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Sample records for 4-fold degenerate sites

  1. Targeting Inflammatory Demyelinating Lesions to Sites of Wallerian Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Tsunoda, Ikuo; Tanaka, Tomoko; Saijoh, Yukio; Fujinami, Robert S.

    2007-01-01

    In Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) infection, an animal model for multiple sclerosis (MS), axonal injury precedes inflammatory demyelinating lesions, and the distribution of axonal damage present during the early phase of infection corresponds to regions where subsequent demyelination occurs during the chronic phase. We hypothesized that axonal damage recruits inflammatory cells to sites of Wallerian degeneration, leading to demyelination. Three weeks after TMEV infection, axonal degeneration was induced in the posterior funiculus of mice by injecting the toxic lectin Ricinus communis agglutinin (RCA) I into the sciatic nerve. Neuropathology was examined 1 week after lectin injection. Control mice, infected with TMEV but receiving no RCA I, had inflammatory demyelinating lesions in the anterior/lateral funiculi. Other control mice that received RCA I alone did not develop inflammatory lesions. In contrast, RCA I injection into TMEV-infected mice induced lesions in the posterior funiculus in addition to the anterior/lateral funiculi. We found no differences in lymphoproliferative responses or antibody titers against TMEV among the groups. This suggests that axonal degeneration contributes to the recruitment of inflammatory cells into the central nervous system by altering the local microenvironment. In this scenario, lesions develop from the axon (inside) to the myelin (outside) (Inside-Out model). PMID:17823280

  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. Characteristics of a 4-fold segmented clover detectore

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lou, Jian-Ling; Li, Zhi-Huan; Ye, Yan-Lin; Jiang, Dong-Xing; Hua, Hui; Li, Xiang-Qing; Zhang, Shuang-Quan; Zheng, Tao; Ge, Yu-Cheng; Kong, Zan; Lu, Lin-Hui; Li, Chen; Lu, Fei; Fan, Feng-Ying; Li, Zhong-Yu; Cao, Zhong-Xin; Ma, Li-Ying; Faisal Q., J.; Xu, Hu-Shan; Hu, Zheng-Guo; Wang, Meng; Lei, Xiang-Guo; Duan, Li-Min; Xiao, Zhi-Gang; Zhan, Wen-Long; Xiao, Guo-Qing; Huang, Tian-Heng; Fu, Fen; Zhang, Xue-Heng; Zheng, Chuan; Yu, Yu-Hong; Tu, Xiao-Lin; Zhang, Ya-Peng; Yang, Yan-Yun; Zhang, Hong-Bin; Tang, Bin; Tian, Yu-Lin; Ouyang, Zhen; Huang, Mei-Rong; Xu, Zhi-Guo; Yue, Ke; Gao, Qi

    2009-03-01

    Four high-purity germanium 4-fold segmented Clover detectors have been applied in the experiment of neutron-rich nucleus 21N. The performance of those four Clovers have been tested with radioactive sources and in-beam experiments, and the main results including energy resolution, peak-to-total ratios, the variation of the hit pattern distribution in different crystals of one Clover detector with the energy of γ ray, and absolute full energy peak detection efficiency curve, were presented.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. MDC-Analyzer: a novel degenerate primer design tool for the construction of intelligent mutagenesis libraries with contiguous sites.

    PubMed

    Tang, Lixia; Wang, Xiong; Ru, Beibei; Sun, Hengfei; Huang, Jian; Gao, Hui

    2014-06-01

    Recent computational and bioinformatics advances have enabled the efficient creation of novel biocatalysts by reducing amino acid variability at hot spot regions. To further expand the utility of this strategy, we present here a tool called Multi-site Degenerate Codon Analyzer (MDC-Analyzer) for the automated design of intelligent mutagenesis libraries that can completely cover user-defined randomized sequences, especially when multiple contiguous and/or adjacent sites are targeted. By initially defining an objective function, the possible optimal degenerate PCR primer profiles could be automatically explored using the heuristic approach of Greedy Best-First-Search. Compared to the previously developed DC-Analyzer, MDC-Analyzer allows for the existence of a small amount of undesired sequences as a tradeoff between the number of degenerate primers and the encoded library size while still providing all the benefits of DC-Analyzer with the ability to randomize multiple contiguous sites. MDC-Analyzer was validated using a series of randomly generated mutation schemes and experimental case studies on the evolution of halohydrin dehalogenase, which proved that the MDC methodology is more efficient than other methods and is particularly well-suited to exploring the sequence space of proteins using data-driven protein engineering strategies. PMID:24924390

  7. Arterial wall degeneration plus hemodynamic insult cause arterial wall remodeling and nascent aneurysm formation at specific sites in dogs.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yue-Qi; Li, Ming-Hua; Yan, Lei; Tan, Hua-Qiao; Cheng, Ying-Sheng

    2014-09-01

    To determine whether arterial wall degeneration, in combination with hemodynamic insult, causes cerebral artery aneurysms in a dog model, we simulated the geometry and hemodynamics of a human artery by surgical reconstruction of both common carotid arteries in 12 dogs. The dogs were then randomly assigned to one of the following groups: hemodynamic insult + elastase insult group ( n = 6), hemodynamic insult group (n = 6), or elastase control group (n = 3), in which the straight common carotid arteries were subjected to elastase alone. Angiography and hemodynamic analysis were performed immediately and at 12 weeks after surgery; the animals were then killed for histologic evaluation. The 12 surgically reconstructed distal internal carotid arteries simulated the human artery well with respect to geometric and hemodynamic measurements, with the intended aneurysm sites exposed to higher wall shear stress and velocity, lower pressure, turbulent flow, and changes in wall shear stress gradient. Nascent aneurysms developed in 4 hemodynamic insult + elastase insult group dogs at 12 weeks; blood flow analysis demonstrated decreased wall shear stress, increased pressure, and wall shear stress gradient from the neck to the dome. Arterial wall remodeling or nascent aneurysm formation in the hemodynamic insult + elastase insult group versus the other groups was indicated by internal elastic lamina/elastic fiber disruption, muscular layer thinning, increased smooth muscle cell proliferation, macrophage infiltration, and high expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 in the media. These data suggest that nascent aneurysms were caused by the combination of arterial wall degeneration and hemodynamic perturbations in this distal internal carotid artery dog model. PMID:25111020

  8. 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.

  9. Cerebellar Degeneration

    MedlinePlus

    ... What is Cerebellar Degeneration? Cerebellar degeneration is a process in which neurons in the cerebellum - the area of the brain that controls coordination and balance - deteriorate and die. Diseases that ...

  10. Macular Degeneration

    MedlinePlus

    ... is that straight lines appear crooked. Regular comprehensive eye exams can detect macular degeneration before the disease causes vision loss. Treatment can slow vision loss. It does not restore ...

  11. Striatonigral Degeneration

    MedlinePlus

    ... to prevent and treat these disorders. NIH Patient Recruitment for Striatonigral Degeneration Clinical Trials At NIH Clinical Center Throughout the U.S. and Worldwide NINDS Clinical Trials Organizations Column1 Column2 National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) ...

  12. Corticobasal Degeneration

    MedlinePlus

    ... to prevent, treat, and cure them. NIH Patient Recruitment for Corticobasal Degeneration Clinical Trials At NIH Clinical Center Throughout the U.S. and Worldwide NINDS Clinical Trials Organizations Column1 Column2 National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) ...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    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 (R3) 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

  17. 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.

  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.

  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 Partnership

    MedlinePlus

    AMD Macular Degeneration Partnership High Contrast Original + Font Size – Home About AMD Dry AMD Wet AMD Experience AMD Living with ... vision on a daily basis. AMD (Age Related Macular Degeneration) Partnership Listen AMD Month Public Service Announcement To ...

  1. A 4-fold-symmetry hexagonal ruthenium for magnetic heterostructures exhibiting enhanced perpendicular magnetic anisotropy and tunnel magnetoresistance.

    PubMed

    Wen, Zhenchao; Sukegawa, Hiroaki; Furubayashi, Takao; Koo, Jungwoo; Inomata, Koichiro; Mitani, Seiji; Hadorn, Jason Paul; Ohkubo, Tadakatsu; Hono, Kazuhiro

    2014-10-01

    A 4-fold-symmetry hexagonal Ru emerging in epitaxial MgO/Ru/Co2 FeAl/MgO heterostructures is reported, in which an approximately Ru(022¯3) growth attributes to the lattice matching between MgO, Ru, and Co2 FeAl. Perpendicular magnetic anisotropy of the Co2 FeAl/MgO interface is substantially enhanced. The magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) incorporating this structure give rise to the largest tunnel magnetoresistance for perpendicular MTJs using low damping Heusler alloys. PMID:25123705

  2. 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.…

  3. Degenerate Euler zeta function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, T.

    2015-10-01

    Recently, T. Kim considered an Euler zeta function which interpolates Euler polynomials at negative integers (see [3]). In this paper, we study the degenerate Euler zeta function which is holomorphic on the complex s-plane and is associated with degenerate Euler polynomials at negative integers.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Vortices as Degenerate Metrics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baptista, Joao M.

    2014-06-01

    We note that the Bogomolny equation for abelian vortices is precisely the condition for invariance of the Hermitian-Einstein equation under a degenerate conformal transformation. This leads to a natural interpretation of vortices as degenerate Hermitian metrics that satisfy a certain curvature equation. Using this viewpoint, we rephrase standard results about vortices and make new observations. We note the existence of a conceptually simple, non-linear rule for superposing vortex solutions, and we describe the natural behaviour of the L 2-metric on the moduli space upon restriction to a class of submanifolds.

  8. Kraepelin and degeneration theory.

    PubMed

    Hoff, Paul

    2008-06-01

    Emil Kraepelin's contribution to the clinical and scientific field of psychiatry is recognized world-wide. In recent years, however, there have been a number of critical remarks on his acceptance of degeneration theory in particular and on his political opinion in general, which was said to have carried "overtones of proto-fascism" by Michael Shepherd [28]. The present paper discusses the theoretical cornerstones of Kraepelinian psychiatry with regard to their relevance for Kraepelin's attitude towards degeneration theory. This theory had gained wide influence not only in scientific, but also in philosophical and political circles in the last decades of the nineteenth century. There is no doubt that Kraepelin, on the one hand, accepted and implemented degeneration theory into the debate on etiology and pathogenesis of mental disorders. On the other hand, it is not appropriate to draw a simple and direct line from early versions of degeneration theory to the crimes of psychiatrists and politicians during the rule of national socialism. What we need, is a differentiated view, since this will be the only scientific one. Much research needs to be done here in the future, and such research will surely have a significant impact not only on the historical field, but also on the continuous debate about psychiatry, neuroscience and neurophilosophy. PMID:18516511

  9. 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 ...

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

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2016-03-22

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

  11. Quantum degenerate systems

    SciTech Connect

    Micheli, Fiorenza de; Zanelli, Jorge

    2012-10-15

    A degenerate dynamical system is characterized by a symplectic structure whose rank is not constant throughout phase space. Its phase space is divided into causally disconnected, nonoverlapping regions in each of which the rank of the symplectic matrix is constant, and there are no classical orbits connecting two different regions. Here the question of whether this classical disconnectedness survives quantization is addressed. Our conclusion is that in irreducible degenerate systems-in which the degeneracy cannot be eliminated by redefining variables in the action-the disconnectedness is maintained in the quantum theory: there is no quantum tunnelling across degeneracy surfaces. This shows that the degeneracy surfaces are boundaries separating distinct physical systems, not only classically, but in the quantum realm as well. The relevance of this feature for gravitation and Chern-Simons theories in higher dimensions cannot be overstated.

  12. 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 genetics and molecular pathology make the prospect of biologically driven, disease-specific therapies for FTLD seem closer than ever. PMID:20369906

  13. Cortical Basal Ganglionic Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Scarmeas, Nikolaos; Chin, Steven S.; Marder, Karen

    2011-01-01

    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

  14. 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

  15. Retinal remodeling triggered by photoreceptor degenerations.

    PubMed

    Jones, Bryan W; Watt, Carl B; Frederick, Jeanne M; Baehr, Wolfgang; Chen, Ching-Kang; Levine, Edward M; Milam, Ann H; Lavail, Matthew M; Marc, Robert E

    2003-09-01

    Many photoreceptor degenerations initially affect rods, secondarily leading to cone death. It has long been assumed that the surviving neural retina is largely resistant to this sensory deafferentation. New evidence from fast retinal degenerations reveals that subtle plasticities in neuronal form and connectivity emerge early in disease. By screening mature natural, transgenic, and knockout retinal degeneration models with computational molecular phenotyping, we have found an extended late phase of negative remodeling that radically changes retinal structure. Three major transformations emerge: 1) Müller cell hypertrophy and elaboration of a distal glial seal between retina and the choroid/retinal pigmented epithelium; 2) apparent neuronal migration along glial surfaces to ectopic sites; and 3) rewiring through evolution of complex neurite fascicles, new synaptic foci in the remnant inner nuclear layer, and new connections throughout the retina. Although some neurons die, survivors express molecular signatures characteristic of normal bipolar, amacrine, and ganglion cells. Remodeling in human and rodent retinas is independent of the initial molecular targets of retinal degenerations, including defects in the retinal pigmented epithelium, rhodopsin, or downstream phototransduction elements. Although remodeling may constrain therapeutic intervals for molecular, cellular, or bionic rescue, it suggests that the neural retina may be more plastic than previously believed. PMID:12866125

  16. The degenerate gravitino scenario

    SciTech Connect

    Boubekeur, Lotfi; Vives, Oscar; Choi, Ki Young; Austri, Roberto Ruiz de E-mail: kiyoung.choi@uam.es E-mail: oscar.vives@uv.es

    2010-04-01

    In this work, we explore the ''degenerate gravitino'' scenario where the mass difference between the gravitino and the lightest MSSM particle is much smaller than the gravitino mass itself. In this case, the energy released in the decay of the next to lightest sypersymmetric particle (NLSP) is reduced. Consequently the cosmological and astrophysical constraints on the gravitino abundance, and hence on the reheating temperature, become softer than in the usual case. On the other hand, such small mass splittings generically imply a much longer lifetime for the NLSP. We find that, in the constrained MSSM (CMSSM), for neutralino LSP or NLSP, reheating temperatures compatible with thermal leptogenesis are reached for small splittings of order 10{sup −2} GeV. While for stau NLSP, temperatures of T{sub RH} ≅ 4 × 10{sup 9}GeV can be obtained even for splittings of order of tens of GeVs. This ''degenerate gravitino'' scenario offers a possible way out to the gravitino problem for thermal leptogenesis in supersymmetric theories.

  17. Genetics of disc degeneration.

    PubMed

    Chan, Danny; Song, Youqiang; Sham, Pak; Cheung, Kenneth M C

    2006-08-01

    Low back pain from degenerative disc disease (DDD) is one of the most common disorders seen in general and orthopaedic practices. DDD has been attributed to the accumulation of environmental factors, primarily mechanical insults and injuries, imposed on the "normal" aging changes. However, recent studies have shown an association between genetic influences and disc degeneration, with risk of developing DDD quoted to be increased up to six times that of the general population. It is likely that DDD is a complex, multifactorial disease determined by the interplay between gene(s) and the environment. This review focuses on the evidence for genetic disposition, the genes or biological processes that are implicated, and the need to consolidate resources and clarify phenotype definition to take advantage of the new technologies in genetic analysis to enhance our understanding of this condition. PMID:16819621

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Axon degeneration in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Burke, Robert E; O'Malley, Karen

    2013-08-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease of the basal ganglia. Like other adult-onset neurodegenerative disorders, it is without a treatment that forestalls its chronic progression. Efforts to develop disease-modifying therapies to date have largely focused on the prevention of degeneration of the neuron soma, with the tacit assumption that such approaches will forestall axon degeneration as well. We herein propose that future efforts to develop neuroprotection for PD may benefit from a shift in focus to the distinct mechanisms that underlie axon degeneration. We review evidence from human post-mortem studies, functional neuroimaging, genetic causes of the disease and neurotoxin models that axon degeneration may be the earliest feature of the disease, and it may therefore be the most appropriate target for early intervention. In addition, we present evidence that the molecular mechanisms of degeneration of axons are separate and distinct from those of neuron soma. Progress is being made in understanding these mechanisms, and they provide possible new targets for therapeutic intervention. We also suggest that the potential for axon re-growth in the adult central nervous system has perhaps been underestimated, and it offers new avenues for neurorestoration. In conclusion, we propose that a new focus on the neurobiology of axons, their molecular pathways of degeneration and growth, will offer novel opportunities for neuroprotection and restoration in the treatment of PD and other neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:22285449

  1. 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

  2. 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)22DMF [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)22DMF, Co(II)(pybz)2, Co(II)(pybz)24MeOH, and Co(II)(pybz)22.5EtOH 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)22DMF 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

  3. 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; Lpez-Castro, Juan D; Domnguez-Vera, Jos; Pohl, Ehmke; Yvenes, 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 ?-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 ?-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?; corresponding to a diferric ?-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

  4. 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.

  5. 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 ...

  6. Potent Antiscrapie Activities of Degenerate Phosphorothioate Oligonucleotides

    PubMed Central

    Kocisko, David A.; Vaillant, Andrew; Lee, Kil Sun; Arnold, Kevin M.; Bertholet, Nadine; Race, Richard E.; Olsen, Emily A.; Juteau, Jean-Marc; Caughey, Byron

    2006-01-01

    Although transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are incurable, a key therapeutic approach is prevention of conversion of the normal, protease-sensitive form of prion protein (PrP-sen) to the disease-specific protease-resistant form of prion protein (PrP-res). Here degenerate phosphorothioate oligonucleotides (PS-ONs) are introduced as low-nM PrP-res conversion inhibitors with strong antiscrapie activities in vivo. Comparisons of various PS-ON analogs indicated that hydrophobicity and size were important, while base composition was only minimally influential. PS-ONs bound avidly to PrP-sen but could be displaced by sulfated glycan PrP-res inhibitors, indicating the presence of overlapping binding sites. Labeled PS-ONs also bound to PrP-sen on live cells and were internalized. This binding likely accounts for the antiscrapie activity. Prophylactic PS-ON treatments more than tripled scrapie survival periods in mice. Survival times also increased when PS-ONs were mixed with scrapie brain inoculum. With these antiscrapie activities and their much lower anticoagulant activities than that of pentosan polysulfate, degenerate PS-ONs are attractive new compounds for the treatment of TSEs. PMID:16495266

  7. Potent antiscrapie activities of degenerate phosphorothioate oligonucleotides.

    PubMed

    Kocisko, David A; Vaillant, Andrew; Lee, Kil Sun; Arnold, Kevin M; Bertholet, Nadine; Race, Richard E; Olsen, Emily A; Juteau, Jean-Marc; Caughey, Byron

    2006-03-01

    Although transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are incurable, a key therapeutic approach is prevention of conversion of the normal, protease-sensitive form of prion protein (PrP-sen) to the disease-specific protease-resistant form of prion protein (PrP-res). Here degenerate phosphorothioate oligonucleotides (PS-ONs) are introduced as low-nM PrP-res conversion inhibitors with strong antiscrapie activities in vivo. Comparisons of various PS-ON analogs indicated that hydrophobicity and size were important, while base composition was only minimally influential. PS-ONs bound avidly to PrP-sen but could be displaced by sulfated glycan PrP-res inhibitors, indicating the presence of overlapping binding sites. Labeled PS-ONs also bound to PrP-sen on live cells and were internalized. This binding likely accounts for the antiscrapie activity. Prophylactic PS-ON treatments more than tripled scrapie survival periods in mice. Survival times also increased when PS-ONs were mixed with scrapie brain inoculum. With these antiscrapie activities and their much lower anticoagulant activities than that of pentosan polysulfate, degenerate PS-ONs are attractive new compounds for the treatment of TSEs. PMID:16495266

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. RP cone-rod degeneration.

    PubMed Central

    Heckenlively, J R

    1987-01-01

    A group of patients with progressive retinal degeneration and visual field loss, who meet the basic definition of RP were investigated to better define the relationship of the findings on the ERG with clinical characteristics such as visual field size, presence or absence of scotomata or pseudo-altitudinal defects on visual field, amount of night blindness; and presence or absence of macular or optic nerve changes. These studies suggest that cone-rod degeneration patients of the RP type go through the following stages; early, the ERG has a definite cone-rod pattern where the rod ERG is larger than the cone ERG while both are abnormal. As the disease advances, there is more of a reduction in the scotopic ERG such that both the rod and cone ERGs become nearly equal. As the disease further progresses the ERG becomes non-recordable on single-flash technique, but there is good residual rod function and the final rod threshold remains good until the visual field is reduced, typically less than 10 degrees with the IV-4 isopter. Finally with advanced disease the patient becomes night blind and generally becomes very difficult to distinguished from patients who have advanced rod-cone degeneration. While it may seem logical to find that visual field size correlates with various ERG parameters; this has not been as consistent a finding in patients with rod-cone degeneration in the author's experience. The analysis shows several new pieces of information about visual field changes in cone-rod degeneration; enlarged blind spots are seen earlier in cases which have recordable cone-rod patterns (group I), and pseudo-altitudinal changes are more likely to occur in autosomal recessive patients. Patients with macular lesions and central scotomata had larger amplitudes than patients with normal appearing maculae and no central scotomata. Patients with temporal optic atrophy had an earlier onset of symptoms and significant correlation with both photopic a- and b-waves and bright flash dark-adapted b-wave implicit times. Macular edema was present in patients with smaller amplitudes and longer implicit times which suggest that these patients have greater panretinal dysfunction which correlates with the macular alterations. Pigment changes within the classes of none, mild, and moderate deposition correlated with ERG parameters; there was more pigment in cases where ERG parameters were worse. However, cases with heavy pigmentation did not correlate with the ERG degree of severity, suggesting that independent factors influence the amount of pigmentation that occurs in these cases. PMID:3447340

  11. 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

  12. Synthesis and RNA polymerase incorporation of the degenerate ribonucleotide analogue rPTP.

    PubMed Central

    Moriyama, K; Negishi, K; Briggs, M S; Smith, C L; Hill, F; Churcher, M J; Brown, D M; Loakes, D

    1998-01-01

    The synthesis and enzymatic incorporation into RNA of the hydrogen bond degenerate nucleoside analogue 6-(beta-d-ribofuranosyl)-3, 4-dihydro-8H-pyrimido[4,5-c]-[1,2]oxazin-7-one (P) is described. The 5'-triphosphate of this analogue is readily incorporated by T3, T7 and SP6 RNA polymerases into RNA transcripts, being best incorporated in place of UTP, but also in place of CTP. When all the uridine residues in an HIV-1 TAR RNA transcript are replaced by P the transcript has similar characteristics to the wild-type TAR RNA, as demonstrated by similar melting temperatures and CD spectra. The P-substituted TAR transcript binds to the Tat peptide ADP-1 with only 4-fold lowered efficiency compared with wild-type TAR. PMID:9547267

  13. Genetics, Pregnancy, and Aortic Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Jeffrey D; Hsieh, Cindy M; Schenning, Ryan C; Slater, Matthew S; Landry, Gregory J; Moneta, Gregory L; Mitchell, Erica L

    2016-01-01

    We present a case of familial thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection (FTAAD) in a pregnant female. FTAAD is an inherited, nonsyndromic aortopathy resulting from several genetic mutations critical to aortic wall integrity have been identified. One such mutation is the myosin heavy chain gene (MYH11) which is responsible for 1-2% of all FTAAD cases. This mutation results in aortic medial degeneration, loss of elastin, and reticulin fiber fragmentation predisposing to TAAD. Aortic disease is more aggressive during pregnancy as a result of increased wall stress from hyperdynamic cardiovascular changes and estrogen-induced aortic media degeneration. Our patient was a 29-year-old G2P1 woman at 26 weeks gestation presenting with abdominal and back pain. Work-up revealed a 6.4-cm ascending aortic aneurysm with a type A dissection extending into all arch vessels, aortic coarctation at the isthmus, and a separate focal type B aortic dissection with visceral involvement. Surgical management included concomitant cesarean section with delivery of a live premature infant, tubal ligation, ascending aortic replacement with reconstruction of the arch vessels, and aortic valve resuspension. The type B dissection was managed medically without complication. This is the first reported case of aortic dissection in a patient with FTAAD/MYH11 mutation and pregnancy. This case highlights that FTAAD and pregnancy cause aortic degeneration via distinct mechanisms and that hyperdynamics of pregnancy increase aortic wall stress. Management of pregnancy associated with aortopathy requires early transfer to a tertiary center, careful investigation to identify familial aortopathy, fetal monitoring, and a multidisciplinary team approach. PMID:26381327

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Single-site Baseline and Short-term Outcomes of Clinical Characteristics and Life Quality Evaluation of Chinese Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration Patients in Routine Clinical Practice

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Li-Li; Liu, Wen-Jia; Liu, Hai-Yun; Xu, Xun

    2015-01-01

    Background: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss among the older population. In China, treatment of age-related ocular diseases is becoming a priority in eye care services. This study was to investigate the clinical characteristics and quality of life of Chinese patients with wet AMD and current treatment types, to evaluate short-term gains in different treatments, and to investigate associations between visual function and vision-related quality of life (VRQoL). Methods: A prospective, observational, noninterventional study was conducted. Basic data were collected from patients with clinical diagnoses of wet AMD before clinical assessments at baseline. VRQoL was measured with the Chinese version of the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire-25 (NEI VFQ-25). Correlations of the NEI VFQ-25 subscale scores with best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and between-group differences were analyzed. Results: A total of 80 wet AMD patients were enrolled, with the mean age of 68.40 years. About one-quarter of wet AMD patients received intravitreal (IVT) ranibizumab treatment, and 67% of them were treated on a pro re nata basis. The visual acuity of patients treated with IVT ranibizumab at month 3 after treatment was significantly increased, whereas patients treated with traditional Chinese medicine achieved no significant improvement. Cronbach's α for the NEI VFQ-25 subscales ranged from 0.697 to 0.843. Eight subscale and overall composite scores were moderately correlated with the BCVA of the better-seeing eye. Significant differences in the overall NEI VFQ-25 scores and other subscales were observed between patients with BCVA in the better-seeing eye of less than 50 letters and the others. Conclusions: Patients treated with IVT ranibizumab experienced better vision improvement at short-term follow-up. The Chinese version of the NEI VFQ-25 is a valid and reliable tool for assessing the VRQoL of Chinese wet AMD patients. PMID:25947396

  18. Degenerate oligonucleotide-primed PCR: general amplification of target DNA by a single degenerate primer.

    PubMed

    Telenius, H; Carter, N P; Bebb, C E; Nordenskjöld, M; Ponder, B A; Tunnacliffe, A

    1992-07-01

    A version of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), termed degenerate oligonucleotide-primed PCR (DOP-PCR), which employs oligonucleotides of partially degenerate sequence, has been developed for genome mapping studies. This degeneracy, together with a PCR protocol utilizing a low initial annealing temperature, ensures priming from multiple (e.g., approximately 10(6) in human) evenly dispersed sites within a given genome. Furthermore, as efficient amplification is achieved from the genomes of all species tested using the same primer, the method appears to be species-independent. Thus, for the general amplification of target DNA, DOP-PCR has advantages over interspersed repetitive sequence PCR (IRS-PCR), which relies on the appropriate positioning of species-specific repeat elements. In conjunction with chromosome flow sorting, DOP-PCR has been applied to the characterization of abnormal chromosomes and also to the cloning of new markers for specific chromosome regions. DOP-PCR therefore represents a rapid, efficient, and species-independent technique for general DNA amplification. PMID:1639399

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Degenerate doping of metallic anodes

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  2. Pollen Tube Discharge Completes the Process of Synergid Degeneration That Is Initiated by Pollen Tube-Synergid Interaction in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Advances in the management of macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Singer, Michael

    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

  6. Degeneration of Biogenic Superparamagnetic Magnetite

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Dr. Yi-Liang; Pfiffner, Susan M.; Dyar, Dr. M Darby; Vali, Dr. Hojatolah; Konhauser, Dr, Kurt; Cole, David R; Rondinone, Adam Justin; Phelps, Tommy Joe

    2009-01-01

    ABSTRACT. Magnetite crystals precipitated as a consequence of Fe(III) reduction by Shewanella algae BrY after 265 hours incubation and 5-year storage were investigated with transmission electron microscopy, M ssbauer spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. The magnetite crystals were typically superparamagnetic with an approximate size of 13 nm. The lattice constants of the 265 hour and 5-year crystals are 8.4164 and 8.3774 , respectively. The M ssbauer spectra indicated that the 265 hour magnetite had excess Fe(II) in its crystal-chemistry (Fe3+1.9901Fe2+ 1.0149O4) but the 5-year magnetite was Fe(II)-deficient in stoichiometry (Fe3+2.3875Fe2+0.4188O4). Such crystal-hemical changes may be indicative of the degeneration of superparamagnetic magnetite through the aqueous oxidization of Fe(II) anaerobically, and the concomitant oxidation of the organic phases(fatty acid methyl esters) that were present during the initial formation of the magnetite. The observation of a corona structure on the aged magnetite corroborates the oxidation of Fe(II) on the outer layers of magnetite crystals. These results suggest that there may be a possible link between the enzymatic activity of the bacteria and the stability of Fe(II)-excess magnetite, which may help explain why stable nano-magnetite grains are seldom preserved in natural environments.

  7. Degenerate primer design for highly variable genomes.

    PubMed

    Li, Kelvin; Shrivastava, Susmita; Stockwell, Timothy B

    2015-01-01

    The application of degenerate PCR primers towards target amplification and sequencing is a useful technique when a population of organisms under investigation is evolving rapidly, or is highly diverse. Degenerate bases in these primers are specified with ambiguity codes that represent alternative nucleotide configurations. Degenerate PCR primers allow the simultaneous amplification of a heterogeneous population by providing a mixture of PCR primers each of which anneal to an alternative genotype found in the isolated sample. However, as the number of degenerate bases specified in a pair of primers rises, the likelihood of amplifying unwanted alternative products also increases. These alternative products may confound downstream data analyses if their levels begin to obfuscate the desired PCR products. This chapter describes a set of computational methodologies that may be used to minimize the degeneracy of designed primers, while still maximizing the proportion of genotypes assayed in the targeted population. PMID:25697654

  8. What Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

    MedlinePlus

    ... Vision Around Blind Spot Sep 29, 2015 Could Stem Cells Cure Blindness Caused by Macular Degeneration? Sep 29, ... Contact Us About the Academy Jobs at the Academy Financial Relationships with Industry Medical ...

  9. I-degenerate pseudo-Riemannian metrics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hervik, Sigbjrn; Haarr, Anders; Yamamoto, Kei

    2015-12-01

    In this paper we study pseudo-Riemannian spaces with a degenerate curvature structure i.e.there exists a continuous family of metrics having identical polynomial curvature invariants. We approach this problem by utilising an idea coming from invariant theory. This involves the existence of a boost which is assumed to extend to a neighbourhood. This approach proves to be very fruitful: It produces a class of metrics containing all known examples of I-degenerate metrics. To date, only Kundt and Walker metrics have been given, however, our study gives a plethora of examples showing that I-degenerate metrics extend beyond the Kundt and Walker examples. The approach also gives a useful criterion for a metric to be I-degenerate. Specifically, we use this to study the subclass of VSI and CSI metrics (i.e.,spaces where polynomial curvature invariants are all vanishing or constants, respectively).

  10. 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

  11. 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 and reliabilities. PMID:27123023

  12. Neural remodeling in retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Marc, Robert E; Jones, Bryan W; Watt, Carl B; Strettoi, Enrica

    2003-09-01

    Mammalian retinal degenerations initiated by gene defects in rods, cones or the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) often trigger loss of the sensory retina, effectively leaving the neural retina deafferented. The neural retina responds to this challenge by remodeling, first by subtle changes in neuronal structure and later by large-scale reorganization. Retinal degenerations in the mammalian retina generally progress through three phases. Phase 1 initiates with expression of a primary insult, followed by phase 2 photoreceptor death that ablates the sensory retina via initial photoreceptor stress, phenotype deconstruction, irreversible stress and cell death, including bystander effects or loss of trophic support. The loss of cones heralds phase 3: a protracted period of global remodeling of the remnant neural retina. Remodeling resembles the responses of many CNS assemblies to deafferentation or trauma, and includes neuronal cell death, neuronal and glial migration, elaboration of new neurites and synapses, rewiring of retinal circuits, glial hypertrophy and the evolution of a fibrotic glial seal that isolates the remnant neural retina from the surviving RPE and choroid. In early phase 2, stressed photoreceptors sprout anomalous neurites that often reach the inner plexiform and ganglion cell layers. As death of rods and cones progresses, bipolar and horizontal cells are deafferented and retract most of their dendrites. Horizontal cells develop anomalous axonal processes and dendritic stalks that enter the inner plexiform layer. Dendrite truncation in rod bipolar cells is accompanied by revision of their macromolecular phenotype, including the loss of functioning mGluR6 transduction. After ablation of the sensory retina, Müller cells increase intermediate filament synthesis, forming a dense fibrotic layer in the remnant subretinal space. This layer invests the remnant retina and seals it from access via the choroidal route. Evidence of bipolar cell death begins in phase 1 or 2 in some animal models, but depletion of all neuronal classes is evident in phase 3. As remodeling progresses over months and years, more neurons are lost and patches of the ganglion cell layer can become depleted. Some survivor neurons of all classes elaborate new neurites, many of which form fascicles that travel hundreds of microns through the retina, often beneath the distal glial seal. These and other processes form new synaptic microneuromas in the remnant inner nuclear layer as well as cryptic connections throughout the retina. Remodeling activity peaks at mid-phase 3, where neuronal somas actively migrate on glial surfaces. Some amacrine and bipolar cells move into the former ganglion cell layer while other amacrine cells are everted through the inner nuclear layer to the glial seal. Remodeled retinas engage in anomalous self-signaling via rewired circuits that might not support vision even if they could be driven anew by cellular or bionic agents. We propose that survivor neurons actively seek excitation as sources of homeostatic Ca(2+) fluxes. In late phase 3, neuron loss continues and the retina becomes increasingly glial in composition. Retinal remodeling is not plasticity, but represents the invocation of mechanisms resembling developmental and CNS plasticities. Together, neuronal remodeling and the formation of the glial seal may abrogate many cellular and bionic rescue strategies. However, survivor neurons appear to be stable, healthy, active cells and given the evidence of their reactivity to deafferentation, it may be possible to influence their emergent rewiring and migration habits. PMID:12892644

  13. On the degeneration of rat neuromuscular junctions after nerve section

    PubMed Central

    Miledi, R.; Slater, C. R.

    1970-01-01

    1. A study was made of functional and structural changes during degeneration of end-plates in the rat diaphragm after phrenic nerve section at two levels. 2. For 8-10 hr after cutting the nerve in the neck, all end-plates retain the ability to transmit impulses. During the following 8-10 hr, an increasing number of end-plates lose this ability so that after a total of about 20 hr, no end-plates can transmit. 3. Transmission failure occurs abruptly at most end-plates. This failure is usually accompanied by cessation of spontaneous miniature end-plate potentials (min.e.p.p.s), though in a few cases min.e.p.p.s persist after junctional transmission has failed. Several degenerating junctions were observed where the frequency of min.e.p.p.s was very low, suggesting an intermediate stage in min.e.p.p. failure. 4. The time of junctional failure depends on the length of the degenerating nerve stump. For each additional centimetre of nerve, failure is delayed about 45 min. 5. Changes in ultrastructure of nerve endings closely parallel those of function. For about 8-12 hr after cutting the nerve, nearly all end-plates appear normal. During the period when transmission is failing, some end-plates are clearly undergoing structural break-down. By the time functional failure is complete, all end-plates appear grossly abnormal. 6. During degeneration, the contents of the axoplasm undergo disruption and the nerve terminal breaks up into small fragments. In contrast, the Schwann cell appears to become very active and its processes extend into the synaptic cleft to surround fragments of the nerve terminal. Ultimately, the Schwann cell completely replaces the axon at the end-plate. 7. Increasing the length of the peripheral nerve stump delays the onset of structural break-down. Disruption of end-plates near the site of nerve entry into the muscle occurs before those farther away. 8. It is suggested that end-plate degeneration is triggered by a signal which passes from the site of injury to the nerve terminal. The duration of the period after transection when end-plates appear to be normal would then reflect the time required for this signal to travel the length of the isolated nerve stump. ImagesPlate 4Plate 5Plate 6Plate 7Plate 1Plate 2Plate 3 PMID:5499034

  14. Age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Lily K; Eaton, Angie

    2013-08-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly, and the prevalence of the disease increases exponentially with every decade after age 50 years. It is a multifactorial disease involving a complex interplay of genetic, environmental, metabolic, and functional factors. Besides smoking, hypertension, obesity, and certain dietary habits, a growing body of evidence indicates that inflammation and the immune system may play a key role in the development of the disease. AMD may progress from the early form to the intermediate form and then to the advanced form, where two subtypes exist: the nonneovascular (dry) type and the neovascular (wet) type. The results from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study have shown that for the nonneovascular type of AMD, supplementation with high-dose antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E, and β-carotene) and zinc is recommended for those with the intermediate form of AMD in one or both eyes or with advanced AMD or vision loss due to AMD in one eye. As for the neovascular type of the advanced AMD, the current standard of therapy is intravitreal injections of vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors. In addition, lifestyle and dietary modifications including improved physical activity, reduced daily sodium intake, and reduced intake of solid fats, added sugars, cholesterol, and refined grain foods are recommended. To date, no study has demonstrated that AMD can be cured or effectively prevented. Clearly, more research is needed to fully understand the pathophysiology as well as to develop prevention and treatment strategies for this devastating disease. PMID:23580402

  15. Reduced Cytosolic Protein Synthesis Suppresses Mitochondrial Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaowen; Zuo, Xiaoming; Kucejova, Blanka; Chen, Xin Jie

    2009-01-01

    Mitochondrial function degenerates during aging and in aging-related neuromuscular degenerative diseases, which leads to the physiological decline of the cell1. Factors that can delay the degenerative process are actively sought after. Here, we show that reduced cytosolic protein synthesis is a robust cellular strategy that suppresses aging-related mitochondrial degeneration. We modelled the adult-or later-onset degenerative disease, autosomal dominant Progressive External Ophthalmoplegia (adPEO), by introducing the A128P mutation into the yeast adenine nucleotide translocase, Aac2p. The aac2A128P allele dominantly induces aging-dependent mitochondrial degeneration and phenotypically tractable degenerative cell death independent of its ADP/ATP exchange activity. Mitochondrial degeneration is suppressed by lifespan-extending nutritional interventions and by 8 longevity mutations, which are all known to reduce cytosolic protein synthesis. These longevity interventions also independently suppress aging-related mitochondrial degeneration in the pro-aging prohibitin mutants. The aac2A128P mutant has reduced mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm) and is synthetically lethal to low Δψm conditions, including the loss of prohibitin. Mitochondrial degeneration is accelerated by defects in protein turnover on the inner membrane and is suppressed by cycloheximide, a specific inhibitor of cytosolic ribosomes. Reduced cytosolic protein synthesis suppresses membrane depolarization and defects in mitochondrial gene expression in aac2A128P cells. Our finding thus provides a link between protein homeostasis (proteostasis), cellular bioenergetics and mitochondrial maintenance during aging. PMID:19160490

  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. 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

  18. Peripheral glia have a pivotal role in the initial response to axon degeneration of peripheral sensory neurons in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Pope, Holly M; Voigt, Mark M

    2014-01-01

    Axon degeneration is a feature of many peripheral neuropathies. Understanding the organismal response to this degeneration may aid in identifying new therapeutic targets for treatment. Using a transgenic zebrafish line expressing a bacterial nitroreductase (Ntr)/mCherry fusion protein in the peripheral sensory neurons of the V, VII, IX, and X cranial nerves, we were able to induce and visualize the pathology of axon degeneration in vivo. Exposure of 4 days post fertilization Ntr larvae to the prodrug metronidazole (Met), which Ntr metabolizes into cytotoxic metabolites, resulted in dose-dependent cell death and axon degeneration. This was limited to the Ntr-expressing sensory neurons, as neighboring glia and motor axons were unaffected. Cell death was rapid, becoming apparent 3-4 hours after Met treatment, and was followed by phagocytosis of soma and axon debris by cells within the nerves and ganglia beginning at 4-5 hours of exposure. Although neutrophils appear to be activated in response to the degenerating neurons, they did not accumulate at the sites of degeneration. In contrast, macrophages were found to be attracted to the sites of the degenerating axons, where they phagocytosed debris. We demonstrated that peripheral glia are critical for both the phagocytosis and inflammatory response to degenerating neurons: mutants that lack all peripheral glia (foxD3-/-; Ntr) exhibit a much reduced reaction to axonal degeneration, resulting in a dramatic decrease in the clearance of debris, and impaired macrophage recruitment. Overall, these results show that this zebrafish model of peripheral sensory axon degeneration exhibits many aspects common to peripheral neuropathies and that peripheral glia play an important role in the initial response to this process. PMID:25058656

  19. 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 growth factors (VEGF), have been used to prevent the neovascularization that accompanies AMD and DR resulting in the amelioration of vision in a significant number of patients. In animal models it has been shown that transfection of RPE cells with the gene for PEDF and other growth factors can prevent or slow degeneration. A limited number of studies in humans have also shown that transfection of RPE cells in vivo with the gene for PEDF is effective in preventing degeneration and restore vision. Most of these studies have used virally mediated gene delivery with all its accompanying side effects and have not been widely used. New techniques using non-viral protocols that allow efficient delivery and permanent integration of the transgene into the host cell genome offer novel opportunities for effective treatment of retinal degenerations. PMID:23372421

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Histone Deacetylase: Therapeutic Targets in Retinal Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Daly, Conor; Yin, Jun; Kennedy, Breandán N

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies report that retinitis pigmentosa (RP) patients treated with the histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) valproic acid (VPA) present with improved visual fields and delayed vision loss. However, other studies report poor efficacy and safety of HDACi in other cohorts of retinal degeneration patients. Furthermore, the molecular mechanisms by which HDACi can improve visual function is unknown, albeit HDACi can attenuate pro-apoptotic stimuli and induce expression of neuroprotective factors. Thus, further analysis of HDACi is warranted in pre-clinical models of retinal degeneration including zebrafish. Analysis of HDAC expression in developing zebrafish reveals diverse temporal expression patterns during development and maturation of visual function. PMID:26427446

  6. Alzheimer neurofibrillary degeneration: significance, etiopathogenesis, therapeutics and prevention

    PubMed Central

    Iqbal, K; Grundke-Iqbal, I

    2008-01-01

    Abstract Alzheimer disease (AD) is multi-factorial and heterogeneous. Independent of the aetiology, this disease is characterized clinically by chronic and progressive dementia and histopathologically by neurofibrillary degeneration of abnormally hyperphosphorylated tau seen as intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles, neuropil threads and dystrophic neurites, and by neuritic (senile) plaques of β-amyloid. The neurofibrillary degeneration is apparently required for the clinical expression of AD, and in related tauopathies it leads to dementia in the absence of amyloid plaques. While normal tau promotes assembly and stabilizes microtubules, the abnormally hyperphosphorylated tau sequesters normal tau, MAP1 and MAP2, and disrupts microtubules. The abnormal hyperphosphorylation of tau also promotes its self-assembly into tangles of paired helical and or straight filaments. Tau is phosphorylated by a number of protein kinases. Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) and cyclin dependent protein kinase 5 (cdk5) are among the kinases most implicated in the abnormal hyperphosphorylation of tau. Among the phosphatases which regulate the phosphorylation of tau, protein phosphatase-2A (PP-2A), the activity of which is down-regulated in AD brain, is by far the major enzyme. The inhibition of abnormal hyperphosphorylation of tau is one of the most promising therapeutic targets for the development of disease modifying drugs. A great advantage of inhibiting neurofibrillary degeneration is that it can be monitored by evaluating the levels of total tau and tau phosphorylated at various known abnormally hyperphosphorylated sites in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients, obtained by lumbar puncture. There are at least five subgroups of AD, each is probably caused by a different etiopathogenic mechanism. The AD subgroup identification of patients can help increase the success of clinical trials and the development of specific and potent disease modifying drugs. PMID:18194444

  7. 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,…

  8. 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…

  9. Tenascin-C and human tendon degeneration.

    PubMed

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

    1996-09-01

    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. PMID:8780397

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Retinal remodeling in inherited photoreceptor degenerations.

    PubMed

    Marc, Robert E; Jones, Bryan W

    2003-10-01

    Photoreceptor degenerations initiated in rods or the retinal pigmented epithelium usually evoke secondary cone death and sensory deafferentation of the surviving neural retina. In the mature central nervous system, deafferentation evokes atrophy and connective re-patterning. It has been assumed that the neural retina does not remodel, and that it is a passive survivor. Screening of advanced stages of human and rodent retinal degenerations with computational molecular phenotyping has exposed a prolonged period of aggressive negative remodeling in which neurons migrate along aberrant glial columns and seals, restructuring the adult neural retina (1). Many neurons die, but survivors rewire the remnant inner plexiform layer (IPL), forming thousands of novel ectopic microneuromas in the remnant inner nuclear layer (INL). Bipolar and amacrine cells engage in new circuits that are most likely corruptive. Remodeling in human and rodent retinas emerges regardless of the molecular defects that initially trigger retinal degenerations. Although remodeling may constrain therapeutic intervals for molecular, cellular, or bionic rescue, the exposure of intrinsic retinal remodeling by the removal of sensory control in retinal degenerations suggests that neuronal organization in the normal retina may be more plastic than previously believed. PMID:14576452

  13. Spectroscopic observations of cool degenerate star candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hintzen, P.

    1986-08-01

    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.

  14. Exploring Nonconvex, Crossed and Degenerate Polygons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Contreras, Jose N.

    2004-01-01

    An exploration of nonconvex, crossed, and degenerate polygons (NCCDPs) are described with the help of examples with pedagogical tips and recommendations that are found useful when teaching the mathematical process of extending geometric patterns to NCCDPs. The study concludes that investigating such extensions with interactive geometry software

  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. Roles of metalloproteinase-3 and aggrecanase 1 and 2 in aggrecan cleavage during human meniscus degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Ishihara, Gintaro; Kojima, Toshihisa; Saito, Yoshimichi; Ishiguro, Naoki

    2009-01-01

    The meniscus plays important roles in proper knee function. It was recently reported that meniscus degeneration was associated with progression of osteoarthritis (OA). However, little is known about the effects of degradative enzymes on the meniscus matrix, primarily collagen type I and aggrecan, during OA. This study examined the effects of metalloproteinase (MMP) and aggrecanase on the destruction of aggrecan in the human meniscus. Eighteen trimmed meniscus portions were collected during partial menisectomy. Specimens were categorized into 3 groups according to the modified Copenhaver classification based on the degrees of damage to collagen bundles. Histological and immunohistochemical studies were conducted. Sections were stained with antibodies against MMP-3, aggrecanase 1 and 2, and their specific cleavage sites of aggrecan. Their localizations and staining ratios in the inner superficial and outer deep zones of the meniscus were determined separately. The population of chondrocyte-like cells increased with degeneration of the meniscus. MMP-3 and aggrecanase 1 and 2 are primarily expressed and activated in chondrocyte-like cells. MMP-3 expression and activation increased with degeneration and the population of chondrocyte-like cells. Changes in aggrecanase 1 expression with the degeneration were not clearly detected, whereas the expression of aggrecanase 2 was associated with progression of degeneration. MMP-3 and aggrecanases, particularly aggrecanase 2, expressed in chondrocyte-like cells could play important roles in aggrecan degradation in the human meniscus. PMID:21808676

  17. High-Dose Statins May Ease Macular Degeneration for Some

    MedlinePlus

    ... fullstory_157084.html High-Dose Statins May Ease Macular Degeneration for Some The 'dry' form of the eye ... help people with a common eye disease called macular degeneration, a small study suggests. In the early stage ...

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Iron homeostasis and toxicity in retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    He, Xining; Hahn, Paul; Iacovelli, Jared; Wong, Robert; King, Chih; Bhisitkul, Robert; Massaro-Giordano, Mina; Dunaief, Joshua L.

    2007-01-01

    Iron is essential for many metabolic processes but can also cause damage. As a potent generator of hydroxyl radical, the most reactive of the free radicals, iron can cause considerable oxidative stress. Since iron is absorbed through diet but not excreted except through menstruation, total body iron levels build up with age. Macular iron levels increase with age, in both men and women. This iron has the potential to contribute to retinal degeneration. Here we present an overview of the evidence suggesting that iron may contribute to retinal degenerations. Intraocular iron foreign bodies cause retinal degeneration. Retinal iron buildup resulting from hereditary iron homeostasis disorders aceruloplasminemia, Friedreich’s Ataxia, and panthothenate kinase associated neurodegeneration cause retinal degeneration. Mice with targeted mutation of the iron exporter ceruloplasmin have age-dependent retinal iron overload and a resulting retinal degeneration with features of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Post mortem retinas from patients with AMD have more iron and the iron carrier transferrin than age- matched controls. Over the past ten years much has been learned about the intricate network of proteins involved in iron handling. Many of these, including transferrin, transferrin receptor, divalent metal transporter 1, ferritin, ferroportin, ceruloplasmin, hephaestin, iron regulatory protein, and histocompatibility leukocyte antigen class I-like protein involved in iron homeostasis (HFE) have been found in the retina. Some of these proteins have been found in the cornea and lens as well. Levels of the iron carrier transferrin are high in the aqueous and vitreous humors. The functions of these proteins in other tissues, combined with studies on cultured ocular tissues, genetically engineered mice, and eye exams on patients with hereditary iron diseases provide clues regarding their ocular functions. Iron may play a role in a broad range of ocular diseases, including glaucoma, cataract, AMD, and conditions causing intraocular hemorrhage. While iron deficiency must be prevented, the therapeutic potential of limiting iron induced ocular oxidative damage is high. Systemic, local, or topical iron chelation with an expanding repertoire of drugs has clinical potential. PMID:17921041

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Degenerate spacetimes in first order gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaul, Romesh K.; Sengupta, Sandipan

    2016-04-01

    We present a systematic framework to obtain the most general solutions of the equations of motion in first order gravity theory with degenerate tetrads. There are many possible solutions. Generically, these exhibit nonvanishing torsion even in the absence of any matter coupling. These solutions are shown to contain a special set of eight configurations which are associated with the homogeneous model three-geometries of Thurston.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Confirmation of Substellar and Degenerate Companion Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patience, Jennifer; De Rosa, Robert; Vigan, Arthur

    2013-02-01

    With the AO-equipped NIRI instrument, we propose to obtain follow-up confirmation imaging of candidate substellar and degenerate companions to young, nearby A-stars discovered as a part of the two large-scale surveys: the IDPS (International Deep Planet Search) and VAST (Volume-limited A-STar) Surveys. The candidate substellar companions have masses covering the planet/brown dwarf transition (7 - 45 45 Mjup) at well-determined young ages between 30 and 400 Myrs and confirmed objects will serve as important benchmarks against which theoretical evolutionary and atmospheric models can be tested. Any confirmed substellar companions would cover either important intermediate ages or particularly low masses compared to isolated field brown dwarfs. The final target has an unusual pair of candidate co-moving objects that are potential white dwarfs, and would present a unique system of a quadruple composed of an A-star binary surrounded by a circumbinary debris disk with a wide pair of exceptionally young white dwarfs. This degenerate system would be another example of a Sirius B-type system, though unusual in containing two degenerate objects and a debris disk. In summary, the proposed observations are the critical follow-up measurements require to: estimate the frequency of wide orbit planetary mass and brown dwarf companions, and confirm the nature of a unique young quadruple system with a pair of white dwarfs.

  10. 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.

  11. Exome Sequencing in Familial Corticobasal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Fekete, Robert; Bainbridge, Matthew; Baizabal-Carvallo, Jose Fidel; Rivera, Andreana; Miller, Bradley; Du, Peicheng; Kholodovich, Vladyslav; Powell, Suzanne; Ondo, William

    2014-01-01

    Background Corticobasal degeneration (CBD) is a neurodegenerative, sporadic disorder of unknown cause. Few familial cases have been described. Objective We aim to characterize the clinical, imaging, pathological and genetic features of two familial cases of CBD. Methods We describe two first cousins with CBD associated with atypical MRI findings. We performed exome sequencing in both subjects and in an unaffected first cousin of similar age. Results The cases include a 79-year-old woman and a 72-year-old man of Native American and British origin. The onset of the neurological manifestations was 74 and 68 years respectively. Both patients presented with a combination of asymmetric parkinsonism, apraxia, myoclonic tremor, cortical sensory syndrome, and gait disturbance. The female subject developed left side fixed dystonia. The manifestations were unresponsive to high doses of levodopa in both cases. Extensive bilateral T1-W hyperintensities and T2-W hypointensities in basal ganglia and thalamus were observed in the female patient; whereas these findings were more subtle in the male subject. Postmortem examination of both patients was consistent with corticobasal degeneration; the female patient had additional findings consistent with mild Alzheimer’s disease. No Lewy bodies were found in either case. Exome sequencing showed mutations leading to possible structural changes in MRS2 and ZHX2 genes, which appear to have the same upstream regulator miR-4277. Conclusions Corticobasal degeneration can have a familial presentation; the role of MRS2 and ZHX2 gene products in CBD should be further investigated. PMID:23867865

  12. Retinoid receptors trigger neuritogenesis in retinal degenerations

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Yanhua; Jones, Bryan W.; Liu, Aihua; Tucker, James F.; Rapp, Kevin; Luo, Ling; Baehr, Wolfgang; Bernstein, Paul S.; Watt, Carl B.; Yang, Jia-Hui; Shaw, Marguerite V.; Marc, Robert E.

    2012-01-01

    Anomalous neuritogenesis is a hallmark of neurodegenerative disorders, including retinal degenerations, epilepsy, and Alzheimer's disease. The neuritogenesis processes result in a partial reinnervation, new circuitry, and functional changes within the deafferented retina and brain regions. Using the light-induced retinal degeneration (LIRD) mouse model, which provides a unique platform for exploring the mechanisms underlying neuritogenesis, we found that retinoid X receptors (RXRs) control neuritogenesis. LIRD rapidly triggered retinal neuron neuritogenesis and up-regulated several key elements of retinoic acid (RA) signaling, including retinoid X receptors (RXRs). Exogenous RA initiated neuritogenesis in normal adult retinas and primary retinal cultures and exacerbated it in LIRD retinas. However, LIRD-induced neuritogenesis was partly attenuated in retinol dehydrogenase knockout (Rdh12−/−) mice and by aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitors. We further found that LIRD rapidly increased the expression of glutamate receptor 2 and β Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (βCaMKII). Pulldown assays demonstrated interaction between βCaMKII and RXRs, suggesting that CaMKII pathway regulates the activities of RXRs. RXR antagonists completely prevented and RXR agonists were more effective than RA in inducing neuritogenesis. Thus, RXRs are in the final common path and may be therapeutic targets to attenuate retinal remodeling and facilitate global intervention methods in blinding diseases and other neurodegenerative disorders.—Lin, Y., Jones, B. W., Liu, A., Tucker, J. F., Rapp, K., Luo, L., Baehr, W., Bernstein, P. S., Watt, C. B., Yang, J.-H., Shaw, M. V., Marc, R. E. Retinoid receptors trigger neuritogenesis in retinal degenerations. PMID:21940995

  13. 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.

  14. Cerebellar Degeneration Associated with Sjgren's Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Mi Jung; Lee, Myoung Chong; Lee, Jae-Hong

    2012-01-01

    Background Neurologic manifestations of primary Sjgren's syndrome (PSS) have been reported to vary from sensory polyneuropathy to encephalopathy or psychiatric problems. However, marked cerebellar degeneration associated with PSS has rarely been reported. Case Report We describe a patient with Sjgren's syndrome who exhibited rapidly progressive cerebellar ataxia, nystagmus, cognitive decline, and psychiatric problems. Brain magnetic resonance imaging revealed marked atrophy of the cerebellum, and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron-emission tomography demonstrated glucose hypometabolism of the cerebellum. Conclusions Our PSS patient exhibited a progressive course of cerebellar syndrome, as evidenced by cerebellar atrophy on serial brain images. PMID:22787501

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Stanniocalcin-1 rescued photoreceptor degeneration in two rat models of inherited retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Roddy, Gavin W; Rosa, Robert H; Oh, Joo Youn; Ylostalo, Joni H; Bartosh, Thomas J; Choi, Hosoon; Lee, Ryang Hwa; Yasumura, Douglas; Ahern, Kelly; Nielsen, Gregory; Matthes, Michael T; LaVail, Matthew M; Prockop, Darwin J

    2012-04-01

    Oxidative stress and photoreceptor apoptosis are prominent features of many forms of retinal degeneration (RD) for which there are currently no effective therapies. We previously observed that mesenchymal stem/stromal cells reduce apoptosis by being activated to secrete stanniocalcin-1 (STC-1), a multifunctional protein that reduces oxidative stress by upregulating mitochondrial uncoupling protein-2 (UCP-2). Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that intravitreal injection of STC-1 can rescue photoreceptors. We first tested STC-1 in the rhodopsin transgenic rat characterized by rapid photoreceptor loss. Intravitreal STC-1 decreased the loss of photoreceptor nuclei and transcripts and resulted in measurable retinal function when none is otherwise present in this rapid degeneration. We then tested STC-1 in the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rat characterized by a slower photoreceptor degeneration. Intravitreal STC-1 reduced the number of pyknotic nuclei in photoreceptors, delayed the loss of photoreceptor transcripts, and improved function of rod photoreceptors. Additionally, STC-1 upregulated UCP-2 and decreased levels of two protein adducts generated by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Microarrays from the two models demonstrated that STC-1 upregulated expression of a similar profile of genes for retinal development and function. The results suggested that intravitreal STC-1 is a promising therapy for various forms of RD including retinitis pigmentosa and atrophic age-related macular degeneration (AMD). PMID:22294148

  20. 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

  1. Disc degeneration-related clinical phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Battié, Michele C; Lazáry, Aron; Fairbank, Jeremy; Eisenstein, Stephen; Heywood, Chris; Brayda-Bruno, Marco; Varga, Péter Pál; McCall, Iain

    2014-06-01

    The phenotype, or observable trait of interest, is at the core of studies identifying associated genetic variants and their functional pathways, as well as diagnostics. Yet, despite remarkable technological developments in genotyping and progress in genetic research, relatively little attention has been paid to the equally important issue of phenotype. This is especially true for disc degeneration-related disorders, and the concept of degenerative disc disease, in particular, where there is little consensus or uniformity of definition. Greater attention and rigour are clearly needed in the development of disc degeneration-related clinical phenotypes if we are to see more rapid advancements in knowledge of this area. When selecting phenotypes, a basic decision is whether to focus directly on the complex clinical phenotype (e.g. the clinical syndrome of spinal stenosis), which is ultimately of interest, or an intermediate phenotype (e.g. dural sac cross-sectional area). While both have advantages, it cannot be assumed that associated gene variants will be similarly relevant to both. Among other considerations are factors influencing phenotype identification, comorbidities that are often present, and measurement issues. Genodisc, the European research consortium project on disc-related clinical pathologies has adopted a strategy that will allow for the careful characterisation and examination of both the complex clinical phenotypes of interest and their components. PMID:23884550

  2. MMPs and ADAMTSs in intervertebral disc degeneration.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wen-Jun; Yu, Xiao-Hua; Wang, Cheng; Yang, Wei; He, Wen-Si; Zhang, Shu-Jun; Yan, Yi-Guo; Zhang, Jian

    2015-08-25

    Intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is the most common diagnosis in patients with low back pain, a leading cause of musculoskeletal disability worldwide. The major components of extracellular matrix (ECM) within the discs are type II collagen (Col II) and aggrecan. Excessive destruction of ECM, especially loss of Col II and aggrecan, plays a critical role in promoting the occurrence and development of IDD. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and a disintegrin and metalloprotease with thrombospondin motifs (ADAMTSs) are primary enzymes that degrade collagens and aggrecan. There is a large and growing body of evidence that many members of MMPs and ADAMTSs are highly expressed in degenerative IVD tissue and cells, and are closely involved in ECM breakdown and the process of disc degeneration. In contrast, targeting these enzymes has shown promise for promoting ECM repair and mitigating disc regeneration. In the current review, after a brief description regarding the biology of MMPs and ADAMTSs, we mainly focus on their expression profiles, roles and therapeutic potential in IDD. A greater understanding of the catabolic pathways involved in IDD will help to develop potential prophylactic or regenerative biological treatment for degenerative disc disease in the future. PMID:26162271

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Retinoid receptors trigger neuritogenesis in retinal degenerations.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yanhua; Jones, Bryan W; Liu, Aihua; Tucker, James F; Rapp, Kevin; Luo, Ling; Baehr, Wolfgang; Bernstein, Paul S; Watt, Carl B; Yang, Jia-Hui; Shaw, Marguerite V; Marc, Robert E

    2012-01-01

    Anomalous neuritogenesis is a hallmark of neurodegenerative disorders, including retinal degenerations, epilepsy, and Alzheimer's disease. The neuritogenesis processes result in a partial reinnervation, new circuitry, and functional changes within the deafferented retina and brain regions. Using the light-induced retinal degeneration (LIRD) mouse model, which provides a unique platform for exploring the mechanisms underlying neuritogenesis, we found that retinoid X receptors (RXRs) control neuritogenesis. LIRD rapidly triggered retinal neuron neuritogenesis and up-regulated several key elements of retinoic acid (RA) signaling, including retinoid X receptors (RXRs). Exogenous RA initiated neuritogenesis in normal adult retinas and primary retinal cultures and exacerbated it in LIRD retinas. However, LIRD-induced neuritogenesis was partly attenuated in retinol dehydrogenase knockout (Rdh12(-/-)) mice and by aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitors. We further found that LIRD rapidly increased the expression of glutamate receptor 2 and β Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (βCaMKII). Pulldown assays demonstrated interaction between βCaMKII and RXRs, suggesting that CaMKII pathway regulates the activities of RXRs. RXR antagonists completely prevented and RXR agonists were more effective than RA in inducing neuritogenesis. Thus, RXRs are in the final common path and may be therapeutic targets to attenuate retinal remodeling and facilitate global intervention methods in blinding diseases and other neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:21940995

  6. Rdge: A Novel Retinal Degeneration Mutation in Drosophila Melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Zars, T.; Hyde, D. R.

    1996-01-01

    We report isolating the Drosophila retinal degeneration E (rdgE) mutation. The hypomorphic rdgE(1) allele causes rapid photoreceptor degeneration in light and a slower rate of degeneration when the flies are raised in constant darkness. The rdgE(1) flies exhibited an electrophysiological light response that decreased with age, coinciding with the degeneration. This suggests that degeneration caused the loss of the light response. We determined that the ninaE (rhodopsin) mutation, but not norpA [phospholipase C (PLC)], slowed the rdgE-dependent degeneration. This was consistent with the light-enhanced degeneration, but revealed that the degeneration is independent of the PLC-mediated phototransduction cascade. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that rdgE(1) photoreceptors exhibited a number of vesicular transport defects including unpacking/vesiculation of rhabdomeres, endocytosis of novel vesicles by photoreceptors, a buildup of very large multivesicular bodies, and an increased amount of rough endoplasmic reticulum. We determined that the rdgE null phenotype is a late embryonic lethality. Therefore, rdgE(+) is required in cells outside of the retina, quite possibly in a large number of neurons. Thus, rdgE may define a mutational class that exhibits both light-enhanced retinal degeneration and a recessive null lethality by perturbing neuronal membrane biosynthesis and/or recycling. PMID:8878679

  7. Congenital Head Nodding and Nystagmus with Cerebrocerebellar Degeneration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalyanaraman, K.; And Others

    1973-01-01

    Reported are three case histories of children with congenital head nodding and nystagmus (rhytmic oscillation of the eyeballs) associated with brain degeneration and motor and mental retardation. (DB)

  8. Interleukin-1? Inhibition Prevents Choroidal Neovascularization and Does Not Exacerbate Photoreceptor Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Lavalette, Sophie; Raoul, William; Houssier, Marianne; Camelo, Serge; Levy, Olivier; Calippe, Bertrand; Jonet, Laurent; Behar-Cohen, Francine; Chemtob, Sylvain; Guillonneau, Xavier; Combadire, Christophe; Sennlaub, Florian

    2011-01-01

    The pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1? has been shown to promote angiogenesis. It can have a neurotoxic or neuroprotective effect. Here, we have studied the expression of IL-1? in vivo and the effect of the IL-1 receptor antagonist on choroidal neovascularization (CNV) and retinal degeneration (RD). IL-1? expression significantly increased after laser injury (real time PCR) in C57BL/6 mice, in the C57BL/6 Cx3cr1?/? model of age-related macular degeneration (enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay), and in albino Wistar rats and albino BALB Cx3cr1+/+ and Cx3cr1?/? mice (enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay) after light injury. IL-1? was localized to Ly6G-positive, Iba1-negative infiltrating neutrophils in laser-induced CNV as determined by IHC. IL-1 receptor antagonist treatment significantly inhibited CNV but did not affect Iba1-positive macrophage recruitment to the injury site. IL-1? significantly increased endothelial cell outgrowth in aortic ring assay independently of vascular endothelial growth factor, suggesting a direct effect of IL-1? on choroidal endothelial cell proliferation. Inhibition of IL-1? in light- and laser-induced RD models did not alter photoreceptor degeneration in Wistar rats, C57BL/6 mice, or RD-prone Cx3cr1?/? mice. Our results suggest that IL-1? inhibition might represent a valuable and safe alternative to inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor in the control of CNV in the context of concomitant photoreceptor degeneration as observed in age-related macular degeneration. PMID:21514452

  9. Differential modulation of retinal degeneration by Ccl2 and Cx3cr1 chemokine signalling.

    PubMed

    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(-/-)/Crb1(Rd8/RD8), Cx3cr1(-/-)/Crb1(Rd8/RD8) and CCl2(-/-)/Cx3cr1(-/-)/Crb1(Rd8/RD8) mice, we observed a differential modulation of the retinal phenotype by genetic background and both chemokine signalling pathways. These findings indicate that CCDKO mice are not a model of AMD, but a model for an inherited retinal degeneration that is differentially modulated by Ccl2-Ccr2 and Cx3cl1-Cx3cr1 chemokine signalling. PMID:22545116

  10. 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 indicate that CCDKO mice are not a model of AMD, but a model for an inherited retinal degeneration that is differentially modulated by Ccl2-Ccr2 and Cx3cl1-Cx3cr1 chemokine signalling. PMID:22545116

  11. Odor identification in frontotemporal lobar degeneration subtypes.

    PubMed

    Magerova, Hana; Vyhnalek, Martin; Laczo, Jan; Andel, Ross; Rektorova, Irena; Kadlecova, Alexandra; Bojar, Martin; Hort, Jakub

    2014-12-01

    Odor identification impairment is a feature of several neurodegenerative disorders. Although neurodegenerative changes in the frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) subtypes involve areas important for olfactory processing, data on olfactory function in these patients are limited. An 18-item, multiple-choice odor identification test developed at our memory clinic, the Motol Hospital smell test, was administered to 9 patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia, 13 patients with the language variants, primary nonfluent aphasia (n = 7) and semantic dementia (n = 6), and 8 patients with progressive supranuclear palsy. Compared to the control group (n = 15), all FTLD subgroups showed significant impairment of odor identification (P < .05). The differences between the FTLD subgroups were not significant. No correlation between odor identification and neuropsychological tests results was found. Our data suggest that odor identification impairment is a symptom common to FTLD syndromes, and it seems to be based on olfactory structure damage rather than cognitive decline. PMID:24939002

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Photoreceptor Transplantation in Late Stage Retinal Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Reh, Thomas A

    2016-04-01

    The recent advances in cell-based therapies for the repair of the pigmented epithelium is providing additional impetus for the translation of photoreceptor transplantation to eventual clinical trials. The prospects for transplantation of photoreceptors as a potential therapy for the treatment of photoreceptor degeneration will depend on successfully addressing many critical issues in preclinical studies. Although most of the studies that have carried out transplants of photoreceptors have primarily used normal mice, there have been recent reports that have also shown some success following transplantation to mouse models of retinitis pigmentosa. However, while these results are promising, there are several key issues that require further investigation in order to better understand the optimum timing for transplantation, given the extensive remodeling of the retina that occurs in late stage disease. PMID:27116664

  17. 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

  18. Conjunctival intraepithelial neoplasia with corneal furrow degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Rishi, Pukhraj; Shields, Carol L; Eagle, Ralph C

    2014-01-01

    A 68-year-old man presented with redness of left eye since six months. Examination revealed bilateral corneal furrow degeneration. Left eye lesion was suggestive of conjunctival squamous cell carcinoma, encroaching on to cornea. Anterior segment optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT) confirmed peripheral corneal thinning. Fluorescein angiography confirmed intrinsic vascularity of lesion. Patient was managed with “no touch” surgical excision, dry keratectomy without alcohol, cryotherapy, and primary closure. Pathologic examination of removed tissue confirmed clinical diagnosis. Management of this particular case required modification of standard treatment protocol. Unlike the alcohol-assisted technique of tumor dissection described, ethyl alcohol was not used for risk of corneal perforation due to underlying peripheral corneal thinning. Likewise, topical steroids were withheld in the post-operative period. Three weeks post-operatively, left eye was healing well. Hence, per-operative usage of absolute alcohol and post-operative use of topical steroids may be best avoided in such eyes. PMID:25116776

  19. Degenerate polygonal tilings in simple animal tissues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hočevar, A.; Ziherl, P.

    2009-07-01

    The salient feature of one-cell-thick epithelia is their en face view, which reveals the polygonal cross section of the close-packed prismatic cells. The physical mechanisms that shape these tissues were hitherto explored using theories based on cell proliferation, which were either entirely topological or included certain morphogenetic forces. But mitosis itself may not be instrumental in molding the tissue. We show that the structure of simple epithelia can be explained by an equilibrium model where energy-degenerate polygons in an entropy-maximizing tiling are described by a single geometric parameter encoding their inflatedness. The two types of tilings found numerically—ordered and disordered—closely reproduce the patterns observed in Drosophila, Hydra, and Xenopus and they generalize earlier theoretical results. Free of a specific cell self-energy, cell-cell interaction, and cell division kinetics, our model provides an insight into the universality of living and inanimate two-dimensional cellular structures.

  20. 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.

  1. Crystallization and collapse in relativistically degenerate matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akbari-Moghanjoughi, M.

    2013-04-01

    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 (MCh?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.

  2. Isolation and characterization of Drosophila retinal degeneration B suppressors.

    PubMed Central

    Paetkau, D W; Elagin, V A; Sendi, L M; Hyde, D R

    1999-01-01

    The Drosophila retinal degeneration B protein (RdgB) is a novel integral membrane phosphatidylinositol transfer protein required for photoreceptor cell viability and light response. We isolated one intragenic suppressor (rdgBsu100) and four autosomal suppressors of the hypomorphic rdgBKS222 retinal degeneration phenotype. The rdgBsu100 suppressor dramatically slowed rdgBKS222's photoreceptor degeneration without significantly improving the electroretinogram (ERG) light response. One autosomal recessive suppressor [su(rdgB)69] significantly slowed rdgBKS222 retinal degeneration and restored the ERG light response near to that of the wild type. Unlike all the previously characterized rdgB suppressors, the four new autosomal suppressors do not affect the ERG light response in rdgB+ flies. Only Su(rdgB)116 exhibited a mutant phenotype in a rdgB+ background, which was smaller R1-6 rhabdomeres. We also examined the extent to which two previously identified visual transduction mutations suppressed rdgB retinal degeneration. Absence of one of the light-activated calcium channels (trpCM) slowed the onset of rdgB-dependent degeneration. However, loss of protein kinase C (inaC209), which blocks photoreceptor cell deactivation, desensitization, and light adaptation, failed to suppress rdgB degeneration under normal light conditions. This demonstrates that TRP activity, but not INAC, is required for rapid rdgB-dependent degeneration. PMID:9927463

  3. Autophagy in axonal degeneration in glaucomatous optic neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Munemasa, Yasunari; Kitaoka, Yasushi

    2015-07-01

    The role of autophagy in retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death is still controversial. Several studies focused on RGC body death, although the axonal degeneration pathway in the optic nerve has not been well documented in spite of evidence that the mechanisms of degeneration of neuronal cell bodies and their axons differ. Axonal degeneration of RGCs is a hallmark of glaucoma, and a pattern of localized retinal nerve fiber layer defects in glaucoma patients indicates that axonal degeneration may precede RGC body death in this condition. As models of preceding axonal degeneration, both the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) injection model and hypertensive glaucoma model may be useful in understanding the mechanism of axonal degeneration of RGCs, and the concept of axonal protection can be an attractive approach to the prevention of neurodegenerative optic nerve disease. Since mitochondria play crucial roles in glaucomatous optic neuropathy and can themselves serve as a part of the autophagosome, it seems that mitochondrial function may alter autophagy machinery. Like other neurodegenerative diseases, optic nerve degeneration may exhibit autophagic flux impairment resulting from elevated intraocular pressure, TNF, traumatic injury, ischemia, oxidative stress, and aging. As a model of aging, we used senescence-accelerated mice to provide new insights. In this review, we attempt to describe the relationship between autophagy and recently reported noteworthy factors including Nmnat, ROCK, and SIRT1 in the degeneration of RGCs and their axons and propose possible mechanisms of axonal protection via modulation of autophagy machinery. PMID:25816798

  4. [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

  5. Weibel instabilities in a completely degenerate electron Fermi gas

    SciTech Connect

    Tsintsadze, Levan N.

    2009-09-15

    Weibel instability in a degenerate Fermi plasma is studied. A new type of quantum Weibel instabilities is disclosed. In particular, a novel oscillatory Weibel instability is found and its growth rate is obtained. A transverse zero sound in a quantum degenerate electron gas, which has no counterpart in the classical consideration, is revealed.

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. Overexpression of Dyrk1A contributes to neurofibrillary degeneration in Down syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Fei; Liang, Zhihou; Wegiel, Jerzy; Hwang, Yu-Wen; Iqbal, Khalid; Grundke-Iqbal, Inge; Ramakrishna, Narayan; Gong, Cheng-Xin

    2008-01-01

    Adults with Down syndrome (DS) develop Alzheimer neurofibrillary degeneration in the brain, but the underlying molecular mechanism is unknown. Here, we report that the presence of an extra copy of the dual-specificity tyrosine-phosphorylated and regulated kinase 1A (Dyrk1A) gene due to trisomy 21 resulted in overexpression of Dyrk1A and elevated kinase activity in DS brain. Dyrk1A phosphorylated tau at several sites, and these sites were hyperphosphorylated in adult DS brains. Phosphorylation of tau by Dyrk1A primed its further phosphorylation by glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β). Dyrk1A-induced tau phosphorylation inhibited tau’s biological activity and promoted its self-aggregation. In Ts65Dn mouse brain, an extra copy of the Dyrk1A gene caused increased expression and activity of Dyrk1A and resulted in increased tau phosphorylation. These findings strongly suggest a novel mechanism by which the overexpression of Dyrk1A in DS brain causes neurofibrillary degeneration via hyperphosphorylating tau. Liu, F., Liang, Z., Wegiel, J., Hwang, Y.-W., Iqbal, K., Grundke-Iqbal, I., Ramakrishna, N., Gong, C.-X. Overexpression of Dyrk1A contributes to neurofibrillary degeneration in Down syndrome. PMID:18509201

  12. 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].

  13. Computer assisted characterization of cervical intervertebral disc degeneration in MRI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michopoulou, S.; Boniatis, I.; Costaridou, L.; Cavouras, D.; Panagiotopoulos, E.; Panayiotakis, G.

    2009-05-01

    A texture-based pattern recognition system is proposed for the automatic characterization of cervical intervertebral disc degeneration from saggital magnetic resonance images of the spine. A case sample of 50 manually segmented ROIs, corresponding to 25 normal and 25 degenerated discs, was analyzed and textural features were generated from each disc-ROI. Student's t-test verified the existence of statistically significant differences between textural feature values generated from normal and degenerated discs. This finding is indicative of disc image texture differentiation due to the degeneration of the disc. The generated features were employed in the design of a pattern recognition system based on the Least Squares Minimum Distance classifier. The system achieved a classification accuracy of 94{%} and it may be of value to physicians for the assessment of cervical intervertebral disc degeneration in MRI.

  14. System degeneration of the thalamus. A clinico-neuropathological study.

    PubMed

    Hori, A; Ikeda, K; Kosaka, K; Shinohara, S; Iizuka, R

    1981-01-01

    A case of essential degeneration of the thalamus is reported. The patient was a 43-year-old Japanese male, who, a few weeks after mild head trauma, suffered from forgetfulness, psychomotor slowing, and Korsakoff's syndrome. Four to five months later, there were optical hallucinations and delirium and he died 19 months after the onset of symptoms. Neuropathological examination revealed symmetrical thalamic degeneration, whose distribution corresponded to phylogenetically younger subunits of the thalamus. In addition, there was olivovermian degeneration. These findings are identical to those of eleven cases hitherto reported. Five of these were Japanese, including the present one. The syndrome thalamic degeneration may now be classified as a special type of "system degeneration". PMID:7032459

  15. 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

  16. EXONIC SINE INSERTION IN STK38L CAUSES CANINE EARLY RETINAL DEGENERATION (erd)

    PubMed Central

    Goldstein, Orly; Kukekova, Anna V.; Aguirre, Gustavo D.; Acland, Gregory M.

    2010-01-01

    Fine mapping followed by candidate gene analysis of erd - a canine hereditary retinal degeneration characterized by aberrant photoreceptor development - established that the disease cosegregates with a SINE insertion in exon 4 of the canine STK38L/NDR2 gene. The mutation removes exon 4 from STK38L transcripts and is predicted to remove much of the N-terminus from the translated protein, including binding sites for S100B and Mob Proteins, part of the protein kinase domain, and a Thr-75 residue critical for autophosphorylation. Although known to have roles in neuronal cell function, the STK38L pathway has not previously been implicated in normal or abnormal photoreceptor development. Loss of STK38L function in erd provides novel potential insights into the role of the STK38L pathway in neuronal and photoreceptor cell function, and suggests that genes in this pathway need to be considered as candidate genes for hereditary retinal degenerations. PMID:20887780

  17. 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.

  18. Differential light-induced responses in sectorial inherited retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-26

    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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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].

  2. 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.

  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. Flavour identification in frontotemporal lobar degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Omar, Rohani; Mahoney, Colin J; Buckley, Aisling H; Warren, Jason D

    2013-01-01

    Background Deficits of flavour processing may be clinically important in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Objective To examine  flavour processing in FTLD. Methods We studied flavour identification prospectively in 25 patients with FTLD (12 with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), eight with semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA), five with non-fluent variant primary progressive aphasia (nfvPPA)) and 17 healthy control subjects, using a new test based on cross-modal matching of flavours to words and pictures. All subjects completed a general neuropsychological assessment, and odour identification was also assessed using a modified University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test. Brain MRI volumes from the patient cohort were analysed using voxel-based morphometry to identify regional grey matter associations of flavour identification. Results Relative to the healthy control group, the bvFTD and svPPA subgroups showed significant (p<0.05) deficits of flavour identification and all three FTLD subgroups showed deficits of odour identification. Flavour identification performance did not differ significantly between the FTLD syndromic subgroups. Flavour identification performance in the combined FTLD cohort was significantly (p<0.05 after multiple comparisons correction) associated with grey matter volume in the left entorhinal cortex, hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus and temporal pole. Conclusions Certain FTLD syndromes are associated with impaired flavour identification and this is underpinned by grey matter atrophy in an anteromedial temporal lobe network. These findings may have implications for our understanding of abnormal eating behaviour in these diseases. PMID:23138765

  5. Memory in patients with cerebellar degeneration.

    PubMed

    Appollonio, I M; Grafman, J; Schwartz, V; Massaquoi, S; Hallett, M

    1993-08-01

    Eleven patients with relatively selective cerebellar degeneration and 11 normal control subjects underwent a comprehensive neurologic and neuropsychological examination. The neuropsychological tests assessed general intellectual ability, different aspects of memory (effortful, automatic, and implicit memory processes), speed of information processing, and verbal fluency (using both category and letter fluency tasks). The results indicated that cerebellar patients were significantly impaired only on tasks requiring the use of executive functions, such as the initiation/perseveration subtest of the Mattis Dementia Rating Scale or the fluency tests, and on memory measures requiring greater processing effort. They performed normally on automatic and implicit measures of memory. Performance on the effortful memory and executive measures was not associated with neurologic variables or mood state. After controlling for the initiation/perseveration deficit, the effortful memory scores of the cerebellar patients were no longer different from those of controls. The present study suggests that memory in patients with relatively pure cerebellar dysfunction is only partially compromised and that the impairment is secondary to a deficit in executive functions. PMID:8351008

  6. 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

  7. Nodular Bilateral Amygdala Degeneration in Demented Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Lain, Aurelio Hernandez; Lieberman, Andrew P.; Pfannl, Rolf; Hedley-Whyte, E. Tessa

    2011-01-01

    Among more than 2050 brains in our Alzheimer disease brain banks we came across three brains with well demarcated indurated white-yellow nodules in the amygdalas. Microscopically, these nodules were composed of numerous lipid-laden macrophages located in the central region surrounded by an eosinophilic hyaline-like material with minimal reactive gliosis in the periphery. Neurons within these lesions had a normal appearance but were moderately decreased in number. Beta-amyloid, tau and alpha-synuclein immunostaining revealed no abnormal deposits within the nodules. The three patients had long histories of dementia (one linked to a presenilin-1 mutation). The neuropathological diagnoses were Alzheimer disease in two of them and an unclassified tauopathy with argyrophilic grains in the third. Conclusion The pathogenesis of these lesions is uncertain. We favor that the degeneration has some relationship to the underlying dementing disease, either secondary to deafferentation or an alteration in metabolic demand, perhaps related to the bi-directional anatomical and functional connections that exist between the amygdala and the hippocampus or less likely as a primary event. PMID:20838797

  8. Animal models of age related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. [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

  13. WldS prevents axon degeneration through increased mitochondrial flux and enhanced mitochondrial Ca2+ buffering

    PubMed Central

    Avery, Michelle A.; Rooney, Timothy M.; Pandya, Jignesh D.; Wishart, Thomas M.; Gillingwater, Thomas H.; Geddes, James W.; Sullivan, Patrick; Freeman, Marc R.

    2014-01-01

    Summary WldS (slow Wallerian degeneration) is a remarkable protein that can suppress Wallerian degeneration of axons and synapses [1] but how it exerts this effect remains unclear [2]. Here, using Drosophila and mouse models, we identify mitochondria as a key site of action for WldS neuroprotective function. Targeting the NAD+ biosynthetic enzyme Nmnat to mitochondria was sufficient to fully phenocopy WldS, and WldS was specifically localized to mitochondria in synaptic preparations from mouse brain. Axotomy of live wild type axons induced a dramatic spike in axoplasmic Ca2+ and termination of mitochondrial movement—WldS potently suppressed both of these events. Surprisingly, WldS also promoted increased basal mitochondrial motility in axons before injury, and genetically suppressing mitochondrial motility in vivo dramatically reduced the protective effect of WldS. Intriguingly, purified mitochondria from WldS mice exhibited enhanced Ca2+ buffering capacity. We propose that the enhanced Ca2+ buffering capacity of WldS+ mitochondria leads to increased mitochondrial motility, suppression of axotomy-induced Ca2+ elevation in axons, and thereby suppression of Wallerian degeneration. PMID:22425157

  14. Meromorphic differentials with imaginary periods on degenerating hyperelliptic curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertola, M.; Tovbis, A.

    2015-03-01

    We provide a direct and explicit proof that imaginary (real) normalized differentials of the second kind with prescribed polar part do not develop additional singularities as the underlying hyperelliptic Riemann surface degenerates in an arbitrary way.

  15. Many-Body Green Function of Degenerate Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Brouder, Christian; Panati, Gianluca; Stoltz, Gabriel

    2009-12-04

    A rigorous nonperturbative adiabatic approximation of the evolution operator in the many-body physics of degenerate systems is derived. This approximation is used to solve the long-standing problem of the choice of the initial states of H{sub 0} leading to eigenstates of H{sub 0}+V for degenerate systems. These initial states are eigenstates of P{sub 0}VP{sub 0}, where P{sub 0} is the projection onto a degenerate eigenspace of H{sub 0}. This result is used to give the proper definition of the Green function, the statistical Green function and the nonequilibrium Green function of degenerate systems. The convergence of these Green functions is established.

  16. 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.

  17. Secondary orthostatic tremor in the setting of cerebellar degeneration.

    PubMed

    Sarva, Harini; Severt, William Lawrence; Jacoby, Nuri; Pullman, Seth L; Saunders-Pullman, Rachel

    2016-05-01

    Orthostatic tremor (OT) and cerebellar ataxia are uncommon and difficult to treat. We present two patients with OT and cerebellar degeneration, one of whom had spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 and a good treatment response. PMID:26765757

  18. Intervertebral disc degeneration: evidence for two distinct phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Michael A; Dolan, Patricia

    2012-01-01

    We review the evidence that there are two types of disc degeneration. ‘Endplate-driven’ disc degeneration involves endplate defects and inwards collapse of the annulus, has a high heritability, mostly affects discs in the upper lumbar and thoracic spine, often starts to develop before age 30 years, usually leads to moderate back pain, and is associated with compressive injuries such as a fall on the buttocks. ‘Annulus-driven’ disc degeneration involves a radial fissure and/or a disc prolapse, has a low heritability, mostly affects discs in the lower lumbar spine, develops progressively after age 30 years, usually leads to severe back pain and sciatica, and is associated with repetitive bending and lifting. The structural defects which initiate the two processes both act to decompress the disc nucleus, making it less likely that the other defect could occur subsequently, and in this sense the two disc degeneration phenotypes can be viewed as distinct. PMID:22881295

  19. Mislocalization of neuronal mitochondria reveals regulation of Wallerian degeneration and NMNAT/WLDS-mediated axon protection independent of axonal mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    Kitay, Brandon M.; McCormack, Ryan; Wang, Yunfang; Tsoulfas, Pantelis; Zhai, R. Grace

    2013-01-01

    Axon degeneration is a common and often early feature of neurodegeneration that correlates with the clinical manifestations and progression of neurological disease. Nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylytransferase (NMNAT) is a neuroprotective factor that delays axon degeneration following injury and in models of neurodegenerative diseases suggesting a converging molecular pathway of axon self-destruction. The underlying mechanisms have been under intense investigation and recent reports suggest a central role for axonal mitochondria in both degeneration and NMNAT/WLDS (Wallerian degeneration slow)-mediated protection. We used dorsal root ganglia (DRG) explants and Drosophila larval motor neurons (MNs) as models to address the role of mitochondria in Wallerian degeneration (WD). We find that expression of Drosophila NMNAT delays WD in human DRG neurons demonstrating evolutionary conservation of NMNAT function. Morphological comparison of mitochondria from WLDS-protected axons demonstrates that mitochondria shrink post-axotomy, though analysis of complex IV activity suggests that they retain their functional capacity despite this morphological change. To determine whether mitochondria are a critical site of regulation for WD, we genetically ablated mitochondria from Drosophila MN axons via the mitochondria trafficking protein milton. Milton loss-of-function did not induce axon degeneration in Drosophila larval MNs, and when axotomized WD proceeded stereotypically in milton distal axons although with a mild, but significant delay. Remarkably, the protective effects of NMNAT/WLDS were also maintained in axons devoid of mitochondria. These experiments unveil an axon self-destruction cascade governing WD that is not initiated by axonal mitochondria and for the first time illuminate a mitochondria-independent mechanism(s) regulating WD and NMNAT/WLDS-mediated axon protection. PMID:23314018

  20. Statins for age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Gehlbach, Peter; Li, Tianjing; Hatef, Elham

    2013-01-01

    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 (Congdon 2003). 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 To examine the effectiveness of statins compared with other treatments, no treatment, or placebo in delaying the onset and/or progression of AMD. Search methods We searched CENTRAL (which contains the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group Trials Register) (The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 9), MEDLINE (January 1950 to September 2011), EMBASE (January 1980 to September 2011), Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature Database (LILACS) (January 1982 to September 2011), 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). There were no date or language restrictions in the electronic searches for trials. The electronic databases were last searched on 16 September 2011. 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 Two authors independently evaluated the search results against the selection criteria. Two Italian speaking colleagues extracted data. One author entered data. We did not perform a meta-analysis because only one completed RCT was identified. Main results Two studies met the selection criteria. One trial reported insufficient details to assess the risk of bias; the other trial is ongoing. Of the completed trial, the analyses of 30 participants did not show a statistically significant difference between the simvastatin and the placebo arm in visual acuity at three months of treatment (decimal visual acuity 0.21± 0.56 in simvastatin and 0.19± 0.40 in placebo arm) or 45 days after the completion of treatment (decimal visual acuity 0.20± 0.50 in simvastatin and 0.19± 0.48 in placebo arm). The lens and retina status were unchanged during and after the treatment period for both groups. Of the ongoing trial, the preliminary analyses of 42 participants who completed 12 months follow-up did not show a statistically significant difference between the simvastatin and the placebo arm in visual acuity, drusen score or visual function (effect estimates and confidence intervals were not available). We contacted the investigators and will update the review as data become available. Authors' conclusions Evidence from currently available RCTs was insufficient to conclude that statins have any role in preventing or delaying the onset or progression of AMD. PMID:22419318

  1. Solitary waves in an ultrarelativistic degenerate dense plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Mamun, A. A.; Shukla, P. K.

    2010-10-15

    Solitary waves in an ultrarelativistic degenerate dense plasma have been investigated by the reductive perturbation method. The modified Korteweg-de Vries equation has been derived and its numerical solutions have been analyzed to identify the basic features of spherical electrostatic solitary structures that may form in such a degenerate dense plasma. The implications of our results in compact astrophysical objects, particularly in white dwarfs, have been briefly discussed.

  2. 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

  3. Electromagnetic solitons in degenerate relativistic electron-positron plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berezhiani, V. I.; Shatashvili, N. L.; Tsintsadze, N. L.

    2015-06-01

    The existence of soliton-like electromagnetic (EM) distributions in a fully degenerate electron-positron plasma is studied applying relativistic hydrodynamic and Maxwell equations. For a circularly polarized wave it is found that the soliton solutions exist both in relativistic as well as nonrelativistic degenerate plasmas. Plasma density in the region of soliton pulse localization is reduced considerably. The possibility of plasma cavitation is also shown.

  4. Criteria for the diagnosis of corticobasal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Armstrong, Melissa J.; Lang, Anthony E.; Bak, Thomas H.; Bhatia, Kailash P.; Borroni, Barbara; Boxer, Adam L.; Dickson, Dennis W.; Grossman, Murray; Hallett, Mark; Josephs, Keith A.; Kertesz, Andrew; Lee, Suzee E.; Miller, Bruce L.; Reich, Stephen G.; Riley, David E.; Tolosa, Eduardo; Tröster, Alexander I.; Vidailhet, Marie; Weiner, William J.

    2013-01-01

    Current criteria for the clinical diagnosis of pathologically confirmed corticobasal degeneration (CBD) no longer reflect the expanding understanding of this disease and its clinicopathologic correlations. An international consortium of behavioral neurology, neuropsychology, and movement disorders specialists developed new criteria based on consensus and a systematic literature review. Clinical diagnoses (early or late) were identified for 267 nonoverlapping pathologically confirmed CBD cases from published reports and brain banks. Combined with consensus, 4 CBD phenotypes emerged: corticobasal syndrome (CBS), frontal behavioral-spatial syndrome (FBS), nonfluent/agrammatic variant of primary progressive aphasia (naPPA), and progressive supranuclear palsy syndrome (PSPS). Clinical features of CBD cases were extracted from descriptions of 209 brain bank and published patients, providing a comprehensive description of CBD and correcting common misconceptions. Clinical CBD phenotypes and features were combined to create 2 sets of criteria: more specific clinical research criteria for probable CBD and broader criteria for possible CBD that are more inclusive but have a higher chance to detect other tau-based pathologies. Probable CBD criteria require insidious onset and gradual progression for at least 1 year, age at onset ≥50 years, no similar family history or known tau mutations, and a clinical phenotype of probable CBS or either FBS or naPPA with at least 1 CBS feature. The possible CBD category uses similar criteria but has no restrictions on age or family history, allows tau mutations, permits less rigorous phenotype fulfillment, and includes a PSPS phenotype. Future validation and refinement of the proposed criteria are needed. PMID:23359374

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Criteria for the diagnosis of corticobasal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Armstrong, Melissa J; Litvan, Irene; Lang, Anthony E; Bak, Thomas H; Bhatia, Kailash P; Borroni, Barbara; Boxer, Adam L; Dickson, Dennis W; Grossman, Murray; Hallett, Mark; Josephs, Keith A; Kertesz, Andrew; Lee, Suzee E; Miller, Bruce L; Reich, Stephen G; Riley, David E; Tolosa, Eduardo; Tröster, Alexander I; Vidailhet, Marie; Weiner, William J

    2013-01-29

    Current criteria for the clinical diagnosis of pathologically confirmed corticobasal degeneration (CBD) no longer reflect the expanding understanding of this disease and its clinicopathologic correlations. An international consortium of behavioral neurology, neuropsychology, and movement disorders specialists developed new criteria based on consensus and a systematic literature review. Clinical diagnoses (early or late) were identified for 267 nonoverlapping pathologically confirmed CBD cases from published reports and brain banks. Combined with consensus, 4 CBD phenotypes emerged: corticobasal syndrome (CBS), frontal behavioral-spatial syndrome (FBS), nonfluent/agrammatic variant of primary progressive aphasia (naPPA), and progressive supranuclear palsy syndrome (PSPS). Clinical features of CBD cases were extracted from descriptions of 209 brain bank and published patients, providing a comprehensive description of CBD and correcting common misconceptions. Clinical CBD phenotypes and features were combined to create 2 sets of criteria: more specific clinical research criteria for probable CBD and broader criteria for possible CBD that are more inclusive but have a higher chance to detect other tau-based pathologies. Probable CBD criteria require insidious onset and gradual progression for at least 1 year, age at onset ≥ 50 years, no similar family history or known tau mutations, and a clinical phenotype of probable CBS or either FBS or naPPA with at least 1 CBS feature. The possible CBD category uses similar criteria but has no restrictions on age or family history, allows tau mutations, permits less rigorous phenotype fulfillment, and includes a PSPS phenotype. Future validation and refinement of the proposed criteria are needed. PMID:23359374

  8. Degenerate nucleophilic substitution in phosphonium salts.

    PubMed

    Jennings, Elizabeth V; Nikitin, Kirill; Ortin, Yannick; Gilheany, Declan G

    2014-11-19

    Rates and energy barriers of degenerate halide substitution on tetracoordinate halophosphonium cations have been measured by NMR techniques (VT and EXSY) using a novel experimental design whereby a chiral substituent ((s)Bu) lifts the degeneracy of the resultant salts. Concomitantly, a viable computational approach to the system was developed to gain mechanistic insights into the structure and relative stabilities of the species involved. Both approaches strongly suggest a two-step mechanism of formation of a pentacoordinate dihalophosphorane via backside attack followed by dissociation, resulting in inversion of configuration at phosphorus. The experimentally determined barriers range from <9 kcal mol(-1) to nearly 20 kcal mol(-1), ruling out a mechansm via Berry pseudorotation involving equatorial halides. In all cases studied, epimerization of chlorophosphonium chlorides has a lower energy barrier (by 2 kcal mol(-1)) than the analogous bromo salts. Calculations determined that this was due to the easier accessibility in solution of pentacoordinate dichlorophosphoranes when compared to analogous dibromophosphoranes. In line with the proposed associative mechanism, bulky substituents slow the reaction in the order Me < Et < (i)Pr < (t)Bu. Bulky substituents affect the shape of the reaction energy profile so that the pentacoordinate intermediate is destabilized eventually becoming a transition state. The magnitude of the steric effects is comparable to that of the same substituents on substitution at primary alkyl halides, which can be rationalized by the relatively longer P-C bonds. The reaction displays first-order kinetics due to the prevalence of tight- or solvent-separated ion pairs in solution. Three-dimensional reaction potential energy profiles (More O'Ferrall-Jencks plots) indicated a relatively shallow potential well corresponding to the trigonal bipyramid intermediate flanked by two transition states. PMID:25384344

  9. [Nutrition and age-related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Desmettre, T; Lecerf, J-M; Souied, E-H

    2004-11-01

    The nutritional factors involved in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) include antioxidants or antioxidant cofactors: vitamins A, C, etc.; zinc, etc.; anti-free-radicals such as beta-carotene and carotenoids, including lutein and zeaxanthin; micronutrients protecting from blue light such as lutein and zeaxanthin; and finally components of the membranes of the photoreceptors docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These nutritional factors are closely related to environmental risk factors such as smoking and chronic blue light exposure. Although the experimental and epidemiological data are concordant and coherent, the protective role of these micronutrients is not clearly established, mainly because there are very few clinical studies. However, a first observation study showed positive effects at stages 3 and 4 of AMD. Report #8 of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) provides important results for preventing complications of AMD (secondary prevention), and the cocktail of micronutrients proposed even encourages complementary studies on, for example, lutein and zeaxanthin instead of beta-carotene. The outcome of observation studies including a supplementation of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) of the omega-3 family (DHA) is also important, as it addresses primary prevention of the disease. A supplementation of omega-3 PUFAs could be proposed to certain subjects at risk for AMD for primary prevention and a supplementation with an antioxidant cocktail of micronutrients could be proposed to patients presenting AMD at stages 3 or 4 or to subjects with a nutritional imbalance. These conceivable supplementations are compatible with simple dietary advice. The supplements currently proposed could be optimized to increase their advantages. New research and new clinical studies are necessary to definitively validate these formulations in order to grant them an authentic drug status. PMID:15602406

  10. 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. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:1208-1221, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26356010

  11. The advantages of frontotemporal degeneration drug development (part 2 of frontotemporal degeneration: the next therapeutic frontier).

    PubMed

    Boxer, Adam L; Gold, Michael; Huey, Edward; Hu, William T; Rosen, Howard; Kramer, Joel; Gao, Fen-Biao; Burton, Edward A; Chow, Tiffany; Kao, Aimee; Leavitt, Blair R; Lamb, Bruce; Grether, Megan; Knopman, David; Cairns, Nigel J; Mackenzie, Ian R; Mitic, Laura; Roberson, Erik D; Van Kammen, Daniel; Cantillon, Marc; Zahs, Kathleen; Jackson, George; Salloway, Stephen; Morris, John; Tong, Gary; Feldman, Howard; Fillit, Howard; Dickinson, Susan; Khachaturian, Zaven S; Sutherland, Margaret; Abushakra, Susan; Lewcock, Joseph; Farese, Robert; Kenet, Robert O; Laferla, Frank; Perrin, Steve; Whitaker, Steve; Honig, Lawrence; Mesulam, Marsel M; Boeve, Brad; Grossman, Murray; Miller, Bruce L; Cummings, Jeffrey L

    2013-03-01

    Frontotemporal degeneration (FTD) encompasses a spectrum of related neurodegenerative disorders with behavioral, language, and motor phenotypes for which there are currently no effective therapies. This is the second of two articles that summarize the presentations and discussions that occurred at two symposia in 2011 sponsored by the Frontotemporal Degeneration Treatment Study Group, a collaborative group of academic and industry researchers that is devoted to developing treatments for FTD. This article discusses the current status of FTD clinical research that is relevant to the conduct of clinical trials, and why FTD research may be an attractive pathway for developing therapies for neurodegenerative disorders. The clinical and molecular features of FTD, including rapid disease progression and relatively pure molecular pathology, suggest that there are advantages to developing drugs for FTD as compared with other dementias. FTD qualifies as orphan indication, providing additional advantages for drug development. Two recent sets of consensus diagnostic criteria will facilitate the identification of patients with FTD, and a variety of neuropsychological, functional, and behavioral scales have been shown to be sensitive to disease progression. Moreover, quantitative neuroimaging measurements demonstrate progressive brain atrophy in FTD at rates that may surpass Alzheimer's disease. Finally, the similarities between FTD and other neurodegenerative diseases with drug development efforts already underway suggest that FTD researchers will be able to draw on this experience to create a road map for FTD drug development. We conclude that FTD research has reached sufficient maturity to pursue clinical development of specific FTD therapies. PMID:23062850

  12. Frontotemporal degeneration, the next therapeutic frontier: molecules and animal models for frontotemporal degeneration drug development.

    PubMed

    Boxer, Adam L; Gold, Michael; Huey, Edward; Gao, Fen-Biao; Burton, Edward A; Chow, Tiffany; Kao, Aimee; Leavitt, Blair R; Lamb, Bruce; Grether, Megan; Knopman, David; Cairns, Nigel J; Mackenzie, Ian R; Mitic, Laura; Roberson, Erik D; Van Kammen, Daniel; Cantillon, Marc; Zahs, Kathleen; Salloway, Stephen; Morris, John; Tong, Gary; Feldman, Howard; Fillit, Howard; Dickinson, Susan; Khachaturian, Zaven; Sutherland, Margaret; Farese, Robert; Miller, Bruce L; Cummings, Jeffrey

    2013-03-01

    Frontotemporal degeneration (FTD) is a common cause of dementia for which there are currently no approved therapies. Over the past decade, there has been an explosion of knowledge about the biology and clinical features of FTD that has identified a number of promising therapeutic targets as well as animal models in which to develop drugs. The close association of some forms of FTD with neuropathological accumulation of tau protein or increased neuroinflammation due to progranulin protein deficiency suggests that a drug's success in treating FTD may predict efficacy in more common diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. A variety of regulatory incentives, clinical features of FTD such as rapid disease progression, and relatively pure molecular pathology suggest that there are advantages to developing drugs for FTD as compared with other more common neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. In March 2011, the Frontotemporal Degeneration Treatment Study Group sponsored a conference entitled "FTD, the Next Therapeutic Frontier," which focused on preclinical aspects of FTD drug development. The goal of the meeting was to promote collaborations between academic researchers and biotechnology and pharmaceutical researchers to accelerate the development of new treatments for FTD. Here we report the key findings from the conference, including the rationale for FTD drug development; epidemiological, genetic, and neuropathological features of FTD; FTD animal models and how best to use them; and examples of successful drug development collaborations in other neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:23043900

  13. 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

  14. A Novel Form of Transducin-Dependent Retinal Degeneration: Accelerated Retinal Degeneration in the Absence of Rod Transducin

    PubMed Central

    Brill, Elliott; Malanson, Katherine M.; Radu, Roxana A.; Boukharov, Natalia V.; Wang, Zhongyan; Chung, Hae-Yun; Lloyd, Marcia B.; Bok, Dean; Travis, Gabriel H.; Obin, Martin; Lem, Janis

    2008-01-01

    PURPOSE Rhodopsin mutations account for approximately 25% of human autosomal dominant retinal degenerations. However, the molecular mechanisms by which rhodopsin mutations cause photoreceptor cell death are unclear. Mutations in genes involved in the termination of rhodopsin signaling activity have been shown to cause degeneration by persistent activation of the phototransduction cascade. This study examined whether three disease-associated rhodopsin substitutions Pro347Ser, Lys296Glu, and the triple mutant Val20Gly, Pro23His, Pro27Leu (VPP) caused degeneration by persistent transducin-mediated signaling activity. METHODS Transgenic mice expressing each of the rhodopsin mutants were crossed onto a transducin α-subunit null (Trα−/−) background, and the rates of photoreceptor degeneration were compared with those of transgenic mice on a wild-type background. RESULTS Mice expressing VPP-substituted rhodopsin had the same severity of degeneration in the presence or absence of Trα. Unexpectedly, mice expressing Pro347Ser- or Lys296Glu-substituted rhodopsins exhibited faster degeneration on a Trα−/− background. To test whether the absence of α-transducin contributed to degeneration by favoring the formation of stable rhodopsin/arrestin complexes, mutant Pro347Ser+, Trα−/− mice lacking arrestin (Arr−/−) were analyzed. Rhodopsin/arrestin complexes were found not to contribute to degeneration. CONCLUSIONS The authors hypothesized that the decay of metarhodopsin to apo-opsin and free all-trans-retinaldehyde is faster with Pro347Ser-substituted rhodopsin than it is with wild-type rhodopsin. Consistent with this, the lipofuscin fluorophores A2PE, A2E, and A2PE-H2, which form from retinaldehyde, were elevated in Pro347Ser transgenic mice. PMID:18055791

  15. The birth rate of supernovae from double-degenerate and core-degenerate systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, X.; Yang, W.

    2012-07-01

    Context. Some recent observations of the delay-time distribution (DTD) of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) seem to uphold the double-degenerate (DD) scenario as the progenitor model of SNe Ia, but the core-degenerate (CD) scenario remains a strong competitor to the DD one. Aims: We investigate the effects of metallicity and the different treatments of common envelope (CE) on the DTD of SNe Ia by considering the DD and CD scenarios, and check the suggestion that the total mass of DD system is the main dependent variable of Phillips relation. Methods: We perform a series of Monte Carlo simulations based on a rapid binary evolution code and consider two treatments of CE evolution, i.e. ?-formalism and ?-algorithm. Results: We find that only when the ?-formalism is considered with a high CE ejection efficiency, may the shape of the DTD for DD systems be consistent with that derived observationally, i.e. a power law of ~t-1, while the value of the birth rate of SNe Ia marginally matches observations. For the ?-formalism with a low CE ejection efficiency and the ?-algorithm, neither the shape of the DTD nor the value of the birth rate can be compared with those of the observations. Metallicity may not have a significant influence on the shape of DTD, but a lower metallicity may lead to a slightly higher birth rate of SNe Ia by a factor of 2, especially for SNe Ia with long delay times. If the results for the single-degenerate (SD) channel are incorporated into those for the DTD, both the shape of DTD and its value may be closely consistent with observations for SNe Ia younger than 2.5 Gyr, and SD and DD channels provide comparable contributions to the total SNe Ia, while for SNe Ia with delay times longer than 2.5 Gyr, DD is the dominant channel and the birth rate is lower than that derived from observations by a factor up to about four. In addition, we calculate the evolutions of various integral parameters of DD systems, and do not find any one suitable to explain the correlation between the brightness of SNe Ia and its delay time. Moreover, there are three channels producing CD systems that may contribute a few SNe Ia, but the contribution of CD systems to the total SNe Ia is no more than 1%. Conclusions: There may be other channels or mechanisms contributing to SNe Ia with long delay times.

  16. Tyro3 Modulates Mertk-Associated Retinal Degeneration.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    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 that an eQTL can modify a recessive IPD. PMID:26656104

  17. 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

  18. 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 that an eQTL can modify a recessive IPD. PMID:26656104

  19. 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 included studies. Main results Two RCTs with 144 total participants met the selection criteria. Both trials compared simvastatin versus placebo in older people (> 50 or 60 years) with high risk of developing AMD (drusen present on examination). The larger trial with 114 participants was conducted in Australia and used a higher dose (40 mg daily) of simvastatin for three years. Participants and study personnel in this trial were adequately masked; however, data were missing for 30% of participants at three years follow-up. The smaller trial of 30 participants was conducted in Italy and used a lower dose (20 mg) of simvastatin for three months. This trial reported insufficient details to assess the risk of bias. Neither trial reported data for change in visual acuity. Analysis of 30 participants in the smaller trial did not show a statistically significant difference between the simvastatin and placebo groups in visual acuity values at three months of treatment (decimal visual acuity 0.21 ± 0.56 in simvastatin group and 0.19 ± 0.40 in placebo group) or 45 days after the completion of treatment (decimal visual acuity 0.20 ± 0.50 in simvastatin group and 0.19 ± 0.48 in placebo group). The lack of a difference in visual acuity was not explained by lens or retina status, which remained unchanged during and after the treatment period for both groups. Preliminary analyses of 42 participants who had completed 12 months follow-up in the larger trial did not show a statistically significant difference between simvastatin and the placebo groups for visual acuity, drusen score, or visual function (effect estimates and confidence intervals were not available). Complete data for these outcomes at three years follow-up were not reported. At three years, the effect of simvastatin in slowing progression of AMD compared with placebo was uncertain (odds ratio 0.51, 95% confidence interval 0.23 to 1.09). One trial did not report adverse outcomes. The second trial reported no difference between groups in terms of adverse events such as death, muscle aches, and acute hepatitis. Authors’ conclusions Evidence from currently available RCTs is insufficient to conclude that statins have a role in preventing or delaying the onset or progression of AMD. PMID:25675254

  20. Genetics Home Reference: Stargardt macular degeneration

    MedlinePlus

    ... 004. Epub 2009 Feb 20. Review. Walia S, Fishman GA. Natural history of phenotypic changes in Stargardt macular dystrophy. ... May 25, 2016 The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users with ...

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Double Degenerate Binary Stars: Constraining the Masses of Compact Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoard, D. W.; Wachter, Stefanie

    1999-08-01

    Double degenerates are binary stars containing two compact objects (white dwarfs, neutron stars, or WD+NS). Like other binary stars, double degenerates offer an opportunity to accurately determine the masses of the binary components. The upper limit NS mass, for example, has important implications for our understanding of the equation of state of matter at high (nuclear) density. Double degenerates are also important as probes of gravitational radiation and general relativity. The emission of gravitational radiation may cause some double degenerates to merge on timescales less than a Hubble time. Such merging systems may be progenitors of type Ia supernovae. We propose two observing runs on the CTIO 1.5m telescope (+ CCD imager) to investigate double degenerates. The first run (1 night) will be used to search for eclipses in the P_orb=1.4 h WD+WD binary WD 0957-666. Detection of eclipses could be used in conjunction with existing spectroscopic data to determine the sizes of the WDs and provide checks of the theoretical WD mass-radius relation. The second run (2 nights) will be used to search for optical counterparts to three radio pulsars believed to be NS+WD binaries. If the WD components in these systems can be identified optically, then future investigations can provide constraints on the elusive NS mass.

  5. Rapid Y degeneration and dosage compensation in plant sex chromosomes

    PubMed Central

    Papadopulos, Alexander S. T.; Chester, Michael; Ridout, Kate; Filatov, Dmitry A.

    2015-01-01

    The nonrecombining regions of animal Y chromosomes are known to undergo genetic degeneration, but previous work has failed to reveal large-scale gene degeneration on plant Y chromosomes. Here, we uncover rapid and extensive degeneration of Y-linked genes in a plant species, Silene latifolia, that evolved sex chromosomes de novo in the last 10 million years. Previous transcriptome-based studies of this species missed unexpressed, degenerate Y-linked genes. To identify sex-linked genes, regardless of their expression, we sequenced male and female genomes of S. latifolia and integrated the genomic contigs with a high-density genetic map. This revealed that 45% of Y-linked genes are not expressed, and 23% are interrupted by premature stop codons. This contrasts with X-linked genes, in which only 1.3% of genes contained stop codons and 4.3% of genes were not expressed in males. Loss of functional Y-linked genes is partly compensated for by gene-specific up-regulation of X-linked genes. Our results demonstrate that the rate of genetic degeneration of Y-linked genes in S. latifolia is as fast as in animals, and that the evolutionary trajectories of sex chromosomes are similar in the two kingdoms. PMID:26438872

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Construction of "small-intelligent" focused mutagenesis libraries using well-designed combinatorial degenerate primers.

    PubMed

    Tang, Lixia; Gao, Hui; Zhu, Xuechen; Wang, Xiong; Zhou, Ming; Jiang, Rongxiang

    2012-03-01

    Site-saturation mutagenesis is a powerful tool for protein optimization due to its efficiency and simplicity. A degenerate codon NNN or NNS (K) is often used to encode the 20 standard amino acids, but this will produce redundant codons and cause uneven distribution of amino acids in the constructed library. Here we present a novel "small-intelligent" strategy to construct mutagenesis libraries that have a minimal gene library size without inherent amino acid biases, stop codons, or rare codons of Escherichia coli by coupling well-designed combinatorial degenerate primers with suitable PCR-based mutagenesis methods. The designed primer mixture contains exactly one codon per amino acid and thus allows the construction of small-intelligent mutagenesis libraries with one gene per protein. In addition, the software tool DC-Analyzer was developed to assist in primer design according to the user-defined randomization scheme for library construction. This small-intelligent strategy was successfully applied to the randomization of halohydrin dehalogenases with one or two randomized sites. With the help of DC-Analyzer, the strategy was proven to be as simple as NNS randomization and could serve as a general tool to efficiently randomize target genes at positions of interest. PMID:22401547

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. [Survival factors in the treatment of hereditary retinal degeneration].

    PubMed

    Frigg, R; Wenzel, A; Grimm, C; Rem, C E

    2005-08-01

    Hereditary retinal degeneration is characterized by apoptotic photoreceptor loss, a process governed by intricate molecular interplay and initiated when proapoptotic signals predominate in the individual cell. Identification of molecules involved and their actions has paved the way for testing the ones with anti-apoptotic functions in models of inherited retinal degeneration. Many of these factors are able to slow the course of the degeneration. However, to date no such treatment has been able to stop or even prevent the devolution of the disorder. Moreover, preservation of morphology does not necessarily correlate with preservation of ERG function. Deepened understanding of the pro- and anti-apoptotic networks is clearly needed for survival factors to be feasible for therapy in humans. In comparison, in a dog model of Leber's congenital amaurosis gene therapy could establish retinal function, thus supplying proof of efficacy of the method. PMID:15990984

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

    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.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. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Details of hydrothermal growth of ZnO nanorods, ferroelectric characterisation, defocused imaging setup and parameters, sample preparation for defocused imaging, fundamental of dipole modelling, photoluminescence images with issues of spatial distribution and XRD confirmation of zinc-blend stacking fault. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr06722g

  17. Design of the Advanced Virgo non-degenerate recycling cavities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granata, M.; Barsuglia, M.; Flaminio, R.; Freise, A.; Hild, S.; Marque, J.

    2010-05-01

    Advanced Virgo is the project to upgrade the interferometric gravitational wave detector Virgo, and it foresees the implementation of power and signal non-degenerate recycling cavities. Such cavities suppress the build-up of high order modes of the resonating sidebands, with some advantage for the commissioning of the detector and the build-up of the gravitational signal. Here we present the baseline design of the Advanced Virgo non-degenerate recycling cavities, giving some preliminay results of simulations about the tolerances of this design to astigmatism, mirror figure errors and thermal lensing.

  18. 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.

  19. Ranibizumab in neovascular age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Eng, Kenneth T; Kertes, Peter J

    2006-01-01

    Neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a visually devastating condition resulting from choroidal neovascularization and secondary photoreceptor loss. Ranibizumab and bevacizumab are medications that target vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). While other therapies have demonstrated some ability to reduce the risk of losing vision from neovascular AMD, most patients continue to lose some degree of central visual acuity. There is growing evidence that intravitreal administration of ranibizumab and bevacizumab is effective in significantly improving the visual acuity in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration. PMID:18046922

  20. Spongy degeneration of grey matter in 3 children

    PubMed Central

    Janota, Ivan

    1974-01-01

    Spongy degeneration of the cerebral grey matter is reported in 3 unrelated boys dying at the ages of 15 and 16 months and 3 years. Some of the neuropathological changes in the cases presented here and in other similar cases are like those in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and in kuru, conditions which have recently been transmitted to monkeys. The aetiology of spongy degeneration in children is not known, and it would be worth while to find out whether the disease is transmissible. ImagesFIG. 1FIG. 2FIG.3FIG. 4FIG. 5FIG. 6FIG. 7 PMID:4854373

  1. Quantum Degenerate Gases in an All-Optical Toroidal Trap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marti, G. Edward; Olf, Ryan; Lourette, Sean; Stamper-Kurn, Dan

    2012-06-01

    Quantum degenerate gases confined in a toroidal potential show persistent currents, azimuthal sound waves, and other transport phenomena related to coherent, unrestricted flow around the waveguide. Sound waves and vortex states in a ring can be used to for accurate, absolute rotation sensing. We report on the status of our all-optical toroidal trap for Bose-condensed ^87Rb. We discuss techniques to generate angular momentum and unusual spin structures as well as future prospects with spinor gases and quantum degenerate lithium.

  2. Quantum Degenerate Rubidium in an All-Optical Toroidal Trap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marti, G. Edward; Olf, Ryan; Dunn, Gabriel; Stamper-Kurn, Dan

    2011-05-01

    Quantum degenerate gases confined in a toroidal potential show persistent currents and other transport phenomena relating to coherent, unrestricted flow around the waveguide. Vortex states are particularly interesting in such traps because multiply-charged states are topologically stable, unlike in a simply connected condensate. Much as a SQUID attains high magnetic field sensitivity, atomic configurations containing vortices may allow for accurate, absolute rotation sensing. We report on the status of our all-optical toroidal trap for Bose-condensed rubidium-87. We will discuss techniques to generate angular momentum in the condensate as well as future prospects with spinor gases and quantum degenerate lithium.

  3. Long term post-traumatic retrograde corticospinal degeneration in man.

    PubMed

    Bronson, R; Gilles, F H; Hall, J; Hedley-Whyte, E T

    1978-09-01

    The spinal cord and brain of a man who died 18 years after a crush injury of lumbar segments contained some unusual lesions. There was a reduced number of myelinated axons in the corticospinal tracts as high as the fifth cervical segment. Such retrograde degeneration has been described in human pyramidal tracts only a few times. The results of reported studies of experimental retrograde degeneration have been inconsistent. The course of the fasciculus gracilis, as delineated by gliosis, was atypical, and an unusual glial nodule, possibly neoplastic, was present in the dorsal columns at C8. PMID:711235

  4. Selective Rod Degeneration and Partial Cone Inactivation Characterize an Iodoacetic Acid Model of Swine Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wei; de Castro, Juan Fernandez; Vukmanic, Eric; Zhou, Liang; Emery, Douglas; DeMarco, Paul J.; Kaplan, Henry J.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose. Transgenic pigs carrying a mutant human rhodopsin transgene have been developed as a large animal model of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). This model displays some key features of human RP, but the time course of disease progression makes this model costly, time consuming, and difficult to study because of the size of the animals at end-stage disease. Here, the authors evaluate an iodoacetic acid (IAA) model of photoreceptor degeneration in the pig as an alternative model that shares features of the transgenic pig and human RP. Methods. IAA blocks glycolysis, thereby inhibiting photoreceptor function. The effect of the intravenous injection of IAA on swine rod and cone photoreceptor viability and morphology was followed by histologic evaluation of different regions of the retina using hematoxylin and eosin and immunostaining. Rod and cone function was analyzed by full-field electroretinography and multifocal electroretinography. Results. IAA led to specific loss of rods in a central-to-peripheral retinal gradient. Although cones were resistant, they showed shortened outer segments, loss of bipolar cell synaptic connections, and a diminished flicker ERG, hallmarks of transition to cone dysfunction in RP patients. Conclusions. IAA provides an alternative rod-dominant model of retinal damage that shares a surprising number of features with the pig transgenic model of RP and with human RP. This IAA model is cost-effective and rapid, ensuring that the size of the animals does not become prohibitive for end-stage evaluation or therapeutic intervention. PMID:21896868

  5. Biomechanical properties of lumbar endplates and their correlation with MRI findings of lumbar degeneration.

    PubMed

    Liu, Junhui; Hao, Lu; Suyou, Letu; Shan, Zhi; Maiwulanjiang, Mamuti; Li, Shengyun; Wang, Chongyan; Fan, Shunwu; Zhao, Fengdong

    2016-02-29

    How stiffness and strength of the human lumbar endplate vary with location, spinal level, and its correlation with MRI findings of lumbar degeneration, has not been reported in detail. 27 lumbar spines (16 male, 11 female, 31-49yrs) were harvested from cadavers without history of lumbar lesion or trauma. Disc and endplate degeneration was evaluated from MRI. Micro-CT was used to evaluate endplate microstructure. Indentation tests were performed to quantify stiffness and strength at 23 sites on each endplate from load-displacement graphs. Results showed that stiffness and strength increased from the centre of the endplate towards its periphery. There was no general age-related reduction in endplate stiffness or strength, although strength decreased slightly with age opposite the inner annulus. Disc degeneration was associated with a 39-46% decrease in stiffness, and a 21-30% decrease in strength, with effects being greatest near the endplate periphery. The presence of Modic changes had a similar effect. Strength and stiffness consistently increased at lower spinal levels, and were consistently greater in the inferior endplate (relative to the vertebra). Gender had little influence, although stiffness in the peripheral endplate was greater in males. BV/TV, SMI, Tb.Th and BMD were positively correlated with strength. We conclude that endplate properties reflect compressive stresses within adjacent intervertebral discs. Weaker and softer endplates may indicate reduced mechanical loading in decompressed discs that are stress-shielded by the neural arch. Preoperative MRI evaluation of endplate integrity could reduce the risk of implant subsidence following inter-body fusion. PMID:26892896

  6. Comparison of voltage parameters for the stimulation of normal and degenerate retina.

    PubMed

    Ye, Jang Hee; Goo, Yong Sook

    2007-01-01

    Retinal prosthesis is regarded as a promising method for restoring vision for the blind with retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and age related macular degeneration (ARMD). Among the several prerequisites for retinal prosthesis to succeed, one of the most important is the optimization of electrical stimuli applied through the prosthesis. Since the electrical characteristics of diseased retina are expected to be different with those of normal retina, we investigated different voltage parameters to stimulate normal and degenerate retina. The retinal degeneration model (rd/rd mouse) was compared against control mice. Voltage stimulations were delivered via one channel of 60 channels 8 x 8 Multi-electrode array (MEA), and ganglion cell activities were recorded with the remaining 58 channels. The parameters of voltage stimulation were set based on previous experiment with rabbit. Evoked ganglion cell responses were counted during a 10 - 20 ms time span after the stimulation. The voltage amplitudes and voltage durations were set to obtain consistent values for ganglion cell responses. When the same stimulus was applied on the rd/rd mouse, evoked ganglion cell responses were rarely observed. The distribution patterns of evoked responses appeared only on a site distant from the stimulation electrode on the rd/rd retina. Conversely, in normal retina, evenly distributed response patterns were observed. Since the charge intensity tends to decrease with the distance from stimulation electrode, the uneven patterns from the rd/rd mouse retina suggest that lower charge is required to evoke a response from rd/rd retina. PMID:18003327

  7. Oxidative damage to mitochondria at the nodes of Ranvier precedes axon degeneration in ex vivo transected axons.

    PubMed

    Bros, Helena; Millward, Jason M; Paul, Friedemann; Niesner, Raluca; Infante-Duarte, Carmen

    2014-11-01

    Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction appear to contribute to axon degeneration in numerous neurological disorders. However, how these two processes interact to cause axonal damage-and how this damage is initiated-remains unclear. In this study we used transected motor axons from murine peripheral roots to investigate whether oxidative stress alters mitochondrial dynamics in myelinated axons. We show that the nodes of Ranvier are the initial sites of mitochondrial damage induced by oxidative stress. There, mitochondria became depolarized, followed by alterations of the external morphology and disruption of the cristae, along with reduced mitochondrial transport. These mitochondrial changes expanded from the nodes of Ranvier bidirectionally towards both internodes and eventually affected the entire mitochondrial population in the axon. Supplementing axonal bioenergetics by applying nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide and methyl pyruvate, rendered the mitochondria at the nodes of Ranvier resistant to these oxidative stress-induced changes. Importantly, this inhibition of mitochondrial damage protected the axons from degeneration. In conclusion, we present a novel ex vivo approach for monitoring mitochondrial dynamics within axons, which proved suitable for detecting mitochondrial changes upon exogenous application of oxidative stress. Our results indicate that the nodes of Ranvier are the site of initial mitochondrial damage in peripheral axons, and suggest that dysregulation of axonal bioenergetics plays a critical role in oxidative stress-triggered mitochondrial alterations and subsequent axonal injury. These novel insights into the mechanisms underlying axon degeneration may have implications for neurological disorders with a degenerative component. PMID:24973623

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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...

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. Exact null controllability of degenerate evolution equations with scalar control

    SciTech Connect

    Fedorov, Vladimir E; Shklyar, Benzion

    2012-12-31

    Necessary and sufficient conditions for the exact null controllability of a degenerate linear evolution equation with scalar control are obtained. These general results are used to examine the exact null controllability of the Dzektser equation in the theory of seepage. Bibliography: 13 titles.

  15. Treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration with dobesilate

    PubMed Central

    Cuevas, P; Outeirio, L A; Angulo, J; Gimnez-Gallego, G

    2012-01-01

    The authors present anatomical and functional evidences of dry age-macular degeneration improvement, after intravitreal treatment with dobesilate. Main outcomes measures were normalisation of retinal structure and function, assessed by optical coherence tomography, fundus-monitored microperimetry, electrophysiology and visual acuity. The effect might be related to the normalisation of the outer retinal architecture. PMID:22729337

  16. Microglial phagocytosis of living photoreceptors contributes to inherited retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Lian; Zabel, Matthew K; Wang, Xu; Ma, Wenxin; Shah, Parth; Fariss, Robert N; Qian, Haohua; Parkhurst, Christopher N; Gan, Wen-Biao; Wong, Wai T

    2015-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa, caused predominantly by mutations in photoreceptor genes, currently lacks comprehensive treatment. We discover that retinal microglia contribute non-cell autonomously to rod photoreceptor degeneration by primary phagocytosis of living rods. Using rd10 mice, we found that the initiation of rod degeneration is accompanied by early infiltration of microglia, upregulation of phagocytic molecules in microglia, and presentation of “eat-me” signals on mutated rods. On live-cell imaging, infiltrating microglia interact dynamically with photoreceptors via motile processes and engage in rapid phagocytic engulfment of non-apoptotic rods. Microglial contribution to rod demise is evidenced by morphological and functional amelioration of photoreceptor degeneration following genetic ablation of retinal microglia. Molecular inhibition of microglial phagocytosis using the vitronectin receptor antagonist cRGD also improved morphological and functional parameters of degeneration. Our findings highlight primary microglial phagocytosis as a contributing mechanism underlying cell death in retinitis pigmentosa and implicate microglia as a potential cellular target for therapy. PMID:26139610

  17. 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

  18. Multiplex degenerate four-wave mixing in a flame.

    PubMed

    Ewart, P; Snowdon, P

    1990-12-01

    The principle of multiplex degenerate four-wave mixing (DFWM) is demonstrated by recording, with a single laser shot, DFWM signals from both D lines of atomic sodium in a seeded flame. Applications of the technique for singleshot temperature measurements for combustion diagnostics are discussed. PMID:19771105

  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. Spectral analysis of linear relations and degenerate operator semigroups

    SciTech Connect

    Baskakov, A G; Chernyshov, K I

    2002-12-31

    Several problems of the spectral theory of linear relations in Banach spaces are considered. Linear differential inclusions in a Banach space are studied. The construction of the phase space and solutions is carried out with the help of the spectral theory of linear relations, ergodic theorems, and degenerate operator semigroups.

  1. Toxic neurofilamentous axonopathies -- accumulation of neurofilaments and axonal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Llorens, J

    2013-05-01

    A number of neurotoxic chemicals induce accumulation of neurofilaments in axonal swellings that appear at varying distances from the cell body. This pathology is associated with axonal degeneration of different degrees. The clinical manifestation is most commonly that of a mixed motor-sensory peripheral axonopathy with a disto-proximal pattern of progression, as in cases of chronic exposure to n-hexane and carbon disulphide. It has been demonstrated that protein adduct formation is a primary molecular mechanism of toxicity in these axonopathies, but how this mechanism leads to neurofilament accumulation and axonal degeneration remains unclear. Furthermore, little is known regarding the mechanisms of neurofilamentous axonopathy caused by 3,3'-iminodipropionitrile, an experimental toxin that induces proximal axon swelling that is strikingly similar to that found in early amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Here, we review the available data and main hypotheses regarding the toxic axonopathies and compare them with the current knowledge of the biological basis of neurofilament transport. We also review recent studies addressing the question of how these axonopathies may cause axonal degeneration. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the toxic axonopathies may provide insight into the relationship between neurofilament behaviour and axonal degeneration, hopefully enabling the identification of new targets for therapeutic intervention. Because neurofilament abnormalities are a common feature of many neurodegenerative diseases, advances in this area may have a wider impact beyond toxicological significance. PMID:23331301

  2. Therapeutic Approaches to Histone Reprogramming in Retinal Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Berner, Andre K; 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

  3. 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…

  4. 9 CFR 311.35 - Muscular inflammation, degeneration, or infiltration.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... PARTS § 311.35 Muscular inflammation, degeneration, or infiltration. (a) If muscular lesions are found... carcass shall be condemned. (b) If muscular lesions are found to be distributed in such a manner or to be... carcasses, edible organs, and other parts of carcasses showing such muscular lesions. If the lesions...

  5. NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTATION, CATARACTS AND AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Age-related cataract and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are the major causes of visual impairment and blindness in the aging population. Specific nutrients in the diet that are thought to be important in the prevention of these diseases are vitamins C and E, the carotenoids, lutein and zeaxa...

  6. 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

  7. Infinite Classes of Degenerate Horizon Geometries in Higher Dimensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kunduri, Hari K.; Lucietti, James

    2015-01-01

    We discuss new classes of degenerate horizon geometries in Einstein gravity in all dimensions greater than five. Cross-sections of the horizon are inhomogeneous metrics on 2-sphere and Lens space bundles over any Fano Kähler-Einstein manifold. The horizons are consistent with the known restrictions on the topology and symmetry for black holes.

  8. 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)

  9. Computer image analysis of toxic fatty degeneration in rat liver.

    PubMed

    Stetkiewicz, J; Zieliński, K; Stetkiewicz, I; Koktysz, R

    1989-01-01

    Fatty degeneration of the liver is one of the most frequently observed pathological changes in the experimental estimation of the toxicity of chemical compounds. The intensity of this kind of damage is most often detected by means of a generally accepted scale of points, whereas the classification is performed according to the subjective "feeling" of the pathologist. In modern pathological diagnostics, computer analysis of images is used to perform an objective estimation of the degree of damage to various organs. In order to check the usefulness of this kind of method, comparative biochemical and morphometrical studies were undertaken in trichloroethylene (TRI)-induced fatty degeneration of the liver. TRI was administered to rats intragastrically, in single doses: 1/2; 1/3; 1/4; 1/6 and 1/18 DL50. 24 hours after the administration, the animals were sacrificed. The content of triglycerides in the liver was determined according to Folch et al. (1956). Simple lipids in the histochemical samples were detected by means of staining with a lipotropic, Fat Red 7B. The area of fatty degeneration was estimated in the microscopic samples by the use of an automatic image analyser IBAS 2000 (Kontron). The morphometrical data concerning the area of fatty degeneration in the liver amplified a high degree of correlation with the content of triglycerides (r = 0.89) and the dose of TRI (r = 0.96). The degree of correlation between the biochemical data and the dose of TRI was 0.88. The morphometrical studies performed have proved to be of great use in estimating the degree of fatty degeneration in the liver. This method enables precise, quantitative measuring of this sort of liver damage in the material prepared for routine histopathological analysis. It requires, however, the application of a specialized device for quantitative image analysis. PMID:2489429

  10. Viruses Associated with Ovarian Degeneration in Apis mellifera L. Queens

    PubMed Central

    Gauthier, Laurent; Ravallec, Marc; Tournaire, Magali; Cousserans, François; Bergoin, Max; Dainat, Benjamin; de Miranda, Joachim R.

    2011-01-01

    Queen fecundity is a critical issue for the health of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies, as she is the only reproductive female in the colony and responsible for the constant renewal of the worker bee population. Any factor affecting the queen's fecundity will stagnate colony development, increasing its susceptibility to opportunistic pathogens. We discovered a pathology affecting the ovaries, characterized by a yellow discoloration concentrated in the apex of the ovaries resulting from degenerative lesions in the follicles. In extreme cases, marked by intense discoloration, the majority of the ovarioles were affected and these cases were universally associated with egg-laying deficiencies in the queens. Microscopic examination of the degenerated follicles showed extensive paracrystal lattices of 30 nm icosahedral viral particles. A cDNA library from degenerated ovaries contained a high frequency of deformed wing virus (DWV) and Varroa destructor virus 1 (VDV-1) sequences, two common and closely related honeybee Iflaviruses. These could also be identified by in situ hybridization in various parts of the ovary. A large-scale survey for 10 distinct honeybee viruses showed that DWV and VDV-1 were by far the most prevalent honeybee viruses in queen populations, with distinctly higher prevalence in mated queens (100% and 67%, respectively for DWV and VDV-1) than in virgin queens (37% and 0%, respectively). Since very high viral titres could be recorded in the ovaries and abdomens of both functional and deficient queens, no significant correlation could be made between viral titre and ovarian degeneration or egg-laying deficiency among the wider population of queens. Although our data suggest that DWV and VDV-1 have a role in extreme cases of ovarian degeneration, infection of the ovaries by these viruses does not necessarily result in ovarian degeneration, even at high titres, and additional factors are likely to be involved in this pathology. PMID:21283547

  11. Mechanism of calcium entry during axon injury and degeneration.

    PubMed

    LoPachin, R M; Lehning, E J

    1997-04-01

    Axon degeneration is a hallmark consequence of chemical neurotoxicant exposure (e.g., acrylamide), mechanical trauma (e.g., nerve transection, spinal cord contusion), deficient perfusion (e.g., ischemia, hypoxia), and inherited neuropathies (e.g., infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy). Regardless of the initiating event, degeneration in the PNS and CNS progresses according to a characteristic sequence of morphological changes. These shared neuropathologic features suggest that subsequent degeneration, although induced by different injury modalities, might evolve via a common mechanism. Studies conducted over the past two decades indicate that Ca2+ accumulation in injured axons has significant neuropathic implications and is a potentially unifying mechanistic event. However, the route of Ca2+ entry and the involvement of other relevant ions (Na+, K+) have not been adequately defined. In this overview, we discuss evidence for reverse operation of the Na+-Ca2+ exchanger as a primary route of Ca2+ entry during axon injury. We propose that diverse injury processes (e.g., axotomy, ischemia, trauma) which culminate in axon degeneration cause an increase in intraaxonal Na+ in conjunction with a loss of K+ and axolemmal depolarization. These conditions favor reverse Na+-Ca2+ exchange operation which promotes damaging extraaxonal Ca2+ entry and subsequent Ca2+-mediated axon degeneration. Deciphering the route of axonal Ca2+ entry is a fundamental step in understanding the pathophysiologic processes induced by chemical neurotoxicants and other types of nerve damage. Moreover, the molecular mechanism of Ca2+ entry can be used as a target for the development of efficacious pharmacotherapies that might be useful in preventing or limiting irreversible axon injury. PMID:9144441

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-28

    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

  13. Reentrant spiral waves of spreading depression cause macular degeneration in hypoglycemic chicken retina

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Laura M.; Mattiace, Linda A.; Costa, Manoel L.; Ferreira, Luciano C.; Benabou, Kelly; Kim, Ana H.; Abrahams, John; Bennett, Michael V. L.; Rozental, Renato

    2012-01-01

    Spreading depression (SD), a slow diffusion-mediated self-sustained wave of depolarization that severely disrupts neuronal function, has been implicated as a cause of cellular injury in a number of central nervous system pathologies, including blind spots in the retina. Here we show that in the hypoglycemic chicken retina, spontaneous episodes of SD can occur, resulting in irreversible punctate lesions in the macula, the region of highest visual acuity in the central region of the retina. These lesions in turn can act as sites of origin for secondary self-sustained reentrant spiral waves of SD that progressively enlarge the lesions. Furthermore, we show that the degeneration of the macula under hypoglycemic conditions can be prevented by blocking reentrant spiral SDs or by blocking caspases. The observation that spontaneous formation of reentrant spiral SD waves leads to the development of progressive retinal lesions under conditions of hypoglycemia establishes a potential role of SD in initiation and progression of macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of visual disability worldwide. PMID:22308470

  14. A common allele in RPGRIP1L is a modifier of retinal degeneration in ciliopathies

    PubMed Central

    Khanna, Hemant; Davis, Erica E.; Murga-Zamalloa, Carlos A.; Estrada, Alejandro; Lopez, Irma; den Hollander, Anneke I.; Zonneveld, Marijke N.; Othman, Mohammad I.; Waseem, Naushin; Chakarova, Christina F.; Maubaret, Cecilia; Diaz-Font, Anna; MacDonald, Ian; Muzny, Donna M.; Wheeler, David A.; Morgan, Margaret; Lewis, Lora R.; Logan, Clare V.; Tan, Perciliz L.; Beer, Michael A.; Inglehearn, Chris F.; Lewis, Richard A.; Jacobson, Samuel G.; Bergmann, Carsten; Beales, Philip L.; Attié-Bitach, Tania; Johnson, Colin A.; Otto, Edgar A.; Bhattacharya, Shomi S.; Hildebrandt, Friedhelm; Gibbs, Richard A.; Koenekoop, Robert K.; Swaroop, Anand; Katsanis, Nicholas

    2009-01-01

    Despite rapid advances in disease gene identification, the predictive power of the genotype remains limited, in part due to poorly understood effects of second-site modifiers. Here we demonstrate that a polymorphic coding variant of RPGRIP1L (retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator-interacting protein-1 like), a ciliary gene mutated in Meckel-Gruber (MKS) and Joubert (JBTS) syndromes, is associated with the development of retinal degeneration in patients with ciliopathies caused by mutations in other genes. As part of our resequencing efforts of the ciliary proteome, we identified several putative loss of function RPGRIP1L mutations, including one common variant, A229T. Multiple genetic lines of evidence showed this allele to be associated with photoreceptor loss in ciliopathies. Moreover, we show that RPGRIP1L interacts biochemically with RPGR, loss of which causes retinal degeneration, and that the 229T-encoded protein significantly compromises this interaction. Our data represent an example of modification of a discrete phenotype of syndromic disease and highlight the importance of a multifaceted approach for the discovery of modifier alleles of intermediate frequency and effect. PMID:19430481

  15. 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 the electronic searches for trials. We last searched the electronic databases on 19 February 2014. Textbooks regarding retinal detachment and the reference lists of relevant reports were reviewed for additional study reports. We contacted experts in the field for details of other published and unpublished studies. Selection criteria This review was designed to include randomized controlled trials in which one treatment for asymptomatic retinal breaks and lattice degeneration was compared with another treatment or no treatment. Data collection and analysis Initially, one author assessed the search results and collected relevant studies. Since no studies met the inclusion criteria, no studies were assessed for risk of bias. No data were extracted and no meta-analysis could be performed. Main results No trials were found that met the inclusion criteria for this review. Authors’ conclusions No conclusions could be reached about the effectiveness of surgical interventions to prevent retinal detachment in eyes with asymptomatic retinal breaks or lattice degeneration, or both. Current recommendations for treatment, based upon a consensus of expert opinion, should be assessed in a randomized controlled trial. PMID:25191970

  16. Mechanobiology of the intervertebral disc and relevance to disc degeneration.

    PubMed

    Setton, Lori A; Chen, Jun

    2006-04-01

    Mechanical loading of the intervertebral disc may contribute to disc degeneration by initiating degeneration or by regulating cell-mediated remodeling events that occur in response to the mechanical stimuli of daily activity. This article is a review of the current knowledge of the role of mechanical stimuli in regulating intervertebral disc cellular responses to loading and the cellular changes that occur with degeneration. Intervertebral disc cells exhibit diverse biologic responses to mechanical stimuli, depending on the loading type, magnitude, duration, and anatomic zone of cell origin. The innermost cells respond to low-to-moderate magnitudes of static compression, osmotic pressure, or hydrostatic pressure with increases in anabolic cell responses. Higher magnitudes of loading may give rise to catabolic responses marked by elevated protease gene or protein expression or activity. The key regulators of these mechanobiologic responses for intervertebral disc cells will be the micromechanical stimuli experienced at the cellular level, which are predicted to differ from that measured for the extracellular matrix. Large hydrostatic pressures, but little volume change, are predicted to occur for cells of the nucleus pulposus during compression, while the highly oriented cells of the anulus fibrosus may experience deformations in tension or compression during matrix deformations. In general, the pattern of biologic response to applied loads suggests that the cells of the nucleus pulposus and inner portion of the anulus fibrosus experience comparable micromechanical stimuli in situ and may respond more similarly than cells of the outer portion of the anulus fibrosus. Changes in these features with degeneration are critically understudied, particularly degeneration-associated changes in cell-level mechanical stimuli and the associated mechanobiology. Little is known of the mechanisms that regulate cellular responses to intervertebral mechanobiology, nor is much known with regard to the precise mechanical stimuli experienced by cells during loading. Mechanical factors appear to regulate responses of the intervertebral disc cells through mechanisms involving intracellular Ca(2+) transients and cytoskeletal remodeling that may regulate downstream effects such as gene expression and posttranslational biosynthesis. Future studies should address the broader biologic responses to mechanical stimuli in intervertebral disc mechanobiology, the involved signaling mechanisms, and the apparently important interactions among mechanical factors, genetic factors, cytokines, and inflammatory mediators that may be critical in the regulation of intervertebral disc degeneration. PMID:16595444

  17. Structure of nearly degenerate dipole bands in 108Ag

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sethi, J.; Palit, R.; Saha, S.; Trivedi, T.; Bhat, G. H.; Sheikh, J. A.; Datta, P.; Carroll, J. J.; Chattopadhyay, S.; Donthi, R.; Garg, U.; Jadhav, S.; Jain, H. C.; Karamian, S.; Kumar, S.; Litz, M. S.; Mehta, D.; Naidu, B. S.; Naik, Z.; Sihotra, S.; Walker, P. M.

    2013-08-01

    The high spin negative parity states of 108Ag have been investigated with the 11B + 100Mo reaction at 39 MeV beam energy using the INGA facility at TIFR, Mumbai. From the γ-γ coincidence analysis, an excited negative parity band has been established and found to be nearly degenerate with the ground state band. The spin and parity of the levels are assigned using angular correlation and polarization measurements. This pair of degenerate bands in 108Ag is studied using the recently developed microscopic triaxial projected shell model approach. The observed energy levels and the ratio of the electromagnetic transition probabilities of these bands in this isotope are well reproduced by the present model. Further, it is shown that the partner band has a different quasiparticle structure as compared to the yrast band.

  18. Correlation of ER stress and retinal degeneration in tubby mice.

    PubMed

    Cai, Xue; Chen, Lijuan; McGinnis, James F

    2015-11-01

    Mutation of the Tub gene results in the mislocalization of photoreceptor-specific proteins and eventually retinal degeneration. However, the exact mechanism underlying the retinal degeneration remains largely unknown. In this study, we discovered that the expression of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress markers, IRE1, ATF6, eIF2α, GRP78/BiP, and XBP-1, is up regulated during tubby retinal development. The dynamics of the expression of these genes are time-dependent and coincided with the time-course of photoreceptor death. Our data also demonstrated that ER stress triggers apoptosis via down-regulation of Bcl2, up-regulation of CHOP and the activation of NF-кB signaling. PMID:26325328

  19. 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

  20. Clinical diagnostic criteria and classification controversies in frontotemporal lobar degeneration

    PubMed Central

    RASCOVSKY, KATYA; GROSSMAN, MURRAY

    2014-01-01

    Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) can manifest as a spectrum of clinical syndromes, ranging from behavioural impairment to language or motor dysfunction. Recently, revised diagnostic criteria have been proposed for the behavioural and progressive aphasia syndromes associated with frontotemporal degeneration. The present review will summarize these diagnostic guidelines and highlight some lingering controversies in the classification of FTLD clinical syndromes. We will discuss common tools and methods used to identify the insidious changes of behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), the value of new, patient-based tasks of orbitofrontal function, and the issue of a benign or ‘phenocopy’ variant of bvFTD. With regard to primary progressive aphasia (PPA), we will discuss the scope of the semantic disorder in semantic-variant PPA, the nature of the speech disorder in non-fluent, agrammatic PPA, and the preliminary utility of a logopenic PPA classification. PMID:23611345

  1. 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

  2. Universal dynamics of a degenerate unitary Bose gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornell, Eric

    2014-03-01

    It has long been thought that one can not study a degenerate Bose gas with fully resonant (unitary) interactions because the gas is unstable to three-body recombination. We find empirically instead that after a Bose-Einstein condensate has been tuned from a weakly interacting state to a fully unitary gas at the peak of a Feshbach resonance, it survives for a time long enough to permit the characterization momentum-population dynamics. In particular, a high momentum tail forms and comes to a quasi-steady state in perhaps 100 microseconds, while the sample continues to survive and indeed remains degenerate for considerably longer. We show that the shape- and time-dependence of the momentum distribution scale in a universal way with sample density. This work was done in collaboration with Phil Makotyn, Deborah Jin, Cathy Klauss and David Goldberger. This work was supported by NSF, ONR and NIST.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Origins of spontaneous activity in the degenerating retina

    PubMed Central

    Trenholm, Stuart; Awatramani, Gautam B.

    2015-01-01

    Sensory deafferentation resulting from the loss of photoreceptors during retinal degeneration (rd) is often accompanied by a paradoxical increase in spontaneous activity throughout the visual system. Oscillatory discharges are apparent in retinal ganglion cells in several rodent models of rd, indicating that spontaneous activity can originate in the retina. Understanding the biophysical mechanisms underlying spontaneous retinal activity is interesting for two main reasons. First, it could lead to strategies that reduce spontaneous retinal activity, which could improve the performance of vision restoration strategies that aim to stimulate remnant retinal circuits in blind patients. Second, studying emergent network activity could offer general insights into how sensory systems remodel upon deafferentation. Here we provide an overview of the work describing spontaneous activity in the degenerating retina, and outline the current state of knowledge regarding the cellular and biophysical properties underlying spontaneous neural activity. PMID:26283914

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Velilla, Sara; Garca-Medina, Jos Javier; Garca-Layana, Alfredo; Pons-Vzquez, Sheila; Pinazo-Durn, M. Dolores; Gmez-Ulla, Francisco; Arvalo, J. Fernando; Daz-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

  8. Ignition Regime for Fusion in a Degenerate Plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Son, S.; Fisch, N.J.

    2005-12-01

    We identify relevant parameter regimes in which aneutronic fuels can undergo fusion ignition in hot-ion degenerate plasma. Because of relativistic effects and partial degeneracy, the self-sustained burning regime is considerably larger than previously calculated. Inverse bremsstrahlung plays a major role in containing the reactor energy. We solve the radiation transfer equation and obtain the contribution to the heat conductivity from inverse bremsstrahlung.

  9. The propagator formulation of the degenerate parametric oscillator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daniel, B.; Fesseha, K.

    1998-06-01

    After systematically deriving general expressions for a two-time correlation function and the photon number distribution in terms of the Q-function, we analyze the squeezing spectrum and the photon number distribution of the signal mode produced by a degenerate parametric oscillator operating below threshold. The time-dependent Q-function is obtained by solving the pertinent Fokker-Planck equation applying the method of evaluating the propagator discussed in J. Math. Phys. 33 (1992) 2179.

  10. 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.

  11. Late recurrence with malignant degeneration of testicular teratoma. Case report.

    PubMed

    Bulbul, M A; Farhat, W; Shabb, N S; Salem, Z

    1998-01-01

    Radical orchiectomy was performed on a 25-year-old man for benign mature teratoma. A synchronous without change 3 cm retroperitoneal mass was followed for five years. The mass enlarged and became symptomatic twelve years after orchiectomy. Excision of the mass revealed a non-seminomatous germ cell tumor. Possible explanation is malignant degeneration of the teratomatous elements. Testicular teratomas should be treated as potentially malignant non-seminomatous tumor. PMID:10095838

  12. Ultrafast Degenerate Transient Lens Spectroscopy in Semiconductor Nanosctructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leontyev, A. V.; Zharkov, D. K.; Shmelev, A. G.; Nikiforov, V. G.; Lobkov, V. S.

    2015-09-01

    We report the non-resonant excitation and probing of the nonlinear refractive index change in bulk semiconductors and semiconductor quantum dots through degenerate transient lens spectroscopy. The signal oscillates at the center laser field frequency, and the envelope of the former in quantum dots is distinctly different from the one in bulk sample. We discuss the applicability of this technique for polarization state probing in semiconductor media with femtosecond temporal resolution.

  13. Imaging of the hand: degeneration, impingement and overuse.

    PubMed

    Stäbler, A; Heuck, A; Reiser, M

    1997-09-01

    Degenerative and overuse diseases as well as impingement syndromes of the hand are illustrated and discussed in this review article. Osteoarthritis of the interphalangeal joints as described by Heberden and Bouchard is a ubiquitous articular disease often associated with synovitis and erosive joint destruction. Osteoarthritis of the trapeziometacarpal joint is classified into four stages for proper indication of operation. Overuse can result in stenosing tenosynovitis around the wrist and in synovitis with or without impingement of the flexor or extensor tendons of the digitis or ruptures of the annular and cruciform pulleys. Although diagnosis of these entities is usually made by history and clinical investigation, ultrasound and MRI can be helpful tools in imaging of these diseases. Scapholunate advanced collapse (SLAC) and scaphoid nonunion advanced collapse (SNAC) are the characteristic degeneration pattern of the wrist and represent the degeneration mechanisms in scapholunate insufficiency and nonunion of the scaphoid. SLAC wrist is a gradual degeneration classified in three stages and found in posttraumatic scapholunate rupture, calcium pyrophosphate dehydrate deposition disease (CPPD), rheumatoid arthritis, neuropathic diseases, trauma, and beta 2-microglobulin associated amyloid deposition. Ulna impaction syndrome is increasingly recognized as a cause of ulnar sided pain and exhibits a characteristic MRI appearance. PMID:9283840

  14. 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.

  15. Membrane-shaping disorders: a common pathway in axon degeneration.

    PubMed

    Hübner, Christian A; Kurth, Ingo

    2014-12-01

    Neurons with long projections are particularly liable to damage, which is reflected by a large group of hereditary neurodegenerative disorders that primarily affect these neurons. In the group of hereditary spastic paraplegias motor axons of the central nervous system degenerate, while distal pure motor neuropathies, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disorders and the group of hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathies are characterized by degeneration of peripheral nerve fibres. Because the underlying pathologies share many parallels, the disorders are also referred to as axonopathies. A large number of genes has been associated with axonopathies and one of the emerging subgroups encodes membrane-shaping proteins with a central reticulon homology domain. Association of these proteins with lipid bilayers induces positive membrane curvature and influences the architecture of cellular organelles. Membrane-shaping proteins closely cooperate and directly interact with each other, but their structural features and localization to distinct subdomains of organelles suggests mutually exclusive roles. In some individuals a mutation in a shaping protein can result in upper motor neuron dysfunction, whereas in other patients it can lead to a degeneration of peripheral neurons. This suggests that membrane-shaping disorders might be considered as a continuous disease-spectrum of the axon. PMID:25281866

  16. Well-posedness results for triply nonlinear degenerate parabolic equations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreianov, B.; Bendahmane, M.; Karlsen, K. H.; Ouaro, S.

    We study well-posedness of triply nonlinear degenerate elliptic-parabolic-hyperbolic problems of the kind b(-diva(u,??(u))+?(u)=f, u|=u in a bounded domain with homogeneous Dirichlet boundary conditions. The nonlinearities b,? and ? are supposed to be continuous non-decreasing, and the nonlinearity a falls within the Leray-Lions framework. Some restrictions are imposed on the dependence of a(u,??(u)) on u and also on the set where ? degenerates. A model case is a(u,??(u))=f(b(u),?(u),?(u))+k(u)a(??(u)), with a nonlinearity ? which is strictly increasing except on a locally finite number of segments, and the nonlinearity a which is of the Leray-Lions kind. We are interested in existence, uniqueness and stability of L entropy solutions. For the parabolic-hyperbolic equation ( b=Id), we obtain a general continuous dependence result on data u,f and nonlinearities b,?,?,a. Similar result is shown for the degenerate elliptic problem, which corresponds to the case of b?0 and general non-decreasing surjective ?. Existence, uniqueness and continuous dependence on data u,f are shown in more generality. For instance, the assumptions [b+?](R)=R and the continuity of ??[ permit to achieve the well-posedness result for bounded entropy solutions of this triply nonlinear evolution problem.

  17. 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.

  18. Quantum degenerate mixture of ytterbium and lithium atoms

    SciTech Connect

    Hansen, Anders H.; Khramov, Alexander; Dowd, William H.; Jamison, Alan O.; Ivanov, Vladyslav V.; Gupta, Subhadeep

    2011-07-15

    We have produced a quantum degenerate mixture of fermionic alkali-metal {sup 6}Li and bosonic spin-singlet {sup 174}Yb gases. This was achieved using sympathetic cooling of lithium atoms by evaporatively cooled ytterbium atoms in a far-off-resonant optical dipole trap. We observe the coexistence of Bose-condensed (T/T{sub c}{approx_equal}0.8) {sup 174}Yb with 2.3x10{sup 4} atoms and Fermi degenerate (T/T{sub F}{approx_equal}0.3) {sup 6}Li with 1.2x10{sup 4} atoms. Quasipure Bose-Einstein condensates of up to 3x10{sup 4} {sup 174}Yb atoms can be produced in single-species experiments. Our results mark a significant step toward studies of few- and many-body physics with mixtures of alkali-metal and alkaline-earth-metal-like atoms, and for the production of paramagnetic polar molecules in the quantum regime. Our methods also establish a convenient scheme for producing quantum degenerate ytterbium atoms in a 1064 nm optical dipole trap.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Progressive myelopathy mimicking subacute combined degeneration after intrathecal chemotherapy.

    PubMed

    Yi, Youbin; Kang, Hyung Jin; Shin, Hee Young; Kim, Keewon

    2015-02-01

    Intrathecal chemotherapy including methotrexate is well documented for neurotoxicity of diverse clinical manifestation. Acute or chronic leukoencephalopathy is the most common type of methotrexate-induced neurotoxicity, and subacute myelopathy is rare. Although its pathogenesis is not fully understood, it is postulated that direct damage of methotrexate to the central nervous system plays a major part and elevated levels of homocysteine and its excitatory amino acid neurotransmitter metabolites (homocysteic acid and cysteine sulfinic acid) could mediate, in part, MTX-associated neurotoxicity. On the while, subacute combined degeneration is a progressive degeneration of the dorsal and lateral columns of the spinal cord, mostly due to vitamin B12 deficiency. The authors report a case of a 15-year-old boy with Burkitt leukemia who developed progressive myelopathy after intrathecal triple therapy (methotrexate, cytarabine, and hydrocortisone) whose clinical and radiologic features were compatible with subacute combined degeneration. The pathogenic mechanism could be explained by biochemical alteration by methotrexate and a possible treatment strategy was discussed. PMID:24659737

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Non-aggregating tau phosphorylation by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 contributes to motor neuron degeneration in spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Miller, Nimrod; Feng, Zhihua; Edens, Brittany M; Yang, Ben; Shi, Han; Sze, Christie C; Hong, Benjamin Taige; Su, Susan C; Cantu, Jorge A; Topczewski, Jacek; Crawford, Thomas O; Ko, Chien-Ping; Sumner, Charlotte J; Ma, Long; Ma, Yong-Chao

    2015-04-15

    Mechanisms underlying motor neuron degeneration in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the leading inherited cause of infant mortality, remain largely unknown. Many studies have established the importance of hyperphosphorylation of the microtubule-associated protein tau in various neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. However, tau phosphorylation in SMA pathogenesis has yet to be investigated. Here we show that tau phosphorylation on serine 202 (S202) and threonine 205 (T205) is increased significantly in SMA motor neurons using two SMA mouse models and human SMA patient spinal cord samples. Interestingly, phosphorylated tau does not form aggregates in motor neurons or neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), even at late stages of SMA disease, distinguishing it from other tauopathies. Hyperphosphorylation of tau on S202 and T205 is mediated by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) in SMA disease condition, because tau phosphorylation at these sites is significantly reduced in Cdk5 knock-out mice; genetic knock-out of Cdk5 activating subunit p35 in an SMA mouse model also leads to reduced tau phosphorylation on S202 and T205 in the SMA;p35(-/-) compound mutant mice. In addition, expression of the phosphorylation-deficient tauS202A,T205A mutant alleviates motor neuron defects in a zebrafish SMA model in vivo and mouse motor neuron degeneration in culture, whereas expression of phosphorylation-mimetic tauS202E,T205E promotes motor neuron defects. More importantly, genetic knock-out of tau in SMA mice rescues synapse stripping on motor neurons, NMJ denervation, and motor neuron degeneration in vivo. Altogether, our findings suggest a novel mechanism for SMA pathogenesis in which hyperphosphorylation of non-aggregating tau by Cdk5 contributes to motor neuron degeneration. PMID:25878277

  5. Non-Aggregating Tau Phosphorylation by Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 5 Contributes to Motor Neuron Degeneration in Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Nimrod; Feng, Zhihua; Edens, Brittany M.; Yang, Ben; Shi, Han; Sze, Christie C.; Hong, Benjamin Taige; Su, Susan C.; Cantu, Jorge A.; Topczewski, Jacek; Crawford, Thomas O.; Ko, Chien-Ping; Sumner, Charlotte J.; Ma, Long

    2015-01-01

    Mechanisms underlying motor neuron degeneration in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the leading inherited cause of infant mortality, remain largely unknown. Many studies have established the importance of hyperphosphorylation of the microtubule-associated protein tau in various neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. However, tau phosphorylation in SMA pathogenesis has yet to be investigated. Here we show that tau phosphorylation on serine 202 (S202) and threonine 205 (T205) is increased significantly in SMA motor neurons using two SMA mouse models and human SMA patient spinal cord samples. Interestingly, phosphorylated tau does not form aggregates in motor neurons or neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), even at late stages of SMA disease, distinguishing it from other tauopathies. Hyperphosphorylation of tau on S202 and T205 is mediated by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) in SMA disease condition, because tau phosphorylation at these sites is significantly reduced in Cdk5 knock-out mice; genetic knock-out of Cdk5 activating subunit p35 in an SMA mouse model also leads to reduced tau phosphorylation on S202 and T205 in the SMA;p35−/− compound mutant mice. In addition, expression of the phosphorylation-deficient tauS202A,T205A mutant alleviates motor neuron defects in a zebrafish SMA model in vivo and mouse motor neuron degeneration in culture, whereas expression of phosphorylation-mimetic tauS202E,T205E promotes motor neuron defects. More importantly, genetic knock-out of tau in SMA mice rescues synapse stripping on motor neurons, NMJ denervation, and motor neuron degeneration in vivo. Altogether, our findings suggest a novel mechanism for SMA pathogenesis in which hyperphosphorylation of non-aggregating tau by Cdk5 contributes to motor neuron degeneration. PMID:25878277

  6. Retinal degeneration increases susceptibility to myopia in mice

    PubMed Central

    Park, Hanna; Tan, Christopher C.; Faulkner, Amanda; Jabbar, Seema B.; Schmid, Gregor; Abey, Jane; Iuvone, P. Michael

    2013-01-01

    Purpose Retinal diseases are often associated with refractive errors, suggesting the importance of normal retinal signaling during emmetropization. For instance, retinitis pigmentosa, a disease characterized by severe photoreceptor degeneration, is associated with myopia; however, the underlying link between these conditions is not known. This study examines the influence of photoreceptor degeneration on refractive development by testing two mouse models of retinitis pigmentosa under normal and form deprivation visual conditions. Dopamine, a potential stop signal for refractive eye growth, was assessed as a potential underlying mechanism. Methods Refractive eye growth in mice that were homozygous for a mutation in Pde6b, Pde6brd1/rd1 (rd1), or Pde6brd10/rd10 (rd10) was measured weekly from 4 to 12 weeks of age and compared to age-matched wild-type (WT) mice. Refractive error was measured using an eccentric infrared photorefractor, and axial length was measured with partial coherence interferometry or spectral domain ocular coherence tomography. A cohort of mice received head-mounted diffuser goggles to induce form deprivation from 4 to 6 weeks of age. Dopamine and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) levels were measured with high-performance liquid chromatography in each strain after exposure to normal or form deprivation conditions. Results The rd1 and rd10 mice had significantly greater hyperopia relative to the WT controls throughout normal development; however, axial length became significantly longer only in WT mice starting at 7 weeks of age. After 2 weeks of form deprivation, the rd1 and rd10 mice demonstrated a faster and larger myopic shift (?6.140.62 and ?7.381.46 diopter, respectively) compared to the WT mice (?2.410.47 diopter). Under normal visual conditions, the DOPAC levels and DOPAC/dopamine ratios, a measure of dopamine turnover, were significantly lower in the rd1 and rd10 mice compared to the WT mice, while the dopamine levels were similar or higher than WT in the rd10 mice. Lower basal levels of DOPAC were highly correlated with increasing myopic shifts. Conclusions Refractive development under normal visual conditions was disrupted toward greater hyperopia from 4 to 12 weeks of age in these photoreceptor degeneration models, despite significantly lower DOPAC levels. However, the retinal degeneration models with low basal levels of DOPAC had increased susceptibility to form deprivation myopia. These results indicate that photoreceptor degeneration may alter dopamine metabolism, leading to increased susceptibility to myopia with an environmental visual challenge. PMID:24146540

  7. Localization of Niemann–Pick C1 protein in astrocytes: Implications for neuronal degeneration in Niemann– Pick type C disease

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Shutish C.; Suresh, Sundar; Kumar, Ujendra; Hu, C. Y.; Cooney, Adele; Blanchette-Mackie, E. Joan; Neufeld, Edward B.; Patel, Ramesh C.; Brady, Roscoe O.; Patel, Yogesh C.; Pentchev, Peter G.; Ong, Wei-Yi

    1999-01-01

    Niemann–Pick type C disease (NP-C) is an inherited neurovisceral lipid storage disorder characterized by progressive neurodegeneration. Most cases of NP-C result from inactivating mutations of NPC1, a recently identified member of a family of genes encoding membrane-bound proteins containing putative sterol sensing domains. By using a specific antipeptide antibody to human NPC1, we have here investigated the cellular and subcellular localization and regulation of NPC1. By light and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry of monkey brain, NPC1 was expressed predominantly in perisynaptic astrocytic glial processes. At a subcellular level, NPC1 localized to vesicles with the morphological characteristics of lysosomes and to sites near the plasma membrane. Analysis of the temporal and spatial pattern of neurodegeneration in the NP-C mouse, a spontaneous mutant model of human NP-C, by amino–cupric–silver staining, showed that the terminal fields of axons and dendrites are the earliest sites of degeneration that occur well before the appearance of a neurological phenotype. Western blots of cultured human fibroblasts and monkey brain homogenates revealed NPC1 as a 165-kDa protein. NPC1 levels in cultured fibroblasts were unchanged by incubation with low density lipoproteins or oxysterols but were increased 2- to 3-fold by the drugs progesterone and U-18666A, which block cholesterol transport out of lysosomes, and by the lysosomotropic agent NH4Cl. These studies show that NPC1 in brain is predominantly a glial protein present in astrocytic processes closely associated with nerve terminals, the earliest site of degeneration in NP-C. Given the vesicular localization of NPC1 and its proposed role in mediating retroendocytic trafficking of cholesterol and other lysosomal cargo, these results suggest that disruption of NPC1-mediated vesicular trafficking in astrocytes may be linked to neuronal degeneration in NP-C. PMID:9990080

  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-end labeling and annexin V labeling) did not suggest ganglion cell death in diabetic C57Bl/6J mice, and ganglion cell death was not increased by a different commercial diet. Conclusions Retinal ganglion cell death in diabetic dogs is significantly inhibited by good or even moderate glycemic control. The finding that diabetic dogs in moderate glycemic control had appreciable vascular disease without apparent retinal ganglion cell degeneration does not support the postulate that neural degeneration causes the vascular pathology. Studies of diabetic mice in our colony again fail to find evidence of ganglion cell death due to prolonged diabetes in this species. PMID:23825921

  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 role of epigenetics in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Gemenetzi, M; Lotery, A J

    2014-12-01

    It is becoming increasingly evident that epigenetic mechanisms influence gene expression and can explain how interactions between genetics and the environment result in particular phenotypes during development. The extent to which this epigenetic effect contributes to phenotype heritability in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is currently ill defined. However, emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic changes are relevant to AMD and as such provide an exciting new avenue of research for AMD. This review addresses information on the impact of posttranslational modification of the genome on the pathogenesis of AMD, such as DNA methylation changes affecting antioxidant gene expression, hypoxia-regulated alterations in chromatin structure, and histone acetylation status in relation to angiogenesis and inflammation. It also contains information on the role of non-coding RNA-mediated gene regulation in AMD at a posttranscriptional (before translation) level. Our aim was to review the epigenetic mechanisms that cause heritable changes in gene activity without changing the DNA sequence. We also describe some long-term alterations in the transcriptional potential of a cell, which are not necessarily heritable but remains to be defined in the future. Increasing understanding of the significance of common and rare genetic variants and their relationship to epigenetics and environmental influences may help in establishing methods to assess the risk of AMD. This in turn may allow new therapeutic interventions for the leading cause of central vision impairment in patients over the age of 50 years in developed countries. Search strategy We searched the MEDLINE/PubMed database following MeSH suggestions for articles including the terms: 'ocular epigenetic mechanisms', 'human disease epigenetics', and 'age-related macular degeneration genetics'. The headline used to locate related articles in PubMed was 'epigenetics in ocular disease', and to restrict search, we used the headlines 'DNA methylation in age related macular degeneration', 'altered gene expression in AMD pathogenesis'. A manual search was also based on references from these articles as well as review articles. PMID:25233816

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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 ASMase KO mice. PMID:26168297

  16. 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).

  17. 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

  18. [Cerebellar cortical degeneration in an American Staffordshire terrier].

    PubMed

    Buijtels, J J C W M; Kroeze, E J B Veldhuis; Voorhout, G; Schellens, C J M M; van Nes, J J

    Most diseases affecting the cerebellum are congenital and three groups can be distinguished on pathogenetic grounds. In the first group, diseases are caused by intrauterine or neonatal viral infections, in the second group by malformations of genetic or unknown origin, and in the third group by degenerative disease, or abiotrophies. Familial late-onset cerebellar abiotrophy has been reported in the Gordon Setter the Old English Sheepdog, the Brittany Spaniel and more recently the American Staffordshire Terrier. This case report describes the clinical, diagnostic and pathological changes in an American Staffordshire Terrier with cerebellar cortical degeneration. This is the first case diagnosed in the Netherlands. PMID:16916197

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Future Therapies of Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Daisuke; Sawada, Yu; Abe, Sanae; Yoshitomi, Takeshi

    2015-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly population, and the prevalence of the disease increases exponentially with every decade after the age of 50 years. While VEGF inhibitors are promising drugs for treating patients with ocular neovascularization, there are limitations to their potential for improving vision in AMD patients. Thus, future therapies are required to have the potential to improve visual outcomes. This paper will summarize the future strategies and therapeutic targets that are aimed at enhancing the efficacy and duration of effect of antiangiogenic strategies. PMID:25802751

  2. 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

  3. Landau damping of electrostatic waves in arbitrarily degenerate quantum plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rightley, Shane; Uzdensky, Dmitri

    2016-03-01

    We carry out a systematic study of the dispersion relation for linear electrostatic waves in an arbitrarily degenerate quantum electron plasma. We solve for the complex frequency spectrum for arbitrary values of wavenumber k and level of degeneracy μ. Our finding is that for large k and high μ the real part of the frequency ωr grows linearly with k and scales with μ, only because of the scaling of the Fermi energy. In this regime, the relative Landau damping rate γ/ωr becomes independent of k and varies inversely with μ. Thus, damping is weak but finite at moderate levels of degeneracy for short wavelengths.

  4. Genetics and molecular pathology of Stargardt-like macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Vasireddy, Vidyullatha; Wong, Paul; Ayyagari, Radha

    2010-05-01

    Stargardt-like macular degeneration (STGD3) is an early onset, autosomal dominant macular degeneration. STGD3 is characterized by a progressive pathology, the loss of central vision, atrophy of the retinal pigment epithelium, and accumulation of lipofuscin, clinical features that are also characteristic of age-related macular degeneration. The onset of clinical symptoms in STGD3, however, is typically observed within the second or third decade of life (i.e., starting in the teenage years). The clinical profile at any given age among STGD3 patients can be variable suggesting that, although STGD3 is a single gene defect, other genetic or environmental factors may play a role in moderating the final disease phenotype. Genetic studies localized the STGD3 disease locus to a small region on the short arm of human chromosome 6, and application of a positional candidate gene approach identified protein truncating mutations in the elongation of very long chain fatty acids-4 gene (ELOVL4) in patients with this disease. The ELOVL4 gene encodes a protein homologous to the ELO group of proteins that participate in fatty acid elongation in yeast. Pathogenic mutations found in the ELOVL4 gene result in altered trafficking of the protein and behave with a dominant negative effect. Mice carrying an Elovl4 mutation developed photoreceptor degeneration and depletion of very long chain fatty acids (VLCFA). ELOVL4 protein participates in the synthesis of fatty acids with chain length longer than 26 carbons. Studies on ELOVL4 indicate that VLCFA may be necessary for normal function of the retina, and the defective protein trafficking and/or altered VLCFA elongation underlies the pathology associated with STGD3. Determining the role of VLCFA in the retina and discerning the implications of abnormal trafficking of mutant ELOVL4 and depleted VLCFA content in the pathology of STGD3 will provide valuable insight in understanding the retinal structure, function, and pathology underlying STGD3 and may lead to a better understanding of the process of macular disease in general. PMID:20096366

  5. Isotropic nonmagnetic flat cloaks degenerated from homogeneous anisotropic trapeziform cloaks.

    PubMed

    Han, Tiancheng; Qiu, Cheng-Wei

    2010-06-01

    We propose a novel kind of trapeziform cloak requiring only homogeneous anisotropic materials. Large-scale flat cloaks can be degenerated from the general trapeziform cloak with PEC inner boundary, and be realized by isotropic nonmagnetic materials for optical frequencies with controlled index profiles and improved invisibility. With the support of PEC inner boundary, large vehicles and objects of arbitrary shape can be concealed between the PEC and ground, and PEC can be firm by adding pillars in the cloaking space. Full-wave simulations validate the proposed cloaking concept, which is not only based on simple isotropic nonmagnetic materials but also realizable in practice. PMID:20588432

  6. 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

  7. Familial spinocerebellar degeneration as an expression of adrenoleukodystrophy.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, T; Noda, S; Umezaki, H; Goto, I; Suzuki, S; Kitaguchi, T; Kuroiwa, Y

    1986-12-01

    A family with adrenoleukodystrophy and clinical manifestations of spinocerebellar degeneration was studied. Two adult male first cousins showed progressive limb and truncal ataxia, slurred speech and spasticity of the extremities. Brain CT scans demonstrated atrophy of the pons and cerebellum, in both cases. Very long chain fatty acids in plasma and erythrocyte membranes were elevated in the affected patients and intermediately increased in an aunt and the mother of one patient, thereby indicating homozygotes and carriers of adrenoleukodystrophy, respectively. This unusual type of adrenoleukodystrophy seems to be transmitted as an X-linked recessive trait. PMID:3468205

  8. Quadrature demultiplexing using a degenerate vector parametric amplifier.

    PubMed

    Lorences-Riesgo, Abel; Liu, Lan; Olsson, Samuel L I; Malik, Rohit; Kumpera, Aleš; Lundström, Carl; Radic, Stojan; Karlsson, Magnus; Andrekson, Peter A

    2014-12-01

    We report on quadrature demultiplexing of a quadrature phase-shift keying (QPSK) signal into two cross-polarized binary phase-shift keying (BPSK) signals with negligible penalty at bit-error rate (BER) equal to 10(-9). The all-optical quadrature demultiplexing is achieved using a degenerate vector parametric amplifier operating in phase-insensitive mode. We also propose and demonstrate the use of a novel and simple phase-locked loop (PLL) scheme based on detecting the envelope of one of the signals after demultiplexing in order to achieve stable quadrature decomposition. PMID:25606877

  9. 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

  10. Hepatic encephalopathy coexists with acquired chronic hepatocerebral degeneration

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  11. Genetics and molecular pathology of Stargardt-like macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Vasireddy, Vidyullatha; Wong, Paul; Ayyagaria, Radha

    2010-01-01

    Stargardt-like macular degeneration (STGD3) is an early onset, autosomal dominant macular degeneration. STGD3 is characterized by a progressive pathology, the loss of central vision, atrophy of the retinal pigment epithelium, and accumulation of lipofuscin, clinical features that are also characteristic of age-related macular degeneration. The onset of clinical symptoms in STGD3, however, is typically observed within the second or third decade of life (i.e., starting in the teenage years). The clinical profile at any given age among STGD3 patients can be variable suggesting that, although STGD3 is a single gene defect, other genetic or environmental factors may play a role in moderating the final disease phenotype. Genetic studies localized the STGD3 disease locus to a small region on the short arm of human chromosome 6, and application of a positional candidate gene approach identified protein truncating mutations in the elongation of very long chain fatty acids-4 gene (ELOVL4) in patients with this disease. The ELOVL4 gene encodes a protein homologous to the ELO group of proteins that participate in fatty acid elongation in yeast. Pathogenic mutations found in the ELOVL4 gene result in altered trafficking of the protein and behave with a dominant negative effect. Mice carrying an Elovl4 mutation developed photoreceptor degeneration and depletion of very long chain fatty acids (VLCFA). ELOVL4 protein participates in the synthesis of fatty acids with chain length longer than 26 carbons. Studies on ELOVL4 indicate that VLCFA may be necessary for normal function of the retina, and the defective protein trafficking and/or altered VLCFA elongation underlies the pathology associated with STGD3. Determining the role of VLCFA in the retina and discerning the implications of abnormal trafficking of mutant ELOVL4 and depleted VLCFA content in the pathology of STGD3 will provide valuable insight in understanding the retinal structure, function, and pathology underlying STGD3 and may lead to a better understanding of the process of macular disease in general. PMID:20096366

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. [Physical activity benefits patients with age-related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Subhi, Yousif; Munch, Inger Christine; Singh, Amardeep; Sørensen, Torben Lykke

    2015-08-17

    We have reviewed studies investigating the effect of physical activity on prevention of early age-related macular degeneration (AMD), progression to late AMD, and risk modulation of morbidity and mortality in patients with AMD. Regular physical activity may lower risk of developing early AMD and progression of early AMD to late AMD at a level comparable with smoking cessation or dietary supplements. Studies suggest that AMD itself is associated with physical inactivity which can result in higher morbidity levels. Patients with AMD may benefit from physical activity counselling at all stages of the disease. PMID:26561660

  15. 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.

  16. 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 ?M, respectively. Galaxolide and Tonalide also induced human cancer cell degeneration with EC50 values of 26 and 98 ?M (neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells) and 58 and 14 ?M (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

  17. ATF6 Is Mutated in Early Onset Photoreceptor Degeneration With Macular Involvement

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Mingchu; Gelowani, Violet; Eblimit, Aiden; Wang, Feng; Young, Marielle P.; Sawyer, Briana L.; Zhao, Li; Jenkins, Glen; Creel, Donnell J.; Wang, Keqing; Ge, Zhongqi; Wang, Hui; Li, Yumei; Hartnett, M. Elizabeth; Chen, Rui

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. Photoreceptor degeneration (PRD) is a genetically heterogeneous retinal disorder. Although a number of genes involved in PRD have been identified, their genetic basis remains unknown in a significant number of patients. In this study, we aimed to identify novel disease-causing genes of PRD. Methods. Comprehensive ocular examinations were performed in a 2-year-old patient diagnosed with early onset PRD. Retinal capture sequencing was performed to screen causative mutations in known retinal disease-causing loci. Whole-exome sequencing (WES) and a series of variant-filtering strategies were applied for identifying novel disease-causing genes. Retina ATF6 expression was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. RT-PCR was performed to identify ATF6 mRNA in the patient. Results. The patient showed typical PRD features, with macular involvement and ellipsoid zone irregularities. Results of retinal capture sequencing were negative. WES data led to identification of biallelic loss-of-function mutations in the ATF6 gene. The first variant generates a premature stop codon (NCBI accession no. NM_007348: c.1126C>T, p.R376*) and the second variant affects a splicing donor site (NM_007348: c.1533+1G>C). Sanger sequencing confirmed the 2 alleles are from 1 parent each. Both of the variants are extremely rare in the population. The splicing variant causes either intron inclusion or exon skipping in the patient, thus severely disrupting ATF6 functional domains. ATF6 is expressed in three neuronal cell layers of mouse retina. Conclusions. Our results support ATF6 as a novel disease-causing gene for PRD and suggest that disrupted protein quality control mechanisms may be a novel pathological mechanism underlying human retinal degeneration. PMID:26070061

  18. Inhibition of Polyisoprenylated Methylated Protein Methyl Esterase by Synthetic Musks Induces Cell Degeneration

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Testing the single degenerate channel for supernova Ia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsons, Steven

    2014-10-01

    The progenitors of supernova Ia are close binaries containing white dwarfs. Of crucial importance to the evolution of these systems is how much material the white dwarf can stably accrete and hence grow in mass. This occurs during a short-lived intense phase of mass transfer known as the super soft source (SSS) phase. The short duration of this phase and large extinction to soft X-rays means that only a handful are known in our Galaxy. Far more can be learned from the underlying SSS progenitor population of close white dwarf plus FGK type binaries. Unfortunately, these systems are hard to find since the main-sequence stars completely outshine the white dwarfs at optical wavelengths. Because of this, there are currently no known close white dwarf binaries with F, G or early K type companions, making it impossible to determine the contribution of the single degenerate channel towards supernova Ia. Using the GALEX and RAVE surveys we have now identified the first large sample of FGK stars with UV excesses, a fraction of which are these illusive, close systems. Following an intense ground based spectroscopic investigation of these systems, we have identified 5 definite close binaries, with periods of less than a few days. Here we apply for COS spectroscopic observations to measure the mass and temperature of the white dwarfs in order to determine the future evolution of these systems. This will provide a crucial test for the single degenerate channel towards supernova Ia.

  2. 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

  3. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging in patients with cerebellar degeneration.

    PubMed

    Tedeschi, G; Bertolino, A; Massaquoi, S G; Campbell, G; Patronas, N J; Bonavita, S; Barnett, A S; Alger, J R; Hallett, M

    1996-01-01

    Using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging, we studied the cerebellum of 9 patients with cerebellar degeneration and of 9 age-matched normal control subjects. This technique permits the simultaneous measurement of N-acetylaspartate, choline-containing compounds, creatine/phosphocreatine, and lactate signal intensities from four 15-mm slices divided into 0.84-ml single-volume elements. Because patients with cerebellar degeneration often show substantial atrophy on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), we specifically chose to analyze the spectroscopic signals only from tissue that did not have an atrophic appearance on the MRI. The spectroscopic findings showed a significant reduction of N-acetylaspartate in all parts of the cerebellum, a significant correlation with MRI scores of cerebellar atrophy, and a significant correlation with clinical rating scores of cerebellar disturbance. Our method of analysis suggests the presence of a neurodegenerative process in cerebellar areas that do not appear to be atrophic on the MRI. Some limitations of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging in the present study were related to the partial field inhomogeneity characteristics of the posterior fossa, the anatomical location of the cerebellum, and the particularly severe cerebellar atrophy in some of the patients. PMID:8572670

  4. Motor skill learning in patients with cerebellar degeneration.

    PubMed

    Topka, H; Massaquoi, S G; Benda, N; Hallett, M

    1998-06-30

    To explore the role of the cerebellum in learning a complex motor task, we studied nineteen patients with cerebellar degeneration and sixteen healthy subjects who attempted to improve their performance in generating a trajectory connecting five via points on a data tablet. Multijoint arm movements were performed at a constant total movement time, and spatial error was measured. Subjects performed 100 trials at a movement time of 3.5 s (slow movements), and another 100 trials at maximum speed (fast movements). With slow movements, patients and normal subjects reduced the error over trials to the same extent, but in patients, the rate of improvement was slightly slower. With fast movements, patients showed less improvement than normal subjects. When tested 24 h later, patients demonstrated significant retention of acquired skill and tended to improve more rapidly when performing both slow and fast movements than during the first session. We conclude that patients with cerebellar degeneration can exhibit almost normal performance in skill learning with slow movements, but with fast movements, their performance improves to a lesser extent. The problem may be difficulty in the refinement of motor execution, which is more of a requirement for fast movements than for slow ones. PMID:9702687

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Photon upconversion in degenerately sulfur doped InP nanowires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mergenthaler, K.; Lehmann, S.; Wallentin, J.; Zhang, W.; Borgstrm, 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

  8. Transverse phase shielding solitons in the degenerated optical parametric oscillator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clerc, Marcel G.; Coulibaly, Saliya; Garcia-Ñustes, Mónica A.; Zárate, Yair

    2015-11-01

    Localized structures in optics have attracted attention for their potential applications in telecommunications and information storage. In the present work, localized structures with non-uniform phase structure in the degenerate optical parametrical oscillator are reported and elucidated. Dissipative solitons with non-uniform phase structures in parametrically driven systems have been already observed in prototype models being found in two typical shapes: symmetrical and asymmetrical. In contrast, the phase structure in degenerate optical parametrical oscillator is always symmetrical, showing a pronounced bell-shaped phase. We show that the nonlinear saturation present in this physical system is responsible of a relaxation dynamics and this symmetry. Probing that real physical systems exhibit always this unique type of localized structure with phase structure. An adequate analytical description for the phase, based on a simple model, is achieved showing that such structure is controlled by the interplay between the detuning, the external pump and the losses of the cavity. Numerical simulations present quite agreement with theoretical predictions.

  9. The degenerate primer design problem: theory and applications.

    PubMed

    Linhart, Chaim; Shamir, Ron

    2005-05-01

    A PCR primer sequence is called degenerate if some of its positions have several possible bases. The degeneracy of the primer is the number of unique sequence combinations it contains. We study the problem of designing a pair of primers with prescribed degeneracy that match a maximum number of given input sequences. Such problems occur when studying a family of genes that is known only in part, or is known in a related species. We prove that various simplified versions of the problem are hard, show the polynomiality of some restricted cases, and develop approximation algorithms for one variant. Based on these algorithms, we implemented a program called HYDEN for designing highly degenerate primers for a set of genomic sequences. We report on the success of the program in several applications, one of which is an experimental scheme for identifying all human olfactory receptor (OR) genes. In that project, HYDEN was used to design primers with degeneracies up to 10(10) that amplified with high specificity many novel genes of that family, tripling the number of OR genes known at the time. PMID:15882141

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Atorvastatin treatment attenuates motor neuron degeneration in wobbler mice.

    PubMed

    Iwamoto, Konosuke; Yoshii, Yasuhiro; Ikeda, Ken

    2009-01-01

    We aimed to study whether atorvastatin treatment can retard motor neuron degeneration in wobbler mice. Wobbler mice and their normal littermates were fed 0.01% atorvastatin-mixed food (10 mg/kg/day) or regular food from age 3-4 weeks of disease onset for four weeks (n=10/group) or more than eight weeks (n=10/group). Motor function was evaluated by pull-strength and deformity scale of the forelimbs. For those symptomatic assessment and body weight were measured weekly. Neuropathological and biochemical changes of the biceps muscle and the cervical cord were analyzed at four weeks after treatment. Compared to vehicle, atorvastatin-treated wobbler mice delayed progression of forelimb motor deficits by more than four weeks. Wobbler mice significantly increased body weight from three weeks post-treatment of atorvastatin, compared with vehicle (p<0.05). Atorvastatin administration suppressed denervation atrophy at 30% (p<0.01), maintained choline acetyl transferase activities of the biceps muscle (p<0.05), and attenuated approximately 30% loss of motor neurons in wobbler mice (p<0.01). Atorvastatin fed to normal littermates did not influence body weight gain, neuropathological and biochemical findings. These data suggest that atorvastatin has neuroprotective effects on denervating muscles and degenerating motor neurons in wobbler mice. PMID:19922131

  13. Presenting neuropsychological testing profile of autopsy-confirmed frontotemporal degenerations

    PubMed Central

    Yoshizawa, Hiroshi; Vonsattel, Jean Paul G.; Honig, Lawrence S.

    2015-01-01

    Background/Aims We aimed to investigate how neuropsychological test measures at presentation might differentiate frontotemporal degenerations (FTD) from Alzheimer disease (AD). Methods We compared autopsy-confirmed frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and definite AD with Clinical Dementia Rating ≤1. Factor scores and t-values of each neuropsychological test measure were compared between FTLD and AD patients. Logistic regression analyses were applied to identify independent predictors within test measures for differentiation of FTLD from AD. Results Factor analyses showed that memory domain was more severely impaired in AD than in FTLD, whereas language and attention domain were more severely impaired in FTLD than in AD. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that Letter Fluency, Boston Naming Test, and delayed memory recall remained as independent predictors of FTLD compared to AD. However, test measures did not discriminate between FTLD-tau and FTLD-ubiqutin (FTLD-U). Conclusion We confirm that memory and language function tests discriminate between FTLD and AD. PMID:23949428

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Hypertrophic Olivary Degeneration: A Neurosurgical Point of View.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Carlos Henrique; Kimmig, Hubert; Lopez, William Omar Contreras; Lange, Manfred; Oeckler, Reinhard

    2016-01-01

    Hypertrophic olivary degeneration (HOD) is a rare form of transsynaptic degeneration characterized by hypertrophy of the inferior olivary nucleus situated in the olivary body, part of the medulla oblongata, representing a major source of input to the cerebellum. HOD typically results from focal lesions interrupting connections from the inferior olive within the dentato-rubro-olivary pathway, a region also known as the triangle of Guillain-Mollaret (TGM) (red nucleus, inferior olivary nucleus, and contralateral dentate nucleus). Clinically, HOD presents classically as palatal tremor and can include dentatorubral tremor and/or ocular myoclonus. The pathologic changes associated with HOD feature radiologic changes with the inferior olivary nucleus appearing larger and increasing its T2-weighted signal intensity on magnetic resonance images. HOD is commonly managed with pharmacotherapy but may require surgical intervention in extreme cases. HOD has been found to develop as a consequence of any injury that disrupts the TGM pathways (e.g., pontine cavernoma).These findings highlight the critical importance of a thorough knowledge of TGM anatomy to avoid secondary HOD. We present a patient who developed HOD secondary to resection of a tectal plate cavernous malformation and review the literature with an emphasis on the current knowledge of this disorder. PMID:26588253

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Resveratrol delays Wallerian degeneration in a NAD(+) and DBC1 dependent manner.

    PubMed

    Calliari, Aldo; Bobba, Natalia; Escande, Carlos; Chini, Eduardo N

    2014-01-01

    Axonal degeneration is a central process in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that are involved in axonal degeneration is crucial to developing new therapies against diseases involving neuronal damage. Resveratrol is a putative SIRT1 activator that has been shown to delay neurodegenerative diseases, including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Alzheimer, and Huntington's disease. However, the effect of resveratrol on axonal degeneration is still controversial. Using an in vitro model of Wallerian degeneration based on cultures of explants of the dorsal root ganglia (DRG), we showed that resveratrol produces a delay in axonal degeneration. Furthermore, the effect of resveratrol on Wallerian degeneration was lost when SIRT1 was pharmacologically inhibited. Interestingly, we found that knocking out Deleted in Breast Cancer-1 (DBC1), an endogenous SIRT1 inhibitor, restores the neuroprotective effect of resveratrol. However, resveratrol did not have an additive protective effect in DBC1 knockout-derived DRGs, suggesting that resveratrol and DBC1 are working through the same signaling pathway. We found biochemical evidence suggesting that resveratrol protects against Wallerian degeneration by promoting the dissociation of SIRT1 and DBC1 in cultured ganglia. Finally, we demonstrated that resveratrol can delay degeneration of crushed nerves in vivo. We propose that resveratrol protects against Wallerian degeneration by activating SIRT1 through dissociation from its inhibitor DBC1. PMID:24252177

  1. Expression of NG2 proteoglycan in the degenerated intervertebral disc in dachshunds

    PubMed Central

    ABDEL-HAKIEM, Mohammed; YAMASHITA, Ayuko; ATIBA, Ayman; OKAMURA, Yasuhiko; KATAYAMA, Masaaki; YOUSSEF, Haroun; ISOMURA, Hiroshi; UZUKA, Yuji

    2015-01-01

    The pathogenesis of intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is not fully understood. The biomolecular signaling pathways involved in the IVD degeneration require further investigation. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of NG2 proteoglycan in the degenerated IVD. IVD samples were obtained from 16 Dachshunds that were confirmed to have IVD herniation and subsequently underwent hemilaminectomy. The samples were subjected to histological and immunohistochemical (IHC) examinations. IHC revealed positive results for the expression of NG2 proteoglycan in all examined samples. The results showed the expression of NG2 proteoglycan by the degenerated IVDs. PMID:26300439

  2. Qualitative and quantitative assessment of degeneration of cervical intervertebral discs and facet joints.

    PubMed

    Walraevens, Joris; Liu, Baoge; Meersschaert, Joke; Demaerel, Philippe; Delye, Hans; Depreitere, Bart; Vander Sloten, Jos; Goffin, Jan

    2009-03-01

    Degeneration of intervertebral discs and facet joints is one of the most frequently encountered spinal disorders. In order to describe and quantify degeneration and evaluate a possible relationship between degeneration and biomechanical parameters, e.g., the intervertebral range of motion and intradiscal pressure, a scoring system for degeneration is mandatory. However, few scoring systems for the assessment of degeneration of the cervical spine exist. Therefore, two separate objective scoring systems to qualitatively and quantitatively assess the degree of cervical intervertebral disc and facet joint degeneration were developed and validated. The scoring system for cervical disc degeneration consists of three variables which are individually scored on neutral lateral radiographs: "height loss" (0-4 points), "anterior osteophytes" (0-3 points) and "endplate sclerosis" (0-2 points). The scoring system for facet joint degeneration consists of four variables which are individually scored on neutral computed tomography scans: "hypertrophy" (0-2 points), "osteophytes" (0-1 point), "irregularity" on the articular surface (0-1 point) and "joint space narrowing" (0-1 point). Each variable contributes with varying importance to the overall degeneration score (max 9 points for the scoring system of cervical disc degeneration and max 5 points for facet joint degeneration). Degeneration of 20 discs and facet joints of 20 patients was blindly assessed by four raters: two neurosurgeons (one senior and one junior) and two radiologists (one senior and one junior), firstly based on first subjective impression and secondly using the scoring systems. Measurement errors and inter- and intra-rater agreement were determined. The measurement error of the scoring system for cervical disc degeneration was 11.1 versus 17.9% of the subjective impression results. This scoring system showed excellent intra-rater agreement (ICC = 0.86, 0.75-0.93) and excellent inter-rater agreement (ICC = 0.78, 0.64-0.88). Surgeons as well as radiologists and seniors as well as juniors obtained excellent inter- and intra-rater agreement. The measurement error of the scoring system for cervical facet joint degeneration was 20.1 versus 24.2% of the subjective impression results. This scoring system showed good intra-rater agreement (ICC = 0.71, 0.42-0.89) and fair inter-rater agreement (ICC = 0.49, 0.26-0.74). Both scoring systems fulfilled the criteria for recommendation proposed by Kettler and Wilke. Our scoring systems can be reliable and objective tools for assessing cervical disc and facet joint degeneration. Moreover, the scoring system of cervical disc degeneration was shown to be experience- and discipline-independent. PMID:19005690

  3. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ata-ur-Rahman,; Qamar, A.; National Centre for Physics, QAU Campus, Shahdrah Valley Road, Islamabad 44000 ; Masood, W.; COMSATS, Institute of Information Technology, Park Road, Chak Shahzad, Islamabad 44000 ; 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.

  5. Do Single-Degenerate Type Ia Supernovae Generally Lead to Normal Type Ia Supernovae?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, Robert

    2016-01-01

    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 dominant 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 talk, I will clarify the nature of ignition in Chandrasekhar-mass single-degenerate SNe Ia and demonstrate that the overwhelming majority of ignition events within Chandrasekhar-mass WDs in the single-degenerate channel are generally expected to be buoyancy-driven, and consequently lack a vigorous deflagration phase. I will show, using both analytic criteria and multidimensional numerical simulations, that the single-degenerate channel is inherently stochastic and leads to a variety of outcomes from failed SN 2002cx-like events through overluminous SN 1991T-like events. I will also demonstrate how the rates predicted from both the population of supersoft X-ray sources (SSSs) and binary population synthesis models of the single-degenerate channel can be brought into agreement with single-degenerate SNe Ia. I will 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. I will conclude with a range of observational tests which will either support or strongly constrain the single-degenerate scenario.

  6. Expression of bioactive bone morphogenetic proteins in the subacromial bursa of patients with chronic degeneration of the rotator cuff

    PubMed Central

    Neuwirth, Jana; Fuhrmann, Renée AE; Veit, Amanda; Aurich, Matthias; Stonâns, Ilmars; Trommer, Tilo; Hortschansky, Peter; Chubinskaya, Susanna; Mollenhauer, Juergen A

    2006-01-01

    Degeneration of the rotator cuff is often associated with inflammation of the subacromial bursa and focal mineralization of the supraspinatus tendon. Portions of the supraspinatus tendon distant from the insertion site could transform into fibrous cartilage, causing rotator-cuff tears owing to mechanical instability. Indirect evidence is presented to link this pathology to ectopic production and secretion of bioactive bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) from sites within the subacromial bursa. Surgically removed specimens of subacromial bursa tissue from patients with chronic tears of the rotator cuff were analyzed by immunohistochemistry and reverse transcription-PCR. Bioactive BMP was detected in bursa extracts by a bioassay based on induction of alkaline phosphatase in the osteogenic/myogenic cell line C2C12. Topical and differential expression of BMP-2/4 and BMP-7 mRNA and protein was found in bursa tissue. The bioassay of C2C12 cells revealed amounts of active BMP high enough to induce osteogenic cell types, and blocking BMP with specific antibodies or soluble BMP receptors Alk-3 and Alk-6 abolished the inductive properties of the extract. Sufficient information was gathered to explain how ectopic expression of BMP might induce tissue transformation into ectopic bone/cartilage and, therefore, promote structural degeneration of the rotator cuff. Early surgical removal of the subacromial bursa might present an option to interrupt disease progression. PMID:16719933

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. The role of epigenetics in age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Gemenetzi, M; Lotery, A J

    2014-01-01

    It is becoming increasingly evident that epigenetic mechanisms influence gene expression and can explain how interactions between genetics and the environment result in particular phenotypes during development. The extent to which this epigenetic effect contributes to phenotype heritability in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is currently ill defined. However, emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic changes are relevant to AMD and as such provide an exciting new avenue of research for AMD. This review addresses information on the impact of posttranslational modification of the genome on the pathogenesis of AMD, such as DNA methylation changes affecting antioxidant gene expression, hypoxia-regulated alterations in chromatin structure, and histone acetylation status in relation to angiogenesis and inflammation. It also contains information on the role of non-coding RNA-mediated gene regulation in AMD at a posttranscriptional (before translation) level. Our aim was to review the epigenetic mechanisms that cause heritable changes in gene activity without changing the DNA sequence. We also describe some long-term alterations in the transcriptional potential of a cell, which are not necessarily heritable but remains to be defined in the future. Increasing understanding of the significance of common and rare genetic variants and their relationship to epigenetics and environmental influences may help in establishing methods to assess the risk of AMD. This in turn may allow new therapeutic interventions for the leading cause of central vision impairment in patients over the age of 50 years in developed countries. Search strategy We searched the MEDLINE/PubMed database following MeSH suggestions for articles including the terms: ‘ocular epigenetic mechanisms', ‘human disease epigenetics', and ‘age-related macular degeneration genetics'. The headline used to locate related articles in PubMed was ‘epigenetics in ocular disease', and to restrict search, we used the headlines ‘DNA methylation in age related macular degeneration', ‘altered gene expression in AMD pathogenesis'. A manual search was also based on references from these articles as well as review articles. PMID:25233816

  10. 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.

  11. 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 treatment of mild IVD degeneration. The conjugated BMP-2 and BMP-2/7 appeared safe, but no disc regeneration was observed. Possible explanations include too low dosages, short follow-up time, and/or insufficient release of the conjugated BMPs. These aspects should be addressed in future studies. PMID:26543683

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Lifespan maturation and degeneration of human brain white matter

    PubMed Central

    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 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

  15. Degenerate horizons, Einstein metrics, and Lens space bundles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kunduri, Hari K.; Lucietti, James

    2014-12-01

    We present a new infinite class of near-horizon geometries of degenerate horizons, satisfying Einstein's equations for all odd dimensions greater than five. The symmetry and topology of these solutions is compatible with those of black holes. The simplest examples give horizons of spatial topology S3 ×S2 or the non-trivial S3-bundle over S2. More generally, the horizons are Lens space bundles associated to certain principal torus-bundles over Fano Kähler-Einstein manifolds. We also consider the classification problem for Einstein metrics on such Lens space bundles and derive a family which unifies all the known examples (Sasakian and non-Sasakian).

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Gene-Diet Interactions in Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Rowan, Sheldon; Taylor, Allen

    2016-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a prevalent blinding disease, accounting for roughly 50 % of blindness in developed nations. Very significant advances have been made in terms of discovering genetic susceptibilities to AMD as well as dietary risk factors. To date, nutritional supplementation is the only available treatment option for the dry form of the disease known to slow progression of AMD. Despite an excellent understanding of genes and nutrition in AMD, there is remarkably little known about gene-diet interactions that may identify efficacious approaches to treat individuals. This review will summarize our current understanding of gene-diet interactions in AMD with a focus on animal models and human epidemiological studies. PMID:26427399

  20. 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.

  1. Unraveling the mechanisms involved in motor neuron degeneration in ALS.

    PubMed

    Bruijn, Lucie I; Miller, Timothy M; Cleveland, Don W

    2004-01-01

    Although Charcot described amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) more than 130 years ago, the mechanism underlying the characteristic selective degeneration and death of motor neurons in this common adult motor neuron disease has remained a mystery. There is no effective remedy for this progressive, fatal disorder. Modern genetics has now identified mutations in one gene [Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1)] as a primary cause and implicated others [encoding neurofilaments, cytoplasmic dynein and its processivity factor dynactin, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)] as contributors to, or causes of, motor neuron diseases. These insights have enabled development of model systems to test hypotheses of disease mechanism and potential therapies. Along with errors in the handling of synaptic glutamate and the potential excitotoxic response this provokes, these model systems highlight the involvement of nonneuronal cells in disease progression and provide new therapeutic strategies. PMID:15217349

  2. 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".

  3. AMO Teledioptric System for age-related macular degeneration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chou, Jim-Son; Ting, Albert C.

    1994-05-01

    A 2.5 X magnification system consisting of a two-zone intraocular implant and a spectacle was developed, tested, and clinically tried by fifty patients with cataract ad age-related macular degeneration. Optical bench testing results and clinical data confirmed that the field of view of the system was 2.6 times wider than an equivalent external telescope. The study also demonstrated that the implant itself was clinically equivalent to a standard monofocal intraocular lens for cataract. The clinical study indicated that higher magnification without compromising the compactness and optical quality was needed as the disease progressed. Also, a sound vision rehabilitation process is important to provide patients the full benefits of the system.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Cognitive dysfunction and age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Rozzini, Luca; Riva, Maddalena; Ghilardi, Nausica; Facchinetti, Paola; Forbice, Eliana; Semeraro, Francesco; Padovani, Alessandro

    2014-05-01

    Several previous studies showed that age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) share common risk factors and histopathology changes, and there is epidemiological evidence linking AMD to cognitive impairment. We tested this theory in 51 patients with late-stage AMD and 24 controls by analyzing their neuropsychological profiles. In this study, data showed that patients affected by late-stage AMD have a worse global cognitive function than those of the controls and, in particular, show worse performances in memory tasks. Moreover, patients affected by the dry form of AMD are significantly impaired in executive functions in addition to memory. Data support the hypothesis of a possible association between AMD and cognitive impairment. In particular, patients affected by the dry form of AMD may be at greater risk of developing subsequent dementia. PMID:24370621

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Radiative neutrino mass model with degenerate right-handed neutrinos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashiwase, Shoichi; Suematsu, Daijiro

    2016-03-01

    The radiative neutrino mass model can relate neutrino masses and dark matter at a TeV scale. If we apply this model to thermal leptogenesis, we need to consider resonant leptogenesis at that scale. It requires both finely degenerate masses for the right-handed neutrinos and a tiny neutrino Yukawa coupling. We propose an extension of the model with a U(1) gauge symmetry, in which these conditions are shown to be simultaneously realized through a TeV scale symmetry breaking. Moreover, this extension can bring about a small quartic scalar coupling between the Higgs doublet scalar and an inert doublet scalar which characterizes the radiative neutrino mass generation. It also is the origin of the Z_2 symmetry which guarantees the stability of dark matter. Several assumptions which are independently supposed in the original model are closely connected through this extension.

  11. Intracorneal rings for the correction of pellucid marginal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Prats, Jose; Galal, Ahmed; Garcia-Lledo, Magdalena; De La Hoz, Fernando; Alió, Jorge L

    2003-07-01

    We report a case of Intacs(R) (KeraVision) implantation for the correction of pellucid marginal degeneration (PMD). Preoperatively, the patient's uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA) was 0.05, the best spectacle-corrected visual acuity (BSCVA) was 0.1, and the refraction was -2.00 -7.00 x 90 in the right eye. The flattest meridian (K1) measured 43.8@104 and the steepest meridian (K2), 51.3@14. Ultrasound pachymetry revealed a thin cornea of 420 micrometers. One month postoperatively, the UCVA was 0.2, the BSCVA was 0.5, and the refraction was -8.00 -7.00 x 50. Contact lens best corrected visual acuity was 0.9; 6 months postoperatively, it improved to 1.0. The use of Intacs to treat PMD seems to be viable and improves visual acuity. The residual error can be corrected with contact lenses. PMID:12900254

  12. Next generation therapeutic solutions for age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Cunnsamy, Khrishen; Ufret-Vincenty, Rafael; Wang, Shusheng

    2013-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the primary cause of blindness among the elderly worldwide. To date, no cure is available, and the available palliative treatments only showed limited efficacy in improving visual acuity. The etiology of AMD remains elusive but research over the past decade has uncovered characteristic features of the disease. Known as the hallmarks of AMD, these features include (A) oxidative stress and RPE cytotoxicity; (B) loss of macromolecular permeability and hydraulic conductivity: (C) inflammation; (D) choroidal neovascularization and vascular leakage; and (E) loss of neuroprotection. Recent breakthrough in understanding the pathogenesis of AMD has spawned an array of novel therapeutic agents designed to address these hallmarks. Here we review the features of AMD and highlight the most promising therapeutic and diagnostic approaches based on the patents published from 2008 to 2011. Most likely, a next generation treatment for AMD will be developed from these emerging efforts. PMID:24040506

  13. Broadband degenerate OPO for mid-infrared frequency comb generation.

    PubMed

    Leindecker, Nick; Marandi, Alireza; Byer, Robert L; Vodopyanov, Konstantin L

    2011-03-28

    We present a new technique suitable for generating broadband phase- and frequency-locked frequency combs in the mid-infrared. Our source is based on a degenerate optical parametric oscillator (OPO) which rigorously both down-converts and augments the spectrum of a pump frequency comb provided by a commercial mode-locked near-IR laser. Low intracavity dispersion, combined with extensive cross-mixing of comb components, results in extremely broad instantaneous mid-IR bandwidths. We achieve an output power of 60 mW and 20 dB bandwidth extending from 2500 to 3800 nm. Among other applications, such a source is well-suited for coherent Fourier-transform spectroscopy in the absorption-rich mid-IR 'molecular fingerprint' region. PMID:21451655

  14. Relaxation of plasma waves in Fermi-degenerate quantum plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steffen, W.; Kull, H.-J.

    2016-03-01

    Plasma waves in a Fermi-degenerate quantum plasma are studied in the framework of the Vlasov-Poisson self-consistent-field theory. A complete time-dependent analytical solution of the initial-value problem is obtained for a multistream model both by stationary-wave and Laplace-transform methods. In the continuum limit, the excitation spectrum can be expressed by the imaginary part of the response function to the initial perturbations. The relaxation of plasma waves is discussed for one-dimensional systems with both Fermi and Maxwellian statistics. Apart from the usual exponential Landau damping, regimes of sub- and superexponential damping can be identified due to the phase relaxation of single-particle excitations. In addition, beat waves and echoes are discussed.

  15. Nutritional supplements in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Schmidl, Doreen; Garhöfer, Gerhard; Schmetterer, Leopold

    2015-03-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most frequent cause of blindness in the Western World. While with new therapies that are directed towards vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a potentially efficient treatment option for the wet form of the disease has been introduced, a therapeutic regimen for dry AMD is still lacking. There is evidence from several studies that oral intake of supplements is beneficial in preventing progression of the disease. Several formulations of micronutrients are currently available. The present review focuses on the role of supplements in the treatment and prevention of AMD and sums up the current knowledge about the most frequently used micronutrients. In addition, regulatory issues are discussed, and future directions for the role of supplementation in AMD are highlighted. PMID:25586104

  16. 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

  17. [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

  18. The physical properties of double degenerate common proper motion binaries

    SciTech Connect

    Sion, E.M.; Oswalt, T.D.; Liebert, J.; Hintzen, P. Villanova Univ., PA Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne Steward Observatory, Tucson, AZ Nevada Univ., Las Vegas )

    1991-04-01

    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. 24 refs.

  19. STUDIES UPON CALCAREOUS DEGENERATION : I. THE PROCESS OF PATHOLOGICAL CALCIFICATION.

    PubMed

    Klotz, O

    1905-11-25

    IT WILL BE SEEN FROM THE ABOVE THAT WE HAVE STUDIED THE CONDITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH THE DEPOSIT OF CALCAREOUS SALTS: (I) in connection with normal and pathological ossification, and (2) in pathological calcification as exhibited in (a) atheroma of the vessels; (b) calcification of caseating tubercular lesions; (c) calcification of inflammatory new growth, and (d) degenerating tumors; and we have induced experimentally deposits of calcareous salts in the lower animals: (a) within celloidin capsules containing fats and soaps; (b) in the kidney, and (c) in connection with fat necrosis. I. We have found that bone formation and pathological calcareous infiltration are wholly distinct processes. In the former there is no evidence of associated fatty change, and the cells associated with the process of deposition of calcium are functionally active. In the latter there is an antecedent fatty change in the affected areas, and the cells involved present constant evidences of degeneration. The view that would seem to account best for the changes observed in the latter case is that with lowered vitality the cells are unable to utilize the products brought to them by the blood, or which they continue to absorb, so that the normal series of decompositions associated with their metabolism fails to take place and hence they interact among themselves in the cytoplasm with the result that insoluble compounds replace soluble ones. II. Besides the fact that calcification is always preceded by fatty change within the cells, another fact should be emphasized. namely: that combination of the fats present with calcium salts to form calcium soaps tends to occur. The stages immediately preceding these are difficult to follow with anything approaching certainty, perhaps because the earlier stages vary under different conditions. In fat necrosis, for instance, the cells affected are normally storehouses for neutral fats, and as long as they remain healthy neutral fats alone are present in them. When they are subjected to the action of the pancreatic juice with its fat-splitting ferment the cells are killed and coincidently the neutral fats are decomposed, fatty acids being deposited. The fatty acids now slowly combine with the calcium salts. In degenerating lipomata the process would seem to be similar. But in other cases the cells are not obviously fat-containing in the normal state; nevertheless prior to calcification they undergo so-called fatty degeneration, which is really a form of cell degeneration accompanied by fat infiltration. As regards the source of the cell fats in general we may safely accept: 1. That fats are transported in the blood as diffusible soaps. 2. That taken up by the cells these soaps may either- (a) Be reconverted into neutral fats and become stored in the cytoplasm as such, or (b) undergo assimilation proper, becoming part and parcel of the cell substance, in which case they are not recognizable by the ordinary microchemical tests. 3. If these two possibilities be accepted it follows that the appearance of fats and soaps in the degenerating cell may be due to either- (a) Absorption or infiltration of soaps from the surrounding medium, the degenerating cell retaining the power of splitting off the fat but being unable to utilize this in metabolism. (b) Cytoplasmic disintegration with dissociation of the soap-albumen combination or, more broadly, liberation of the fats from their combination with the cytoplasm. The appearances seen in the cells of atheromatous areas indicate that the first of these does occur. III. In areas undergoing calcareous infiltration we have demonstrated. the presence of soaps, and this often in such quantities that they can be isolated and estimated by gross chemical methods. By microchemical methods also we have been able to show that after removing all the neutral fats and fatty acids by petroleum ether there remains behind a substance giving with Sudan III the reaction we associate with the presence of soap. And experimentally we have produced these soaps within the organism, more particularly by placing capsules containing fats and fatty acids within the tissues and after several days finding that the capsules contain calcium soaps and possess a calcium content far in excess of that of the normal blood and lymph. IV. While these are the facts, certain of the details of this reaction demand elucidation. The existence of sodium and it may be potassium soaps in the degenerated cells is comprehensible if we accept that these are present in the circulating lymph and simply undergoing absorption. But even then, as these are diffusible substances how is it to be explained that they become stored up in these particular areas? We have found that, as a matter of fact, in regions which give the reaction for soaps, but which give no reaction for calcium (which therefore presumably contain at most amounts of the insoluble calcium soap too small to need consideration, the ordinary solvents for potassium and sodium soaps do not forthwith remove the stainable material; they are relatively insoluble. The reason for this insolubility is suggested by the observations made in the test tube, that soap solutions mixed with solutions of white of egg or blood serum form a precipitate of combined soap and albumen, which likewise is insoluble in water and alcohol. The indications are therefore that in cells undergoing degeneration, with degeneration of the cytoplasm, certain albuminous molecules unite with the soaps present to form relatively insoluble soap-albuminate. V. With regard to calcium soaps, these are also present and in certain stages appear to be the dominating form in the affected tissues. Two questions suggest themselves, viz.: what is the source of calcium, and what is the process by which they become formed? As to the source, the amount present in well-marked calcification is far in excess of the normal calcium contents of the affected tissue. If in the kidneys of experimental calcification three hundred times as much calcium may be present as in the normal kidney (von Kossa), the calcium must be conveyed to the part by the blood and lymph, and that this is so is demonstrated, as we have pointed out, by the distribution of the infiltration in solid organs, that like ovarian fibroids have undergone necrosis, in which the earliest deposits are superficial. As to the process, there are three possibilities: 1. That sodium and potassium soaps and soap albuminates are first formed and that interaction occurs between them and the diffused calcium salts from the lymph, the less soluble-calcium replacing the sodium and potassium. 2. That under certain conditions the calcium salts act directly on the neutral fats present in the degenerating cells. 3. That the neutral fats are first broken down into fatty acids and that these react with the calcium salts to form the soaps. We are assured that the first process occurs and that because in the boundary zone of areas of calcification we can detect soapy particles devoid of calcium, identical in position and arrangement with the particles more deeply placed which give the calcium reactions. But this is not the only reaction. In case of fat necrosis we see clearly that the third process is in evidence. And we are far from being convinced that the second does not also obtain. We have been impressed by the large accumulation of neutral fats in the cells in cases of early atheroma and the absence at any stage of the process of recognizable fatty acid. While soaps, it is true, are compounds of fatty acids with alkalies, it is recognized in ordinary domestic life that they can be formed by the direct action of strong lye upon ordinary fats, and this even in the cold. It is quite possible therefore that there occurs a similar direct process in the organism. The point is worth noting, however, that this does not occur in healthy cells the seat of fatty infiltration. We therefore leave this an open question, only laying down that, as indicated by the hyalin albuminous matrix left when calcium salts are dissolved out of an area of calcification, there must exist a calcium soap- or fat-albuminate similar to the potassium and sodium soap-albuminates already mentioned-such an albuminate as we can form with calcium soaps in the test tube. VI. In old areas of calcification soaps are largely if not entirely wanting, although these are to be detected at the periphery, when the process is still advancing. The reactions given by these older areas are almost entirely those of calcium phosphate, though some calcium carbonate is at times to be made out. This seems surely to indicate that the final stage in calcification is an interaction between the calcium soap-albuminates and substances containing phosphoric and carbonic acids. Such substances, it is needless to say, are present in considerable amounts in the lymph and blood. We must conclude that the acid sodium phosphates of the lymph act on the calcium soap, the highly insoluble calcium phosphates being formed (plus the albuminous moiety of the original compound) and diffusible sodium soap being liberated, while similarly alkaline carbonates form calcium carbonate and liberate sodium and potassium soaps. Calcium phosphate and calcium carbonate thus become the insoluble earthy salts of old crystalline areas of calcification. VII. As already stated very little soap is to be found in these old areas. It is possibly worth suggestion that the soaps liberated in this last reaction, as they diffuse out, again react with diffusible calcium salts and form calcium soaps which once more react with the alkaline salts to produce the phosphates and carbonates; that, in short, they have a katalytic action. (ABSTRACT TRUNCATED) PMID:19867016

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Muscle hypertrophy induced by myostatin inhibition accelerates degeneration in dysferlinopathy

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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

  4. Late onset cerebellar degeneration in a middle-aged cat.

    PubMed

    Negrin, Arianna; Bernardini, Marco; Baumgärtner, Wolfgang; Castagnaro, Massimo

    2006-12-01

    Cerebellar degeneration (abiotrophy) (CD) is a spontaneous and accelerated degeneration of one or several mature cerebellar neuronal cell populations and has been described in many domestic animals, especially in dogs, with numerous breed-related cases. In cats, CD is mentioned as a rare sporadic entity. Late onset CDs are exceptionally uncommon and only two cases are reported in young adults, both aged 18 months. This report describes clinical and pathological findings of a late onset feline CD in a 9-year-old male Persian cat. The cat was presented with a history of progressive ataxia lasting 2 years. Neurological examination revealed severe neurological deficits such as generalised and severe ataxia, hypermetria in all four limbs, and bilateral absence of menace response. The lesion was diffusely localised in cerebellum. On gross pathology, the cerebellum appeared of normal size and shape and kidneys were characterised by mild hyperaemia. Histologically, lesions were limited to the cerebellum and kidneys. In the cerebellum, all cerebellar folia of both hemispheres and the vermis were affected. Changes were characterised by severe and diffuse loss of Purkinje cells, loss of cellularity in the granular layer, mild astrogliosis associated with moderate hypertrophy of Bergmann's glia. Immunohistochemistry for feline parvovirus antigen revealed a negative result. Renal lesions consisted of chronic fibrosis associated with chronic interstitial nephritis. CD is a rare disease and occurs commonly in puppies or young animals, who are clinically normal at birth and usually develop neurological signs within a few weeks or months after birth. This report represents the first case of CD in a middle-aged cat. PMID:16781880

  5. 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

  6. Capsaicin Induces Degeneration of Cutaneous Autonomic Nerve Fibers

    PubMed Central

    Gibbons, Christopher H; Wang, Ningshan; Freeman, Roy

    2010-01-01

    Objective To determine the effects of topical application of capsaicin on cutaneous autonomic nerves. Methods Thirty-two healthy subjects underwent occlusive application of 0.1% capsaicin cream (or placebo) for 48 hours. Subjects were followed for 6 months with serial assessments of sudomotor, vasomotor, pilomotor and sensory function with simultaneous assessment of innervation through skin biopsies. Results There were reductions in sudomotor, vasomotor, pilomotor and sensory function in capsaicin- treated subjects (p<0.01 vs. placebo). Sensory function declined more rapidly than autonomic function; reaching a nadir by day 6 while autonomic function reached a nadir by day 16. There were reductions in sudomotor, vasomotor, pilomotor and sensory nerve fiber densities in capsaicin treated subjects (p<0.01 vs. placebo). Intra-epidermal nerve fiber density declined maximally by 6 days while autonomic nerve fiber densities reached maximal degeneration by day 16. Conversely, autonomic nerves generally regenerated more rapidly than sensory nerves, requiring 40–50 days to return to baseline levels while sensory fibers required 140–150 days to return to baseline. Interpretation Topical capsaicin leads to degeneration of sudomotor, vasomotor and pilomotor nerves accompanied by impairment of sudomotor, vasomotor and pilomotor function. These results suggest the susceptibility and/or pathophysiologic mechanisms of nerve damage may differ between autonomic and sensory nerve fibers treated with capsaicin and enhances the capsaicin model for the study of disease modifying agents. The data suggest caution should be taken when topical capsaicin is applied to skin surfaces at risk for ulceration, particularly in neuropathic conditions characterized by sensory and autonomic impairment. PMID:21061393

  7. 670-nm light treatment reduces complement propagation following retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Aim Complement activation is associated with the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We aimed to investigate whether 670-nm light treatment reduces the propagation of complement in a light-induced model of atrophic AMD. Methods Sprague–Dawley (SD) rats were pretreated with 9 J/cm2 670-nm light for 3 minutes daily over 5 days; other animals were sham treated. Animals were exposed to white light (1,000 lux) for 24 h, after which animals were kept in dim light (5 lux) for 7 days. Expression of complement genes was assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and immunohistochemistry. Counts were made of C3-expressing monocytes/microglia using in situ hybridization. Photoreceptor death was also assessed using outer nuclear layer (ONL) thickness measurements, and oxidative stress using immunohistochemistry for 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE). Results Following light damage, retinas pretreated with 670-nm light had reduced immunoreactivity for the oxidative damage maker 4-HNE in the ONL and outer segments, compared to controls. In conjunction, there was significant reduction in retinal expression of complement genes C1s, C2, C3, C4b, C3aR1, and C5r1 following 670 nm treatment. In situ hybridization, coupled with immunoreactivity for the marker ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1 (IBA1), revealed that C3 is expressed by infiltrating microglia/monocytes in subretinal space following light damage, which were significantly reduced in number after 670 nm treatment. Additionally, immunohistochemistry for C3 revealed a decrease in C3 deposition in the ONL following 670 nm treatment. Conclusions Our data indicate that 670-nm light pretreatment reduces lipid peroxidation and complement propagation in the degenerating retina. These findings have relevance to the cellular events of complement activation underling the pathogenesis of AMD, and highlight the potential of 670-nm light as a non-invasive anti-inflammatory therapy. PMID:23181358

  8. 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

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

    MedlinePlus

    ... degeneration.” Nature Genetics , September 2013. DOI: 10.1038/ng.2758. Seddon JM et al . “Rare variants in ... degeneration.” Nature Genetics , September 2013. DOI: 10.1038/ng.2741. Helgason H et al . “A rare nonsynonymous ...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Protective Effect of Ligustrazine on Lumbar Intervertebral Disc Degeneration of Rats Induced by Prolonged Upright Posture

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Qian-Qian; Ding, Dao-Fang; Xi, Zhi-Jie; Chen, Yan; Li, Chen-Guang; Liu, Shu-Fen; Lu, Sheng; Zhao, Yong-Jian; Shi, Qi; Wang, Yong-Jun

    2014-01-01

    Most chronic low back pain is the result of degeneration of the lumbar intervertebral disc. Ligustrazine, an alkaloid from Chuanxiong, reportedly is able to relieve pain, suppress inflammation, and treat osteoarthritis and it has the protective effect on cartilage and chondrocytes. Therefore, we asked whether ligustrazine could reduce intervertebral disc degeneration. To determine the effect of ligustrazine on disc degeneration, we applied a rat model. The intervertebral disc degeneration of the rats was induced by prolonged upright posture. We found that pretreatment with ligustrazine for 1 month recovered the structural distortion of the degenerative disc; inhibited the expression of type X collagen, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-13, and MMP3; upregulated type II collagen; and decreased IL-1?, cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression. In conclusion, ligustrazine is a promising agent for treating lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration disease. PMID:24872832

  16. Quantitative Ultrasound Assessment of Cartilage Degeneration in Ovariectomized Rats with Low Estrogen Levels.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qing; Liu, Zhiwei; Wang, Yinong; Pan, Qingya; Feng, Qianjin; Huang, Qinghua; Chen, Wufan

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess quantitatively the site-specific degeneration of articular cartilage in ovariectomized rats with low estrogen levels using a high-frequency ultrasound system. Fourteen female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into two groups (n = 7 per group): a sham group in which only the peri-ovarian fatty tissue was exteriorized and an ovariectomized group that underwent bilateral ovariectomy to create a menopause model with low estrogen levels. All animals were sacrificed at the end of the third week after ovariectomy. Hindlimbs were harvested. The articular cartilage from five anatomic sites (i.e., femoral caput [FC], medial femoral condyle [MFC], lateral femoral condyle [LFC], medial tibial plateau [MTP] and lateral tibial plateau [LTP]) was examined with ultrasound. Four parameters were extracted from the ultrasound radiofrequency data: reflection coefficient of the cartilage surface (RC1), reflection coefficient of the cartilage-bone interface (RC2), ultrasound roughness index (URI) and thickness of the cartilage tissue. The results indicated significant (p < 0.05) site dependence for cartilage thickness, URI and RC1 in the sham group. The 3-wk post-menopause ovariectomized rats exhibited significant increases (p < 0.05) in the URI at the LFC, MTP and LTP; significant decreases (p < 0.05) in RC1 at the FC, LFC and MTP; and significant decreases (p < 0.05) in cartilage thickness at the MFC, LFC, MTP and LTP. These results of this study suggest that post-menopausal estrogen reduction induces morphologic and acoustic alterations in the articular cartilage of the hip and knee joints in ovariectomized rats. PMID:26497769

  17. 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 sacral kyphosis, and more severe LBP, and that SI and STA measurements should be carefully considered to predict or prevent further disc degeneration and LBP. PMID:26496324

  18. 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

  19. Reduction of GABA/sub B/ receptor binding induced by climbing fiber degeneration in the rat cerebellum

    SciTech Connect

    Kato, K.; Fukuda, H.

    1985-07-22

    When the rat cerebellar climbing fibers degenerated, as induced by lesioning the inferior olive with 3-acetylpyridine (3-AP), GABA/sub B/ receptor binding determined with /sup 3/H-(+/-)baclofen was reduced in the cerebellum but not in the cerebral cortex of rats. Computer analysis of saturation data revealed two components of the binding sites, and indicated that decrease of the binding in the cerebellum was due to reduction in receptor density, mainly of the high-affinity sites, the B/sub max/ of which was reduced to one-third that in the control animals. In vitro treatment with 3-AP, of the membranes prepared from either the cerebellum or the cerebral cortex, induced no alteration in the binding sites, thereby indicating that the alteration of GABA/sub B/ sites induced by in vivo treatment with 3-AP is not due to a direct action of 3-AP on the receptor. GABA/sub A/ and benzodiazepine receptor binding labelled with /sup 3/H-muscimol and /sup 3/H-diazepam, respectively, in both of brain regions was not affected by destruction of the inferior olive. These results provide evidence that some of the GABA/sub B/ sites but neither GABA/sub A/ nor benzodiazepine receptors in the cerebellum are located at the climbing fiber terminals. 28 references, 4 figures, 2 tables.

  20. Injectable microcryogels reinforced alginate encapsulation of mesenchymal stromal cells for leak-proof delivery and alleviation of canine disc degeneration.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Yang; Chen, Chun; Liu, Wei; Fu, Qinyouen; Han, Zhihua; Li, Yaqian; Feng, Siyu; Li, Xiaokang; Qi, Chunxiao; Wu, Jianhong; Wang, Deli; Corbett, Christopher; Chan, Barbara P; Ruan, Dike; Du, Yanan

    2015-08-01

    In situ crosslinked thermo-responsive hydrogel applied for minimally invasive treatment of intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) may not prevent extrusion of cell suspension from injection site due to high internal pressure of intervertebral disc (IVD), causing treatment failure or osteophyte formation. In this study, mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) were encapsulated in alginate precursor and loaded into previously developed macroporous PGEDA-derived microcryogels (PMs) to form three-dimensional (3D) microscale cellular niches, enabling non-thermo-responsive alginate hydrogel to be injectable. The PMs reinforced alginate hydrogel showed superior elasticity compared to alginate hydrogel alone and could well protect encapsulated cells through injection. Chondrogenic committed MSCs in the injectable microniches expressed higher level of nucleus pulposus (NP) cell markers compared to 2D cultured cells. In an ex vivo organ culture model, injection of MSCs-laden PMs into NP tissue prevented cell leakage, improved cell retention and survival compared to free cell injection. In canine IVDD models, alleviated degeneration was observed in MSCs-laden PMs treated group after six months which was superior to other treated groups. Our results provide in-depth demonstration of injectable alginate hydrogel reinforced by PMs as a leak-proof cell delivery system for augmented regenerative therapy of IVDD in canine models. PMID:25956851

  1. 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

  2. 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.; Mnnikk, Minna; Mkel, Pirkka; Karppinen, Jaro; Jrvelin, Marjo-Riitta; OReilly, 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 familybased 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Multiple Independent Oscillatory Networks in the Degenerating Retina

    PubMed Central

    Euler, Thomas; Schubert, Timm

    2015-01-01

    During neuronal degenerative diseases, microcircuits undergo severe structural alterations, leading to remodeling of synaptic connectivity. This can be particularly well observed in the retina, where photoreceptor degeneration triggers rewiring of connections in the retina’s first synaptic layer (e.g., Strettoi et al., 2003; Haq et al., 2014), while the synaptic organization of inner retinal circuits appears to be little affected (O’Brien et al., 2014; Figures 1A,B). Remodeling of (outer) retinal circuits and diminishing light-driven activity due to the loss of functional photoreceptors lead to spontaneous activity that can be observed at different retinal levels (Figure 1C), including the retinal ganglion cells, which display rhythmic spiking activity in the degenerative retina (Margolis et al., 2008; Stasheff, 2008; Menzler and Zeck, 2011; Stasheff et al., 2011). Two networks have been suggested to drive the oscillatory activity in the degenerating retina: a network of remnant cone photoreceptors, rod bipolar cells (RBCs) and horizontal cells in the outer retina (Haq et al., 2014), and the AII amacrine cell-cone bipolar cell network in the inner retina (Borowska et al., 2011). Notably, spontaneous rhythmic activity in the inner retinal network can be triggered in the absence of synaptic remodeling in the outer retina, for example, in the healthy retina after photo-bleaching (Menzler et al., 2014). In addition, the two networks show remarkable differences in their dominant oscillation frequency range as well as in the types and numbers of involved cells (Menzler and Zeck, 2011; Haq et al., 2014). Taken together this suggests that the two networks are self-sustained and can be active independently from each other. However, it is not known if and how they modulate each other. In this mini review, we will discuss: (i) commonalities and differences between these two oscillatory networks as well as possible interaction pathways; (ii) how multiple self-sustained networks may hamper visual restoration strategies employing, for example, microelectronic implants, optogenetics or stem cells, and briefly; and (iii) how the finding of diverse (independent) networks in the degenerative retina may relate to other parts of the neurodegenerative central nervous system. PMID:26617491

  6. Multiple Independent Oscillatory Networks in the Degenerating Retina.

    PubMed

    Euler, Thomas; Schubert, Timm

    2015-01-01

    During neuronal degenerative diseases, microcircuits undergo severe structural alterations, leading to remodeling of synaptic connectivity. This can be particularly well observed in the retina, where photoreceptor degeneration triggers rewiring of connections in the retina's first synaptic layer (e.g., Strettoi et al., 2003; Haq et al., 2014), while the synaptic organization of inner retinal circuits appears to be little affected (O'Brien et al., 2014; Figures 1A,B). Remodeling of (outer) retinal circuits and diminishing light-driven activity due to the loss of functional photoreceptors lead to spontaneous activity that can be observed at different retinal levels (Figure 1C), including the retinal ganglion cells, which display rhythmic spiking activity in the degenerative retina (Margolis et al., 2008; Stasheff, 2008; Menzler and Zeck, 2011; Stasheff et al., 2011). Two networks have been suggested to drive the oscillatory activity in the degenerating retina: a network of remnant cone photoreceptors, rod bipolar cells (RBCs) and horizontal cells in the outer retina (Haq et al., 2014), and the AII amacrine cell-cone bipolar cell network in the inner retina (Borowska et al., 2011). Notably, spontaneous rhythmic activity in the inner retinal network can be triggered in the absence of synaptic remodeling in the outer retina, for example, in the healthy retina after photo-bleaching (Menzler et al., 2014). In addition, the two networks show remarkable differences in their dominant oscillation frequency range as well as in the types and numbers of involved cells (Menzler and Zeck, 2011; Haq et al., 2014). Taken together this suggests that the two networks are self-sustained and can be active independently from each other. However, it is not known if and how they modulate each other. In this mini review, we will discuss: (i) commonalities and differences between these two oscillatory networks as well as possible interaction pathways; (ii) how multiple self-sustained networks may hamper visual restoration strategies employing, for example, microelectronic implants, optogenetics or stem cells, and briefly; and (iii) how the finding of diverse (independent) networks in the degenerative retina may relate to other parts of the neurodegenerative central nervous system. PMID:26617491

  7. Membrane time constant as a tool to assess cell degeneration.

    PubMed

    Isokawa, M

    1997-05-01

    Changes in neuronal surface area may be monitored by measuring the plasma membrane capacitance [8]. Membrane time constant (tao m) is given by the product of the membrane resistance (rm) and membrane capacitance (Cm), tao m = rm Cm. Thus, when membrane resistance is kept constant at a steady state (resting), membrane time constant can reflect the size of neuronal surface area. Membrane time constant is the time for the potential to fall from the resting to a fraction (1-l/e), or 63%, of its final value in the charging curve during the application of a small negative current pulse. Negative voltage shift from the resting potential hardly activates any voltage-dependent ion channel, resulting in nominal changes in cell membrane resistance. Although elaborated methods for mathematical models and simulations are available for the electrophysiological assessment of neuron geometry in order to estimate subthreshold potential attenuation during the propagation of synaptically mediated electrical signals, they involve a number of critical assumptions for the convenience to each model, and some of these assumptions are unlikely to be valid. With these restrictive assumptions, very little can be determined about the electronic structure of a neuron beyond the measurement of neuronal membrane resistance and membrane time constant. Alternatively, numerous tracers are available to visualize morphologies of neurons intracellularly and extracellularly. These anatomical methods provide direct and quantitative evidence for neuron geometry; however, they involve tissue processing and a series of chemical reactions, some of which are time- and effort-demanding. The purpose of the present paper is to show that membrane time constant can be effectively used as a tool to assess diminution in cell surface area without involving extensive mathematical theories and/or neuroanatomical techniques. This approach is particularly effective in electrotonically compact cells such as hippocampal neurons. Recent development in the technique of the whole-cell patch clamp recording in the slice preparation yielded longer time constant with better resolution due to the absence of the leak conductance associated with microelectrode impalement. Indeed, when membrane time constant was measured with the whole-cell patch clamp recording technique, it successfully detected the reduction in dendritic arbors (dendritic degeneration) in dentate granule cells in the pilocarpine model of chronic epilepsy, and this finding is supported by the neuroanatomical evidence that was obtained from the same specimen samples. Membrane time constant is an easy-to-measure "passive membrane property" and can be used as a reliable probe by itself for detecting dendritic degeneration or as a tool for decision-making in introducing neuroanatomical technique in combination with slice neurophysiology. PMID:9385072

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. dnc-1/dynactin 1 knockdown disrupts transport of autophagosomes and induces motor neuron degeneration.

    PubMed

    Ikenaka, Kensuke; Kawai, Kaori; Katsuno, Masahisa; Huang, Zhe; Jiang, Yue-Mei; Iguchi, Yohei; Kobayashi, Kyogo; Kimata, Tsubasa; Waza, Masahiro; Tanaka, Fumiaki; Mori, Ikue; Sobue, Gen

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons. We previously showed that the expression of dynactin 1, an axon motor protein regulating retrograde transport, is markedly reduced in spinal motor neurons of sporadic ALS patients, although the mechanisms by which decreased dynactin 1 levels cause neurodegeneration have yet to be elucidated. The accumulation of autophagosomes in degenerated motor neurons is another key pathological feature of sporadic ALS. Since autophagosomes are cargo of dynein/dynactin complexes and play a crucial role in the turnover of several organelles and proteins, we hypothesized that the quantitative loss of dynactin 1 disrupts the transport of autophagosomes and induces the degeneration of motor neuron. In the present study, we generated a Caenorhabditis elegans model in which the expression of DNC-1, the homolog of dynactin 1, is specifically knocked down in motor neurons. This model exhibited severe motor defects together with axonal and neuronal degeneration. We also observed impaired movement and increased number of autophagosomes in the degenerated neurons. Furthermore, the combination of rapamycin, an activator of autophagy, and trichostatin which facilitates axonal transport dramatically ameliorated the motor phenotype and axonal degeneration of this model. Thus, our results suggest that decreased expression of dynactin 1 induces motor neuron degeneration and that the transport of autophagosomes is a novel and substantial therapeutic target for motor neuron degeneration. PMID:23408943

  11. dnc-1/dynactin 1 Knockdown Disrupts Transport of Autophagosomes and Induces Motor Neuron Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Ikenaka, Kensuke; Kawai, Kaori; Katsuno, Masahisa; Huang, Zhe; Jiang, Yue-Mei; Iguchi, Yohei; Kobayashi, Kyogo; Kimata, Tsubasa; Waza, Masahiro; Tanaka, Fumiaki; Mori, Ikue; Sobue, Gen

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons. We previously showed that the expression of dynactin 1, an axon motor protein regulating retrograde transport, is markedly reduced in spinal motor neurons of sporadic ALS patients, although the mechanisms by which decreased dynactin 1 levels cause neurodegeneration have yet to be elucidated. The accumulation of autophagosomes in degenerated motor neurons is another key pathological feature of sporadic ALS. Since autophagosomes are cargo of dynein/dynactin complexes and play a crucial role in the turnover of several organelles and proteins, we hypothesized that the quantitative loss of dynactin 1 disrupts the transport of autophagosomes and induces the degeneration of motor neuron. In the present study, we generated a Caenorhabditis elegans model in which the expression of DNC-1, the homolog of dynactin 1, is specifically knocked down in motor neurons. This model exhibited severe motor defects together with axonal and neuronal degeneration. We also observed impaired movement and increased number of autophagosomes in the degenerated neurons. Furthermore, the combination of rapamycin, an activator of autophagy, and trichostatin which facilitates axonal transport dramatically ameliorated the motor phenotype and axonal degeneration of this model. Thus, our results suggest that decreased expression of dynactin 1 induces motor neuron degeneration and that the transport of autophagosomes is a novel and substantial therapeutic target for motor neuron degeneration. PMID:23408943

  12. Alterations in Kainate Receptor and TRPM1 Localization in Bipolar Cells after Retinal Photoreceptor Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Gayet-Primo, Jacqueline; Puthussery, Theresa

    2015-01-01

    Photoreceptor degeneration differentially impacts glutamatergic signaling in downstream On and Off bipolar cells. In rodent models, photoreceptor degeneration leads to loss of glutamatergic signaling in On bipolar cells, whereas Off bipolar cells appear to retain glutamate sensitivity, even after extensive photoreceptor loss. The localization and identity of the receptors that mediate these residual glutamate responses in Off bipolar cells have not been determined. Recent studies show that macaque and mouse Off bipolar cells receive glutamatergic input primarily through kainate-type glutamate receptors. Here, we studied the impact of photoreceptor degeneration on glutamate receptor and their associated proteins in Off and On bipolar cells. We show that the kainate receptor subunit, GluK1, persists in remodeled Off bipolar cell dendrites of the rd10 mouse retina. However, the pattern of expression is altered and the intensity of staining is reduced compared to wild-type retina. The kainate receptor auxiliary subunit, Neto1, also remains in Off bipolar cell dendrites after extensive photoreceptor degeneration. Similar preservation of kainate receptor subunits was evident in human retina in which photoreceptors had degenerated due to serous retinal detachment. In contrast, photoreceptor degeneration leads to loss of synaptic expression of TRPM1 in mouse and human On bipolar cells, but strong somatic expression remains. These findings demonstrate that Off bipolar cells retain dendritic glutamate receptors during retinal degeneration and could thus serve as a conduit for signal transmission from transplanted or optogenetically restored photoreceptors. PMID:26733812

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Evaluation of the Effect of Mega MSM on Improving Joint Function in Populations Experiencing Joint Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Xu, Gang; Zhou, Tian; Gu, Yaqin; Wang, Qinping; Shariff, Mina; Gu, Pingping; Nguyen, Tuong; Shi, Rong; Rao, Jianyu

    2015-06-01

    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

  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 compression considered. PMID:23424607

  17. Relationship between knee and ankle degeneration in a population of organ donors

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive degenerative condition of synovial joints in response to both internal and external factors. The relationship of OA in one joint of an extremity to another joint within the same extremity, or between extremities, has been a topic of interest in reference to the etiology and/or progression of the disease. Methods The prevalence of articular cartilage lesions and osteophytes, characteristic of OA, was evaluated through visual inspection and grading in 1060 adult knee/tali pairs from 545 cadaveric joint donors. Results Joint degeneration increased more rapidly with age for the knee joint, and significantly more knee joints displayed more severe degeneration than ankle joints from as early as the third decade. Women displayed more severe knee degeneration than did men. Severe ankle degeneration did not exist in the absence of severe knee degeneration. The effect of weight on joint degeneration was joint-specific whereby weight had a significantly greater effect on the knee. Ankle grades increasingly did not match within a donor as the grade of degeneration in either the left or the right knee increased. Conclusions Gender and body type have a greater effect on knee joint integrity as compared to the ankle, suggesting that knees are more prone to internal causative effects of degeneration. We hypothesize that the greater variability in joint health between joints within an individual as disease progresses from normal to early signs of degeneration may be a result of mismatched limb kinetics, which in turn might lead to joint disease progression. PMID:20667091

  18. 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

  19. Dual-pumped degenerate Kerr oscillator in a silicon nitride microresonator.

    PubMed

    Okawachi, Yoshitomo; Yu, Mengjie; Luke, Kevin; Carvalho, Daniel O; Ramelow, Sven; Farsi, Alessandro; Lipson, Michal; Gaeta, Alexander L

    2015-11-15

    We demonstrate a degenerate parametric oscillator in a silicon nitride microresonator. We use two frequency-detuned pump waves to perform parametric four-wave mixing and operate in the normal group-velocity dispersion regime to produce signal and idler fields that are frequency degenerate. Our theoretical modeling shows that this regime enables generation of bimodal phase states, analogous to the χ(2)-based degenerate OPO. Our system offers potential for realization of CMOS-chip-based coherent optical computing and an all-optical quantum random number generator. PMID:26565851

  20. Role of quark-gluon degenerate states in perturbative quantum chromodynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Muta, T.; Nelson, C.A.

    1982-04-15

    Motivated by the fact that the noncancellation of the infrared divergences in quantum chromodynamics may be avoided by using the soft degenerate states or the coherent states in the initial state, we examine possible effects of introducing the degenerate states on the one-loop finite piece in the hard-scattering cross sections like qq-bar ..-->.. ..gamma..X in the Drell-Yan process. We find the effects of the soft degenerate states cancel out among themselves leaving no finite contribution to the cross sections.

  1. Initial evolution of supports of solutions of quasilinear parabolic equations with degenerate absorption potential

    SciTech Connect

    Stepanova, Ekaterina V; Shishkov, Andrey E

    2013-03-31

    The propagation of supports of solutions of second-order quasilinear parabolic equations is studied; the equations are of the type of nonstationary diffusion, having semilinear absorption with an absorption potential which degenerates on the initial plane. We find sufficient conditions, which are sharp in a certain sense, on the relationship between the boundary regime and the type of degeneration of the potential to ensure the strong localization of solutions. We also establish a weak localization of solutions for an arbitrary potential which degenerates only on the initial plane. Bibliography: 12 titles.

  2. Theory of degenerate coding and informational parameters of protein coding genes.

    PubMed

    Konopka, A K

    1985-05-01

    The theory of degenerate coding is presented in a way enabling further application to molecular biology. There are two kinds of redundancy of a degenerate code. The first is due to the excess in codon length and the second to the code degeneracy. If the code is asymmetrically degenerate, the second kind of redundancy can be profitable for control of error rate. This control can be performed just by selective synonymous codon usage. Utilisation of the genetic code is partially influenced by this theoretical possibility. In particular the degree of error protectivity is well correlated with deviation from equiprobability in synonymous codon usage. The biological significance of this fact is discussed. PMID:4027279

  3. Age-related macular degeneration: linking clinical presentation to pathology.

    PubMed

    Nivison-Smith, Lisa; Milston, Rebecca; Madigan, Michele; Kalloniatis, Michael

    2014-08-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide in the elderly population. Optometrists, as primary eye health care providers, require the skills and knowledge to accurately diagnose and manage AMD patients. There is an overwhelming body of research related to the clinical presentation, etiology, epidemiology, and pathology of this disease. Additionally, the evolution of new imaging modalities creates new opportunities to clinically detect and analyze previously uncharacterized and earlier changes in the retina. The challenge for optometrists is to combine all this information into an applicable knowledge base for use in everyday clinical assessment of AMD so that timely and accurate referrals can be made to retinal specialists. This review attempts to address this issue by linking the clinical presentation of AMD with the underlying disease biology. We emphasize the contribution of recent noninvasive imaging technologies to the clinical assessment of early and more advanced AMD including optical coherence tomography, fundus autofluorescence, and infrared reflectance. PMID:24879089

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Cadmium exposure and age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Kim, Myung Hun; Zhao, Di; Cho, Juhee; Guallar, Eliseo

    2016-03-01

    Cadmium (Cd) has been proposed as a risk factor for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), but the association between Cd exposure and AMD risk in large population studies is unknown. This study evaluated the association of Cd exposure with AMD in a large representative sample of Korean men and women. This was a cross-sectional study of 3865 Korean adults ≥40 years of age who participated in the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) during 2008-2011. Cd concentrations in whole blood were measured by graphite-furnace atomic absorption spectrometry. The presence of AMD was determined in digital non-mydriatic fundus photographs. Cd levels were higher in participants with AMD compared with those without AMD (1.3 vs 1.1 μg/l, respectively, P<0.001). In fully adjusted models, the odds ratio for AMD comparing the highest with the lowest Cd quartiles was 1.92 (95% CI=1.08-3.39; P for trend 0.029). In restricted cubic spline models, the association between Cd and AMD was approximately linear, with no evidence of threshold effects. Blood Cd concentrations were independently associated with the prevalence of AMD. If the association is proven causal, population-based preventive strategies to decrease Cd exposure could reduce the population burden of AMD. PMID:25388812

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. VBM signatures of abnormal eating behaviours in frontotemporal lobar degeneration.

    PubMed

    Whitwell, Jennifer L; Sampson, Elizabeth L; Loy, Clement T; Warren, Jane E; Rossor, Martin N; Fox, Nick C; Warren, Jason D

    2007-03-01

    The brain bases of specific human behaviours in health and disease are not well established. In this voxel-based morphometric (VBM) study we demonstrate neuroanatomical signatures of different abnormalities of eating behaviour (pathological sweet tooth and increased food consumption, or hyperphagia) in individuals with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Sixteen male patients with FTLD were assessed using the Manchester and Oxford Universities Scale for the Psychopathological Assessment of Dementia and classified according to the presence or absence of abnormal eating behaviours. Volumetric brain magnetic resonance imaging was performed in all patients and in a group of nine healthy age-matched male controls and grey matter changes were assessed using an optimised VBM protocol. Compared with healthy controls, the FTLD group had a typical pattern of extensive bilateral grey matter loss predominantly involving the frontal and temporal lobes. Within the FTLD group, grey matter changes associated with different abnormal behaviours were assessed independently using a covariate-only model. The development of pathological sweet tooth was associated with grey matter loss in a distributed brain network including bilateral posterolateral orbitofrontal cortex (Brodmann areas 12/47) and right anterior insula. Hyperphagia was associated with more focal grey matter loss in anterolateral OFC bilaterally (Brodmann area 11). In accord with emerging evidence in humans and other species, our findings implicate distinct components of a multi-component brain network in the control of specific aspects of eating behaviour. PMID:17240166

  2. 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.

  3. Biomarkers of AAA progression. Part 1: extracellular matrix degeneration.

    PubMed

    Hellenthal, Femke A M V I; Buurman, Willem A; Wodzig, Will K W H; Schurink, Geert Willem H

    2009-07-01

    Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is an important health problem. Elective surgical treatment is recommended on the basis of an individual's risk of rupture, which is predicted by AAA diameter. However, the natural history of AAA differs between patients and a reliable and individual predictor of AAA progression (growth and expansion rates) has not been established. Several circulating biomarkers are candidates for an AAA diagnostic tool. However, they have yet to meet the triad of biomarker criteria: biological plausibility, correlation with AAA progression, and prediction of treatment effect on disease outcome. Circulating levels of markers of extracellular matrix degeneration, such as elastin peptides, aminoterminal propeptide of type III procollagen, elastase-alpha1-antitrypsin complexes, matrix metalloproteinase 9, cystatin C, plasmin-antiplasmin complexes and tissue plasminogen activator, have been correlated with AAA progression and have biological plausibility. Although studies of these markers have shown promising results, they have not yet led to a clinically applicable biomarker. In future studies, adjustment for initial AAA size, smoking history and the measurement error for determination of AAA size, among other variables, should be taken into account. A large, prospective, standardized, follow-up study will be needed to investigate multiple circulating biomarkers for their potential role in the prediction of AAA progression, followed by a study to investigate the effect of treatment on the circulating levels of biomarkers. PMID:19468292

  4. 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

  5. Terrien’s Marginal Degeneration Accompanied by Latticed Stromal Opacities

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yibing; Jia, Hui

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Purpose We report a case of Terrien’s marginal degeneration (TMD) with a unilaterally typical narrow band of peripheral corneal stroma thinning, accompanied by the presence of an unusual network of opacities diffusing throughout the anterior stroma layers. Case Report A 43-year-old woman presented with superior nasal peripheral corneal thinning and an unusual network of polygonal stromal opacities in the anterior corneal stroma of the right eye. Latticed corneal changes were unusually extensive and distributed diffusely in the stroma. No abnormalities were found in the corneal epithelium and in the basal epithelial cells. No noticeable changes were found in the left eye. Because of a progressively worse ocular irritation of the right eye, a diagnosis of TMD was made for this patient. Conclusions This case of TMD accompanied by keratopathy was unusual. The branching stromal lattice pattern of the corneal opacities was difficult to distinguish from lattice corneal dystrophy. In this case, the polygonal stromal opacities were located in the anterior corneal stroma and therefore were distinguished from a similar manifestation in posterior crocodile shagreen. PMID:24681833

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Genetics and Biology Coming Together

    PubMed Central

    Fritsche, Lars G.; Fariss, Robert N.; Stambolian, Dwight; Abecasis, Gonçalo R.; Curcio, Christine A.

    2014-01-01

    Genetic and genomic studies have enhanced our understanding of complex neurodegenerative diseases that exert a devastating impact on individuals and society. One such disease, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a major cause of progressive and debilitating visual impairment. Since the pioneering discovery in 2005 of complement factor H (CFH) as a major AMD susceptibility gene, extensive investigations have confirmed 19 additional genetic risk loci, and more are anticipated. In addition to common variants identified by now-conventional genome-wide association studies, targeted genomic sequencing and exome-chip analyses are uncovering rare variant alleles of high impact. Here, we provide a critical review of the ongoing genetic studies and of common and rare risk variants at a total of 20 susceptibility loci, which together explain 40–60% of the disease heritability but provide limited power for diagnostic testing of disease risk. Identification of these susceptibility loci has begun to untangle the complex biological pathways underlying AMD pathophysiology, pointing to new testable paradigms for treatment. PMID:24773320

  9. Conical refraction in a degenerated two-crystal cascade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peet, V.

    2016-01-01

    When a collimated light beam is passed consequently along the optic axes of two identical biaxial crystals, the conical refraction produces in the focal image plane a specific light pattern consisting of a ring and a central spot. The ring is formed due to the additive action of two crystals, while the spot results from the reversed conical refraction in such a degenerated cascade arrangement. The relative intensity of these two components depends on the azimuth angle between the orientations of the crystals about the beam axis. It is shown that this dependence arises due to the interference of pairs of waves produced by conical refraction in two crystals. If a part of these waves is blocked by polarization selection of beam components, the dependence of the light pattern on the azimuth angle vanishes. In this case, the outgoing light profile consists of a ring and a central spot with fixed intensities so that the total beam power is divided equally between these two components. Depending on the applied polarization, the central spot appears either as a restored input beam or a charge-two optical vortex. The results of numerical simulations of the effect are in a very good agreement with the experimental observations.

  10. Hippocampal degeneration in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Abdulla, Susanne; Machts, Judith; Kaufmann, Jörn; Patrick, Karina; Kollewe, Katja; Dengler, Reinhard; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Petri, Susanne; Vielhaber, Stefan; Nestor, Peter J

    2014-11-01

    There is increasing appreciation of non-motor system involvement in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), although its full extent and clinical significance remains to be established. This study tested the hypothesis that memory impairment in patients with ALS is related to hippocampal degeneration. Consecutive patients with ALS (58) and 29 matched controls participated in standardized neuropsychological assessment and magnetic resonance imaging. Patients with ALS performed worse in global cognitive functioning and executive and verbal memory tests (p < 0.05). The hippocampus was manually segmented in each hemisphere, and volumes were calculated with correction for intracranial volume. Analysis of covariance, controlled for the effect of age and education years, showed significantly smaller hippocampal volume on the right (p = 0.004) in patients with ALS. Verbal memory test performance correlated with the left hippocampal volume in patients with ALS (p < 0.05), although there was no significant correlation with tests of executive function and clinical variables underscoring the specificity of the present findings. Hippocampal volume loss and its correlation with the severity of verbal memory impairment highlight significant hippocampal involvement which can occur as a non-motor deficit in patients with ALS. PMID:25004891

  11. Frequency tunable non-degenerate Josephson amplifier for qubit readout

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schackert, Flavius; Hatridge, Michael; Sliwa, Katrina; Abdo, Baleegh; Frunzio, Luigi; Devoret, Michel

    2012-02-01

    We have developed a new ultra low noise microwave amplifier based on the Josephson parametric converter (JPC), which overcomes a practical weakness of devices of previous generations: having sufficient frequency tunability to easily match the qubit readout frequency. The JPC consists of two superconducting microwave resonators that are coupled to each other through a ring of four Josephson junctions, threaded by a magnetic flux and providing the non-linearity for the amplification process. The non-linearity is of the trilinear form involving the minimal number of modes, and allows ideal non-degenerate parametric amplification at the quantum limit of noise. In our new tunable version, the junctions responsible for amplification are shunted by a cross of four larger junctions, which for our purpose can be regarded as linear inductors, as in the work of Roch et al.[1]. The JPC has now a unique bias point at any applied flux and is tunable over more than half a gigahertz. We are currently using this amplifier in conjunction with a quantum non-demolition measurement of a transmon qubit and have observed quantum jumps with fidelity larger than 90%. [1] N. Roch, E. Flurin, F. Nguyen, P. Morfin, P. Campagne-Ibarcq, M. H. Devoret, and B. Huard, in preparation.

  12. 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.

  13. CSF neurofilament light chain reflects corticospinal tract degeneration in ALS

    PubMed Central

    Menke, Ricarda A L; Gray, Elizabeth; Lu, Ching-Hua; Kuhle, Jens; Talbot, Kevin; Malaspina, Andrea; Turner, Martin R

    2015-01-01

    Objective Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is sensitive to white matter tract pathology. A core signature involving the corticospinal tracts (CSTs) has been identified in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Raised neurofilament light chain protein (NfL) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is thought to reflect axonal damage in a range of neurological disorders. The relationship between these two measures was explored. Methods CSF and serum NfL concentrations and DTI acquired at 3 Tesla on the same day were obtained from ALS patients (n = 25 CSF, 40 serum) and healthy, age-similar controls (n = 17 CSF, 25 serum). Within-group correlations between NfL and DTI measures of microstructural integrity in major white matter tracts (CSTs, superior longitudinal fasciculi [SLF], and corpus callosum) were performed using tract-based spatial statistics. Results NfL levels were higher in patients compared to controls. CSF levels correlated with clinical upper motor neuron burden and rate of disease progression. Higher NfL levels were significantly associated with lower DTI fractional anisotropy and increased radial diffusivity in the CSTs of ALS patients, but not in controls. Interpretation Elevated CSF and serum NfL is, in part, a result of CST degeneration in ALS. This highlights the wider potential for combining neurochemical and neuroimaging-based biomarkers in neurological disease. PMID:26273687

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Beyond words: Pragmatic inference in behavioral variant of frontotemporal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Spotorno, Nicola; McMillan, Corey T; Rascovsky, Katya; Irwin, David J; Clark, Robin; Grossman, Murray

    2015-08-01

    When the message of a speaker goes beyond the literal or logical meaning of the sentences used, a pragmatic inference is required to understand the complete meaning of an utterance. Here we study one example of pragmatic inference, called scalar implicature. Such an inference is required when a weaker term "some" is used in a sentence like "Some of the students passed the exam" because the speaker presumably had a reason not to use a stronger term like "all". We investigated the comprehension of scalar implicatures in a group of 17 non-aphasic patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal degeneration (bvFTD) in order to test the contribution of non-linguistic decision-making ability and the role of prefrontal cortex in supporting the computation of pragmatic inferences. The results of two experiments point to a deficit in producing alternative interpretations beyond a logical reading. bvFTD patients thus prefer the narrowly literal or logical interpretation of a scalar term when they must generate a possible alternative interpretation by themselves, but patients prefer a pragmatic reading when offered a choice between the logical and the pragmatic interpretation of the same sentence. An imaging analysis links bvFTD patients' spontaneous tendency toward a narrowly logical interpretation with atrophy in ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Our findings are consistent with the pragmatic tolerance hypothesis, which proposes that difficulty generating alternative interpretations of an utterance, rather than a frank inability to compute an inference, affects the comprehension of a scalar term. PMID:26150205

  17. Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Scientometric Analysis.

    PubMed

    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

  18. Degenerate Quasicrystal of Hard Triangular Bipyramids Stabilized by Entropic Forces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haji-Akbari, Amir; Engel, Michael; Glotzer, Sharon

    2012-02-01

    The assembly of hard polyhedra into novel ordered structures has recently received much attention. Here we focus on triangular bipyramids (TBPs)- i.e. dimers of hard tetrahedra- which pack densely in a simple triclinic crystal with two particles per unit cell [1]. This packing is referred to as the TBP crystal. We show that hard TBPs do not form this densest packing in simulation. Instead, they assemble into a different, far more complicated structure, a dodecagonal quasicrystal, which, in the level of monomers, is identical to the quasicrystal recently discovered in the hard tetrahedron system [2], but the way that tetrahedra pair into TBPs in the nearest neighbor network is random, making it the first degenerate quasicrystal reported in the literature [3]. This notion of degeneracy is in the level of decorating individual tiles and is different from the degeneracy of a quasiperiodic random tiling arising from phason flips [4]. The (3.4.3^2.4) approximant of the quasicrystal is shown to be more stable than the TBP crystal at densities below 79.7%.[4pt] [1] Chen ER, Engel M, Sharon SC, Disc. Comp. Geom. 44:253 (2010).[0pt] [2] Haji-Akbari A, Engel M, et al. Nature 462:773 (2009).[0pt] [3] Haji-Akbari A, Engel M, Glotzer SC, arXiv:1106.5561 [PRL, in press].[0pt] [4] Elser V, PRL 54: 1730 (1985)

  19. 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

  20. Aberrant Activity in Degenerated Retinas Revealed by Electrical Imaging.

    PubMed

    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

  1. A neuroprotective phase precedes striatal degeneration upon nucleolar stress

    PubMed Central

    Kreiner, G; Bierhoff, H; Armentano, M; Rodriguez-Parkitna, J; Sowodniok, K; Naranjo, J R; Bonfanti, L; Liss, B; Schütz, G; Grummt, I; Parlato, R

    2013-01-01

    The nucleolus is implicated in sensing and responding to cellular stress by stabilizing p53. The pro-apoptotic effect of p53 is associated with several neurodegenerative disorders, including Huntington's disease (HD), which is characterized by the progressive loss of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the striatum. Here we show that disruption of nucleolar integrity and function causes nucleolar stress and is an early event in MSNs of R6/2 mice, a transgenic model of HD. Targeted perturbation of nucleolar function in MSNs by conditional knockout of the RNA polymerase I-specific transcription initiation factor IA (TIF-IA) leads to late progressive striatal degeneration, HD-like motor abnormalities and molecular signatures. Significantly, p53 prolongs neuronal survival in TIF-IA-deficient MSNs by transient upregulation of phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN), a tumor suppressor that inhibits mammalian target of rapamycin signaling and induces autophagy. The results emphasize the initial role of nucleolar stress in neurodegeneration and uncover a p53/PTEN-dependent neuroprotective response. PMID:23764776

  2. 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

  3. New Approaches to the Treatment of Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Vossel, Keith A.; Miller, Bruce L

    2009-01-01

    Purpose of review Treatment approaches for frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) are rapidly evolving with improved understanding of the disease. This brief review highlights recent advances. Recent findings Early-onset dementia has a devastating impact on families and rids its victims of their most productive and rewarding years. Over the past ten years, FTLD has emerged as the commonest cause of dementia under the age of 60 years, outstripping even Alzheimer’s disease in prevalence. Remarkable progress has occurred in our understanding of FTLD both as a set of distinctive clinical syndromes and as a set of disorders with unique genetic and pathological profiles. While there are no Food and Drug Administration approved medications for FTLD, new evidence of specific genetic and neurochemical defects are beginning to provide a strong rationale for pharmacological treatment. Summary Behavioral changes, which are common in behavioral variant FTD and semantic dementia, often respond to treatment with selective serotonin inhibitors. Memantine also holds promise to treat neuropsychiatric symptoms, but more prospective trials are needed. With better understanding of pathogenic molecular pathways involving microtubule associated protein tau, progranulin and TDP-43, potential disease-modifying therapies are being studied in animal models and approaching human trials. PMID:18989117

  4. 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

  5. Genetically determined asynapsis, spermatogenic degeneration, and infertility in men.

    PubMed Central

    Chaganti, R S; Jhanwar, S C; Ehrenbard, L T; Kourides, I A; Williams, J J

    1980-01-01

    We report a family in which azoospermia and infertility affected two sibs whose parents were first cousins once removed. Meiotic cells of the proband, who had the chromosomal complement of a normal male (46,XY), exhibited asynapsis, defective synaptonemal complex (SC) formation, chiasma failure, and degeneration of prophase spermatocytes with asynapsis. Based on these observations, we suggest that the meiotic abnormalities and infertility in this family comprise a trait with an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. Review of published cases of infertile men with normal chromosomal complements and disturbed meiosis suggests that genetically determined asynapsis and desynapsis similar to that established in plant and insect species also occur in humans. In humans, asynapsis appears to be inherited as an autosomal recessive. The mode of inheritance of desynapsis is not clear; X-linked recessive or autosomal dominant has been suggested in one family. Studies by us and by others reported in the literature suggest that the mode of action of genes that affect synapsis and cause a reduction in the numbers of visible chiasmata at diakinesis is dissimilar to that of the action of genes that cause defective meiotic recombination, defective repair of induced damage to DNA in somatic cells, and chromosome instability. Images Fig. 5-12 Fig. 2-4 Fig. 13-15 Fig. 16-18 PMID:7446525

  6. Models of collective cell spreading with variable cell aspect ratio: A motivation for degenerate diffusion models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, Matthew J.; Baker, Ruth E.; McCue, Scott W.

    2011-02-01

    Continuum diffusion models are often used to represent the collective motion of cell populations. Most previous studies have simply used linear diffusion to represent collective cell spreading, while others found that degenerate nonlinear diffusion provides a better match to experimental cell density profiles. In the cell modeling literature there is no guidance available with regard to which approach is more appropriate for representing the spreading of cell populations. Furthermore, there is no knowledge of particular experimental measurements that can be made to distinguish between situations where these two models are appropriate. Here we provide a link between individual-based and continuum models using a multiscale approach in which we analyze the collective motion of a population of interacting agents in a generalized lattice-based exclusion process. For round agents that occupy a single lattice site, we find that the relevant continuum description of the system is a linear diffusion equation, whereas for elongated rod-shaped agents that occupy L adjacent lattice sites we find that the relevant continuum description is connected to the porous media equation (PME). The exponent in the nonlinear diffusivity function is related to the aspect ratio of the agents. Our work provides a physical connection between modeling collective cell spreading and the use of either the linear diffusion equation or the PME to represent cell density profiles. Results suggest that when using continuum models to represent cell population spreading, we should take care to account for variations in the cell aspect ratio because different aspect ratios lead to different continuum models.

  7. Human cells derived from degenerate intervertebral discs respond differently to those derived from non-degenerate intervertebral discs following application of dynamic hydrostatic pressure.

    PubMed

    Le Maitre, Christine Lyn; Frain, Jennie; Fotheringham, Andrew P; Freemont, Anthony J; Hoyland, Judith Alison

    2008-01-01

    The intervertebral disc (IVD) is one of the body's most important load-bearing structures with the major mechanical force experienced in the nucleus pulposus (NP) being hydrostatic pressure (HP). Physiological levels of HP have an anabolic effect on IVD matrix metabolism in cells derived from non-degenerate animal and herniated IVD while excessive HP has a catabolic effect. However, no studies have investigated the response of non-degenerate and degenerate human disc cells derived from non-herniated discs to HP. Here we investigate the effect of physiological HP on such cells using a novel loading rig. Human IVD cells (both NP and AF) cultured in alginate were subjected to dynamic HP (0.8-1.7 MPa 0.5 Hz) for 2 h. Cell viability was assessed, RNA extracted and qRT-PCR for 18 s, c-fos, Sox-9, collagen type II, aggrecan and MMP-3 performed. Cell viability was unaffected by the loading regime. In non-degenerate NP cells, HP increased c-fos, aggrecan, Sox-9 and collagen type II (significantly so in the case of c-fos and aggrecan), but not MMP-3 gene expression. In contrast, application of HP to AF or degenerate NP cells had no effect on target gene expression. Our data shows that cells obtained from the healthy NP respond to dynamic HP by up-regulating genes indicative of healthy matrix homeostasis. However, responses differed in degenerate NP cells suggesting that an altered mechanotransduction pathway may be operational. PMID:19065005

  8. Inhibition of de novo ceramide biosynthesis by FTY720 protects rat retina from light-induced degeneration[S

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Hui; Tran, Julie-Thu A.; Eckerd, Annette; Huynh, Tuan-Phat; Elliott, Michael H.; Brush, Richard S.; Mandal, Nawajes A.

    2013-01-01

    Light-induced retinal degeneration (LIRD) in albino rats causes apoptotic photoreceptor cell death. Ceramide is a second messenger for apoptosis. We tested whether increases in ceramide mediate photoreceptor apoptosis in LIRD and if inhibition of ceramide synthesis protects the retina. Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 2,700 lux white light for 6 h, and the retinal levels of ceramide and its intermediary metabolites were measured by GC-MS or electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Enzymes of the de novo biosynthetic and sphingomyelinase pathways of ceramide generation were assayed, and gene expression was measured. The dosage and temporal effect of the ceramide synthase inhibitor FTY720 on the LIRD retina were measured by histological and functional analyses. Retinal ceramide levels increased coincident with the increase of dihydroceramide at various time points after light stress. Light stress in retina induces ceramide generation predominantly through the de novo pathway, which was prevented by systemic administration of FTY720 (10 mg/kg) leading to the protection of retinal structure and function. The neuroprotection of FTY720 was independent of its immunosuppressive action. We conclude that ceramide increase by de novo biosynthesis mediates photoreceptor apoptosis in the LIRD model and that inhibition of ceramide production protects the retina against light stress. PMID:23468130

  9. 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

  10. The Retromer Complex Is Required for Rhodopsin Recycling and Its Loss Leads to Photoreceptor Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shiuan; Tan, Kai Li; Agosto, Melina A.; Xiong, Bo; Yamamoto, Shinya; Sandoval, Hector; Jaiswal, Manish; Bayat, Vafa; Zhang, Ke; Charng, Wu-Lin; David, Gabriela; Duraine, Lita; Venkatachalam, Kartik; Wensel, Theodore G.; Bellen, Hugo J.

    2014-01-01

    Rhodopsin mistrafficking can cause photoreceptor (PR) degeneration. Upon light exposure, activated rhodopsin 1 (Rh1) in Drosophila PRs is internalized via endocytosis and degraded in lysosomes. Whether internalized Rh1 can be recycled is unknown. Here, we show that the retromer complex is expressed in PRs where it is required for recycling endocytosed Rh1 upon light stimulation. In the absence of subunits of the retromer, Rh1 is processed in the endolysosomal pathway, leading to a dramatic increase in late endosomes, lysosomes, and light-dependent PR degeneration. Reducing Rh1 endocytosis or Rh1 levels in retromer mutants alleviates PR degeneration. In addition, increasing retromer abundance suppresses degenerative phenotypes of mutations that affect the endolysosomal system. Finally, expressing human Vps26 suppresses PR degeneration in Vps26 mutant PRs. We propose that the retromer plays a conserved role in recycling rhodopsins to maintain PR function and integrity. PMID:24781186

  11. 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.

  12. Calcium Release from Intra-Axonal Endoplasmic Reticulum Leads to Axon Degeneration through Mitochondrial Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Villegas, Rosario; Martinez, Nicolas W.; Lillo, Jorge; Pihan, Phillipe; Hernandez, Diego; Twiss, Jeffery L.

    2014-01-01

    Axonal degeneration represents an early pathological event in neurodegeneration, constituting an important target for neuroprotection. Regardless of the initial injury, which could be toxic, mechanical, metabolic, or genetic, degeneration of axons shares a common mechanism involving mitochondrial dysfunction and production of reactive oxygen species. Critical steps in this degenerative process are still unknown. Here we show that calcium release from the axonal endoplasmic reticulum (ER) through ryanodine and IP3 channels activates the mitochondrial permeability transition pore and contributes to axonal degeneration triggered by both mechanical and toxic insults in ex vivo and in vitro mouse and rat model systems. These data reveal a critical and early ER-dependent step during axonal degeneration, providing novel targets for axonal protection in neurodegenerative conditions. PMID:24849352

  13. Computation of angle averaged cross sections in a degenerate Compton scattering medium

    SciTech Connect

    Nickel, G.H.; Pochkowski, M.; Bailey, W.F.

    1985-01-01

    An accurate yet simple analytic method is developed for calculating Compton scattering cross sections for monoenergetic photons interacting with an isotropic and degenerate distribution of relativistic electrons. 4 refs., 2 figs.

  14. X-ray and UV radiation from accreting nonmagnetic degenerate dwarfs. II

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kylafis, N. D.; Lamb, D. Q.

    1982-01-01

    Numerical calculations of X-ray and UV emission from accreting nonmagnetic degenerate dwarfs are reported, which span the entire range of accretion rates and stellar masses. Calculations include the effects of bremsstrahlung, Compton cooling, radiation pressure, albedo of the stellar surface, Compton degradation and free-free abscription of the X-ray spectrum by the accreting matter. Maximum X-ray luminosity for degenerate dwarfs undergoing spherical accretion is found to be 2.2 x 10 to the 36th ergs/s, which is little changed if accretion occurs radially over only a fraction of the stellar surface, so that the emitted radiation escapes without significant scattering. The temperature characterizing the X-ray spectra produced by degenerate dwarfs strongly depends on the stellar mass and the accretion rate, and it is suggested that the correlation between spectral temperature and luminosity is an important signature of degenerate X-ray sources.

  15. Deficient Wnt signalling triggers striatal synaptic degeneration and impaired motor behaviour in adult mice

    PubMed Central

    Galli, Soledad; Lopes, Douglas M.; Ammari, Rachida; Kopra, Jaakko; Millar, Sarah E.; Gibb, Alasdair; Salinas, Patricia C.

    2014-01-01

    Synapse degeneration is an early and invariant feature of neurodegenerative diseases. Indeed, synapse loss occurs prior to neuronal degeneration and correlates with the symptom severity of these diseases. However, the molecular mechanisms that trigger synaptic loss remain poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that deficient Wnt signalling elicits synaptic degeneration in the adult striatum. Inducible expression of the secreted Wnt antagonist Dickkopf1 (Dkk1) in adult mice (iDkk1) decreases the number of cortico-striatal glutamatergic synapses and of D1 and D2 dopamine receptor clusters. Synapse loss occurs in the absence of axon retraction or cell death. The remaining excitatory terminals contain fewer synaptic vesicles and have a reduced probability of evoked transmitter release. IDkk1 mice show impaired motor coordination and are irresponsive to amphetamine. These studies identify Wnts as key endogenous regulators of synaptic maintenance and suggest that dysfunction in Wnt signalling contributes to synaptic degeneration at early stages in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25318560

  16. Creating a quantum degenerate gas of stable molecules via weak photoassociation

    SciTech Connect

    Mackie, Matt; Phou, Pierre

    2010-07-15

    Quantum degenerate molecules represent a new paradigm for fundamental studies and practical applications. Association of already quantum degenerate atoms into molecules provides a crucial shortcut around the difficulty of cooling molecules to ultracold temperatures. Whereas association can be induced with either laser or magnetic fields, photoassociation requires impractical laser intensity to overcome poor overlap between the atom pair and molecular wave functions, and experiments are currently restricted to magnetoassociation. Here we model realistic production of a quantum degenerate gas of stable molecules via two-photon photoassociation of Bose-condensed atoms. An adiabatic change of the laser frequency converts the initial atomic condensate almost entirely into stable molecular condensate, even for low-intensity lasers. Results for dipolar LiNa provide an upper bound on the necessary photoassociation laser intensity for alkali-metal atoms {approx}30 W/cm{sup 2}, indicating a feasible path to quantum degenerate molecules beyond magnetoassociation.

  17. Mild traumatic brain injury to the infant mouse causes robust white matter axonal degeneration which precedes apoptotic death of cortical and thalamic neurons

    PubMed Central

    Dikranian, K.; Cohen, R.; Mac Donald, C.; Pan, Y.; Brakefield, D.; Bayly, P.; Parsadanian, A.

    2008-01-01

    The immature brain in the first several years of childhood is very vulnerable to trauma. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) during this critical period often leads to neuropathological and cognitive impairment. Previous experimental studies in rodent models of infant TBI were mostly concentrated on neuronal degeneration, while axonal injury and its relationship to cell death have attracted much less attention. To address this, we developed a closed controlled head injury model in infant (P7) mice and characterized the temporospatial pattern of axonal degeneration and neuronal cell death in the brain following mild injury. Using amyloid precursor protein (APP) as marker of axonal injury we found that mild head trauma causes robust axonal degeneration in the cingulum/external capsule as early as 30 min post-impact. These levels of axonal injury persisted throughout a 24 hr period, but significantly declined by 48 hrs. During the first 24 hrs injured axons underwent significant and rapid pathomorphological changes. Initial small axonal swellings evolved into larger spheroids and club-like swellings indicating the early disconnection of axons. Ultrastructural analysis revealed compaction of organelles, axolemmal and cytoskeletal defects. Axonal degeneration was followed by profound apoptotic cell death in the posterior cingulate and retrosplenial cortex and anterior thalamus which peaked between 16 and 24 hrs post-injury. At early stages post-injury no evidence of excitotoxic neuronal death at the impact site was found. At 48 hrs apoptotic cell death was reduced and paralleled with the reduction in the number of APP-labeled axonal profiles. Our data suggest that early degenerative response to injury in axons of the cingulum and external capsule may cause disconnection between cortical and thalamic neurons, and lead to their delayed apoptotic death. PMID:18440507

  18. A disease-specific metabolic brain network associated with corticobasal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Niethammer, Martin; Tang, Chris C; Feigin, Andrew; Allen, Patricia J; Heinen, Lisette; Hellwig, Sabine; Amtage, Florian; Hanspal, Era; Vonsattel, Jean Paul; Poston, Kathleen L; Meyer, Philipp T; Leenders, Klaus L; Eidelberg, David

    2014-11-01

    Corticobasal degeneration is an uncommon parkinsonian variant condition that is diagnosed mainly on clinical examination. To facilitate the differential diagnosis of this disorder, we used metabolic brain imaging to characterize a specific network that can be used to discriminate corticobasal degeneration from other atypical parkinsonian syndromes. Ten non-demented patients (eight females/two males; age 73.9 ± 5.7 years) underwent metabolic brain imaging with (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography for atypical parkinsonism. These individuals were diagnosed clinically with probable corticobasal degeneration. This diagnosis was confirmed in the three subjects who additionally underwent post-mortem examination. Ten age-matched healthy subjects (five females/five males; age 71.7 ± 6.7 years) served as controls for the imaging studies. Spatial covariance analysis was applied to scan data from the combined group to identify a significant corticobasal degeneration-related metabolic pattern that discriminated (P < 0.001) the patients from the healthy control group. This pattern was characterized by bilateral, asymmetric metabolic reductions involving frontal and parietal cortex, thalamus, and caudate nucleus. These pattern-related changes were greater in magnitude in the cerebral hemisphere opposite the more clinically affected body side. The presence of this corticobasal degeneration-related metabolic topography was confirmed in two independent testing sets of patient and control scans, with elevated pattern expression (P < 0.001) in both disease groups relative to corresponding normal values. We next determined whether prospectively computed expression values for this pattern accurately discriminated corticobasal degeneration from multiple system atrophy and progressive supranuclear palsy (the two most common atypical parkinsonian syndromes) on a single case basis. Based upon this measure, corticobasal degeneration was successfully distinguished from multiple system atrophy (P < 0.001) but not progressive supranuclear palsy, presumably because of the overlap (∼ 24%) that existed between the corticobasal degeneration- and the progressive supranuclear palsy-related metabolic topographies. Nonetheless, excellent discrimination between these disease entities was achieved by computing hemispheric asymmetry scores for the corticobasal degeneration-related pattern on a prospective single scan basis. Indeed, a logistic algorithm based on the asymmetry scores combined with separately computed expression values for a previously validated progressive supranuclear palsy-related pattern provided excellent specificity (corticobasal degeneration: 92.7%; progressive supranuclear palsy: 94.1%) in classifying 58 testing subjects. In conclusion, corticobasal degeneration is associated with a reproducible disease-related metabolic covariance pattern that may help to distinguish this disorder from other atypical parkinsonian syndromes. PMID:25208922

  19. The cholinergic system in aging and neuronal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Schliebs, Reinhard; Arendt, Thomas

    2011-08-10

    The basal forebrain cholinergic complex comprising medial septum, horizontal and vertical diagonal band of Broca, and nucleus basalis of Meynert provides the mayor cholinergic projections to the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. The cholinergic neurons of this complex have been assumed to undergo moderate degenerative changes during aging, resulting in cholinergic hypofunction that has been related to the progressing memory deficits with aging. However, the previous view of significant cholinergic cell loss during aging has been challenged. Neuronal cell loss was found predominantly in pathological aging, such as Alzheimer's disease, while normal aging is accompanied by a gradual loss of cholinergic function caused by dendritic, synaptic, and axonal degeneration as well as a decrease in trophic support. As a consequence, decrements in gene expression, impairments in intracellular signaling, and cytoskeletal transport may mediate cholinergic cell atrophy finally leading to the known age-related functional decline in the brain including aging-associated cognitive impairments. However, in pathological situations associated with cognitive deficits, such as Parkinsons's disease, Down-syndrome, progressive supranuclear palsy, Jakob-Creutzfeld disease, Korsakoff's syndrome, traumatic brain injury, significant degenerations of basal forebrain cholinergic cells have been observed. In presenile (early onset), and in the advanced stages of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD), a severe loss of cortical cholinergic innervation has extensively been documented. In contrast, in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI, a prodromal stage of AD), and early forms of AD, apparently no cholinergic neurodegeneration but a loss of cholinergic function occurs. In particular imbalances in the expression of NGF, its precursor proNGF, the high and low NGF receptors, trkA and p75NTR, respectively, changes in acetylcholine release, high-affinity choline uptake, as well as alterations in muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expression may contribute to the cholinergic dysfunction. These observations support the suggestion of a key role of the cholinergic system in the functional processes that lead to AD. Malfunction of the cholinergic system may be tackled pharmacologically by intervening in cholinergic as well as neurotrophic signaling cascades that have been shown to ameliorate the cholinergic deficit at early stages of the disease, and slow-down the progression. However, in contrast to many other, dementing disorders, in AD the cholinergic dysfunctions are accompanied by the occurrence of two major histopathological hallmarks such as β-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, provoking the question whether they play a particular role in inducing or mediating cholinergic dysfunction in AD. Indeed, there is abundant evidence that β-amyloid may trigger cholinergic dysfunction through action on α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, affecting NGF signaling, mediating tau phosphorylation, interacting with acetylcholinesterase, and specifically affecting the proteome in cholinergic neurons. Therefore, an early onset of an anti β-amyloid strategy may additionally be potential in preventing aging-associated cholinergic deficits and cognitive impairments. PMID:21145918

  20. Frontotemporal dementia or frontotemporal lobar degeneration--overview of a group of proteinopathies.

    PubMed

    Haberland, Catherine

    2010-03-30

    Frontotemporal dementia is the second most common early onset dementia after Alzheimer disease. Frontotemporal dementias are a complex group of dementias. The clinical diagnosis can be perplexing because of concurring psychiatric and neurologic syndromes. Frontotemporal lobar degeneration, the underlying pathology, represents an emerging group of proteinopathies. Genetic factors play an important part in the etiologies of dementias. This article overviews current defining characteristics of frontotemporal dementias known also as frontotemporal lobar degenerations. PMID:20405665

  1. Calcification as a sign of sarcomatous degeneration of malignant pleural mesotheliomas: A new CT finding

    SciTech Connect

    Raizon, A.; Schwartz, A.; Hix, W.; Rockoff, S.D.

    1996-01-01

    We present two cases demonstrating, on CT examination, heavily calcified mass lesions associated with malignant pleural mesothelioma in workers occupationally exposed to asbestos. These masses proved to be osteogenic sarcomatous degeneration within mesotheliomas. The observation of dense calcification within a pleural mass should raise a suspicion of osteosarcomatous degeneration if it is seen in conjunction with other classic signs of malignant pleural mesothelioma. 8 refs., 5 figs.

  2. Weak Solutions for the Cahn-Hilliard Equation with Degenerate Mobility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dai, Shibin; Du, Qiang

    2016-03-01

    In this paper, we study the well-posedness of Cahn-Hilliard equations with degenerate phase-dependent diffusion mobility. We consider a popular form of the equations which has been used in phase field simulations of phase separation and microstructure evolution in binary systems. We define a notion of weak solutions for the nonlinear equation. The existence of such solutions is obtained by considering the limits of Cahn-Hilliard equations with non-degenerate mobilities.

  3. VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY IN NEOVASCULAR VERSUS NONNEOVASCULAR AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION

    PubMed Central

    Itty, Sujit; Day, Shelley; Lyles, Kenneth W.; Stinnett, Sandra S.; Vajzovic, Lejla M.; Mruthyunjaya, Prithvi

    2014-01-01

    Purpose To compare 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (NVAMD) with patients with nonneovascular age-related macular degeneration and control patients. Methods Medical records of all patients diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration and tested for serum 25OHD level at a single medical center were reviewed. Control patients were selected from patients diagnosed with pseudophakia but without age-related macular degeneration. The lowest 25OHD level available for each patient was recorded. Results Two hundred sixteen patients with nonneovascular age-related macular degeneration, 146 with NVAMD, and 100 non–age-related macular degeneration control patients were included. The levels of 25OHD (mean ± SD) were significantly lower in NVAMD patients (26.1 ± 14.4 ng/mL) versus nonneovascular age-related macular degeneration (31.5 ± 18.2 ng/mL, P = 0.003) and control (29.4 ± 10.1 ng/mL, P = 0.049) patients. The prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency (<30 ng/mL 25OHD), deficiency (<20 ng/mL), and severe deficiency (<10 ng/mL) were highest in the NVAMD group. The highest quintile of 25OHD was associated with a 0.35 (95% confidence interval, 0.18– 0.68) odds ratio for NVAMD. Conclusion This is the largest study to compare 25OHD levels in patients with the different clinical forms of age-related macular degeneration. Mean 25OHD levels were lower and vitamin D deficiency was more prevalent in NVAMD patients. These associations suggest that further research is necessary regarding vitamin D deficiency as a potentially modifiable risk factor for the development of NVAMD. PMID:24946100

  4. Degeneration of Trigonometric Dynamical Difference Equations for Quantum Loop Algebras to Trigonometric Casimir Equations for Yangians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balagović, Martina

    2015-03-01

    We show that, under Drinfeld's degeneration (Proceedings of the International Congress of Mathematicians. American Mathematical Society, Providence, pp 798-820, 1987) of quantum loop algebras to Yangians, the trigonometric dynamical difference equations [Etingof and Varchenko (Adv Math 167:74-127, 2002)] for the quantum affine algebra degenerate to the trigonometric Casimir differential equations [Toledano Laredo (J Algebra 329:286-327, 2011)] for Yangians.

  5. Holmes' Tremor Associated with Bilateral Hypertrophic Olivary Degeneration Following Brain Stem Hemorrhage: A Case Report

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Min Kyu; Park, Se-Hyuck; Yoon, Dae Young

    2014-01-01

    Holmes' tremor is a condition characterized by a mixture of postural, rest, and action tremors due to midbrain lesions in the vicinity of the red nucleus. Hypertrophic olivary degeneration (HOD) is a rare type of neuronal degeneration involving the dento-rubro-olivary pathway and may present clinically as Holmes tremor. We report on a 59-year-old female patient who developed Holmes tremor in association with bilateral HOD, following brain stem hemorrhage. PMID:25340035

  6. Degenerate two-phase porous media flow model with dynamic capillarity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, X.; Pop, I. S.

    2016-02-01

    In this paper, we investigate a degenerate elliptic-parabolic system which describes the flow of two incompressible, immiscible fluids in porous media and including dynamic effects in the phase-pressure difference. First, for the regularized case, the existence and uniqueness of the weak solution are obtained. Then we let the regularization parameter go to zero to show the existence of weak solutions under degenerate case.

  7. Macular degeneration affects eye movement behavior during visual search.

    PubMed

    Van der Stigchel, Stefan; Bethlehem, Richard A I; Klein, Barrie P; Berendschot, Tos T J M; Nijboer, Tanja C W; Dumoulin, Serge O

    2013-01-01

    Patients with a scotoma in their central vision (e.g., due to macular degeneration, MD) commonly adopt a strategy to direct the eyes such that the image falls onto a peripheral location on the retina. This location is referred to as the preferred retinal locus (PRL). Although previous research has investigated the characteristics of this PRL, it is unclear whether eye movement metrics are modulated by peripheral viewing with a PRL as measured during a visual search paradigm. To this end, we tested four MD patients in a visual search paradigm and contrasted their performance with a healthy control group and a healthy control group performing the same experiment with a simulated scotoma. The experiment contained two conditions. In the first condition the target was an unfilled circle hidden among c-shaped distractors (serial condition) and in the second condition the target was a filled circle (pop-out condition). Saccadic search latencies for the MD group were significantly longer in both conditions compared to both control groups. Results of a subsequent experiment indicated that this difference between the MD and the control groups could not be explained by a difference in target selection sensitivity. Furthermore, search behavior of MD patients was associated with saccades with smaller amplitudes toward the scotoma, an increased intersaccadic interval and an increased number of eye movements necessary to locate the target. Some of these characteristics, such as the increased intersaccadic interval, were also observed in the simulation group, which indicate that these characteristics are related to the peripheral viewing itself. We suggest that the combination of the central scotoma and peripheral viewing can explain the altered search behavior and no behavioral evidence was found for a possible reorganization of the visual system associated with the use of a PRL. Thus the switch from a fovea-based to a PRL-based reference frame impairs search efficiency. PMID:24027546

  8. Genetic risk factors and age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

    PubMed Central

    Mousavi, Maryam; Armstrong, Richard A.

    2013-01-01

    Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in individuals older than 65 years of age. It is a multifactorial disorder and identification of risk factors enables individuals to make lifestyle choices that may reduce the risk of disease. Collaboration between geneticists, ophthalmologists, and optometrists suggests that genetic risk factors play a more significant role in AMD than previously thought. The most important genes are associated with immune system modulation and the complement system, e.g., complement factor H (CFH), factor B (CFB), factor C3, and serpin peptidase inhibitor (SERPING1). Genes associated with membrane transport, e.g., ATP-binding cassette protein (ABCR) and voltage-dependent calcium channel gamma 3 (CACNG3), the vascular system, e.g., fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), fibulin-5, lysyl oxidase-like gene (LOXL1) and selectin-P (SELP), and with lipid metabolism, e.g., apolipoprotein E (APOE) and hepatic lipase (LIPC) have also been implicated. In addition, several other genes exhibit some statistical association with AMD, e.g., age-related maculopathy susceptibility protein 2 (ARMS2) and DNA excision repair protein gene (ERCC6) but more research is needed to establish their significance. Modifiable risk factors for AMD should be discussed with patients whose lifestyle and/or family history place them in an increased risk category. Furthermore, calculation of AMD risk using current models should be recommended as a tool for patient education. It is likely that AMD management in future will be increasingly influenced by assessment of genetic risk as such screening methods become more widely available.

  9. OBSERVATIONAL CONSTRAINTS ON THE DEGENERATE MASS-RADIUS RELATION

    SciTech Connect

    Holberg, J. B.; Oswalt, T. D.; Barstow, M. A. E-mail: toswalt@fit.edu

    2012-03-15

    The white dwarf mass-radius relationship is fundamental to modern astrophysics. It is central to routine estimation of DA white dwarf masses derived from spectroscopic temperatures and gravities. It is also the basis for observational determinations of the white dwarf initial-final-mass relation. Nevertheless, definitive and detailed observational confirmations of the mass-radius relation (MRR) remain elusive owing to a lack of sufficiently accurate white dwarf masses and radii. Current best estimates of masses and radii allow only broad conclusions about the expected inverse relation between masses and radii in degenerate stars. In this paper, we examine a restricted set of 12 DA white dwarf binary systems for which accurate (1) trigonometric parallaxes, (2) spectroscopic effective temperatures and gravities, and (3) gravitational redshifts are available. We consider these three independent constraints on mass and radius in comparison with an appropriate evolved MRR for each star. For the best-determined systems it is found that the DA white dwarfs conform to evolve theoretical MRRs at the 1{sigma} to 2{sigma} level. For the white dwarf 40 Eri B (WD 0413-077) we find strong evidence for the existence of a 'thin' hydrogen envelope. For other stars improved parallaxes will be necessary before meaningful comparisons are possible. For several systems current parallaxes approach the precision required for the state-of-the-art mass and radius determinations that will be obtained routinely from the Gaia mission. It is demonstrated here how these anticipated results can be used to firmly constrain details of theoretical mass-radius determinations.

  10. Prevalence, characteristics, and survival of frontotemporal lobar degeneration syndromes

    PubMed Central

    Dick, Katrina M.; Patterson, Karalyn; Vázquez Rodríquez, Patricia; Wehmann, Eileen; Wilcox, Alicia; Lansdall, Claire J.; Dawson, Kate E.; Wiggins, Julie; Mead, Simon; Brayne, Carol; Rowe, James B.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: To estimate the lifetime risk, prevalence, incidence, and mortality of the principal clinical syndromes associated with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) using revised diagnostic criteria and including intermediate clinical phenotypes. Methods: Multisource referral over 2 years to identify all diagnosed or suspected cases of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), or corticobasal syndrome (CBS) in 2 UK counties (population 1.69 million). Diagnostic confirmation used current consensus diagnostic criteria after interview and reexamination. Results were adjusted to the 2013 European standard population. Results: The prevalence of FTD, PSP, and CBS was 10.8/100,000. The incidence and mortality were very similar, at 1.61/100,000 and 1.56/100,000 person-years, respectively. The estimated lifetime risk is 1 in 742. Survival following diagnosis varied widely: from PSP 2.9 years to semantic variant FTD 9.1 years. Age-adjusted prevalence peaked between 65 and 69 years at 42.6/100,000: the age-adjusted prevalence for persons older than 65 years is double the prevalence for those between 40 and 64 years. Fifteen percent of those screened had a relevant genetic mutation. Conclusions: Key features of this study include the revised diagnostic criteria with improved specificity and sensitivity, an unrestricted age range, and simultaneous assessment of multiple FTLD syndromes. The prevalence of FTD, PSP, and CBS increases beyond 65 years, with frequent genetic causes. The time from onset to diagnosis and from diagnosis to death varies widely among syndromes, emphasizing the challenge and importance of accurate and timely diagnosis. A high index of suspicion for FTLD syndromes is required by clinicians, even for older patients. PMID:27037234

  11. Complement Factor D in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Stanton, Chloe M.; Yates, John R.W.; den Hollander, Anneke I.; Seddon, Johanna M.; Swaroop, Anand; Stambolian, Dwight; Fauser, Sascha; Hoyng, Carel; Yu, Yi; Atsuhiro, Kanda; Branham, Kari; Othman, Mohammad; Chen, Wei; Kortvely, Elod; Chalmers, Kevin; Hayward, Caroline; Moore, Anthony T.; Dhillon, Baljean; Ueffing, Marius

    2011-01-01

    Purpose. To examine the role of complement factor D (CFD) in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by analysis of genetic association, copy number variation, and plasma CFD concentrations. Methods. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the CFD gene were genotyped and the results analyzed by binary logistic regression. CFD gene copy number was analyzed by gene copy number assay. Plasma CFD was measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results. Genetic association was found between CFD gene SNP rs3826945 and AMD (odds ratio 1.44; P = 0.028) in a small discovery case-control series (462 cases and 325 controls) and replicated in a combined cohorts meta-analysis of 4765 cases and 2693 controls, with an odds ratio of 1.11 (P = 0.032), with the association almost confined to females. Copy number variation in the CFD gene was identified in 13 out of 640 samples examined but there was no difference in frequency between AMD cases (1.3%) and controls (2.7%). Plasma CFD concentration was measured in 751 AMD cases and 474 controls and found to be elevated in AMD cases (P = 0.00025). The odds ratio for those in the highest versus lowest quartile for plasma CFD was 1.81. The difference in plasma CFD was again almost confined to females. Conclusions. CFD regulates activation of the alternative complement pathway, which is implicated in AMD pathogenesis. The authors found evidence for genetic association between a CFD gene SNP and AMD and a significant increase in plasma CFD concentration in AMD cases compared with controls, consistent with a role for CFD in AMD pathogenesis. PMID:22003108

  12. Gait speed in Parkinson disease correlates with cholinergic degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Frey, Kirk A.; Studenski, Stephanie; Kotagal, Vikas; Koeppe, Robert A.; Scott, Peter J.H.; Albin, Roger L.; Müller, Martijn L.T.M.

    2013-01-01

    Objective: We investigated dopaminergic and cholinergic correlates of gait speed in Parkinson disease (PD) and non-PD control subjects to test the hypothesis that gait dysfunction in PD may result from multisystem degeneration. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. Subjects with PD but without dementia (n = 125, age 65.6 ± 7.3 years) and elderly subjects without PD (n = 32, age 66.0 ± 10.6 years) underwent [11C]dihydrotetrabenazine dopaminergic and [11C]methyl-4-piperidinyl propionate acetylcholinesterase PET imaging, and cognitive and clinical testing, including an 8.5-m walk in the dopaminergic “off” state. The fifth percentile of cortical cholinergic activity in the elderly without PD was used to define normal-range activity in the subjects with PD. Results: Normal-range cortical cholinergic activity was present in 87 subjects with PD (69.6%). Analysis of covariance using gait speed as the dependent variable demonstrated a significant model (F = 6.70, p < 0.0001) with a significant group effect (F = 3.36, p = 0.037) and significant slower gait speed in the low cholinergic PD subgroup (0.97 ± 0.22 m/s) with no significant difference between the normal-range cholinergic PD subgroup (1.12 ± 0.20 m/s) and control subjects (1.17 ± 0.18 m/s). Covariate effects were significant for cognition (F = 6.58, p = 0.011), but not for striatal dopaminergic innervation, sex, or age. Conclusion: Comorbid cortical cholinergic denervation is a more robust marker of slowing of gait in PD than nigrostriatal denervation alone. Gait speed is not significantly slower than normal in subjects with PD with relatively isolated nigrostriatal denervation. PMID:24078735

  13. Hsp90 inhibition protects against inherited retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Aguilà, Mònica; Bevilacqua, Dalila; McCulley, Caroline; Schwarz, Nele; Athanasiou, Dimitra; Kanuga, Naheed; Novoselov, Sergey S.; Lange, Clemens A.K.; Ali, Robin R.; Bainbridge, James W.; Gias, Carlos; Coffey, Peter J.; Garriga, Pere; Cheetham, Michael E.

    2014-01-01

    The molecular chaperone Hsp90 is important for the functional maturation of many client proteins, and inhibitors are in clinical trials for multiple indications in cancer. Hsp90 inhibition activates the heat shock response and can improve viability in a cell model of the P23H misfolding mutation in rhodopsin that causes autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP). Here, we show that a single low dose of the Hsp90 inhibitor HSP990 enhanced visual function and delayed photoreceptor degeneration in a P23H transgenic rat model. This was associated with the induction of heat shock protein expression and reduced rhodopsin aggregation. We then investigated the effect of Hsp90 inhibition on a different type of rod opsin mutant, R135L, which is hyperphosphorylated, binds arrestin and disrupts vesicular traffic. Hsp90 inhibition with 17-AAG reduced the intracellular accumulation of R135L and abolished arrestin binding in cells. Hsf-1−/− cells revealed that the effect of 17-AAG on P23H aggregation was dependent on HSF-1, whereas the effect on R135L was HSF-1 independent. Instead, the effect on R135L was mediated by a requirement of Hsp90 for rhodopsin kinase (GRK1) maturation and function. Importantly, Hsp90 inhibition restored R135L rod opsin localization to wild-type (WT) phenotype in vivo in rat retina. Prolonged Hsp90 inhibition with HSP990 in vivo led to a posttranslational reduction in GRK1 and phosphodiesterase (PDE6) protein levels, identifying them as Hsp90 clients. These data suggest that Hsp90 represents a potential therapeutic target for different types of rhodopsin adRP through distinct mechanisms, but also indicate that sustained Hsp90 inhibition might adversely affect visual function. PMID:24301679

  14. CSF neurofilament concentration reflects disease severity in frontotemporal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Scherling, Carole S.; Hall, Tracey; Berisha, Flora; Klepac, Kristen; Karydas, Anna; Coppola, Giovanni; Kramer, Joel H.; Rabinovici, Gil; Ahlijanian, Michael; Miller, Bruce L.; Seeley, William; Grinberg, Lea T.; Rosen, Howard; Meredith, Jere; Boxer, Adam L.

    2014-01-01

    Objective Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) neurofilament light chain (NfL) concentration is elevated in neurological disorders including frontotemporal degeneration (FTD). We investigated the clinical correlates of elevated CSF NfL levels in FTD. Methods CSF NfL, amyloid-β42 (Aβ42), tau and phosphorylated tau (ptau) concentrations were compared in 47 normal controls (NC), 8 asymptomatic gene carriers (NC2) of FTD-causing mutations, 79 FTD (45 behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia [bvFTD], 18 progressive nonfluent aphasia [PNFA], 16 semantic dementia [SD]), 22 progressive supranuclear palsy, 50 Alzheimer’s disease, 6 Parkinson’s disease and 17 corticobasal syndrome patients. Correlations between CSF analyte levels were performed with neuropsychological measures and the Clinical Dementia Rating scale sum of boxes (CDRsb). Voxel-based morphometry of structural MR images determined the relationship between brain volume and CSF NfL. Results Mean CSF NfL concentrations were higher in bvFTD, SD and PNFA than other groups. NfL in NC2 was similar to NC. CSF NfL, but not other CSF measures, correlated with CDRsb and neuropsychological measures in FTD, and not in other diagnostic groups. Analyses in two independent FTD cohorts and a group of autopsy verified or biomarker enriched cases confirmed the larger group analysis. In FTD, gray and white matter volume negatively correlated with CSF NfL concentration, such that individuals with highest NfL levels exhibited the most atrophy. Interpretation CSF NfL is elevated in symptomatic FTD and correlates with disease severity. This measurement may be a useful surrogate endpoint of disease severity in FTD clinical trials. Longitudinal studies of CSF NfL in FTD are warranted. PMID:24242746

  15. Processing emotion from abstract art in frontotemporal lobar degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Miriam H.; Carton, Amelia M.; Hardy, Christopher J.; Golden, Hannah L.; Clark, Camilla N.; Fletcher, Phillip D.; Jaisin, Kankamol; Marshall, Charles R.; Henley, Susie M.D.; Rohrer, Jonathan D.; Crutch, Sebastian J.; Warren, Jason D.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract art may signal emotions independently of a biological or social carrier: it might therefore constitute a test case for defining brain mechanisms of generic emotion decoding and the impact of disease states on those mechanisms. This is potentially of particular relevance to diseases in the frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) spectrum. These diseases are often led by emotional impairment despite retained or enhanced artistic interest in at least some patients. However, the processing of emotion from art has not been studied systematically in FTLD. Here we addressed this issue using a novel emotional valence matching task on abstract paintings in patients representing major syndromes of FTLD (behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, n=11; sematic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA), n=7; nonfluent variant primary progressive aphasia (nfvPPA), n=6) relative to healthy older individuals (n=39). Performance on art emotion valence matching was compared between groups taking account of perceptual matching performance and assessed in relation to facial emotion matching using customised control tasks. Neuroanatomical correlates of art emotion processing were assessed using voxel-based morphometry of patients' brain MR images. All patient groups had a deficit of art emotion processing relative to healthy controls; there were no significant interactions between syndromic group and emotion modality. Poorer art emotion valence matching performance was associated with reduced grey matter volume in right lateral occopitotemporal cortex in proximity to regions previously implicated in the processing of dynamic visual signals. Our findings suggest that abstract art may be a useful model system for investigating mechanisms of generic emotion decoding and aesthetic processing in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26748236

  16. Stem Cell Therapy in Nonneovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Kashani, Amir H

    2016-04-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of blindness in subjects older than 50 years of age in the developed world. There are two types of ARMD, neovascular (NV) and nonneovascular (NN). While anti-VEGF-based therapies have significantly decreased the visual morbidity associated with NV-ARMD, there are no effective treatments for NN-ARMD. A detailed discussion of NV-ARMD and related therapies is the topic of another section of this special supplement. This review will focus mainly on NN-ARMD. Vision loss in nonneovascular ARMD is highly correlated with the loss of RPE cells and areas of geographic atrophy (GA). Pilot studies using subretinal transplantation of autologous or allogeneic RPE during the past 20 to 30 years have demonstrated that stem cell-derived RPE have the potential to rescue photoreceptor function and restore vision. New methods of differentiating RPE from human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) have created a potentially unlimited supply of RPE cells to meet the demands of future commercially viable stem cell products. Thanks to fundamental advances in stem cell biology, vitreoretinal surgery, and noninvasive retinal imaging, stem cell-based therapies for NN-ARMD are emerging and several clinical trials are in progress. However, there are major regulatory, safety, and technical challenges that remain. This review will focus on summarizing the most promising aspects of stem cell-based therapy for NN-ARMD and highlighting areas that require further research. PMID:27116669

  17. Frontotemporal lobar degeneration: defining phenotypic diversity through personalized medicine.

    PubMed

    Irwin, David J; Cairns, Nigel J; Grossman, Murray; McMillan, Corey T; Lee, Edward B; Van Deerlin, Vivianna M; Lee, Virginia M-Y; Trojanowski, John Q

    2015-04-01

    Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) comprises two main classes of neurodegenerative diseases characterized by neuronal/glial proteinaceous inclusions (i.e., proteinopathies) including tauopathies (i.e., FTLD-Tau) and TDP-43 proteinopathies (i.e., FTLD-TDP) while other very rare forms of FTLD are known such as FTLD with FUS pathology (FTLD-FUS). This review focuses mainly on FTLD-Tau and FLTD-TDP, which may present as several clinical syndromes: a behavioral/dysexecutive syndrome (behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia); language disorders (primary progressive aphasia variants); and motor disorders (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, corticobasal syndrome, progressive supranuclear palsy syndrome). There is considerable heterogeneity in clinical presentations of underlying neuropathology and current clinical criteria do not reliably predict underlying proteinopathies ante-mortem. In contrast, molecular etiologies of hereditary FTLD are consistently associated with specific proteinopathies. These include MAPT mutations with FTLD-Tau and GRN, C9orf72, VCP and TARDBP with FTLD-TDP. The last decade has seen a rapid expansion in our knowledge of the molecular pathologies associated with this clinically and neuropathologically heterogeneous group of FTLD diseases. Moreover, in view of current limitations to reliably diagnose specific FTLD neuropathologies prior to autopsy, we summarize the current state of the science in FTLD biomarker research including neuroimaging, biofluid and genetic analyses. We propose that combining several of these biomarker modalities will improve diagnostic specificity in FTLD through a personalized medicine approach. The goals of these efforts are to enhance power for clinical trials focused on slowing or preventing progression of spread of tau, TDP-43 and other FTLD-associated pathologies and work toward the goal of defining clinical endophenotypes of FTD. PMID:25549971

  18. Self-appraisal in behavioural variant frontotemporal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Massimo, Lauren; Libon, David J; Chandrasekaran, Keerthi; Dreyfuss, Michael; McMillan, Corey T; Rascovsky, Katya; Boller, Ashley; Grossman, Murray

    2013-01-01

    Objective Previous work investigating deficits in self-appraisal in behavioural-variant frontotemporal degeneration (bvFTD) has focused on a single domain: social/behavioural processes. We examined whether a domain-specific versus multi-domain model best explains degraded self-appraisal in bvFTD. Methods 49 patients with bvFTD and 73 patients with Alzheimers disease (AD) were administered quantitative assessments of episodic memory, naming and grammatical comprehension. Self-appraisal of cognitive test performance was assessed by asking patients to rate their performance immediately after completing each neuropsychological test. A discrepancy score was created to reflect the difference between patient performance on neuropsychological tests and self-appraisal of their test performance. Self-appraisal for each neuropsychological measure was related to grey matter (GM) density in each group using voxel-based morphometry. Results bvFTD patients were poor at evaluating their own performance on all cognitive tests, with no significant correlations between self-appraisal and actual performance. By contrast, poor self-appraisal in AD was restricted to episodic memory performance. Poor self-appraisal on each task in bvFTD and AD was related to reduced GM density in several ventral and rostral medial prefrontal regions. Crucially, poor self-appraisal for all domains in bvFTD was related to a specific area of reduced GM density in the subgenual cingulate (BA 25). Conclusion Poor self-appraisal in bvFTD affects multiple domains, and this multi-domain impairment pattern is associated with frontal disease in the subgenual cingulate. PMID:22952324

  19. Compositional MRI techniques for evaluation of cartilage degeneration in osteoarthritis.

    PubMed

    Guermazi, A; Alizai, H; Crema, M D; Trattnig, S; Regatte, R R; Roemer, F W

    2015-10-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA), a leading cause of disability, affects 27 million people in the United States and its prevalence is rising along with the rise in obesity. So far, biomechanical or behavioral interventions as well as attempts to develop disease-modifying OA drugs have been unsuccessful. This may be partly due to antiquated imaging outcome measures such as radiography, which are still endorsed by regulatory agencies such as the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in clinical trials. Morphological magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allows unparalleled multi-feature assessment of the OA joint. Furthermore, advanced MRI techniques also enable evaluation of the biochemical or ultrastructural composition of articular cartilage relevant to OA research. These compositional MRI techniques have the potential to supplement clinical MRI sequences in identifying cartilage degeneration at an earlier stage than is possible today using morphologic sequences only. The purpose of this narrative review is to describe compositional MRI techniques for cartilage evaluation, which include T2 mapping, T2* Mapping, T1 rho, dGEMRIC, gagCEST, sodium imaging and diffusion weighted imaging (DWI). We also reviewed relevant clinical studies that have utilized these techniques for the study of OA. The different techniques are complementary. Some focus on isotropy or the collagen network (e.g., T2 mapping) and others are more specific in regard to tissue composition, e.g., gagCEST or dGEMRIC that convey information on the GAG concentration. The application and feasibility of these techniques is also discussed, as they will play an important role in implementation in larger clinical trials and eventually clinical practice. PMID:26050864

  20. VAGINAL DEGENERATION FOLLOWING IMPLANTATION OF SYNTHETIC MESH WITH INCREASED STIFFNESS

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Rui; Abramowitch, Steven; Knight, Katrina; Palcsey, Stacy; Nolfi, Alexis; Feola, Andrew; Stein, Susan; Moalli, Pamela A.

    2012-01-01

    Objective To compare the impact of the prototype prolapse mesh Gynemesh PS to that of two new generation lower stiffness meshes, UltraPro and SmartMesh, on vaginal morphology and structural composition. Design A mechanistic study employing a non-human primate (NHP) model. Setting Magee-Womens Research Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. Population Parous rhesus macaques, with similar age, weight, parity and POP-Q scores. Methods Following IACUC approval, 50 rhesus macaques were implanted with Gynemesh PS (n=12), UltraPro with its blue line perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of vagina (n=10), UltraPro with its blue line parallel to the longitudinal axis of vagina (n=8) and SmartMesh (n=8) via sacrocolpopexy following hysterectomy. Sham operated animals (n=12) served as controls. Main Outcome Measures The mesh-vagina complex (MVC) was removed after 12 weeks and analyzed for histomorphology, in situ cell apoptosis, total collagen, elastin, glycosaminoglycan content and total collagenase activity. Appropriate statistics and correlation analyses were performed accordingly. Results Relative to sham and the two lower stiffness meshes, Gynemesh PS had the greatest negative impact on vaginal histomorphology and composition. Compared to sham, implantation with Gynemesh PS caused substantial thinning of the smooth muscle layer (1557 ± 499μm vs 866 ± 210 μm, P=0.02), increased apoptosis particularly in the area of the mesh fibers (P=0.01), decreased collagen and elastin content (20% (P=0.03) and 43% (P=0.02), respectively) and increased total collagenase activity (135% (P=0.01)). GAG (glycosaminoglycan), a marker of tissue injury, was the highest with Gynemesh PS compared to sham and other meshes (P=0.01). Conclusion Mesh implantation with the stiffer mesh Gynemesh PS induced a maladaptive remodeling response consistent with vaginal degeneration. PMID:23240802