problems of bond breaking of LiF which shows ionic to covalent curve crossing and the twist around the double bond of ethylene where significant valence-Rydberg mixing occurs in the excited states. In accordance with our previous work, we find that multi-reference linearized coupled cluster theory is more accurate than other multi-reference theories of similar cost.

  5. Voltage-gated calcium channel autoimmune cerebellar degeneration

    PubMed Central

    McKasson, Marilyn; Clawson, Susan A.; Hill, Kenneth E.; Wood, Blair; Carlson, Noel; Bromberg, Mark; Greenlee, John E.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: To describe response to treatment in a patient with autoantibodies against voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) who presented with autoimmune cerebellar degeneration and subsequently developed Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS), and to study the effect of the patient's autoantibodies on Purkinje cells in rat cerebellar slice cultures. Methods: Case report and study of rat cerebellar slice cultures incubated with patient VGCC autoantibodies. Results: A 53-year-old man developed progressive incoordination with ataxic speech. Laboratory evaluation revealed VGCC autoantibodies without other antineuronal autoantibodies. Whole-body PET scans 6 and 12 months after presentation detected no malignancy. The patient improved significantly with IV immunoglobulin G (IgG), prednisone, and mycophenolate mofetil, but worsened after IV IgG was halted secondary to aseptic meningitis. He subsequently developed weakness with electrodiagnostic evidence of LEMS. The patient's IgG bound to Purkinje cells in rat cerebellar slice cultures, followed by neuronal death. Reactivity of the patient's autoantibodies with VGCCs was confirmed by blocking studies with defined VGCC antibodies. Conclusions: Autoimmune cerebellar degeneration associated with VGCC autoantibodies may precede onset of LEMS and may improve with immunosuppressive treatment. Binding of anti-VGCC antibodies to Purkinje cells in cerebellar slice cultures may be followed by cell death. Patients with anti-VGCC autoantibodies may be at risk of irreversible neurologic injury over time, and treatment should be initiated early. PMID:27088118

  6. Dwarf spheroidal galaxies as degenerate gas of free fermions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domcke, Valerie; Urbano, Alfredo

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we analyze a simple scenario in which Dark Matter (DM) consists of free fermions with mass mf. We assume that on galactic scales these fermions are capable of forming a degenerate Fermi gas, in which stability against gravitational collapse is ensured by the Pauli exclusion principle. The mass density of the resulting con figuration is governed by a non-relativistic Lane-Emden equation, thus leading to a universal cored profile that depends only on one free parameter in addition to mf. After reviewing the basic formalism, we test this scenario against experimental data describing the velocity dispersion of the eight classical dwarf spheroidal galaxies of the Milky Way. We find that, despite its extreme simplicity, the model exhibits a good fit to the data and realistic predictions for the size of DM halos providing that mfsimeq 200 eV. Furthermore, we show that in this setup larger galaxies correspond to the non-degenerate limit of the gas. We propose a concrete realization of this model in which DM is produced non-thermally via inflaton decay. We show that imposing the correct relic abundance and the bound on the free-streaming length constrains the inflation model in terms of inflaton mass, its branching ratio into DM and the reheating temperature.

  7. Chronic Subdural Hematoma in the Aged, Trauma or Degeneration?

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Chronic subdural hematomas (CSHs) are generally regarded to be a traumatic lesion. It was regarded as a stroke in 17th century, an inflammatory disease in 19th century. From 20th century, it became a traumatic lesion. CSH frequently occur after a trauma, however, it cannot occur when there is no enough subdural space even after a severe head injury. CSH may occur without trauma, when there is sufficient subdural space. The author tried to investigate trends in the causation of CSH. By a review of literature, the author suggested a different view on the causation of CSH. CSH usually originated from either a subdural hygroma or an acute subdural hematoma. Development of CSH starts from the separation of the dural border cell (DBC) layer, which induces proliferation of DBCs with production of neomembrane. Capillaries will follow along the neomembrane. Hemorrhage would occur into the subdural fluid either by tearing of bridge veins or repeated microhemorrhage from the neomembrane. That is the mechanism of hematoma enlargement. Trauma or bleeding tendency may precipitate development of CSH, however, it cannot lead CSH, if there is no sufficient subdural space. The key determinant for development of CSH is a sufficient subdural space, in other words, brain atrophy. The most common and universal cause of brain atrophy is the aging. Modifying Virchow's description, CSH is sometimes traumatic, but most often caused by degeneration of the brain. Now, it is reasonable that degeneration of brain might play pivotal role in development of CSH in the aged persons. PMID:26885279

  8. Three dimensional electrostatic solitary waves in a dense magnetoplasma with relativistically degenerate electrons

    SciTech Connect

    Ata-ur-Rahman,; Qamar, A.; Masood, W.; Eliasson, B.

    2013-09-15

    In this paper, small but finite amplitude electrostatic solitary waves in a relativistic degenerate magnetoplasma, consisting of relativistically degenerate electrons and non-degenerate cold ions, are investigated. The Zakharov-Kuznetsov equation is derived employing the reductive perturbation technique and its solitary wave solution is analyzed. It is shown that only compressive electrostatic solitary structures can propagate in such a degenerate plasma system. The effects of plasma number density, ion cyclotron frequency, and direction cosines on the profiles of ion acoustic solitary waves are investigated and discussed at length. The relevance of the present investigation vis-a-vis pulsating white dwarfs is also pointed out.

  9. The condition of regular degeneration for singularly perturbed systems of linear differential-difference equations.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooke, K. L.; Meyer, K. R.

    1966-01-01

    Extension of problem of singular perturbation for linear scalar constant coefficient differential- difference equation with single retardation to several retardations, noting degenerate equation solution

  10. Coupled modes in magnetized dense plasma with relativistic-degenerate electrons

    SciTech Connect

    Khan, S. A.

    2012-01-15

    Low frequency electrostatic and electromagnetic waves are investigated in ultra-dense quantum magnetoplasma with relativistic-degenerate electron and non-degenerate ion fluids. The dispersion relation is derived for mobile as well as immobile ions by employing hydrodynamic equations for such plasma under the influence of electromagnetic forces and pressure gradient of relativistic-degenerate Fermi gas of electrons. The result shows the coexistence of shear Alfven and ion modes with relativistically modified dispersive properties. The relevance of results to the dense degenerate plasmas of astrophysical origin (for instance, white dwarf stars) is pointed out with brief discussion on ultra-relativistic and non-relativistic limits.

  11. Some Remarks on Space-Time Decompositions, and Degenerate Metrics, in General Relativity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bengtsson, Ingemar

    Space-time decomposition of the Hilbert-Palatini action, written in a form which admits degenerate metrics, is considered. Simple numerology shows why D = 3 and 4 are singled out as admitting a simple phase space. The canonical structure of the degenerate sector turns out to be awkward. However, the real degenerate metrics obtained as solutions are the same as those that occur in Ashtekar's formulation of complex general relativity. An exact solution of Ashtekar's equations, with degenerate metric, shows that the manifestly four-dimensional form of the action, and its 3 + 1 form, are not quite equivalent.

  12. Growth Factors and Anticatabolic Substances for Prevention and Management of Intervertebral Disc Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Longo, Umile Giuseppe; Petrillo, Stefano; Franceschetti, Edoardo; Maffulli, Nicola; Denaro, Vincenzo

    2012-01-01

    Intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is frequent, appearing from the second decade of life and progressing with age. Conservative management often fails, and patients with IVD degeneration may need surgical intervention. Several treatment strategies have been proposed, although only surgical discectomy and arthrodesis have been proved to be predictably effective. Biological strategies aim to prevent and manage IVD degeneration, improving the function and anabolic and reparative capabilities of the nucleus pulposus and annulus fibrosus cells and inhibiting matrix degradation. At present, clinical applications are still in their infancy. Further studies are required to clarify the role of growth factors and anticatabolic substances for prevention and management of intervertebral disc degeneration. PMID:25098367

  13. Growth of injured rabbit optic axons within their degenerating optic nerve

    SciTech Connect

    Lavie, V.; Murray, M.; Solomon, A.; Ben-Bassat, S.; Belkin, M.; Rumelt, S.; Schwartz, M. )

    1990-08-15

    Spontaneous growth of axons after injury is extremely limited in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS). It is now clear, however, that injured CNS axons can be induced to elongate when provided with a suitable environment. Thus injured CNS axons can elongate, but they do not do so unless their environment is altered. We now show apparent regenerative growth of injured optic axons. This growth is achieved in the adult rabbit optic nerve by the use of a combined treatment consisting of: (1) supplying soluble substances originating from growing axons to be injured rabbit optic nerves, and (2) application of low energy He-Ne laser irradiation, which appears to delay degenerative changes in the injured axons. Two to 8 weeks after this treatment, unmyelinated and thinly myelinated axons are found at the lesion site and distal to it. Morphological and immunocytochemical evidence indicate that these thinly myelinated and unmyelinated axons are growing in close association with glial cells. Only these axons are identified as being growing axons. These newly growing axons transverse the site of injury and extend into the distal stump of the nerve, which contains degenerating axons. Axons of this type could be detected distal to the lesion only in nerves subjected to the combined treatment. No unmyelinated or thinly myelinated axons in association with glial cells were seen at 6 or 8 weeks postoperatively in nerves that were not treated, or in nerves in which the two stumps were completely disconnected. Two millimeters distal to the site of injury, the growing axons are confined to a compartment comprising 5%-30% of the cross section of the nerve. A temporal analysis indicates that axons have grown as far as 6 mm distal to the site of injury, by 8 weeks postoperatively.

  14. A novel platform for minimally invasive delivery of cellular therapy as a thin layer across the subretina for treatment of retinal degeneration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rotenstreich, Ygal; Tzameret, Adi; Kalish, Sapir E.; Belkin, Michael; Meir, Amilia; Treves, Avraham J.; Nagler, Arnon; Sher, Ifat

    2015-03-01

    Incurable retinal degenerations affect millions worldwide. Stem cell transplantation rescued visual functions in animal models of retinal degeneration. In those studies cells were transplanted in subretinal "blebs", limited number of cells could be injected and photoreceptor rescue was restricted to areas in proximity to the injection sites. We developed a minimally-invasive surgical platform for drug and cell delivery in a thin layer across the subretina and extravascular spaces of the choroid. The novel system is comprised of a syringe with a blunt-tipped needle and an adjustable separator. Human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hBM-MSCs) were transplanted in eyes of RCS rats and NZW rabbits through a longitudinal triangular scleral incision. No immunosuppressants were used. Retinal function was determined by electroretinogram analysis and retinal structure was determined by histological analysis and OCT. Transplanted cells were identified as a thin layer across the subretina and extravascular spaces of the choroid. In RCS rats, cell transplantation delayed photoreceptor degeneration across the entire retina and significantly enhanced retinal functions. No retinal detachment or choroidal hemorrhages were observed in rabbits following transplantation. This novel platform opens a new avenue for drug and cell delivery, placing the transplanted cells in close proximity to the damaged RPE and retina as a thin layer, across the subretina and thereby slowing down cell death and photoreceptor degeneration, without retinal detachment or choroidal hemorrhage. This new transplantation system may increase the therapeutic effect of other cell-based therapies and therapeutic agents. This study is expected to directly lead to phase I/II clinical trials for autologous hBM-MSCs transplantation in retinal degeneration patients.

  15. BMP-2 and BMP-2/7 Heterodimers Conjugated to a Fibrin/Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogel in a Large Animal Model of Mild Intervertebral Disc Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Peeters, Mirte; Detiger, Suzanne E L; Karfeld-Sulzer, Lindsay S; Smit, Theo H; Yayon, Avner; Weber, Franz E; Helder, Marco N

    2015-01-01

    Intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is etiologically associated with low back pain and is currently only treated in severe cases with spinal fusion. Regenerative medicine attempts to restore degenerated tissue by means of cells, hydrogels, and/or growth factors and can therefore be used to slow, halt, or reverse the degeneration of the IVD in a minimally invasive manner. Previously, the growth factors bone morphogenetic proteins 2 and 7 (BMP-2, -7) were shown to enhance disc regeneration, in vitro and in vivo. Since BMPs have only a short in vivo half-life, and to prevent heterotopic ossification, we evaluated the use of a slow release system for BMP-2 homodimers and BMP-2/7 heterodimers for IVD regeneration. BMP growth factors were conjugated to a fibrin/hyaluronic acid (FB/HA) hydrogel and intradiscally injected in a goat model of mild IVD degeneration to study safety and efficacy. Mild degeneration was induced in five lumbar discs of seven adult Dutch milk goats, by injections with the enzyme chondroitinase ABC. After 12 weeks, discs were treated with either FB/HA-hydrogel only or supplemented with 1 or 5 μg/mL of BMP-2 or BMP-2/7. BMPs were linked to the FB/HA hydrogels using a transglutaminase moiety, to be released through an incorporated plasmin cleavage site. After another 12 weeks, goats were sacrificed and discs were assessed using radiography, MRI T2* mapping, and biochemical and histological analyses. All animals maintained weight throughout the study and no heterotopic bone formation or other adverse effects were noted during follow-up. Radiographs showed significant disc height loss upon induction of mild degeneration. MRI T2* mapping showed strong and significant correlations with biochemistry and histology as shown before. Surprisingly, no differences could be demonstrated in any parameter between intervention groups. To our knowledge, this is the first large animal study evaluating BMPs conjugated to an FB/HA-hydrogel for the treatment of

  16. BMP-2 and BMP-2/7 Heterodimers Conjugated to a Fibrin/Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogel in a Large Animal Model of Mild Intervertebral Disc Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Peeters, Mirte; Detiger, Suzanne E.L.; Karfeld-Sulzer, Lindsay S.; Smit, Theo H.; Yayon, Avner; Weber, Franz E.; Helder, Marco N.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is etiologically associated with low back pain and is currently only treated in severe cases with spinal fusion. Regenerative medicine attempts to restore degenerated tissue by means of cells, hydrogels, and/or growth factors and can therefore be used to slow, halt, or reverse the degeneration of the IVD in a minimally invasive manner. Previously, the growth factors bone morphogenetic proteins 2 and 7 (BMP-2, -7) were shown to enhance disc regeneration, in vitro and in vivo. Since BMPs have only a short in vivo half-life, and to prevent heterotopic ossification, we evaluated the use of a slow release system for BMP-2 homodimers and BMP-2/7 heterodimers for IVD regeneration. BMP growth factors were conjugated to a fibrin/hyaluronic acid (FB/HA) hydrogel and intradiscally injected in a goat model of mild IVD degeneration to study safety and efficacy. Mild degeneration was induced in five lumbar discs of seven adult Dutch milk goats, by injections with the enzyme chondroitinase ABC. After 12 weeks, discs were treated with either FB/HA-hydrogel only or supplemented with 1 or 5 μg/mL of BMP-2 or BMP-2/7. BMPs were linked to the FB/HA hydrogels using a transglutaminase moiety, to be released through an incorporated plasmin cleavage site. After another 12 weeks, goats were sacrificed and discs were assessed using radiography, MRI T2* mapping, and biochemical and histological analyses. All animals maintained weight throughout the study and no heterotopic bone formation or other adverse effects were noted during follow-up. Radiographs showed significant disc height loss upon induction of mild degeneration. MRI T2* mapping showed strong and significant correlations with biochemistry and histology as shown before. Surprisingly, no differences could be demonstrated in any parameter between intervention groups. To our knowledge, this is the first large animal study evaluating BMPs conjugated to an FB/HA-hydrogel for the

  17. Gaze holding deficits discriminate early from late onset cerebellar degeneration.

    PubMed

    Tarnutzer, Alexander A; Weber, K P; Schuknecht, B; Straumann, D; Marti, S; Bertolini, G

    2015-08-01

    The vestibulo-cerebellum calibrates the output of the inherently leaky brainstem neural velocity-to-position integrator to provide stable gaze holding. In healthy humans small-amplitude centrifugal nystagmus is present at extreme gaze-angles, with a non-linear relationship between eye-drift velocity and eye eccentricity. In cerebellar degeneration this calibration is impaired, resulting in pathological gaze-evoked nystagmus (GEN). For cerebellar dysfunction, increased eye drift may be present at any gaze angle (reflecting pure scaling of eye drift found in controls) or restricted to far-lateral gaze (reflecting changes in shape of the non-linear relationship) and resulting eyed-drift patterns could be related to specific disorders. We recorded horizontal eye positions in 21 patients with cerebellar neurodegeneration (gaze-angle = ±40°) and clinically confirmed GEN. Eye-drift velocity, linearity and symmetry of drift were determined. MR-images were assessed for cerebellar atrophy. In our patients, the relation between eye-drift velocity and gaze eccentricity was non-linear, yielding (compared to controls) significant GEN at gaze-eccentricities ≥20°. Pure scaling was most frequently observed (n = 10/18), followed by pure shape-changing (n = 4/18) and a mixed pattern (n = 4/18). Pure shape-changing patients were significantly (p = 0.001) younger at disease-onset compared to pure scaling patients. Atrophy centered around the superior/dorsal vermis, flocculus/paraflocculus and dentate nucleus and did not correlate with the specific drift behaviors observed. Eye drift in cerebellar degeneration varies in magnitude; however, it retains its non-linear properties. With different drift patterns being linked to age at disease-onset, we propose that the gaze-holding pattern (scaling vs. shape-changing) may discriminate early- from late-onset cerebellar degeneration. Whether this allows a distinction among specific cerebellar disorders remains to be determined

  18. Tau physiology and pathomechanisms in frontotemporal lobar degeneration.

    PubMed

    Bodea, Liviu-Gabriel; Eckert, Anne; Ittner, Lars Matthias; Piguet, Olivier; Götz, Jürgen

    2016-08-01

    Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) has been associated with toxic intracellular aggregates of hyperphosphorylated tau (FTLD-tau). Moreover, genetic studies identified mutations in the MAPT gene encoding tau in familial cases of the disease. In this review, we cover a range of aspects of tau function, both in the healthy and diseased brain, discussing several in vitro and in vivo models. Tau structure and function in the healthy brain is presented, accentuating its distinct compartmentalization in neurons and its role in microtubule stabilization and axonal transport. Furthermore, tau-driven pathology is discussed, introducing current concepts and the underlying experimental evidence. Different aspects of pathological tau phosphorylation, the protein's genomic and domain organization as well as its spreading in disease, together with MAPT-associated mutations and their respective models are presented. Dysfunction related to other post-transcriptional modifications and their effect on normal neuronal functions such as cell cycle, epigenetics and synapse dynamics are also discussed, providing a mechanistic explanation for the observations made in FTLD-tau cases, with the possibility for therapeutic intervention. In this review, we cover aspects of tau function, both in the healthy and diseased brain, referring to different in vitro and in vivo models. In healthy neurons, tau is compartmentalized, with higher concentrations found in the distal part of the axon. Cargo molecules are sensitive to this gradient. A disturbed tau distribution, as found in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD-tau), has severe consequences for cellular physiology: tau accumulates in the neuronal soma and dendrites, leading among others to microtubule depolymerization and impaired axonal transport. Tau forms insoluble aggregates that sequester additional molecules stalling cellular physiology. Neuronal communication is gradually lost as toxic tau accumulates in dendritic spines

  19. Conduction model covering non-degenerate through degenerate polycrystalline semiconductors with non-uniform grain-boundary potential heights based on an energy filtering model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kajikawa, Y.

    2012-12-01

    We propose a new conduction model associated with thermionic emission of carriers over potential barriers at grain boundaries, which is applicable to non-degenerate through degenerate polycrystalline semiconductors. We first assume the grain-boundary potential barriers of a uniform height and derive an analytical expression of the electrical conductivity on the basis of an energy filtering model with fully incorporating the Fermi-Dirac distribution of carriers. We then introduce fluctuations of the potential barrier height as a Gaussian distribution into the model. It is shown that the non-linear curves of Arrhenius plots of electrical conductivity in various polycrystalline semiconductors (Si, CdS, CdSe, ZnO, WO3, In2Se3) in literature are well fitted using the model with the effect of fluctuations taken into account, being regardless of whether carriers are degenerate or non-degenerate, without assuming other conduction mechanisms such as tunneling and variable range hopping.

  20. Gene Therapy for MERTK-Associated Retinal Degenerations

    PubMed Central

    Matthes, Michael T.; Yang, Haidong; Hauswirth, William W.; Deng, Wen-Tao; Vollrath, Douglas

    2016-01-01

    MERTK-associated retinal degenerations are thought to have defects in phagocytosis of shed outer segment membranes by the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), as do the rodent models of these diseases. We have subretinally injected an RPE-specific AAV2 vector, AAV2-VMD2-hMERTK, to determine whether this would provide long-term photoreceptor rescue in the RCS rat, which it did for up to 6.5 months, the longest time point examined. Moreover, we found phagosomes in the RPE in the rescued regions of RCS retinas soon after the onset of light. The same vector also had a major protective effect in Mertk-null mice, with a concomitant increase in ERG response amplitudes in the vector-injected eyes. These findings suggest that planned clinical trials with this vector will have a favorable outcome. PMID:26427450

  1. Stopping of relativistic electrons in a partially degenerate electron fluid.

    PubMed

    Starikov, K V; Deutsch, C

    2005-02-01

    The stopping mechanisms of relativistic electron beams in superdense and partially degenerate electron fluid targets are investigated in the framework of the fast ignitor concept for inertial confinement fusion. In order to comply with specific demands in this area, we focus attention on the target partial degeneracy parameter theta= T(e) / T(f) , in terms of the thermal to Fermi temperature ratio. The target electron fluid is thus modeled very accurately with a random phase approximation dielectric function. The stopping results are shown to be very weakly theta dependent. However, a quantum target description is needed to recover their correct increasing trend with increasing projectile energy. The ranges and effective penetration depths in precompressed thermonuclear fuels are shown to be nearly a factor of 2 shorter than earlier classical estimates in the same conditions. The overall conclusions pertaining to the feasibility of fast ignition thus remain unchanged. PMID:15783429

  2. Mediated-reality magnification for macular degeneration rehabilitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin-Gonzalez, Anabel; Kotliar, Konstantin; Rios-Martinez, Jorge; Lanzl, Ines; Navab, Nassir

    2014-10-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a gradually progressive eye condition, which is one of the leading causes of blindness and low vision in the Western world. Prevailing optical visual aids compensate part of the lost visual function, but omitting helpful complementary information. This paper proposes an efficient magnification technique, which can be implemented on a head-mounted display, for improving vision of patients with AMD, by preserving global information of the scene. Performance of the magnification approach is evaluated by simulating central vision loss in normally sighted subjects. Visual perception was measured as a function of text reading speed and map route following speed. Statistical analysis of experimental results suggests that our magnification method improves reading speed 1.2 times and spatial orientation to find routes on a map 1.5 times compared to a conventional magnification approach, being capable to enhance peripheral vision of AMD subjects along with their life quality.

  3. Radiation Therapy for Neovascular Age-related Macular Degeneration

    SciTech Connect

    Kishan, Amar U.; Modjtahedi, Bobeck S.; Morse, Lawrence S.; Lee, Percy

    2013-03-01

    In the enormity of the public health burden imposed by age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), much effort has been directed toward identifying effective and efficient treatments. Currently, anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) injections have demonstrated considerably efficacy in treating neovascular ARMD, but patients require frequent treatment to fully benefit. Here, we review the rationale and evidence for radiation therapy of ARMD. The results of early photon external beam radiation therapy are included to provide a framework for the sequential discussion of evidence for the usage of stereotactic radiation therapy, proton therapy, and brachytherapy. The evidence suggests that these 3 modern modalities can provide a dose-dependent benefit in the treatment of ARMD. Most importantly, preliminary data suggest that all 3 can be used in conjunction with anti-VEGF therapeutics, thereby reducing the frequency of anti-VEGF injections required to maintain visual acuity.

  4. Experiments with Ultracold Quantum-degenerate Fermionic Lithium Atoms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ketterle, Wolfgang

    2003-01-01

    Experimental methods of laser and evaporative cooling, used in the production of atomic Bose-Einstein condensates have recently been extended to realize quantum degeneracy in trapped Fermi gases. Fermi gases are a new rich system to explore the implications of Pauli exclusion on scattering properties of the system, and ultimately fermionic superfluidity. We have produced a new macroscopic quantum system, in which a degenerate Li-6 Fermi gas coexists with a large and stable Na-23 BEC. This was accomplished using inter-species sympathetic cooling of fermionic 6Li in a thermal bath of bosonic Na-23. We have achieved high numbers of both fermions (less than 10(exp 5) and bosons (less than 10(exp 6), and Li-6 quantum degeneracy corresponding to one half of the Fermi temperature. This is the first time that a Fermi sea was produced with a condensate as a "refrigerator".

  5. Magnetohydrodynamic spin waves in degenerate electron-positron-ion plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Mushtaq, A.; Maroof, R.; Ahmad, Zulfiaqr; Qamar, A.

    2012-05-15

    Low frequency magnetosonic waves are studied in magnetized degenerate electron-positron-ion plasmas with spin effects. Using the fluid equations of magnetoplasma with quantum corrections due to the Bohm potential, temperature degeneracy, and spin magnetization energy, a generalized dispersion relation for oblique magnetosonic waves is derived. Spin effects are incorporated via spin force and macroscopic spin magnetization current. For three different values of angle {theta}, the generalized dispersion relation is reduced to three different relations under the low frequency magnetohydrodynamic assumptions. It is found that the effect of quantum corrections in the presence of positron concentration significantly modifies the dispersive properties of these modes. The importance of the work relevant to compact astrophysical bodies is pointed out.

  6. Condensing Magnons in a Degenerate Ferromagnetic Spinor Bose Gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, Fang; Olf, Ryan; Wu, Shun; Kadau, Holger; Stamper-Kurn, Dan M.

    2016-03-01

    We observe the quasicondensation of magnon excitations within an F =1 87Rb spinor Bose-Einstein condensed gas. Magnons are pumped into a ferromagnetically ordered gas, allowed to equilibrate to a nondegenerate distribution, and then cooled evaporatively at near-constant net longitudinal magnetization, whereupon they condense. The critical magnon number, spatial distribution, and momentum distribution indicate that magnons condense in a potential that is uniform within the volume of the ferromagnetic condensate. The macroscopic transverse magnetization produced by the degenerate magnon gas remains inhomogeneous within the ˜10 s equilibration time accessed in our experiment, and includes signatures of Mermin-Ho spin textures that appear as phase singularities in the magnon quasicondensate wave function.

  7. Complement Factor H Polymorphism in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Robert J.; Zeiss, Caroline; Chew, Emily Y.; Tsai, Jen-Yue; Sackler, Richard S.; Haynes, Chad; Henning, Alice K.; SanGiovanni, John Paul; Mane, Shrikant M.; Mayne, Susan T.; Bracken, Michael B.; Ferris, Frederick L.; Ott, Jurg; Barnstable, Colin; Hoh., Josephine

    2006-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of blindness in the elderly. We report a genome-wide screen of 96 cases and 50 controls for polymorphisms associated with AMD. Among 116,204 single-nucleotide polymorphisms genotyped, an intronic and common variant in the complement factor H gene (CFH) is strongly associated with AMD (nominal P value <10−7). In individuals homozygous for the risk allele, the likelihood of AMD is increased by a factor of 7.4 (95% confidence interval 2.9 to 19). Resequencing revealed a polymorphism in linkage disequilibrium with the risk allele representing a tyrosine-histidine change at amino acid 402. This polymorphism is in a region of CFH that binds heparin and C-reactive protein. The CFH gene is located on chromosome 1 in a region repeatedly linked to AMD in family-based studies. PMID:15761122

  8. Topological Superradiant States in a Degenerate Fermi Gas.

    PubMed

    Pan, Jian-Song; Liu, Xiong-Jun; Zhang, Wei; Yi, Wei; Guo, Guang-Can

    2015-07-24

    We predict the existence of a topological superradiant state in a two-component degenerate Fermi gas in a cavity. The superradiant light generation in the transversely driven cavity mode induces a cavity-assisted spin-orbit coupling and opens a bulk gap at half filling. This mechanism can simultaneously drive a topological phase transition in the system, yielding a topological superradiant state. We map out the steady-state phase diagram in the presence of an effective Zeeman field, and identify a critical tetracritical point beyond which the topological and the conventional superraidiant phase boundaries separate. The topological phase transition can be detected from its signatures in either the momentum distribution of the atoms or the variation of the cavity photon occupation due to the nontrivial feedback of the atoms on the cavity field. PMID:26252692

  9. Degeneration and the origins of Mexico's war on drugs.

    PubMed

    Campos, Isaac

    2010-01-01

    In the early twentieth century, the concept of “degeneration” helped to turn “drugs” into a problem of national importance in Mexico. By invoking this concept, Mexico's sanitary authorities secured provisions in the Constitution of 1917 which specifically authorized a newly constituted Department of Public Sanitation to lead a nation-wide campaign against drug abuse. That Department then inaugurated Mexico's modern war on drugs when, in 1920, it declared a law governing the import and distribution of the opiates, cocaine, and marijuana nationwide. This essay examines the idea of degeneration and how it came to play this crucial role in the foundation of Mexico's modern war on drugs. PMID:20821890

  10. Direct intranigral injection of dopaminochrome causes degeneration of dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Touchette, Jillienne C; Breckenridge, Julie M; Wilken, Gerald H; Macarthur, Heather

    2016-01-26

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by progressive neurodegeneration of nigrastriatal dopaminergic neurons leading to clinical motor dysfunctions. Many animal models of PD have been developed using exogenous neurotoxins and pesticides. Evidence strongly indicates that the dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) are highly susceptible to neurodegeneration due to a number of factors including oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. Oxidation of DA to a potential endogenous neurotoxin, dopaminochrome (DAC), may be a potential contributor to the vulnerability of the nigrostriatal tract to oxidative insult. In this study, we show that DAC causes slow and progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in contrast to 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP(+)), which induces rapid lesions of the region. The DAC model may be more reflective of early stresses that initiate the progressive neurodegenerative process of PD, and may prove a useful model for future neurodegenerative studies. PMID:26704434

  11. Retinal phagocytes in age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Soo-Young

    2015-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in industrial countries. Vision loss caused by AMD results from geographic atrophy (dry AMD) and/or choroidal neovascularization (wet AMD). Presently, the etiology and pathogenesis of AMD is not fully understood and there is no effective treatment. Oxidative stress in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells is considered to be one of the major factors contributing to the pathogenesis of AMD. Also retinal glia, as scavengers, are deeply related with diseases and could play a role. Therefore, therapeutic approaches for microglia and Müller glia, as well as RPE, may lead to new strategies for AMD treatment. This review summarizes the pathological findings observed in RPE cells, microglia and Müller glia of AMD murine models. PMID:26052551

  12. Treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration: Current therapies

    PubMed Central

    Augustin, Albert J; Scholl, Stefan; Kirchhof, Janna

    2009-01-01

    Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is now the leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss among people over the age of 40 in the Western world. Its prevalence is certain to increase substantially as the population ages. Treatments currently available for the disease include laser photocoagulation, verteporfin photodynamic therapy, and intravitreal injections of corticosteroids and anti-angiogenic agents. Many studies have reported the benefits of each of these treatments, although none is without its risks. No intervention actually cures AMD, nor the neovascularization associated with it. However, its symptoms are treated with varying degrees of success. Some treatments stabilize or arrest the progress of the disease. Others have been shown to reverse some of the damage that has already been done. These treatments can even lead to visual improvement. This paper will review the major classes of drugs and therapies designed to treat this condition. PMID:19668562

  13. Targeting MAPK Signaling in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Kyosseva, Svetlana V.

    2016-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of irreversible blindness affecting elderly people in the world. AMD is a complex multifactorial disease associated with demographic, genetics, and environmental risk factors. It is well established that oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis play critical roles in the pathogenesis of AMD. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways are activated by diverse extracellular stimuli, including growth factors, mitogens, hormones, cytokines, and different cellular stressors such as oxidative stress. They regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, survival, and apoptosis. This review addresses the novel findings from human and animal studies on the relationship of MAPK signaling with AMD. The use of specific MAPK inhibitors may represent a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of this debilitating eye disease. PMID:27385915

  14. A Revised Hemodynamic Theory of Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Gelfand, Bradley D; Ambati, Jayakrishna

    2016-08-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) afflicts one out of every 40 individuals worldwide, causing irreversible central blindness in millions. The transformation of various tissue layers within the macula in the retina has led to competing conceptual models of the molecular pathways, cell types, and tissues responsible for the onset and progression of AMD. A model that has persisted for over 6 decades is the hemodynamic, or vascular theory of AMD progression, which states that vascular dysfunction of the choroid underlies AMD pathogenesis. Here, we re-evaluate this hypothesis in light of recent advances on molecular, anatomic, and hemodynamic changes underlying choroidal dysfunction in AMD. We propose an updated, detailed model of hemodynamic dysfunction as a mechanism of AMD development and progression. PMID:27423265

  15. Complement factor H polymorphism and age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Albert O; Ritter, Robert; Abel, Kenneth J; Manning, Alisa; Panhuysen, Carolien; Farrer, Lindsay A

    2005-04-15

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common, late-onset, and complex trait with multiple risk factors. Concentrating on a region harboring a locus for AMD on 1q25-31, the ARMD1 locus, we tested single-nucleotide polymorphisms for association with AMD in two independent case-control populations. Significant association (P = 4.95 x 10(-10)) was identified within the regulation of complement activation locus and was centered over a tyrosine-402 --> histidine-402 protein polymorphism in the gene encoding complement factor H. Possession of at least one histidine at amino acid position 402 increased the risk of AMD 2.7-fold and may account for 50% of the attributable risk of AMD. PMID:15761121

  16. A Degenerate Optical Parametric Oscillator Network for Coherent Computation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zhe; Marandi, Alireza; Takata, Kenta; Byer, Robert L.; Yamamoto, Yoshihisa

    Laws of physics have proved useful for solving combinatorial optimization problems. This chapter introduces a network of degenerate optical parametric oscillators which takes advantage of principles of quantum optics to tackle NP-hard problems. The underlying mechanism originates from the bistability of the output phase of each oscillator, coherent interactions between coupled oscillators, and the inherent preference of the network for oscillating in a mode with the minimum photon loss. Computational experiments have been extensively performed using instances of an NP-hard problem in graph theory with the number of vertices ranging from 4 to 20000. The numerical results clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of the network. In addition, the network can be physically implemented on a single ring cavity with multiple trains of femtosecond pulses and configurable mutual couplings. The implementation has been realized for the instance on the cubic graph with 4 vertices, and no computational error is detected in 1000 runs.

  17. Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Insights into Inflammatory Genes

    PubMed Central

    Ragazzo, Michele; Missiroli, Filippo; Borgiani, Paola; Angelucci, Francesco; Marsella, Luigi Tonino; Cusumano, Andrea; Novelli, Giuseppe; Ricci, Federico; Giardina, Emiliano

    2014-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects approximately 8.7% of elderly people worldwide (>55 years old). AMD is characterized by a multifactorial aetiology that involves several genetic and environmental risk factors (genes, ageing, smoking, family history, dietary habits, oxidative stress, and hypertension). In particular, ageing and cigarette smoking (including oxidative compounds and reactive oxygen species) have been shown to significantly increase susceptibility to the disease. Furthermore, different genes (CFH, CFI, C2, C3, IL-6, IL-8, and ARMS2) that play a crucial role in the inflammatory pathway have been associated with AMD risk. Several genetic and molecular studies have indicated the participation of inflammatory molecules (cytokines and chemokines), immune cells (macrophages), and complement proteins in the development and progression of the disease. Taking into consideration the genetic and molecular background, this review highlights the genetic role of inflammatory genes involved in AMD pathogenesis and progression. PMID:25478207

  18. Bietti's tapetoretinal degeneration with marginal corneal dystrophy crystalline retinopathy.

    PubMed Central

    Welch, R B

    1977-01-01

    In 1937 Bietti reported a tapetoretinal degeneration with associated corneal deposits at the limbus. The hallmark of the disease was the crystalline characteristics of the retinal spots as well as those at the corneal limbus. Bagolini and Ioli-Spade in 1968 presented a 30 year follow-up on Bietti's cases and presented six additional cases. The present report delas with this entity in Orientals, a Chinese woman and a Japanese man. Corneal and conjunctival biopsy from the female patient revelaed a lipid deposition in both fibroblasts and epithelium. The term "crystalline retinopathy" has been added to the description of this entity since it defines the most characteristic feature of the syndrome. Images FIGURE 7 A FIGURE 7 B FIGURE 1 A FIGURE 1 B FIGURE 1 C FIGURE 2 A FIGURE 2 B FIGURE 2 C FIGURE 3 FIGURE 4 A FIGURE 4 B FIGURE 5 FIGURE 6 A FIGURE 6 B FIGURE 6 C FIGURE 8 PMID:306693

  19. Nonlinear positron-acoustic waves in fully relativistic degenerate plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hossen, M. A.; Mamun, A. A.

    2016-03-01

    The nonlinear positron-acoustic (PA) waves propagating in a fully relativistic electron-positron-ion (EPI) plasma (containing degenerate electrons and positrons, and immobile heavy ions) have been theoretically investigated. A fully relativistic hydrodynamic model, which is consistent with the relativistic principle has been used, and the reductive perturbation method is employed to derive the dynamical Korteweg-de Vries equation. The dynamics of electrons as well as positrons, and the presence of immobile heavy ions are taken into account. It is found that the effects of relativistic degeneracy of electrons and positrons, static heavy ions, plasma particles velocity, enthalpy, etc have significantly modified the basic properties of the PA solitary waves propagating in the fully relativistic EPI plasmas. The application of the results of our present work in astrophysical compact objects such as white dwarfs and neutron stars, etc are briefly discussed.

  20. Gene Therapies for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Pechan, Peter; Wadsworth, Samuel; Scaria, Abraham

    2015-07-01

    Pathological neovascularization is a key component of the neovascular form (also known as the wet form) of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Several preclinical studies have shown that antiangiogenesis strategies are effective for treating neovascular AMD in animal models. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is one of the main inducers of ocular neovascularization, and several clinical trials have shown the benefits of neutralizing VEGF in patients with neovascular AMD or diabetic macular edema. In this review, we summarize several preclinical and early-stage clinical trials with intraocular gene therapies, which have the potential to reduce or eliminate the repeated intravitreal injections that are currently required for the treatment of neovascular AMD. PMID:25524721

  1. Axonal degeneration affects muscle density in older men and women

    PubMed Central

    Lauretani, Fulvio; Bandinelli, Stefania; Bartali, Benedetta; Di Iorio, Angelo; Giacomini, Vittoria; Corsi, Anna Maria; Guralnik, Jack M.; Ferrucci, Luigi

    2009-01-01

    Using data from InCHIANTI, a prospective population-based survey of older persons, we examined the relationship of peroneal nerve conduction velocity (NCV, a measure of nerve myelination) and compound muscle action potential (CMAP, a measure of axonal degeneration) with calf muscle mass and density, two complementary measures of sarcopenia. NCV and CMAP were assessed by surface electroneurography of the right peroneal nerve conducted in 1162 participants, 515 men and 647 women, age 21–96 years, free of major neurological diseases. Cross-sectional muscle area and calf muscle density were measured using peripheral quantitative computerized tomography (pQCT). Both nerve and muscle parameters declined with age although in most cases the decline was not linear. In both sexes, CMAP, but not NCV, was independently and significantly associated with calf muscle density. These findings suggest that intrinsic changes in the muscle tissue are partially caused by a reduction in the number of motor axons. PMID:16085338

  2. Axonal degeneration affects muscle density in older men and women.

    PubMed

    Lauretani, Fulvio; Bandinelli, Stefania; Bartali, Benedetta; Di Iorio, Angelo; Giacomini, Vittoria; Corsi, Anna Maria; Guralnik, Jack M; Ferrucci, Luigi

    2006-08-01

    Using data from InCHIANTI, a prospective population-based survey of older persons, we examined the relationship of peroneal nerve conduction velocity (NCV, a measure of nerve myelination) and compound muscle action potential (CMAP, a measure of axonal degeneration) with calf muscle mass and density, two complementary measures of sarcopenia. NCV and CMAP were assessed by surface electroneurography of the right peroneal nerve conducted in 1162 participants, 515 men and 647 women, age 21-96 years, free of major neurological diseases. Cross-sectional muscle area and calf muscle density were measured using peripheral quantitative computerized tomography (pQCT). Both nerve and muscle parameters declined with age although in most cases the decline was not linear. In both sexes, CMAP, but not NCV, was independently and significantly associated with calf muscle density. These findings suggest that intrinsic changes in the muscle tissue are partially caused by a reduction in the number of motor axons. PMID:16085338

  3. Caregiver Burden in Frontotemporal Degeneration and Corticobasal Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Armstrong, Nicole; Schupf, Nicole; Grafman, Jordan; Huey, Edward D.

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Caregiver stress is often a serious problem when caring for a patient with frontal lobe dysfunction. Methods A total of 102 caregivers of both patients with frontotemporal degeneration and corticobasal syndrome completed the Frontal Systems Behavior Scale (FrSBe) and the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI). To analyze the association between apathy or disinhibition (or both) and caregiver burden, the effects of the total FrSBe and the apathy and disinhibition subscales of the FrSBE on the total ZBI score were assessed with logistic regressions and t tests. Results Total FrSBE score and the apathy FrSBE subscore predicted caregiver burden. Apathy occurred without disinhibition, and the two occurred together, but disinhibition without apathy was very rare. Conclusions Disinhibition without apathy occurred very rarely. Apathy was more associated with caregiver burden than disinhibition. PMID:24022248

  4. The physical properties of double degenerate common proper motion binaries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sion, Edward M.; Oswalt, Terry D.; Liebert, James; Hintzen, Paul

    1991-01-01

    Spectral types and spectrophotometry are presented for 21 double degenerate (DD) common proper motion binaries, along with estimates of their colors, absolute visual and bolometric magnitudes, and cooling ages. The oldest pairs in the sample are 9 x 10 to the 9th yr; the differential cooling ages range from 0.01 to 0.84. The median and mean separations of the DD pairs are 426 and 407 Au, respectively, both apparently smaller than the WD+MS values. The average UVW motions and velocity dispersions are significantly larger than the average velocities and dispersions associated with selected samples of single white dwarfs and MS+WD binaries when the latter are restricted to the same color/Mv range as the DD systems. This may be a result of the dynamical inflation of the velocity dispersion of DD systems due to their extremely ancient total stellar ages.

  5. Radiative seesaw model with degenerate Majorana dark matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nomura, Takaaki; Okada, Hiroshi; Orikasa, Yuta

    2016-06-01

    We study a three-loop-induced neutrino mass model with exotic vectorlike isospin doublet leptons which contain a dark matter candidate. Then we explore lepton flavor violations and dark matter physics in a coannihilation system. In this paper, the nearly degenerate Majorana fermion dark matter can naturally be achieved at the two-loop level, while the mass splitting can be larger than O (200 ) keV which is required from the constraint of the direct detection search with spin-independent inelastic scattering through the Z -boson portal. As a result, a monochromatic photon excess, with threshold energy greater than O (200 ) keV , is predicted in our model and could be measured through indirect detection experiments such as INTEGRAL.

  6. Late onset cerebellar cortical degeneration in a koala.

    PubMed

    Kuwamura, M; Murai, F; Nishioka, S; Aoki, M; Ohashi, F; Yamate, J; Kotani, T; Summers, B A

    2009-08-01

    A 10-year-old male koala started to fall from the tree while sleeping. Subsequently, the koala often fell down while walking and showed a gait abnormality, abnormal nystagmus and hypersalivation. At 12 years of age, the koala became ataxic and seemed blind. At 13 years of age, the koala exhibited signs of dysstasia and was euthanased. Necropsy revealed marked symmetrical atrophy of the cerebellum. Histopathologically, a severe loss of Purkinje and granule cells was evident in the cerebellum, while the molecular layer was more cellular than normal with cells resembling small neurons, which were positively stained with parvalbumin immunohistochemistry. Reactive Bergmann glial cells (astrocytes) were present adjacent to the depleted Purkinje cell zone. The very late onset and slow progression of the cerebellar cortical degeneration in this case is particularly interesting and appears to be the first report in the koala. PMID:19673852

  7. Progress Toward Effective Treatments for Human Photoreceptor Degenerations

    PubMed Central

    Stone, Edwin M.

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in several dozen genes have been shown to cause inherited photoreceptor degeneration in humans and it is likely that mutations in several dozen more will eventually be identified. Careful study of these genes has provided insight into the cellular and molecular mechanisms of human photoreceptor disease and has accelerated the development of a number of different classes of therapy including: nutritional supplementation, toxin avoidance, small- and large-molecule drugs, gene replacement, cell replacement, and even retinal prostheses. The retina is a very favorable system for the development of novel treatments for neurodegenerative disease because of its optical and physical accessibility as well as its highly ordered structure. With several forms of treatment for inherited retinal disease in or near clinical trial, one of the greatest remaining challenges is to educate clinicians in the appropriate use of genetic testing for identifying the individuals who will be most likely to benefit from each specific modality. PMID:19414246

  8. [Visual fixation features after treatment of exudative age macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Surguch, V K; Surnina, Z V; Sizova, M V

    2011-01-01

    Changes of visual fixation in patients with choroidal neovascularitation (CNV) associated with age macular degeneration (AMD) after bevacizumab are studied. 45 patients (45 eyes) with active CNV treated with intravitreal bevacizumab were enrolled into the study. Visual fixation was studied before and 3-6 months after treatment using original method that included fundus foto and fluorescein angiography. Fixation relative to fovea and lesion was evaluated. Foveal fixation beyond lesion was found in 9%, foveal fixation within lesion--in 47%, extrafoveal fixation beyond lesion--in 18%, extrafoveal fixation within lesion--in 26% of patients. Changes of fixation localization after treatment was found in 24% patients. Examination of visual fixation may be useful for prognosis of anti-VEGF treatment efficacy in patients with CNV. PMID:21721271

  9. How to test for mass degenerate Higgs resonances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grossman, Yuval; Surujon, Ze'ev; Zupan, Jure

    2013-03-01

    The Higgs-like signal observed at the LHC could be due to several mass degenerate resonances. We show that the number of resonances is related to the rank of a "production and decay" matrix, R if . Each entry in this matrix contains the observed rate in a particular production mode i and final state f. In the case of N non-interfering resonances, the rank of R is, at most, N. If interference plays a role, the maximum rank is generically N 2, or with a universal phase, N( N + 1) /2. As an illustration we use the present experimental data to constrain the rank of the corresponding matrix. We estimate the LHC reach of probing two and three resonances under various speculations on future measurements and uncertainties.

  10. Condensing Magnons in a Degenerate Ferromagnetic Spinor Bose Gas.

    PubMed

    Fang, Fang; Olf, Ryan; Wu, Shun; Kadau, Holger; Stamper-Kurn, Dan M

    2016-03-01

    We observe the quasicondensation of magnon excitations within an F=1 ^{87}Rb spinor Bose-Einstein condensed gas. Magnons are pumped into a ferromagnetically ordered gas, allowed to equilibrate to a nondegenerate distribution, and then cooled evaporatively at near-constant net longitudinal magnetization, whereupon they condense. The critical magnon number, spatial distribution, and momentum distribution indicate that magnons condense in a potential that is uniform within the volume of the ferromagnetic condensate. The macroscopic transverse magnetization produced by the degenerate magnon gas remains inhomogeneous within the ∼10  s equilibration time accessed in our experiment, and includes signatures of Mermin-Ho spin textures that appear as phase singularities in the magnon quasicondensate wave function. PMID:26991184

  11. Topological Superradiant States in a Degenerate Fermi Gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Jian-Song; Liu, Xiong-Jun; Zhang, Wei; Yi, Wei; Guo, Guang-Can

    2015-07-01

    We predict the existence of a topological superradiant state in a two-component degenerate Fermi gas in a cavity. The superradiant light generation in the transversely driven cavity mode induces a cavity-assisted spin-orbit coupling and opens a bulk gap at half filling. This mechanism can simultaneously drive a topological phase transition in the system, yielding a topological superradiant state. We map out the steady-state phase diagram in the presence of an effective Zeeman field, and identify a critical tetracritical point beyond which the topological and the conventional superraidiant phase boundaries separate. The topological phase transition can be detected from its signatures in either the momentum distribution of the atoms or the variation of the cavity photon occupation due to the nontrivial feedback of the atoms on the cavity field.

  12. 3-acetylpyridine-induced degeneration in the adult ascidian neural complex: Reactive and regenerative changes in glia and blood cells.

    PubMed

    Medina, Bianca N S P; Santos de Abreu, Isadora; Cavalcante, Leny A; Silva, Wagner A B; da Fonseca, Rodrigo N; Allodi, Silvana; de Barros, Cintia M

    2015-08-01

    Ascidians are interesting neurobiological models because of their evolutionary position as a sister-group of vertebrates and the high regenerative capacity of their central nervous system (CNS). We investigated the degeneration and regeneration of the cerebral ganglion complex of the ascidian Styela plicata following injection of the niacinamide antagonist 3-acetylpyridine (3AP), described as targeting the CNS of several vertebrates. For the analysis and establishment of a new model in ascidians, the ganglion complex was dissected and prepared for transmission electron microscopy (TEM), routine light microscopy (LM), immunohistochemistry and Western blotting, 1 or 10 days after injection of 3AP. The siphon stimulation test (SST) was used to quantify the functional response. One day after the injection of 3AP, CNS degeneration and recruitment of a non-neural cell type to the site of injury was observed by both TEM and LM. Furthermore, weaker immunohistochemical reactions for astrocytic glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and neuronal βIII-tubulin were observed. In contrast, the expression of caspase-3, a protein involved in the apoptotic pathway, and the glycoprotein CD34, a marker for hematopoietic stem cells, increased. Ten days after the injection of 3AP, the expression of markers tended toward the original condition. The SST revealed attenuation and subsequent recovery of the reflexes from 1 to 10 days after 3AP. Therefore, we have developed a new method to study ascidian neural degeneration and regeneration, and identified the decreased expression of GFAP and recruitment of blood stem cells to the damaged ganglion as reasons for the success of neuroregeneration in ascidians. PMID:25484282

  13. Assessment of Functional and Behavioral Changes Sensitive to Painful Disc Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Alon; Moon, Andrew; Purmessur, Devina; Skovrlj, Branko; Winkelstein, Beth A.; Cho, Samuel K.; Hecht, Andrew C.; Iatridis, James C.

    2015-01-01

    The development of an in vivo rodent discogenic pain model can provide insight into mechanisms for painful disc degeneration. Painful disc degeneration in rodents can be inferred by examining responses to external stimuli, observing pain-related behaviors, and measuring functional performance. This study compared the sensitivity of multiple pain and functional assessment methods to disc disruption for identifying the parameters sensitive to painful disc degeneration in rats. Disc degeneration was induced in rats by annular injury with saline injection. The severity of disc degeneration, pain sensitivity, and functional performance were compared to sham and näve control rats. Saline injection induced disc degeneration with decreased disc height and MRI signal intensity as well as more fibrous nucleus pulposus, disorganized annular lamellae and decreased proteoglycan. Rats also demonstrated increased painful behaviors including decreased hindpaw mechanical and thermal sensitivities, increased grooming, and altered gait patterns with hindpaw mechanical hyperalgesia and duration of grooming tests being most sensitive. This is the first study to compare sensitivities of different pain assessment methods in an in vivo rat model of disc degeneration. Hindpaw mechanical sensitivity and duration of grooming were the most sensitive parameters to surgically induced degenerative changes and overall results were suggestive of disc degeneration associated pain. PMID:25731955

  14. The role of autophagy in axonal degeneration of the optic nerve.

    PubMed

    Koch, Jan Christoph; Lingor, Paul

    2016-03-01

    Different pathological conditions including glaucoma, optic neuritis, hereditary optic atrophy and traumatic injury lead to a degeneration of retinal ganglion cell axons in the optic nerve. Besides this clinical relevance, several experimental models employ the optic nerve as a model system to examine general mechanisms of axonal degeneration in the central nervous system. Several experimental studies have demonstrated that an activation of autophagy is a prominent feature of axonal degeneration in the optic nerve independent of the underlying pathological condition. However, the function of autophagy in axonal degeneration remains still unclear. Inhibition of autophagy was found to attenuate axonal degeneration within the first hours after optic nerve lesion. Other studies focusing on survival of retinal ganglion cells at later postlesional time points report contradicting results, where both inhibition and induction of autophagy were beneficial for survival, depending on the model system or examination time. Therefore, a more precise understanding of the role and the kinetics of autophagy in axonal degeneration is mandatory to develop new therapies for diseases of the optic nerve. Here, we review the literature on the pathophysiological role of autophagy in axonal degeneration in the optic nerve and discuss its implications for future therapeutic approaches in diseases of the eye and the central nervous system involving axonal degeneration. PMID:26315785

  15. Activation of Bone Marrow-Derived Microglia Promotes Photoreceptor Survival in Inherited Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Sasahara, Manabu; Otani, Atsushi; Oishi, Akio; Kojima, Hiroshi; Yodoi, Yuko; Kameda, Takanori; Nakamura, Hajime; Yoshimura, Nagahisa

    2008-01-01

    The role of microglia in neurodegeneration is controversial, although microglial activation in the retina has been shown to provide an early response against infection, injury, ischemia, and degeneration. Here we show that endogenous bone marrow (BM)-derived microglia play a protective role in vascular and neural degeneration in the retinitis pigmentosa model of inherited retinal degeneration. BM-derived cells were recruited to the degenerating retina where they differentiated into microglia and subsequently localized to the degenerating vessels and neurons. Inhibition of stromal-derived factor-1 in the retina reduced the number of BM-derived microglia and accelerated the rate of neurovascular degeneration. Systemic depletion of myeloid progenitors also accelerated the degenerative process. Conversely, activation of BM-derived myeloid progenitors by systemic administration of both granulocyte colony-stimulating factor and erythropoietin resulted in the deceleration of retinal degeneration and the promotion of cone cell survival. These data indicate that BM-derived microglia may play a protective role in retinitis pigmentosa. Functional activation of BM-derived myeloid progenitors by cytokine therapy may provide a novel strategy for the treatment of inherited retinal degeneration and other neurodegenerative diseases, regardless of the underlying genetic defect. PMID:18483210

  16. Monte Carlo Study of Degenerate Behavior of AB Diblock Copolymer/Nanoparticle under Cylindrical Confinement.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yingying; Han, Yuanyuan; Cui, Jie; Jiang, Wei; Sun, Yingchun

    2016-08-23

    Degenerate behavior (i.e., forming different self-assembled structures for a given block copolymer (BCP) under the same confinement) commonly exists in various confined systems. Understanding degenerate behavior is crucial for precise control over the structures formed by self-assembly systems under confinement. In this study, the degenerate behavior of a self-assembled AB diblock copolymer/nanoparticle (NP) mixture in a cylindrical pore is studied using Monte Carlo simulation. We find that the degenerate behavior of such a mixture depends on the introduction of the NP. Under different pore sizes, four typical degenerate structures [i.e., single helices (S-helices), double helices (D-helices), parallel cylinders, and stacked toroids] can be obtained if the NP content is zero. However, when the NP content in the mixture is increased, it is found that the number of degenerate structures decreases, that is, only blocky structures can be obtained in the case of high NP content. Moreover, the probability of forming S-helices decreases, whereas the probability of forming D-helices increases with increase in the NP content. Analysis of the interactive enthalpy densities and the chain conformation of the systems indicates that entropy plays an important role in the degenerate structure formation. This study provides some new insights into the degenerate behavior of a BCP/NP mixture under confinement, which can offer a theoretical reference for further experiments. PMID:27459708

  17. Association of Abdominal Obesity with Lumbar Disc Degeneration – A Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

    PubMed Central

    Takatalo, Jani; Karppinen, Jaro; Taimela, Simo; Niinimäki, Jaakko; Laitinen, Jaana; Sequeiros, Roberto Blanco; Samartzis, Dino; Korpelainen, Raija; Näyhä, Simo; Remes, Jouko; Tervonen, Osmo

    2013-01-01

    Purpose To evaluate whether midsagittal (abdominal) obesity in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), waist circumference (WC) and body fat percentage are associated with lumbar disc degeneration in early adulthood. Methods We obtained the lumbar MRI (1.5-T scanner) of 325 females and 233 males at a mean age of 21 years. Lumbar disc degeneration was evaluated using Pfirrmann classification. We analysed the associations of MRI measures of obesity (abdominal diameter (AD), sagittal diameter (SAD), ventral subcutaneous thickness (VST), and dorsal subcutaneous thickness (DST)), WC and body fat percentage with disc degeneration sum scores using ordinal logistic regression. Results A total of 155 (48%) females and 147 (63%) males had disc degeneration. AD and SAD were associated with a disc degeneration sum score of ≥3 compared to disc degeneration sum score of 0–2 (OR 1.67; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20–2.33 and OR 1.40; 95% CI 1.12–1.75, respectively) among males, but we found no association among females. WC was also associated with disc degeneration among males (OR 1.03 per one cm; 95% CI 1.00–1.05), but not among females. Conclusion Measures of abdominal obesity in MRI and waist circumference were associated with disc degeneration among 21-year-old males. PMID:23418543

  18. Fibroid degeneration in a postmenopausal woman presenting as an acute abdomen

    PubMed Central

    Shrestha, Rajesh; Khanal, Raju; Aryal, Madan Raj; Pathak, Ranjan; Karmacharya, Paras; Naqi, Muniba; Murukutla, Srujitha; Bhatt, Vijaya Raj; Gottesman, Aaron

    2015-01-01

    Uterine fibroid, one of the most common tumors in women, is estrogen dependent, which commonly regresses after menopause. Fibroid degeneration after menopause, therefore, is rare. Here the authors report a case of 56-year-old postmenopausal woman who presented with acute abdominal pain, low grade fever, and leukocytosis as a result of fibroid degeneration. PMID:25656665

  19. Age-related macular degeneration: Evidence of a major gene

    SciTech Connect

    Bhatt, S.; Warren, C.; Yang, H.

    1994-09-01

    Age-related macular degeneration is a major cause of blindness in developing countries. It remains a very poorly understood disorder. Although environmental and genetic factors have been implicated in its pathogenesis, none have been firmly implicated. The purpose of this study was to use pedigree analysis to evaluate the possible role of a major gene as a determinant of familial aggregation. Information was collected regarding occupation, smoking, sun exposure, associated medical problems and family history. 50 probands with age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and 39 age, race and sex-matched controls were included in the study. In the ARMD group 15/50 (30%) of probands reported a positive family history; 22 out of 222 first degree relatives over age 60 were reported to be affected. In the control groups, none of the 138 first degree relatives over age 50 had a history of ARMD. This difference is statistically significant (p = 0.0003), indicating that genetic factors may play an important role in the pathogenesis of ARMD. In the ARMD group more siblings as compared to parents (16/127 vs. 5/82) were affected. 5/50 (10%) of the ARMD probands also gave a history of a second degree relative affected with ARMD, compared to none known among the relatives of controls. Data from 50 pedigrees were analyzed by complex segregation analysis under a class A regressive logistic model using the REGD program implemented in the SAGE package. Preliminary results allow rejection of a polygenic model and suggest there is a major gene for ARMD in these families. The inheritance model most compatible with the observed familial aggregation is autosomal recessive. In conclusion, these results are suggestive of a major gene effect in the etiology of ARMD. Identification of a major gene effect is a first step to further pursue linkage analysis and to search for the gene(s) involved in the causation of ARMD.

  20. Inflammation and its role in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Kauppinen, Anu; Paterno, Jussi J; Blasiak, Janusz; Salminen, Antero; Kaarniranta, Kai

    2016-05-01

    Inflammation is a cellular response to factors that challenge the homeostasis of cells and tissues. Cell-associated and soluble pattern-recognition receptors, e.g. Toll-like receptors, inflammasome receptors, and complement components initiate complex cellular cascades by recognizing or sensing different pathogen and damage-associated molecular patterns, respectively. Cytokines and chemokines represent alarm messages for leukocytes and once activated, these cells travel long distances to targeted inflamed tissues. Although it is a crucial survival mechanism, prolonged inflammation is detrimental and participates in numerous chronic age-related diseases. This article will review the onset of inflammation and link its functions to the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of severe vision loss in aged individuals in the developed countries. In this progressive disease, degeneration of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) results in the death of photoreceptors, leading to a loss of central vision. The RPE is prone to oxidative stress, a factor that together with deteriorating functionality, e.g. decreased intracellular recycling and degradation due to attenuated heterophagy/autophagy, induces inflammation. In the early phases, accumulation of intracellular lipofuscin in the RPE and extracellular drusen between RPE cells and Bruch's membrane can be clinically detected. Subsequently, in dry (atrophic) AMD there is geographic atrophy with discrete areas of RPE loss whereas in the wet (exudative) form there is neovascularization penetrating from the choroid to retinal layers. Elevations in levels of local and systemic biomarkers indicate that chronic inflammation is involved in the pathogenesis of both disease forms. PMID:26852158

  1. New perspective on parkinsonism in frontotemporal lobar degeneration.

    PubMed

    Park, Hee Kyung; Chung, Sun J

    2013-05-01

    Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is the second most common type of presenile dementia. Three clinical prototypes have been defined; behavioral variant FTD, semantic dementia, and progressive nonfluent aphasia. Progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, and motor neuron disease may possess clinical and pathological characteristics that overlap with FTD, and it is possible that they may all belong to the same clinicopathological spectrum. Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is a clinicopathological syndrome that encompasses a heterogenous group of neurodegenerative disorders. Owing to the advancement in the field of molecular genetics, diagnostic imaging, and pathology, FTLD has been the focus of great interest. Nevertheless, parkinsonism in FTLD has received relatively less attention. Parkinsonism is found in approximately 20-30% of patients in FTLD. Furthermore, parkinsonism can be seen in all FTLD subtypes, and some patients with familial and sporadic FTLD can present with prominent parkinsonism. Therefore, there is a need to understand parkinsonism in FTLD in order to obtain a better understanding of the disease. With regard to the clinical characteristics, the akinetic rigid type of parkinsonism has predominantly been described. Parkinsonism is frequently observed in familial FTD, more specifically, in FTD with parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17q (FTDP-17). The genes associated with parkinsonism are microtubule associated protein tau (MAPT), progranulin (GRN or PGRN), and chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9ORF72) repeat expansion. The neural substrate of parkinsonism remains to be unveiled. Dopamine transporter (DAT) imaging revealed decreased uptake of DAT, and imaging findings indicated atrophic changes of the basal ganglia. Parkinsonism can be an important feature in FTLD and, therefore, increased attention is needed on the subject. PMID:24868417

  2. New Perspective on Parkinsonism in Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Park, Hee Kyung; Chung, Sun J.

    2013-01-01

    Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is the second most common type of presenile dementia. Three clinical prototypes have been defined; behavioral variant FTD, semantic dementia, and progressive nonfluent aphasia. Progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, and motor neuron disease may possess clinical and pathological characteristics that overlap with FTD, and it is possible that they may all belong to the same clinicopathological spectrum. Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is a clinicopathological syndrome that encompasses a heterogenous group of neurodegenerative disorders. Owing to the advancement in the field of molecular genetics, diagnostic imaging, and pathology, FTLD has been the focus of great interest. Nevertheless, parkinsonism in FTLD has received relatively less attention. Parkinsonism is found in approximately 20–30% of patients in FTLD. Furthermore, parkinsonism can be seen in all FTLD subtypes, and some patients with familial and sporadic FTLD can present with prominent parkinsonism. Therefore, there is a need to understand parkinsonism in FTLD in order to obtain a better understanding of the disease. With regard to the clinical characteristics, the akinetic rigid type of parkinsonism has predominantly been described. Parkinsonism is frequently observed in familial FTD, more specifically, in FTD with parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17q (FTDP-17). The genes associated with parkinsonism are microtubule associated protein tau (MAPT), progranulin (GRN or PGRN), and chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9ORF72) repeat expansion. The neural substrate of parkinsonism remains to be unveiled. Dopamine transporter (DAT) imaging revealed decreased uptake of DAT, and imaging findings indicated atrophic changes of the basal ganglia. Parkinsonism can be an important feature in FTLD and, therefore, increased attention is needed on the subject. PMID:24868417

  3. Lubricin protects the temporomandibular joint surfaces from degeneration.

    PubMed

    Hill, Adele; Duran, Juanita; Purcell, Patricia

    2014-01-01

    The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a specialized synovial joint essential for the mobility and function of the mammalian jaw. The TMJ is composed of the mandibular condyle, the glenoid fossa of the temporal bone, and a fibrocartilagenous disc interposed between these bones. A fibrous capsule, lined on the luminal surface by the synovial membrane, links these bones and retains synovial fluid within the cavity. The major component of synovial fluid is lubricin, a glycoprotein encoded by the gene proteoglycan 4 (Prg4), which is synthesized by chondrocytes at the surface of the articular cartilage and by synovial lining cells. We previously showed that in the knee joint, Prg4 is crucial for maintenance of cartilage surfaces and for regulating proliferation of the intimal cells in the synovium. Consequently, the objective of this study was to determine the role of lubricin in the maintenance of the TMJ. We found that mice lacking lubricin have a normal TMJ at birth, but develop degeneration resembling TMJ osteoarthritis by 2 months, increasing in severity over time. Disease progression in Prg4-/- mice results in synovial hyperplasia, deterioration of cartilage in the condyle, disc and fossa with an increase in chondrocyte number and their redistribution in clusters with loss of superficial zone chondrocytes. All articular surfaces of the joint had a prominent layer of protein deposition. Compared to the knee joint, the osteoarthritis-like phenotype was more severe and manifested earlier in the TMJ. Taken together, the lack of lubricin in the TMJ causes osteoarthritis-like degeneration that affects the articular cartilage as well as the integrity of multiple joint tissues. Our results provide the first molecular evidence of the role of lubricin in the TMJ and suggest that Prg4-/- mice might provide a valuable new animal model for the study of the early events of TMJ osteoarthritis. PMID:25188282

  4. Muscle hypertrophy induced by myostatin inhibition accelerates degeneration in dysferlinopathy.

    PubMed

    Lee, Yun-Sil; Lehar, Adam; Sebald, Suzanne; Liu, Min; Swaggart, Kayleigh A; Talbot, C Conover; Pytel, Peter; Barton, Elisabeth R; McNally, Elizabeth M; Lee, Se-Jin

    2015-10-15

    Myostatin is a secreted signaling molecule that normally acts to limit muscle growth. As a result, there is extensive effort directed at developing drugs capable of targeting myostatin to treat patients with muscle loss. One potential concern with this therapeutic approach in patients with muscle degenerative diseases like muscular dystrophy is that inducing hypertrophy may increase stress on dystrophic fibers, thereby accelerating disease progression. To investigate this possibility, we examined the effect of blocking the myostatin pathway in dysferlin-deficient (Dysf(-/-)) mice, in which membrane repair is compromised, either by transgenic expression of follistatin in skeletal muscle or by systemic administration of the soluble form of the activin type IIB receptor (ACVR2B/Fc). Here, we show that myostatin inhibition by follistatin transgene expression in Dysf(-/-) mice results in early improvement in histopathology but ultimately exacerbates muscle degeneration; this effect was not observed in dystrophin-deficient (mdx) mice, suggesting that accelerated degeneration induced by follistatin transgene expression is specific to mice lacking dysferlin. Dysf(-/-) mice injected with ACVR2B/Fc showed significant increases in muscle mass and amelioration of fibrotic changes normally seen in 8-month-old Dysf(-/-) mice. Despite these potentially beneficial effects, ACVR2B/Fc treatment caused increases in serum CK levels in some Dysf(-/-) mice, indicating possible muscle damage induced by hypertrophy. These findings suggest that depending on the disease context, inducing muscle hypertrophy by myostatin blockade may have detrimental effects, which need to be weighed against the potential gains in muscle growth and decreased fibrosis. PMID:26206886

  5. Blood-Flow Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yingxia; Cheng, Haiying; Shen, Qiang; Kim, Moon; Thule, Peter M; Olson, Darin E; Pardue, Machelle T; Duong, Timothy Q

    2009-01-01

    Purpose To investigate quantitative basal blood flow, hypercapnia- and hyperoxia-induced blood-flow changes in the retinas of the Royal-College-of-Surgeons (RCS) rats with spontaneous retinal degeneration and to compare with those of normal rat retinas. Methods Experiments were performed on male RCS rats at post-natal day P90 (n=4), P220 (n=5) and age-matched controls at P90 (n=7) and P220 (n=6). Hyperoxic (100% O2) and hypercapnic (5% CO2, 21% O2, balance N2) challenges were used to modulate blood flow. Quantitative baseline blood flow, hypercapnia- and hyperoxia-induced blood-flow changes in the retinas were imaged using continuous arterial-spin-labeling magnetic resonance imaging at 90×90×1500 μm. Results In the normal rat retinas, basal blood flow was 5.5ml/gram/min, significantly higher than those reported in the brain (∼1ml/gram/min). Hyperoxia decreased blood flow due to vasoconstriction and hypercapnia increased blood flow due to vasodilation in the normal retinas. In the RCS rat retinas, basal blood flow was diminished significantly (P<0.05). Interestingly, absolute hyperoxia- and hypercapnia-induced blood-flow changes in the RCS retinas were not statistically different from those in the normal retinas (P>0.05). However, percent changes in blood-flow were significantly larger than in normal retinas due to lower basal blood flow. Conclusion Retinal degeneration markedly reduces basal blood-flow but does not appear to impair vascular reactivity. These data also suggest caution when interpreting the relative stimulus-evoked functional MRI changes in diseased states where basal parameters are significantly perturbed. Quantitative blood-flow MRI may serve as a valuable tool to study the retina without depth limitation. PMID:18952917

  6. Simulating the Double-Degenerate Channel for Type Ia Supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jumper, Kevin; Fisher, R. T.

    2013-01-01

    Type Ia Supernovae (SNe Ia) are the thermonuclear explosions of white dwarfs, and are of fundamental importance to the study of many phenomena, including the expansion of the universe and dark energy. For many years, it was suspected that that SNe Ia occur in binary systems, but the identity of the white dwarf’s companion could not be determined. A leading hypothesis, the single-degenerate (SD) channel, suggests that the companion is either on the main sequence or a red giant, and that the white dwarf accretes matter off of its companion until it nears the Chandrasekhar limit of 1.4 solar masses, causing the white dwarf to detonate shortly thereafter. Another hypothesis, the double-degenerate (DD) channel, proposes that both stars in the system are white dwarfs and that they merge together, resulting in a central, rapidly spinning white dwarf, surrounded by a thick disk of remnant material. Precisely how this triggers a detonation remains unclear; early spherically-symmetric models by Nomoto et al. indicated that merged white dwarfs would collapse to neutron stars instead of producing supernovae. Recent observations of two supernovae discovered last year by the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF), SN 2011 fe and SN PTF11k, have provided evidence that suggests that both the SD and DD channels coexist in nature. Consequently, it is important to develop simulations that can resolve the mystery of the DD channel’s detonation mechanism. To this end, we use a smoothed-particle hydrodynamics (SPH) code, GADGET-1, to model the rotating flows characteristic of merged DD systems and study how they evolve with time.

  7. A histochemical and X-ray microanalysis study of calcium changes in insect flight muscle degeneration in Solenopsis, the queen fire ant

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, R.G.; Davis, W.L.; Vinson, S.B.

    1982-04-01

    Potassium pyroantimonate histochemistry, coupled with ethyleneglycoltetraacetic acid (EGTA)-chelation and X-ray microprobe analysis, was employed to localize intracellular calcium binding sites in the normal and degenerating flight musculature in queens of Solenopsis, the fire ant. In normal animals, calcium distribution was light to moderate within myofibrils and mitochondria. In the early contracture stages of the insemination-induced degeneration, both myofilament and mitochondrial calcium loading was markedly increased. In the terminal stages of myofibril breakdown, only Z-lines (isolated or in clusters) with an associated filamentous residue persisted. These complexes were also intensely calcium positive. This study further documents the presence of increased sarcoplasmic calcium during muscle necrosis. Surface membrane defects, mitochondrial calcium overload, and calcium-activated proteases may all be involved in this ''normal'' breakdown process.

  8. Characterisation of a C1qtnf5 Ser163Arg Knock-In Mouse Model of Late-Onset Retinal Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Shu, Xinhua; Luhmann, Ulrich F. O.; Aleman, Tomas S.; Barker, Susan E.; Lennon, Alan; Tulloch, Brian; Chen, Mei; Xu, Heping; Jacobson, Samuel G.; Ali, Robin; Wright, Alan F.

    2011-01-01

    A single founder mutation resulting in a Ser163Arg substitution in the C1QTNF5 gene product causes autosomal dominant late-onset retinal macular degeneration (L-ORMD) in humans, which has clinical and pathological features resembling age-related macular degeneration. We generated and characterised a mouse “knock-in” model carrying the Ser163Arg mutation in the orthologous murine C1qtnf5 gene by site-directed mutagenesis and homologous recombination into mouse embryonic stem cells. Biochemical, immunological, electron microscopic, fundus autofluorescence, electroretinography and laser photocoagulation analyses were used to characterise the mouse model. Heterozygous and homozygous knock-in mice showed no significant abnormality in any of the above measures at time points up to 2 years. This result contrasts with another C1qtnf5 Ser163Arg knock-in mouse which showed most of the features of L-ORMD but differed in genetic background and targeting construct. PMID:22110650

  9. The Rate of Vitamin A Dimerization in Lipofuscinogenesis, Fundus Autofluorescence, Retinal Senescence and Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Washington, Ilyas; Saad, Leonide

    2016-01-01

    One of the earliest events preceding several forms of retinal degeneration is the formation and accumulation of vitamin A dimers in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and underlying Bruch's membrane (BM). Such degenerations include Stargardt disease, Best disease, forms of retinitis pigmentosa, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Since their discovery in the 1990's, dimers of vitamin A, have been postulated as chemical triggers driving retinal senescence and degeneration. There is evidence to suggest that the rate at which vitamin A dimerizes and the eye's response to the dimerization products may dictate the retina's lifespan. Here, we present outstanding questions, finding the answers to which may help to elucidate the role of vitamin A dimerization in retinal degeneration. PMID:26427431

  10. SARM1 activation triggers axon degeneration locally via NAD⁺ destruction.

    PubMed

    Gerdts, Josiah; Brace, E J; Sasaki, Yo; DiAntonio, Aaron; Milbrandt, Jeffrey

    2015-04-24

    Axon degeneration is an intrinsic self-destruction program that underlies axon loss during injury and disease. Sterile alpha and TIR motif-containing 1 (SARM1) protein is an essential mediator of axon degeneration. We report that SARM1 initiates a local destruction program involving rapid breakdown of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) after injury. We used an engineered protease-sensitized SARM1 to demonstrate that SARM1 activity is required after axon injury to induce axon degeneration. Dimerization of the Toll-interleukin receptor (TIR) domain of SARM1 alone was sufficient to induce locally mediated axon degeneration. Formation of the SARM1 TIR dimer triggered rapid breakdown of NAD(+), whereas SARM1-induced axon destruction could be counteracted by increased NAD(+) synthesis. SARM1-induced depletion of NAD(+) may explain the potent axon protection in Wallerian degeneration slow (Wld(s)) mutant mice. PMID:25908823

  11. Myxoid degeneration of appendix wall: An entity in search of identity: Report of two cases.

    PubMed

    Hakima, Laleh; Mohanty, Sambit K; Pradhan, Dinesh; Samal, Aurobinda; Pattnaik, Niharika; Turi, George K

    2015-01-01

    Myxoid degeneration of the appendix wall without accompanying acute appendicitis (AA) is rare. We report two cases of myxoid degeneration of appendix associated with appendiceal adhesions. Both the cases showed marked splitting and disruption of smooth muscle fibers of muscularis propria by abundant myxoid ground substance and dispersed degenerated hypereosinophilic myofibers with pyknotic nuclei. Scattered degenerated myocytes with vacuolated cytoplasm were also identified. Focal serosal fibrosis was observed in both cases. We reviewed other pathologic processes that involve the appendix such as fibrous obliteration, AA, and appendiceal mucinous neoplasm (AMN) and conclude that the constellations of pathologic findings described herein are unique. Nonneoplastic dissecting myxoid degeneration of the appendix muscularis propria has not been reported in the pathology literature to date. The pathologic nature of appendiceal mucinous stromal change remains unclear; however, we hypothesize that the lesion occurs as a consequence of traction related injury to the appendix. PMID:26881615

  12. Clinical Impact of Sagittal Spinopelvic Parameters on Disc Degeneration in Young Adults

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Young-Min; Eun, Jong-Pil

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The sagittal balance plays an important role in the determination of shear and compressive forces applied on the anterior (vertebral bodies and intervertebral discs) and posterior (facet joints) elements of the lumbar vertebral column. Many studies have also examined the effect of structural changes in the disc on the biomechanical characteristics of the spinal segment. Nevertheless, the relationship between sagittal balance and the degree of disc degeneration has not been extensively explored. Thus, here we investigated the relationships between various sagittal spinopelvic parameters and the degree of disc degeneration in young adults. A total of 278 young adult male patients were included in this study (age range: 18–24 years old). Multiple sagittal spinopelvic parameters, including pelvic incidence (PI), sacral slope (SS), pelvic tilt (PT), lumbar lordosis (LL), sacral inclination (SI), lumbosacral angle (LSA), and sacral table angle (STA), were measured from standing lateral lumbosacral radiographs. The degree of intervertebral disc degeneration was classified using a modified Pfirrmann scale. To assess the pain intensity of each patient, the visual analogue scale (VAS) score for low back pain (LBP) was obtained from all the patients. Finally, the relationships between these spinopelvic parameters and the degree of disc degeneration in young adults were analyzed. Also, we performed multiple logistic regression study. Out of all the spinopelvic parameters measured in this study, a low STA and a low SI were the only significant risk factors that were associated with disc degeneration in young adults. It means that patients with disc degeneration tend to have more severe sacral kyphosis and vertical sacrum. We found that patients with disc degeneration showed a lower SI and lower STA compared with patients without disc degeneration in young adults. Therefore, we suggest that the patients with disc degeneration tend to have more vertical sacrum, more

  13. Screening UBQLN-2 in French frontotemporal lobar degeneration and frontotemporal lobar degeneration-amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

    Lattante, Serena; Le Ber, Isabelle; Camuzat, Agnès; Pariente, Jérémie; Brice, Alexis; Kabashi, Edor

    2013-08-01

    The ubiquilin-2 gene (UBQLN-2) is the only amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-related gene mapping on the X chromosome. Mutations in the PXX domain of UBQLN-2 have been first described in ALS patients with a mutational frequency of 2.6% in familial ALS cases with no evidence of male-to-male transmission. Different populations have been further tested with mutations largely distributed in the gene and lower frequency of positive cases. To determine the genetic contribution of UBQLN-2 in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and FTLD-ALS, we screened a cohort of 136 French patients, identifying a missense variant (c.1006A>G; p.T336A) in 1 FTLD patient whose biological relevance to disease is questionable. We conclude that UBQLN-2 mutations related to ALS/FTLD are extremely rare in French FTLD and FTLD-ALS patients and should not be analyzed systematically. PMID:23582661

  14. Axonal degeneration in an Alzheimer mouse model is PS1 gene dose dependent and linked to intraneuronal Aβ accumulation

    PubMed Central

    Christensen, Ditte Z.; Huettenrauch, Melanie; Mitkovski, Miso; Pradier, Laurent; Wirths, Oliver

    2014-01-01

    Abnormalities and impairments in axonal transport are suggested to strongly contribute to the pathological alterations underlying AD. The exact mechanisms leading to axonopathy are currently unclear, but it was recently suggested that APP expression itself triggers axonal degeneration. We used APP transgenic mice and crossed them on a hemi- or homozygous PS1 knock-in background (APP/PS1KI). Depending on the mutant PS1 dosage, we demonstrate a clear aggravation in both plaque-associated and plaque-distant axonal degeneration, despite of an unchanged APP expression level. Amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides were found to accumulate in axonal swellings as well as in axons and apical dendrites proximate to neurons accumulating intraneuronal Aβ in their cell bodies. This suggests that Aβ can be transported within neurites thereby contributing to axonal deficits. In addition, diffuse extracellular Aβ deposits were observed in the close vicinity of axonal spheroids accumulating intracellular Aβ, which might be indicative of a local Aβ release from sites of axonal damage. PMID:25018730

  15. [The genetic variability of complement system in pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Kubicka-Trząska, Agnieszka; Karska-Basta, Izabella; Dziedzina, Sylwia; Sanak, Marek

    2015-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of irreversible central vision impairment in people aged over 50 in developed countries. Age-related macular degeneration is a complex disease derived from environmental, immune and genetic factors. The complement pathway has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many diseases. Recently, variants in several genes, such as complement H (CFH), complement factor B (CFB), complement 2 (C2), and complement 3 (C3), encoding complement pathway proteins, have been identified as associated with age-related macular degeneration. However, the associations between these genes and age-related macular degeneration varied due to genetic variation within populations and various ethnics groups. The strongest association was found between the age-related macular degeneration and SNP Y402H rs 1061170 variant of CFH gene, which is present in 30% to 50% of age-related macular degeneration patients in Caucasian population and which is a risk factor for the development of age-related macular degeneration. Cohort studies showed that polymorphism Arg102Gly (SNP rs 2230199) of C3 protein could serve as a high-risk genetic marker for the development of age-related macular degeneration. Other rare variants of C3 (Lys155Gln, Lys65Gln, Arg735Trp, Ser1619Arg), may also be associated with a high incidence of age-related macular degeneration in some ethnic groups. A protective haplotype of variants E318D and IVS10 in the C2 gene as well as L9H and R320 in the BF were associated with age-related macular degeneration but only in Caucasians. The genetic findings in age-related macular degeneration patients stress the importance of detailed phenotyping to identify age-related macular degeneration subtypes, which may be associated with the presence of different polymorphisms and various environmental risk factors in any population. Further studies may be helpful to improve the effectiveness of prophylaxis and therapeutic options in age

  16. Degenerate connective polypeptide 1 (CP1) domain from human mitochondrial leucyl-tRNA synthetase.

    PubMed

    Ye, Qing; Wang, Meng; Fang, Zhi-Peng; Ruan, Zhi-Rong; Ji, Quan-Quan; Zhou, Xiao-Long; Wang, En-Duo

    2015-10-01

    The connective polypeptide 1 (CP1) editing domain of leucyl-tRNA synthetase (LeuRS) from various species either harbors a conserved active site to exclude tRNA mis-charging with noncognate amino acids or is evolutionarily truncated or lost because there is no requirement for high translational fidelity. However, human mitochondrial LeuRS (hmtLeuRS) contains a full-length but degenerate CP1 domain that has mutations in some residues important for post-transfer editing. The significance of such an inactive CP1 domain and a translational accuracy mechanism with different noncognate amino acids are not completely understood. Here, we identified the essential role of the evolutionarily divergent CP1 domain in facilitating hmtLeuRS's catalytic efficiency and endowing enzyme with resistance to AN2690, a broad-spectrum drug acting on LeuRSs. In addition, the canonical core of hmtLeuRS is not stringent for noncognate norvaline (Nva) and valine (Val). hmtLeuRS has a very weak tRNA-independent pre-transfer editing activity for Nva, which is insufficient to remove mis-activated Nva. Moreover, hmtLeuRS chimeras fused with a functional CP1 domain from LeuRSs of other species, regardless of origin, showed restored post-transfer editing activity and acquired fidelity during aminoacylation. This work offers a novel perspective on the role of the CP1 domain in optimizing aminoacylation efficiency. PMID:26272616

  17. Deafness and retinal degeneration in a novel USH1C knock-in mouse model.

    PubMed

    Lentz, Jennifer J; Gordon, William C; Farris, Hamilton E; MacDonald, Glen H; Cunningham, Dale E; Robbins, Carol A; Tempel, Bruce L; Bazan, Nicolas G; Rubel, Edwin W; Oesterle, Elizabeth C; Keats, Bronya J

    2010-03-01

    Usher syndrome is the leading cause of combined deaf-blindness, but the molecular mechanisms underlying the auditory and visual impairment are poorly understood. Usher I is characterized by profound congenital hearing loss, vestibular dysfunction, and progressive retinitis pigmentosa beginning in early adolescence. Using the c.216G>A cryptic splice site mutation in Exon 3 of the USH1C gene found in Acadian Usher I patients in Louisiana, we constructed the first mouse model that develops both deafness and retinal degeneration. The same truncated mRNA transcript found in Usher 1C patients is found in the cochleae and retinas of these knock-in mice. Absent auditory-evoked brainstem responses indicated that the mutant mice are deaf at 1 month of age. Cochlear histology showed disorganized hair cell rows, abnormal bundles, and loss of both inner and outer hair cells in the middle turns and at the base. Retinal dysfunction as evident by an abnormal electroretinogram was seen as early as 1 month of age, with progressive loss of rod photoreceptors between 6 and 12 months of age. This knock-in mouse reproduces the dual sensory loss of human Usher I, providing a novel resource to study the disease mechanism and the development of therapies. PMID:20095043

  18. Investigating Mitochondria as a Target for Treating Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Terluk, Marcia R.; Kapphahn, Rebecca J.; Soukup, Lauren M.; Gong, Hwee; Gallardo, Christopher; Montezuma, Sandra R.

    2015-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among older adults in the developed world. Although the pathological mechanisms have not been definitively elucidated, evidence suggests a key role for mitochondrial (mt) dysfunction. The current study used our unique collection of human retinal samples graded for the donor's stage of AMD to address fundamental questions about mtDNA damage in the retina. To evaluate the distribution of mtDNA damage in the diseased retina, damage in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and neural retina from individual donors were compared. To directly test a long-held belief that the macula is selectively damaged with AMD, RPE mtDNA damage was measured in the macula and peripheral sections from individual donors. Small segments of the entire mt genome were examined to determine whether specific regions are preferentially damaged. Our results show that mtDNA damage is limited to the RPE, equivalent mtDNA damage is found in the macular and peripheral RPE, and sites of damage are localized to regions of the mt genome that may impact mt function. These results provide a scientific basis for targeting the RPE mitochondria with therapies that protect and enhance mt function as a strategy for combating AMD. PMID:25948278

  19. Investigating mitochondria as a target for treating age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Terluk, Marcia R; Kapphahn, Rebecca J; Soukup, Lauren M; Gong, Hwee; Gallardo, Christopher; Montezuma, Sandra R; Ferrington, Deborah A

    2015-05-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among older adults in the developed world. Although the pathological mechanisms have not been definitively elucidated, evidence suggests a key role for mitochondrial (mt) dysfunction. The current study used our unique collection of human retinal samples graded for the donor's stage of AMD to address fundamental questions about mtDNA damage in the retina. To evaluate the distribution of mtDNA damage in the diseased retina, damage in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and neural retina from individual donors were compared. To directly test a long-held belief that the macula is selectively damaged with AMD, RPE mtDNA damage was measured in the macula and peripheral sections from individual donors. Small segments of the entire mt genome were examined to determine whether specific regions are preferentially damaged. Our results show that mtDNA damage is limited to the RPE, equivalent mtDNA damage is found in the macular and peripheral RPE, and sites of damage are localized to regions of the mt genome that may impact mt function. These results provide a scientific basis for targeting the RPE mitochondria with therapies that protect and enhance mt function as a strategy for combating AMD. PMID:25948278

  20. Recent Patents on Emerging Therapeutics for the Treatment of Glaucoma, Age Related Macular Degeneration and Uveitis

    PubMed Central

    Vadlapudi, Aswani Dutt; Patel, Ashaben; Cholkar, Kishore; Mitra, Ashim K.

    2014-01-01

    Advancements in the field and rising interest among pharmaceutical researchers have led to the development of new molecules with enhanced therapeutic activity. Design of new drugs which can target a particular pathway and/or explore novel targets is of immense interest to ocular pharmacologists worldwide. Delivery of suitable pharmacologically active agents at proper dose (within the therapeutic window) to the target tissues without any toxicity to the healthy ocular tissues still remain an elusive task. Moreover, the presence of static and dynamic barriers to drug absorption including the corneal epithelium (lipophilic), corneal and scleral stroma (hydrophilic), conjunctival lymphatics, choroidal vasculature and the blood-ocular barriers also pose a significant challenge for achieving therapeutic drug concentrations at the target site. Although many agents are currently available, new compounds are being introduced for treating various ocular diseases. Deeper understanding of the etiology and complex mechanisms associated with the disease condition would aid in the development of potential therapeutic candidates. Novel small molecules as well as complex biotechnology derived macromolecules with superior efficacy, safety and tolerability are being developed. Therefore, this review article provides an overview of existing drugs, treatment options, advances in emerging therapeutics and related recent patents for the treatment of ocular disorders such as glaucoma, age related macular degeneration (AMD) and uveitis. PMID:25414810

  1. Cellular and Molecular Pathology of Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Potential Role for Proteoglycans

    PubMed Central

    Thach, Lyna; Zheng, Wenhua; Osman, Narin

    2016-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a retinal disease evident after the age of 50 that damages the macula in the centre of retina. It leads to a loss of central vision with retained peripheral vision but eventual blindness occurs in many cases. The initiation site of AMD development is Bruch's membrane (BM) where multiple changes occur including the deposition of plasma derived lipids, accumulation of extracellular debris, changes in cell morphology, and viability and the formation of drusen. AMD manifests as early and late stage; the latter involves cell proliferation and neovascularization in wet AMD. Current therapies target the later hyperproliferative and invasive wet stage whilst none target early developmental stages of AMD. In the lipid deposition disease atherosclerosis modified proteoglycans bind and retain apolipoproteins in the artery wall. Chemically modified trapped lipids are immunogenic and can initiate a chronic inflammatory process manifesting as atherosclerotic plaques and subsequent artery blockages, heart attacks, or strokes. As plasma derived lipoprotein deposits are found in BM in early AMD, it is possible that they arise by a similar process within the macula. In this review we consider aspects of the pathological processes underlying AMD with a focus on the potential role of modifications to secreted proteoglycans being a cause and therefore a target for the treatment of early AMD. PMID:27563459

  2. Cellular and Molecular Pathology of Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Potential Role for Proteoglycans.

    PubMed

    Al Gwairi, Othman; Thach, Lyna; Zheng, Wenhua; Osman, Narin; Little, Peter J

    2016-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a retinal disease evident after the age of 50 that damages the macula in the centre of retina. It leads to a loss of central vision with retained peripheral vision but eventual blindness occurs in many cases. The initiation site of AMD development is Bruch's membrane (BM) where multiple changes occur including the deposition of plasma derived lipids, accumulation of extracellular debris, changes in cell morphology, and viability and the formation of drusen. AMD manifests as early and late stage; the latter involves cell proliferation and neovascularization in wet AMD. Current therapies target the later hyperproliferative and invasive wet stage whilst none target early developmental stages of AMD. In the lipid deposition disease atherosclerosis modified proteoglycans bind and retain apolipoproteins in the artery wall. Chemically modified trapped lipids are immunogenic and can initiate a chronic inflammatory process manifesting as atherosclerotic plaques and subsequent artery blockages, heart attacks, or strokes. As plasma derived lipoprotein deposits are found in BM in early AMD, it is possible that they arise by a similar process within the macula. In this review we consider aspects of the pathological processes underlying AMD with a focus on the potential role of modifications to secreted proteoglycans being a cause and therefore a target for the treatment of early AMD. PMID:27563459

  3. Burn injury induces skeletal muscle degeneration, inflammatory host response, and oxidative stress in wistar rats.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Nathalia Trasmonte; Quintana, Hananiah Tardivo; Bortolin, Jeferson André; Ribeiro, Daniel Araki; de Oliveira, Flavia

    2015-01-01

    Burn injuries (BIs) result in both local and systemic responses distant from the site of thermal injury, such as skeletal muscle. The purpose of this study was to investigate the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) as a result of inflammation and reactive oxygen species production, respectively. A total of 16 male rats were distributed into two groups: control (C) and submitted to BI. The medial part of gastrocnemius muscle formed the specimens, which were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and were evaluated. COX-2 and 8-OHdG expressions were assessed by immunohistochemistry, and cell profile area and density of muscle fibers (number of fibers per square millimeter) were evaluated by morphometric methods. The results revealed inflammatory infiltrate associated with COX-2 immunoexpression in BI-gastrocnemius muscle. Furthermore, a substantial decrease in the muscle cell profile area of BI group was noticed when compared with the control group, whereas the density of muscle fibers was higher in the BI group. 8-OHdG expression in numerous skeletal muscle nuclei was detected in the BI group. In conclusion, the BI group is able to induce skeletal muscle degeneration as a result of systemic host response closely related to reactive oxygen species production and inflammatory process. PMID:25933049

  4. Lumbar disc degeneration is linked to a carbohydrate sulfotransferase 3 variant

    PubMed Central

    Song, You-Qiang; Karasugi, Tatsuki; Cheung, Kenneth M.C.; Chiba, Kazuhiro; Ho, Daniel W.H.; Miyake, Atsushi; Kao, Patrick Y.P.; Sze, Kit Ling; Yee, Anita; Takahashi, Atsushi; Kawaguchi, Yoshiharu; Mikami, Yasuo; Matsumoto, Morio; Togawa, Daisuke; Kanayama, Masahiro; Shi, Dongquan; Dai, Jin; Jiang, Qing; Wu, Chengai; Tian, Wei; Wang, Na; Leong, John C.Y.; Luk, Keith D.K.; Yip, Shea-ping; Cherny, Stacey S.; Wang, Junwen; Mundlos, Stefan; Kelempisioti, Anthi; Eskola, Pasi J.; Männikkö, Minna; Mäkelä, Pirkka; Karppinen, Jaro; Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta; O’Reilly, Paul F.; Kubo, Michiaki; Kimura, Tomoatsu; Kubo, Toshikazu; Toyama, Yoshiaki; Mizuta, Hiroshi; Cheah, Kathryn S.E.; Tsunoda, Tatsuhiko; Sham, Pak-Chung; Ikegawa, Shiro; Chan, Danny

    2013-01-01

    Lumbar disc degeneration (LDD) is associated with both genetic and environmental factors and affects many people worldwide. A hallmark of LDD is loss of proteoglycan and water content in the nucleus pulposus of intervertebral discs. While some genetic determinants have been reported, the etiology of LDD is largely unknown. Here we report the findings from linkage and association studies on a total of 32,642 subjects consisting of 4,043 LDD cases and 28,599 control subjects. We identified carbohydrate sulfotransferase 3 (CHST3), an enzyme that catalyzes proteoglycan sulfation, as a susceptibility gene for LDD. The strongest genome-wide linkage peak encompassed CHST3 from a Southern Chinese family–based data set, while a genome-wide association was observed at rs4148941 in the gene in a meta-analysis using multiethnic population cohorts. rs4148941 lies within a potential microRNA-513a-5p (miR-513a-5p) binding site. Interaction between miR-513a-5p and mRNA transcribed from the susceptibility allele (A allele) of rs4148941 was enhanced in vitro compared with transcripts from other alleles. Additionally, expression of CHST3 mRNA was significantly reduced in the intervertebral disc cells of human subjects carrying the A allele of rs4148941. Together, our data provide new insights into the etiology of LDD, implicating an interplay between genetic risk factors and miRNA. PMID:24216480

  5. Lumbar disc degeneration is linked to a carbohydrate sulfotransferase 3 variant.

    PubMed

    Song, You-Qiang; Karasugi, Tatsuki; Cheung, Kenneth M C; Chiba, Kazuhiro; Ho, Daniel W H; Miyake, Atsushi; Kao, Patrick Y P; Sze, Kit Ling; Yee, Anita; Takahashi, Atsushi; Kawaguchi, Yoshiharu; Mikami, Yasuo; Matsumoto, Morio; Togawa, Daisuke; Kanayama, Masahiro; Shi, Dongquan; Dai, Jin; Jiang, Qing; Wu, Chengai; Tian, Wei; Wang, Na; Leong, John C Y; Luk, Keith D K; Yip, Shea-ping; Cherny, Stacey S; Wang, Junwen; Mundlos, Stefan; Kelempisioti, Anthi; Eskola, Pasi J; Männikkö, Minna; Mäkelä, Pirkka; Karppinen, Jaro; Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta; O'Reilly, Paul F; Kubo, Michiaki; Kimura, Tomoatsu; Kubo, Toshikazu; Toyama, Yoshiaki; Mizuta, Hiroshi; Cheah, Kathryn S E; Tsunoda, Tatsuhiko; Sham, Pak-Chung; Ikegawa, Shiro; Chan, Danny

    2013-11-01

    Lumbar disc degeneration (LDD) is associated with both genetic and environmental factors and affects many people worldwide. A hallmark of LDD is loss of proteoglycan and water content in the nucleus pulposus of intervertebral discs. While some genetic determinants have been reported, the etiology of LDD is largely unknown. Here we report the findings from linkage and association studies on a total of 32,642 subjects consisting of 4,043 LDD cases and 28,599 control subjects. We identified carbohydrate sulfotransferase 3 (CHST3), an enzyme that catalyzes proteoglycan sulfation, as a susceptibility gene for LDD. The strongest genome-wide linkage peak encompassed CHST3 from a Southern Chinese family–based data set, while a genome-wide association was observed at rs4148941 in the gene in a meta-analysis using multiethnic population cohorts. rs4148941 lies within a potential microRNA-513a-5p (miR-513a-5p) binding site. Interaction between miR-513a-5p and mRNA transcribed from the susceptibility allele (A allele) of rs4148941 was enhanced in vitro compared with transcripts from other alleles. Additionally, expression of CHST3 mRNA was significantly reduced in the intervertebral disc cells of human subjects carrying the A allele of rs4148941. Together, our data provide new insights into the etiology of LDD, implicating an interplay between genetic risk factors and miRNA. PMID:24216480

  6. IUE Echelle Investigation of Two Peculiar Helium-Rich Degenerates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sion, Edward M.

    We propose to observe two peculiar helium-rich degenerates, the hot hybrid composition DAB star, GD323 and the twin DB degenerate object, PC3146+082 in the IUE high dispersion mode, the first ever IUE echelle images of these spectroscopic types. Both objects occur just below the DO-DB temperature gap (in which no DB or cool DO stars are seen), have an energy distribution and color temperature similar to the twin DB degenerate interacting cataclysmic binary, AM CVn, and both may be related in a still unknown way, to the origin of hot single DB stars, which show the onset of non-radial g-mode pulsations near Teff = 30,OOOK (cf. Liebert, et al. 1986). Our specific scientific objectives for GD323 are: (1) to search for evidence of neutral and/or ionized metal absorption features formed in and/or above the photosphere, or as shortward-shifted wind absorption features, undetectable at low IUE resolution, as a means of establishing the role of either interstellar accretion, convective dredgeup, radiative levitation, mass loss or recent accretion in an interacting binary, in understanding the nature of this hybrid object; (3) to look for weak He II absorption as a means of resolving its temperature (its spectroscopic and calorimetric temperature fits are discrepant with 40,OOOK needed to fit H-beta); (4) to determine metal abundances from the analysis of any detected features or set stringent abundance constraints for metals, especially carbon, which is theoretically predicted to have a very small non-zero abundance based upon calculations of helium convective dredgeup of core carbon from its equilibrium diffusion tail; (5) to use IUE echelle detections to derive an upper limit rotation rate and upper limit magnetic field strength, two other factors which may be implicated in its hybrid composition (via inhibited gravitational settling); to compare its IUE echelle spectrum with those of the hottest DB stars, GD358 (which unexpectedly showed photospheric He II and C II) and

  7. Safety and Tolerability Study of AAV2-sFLT01 in Patients With Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2016-01-05

    Macular Degeneration; Age-Related Maculopathies; Age-Related Maculopathy; Maculopathies, Age-Related; Maculopathy, Age-Related; Retinal Degeneration; Retinal Neovascularization; Gene Therapy; Therapy, Gene; Eye Diseases

  8. Roles of NAD in Protection of Axon against Degeneration via SIRT1 Pathways.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing; Guo, Wei-Hua; Qi, Xiao-Xia; Li, Gui-Bao; Hu, Yan-Lai; Wu, Qi; Ding, Zhao-Xi; Li, Hong-Yu; Hao, Jing; Sun, Jin-Hao

    2016-04-30

    Axonal degeneration is a common pathological change of neurogenical disease which often arises before the neuron death. But it had not found any effective method to protect axon from degeneration. In this study we intended to confirm the protective effect of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), investigate the optimal administration dosage and time of NAD, and identify the relationship between silence signal regulating factor 1 (SIRT1) and axonal degeneration. An axonal degeneration model was established using dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons injured by vincristine to observe the protective effects of NAD to the injured axons. In addition, the potential contribution of the SIRT1 in axonal degeneration was also investigated. Through the 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, immunochemistry staining, axons counting and length measuring, transmission electron microscope (TEM) observation, we demonstrated that NAD played an important role in preventing axonal degeneration. Further study revealed that the expression of SIRT1 and phosphorylated Akt1 (p-Akt1) was up-regulated when NAD was added into the culturing medium. Taking together, our results demonstrated that NAD might delay the axonal degeneration through SIRT1/Akt1 pathways. PMID:27080463

  9. Evaluation of the Effect of Mega MSM on Improving Joint Function in Populations Experiencing Joint Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Gang; Zhou, Tian; Gu, Yaqin; Wang, Qinping; Shariff, Mina; Gu, Pingping; Nguyen, Tuong; Shi, Rong; Rao, Jianyu

    2015-01-01

    Joint degeneration has become a commonplace problem in aging populations. The main clinical manifestations include joint pain, joint stiffness and joint swelling with functional disorder. Mega MSM is a nutritional supplement that may provide potential relief for joint problems associated with joint degeneration. The current experiment performed was a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, controlled study conducted on populations in China experiencing joint degeneration. The objective of the study was to determine whether the daily use of Mega MSM capsules could improve joint function, relieve symptoms of joint degeneration and improve the quality of life in aging populations. A total of 100 male and female participants over 50 years old who had at least one of the related symptoms of joint degeneration (joint pain, joint stiffness, joint swelling, difficulty walking, difficulty getting up from bed and difficulty going down stairs) were recruited and their symptoms of joint degeneration before and after the intervention were recorded. In this study, Mega MSM shows positive effects in improving joint function, relieving symptoms associated with joint degeneration and improving the quality of life in aging populations. PMID:26199577

  10. Painful, degenerating intervertebral discs up-regulate neurite sprouting and CGRP through nociceptive factors.

    PubMed

    Krock, Emerson; Rosenzweig, Derek H; Chabot-Doré, Anne-Julie; Jarzem, Peter; Weber, Michael H; Ouellet, Jean A; Stone, Laura S; Haglund, Lisbet

    2014-06-01

    Intervertebral disc degeneration (IVD) can result in chronic low back pain, a common cause of morbidity and disability. Inflammation has been associated with IVD degeneration, however the relationship between inflammatory factors and chronic low back pain remains unclear. Furthermore, increased levels of nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are both associated with inflammation and chronic low back pain, but whether degenerating discs release sufficient concentrations of factors that induce nociceptor plasticity remains unclear. Degenerating IVDs from low back pain patients and healthy, painless IVDs from human organ donors were cultured ex vivo. Inflammatory and nociceptive factors released by IVDs into culture media were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and protein arrays. The ability of factors released to induce neurite growth and nociceptive neuropeptide production was investigated. Degenerating discs release increased levels of tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, NGF and BDNF. Factors released by degenerating IVDs increased neurite growth and calcitonin gene-related peptide expression, both of which were blocked by anti-NGF treatment. Furthermore, protein arrays found increased levels of 20 inflammatory factors, many of which have nociceptive effects. Our results demonstrate that degenerating and painful human IVDs release increased levels of NGF, inflammatory and nociceptive factors ex vivo that induce neuronal plasticity and may actively diffuse to induce neo-innervation and pain in vivo. PMID:24650225

  11. Mesenchymal stem cells attenuate peripheral neuronal degeneration in spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 knockin mice.

    PubMed

    Mieda, Tokue; Suto, Nana; Iizuka, Akira; Matsuura, Serina; Iizuka, Haku; Takagishi, Kenji; Nakamura, Kazuhiro; Hirai, Hirokazu

    2016-03-01

    Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder in which an abnormally expanded polyglutamine tract is inserted into causative ataxin-1 proteins. We have previously shown that SCA1 knockin (SCA1-KI) mice over 6 months of age exhibit a degeneration of motor neuron axons and their encasing myelin sheaths, as reported in SCA1 patients. We examined whether axon degeneration precedes myelin degeneration or vice versa in SCA1-KI mice and then attempted to mitigate motor neuron degeneration by intrathecally administering mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Temporal examination of the diameters of motor neuron axons and their myelin sheaths revealed a decrease in diameter of the axon but not of the myelin sheaths in SCA1-KI mice as early as 1 month of age, which suggests secondary degeneration of the myelin sheaths. We injected MSCs into the intrathecal space of SCA1-KI mice at 1 month of age, which resulted in a significant suppression of degeneration of both motor neuron axons and myelin sheaths, even 6 months after the MSC injection. Thus, MSCs effectively suppressed peripheral nervous system degeneration in SCA1-KI mice. It has not yet been clarified how clinically administered MSCs exhibit significant therapeutic effects in patients with SCA1. The morphological evidence presented in this current mouse study might explain the mechanisms that underlie the therapeutic effects of MSCs that are observed in patients with SCA1. PMID:26707550

  12. Painful, degenerating intervertebral discs up-regulate neurite sprouting and CGRP through nociceptive factors

    PubMed Central

    Krock, Emerson; Rosenzweig, Derek H; Chabot-Doré, Anne-Julie; Jarzem, Peter; Weber, Michael H; Ouellet, Jean A; Stone, Laura S; Haglund, Lisbet

    2014-01-01

    Intervertebral disc degeneration (IVD) can result in chronic low back pain, a common cause of morbidity and disability. Inflammation has been associated with IVD degeneration, however the relationship between inflammatory factors and chronic low back pain remains unclear. Furthermore, increased levels of nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are both associated with inflammation and chronic low back pain, but whether degenerating discs release sufficient concentrations of factors that induce nociceptor plasticity remains unclear. Degenerating IVDs from low back pain patients and healthy, painless IVDs from human organ donors were cultured ex vivo. Inflammatory and nociceptive factors released by IVDs into culture media were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and protein arrays. The ability of factors released to induce neurite growth and nociceptive neuropeptide production was investigated. Degenerating discs release increased levels of tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, NGF and BDNF. Factors released by degenerating IVDs increased neurite growth and calcitonin gene-related peptide expression, both of which were blocked by anti-NGF treatment. Furthermore, protein arrays found increased levels of 20 inflammatory factors, many of which have nociceptive effects. Our results demonstrate that degenerating and painful human IVDs release increased levels of NGF, inflammatory and nociceptive factors ex vivo that induce neuronal plasticity and may actively diffuse to induce neo-innervation and pain in vivo. PMID:24650225

  13. Towards a nosology for frontotemporal lobar degenerations-a meta-analysis involving 267 subjects.

    PubMed

    Schroeter, Matthias L; Raczka, Karolina; Neumann, Jane; Yves von Cramon, D

    2007-07-01

    Frontotemporal lobar degeneration is the second most common diagnosis of dementia in individuals younger than 65 years. We conducted a systematic and quantitative meta-analysis to examine neural correlates of frontotemporal lobar degeneration and its subtypes and to place the disease in a framework of cognitive neuropsychiatry. MedLine and Current Contents search engines were used to identify functional and anatomical imaging studies investigating frontotemporal lobar degeneration between 1980 and 2005. Studies were included, if they were peer-reviewed, applied internationally recognized diagnostic criteria, were original studies, and had results normalized to a stereotactic space. 19 studies were identified reporting either atrophy or decreases in glucose utilization. Finally, the analysis involved 267 subjects suffering from frontotemporal lobar degeneration and 351 control subjects. A quantitative meta-analysis was performed. Maxima of the studies resulted in activation likelihood estimates. The meta-analysis revealed specific neural networks for each of the three clinically defined subtypes of frontotemporal lobar degeneration, namely frontotemporal dementia, semantic dementia, and progressive non-fluent aphasia. Networks did not overlap as shown by a conjunction analysis, and they corresponded to clinical characteristics. The study relates the clinical features of each subtype of frontotemporal lobar degeneration specifically to its neural substrate. By 'triple dissociating' frontotemporal lobar degenerations into three clinicoanatomical prototypes, the study contributes to placing these disorders in cognitive neuropsychiatry and suggests a respective nosology. PMID:17478101

  14. Genetic and Clinical Features of Progranulin-Associated Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Chen-Plotkin, Alice S.; Martinez-Lage, Maria; Sleiman, Patrick M. A.; Hu, William; Greene, Robert; Wood, Elisabeth McCarty; Bing, Shaoxu; Grossman, Murray; Schellenberg, Gerard D.; Hatanpaa, Kimmo J.; Weiner, Myron F.; White, Charles L.; Brooks, William S.; Halliday, Glenda M.; Kril, Jillian J.; Gearing, Marla; Beach, Thomas G.; Graff-Radford, Neill R.; Dickson, Dennis W.; Rademakers, Rosa; Boeve, Bradley F.; Pickering-Brown, Stuart M.; Snowden, Julie; van Swieten, John C.; Heutink, Peter; Seelaar, Harro; Murrell, Jill R.; Ghetti, Bernardino; Spina, Salvatore; Grafman, Jordan; Kaye, Jeffrey A.; Woltjer, Randall L.; Mesulam, Marsel; Bigio, Eileen; Lladó, Albert; Miller, Bruce L.; Alzualde, Ainhoa; Moreno, Fermin; Rohrer, Jonathan D.; Mackenzie, Ian R. A.; Feldman, Howard H.; Hamilton, Ronald L.; Cruts, Marc; Engelborghs, Sebastiaan; De Deyn, Peter P.; Van Broeckhoven, Christine; Bird, Thomas D.; Cairns, Nigel J.; Goate, Allison; Frosch, Matthew P.; Riederer, Peter F.; Bogdanovic, Nenad; Lee, Virginia M. Y.; Trojanowski, John Q.; Van Deerlin, Vivianna M.

    2011-01-01

    Objective To assess the relative frequency of unique mutations and their associated characteristics in 97 individuals with mutations in progranulin (GRN), an important cause of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Participants and Design A 46-site International Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration Collaboration was formed to collect cases of FTLD with TAR DNA-binding protein of 43-kDa (TDP-43)–positive inclusions (FTLD-TDP). We identified 97 individuals with FTLD-TDP with pathogenic GRN mutations (GRN+ FTLD-TDP), assessed their genetic and clinical characteristics, and compared them with 453 patients with FTLD-TDP in which GRN mutations were excluded (GRN− FTLD-TDP). No patients were known to be related. Neuropathologic characteristics were confirmed as FTLD-TDP in 79 of the 97 GRN+ FTLDTDP cases and all of the GRN− FTLD-TDP cases. Results Age at onset of FTLD was younger in patients with GRN+ FTLD-TDP vs GRN− FTLD-TDP (median, 58.0 vs 61.0 years; P<.001), as was age at death (median, 65.5 vs 69.0 years; P<.001). Concomitant motor neuron disease was much less common in GRN+ FTLDTDP vs GRN− FTLD-TDP (5.4% vs 26.3%; P<.001). Fifty different GRN mutations were observed, including 2 novel mutations: c.139delG (p.D47TfsX7) and c.378C>A (p.C126X). The 2 most common GRN mutations were c.1477C>T (p.R493X, found in 18 patients, representing 18.6% of GRN cases) and c.26C>A (p.A9D, found in 6 patients, representing 6.2% of cases). Patients with the c.1477C>T mutation shared a haplotype on chromosome 17; clinically, they resembled patients with other GRN mutations. Patients with the c.26C>A mutation appeared to have a younger age at onset of FTLD and at death and more parkinsonian features than those with other GRN mutations. Conclusion GRN+ FTLD-TDP differs in key features from GRN− FTLD-TDP. PMID:21482928

  15. Human retinal gene therapy for Leber congenital amaurosis shows advancing retinal degeneration despite enduring visual improvement.

    PubMed

    Cideciyan, Artur V; Jacobson, Samuel G; Beltran, William A; Sumaroka, Alexander; Swider, Malgorzata; Iwabe, Simone; Roman, Alejandro J; Olivares, Melani B; Schwartz, Sharon B; Komáromy, András M; Hauswirth, William W; Aguirre, Gustavo D

    2013-02-01

    Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) associated with retinal pigment epithelium-specific protein 65 kDa (RPE65) mutations is a severe hereditary blindness resulting from both dysfunction and degeneration of photoreceptors. Clinical trials with gene augmentation therapy have shown partial reversal of the dysfunction, but the effects on the degeneration are not known. We evaluated the consequences of gene therapy on retinal degeneration in patients with RPE65-LCA and its canine model. In untreated RPE65-LCA patients, there was dysfunction and degeneration of photoreceptors, even at the earliest ages. Examined serially over years, the outer photoreceptor nuclear layer showed progressive thinning. Treated RPE65-LCA showed substantial visual improvement in the short term and no detectable decline from this new level over the long term. However, retinal degeneration continued to progress unabated. In RPE65-mutant dogs, the first one-quarter of their lifespan showed only dysfunction, and there was normal outer photoreceptor nuclear layer thickness retina-wide. Dogs treated during the earlier dysfunction-only stage showed improved visual function and dramatic protection of treated photoreceptors from degeneration when measured 5-11 y later. Dogs treated later during the combined dysfunction and degeneration stage also showed visual function improvement, but photoreceptor loss continued unabated, the same as in human RPE65-LCA. The results suggest that, in RPE65 disease treatment, protection from visual function deterioration cannot be assumed to imply protection from degeneration. The effects of gene augmentation therapy are complex and suggest a need for a combinatorial strategy in RPE65-LCA to not only improve function in the short term but also slow retinal degeneration in the long term. PMID:23341635

  16. Altered Knee Joint Mechanics in Simple Compression Associated with Early Cartilage Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Dabiri, Y.; Li, L. P.

    2013-01-01

    The progression of osteoarthritis can be accompanied by depth-dependent changes in the properties of articular cartilage. The objective of the present study was to determine the subsequent alteration in the fluid pressurization in the human knee using a three-dimensional computer model. Only a small compression in the femur-tibia direction was applied to avoid numerical difficulties. The material model for articular cartilages and menisci included fluid, fibrillar and nonfibrillar matrices as distinct constituents. The knee model consisted of distal femur, femoral cartilage, menisci, tibial cartilage, and proximal tibia. Cartilage degeneration was modeled in the high load-bearing region of the medial condyle of the femur with reduced fibrillar and nonfibrillar elastic properties and increased hydraulic permeability. Three case studies were implemented to simulate (1) the onset of cartilage degeneration from the superficial zone, (2) the progression of cartilage degeneration to the middle zone, and (3) the progression of cartilage degeneration to the deep zone. As compared with a normal knee of the same compression, reduced fluid pressurization was observed in the degenerated knee. Furthermore, faster reduction in fluid pressure was observed with the onset of cartilage degeneration in the superficial zone and progression to the middle zone, as compared to progression to the deep zone. On the other hand, cartilage degeneration in any zone would reduce the fluid pressure in all three zones. The shear strains at the cartilage-bone interface were increased when cartilage degeneration was eventually advanced to the deep zone. The present study revealed, at the joint level, altered fluid pressurization and strains with the depth-wise cartilage degeneration. The results also indicated redistribution of stresses within the tissue and relocation of the loading between the tissue matrix and fluid pressure. These results may only be qualitatively interesting due to the small

  17. Pitfalls in the diagnostic evaluation of subacute combined degeneration.

    PubMed

    Ulrich, A; Müller, D; Linnebank, M; Tarnutzer, A A

    2015-01-01

    We report a case of a 43-year-old man presenting with a 2-week history of painless ascending sensory disturbances, suspected to be suffering from acute inflammatory polyneuropathy. On clinical examination, deep tendon reflexes were preserved and muscle strength was 5/5 everywhere. Gait was ataxic with positive Romberg test. Lumbar puncture was normal and electroneurography demonstrated demyelination. With spinal cord involvement centred on the posterior tracts on MRI, differential diagnosis focused on cobalamin deficiency. Initial laboratory work up showed nearly normal holotranscobalamin (43 pmol/L, normal>50) suggesting no vitamin B12 deficiency. Surprisingly, further testing including methylmalonic acid (3732 nmol/L, normal<271) and homocysteine (48.5 µmol/L, normal<10) showed an impairment of vitamin B12-dependent metabolism leading to the diagnosis of subacute combined degeneration. Only after repeated history taking did the patient remember having taken tablets containing cobalamin for 3 days before hospitalisation. In case of B12 deficiency, holotranscobalamin can rapidly normalise during supplementation, whereas methylmalonic acid and homocysteine might help to detect B12 deficiency in patients who recently started supplementation. PMID:25976195

  18. Aberrant Activity in Degenerated Retinas Revealed by Electrical Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Zeck, Günther

    2016-01-01

    In this review, I present and discuss the current understanding of aberrant electrical activity found in the ganglion cell layer (GCL) of rod-degenerated (rd) mouse retinas. The reported electrophysiological properties revealed by electrical imaging using high-density microelectrode arrays can be subdivided between spiking activity originating from retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and local field potentials (LFPs) reflecting strong trans-membrane currents within the GCL. RGCs in rd retinas show increased and rhythmic spiking compared to age-matched wild-type retinas. Fundamental spiking frequencies range from 5 to 15 Hz in various mouse models. The rhythmic RGC spiking is driven by a presynaptic network comprising AII amacrine and bipolar cells. In the healthy retina this rhythm-generating circuit is inhibited by photoreceptor input. A unique physiological feature of rd retinas is rhythmic LFP manifested as spatially-restricted low-frequency (5–15 Hz) voltage changes. Their spatiotemporal characterization revealed propagation and correlation with RGC spiking. LFPs rely on gap-junctional coupling and are shaped by glycinergic and by GABAergic transmission. The aberrant RGC spiking and LFPs provide a simple readout of the functionality of the remaining retinal circuitry which can be used in the development of improved vision restoration strategies. PMID:26903810

  19. Nearly degenerate electron distributions and superluminal radiation densities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomaschitz, Roman

    2010-02-01

    Polylogarithmic fugacity expansions of the partition function, the caloric and thermal equations of state, and the specific heat of fermionic power-law distributions are derived in the nearly degenerate low-temperature/high-density quantum regime. The spectral functions of an ultra-relativistic electron plasma are obtained by averaging the tachyonic radiation densities of inertial electrons with Fermi power-laws, whose entropy is shown to be extensive and stable. The averaged radiation densities are put to test by performing tachyonic cascade fits to the γ-ray spectrum of the TeV blazar Markarian 421 in a low and high emission state. Estimates of the thermal electron plasma in this active galactic nucleus are extracted from the spectral fits, such as temperature, number count, and internal energy. The tachyonic cascades reproduce the quiescent as well as a burst spectrum of the blazar obtained with imaging atmospheric Cherenkov detectors. Double-logarithmic plots of the differential tachyon flux exhibit intrinsic spectral curvature, caused by the Boltzmann factor of the electron gas.

  20. Automatic age-related macular degeneration detection and staging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Grinsven, Mark J. J. P.; Lechanteur, Yara T. E.; van de Ven, Johannes P. H.; van Ginneken, Bram; Theelen, Thomas; Sánchez, Clara I.

    2013-03-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative disorder of the central part of the retina, which mainly affects older people and leads to permanent loss of vision in advanced stages of the disease. AMD grading of non-advanced AMD patients allows risk assessment for the development of advanced AMD and enables timely treatment of patients, to prevent vision loss. AMD grading is currently performed manually on color fundus images, which is time consuming and expensive. In this paper, we propose a supervised classification method to distinguish patients at high risk to develop advanced AMD from low risk patients and provide an exact AMD stage determination. The method is based on the analysis of the number and size of drusen on color fundus images, as drusen are the early characteristics of AMD. An automatic drusen detection algorithm is used to detect all drusen. A weighted histogram of the detected drusen is constructed to summarize the drusen extension and size and fed into a random forest classifier in order to separate low risk from high risk patients and to allow exact AMD stage determination. Experiments showed that the proposed method achieved similar performance as human observers in distinguishing low risk from high risk AMD patients, obtaining areas under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve of 0.929 and 0.934. A weighted kappa agreement of 0.641 and 0.622 versus two observers were obtained for AMD stage evaluation. Our method allows for quick and reliable AMD staging at low costs.

  1. Smooth pursuit eye movements in patients with macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Shanidze, Natela; Fusco, Giovanni; Potapchuk, Elena; Heinen, Stephen; Verghese, Preeti

    2016-01-01

    Currently, there are no quantitative studies of smooth pursuit, a behavior attributed to the fovea, in individuals with macular degeneration (MD). We hypothesize that pursuit in MD patients depends on the relative positions of the scotoma and target trajectory. We tested this hypothesis with a scanning laser ophthalmoscope (SLO), which allows for direct visualization of the target on the damaged retina. Monocular microperimetry and eye movements were assessed in eleven individuals with differing degrees of MD. Observers were asked to visually track a 1.7° target that moved in one of eight radial directions at 5°/s–6°/s. Consistent with our hypothesis, pursuit metrics depended on whether the target moved into or out of scotoma. Pursuit gains decreased with increasing scotoma extent in the target's heading direction (p = 0.017). Latencies were higher when the scotoma was present along the target trajectory (in either starting or heading directions, p < 0.001). Furthermore, an analysis of retinal position shows that targets fell on the fixational locus nearly 50% of the time. The results suggest that MD patients are capable of smooth pursuit eye movements, but are limited by target trajectory and scotoma characteristics. PMID:26830707

  2. Episodic Memory and Regional Atrophy in Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Söderlund, Hedvig; Black, Sandra E.; Miller, Bruce L.; Freedman, Morris; Levine, Brian

    2008-01-01

    It has been unclear to what extent memory is affected in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Since patients usually have atrophy in regions implicated in memory function, the frontal and/or temporal lobes, one would expect some memory impairment, and that the degree of atrophy in these regions would be inversely related to memory function. The purposes of this study were 1) to assess episodic memory function in FTLD, and more specifically patients' ability to episodically re-experience an event, and determine its source; 2) to examine whether memory performance is related to quantified regional brain atrophy. FTLD patients (n=18) and healthy comparison subjects (n=14) were assessed with cued recall, recognition, “remember/know” (self-reported re-experiencing) and source recall, at 30 min and 24 hr after encoding. Regional gray matter volumes were assessed with high resolution structural MRI concurrently to testing. Patients performed worse than comparison subjects on all memory measures. Gray matter volume in the left medial temporal lobe was positively correlated with recognition, re-experiencing, and source recall. Gray matter volume in the left posterior temporal lobe correlated significantly with recognition, at 30 min and 24 hr, and with source recall at 30 min. Estimated familiarity at 30 min was positively correlated with gray matter volume in the left inferior parietal lobe. In summary, episodic memory deficits in FTLD may be more common than previously thought, particularly in patients with left medial and posterior temporal atrophy. PMID:17888461

  3. Parainflammation, chronic inflammation and age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Mei; Xu, Heping

    2016-01-01

    Inflammation is an adaptive response of the immune system to noxious insults to maintain homeostasis and restore functionality. The retina is considered an immune privileged tissue due to its unique anatomical and physiological properties. During aging, the retina suffers from a low-grade chronic oxidative insult, which sustains for decades and increases in level with advancing age. As a result, the retinal innate immune system, particularly microglia and the complement system, undergo low levels of activation (para-inflammation). In many cases, this para-inflammatory response can maintain homeostasis in the healthy aging eye. However, in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), this para-inflammatory response becomes dysregulated and contributes to macular damage. Factors contributing to the dysregulation of age-related retinal para-inflammation include genetic predisposition, environmental risk factors and old age. Dysregulated para-inflammation (chronic inflammation) in AMD damages the blood retina barrier (BRB), resulting in the breach of retinal immune privilege leading to the development of retinal lesions. This review discusses the basic principles of retinal innate immune responses to endogenous chronic insults in normal aging and in AMD, and explores the difference between beneficial para-inflammation and the detrimental chronic inflammation in the context of AMD. PMID:26292978

  4. Detecting superlight dark matter with Fermi-degenerate materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hochberg, Yonit; Pyle, Matt; Zhao, Yue; Zurek, Kathryn M.

    2016-08-01

    We examine in greater detail the recent proposal of using superconductors for detecting dark matter as light as the warm dark matter limit of O (keV). Detection of suc light dark matter is possible if the entire kinetic energy of the dark matter is extracted in the scattering, and if the experiment is sensitive to O (meV) energy depositions. This is the case for Fermi-degenerate materials in which the Fermi velocity exceeds the dark matter velocity dispersion in the Milky Way of ˜ 10-3. We focus on a concrete experimental proposal using a superconducting target with a transition edge sensor in order to detect the small energy deposits from the dark matter scatterings. Considering a wide variety of constraints, from dark matter self-interactions to the cosmic microwave background, we show that models consistent with cosmological/astrophysical and terrestrial constraints are observable with such detectors. A wider range of viable models with dark matter mass below an MeV is available if dark matter or mediator properties (such as couplings or masses) differ at BBN epoch or in stellar interiors from those in superconductors. We also show that metal targets pay a strong in-medium suppression for kinetically mixed mediators; this suppression is alleviated with insulating targets.

  5. Mucoid degeneration of the anterior cruciate ligament: Management and outcome

    PubMed Central

    Pandey, Vivek; Suman, CPS; Sharma, Swati; Rao, Sripathi P; Kiran Acharya, KV; Sambaji, Charudutt

    2014-01-01

    Background: Mucoid degeneration (MD) is a rare pathological affection of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Mucinous material within the substance of ACL produces pain and limited motion in the knee. This series describes the clinicoradiological presentation of patients with mucoid ACL, partial arthroscopic debridement of ACL and outcomes. Materials and Methods: During a period of 3 years, 11 patients were included based upon the clinical suspicion, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings, arthroscopic features and histopathologic confirmation of MD of ACL. Result: Six patients were male and five were female with median age of 40 years (range 21-59 years). All patients complained of knee pain with median duration of 5 months (range 1-24 months). All patients had painful deep flexion with 63.6% (N = 7) reporting trivial trauma before the onset of symptoms. MRI revealed MD of ACL in all with associated cyst in three patients. Partial debridement of ACL was done in ten and complete in one patient. None of them required notchplasty. Histopathology confirmed the diagnosis in all of them. At the mean followup of 13.81 months (range 6-28 months), all patients regained complete flexion and none complained of instability. Conclusion: Prior knowledge of condition with high index of suspicion and careful interpretation of MRI can establish the diagnosis preoperatively. It responds well to partial debridement of ACL and mucinous material without development of instability. PMID:24741143

  6. Ocular Surface Temperature in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Sodi, Andrea; Giacomelli, Giovanni; Corvi, Andrea; Menchini, Ugo

    2014-01-01

    Background. The aim of this study is to investigate the ocular thermographic profiles in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) eyes and age-matched controls to detect possible hemodynamic abnormalities, which could be involved in the pathogenesis of the disease. Methods. 32 eyes with early AMD, 37 eyes with atrophic AMD, 30 eyes affected by untreated neovascular AMD, and 43 eyes with fibrotic AMD were included. The control group consisted of 44 healthy eyes. Exclusion criteria were represented by any other ocular diseases other than AMD, tear film abnormalities, systemic cardiovascular abnormalities, diabetes mellitus, and a body temperature higher than 37.5°C. A total of 186 eyes without pupil dilation were investigated by infrared thermography (FLIR A320). The ocular surface temperature (OST) of three ocular points was calculated by means of an image processing technique from the infrared images. Two-sample t-test and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) test were used for statistical analyses. Results. ANOVA analyses showed no significant differences among AMD groups (P value >0.272). OST in AMD patients was significantly lower than in controls (P > 0.05). Conclusions. Considering the possible relationship between ocular blood flow and OST, these findings might support the central role of ischemia in the pathogenesis of AMD. PMID:25436140

  7. Stimulated degenerate four-wave mixing in Si nanocrystal waveguides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manna, Santanu; Bernard, Martino; Biasi, Stefano; Ramiro Manzano, Fernando; Mancinelli, Mattia; Ghulinyan, Mher; Pucker, George; Pavesi, Lorenzo

    2016-07-01

    Parametric frequency conversion via four-wave mixing (FWM) in silicon nanocrystal (Si NC) waveguides is observed at 1550 nm. To investigate the role of Si NC, different types of waveguides containing Si NC in a SiO2 matrix were fabricated. Owing to the increase of the dipole oscillator strength mediated by the quantum confinement effect, the non-linear refractive index ({n}2) of Si NCs is found to be more than one order of magnitude larger than the one of bulk Si. Coupled differential equations for the degenerate FWM process taking into account the role of Si NC were numerically solved to model the experimental data. The modeling yields an effective {n}2 for Si NCs in SiO2 waveguides which is similar to the one of Si waveguides. We also measured a large signal to idler conversion bandwidth of ∼22 nm. The large non-linear refractive index is joined with a large two photon absorption coefficient which makes the use of Si NC in non-linear optical devices mostly suitable for mid-infrared applications.

  8. Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Scientometric Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Ramin, Shahrokh; Soheilian, Masoud; Habibi, Gholamreza; Ghazavi, Roghayeh; Gharebaghi, Reza; Heidary, Fatemeh

    2015-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a major cause of central blindness among working aged adults across the world. Systematic research planning on any subject, including ARMD is in need of solid data regarding previous efforts in this field and to identify the gaps in the research. This study aimed to elucidate the most important trends, directions, and gap in this subject. The data extracted from the Institute for Scientific Information were used to perform a bibliometric analysis of the scientific productions (1993–2013) about ARMD. Specific parameters related to ARMD were analyzed to obtain a view of the topic’s structure, history, and document relationships. Additionally, the trends and authors in the most influential publications were analyzed. The number of articles in this field was found constantly increasing. Most highly cited articles addressed genetic epidemiology and clinical research topics in this field. During the past 3 years, there has been a trend toward biomarker research. Through performing the first scientometric survey on ARMD research, we analyzed the characteristics of papers and the trends in scientific production. We also identified some of the critical gaps in the current research efforts that would help in large-scale research strategic planning. PMID:26060829

  9. Cellular models and therapies for age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Forest, David L.; Johnson, Lincoln V.; Clegg, Dennis O.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex neurodegenerative visual disorder that causes profound physical and psychosocial effects. Visual impairment in AMD is caused by the loss of retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) cells and the light-sensitive photoreceptor cells that they support. There is currently no effective treatment for the most common form of this disease (dry AMD). A new approach to treating AMD involves the transplantation of RPE cells derived from either human embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells. Multiple clinical trials are being initiated using a variety of cell therapies. Although many animal models are available for AMD research, most do not recapitulate all aspects of the disease, hampering progress. However, the use of cultured RPE cells in AMD research is well established and, indeed, some of the more recently described RPE-based models show promise for investigating the molecular mechanisms of AMD and for screening drug candidates. Here, we discuss innovative cell-culture models of AMD and emerging stem-cell-based therapies for the treatment of this vision-robbing disease. PMID:26035859

  10. Epidemiology of Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration in Northern Finland

    PubMed Central

    Luukkainen, Laura; Bloigu, Risto; Moilanen, Virpi; Remes, Anne Marja

    2015-01-01

    Background Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is responsible for as many as every fifth case of early-onset dementia. Very few epidemiological studies of FTLD have been conducted; there are no published epidemiological data of FTLD from Finland or the other Nordic countries. The C9ORF72 expansion-associated FTLD is common in Finland; thus, the prevalence of FTLD is expected to be high in this population. Methods We retrospectively evaluated the incidence and prevalence of FTLD in university hospital settings in Northern Finland. Results The mean 1-year incidence of FTLD was 5.54/100,000 (range 1.9-11.3/100,000) in the population aged 45-65 years. The prevalence of FTLD in the same age group was 20.5/100,000. Conclusion The incidence and prevalence of FTLD in Finland seem to be the highest in Europe. However, studies from different countries may not be directly mutually comparable due to methodological issues. PMID:26675285

  11. Mechanism of Inflammation in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Parmeggiani, Francesco; Romano, Mario R.; Costagliola, Ciro; Semeraro, Francesco; Incorvaia, Carlo; D'Angelo, Sergio; Perri, Paolo; De Palma, Paolo; De Nadai, Katia; Sebastiani, Adolfo

    2012-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a multifactorial disease that represents the most common cause of irreversible visual impairment among people over the age of 50 in Europe, the United States, and Australia, accounting for up to 50% of all cases of central blindness. Risk factors of AMD are heterogeneous, mainly including increasing age and different genetic predispositions, together with several environmental/epigenetic factors, that is, cigarette smoking, dietary habits, and phototoxic exposure. In the aging retina, free radicals and oxidized lipoproteins are considered to be major causes of tissue stress resulting in local triggers for parainflammation, a chronic status which contributes to initiation and/or progression of many human neurodegenerative diseases such as AMD. Experimental and clinical evidences strongly indicate the pathogenetic role of immunologic processes in AMD occurrence, consisting of production of inflammatory related molecules, recruitment of macrophages, complement activation, microglial activation and accumulation within those structures that compose an essential area of the retina known as macula lutea. This paper reviews some attractive aspects of the literature about the mechanisms of inflammation in AMD, especially focusing on those findings or arguments more directly translatable to improve the clinical management of patients with AMD and to prevent the severe vision loss caused by this disease. PMID:23209345

  12. Most Double Degenerate Low-mass White Dwarf Binaries Merge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Warren R.; Kilic, Mukremin; Kenyon, Scott J.; Gianninas, A.

    2016-06-01

    We estimate the merger rate of double degenerate binaries containing extremely low mass (ELM; \\lt 0.3 M ⊙) white dwarfs (WDs) in the Galaxy. Such WDs are detectable for timescales of 0.1–1 Gyr in the ELM Survey; the binaries they reside in have gravitational wave merger times of 0.001–100 Gyr. To explain the observed distribution requires that most ELM WD binary progenitors detach from the common envelope phase with <1 hr orbital periods. We calculate the local space density of ELM WD binaries and estimate a merger rate of 3 × 10‑3 yr‑1 over the entire disk of the Milky Way; the merger rate in the halo is 10 times smaller. The ELM WD binary merger rate exceeds by a factor of 40 the formation rate of stable mass transfer AM CVn binaries, marginally exceeds the rate of underluminous supernovae, and is identical to the formation rate of R CrB stars. On this basis, we conclude that ELM WD binaries can be the progenitors of all observed AM CVn and possibly underluminous supernovae; however, the majority of He+CO WD binaries go through unstable mass transfer and merge, e.g., into single massive ∼1 M ⊙ WDs.

  13. White matter degeneration in schizophrenia: a comparative diffusion tensor analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ingalhalikar, Madhura A.; Andreasen, Nancy C.; Kim, Jinsuh; Alexander, Andrew L.; Magnotta, Vincent A.

    2010-03-01

    Schizophrenia is a serious and disabling mental disorder. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies performed on schizophrenia have demonstrated white matter degeneration either due to loss of myelination or deterioration of fiber tracts although the areas where the changes occur are variable across studies. Most of the population based studies analyze the changes in schizophrenia using scalar indices computed from the diffusion tensor such as fractional anisotropy (FA) and relative anisotropy (RA). The scalar measures may not capture the complete information from the diffusion tensor. In this paper we have applied the RADTI method on a group of 9 controls and 9 patients with schizophrenia. The RADTI method converts the tensors to log-Euclidean space where a linear regression model is applied and hypothesis testing is performed between the control and patient groups. Results show that there is a significant difference in the anisotropy between patients and controls especially in the parts of forceps minor, superior corona radiata, anterior limb of internal capsule and genu of corpus callosum. To check if the tensor analysis gives a better idea of the changes in anisotropy, we compared the results with voxelwise FA analysis as well as voxelwise geodesic anisotropy (GA) analysis.

  14. Spinocerebellar degeneration: Discrepancies between clinical and pathological diagnoses.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Mitsunori; Toyoshima, Yasuko; Makifuchi, Takao; Kakita, Akiyoshi; Takahashi, Hitoshi

    2016-08-01

    To improve the diagnostic accuracy of sporadic spinocerebellar degeneration (SCD), we assessed the clinical and pathological data of 1494 consecutive autopsy cases. The number of patients who received a diagnosis of sporadic SCD (including multiple system atrophy) either clinically or pathologically was 19 (1.3%). We identified six cases with clinical misdiagnoses of SCD that were confirmed pathologically as progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP, four cases), basilar artery thrombosis (one case) and unclassified tauopathy (one case). The total number of patients who received a clinical diagnosis of sporadic SCD was 93 and the positive predictive value was 93.5%. We also identified 13 autopsy cases that were pathologically confirmed as SCD, but had been clinically misdiagnosed as having other disorders. Their clinical diagnoses comprised progressive supranuclear palsy (five cases) and Parkinson's disease (PD, four cases), as well as parkinsonism with dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, paraneoplastic syndrome and multiple cerebral infarction (one case each). The results indicate that it is often difficult to distinguish PSP and PD from SCD, because of the atypical combination of symptoms or atypical timing of the appearance of symptoms, such as severe autonomic failure, cognitive impairment, poor L-dopa responsiveness, early cerebellar signs and obvious vertical gaze palsy. PMID:26556659

  15. Lifespan maturation and degeneration of human brain white matter.

    PubMed

    Yeatman, Jason D; Wandell, Brian A; Mezer, Aviv A

    2014-01-01

    Properties of human brain tissue change across the lifespan. Here we model these changes in the living human brain by combining quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements of R1 (1/T1) with diffusion MRI and tractography (N=102, ages 7-85). The amount of R1 change during development differs between white-matter fascicles, but in each fascicle the rate of development and decline are mirror-symmetric; the rate of R1 development as the brain approaches maturity predicts the rate of R1 degeneration in aging. Quantitative measurements of macromolecule tissue volume (MTV) confirm that R1 is an accurate index of the growth of new brain tissue. In contrast to R1, diffusion development follows an asymmetric time-course with rapid childhood changes but a slow rate of decline in old age. Together, the time-courses of R1 and diffusion changes demonstrate that multiple biological processes drive changes in white-matter tissue properties over the lifespan. PMID:25230200

  16. Donor and acceptor concentrations in degenerate InN

    SciTech Connect

    Look, D.C.; Lu, H.; Schaff, W.J.; Jasinski, J.; Liliental-Weber, Z.

    2002-01-28

    A formalism is presented to determine donor (N{sub D}) and acceptor (N{sub A}) concentrations in wurtzitic InN characterized by degenerate carrier concentration (n) and mobility ({mu}). The theory includes scattering not only by charged point defects and impurities, but also by charged threading dislocations, of concentration N{sub dis}. For an 0.45-{micro}m-thick InN layer grown on Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} by molecular beam epitaxy, having N{sub dis} = 5 x 10{sup 10} cm{sup -2}, determined by transmission electron microscopy, n(20 K) = 3.5 x 10{sup 18} cm{sup -3}, and {mu}(20 K) = 1055 cm{sup 2}/V-s, determined by Hall-effect measurements, the fitted values are N{sub D} = 4.7 x 10{sup 18} cm{sup -3} and N{sub A} = 1.2 x 10{sup 18} cm{sup -3}. The identities of the donors and acceptors are not known, although a comparison of N{sub D} with analytical data, and also with calculations of defect formation energies, suggests that a potential candidate for the dominant donor is H.

  17. Quantum correlation in degenerate optical parametric oscillators with mutual injections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takata, Kenta; Marandi, Alireza; Yamamoto, Yoshihisa

    2015-10-01

    We theoretically and numerically study the quantum dynamics of two degenerate optical parametric oscillators with mutual injections. The cavity mode in the optical coupling path between the two oscillator facets is explicitly considered. Stochastic equations for the oscillators and mutual injection path based on the positive P representation are derived. The system of two gradually pumped oscillators with out-of-phase mutual injections is simulated, and its quantum state is investigated. When the incoherent loss of the oscillators other than the mutual injections is small, the squeezed quadratic amplitudes p ̂ in the oscillators are positively correlated near the oscillation threshold. It indicates finite quantum correlation, estimated via Gaussian quantum discord, and the entanglement between the intracavity subharmonic fields. When the loss in the injection path is low, each oscillator around the phase transition point forms macroscopic superposition even under a small pump noise. It suggests that the squeezed field stored in the low-loss injection path weakens the decoherence in the oscillators.

  18. Seven New Loci Associated with Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of blindness in older individuals. To accelerate understanding of AMD biology and help design new therapies, we executed a collaborative genomewide association study, examining >17,100 advanced AMD cases and >60,000 controls of European and Asian ancestry. We identified 19 genomic loci associated with AMD with p<5×10−8 and enriched for genes involved in regulation of complement activity, lipid metabolism, extracellular matrix remodeling and angiogenesis. Our results include 7 loci reaching p<5×10−8 for the first time, near the genes COL8A1/FILIP1L, IER3/DDR1, SLC16A8, TGFBR1, RAD51B, ADAMTS9/MIR548A2, and B3GALTL. A genetic risk score combining SNPs from all loci displayed similar good ability to distinguish cases and controls in all samples examined. Our findings provide new directions for biological, genetic and therapeutic studies of AMD. PMID:23455636

  19. Pachychoroid neovasculopathy and age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Miyake, Masahiro; Ooto, Sotaro; Yamashiro, Kenji; Takahashi, Ayako; Yoshikawa, Munemitsu; Akagi-Kurashige, Yumiko; Ueda-Arakawa, Naoko; Oishi, Akio; Nakanishi, Hideo; Tamura, Hiroshi; Tsujikawa, Akitaka; Yoshimura, Nagahisa

    2015-01-01

    Pachychoroid neovasculopathy is a recently proposed clinical entity of choroidal neovascularization (CNV). As it often masquerades as neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), it is currently controversial whether pachychoroid neovasculopathy should be distinguished from neovascular AMD. This is because its characteristics have yet to be well described. To estimate the relative prevalence of pachychoroid neovasculopathy in comparison with neovascular AMD and to investigate the phenotypic/genetic differences of the two diseases, we evaluated 200 consecutive Japanese patients who agreed to participate in the genetic study and diagnosed with pachychoroid neovasculopathy or neovascular AMD. Pachychoroid neovasculopathy was observed in 39 individuals (19.5%), which corresponds to one fourth of neovascular AMD. Patients with pachychoroid neovasculopathy were significantly younger (p = 5.1 × 10−5) and showed a greater subfoveal choroidal thickness (p = 3.4 × 10−14). Their genetic susceptibility to AMD was significantly lower than that of neovascular AMD; ARMS2 rs10490924 (p = 0.029), CFH rs800292 (p = 0.013) and genetic risk score calculated from 11 AMD susceptibility genes (p = 3.8 × 10−3). Current results implicate that the etiologies of the two conditions must be different. Thus, it will be necessary to distinguish these two conditions in future studies. PMID:26542071

  20. Angiofluorographic aspects in age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Tomi, A; Marin, I

    2014-01-01

    Although AMD (age-related macular degeneration) has been described for over 100 years, there is neither a standard agreement on the definition of specific lesions nor a generally accepted classification system. For example, the age limits for AMD varied widely in different clinical studies; the methods used for examination also vary (visual acuity, perimetry, contrast sensitivity, slit lamp examination of the fundus, retinal photography, fluorescein angiography, indocyanine green angiography). We described the multitude of angiofluorographic aspects in patients with AMD and conceived a classification to be easily used in clinical practice. Although a detailed ophthalmoscopy can often identify the characteristic lesions of AMD, a complete picture is obtained by fluorescein angiography. The angiographic classification of AMD is structured similarly to the clinical one. It has two main patterns, non-exudative and exudative lesions, but it provides more information about the nature of the lesions. In the last three decades, an impressive amount of information regarding the prevalence, progression and risk factors for AMD has been published. The source of this information is mainly represented by the large population studies that are often multicenter studies. Recognizing the clinical signs of AMD and classifying them into different stages is important for the prognosis and the therapeutical decision, but also for conceiving study protocols. PMID:27057244

  1. Biomarkers in Frontotemporal Lobar Degenerations – Progress and Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Hu, William T.; Trojanowski, John Q.; Shaw, Leslie M.

    2011-01-01

    Neuronal and glial changes associated with tau, TAR DNA binding protein of ~43 kD (TDP-43), and fused in sarcoma (FUS) together constitute the pathologic spectrum of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Most patients with FTLD present with prominent behavior or language changes, sometimes accompanied by extrapyramidal symptoms or motor neuron disease. Identification of FTLD patients with mutations in genes for tau, TDP-43, and FUS lends strong support for their pathogenic roles in FTLD, and elucidation of their dysfunction will pave the way for development of substrate specific therapy. However, there remains no reliable biomarker for early detection of FTLD or prediction of underlying FTLD pathologic change. Clinical syndromes usually reflects the earliest affected brain regions where atrophy can be visualized on structural MRI, but neither clinical nor structural imaging-based biomarkers has been accurately correlated with underlying pathology on the individual patient level. Biochemical markers in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) have also been investigated in FTLD and related disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). However, their accuracy and pathologic significance need to be confirmed in future multi-center studies. Here we review the progress made in FTLD biomarkers, including clinical phenotype/feature characterization, neuropsychological analysis, CSF and plasma analytes, and patterns of brain atrophy and network dysfunction detectable on brain imaging. Given the pathologic overlap of FTLD with ALS and PSP, collaboration with specialists in those fields will be essential in the translation of promising FTLD biomarkers into clinical practice. PMID:21554923

  2. Prevalence of age-related macular degeneration among the elderly

    PubMed Central

    Rasoulinejad, Seyed Ahmad; Zarghami, Amin; Hosseini, Seyed Reza; Rajaee, Neda; Rasoulinejad, Seyed Elahe; Mikaniki, Ebrahim

    2015-01-01

    Background: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of visual impairment and blindness in elderly population in the developing countries. Previous epidemiological studies revealed various potential modifiable risk factors for this disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of AMD among elderly living in Babol, North of Iran. Methods: The study population of this cross-sectional study came from the Amirkola Health and Ageing Project (AHAP), the first comprehensive cohort study of the health of people aged 60 years and over in Amirkola, North of Iran. The prevalence of AMD was estimated and its risk was determined using logistic regression analysis (LRA) with regard to variables such as smoking, hyperlipidemia, hypertension and diabetes. Results: Five hundred and five participants with mean age of 71.55±5.9 (ranged 60-89) years entered the study. The prevalence of AMD was 17.6%. There was a significant association between AMD and smoking (P<0.001) but no association was seen with AMD and age, level of education, history of hyperlipidemia, hypertension and diabetes. Multiple LRAs revealed that smoking increased AMD by odds ratio of 5.03 (95% confidence interval 2.47-10.23 p<0.001) as compared to nonsmokers Conclusion: According to our findings, the prevalence of AMD was relatively high and smoking increased the risk of AMD in the elderly population. PMID:26644880

  3. Functional Visual Acuity in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Tomita, Yohei; Nagai, Norihiro; Suzuki, Misa; Shinoda, Hajime; Uchida, Atsuro; Mochimaru, Hiroshi; Izumi-Nagai, Kanako; Sasaki, Mariko; Tsubota, Kazuo; Ozawa, Yoko

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Purpose We evaluated whether a functional visual acuity (FVA) system can detect subtle changes in central visual acuity that reflect pathological findings associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Methods Twenty-eight patients with unilateral AMD and logMAR monocular best corrected VA better than 0 in both eyes, as measured by conventional chart examination, were analyzed between November 2012 and April 2013. After measuring conventional VA, FVA, and contrast VA with best correction, routine eye examinations including spectral domain–optical coherence tomography were performed. Standard Schirmer test was performed, and corneal and lens densities were measured. Results The FVA score (p < 0.001) and visual maintenance ratio (p < 0.001) measured by the FVA system, contrast VA (p < 0. 01), and conventional VA (p < 0.01) were significantly worse in the AMD-affected eyes than in the fellow eyes. No significant differences were observed in the anterior segment conditions. Forward stepwise regression analysis demonstrated that the length of interdigitation zone disruption, as visualized by optical coherence tomography imaging, correlated with the FVA score (p < 0.01) but not with any other parameters investigated. Conclusions The FVA system detects subtle changes in best corrected VA in AMD-affected eyes and reflects interdigitation zone disruption, an anatomical change in the retina recorded by optical coherence tomography. Further studies are required to understand the value of the FVA system in detecting subtle changes in AMD. PMID:26583795

  4. Ocular surface temperature in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Sodi, Andrea; Matteoli, Sara; Giacomelli, Giovanni; Finocchio, Lucia; Corvi, Andrea; Menchini, Ugo

    2014-01-01

    Background. The aim of this study is to investigate the ocular thermographic profiles in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) eyes and age-matched controls to detect possible hemodynamic abnormalities, which could be involved in the pathogenesis of the disease. Methods. 32 eyes with early AMD, 37 eyes with atrophic AMD, 30 eyes affected by untreated neovascular AMD, and 43 eyes with fibrotic AMD were included. The control group consisted of 44 healthy eyes. Exclusion criteria were represented by any other ocular diseases other than AMD, tear film abnormalities, systemic cardiovascular abnormalities, diabetes mellitus, and a body temperature higher than 37.5°C. A total of 186 eyes without pupil dilation were investigated by infrared thermography (FLIR A320). The ocular surface temperature (OST) of three ocular points was calculated by means of an image processing technique from the infrared images. Two-sample t-test and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) test were used for statistical analyses. Results. ANOVA analyses showed no significant differences among AMD groups (P value >0.272). OST in AMD patients was significantly lower than in controls (P > 0.05). Conclusions. Considering the possible relationship between ocular blood flow and OST, these findings might support the central role of ischemia in the pathogenesis of AMD. PMID:25436140

  5. [Mechanism of neuronal degeneration of multiple system atrophy].

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Mari; Sone, Mie

    2009-09-01

    Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a sporadic neurodegenerative disorder that encompasses olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA), striatonigral degeneration (SND) and Shy-Drager syndrome (SDS). The histopathological hallmarks are alpha-synuclein (AS) positive glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs) in oligodendroglias. AS aggregation is also found in glial nuclear inclusions (GNIs), neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCIs), neuronal nuclear inclusions (NNIs) and dystrophic neurites. Reviewing the pathological features in 102 MSA cases revealed that the, OPCA-type was relatively more frequent and SND-type was less frequent in Japanese MSA cases. The frequency of the SND-type is relatively high in Western countries. This different in the dominant type suggests that the phenotypic patterns of MSA may vary with the race. In early stages of MSA, in addition to GCIs, NNIs, NCIs, and diffuse homogenous stain of AS in neuronal nuclei and cytoplasm were observed in various vulnerable lesions including the pontine nuclei, putamen, substantia nigra, locus ceruleus, inferior olivary nucleus, intermediolateral column of the thoracic cord, lower motor neurons, and cortical pyramidal neurons. These findings indicated that the primary nonfibrillar and fibrillar AS aggregation also occurred in neurons. Therefore, both the direct involvement of neurons themselves and the oligodendroglia-myelin-axon mechanism may synergistically accelerate the degenerative process of MSA. PMID:19803404

  6. Granulovacuolar degeneration: a neurodegenerative change that accompanies tau pathology.

    PubMed

    Köhler, Christoph

    2016-09-01

    Granule-containing vacuoles in the cytoplasm of hippocampal neurons are a neuropathological feature of Alzheimer's disease. Granulovacuolar degeneration (GVD) is not disease-specific and can be observed in other neurodegenerative disorders and even in the brains of non-demented elderly people. However, several studies have reported much higher numbers of neurons undergoing GVD in the hippocampus of Alzheimer's disease cases. Recently, a neuropathological staging system for GVD has facilitated neuropathological assessment. Data obtained by electron microscopy and immunolabeling suggest that GVD inclusions are a special form of autophagic vacuole. GVD frequently occurs together with pathological changes of the microtubule-associated protein tau, but to date, the relationship between the two lesions remains elusive. Originally identified in hematoxylin- and silver-stained sections, immunolabeling has shown that the granules are composed of a variety of proteins, including those related to tau pathology, autophagy, diverse signal transduction pathways, cell stress and apoptosis. Several of these proteins serve as markers of GVD. Most researchers and authors have interpreted the sequestration of proteins into GVD inclusions as either a cellular defense mechanism or one that leads to the impairment of important cellular functions. This review provides a detailed overview of the various aspects of GVD and focuses on the relationship between tau pathology and GVD. PMID:27062260

  7. Axonal Degeneration in Dental Pulp Precedes Human Primary Teeth Exfoliation.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, K; Lovera, M; Schmachtenberg, O; Couve, E

    2015-10-01

    The dental pulp in human primary teeth is densely innervated by a plethora of nerve endings at the coronal pulp-dentin interface. This study analyzed how the physiological root resorption (PRR) process affects dental pulp innervation before exfoliation of primary teeth. Forty-four primary canine teeth, classified into 3 defined PRR stages (early, middle, and advanced) were fixed and demineralized. Longitudinal cryosections of each tooth were stained for immunohistochemical and quantitative analysis of dental pulp nerve fibers and associated components with confocal and electron microscopy. During PRR, axonal degeneration was prominent and progressive in a Wallerian-like scheme, comprising nerve fiber bundles and nerve endings within the coronal and root pulp. Neurofilament fragmentation increased significantly during PRR progression and was accompanied by myelin degradation and a progressive loss of myelinated axons. Myelin sheath degradation involved activation of autophagic activity by Schwann cells to remove myelin debris. These cells expressed a sequence of responses comprising dedifferentiation, proliferative activity, GAP-43 overexpression, and Büngner band formation. During the advanced PRR stage, increased immune cell recruitment within the dental pulp and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II upregulation by Schwann cells characterized an inflammatory condition associated with the denervation process in preexfoliative primary teeth. The ensuing loss of dental pulp axons is likely to be responsible for the progressive reduction of sensory function of the dental pulp during preexfoliative stages. PMID:26149320

  8. Modifiable risk factors for age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Guymer, Robyn H; Chong, Elaine Wei-Tinn

    2006-05-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in Australia and other Western countries. As there is no cure for AMD, and treatments to stop its progression have met with limited success, there is an interest in identifying modifiable risk factors to prevent or slow disease progression. To date, smoking is the only proven modifiable risk factor for AMD. Other factors under study include (i) cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, body mass index, and atherosclerosis; and (ii) dietary risk factors including fat and antioxidant intake, but so far these studies have produced conflicting results. Dietary fat in relation to AMD has recently attracted media attention. Despite very limited work supporting an association between vegetable fat and AMD, widespread publicity advocating margarine as a cause of AMD and encouraging use of butter instead has caused confusion and anxiety among sufferers of AMD and the general public, as well as concern among health professionals. The antioxidant carotenoids--lutein and zeaxanthin--found in dark green or yellow vegetables exist in high concentrations in the macula and are hypothesised to play a protective role. Of nine controlled trials of supplementation with carotenoids and other antioxidants, three suggested that various combinations of antioxidants and carotenoids were protective. While a low-fat diet rich in dark green and yellow vegetables is advocated in general, any specific recommendations regarding certain fats or antioxidant supplementation and AMD are not based on consistent findings at this stage. PMID:16646746

  9. Eye Conditions in Older Adults: Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Iroku-Malize, Tochi; Kirsch, Scott

    2016-06-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) causes a progressive loss of photoreceptors in the macula. It is the most common cause of legal blindness in the United States, and some form of AMD is thought to affect more than 9 million individuals. Risk factors include older age, smoking, dyslipidemia, obesity, white race, female sex, and a family history of AMD. There are two types of advanced AMD: nonexudative (dry or geographic atrophy) and exudative (wet or neovascular). Both cause progressive central vision loss with intact peripheral vision. Nonexudative AMD accounts for 80% to 90% of all advanced cases, and more than 90% of patients with severe vision loss have exudative AMD. On ophthalmoscopic examination, early findings include drusen (ie, yellow deposits in the retina). Prominent choroidal vessels, subretinal edema, and/or hemorrhage are seen in wet AMD. Regular eye examinations, visual field testing, fluorescein angiography, and optical coherence tomography are used for diagnosis and to guide management. There is no specific therapy for dry AMD, but antioxidant supplementation may be helpful. Intravitreal injection of a vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor is the treatment of choice for wet AMD. Optical aids and devices can help to maximize function for patients with AMD. PMID:27348529

  10. Current therapeutic developments in atrophic age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Hanus, Jakub; Zhao, Fangkun; Wang, Shusheng

    2016-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a degenerative disorder of the central retina, is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the elderly. The underlying mechanism of the advanced form of dry AMD, also named geographic atrophy (GA) or atrophic AMD, remains unclear. Consequently, no cure is available for dry AMD or GA. The only prevention option currently available is the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) formulation, which has been demonstrated to slow down the progression of dry AMD. This review summarises recent advances in therapy for dry AMD and GA. Building on the new understanding of the disease and recent technological breakthroughs, numerous ongoing clinical trials have the goal of meeting the need to cure AMD. Therapeutic agents are being developed to target the key features of the disease, including inhibiting the complement pathway and other inflammatory pathways, reducing oxidative stress and protecting retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells, inhibiting lipofuscin and visual cycle, regenerating RPE cells from stem cells and restoring choroidal blood flow. Some of these therapeutic options, especially the stem cell-based therapy, hold great promise, which brings great hope for this devastating blinding disease. PMID:26553922

  11. Clinical characteristics and current therapies for inherited retinal degenerations.

    PubMed

    Sahel, José-Alain; Marazova, Katia; Audo, Isabelle

    2015-02-01

    Inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs) encompass a large group of clinically and genetically heterogeneous diseases that affect approximately 1 in 3000 people (>2 million people worldwide) (Bessant DA, Ali RR, Bhattacharya SS. 2001. Molecular genetics and prospects for therapy of the inherited retinal dystrophies. Curr Opin Genet Dev 11: 307-316.). IRDs may be inherited as Mendelian traits or through mitochondrial DNA, and may affect the entire retina (e.g., rod-cone dystrophy, also known as retinitis pigmentosa, cone dystrophy, cone-rod dystrophy, choroideremia, Usher syndrome, and Bardet-Bidel syndrome) or be restricted to the macula (e.g., Stargardt disease, Best disease, and Sorsby fundus dystrophy), ultimately leading to blindness. IRDs are a major cause of severe vision loss, with profound impact on patients and society. Although IRDs remain untreatable today, significant progress toward therapeutic strategies for IRDs has marked the past two decades. This progress has been based on better understanding of the pathophysiological pathways of these diseases and on technological advances. PMID:25324231

  12. Symmetry classification of the degenerate vibrational normal modes of ethane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lattanzi, F.; di Lauro, C.; Legay-Sommaire, N.

    1992-11-01

    We determine the G36(EM) (usually called G 36†) symmetry species of all the degenerate vibrational normal modes of ethane unambiguously. We are able to do this as a result of observing the K-dependence of the sign of the energy separation between the torsionally split levels of ν4 + νy combination states, where ν4 is the torsion and νy ⊂ Eg of D3 d, and by observing the lack of any intrinsic torsional splitting or broadening in the νx fundamentals and hot ( ν4 + νx) - ν4 transitions ( νx ⊂ Eu of D3 d). It is found that in C 2H 6 all the Eu normal modes of D3 d correlate with E1 d of G36(EM) (and hence E' of D3 h), and all the Eg normal modes of D3 d correlate with E1 d of G36(EM) (and hence E″ of D3 h). High-resolution Q branches of ν8, ν4 + ν12, and ( ν4 + ν8) - ν4 of C 2H 6 are shown as illustrations.

  13. Seven new loci associated with age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Fritsche, Lars G; Chen, Wei; Schu, Matthew; Yaspan, Brian L; Yu, Yi; Thorleifsson, Gudmar; Zack, Donald J; Arakawa, Satoshi; Cipriani, Valentina; Ripke, Stephan; Igo, Robert P; Buitendijk, Gabriëlle H S; Sim, Xueling; Weeks, Daniel E; Guymer, Robyn H; Merriam, Joanna E; Francis, Peter J; Hannum, Gregory; Agarwal, Anita; Armbrecht, Ana Maria; Audo, Isabelle; Aung, Tin; Barile, Gaetano R; Benchaboune, Mustapha; Bird, Alan C; Bishop, Paul N; Branham, Kari E; Brooks, Matthew; Brucker, Alexander J; Cade, William H; Cain, Melinda S; Campochiaro, Peter A; Chan, Chi-Chao; Cheng, Ching-Yu; Chew, Emily Y; Chin, Kimberly A; Chowers, Itay; Clayton, David G; Cojocaru, Radu; Conley, Yvette P; Cornes, Belinda K; Daly, Mark J; Dhillon, Baljean; Edwards, Albert O; Evangelou, Evangelos; Fagerness, Jesen; Ferreyra, Henry A; Friedman, James S; Geirsdottir, Asbjorg; George, Ronnie J; Gieger, Christian; Gupta, Neel; Hagstrom, Stephanie A; Harding, Simon P; Haritoglou, Christos; Heckenlively, John R; Holz, Frank G; Hughes, Guy; Ioannidis, John P A; Ishibashi, Tatsuro; Joseph, Peronne; Jun, Gyungah; Kamatani, Yoichiro; Katsanis, Nicholas; N Keilhauer, Claudia; Khan, Jane C; Kim, Ivana K; Kiyohara, Yutaka; Klein, Barbara E K; Klein, Ronald; Kovach, Jaclyn L; Kozak, Igor; Lee, Clara J; Lee, Kristine E; Lichtner, Peter; Lotery, Andrew J; Meitinger, Thomas; Mitchell, Paul; Mohand-Saïd, Saddek; Moore, Anthony T; Morgan, Denise J; Morrison, Margaux A; Myers, Chelsea E; Naj, Adam C; Nakamura, Yusuke; Okada, Yukinori; Orlin, Anton; Ortube, M Carolina; Othman, Mohammad I; Pappas, Chris; Park, Kyu Hyung; Pauer, Gayle J T; Peachey, Neal S; Poch, Olivier; Priya, Rinki Ratna; Reynolds, Robyn; Richardson, Andrea J; Ripp, Raymond; Rudolph, Guenther; Ryu, Euijung; Sahel, José-Alain; Schaumberg, Debra A; Scholl, Hendrik P N; Schwartz, Stephen G; Scott, William K; Shahid, Humma; Sigurdsson, Haraldur; Silvestri, Giuliana; Sivakumaran, Theru A; Smith, R Theodore; Sobrin, Lucia; Souied, Eric H; Stambolian, Dwight E; Stefansson, Hreinn; Sturgill-Short, Gwen M; Takahashi, Atsushi; Tosakulwong, Nirubol; Truitt, Barbara J; Tsironi, Evangelia E; Uitterlinden, André G; van Duijn, Cornelia M; Vijaya, Lingam; Vingerling, Johannes R; Vithana, Eranga N; Webster, Andrew R; Wichmann, H-Erich; Winkler, Thomas W; Wong, Tien Y; Wright, Alan F; Zelenika, Diana; Zhang, Ming; Zhao, Ling; Zhang, Kang; Klein, Michael L; Hageman, Gregory S; Lathrop, G Mark; Stefansson, Kari; Allikmets, Rando; Baird, Paul N; Gorin, Michael B; Wang, Jie Jin; Klaver, Caroline C W; Seddon, Johanna M; Pericak-Vance, Margaret A; Iyengar, Sudha K; Yates, John R W; Swaroop, Anand; Weber, Bernhard H F; Kubo, Michiaki; Deangelis, Margaret M; Léveillard, Thierry; Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur; Haines, Jonathan L; Farrer, Lindsay A; Heid, Iris M; Abecasis, Gonçalo R

    2013-04-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of blindness in older individuals. To accelerate the understanding of AMD biology and help design new therapies, we executed a collaborative genome-wide association study, including >17,100 advanced AMD cases and >60,000 controls of European and Asian ancestry. We identified 19 loci associated at P < 5 × 10(-8). These loci show enrichment for genes involved in the regulation of complement activity, lipid metabolism, extracellular matrix remodeling and angiogenesis. Our results include seven loci with associations reaching P < 5 × 10(-8) for the first time, near the genes COL8A1-FILIP1L, IER3-DDR1, SLC16A8, TGFBR1, RAD51B, ADAMTS9 and B3GALTL. A genetic risk score combining SNP genotypes from all loci showed similar ability to distinguish cases and controls in all samples examined. Our findings provide new directions for biological, genetic and therapeutic studies of AMD. PMID:23455636

  14. Nutritional Risk Factors for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Ersoy, Lebriz; Lechanteur, Yara T.; Hoyng, Carel B.; Kirchhof, Bernd; den Hollander, Anneke I.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. To evaluate the role of nutritional factors, serum lipids, and lipoproteins in late age-related macular degeneration (late AMD). Methods. Intake of red meat, fruit, fish, vegetables, and alcohol, smoking status, and body mass index (BMI) were ascertained questionnaire-based in 1147 late AMD cases and 1773 controls from the European Genetic Database. Serum levels of lipids and lipoproteins were determined. The relationship between nutritional factors and late AMD was assessed using logistic regression. Based on multivariate analysis, area-under-the-curve (AUC) was calculated by receiver-operating-characteristics (ROC). Results. In a multivariate analysis, besides age and smoking, obesity (odds ratio (OR): 1.44, P = 0.014) and red meat intake (daily: OR: 2.34, P = 8.22 × 10−6; 2–6x/week: OR: 1.67, P = 7.98 × 10−5) were identified as risk factors for developing late AMD. Fruit intake showed a protective effect (daily: OR: 0.52, P = 0.005; 2–6x/week: OR: 0.58, P = 0.035). Serum lipid and lipoprotein levels showed no significant association with late AMD. ROC for nutritional factors, smoking, age, and BMI revealed an AUC of 0.781. Conclusion. Red meat intake and obesity were independently associated with increased risk for late AMD, whereas fruit intake was protective. A better understanding of nutritional risk factors is necessary for the prevention of AMD. PMID:25101280

  15. Hypercholesterolemic Mice Exhibit Lymphatic Vessel Dysfunction and Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Hwee Ying; Rutkowski, Joseph M.; Helft, Julie; Reddy, Sai T.; Swartz, Melody A.; Randolph, Gwendalyn J.; Angeli, Véronique

    2009-01-01

    Lymphatic vessels are essential for lipid absorption and transport. Despite increasing numbers of observations linking lymphatic vessels and lipids, little research has been devoted to address how dysregulation of lipid balance in the blood, ie, dyslipidemia, may affect the functional biology of lymphatic vessels. Here, we show that hypercholesterolemia occurring in apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE−/−) mice is associated with tissue swelling, lymphatic leakiness, and decreased lymphatic transport of fluid and dendritic cells from tissue. Lymphatic dysfunction results in part from profound structural abnormalities in the lymphatic vasculature: namely, initial lymphatic vessels were greatly enlarged, and collecting vessels developed notably decreased smooth muscle cell coverage and changes in the distribution of lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronic acid receptor-1 (LYVE-1). Our results provide evidence that hypercholesterolemia in adult apoE−/− mice is associated with a degeneration of lymphatic vessels that leads to decreased lymphatic drainage and provides an explanation for why dendritic cell migration and, thus, immune priming, are compromised in hypercholesterolemic mice. PMID:19679879

  16. The CERAD Neuropsychological Battery in Patients with Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Haanpää, Ramona M.; Suhonen, Noora-Maria; Hartikainen, Päivi; Koivisto, Anne M.; Moilanen, Virpi; Herukka, Sanna-Kaisa; Hänninen, Tuomo; Remes, Anne M.

    2015-01-01

    Background/Aims The diagnosis of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is based on neuropsychological examination in addition to clinical symptoms and brain imaging. There is no simple, validated, cognitive tool available in screening for FTLD. The Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease neuropsychological battery (CERAD-NB) was originally devised to identify the early cognitive changes related to Alzheimer's disease (AD). Our aim was to investigate the utility of the CERAD-NB in FTLD. Methods Patients with FTLD (n = 95) and AD (n = 90) were assessed with the CERAD-NB, Trail Making Test parts A and B and single-letter Phonemic Fluency. Results FTLD patients were more severely impaired in the Verbal Fluency subtest in the CERAD-NB and Trail Making Test part A compared to AD patients. In addition, AD patients were more impaired in memory subtests compared to FTLD patients. Conclusion The CERAD-NB may be a useful tool in screening for FTLD. Impaired performance in Verbal Fluency with moderately well-preserved Delayed Recall and Memory Tests may help in identifying patients with probable FTLD and discriminating FTLD from AD. Adding the Trail Making Test to the battery might enhance its value as a screening instrument for FTLD. PMID:25999981

  17. Narrow linewidth spectroscopy in quantum degenerate metastable helium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Notermans, Remy; Rengelink, Robert; Vassen, Wim

    2016-05-01

    Combined with high-precision spectroscopy, QED theory allows extraction of the nuclear charge radius from spectroscopy in simple atomic systems. This recently lead to a significant discrepancy in the proton charge radius determined from hydrogen and muonic hydrogen spectroscopy, now known as the `proton size puzzle'. Spectroscopy in helium can provide additional insight in this conundrum. Our group previously measured the very weak 23 S --> 21 S transition (λ = 1557 nm, Γ = 2 π × 8 Hz) to 10-11 relative accuracy in quantum degenerate (T = 0 . 2 μ K) metastable 4 He and 3 He, allowing a 1% accurate determination of the charge radius difference of the α particle and the helion. Recent measurements in muonic He+ aim for a precision of 3 ×10-4 . In order to provide a similar precision, we aim to remeasure the transition to sub-kHz precision by reducing the linewidth of the spectroscopy laser by over an order of magnitude to the kHz level and by implementing a magic wavelength (λ = 320 nm) dipole trap operating at 2 W CW power. First measurements in a helium BEC have shown a 10 kHz asymmetric line profile due to mean-field effects. This allows for the first determination of the unknown 23 S - 21 S scattering length.

  18. Radiation therapy for neovascular age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Petrarca, Robert; Jackson, Timothy L

    2011-01-01

    Antivascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapies represent the standard of care for most patients presenting with neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (neovascular AMD). Anti-VEGF drugs require repeated injections and impose a considerable burden of care, and not all patients respond. Radiation targets the proliferating cells that cause neovascular AMD, including fibroblastic, inflammatory, and endothelial cells. Two new neovascular AMD radiation treatments are being investigated: epimacular brachytherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery. Epimacular brachytherapy uses beta radiation, delivered to the lesion via a pars plana vitrectomy. Stereotactic radiosurgery uses low voltage X-rays in overlapping beams, directed onto the lesion. Feasibility data for epimacular brachytherapy show a greatly reduced need for anti-VEGF therapy, with a mean vision gain of 8.9 ETDRS letters at 12 months. Pivotal trials are underway (MERLOT, CABERNET). Preliminary stereotactic radiosurgery data suggest a mean vision gain of 8 to 10 ETDRS letters at 12 months. A large randomized sham controlled stereotactic radiosurgery feasibility study is underway (CLH002), with pivotal trials to follow. While it is too early to conclude on the safety and efficacy of epimacular brachytherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery, preliminary results are positive, and these suggest that radiation offers a more durable therapeutic effect than intraocular injections. PMID:21311657

  19. Cartilaginous and ligamentous degeneration of the wrist. Anatomic study.

    PubMed

    Fortems, Y; de Smet, L; Fabry, G

    1994-01-01

    The growing precision of diagnostic techniques (MRI, arthrography, arthroscopy) and the consequent increase of the diagnosis of cartilaginous and ligamentous lesions of the wrist led us to undertake a detailed anatomical study of the carpus and to extend this study to the search for correlations between these lesions and the radio-ulnar index. Fifty one cadaveric wrists were dissected from an elderly population (mean age of 76 years). Cartilaginous lesions were found in two-thirds of radioulnar joints of the wrist with a marked predominance for the lunate bone (43%). The triangular cartilage of the fibrocartilaginous complex (TFCC) was perforated in 23 wrists (46%). We established a correlation between the radio-ulnar index and perforations of the TFCC (p < 0.05), as well as the thickness of this structure (p < 0.05). The relationship between age and rupture of intrinsic ligaments (p < 0.05), and the radio-ulnar index (p < 0.05) and age was also established. We present our figures, discuss the clinical implications, and draw the following conclusions from this study. 1) The carpus is a complex joint which is subject to age-related degeneration. 2) The large number of cartilaginous lesions observed in this study must be taken into account in the interpretation of MRI and the "over" precise results of arthroscopy. PMID:7531478

  20. Double layers and double wells in arbitrary degenerate plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akbari-Moghanjoughi, M.

    2016-06-01

    Using the generalized hydrodynamic model, the possibility of variety of large amplitude nonlinear excitations is examined in electron-ion plasma with arbitrary electron degeneracy considering also the ion temperature effect. A new energy-density relation is proposed for plasmas with arbitrary electron degeneracy which reduces to the classical Boltzmann and quantum Thomas-Fermi counterparts in the extreme limits. The pseudopotential method is employed to find the criteria for existence of nonlinear structures such as solitons, periodic nonlinear structures, and double-layers for different cases of adiabatic and isothermal ion fluids for a whole range of normalized electron chemical potential, η0, ranging from dilute classical to completely degenerate electron fluids. It is observed that there is a Mach-speed gap in which no large amplitude localized or periodic nonlinear excitations can propagate in the plasma under consideration. It is further revealed that the plasma under investigation supports propagation of double-wells and double-layers the chemical potential and Mach number ranges of which are studied in terms of other plasma parameters. The Mach number criteria for nonlinear waves are shown to significantly differ for cases of classical with η0 < 0 and quantum with η0 > 0 regimes. It is also shown that the localized structure propagation criteria possess significant dissimilarities for plasmas with adiabatic and isothermal ions. Current research may be generalized to study the nonlinear structures in plasma containing positrons, multiple ions with different charge states, and charged dust grains.

  1. The ELM Survey. VI. Eleven New Double Degenerates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gianninas, A.; Kilic, Mukremin; Brown, Warren R.; Canton, Paul; Kenyon, Scott J.

    2015-10-01

    We present the discovery of 11 new double degenerate systems containing extremely low-mass white dwarfs (ELM WDs). Our radial velocity observations confirm that all of the targets have orbital periods ≤slant 1 day. We perform spectroscopic fits and provide a complete set of physical and binary parameters. We review and compare recent evolutionary calculations and estimate that the systematic uncertainty in our mass determinations due to differences in the evolutionary models is small (≈ 0.01 M⊙). Five of the new systems will merge due to gravitational wave radiation within a Hubble time, bringing the total number of merger systems found in the ELM Survey to 38. We examine the ensemble properties of the current sample of ELM WD binaries, including the period distribution as a function of effective temperature, and the implications for the future evolution of these systems. We also revisit the empirical boundaries of instability strip of ELM WDs and identify new pulsating ELM WD candidates. Finally, we consider the kinematic properties of our sample of ELM WDs and estimate that a significant fraction of the WDs from the ELM Survey are members of the Galactic halo. Based on observations obtained at the MMT Observatory, a joint facility of the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Arizona.

  2. SINGLE-DEGENERATE TYPE Ia SUPERNOVAE WITHOUT HYDROGEN CONTAMINATION

    SciTech Connect

    Justham, Stephen

    2011-04-01

    The lack of hydrogen in spectra of type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) is often seen as troublesome for single-degenerate (SD) progenitor models. We argue that, since continued accretion of angular momentum can prevent explosion of the white dwarf, it may be natural for the donor stars in SD progenitors of SNe Ia to exhaust their envelopes and shrink rapidly before the explosion. This outcome seems most likely for SD SN Ia progenitors where mass transfer begins from a giant donor star and might extend to other SD systems. Not only is the amount of hydrogen left in such a system below the current detection limit, but the donor star is typically orders of magnitude smaller than its Roche lobe by the point when an SD SN Ia occurs, in which case attempts to observe collisions between SN shocks and giant donor stars seem unlikely to succeed. We consider the constraints on this model from the circumstellar structures seen in spectra of SN 2006X and suggest a novel explanation for the origin of this material.

  3. Genetic instability and strain degeneration in Streptomyces rimosus.

    PubMed Central

    Gravius, B; Bezmalinović, T; Hranueli, D; Cullum, J

    1993-01-01

    During a strain selection program to improve oxytetracycline production in Streptomyces rimosus R6, isolates that showed extreme morphological instability appeared. Propagation via spores gave much higher instability than did propagation via mycelial fragments. Five phenotypic traits were affected: sporulation, pigmentation, colony morphology, oxytetracycline production, and oxytetracycline resistance. The variants were classified on the basis of oxytetracycline resistance into three classes. Class I variants (99% of variants) showed parental levels of resistance but were very heterogeneous regarding the other phenotypes. No DNA rearrangements were detected in primary class I variants. Class II variants (1% of variants, oxytetracycline sensitive) were phenotypically uniform, and most variants carried the same large deletion of ca. 455 kb, including the oxytetracycline resistance gene otrB. Class III variants (0.1% of variants, increased oxytetracycline resistance) were phenotypically uniform and overproduced a brown pigment and oxytetracycline. Most of these variants also showed a reproducible large-scale DNA rearrangement, which probably included deletion and a low-level reiteration (three or four copies) of a DNA fragment. "Revertants" of some class I variants show a similar DNA rearrangement to the class III variants, but there is extensive reiteration of sequences of about 200 kb, including the otrB gene. The significance of these results for the problem of strain degeneration and overproduction of antibiotics is discussed. Images PMID:8357256

  4. Permanent magnetic lattices for ultracold atoms and quantum degenerate gases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghanbari, Saeed; Kieu, Tien D.; Sidorov, Andrei; Hannaford, Peter

    2006-02-01

    We propose the use of periodic arrays of permanent magnetic films for producing magnetic lattices of microtraps for confining, manipulating and controlling small clouds of ultracold atoms and quantum degenerate gases. Using analytical expressions and numerical calculations we show that periodic arrays of magnetic films can produce one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) magnetic lattices with non-zero potential minima, allowing ultracold atoms to be trapped without losses due to spin flips. In particular, we show that two crossed layers of periodic arrays of parallel rectangular magnets plus bias fields, or a single layer of periodic arrays of square-shaped magnets with three different thicknesses plus bias fields, can produce 2D magnetic lattices of microtraps having non-zero potential minima and controllable trap depth. For arrays with micron-scale periodicity, the magnetic microtraps can have very large trap depths (~0.5 mK for the realistic parameters chosen for the 2D lattice) and very tight confinement.

  5. Late degeneration in rabbit tissues after irradiation by heavy ions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lett, J. T.; Cox, A. B.; Keng, P. C.; Lee, A. C.; Su, C. M.; Bergtold, D. S.

    1980-01-01

    Results are presented for investigations of the late effects of heavy-ion irradiation on rabbit tissues which were undertaken to assess the hazards associated with the long-term exposure of humans to heavy ions in space during such activities as the construction of solar power stations or voyages to Mars. White rabbits approximately six weeks old were exposed to various doses of collimated beams of 400-MeV/n Ne ions, 570 MeV/n Ar ions and Co-60 gamma rays directed through both eyes, and the responses of the various tissues (hair follicles, skin, cornea, lens, retina, Harderian glands, bone and forebrain) were examined. Proliferating tissues are found to exhibit high damage levels in the early and late periods following irradiation, while terminally differentiating tissues repond to radiation most intensely in the late period, years after irradiation, with no intermediate recovery. The results obtained from rabbits are used to predict the occurrence of late tissue degeneration in the central nervous system, terminally differentiating systems and stem cells of humans one or more decades following exposure to radiation levels anticipated during long-duration space flights. The studies also indicate that tissues may be prematurely aged in the sense that tissue life spans may be shortened without the development of malignancies.

  6. Melanization and phagocytosis: implications for age related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Sarangarajan, Rangaprasad; Apte, Shireesh P

    2005-01-01

    Signaling pathways that upregulate melanization in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) may also be implicated in the downregulation of rod outer segment (ROS) phagocytosis by the RPE. Melanization activating pathways may also modulate oxygen consumption by the photoreceptors, apolipoprotein E4 levels, and the rate of photoisomerization events such that the net effect may be a reduction in drusen and/or lipofuscin accumulation. An increase in melanin at the apical microvilli of the RPE may shield ROS from light thereby contributing in part to the decrease in the rate of ROS phagocytosis. This decrease in ROS phagocytosis by the RPE may serve to maintain a balance between ingestion and degradation/recycling thereby avoiding an increase to its already substantial metabolic load. Several experimental drugs for age related macular degeneration (ARMD) coincidentally are also capable of decreasing the rate of ROS phagocytosis. This review attempts to identify the signaling pathways that may link the upregulation of melanization to the downregulation of ROS phagocytosis. Phagocytic pathways that are modulated by melanization need to be studied in isolation to determine what role, if any, they possess in ameliorating the onset and progression of ARMD. Many more empirical studies are needed to unravel specific pathways and mechanisms that seem to link melanization with ARMD. PMID:16030499

  7. Current Therapeutic Development for Atrophic Age-related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Hanus, Jakub; Zhao, Fangkun; Wang, Shusheng

    2016-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a degenerative disorder of the central retina, is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the elderly. The underlying mechanism of the advanced form of dry AMD, also named geographic atrophy (GA) or atrophic AMD, remains unclear. Consequently, no cure is available for dry AMD or GA. The only prevention option currently available is the Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) formulation which has been demonstrated to slow down the progression of dry AMD. This review summarizes recent advances in therapy for dry AMD and GA. Building on the new understanding of the disease and recent technological breakthroughs, numerous ongoing clinical trials have the goal of meeting the need to cure AMD. Therapeutic agents are being developed to target the key features of the disease, including inhibiting the complement pathway and other inflammatory pathways, reducing oxidative stress and protecting retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells, inhibiting lipofuscin and visual cycle, regenerating RPE cells from stem cells and restoring choroidal blood flow. Some of these therapeutic options, especially the stem-cell based therapy, hold great promise, which brings great hope for this devastating blinding disease. PMID:26553922

  8. Gravitational Thermodynamics for Interstellar Gas and Weakly Degenerate Quantum Gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Ding Yu; Shen, Jian Qi

    2016-03-01

    The temperature distribution of an ideal gas in gravitational fields has been identified as a longstanding problem in thermodynamics and statistical physics. According to the principle of entropy increase (i.e., the principle of maximum entropy), we apply a variational principle to the thermodynamical entropy functional of an ideal gas and establish a relationship between temperature gradient and gravitational field strength. As an illustrative example, the temperature and density distributions of an ideal gas in two simple but typical gravitational fields (i.e., a uniform gravitational field and an inverse-square gravitational field) are considered on the basis of entropic and hydrostatic equilibrium conditions. The effect of temperature inhomogeneity in gravitational fields is also addressed for a weakly degenerate quantum gas (e.g., Fermi and Bose gas). The present gravitational thermodynamics of a gas would have potential applications in quantum fluids, e.g., Bose-Einstein condensates in Earth’s gravitational field and the temperature fluctuation spectrum in cosmic microwave background radiation.

  9. Promising new treatments for neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Michels, Stephan; Schmidt-Erfurth, Ursula; Rosenfeld, Philip J

    2006-07-01

    Angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels from existing blood vessels, is responsible for vision loss in a variety of ophthalmic diseases. In neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause for legal blindness in many industrialised countries, abnormal blood vessels grow in the macula and cause blindness. There are a number of factors important in the angiogenic cascade but VEGF-A has been implicated in recent years as the major factor responsible for neovascular and exudative diseases of the eye. Numerous antiangiogenic drugs are in development but anti-VEGF drugs have shown great promise in treating neovascular AMD and other ocular diseases, and many of these drugs have been adopted from oncology where antiangiogenic therapy is gaining wide acceptance. For the first time in neovascular AMD, anti-VEGF drugs have brought the hope of vision improvement to a significant proportion of patients. This review provides an overview on angiogenic mechanisms, potential antiangiogenic treatment strategies and different antiangiogenic drugs with special focus on neovascular AMD. PMID:16787141

  10. Age-related macular degeneration: experimental and emerging treatments

    PubMed Central

    Hubschman, Jean Pierre; Reddy, Shantan; Schwartz, Steven D

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: This essay reviews the experimental treatments and new imaging modalities that are currently being explored by investigators to help treat patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Design: Interpretative essay. Methods: Literature review and interpretation. Results: Experimental treatments to preserve vision in patients with exudative AMD include blocking vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), binding VEGF, and modulating the VEGF receptors. Investigators are also attempting to block signal transduction with receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Experimental treatments for non-exudative AMD include agents that target inflammation, oxidative stress, and implement immune-modulation. The effectiveness of these newer pharmacologic agents has the potential to grow exponentially when used in combination with new and improved imaging modalities that can help identify disease earlier and follow treatment response more precisely. Conclusion: With a better understanding, at the genetic and molecular level, of AMD and the development of superior imaging modalities, investigators are able to offer treatment options that may offer unprecedented visual gains while reducing the need for repetitive treatments. PMID:19668561

  11. Angiogenesis in the degeneration of the lumbar intervertebral disc

    PubMed Central

    David, Gh; Iencean, SM; Mohan, A

    2010-01-01

    The goal of the study is to show the histological and biochemical changes that indicate the angiogenesis of the intervertebral disc in lumbar intervertebral disc hernia and the existence of epidemiological correlations between these changes and the risk factors of lumbar intervertebral disc hernia, as well as the patient's quality of life (QOL). We have studied 50 patients aged between 18 and 73 years old, who have undergone lumbar intervertebral disc hernia surgery, making fibroblast growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor level measurements, as elements in the process of appreciating the disc angiogenesis. Also, pre–surgery and post–surgery QOL has been measured, as well as the intensity of the pain syndrome. We have identified factors capable of stimulating vascular endothelial growth (VEGF, FGF–2) for the examined disc material, but histological examination did not show angiogenesis. The process of angiogenesis at the degenerated intervertebral disc level affects the patient's quality of life both pre and postoperatively, and may be a predictive factor for the post–operative results. Patients can prevent the appearance of angiogenesis type degenerative processes of the intervertebral disc by avoiding angiogenesis correlated factors (weight control, physical effort, and smoking). PMID:20968201

  12. Nitroxide pharmaceutical development for age-related degeneration and disease

    PubMed Central

    Zarling, Jacob A.; Brunt, Vienna E.; Vallerga, Anne K.; Li, Weixing; Tao, Albert; Zarling, David A.; Minson, Christopher T.

    2015-01-01

    Nitroxide small molecule agents are in development as preventative or therapeutic pharmaceutical drugs for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cardiovascular disease, which are two major diseases of aging. These aging diseases are associated with patient genetics, smoking, diet, oxidative stress, and chronic inflammation. Nitroxide drugs preventing aging-, smoking-, high sugar or high fat diet-, or radiation- and other environmental-induced pathophysiological conditions in aging disease are reviewed. Tempol (TP), Tempol Hydroxylamine (TP-H), and TP-H prodrug (OT-551) are evaluated in (1) non-smokers versus smokers with cutaneous microvascular dysfunction, rapidly reversed by cutaneous TP; (2) elderly cancer patients at risk for radiation-induced skin burns or hair loss, prevented by topical TP; and (3) elderly smoker or non-smoker AMD patients at risk for vision loss, prevented by daily eye drops of OT-551. The human data indicates safety and efficacy for these nitroxide drugs. Both TP and TP-H topically penetrate and function in skin or mucosa, protecting and treating radiation burns and hair loss or smoking-induced cutaneous vascular dysfunction. TP and TP-H do not penetrate the cornea, while OT-551 does effectively penetrate and travels to the back of the eye, preserving visual acuity and preserving normal and low light luminance in dry AMD smokers and non-smoker patients. Topical, oral, or injectable drug formulations are discussed. PMID:26594225

  13. Disrupted axon-glia interactions at the paranode in myelinated nerves cause axonal degeneration and neuronal cell death in the aged Caspr mutant mouse shambling.

    PubMed

    Takagishi, Yoshiko; Katanosaka, Kimiaki; Mizoguchi, Hiroyuki; Murata, Yoshiharu

    2016-07-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that axonal degeneration is a disease mechanism in various neurodegenerative diseases and that the paranodes at the nodes of Ranvier may be the initial site of pathogenesis. We investigated the pathophysiology of the disease process in the central and peripheral nervous systems of a Caspr mutant mouse, shambling (shm), which is affected by disrupted paranodal structures and impaired nerve conduction of myelinated nerves. The shm mice manifest a progressive neurological phenotype as mice age. We found extensive axonal degeneration and a loss of neurons in the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system in aged shm mice. Axonal alteration of myelinated nerves was defined by abnormal distribution and expression of neurofilaments and derangements in the status of phosphorylated and non/de-phosphorylated neurofilaments. Autophagy-related structures were also accumulated in degenerated axons and neurons. In conclusion, our results suggest that disrupted axon-glia interactions at the paranode cause the cytoskeletal alteration in myelinated axons leading to neuronal cell death, and the process involves detrimental autophagy and aging as factors that promote the pathogenesis. PMID:27255813

  14. Mesenchymal stem cells regulate mechanical properties of human degenerated nucleus pulposus cells through SDF-1/CXCR4/AKT axis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ming-Han; Bian, Bai-Shi-Jiao; Cui, Xiang; Liu, Lan-Tao; Liu, Huan; Huang, Bo; Cui, You-Hong; Bian, Xiu-Wu; Zhou, Yue

    2016-08-01

    Transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into the degenerated intervertebral disc (IVD) has shown promise for decelerating or arresting IVD degeneration. Cellular mechanical properties play crucial roles in regulating cell-matrix interactions, potentially reflecting specific changes that occur based on cellular phenotype and behavior. However, the effect of co-culturing of MSCs with nucleus pulposus cells (NPCs) on the mechanical properties of NPCs remains unknown. In our study, we demonstrated that co-culture of degenerated NPCs with MSCs resulted in significantly decreased mechanical moduli (elastic modulus, relaxed modulus, and instantaneous modulus) and increased biological activity (proliferation and expression of matrix genes) in degenerated NPCs, but not normal NPCs. SDF-1, CXCR4 ligand, was highly expressed in MSCs when co-cultured with degenerated NPCs. Inhibition of SDF-1 using CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100 or knocking-down CXCR4 in degenerated NPCs abolished the MSCs-induced decrease in the mechanical moduli and increased biological activity of degenerated NPCs, suggesting a crucial role for SDF-1/CXCR4 signaling. AKT and FAK inhibition attenuated the MSCs- or SDF-1-induced decrease in the mechanical moduli of degenerated NPCs. In conclusion, it was demonstrated in vitro that MSCs regulate the mechanical properties of degenerated NPCs through SDF-1/CXCR4/AKT signaling. These findings highlight a possible mechanical mechanism for MSCs-induced modulation with degenerated NPCs, which may be applicable to MSCs-based therapy for disc degeneration. PMID:27163878

  15. SITE RANK

    EPA Science Inventory

    Site rank is formulated for ranking the relative hazard of contamination sources and vulnerability of drinking water wells. Site rank can be used with a variety of groundwater flow and transport models.

  16. Atypical multiple system atrophy is a new subtype of frontotemporal lobar degeneration: frontotemporal lobar degeneration associated with α-synuclein.

    PubMed

    Aoki, Naoya; Boyer, Philip J; Lund, Cheryl; Lin, Wen-Lang; Koga, Shunsuke; Ross, Owen A; Weiner, Myron; Lipton, Anne; Powers, James M; White, Charles L; Dickson, Dennis W

    2015-07-01

    Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a sporadic neurodegenerative disease clinically characterized by cerebellar signs, parkinsonism, and autonomic dysfunction. Pathologically, MSA is an α-synucleinopathy affecting striatonigral and olivopontocerebellar systems, while neocortical and limbic involvement is usually minimal. In this study, we describe four patients with atypical MSA with clinical features consistent with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), including two with corticobasal syndrome, one with progressive non-fluent aphasia, and one with behavioral variant FTD. None had autonomic dysfunction. All had frontotemporal atrophy and severe limbic α-synuclein neuronal pathology. The neuronal inclusions were heterogeneous, but included Pick body-like inclusions. The latter were strongly associated with neuronal loss in the hippocampus and amygdala. Unlike typical Pick bodies, the neuronal inclusions were positive on Gallyas silver stain and negative on tau immunohistochemistry. In comparison to 34 typical MSA cases, atypical MSA had significantly more neuronal inclusions in anteromedial temporal lobe and limbic structures. While uncommon, our findings suggest that MSA may present clinically and pathologically as a frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). We suggest that this may represent a novel subtype of FTLD associated with α-synuclein (FTLD-synuclein). PMID:25962793

  17. Exponential Mixing of the 3D Stochastic Navier-Stokes Equations Driven by Mildly Degenerate Noises

    SciTech Connect

    Albeverio, Sergio; Debussche, Arnaud; Xu Lihu

    2012-10-15

    We prove the strong Feller property and exponential mixing for 3D stochastic Navier-Stokes equation driven by mildly degenerate noises (i.e. all but finitely many Fourier modes being forced) via a Kolmogorov equation approach.

  18. Effect of trapping in a degenerate plasma in the presence of a quantizing magnetic field

    SciTech Connect

    Shah, H. A.; Iqbal, M. J.; Qureshi, M. N. S.; Tsintsadze, N.; Masood, W.

    2012-09-15

    Effect of trapping as a microscopic phenomenon in a degenerate plasma is investigated in the presence of a quantizing magnetic field. The plasma comprises degenerate electrons and non-degenerate ions. The presence of the quantizing magnetic field is discussed briefly and the effect of trapping is investigated by using the Fermi-Dirac distribution function. The linear dispersion relation for ion acoustic wave is derived in the presence of the quantizing magnetic field and its influence on the propagation characteristics of the linear ion acoustic wave is discussed. Subsequently, fully nonlinear equations for ion acoustic waves are used to obtain the Sagdeev potential and the investigation of solitary structures. The formation of solitary structures is studied both for fully and partially degenerate plasmas in the presence of a quantizing magnetic field. Both compressive and rarefactive solitons are obtained for different conditions of temperature and magnetic field.

  19. Nemaline rod and degeneration of Z band of muscle cell in weightlessness at spaceflight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imuta, Miharu; Higuchi, Itsuro

    1999-06-01

    There are some studies demonstrating the skeletal muscle degeneration associated with the degeneration of Z band and appearance of nemaline rods in experimental animals of the simulation model for spaceflight but not in human heart tissues. In the present study, therefore, we investigated the pathological changes or degeneration in left auricular heart muscles obtained during operations of mitral valves replacement using both electron and light microscopies. The degeneration of Z band even in the myofibrils of comparatively little damaged cell was found. Furthermore, nemaline rods were detected in most of the heart muscle cells. These results suggest that the existence of nemaline rods is involved in the cell injury in the heart muscle of patients with heart disease without nemaline myopathy. Further study is necessary to know whether the similar pathological findings are observed not only in the skeletal muscle but also in the cardiac muscle in experimental animals of the simulation model for spaceflight or in a prolonged spaceflight.

  20. Enhanced visibility of two-mode thermal squeezed states via degenerate parametric amplification and resonance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahboob, I.; Okamoto, H.; Yamaguchi, H.

    2016-08-01

    Two-mode squeezed states, generated via non-degenerate parametric down-conversion, are invariably revealed via their entangled vacuum or correlated thermal fluctuations. Here, two-mode thermal squeezed states, generated in an electromechanical system, are made bright by means of degenerate parametric amplification of their constituent modes to the point where they are almost perfect, even when seeded from low intensity non-degenerate parametric down-conversion. More dramatically, activating the degenerate parametric resonances of the underlying modes yields perfect correlations which can be resolved via the coordinated switching of their phase bi-stable vibrations, without recourse to monitoring their thermal fluctuations. This ability to enhance the two-mode squeezed states and to decipher them without needing to observe their intrinsic noise is supported by both analytical and numerical modelling and it suggests that the technical constraints to making this phenomenon more widely available can be dramatically relaxed.