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Sample records for improve lv function

  1. Adenylyl Cyclase 6 Improves Calcium Uptake and LV Function in Aged Hearts

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Tong; Hammond, H. Kirk; Firth, Amy; Yang, Yuan; Gao, Mei Hua; Yuan, Jason X.-J.; Lai, N. Chin

    2011-01-01

    Objectives This study sought to test the hypothesis that activation of adenylyl cyclase 6 (AC6) expression in cardiac myocytes improves Ca2+ uptake and LV function in aging mice. Background Aging hearts exhibit impaired ?-adrenergic receptor signaling and left ventricular (LV) dysfunction. Methods Twenty-month-old mice with cardiac-directed and regulated AC6 expression were randomized into two groups, and AC6 expression was activated in one group (AC6-On) but not the other (AC6-Off). One month later, LV function and sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ uptake were assessed. Results AC6 expression was associated with increased LV contractility, as reflected by ejection fraction (P=0.02), rate of pressure development (P=0.002), and the slope of LV end-systolic pressure-volume relationship (P=0.04). No changes in LV weight to tibial length ratio, LV fibrosis, and expression of fetal genes (atrial natriuretic factor, ?-skeletal muscle actin, and ?-myosin heavy chain) and collagens were observed between AC6-On and AC6-Off groups. However, LV samples from AC6?On mice showed increases in: isoproterenol-stimulated cAMP production (P=0.04), PKA activity (P<0.0004), phosphorylation of phospholamban (at Ser16 site; P=0.04) and cardiac troponin I (at Ser23/24 sites; P=0.01), velocity of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ uptake (P<0.0001), and SERCA2a affinity for Ca2+ (P<0.0001). Finally, we found that AC6 expression increased sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ storage in cardiac myocytes isolated from 23-month-old rats. In contrast, AC6 expression in 7-month-old mice did not change LV function and Ca2+ uptake. Conclusions These results indicate that activation of cardiac AC6 expression improves impaired function of aged hearts, through improved Ca2+ uptake. PMID:21527160

  2. Motion corrected LV quantification based on 3D modelling for improved functional assessment in cardiac MRI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liew, Y. M.; McLaughlin, R. A.; Chan, B. T.; Aziz, Y. F. Abdul; Chee, K. H.; Ung, N. M.; Tan, L. K.; Lai, K. W.; Ng, S.; Lim, E.

    2015-04-01

    Cine MRI is a clinical reference standard for the quantitative assessment of cardiac function, but reproducibility is confounded by motion artefacts. We explore the feasibility of a motion corrected 3D left ventricle (LV) quantification method, incorporating multislice image registration into the 3D model reconstruction, to improve reproducibility of 3D LV functional quantification. Multi-breath-hold short-axis and radial long-axis images were acquired from 10 patients and 10 healthy subjects. The proposed framework reduced misalignment between slices to subpixel accuracy (2.88 to 1.21 mm), and improved interstudy reproducibility for 5 important clinical functional measures, i.e. end-diastolic volume, end-systolic volume, ejection fraction, myocardial mass and 3D-sphericity index, as reflected in a reduction in the sample size required to detect statistically significant cardiac changes: a reduction of 21-66%. Our investigation on the optimum registration parameters, including both cardiac time frames and number of long-axis (LA) slices, suggested that a single time frame is adequate for motion correction whereas integrating more LA slices can improve registration and model reconstruction accuracy for improved functional quantification especially on datasets with severe motion artefacts.

  3. A Targeted Mutation within the Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) Envelope Protein Immunosuppressive Domain To Improve a Canarypox Virus-Vectored FeLV Vaccine

    PubMed Central

    Schlecht-Louf, Graldine; Mangeney, Marianne; El-Garch, Hanane; Lacombe, Valrie; Poulet, Herv

    2014-01-01

    We previously delineated a highly conserved immunosuppressive (IS) domain within murine and primate retroviral envelope proteins that is critical for virus propagation in vivo. The envelope-mediated immunosuppression was assessed by the ability of the proteins, when expressed by allogeneic tumor cells normally rejected by engrafted mice, to allow these cells to escape, at least transiently, immune rejection. Using this approach, we identified key residues whose mutation (i) specifically abolishes immunosuppressive activity without affecting the mechanical function of the envelope protein and (ii) significantly enhances humoral and cellular immune responses elicited against the virus. The objective of this work was to study the immunosuppressive activity of the envelope protein (p15E) of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and evaluate the effect of its abolition on the efficacy of a vaccine against FeLV. Here we demonstrate that the FeLV envelope protein is immunosuppressive in vivo and that this immunosuppressive activity can be switched off by targeted mutation of a specific amino acid. As a result of the introduction of the mutated envelope sequence into a previously well characterized canarypox virus-vectored vaccine (ALVAC-FeLV), the frequency of vaccine-induced FeLV-specific gamma interferon (IFN-?)-producing cells was increased, whereas conversely, the frequency of vaccine-induced FeLV-specific interleukin-10 (IL-10)-producing cells was reduced. This shift in the IFN-?/IL-10 response was associated with a higher efficacy of ALVAC-FeLV against FeLV infection. This study demonstrates that FeLV p15E is immunosuppressive in vivo, that the immunosuppressive domain of p15E can modulate the FeLV-specific immune response, and that the efficacy of FeLV vaccines can be enhanced by inhibiting the immunosuppressive activity of the IS domain through an appropriate mutation. PMID:24198407

  4. A targeted mutation within the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) envelope protein immunosuppressive domain to improve a canarypox virus-vectored FeLV vaccine.

    PubMed

    Schlecht-Louf, Graldine; Mangeney, Marianne; El-Garch, Hanane; Lacombe, Valrie; Poulet, Herv; Heidmann, Thierry

    2014-01-01

    We previously delineated a highly conserved immunosuppressive (IS) domain within murine and primate retroviral envelope proteins that is critical for virus propagation in vivo. The envelope-mediated immunosuppression was assessed by the ability of the proteins, when expressed by allogeneic tumor cells normally rejected by engrafted mice, to allow these cells to escape, at least transiently, immune rejection. Using this approach, we identified key residues whose mutation (i) specifically abolishes immunosuppressive activity without affecting the "mechanical" function of the envelope protein and (ii) significantly enhances humoral and cellular immune responses elicited against the virus. The objective of this work was to study the immunosuppressive activity of the envelope protein (p15E) of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and evaluate the effect of its abolition on the efficacy of a vaccine against FeLV. Here we demonstrate that the FeLV envelope protein is immunosuppressive in vivo and that this immunosuppressive activity can be "switched off" by targeted mutation of a specific amino acid. As a result of the introduction of the mutated envelope sequence into a previously well characterized canarypox virus-vectored vaccine (ALVAC-FeLV), the frequency of vaccine-induced FeLV-specific gamma interferon (IFN-?)-producing cells was increased, whereas conversely, the frequency of vaccine-induced FeLV-specific interleukin-10 (IL-10)-producing cells was reduced. This shift in the IFN-?/IL-10 response was associated with a higher efficacy of ALVAC-FeLV against FeLV infection. This study demonstrates that FeLV p15E is immunosuppressive in vivo, that the immunosuppressive domain of p15E can modulate the FeLV-specific immune response, and that the efficacy of FeLV vaccines can be enhanced by inhibiting the immunosuppressive activity of the IS domain through an appropriate mutation. PMID:24198407

  5. LV mechanics in mitral and aortic valve diseases: value of functional assessment beyond ejection fraction.

    PubMed

    Galli, Elena; Lancellotti, Patrizio; Sengupta, Partho P; Donal, Erwan

    2014-11-01

    The assessment of myocardial function in the context of valvular heart disease remains highly challenging. The myocardium deforms simultaneously in 3 dimensions, and global left ventricular (LV) function parameters such as volume and ejection fraction may remain compensated despite the changes in myocardial deformation properties. Current guidelines recommend valve replacement/repair in the presence of symptoms or reduced LV ejection fraction, but the resolution of symptoms or recovery of LV function post-surgery may not be reliably predicted. A wealth of evidence currently suggests that LV dysfunction is frequently subclinical despite normal ejection fraction. It may precede the onset of symptoms and portend a poor outcome due to progressive myocardial remodeling and dysfunction during thepost-operative period. The advent of novel tissue-tracking echocardiography techniques has unleashed new opportunities for the clinical identification of early abnormalities in LV function. This review gathers and summarizes current evidence regarding the use of these techniques to assess myocardial deformation in patients with valvular heart disease. PMID:25459597

  6. Limitations of quantitative phase analysis for detection of coronary artery disease in patients with impaired LV-function

    SciTech Connect

    Schwaiger, M.; Ratib, O.; Hanze, E.; Schelbert, H.R.

    1983-01-01

    Phase analysis of radionuclide ventriculograms is used for identifying ischemic wall motion abnormalities. Myocardial segments with an abnormal phase and the synchronicity of LV wall motion can be assessed from a histogram of LV phase distribution. We examined in this study the sensitivity of SDP-LV for identifying coronary artery disease and its specificity in patients with normal and various degrees of left ventricular impairment. A total of 84 patients were studied. In severe left ventricular impairment, phase analysis did not aid in distinguishing coronary artery disease from other causes of ventricular dysfunction. By contrast, phase analysis was highly sensitive and specific for coronary artery disease in patients with normal or moderately depressed left ventricular function.

  7. Rest and redistribution thallium-201 myocardial scintigraphy to predict improvement in left ventricular function after coronary arterial bypass grafting

    SciTech Connect

    Iskandrian, A.S.; Hakki, A.H.; Kane, S.A.; Goel, I.P.; Mundth, E.D.; Hakki, A.H.; Segal, B.L.

    1983-05-01

    To examine the value of rest and redistribution thallium-201 imaging in predicting improvement in left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF) after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), 26 patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and abnormal LV function were studied. Nineteen patients had pathologic Q waves preoperatively. Rest and redistribution thallium-201 images and radionuclide ventriculograms were obtained before and after CABG, and the thallium scintigrams were evaluated both quantitatively and qualitatively. The patients were divided according to the preoperative thallium scintigrams into 2 groups: Group I (16 patients) had either normal resting thallium-201 images or reversible resting perfusion defects, and Group II (10 patients) had fixed resting perfusion defects. The resting EF was less than 50% preoperatively in all patients. Fourteen patients (54%) showed improvement in EF postoperatively. Three patients (2 in Group I and 1 in Group II) showed new postoperative perfusion defects, and none of the 3 showed improvement in LV function. Of the remaining 14 patients in Group I, 12 (86%) showed improvement in LV function, compared with 2 of 9 patients in Group II (p less than 0.01). Improvement in LV function was observed in 8 of the 19 patients (42%) with abnormal Q waves. Nitroglycerin intervention radionuclide ventriculograms were obtained in 20 patients before CABG. Of the 6 patients who showed improvement in LV function with nitroglycerin, 4 also showed improvement postoperatively. Postoperative improvement in LV function was also observed in 6 of the 14 patients who did not improve with nitroglycerin.

  8. Diastolic heart failure and LV dyssynchrony.

    PubMed

    Kasner, Mario; Westermann, Dirk; Schultheiss, Heinz-Peter; Tschöpe, Carsten

    2012-10-01

    Our knowledge of diastolic heart failure (DHF) is still limited with regard to pathophysiology, diagnosis and clinical treatment. Amongst others, LV dyssynchrony was suggested to be an additional factor involved in the pathogenesis of subgroup of patients with DHF. In 20-30% of patients with DHF a systolic LV dyssynchrony could be detected and about 20% DHF patients evidenced a diastolic dyssyncrony. Both systolic and diastolic dyssynchrony may contribute to the impairment of cardiac function and clinical manifestation in DHF. Opposite to the systolic heart failure, wide QRS complex is uncommon which incriminates that dyssynchrony in DHF is rather related to regional disperse in contractility than to electromechanical coupling delay. Asynchronous LV relaxation and impairment of ventricular restoring forces may also impair the LV filing and lead to a diastolic dyssynchrony. Particularly in patients with preserved LV contractility mechanical LV dyssynchrony induces energy wastage and consequently reduces cardiac reserves. However, up to date it is not clear to what degree LV dyssynchrony is involved in the pathomechanisms of this subpopulation of DHF. PMID:22280429

  9. Neonatal transfer of membrane-bound stem cell factor improves survival and heart function in aged mice after myocardial ischemia.

    PubMed

    Sun, Zhuo; Lee, Chyan-Jang; Mejia-Guerrero, Salvador; Zhang, Yuemei; Higuchi, Koji; Li, Ren-Ke; Medin, Jeffrey A

    2012-12-01

    Stem cell mobilization to injured tissue contributes to neovascularization, resulting in regeneration after myocardial infarction (MI). We previously showed that direct cardiac injection of a recombinant lentivirus (LV) that engineers expression of membrane-bound stem cell factor (mSCF) improves outcomes immediately after MI. In this study, we evaluated the effect of neonatal LV/mSCF transduction on MI outcomes in aged mice. We constructed a recombinant LV harboring an ?-myosin heavy chain promoter that drives mSCF expression and injected it into the temporal vein of neonatal mice. One year later, sustained expression of mSCF in the adult mouse hearts was detected by genomic and quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. To evaluate the contribution of neonatal LV/mSCF delivery to recovery from MI, we induced an MI in adult LV/mSCF-transduced, LV only-transduced, and nontransduced control mice. Strikingly, LV/mSCF transduction reduced infarct scar size, enhanced angiogenesis, improved ventricular function, and significantly increased survival of the mice. Regional overexpression of CD11b, a marker of monocytes and proangiogenic cells, was observed on monocytes isolated from the infarcted hearts of LV/mSCF-transduced mice. Our data suggest a model of neonatal gene delivery that leads to sustained mSCF expression during adulthood to aid recovery from MI and prevent heart failure. PMID:22998370

  10. A novel functional glucose transporter in the white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei -LvGLUT2- is up-regulated during hypoxia in hepatopancreas.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Quintana, José A; Kikuta, Shingo; Felix-Portillo, Monserrath; Peregrino-Uriarte, Alma B; Yepiz-Plascencia, Gloria

    2015-12-01

    In hypoxia conditions, the white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei shifts its energetic metabolism from aerobic to anaerobic, requiring more glucose uptake into the cells by GLUT proteins. We here report a novel glucose transporter in shrimp. The Lvglut2 cDNA is 2473 bp-long containing an ORF of 1458 bp encoding 486 amino acid residues. The deduced protein has the features of a facilitative sugar transporter. The Lvglut2 gene product tagged with GFP was expressed in the cell membrane of Xenopus oocytes. In the same expression system, untagged LvGLUT2 resulted to be a bidirectional glucose transporter that functions moving glucose down its concentration gradient in and out of the cell. Lvglut2 mRNA is expressed in hepatopancreas while in muscle and gills it was not detected. Hypoxia up-regulates the expression of Lvglut2 transcripts in hepatopancreas. These results provide a better understanding of facilitative glucose transporters and gene regulation during hypoxia in crustaceans. PMID:26415036

  11. Vagus Nerve Stimulation Improves Cardiac Function by Preventing Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Obese-Insulin Resistant Rats

    PubMed Central

    Samniang, Bencharunan; Shinlapawittayatorn, Krekwit; Chunchai, Titikorn; Pongkan, Wanpitak; Kumfu, Sirinart; Chattipakorn, Siriporn C.; KenKnight, Bruce H.; Chattipakorn, Nipon

    2016-01-01

    Long-term high-fat diet (HFD) consumption leads to not only obese-insulin resistance, but also impaired left ventricular (LV) function. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) has been shown to exert cardioprotection. However, its effects on the heart and metabolic parameters under obese-insulin resistant condition is not known. We determined the effects of VNS on metabolic parameters, heart rate variability (HRV) and LV function in obese-insulin resistant rats. Male Wistar rats were fed with HFD for 12 weeks, and were randomly divided into sham and VNS groups. VNS was applied for the next 12 weeks. Echocardiography, blood pressure and HRV were examined. Blood samples were collected for metabolic parameters. At the end, the heart was removed for determination of apoptosis, inflammation, oxidative stress, and cardiac mitochondrial function. VNS for 12 weeks significantly decreased plasma insulin, HOMA index, total cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL and visceral fat. Serum adiponectin was significantly increased in the VNS group. VNS also significantly decreased blood pressure, improved HRV and LV function, decreased cardiac MDA, TNF-α and Bax levels, and improved cardiac mitochondrial function. VNS improves metabolic and hemodynamic parameters, and the LV function via its ability against apoptosis, inflammation and oxidative stress, and preserved cardiac mitochondrial function in obese-insulin resistant rats. PMID:26830020

  12. LV software for supersonic flow analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, William A.

    1992-01-01

    The NASA Lewis Research Center (LeRC) maintains a leadership position in research into advanced aerospace propulsion systems. For the next generation of aircraft, engine designs continue to involve complex, high-speed flows. Performing the detailed flow diagnostics to properly evaluate these designs requires advanced instrumentation to probe these highly turbulent flows. The hostile flow environment often requires nonintrusive measurement techniques such as the laser velocimeter (LV). Since the LV is a proven instrument for nonintrusive flow measurement, it can provide quantitative velocity data with minimal interference to the flow. Based on anticipated flow conditions, laser velocimeter systems were procured from TSI, Inc. The initial system utilized counter processor technology, but later procurements this past year include a more advanced, correlator-based processor, which significantly improves the overall LV performance. To meet the needs of advanced research into propulsion, this instrument must be integrated into an existing VAX/VMS computer system for data acquisition, processing, and presentation. The work done under this grant before this period concentrated on developing the software required to setup and acquire data from the TSI MI-990 multichannel interface, and the RMR 1989 rotating machinery resolver. With the basis established for controlling the operation of the LV system, software development this past year shifted in emphasis from instrumentation control and data acquisition to data analysis and presentation. The progress of the program is reported.

  13. Improving cognitive function.

    PubMed

    2015-12-16

    Essential facts Age-related decline in mental ability varies from person to person. Individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have subtle but detectable problems with memory, but are able to function normally in everyday life. MCI affects between 5% and 20% of the UK population aged over 65 - or between half a million and two million people - according to research commissioned by Age UK. Although MCI increases the risk of dementia, with one in six people going on to develop it, many people remain stable and others improve, especially if it is caused by a treatable condition. PMID:26669382

  14. Antihypertensive treatment improves left ventricular diastolic function in patients with chronic kidney disease

    PubMed Central

    LI, KU-LIN; WANG, RU-XING; DAI, MIN; LU, JUAN; XUE, JING; YANG, XIANG-JUN

    2015-01-01

    In patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), hypertension (HP) is associated with the development of left ventricular (LV) diastolic dysfunction. However, the impact of antihypertensive treatment on LV diastolic function has not been well studied in CKD patients. Recently, two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography (2DSTE) has emerged as a sensitive and quantitative assessment of LV diastolic function. The present study used 2DSTE to investigate the effects of antihypertensive treatment on LV diastolic function in patients with CKD and untreated HP. The study comprised 134 patients with CKD and untreated HP. The patients received blood pressure (BP)-lowering therapy for six months. The patients were clinically and echocardiographically evaluated at baseline and after 6 months of therapy. It was found that the mean systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) at baseline were 154.07.0 and 92.610.2 mmHg, respectively, decreasing to 121.27.3 and 74.610.4 mmHg, respectively (P<0.05 for both) after the 6-month treatment period. Moreover, the mean peak LV strain rate during the isovolumetric relaxation period (SRIVR) and early diastole (SRE) improved following treatment (from 0.230.10 to 0.420.10 sec?1 and from 0.580.25 to 1.070.24 sec?1, respectively; P<0.05 for both). Notably, the patients with CKD stage ?3 were more likely to demonstrate an improvement in diastolic speckle-tracking parameters than those with CKD stage 1 or 2. For the entire population, the change (?) in B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) level correlated with changes in echocardiographic parameters between baseline and follow-up, among which ?SRIVR presented the highest correlation coefficient (r=-0.73, P<0.01). On multivariate analysis, the independent predictors of ?SRIVR were found to include baseline CKD stage, SBP and SRIVR. This study demonstrated that LV diastolic function was improved in CKD patients following antihypertensive treatment, particularly in patients with CKD stage ?3, higher baseline SBP and worse LV diastolic function. These results highlight the importance of BP reduction in the treatment of CKD. PMID:26136880

  15. Relationship between early diastolic intraventricular pressure gradients, an index of elastic recoil, and improvements in systolic and diastolic function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Firstenberg, M. S.; Smedira, N. G.; Greenberg, N. L.; Prior, D. L.; McCarthy, P. M.; Garcia, M. J.; Thomas, J. D.

    2001-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Early diastolic intraventricular pressure gradients (IVPGs) have been proposed to relate to left ventricular (LV) elastic recoil and early ventricular "suction." Animal studies have demonstrated relationships between IVPGs and systolic and diastolic indices during acute ischemia. However, data on the effects of improvements in LV function in humans and the relationship to IVPGs are lacking. METHODS AND RESULTS: Eight patients undergoing CABG and/or infarct exclusion surgery had a triple-sensor high-fidelity catheter placed across the mitral valve intraoperatively for simultaneous recording of left atrial (LA), basal LV, and apical LV pressures. Hemodynamic data obtained before bypass were compared with those with similar LA pressures and heart rates obtained after bypass. From each LV waveform, the time constant of LV relaxation (tau), +dP/dt(max), and -dP/dt(max) were determined. Transesophageal echocardiography was used to determined end-diastolic (EDV) and end-systolic (ESV) volumes and ejection fractions (EF). At similar LA pressures and heart rates, IVPG increased after bypass (before bypass 1.64+/-0.79 mm Hg; after bypass 2.67+/-1.25 mm Hg; P<0.01). Significant improvements were observed in ESV, as well as in apical and basal +dP/dt(max), -dP/dt(max), and tau (each P<0.05). Overall, IVPGs correlated inversely with both ESV (IVPG=-0.027[ESV]+3.46, r=-0.64) and EDV (IVPG=-0.027[EDV]+4.30, r=-0.70). Improvements in IVPGs correlated with improvements in apical tau (Deltatau =5.93[DeltaIVPG]+4.76, r=0.91) and basal tau (Deltatau =2.41[DeltaIVPG]+5.13, r=-0.67). Relative changes in IVPGs correlated with changes in ESV (DeltaESV=-0.97[%DeltaIVPG]+23.34, r=-0.79), EDV (DeltaEDV=-1.16[%DeltaIVPG]+34.92, r=-0.84), and EF (DeltaEF=0.38[%DeltaIVPG]-8.39, r=0.85). CONCLUSIONS: Improvements in LV function also increase IVPGs. These changes in IVPGs, suggestive of increases in LV suction and elastic recoil, correlate directly with improvements in LV relaxation and ESV.

  16. Nicorandil improves myocardial function by regulating plasma nitric oxide and endothelin-1 in coronary slow flow

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xiuhua; Li, Shan; Huo, Xuezhen; Fu, Xiuxiu; Dong, Xiaonan

    2015-01-01

    Background Coronary slow flow (CSF) is a special coronary microvascular disorder. The pathogenesis and effective therapeutics of CSF remain unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the global and regional functions of the left ventricle (LV) and investigate the efficacy of nicorandil in patients with CSF. Patients and methods Thirty-six patients with CSF in the left anterior descending (LAD) branch and 20 patients with normal coronary arteries were included. Global and regional functions of the LV supplied by LAD were measured using conventional Doppler echocardiography and two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography, respectively, within 24?h after coronary angiography. Concentrations of plasma nitric oxide (NO) and endothelin-1 (ET-1) were detected using colorimetry and radioimmunoassay, respectively. The function of the LV and the levels of NO and ET-1 were also investigated before and 90 days after treatment with 15?mg/day of nicorandil. Results Compared with the control group, the early diastolic peak velocity (E), E/A ratio, and plasma NO levels were lower, whereas the late diastolic peak flow velocity (A) and plasma ET-1 levels were significantly higher in the CSF group (P<0.05). The longitudinal strain rate peak of the LV was reduced significantly in CSF patients (P<0.001). After treatment, 75% (27/36) of CSF patients were free of chest pain. The values of E peak, E/A ratio, longitudinal strain rate peak, and plasma NO level were increased (P<0.001), whereas the ET-1 level was decreased in CSF patients (P<0.001). Conclusion Nicorandil may improve chest pain symptoms and the impaired function of the LV, possibly by increasing plasma NO and reducing ET-1 in CSF. PMID:25325437

  17. Renin inhibition improves cardiac function and remodeling after myocardial infarction independent of blood pressure.

    PubMed

    Westermann, Dirk; Riad, Alexander; Lettau, Olga; Roks, Anton; Savvatis, Konstantinos; Becher, Peter Moritz; Escher, Felicitas; Jan Danser, A H; Schultheiss, Heinz-Peter; Tschpe, Carsten

    2008-12-01

    Pharmacological renin inhibition with aliskiren is an effective antihypertensive drug treatment, but it is currently unknown whether aliskiren is able to attenuate cardiac failure independent of its blood pressure-lowering effects. We investigated the effect of aliskiren on cardiac remodeling, apoptosis, and left ventricular (LV) function after experimental myocardial infarction (MI). C57J/bl6 mice were subjected to coronary artery ligation and were treated for 10 days with vehicle or aliskiren (50 mg/kg per day via an SC osmopump), whereas sham-operated animals served as controls. This dose of aliskiren, which did not affect systemic blood pressure, improved systolic and diastolic LV function, as measured by the assessment of pressure-volume loops after MI. Furthermore, after MI LV dilatation, cardiac hypertrophy and lung weights were decreased in mice treated with aliskiren compared with placebo-treated mice after MI. This was associated with a normalization of the mitogen-activated protein kinase P38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2, AKT, and the apoptotic markers bax and bcl-2 (all measured by Western blots), as well as the number of TUNEL-positive cells in histology. LV dilatation, as well as the associated upregulation of gene expression (mRNA abundance) and activity (by zymography) of the cardiac metalloproteinase 9 in the placebo group after MI, was also attenuated in the aliskiren-treated group. Aliskiren improved LV dysfunction after MI in a dose that did not affect blood pressure. This was associated with the amelioration of cardiac remodelling, hypertrophy, and apoptosis. PMID:18955663

  18. IMPROVING CARDIAC FUNCTION WITH NEW GENERATION PLASMA VOLUME EXPANDERS

    PubMed Central

    Chatpun, Surapong; Nacharaju, Parimala; Cabrales, Pedro

    2012-01-01

    Background Plasma expander (PE) based on polyethylene glycol (PEG) conjugated to albumin has shown positive results maintaining blood volume (BV) during hemodilution and restoring BV during resuscitation from hemorrhagic shock. PEG conjugation to human serum albumin (HSA), PEG-HSA, increasing size, weigh and colloidal osmotic pressure (COP), with minor effects on solution viscosity. Methods This study was designed to test the hypothesis that PEG-HSA (2 g/dL) produced by direct PEGylation chemistry improves cardiac function during two experimental models, i) moderate hemodilution and ii) resuscitation from hemorrhagic shock, compared to a conventional colloidal plasma expander (dextran 70 kDa, D70, 6 g/dL). Cardiac function was studied using a miniaturized pressure volume (PV) conductance catheter implanted in the left ventricle (LV) and evaluated in terms of cardiac indices derived from the PV measurements. Results PEG-HSA increased cardiac output (CO), stroke volume (SV) and stroke work (SW), and decreased systemic vascular resistance (SVR) compared to D70, in both experimental models. The improvements induced by PEG-HSA in cardiac function were sustained over the observation time. PEG-HSA cardiac mechanoenergetics changes are the result of increased energy transferred per stroke, and decreased resistance of the vasculature connecting the heart. In summary, PEG-HSA decreased LV ejection impedance. Conclusion Ejection of blood diluted with PEG-HSA presented a reduced load to the heart, increased contractile function, and lowered the energy consumed per unit volume compared to D70. Our results emphasize the importance of heart function as a parameter to be included in the evaluation changes induced by new PEs. PMID:22867830

  19. Improvement in left ventricular function assessed by tissue Doppler imaging after aortic valve replacement for severe aortic stenosis

    PubMed Central

    Nieh, Chih-Chiang; Teo, Alvin Yeng-Hok; Soo, Wern Miin; Lee, Glenn K; Singh, Devinder; Poh, Kian-Keong

    2015-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The effects of reduction of left ventricular (LV) systemic afterload following aortic valve replacement (AVR) for severe aortic valve stenosis (AS) were investigated, using echocardiography and tissue Doppler imaging (TDI). METHODS We compared the preoperative and postoperative echocardiographic assessments of 23 patients with severe AS who had undergone isolated AVR (n = 13) or concomitant AVR with coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) (n = 10). Conventional echocardiographic evaluations and TDI at the lateral mitral annulus were performed. RESULTS Echocardiography was performed at a median of 120 (interquartile range: 66141) days after AVR. There was significant reduction in aortic transvalvular mean pressure gradient after AVR. Although LV dimensions, mass and ejection fraction remained unchanged, LV diastolic and systolic functions improved (as observed on TDI). Early diastolic (E), late diastolic (A) and systolic (S) mitral annular velocities increased significantly (p < 0.05). There was significant improvement in TDI-derived parameters among the patients who had isolated AVR, while among the patients who had concomitant AVR with CABG, only S had significant improvement (p = 0.028). CONCLUSION TDI was able to detect improvements in LV systolic and diastolic function after AVR for severe AS. There was less improvement in the TDI-derived diastolic parameters among patients who underwent concomitant AVR with CABG than among patients who underwent isolated AVR. PMID:26702162

  20. Stem cell-loaded nanofibrous patch promotes the regeneration of infarcted myocardium with functional improvement in rat model.

    PubMed

    Kai, Dan; Wang, Qiang-Li; Wang, Hai-Jie; Prabhakaran, Molamma P; Zhang, Yanzhong; Tan, Yu-Zhen; Ramakrishna, Seeram

    2014-06-01

    Myocardial infarction (MI) leads to the loss of cardiomyocytes, followed by left ventricular (LV) remodeling and cardiac dysfunction. The authors hypothesize that an elastic, biodegradable nanofibrous cardiac patch loaded with mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) could restrain LV remodeling and improve cardiac function after MI. Poly(?-caprolactone)/gelatin (PG) nanofibers were fabricated by electrospinning, and the nanofibers displayed a porous and uniform nanofibrous structure with a diameter of 24451nm. An MI model was established by ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery of female Sprague-Dawley rats. The PG nanofibrous patch seeded with MSC, isolated from rat bone marrow, was implanted on the epicardium of the infarcted region of the LV wall of the heart. After transplantation, the PG-cell patch restricted the expansion of the LV wall effectively and reduced the scar size, and the density of the microvessels increased. Cells within the patch were able to migrate towards the scar tissue, and promoted new blood vessel formation at the infarct site. Angiogenesis and the cardiac functions improved significantly after 4weeks of implantation. The MSC-seeded PG nanofibrous patches are demonstrated to provide sufficient mechanical support, to induce angiogenesis and to accelerate cardiac repair in a rat model of MI. The study highlights the positive impact of implantation of an MSC-seeded PG nanofibrous patch as a novel constituent for MI repair. PMID:24576580

  1. Troglitazone improves cardiac function in patients with congestive heart failure.

    PubMed

    Ogino, Kazuhide; Furuse, Yoshiyuki; Uchida, Kazuhiko; Shimoyama, Masaki; Kinugawa, Toru; Osaki, Shuichi; Kato, Masahiko; Endo, Akihiro; Igawa, Osamu; Hisatome, Ichiro; Ikawa, Shiro; Shigemasa, Chiaki

    2002-05-01

    Troglitazone increased cardiac output and stroke volume, as a result of decreased peripheral resistance, in diabetic patients with normal cardiac function. The cardiovascular effects of troglitazone in patients with heart failure are unknown. The aim of the study was to evaluate the cardiovascular effects of troglitazone in patients with heart failure. Blood pressure and echocardiographic findings were evaluated before and 1, 2, 3 and 4 hours after a single dose of troglitazone (400 mg) or placebo, in eight type II diabetic patients with congestive heart failure. The plasma catecholamines and coefficient of variance of RR intervals (CVRR) were also measured. Neither heart rate nor blood pressure changed after the administration of troglitazone. Left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic dimension did not change either, however, the LV end-systolic dimension significantly decreased compared with its baseline value and with that of the placebo group. On the other hand, the % fractional shortening and the E/A ratio increased significantly after troglitazone. The LV end-diastolic volume did not change, whereas the LV end-systolic volume significantly decreased. The stroke volume and the LV ejection fraction significantly increased compared with its baseline value and with that of the placebo group. The peripheral vascular resistance did not change after the administration of troglitazone, whereas plasma catecholamines significantly decreased, and CVRR remained unchanged in both groups. These hemodynamic changes suggest that a single oral dose of troglitazone induced inotropy without activation of the sympathetic nervous system. PMID:12374899

  2. Effect of coronary artery bypass grafting on left ventricular systolic function at rest: evidence for preoperative subclinical myocardial ischemia

    SciTech Connect

    Dilsizian, V.; Bonow, R.O.; Cannon, R.O. 3d.; Tracy, C.M.; Vitale, D.F.; McIntosh, C.L.; Clark, R.E.; Bacharach, S.L.; Green, M.V.

    1988-06-01

    Successful coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) improves exercise-induced left ventricular (LV) dysfunction in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), but its potential for improving resting LV function remains controversial. To assess the influence of CABG on LV function at rest, 31 CAD patients without previous myocardial infarction were studied before and 6 months after CABG by radionuclide angiography after all cardiac medicines were withdrawn. No patient had angina or ischemic electrocardiographic changes at rest. In 27 patients with patent bypass grafts, CABG significantly increased LV ejection fraction during exercise (47 +/- 11% before to 63 +/- 9% after operation, p less than 0.001), indicating reduction in exercise-induced LV ischemia. Moreover, LV ejection fraction at rest also increased (55 +/- 9 to 60 +/- 8%, p less than 0.001), with 20 of 27 patients manifesting an increase compared with preoperative values. Eleven of these 20 patients had apparently normal LV function at rest (ejection fraction and regional wall motion) before CABG. LV regional ejection fraction was computed by dividing the LV region of interest into 20 sectors. Regional analysis indicated that improved ejection fraction at rest after CABG occurred in regions developing ischemia during exercise before CABG. In 4 patients with occluded grafts, the ejection fraction at rest was unchanged by CABG globally (59 +/- 8 to 58 +/- 9%, difference not significant) and regionally. Thus, LV global and regional function at rest improved after successful CABG, even in patients with normal global LV ejection fraction and no visually detectable wall motion abnormality before surgery.

  3. Recombinant feline leukemia virus (FeLV) variants establish a limited infection with altered cell tropism in specific-pathogen-free cats in the absence of FeLV subgroup A helper virus.

    PubMed

    Bechtel, M K; Hayes, K A; Mathes, L E; Pandey, R; Stromberg, P C; Roy-Burman, P

    1999-03-01

    Feline leukemia virus subgroup B (FeLV-B) is commonly associated with feline lymphosarcoma and arises through recombination between endogenous retroviral elements inherited in the cat genome and corresponding regions of the envelope (env) gene from FeLV subgroup A (FeLV-A). In vivo infectivity for FeLV-B is thought to be inefficient in the absence of FeLV-A. Proposed FeLV-A helper functions include enhanced replication efficiency, immune evasion, and replication rescue for defective FeLV-B virions. In vitro analysis of the recombinant FeLV-B-like viruses (rFeLVs) employed in this study confirmed these viruses were replication competent prior to their use in an in vivo study without FeLV-A helper virus. Eight specific-pathogen-free kittens were inoculated with the rFeLVs alone. Subsequent hematology and histology results were within normal limits, however, in the absence of detectable viremia, virus expression, or significant seroconversion, rFeLV proviral DNA was detected in bone marrow tissue of 4/4 (100%) cats at 45 weeks postinoculation (pi), indicating these rFeLVs established a limited but persistent infection in the absence of FeLV-A. Altered cell tropism was also noted. Focal infection was seen in T-cell areas of the splenic follicles in 3/4 (75%) rFeLV-infected cats analyzed, while an FeLV-A-infected cat showed focal infection in B-cell areas of the splenic follicles. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the surface glycoprotein portion of the rFeLV env gene amplified from bone marrow tissue collected at 45 weeks pi showed no sequence alterations from the original rFeLV inocula. PMID:10098636

  4. Improvement of left ventricular longitudinal systolic function after transcatheter aortic valve implantation: a speckle-tracking prospective study.

    PubMed

    D'Ascenzi, Flavio; Cameli, Matteo; Iadanza, Alessandro; Lisi, Matteo; Zac, Valerio; Reccia, Rosanna; Curci, Valeria; Torrisi, Andrea; Sinicropi, Giuseppe; Pierli, Carlo; Mondillo, Sergio

    2013-06-01

    Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is able to determine a significant improvement of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). The variations of LV global longitudinal strain (GLS) have not been yet investigated in TAVI patients with reduced LVEF. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of TAVI on LV function by 2D speckle-tracking echocardiography (STE) in patients with reduced LVEF. Eighteen consecutive patients undergoing TAVI in our centre were prospectively enrolled. Echocardiography was performed pre-procedurally the day of TAVI and at 40-day and 3-month follow-up (FU). The mean age of TAVI patients was 79.75 7.68 years. The mean EuroSCORE was 26.59 14.62%. A significant decrease of mean trans-aortic gradient was observed 40 days after TAVI (51.69 18.82 vs. 9.62 3.28 mmHg, p < 0.0001). LV mass index significantly decreased at 40-day FU (165.72 37.75 vs. 145.52 31.32 g/m(2), p < 0.001) with a further reduction at 3-month FU (136.91 26.91 g/m(2), p < 0.05 in comparison with 40-day FU). The mean pre-procedural LVEF was 45.87 7.95%. LVEF significantly increased at 40-day FU (55.20 5.91%, p < 0.05) and remained stable at 3-month FU (55.58 6.14%). Interestingly, an early improvement of LV GLS was observed at 40-day FU (-11.09 3.40 vs. -14.40 3.68%, p < 0.001) with a slight further increase at 3-month FU (-14.71 3.56%). Our results indicate that significant improvements of LVEF and LV GLS can be observed in patients undergoing TAVI with impaired LVEF. Two-dimensional STE was able to detect the reverse remodeling of LV function, adding further insights into the assessment of LV mid-term recovery after TAVI. PMID:23271458

  5. LV software support for supersonic flow analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, William A.

    1991-01-01

    During 1991, the software developed allowed an operator to configure and checkout the TSI, Inc. laser velocimeter (LV) system prior to a run. This setup procedure established the operating conditions for the TSI MI-990 multichannel interface and the RMR-1989 rotating machinery resolver. In addition to initializing the instruments, the software package provides a means of specifying LV calibration constants, controlling the sampling process, and identifying the test parameters.

  6. Dramatically improved left ventricular function after biventricular pacemaker implantation--a case report.

    PubMed

    Bulava, Alan; Lukl, Jan; Skvarilov, Marcela; Marek, Dan

    2005-03-01

    A case study of a patient suffering from severe chronic congestive heart failure resulting from ischemic cardiomyopathy in whom a biventricular (BiV) pacing system was implanted is reported. After a 1-year follow-up, left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction improved dramatically from an initial 15% to 60%, left ventricular end-diastolic diameter decreased, as did left atrial dimension. Tissue Doppler data and acute hemodynamic measurements taken during the biventricular pacemaker implantation procedure are presented. The case represents an exceptional example of left ventricular reverse remodeling with practically normalized left ventricular function after 1 year of synchronized pacing. PMID:15701472

  7. LV software support for supersonic flow analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, W. A.; Lepicovsky, J.

    1992-01-01

    The software for configuring an LV counter processor system has been developed using structured design. The LV system includes up to three counter processors and a rotary encoder. The software for configuring and testing the LV system has been developed, tested, and included in an overall software package for data acquisition, analysis, and reduction. Error handling routines respond to both operator and instrument errors which often arise in the course of measuring complex, high-speed flows. The use of networking capabilities greatly facilitates the software development process by allowing software development and testing from a remote site. In addition, high-speed transfers allow graphics files or commands to provide viewing of the data from a remote site. Further advances in data analysis require corresponding advances in procedures for statistical and time series analysis of nonuniformly sampled data.

  8. Efficacy of an inactivated FeLV vaccine compared to a recombinant FeLV vaccine in minimum age cats following virulent FeLV challenge.

    PubMed

    Stuke, Kristin; King, Vickie; Southwick, Kendra; Stoeva, Mira I; Thomas, Anne; Winkler, M Teresa C

    2014-05-01

    The aim of the study was to determine the efficacy of an inactivated feline leukemia virus (FeLV) vaccine (Versifel() FeLV, Zoetis.) compared to a recombinant FeLV vaccine (Purevax() FeLV, Merial Animal Health) in young cats, exposed under laboratory conditions to a highly virulent challenge model. The study was designed to be consistent with the general immunogenicity requirements of the European Pharmacopoeia 6.0 Monograph 01/2008:1321-Feline Leukaemia Vaccine (Inactivated) with the exception that commercial-strength vaccines were assessed. Fifty seronegative cats (8-9 weeks old) were vaccinated subcutaneously on two occasions, three weeks apart, with either placebo (treatment group T01), Versifel FeLV Vaccine (treatment group T02), or Purevax FeLV Vaccine (treatment group T03) according to the manufacturer's directions. Cats were challenged three weeks after the second vaccination with a virulent FeLV isolate (61E strain). Persistent FeLV antigenemia was determined from 3 to 15 weeks postchallenge. Bone marrow samples were tested for the presence of FeLV proviral DNA to determine FeLV latent infection. At week 15 after challenge with the virulent FeLV 61E strain, the Versifel FeLV Vaccine conferred 89.5% protection against FeLV persistent antigenemia and 94.7% protection against FeLV proviral DNA integration in bone marrow cells. In comparison, the Purevax FeLV Vaccine conferred 20% protection against FeLV persistent antigenemia and 35% protection against FeLV proviral DNA integration in bone marrow cells following challenge. The data from this study show that the Versifel FeLV Vaccine was efficacious in preventing both FeLV persistent p27 antigenemia and FeLV proviral DNA integration in bone marrow cells of cats challenged with this particular challenge model under laboratory conditions and provided better protection than Purevax FeLV in this experimental challenge model with highly virulent FeLV. PMID:24662705

  9. Early and late improvement of global and regional left ventricular function after transcatheter aortic valve implantation in patients with severe aortic stenosis: an echocardiographic study

    PubMed Central

    Giannini, Cristina; Petronio, Anna Sonia; Talini, Enrica; De Carlo, Marco; Guarracino, Fabio; Grazia, Maria; Donne, Delle; Nardi, Carmela; Conte, Lorenzo; Barletta, Valentina; Marzilli, Mario; Di Bello, Vitantonio

    2011-01-01

    The recent development of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) for severe aortic stenosis (AS) treatment offers a viable option for high-risk patient categories. Our aim is to evaluate whether 2D strain and strain rate can detect subtle improvement in global and regional LV systolic function immediately after TAVI. 2D conventional and 2D strain (speckle analysis) echocardiography was performed before, at discharge and after three months in thirty three patients with severe AS. After TAVI, we assessed by conventional echocardiography an immediate reduction of transaortic peak pressure gradient (p<0.0001), of mean pressure gradient (p<0.0001) and a concomitant increase in aortic valve area (AVA: 1.080.31 cm2/m2; p<0.0001). 2D longitudinal systolic strain showed a significant improvement in all patients, both at septal and lateral level, as early as 72 h after procedure (septal: -14.25.1 vs -16.73.7%, p<0.001; lateral: -9.43.9 vs -13.14.5%, p<0.001; respectively) and continued at 3 months follow-up (septal: -18.14.6%, p<0.0001; lateral: -14.84.4%, p<0.0001; respectively). Conventional echocardiography after TAVI proved a significant reduction of LV end-systolic volume and of LV mass with a mild improvement of LV ejection fraction (EF) (51.211.8 vs 52.96.4%; p<0.02) only after three months. 2D strain seems to be able to detect subtle changes in LV systolic function occurring early and late after TAVI in severe AS, while all conventional echo parameters seem to be less effective for this purpose. Further investigations are needed to prove the real prognostic impact of these echocardiographic findings. PMID:22254204

  10. Optimized Local Infarct Restraint Improves Left Ventricular Function and Limits Remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Koomalsingh, Kevin J.; Witschey, Walter R.T.; McGarvey, Jeremy R.; Shuto, Takashi; Kondo, Norihiro; Xu, Chun; Jackson, Benjamin M.; Gorman, Joseph H.; Gorman, Robert C.; Pilla, James J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Preventing expansion and dyskinetic movement of a myocardial infarction (MI) can limit left ventricular (LV) remodeling. Using a device designed to produce variable alteration of infarct stiffness and geometry, we sought to understand how these parameters affect LV function and remodeling early after MI. Methods Ten pigs had posterolateral infarctions. An unexpanded device was placed in 5 animals at the time of infarction, and 5 animals served as untreated controls. One week after MI animals underwent MRI to assess LV size and regional function. In the treatment group, after initial imaging, the device was expanded with 2ml, 4ml, 6ml, 8ml and 10ml of saline. The optimal degree of inflation was defined as that which maximized stroke volume (SV). The device was left optimally inflated in the treatment animals for three additional weeks. Results One week after MI, device inflation to ?6ml significantly (p<0.05) decreased endsystolic volume (ESV) (0ml:59.9ml3.8, 6ml:54.0ml?3.1, 8ml:50.5ml4.8, 10ml:46.1ml2.2) and increased ejection fraction (EF) (0ml:34.6%1.6, 6ml:39.7%0.9, 8ml:43.1%2.7, 10ml:44.1%0.9). SV significantly (p<0.05) improved for the 6ml and 8ml volumes (0ml: 31.2ml2.6, 6ml: 35.7ml2.0, 8ml: 37.5ml1.9) but trended downward for 10ml (36.6ml2.8). At four-weeks after MI, end-diastolic volume and ESV were unchanged from one-week values in the treatment group while the control group continued to dilate. SV (38.24.4ml vs. 34.0.14.8ml, p=0.08) and EF (36.02.6% vs. 27.61.4%, p=0.04) were also better in the treatment animals. Conclusions Optimized isolated infarct restraint can limit adverse LV remodeling after MI. The tested device affords the potential for a patient-specific therapy to preserve cardiac function after MI. PMID:23146279

  11. Clearance of the rodent retrovirus, XMuLV, by protein A chromatography.

    PubMed

    Bach, Julia; Connell-Crowley, Lisa

    2015-04-01

    Protein A chromatography is the most common unit operation used in the manufacture of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) due to its high affinity and specificity for the IgG Fc domain. However, protein A chromatography is often not effective for viral clearance. Typical log reduction values (LRV) for the model retrovirus XMuLV range between 1 and 4 logs, while effective steps such as viral filtration can achieve 5-7 logs of clearance. XMuLV LRVs obtained on protein A are reproducible for a given mAb, but can vary widely for different mAbs, even with the same operating conditions. In order to understand the mechanism of XMuLV clearance on protein A, we have investigated its partitioning on Mabselect SuRe protein A resin and explored how the virus interacts with resin, product, and impurities. The results show that XMuLV has some interaction with the resin backbone and ligand, but also appears to bind to and coelute with the mAb. The interaction with product was further examined by evaluating the effect of feed conditions, loading, and different washes on XMuLV partitioning on the column. Understanding the mechanism of XMuLV removal on a protein A, resin provides insight into the variability and low viral clearance of this step and suggests ways in which the removal of virus by this step can be improved. PMID:25335906

  12. Improved Function of the Failing Rat Heart by Regulated Expression of Insulin-Like Growth Factor I via Intramuscular Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Lai, N. Chin; Tang, Tong; Gao, Mei Hua; Saito, Miho; Miyanohara, Atsushi

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Current methods of gene transfer for heart disease include injection into heart muscle or intracoronary coronary delivery, approaches that typically provide limited expression and are cumbersome to apply. To circumvent these problems, we selected a transgene, insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), which may, in theory, have favorable effects on heart function when secreted from a remote site. We examined the feasibility and efficacy of skeletal muscle injection of adeno-associated virus 5 encoding IGF-I under Tet regulation (AAV5.IGFI-tet) to treat heart failure. Myocardial infarction (MI) was induced in rats by coronary occlusion; 1 week later, rats with impaired left ventricular (LV) function received 2×1012 genome copies (GC) of AAV5.IGFI-tet in the anterior tibialis muscle, and 4 weeks later, were randomly assigned to receive doxycycline in drinking water to activate IGF-I expression (IGF-On; n=10), or not to receive doxycycline (IGF-Off; n=10). Ten weeks after MI (5 weeks after activation of IGF-I expression), LV size and function were assessed by echocardiography and physiological studies. IGF-On rats showed reduced LV end-systolic dimension (p=0.03) and increased LV ejection fraction (p=0.02). In addition, IGF-On rats showed, before and during dobutamine infusion, increases in cardiac output (p=0.02), stroke work (p=0.0001), LV + dP/dt (p<0.0001), LV relaxation (LV – dP/dt; p=0.03), and systolic arterial blood pressure (p=0.0003). Mean arterial pressure and systemic vascular resistance were unchanged. Activation of IGF-I expression reduced cardiac fibrosis (p=0.048), apoptosis (p<0.0001), and caspase-3/7 activity (p=0.04). Serum IGF-I was increased 5 weeks after transgene activation (p=0.008). These data indicate that skeletal muscle injection of AAV5.IGFI-tet enables tetracycline-activated expression, increases serum IGF-I levels, and improves function of the failing heart. PMID:22017392

  13. Two cases of FeLV-associated dermatoses.

    PubMed

    Favrot, C; Wilhelm, S; Grest, P; Meli, M L; Hofmann-Lehmann, R; Kipar, A

    2005-12-01

    Two cases of feline leukaemia virus (FeLV)-associated dermatosis are described. The first cat was affected by an ulcerative dermatitis identified as a giant-cell dermatosis. The second case was a cutaneous lymphoma. In both cases, FeLV antigens and FeLV genome were demonstrated in the affected skin immunologically and with polymerase chain reaction, respectively. The first case suggests that, like other retroviruses, at least some strains of FeLV can induce syncytium formation. As FeLV antigens and genome were demonstrated in a serologically negative cat, the second case suggests that focal skin FeLV replication may occur. FeLV-associated dermatoses are rare skin conditions that may be under-diagnosed. PMID:16359309

  14. Advances in Understanding Molecular Determinants in FeLV Pathology

    PubMed Central

    Levy, Laura S.

    2008-01-01

    Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) occurs in nature not as a single genomic species but as a family of closely related viruses. The disease outcome of natural FeLV infection is variable and likely reflects genetic variation both in the virus and the naturally outbreeding host population. A series of studies have been undertaken with the objectives of examining natural FeLV genetic variation, the selective pressures operative in FeLV infection that lead to predominance of natural variants, and the consequences for infection and disease progression. Genetic variation among FeLV isolates was examined in a cohort of naturally infected cats with thymic lymphoma of T-cell origin, non-T-cell multicentric lymphoma, myeloproliferative disorder or anemia. The predominant isolate in the cohort, designated FeLV-945, was identified exclusively in disorders of non-T-cell origin. The FeLV-945 LTR was shown to contain a unique 21-bp repeat element, triplicated in tandem downstream of enhancer. The 21-bp triplication was shown to act as a transcriptional enhancer and to confer a replicative advantage through the assembly of a distinctive transcription factor complex. Oncogene utilization during tumor induction by FeLV-945 was studied using a recombinant Moloney murine leukemia virus containing the FeLV-945 LTR. This approach identified novel loci of common proviral integration in tumors, including the regulatory subunit of PI-3Kgamma. Mutational changes identified in FeLV-945 SU were shown not to alter receptor usage as measured by host range and superinfection interference, but to significantly increase the efficiency of receptor binding. To determine whether the unique sequence elements of FeLV-945 influence the course of infection and disease in vivo, recombinant viruses were constructed in which the FeLV-945 LTR alone, or the FeLV-945 SU gene and LTR were substituted into the prototype isolate FeLV-A/61E. Longitudinal studies of infected animals showed that substitution of the FeLV-945 LTR into FeLV-A/61E resulted in a significantly more rapid disease onset, but did not alter the tumorigenic spectrum. In contrast, substitution of both the FeLV-945 LTR and SU gene changed the disease outcome entirely. Together, these observations indicate that the distinctive LTR and SU gene of FeLV-945 mediate a rapid pathogenesis with distinctive clinical features and oncogenic mechanisms. PMID:18289704

  15. Advances in understanding molecular determinants in FeLV pathology.

    PubMed

    Levy, Laura S

    2008-05-15

    Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) occurs in nature not as a single genomic species but as a family of closely related viruses. The disease outcome of natural FeLV infection is variable and likely reflects genetic variation both in the virus and the naturally outbreeding host population. A series of studies have been undertaken with the objectives of examining natural FeLV genetic variation, the selective pressures operative in FeLV infection that lead to predominance of natural variants, and the consequences for infection and disease progression. Genetic variation among FeLV isolates was examined in a cohort of naturally infected cats with thymic lymphoma of T-cell origin, non-T-cell multicentric lymphoma, myeloproliferative disorder or anemia. The predominant isolate in the cohort, designated FeLV-945, was identified exclusively in disorders of non-T-cell origin. The FeLV-945 LTR was shown to contain a unique 21-bp repeat element, triplicated in tandem downstream of enhancer. The 21-bp triplication was shown to act as a transcriptional enhancer and to confer a replicative advantage through the assembly of a distinctive transcription factor complex. Oncogene utilization during tumor induction by FeLV-945 was studied using a recombinant Moloney murine leukemia virus containing the FeLV-945 LTR. This approach identified novel loci of common proviral integration in tumors, including the regulatory subunit of PI-3Kgamma. Mutational changes identified in FeLV-945 SU were shown not to alter receptor usage as measured by host range and superinfection interference, but to significantly increase the efficiency of receptor binding. To determine whether the unique sequence elements of FeLV-945 influence the course of infection and disease in vivo, recombinant viruses were constructed in which the FeLV-945 LTR alone, or the FeLV-945 SU gene and LTR were substituted into the prototype isolate FeLV-A/61E. Longitudinal studies of infected animals showed that substitution of the FeLV-945 LTR into FeLV-A/61E resulted in a significantly more rapid disease onset, but did not alter the tumorigenic spectrum. In contrast, substitution of both the FeLV-945 LTR and SU gene changed the disease outcome entirely. Together, these observations indicate that the distinctive LTR and SU gene of FeLV-945 mediate a rapid pathogenesis with distinctive clinical features and oncogenic mechanisms. PMID:18289704

  16. Higher Fiber Intake May Improve Lung Function

    MedlinePLUS

    ... fullstory_156955.html Higher Fiber Intake May Improve Lung Function Best outcomes seen when eating more than ... fiber-rich diet may help protect you against lung disease, a new study suggests. "Lung disease is ...

  17. The FeLV-945 LTR confers a replicative advantage dependent on the presence of a tandem triplication.

    PubMed

    Prabhu, S; Lobelle-Rich, P A; Levy, L S

    1999-10-25

    Feline leukemia virus (FeLV), like other naturally occurring retroviruses, is characterized by a high degree of genetic diversity. FeLV-945 is a natural isolate derived from non-B-cell non-T-cell lymphomas classified anatomically as multicentric. FeLV-945 exhibits a unique structural motif in the LTR composed of a 21-bp tandem triplication downstream of a single copy of enhancer. The unique FeLV-945 LTR is precisely conserved among eight independent multicentric lymphomas collected in a geographic cluster. Previous studies using reporter gene constructs predict that the FeLV-945 LTR would confer a replicative advantage on the virus that contains it, particularly in primitive hematopoietic cells. Such an advantage may account for the precise conservation of the unique LTR sequence. To test that prediction, a set of recombinant, infectious FeLVs was developed that are isogenic other than the presence of the FeLV-945 LTR or mutations of it. Replication assays show that the FeLV-945 LTR confers a distinct growth advantage in K-562, FEA, and 3201 cells and implicate the 21-bp triplication in that function. Replacement of two copies of the triplicated element with random sequence greatly diminished the replicative capacity, thus implicating the triplicated sequence itself in LTR function. The 21-bp triplication was shown to contain specific nuclear protein binding sites, which may account for the selective pressure to conserve the sequence. PMID:10544118

  18. Ways to improve your correlation functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamilton, A. J. S.

    1993-01-01

    This paper describes a number of ways to improve on the standard method for measuring the two-point correlation function of large scale structure in the Universe. Issues addressed are: (1) the problem of the mean density, and how to solve it; (2) how to estimate the uncertainty in a measured correlation function; (3) minimum variance pair weighting; (4) unbiased estimation of the selection function when magnitudes are discrete; and (5) analytic computation of angular integrals in background pair counts.

  19. Peptide Mimetics of Apolipoproteins Improve HDL Function

    PubMed Central

    Navab, Mohamad; Anantharamaiah, G. M.; Reddy, Srinivasa T.; Van Lenten, Brian J.; Buga, Georgette M.; Fogelman, Alan M.

    2007-01-01

    Over the past decade evidence has accumulated that suggests that the anti-inflammatory properties of HDL may be at least as important as the levels of HDL-cholesterol. The recent failure of the torcetrapib clinical trails has highlighted the potential differences between HDL-cholesterol levels and HDL function. Agents to improve HDL function including HDL anti-inflammatory properties provide a new therapeutic strategy for ameliorating atherosclerosis and other chronic inflammatory conditions related to dyslipidemia. Seeking guidance from the structure of the apolipoproteins of the plasma lipoproteins has allowed the creation of a series of polypeptides that have interesting functionality with therapeutic implications. In animal models of atherosclerosis, peptide mimetics of apolipoproteins have been shown to improve the anti-inflammatory properties of HDL, significantly reduce lesions and improve vascular inflammation and function without necessarily altering HDL-cholesterol levels. Some of these are now entering the clinical arena as interventions in pharmacologic and pharmacodynamic studies. PMID:18449337

  20. Inhibition of Let-7 microRNA attenuates myocardial remodeling and improves cardiac function postinfarction in mice

    PubMed Central

    Tolonen, Anna-Maria; Magga, Johanna; Szab, Zoltn; Viitala, Pirkko; Gao, Erhe; Moilanen, Anne-Mari; Ohukainen, Pauli; Vainio, Laura; Koch, Walter J; Kerkel, Risto; Ruskoaho, Heikki; Serpi, Raisa

    2014-01-01

    The members of lethal-7 (Let-7) microRNA (miRNA) family are involved in regulation of cell differentiation and reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. However, their function in the heart is not known. In this study, we examined the effect of inhibiting the function of Let-7c miRNA on the progression of postinfarction left ventricular (LV) remodeling in mice. Myocardial infarction was induced with permanent ligation of left anterior descending coronary artery with a 4-week follow-up period. Let-7c miRNA was inhibited with a specific antagomir administered intravenously. The inhibition of Let-7c miRNA downregulated the levels of mature Let-7c miRNA and its other closely related members of Let-7 family in the heart and resulted in increased expression of pluripotency-associated genes Oct4 and Sox2 in cardiac fibroblasts in vitro and in adult mouse heart in vivo. Importantly, Let-7c inhibitor prevented the deterioration of cardiac function postinfarction, as demonstrated by preserved LV ejection fraction and elevated cardiac output. Improvement in cardiac function by Let-7c inhibitor postinfarction was associated with decreased apoptosis, reduced fibrosis, and reduction in the number of discoidin domain receptor 2positive fibroblasts, while the number of c-kit+ cardiac stem cells and Ki-67+ proliferating cells remained unaltered. In conclusion, inhibition of Let-7 miRNA may be beneficial for the prevention of postinfarction LV remodeling and progression of heart failure. PMID:25505600

  1. Recombinant FeLV vaccine: long-term protection and effect on course and outcome of FIV infection.

    PubMed

    Hofmann-Lehmann, R; Holznagel, E; Aubert, A; Ossent, P; Reinacher, M; Lutz, H

    1995-05-01

    The efficacy and the long-term protection of a recombinant feline leukemia virus (FeLV) vaccine were determined in 30 specified pathogen free cats for over 3 years. At the same time, in order to specify the effects of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) on the immune system, one half of the cats (n = 15) were previously infected with the Swiss isolate FIV Zurich 2. The second half of the animals (n = 15) served as non-infected controls. Eighteen (nine FIV-negative, nine FIV-positive) vaccinated and 12 (six FIV-negative, six FIV-positive) non-vaccinated cats were intraperitoneally challenged with FeLV A. Seventeen of 18 vaccinated cats were protected against persistent viremia, while ten of 12 non-vaccinated controls became infected. An increase of antibodies against FeLV SU was found in all protected cats after the challenge exposure. No difference in vaccine efficacy was found between FIV-negative and FIV-positive animals. The whole group of cats was observed for over 3 years. There were no further vaccinations during this period. CD4+ and CD8+ cell subsets, clinical outcome and time of survival of the cats were recorded. FIV-negative and FIV-positive animals were kept in two different rooms. However, FeLV-negative and FeLV viremic cats were housed together in both rooms in order to imitate a natural FeLV exposure situation. Anti-recombinant FeLV SU antibodies were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Although a continuous decline of antibodies was found in FeLV vaccinated cats, they remained protected against constant FeLV challenge for over 3 years. FIV infection had a stronger effect on the depression of the CD4+:CD8+ ratio than FeLV infection. Within the group of FIV-positive cats, the FeLV-vaccinated animals had significantly better survival rates as well as better clinical and laboratory parameters. FIV- and FeLV-coinfected cats showed the lowest CD4+:CD8+ ratio, mainly caused by decreased CD4+ lymphocyte counts. CD8+ lymphocytes with strong fluorescence (CD8(high)) disappeared and cells with weak fluorescence (CD8(low)) appeared instead. Prevention of coinfection by immunizing FIV-positive cats against FeLV infection improved the clinical outcome and prolonged the cat's life expectancy. PMID:7618252

  2. [FeLV infection in the cat: clinically relevant aspects].

    PubMed

    Boretti, F S; Lutz, H; Hofmann-Lehmann, R

    2011-11-01

    The feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a retrovirus of the domestic cat that was described almost 50 years ago. The FeLV-infection may lead to fatal diseases in domestic and small wild cats. The use of efficacious diagnostics assays and vaccines led to a reduction of the FeLV prevalence; however, FeLV still poses a problem for the cat presented with the infection. This article aims to describe recent developments in diagnostics and findings in the infection pathogenesis that are clinically relevant. PMID:22045454

  3. Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cells Produce Concordant Improvements in Regional Function, Tissue Perfusion and Fibrotic Burden when Administered to Patients Undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting The PROMETHEUS Trial

    PubMed Central

    Karantalis, Vasileios; DiFede, Darcy L.; Gerstenblith, Gary; Pham, Si; Symes, James; Zambrano, Juan Pablo; Fishman, Joel; Pattany, Pradip; McNiece, Ian; Conte, John; Schulman, Steven; Wu, Katherine; Shah, Ashish; Breton, Elayne; Davis-Sproul, Janice; Schwarz, Richard; Feigenbaum, Gary; Mushtaq, Muzammil; Suncion, Viky Y.; Lardo, Albert C.; Borrello, Ivan; Mendizabal, Adam; Karas, Tomer Z.; Byrnes, John; Lowery, Maureen; Heldman, Alan W.; Hare, Joshua M.

    2014-01-01

    Rationale While accumulating data support the efficacy of intramyocardial cell-based therapy to improve LV function in patients with chronic ischemic cardiomyopathy undergoing CABG, the underlying mechanism and impact of cell injection site remain controversial.Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) improve LV structure and function through several effects including: reducing fibrosis, neoangiogenesis and neomyogenesis. Objective To test the hypothesis that the impact on cardiac structure and function following intramyocardial injections of autologous MSCs results from a concordance of pro-recovery phenotypic effects. Methods and Results Six patients were injected with autologous MSCs into akinetic/hypokinetic myocardial territories not receiving bypass graft for clinical reasons. MRI was used to measure scar, perfusion, wall thickness and contractility at baseline, 3, 6 and 18 months and to compare structural and functional recovery in regions that received MSC injections alone, revascularization alone, or neither. A composite score of MRI variables was used to assess concordance of antifibrotic effects, perfusion, and contraction at different regions. After 18 months, subjects receiving MSCs exhibited increased LVEF (+9.41.7%, p=0.0002) and decreased scar mass (-47.58.1%; p<0.0001) compared to baseline. MSC-injected segments had concordant reduction in scar size, perfusion and contractile improvement (concordant score: 2.930.07), whereas revascularized (0.50.21) and non-treated segments (-0.070.34) demonstrated non-concordant changes (p<0.0001 vs. injected segments). Conclusions Intramyocardial injection of autologous MSCs into akinetic yet non-revascularized segments produces comprehensive regional functional restitution, which in turn drives improvement in global LV function. These findings, although inconclusive due to lack of placebo group, have important therapeutic and mechanistic hypothesis-generating implications. PMID:24565698

  4. Rapid Surface Cooling by ThermoSuit System Dramatically Reduces Scar Size, Prevents Post-Infarction Adverse Left Ventricular Remodeling, and Improves Cardiac Function in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Wangde; Herring, Michael J; Hale, Sharon L; Kloner, Robert A

    2015-01-01

    Background The long-term effects of transient hypothermia by the non-invasive ThermoSuit apparatus on myocardial infarct (MI) scar size, left ventricular (LV) remodeling, and LV function were assessed in rat MI model. Methods and Results Rats were randomized to normothermic or hypothermic groups (n=14 in each group) and subjected to 30 minutes coronary artery occlusion and 6 weeks of reperfusion. For hypothermia therapy, rats were placed into the ThermoSuit apparatus at 2 minutes after the onset of coronary artery occlusion, were taken out of the apparatus when the core body temperature reached 32°C (in ≈8 minutes), and were then allowed to rewarm. After 6 weeks of recovery, rats treated with hypothermia demonstrated markedly reduced scar size (expressed as % of left ventricular area: hypothermia, 6.5±1.1%; normothermia, 19.4±1.7%; P=1.3×10−6); and thicker anterior LV wall (hypothermia, 1.57±0.09 mm; normothermia, 1.07±0.05 mm; P=3.4×10−5); decreased postmortem left ventricular volume (hypothermia, 0.45±0.04 mL; normothermia, 0.6±0.03 mL; P=0.028); and better LV fractional shortening by echocardiography (hypothermia, 37.2±2.8%; normothermia, 18.9±2.3%; P=0.0002) and LV ejection fraction by LV contrast ventriculography (hypothermia, 66.8±2.3%; normothermia, 56.0±2.0%; P=0.0014). Conclusions Rapid, transient non-invasive surface cooling with the ThermoSuit apparatus in the acute phase of MI decreased scar size by 66.5%, attenuated adverse post-infarct left ventricular dilation and remodeling, and improved cardiac function in the chronic phase of experimental MI. PMID:26116692

  5. Effect of Microvascular Obstruction and Intramyocardial Hemorrhage by CMR on LV Remodeling and Outcomes After Myocardial Infarction

    PubMed Central

    Hamirani, Yasmin S.; Wong, Andrew; Kramer, Christopher M.; Salerno, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The goal of this systematic analysis is to provide a comprehensive review of the current cardiac magnetic resonance data on microvascular obstruction (MVO) and intramyocardial hemorrhage (IMH). Data related to the association of MVO and IMH in patients with acute myocardial infarction (MI) with left ventricular (LV) function, volumes, adverse LV remodeling, and major adverse cardiac events (MACE) were critically analyzed. MVO is associated with a lower ejection fraction, increased ventricular volumes and infarct size, and a greater risk of MACE. Late MVO is shown to be a stronger prognostic marker for MACE and cardiac death, recurrent MI, congestive heart failure/heart failure hospitalization, and follow-up LV end-systolic volumes than early MVO. IMH is associated with LV remodeling and MACE on pooled analysis, but because of limited data and heterogeneity in study methodology, the effects of IMH on remodeling require further investigation. PMID:25212800

  6. The surface glycoprotein of a natural feline leukemia virus subgroup A variant, FeLV-945, as a determinant of disease outcome

    PubMed Central

    Bolin, Lisa L.; Ahmad, Shamim; Levy, Laura S.

    2011-01-01

    Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a natural retrovirus of domestic cats associated with degenerative, proliferative and malignant diseases. Studies of FeLV infection in a cohort of naturally infected cats were undertaken to examine FeLV variation, the selective pressures operative in FeLV infection that lead to predominance of natural variants, and the consequences for infection and disease progression. A unique variant, designated FeLV-945, was identified as the predominant isolate in the cohort and was associated with non-T-cell diseases including multicentric lymphoma. FeLV-945 was assigned to the FeLV-A subgroup based on sequence analysis and receptor utilization, but was shown to differ in sequence from a prototype member of FeLV-A, designated FeLV-A/61E, in the long terminal repeat (LTR) and the surface glycoprotein gene (SU). A unique sequence motif in the FeLV-945 LTR was shown to function as a transcriptional enhancer and to confer a replicative advantage. The FeLV-945 SU protein was observed to differ in sequence as compared to FeLV-A/61E within functional domains known to determine receptor selection and binding. Experimental infection of newborn cats was performed using wild type FeLV-A/61E or recombinant FeLV-A/61E in which the LTR (61E/945L) or LTR and SU (61E/945SL) were exchanged for that of FeLV-945. Infection with either FeLV-A/61E or 61E/945L resulted in T-cell lymphoma of the thymus, although 61E/945L caused disease significantly more rapidly. In contrast, infection with 61E/945SL resulted in the rapid induction of a multicentric lymphoma of B-cell origin, thus recapitulating the outcome of natural infection and implicating FeLV-945 SU as a determinant of disease outcome. Recombinant FeLV-B was detected infrequently and at low levels in multicentric lymphomas, and was thereby not implicated in disease induction. Preliminary studies of receptor interaction indicated that virus particles bearing FeLV-945 SU bind to the FeLV-A receptor more efficiently than do particles bearing FeLV-A/61E SU, and that soluble SU proteins expressed from the viruses demonstrate the same differential binding phenotype. Preliminary mutational analysis of FeLV-945 was performed by exchanging regions containing either the primary receptor binding determinant, VRA, the secondary determinant, VRB, or a proline-rich region, PRR, with that of FeLV-A/61E. Results implicated a region containing VRA as a minor contributor, while a region containing VRB largely conferred increased binding efficiency. PMID:21764142

  7. The surface glycoprotein of a natural feline leukemia virus subgroup A variant, FeLV-945, as a determinant of disease outcome.

    PubMed

    Bolin, Lisa L; Ahmad, Shamim; Levy, Laura S

    2011-10-15

    Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a natural retrovirus of domestic cats associated with degenerative, proliferative and malignant diseases. Studies of FeLV infection in a cohort of naturally infected cats were undertaken to examine FeLV variation, the selective pressures operative in FeLV infection that lead to predominance of natural variants, and the consequences for infection and disease progression. A unique variant, designated FeLV-945, was identified as the predominant isolate in the cohort and was associated with non-T-cell diseases including multicentric lymphoma. FeLV-945 was assigned to the FeLV-A subgroup based on sequence analysis and receptor utilization, but was shown to differ in sequence from a prototype member of FeLV-A, designated FeLV-A/61E, in the long terminal repeat (LTR) and the surface glycoprotein gene (SU). A unique sequence motif in the FeLV-945 LTR was shown to function as a transcriptional enhancer and to confer a replicative advantage. The FeLV-945 SU protein was observed to differ in sequence as compared to FeLV-A/61E within functional domains known to determine receptor selection and binding. Experimental infection of newborn cats was performed using wild type FeLV-A/61E or recombinant FeLV-A/61E in which the LTR (61E/945L) or LTR and SU (61E/945SL) were exchanged for that of FeLV-945. Infection with either FeLV-A/61E or 61E/945L resulted in T-cell lymphoma of the thymus, although 61E/945L caused disease significantly more rapidly. In contrast, infection with 61E/945SL resulted in the rapid induction of a multicentric lymphoma of B-cell origin, thus recapitulating the outcome of natural infection and implicating FeLV-945 SU as a determinant of disease outcome. Recombinant FeLV-B was detected infrequently and at low levels in multicentric lymphomas, and was thereby not implicated in disease induction. Preliminary studies of receptor interaction indicated that virus particles bearing FeLV-945 SU bind to the FeLV-A receptor more efficiently than do particles bearing FeLV-A/61E SU, and that soluble SU proteins expressed from the viruses demonstrate the same differential binding phenotype. Preliminary mutational analysis of FeLV-945 was performed by exchanging regions containing either the primary receptor binding determinant, VRA, the secondary determinant, VRB, or a proline-rich region, PRR, with that of FeLV-A/61E. Results implicated a region containing VRA as a minor contributor, while a region containing VRB largely conferred increased binding efficiency. PMID:21764142

  8. Subcellular redistribution of Pit-2 P(i) transporter/amphotropic leukemia virus (A-MuLV) receptor in A-MuLV-infected NIH 3T3 fibroblasts: involvement in superinfection interference.

    PubMed

    Jobbagy, Z; Garfield, S; Baptiste, L; Eiden, M V; Anderson, W B

    2000-03-01

    Amphotropic murine leukemia virus (A-MuLV) utilizes the Pit-2 sodium-dependent phosphate transporter as a cell surface receptor to infect mammalian cells. Previous studies established that infection of cells with A-MuLV resulted in the specific down-modulation of phosphate uptake mediated by Pit-2 and in resistance to superinfection with A-MuLV. To study the mechanisms underlying these phenomena, we constructed plasmids capable of efficiently expressing epsilon epitope- and green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged human Pit-2 proteins in mammalian cells. Overexpression of epsilon-epitope-tagged Pit-2 transporters in NIH 3T3 cells resulted in a marked increase in sodium-dependent P(i) uptake. This increase in P(i) uptake was specifically blocked by A-MuLV infection but not by infection with ecotropic MuLV (E-MuLV) (which utilizes a cationic amino acid transporter, not Pit-2, as a cell surface receptor). These data, together with the finding that the tagged Pit-2 transporters retained their A-MuLV receptor function, indicate that the insertion of epitope tags does not affect either retrovirus receptor or P(i) transporter function. The overexpressed epitope-tagged transporters were detected in cell lysates, by Western blot analysis using both epsilon-epitope- and GFP-specific antibodies as well as with Pit-2 antiserum. Both the epitope- and GFP-tagged transporters showed almost exclusive plasma membrane localization when expressed in NIH 3T3 cells, as determined by laser scanning confocal microscopy. Importantly, when NIH 3T3 cells expressing these proteins were productively infected with A-MuLV, the tagged transporters and receptors were no longer detected in the plasma membrane but rather were localized to a punctate structure within the cytosolic compartment distinct from Golgi, endoplasmic reticulum, endosomes, lysosomes, and mitochondria. The intracellular Pit-2 pool colocalized with the virus in A-MuLV-infected cells. A similar redistribution of the tagged Pit-2 proteins was not observed following infection with E-MuLV, indicating that the redistribution of Pit-2 is not directly attributable to general effects associated with retroviral infection but rather is a specific consequence of A-MuLV-Pit-2 interactions. PMID:10684301

  9. Diacerein Improves Left Ventricular Remodeling and Cardiac Function by Reducing the Inflammatory Response after Myocardial Infarction

    PubMed Central

    Torina, Anali Galluce; Reichert, Karla; Lima, Fany; de Souza Vilarinho, Karlos Alexandre; de Oliveira, Pedro Paulo Martins; do Carmo, Helison Rafael Pereira; de Carvalho, Daniela Diógenes; Saad, Mário José Abdalla; Sposito, Andrei Carvalho; Petrucci, Orlando

    2015-01-01

    Background The inflammatory response has been implicated in the pathogenesis of left ventricular (LV) remodeling after myocardial infarction (MI). An anthraquinone compound with anti-inflammatory properties, diacerein inhibits the synthesis and activity of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor and interleukins 1 and 6. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of diacerein on ventricular remodeling in vivo. Methods and Results Ligation of the left anterior descending artery was used to induce MI in an experimental rat model. Rats were divided into two groups: a control group that received saline solution (n = 16) and a group that received diacerein (80 mg/kg) daily (n = 10). After 4 weeks, the LV volume, cellular signaling, caspase 3 activity, and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) transcription were compared between the two groups. After 4 weeks, end-diastolic and end-systolic LV volumes were reduced in the treatment group compared to the control group (p < .01 and p < .01, respectively). Compared to control rats, diacerein-treated rats exhibited less fibrosis in the LV (14.65%± 7.27% vs. 22.57%± 8.94%; p < .01), lower levels of caspase-3 activity, and lower levels of NF-κB p65 transcription. Conclusions Treatment with diacerein once a day for 4 weeks after MI improved ventricular remodeling by promoting lower end-systolic and end-diastolic LV volumes. Diacerein also reduced fibrosis in the LV. These effects might be associated with partial blockage of the NF-κB pathway. PMID:25816098

  10. Xanthine oxidase inhibition preserves left ventricular systolic but not diastolic function in cardiac volume overload

    PubMed Central

    Gladden, James D.; Zelickson, Blake R.; Guichard, Jason L.; Ahmed, Mustafa I.; Yancey, Danielle M.; Ballinger, Scott; Shanmugam, Mayilvahanan; Babu, Gopal J.; Johnson, Michelle S.; Darley-Usmar, Victor

    2013-01-01

    Xanthine oxidase (XO) is increased in human and rat left ventricular (LV) myocytes with volume overload (VO) of mitral regurgitation and aortocaval fistula (ACF). In the setting of increased ATP demand, XO-mediated ROS can decrease mitochondrial respiration and contractile function. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that XO inhibition improves cardiomyocyte bioenergetics and LV function in chronic ACF in the rat. Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized to either sham or ACF allopurinol (100 mgkg?1day?1, n ?7 rats/group). Echocardiography at 8 wk demonstrated a similar 37% increase in LV end-diastolic dimension (P < 0.001), a twofold increase in LV end-diastolic pressure/wall stress (P < 0.05), and a twofold increase in lung weight (P < 0.05) in treated and untreated ACF groups versus the sham group. LV ejection fraction, velocity of circumferential shortening, maximal systolic elastance, and contractile efficiency were significantly depressed in ACF and significantly improved in ACF + allopurinol rats, all of which occurred in the absence of changes in the maximum O2 consumption rate measured in isolated cardiomyocytes using the extracellular flux analyzer. However, the improvement in contractile function is not paralleled by any attenuation in LV dilatation, LV end-diastolic pressure/wall stress, and lung weight. In conclusion, allopurinol improves LV contractile function and efficiency possibly by diminishing the known XO-mediated ROS effects on myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity. However, LV remodeling and diastolic properties are not improved, which may explain the failure of XO inhibition to improve symptoms and hospitalizations in patients with severe heart failure. PMID:24014679

  11. Cross-Functional Team Processes and Patient Functional Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, Jeffrey A; Lichtenstein, Richard; Jinnett, Kimberly; Wells, Rebecca; Zazzali, James; Liu, Dawei

    2005-01-01

    Objective To test the hypothesis that higher levels of participation and functioning in cross-functional psychiatric treatment teams will be related to improved patient outcomes. Data Sources/Study Setting Primary data were collected during the period 1992–1999. The study was conducted in 40 teams within units treating seriously mentally ill patients in 16 Veterans Affairs hospitals across the U.S. Study Design A longitudinal, multilevel analysis assessed the relationship between individual- and team-level variables and patients' ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL) over time. Team data were collected in 1992, 1994, and 1995. The number of times patient data were collected was dependent on the length of time the patient was treated and varied from 1 to 14 between 1992 and 1999. Key variables included: patients' ADL scores (the dependent variable); measures of team participation and team functioning; the number of days from baseline on which a patient's ADLs were assessed; and several control variables. Data Collection Methods Team data were obtained via self-administered questionnaires distributed to staff on the study teams. Additional team data were obtained via questionnaires completed by unit directors contemporaneously with the staff survey. Patient data were collected by trained clinicians at regular intervals using a standard assessment instrument. Principal Findings Results indicated that patients treated in teams with higher levels of staff participation experienced greater improvement in ADL over time. No differences in ADL change were noted for patients treated in teams with higher levels of team functioning. Conclusions Findings support our premise that team process has important implications for patient outcomes. The results suggest that the level of participation by the team as a whole may be a more important process attribute, in terms of patient improvements in ADLs, than the team's smooth functioning. These findings indicate the potential appropriateness of managerial interventions to encourage member investment in team processes. PMID:16174137

  12. Molecular cloning, characterization and expression analysis of two novel Tolls (LvToll2 and LvToll3) and three putative Sptzle-like Toll ligands (LvSpz1-3) from Litopenaeus vannamei.

    PubMed

    Wang, Pei-Hui; Liang, Jian-Ping; Gu, Zhi-Hua; Wan, Ding-Hui; Weng, Shao-Ping; Yu, Xiao-Qiang; He, Jian-Guo

    2012-02-01

    Toll-like receptor-mediated NF-?B pathways are essential for inducing immune related-gene expression in the defense against bacterial, fungal and viral infections in insects and mammals. Although a Toll receptor (LvToll1) was cloned in Litopenaeus vannamei, relatively little is known about other types of Toll-like receptors and their endogenous cytokine-like ligand, Sptzle. Here, we report two novel Toll-like receptors (LvToll2 and LvToll3) and three Sptzle-like proteins (LvSpz1-3) from L. vannamei. LvToll2 has 1009 residues with an extracellular domain containing 18 leucine-rich repeats (LRRs) and a cytoplasmic Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR) domain of 139 residues. LvToll3 is 1244 residues long with an extracellular domain containing 23 LRRs and a cytoplasmic TIR domain of 138 residues. The Sptzle-like proteins LvSpz1, LvSpz2 and LvSpz3 are 237, 245 and 275 residues in length, respectively, and all of them have a putative C-terminal cystine-knot domain. In Drosophila Schneider 2 (S2) cells, LvToll1 and LvToll3 were localized to the membrane and cytoplasm, and LvToll2 was confined to the cytoplasm. In Drosophila S2 cells, LvToll2 could significantly activate the promoters of NF-?B-pathway-controlled antimicrobial peptide genes, whereas LvToll1 and LvToll3 had no effect on them. LvSpz1 exerted some degree of inhibition on the promoter activities of Drosophila Attacin A and L. vannamei Penaeidin4. LvSpz3 also inhibited the Drosophila Attacin A promoter, but LvSpz2 could only slightly activate it. LvToll1, LvToll2 and LvToll3 were constitutive expressed in various tissues, while LvSpz1, LvSpz2 and LvSpz3 exhibited tissue-specific expression in the epithelium, eyestalk, intestine, gill and muscle. In the gill, after Vibrio alginolyticus challenge, LvToll1 was upregulated, but LvToll2 and LvToll3 showed no obvious changes. LvSpz1 and LvSpz3 were also strongly induced by V. alginolyticus challenge, but LvSpz2 only showed a slight downregulation. In the gill, after white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) challenge, LvToll1, LvToll2, LvToll3, LvSpz1 and LvSpz3 were upregulated, but LvSpz2 showed no obvious change, except for a slight downregulation at 12h post-injection of WSSV. These findings might be valuable in understanding the innate immune signal pathways of shrimp and enabling future studies on the host-pathogen interactions in V. alginolyticus and WSSV infections. PMID:21827783

  13. Cardiomyocyte-specific overexpression of oestrogen receptor ? improves survival and cardiac function after myocardial infarction in female and male mice.

    PubMed

    Schuster, Iris; Mahmoodzadeh, Shokoufeh; Dworatzek, Elke; Jaisser, Frdric; Messaoudi, Smail; Morano, Ingo; Regitz-Zagrosek, Vera

    2016-03-01

    ER? (oestrogen receptor ?) activation has been shown to be cardioprotective, but the cell typesand mechanisms involved are not understood. To investigate whether ER? restricted to cardiomyocytes contributes to the observed cardioprotection, we tested the effects of cardiomyocyte-specific ER?-OE (ER? overexpression) on survival, cardiac remodelling and function after MI (myocardial infarction) and studied the molecular pathways potentially involved. Female and male mice with cardiomyocyte-specific ER?-OE and WT (wild-type) littermates were subjected to chronic anterior coronary artery ligation or sham surgery. Two weeks after MI, ER?-OE mice showed improved survival (100% and 83% compared with 76% and 58% in WT females and males respectively). ER?-OE was associated with attenuated LV (left ventricular) dilatation, smaller increase in heart weight, less lung congestion at similar MI size, and improved systolic and diastolic function in both sexes. We identified two potential pathways for ER?-mediated myocardial protection. First, male and female ER?-OE mice had a lower reduction of SERCA2a (sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase 2a) expression after MI, suggesting less reduction in diastolic Ca(2+)-reuptake into the sarcoplasmic reticulum post-MI. Secondly, male ER?-OE revealed attenuated cardiac fibrosis in the remote LV tissue and expression of fibrosis markers collagen I and III, periostin and miR-21. Cardiomyocyte-specific ER?-OE improved survival associated with reduced maladaptive remodelling, improved cardiac function and less heart failure development after MI in both sexes. These effects seem to be related, at least in part, to a better maintenance of Ca(2+) cycling in both sexes and a lower induction of cardiac fibrosis in males after MI. PMID:26608078

  14. Virtual reality training improves balance function.

    PubMed

    Mao, Yurong; Chen, Peiming; Li, Le; Huang, Dongfeng

    2014-09-01

    Virtual reality is a new technology that simulates a three-dimensional virtual world on a computer and enables the generation of visual, audio, and haptic feedback for the full immersion of users. Users can interact with and observe objects in three-dimensional visual space without limitation. At present, virtual reality training has been widely used in rehabilitation therapy for balance dysfunction. This paper summarizes related articles and other articles suggesting that virtual reality training can improve balance dysfunction in patients after neurological diseases. When patients perform virtual reality training, the prefrontal, parietal cortical areas and other motor cortical networks are activated. These activations may be involved in the reconstruction of neurons in the cerebral cortex. Growing evidence from clinical studies reveals that virtual reality training improves the neurological function of patients with spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy and other neurological impairments. These findings suggest that virtual reality training can activate the cerebral cortex and improve the spatial orientation capacity of patients, thus facilitating the cortex to control balance and increase motion function. PMID:25368651

  15. Virtual reality training improves balance function

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Yurong; Chen, Peiming; Li, Le; Huang, Dongfeng

    2014-01-01

    Virtual reality is a new technology that simulates a three-dimensional virtual world on a computer and enables the generation of visual, audio, and haptic feedback for the full immersion of users. Users can interact with and observe objects in three-dimensional visual space without limitation. At present, virtual reality training has been widely used in rehabilitation therapy for balance dysfunction. This paper summarizes related articles and other articles suggesting that virtual reality training can improve balance dysfunction in patients after neurological diseases. When patients perform virtual reality training, the prefrontal, parietal cortical areas and other motor cortical networks are activated. These activations may be involved in the reconstruction of neurons in the cerebral cortex. Growing evidence from clinical studies reveals that virtual reality training improves the neurological function of patients with spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy and other neurological impairments. These findings suggest that virtual reality training can activate the cerebral cortex and improve the spatial orientation capacity of patients, thus facilitating the cortex to control balance and increase motion function. PMID:25368651

  16. Nutraceutical intervention improves older adults' cognitive functioning.

    PubMed

    Small, Brent J; Rawson, Kerri S; Martin, Christina; Eisel, Sarah L; Sanberg, Cyndy D; McEvoy, Cathy L; Sanberg, Paul R; Shytle, R Douglas; Tan, Jun; Bickford, Paula C

    2014-02-01

    Interventions to improve the cognitive health of older adults are of critical importance. In the current study, we conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial using a pill-based nutraceutical (NT-020) that contained a proprietary formulation of blueberry, carnosine, green tea, vitamin D3, and Biovin to evaluate the impact on changes in multiple domains of cognitive functioning. One hundred and five cognitively intact adults aged 65-85 years of age (M=73.6 years) were randomized to receive NT-020 (n=52) or a placebo (n=53). Participants were tested with a battery of cognitive performance tests that were classified into six broad domains--episodic memory, processing speed, verbal ability, working memory, executive functioning, and complex speed at baseline and 2 months later. The results indicated that persons taking NT-020 improved significantly on two measures of processing speed across the 2-month test period in contrast to persons on the placebo whose performance did not change. None of the other cognitive ability measures were related to intervention group. The results also indicated that the NT-020 was well tolerated by older adults, and the presence of adverse events or symptoms did not differ between the NT-020 and placebo groups. Overall, the results of the current study were promising and suggest the potential for interventions like these to improve the cognitive health of older adults. PMID:24134194

  17. Nutraceutical intervention improves older adults' cognitive functioning.

    TOXLINE Toxicology Bibliographic Information

    Small BJ; Rawson KS; Martin C; Eisel SL; Sanberg CD; McEvoy CL; Sanberg PR; Shytle RD; Tan J; Bickford PC

    2014-02-01

    Interventions to improve the cognitive health of older adults are of critical importance. In the current study, we conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial using a pill-based nutraceutical (NT-020) that contained a proprietary formulation of blueberry, carnosine, green tea, vitamin D3, and Biovin to evaluate the impact on changes in multiple domains of cognitive functioning. One hundred and five cognitively intact adults aged 65-85 years of age (M=73.6 years) were randomized to receive NT-020 (n=52) or a placebo (n=53). Participants were tested with a battery of cognitive performance tests that were classified into six broad domains--episodic memory, processing speed, verbal ability, working memory, executive functioning, and complex speed at baseline and 2 months later. The results indicated that persons taking NT-020 improved significantly on two measures of processing speed across the 2-month test period in contrast to persons on the placebo whose performance did not change. None of the other cognitive ability measures were related to intervention group. The results also indicated that the NT-020 was well tolerated by older adults, and the presence of adverse events or symptoms did not differ between the NT-020 and placebo groups. Overall, the results of the current study were promising and suggest the potential for interventions like these to improve the cognitive health of older adults.

  18. Nutraceutical Intervention Improves Older Adults' Cognitive Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Rawson, Kerri S.; Martin, Christina; Eisel, Sarah L.; Sanberg, Cyndy D.; McEvoy, Cathy L.; Sanberg, Paul R.; Shytle, R. Douglas; Tan, Jun; Bickford, Paula C.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Interventions to improve the cognitive health of older adults are of critical importance. In the current study, we conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial using a pill-based nutraceutical (NT-020) that contained a proprietary formulation of blueberry, carnosine, green tea, vitamin D3, and Biovin to evaluate the impact on changes in multiple domains of cognitive functioning. One hundred and five cognitively intact adults aged 65–85 years of age (M=73.6 years) were randomized to receive NT-020 (n=52) or a placebo (n=53). Participants were tested with a battery of cognitive performance tests that were classified into six broad domains—episodic memory, processing speed, verbal ability, working memory, executive functioning, and complex speed at baseline and 2 months later. The results indicated that persons taking NT-020 improved significantly on two measures of processing speed across the 2-month test period in contrast to persons on the placebo whose performance did not change. None of the other cognitive ability measures were related to intervention group. The results also indicated that the NT-020 was well tolerated by older adults, and the presence of adverse events or symptoms did not differ between the NT-020 and placebo groups. Overall, the results of the current study were promising and suggest the potential for interventions like these to improve the cognitive health of older adults. PMID:24134194

  19. 3D quantitative visualization of altered LV wall thickening dynamics caused by coronary microembolization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eusemann, Christian D.; Mohlenkamp, Stefan; Ritman, Erik L.; Robb, Richard A.

    2001-05-01

    Regional heart wall dynamics has been shown to be a sensitive indicator of LV wall ischemia. Rates of local LV wall thickening during a cardiac cycle can be measured and illustrated using functional parametric mappings. This display conveys the spatial distribution of dynamic strain in the myocardium and thereby provides a rapid qualitative appreciation of the severity and extent of the ischemic region. 3D reconstructions were obtained in an anesthetized pig from 8 adjacent, shortaxis, slices of the left ventricle imaged with an Electron Beam Computer Tomograph at 11 time points through one complete cardiac cycle. The 3D reconstructions were obtained before and after injection of 100 micrometer microspheres into the Left Anterior Descending (LAD) coronary artery. This injection causes microembolization of LAD artery branches within the heart wall. The image processing involved radially dividing the tomographic images of the myocardium into small subdivisions with color encoding of the local magnitude of regional thickness or regional velocities of LV wall thickening throughout the cardiac cycle. We compared the effectiveness of animation of wall thickness encoded in color versus a static image of computed rate of wall thickness change in color. The location, extent and severity of regional wall akinesis or dyskinesis, as determined from these displays, can then be compared to the region of embolization as indicated by the distribution of altered LV wall perfusion.

  20. Play Sports to Improve Visual Functions.

    PubMed

    Ha, Kelly; Sogaard, Inga; Gisick, Logan; Ni, Rui

    2015-09-01

    Previous research (Paul et al., 2011) found significant improvements in reaction time and movement in Ping-Pong players who went through visual training. While most research has focused on performance in sports, few studies have examined the effect of sports playing in improving visual functions. The current study aimed to address this question by training participants with Ping-Pong playing. In this study, 15 college students of ages 18-35 went through the multiple test and training sessions within a 2-week period. On Day one and four participants were measured on Ping-Pong play performance and visual functions, including processing speed, motion-in-depth perception, and divided attention. On Day two and three, participants were trained with one of the two playing tasks against a Ping-Pong robot for approximately one hour. For the Ping-Pong play sessions, a robot shot balls towards participants' side of the table in random direction, at three different speed levels with either left or right side spins. One training task involved catching and throwing back the Ping-Pong balls using one hand, while the other task involved intercepting the balls using a racket. Their scores of missed interceptions and failed returns were recorded. A four-way repeated-measures ANOVA was conducted to evaluate the effect of training on Ping-Pong play performance and visual functions. The results showed significant effects and interactions on play performance: Training, F(1, 10) = 5.64, p < .05; Speed, F(2, 20) = 17.12, p < .001; Training x Speed, F(2, 20) = 5.51, p < .05; And Training x Task x Spin x Speed, F(2, 20) = 10.90, p < .001. More importantly, significant improvement was found for the divided attention task after training, F(1, 6) = 8.76, p < .05. The results of the current study suggest that sports training not only improves play performance but also benefit visual functions. Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015. PMID:26326830

  1. Treatment of hypertension with perindopril reduces plasma atrial natriuretic peptide levels, left ventricular mass, and improves echocardiographic parameters of diastolic function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yalcin, F.; Aksoy, F. G.; Muderrisoglu, H.; Sabah, I.; Garcia, M. J.; Thomas, J. D.

    2000-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Hypertension is a major independent risk factor for cardiac deaths, and diastolic dysfunction is a usual finding during the course of this disease. HYPOTHESIS: This study was designed to investigate the effects of chronic therapy with perindopril on left ventricular (LV) mass, left atrial size, diastolic function, and plasma level of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) in patients with hypertension. METHODS: Twenty four patients who had not been previously taking any antihypertensive medication and without prior history of angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, dysrhythmias, valvular heart disease, or systemic illnesses received 4-8 mg/day of perindopril orally. Echocardiographic studies were acquired at baseline and 6 months after the initiation of therapy. RESULTS: Systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased from 174 +/- 19.7 and 107.5 +/- 7.8 mmHg to 134 +/- 10.6 and 82 +/- 6.7 mmHg, respectively (p < 0.001). Left ventricular mass decreased from 252.4 +/- 8.3 to 205.7 +/- 7.08 g and left atrial volume from 20.4 +/- 5.1 to 17.6 +/- 5.2 ml, respectively (p < 0.001). Transmitral Doppler early and atrial filling velocity ratio (E/A) increased from 0.69 +/- 0.06 to 0.92 +/- 0.05 m/s and plasma ANP level decreased from 71.9 +/- 11.7 to 35.3 +/- 7.8 pg/ml (p < 0.001). Reduction of LV mass correlated positively with a reduction in ANP levels (r = 0.66, p < 0.0005). CONCLUSIONS: Perindopril caused a significant reduction of LV mass, left atrial volume, and plasma ANP levels, as well as improvement in Doppler parameters of LV filling in this group of patients with hypertension.

  2. Therapeutic effects of recombinant feline interferon-omega on feline leukemia virus (FeLV)-infected and FeLV/feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)-coinfected symptomatic cats.

    PubMed

    de Mari, Karine; Maynard, Laurence; Sanquer, Annaelle; Lebreux, Bernard; Eun, Hyone-Myong

    2004-01-01

    The clinical efficacy of a recombinant feline interferon, rFeIFN-omega, was evaluated for the treatment of cats presented with clinical signs associated with feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infection and FeLV/feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) coinfection in the field. In this multicentric, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 81 cats meeting the inclusion criteria were randomly placed into 2 groups and treated subcutaneously with rFelFN-omega (1 million [M]U/kg per day) or placebo once daily for 5 consecutive days in 3 series (day 0, 14, 60). The cats were monitored for up to 1 year for clinical signs and mortality. During the initial 4-month period, interferon (IFN)-treated cats (n = 39) had significantly reduced clinical scores compared with placebo (n = 42), with all cats having received concomitant supportive therapies. Compared with the control, the IFN-treated group showed significantly lower rates of mortality: 39% versus 59% (1.7-fold higher risk of death for controls) at the 9-month time point and 47% versus 59% (1.4-fold higher risk of death for controls) at the 12-month time point. The IFN treatment was associated with minor but consistent improvement in abnormal hematologic parameters (red blood cell count, packed cell volume, and white blood cell count), apparently underlying the positive effects of IFN on clinical parameters. These data demonstrate that rFeIFN-omega initially has statistically significant therapeutic effects on clinical signs and later on survival of cats with clinical signs associated with FeLV infection and FeLV/FIV coinfection. PMID:15320583

  3. Acute monoblastic leukemia in a FeLV-positive cat

    PubMed Central

    Narkkong, Nual-Anong; Apibal, Suntaree

    2008-01-01

    A 1.6-year-old male domestic short hair cat was brought to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, Kasetsart University, with signs of severe anemia, depression, and general lymph node enlargement. Complete blood count revealed leukocytosis and massive undifferentiated blasts. Testing for antibodies specific to feline leukemia virus (FeLV) was positive, and FeLV nucleic acid was confirmed by nested polymerase chain reaction. Base on cytochemistry and ultrastructure, the cat was diagnosed with acute monoblastic leukemia. PMID:18296895

  4. Acute monoblastic leukemia in a FeLV-positive cat.

    PubMed

    Prihirunkit, Kreangsak; Narkkong, Nual Anong; Apibal, Suntaree

    2008-03-01

    A 1.6-year-old male domestic short hair cat was brought to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, Kasetsart University, with signs of severe anemia, depression, and general lymph node enlargement. Complete blood count revealed leukocytosis and massive undifferentiated blasts. Testing for antibodies specific to feline leukemia virus (FeLV) was positive, and FeLV nucleic acid was confirmed by nested polymerase chain reaction. Base on cytochemistry and ultrastructure, the cat was diagnosed with acute monoblastic leukemia. PMID:18296895

  5. Post-infarct treatment with [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 improves myocardial function by increasing neovascularization and overexpression of angiogenic growth factors in rats.

    PubMed

    Azizi, Yaser; Faghihi, Mahdieh; Imani, Alireza; Roghani, Mehrdad; Zekri, Ali; Mobasheri, Maryam Beigom; Rastgar, Tayebeh; Moghimian, Maryam

    2015-08-15

    Ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of mortality in the world. Angiogenesis is important for cardiac repair after myocardial infarction (MI) as restores blood supply to the ischemic myocardium and preserves cardiac function. Apelin is a peptide that has been recently shown to potentiate angiogenesis. The aim of this study was to investigate angiogenic effects of [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 in the rat model of post-MI. Male Wistar rats (n=36) were randomly divided into three groups: (1) sham (2) MI and (3) MI treated with [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 (MI+Apel). MI animals were subjected to 30min left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) ligation and 14 days of reperfusion. Twenty-four hours after LAD ligation, [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 (10nmol/kg/day) was administered i.p. for 5 days. Hemodynamic functions by catheter introduced into the left ventricle (LV), myocardial fibrosis by Masson?s trichrome staining, gene expression of vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGFA), VEGF receptor-2 (Kdr), Ang-1 (angiopoietin-1), Tie2 (tyrosine kinase with immunoglobulin and epidermal growth factor homology domains 2) and eNOS by Real-time polymerase chain reaction (Real-Time PCR) and myocardial angiogenesis by CD31 imunostaining were assessed at day 14 post-MI. Post-infarct treatment with [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 improved LV function and decreased myocardial fibrosis. [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 treatment led to a significant increase in the expression of VEGFA, Kdr, Ang-1, Tie2 and eNOS. Further, treatment with [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 promoted capillary density. [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 has angiogenic and anti-fibrotic activity via formation of new blood vessels and overexpression of VEGFA, Kdr, Ang-1, Tie2 and eNOS in the infarcted myocardium which could in turn repair myocardium and improve LV function. PMID:25936512

  6. Macrophage tropism of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) of subgroup-C and increased production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha by FeLV-infected macrophages.

    PubMed

    Khan, K N; Kociba, G J; Wellman, M L

    1993-05-15

    Erythroid aplasia is induced in cats by feline leukemia virus (FeLV) of subgroup C but not by FeLV of subgroup A. In an investigation of the role of macrophages in FeLV-C-induced diseases, the concentrations of FeLV and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) were compared between feline peritoneal macrophages incubated with FeLV of subgroup A or C. FeLV of both subgroups infected macrophages, but expression of FeLV-C was 21-fold higher than FeLV-A in peritoneal macrophages (P = .004). The supernatants of FeLV-C-inoculated macrophage cultures contained significantly higher levels of TNF-alpha (70 +/- 14 U/mL) at 72 hours postincubation compared with FeLV-A-inoculated (38 +/- 8 U/mL) and uninoculated (31 +/- 8 U/mL) cultures. Moreover, a positive correlation was shown between cell-associated FeLV surface glycoprotein gp70 and TNF-alpha expression in FeLV-C-infected macrophages by immunofluorescence (r = .6; P = .001), measured with a computer-assisted, laser-based digital imaging system. The addition of TNF-alpha to a uniform population of FeLV-infected cells (feline embryonic fibroblasts) caused an enhancement of viral expression (P < .05). These results indicate that FeLV-C has tropism for macrophages, FeLV expression is positively correlated with TNF-alpha expression in macrophages, and TNF-alpha enhances FeLV replication in fibroblasts. We suggest that FeLV-C infection of macrophages and secretion of TNF-alpha may be important in hematopoietic suppression in FeLV-C-infected cats. PMID:8387834

  7. Acupuncture improves cognitive function: A systematic review?

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Mason Chin Pang; Yip, Ka Keung; Lam, Chung Tsung; Lam, Ka Shun; Lau, Wai; Yu, Wing Lam; Leung, Amethyst King Man; So, Kwok-fai

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Acupuncture has been used as a treatment for cognitive impairment. OBJECTIVE: This review assesses clinical evidence for or against acupuncture as a treatment for cognitive impairment. This review also discusses the proposed mechanism(s) that could link acupuncture to improved cognitive function. METHODS: We searched the literature using PolyUone search from its inception to January 2013, with full text available and language limited to English. Levels of evidence were examined using Oxford Centre for Evidence-based MedicineLevels of Evidence (March, 2009). RESULTS: Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria: 3 human studies and 9 animal studies. Levels of evidence ranged from level 1b to level 5. CONCLUSION: Most animal studies demonstrated a positive effect of acupuncture on cognitive impairment. However, the results of human studies were inconsistent. Further high-quality human studies with greater statistical power are needed to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture and an optimal protocol. PMID:25206464

  8. Left and right ventricular structure and function in subclinical hypothyroidism: The effects of one-year levothyroxine treatment

    PubMed Central

    Ilic, Sanja; Tadic, Marijana; Ivanovic, Branislava; Caparevic, Zorica; Trbojevic, Boza; Celic, Vera

    2013-01-01

    Background The aim of this study was to investigate left ventricular (LV) and right ventricular (RV) structure, function, and mechanics in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism (SHT), and to evaluate the effect of a 1-year levothyroxine treatment. Material/Methods We compared 45 untreated women with subclinical hypothyroidism and 35 healthy control women matched by age. All the subjects underwent laboratory analyses, which included a thyroid hormone levels (free T3, free T4, and TSH) test, and a complete 2-dimensional echocardiographic study. All the SHT patients received levothyroxine therapy and were followed for a year after euthyroid state was achieved. Results The LV mass index in the SHT participants before and after replacement therapy was significantly higher than in controls. In the SHT patients before the treatment, LV diastolic function and global function estimated by the Tei index were significantly impaired, whereas the LV systolic function was decreased. The results show that LV mechanics was significantly impaired in the SHT patients at baseline. Additionally, the SHT participants before levothyroxine substitution had increased RV wall thickness and significantly impaired RV diastolic and global function in comparison with the controls or the SHT subjects after the treatment. Furthermore, RV mechanics was also significantly deteriorated in the SHT patients before the treatment. Conclusions Subclinical hypothyroidism significantly affected LV and RV structure, systolic, diastolic and global function, and LV and RV mechanics. Levothyroxine replacement therapy significantly improved cardiac structure, function, and mechanics in the SHT patients. PMID:24217559

  9. Comparison of the safety and efficacy of a recombinant feline leukemia virus (FeLV) vaccine delivered transdermally and an inactivated FeLV vaccine delivered subcutaneously.

    PubMed

    Grosenbaugh, D A; Leard, T; Pardo, M C; Motes-Kreimeyer, L; Royston, M

    2004-01-01

    The efficacy of a new recombinant FeLV vaccine (rFeLV), delivered transdermally via a needle-free delivery device was compared to that of an inactivated FeLV vaccine (FeLV-k), administered subcutaneously, with a conventional needle and syringe. Kittens were immunized with either rFeLV (0.25 ml, transdermal) or FeLV-k (1 ml, subcutaneous); or they were sham-vaccinated with physiologic saline (0.25 ml, transdermal). Two vaccinations were administered 21 days apart. Injection sites were monitored for any acute or subacute reactions relative to vaccine administration. Four weeks following the final vaccination, all cats were subject to oro-nasal FeLV challenge. Blood was collected for determination of FeLV antigenemia (p27) at weekly intervals beginning three weeks post-challenge. All of the vaccinated cats from both groups resisted FeLV challenge; and 90% of the control cats developed persistent FeLV antigenemia in response to challenge. No acute or persistent injection site reactions were observed. The rFeLV, delivered transdermally, provides protection against persistent FeLV antigenemia following a robust challenge that is equivalent to that of FeLV-k. PMID:15719325

  10. Treatment of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infection.

    PubMed

    Hartmann, K; Block, A; Ferk, G; Beer, B; Vollmar, A; Lutz, H

    1999-09-01

    FeLV infection is still considered to account for most disease-related deaths in pet cats. Different treatment attempts with various drugs were performed in the past but none resulted in healing or complete virus elimination. Therefore, it caused a sensation when Horber and Mayr [Horber, D., Mayr, B., 1991. Prax. 19, 311-314; Horber, D., Schnabl, W., Mayr, B., 1992. Tierarztl. Umschau 47, 556-560; Mayr, B., Horber, D., 1992. Kleintierprax. 37, 515-518] published that they were able to cure 80 to 100% FeLV-infected cats from viremia by using an immunomodulating compound. Articles in cat breeder and cat owner journals appeared assuming that obviously there is a rescue for FeLV-infected cats suffering from this deadly infection. The immunomodulator [Buttner, M., 1993. Comp. Immun. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. 18, 1-10] used in those studies was the so-called 'paramunity inducer' PIND-ORF (Baypamun, Bayer, Leverkusen, Germany) consisting of inactivated parapox ovis virus. Since that time, Baypamun is the most commonly used drug for treatment of FeLV infection in Germany and other European countries. Four placebo-controlled double-blind trials were performed to determine the therapeutic efficacy of Baypamun and other compounds in naturally FeLV-infected cats under controlled conditions. PMID:10515279

  11. Functional dysphonia: strategies to improve patient outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Behlau, Mara; Madazio, Glaucya; Oliveira, Gisele

    2015-01-01

    Functional dysphonia (FD) refers to a voice problem in the absence of a physical condition. It is a multifaceted voice disorder. There is no consensus with regard to its definition and inclusion criteria for diagnosis. FD has many predisposing and precipitating factors, which may include genetic susceptibility, psychological traits, and the vocal behavior itself. The assessment of voice disorders should be multidimensional. In addition to the clinical examination, auditory-perceptual, acoustic, and self-assessment analyses are very important. Self-assessment was introduced in the field of voice 25 years ago and has produced a major impact in the clinical and scientific scenario. The choice of treatment for FD is vocal rehabilitation by means of direct therapy; however, compliance has been an issue, except for cases of functional aphonia or when an intensive training is administered. Nevertheless, there are currently no controlled studies that have explored the different options of treatment regimens for these patients. Strategies to improve patient outcome involve proper multidisciplinary diagnosis in order to exclude neurological and psychiatric disorders, careful voice documentation with quantitative measurement and qualitative description of the vocal deviation for comparison after treatment, acoustic evaluation to gather data on the mechanism involved in voice production, self-assessment questionnaires to map the impact of the voice problem on the basis of the patient’s perspective, referral to psychological evaluation in cases of suspected clinical anxiety and/or depression, identification of dysfunctional coping strategies, self-regulation data to assist patients with their vocal load, and direct and intensive vocal rehabilitation to reduce psychological resistance and to reassure patient’s recovery. An international multicentric effort, involving a large population of voice-disordered patients with no physical pathology, could produce enough data for achieving a consensus regarding this complex problem. PMID:26664248

  12. Improved algorithm for calculating the Chandrasekhar function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jablonski, A.

    2013-02-01

    Theoretical models of electron transport in condensed matter require an effective source of the Chandrasekhar H(x,omega) function. A code providing the H(x,omega) function has to be both accurate and very fast. The current revision of the code published earlier [A. Jablonski, Comput. Phys. Commun. 183 (2012) 1773] decreased the running time, averaged over different pairs of arguments x and omega, by a factor of more than 20. The decrease of the running time in the range of small values of the argument x, less than 0.05, is even more pronounced, reaching a factor of 30. The accuracy of the current code is not affected, and is typically better than 12 decimal places. New version program summaryProgram title: CHANDRAS_v2 Catalogue identifier: AEMC_v2_0 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/AEMC_v2_0.html Program obtainable from: CPC Program Library, Queen's University, Belfast, N. Ireland Licensing provisions: Standard CPC license, http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/licence/licence.html No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 976 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 11416 Distribution format: tar.gz Programming language: Fortran 90 Computer: Any computer with a Fortran 90 compiler Operating system: Windows 7, Windows XP, Unix/Linux RAM: 0.7 MB Classification: 2.4, 7.2 Catalogue identifier of previous version: AEMC_v1_0 Journal reference of previous version: Comput. Phys. Commun. 183 (2012) 1773 Does the new version supersede the old program: Yes Nature of problem: An attempt has been made to develop a subroutine that calculates the Chandrasekhar function with high accuracy, of at least 10 decimal places. Simultaneously, this subroutine should be very fast. Both requirements stem from the theory of electron transport in condensed matter. Solution method: Two algorithms were developed, each based on a different integral representation of the Chandrasekhar function. The final algorithm is edited by mixing these two algorithms by selecting ranges of the argument omega in which the performance is the fastest. Reasons for the new version: Some of the theoretical models describing electron transport in condensed matter need a source of the Chandrasekhar H function values with an accuracy of at least 10 decimal places. Additionally, calculations of this function should be as fast as possible since frequent calls to a subroutine providing this function are made (e.g., numerical evaluation of a double integral with a complicated integrand containing the H function). Both conditions were satisfied in the algorithm previously published [1]. However, it has been found that a proper selection of the quadrature in an integral representation of the Chandrasekhar function may considerably decrease the running time. By suitable selection of the number of abscissas in Gauss-Legendre quadrature, the execution time was decreased by a factor of more than 20. Simultaneously, the accuracy of results has not been affected. Summary of revisions: (1) As in previous work [1], two integral representations of the Chandrasekhar function, H(x,omega), were considered: the expression published by Dudarev and Whelan [2] and the expression published by Davidović et al. [3]. The algorithms implementing these representations were designated A and B, respectively. All integrals in these implementations were previously calculated using Romberg quadrature. It has been found, however, that the use of Gauss-Legendre quadrature considerably improved the performance of both algorithms. Two conditions have to be satisfied. (i) The number of abscissas, N, has to be rather large, and (ii) the abscissas and corresponding weights should be determined with accuracy as high as possible. The abscissas and weights are available for N=16, 20, 24, 32, 40, 48, 64, 80, and 96 with accuracy of 20 decimal places [4], and all these values were introduced into a new procedure GAUSS replacing procedure ROMBERG. Due to the fact that the implemented tables are rather extensive, they were recalculated using the Rybicki algorithm (Ref. [5], pp. 183-184) and rechecked. No errors or misprints were found. (2) In the integral representation of the H function derived by Davidović et al. [3], the positive root ν0 of the so-called dispersion function needs to be calculated with accuracy of at least 10 decimal places (see. Ref [6], pp. 61-64 and Ref. [1], Eqs. (5) and (29)). For small values of the argument omega and values of omega close to unity, the nonlinear equation in one unknown, ν0, can be solved analytically. New simple analytical expressions were derived here that can be efficiently used in calculations of the root. (3) The above modifications of the code considerably decreased the time of calculation of both algorithms A and B. The results are summarized in Fig. 1. The time of calculations is in fact the CPU time in microseconds for a computer equipped with an Inter Xeon processor (3.46 GHz) using Lahey-Fujitsu Fortran v. 7.2. Time of calculations of the H(x,omega) function averaged over different pairs of arguments x and omega. (a) 400 pairs uniformly distributed in the ranges 0<=x<=0.05 and 0<=omega<=1; (b) 400 pairs uniformly distributed in the ranges 0.05<=x<=1 and 0<=omega<=1. The shortest execution time averaged over values of the argument x exceeding 0.05 has been observed for algorithm B and Gauss-Legendre quadrature with the number of abscissas equal to 64 (23.2 μs). As compared with Romberg quadrature, the execution time was shortened by a factor of 22.5. For small x values, below 0.05, both algorithms A and B are considerably faster if Gauss-Legendre quadrature is used. For N=64, the average time of execution of algorithm B is decreased with respect to Romberg quadrature by a factor close to 30. However, in that range of argument x, algorithm A exhibits much faster performance. Furthermore, the average execution time of algorithm A, equal to about 100 μs, is practically independent of the number of abscissas N. (4) For Romberg quadrature, to optimize the performance, the mixed algorithm C was proposed in which algorithm A is used for argument x smaller than or equal to x0=0.4, while algorithm B is used for x larger than 0.4 [1]. For Gauss-Legendre quadrature, the limit x0 was found to depend on the number of abscissas N. For each value of N considered, the time of calculations of the H function was determined for pairs of arguments uniformly distributed in the ranges 0<=x<=0.05 and 0<=omega<=1, and for pairs of arguments uniformly distributed in the ranges 0.05<=x<=1 and 0<=omega<=1. As shown in Fig. 2 for N=64, algorithm A is faster than algorithm B for x smaller than or equal to 0.0225. Comparison of the running times of algorithms A and B. Open circles: algorithm B is faster than the algorithm A; full circles: algorithm A is faster than algorithm B. Thus, the value of x0=0.0225 is proposed for the mixed algorithm C when Gauss-Legendere quadrature with N=64 is used. Similar computer experiments performed for other values of N are summarized below. L N0 1 16 0.25 2 20 0.15 3 24 0.10 4 32 0.050 5 40 0.030 6 48 0.045 7 64 0.0225-Recommended 8 80 0.0125 9 96 0.020 The flag L is one of the input parameters for the subroutine GAUSS. In the programs implementing algorithms A, B, and C (CHANDRA, CHANDRB, and CHANDRC), Gauss-Legendre quadrature with N=64 is currently set. As follows from Fig. 1, algorithm B (and consequently algorithm C) is the fastest in that case. It is still possible to change the number of abscissas; the flag L then has to be modified in lines 165, 169, 185, 189, and 304 of program CHANDRAS_v2, and the value of x0 in line 111 has to be adjusted according to the table above. (5) The above modifications of the code did not affect the accuracy of the calculated Chandrasekhar function, as compared to the original code [1]. For the pairs of arguments shown in Fig. 2, the accuracy of the H function, calculated from algorithms A and B, reached at least 12 decimal digits; however, in the majority of cases, the accuracy is equal to 13 decimal digits. Restrictions: Two input parameters for the Chandrasekhar function, x and omega, are restricted to the ranges 0<=x<=1 and 0<=omega<=1, which is sufficient in numerous applications. Running time: between 15 and 100 μs for one pair of arguments of the Chandrasekhar function.

  13. Comparison of image quality, myocardial perfusion, and LV function between standard imaging and single-injection ultra-low-dose imaging using a high-efficiency SPECT camera: the MILLISIEVERT study

    PubMed Central

    Einstein, Andrew J.; Blankstein, Ron; Andrews, Howard; Fish, Mathews; Padgett, Richard; Hayes, Sean W.; Friedman, John D.; Qureshi, Mehreen; Rakotoarivelo, Harivony; Slomka, Piotr; Nakazato, Ryo; Bokhari, Sabahat; Di Carli, Marcello; Berman, Daniel S.

    2015-01-01

    SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) plays a central role in coronary artery disease diagnosis; but concerns exist regarding its radiation burden. Compared to standard Anger-SPECT (A-SPECT) cameras, new high-efficiency (HE) cameras with specialized collimators and solid-state cadmium-zinc-telluride detectors offer potential to maintain image quality (IQ), while reducing administered activity and thus radiation dose to patients. No previous study has compared IQ, interpretation, total perfusion deficit (TPD), or ejection fraction (EF) in patients receiving both ultra-low-dose (ULD) imaging on a HE-SPECT camera and standard low-dose (SLD) A-SPECT imaging. Methods We compared ULD-HE-SPECT to SLD-A-SPECT imaging by dividing the rest dose in 101 patients at 3 sites scheduled to undergo clinical A-SPECT MPI using a same day rest/stress Tc-99m protocol. Patients received HE-SPECT imaging following an initial ~130 MBq (3.5mCi) dose, and SLD-A-SPECT imaging following the remainder of the planned dose. Images were scored visually by 2 blinded readers for IQ and summed rest score (SRS). TPD and EF were assessed quantitatively. Results Mean activity was 134 MBq (3.62 mCi) for ULD-HE-SPECT (effective dose 1.15 mSv) and 278 MBq (7.50 mCi, 2.39 mSv) for SLD-A-SPECT. Overall IQ was superior for ULD-HE-SPECT (p<0.0001), with twice as many studies graded excellent quality. Extracardiac activity and overall perfusion assessment were similar. Between-method correlations were high for SRS (r=0.87), TPD (r=0.91), and EF (r=0.88). Conclusion ULD-HE-SPECT rest imaging correlates highly with SLD-A-SPECT. It has improved image quality, comparable extracardiac activity, and achieves radiation dose reduction to 1 mSv for a single injection. PMID:24982439

  14. Improving Sensorimotor Function Using Stochastic Vestibular Stimulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Galvan, R. C.; Clark, T. K.; Merfeld, D. M.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Mulavara, A. P.; Oman, C. M.

    2014-01-01

    Astronauts experience sensorimotor changes during spaceflight, particularly during G-transition phases. Post flight sensorimotor changes may include postural and gait instability, spatial disorientation, and visual performance decrements, all of which can degrade operational capabilities of the astronauts and endanger the crew. Crewmember safety would be improved if these detrimental effects of spaceflight could be mitigated by a sensorimotor countermeasure and even further if adaptation to baseline could be facilitated. The goal of this research is to investigate the potential use of stochastic vestibular stimulation (SVS) as a technology to improve sensorimotor function. We hypothesize that low levels of SVS will improve sensorimotor performance through stochastic resonance (SR). The SR phenomenon occurs when the response of a nonlinear system to a weak input signal is optimized by the application of a particular nonzero level of noise. Two studies have been initiated to investigate the beneficial effects and potential practical usage of SVS. In both studies, electrical vestibular stimulation is applied via electrodes on the mastoid processes using a constant current stimulator. The first study aims to determine the repeatability of the effect of vestibular stimulation on sensorimotor performance and perception in order to better understand the practical use of SVS. The beneficial effect of low levels of SVS on balance performance has been shown in the past. This research uses the same balance task repeated multiple times within a day and across days to study the repeatability of the stimulation effects. The balance test consists of 50 sec trials in which the subject stands with his or her feet together, arms crossed, and eyes closed on compliant foam. Varying levels of SVS, ranging from 0-700 micro A, are applied across different trials. The subject-specific optimal SVS level is that which results in the best balance performance as measured by inertial measurement units placed on the upper and lower torso of the subjects. Additionally, each individuals threshold for illusory motion perception of suprasensory electrical vestibular stimulation is measured multiple times within and across days to better understand how multiple SVS test methods compare. The second study aims to demonstrate stochastic resonance in the vestibular system using a perception based motion recognition task. This task measures an individuals velocity threshold of motion recognition using a 6-degree of freedom Stewart platform and a 3-down/1-up staircase procedure. For this study, thresholds are determined using 150 trials in the upright, head-centered roll tilt motion direction at a 0.2 Hz frequency. We aim to demonstrate the characteristic bell shaped curve associated with stochastic resonance with each subjects motion recognition thresholds at varying SVS levels ranging from 0 to 1500 micro A. The curve includes the individuals baseline threshold with no SVS, optimal or minimal threshold at some mid-level of SVS, and finally degraded or increased threshold at a high SVS level. An additional aim is to formally retest each subject at his or her individual optimal SVS level on a different day than the original testing for additional validity. The overall purpose of this research is to further quantify the effects of SVS on various sensorimotor tasks and investigate the practical implications of its use in the context of human space flight so that it may be implemented in the future as a component of a comprehensive countermeasure plan for adaptation to G-transitions.

  15. Injectable biodegradable hydrogels for embryonic stem cell transplantation: improved cardiac remodelling and function of myocardial infarction

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Haibin; Liu, Zhiqiang; Li, Dexue; Guo, Xuan; Kasper, F Kurtis; Duan, Cuimi; Zhou, Jin; Mikos, Antonios G; Wang, Changyong

    2012-01-01

    Abstract In this study, an injectable, biodegradable hydrogel composite of oligo[poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate] (OPF) was investigated as a carrier of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) for the treatment of myocardial infarction (MI). The OPF hydrogels were used to encapsulate mESCs. The cell differentiation in vitro over 14 days was determined via immunohistochemical examination. Then, mESCs encapsulated in OPF hydrogels were injected into the LV wall of a rat MI model. Detailed histological analysis and echocardiography were used to determine the structural and functional consequences after 4 weeks of transplantation. With ascorbic acid induction, mESCs could differentiate into cardiomyocytes and other cell types in all three lineages in the OPF hydrogel. After transplantation, both the 24-hr cell retention and 4-week graft size were significantly greater in the OPF + ESC group than that of the PBS + ESC group (P < 0.01). Four weeks after transplantation, OPF hydrogel alone significantly reduced the infarct size and collagen deposition and improved the cardiac function. The heart function and revascularization improved significantly, while the infarct size and fibrotic area decreased significantly in the OPF + ESC group compared with that of the PBS + ESC, OPF and PBS groups (P < 0.01). All treatments had significantly reduced MMP2 and MMP9 protein levels compared to the PBS control group, and the OPF + ESC group decreased most by Western blotting. Transplanted mESCs expressed cardiovascular markers. This study suggests the potential of a method for heart regeneration involving OPF hydrogels for stem cell encapsulation and transplantation. PMID:21838774

  16. Improved initial osteoblast functions on amino-functionalized titanium surfaces.

    PubMed

    Nebe, Barbara; Finke, Birgit; Lthen, Frank; Bergemann, Claudia; Schrder, Karsten; Rychly, Joachim; Liefeith, Klaus; Ohl, Andreas

    2007-11-01

    Adhesion and spreading of cells on biomaterials are integrin-mediated processes. But recent findings indicate a key role of the cell membrane associated matrix substance hyaluronan (HA) in interface interactions. Because HA is a negatively charged molecule we assume that a biomaterial surface with an opposed charge could boost the first contact of the cell to the surface. Polished cp titanium (R(a)=0.19 microm) was coated with an amino-group containing plasma polymer (Ti PPA). For this purpose, a microwave excited, pulsed, low-pressure plasma was used. Additionally, collagen was immobilized on Ti PPA with polyethylene glycol diacid (PEG-DA), catalyzed by carbodiimide (CDI). The physico-chemical surface analytical techniques like XPS, FT-IR, water contact angle and zeta-potential verified the retention of the allylamine precursor structure. Human osteoblasts were cultured in serum-free Dulbecco's modified Eagle medium (DMEM). Adhesion and cell cycle phases were calculated by flow cytometry. Spreading and actin cytoskeleton were visualized by confocal microscopy. Gene expression of osteogenic markers was detected by real-time RT-PCR. Ti PPA is significantly advantageous concerning initial adhesion and spreading during the first hours of the cell contact to the surface. The proliferation of osteoblasts is positively influenced. Gene expression of the differentiation marker bone sialoprotein was upregulated after 24h. Our results demonstrate that functionalization of titanium with positively charged amino-groups is sufficiently enough to significantly improve initial steps of the cellular contact to the material surface. PMID:17825608

  17. Insertional mutagenesis of flvi-2 in tumors induced by infection with LC-FeLV, a myc-containing strain of feline leukemia virus.

    PubMed Central

    Levy, L S; Lobelle-Rich, P A

    1992-01-01

    LC-FeLV is a myc-containing strain of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) which exhibits only partial transforming activity in vitro and in vivo. LC-FeLV infection in kittens may induce, but does not necessarily induce, thymic lymphosarcoma in viremic animals after a short latency. These observations suggest that infection with LC-FeLV is not sufficient to induce complete transformation and that another genetic event(s) is required. One possibility for such an event is that the integrating provirus acts as an insertional mutagen and thereby disrupts the structure or function of another proto-oncogene. Using a strategy of transposon tagging, this possibility was examined in eight feline T-cell lymphosarcomas, including four induced by experimental infection with LC-FeLV, three induced by natural infection with FeLV, and one FeLV-negative tumor. The analysis demonstrated one locus, termed flvi-2, to be structurally altered in six of the tumors examined, including three induced by LC-FeLV and three in which no activated myc oncogene is apparent. Inverse polymerase chain reaction was used to demonstrate the presence and transcriptional orientation of proviruses integrated at flvi-2 in five of these tumors. The flvi-2 locus does not hybridize to cloned probes representing 21 previously identified proto-oncogenes or common domains of retroviral integration. Thus, the data suggest that interruption of the flvi-2 locus cooperates with the myc oncogene in the induction of T-cell lymphomas by LC-FeLV; indeed, the observations indicate that the insertional mutagenesis of flvi-2 plays a role in T-cell lymphomagenesis even in the absence of feline v-myc. Images PMID:1313907

  18. In vitro comparison tests of three LV vent valves.

    PubMed

    Lewis, G S; Czaplicka, C

    1990-01-01

    Many surgical teams employ a sump pump to vent the left ventricle (LV). The problems associated with this technique are related to safety and convenience. If the flow is accidentally reversed in the LV vent line, air embolism accidents and subsequent litigation may be the result. If the cannula is occluded, it is inconvenient to juggle pump speed to prevent the line from collapsing while maintaining gentle but adequate suction. In this study we in vitro tested three commercially available LV vent valves (RLV-2100 "B," VRV-200 B, H-130) (GLV did not wish to send samples for comparison at the time of this study). Each valve was designed to: regulate suction in the LV vent line; prevent the flow of air towards the heart; and vent downstream pressure to the atmosphere. Each valve was tested for suction at various flow rates, pressure heads, and for the presence of air leakage during reversed flow conditions. The results of pressure and suction tests during normal flow and occluded line conditions have been tabulated. We found the RLV-2100 "B" offers the safest combination of suction control and pressure relief. The most astonishing fact learned was the RLV-2100 "B" was the only valve which prevented the flow of air towards the heart during reversed flow. As a result, we elected to use only this valve in our clinical practice. PMID:10149013

  19. Tissue kallikrein-modified human endothelial progenitor cell implantation improves cardiac function via enhanced activation of akt and increased angiogenesis.

    PubMed

    Yao, Yuyu; Sheng, Zulong; Li, YeFei; Fu, Cong; Ma, Genshan; Liu, Naifeng; Chao, Julie; Chao, Lee

    2013-05-01

    Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have been shown to enhance angiogenesis not only by incorporating into the vasculature but also by secreting cytokines, thereby serving as an ideal vehicle for gene transfer. As tissue kallikrein (TK) has pleiotropic effects in inhibiting apoptosis and oxidative stress, and promoting angiogenesis, we evaluated the salutary potential of kallikrein-modified human EPCs (hEPCs; Ad.hTK-hEPCs) after acute myocardial infarction (MI). We genetically modified hEPCs with a TK gene and evaluated cell survival, engraftment, revascularization, and functional improvement in a nude mouse left anterior descending ligation model. hEPCs were manipulated to overexpress the TK gene. In vitro, the antiapoptotic and paracrine effects were assessed under oxidative stress. TK protects hEPCs from oxidative stress-induced apoptosis via inhibition of activation of caspase-3 and -9, induction of Akt phosphorylation, and secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor. In vivo, the Ad.hTK-hEPCs were transplanted after MI via intracardiac injection. The surviving cells were tracked after transplantation using near-infrared optical imaging. Left ventricular (LV) function was evaluated by transthoracic echocardiography. Capillary density was quantified using immunohistochemical staining. Engrafted Ad.hTK-hEPCs exhibited advanced protection against ischemia by increasing LV ejection fraction. Compared with Ad.Null-hEPCs, transplantation with Ad.hTK-hEPCs significantly decreased cardiomyocyte apoptosis in association with increased retention of transplanted EPCs in the myocardium. Capillary density and arteriolar density in the infarct border zone was significantly higher in Ad.hTK-hEPC-transplanted mice than in Ad.Null-hEPC-treated mice. Transplanted hEPCs were clearly incorporated into CD31(+) capillaries. These results indicate that implantation of kallikrein-modified EPCs in the heart provides advanced benefits in protection against ischemia-induced MI by enhanced angiogenesis and reducing apoptosis. PMID:23508045

  20. Functionally Organized Grammars Can Improve Language Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sanchez, Karin Vilar

    2001-01-01

    Compares the treatment of one specific communicative function--the expression of concessive relation--in six recent grammar books of German as a foreign language. Shows that the presentation of grammar in these books is deficient, because in each of them only a part of the existing means for the realization of this function is commented on. (VWL)

  1. Dietary approaches to improving atheroprotective HDL functions.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Catherine J; Fernandez, Maria Luz

    2013-09-01

    High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are known to protect against cardiovascular disease (CVD). In addition to facilitating reverse cholesterol transport to remove excess lipids from the body - including atherosclerotic plaques - HDL exhibits antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, vasodilatory, and antithrombotic activities. Together, these properties contribute to the overall atheroprotective nature of HDL. However, similar to many other physiological pathways, these HDL parameters are known to become dysregulated in conditions of metabolic disease. Further, research suggests these alternative HDL properties may be regulated independently of blood HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) levels, and must therefore be considered when designing HDL-targeted therapies. To date, a number of dietary strategies have been investigated to assess the effect of dietary components on functional properties of HDL beyond HDL-C. This review will highlight the bioactive nutrients, functional foods, and dietary programs known to modulate HDL function as a means of reducing CVD. PMID:23921436

  2. Psychosocial functioning improves following adolescent bariatric surgery.

    PubMed

    Zeller, Meg H; Modi, Avani C; Noll, Jennie G; Long, Jeffrey D; Inge, Thomas H

    2009-05-01

    The aims of the present study were to examine changes in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and depressive symptoms in adolescents with extreme obesity undergoing Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGBP) across the first postoperative year. A prospective longitudinal observational study of 31 adolescent patients undergoing RYGBP at a pediatric medical center (mean = 16.4 years; 64.5% females, mean BMI 63.5; 97% of study eligible and consecutive patients) was conducted. Participants completed two adolescent HRQOL measures, the PedsQL (generic) and the IWQOL-Kids (weight-related), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and height and weight were measured at three time points: baseline, and 6 and 12 months following RYGBP. Prior to RYGBP, significant impairments in HRQOL were documented and 38.7% reported depressive symptomatology in the clinical range. As expected, BMI and depressive symptoms decreased and HRQOL improved from baseline to 12 months post-RYGBP. Linear mixed modeling analyses detected several nonlinear slopes in BMI, depressive symptoms, and the majority of HRQOL domains over time with deceleration in these postoperative changes beginning at the 6th month time point. In contrast, the rate of change in weight-related social relations was linear (e.g., no deceleration), indicating continued improvement across the first postoperative year. Adolescent RYGBP results in significant improvement in HRQOL and depressive symptomatology over the first postoperative year. Longer-term follow-up will be critical to determine adolescent weight and psychosocial trajectories, their interrelations, and what role psychosocial status plays in continued weight loss, maintenance, and regain. PMID:19165158

  3. Improved association in a classical density functional theory for water.

    PubMed

    Krebs, Eric J; Schulte, Jeff B; Roundy, David

    2014-03-28

    We present a modification to our recently published statistical associating fluid theory-based classical density functional theory for water. We have recently developed and tested a functional for the averaged radial distribution function at contact of the hard-sphere fluid that is dramatically more accurate at interfaces than earlier approximations. We now incorporate this improved functional into the association term of our free energy functional for water, improving its description of hydrogen bonding. We examine the effect of this improvement by studying two hard solutes (a hard hydrophobic rod and a hard sphere) and a Lennard-Jones approximation of a krypton atom solute. The improved functional leads to a moderate change in the density profile and a large decrease in the number of hydrogen bonds broken in the vicinity of the hard solutes. We find an improvement of the partial radial distribution for a krypton atom in water when compared with experiment. PMID:24697459

  4. Improved association in a classical density functional theory for water

    SciTech Connect

    Krebs, Eric J.; Schulte, Jeff B.; Roundy, David

    2014-03-28

    We present a modification to our recently published statistical associating fluid theory-based classical density functional theory for water. We have recently developed and tested a functional for the averaged radial distribution function at contact of the hard-sphere fluid that is dramatically more accurate at interfaces than earlier approximations. We now incorporate this improved functional into the association term of our free energy functional for water, improving its description of hydrogen bonding. We examine the effect of this improvement by studying two hard solutes (a hard hydrophobic rod and a hard sphere) and a Lennard-Jones approximation of a krypton atom solute. The improved functional leads to a moderate change in the density profile and a large decrease in the number of hydrogen bonds broken in the vicinity of the hard solutes. We find an improvement of the partial radial distribution for a krypton atom in water when compared with experiment.

  5. Effects of Acute Intravenous Infusion of Apelin on Left Ventricular Function in Dogs with Advanced Heart Failure

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Mengjun; Gupta, Ramesh C.; Rastogi, Sharad; Kohli, Smita; Sabbah, Michael S.; Zhang, Kefei; Mohyi, Paula; Hogie, Manuela; Fischer, Yvan; Sabbah, Hani N.

    2013-01-01

    Background Apelin-13 (APLN) through apelin receptor (APJ) exerts peripheral vasodilatory and potent positive inotropic effects. We examined the effects of exogenous intravenous infusion of APLN on left ventricular (LV) systolic function in dogs with heart failure (HF, LV ejection fraction, EF~30%). Methods and Results Studies were performed in 7 dogs with microembolization-induced HF. Each dog received an intravenous infusion of low dose and high dose APLN followed by washout period. LV end-diastolic volume (EDV), end-systolic volume (ESV) and LV EF were measured at specified time points. APLN protein level was determined in plasma at all time points. mRNA and protein levels of APLN and APJ in LV tissue were also measured in 7 normal (NL) and 7 heart failure (HF) dogs. APLN reduced EDV only at the high dose, significantly reduced ESV and increased EF with both doses. In plasma of HF dogs, APLN levels were reduced significantly compared to NL dogs. APLN treatment in HF dogs significantly increased the plasma APLN levels at both low and high doses. Expression of APLN, but not of APJ, was reduced in LV tissue of HF dogs compared to NL. Conclusion Exogenous administration of APLN improved LV systolic function in dogs with advanced HF. PMID:23834927

  6. Automatic determination of LV orientation from SPECT data

    SciTech Connect

    Mullick, R.; Ezquerra, N.F.

    1995-03-01

    This paper presents a new method to determine the orientation or pose of the left ventricle (LV) of the heart from cardiac SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) data. This proposed approach offers an accurate, fast, and robust delineation of the LV long-axis. The location and shape of the generated long-axis can then be utilized to define automatically the tomographic slices for enhanced visualization and quantification of the clinical data. The methodology is broadly composed of two main steps: (1) volume segmentation of cardiac SPECT data; and (2) topological goniometry, a novel approach incorporating volume visualization and computer graphics ideas to determine the overall shape of 3-D objects. The outcome of the algorithm is a 3-D curve representing the overall pose of the LV long-axis. Experimental results on both phantom and clinical data (50 Technetium-99m and 74 Thallium-201) are presented in this paper. An interactive graphical interface to visualize the volume (3-D) data, the left ventricle, and its pose is an integral part of the overall methodology. This technique is completely data driven and expeditious, making it viable for routine clinical use.

  7. Caffeine improves barrier function in male skin.

    PubMed

    Brandner, J M; Behne, M J; Huesing, B; Moll, I

    2006-10-01

    The influence of androgens, especially testosterone and its effector dihydrotestosterone, results in a constitutive disadvantage for male skin, e.g. reduced viability of hair at the scalp and reduced epidermal permeability barrier repair capacity. Dihydrotestosterone can act, among others, as an adenyl cyclase inhibitor. Caffeine on the other hand is an inexpensive and (in regular doses) harmless substance used in various cosmetic products, which can act as a phosphodiesterase inhibitor. To prove the hypothesis that caffeine as a phosphodiesterase inhibitor is able to override testosterone-induced effects on barrier function, we performed a double-blind placebo controlled study with healthy volunteers. In this study, 0.5% caffeine in a hydroxyethylcellulose gel preparation (HEC) was applied on one forearm, HEC without caffeine on the other forearm of male and female volunteers for 7 days and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) was measured before and at the end of the treatment period. Basal TEWL did not differ significantly between male and female subjects but the application of caffeine significantly reduced TEWL in male skin compared with female skin. We conclude that caffeine is beneficial for barrier function in male skin. PMID:18489298

  8. Improving Density Functionals with Quantum Harmonic Oscillators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tkatchenko, Alexandre

    2013-03-01

    Density functional theory (DFT) is the most widely used and successful approach for electronic structure calculations. However, one of the pressing challenges for DFT is developing efficient functionals that can accurately capture the omnipresent long-range electron correlations, which determine the structure and stability of many molecules and materials. Here we show that, under certain conditions, the problem of computing the long-range correlation energy of interacting electrons can be mapped to a system of coupled quantum harmonic oscillators (QHOs). The proposed model allows us to synergistically combine concepts from DFT, quantum chemistry, and the widely discussed random-phase approximation for the correlation energy. In the dipole limit, the interaction energy for a system of coupled QHOs can be calculated exactly, thereby leading to an efficient and accurate model for the many-body dispersion energy of complex molecules and materials. The studied examples include intermolecular binding energies, the conformational hierarchy of DNA structures, the geometry and stability of molecular crystals, and supramolecular host-guest complexes (A. Tkatchenko, R. A. DiStasio Jr., R. Car, M. Scheffler, Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 236402 (2012); R. A. DiStasio Jr., A. von Lilienfeld, A. Tkatchenko, PNAS 109, 14791 (2012); A. Tkatchenko, D. Alfe, K. S. Kim, J. Chem. Theory and Comp. (2012), doi: 10.1021/ct300711r; A. Tkatchenko, A. Ambrosetti, R. A. DiStasio Jr., arXiv:1210.8343v1).

  9. Sulforaphane is anticonvulsant and improves mitochondrial function.

    PubMed

    Carrasco-Pozo, Catalina; Tan, Kah Ni; Borges, Karin

    2015-12-01

    The nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 pathway (Nrf2) has been previously identified to protect the brain against various impacts. Here, we investigated the effect of the Nrf2 activator sulforaphane in various seizure models and hippocampal mitochondrial bioenergetics. We found that daily injections of sulforaphane for 5days elevated the seizure thresholds to 6Hz stimulation and fluorothyl-, but not pentylenetetrazole-induced tonic seizures and protected mice against pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE). Also, sulforaphane increased the antioxidant defences within hippocampal formations and blood plasma. In addition, sulforaphane treatment reduced the extent of hippocampal lipid peroxidation 24h post-SE and protected hippocampal mitochondria against SE-induced reduction in state 2 and uncoupler-stimulated state 3 respiration. SE-mediated partial loss of rotenone-sensitive and complex II-driven respiration was reduced, consistent with the enhanced activities of complexes I and II in sulforaphane-treated SE mice. In mitochondria isolated from both no SE and SE mice, sulforaphane increased state 3 respiration and respiration linked to ATP synthesis, which may contribute to its anticonvulsant and antioxidant effects by providing more ATP for cellular vital and protective functions. However, sulforaphane did not prevent SE-induced hippocampal cell death. In conclusion, sulforaphane and/or Nrf2 activation are viable anticonvulsant strategies, which are antioxidant and enhance mitochondrial function, especially the ability to produce ATP. Sulforaphane was anticonvulsant in two acute mouse models of epilepsy and protected mice against pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE). We also found antioxidant effects of sulforaphane in mouse plasma and hippocampal formations, exhibited by increased catalase and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, as well as increased abilities of hippocampal mitochondria to produce ATP. These effects likely underlie sulforaphane's anticonvulsant mechanisms of action. PMID:26365487

  10. LV wall segmentation using the variational level set method (LSM) with additional shape constraint for oedema quantification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kadir, K.; Gao, H.; Payne, A.; Soraghan, J.; Berry, C.

    2012-10-01

    In this paper an automatic algorithm for the left ventricle (LV) wall segmentation and oedema quantification from T2-weighted cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) images is presented. The extent of myocardial oedema delineates the ischaemic area-at-risk (AAR) after myocardial infarction (MI). Since AAR can be used to estimate the amount of salvageable myocardial post-MI, oedema imaging has potential clinical utility in the management of acute MI patients. This paper presents a new scheme based on the variational level set method (LSM) with additional shape constraint for the segmentation of T2-weighted CMR image. In our approach, shape information of the myocardial wall is utilized to introduce a shape feature of the myocardial wall into the variational level set formulation. The performance of the method is tested using real CMR images (12 patients) and the results of the automatic system are compared to manual segmentation. The mean perpendicular distances between the automatic and manual LV wall boundaries are in the range of 1-2 mm. Bland-Altman analysis on LV wall area indicates there is no consistent bias as a function of LV wall area, with a mean bias of -121 mm2 between individual investigator one (IV1) and LSM, and -122 mm2 between individual investigator two (IV2) and LSM when compared to two investigators. Furthermore, the oedema quantification demonstrates good correlation when compared to an expert with an average error of 9.3% for 69 slices of short axis CMR image from 12 patients.

  11. Panleukopenia-like syndrome of FeLV caused by co-infection with FeLV and feline panleukopenia virus.

    PubMed

    Lutz, H; Castelli, I; Ehrensperger, F; Pospischil, A; Rosskopf, M; Siegl, G; Grob, M; Martinod, S

    1995-05-01

    To study the effect of interferon on feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infection, 30 specific pathogen free (SPF) cats were infected with the apathogenic FeLV A Glasgow. Unexpectedly, between 5 and 8 weeks after FeLV infection, all 19 cats with persistent FeLV infection but not the FeLV-negative cats died from a panleukopenia-like syndrome. No feline panleukopenia virus (FPLV) antigen was found in feces by latex agglutination, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or immunoelectron microscopy. No enteropathogenic bacteria were found. Histopathology revealed changes resembling those of FPLV infection such as destruction of crypts and pancytopenia of bone marrow. Neither clinical signs nor seroconversion to FPLV could be induced by transmitting intestinal extracts to two SPF cats. However, FPLV antigen was demonstrated by immunofluorescence assay in intestinal cryostat sections of diseased animals. FPLV could also be demonstrated in intestinal extracts by immunoelectron microscopy, by latex agglutination and ELISA after anti-FPLV antibodies were removed from immune-complexed FPLV by ultracentrifugation over a CsCl gradient at pH 2.0. From these experiments it was concluded that the panleukopenia-like syndrome of FeLV may not be caused by FeLV alone but at least in some cases by co-infection with FeLV and FPLV. In addition, some form of 'cooperation' between FeLV and FPLV must be postulated because neither virus alone induced symptoms. PMID:7618258

  12. From young massive star cluster to old globular: the LV-σ0 relationship as a diagnostic tool

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Grijs, Richard; Wilkinson, Mark I.; Tadhunter, Clive N.

    2005-07-01

    We present a new analysis of the properties of the young massive star clusters (YMCs) forming profusely in intense starburst environments, which demonstrates that these objects are plausible progenitors of the old globular clusters (GCs) seen abundantly in the Local Group. The method is based on the tight relationship for old GCs between their V-band luminosities, LV, and (central) velocity dispersions, σ0. We improve the significance of the relationship by increasing the GC sample size and find that its functional form, LV/Lsolar~σ1.57+/-0.100 (km s-1), is fully consistent with previous determinations for smaller Galactic and M31 GC samples. The tightness of the relationship for a GC sample drawn from environments as diverse as those found in the Local Group implies that its origin must be sought in intrinsic properties of the GC formation process itself. We evolve the luminosities of those YMCs in the local Universe which have velocity dispersion measurements to an age of 12 Gyr, adopting a variety of initial mass function (IMF) descriptions, and find that most YMCs will evolve to loci close to, or to slightly fainter luminosities than the improved GC relationship. In the absence of significant external disturbances, this implies that these objects may potentially survive to become old GC-type objects over a Hubble time. The main advantage of our new method is its simplicity. Whereas alternative methods, based on dynamical mass estimates, require one to obtain accurate size estimates and to make further assumptions, the only observables required here are the system's velocity dispersion and luminosity. The most important factor affecting the robustness of our conclusions is the adopted form of the IMF. We use the results of N-body simulations to confirm that dynamical evolution of the clusters does not significantly alter our conclusions about the likelihood of individual clusters surviving to late times. Finally, we find that our youngest observed clusters are consistent with having evolved from a relation of the form . This relation may actually correspond to the origin of the GC fundamental plane.

  13. Astakine LvAST binds to the β subunit of F1-ATP synthase and likely plays a role in white shrimp Litopeneaus vannamei defense against white spot syndrome virus.

    PubMed

    Liang, Gao-Feng; Liang, Yan; Xue, Qinggang; Lu, Jin-Feng; Cheng, Jun-Jun; Huang, Jie

    2015-03-01

    Cytokines play a critical role in innate and adaptive immunity. Astakines represent a group of invertebrate cytokines that are related to vertebrate prokineticin and function in promoting hematopoiesis in crustaceans. We have identified an astakine from the white shrimp Litopeneaus vannamei and named it LvAST in a previous research. In the present research, we investigated the interactions among LvAST, the envelope protein VP37 of white spot syndrome virus (i.e., WSSV), and the β subunit of F1-ATP synthase (ATPsyn-β) of the white shrimp (i.e., BP53) using binding assays and co-precipitations. We also examined the effects of LvAST on shrimp susceptibility to WSSV. We found that LvAST and VP37 competitively bound to BP53, but did not bind to each other. Shrimps that had been injected with recombinant LvAST exhibited significantly lower mortality and longer survival time in experimental infections by WSSV. In contrast, shrimps whose LvAST gene expression had been inhibited by RNA interference showed significantly higher WSSV infection intensity and shorter survival time following viral challenges. These results suggested that LvAST and WSSV both likely use ATPsyn-β as a receptor and LvAST plays a role in shrimp defense against WSSV infection. This represented the first research showing the involvement of astakines in host antiviral immunity. PMID:25536411

  14. MR Prediction of Liver Function and Pathology Using Gd-EOB-DTPA: Effect of Liver Volume Consideration

    PubMed Central

    Shimamoto, Dai; Nishie, Akihiro; Asayama, Yoshiki; Ushijima, Yasuhiro; Takayama, Yukihisa; Fujita, Nobuhiro; Shirabe, Ken; Hida, Tomoyuki; Kubo, Yuichiro; Honda, Hiroshi

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. To evaluate whether the diagnostic performance of Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI in evaluating liver function and pathology is improved by considering liver volume (LV). Methods. This retrospective study included 104 patients who underwent Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI before liver surgery. For each patient, using the precontrast and hepatobiliary phase images, we calculated the increase rate of the liver-to-spleen signal intensity ratio (LSR), that is, the ?LSR, and the increase rate of the liver-to-muscle signal intensity ratio (LMR), that is, the ?LMR. ?LSR LV and ?LMR LV were also calculated. The correlation of each MR parameter with liver function data or liver pathology was assessed. The correlation coefficients were compared between ?LSR (?LMR) and ?LSR (?LMR) LV. Results. The correlation coefficient between ?LSR (?LMR) LV and cholinesterase was significantly higher than that between ?LSR (?LMR) and cholinesterase. The correlation coefficient between ?LSR (?LMR) LV and the degree of fibrosis or necroinflammatory activity was significantly lower than that between ?LSR (?LMR) and the degree of fibrosis or necroinflammatory activity. Conclusion. The inclusion of liver volume may improve Gd-EOB-DTPA-based predictions of liver function, but not in predictions of liver pathology. PMID:26609519

  15. A Simulation of Human Heart Function

    PubMed Central

    Hanna, W. T.

    1973-01-01

    A simulation of the function of the human heart and heart muscle has been developed in the form of a digital computer code. For a given set of values for the input variables, realistic values of the cardiac output variables are predicted. A detailed discussion of the simulation and some results obtained from its application are presented. This simulation represents a unique combination of what was known in muscle mechanics, muscle thermodynamics, and of the structure, size, and shape of the heart, into an engineering model to improve the understanding of human heart muscle function. The left ventricle (LV) is treated as a thick-walled sphere whose wall is composed entirely of muscle fibers. Force-length velocity relationships are used to determine the tension in each fiber. The pressure in the LV is computed from fiber tension and fiber structure in the LV. A lumped-parameter simulation of the arterial tree provides a load impedance for the LV. Results are presented for simulation of normal human LV performance. PMID:4715580

  16. Role of HIV-2 envelope in Lv2-mediated restriction

    SciTech Connect

    Reuter, Sandra; Kaumanns, Patrick; Buschhorn, Sabine B.; Dittmar, Matthias T. . E-mail: Matthias_Dittmar@med.uni-heidelberg.de

    2005-02-05

    We have characterized envelope protein pseudotyped HIV-2 particles derived from two HIV-2 isolates termed prCBL23 and CBL23 in order to define the role of the envelope protein for the Lv2-mediated restriction to infection. Previously, it has been described that the primary isolate prCBL23 is restricted to infection of several human cell types, whereas the T cell line adapted isolate CBL23 is not restricted in these cell types. Molecular cloning of the two isolates revealed that the env and the gag gene are responsible for the observed phenotype and that this restriction is mediated by Lv2, which is distinct from Ref1/Lv1 (Schmitz, C., Marchant, D., Neil, S.J., Aubin, K., Reuter, S., Dittmar, M.T., McKnight, A., Kizhatil, K., Albritton, L.M., 2004. Lv2, a novel postentry restriction, is mediated by both capsid and envelope. J. Virol. 78 (4), 2006-2016). We generated pseudotyped viruses consisting of HIV-2 (ROD-A{delta}env-GFP, ROD-A{delta}env-RFP, or ROD-A{delta}env-REN) and the prCBL23 or CBL23 envelope proteins as well as chimeric proteins between these envelopes. We demonstrate that a single amino acid exchange at position 74 in the surface unit of CBL23-Env confers restriction to infection. This single point mutation causes tighter CD4 binding, resulting in a less efficient fusion into the cytosol of the restricted cell line. Prevention of endosome formation and prevention of endosome acidification enhance infectivity of the restricted particles for GHOST/X4 cells indicating a degradative lysosomal pathway as a cause for the reduced cytosolic entry. The described restriction to infection of the primary isolate prCBL23 is therefore largely caused by an entry defect. A remaining restriction to infection (19-fold) is preserved when endosomal acidification is prevented. This restriction to infection is also dependent on the presence of the point mutation at position 74 (G74E)

  17. Effect of Paricalcitol on Left Ventricular Mass and Function in CKD—The OPERA Trial

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Fang; Chan, John; Wen, Yue-Yi; Qing, Shang; Chan, Iris Hiu-Shuen; Lo, Gladys; Lai, Kar-Neng; Lo, Wai-Kei; Lam, Christopher Wai-Kei; Yu, Cheuk-Man

    2014-01-01

    Vitamin D seems to protect against cardiovascular disease, but the reported effects of vitamin D on patient outcomes in CKD are controversial. We conducted a prospective, double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to determine whether oral activated vitamin D reduces left ventricular (LV) mass in patients with stages 3–5 CKD with LV hypertrophy. Subjects with echocardiographic criteria of LV hypertrophy were randomly assigned to receive either oral paricalcitol (1 μg) one time daily (n=30) or matching placebo (n=30) for 52 weeks. The primary end point was change in LV mass index over 52 weeks, which was measured by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. Secondary end points included changes in LV volume, echocardiographic measures of systolic and diastolic function, biochemical parameters of mineral bone disease, and measures of renal function. Change in LV mass index did not differ significantly between groups (median [interquartile range], −2.59 [−6.13 to 0.32] g/m2 with paricalcitol versus −4.85 [−9.89 to 1.10] g/m2 with placebo). Changes in LV volume, ejection fraction, tissue Doppler-derived measures of early diastolic and systolic mitral annular velocities, and ratio of early mitral inflow velocity to early diastolic mitral annular velocity did not differ between the groups. However, paricalcitol treatment significantly reduced intact parathyroid hormone (P<0.001) and alkaline phosphatase (P=0.001) levels as well as the number of cardiovascular-related hospitalizations compared with placebo. In conclusion, 52 weeks of treatment with oral paricalcitol (1 μg one time daily) significantly improved secondary hyperparathyroidism but did not alter measures of LV structure and function in patients with severe CKD. PMID:24052631

  18. Effect of paricalcitol on left ventricular mass and function in CKD--the OPERA trial.

    PubMed

    Wang, Angela Yee-Moon; Fang, Fang; Chan, John; Wen, Yue-Yi; Qing, Shang; Chan, Iris Hiu-Shuen; Lo, Gladys; Lai, Kar-Neng; Lo, Wai-Kei; Lam, Christopher Wai-Kei; Yu, Cheuk-Man

    2014-01-01

    Vitamin D seems to protect against cardiovascular disease, but the reported effects of vitamin D on patient outcomes in CKD are controversial. We conducted a prospective, double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to determine whether oral activated vitamin D reduces left ventricular (LV) mass in patients with stages 3-5 CKD with LV hypertrophy. Subjects with echocardiographic criteria of LV hypertrophy were randomly assigned to receive either oral paricalcitol (1 ?g) one time daily (n=30) or matching placebo (n=30) for 52 weeks. The primary end point was change in LV mass index over 52 weeks, which was measured by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. Secondary end points included changes in LV volume, echocardiographic measures of systolic and diastolic function, biochemical parameters of mineral bone disease, and measures of renal function. Change in LV mass index did not differ significantly between groups (median [interquartile range], -2.59 [-6.13 to 0.32] g/m(2) with paricalcitol versus -4.85 [-9.89 to 1.10] g/m(2) with placebo). Changes in LV volume, ejection fraction, tissue Doppler-derived measures of early diastolic and systolic mitral annular velocities, and ratio of early mitral inflow velocity to early diastolic mitral annular velocity did not differ between the groups. However, paricalcitol treatment significantly reduced intact parathyroid hormone (P<0.001) and alkaline phosphatase (P=0.001) levels as well as the number of cardiovascular-related hospitalizations compared with placebo. In conclusion, 52 weeks of treatment with oral paricalcitol (1 ?g one time daily) significantly improved secondary hyperparathyroidism but did not alter measures of LV structure and function in patients with severe CKD. PMID:24052631

  19. Cloning and characterization of a novel hemocyanin variant LvHMCV4 from shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xin; Lu, Hui; Guo, Lingling; Zhang, Zehui; Zhao, Xianliang; Zhong, Mingqi; Li, Shengkang; Zhang, Yueling

    2015-10-01

    Recently, we found 3 variants of hemocyanin subunit with higher molecular weight in shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei (Named as LvHMCV1-3). In this study, a novel L. vannamei hemocyanin variant (Named as LvHMCV4) was further cloned and characterized. Bioinformatic analysis predicted that LvHMCV4 contains one open reading frame of 2137 bp and encodes a polypeptide of 678 amino acids. It shares 84-99% cDNA sequences identity to that of the classical form of L. vannamei hemocyanin (LvHMC, AJ250830.1) and LvHMCV1-3. LvHMCV4 possesses a conserved structure characteristic of the hemocyanin family and can be clustered into one branch along with other arthropod hemocyanins in a phylogenetic tree. Further, the full-length DNA of LvHMCV4 contains 2660 bp and two introns, which are located at the 80-538 bp and 2063-2227 bp regions, respectively. In addition, the mRNA transcript of LvHMCV4 was expressed highly in the hepatopancreas, lymphoid, brain and hemocytes, and weakly in the heart, intestine and gill, while no expression was found in the muscle, stomach and gut. Infection by Escherichia coli K12, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Vibrio alginolyticus, Vibrio fluvialis, Streptococcus pyogenes or Staphylococcus aureus up-regulated significantly LvHMCV4 mRNA expression in the hepatopancreas. Furthermore, the recombinant protein of LvHMCV4 (rLvHMCV4) was prepared, which showed agglutination activities against six pathogenic bacteria at concentrations ranging from 15.6 to 125 μg/ml. When co-injected with V. parahaemolyticus in L.vannamei, rLvHMCV4 significantly increased the survival rate after 48 h injection. Together, these studies suggested that hemocyanin variant, LvHMCV4, might be involved in shrimp resistance to pathogenic infection. PMID:26115633

  20. Surface glycosaminoglycans mediate adherence between HeLa cells and Lactobacillus salivarius Lv72

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The adhesion of lactobacilli to the vaginal surface is of paramount importance to develop their probiotic functions. For this reason, the role of HeLa cell surface proteoglycans in the attachment of Lactobacillus salivarius Lv72, a mutualistic strain of vaginal origin, was investigated. Results Incubation of cultures with a variety of glycosaminoglycans (chondroitin sulfate A and C, heparin and heparan sulfate) resulted in marked binding interference. However, no single glycosaminoglycan was able to completely abolish cell binding, the sum of all having an additive effect that suggests cooperation between them and recognition of specific adhesins on the bacterial surface. In contrast, chondroitin sulfate B enhanced cell to cell attachment, showing the relevance of the stereochemistry of the uronic acid and the sulfation pattern on binding. Elimination of the HeLa surface glycosaminoglycans with lyases also resulted in severe adherence impairment. Advantage was taken of the Lactobacillus-glycosaminoglycans interaction to identify an adhesin from the bacterial surface. This protein, identify as a soluble binding protein of an ABC transporter system (OppA) by MALDI-TOF/(MS), was overproduced in Escherichia coli, purified and shown to interfere with L. salivarius Lv72 adhesion to HeLa cells. Conclusions These data suggest that glycosaminoglycans play a fundamental role in attachment of mutualistic bacteria to the epithelium that lines the cavities where the normal microbiota thrives, OppA being a bacterial adhesin involved in the process. PMID:24044741

  1. Improving support vector machine classifiers by modifying kernel functions.

    PubMed

    Amari, S; Wu, S

    1999-07-01

    We propose a method of modifying a kernel function to improve the performance of a support vector machine classifier. This is based on the structure of the Riemannian geometry induced by the kernel function. The idea is to enlarge the spatial resolution around the separating boundary surface, by a conformal mapping, such that the separability between classes is increased. Examples are given specifically for modifying Gaussian Radial Basis Function kernels. Simulation results for both artificial and real data show remarkable improvement of generalization errors, supporting our idea. PMID:12662656

  2. Will incremental hemodialysis preserve residual function and improve patient survival?

    PubMed

    Davenport, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    The progressive loss of residual renal function in peritoneal dialysis patients is associated with increased mortality. It has been suggested that incremental dialysis may help preserve residual renal function and improve patient survival. Residual renal function depends upon both patient related and dialysis associated factors. Maintaining patients in an over-hydrated state may be associated with better preservation of residual renal function but any benefit comes with a significant risk of cardiovascular consequences. Notably, it is only observational studies that have reported an association between dialysis patient survival and residual renal function; causality has not been established for dialysis patient survival. The tenuous connections between residual renal function and outcomes and between incremental hemodialysis and residual renal function should temper our enthusiasm for interventions in this area. PMID:25385441

  3. How molecular methods change our views of FeLV infection and vaccination.

    PubMed

    Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina; Cattori, Valentino; Tandon, Ravi; Boretti, Felicitas S; Meli, Marina L; Riond, Barbara; Lutz, Hans

    2008-05-15

    FeLV was discovered 40 years ago and vaccines have been commercially available for almost two decades. So far, most FeLV pathogenesis and vaccine studies were conducted assaying parameters, such as virus isolation and antigen detection. Accordingly, regressive infection was characterized by transient or undetectable viremia, while persistent viremia is typically observed in cats with progressive infection. Using real-time polymerase chain reaction assays, the spectrum of host response categories to FeLV infection was recently refined by investigating proviral and plasma viral RNA loads. Cats believed to be immune to FeLV infection were found to turn provirus-positive after virus exposure. Moreover, efficacious FeLV vaccines were found unable to prevent provirus-integration and minimal viral replication. Remarkably, no difference was found in initial proviral and plasma viral RNA loads between cats with different infection outcomes. Only subsequently, the infection outcome is associated with FeLV loads. FeLV provirus was found to persist for years; reoccurrence of viremia and disease development was observed in some cats. Thus, aviremic provirus-positive cats are FeLV carriers and, following reactivation, may act as an infection source. However, integrated viral DNA may also be essential for solid protection and long-lasting maintenance of protective immunity. In conclusion, real-time TaqMan PCR and RT-PCR assays are highly sensitive and specific. They yield a more sensitive measure for FeLV exposure than antigen detection, virus isolation or immunofluoresence assays. We recommend the use of real-time PCR assays to identify FeLV exposed cats, particularly in catteries, and investigate obscure clinical cases that may be FeLV-associated. The use of sensitive molecular methods will contribute to a more in-depth understanding of the FeLV pathogenesis. PMID:18295346

  4. Comparison of left ventricular diastolic function in obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in patients undergoing percutaneous septal alcohol ablation versus surgical myotomy/myectomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sitges, Marta; Shiota, Takahiro; Lever, Harry M.; Qin, Jian Xin; Bauer, Fabrice; Drinko, Jeannie K.; Agler, Deborah A.; Martin, Maureen G.; Greenberg, Neil L.; Smedira, Nicholas G.; Lytle, Bruce W.; Tuzcu, E. Murat; Garcia, Mario J.; Thomas, James D.

    2003-01-01

    Both percutaneous transcoronary alcohol septal reduction (ASR) and surgical myectomy are effective treatments to relieve left ventricular (LV) outflow tract obstruction in obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HC). LV diastolic function was assessed by echocardiography in 57 patients with obstructive HC at baseline and 5 +/- 4 months after ASR (n = 37) or surgical myectomy (n = 20). LV outflow tract pressure gradient decreased from 65 +/- 40 to 23 +/- 21 mm Hg (p <0.01) after treatment. The ratio of the early-to-late peak diastolic LV inflow velocities, and the ratio of the early peak diastolic LV inflow velocity to the lateral mitral annulus early diastolic velocity determined by tissue Doppler imaging significantly decreased after the procedures (1.6 +/- 1.7 vs 1.0 +/- 0.7 and 15 +/- 8 vs 11 +/- 5, respectively), whereas LV inflow propagation velocity significantly increased (60 +/- 24 vs 71 +/- 36 cm/s). Left atrial size decreased from 29 +/- 7 to 25 +/- 6 cm(2) (p <0.05). Patients had a significant improvement in New York Heart Association functional class and in exercise performance. When comparing ASR with myectomy, no difference was found in the degree of change in any parameter of diastolic function. Thus, diastolic function indexes obtained by echocardiography changed after septal reduction interventions in patients with obstructive HC; this change was similar to that after surgical myectomy and ASR.

  5. Recovery of Echocardiographic Function in Children with Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy: Results from the Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Registry

    PubMed Central

    Everitt, Melanie D.; Sleeper, Lynn A.; Lu, Minmin; Canter, Charles E.; Pahl, Elfriede; Wilkinson, James D.; Addonizio, Linda J.; Towbin, Jeffrey A.; Rossano, Joseph; Singh, Rakesh K.; Lamour, Jacqueline; Webber, Steven A.; Colan, Steven D.; Margossian, Renee; Kantor, Paul F.; Jefferies, John L.; Lipshultz, Steven E.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives To determine the incidence of and predictors for recovery of normal echocardiographic function among children with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Background Most children with idiopathic DCM have poor outcomes; however, some improve. Methods We studied children less than 18 years old in the Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Registry who had both depressed left ventricular (LV) function (fractional shortening [FS] or ejection fraction [EF] z-score LV dilation (end-diastolic dimension [LVEDD] z-score >2) at diagnosis and who had at least one follow-up echocardiogram 30 days to 2 years from the initial echocardiogram. We estimated the cumulative incidence and predictors of normalization. Results Among 868 children who met inclusion criteria, 741 (85%) had both echocardiograms. At 2 years, 22% had recovered normal LV function and size; 51% had died or undergone heart transplant (median, 3.2 months), and 27% had persistently abnormal echocardiograms. Younger age (hazard ratio, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.86 to 0.95) and lower LVEDD z-score (0.75; 95% CI, 0.68 to 0.84) independently predicted normalization. Nine children (9%) with normal LV function and size within 2 years of diagnosis later underwent heart transplant or died. Conclusions Despite marked LV dilation and depressed function initially, children with idiopathic DCM can recover normal LV size and function, particularly those younger and with less LV dilation at diagnosis. Investigations related to predictors for recovery, such as gene associations, serum markers, and the impact of medical therapy or ventricular unloading with assist devices are important next steps. Longer follow-up after normalization is warranted as cardiac failure can recur. Clinical Trials Registration # NCT00005391 PMID:24561146

  6. Intracoronary Transplantation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells with Overexpressed Integrin-Linked Kinase Improves Cardiac Function in Porcine Myocardial Infarction

    PubMed Central

    Mu, Dan; Zhang, Xin-Lin; Xie, Jun; Yuan, Hui-Hua; Wang, Kun; Huang, Wei; Li, Guan-Nan; Lu, Jian-Rong; Mao, Li-Juan; Wang, Lian; Cheng, Le; Mai, Xiao-Li; Yang, Jun; Tian, Chuan-Shuai; Kang, Li-Na; Gu, Rong; Zhu, Bin; Xu, Biao

    2016-01-01

    The effect of mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs)-based therapy on treating acute myocardial infarction (MI) is limited due to poor engraftment and limited regenerative potential. Here we engineered MSCs with integrin-linked kinase (ILK), a pleiotropic protein critically regulating cell survival, proliferation, differentiation, and angiogenesis. We firstly combined ferumoxytol with poly-L-lysine (PLL), and found this combination promisingly enabled MRI visualization of MSCs in vitro and in vivo with good safety. We provided visually direct evidence that intracoronary ILK-MSCs had substantially enhanced homing capacity to infarct myocardium in porcine following cardiac catheterization induced MI. Intracoronary transplantation of allogeneic ILK-MSCs, but not vector-MSCs, significantly enhanced global left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) by 7.8% compared with baseline, by 10.3% compared with vehicles, and inhibited myocardial remodeling compared with vehicles at 15-day follow-up. Compared with vector-MSCs, ILK-MSCs significantly improved regional LV contractile function, reduced scar size, fibrosis, cell apoptosis, and increased regional myocardial perfusion and cell proliferation. This preclinical study indicates that ILK-engineered MSCs might promote the clinical translation of MSC-based therapy in post-MI patients, and provides evidence that ferumoxytol labeling of cells combined with PLL is feasible in in vivo cell tracking. PMID:26750752

  7. Intracoronary Transplantation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells with Overexpressed Integrin-Linked Kinase Improves Cardiac Function in Porcine Myocardial Infarction.

    PubMed

    Mu, Dan; Zhang, Xin-Lin; Xie, Jun; Yuan, Hui-Hua; Wang, Kun; Huang, Wei; Li, Guan-Nan; Lu, Jian-Rong; Mao, Li-Juan; Wang, Lian; Cheng, Le; Mai, Xiao-Li; Yang, Jun; Tian, Chuan-Shuai; Kang, Li-Na; Gu, Rong; Zhu, Bin; Xu, Biao

    2016-01-01

    The effect of mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs)-based therapy on treating acute myocardial infarction (MI) is limited due to poor engraftment and limited regenerative potential. Here we engineered MSCs with integrin-linked kinase (ILK), a pleiotropic protein critically regulating cell survival, proliferation, differentiation, and angiogenesis. We firstly combined ferumoxytol with poly-L-lysine (PLL), and found this combination promisingly enabled MRI visualization of MSCs in vitro and in vivo with good safety. We provided visually direct evidence that intracoronary ILK-MSCs had substantially enhanced homing capacity to infarct myocardium in porcine following cardiac catheterization induced MI. Intracoronary transplantation of allogeneic ILK-MSCs, but not vector-MSCs, significantly enhanced global left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) by 7.8% compared with baseline, by 10.3% compared with vehicles, and inhibited myocardial remodeling compared with vehicles at 15-day follow-up. Compared with vector-MSCs, ILK-MSCs significantly improved regional LV contractile function, reduced scar size, fibrosis, cell apoptosis, and increased regional myocardial perfusion and cell proliferation. This preclinical study indicates that ILK-engineered MSCs might promote the clinical translation of MSC-based therapy in post-MI patients, and provides evidence that ferumoxytol labeling of cells combined with PLL is feasible in in vivo cell tracking. PMID:26750752

  8. Cardiovascular function is better in veteran football players than age-matched untrained elderly healthy men.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, J F; Andersen, T R; Andersen, L J; Randers, M B; Hornstrup, T; Hansen, P R; Bangsbo, J; Krustrup, P

    2015-02-01

    The aim of the study was to determine whether lifelong football training may improve cardiovascular function, physical fitness, and body composition. Our subjects were 17 male veteran football players (VPG; 68.1 2.1 years) and 26 healthy age-matched untrained men who served as a control group (CG; 68.2 3.2 years). Examinations included measurements of cardiac function, microvascular endothelial function [reactive hyperemic index (RHI)], maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max), and body composition. In VPG, left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic volume was 20% larger (P < 0.01) and LV ejection fraction was higher (P < 0.001). Tissue Doppler imaging revealed an augmented LV longitudinal displacement, i.e., LV shortening of 21% (P < 0.001) and longitudinal 2D strain was 12% higher (P < 0.05), in VPG. In VPG, resting heart rate was lower (6 bpm, P < 0.05), and VO2max was higher (18%, P < 0.05). In addition, RHI was 21% higher (P < 0.05) in VPG. VPG also had lower body mass index (P < 0.05), body fat percentage, total body fat mass, android fat percentage, and gynoid fat percentage (all P < 0.01). Lifelong participation in football training is associated with better LV systolic function, physical fitness, microvascular function, and a healthier body composition. Overall, VPG have better cardiovascular function compared with CG, which may reduce their cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. PMID:24303918

  9. Viral DNA tethering domains complement replication-defective mutations in the p12 protein of MuLV Gag.

    PubMed

    Schneider, William M; Brzezinski, Jonathon D; Aiyer, Sriram; Malani, Nirav; Gyuricza, Mercedes; Bushman, Frederic D; Roth, Monica J

    2013-06-01

    The p12 protein of murine leukemia virus (MuLV) group-specific antigen (Gag) is associated with the preintegration complex, and mutants of p12 (PM14) show defects in nuclear entry or retention. Here we show that p12 proteins engineered to encode peptide sequences derived from known viral tethering proteins can direct chromatin binding during the early phase of viral replication and rescue a lethal p12-PM14 mutant. Peptides studied included segments of Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA)(1-23), human papillomavirus 8 E2, and prototype foamy virus chromatin-binding sequences. Amino acid substitutions in Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus LANA and prototype foamy virus chromatin-binding sequences that blocked nucleosome association failed to rescue MuLV p12-PM14. Rescue by a larger LANA peptide, LANA(1-32), required second-site mutations that are predicted to reduce peptide binding affinity to chromosomes, suggesting that excessively high binding affinity interfered with Gag/p12 function. This is supported by confocal microscopy of chimeric p12-GFP fusion constructs showing the reverted proteins had weaker association to condensed mitotic chromosomes. Analysis of the integration-site selection of these chimeric viruses showed no significant change in integration profile compared with wild-type MuLV, suggesting release of the tethered p12 post mitosis, before viral integration. PMID:23661057

  10. FAB (Functionally Alert Behavior Strategies) to Improve Self-Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pagano, John

    2015-01-01

    This paper describes the FAB (Functionally Alert Behavior) Strategies approach to improve behavior in children and adolescents with complex behavioral challenges. FAB Strategies include evidence-based environmental adaptations, sensory modulation, positive behavioral support, and physical self-regulation strategies. FAB Strategies can be used by…

  11. Are Clinicians' Assessments of Improvements in Children's Functioning "Global"?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Los Reyes, Andres; Alfano, Candice A.; Beidel, Deborah C.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the authors examined the relations among clinician ratings of treatment improvement and discrepancies between parent and blinded laboratory rater reports of child social functioning administered before and after treatment for social anxiety disorder. Participants included a clinic sample of 101 children (7-16 years old; M = 11.67,

  12. Are Clinicians' Assessments of Improvements in Children's Functioning "Global"?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Los Reyes, Andres; Alfano, Candice A.; Beidel, Deborah C.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the authors examined the relations among clinician ratings of treatment improvement and discrepancies between parent and blinded laboratory rater reports of child social functioning administered before and after treatment for social anxiety disorder. Participants included a clinic sample of 101 children (7-16 years old; M = 11.67,…

  13. Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation Improves Liver Functional Reserve

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Ting; Deng, Qinzhi; Zhang, Shun; Hu, Airong; Gong, Qinghai; Zhang, Xingfen

    2015-01-01

    Background Currently available treatment options for decompensated hepatitis B-induced liver cirrhosis are limited and largely ineffective. Recently, stem cell transplantation has emerged as a promising treatment for cirrhosis. The aim of this study was to determine whether autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation can improve liver functional reserve in patients with hepatitis B-induced cirrhosis. Material/Methods In this study, 51 patients with hepatitis B-induced liver cirrhosis were assigned to the treatment group (n=23) or the control group (n=28). The treatment group underwent autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation in addition to comprehensive medical treatment, and the control group received comprehensive medical treatment alone. Liver functional reserve was monitored for 48 weeks after autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation. Results After transplantation, most patients showed improvements in symptoms such as fatigue, anorexia, and abdominal distension. The retention rate of indocyanine green at 15 minutes, a common indicator of liver functional reserve, declined from 41.99±4.68 at baseline to 37.79±3.75 by 48 weeks after transplantation, showing significant improvement. Conclusions Autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation can improve several markers of liver health and liver functional reserve and is a promising prospect for clinical application. PMID:25970080

  14. Assessment of the LV-S2 & LV-S3 Stack Sampling Probe Locations for Compliance with ANSI/HPS N13.1-1999

    SciTech Connect

    Glissmeyer, John A.; Antonio, Ernest J.; Flaherty, Julia E.; Amidan, Brett G.

    2014-09-30

    This document reports on a series of tests conducted to assess the proposed air sampling locations for the Hanford Tank Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) Group 1-2A exhaust stacks with respect to the applicable criteria regarding the placement of an air sampling probe. The LV-C2, LV-S2, and LV-S3 exhaust stacks were tested together as a group (Test Group 1-2A). This report only covers the results of LV-S2 and LV-S3; LV-C2 will be reported on separately. Federal regulations1 require that a sampling probe be located in the exhaust stack according to the criteria established by the American National Standards Institute/Health Physics Society (ANSI/HPS) N13.1-1999, Sampling and Monitoring Releases of Airborne Radioactive Substances from the Stack and Ducts of Nuclear Facilities. 2 These criteria address the capability of the sampling probe to extract a sample that represents the effluent stream.

  15. Functional fitness improvements after a worksite-based yoga initiative.

    PubMed

    Cowen, Virginia S

    2010-01-01

    This study explored the benefits of yoga on functional fitness, flexibility, and perceived stress. A quasi-experimental design was used to measure benefits of yoga in sample of firefighters from a major metropolitan fire department. Yoga classes were conducted on-shift, in the fire stations over the period of 6 weeks. The classes included pranayama (breathing), asana (postures), and savasana (relaxation); 108 firefighters enrolled in the study, most were physically active but had no prior experience with yoga. Baseline and post-yoga assessments were completed by 77 participants. Paired t-tests revealed significant improvements in the Functional Movement Screen, a seven item test that measures functional fitness. Improvements were also noted in trunk flexibility and perceived stress. Participants also reported favorable perceptions of yoga: feeling more focused and less musculoskeletal pain. These findings - along with the retention of the majority of the participants - indicate that participants benefited from yoga. PMID:20006289

  16. Improved Functional Characteristics of Whey Protein Hydrolysates in Food Industry.

    PubMed

    Jeewanthi, Renda Kankanamge Chaturika; Lee, Na-Kyoung; Paik, Hyun-Dong

    2015-01-01

    This review focuses on the enhanced functional characteristics of enzymatic hydrolysates of whey proteins (WPHs) in food applications compared to intact whey proteins (WPs). WPs are applied in foods as whey protein concentrates (WPCs), whey protein isolates (WPIs), and WPHs. WPs are byproducts of cheese production, used in a wide range of food applications due to their nutritional validity, functional activities, and cost effectiveness. Enzymatic hydrolysis yields improved functional and nutritional benefits in contrast to heat denaturation or native applications. WPHs improve solubility over a wide range of pH, create viscosity through water binding, and promote cohesion, adhesion, and elasticity. WPHs form stronger but more flexible edible films than WPC or WPI. WPHs enhance emulsification, bind fat, and facilitate whipping, compared to intact WPs. Extensive hydrolyzed WPHs with proper heat applications are the best emulsifiers and addition of polysaccharides improves the emulsification ability of WPHs. Also, WPHs improve the sensorial properties like color, flavor, and texture but impart a bitter taste in case where extensive hydrolysis (degree of hydrolysis greater than 8%). It is important to consider the type of enzyme, hydrolysis conditions, and WPHs production method based on the nature of food application. PMID:26761849

  17. Improved Functional Characteristics of Whey Protein Hydrolysates in Food Industry

    PubMed Central

    Jeewanthi, Renda Kankanamge Chaturika; Lee, Na-Kyoung; Paik, Hyun-Dong

    2015-01-01

    This review focuses on the enhanced functional characteristics of enzymatic hydrolysates of whey proteins (WPHs) in food applications compared to intact whey proteins (WPs). WPs are applied in foods as whey protein concentrates (WPCs), whey protein isolates (WPIs), and WPHs. WPs are byproducts of cheese production, used in a wide range of food applications due to their nutritional validity, functional activities, and cost effectiveness. Enzymatic hydrolysis yields improved functional and nutritional benefits in contrast to heat denaturation or native applications. WPHs improve solubility over a wide range of pH, create viscosity through water binding, and promote cohesion, adhesion, and elasticity. WPHs form stronger but more flexible edible films than WPC or WPI. WPHs enhance emulsification, bind fat, and facilitate whipping, compared to intact WPs. Extensive hydrolyzed WPHs with proper heat applications are the best emulsifiers and addition of polysaccharides improves the emulsification ability of WPHs. Also, WPHs improve the sensorial properties like color, flavor, and texture but impart a bitter taste in case where extensive hydrolysis (degree of hydrolysis greater than 8%). It is important to consider the type of enzyme, hydrolysis conditions, and WPHs production method based on the nature of food application. PMID:26761849

  18. Training improves visual processing speed and generalizes to untrained functions

    PubMed Central

    Lev, Maria; Ludwig, Karin; Gilaie-Dotan, Sharon; Voss, Stephanie; Sterzer, Philipp; Hesselmann, Guido; Polat, Uri

    2014-01-01

    Studies show that manipulating certain training features in perceptual learning determines the specificity of the improvement. The improvement in abnormal visual processing following training and its generalization to visual acuity, as measured on static clinical charts, can be explained by improved sensitivity or processing speed. Crowding, the inability to recognize objects in a clutter, fundamentally limits conscious visual perception. Although it was largely considered absent in the fovea, earlier studies report foveal crowding upon very brief exposures or following spatial manipulations. Here we used GlassesOff's application for iDevices to train foveal vision of young participants. The training was performed at reading distance based on contrast detection tasks under different spatial and temporal constraints using Gabor patches aimed at testing improvement of processing speed. We found several significant improvements in spatio-temporal visual functions including near and also non-trained far distances. A remarkable transfer to visual acuity measured under crowded conditions resulted in reduced processing time of 81?ms, in order to achieve 6/6 acuity. Despite a subtle change in contrast sensitivity, a robust increase in processing speed was found. Thus, enhanced processing speed may lead to overcoming foveal crowding and might be the enabling factor for generalization to other visual functions. PMID:25431233

  19. Methylphenidate improves motor functions in children diagnosed with Hyperkinetic Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Stray, Liv Larsen; Stray, Torstein; Iversen, Synnve; Ruud, Anne; Ellertsen, Bjrn

    2009-01-01

    Background A previous study showed that a high percentage of children diagnosed with Hyperkinetic Disorder (HKD) displayed a consistent pattern of motor function problems. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of methylphenidate (MPH) on such motor performance in children with HKD Methods 25 drug-nave boys, aged 812 yr with a HKD-F90.0 diagnosis, were randomly assigned into two groups within a double blind cross-over design, and tested with a motor assessment instrument, during MPH and placebo conditions. Results The percentage of MFNU scores in the sample indicating 'severe motor problems' ranged from 4484%, typically over 60%. Highly significant improvements in motor performance were observed with MPH compared to baseline ratings on all the 17 subtests of the MFNU 12 hr after administration of MPH. There were no significant placebo effects. The motor improvement was consistent with improvement of clinical symptoms. Conclusion The study confirmed our prior clinical observations showing that children with ADHD typically demonstrate marked improvements of motor functions after a single dose of 10 mg MPH. The most pronounced positive MPH response was seen in subtests measuring either neuromotor inhibition, or heightened muscular tone in the gross movement muscles involved in maintaining the alignment and balance of the body. Introduction of MPH generally led to improved balance and a generally more coordinated and controlled body movement. PMID:19439096

  20. Training improves visual processing speed and generalizes to untrained functions.

    PubMed

    Lev, Maria; Ludwig, Karin; Gilaie-Dotan, Sharon; Voss, Stephanie; Sterzer, Philipp; Hesselmann, Guido; Polat, Uri

    2014-01-01

    Studies show that manipulating certain training features in perceptual learning determines the specificity of the improvement. The improvement in abnormal visual processing following training and its generalization to visual acuity, as measured on static clinical charts, can be explained by improved sensitivity or processing speed. Crowding, the inability to recognize objects in a clutter, fundamentally limits conscious visual perception. Although it was largely considered absent in the fovea, earlier studies report foveal crowding upon very brief exposures or following spatial manipulations. Here we used GlassesOff's application for iDevices to train foveal vision of young participants. The training was performed at reading distance based on contrast detection tasks under different spatial and temporal constraints using Gabor patches aimed at testing improvement of processing speed. We found several significant improvements in spatio-temporal visual functions including near and also non-trained far distances. A remarkable transfer to visual acuity measured under crowded conditions resulted in reduced processing time of 81 ms, in order to achieve 6/6 acuity. Despite a subtle change in contrast sensitivity, a robust increase in processing speed was found. Thus, enhanced processing speed may lead to overcoming foveal crowding and might be the enabling factor for generalization to other visual functions. PMID:25431233

  1. Recombinant Expression and Characterization of α-Conotoxin LvIA in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Xiaopeng; Bi, Jianpeng; Yu, Jinpeng; Li, Xiaodan; Zhang, Yaning; Zhangsun, Dongting; Luo, Sulan

    2016-01-01

    α-Conotoxin LvIA is derived from Conus lividus, native to Hainan, and is the most selective inhibitor of α3β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) known to date. In this study, an efficient approach for the production of recombinant α-Conotoxin LvIA is described. Tandem repeats of a LvIA gene fragment were constructed and fused with a KSI gene and a His6 tag in a Escherichia coli (E. coli) expression vector pET-31b(+). The recombinant plasmids were transformed into E. coli and were found to express well. The KSI-(LvIA)n-His6 fusion protein was purified by metal affinity chromatography and then cleaved with CNBr to release recombinant LvIA (rLvIA). High yields of fusion protein ranging from 100 to 500 mg/L culture were obtained. The pharmacological profile of rLvIA was determined by two-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology in Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing rat nAChR subtypes. The rLvIA antagonized the α3β2 nAChR subtype selectively with a nano-molar IC50. The rLvIA was analgesic in a mouse hot-plate test model of pain. Overall, this study provides an effective method to synthesize α-conotoxin LvIA in an E. coli recombinant expression system, and this approach could be useful to obtain active conopeptides in large quantity and at low cost. PMID:26742048

  2. Recombinant Expression and Characterization of α-Conotoxin LvIA in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xiaopeng; Bi, Jianpeng; Yu, Jinpeng; Li, Xiaodan; Zhang, Yaning; Zhangsun, Dongting; Luo, Sulan

    2016-01-01

    α-Conotoxin LvIA is derived from Conus lividus, native to Hainan, and is the most selective inhibitor of α3β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) known to date. In this study, an efficient approach for the production of recombinant α-Conotoxin LvIA is described. Tandem repeats of a LvIA gene fragment were constructed and fused with a KSI gene and a His₆ tag in a Escherichia coli (E. coli) expression vector pET-31b(+). The recombinant plasmids were transformed into E. coli and were found to express well. The KSI-(LvIA)n-His₆ fusion protein was purified by metal affinity chromatography and then cleaved with CNBr to release recombinant LvIA (rLvIA). High yields of fusion protein ranging from 100 to 500 mg/L culture were obtained. The pharmacological profile of rLvIA was determined by two-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology in Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing rat nAChR subtypes. The rLvIA antagonized the α3β2 nAChR subtype selectively with a nano-molar IC50. The rLvIA was analgesic in a mouse hot-plate test model of pain. Overall, this study provides an effective method to synthesize α-conotoxin LvIA in an E. coli recombinant expression system, and this approach could be useful to obtain active conopeptides in large quantity and at low cost. PMID:26742048

  3. Reconstructive Osteotomy for Ankle Malunion Improves Patient Satisfaction and Function

    PubMed Central

    Tohyama, Masahiko; Yasuda, Hiroyuki; Konishi, Sadahiko; Waseda, Akeo

    2015-01-01

    Treatment of chronic symptoms caused by a malunion is a difficult problem in orthopedic surgery. We encountered a case of ankle malunion at our hospital about 1 year after the first operation. The patient had been unable to walk with weight-bearing but regained the ability to walk after reconstructive osteotomy of the fibula. Functional scores for the foot and ankle were significantly improved after intervention. Reconstructive osteotomy appears to represent a good option for ankle malunion. PMID:26064743

  4. Improved regional ventricular function after successful surgical revascularization

    SciTech Connect

    Brundage, B.H.; Massie, B.M.; Botvinick, E.H.

    1984-04-01

    Left ventricular segments with reversible asynergy at rest demonstrate reversible myocardial perfusion defects on exercise thallium-201 scintigrams. To determine if improved perfusion eliminates asynergy at rest, 23 patients with angina (stable in 21, unstable in 2) were studied before and after coronary artery bypass surgery. All patients underwent exercise myocardial perfusion scintigraphy, contrast ventriculography and coronary arteriography before and after surgery. Selective graft angiography was performed during the postoperative catheterization to determine graft patency. Segmental ventricular function was quantitated by a regional fraction method. The scintigrams were divided into five regions and compared with the corresponding regions of the ventriculogram. Seventy-one of a possible 142 ventricular segments exhibited exercise-induced perfusion deficits. Preoperative regional ejection fraction was normal in 42 of these segments and abnormal in 29. Postoperatively, in 19 of the abnormal segments, function improved or normalized. All these segments had improved perfusion during exercise after surgery and were supplied by a patent bypass graft. Nine of the 10 segments in which abnormal wall motion persisted postoperatively continued to have exercise-induced perfusion deficits, and 9 of the 10 segments were supplied by an occluded or stenotic graft or one with poor run off. Of the 42 segments with normal wall motion preoperatively, 30 had improved perfusion after surgery and 35 maintained normal function. This study indicates that asynergy at rest is permanently reversed after coronary bypass surgery if improved myocardial perfusion can be documented. These findings are consistent with but do not prove the concept that reversible rest asynergy may reflect chronic ischemia or a prolonged effect from previous ischemic episodes.

  5. Targeted therapies to improve CFTR function in cystic fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Brodlie, Malcolm; Haq, Iram J; Roberts, Katie; Elborn, J Stuart

    2015-01-01

    Cystic fibrosis is the most common genetically determined, life-limiting disorder in populations of European ancestry. The genetic basis of cystic fibrosis is well established to be mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene that codes for an apical membrane chloride channel principally expressed by epithelial cells. Conventional approaches to cystic fibrosis care involve a heavy daily burden of supportive treatments to combat lung infection, help clear airway secretions and maintain nutritional status. In 2012, a new era of precision medicine in cystic fibrosis therapeutics began with the licensing of a small molecule, ivacaftor, which successfully targets the underlying defect and improves CFTR function in a subgroup of patients in a genotype-specific manner. Here, we review the three main targeted approaches that have been adopted to improve CFTR function: potentiators, which recover the function of CFTR at the apical surface of epithelial cells that is disrupted in class III and IV genetic mutations; correctors, which improve intracellular processing of CFTR, increasing surface expression, in class II mutations; and production correctors or read-through agents, which promote transcription of CFTR in class I mutations. The further development of such approaches offers great promise for future therapeutic strategies in cystic fibrosis. PMID:26403534

  6. Modification of biochar for functionality improvement in soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwart, Kor; Kuikman, Peter; Ross, Anrew; Takaya, Chibi; Singh, Surjit; Kocaturk, Pelin; Visser, Rian

    2014-05-01

    Application of biochar to soils is generally considered and practiced in order to improve specific soil functions such as CEC, moisture and nutrient retention and providing additional habitat for micro-organisms. Improvement of these soil functions should lead to a higher crop yield. This would be added value to the long term sequestration of carbon in soils and contribution to renewable energy from producing and using biochar. The concept of using biochar for soil amendment is predicated on biochar behaving in a similar manner as soil organic matter (SOM) does. However, if one critically compares the properties of biochar with the properties of SOM, it is evident that biochar is rather different from SOM [Zwart, 2013 ;Zwart & Kuikman, 2013]. We have has produced a range of biochar from different feedstock using pyrolysis, gasification and hydrothermal carbonisation resulting in chars with significantly different properties. The project also investigates and tested several possibilities for improving the functionality of biochar in soils by either(i) selection of feedstock, (ii), selection of processing conditions and (iii) chemical and physical modification of biochar during and after the production process. Post modification includes the chemical treatment of biochars with either H2O2, KOH, H2SO4 and transitional metals such as Fe and investigates their effect on surface functionality, porosity, surface area, CEC and phosphate sorption. The influence of the addition of chemical modifiers and oxidants during pyrolysis and gasification has also been investigated and their effect on surface functionality determined using similar techniques. The influence of the original biomass structure on the morphology of the resultant biochars has been investigated using scanning electron microscopy.

  7. Combining specificity determining and conserved residues improves functional site prediction

    PubMed Central

    Kalinina, Olga V; Gelfand, Mikhail S; Russell, Robert B

    2009-01-01

    Background Predicting the location of functionally important sites from protein sequence and/or structure is a long-standing problem in computational biology. Most current approaches make use of sequence conservation, assuming that amino acid residues conserved within a protein family are most likely to be functionally important. Most often these approaches do not consider many residues that act to define specific sub-functions within a family, or they make no distinction between residues important for function and those more relevant for maintaining structure (e.g. in the hydrophobic core). Many protein families bind and/or act on a variety of ligands, meaning that conserved residues often only bind a common ligand sub-structure or perform general catalytic activities. Results Here we present a novel method for functional site prediction based on identification of conserved positions, as well as those responsible for determining ligand specificity. We define Specificity-Determining Positions (SDPs), as those occupied by conserved residues within sub-groups of proteins in a family having a common specificity, but differ between groups, and are thus likely to account for specific recognition events. We benchmark the approach on enzyme families of known 3D structure with bound substrates, and find that in nearly all families residues predicted by SDPsite are in contact with the bound substrate, and that the addition of SDPs significantly improves functional site prediction accuracy. We apply SDPsite to various families of proteins containing known three-dimensional structures, but lacking clear functional annotations, and discusse several illustrative examples. Conclusion The results suggest a better means to predict functional details for the thousands of protein structures determined prior to a clear understanding of molecular function. PMID:19508719

  8. Comparative Efficacy of Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) Inactivated Whole-Virus Vaccine and Canarypox Virus-Vectored Vaccine during Virulent FeLV Challenge and Immunosuppression.

    PubMed

    Patel, M; Carritt, K; Lane, J; Jayappa, H; Stahl, M; Bourgeois, M

    2015-07-01

    Four vaccines for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) are available in the United States. This study's purpose was to compare the efficacy of Nobivac feline 2-FeLV (an inactivated, adjuvanted whole-virus vaccine) and PureVax recombinant FeLV (a live, canarypox virus-vectored vaccine) following FeLV challenge. Cats were vaccinated at 9 and 12 weeks with Nobivac feline 2-FeLV (group A, n = 11) or PureVax recombinant FeLV (group B, n = 10). Group C (n = 11) comprised unvaccinated controls. At 3 months postvaccination, cats were immunosuppressed and challenged with FeLV-A/61E. The outcomes measured were persistent antigenemia at 12 weeks postchallenge (PC) and proviral DNA and viral RNA at 3 to 9 weeks PC. Persistent antigenemia was observed in 0 of 11 cats in group A, 5 of 10 cats in group B, and 10 of 11 cats in group C. Group A was significantly protected compared to those in groups B (P < 0.013) and C (P < 0.0001). No difference was found between groups B and C (P > 0.063). The preventable fraction was 100% for group A and 45% for group B. At 9 weeks PC, proviral DNA and viral RNA were detected 1 of 11 cats in group A, 6 of 10 cats in group B, and 9 of 11 cats in group C. Nucleic acid loads were significantly lower in group A than in group C (P < 0.01). Group A had significantly lower proviral DNA loads than group B at weeks 6 to 9 (P < 0.02). The viral RNA loads were significantly lower in group A than in group B at weeks 7 to 9 (P < 0.01). The results demonstrate that Nobivac feline 2-FeLV-vaccinated cats were fully protected against persistent antigenemia and had significantly smaller amounts of proviral DNA and plasma viral RNA loads than PureVax recombinant FeLV-vaccinated cats and unvaccinated controls. PMID:25972402

  9. Comparative Efficacy of Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) Inactivated Whole-Virus Vaccine and Canarypox Virus-Vectored Vaccine during Virulent FeLV Challenge and Immunosuppression

    PubMed Central

    Patel, M.; Carritt, K.; Lane, J.; Jayappa, H.; Stahl, M.

    2015-01-01

    Four vaccines for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) are available in the United States. This study's purpose was to compare the efficacy of Nobivac feline 2-FeLV (an inactivated, adjuvanted whole-virus vaccine) and PureVax recombinant FeLV (a live, canarypox virus-vectored vaccine) following FeLV challenge. Cats were vaccinated at 9 and 12 weeks with Nobivac feline 2-FeLV (group A, n = 11) or PureVax recombinant FeLV (group B, n = 10). Group C (n = 11) comprised unvaccinated controls. At 3 months postvaccination, cats were immunosuppressed and challenged with FeLV-A/61E. The outcomes measured were persistent antigenemia at 12 weeks postchallenge (PC) and proviral DNA and viral RNA at 3 to 9 weeks PC. Persistent antigenemia was observed in 0 of 11 cats in group A, 5 of 10 cats in group B, and 10 of 11 cats in group C. Group A was significantly protected compared to those in groups B (P < 0.013) and C (P < 0.0001). No difference was found between groups B and C (P > 0.063). The preventable fraction was 100% for group A and 45% for group B. At 9 weeks PC, proviral DNA and viral RNA were detected 1 of 11 cats in group A, 6 of 10 cats in group B, and 9 of 11 cats in group C. Nucleic acid loads were significantly lower in group A than in group C (P < 0.01). Group A had significantly lower proviral DNA loads than group B at weeks 6 to 9 (P < 0.02). The viral RNA loads were significantly lower in group A than in group B at weeks 7 to 9 (P < 0.01). The results demonstrate that Nobivac feline 2-FeLV-vaccinated cats were fully protected against persistent antigenemia and had significantly smaller amounts of proviral DNA and plasma viral RNA loads than PureVax recombinant FeLV-vaccinated cats and unvaccinated controls. PMID:25972402

  10. Enzyme functional evolution through improved catalysis of ancestrally nonpreferred substrates

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Ruiqi; Hippauf, Frank; Rohrbeck, Diana; Haustein, Maria; Wenke, Katrin; Feike, Janie; Sorrelle, Noah; Piechulla, Birgit; Barkman, Todd J.

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we investigated the role for ancestral functional variation that may be selected upon to generate protein functional shifts using ancestral protein resurrection, statistical tests for positive selection, forward and reverse evolutionary genetics, and enzyme functional assays. Data are presented for three instances of protein functional change in the salicylic acid/benzoic acid/theobromine (SABATH) lineage of plant secondary metabolite-producing enzymes. In each case, we demonstrate that ancestral nonpreferred activities were improved upon in a daughter enzyme after gene duplication, and that these functional shifts were likely coincident with positive selection. Both forward and reverse mutagenesis studies validate the impact of one or a few sites toward increasing activity with ancestrally nonpreferred substrates. In one case, we document the occurrence of an evolutionary reversal of an active site residue that reversed enzyme properties. Furthermore, these studies show that functionally important amino acid replacements result in substrate discrimination as reflected in evolutionary changes in the specificity constant (kcat/KM) for competing substrates, even though adaptive substitutions may affect KM and kcat separately. In total, these results indicate that nonpreferred, or even latent, ancestral protein activities may be coopted at later times to become the primary or preferred protein activities. PMID:22315396

  11. Enzyme functional evolution through improved catalysis of ancestrally nonpreferred substrates.

    PubMed

    Huang, Ruiqi; Hippauf, Frank; Rohrbeck, Diana; Haustein, Maria; Wenke, Katrin; Feike, Janie; Sorrelle, Noah; Piechulla, Birgit; Barkman, Todd J

    2012-02-21

    In this study, we investigated the role for ancestral functional variation that may be selected upon to generate protein functional shifts using ancestral protein resurrection, statistical tests for positive selection, forward and reverse evolutionary genetics, and enzyme functional assays. Data are presented for three instances of protein functional change in the salicylic acid/benzoic acid/theobromine (SABATH) lineage of plant secondary metabolite-producing enzymes. In each case, we demonstrate that ancestral nonpreferred activities were improved upon in a daughter enzyme after gene duplication, and that these functional shifts were likely coincident with positive selection. Both forward and reverse mutagenesis studies validate the impact of one or a few sites toward increasing activity with ancestrally nonpreferred substrates. In one case, we document the occurrence of an evolutionary reversal of an active site residue that reversed enzyme properties. Furthermore, these studies show that functionally important amino acid replacements result in substrate discrimination as reflected in evolutionary changes in the specificity constant (k(cat)/K(M)) for competing substrates, even though adaptive substitutions may affect K(M) and k(cat) separately. In total, these results indicate that nonpreferred, or even latent, ancestral protein activities may be coopted at later times to become the primary or preferred protein activities. PMID:22315396

  12. Improving functional disability and cognition in Parkinson disease

    PubMed Central

    Pea, Javier; Garca-Gorostiaga, Ins; Gomez-Beldarrain, Maria Angeles; Dez-Cirarda, Mara; Ojeda, Natalia

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: To examine the efficacy of an integrative cognitive training program (REHACOP) to improve cognition, clinical symptoms, and functional disability of patients with Parkinson disease (PD). Methods: Forty-two patients diagnosed with PD in Hoehn & Yahr stages 1 to 3 were randomly assigned to either the cognitive training group (REHACOP) or the control group (occupational activities) for 3 months (3 sessions, 60 min/wk). Primary outcomes were change on processing speed, verbal memory, visual memory, executive functioning, and theory of mind. Secondary outcomes included changes on neuropsychiatric symptoms, depression, apathy, and functional disability. The trial was registered with clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02118480). Results: No baseline group differences were found. Bootstrapped analysis of variance results showed significant differences in the mean change scores between the REHACOP group and control group in processing speed (0.13 [SE = 0.07] vs ?0.15 [SE = 0.09], p = 0.025), visual memory (0.10 [SE = 0.10] vs ?0.24 [SE = 0.09], p = 0.011), theory of mind (1.00 [SE = 0.37] vs ?0.27 [SE = 0.29], p = 0.013), and functional disability (?5.15 [SE = 1.35] vs 0.53 [SE = 1.49], p = 0.012). Conclusions: Patients with PD receiving cognitive training with REHACOP demonstrated statistically significant and clinically meaningful changes in processing speed, visual memory, theory of mind, and functional disability. Future studies should consider the long-term effect of this type of intervention. These findings support the integration of cognitive training into the standard of care for patients with PD. Classification of evidence: This study provides Class II evidence that for patients with PD, an integrative cognitive training program improves processing speed, visual memory, theory of mind, and functional disability. PMID:25361785

  13. Activities and Programs That Improve Children's Executive Functions.

    PubMed

    Diamond, Adele

    2012-10-01

    Executive functions (EFs; e.g., reasoning, working memory, and self-control) can be improved. Good news indeed, since EFs are critical for school and job success and for mental and physical health. Various activities appear to improve children's EFs. The best evidence exists for computer-based training, traditional martial arts, and two school curricula. Weaker evidence, though strong enough to pass peer review, exists for aerobics, yoga, mindfulness, and other school curricula. Here I address what can be learned from the research thus far, including that EFs need to be progressively challenged as children improve and that repeated practice is key. Children devote time and effort to activities they love; therefore, EF interventions might use children's motivation to advantage. Focusing narrowly on EFs or aerobic activity alone appears not to be as efficacious in improving EFs as also addressing children's emotional, social, and character development (as do martial arts, yoga, and curricula shown to improve EFs). Children with poorer EFs benefit more from training; hence, training might provide them an opportunity to "catch up" with their peers and not be left behind. Remaining questions include how long benefits of EF training last and who benefits most from which activities. PMID:25328287

  14. Activities and Programs That Improve Childrens Executive Functions

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Adele

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs; e.g., reasoning, working memory, and self-control) can be improved. Good news indeed, since EFs are critical for school and job success and for mental and physical health. Various activities appear to improve childrens EFs. The best evidence exists for computer-based training, traditional martial arts, and two school curricula. Weaker evidence, though strong enough to pass peer review, exists for aerobics, yoga, mindfulness, and other school curricula. Here I address what can be learned from the research thus far, including that EFs need to be progressively challenged as children improve and that repeated practice is key. Children devote time and effort to activities they love; therefore, EF interventions might use childrens motivation to advantage. Focusing narrowly on EFs or aerobic activity alone appears not to be as efficacious in improving EFs as also addressing childrens emotional, social, and character development (as do martial arts, yoga, and curricula shown to improve EFs). Children with poorer EFs benefit more from training; hence, training might provide them an opportunity to catch up with their peers and not be left behind. Remaining questions include how long benefits of EF training last and who benefits most from which activities. PMID:25328287

  15. [The significance of FeLV infection for diseases in necropsied cats].

    PubMed

    Reinacher, M; Wittmer, G; Koberstein, H; Failing, K

    1995-02-01

    Persistent FeLV infection was demonstrated in more than 3000 necropsied cats by an immunohistological method. The findings were associated with the diagnoses established by means of post-mortem examination, histopathological, bacteriological, virological, and parasitological investigations. Statistically significant differences between FeLV-positive and FeLV-negative cats in the relative risk for certain lesions could be demonstrated for the first time. As a consequence, the importance of FeLV infection for the development of certain lesions in cats is to be seen under new aspects for some diagnoses. The relative risk for development of anemia, e.g., is only slightly increased in FeLV-positive animals whereas the relative risk for focal myocardial necrosis and coccidiosis is elevated tremendously in these cats. The relative risk for some lesions and diagnoses is much higher in FeLV-negative cats than in FeLV-positive animals. This is true, e.g., for myocardiopathy and hemorrhagic cystitis. PMID:7786279

  16. Analysis of FeLV-FAIDS provirus burden and productive infection in lymphocyte subsets in vivo.

    PubMed

    Quackenbush, S L; Dean, G A; Mullins, J I; Hoover, E A

    1996-09-01

    To help elucidate the immunopathogenesis of feline leukemia virus (FeLV)-induced immunodeficiency we studied the tropism of viruses derived from the FeLV-FAIDS isolate for lymphocyte subpopulations in cats. FeLV-FAIDS is composed of a replication-competent virus typical of subgroup A FeLV (prototype, clone 61E) and a family of replication-defective but immunopathogenic variant viruses (prototype, clone 61C). We sorted CD4+, CD8+, and IgG+ lymphocytes to > or = 97% purity and analyzed viral load in each cell population via genome-specific semiquantitative PCR. Both the 61E and 61C viruses were tropic for CD4+ and CD8+ T cells as well as IgG+ B lymphocytes in blood and lymph node. High provirus burden were established for both virus genomes-ranging from 0.3 to > 2 copies/cell. To identify the fraction of circulating cells which expressed viral antigen in vivo, we developed a flow cytometric method to simultaneously label blood leukocytes for surface immunophenotype and intracytoplasmic FeLV CA (p27 Gag). These experiments established that 20 to 60% of CD4+, CD8+, and IgG+ lymphocytes and > 85% of monocytes and granulocytes expressed FeLV p27 intracellularly. Thus the in vivo target cells for FeLV-FAIDS infection are manifold and include CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, B cells, and myeloid cells. PMID:8806534

  17. Functional remediation for patients with bipolar II disorder: improvement of functioning and subsyndromal symptoms.

    PubMed

    Sol, Brisa; Bonnin, C Mar; Mayoral, Mara; Amann, Benedikt L; Torres, Imma; Gonzlez-Pinto, Ana; Jimenez, Esther; Crespo, Jose Manuel; Colom, Francesc; Tabars-Seisdedos, Rafael; Reinares, Maria; Ayuso-Mateos, Jose Luis; Soria, Sara; Garcia-Portilla, M Paz; Ibaez, ngela; Vieta, Eduard; Martinez-Aran, Anabel; Torrent, Carla

    2015-02-01

    Recently, Functional Remediation (FR) has proven to be effective in improving the functional outcome of euthymic bipolar patients. The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of the FR program in a subsample of euthymic bipolar II patients (BPII). A post-hoc analyses were undertaken using data of 53 BPII outpatients who had participated in a multicenter, rater-blind, randomized, controlled trial exploring the efficacy of FR (n=17) as compared with a Psychoeducation group (PSY) (n=19) and a treatment as usual control group (TAU n=17). The primary outcome variable was the functional improvement defined as the mean change in the Functioning Assessment Short Test (FAST) from baseline to endpoint after the intervention. Regarding the treatment effect, data reveal a significant functional improvement from baseline to endpoint, suggestive for an interaction between program pertinence and time (pre-post). Nevertheless, Tukey?s post-hoc test only revealed a trend in favor of a better outcome for FR when compared to the other two groups. We also found an interaction between program pertinence and time when analysing the subdepressive symptoms, with BPII patients in FR showing a significant reduction when compared to the PSY group. Our results suggest that the FR appears to be effective in improving the overall functional outcome in BPII, as well as in reducing subdepressive symptoms. PMID:24906790

  18. Lymphadiposal Flaps and Lymphaticovenular Anastomoses for Severe Leg Edema: Functional Reconstruction for Lymph Drainage System.

    PubMed

    Koshima, Isao; Narushima, Mitsunaga; Mihara, Makoto; Yamamoto, Takumi; Hara, Hisako; Ohshima, Azusa; Kikuchi, Kazuki; Todokoro, Ken; Seki, Yukio; Iida, Takuya; Nakagawa, Masahiro

    2016-01-01

    Background Collecting lymphatics have lymph-drainage function with contraction of smooth muscle cells. Patients with edema have lost this drainage function due to degeneration of smooth muscle cells. Lymphaticovenular (LV) anastomosis salvages smooth muscle cells from reversible degeneration (mild edema), but muscle cells cannot be recovered from irreversible degeneration (severe edema). Therefore, in severe edema, LV anastomoses cannot reestablish the drainage function of the lymphatic system.To overcome this weakness of LV bypass methods for severe edema, new methods were instituted for repair of this missing drainage function using a lymphadiposal flap from the contralateral foot for hemilateral edema, or transfer of lateral thoracic lymph nodes for bilateral edema. Methods A total of 13 cases were repaired with lymphadiposal flaps and additional LV anastomoses. These cases have frequent phlegmon or cellulitis or resisted to previous LV anastomoses and/or compression therapy. The ages ranged from 15 to 75 years. There were four cases of primary edema and nine cases of secondary edema. Results Regarding the lymphadiposal flap (n = 8), three cases showed an excellent response (37.5%; no need for compression therapy), four cases had a good response (50%; improvement with compression), one case showed no change (12.5%; no improvement), and there were no cases of deterioration. Regarding the lateral thoracic lymph nodes transfer (n = 5), two cases had a good response (40%), three showed no improvement (60%), and there were no cases of deterioration. Conclusion It is concluded that lymphadiposal flap or lymph nodes transfer is suitable for severe edema having frequent cellulitis in unilateral or bilateral lower extremities resisting previous LV anastomoses and/or compression therapy. PMID:26258914

  19. FeLV envelope protein (gp70) variable region 5 causes alterations in calcium homeostasis and toxicity of neurons.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, T W; Rojko, J L; Hartke, J R; Mihajlov, A R; Kasameyer, G A; Gasper, P W; Whalen, L R

    1997-04-01

    In humans and animals, retroviruses have been implicated in nervous system disease. Our objective was to characterize the neurotoxicity of a peptide sequence derived from an animal retrovirus, the feline leukemia virus (FeLV). Using a peptide sequence from the subtype FeLV-C envelope protein variable region 5 (VR5), cytotoxicity was demonstrated in studies that evaluated neuronal survival, neurite outgrowth, and alterations in intracellular calcium ion concentration. The FeLV subtype isolate FeLV-CSarma possesses an envelope protein VR5 amino acid sequence that varies by four amino acids from the VR5 amino acid sequence of subtype FeLV-AGlasgow. The polypeptide representing the VR5 of FeLV-CSarma (FeLV-CVR5) is significantly more neurotoxic than the polypeptide sequence representing the VR5 of FeLV-AGlasgow (FeLV-AVR5). FeLV-CVR5 (> or = 3 microM) exposure resulted in significant dose-dependent neurotoxicity. Antibodies to FeLV-CVR5 blocked this effect. Neurite outgrowth was significantly reduced at all tested concentrations (3-12 microM) of FeLV-CVR5, with a 92% reduction in neurite length at 12 microM. FeLV-AVR5 was significantly less neurotoxic with respect to neurite outgrowth than was FeLV-CVR5. The significant reduction in neurotoxicity for FeLV-AVR5 illustrates the importance of the 4-amino-acid difference between it and FeLV-CVR5. Alterations in intracellular calcium ion concentration were associated with this neurotoxicity. PMID:9111472

  20. Modelling the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) in natural populations of cats (Felis catus).

    PubMed

    Fromont, E; Artois, M; Langlais, M; Courchamp, F; Pontier, D

    1997-08-01

    A compartmental model was built in order to study the circulation and impact of Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) in populations of domestic cats. The model was tested with data from a long-term study of several feline populations. The study of stability shows that FeLV is maintained in the population with a stable equilibrium and a slight reduction of population size. Estimation of the transmission rate allows us to make a comparison with the values previously estimated in the literature. We compare the impact of mass vaccination or removal programmes in controlling FeLV infection, and conclude that vaccination is more efficient. PMID:9345792

  1. Phosphonic Acid-Functionalized Polyurethane Dispersions with Improved Adhesion Properties.

    PubMed

    Breucker, Laura; Landfester, Katharina; Taden, Andreas

    2015-11-11

    A facile route to phosphorus-functionalized polyurethane dispersions (P-PUDs) with improved adhesion properties is presented. (Bis)phosphonic acid moieties serve as adhesion promoting sites that are covalently attached via an end-capping reaction to isocyanate-reactive polyurethane particles under aqueous conditions. The synthetic approach circumvents solubility issues, offers great flexibility in terms of polyurethane composition, and allows for the synthesis of semicrystalline systems with thermomechanical response due to reversible physical cross-linking. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) is used to investigate the effect of functionalization on the semicrystallinity. The end-capping conversion was determined via inductively-coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) and was surprisingly found to be almost independent of the stoichiometry of reaction, suggesting an adsorption-dominated process. Particle charge detection (PCD) experiments reveal that a dense surface coverage of phosphonic acid groups can be attained and that, at high functionalization degrees, the phosphonic adhesion moieties are partially dragged inside the colloidal P-PUD particle. Quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCMD) investigations conducted with hydroxyapatite (HAP) and stainless steel sensors as model surfaces show a greatly enhanced affinity of the aqueous P-PUDs and furthermore indicate polymer chain rearrangements and autonomous film formation under wet conditions. Due to their facile synthesis, significantly improved adhesion, and variable film properties, P-PUD systems such as the one described here are believed to be of great interest for multiple applications, e.g., adhesives, paints, anticorrosion, or dentistry. PMID:26491881

  2. Pathogenicity of a subgroup C feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is augmented when administered in association with certain FeLV recombinants.

    PubMed

    Mathes, L E; Pandey, R; Chakrabarti, R; Hofman, F M; Hayes, K A; Stromberg, P; Roy-Burman, P

    1994-01-01

    There is evidence to suggest that infectious feline leukemia viruses (FeLVs) may be altered biologically because of homologous recombination with non-infectious endogenous FeLV (enFeLV) sequences in the infected cells. To evaluate the role of such recombination events in FeLV pathogenesis, a molecular clone of subgroup C FeLV, Sarma strain (FSC), was tested for induction of aplastic anemia in the absence or presence of mixtures of recombinants between FSC and an enFeLV element. In the recombinants, FSC sequences in the viral surface glycoprotein (SU) protein were variably replaced by the corresponding sequences of the enFeLV. The results showed that the virus mixtures varied in their infectivity to neonatal specific pathogen-free cats. One group of mixtures, although exhibiting relatively reduced infectivity, represented the most acute disease-inducing agents. The presence of recombinants in this mixture significantly accelerated the development of erythrocyte aplasia compared to cats infected with FSC alone. In addition, infected cells appeared to be distributed differently in various hematopoietic organs with respect to infection with FSC versus viral mixture. Viral recombinants which were present in this inoculum mixture, however, could not be detected in the plasma or infected tissues of the cats at the end stage of the disease, although their presence in the plasma at the early stages could be detected. Clearly, parental FSC outgrew the recombinants in the infected animals, since its detection was prominent at all stages of the progression of the disease. Therefore, we hypothesize that recombinants initially present in the infected animals, while only poorly replicated compared to FSC in the host, might have had the opportunity to infect certain target cells (potentially erythroid progenitor cells) and then disappeared with the associated cytopathic effect. PMID:8259654

  3. Improving catalytic function by ProSAR-driven enzyme evolution.

    PubMed

    Fox, Richard J; Davis, S Christopher; Mundorff, Emily C; Newman, Lisa M; Gavrilovic, Vesna; Ma, Steven K; Chung, Loleta M; Ching, Charlene; Tam, Sarena; Muley, Sheela; Grate, John; Gruber, John; Whitman, John C; Sheldon, Roger A; Huisman, Gjalt W

    2007-03-01

    We describe a directed evolution approach that should find broad application in generating enzymes that meet predefined process-design criteria. It augments recombination-based directed evolution by incorporating a strategy for statistical analysis of protein sequence activity relationships (ProSAR). This combination facilitates mutation-oriented enzyme optimization by permitting the capture of additional information contained in the sequence-activity data. The method thus enables identification of beneficial mutations even in variants with reduced function. We use this hybrid approach to evolve a bacterial halohydrin dehalogenase that improves the volumetric productivity of a cyanation process approximately 4,000-fold. This improvement was required to meet the practical design criteria for a commercially relevant biocatalytic process involved in the synthesis of a cholesterol-lowering drug, atorvastatin (Lipitor), and was obtained by variants that had at least 35 mutations. PMID:17322872

  4. Improvement of digital photoelasticity based on camera response function.

    PubMed

    Chang, Shih-Hsin; Wu, Hsien-Huang P

    2011-09-20

    Studies on photoelasticity have been conducted by many researchers in recent years, and many equations for photoelastic analysis based on digital images were proposed. While these equations were all presented by the light intensity emitted from the analyzer, pixel values of the digital image were actually used in the real calculations. In this paper, a proposal of using relative light intensity obtained by the camera response function to replace the pixel value for photoelastic analysis was investigated. Generation of isochromatic images based on relative light intensity and pixel value were compared to evaluate the effectiveness of the new approach. The results showed that when relative light intensity was used, the quality of an isochromatic image can be greatly improved both visually and quantitatively. We believe that the technique proposed in this paper can also be used to improve the performance for the other types of photoelastic analysis using digital images. PMID:21947044

  5. A Short Executive Function Training Program Improves Preschoolers Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Blakey, Emma; Carroll, Daniel J.

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive training has been shown to improve executive functions (EFs) in middle childhood and adulthood. However, fewer studies have targeted the preschool yearsa time when EFs undergo rapid development. The present study tested the effects of a short four session EF training program in 54 four-year-olds. The training group significantly improved their working memory from pre-training relative to an active control group. Notably, this effect extended to a task sharing few surface features with the trained tasks, and continued to be apparent 3 months later. In addition, the benefits of training extended to a measure of mathematical reasoning 3 months later, indicating that training EFs during the preschool years has the potential to convey benefits that are both long-lasting and wide-ranging. PMID:26635710

  6. Improved gene transfer with histidine-functionalized mesoporous silica nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Brevet, David; Hocine, Ouahiba; Delalande, Anthony; Raehm, Laurence; Charnay, Clarence; Midoux, Patrick; Durand, Jean-Olivier; Pichon, Chantal

    2014-08-25

    Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSN) were functionalized with aminopropyltriethoxysilane (MSN-NH2) then L-histidine (MSN-His) for pDNA delivery in cells and in vivo. The complexation of pDNA with MSN-NH2 and MSN-His was first studied with gel shift assay. pDNA complexed with MSN-His was better protected from DNase degradation than with MSN-NH2. An improvement of the transfection efficiency in cells was observed with MSN-His/pDNA compared to MSN-NH2/pDNA, which could be explained by a better internalization of MSN-His. The improvement of the transfection efficiency with MSN-His was also observed for gene transfer in Achilles tendons in vivo. PMID:24853464

  7. Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Improve Renovascular Function in Polycystic Kidney Disease.

    PubMed

    Franchi, Federico; Peterson, Karen M; Xu, Rende; Miller, Brent; Psaltis, Peter J; Harris, Peter C; Lerman, Lilach O; Rodriguez-Porcel, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a common cause of end-stage renal failure, for which there is no accepted treatment. Progenitor and stem cells have been shown to restore renal function in a model of renovascular disease, a disease that shares many features with PKD. The objective of this study was to examine the potential of adult stem cells to restore renal structure and function in PKD. Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs, 2.5 × 10(5)) were intrarenally infused in 6-week-old PCK rats. At 10 weeks of age, PCK rats had an increase in systolic blood pressure (SBP) versus controls (126.22 ± 2.74 vs. 116.45 ± 3.53 mmHg, p < 0.05) and decreased creatinine clearance (3.76 ± 0.31 vs. 6.10 ± 0.48 µl/min/g, p < 0.01), which were improved in PKD animals that received MSCs (SBP: 114.67 ± 1.34 mmHg, and creatinine clearance: 4.82 ± 0.24 µl/min/g, p = 0.001 and p = 0.003 vs. PKD, respectively). MSCs preserved vascular density and glomeruli diameter, measured using microcomputed tomography. PCK animals had increased urine osmolality (843.9 ± 54.95 vs. 605.6 ± 45.34 mOsm, p < 0.01 vs. control), which was improved after MSC infusion and not different from control (723.75 ± 56.6 mOsm, p = 0.13 vs. control). Furthermore, MSCs reduced fibrosis and preserved the expression of proangiogenic molecules, while cyst size and number were unaltered by MSCs. Delivery of exogenous MSCs improved vascular density and renal function in PCK animals, and the benefit was observed up to 4 weeks after a single infusion. Cell-based therapy constitutes a novel approach in PKD. PMID:25290249

  8. Active robotic training improves locomotor function in a stroke survivor

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Clinical outcomes after robotic training are often not superior to conventional therapy. One key factor responsible for this is the use of control strategies that provide substantial guidance. This strategy not only leads to a reduction in volitional physical effort, but also interferes with motor relearning. Methods We tested the feasibility of a novel training approach (active robotic training) using a powered gait orthosis (Lokomat) in mitigating post-stroke gait impairments of a 52-year-old male stroke survivor. This gait training paradigm combined patient-cooperative robot-aided walking with a target-tracking task. The training lasted for 4-weeks (12 visits, 3??per week). The subjects neuromotor performance and recovery were evaluated using biomechanical, neuromuscular and clinical measures recorded at various time-points (pre-training, post-training, and 6-weeks after training). Results Active robotic training resulted in considerable increase in target-tracking accuracy and reduction in the kinematic variability of ankle trajectory during robot-aided treadmill walking. These improvements also transferred to overground walking as characterized by larger propulsive forces and more symmetric ground reaction forces (GRFs). Training also resulted in improvements in muscle coordination, which resembled patterns observed in healthy controls. These changes were accompanied by a reduction in motor cortical excitability (MCE) of the vastus medialis, medial hamstrings, and gluteus medius muscles during treadmill walking. Importantly, active robotic training resulted in substantial improvements in several standard clinical and functional parameters. These improvements persisted during the follow-up evaluation at 6?weeks. Conclusions The results indicate that active robotic training appears to be a promising way of facilitating gait and physical function in moderately impaired stroke survivors. PMID:22906099

  9. The Use of Implants to Improve Removable Partial Denture Function.

    PubMed

    Pimentel, Marcele Jardim; Arrllaga, Juan Pablo; Bacchi, Atas; Del Bel Cury, Altair A

    2014-12-01

    The oral rehabilitation with conventional removable partial dentures in Kennedy class I patients allows continuous bone resorption, dislodgment of the prosthesis during the mastication caused by the resilience of the mucosa, and rotation of the prosthesis. Thus, the associations of distal implants become an attractive modality of treatment for these patients. This case report presented an association of removable partial dentures, milled crowns and osseointegrated implants to rehabilitate a partial edentulous patient. A removable partial denture associated with implants and metal-ceramic milled crowns can offer excellent esthetics, and will improve function and biomechanics, at a reduced cost. PMID:26199524

  10. Note: Work function change measurement via improved Anderson method

    SciTech Connect

    Sabik, A. Gołek, F.; Antczak, G.

    2015-05-15

    We propose the modification to the Anderson method of work function change (Δϕ) measurements. In this technique, the kinetic energy of the probing electrons is already low enough for non-destructive investigation of delicate molecular systems. However, in our implementation, all electrodes including filament of the electron gun are polarized positively. As a consequence, electron bombardment of any elements of experimental system is eliminated. Our modification improves cleanliness of the ultra-high vacuum system. As an illustration of the solution capabilities, we present Δϕ of the Ag(100) surface induced by cobalt phthalocyanine layers.

  11. Automated classification of LV regional wall motion based on spatio-temporal profiles from cardiac cine magnetic resonance imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mantilla, Juan; Garreau, Mireille; Bellanger, Jean-Jacques; Paredes, José Luis

    2013-11-01

    Assessment of the cardiac Left Ventricle (LV) wall motion is generally based on visual inspection or quantitative analysis of 2D+t sequences acquired in short-axis cardiac cine-Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Most often, cardiac dynamic is globally analized from two particular phases of the cardiac cycle. In this paper, we propose an automated method to classify regional wall motion in LV function based on spatio-temporal pro les and Support Vector Machines (SVM). This approach allows to obtain a binary classi cation between normal and abnormal motion, without the need of pre-processing and by exploiting all the images of the cardiac cycle. In each short- axis MRI slice level (basal, median, and apical), the spatio-temporal pro les are extracted from the selection of a subset of diametrical lines crossing opposites LV segments. Initialized at end-diastole phase, the pro les are concatenated with their corresponding projections into the succesive temporal phases of the cardiac cycle. These pro les are associated to di erent types of information that derive from the image (gray levels), Fourier, Wavelet or Curvelet domains. The approach has been tested on a set of 14 abnormal and 6 healthy patients by using a leave-one-out cross validation and two kernel functions for SVM classi er. The best classi cation performance is yielded by using four-level db4 wavelet transform and SVM with a linear kernel. At each slice level the results provided a classi cation rate of 87.14% in apical level, 95.48% in median level and 93.65% in basal level.

  12. Astym therapy improves function and range of motion following mastectomy

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Claire C; Brockopp, Dorothy; Moe, Krista

    2016-01-01

    Hypersensitive scar tissue formation along the incision line and drain site is a common side effect following mastectomy. If this scar tissue is not addressed, it can lead to decreased flexibility and function in the involved upper quadrant. Astym® treatment is a new approach to soft tissue injuries, and is evidenced in animal studies to promote the healing and regeneration of soft tissues. It has also been found to reduce pain and increase function in people with soft tissue dysfunction. The aim of Astym treatment is to engage the regenerative mechanisms of the body in order to resorb scar tissue, stimulate tissue turnover, and regenerate soft tissues. Handheld instrumentation is applied topically to locate and treat the underlying dysfunctional soft tissue through specific protocols for the application of particular pressures and shear forces. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of Astym treatment on activities of daily living in women who had undergone a mastectomy following a diagnosis of breast cancer. A quasi-experiment involving 40 women, following a mastectomy, evaluated five outcome measures pre- and post-Astym treatment. All five measurement scores: Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand Outcome Measure; a clothing questionnaire on their ability to wear a bra; Patient-Specific Functional Scale; active range of motion of shoulder flexion; and active range of motion of abduction were also measured and all demonstrated significant changes. In this study, Astym treatment improved active range of motion in the involved quadrant and also improved function in patients following a mastectomy.

  13. Short-term improvement of masticatory function after implant restoration

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Dental implants present several advantages over other tooth replacement options. However, there has been little research on masticatory function in relation to implant treatment. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the improvement of masticatory function two weeks after implant restoration. Methods Masticatory ability was evaluated with the subjective food intake ability (FIA) and objective mixing ability index (MAI) methods. Fifty-four subjects with first and second missing molars completed the study. The subjects were asked to complete a self-reported questionnaire about 30 different food items, and to chew wax samples 10 times both before and two weeks after implant restoration. A total of 108 waxes were analyzed with an image analysis program. Results Dental implant restoration for lost molar teeth on one side increased the FIA score by 9.0% (P<0.0001). The MAI score also increased, by 14.3% after implant restoration (P<0.0001). Comparison between the good and poor mastication groups, which were subdivided based on the median MAI score before implant restoration, showed that the FIA score of the poor group was enhanced 1.1-fold while its MAI score was enhanced 2.0-fold two weeks after an implant surgery. Conclusions Using the FIA and MAI assessment methods, this study showed that masticatory function was improved two weeks after implant restoration. In particular, the enhancement of masticatory function by implant restoration was greater in patients with relatively poor initial mastication than in those with good initial mastication. PMID:26734490

  14. Oral magnesium supplementation improves vascular function in elderly diabetic patients.

    PubMed

    Barbagallo, Mario; Dominguez, Ligia J; Galioto, Antonio; Pineo, Antonella; Belvedere, Mario

    2010-09-01

    Magnesium (Mg) ions directly influence vascular tone and responsiveness and are cofactors for acetylcholine-induced endothelium-dependent relaxation. Alterations in extracellular Mg are able to modify the formation and release of nitric oxide (NO), altering arterial smooth muscle tone. Previous in vivo studies in humans have shown that parenteral or oral Mg supplementation increase endothelial-dependent vasodilation. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of Mg oral supplementation on endothelial function in elderly diabetic and hypertensive subjects. Sixty elderly (≥ 65 years) diabetic patients were recruited (mean age: 71.1 ± 6.1 years; M/F: 35/25). Endothelial function, evaluated by non-invasive flow-mediated dilatation of the brachial artery, as well as anthropometric and laboratory data, including ionized Mg (Mg-ion), were measured in all patients before and after one-month. Thirty patients underwent oral Mg supplementation with 4.5 g/day of Mg pidolate (368 mg/day of Mg ion), while the rest were used as a control group. The usual management of diabetes and hypertension was not changed during the month of study participation for all the patients. In the group of patients that underwent Mg supplementation, Mg-ion concentration significantly increased from 0.42 ± 0.05 mmol/L to 0.49 ± 0.06 mmol/L; p < 0.05. Mg intervention resulted in a significant improvement of the post-ischemic endothelial-dependent flow-mediated dilation (from 3.3 ± 3.6% to 8.4 ± 3.9%; p < 0.05). No significant differences were found, either in ion-Mg or endothelial function, in the control group. In conclusion, the present study suggests that oral Mg improves endothelial function in diabetic elderly subjects. PMID:20736142

  15. Remote sensing of vegetation ecophysiological function for improved hydrologic prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drewry, D.; Ruddell, B. L.

    2014-12-01

    Land surface hydrology in vegetated landscapes is strongly controlled by ecophysiological function. The coupling between photosynthesis, stomatal dynamics and leaf energy balance fundamentally links the hydrologic and carbon cycles, and provides a basis for examining the utility of observations of functional plant traits for hydrologic prediction. Here we explore the potential of solar induced fluorescence (SIF) and thermal infrared (TIR) remote sensing observations to improve the accuracy and reduce the uncertainty in hydrologic prediction. While SIF represents an emission of radiation associated with photosynthesis, TIR provides information on foliage temperature and is related to stomatal function and water stress. A set of remote observing system simulation experiments are conducted to quantify the value of remotely sensed observations of SIF and TIR when assimilated into a detailed vegetation biophysical model. The MLCan model discretizes a dense plant canopy to resolve vertical variation in photosynthesis, water vapor and energy exchange. Here we present extensions to MLCan that allow for direct computation of the canopy emission of both SIF and TIR. The detailed representation of the physical environment and biological functioning of structurally complex canopies makes MLCan an ideal simulation tool for exploring the impact of these two unique, and potentially synergistic observables. This work specifically addresses remote sensing capabilities on both recently launched (OCO-2) and near-term (ECOSTRESS) satellite platforms. We contrast the information gained through the assimilation of SIF and TIR observations to that of the assimilation of data related to physical states such as soil moisture and leaf area index.

  16. Improved protein structure selection using decoy-dependent discriminatory functions

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Kai; Fain, Boris; Levitt, Michael; Samudrala, Ram

    2004-01-01

    Background A key component in protein structure prediction is a scoring or discriminatory function that can distinguish near-native conformations from misfolded ones. Various types of scoring functions have been developed to accomplish this goal, but their performance is not adequate to solve the structure selection problem. In addition, there is poor correlation between the scores and the accuracy of the generated conformations. Results We present a simple and nonparametric formula to estimate the accuracy of predicted conformations (or decoys). This scoring function, called the density score function, evaluates decoy conformations by performing an all-against-all C? RMSD (Root Mean Square Deviation) calculation in a given decoy set. We tested the density score function on 83 decoy sets grouped by their generation methods (4state_reduced, fisa, fisa_casp3, lmds, lattice_ssfit, semfold and Rosetta). The density scores have correlations as high as 0.9 with the C? RMSDs of the decoy conformations, measured relative to the experimental conformation for each decoy. We previously developed a residue-specific all-atom probability discriminatory function (RAPDF), which compiles statistics from a database of experimentally determined conformations, to aid in structure selection. Here, we present a decoy-dependent discriminatory function called self-RAPDF, where we compiled the atom-atom contact probabilities from all the conformations in a decoy set instead of using an ensemble of native conformations, with a weighting scheme based on the density scores. The self-RAPDF has a higher correlation with C? RMSD than RAPDF for 76/83 decoy sets, and selects better near-native conformations for 62/83 decoy sets. Self-RAPDF may be useful not only for selecting near-native conformations from decoy sets, but also for fold simulations and protein structure refinement. Conclusions Both the density score and the self-RAPDF functions are decoy-dependent scoring functions for improved protein structure selection. Their success indicates that information from the ensemble of decoy conformations can be used to derive statistical probabilities and facilitate the identification of near-native structures. PMID:15207004

  17. Rationale and Design of a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy of B-type Natriuretic Peptide For the Preservation of Left Ventricular Function Post Anterior Myocardial Infarction

    PubMed Central

    Sangaralingham, S. Jeson; Burnett, John C.; McKie, Paul M.; Schirger, John A.; Chen, Horng H.

    2013-01-01

    Background B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a hormone with pleiotropic cardio-protective properties. Previously in our non-placebo controlled, un-blinded pilot study (BELIEVE) in human ST-elevation anterior acute myocardial infarction (AMI), a 72 hour intravenous infusion (IV) of recombinant human BNP (nesiritide) at a dose of 0.006 ug/kg/min suppressed plasma aldosterone and reduced cardiac dilatation while improved left ventricular ejection fraction (LV EF) at 1 month compared to baseline. Methods and Design The BELIEVE II study is a phase II, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, single center clinical trial to assess the efficacy of 72 hour IV infusion of nesiritide therapy (0.006 ug/kg/min), in humans with first time ST-elevation anterior AMI and successful reperfusion, in preventing adverse LV remodeling and preserving LV function. A total of 60 patients will be randomized to placebo or nesiritide therapy. The primary efficacy endpoint is LV end-systolic and end-diastolic dimensions determined by MUGA scan between placebo and nesiritide group at 30 days; secondary endpoints include 30 day LV EF, diastolic function, infarct size, LV mass and combined total mortality and heart failure hospitalization. Conclusion This will be the first randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial that will assess the clinical efficacy of nesiritide in human ST-elevation anterior AMI. PMID:23910581

  18. Maca (L. meyenii) for improving sexual function: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is an Andean plant of the brassica (mustard) family. Preparations from maca root have been reported to improve sexual function. The aim of this review was to assess the clinical evidence for or against the effectiveness of the maca plant as a treatment for sexual dysfunction. Methods We searched 17 databases from their inception to April 2010 and included all randomised clinical trials (RCTs) of any type of maca compared to a placebo for the treatment of healthy people or human patients with sexual dysfunction. The risk of bias for each study was assessed using Cochrane criteria, and statistical pooling of data was performed where possible. The selection of studies, data extraction, and validations were performed independently by two authors. Discrepancies were resolved through discussion by the two authors. Results Four RCTs met all the inclusion criteria. Two RCTs suggested a significant positive effect of maca on sexual dysfunction or sexual desire in healthy menopausal women or healthy adult men, respectively, while the other RCT failed to show any effects in healthy cyclists. The further RCT assessed the effects of maca in patients with erectile dysfunction using the International Index of Erectile Dysfunction-5 and showed significant effects. Conclusion The results of our systematic review provide limited evidence for the effectiveness of maca in improving sexual function. However, the total number of trials, the total sample size, and the average methodological quality of the primary studies were too limited to draw firm conclusions. More rigorous studies are warranted. PMID:20691074

  19. Traditional Japanese medicine daikenchuto improves functional constipation in poststroke patients.

    PubMed

    Numata, Takehiro; Takayama, Shin; Tobita, Muneshige; Ishida, Shuichi; Katayose, Dai; Shinkawa, Mitsutoshi; Oikawa, Takashi; Aonuma, Takanori; Kaneko, Soichiro; Tanaka, Junichi; Kanemura, Seiki; Iwasaki, Koh; Ishii, Tadashi; Yaegashi, Nobuo

    2014-01-01

    Poststroke patients with functional constipation, assessed by the Rome III criteria, from 6 hospitals were recruited in a study on the effects of the traditional Japanese medicine Daikenchuto (DKT) on constipation. Thirty-four patients (17 men and 17 women; mean age: 78.1 11.6 years) were randomly assigned to 2 groups; all patients received conventional therapy for constipation, and patients in the DKT group received 15?g/day of DKT for 4 weeks. Constipation scoring system (CSS) points and the gas volume score (GVS) (the measure of the intestinal gas volume calculated from plain abdominal radiographs) were recorded before and after a 4-week observation period. The total score on the CSS improved significantly in the DKT group compared to the control (P < 0.01). In addition, scores for some CSS subcategories (frequency of bowel movements, feeling of incomplete evacuation, and need for enema/disimpaction) significantly improved in the DKT group (P < 0.01, P = 0.049, and P = 0.03, resp.). The GVS was also significantly reduced in the DKT group compared to the control (P = 0.03). DKT in addition to conventional therapy is effective in treating functional constipation in poststroke patients. This study was a randomized controlled trial and was registered in the UMIN Clinical Trial Registry (no. UMIN000007393). PMID:25089144

  20. Improved CLARAty Functional-Layer/Decision-Layer Interface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Estlin, Tara; Rabideau, Gregg; Gaines, Daniel; Johnston, Mark; Chouinard, Caroline; Nessnas, Issa; Shu, I-Hsiang

    2008-01-01

    Improved interface software for communication between the CLARAty Decision and Functional layers has been developed. [The Coupled Layer Architecture for Robotics Autonomy (CLARAty) was described in Coupled-Layer Robotics Architecture for Autonomy (NPO-21218), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 26, No. 12 (December 2002), page 48. To recapitulate: the CLARAty architecture was developed to improve the modularity of robotic software while tightening coupling between planning/execution and basic control subsystems. Whereas prior robotic software architectures typically contained three layers, the CLARAty contains two layers: a decision layer (DL) and a functional layer (FL).] Types of communication supported by the present software include sending commands from DL modules to FL modules and sending data updates from FL modules to DL modules. The present software supplants prior interface software that had little error-checking capability, supported data parameters in string form only, supported commanding at only one level of the FL, and supported only limited updates of the state of the robot. The present software offers strong error checking, and supports complex data structures and commanding at multiple levels of the FL, and relative to the prior software, offers a much wider spectrum of state-update capabilities.

  1. Neutralising antibodies against the transmembrane protein of feline leukaemia virus (FeLV).

    PubMed

    Langhammer, S; Fiebig, U; Kurth, R; Denner, J

    2005-05-01

    Neutralising antibodies specific for feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) were induced by immunisation with recombinant FeLV transmembrane envelope protein p15E. Epitope mapping revealed two epitopes located in similar regions to those previously identified for the porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV). One of the epitopes has partial homology and both are located in regions corresponding to epitopes recognised by neutralising antibodies in patients infected with HIV-1. PMID:15837241

  2. Valuing preferences over stormwater management outcomes including improved hydrologic function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LondoO Cadavid, Catalina; Ando, Amy W.

    2013-07-01

    Stormwater runoff causes environmental problems such as flooding, soil erosion, and water pollution. Conventional stormwater management has focused primarily on flood reduction, while a new generation of decentralized stormwater solutions yields ancillary benefits such as healthier aquatic habitat, improved surface water quality, and increased water table recharge. Previous research has estimated values for flood reduction from stormwater management, but no estimates exist for the willingness to pay (WTP) for some of the other environmental benefits of alternative approaches to stormwater control. This paper uses a choice experiment survey of households in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, to estimate the values of several attributes of stormwater management outcomes. We analyzed data from 131 surveyed households in randomly selected neighborhoods. We find that people value reduced basement flooding more than reductions in yard or street flooding, but WTP for basement flood reduction in the area only exists if individuals are currently experiencing significant flooding themselves. Citizens value both improved water quality and improved hydrologic function and aquatic habitat from runoff reduction. Thus, widespread investment in low impact development stormwater solutions could have very large total benefits, and stormwater managers should be wary of policies and infrastructure plans that reduce flooding at the expense of water quality and aquatic habitat.

  3. Improvement of renal function after opening occluded atherosclerotic renal arteries.

    PubMed

    Kanamori, Hiroshi; Toma, Masanao; Fukatsu, Atsushi

    2009-09-01

    Percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty (PTRA) with stenting has been effective in the control of hypertension, renal function and pulmonary edema caused by atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis (ARAS). However, concerning the viability of renal function, this procedure has not been fully established, especially in the presence of renal atrophy or severe renal parenchymal disease. We report a dramatically improved case of acute renal failure caused by acute worsening ARAS treated by stenting. A 72-year-old female was admitted for accelerated renal dysfunction (serum ceatinine; 1.2-2.3 mg/dl) and hypertension (190/100 mmHg). At 10 days after admission, the patient's serum ceatinine increased to 6.7 mg/dl, her pulmonary edema was exaggerated and hemodialysis was required. Ultrasonography showed bilateral high-echoic kidneys, but no apparent finding of renal artery stenosis (RAS). At day 15, computed tomographic angiography indicated bilateral ostial RAS. Renal angiography demonstrated total occlusion of the right and severe (90%) disease in the left. ARAS was diagnosed by intravascular ultrasonography. The guidewire was inserted in both renal arteries, PTRA with stenting was performed in the right and a stent was directly implanted in the left. Immediately, each kidney enlarged to almost normal size, leading to satisfactory urination. She was released from hemodialysis the next day since her serum creatinine was normal and the pulmonary edema was improved. Although there is still no reliable prognostic factor including resistive index or kidney size, it is important that PTRA with stenting in ARAS should be considered in a case of accelerated renal dysfunction because of the possible improvement. PMID:19726830

  4. Effects of verapamil and propranolol on left ventricular systolic function and diastolic filling in patients with coronary artery disease: radionuclide angiographic studies at rest and during exercise

    SciTech Connect

    Bonow, R.O.; Leon, M.B.; Rosing, D.R.; Kent, K.M.; Lipson, L.C.; Bacharach, S.L.; Green, M.V.; Epstein, S.E.

    1982-06-01

    To determine the effects of verapamil on left ventricular (LV) systolic function and diastolic filling in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), researchers performed gated radionuclide angiography at rest and during exercise in 16 symptomatic patients before and during oral verapamil therapy (480 mg/day). Twelve patients were also studied during oral propranolol. LV ejection fraction at rest was normal in 13 patients, but abnormal diastolic filling at rest, defined as peak filling rate (PFR) less than 2.5 end-diastolic volumes (EDV)/sec or time to PFR greater than 180 msec, was present in 15. During verapamil, resting ejection fraction decreased, but resting diastolic filling improved: PFR increased and time to PFR decreased. Exercise ejection fraction did not change during verapamil, but exercise PFR increased, and exercise time to PFR decreased. In contrast, propranolol did not alter ejection fraction, PFR, or time to PFR at rest or during exercise. Thus, LV ejection fraction is decreased by verapamil at rest but is unchanged during exercise. While LV systolic function is not improved by verapamil, LV diastolic filling is enhanced by verapamil, both at rest and during exercise. These mechanisms may account in part for the symptomatic improvement in many patients during verapamil therapy.

  5. OSM Enhances Angiogenesis and Improves Cardiac Function after Myocardial Infarction

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaotian; Zhu, Di; Wei, Liping; Zhao, Zhijing; Qi, Xin; Li, Zongjin; Sun, Dongdong

    2015-01-01

    Oncostatin M (OSM) has been reported to stimulate angiogenesis by upregulating VEGF and bFGF, implying that it could be a therapeutic strategy in treating ischemic diseases. The present study was aimed at investigating whether OSM could improve cardiac function via prompting angiogenesis following myocardial infarction (MI). Wild type (WT) and O? knock-out (O??/?) mice were, respectively, randomized into sham group, MI?+?vehicle group, and MI?+?OSM group. WT mice displayed significantly impaired cardiac function after MI. OSM treatment attenuated cardiac dysfunction in WT MI mice, while O? deletion abrogated the protective effects. Besides, OSM attenuated heart hypertrophy and pulmonary congestion evidenced by decreased heart weight/body weight and lung weight/body weight ratio. Further, reduction of apoptosis and fibrosis in infarct border zone was observed in OSM treated WT MI mice compared with vehicle. Moreover, in WT mice subjected to MI, OSM treatment significantly increased capillary density along with upregulation of p-Akt and angiogenic factors VEGF and bFGF in comparison with vehicle, and this phenomenon was not found in O??/? mice. In conclusion, OSM treatment preserved cardiac function, inhibited apoptosis and fibrosis, and stimulated angiogenesis via upregulating VEGF and bFGF in infarct border zone of ischemic myocardium, indicating that OSM could be a novel therapeutic target for MI. PMID:26146616

  6. Heart rate variability biofeedback improves cardiorespiratory resting function during sleep.

    PubMed

    Sakakibara, Masahito; Hayano, Junichiro; Oikawa, Leo O; Katsamanis, Maria; Lehrer, Paul

    2013-12-01

    The present study was designed to examine the effect of heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback on the cardiorespiratory resting function during sleep in daily life. Forty-five healthy young adults were randomly assigned to one of three groups: HRV biofeedback, Autogenic Training(AT), and no-treatment control. Participants in the HRV biofeedback were instructed to use a handheld HRV biofeedback device before their habitual bedtime, those in the AT were asked to listen to an audiotaped instruction before bedtime,and those in the control were asked to engage in their habitual activity before bedtime. Pulse wave signal during sleep at their own residences was measured continuously with a wrist watch-type transdermal photoelectric sensor for three time points. Baseline data were collected on the first night of measurements, followed by two successive nights for HRV biofeedback, AT, or control. Cardiorespiratory resting function was assessed quantitatively as the amplitude of high frequency(HF) component of pulse rate variability, a surrogate measure of respiratory sinus arrhythmia. HF component increased during sleep in the HRV biofeedback group,although it remained unchanged in the AT and control groups. These results suggest that HRV biofeedback before sleep may improve cardiorespiratory resting function during sleep. PMID:23959190

  7. Why and how a functional information system improves computerized operations

    SciTech Connect

    Pirus, D.

    2006-07-01

    At the beginning of the eighties, designing a computerized control room was similar to exploring a terra incognita. Some major projects were carried out (N4 project, Kashiwasaki for example) in order to provide initial experience feedback. Today design guidelines and standards exist to help designers and now all projects (for new control rooms or for renovating existing ones) are designed to use computerized operations. Experience feedback on existing projects clearly shows that the computerization of operations significantly improves the overall quality and efficiency of operations. Nevertheless, the computerization of operations introduces new specific problems, the most important being the 'key hole effect' and the lack of global vision. These problems can be directly attributed to the media currently used (the screens) where space is scarce, and to the philosophy used when designing the information system (fundamentally, based on a reproduction of existing piping diagrams with little or no summary information). Yesterday, the challenge was to computerize the control room, today, it is to computerize operations and reduce or eliminate these existing problems. One promising method is to design the HSI using a functional methodology. This paper describes the operators' operational needs and how and why a functional information system can help address those needs. Finally, the paper presents a few proposals on how to design a functional information system. (authors)

  8. Cloning of the cellular receptor for feline leukemia virus subgroup C (FeLV-C), a retrovirus that induces red cell aplasia.

    PubMed

    Quigley, J G; Burns, C C; Anderson, M M; Lynch, E D; Sabo, K M; Overbaugh, J; Abkowitz, J L

    2000-02-01

    Feline leukemia virus-C (FeLV-C) causes red cell aplasia in cats, likely through its interaction with its cell surface receptor. We identified this receptor by the functional screening of a library of complementary DNAs (cDNA) from feline T cells. The library, which was cloned into a retroviral vector, was introduced into FeLV-C-resistant murine (NIH 3T3) cells. The gene conferring susceptibility to FeLV-C was isolated and reintroduced into the same cell type, as well as into FeLV-C-resistant rat (NRK 52E) cells, to verify its role in viral infection. The receptor cDNA is predicted to encode a protein of 560 amino acids with 12 membrane-spanning domains, termed FLVCR. FLVCR has significant amino acid sequence homology with members of the major facilitator superfamily and especially D-glucarate transporters described in bacteria and in C. elegans. As FeLV-C impairs the in vivo differentiation of burst-forming unit-erythroid to colony-forming unit-erythroid, we hypothesize that this transporter system could have an essential role in early erythropoiesis. In further studies, a 6-kb fragment of the human FLVCR gene was amplified by polymerase chain reaction from genomic DNA, using homologous cDNA sequences identified in the human Expressed Sequence Tags database. By radiation hybrid mapping, the human gene was localized to a 0.5-centiMorgan region on the long arm of chromosome 1 at q31.3. PMID:10648427

  9. Design management of functional foods for quality of life improvement.

    PubMed

    Butnariu, Monica; Caunii, Angela

    2013-01-01

    The paper examines the benefit of bread enriched with antioxidants on oxidative stress, and on the quantities of hydrosoluble antioxidants in a group of human subjects. The home-management of functional foods strategy seeks to improve prompt and effective basic nutrition using additional attributes that are directly positively beneficial for health and well-being. The purpose of this clinical study was to test the tolerance and benefits of multicomponent functional foods enriched with antioxidant compounds obtained from plant extracts on healthy adult volunteers. A detailed protocol was created to formalize and standardize the procedures for data collection, e.g. filling out standardized forms and functional diet questionnaires. For the research method, Group A was given the special diet enriched with multicomponent antioxidant foods and Group B (control). The data were analysed using the quantitative methods. They showed significant increase of hydrosoluble antioxidants in group A compared to control, from 220.61+/-27.92 - 313.56+/-37.09 micrograms/mL (p=0.05), compared to 280.47+/-32.1 - 238.27+/-44.93 micrograms/mL (p=0.45). Also, oxidative stress values showed a decrease in the diet group compared to control that reached statistical significance. Oxidative stress decreased in the diet group to 244 +/- 89 compared to 308+/-108 UFORT in the control group. The responses of the prevention of chronic diseases to a functional foods strategy depend on how they are absorbed and utilized in the body. An anti-oxidant diet with natural bioactive components could become an interesting solution for degenerative disorders in which oxidative stress is increased. PMID:24364445

  10. Splenectomy Improves Hemostatic and Liver Functions in Hepatosplenic Schistosomiasis Mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Leite, Luiz Arthur Calheiros; Pimenta Filho, Adenor Almeida; Ferreira, Rita de Cssia dos Santos; da Fonseca, Caque Silveira Martins; dos Santos, Bianka Santana; Montenegro, Silvia Maria Lucena; Lopes, Edmundo Pessoa de Almeida; Domingues, Ana Lcia Coutinho; Owen, James Stuart; Lima, Vera Lucia de Menezes

    2015-01-01

    Background Schistosomiasis mansoni is a chronic liver disease, in which some patients (510%) progress to the most severe form, hepatosplenic schistosomiasis. This form is associated with portal hypertension and splenomegaly, and often episodes of gastrointestinal bleeding, even with liver function preserved. Splenectomy is a validated procedure to reduce portal hypertension following digestive bleeding. Here, we evaluate beneficial effects of splenectomy on blood coagulation factors and liver function tests in hepatosplenic schistosomiasis mansoni compared to non-operated patients. Methodology/Principal Findings Forty-five patients who had undergone splenectomy surgery were assessed by laboratory analyses and ultrasound examination and compared to a non-operated group (n = 55). Blood samples were obtained for liver function tests, platelet count and prothrombin time. Coagulation factors (II, VII, VIII, IX and X), protein C and antithrombin IIa, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 were measured by routine photometric, chromogenic or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, while hyperfibrinolysis was defined by plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 levels. Both groups had similar age, gender and pattern of periportal fibrosis. Splenectomized patients showed significant reductions in portal vein diameter, alkaline phosphatase and bilirubin levels compared to non-operated patients, while for coagulation factors there were significant improvement in prothrombin, partial thromboplastin times and higher levels of factor VII, VIII, IX, X, protein C and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1. Conclusion/Significance This study shows that the decrease of flow pressure in portal circulation after splenectomy restores the capacity of hepatocyte synthesis, especially on the factor VII and protein C levels, and these findings suggest that portal hypertension in patients with hepatosplenic schistosomiasis influences liver functioning and the blood coagulation status. PMID:26267788

  11. Improving Project Management with Simulation and Completion Distribution Functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cates, Grant R.

    2004-01-01

    Despite the critical importance of project completion timeliness, management practices in place today remain inadequate for addressing the persistent problem of project completion tardiness. A major culprit in late projects is uncertainty, which most, if not all, projects are inherently subject to. This uncertainty resides in the estimates for activity durations, the occurrence of unplanned and unforeseen events, and the availability of critical resources. In response to this problem, this research developed a comprehensive simulation based methodology for conducting quantitative project completion time risk analysis. It is called the Project Assessment by Simulation Technique (PAST). This new tool enables project stakeholders to visualize uncertainty or risk, i.e. the likelihood of their project completing late and the magnitude of the lateness, by providing them with a completion time distribution function of their projects. Discrete event simulation is used within PAST to determine the completion distribution function for the project of interest. The simulation is populated with both deterministic and stochastic elements. The deterministic inputs include planned project activities, precedence requirements, and resource requirements. The stochastic inputs include activity duration growth distributions, probabilities for events that can impact the project, and other dynamic constraints that may be placed upon project activities and milestones. These stochastic inputs are based upon past data from similar projects. The time for an entity to complete the simulation network, subject to both the deterministic and stochastic factors, represents the time to complete the project. Repeating the simulation hundreds or thousands of times allows one to create the project completion distribution function. The Project Assessment by Simulation Technique was demonstrated to be effective for the on-going NASA project to assemble the International Space Station. Approximately $500 million per month is being spent on this project, which is scheduled to complete by 2010. NASA project stakeholders participated in determining and managing completion distribution functions produced from PAST. The first result was that project stakeholders improved project completion risk awareness. Secondly, using PAST, mitigation options were analyzed to improve project completion performance and reduce total project cost.

  12. Improvement of the functional properties of sucrose stearate by phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Yamagishi, Yukako; Hattori, Makoto; Yoshida, Tadashi; Takahashi, Koji

    2004-12-29

    Phosphorylated sucrose stearate (SE-P) was prepared by dry-heating sucrose stearate (SE) with metaphosphoric acid. The main product was deduced to be a monophosphosucrose monostearate by chemical analysis and mass spectrometry. SE-P exhibited remarkably higher solubility and emulsifying properties than SE, especially in the acidic region and in the presence of NaCl, and SE-P bound Ca2+ at a 1:1 molar ratio (SE-P/Ca2+). SE-P markedly reduced the viscosity of potato starch paste and inhibited retrogradation, whereas SE did not reduce it so much. It is thus expected that phosphorylation would be an appropriate method for improving the functional properties of SE and that SE-P could be used as a novel emulsifier and modifier with Ca2+-binding ability for starchy foods. PMID:15612793

  13. Improved Fibroblast Functionalities by Microporous Pattern Fabricated by Microelectromechanical Systems

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Hongbo; Zhao, Lingzhou; Chen, Bangdao; Bai, Shizhu; Zhao, Yimin

    2014-01-01

    Fibroblasts, which play an important role in biological seal formation and maintenance, determine the long-term success of percutaneous implants. In this study, well-defined microporous structures with micropore diameters of 1060 m were fabricated by microelectromechanical systems and their influence on the fibroblast functionalities was observed. The results show that the microporous structures with micropore diameters of 1060 m did not influence the initial adherent fibroblast number; however, those with diameters of 40 and 50 m improved the spread, actin stress fiber organization, proliferation and fibronectin secretion of the fibroblasts. The microporous structures with micropore diameters of 4050 m may be promising for application in the percutaneous part of an implant. PMID:25054322

  14. Hydrogen sulfide improves neural function in rats following cardiopulmonary resuscitation

    PubMed Central

    LIN, JI-YAN; ZHANG, MIN-WEI; WANG, JIN-GAO; LI, HUI; WEI, HONG-YAN; LIU, RONG; DAI, GANG; LIAO, XIAO-XING

    2016-01-01

    The alleviation of brain injury is a key issue following cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is hypothesized to be involved in the pathophysiological process of ischemia-reperfusion injury, and exerts a protective effect on neurons. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of H2S on neural functions following cardiac arrest (CA) in rats. A total of 60 rats were allocated at random into three groups. CA was induced to establish the model and CPR was performed after 6 min. Subsequently, sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS), hydroxylamine or saline was administered to the rats. Serum levels of H2S, neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and S100β were determined following CPR. In addition, neurological deficit scoring (NDS), the beam walking test (BWT), prehensile traction test and Morris water maze experiment were conducted. Neuronal apoptosis rates were detected in the hippocampal region following sacrifice. After CPR, as the H2S levels increased or decreased, the serum NSE and S100β concentrations decreased or increased, respectively (P<0.0w. The NDS results of the NaHS group were improved compared with those of the hydroxylamine group at 24 h after CPR (P<0.05). In the Morris water maze experiment, BWT and prehensile traction test the animals in the NaHS group performed best and rats in the hydroxylamine group performed worst. At day 7, the apoptotic index and the expression of caspase-3 were reduced in the hippocampal CA1 region, while the expression of Bcl-2 increased in the NaHS group; and results of the hydroxylamine group were in contrast. Therefore, the results of the present study indicate that H2S is able to improve neural function in rats following CPR. PMID:26893650

  15. Efficacy of stem cell in improvement of left ventricular function in acute myocardial infarction - MI3 Trial

    PubMed Central

    Nair, Velu; Madan, Hemant; Sofat, Sunil; Ganguli, Prosenjit; Jacob, M.J.; Datta, Rajat; Bharadwaj, Prashant; Sarkar, R.S.; Pandit, A.J.; Nityanand, Soniya; Goel, Pravin K.; Garg, Naveen; Gambhir, Sanjay; George, Paul V.; Chandy, Sunil; Mathews, Vikram; George, Oomen K.; Talwar, K.K.; Bahl, Ajay; Marwah, Neelam; Bhatacharya, Anish; Bhargava, Balram; Airan, Balram; Mohanty, Sujata; Patel, Chetan D.; Sharma, Alka; Bhatnagar, Shinjini; Mondal, A.; Jose, Jacob; Srivastava, A.

    2015-01-01

    Background & objectives: Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is characterized by irreparable and irreversible loss of cardiac myocytes. Despite major advances in the management of AMI, a large number of patients are left with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), which is a major determinant of short and long term morbidity and mortality. A review of 33 randomized control trials has shown varying improvement in left ventricular (LV) function in patients receiving stem cells compared to standard medical therapy. Most trials had small sample size and were underpowered. This phase III prospective, open labelled, randomized multicenteric trial was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy in improving the LVEF over a period of six months, after injecting a predefined dose of 5-10 × 108 autologous mononuclear cells (MNC) by intra-coronary route, in patients, one to three weeks post ST elevation AMI, in addition to the standard medical therapy. Methods: In this phase III prospective, multicentric trial 250 patients with AMI were included and randomized into stem cell therapy (SCT) and non SCT groups. All patients were followed up for six months. Patients with AMI having left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of 20-50 per cent were included and were randomized to receive intracoronary stem cell infusion after successfully completing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Results: On intention-to-treat analysis the infusion of MNCs had no positive impact on LVEF improvement of ≥ 5 per cent. The improvement in LVEF after six months was 5.17 ± 8.90 per cent in non SCT group and 4.82 ± 10.32 per cent in SCT group. The adverse effects were comparable in both the groups. On post hoc analysis it was noted that the cell dose had a positive impact when infused in the dose of ≥ 5 × 108(n=71). This benefit was noted upto three weeks post AMI. There were 38 trial deviates in the SCT group which was a limitation of the study. Interpretation & conclusions: Infusion of stem cells was found to have no benefit in ST elevation AMI. However, the procedure was safe. A possible benefit was seen when the predefined cell dose was administered which was noted upto three weeks post AMI, but this was not significant and needs confirmation by larger trials. PMID:26354213

  16. Improving 3D Genome Reconstructions Using Orthologous and Functional Constraints

    PubMed Central

    Diament, Alon; Tuller, Tamir

    2015-01-01

    The study of the 3D architecture of chromosomes has been advancing rapidly in recent years. While a number of methods for 3D reconstruction of genomic models based on Hi-C data were proposed, most of the analyses in the field have been performed on different 3D representation forms (such as graphs). Here, we reproduce most of the previous results on the 3D genomic organization of the eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae using analysis of 3D reconstructions. We show that many of these results can be reproduced in sparse reconstructions, generated from a small fraction of the experimental data (5% of the data), and study the properties of such models. Finally, we propose for the first time a novel approach for improving the accuracy of 3D reconstructions by introducing additional predicted physical interactions to the model, based on orthologous interactions in an evolutionary-related organism and based on predicted functional interactions between genes. We demonstrate that this approach indeed leads to the reconstruction of improved models. PMID:26000633

  17. Interventions to Improve the Physical Function of ICU Survivors

    PubMed Central

    Calvo-Ayala, Enrique; Farber, Mark O.; Ely, E. Wesley; Boustani, Malaz A.

    2013-01-01

    Background: ICU admissions are ever increasing across the United States. Following critical illness, physical functioning (PF) may be impaired for up to 5 years. We performed a systematic review of randomized controlled trials evaluating the efficacy of interventions targeting PF among ICU survivors. The objective of this study was to identify effective interventions that improve long-term PF in ICU survivors. Methods: MEDLINE, Excerpta Medica Database (EMBASE), Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and Physiotherapy Evidence-Based Database (PEDro) were searched between 1990 and 2012. Two reviewers independently evaluated studies for eligibility, critically appraised the included studies, and extracted data into standardized evidence tables. Results: Fourteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Interventions included exercise/physical therapy (PT), parenteral nutrition, nurse-led follow-up, spontaneous awakening trials, absence of sedation during mechanical ventilation, and early tracheotomy. Nine studies failed to demonstrate efficacy on PF of the ICU survivors. However, early physical exercise and PT-based interventions had a positive effect on long-term PF. Conclusions: The only effective intervention to improve long-term PF in critically ill patients is exercise/PT; its benefit may be greater if started earlier. Further research in this area comparing different interventions and timing is needed. PMID:23949645

  18. Impact of biogenic nanoscale metals Fe, Cu, Zn and Se on reproductive LV chickens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khiem Nguyen, Quy; Dieu Nguyen, Duy; Kien Nguyen, Van; Thinh Nguyen, Khac; Chau Nguyen, Hoai; Tin Tran, Xuan; Nguyen, Huu Cuong; Tien Phung, Duc

    2015-09-01

    Using biogenic nanoscale metals (Fe, Cu, ZnO, Se) to supplement into diet premix of reproductive LV (a Vietnamese Luong Phuong chicken breed) chickens resulted in certain improvement of poultry farming. The experimental data obtained showed that the farming indices depend mainly on the quantity of nanocrystalline metals which replaced the inorganic mineral component in the feed premix. All four experimental groups with different quantities of the replacement nano component grew and developed normally with livability reaching 91 to 94%, hen’s bodyweight at 38 weeks of age and egg weight ranged from 2.53-2.60 kg/hen and 50.86-51.55 g/egg, respectively. All these farming indices together with laying rate, egg productivity and chick hatchability peaked at group 5 with 25% of nanoscale metals compared to the standard inorganic mineral supplement, while feed consumption was lowest. The results also confirmed that nanocrystalline metals Fe, Cu, ZnO and Se supplemented to chicken feed were able to decrease inorganic minerals in the diet premixes at least four times, allowing animals to more effectively absorb feed minerals, consequently decreasing environmental pollution risks.

  19. Impact of Untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea on Left and Right Ventricular Myocardial Function and Effects of CPAP Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Wiesen, Martin; Momcilovic, Diana; Pabst, Stefan; Nickenig, Georg; Skowasch, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    Background Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has deteriorating effect on LV function, whereas its impact on RV function is controversial. We aimed to determine the effect of OSA and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment on left and right ventricular (LV, RV) function using transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and 2 dimensional speckle tracking (2D ST) analysis of RV deformation capability. Methods and Results 82 patients with OSA and need for CPAP therapy were prospectively enrolled and underwent TTE at study inclusion and after 6 months of follow up (FU). Multivariate regression analysis revealed an independent association between baseline apical right ventricular longitudinal strain (RV-Sl), BMI and the severity of OSA (apical RV-Sl: P?=?0.0002, BMI: P?=?0.02). After CPAP therapy, LV functional parameters (LVEF: P<0.0001, LV performance index: P?=?0.03, stroke volume: P?=?0.042), and apical RV-Sl (P?=?0.001) improved significantly. The effect of CPAP therapy was related to severity of OSA (LVEF: AHI 514, 66.48.8%, 68.510.6% [P?=?ns]; AHI 1530?59.87.7%, 68.69.3% [P?=?0.002]; AHI>30?54.112.4%, 68.213.6%[P<0.0001]; apical RV-Sl: AHI 514: ?17.38.7%, ?16.010.8% [P?=?ns], AHI 1530: ?9.86.0%, ?15.410.9% [P?=?0.028], AHI>30: ?6.35.7%, ?17.911.2% [P<0.0001]). Conclusions OSA seems to have deteriorating effect on LV and RV function. We found a beneficial effect of CPAP on LV and RV functional parameters predominately in patients with severe OSA. 2D speckle tracking might be of value to determine early changes in global and regional right ventricular function. PMID:24146857

  20. Resveratrol improves cardiovascular function in DOCA-salt hypertensive rats.

    PubMed

    Chan, Vincent; Fenning, Andrew; Iyer, Abishek; Hoey, Andrew; Brown, Lindsay

    2011-03-01

    The phytoalexin resveratrol (3,4',5-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) may attenuate cardiovascular disease in man. This study has determined whether treatment with resveratrol (1 mg/kg/day orally) prevented cardiac fibrosis and the decreased cardiovascular function in the DOCA-salt hypertensive rat as a model of human hypertension. Uninephrectomised rats (UNX) administered DOCA (25mg every 4th day sc) and 1% NaCl in drinking water for 28 days developed cardiac and vascular remodelling. In these DOCA-salt rats, resveratrol decreased inflammatory cell infiltration, decreased cardiac fibrosis (left ventricular interstitial and perivascular collagen content) and improved cardiac and vascular function. Resveratrol attenuated other features of cardiovascular remodelling such as increases in systolic blood pressure, left ventricular wet weight, left ventricular wall thickness, diastolic stiffness constant, as well as decreased cardiac contractility and prolonged action potential duration characteristic of DOCA-salt rats. In summary, resveratrol, at a nutritionally relevant dose, prevents or attenuates the adverse changes in the cardiovascular system. We propose that the anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects of resveratrol are responsible, at least in part, for its amelioration in cardiovascular remodelling in DOCA-salt rats. These actions of resveratrol could play an important role in the protective effects on the human cardiovascular system reported for this constituent of red wine. PMID:20874677

  1. Improved Functionality and Curation Support in the ADS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Accomazzi, Alberto; Kurtz, Michael J.; Henneken, Edwin A.; Grant, Carolyn S.; Thompson, Donna; Chyla, Roman; Holachek, Alexandra; Sudilovsky, Vladimir; Murray, Stephen S.

    2015-01-01

    In this poster we describe the developments of the new ADS platform over the past year, focusing on the functionality which improves its discovery and curation capabilities.The ADS Application Programming Interface (API) is being updated to support authenticated access to the entire suite of ADS services, in addition to the search functionality itself. This allows programmatic access to resources which are specific to a user or class of users.A new interface, built directly on top of the API, now provides a more intuitive search experience and takes into account the best practices in web usability and responsive design. The interface now incorporates in-line views of graphics from the AAS Astroexplorer and the ADS All-Sky Survey image collections.The ADS Private Libraries, first introduced over 10 years ago, are now being enhanced to allow the bookmarking, tagging and annotation of records of interest. In addition, libraries can be shared with one or more ADS users, providing an easy way to collaborate in the curation of lists of papers. A library can also be explicitly made public and shared at large via the publishing of its URL.In collaboration with the AAS, the ADS plans to support the adoption of ORCID identifiers by implementing a plugin which will simplify the import of papers in ORCID via a query to the ADS API. Deeper integration between the two systems will depend on available resources and feedback from the community.

  2. PEDF improves cardiac function in rats with acute myocardial infarction via inhibiting vascular permeability and cardiomyocyte apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hao; Wang, Zheng; Feng, Shou-Jie; Xu, Lei; Shi, He-Xian; Chen, Li-Li; Yuan, Guang-Da; Yan, Wei; Zhuang, Wei; Zhang, Yi-Qian; Zhang, Zhong-Ming; Dong, Hong-Yan

    2015-01-01

    Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) is a pleiotropic gene with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-angiogenic properties. However, recent reports about the effects of PEDF on cardiomyocytes are controversial, and it is not known whether and how PEDF acts to inhibit hypoxic or ischemic endothelial injury in the heart. In the present study, adult Sprague-Dawley rat models of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) were surgically established. PEDF-small interfering RNA (siRNA)-lentivirus (PEDF-RNAi-LV) or PEDF-LV was delivered into the myocardium along the infarct border to knockdown or overexpress PEDF, respectively. Vascular permeability, cardiomyocyte apoptosis, myocardial infarct size and animal cardiac function were analyzed. We also evaluated PEDF's effect on the suppression of the endothelial permeability and cardiomyocyte apoptosis under hypoxia in vitro. The results indicated that PEDF significantly suppressed the vascular permeability and inhibited hypoxia-induced endothelial permeability through PPARγ-dependent tight junction (TJ) production. PEDF protected cardiomyocytes against ischemia or hypoxia-induced cell apoptosis both in vivo and in vitro via preventing the activation of caspase-3. We also found that PEDF significantly reduced myocardial infarct size and enhanced cardiac function in rats with AMI. These data suggest that PEDF could protect cardiac function from ischemic injury, at least by means of reducing vascular permeability, cardiomyocyte apoptosis and myocardial infarct size. PMID:25768344

  3. Heterologous expression of the lactacin F peptides by Carnobacterium piscicola LV17.

    PubMed Central

    Allison, G E; Worobo, R W; Stiles, M E; Klaenhammer, T R

    1995-01-01

    The lactacin F complex, composed of LafA and LafX peptides, is produced by Lactobacillus johnsonii VPI 11088 and is active against five other Lactobacillus species and Enterococcus faecalis. The genetic determinants encoding the lactacin F complex are organized in a 1-kb polycistronic operon which comprises three genes, lafA, lafX, and ORFZ (encoding the putative immunity protein). The lafA and lafX genes encode the bacteriocin precursors with N-terminal extensions characterized by a Gly-Gly-1*Xaa+1 cleavage site (*). The Gly-Gly motif is conserved in several other bacteriocins, including carnobacteriocins A, BM1, and B2. Carnobacterium piscicola LV17 produces carnobacteriocins which are active against Listeria monocytogenes and other lactic acid bacteria. In this study, the lactacin F operon was introduced into C. piscicola LV17. The transformants produced lactacin F concurrently with the carnobacteriocins. When the lafA and lafX genes were separated and cloned individually into LV17, production of either LafA or LafX by C. piscicola LV17 was detected by complementation with L. johnsonii clones producing LafX or LafA, respectively. Transformants of C. piscicola LV17 which produced lactacin F, LafA, or LafX, in combination with the carnobacteriocins, were assayed for an increased and expanded inhibitory spectrum. The recombinant organisms were only active against lactacin F- and carnobacteriocin-sensitive strains. A plasmidless derivative of LV17 which does not produce the carnobacteriocins failed to produce lactacin F, LafA, or LafX when transformed with the appropriate recombinant plasmids. The ability of C. piscicola LV17 to produce lactacin F demonstrates that the machinery for the carnobacteriocins is capable of processing and exporting bacteriocins from both systems. PMID:7747957

  4. Does Functional Outcome Improve with Time Postsurgery for Hirschsprung Disease?

    PubMed

    Aworanti, Olugbenga Michael; McDowell, Dermot Thomas; Martin, Ian Michael; Quinn, Feargal

    2016-04-01

    Purpose Constipation and incontinence are significant problems following pull-through surgery for Hirschsprung disease (HD). There is evidence that these problems improve with time. However, there is also evidence showing no improvements and furthermore, significant long-term data are lacking for the newer endorectal pull-through. We aim to determine if there is clinical evidence that show improvements in functional outcomes with time after an endorectal pull-through surgery for HD. Methods We utilized the validated pediatric incontinence and constipation scoring system (PICSS) to score 51 consecutive children 3 months to 15 years posttransabdominal or transanal endorectal pull-through for HD. Cases of total colonic aganglionosis and Down syndrome were excluded. PICSS scores below the age-specific lower limit 95% confidence interval scores represent incomplete continence or constipation, respectively. We performed linear regression to analyze the relationship between PICSS scores and the follow-up duration and then compared the demographics of children with and without incomplete continence and constipation, respectively. Significance was set at p < 0.05. Results The median age at PICSS interview was 71 months (range, 6-191 months). Incontinence scores obtained from 42 children older than 35 months showed a positive relationship with the follow-up duration (p = 0.03). Constipation scores obtained from 51 children were unrelated to follow-up duration (p = 0.486). When demographics were compared, the continent children had longer follow-up than those with incomplete continence (mean, 111.64 vs. 69.19 months; p = 0.051), however follow-up duration did not differ in the group of constipated children compared with the nonconstipated group (mean, 61.88 vs. 71.80 months; p = 0.321). Conclusion These findings suggest that after an endorectal pull-through, improved continence should be expected with time but constipation often continues to be an ongoing problem. PMID:25643245

  5. Cardiac function assessed by attenuation-corrected radionuclide pressure-volume indices

    SciTech Connect

    Maurer, A.H.; Siegel, J.A.; Blasius, K.M.; Deneberg, B.S.; Spann, J.F.; Malmud, L.S.

    1985-07-01

    Using attenuation-corrected radionuclide volumes and arm-cuff peak systolic pressures, the authors established the mean value for the ratio of left ventricular (LV) peak systolic pressure/end systolic volume at rest for 15 healthy persons. In 43 patients with coronary disease, this ratio was more sensitive as an indicator of abnormal LV function and for predicting coronary artery disease than the resting ejection fraction. The slope of an end systolic pressure-volume line was also calculated from data obtained under three loading conditions: at rest, during isometric handgrip testing, and after the sublingual administration of nitroglycerin. These results represent an improvement over previous radionuclide pressure-volume measurements that have not used attenuation correction and show the need for accurate, nongeometric measurements of the LV end systolic volume.

  6. Improvement in renal functions with transcatheter aortic valve implantation

    PubMed Central

    Kele?, Telat; Ayhan, Hseyin; Durmaz, Tahir; Sar?, Cenk; Aslan, Abdullah Nabi; Erdo?an, Kemal E?ref; Kasapkara, Hac? Ahmet; Bilen, Emine; Bayram, Nihal Akar; Akay, Murat; Bozkurt, Engin

    2013-01-01

    Background & Objectives In recent years, emerging transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) has become an alternative for surgery. However, with advanced age, several co-morbid factors together with contrast agent usage can cause deterioration in renal function and increase in the risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) with poor prognosis in patients with AKI. Therefore, many patients cannot benefit from this treatment. In this study, we aim to examine the effects of TAVI on renal functions. Methods and Results Seventy patients, mean age of 77.6 years, underwent TAVI between July 2011 and December 2012. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was calculated by using the Cockcroft and Gault Formula. Patients were monitored for 48 h for urine output. Stage 1 AKI, according to the VARC-2 AKIN system, developed in only five (7.1%) of the patients after the procedure. There was a statistically significant increase between the mean 1st month eGFRs before (68.2 vs. 61.0, P < 0.01) and after (68.2 vs. 63.6, P < 0.05) the TAVI in the cohort. After TAVI (48.5 mL/min, P < 0.01) and the 1st month (52.1 mL/min, P < 0.01), the eGFR of the 36 (51.4%) patients diagnosed with chronic kidney disease before the procedure showed a statistically significant increase in renal functions. The hospital mortality rate was higher in the group which developed AKI (P < 0.01). First month eGFR showed a more statistically significant increase than pre-TAVI eGFR (62.8 and 69.8, P < 0.05, respectively) in AKI developing patients and this difference - though statistically not significant - continued into the sixth month. Conclusions In this study, we showed that the treatment of aortic stenosis through TAVI allows improvement of renal functions, and that AKI rates will be lower with careful patient selection, proper pre-procedural hydration, and careful use of contrast agent. PMID:24454323

  7. Lingo-1 inhibited by RNA interference promotes functional recovery of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chun-Juan; Qu, Chuan-Qiang; Zhang, Jie; Fu, Pei-Cai; Guo, Shou-Gang; Tang, Rong-Hua

    2014-12-01

    Lingo-1 is a negative regulator of myelination. Repairment of demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS)/experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), requires activation of the myelination program. In this study, we observed the effect of RNA interference on Lingo-1 expression, and the impact of Lingo-1 suppression on functional recovery and myelination/remyelination in EAE mice. Lentiviral vectors encoding Lingo-1 short hairpin RNA (LV/Lingo-1-shRNA) were constructed to inhibit Lingo-1 expression. LV/Lingo-1-shRNA of different titers were transferred into myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-induced EAE mice by intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection. Meanwhile, lentiviral vectors carrying nonsense gene sequence (LVCON053) were used as negative control. The Lingo-1 expression was detected and locomotor function was evaluated at different time points (on days 1,3,7,14,21, and 30 after ICV injection). Myelination was investigated by luxol fast blue (LFB) staining.LV/Lingo-1-shRNA administration via ICV injection could efficiently down-regulate the Lingo-1 mRNA and protein expression in EAE mice on days 7,14,21, and 30 (P?LV/Lingo-1-shRNA groups. The locomotor function score in the LV/Lingo-1-shRNA treated groups were significantly lower than the untreated or LVCON053 group from day 7 on. The 5 10(8) TU/mL LV/Lingo-1-shRNA group achieved the best functional improvement (0.87??0.11 vs. 3.05??0.13, P?LV/Lingo-1-shRNA groups by LFB staining (P?LV/Lingo-1-shRNA by ICV injection could efficiently knockdown Lingo-1 expression in vivo, improve functional recovery and enhance myelination/remyelination. Antagonism of Lingo-1 by RNA interference is, therefore, a promising approach for the treatment of demyelinating diseases, such as MS/EAE. PMID:25045138

  8. Developing crash modification functions for pedestrian signal improvement.

    PubMed

    Sacchi, Emanuele; Sayed, Tarek; Osama, Ahmed

    2015-10-01

    Pedestrian signals are viable traffic control devices that help pedestrians to cross safely at intersections. Although the literature is extensive when dealing with pedestrian signals design and operations, few studies have focused on the potential safety benefits of installing pedestrian signals at intersections. Most of these studies employed simple before-after (BA) safety evaluation techniques which suffer from methodological and statistical issues. Recent advances in safety evaluation research advocate the use of crash modification functions (CMFunctions) to represent the safety effectiveness of treatments. Unlike crash modification factors (CMFs) that are represented as single values, CMFunctions account for variable treatment location characteristics (heterogeneity). Therefore, the main objective of this study was to quantify the safety impact of installing pedestrian signals at signalized intersections by developing CMFunctions within an observational BA study. The use of observational BA framework to develop the CMFunctions avoids the cross-sectional approach where the functions are derived based on a single time period and no actual treatment intervention. Treatment sites heterogeneity was incorporated into CMFunctions using fixed-effects and random-effects regression models. In addition to heterogeneity, the paper also advocates the use of CMFunctions with a time variable to acknowledge that the safety treatment (intervention) effects do not occur instantaneously but are spread over future time. This is achieved using non-linear intervention (Koyck) models, developed within a hierarchical full Bayes context. The results demonstrated the importance of considering treatment sites heterogeneity (i.e., different circulating volumes and area type among treated locations) and time trends when developing CMFunctions for pedestrian signal improvement. PMID:26196466

  9. May pentoxifylline improve lung function after one-lung flooding?

    PubMed

    Klinzing, S; Lesser, T; Schubert, H; Bartel, M; Klein, U

    2001-01-01

    One-lung flooding makes the intraoperative sonography of round pulmonary lesions possible. During the flooded phase, the flooded lung suffers a significant reduction in perfusion. After ischemia and reperfusion, neutrophil granulocytes lead to further tissue injuries. A study was made on four animals to determine whether administration of pentoxifylline--a potent inhibitor of granulocyte adhesion to the endothelium--improves lung function after one-lung flooding. Two animals were subjected to thoracotomy with extended hemodynamic monitoring. Thoracoscopy was performed on two other animals, which were extubated after the flooding liquid was drained and survived for 24 degrees h. A bolus of 1 mg/kg of pentoxifylline was administered at the time of thoracotomy/thoracoscopy. followed by continuous infusion of pentoxifylline at a rate of 1.5 mg/kg per hour until 30 degrees min after reventilation (thoracotomy), or until extubation, respectively. The control group consisted of animals employed in previous experiments. Except for pentoxifylline administration, they were subjected to identical experimental conditions. The control group for the thoracotomy experiment comprised 14 animals, that for the thoracoscopy experiment three animals. The experiments proved that 30 degrees min after the draining of the flooding liquid and reventilation, all four pentoxifylline-treated animals had a higher partial arterial oxygen pressure and a lower pulmonary shunt volume compared with the control animals. In the two animals that survived, a positive effect on lung function was no longer detectable 24 degrees h after extubation. The administration did not lead to a drop in the pulmonary arterial pressure and did not cause any hemodynamic changes other than a moderate tachycardia. PMID:11271514

  10. Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 activation in heart failure restores mitochondrial function and improves ventricular function and remodelling

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Katia M.S.; Campos, Juliane C.; Bechara, Luiz R.G.; Queliconi, Bruno; Lima, Vanessa M.; Disatnik, Marie-Helene; Magno, Paulo; Chen, Che-Hong; Brum, Patricia C.; Kowaltowski, Alicia J.; Mochly-Rosen, Daria; Ferreira, Julio C.B.

    2014-01-01

    Aims We previously demonstrated that pharmacological activation of mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) protects the heart against acute ischaemia/reperfusion injury. Here, we determined the benefits of chronic activation of ALDH2 on the progression of heart failure (HF) using a post-myocardial infarction model. Methods and results We showed that a 6-week treatment of myocardial infarction-induced HF rats with a selective ALDH2 activator (Alda-1), starting 4 weeks after myocardial infarction at a time when ventricular remodelling and cardiac dysfunction were present, improved cardiomyocyte shortening, cardiac function, left ventricular compliance and diastolic function under basal conditions, and after isoproterenol stimulation. Importantly, sustained Alda-1 treatment showed no toxicity and promoted a cardiac anti-remodelling effect by suppressing myocardial hypertrophy and fibrosis. Moreover, accumulation of 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE)-protein adducts and protein carbonyls seen in HF was not observed in Alda-1-treated rats, suggesting that increasing the activity of ALDH2 contributes to the reduction of aldehydic load in failing hearts. ALDH2 activation was associated with improved mitochondrial function, including elevated mitochondrial respiratory control ratios and reduced H2O2 release. Importantly, selective ALDH2 activation decreased mitochondrial Ca2+-induced permeability transition and cytochrome c release in failing hearts. Further supporting a mitochondrial mechanism for ALDH2, Alda-1 treatment preserved mitochondrial function upon in vitro aldehydic load. Conclusions Selective activation of mitochondrial ALDH2 is sufficient to improve the HF outcome by reducing the toxic effects of aldehydic overload on mitochondrial bioenergetics and reactive oxygen species generation, suggesting that ALDH2 activators, such as Alda-1, have a potential therapeutic value for treating HF patients. PMID:24817685

  11. MuLV IN Mutants Responsive to HDAC Inhibitors Enhance Transcription from Unintegrated Retroviral DNA

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, William M.; Wu, Dai-tze; Amin, Vaibhav; Aiyer, Sriram; Roth, Monica J.

    2012-01-01

    For Moloney murine leukemia virus (M-MuLV), sustained viral infections require expression from an integrated provirus. For many applications, non-integrating retroviral vectors have been utilized to avoid the unwanted effects of integration, however, the level of expression from unintegrated DNA is significantly less than that of integrated provirus. We find that unintegrated DNA expression can be increased in the presence of HDAC inhibitors, such as TSA, when applied in combination with integrase (IN) mutations. These mutants include an active site mutation as well as catalytically active INs bearing mutations of K376 in the MuLV C-terminal domain of IN. MuLV IN K376 is homologous to K266 in HIV-1 IN, a known substrate for acetylation. The MuLV IN protein is acetylated by p300 in vitro, however, the effect of HDAC inhibitors on gene expression from unintegrated DNA is not dependent on the acetylation state of MuLV IN K376. PMID:22365328

  12. Stimulus Characteristics for Vestibular Stochastic Resonance to Improve Balance Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mulavara, Ajitkumar; Fiedler, Matthew; Kofman, Igor; Peters, Brian; Wood, Scott; Serrado, Jorge; Cohen, Helen; Reschke, Millard; Bloomberg, Jacob

    2010-01-01

    Stochastic resonance (SR) is a mechanism by which noise can enhance the response of neural systems to relevant sensory signals. Studies have shown that imperceptible stochastic vestibular electrical stimulation, when applied to normal young and elderly subjects, significantly improved their ocular stabilization reflexes in response to whole-body tilt as well as balance performance during postural disturbances. The goal of this study was to optimize the amplitude characteristics of the stochastic vestibular signals for balance performance during standing on an unstable surface. Subjects performed a standard balance task of standing on a block of foam with their eyes closed. Bipolar stochastic electrical stimulation was applied to the vestibular system using constant current stimulation through electrodes placed over the mastoid process behind the ears. Amplitude of the signals varied in the range of 0-700 microamperes. Balance performance was measured using a force plate under the foam block, and inertial motion sensors were placed on the torso and head. Balance performance with stimulation was significantly greater (10%-25%) than with no stimulation. The signal amplitude at which performance was maximized was in the range of 100-300 microamperes. Optimization of the amplitude of the stochastic signals for maximizing balance performance will have a significant impact on development of vestibular SR as a unique system to aid recovery of function in astronauts after long-duration space flight or in patients with balance disorders.

  13. Genetically enhancing mitochondrial antioxidant activity improves muscle function in aging

    PubMed Central

    Umanskaya, Alisa; Santulli, Gaetano; Andersson, Daniel C.; Reiken, Steven R.; Marks, Andrew R.

    2014-01-01

    Age-related skeletal muscle dysfunction is a leading cause of morbidity that affects up to half the population aged 80 or greater. Here we tested the effects of increased mitochondrial antioxidant activity on age-dependent skeletal muscle dysfunction using transgenic mice with targeted overexpression of the human catalase gene to mitochondria (MCat mice). Aged MCat mice exhibited improved voluntary exercise, increased skeletal muscle specific force and tetanic Ca2+ transients, decreased intracellular Ca2+ leak and increased sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ load compared with age-matched wild type (WT) littermates. Furthermore, ryanodine receptor 1 (the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ release channel required for skeletal muscle contraction; RyR1) from aged MCat mice was less oxidized, depleted of the channel stabilizing subunit, calstabin1, and displayed increased single channel open probability (Po). Overall, these data indicate a direct role for mitochondrial free radicals in promoting the pathological intracellular Ca2+ leak that underlies age-dependent loss of skeletal muscle function. This study harbors implications for the development of novel therapeutic strategies, including mitochondria-targeted antioxidants for treatment of mitochondrial myopathies and other healthspan-limiting disorders. PMID:25288763

  14. Changes in collagen metabolism account for ventricular functional recovery following beta-blocker therapy in patients with chronic heart failure.

    PubMed

    Fukui, Miho; Goda, Akiko; Komamura, Kazuo; Nakabo, Ayumi; Masaki, Mitsuru; Yoshida, Chikako; Hirotani, Shinichi; Lee-Kawabata, Masaaki; Tsujino, Takeshi; Mano, Toshiaki; Masuyama, Tohru

    2016-02-01

    While beta blockade improves left ventricular (LV) function in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF), the mechanisms are not well known. This study aimed to examine whether changes in myocardial collagen metabolism account for LV functional recovery following beta-blocker therapy in 62 CHF patients with reduced ejection fraction (EF). LV function was echocardiographically measured at baseline and 1, 6, and 12 months after bisoprolol therapy along with serum markers of collagen metabolism including C-terminal telopeptide of collagen type I (CITP) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2. Deceleration time of mitral early velocity (DcT) increased even in the early phase, but LVEF gradually improved throughout the study period. Heart rate (HR) was reduced from the early stage, and CITP gradually decreased. LVEF and DcT increased more so in patients with the larger decreases in CITP (r = -0.33, p < 0.05; r = -0.28, p < 0.05, respectively), and HR (r = -0.31, p < 0.05; r = -0.38, p < 0.05, respectively). In addition, there were greater decreases in CITP, MMP-2 and HR from baseline to 1, 6, or 12 months in patients with above-average improvement in LVEF than in those with below-average improvement in LVEF. Similar results were obtained in terms of DcT. There was no significant correlation between the changes in HR and CITP. In conclusion, improvement in LV systolic/diastolic function was greatest in patients with the larger inhibition of collagen degradation. Changes in myocardial collagen metabolism are closely related to LV functional recovery somewhat independently from HR reduction. PMID:25351137

  15. Influence of naturally acquired feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infection on the phagocytic and respiratory burst activity of neutrophils and monocytes of peripheral blood.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann-Jagielska, M; Winnicka, A; Jagielski, D; Micu?, J; Zmudzka, M; Lechowski, R

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this study was cytometric evaluation of phagocytic and oxidative burst activity of neutrophils and monocytes in cats naturally infected with FeLV. To conduct the study, the peripheral blood was obtained from 33 cats naturally infected with FeLV. The control group consisted of 30 FeLV-, FIV-, clinically healthy cats. The percentage of phagocytizing neutrophils of peripheral blood was lower in FeLV+ than in FeLV- cats. The percentage of neutrophils and monocytes in which an oxidative burst occurred was lower in FeLV+ than in FeLV-animals. Also an oxidative product formation in neutrophils after E. coli and PMA stimulation was lower in FeLV+ than in FeLV-animals. Obtained results allow to conclude that diminished phagocytic and oxidative burst activity of peripheral blood leukocytes may cause impairment of innate immunity in cats infected with FeLV. PMID:15989127

  16. Two Litopenaeus vannamei HMGB proteins interact with transcription factors LvSTAT and LvDorsal to activate the promoter of white spot syndrome virus immediate-early gene ie1.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yi-Hong; Jia, Xiao-Ting; Huang, Xian-De; Zhang, Shuang; Li, Mei; Xie, Jun-Feng; Weng, Shao-Ping; He, Jian-Guo

    2011-02-01

    White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) has caused great economic damage to shrimp aquaculture. Previous studies have shown that WSSV successfully usurps the immunity system of the host for its own gene regulation. To investigate the role of shrimp high mobility group box (HMGB) proteins in WSSV gene regulation, two Litopenaeus vannamei HMGB genes, LvHMGBa and LvHMGBb, were isolated by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). Recombinant LvHMGBa/b proteins were present in the nucleus of transfected Drosophila Schneider 2 (S2) cells. Luciferase reporter assays revealed that LvHMGBa/b upregulated the WSSV immediate-early (IE) gene (ie1) in a NF-?B and STAT binding site-dependent manner. GST pull-down assays demonstrated that LvHMGBa/b interacted with L. vannamei Dorsal (LvDorsal) and L. vannamei STAT (LvSTAT), respectively. LvHMGBa was highly expressed in hepatopancreas while HMGBb was highly expressed in stomach, intestine, heart, antennal gland, and epidermis. Moreover, an immune challenge assay demonstrated that the expression of LvHMGBa/b was upregulated by WSSV infection and that both mRNAs reached peak values at 24 h post-infection. To our knowledge, this is the first report that invertebrate HMGB proteins participates in viral gene regulation. PMID:21186060

  17. Human Cardiac Function Simulator for the Optimal Design of a Novel Annuloplasty Ring with a Sub-valvular Element for Correction of Ischemic Mitral Regurgitation.

    PubMed

    Baillargeon, Brian; Costa, Ivan; Leach, Joseph R; Lee, Lik Chuan; Genet, Martin; Toutain, Arnaud; Wenk, Jonathan F; Rausch, Manuel K; Rebelo, Nuno; Acevedo-Bolton, Gabriel; Kuhl, Ellen; Navia, Jose L; Guccione, Julius M

    2015-06-01

    Ischemic mitral regurgitation is associated with substantial risk of death. We sought to: (1) detail significant recent improvements to the Dassault Systmes human cardiac function simulator (HCFS); (2) use the HCFS to simulate normal cardiac function as well as pathologic function in the setting of posterior left ventricular (LV) papillary muscle infarction; and (3) debut our novel device for correction of ischemic mitral regurgitation. We synthesized two recent studies of human myocardial mechanics. The first study presented the robust and integrative finite element HCFS. Its primary limitation was its poor diastolic performance with an LV ejection fraction below 20% caused by overly stiff ex vivo porcine tissue parameters. The second study derived improved diastolic myocardial material parameters using in vivo MRI data from five normal human subjects. We combined these models to simulate ischemic mitral regurgitation by computationally infarcting an LV region including the posterior papillary muscle. Contact between our novel device and the mitral valve apparatus was simulated using Dassault Systmes SIMULIA software. Incorporating improved cardiac geometry and diastolic myocardial material properties in the HCFS resulted in a realistic LV ejection fraction of 55%. Simulating infarction of posterior papillary muscle caused regurgitant mitral valve mechanics. Implementation of our novel device corrected valve dysfunction. Improvements in the current study to the HCFS permit increasingly accurate study of myocardial mechanics. The first application of this simulator to abnormal human cardiac function suggests that our novel annuloplasty ring with a sub-valvular element will correct ischemic mitral regurgitation. PMID:25984248

  18. [Epidemiology of FeLV and FIV infection in the Federal Republic of Germany].

    PubMed

    Fuchs, A; Binzel, L; Lonsdorfer, M

    1994-06-01

    In a nationwide study 6101 cats were tested for presence of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) antigen and for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) antibodies utilizing enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). 21.8% of the German cat population may be FeLV- and/or FIV-positive. Of the animals tested, 13.4% were found to be FeLV carriers, while 8.4% showed evidence of FIV infection. Infection with both viruses was identified in 2.1% of the cats tested. Of the animals showing clinical symptoms, nearly one cat in three was found to be carrying either one or both of the viruses. Male cats were more likely to be infected then were females, similarly as were free-roaming cats, compared with confined cats; domestic cats, compared with purebred cats; and cats > 6 years old, compared with younger cats. PMID:8048038

  19. Reassessment of feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) vaccines with novel sensitive molecular assays.

    PubMed

    Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina; Tandon, Ravi; Boretti, Felicitas S; Meli, Marina L; Willi, Barbara; Cattori, Valentino; Gomes-Keller, Maria A; Ossent, Pete; Golder, Matthew C; Flynn, J Norman; Lutz, Hans

    2006-02-20

    We previously described antigen negative, provirus positive cats. Subsequently, we hypothesized that efficacious FeLV vaccines cannot prevent minimal viral replication. Thus, we vaccinated cats with either a canarypox-vectored live or a killed virus vaccine and analyzed the challenge outcome with quantitative PCR and a newly established real-time RT-PCR. When judged by conventional parameters (antigenaemia, virus isolation), most of the vaccinated cats were, as expected, protected from persistent viraemia. However, all cats were found to be plasma viral RNA positive. The loads were significantly associated with the infection outcome. Thus, commonly used FeLV vaccines understood to be successful model antiretroviral vaccines protecting against FeLV-related diseases do not confer sterilizing immunity. PMID:16198454

  20. Diaphragmatic plication offers functional improvement in dyspnoea and better pulmonary function with low morbidity.

    PubMed

    Gazala, Sayf; Hunt, Ian; Bdard, Eric L R

    2012-09-01

    A best evidence topic in thoracic surgery was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was as follows: In adults with unilateral diaphragmatic paralysis, does diaphragmatic plication offer functional improvement in dyspnoea, better pulmonary function tests (PFTs) and return to activity? A total of 126 papers were found using the reported search, of which 13 represented the best evidence to answer the clinical question. The authors, date and country of publication, patient group studied, surgical approach, study type, relevant outcomes and results of these articles are tabulated. Those articles reporting improvement in PFTs following plication, documented this benefit in the following parameters: mean forced vital capacity (range 17-40%), forced expiratory volume at 1 sec (range 21-27%), functional residual capacity (range 20-21%) and total lung capacity (range 16-19%). The percentage of postoperative improvement in shortness of breath as measured by a dyspnoea score was reported to be between 90 and 96% in the thoracotomy group and 100% in the Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) group, the dyspnoea score that was used in all the studies was a visual analogue scale between 0 and 10 where 0 is no dyspnoea and 10 is the worst dyspnoea a patient can have. One of the studies reported postoperative normalization in ventilation perfusion scan (VQ) scan parameters when compared with the preoperative mismatch. Complication rate was similar between the two groups, while the mortality rate was 4% in the thoracotomy group and 0% in the VATS group. The total number of patients included in all the studies combined was 161. All reports included in this review are observational studies (one cohort study and the remainder being case series); therefore, the risk of selection, information and publication biases are high and conclusions should be implemented with caution. We conclude that diaphragmatic plication can improve the functional status, shortness of breath and PFTs of patients with unilateral diaphragm paralysis. Patients undergoing a VATS approach appear to have more advantages in objective and subjective measures (including PFTs, dyspnoea score, length of hospital stay and postoperative complications). Further research with high-quality study designs is advised, focussing mainly on the long-term benefits and assessment of health-related quality of life. PMID:22691375

  1. Exercise training improves endothelial function in young prehypertensives

    PubMed Central

    Beck, Darren T; Casey, Darren P; Martin, Jeffrey S; Emerson, Blaze D; Braith, Randy W

    2015-01-01

    Prehypertensives exhibit marked endothelial dysfunction, a risk factor for future cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. However, the ability of exercise to ameliorate endothelial dysfunction in prehypertensives is grossly underinvestigated. This prospective randomized and controlled study examined the separate effects of resistance and endurance training on conduit artery endothelial function in young prehypertensives. Forty-three unmedicated prehypertensive (systolic blood pressure [SBP]=120–139 mmHg; diastolic blood pressure [DBP]=80–89 mmHg) but otherwise healthy men and women and 15 normotensive matched time-controls (NMTC); n = 15) between 18 and 35 y of age met screening requirements and participated in the study. Prehypertensive subjects were randomly assigned to either a resistance exercise training (PHRT; n = 15), endurance exercise training (PHET; n = 13) or time-control group (PHTC; n = 15). The treatment groups performed exercise training three days per week for eight weeks. The control groups did not initiate exercise programs throughout the study. Flow mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery, biomarkers of enodothelial function and peripheral blood pressure were evaluated before and after exercise intervention or time-matched control. PHRT and PHET reduced resting SBP (9.6 ± 3.6 and 11.9 ± 3.4 mmHg, respectively; P < 0.05) and DBP (8.0 ± 5.1 and 7.2 ± 3.4 mmHg, respectively; P < 0.05). Exercise training improved brachial artery FMD absolute diameter, percent dilation and normalized percent dilation by 30%, 34% and 19% for PHRT, P < 0.05; and by 54%, 63% and 75% for PHET, P < 0.05; respectively. PHRT and PHET increased plasma concentrations of 6-keto prostaglandin F1α (19% and 22%, respectively; P < 0.05), NOx (19% and 23%, respectively; P < 0.05), and reduced endothelin-1 by (16% and 24%, respectively; P < 0.01). This study provides novel evidence that resistance and endurance exercise separately have beneficial effects on resting peripheral blood pressure, brachial artery FMD and endothelial-derived vasoactive agents in young prehypertensives. PMID:23760009

  2. Exercise training improves endothelial function in young prehypertensives.

    PubMed

    Beck, Darren T; Casey, Darren P; Martin, Jeffrey S; Emerson, Blaze D; Braith, Randy W

    2013-04-01

    Prehypertensives exhibit marked endothelial dysfunction, a risk factor for future cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. However, the ability of exercise to ameliorate endothelial dysfunction in prehypertensives is grossly underinvestigated. This prospective randomized and controlled study examined the separate effects of resistance and endurance training on conduit artery endothelial function in young prehypertensives. Forty-three unmedicated prehypertensive (systolic blood pressure [SBP]=120-139 mmHg; diastolic blood pressure [DBP]=80-89 mmHg) but otherwise healthy men and women and 15 normotensive matched time-controls (NMTC); n = 15) between 18 and 35 y of age met screening requirements and participated in the study. Prehypertensive subjects were randomly assigned to either a resistance exercise training (PHRT; n = 15), endurance exercise training (PHET; n = 13) or time-control group (PHTC; n = 15). The treatment groups performed exercise training three days per week for eight weeks. The control groups did not initiate exercise programs throughout the study. Flow mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery, biomarkers of enodothelial function and peripheral blood pressure were evaluated before and after exercise intervention or time-matched control. PHRT and PHET reduced resting SBP (9.6 3.6 and 11.9 3.4 mmHg, respectively; P < 0.05) and DBP (8.0 5.1 and 7.2 3.4 mmHg, respectively; P < 0.05). Exercise training improved brachial artery FMD absolute diameter, percent dilation and normalized percent dilation by 30%, 34% and 19% for PHRT, P < 0.05; and by 54%, 63% and 75% for PHET, P < 0.05; respectively. PHRT and PHET increased plasma concentrations of 6-keto prostaglandin F1? (19% and 22%, respectively; P < 0.05), NO x (19% and 23%, respectively; P < 0.05), and reduced endothelin-1 by (16% and 24%, respectively; P < 0.01). This study provides novel evidence that resistance and endurance exercise separately have beneficial effects on resting peripheral blood pressure, brachial artery FMD and endothelial-derived vasoactive agents in young prehypertensives. PMID:23760009

  3. An improved version of the Green's function molecular dynamics method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kong, Ling Ti; Denniston, Colin; Mser, Martin H.

    2011-02-01

    This work presents an improved version of the Green's function molecular dynamics method (Kong et al., 2009; Campa and Mser, 2004 [1,2]), which enables one to study the elastic response of a three-dimensional solid to an external stress field by taking into consideration only atoms near the surface. In the previous implementation, the effective elastic coefficients measured at the ?-point were altered to reduce finite size effects: their eigenvalues corresponding to the acoustic modes were set to zero. This scheme was found to work well for simple Bravais lattices as long as only atoms within the last layer were treated as Green's function atoms. However, it failed to function as expected in all other cases. It turns out that a violation of the acoustic sum rule for the effective elastic coefficients at ? (Kong, 2010 [3]) was responsible for this behavior. In the new version, the acoustic sum rule is enforced by adopting an iterative procedure, which is found to be physically more meaningful than the previous one. In addition, the new algorithm allows one to treat lattices with bases and the Green's function slab is no longer confined to one layer. New version program summaryProgram title: FixGFC/FixGFMD v1.12 Catalogue identifier: AECW_v1_1 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/AECW_v1_1.html Program obtainable from: CPC Program Library, Queen's University, Belfast, N. Ireland Licensing provisions: Standard CPC licence, http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/licence/licence.html No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 206 436 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 4 314 850 Distribution format: tar.gz Programming language: C++ Computer: All Operating system: Linux Has the code been vectorized or parallelized?: Yes. Code has been parallelized using MPI directives. RAM: Depends on the problem Classification: 7.7 External routines: LAMMPS ( http://lammps.sandia.gov/), MPI ( http://www.mcs.anl.gov/research/projects/mpi/), FFT ( http://www.fftw.org/) Catalogue identifier of previous version: AECW_v1_0 Journal reference of previous version: Comput. Phys. Comm. 180 (2009) 1004 Does the new version supersede the previous version?: Yes Nature of problem: Green's function molecular dynamics (GFMD) is a coarse-graining method that enables one to investigate the full elastic response of an interface between a semi-infinite solid and a contact while taking only the surface atoms in the solid into consideration. The effect of long-range elastic deformations on the surface atoms from the semi-infinite solid is replaced by effective elastic interactions, thus reducing the problem from three dimensions to two dimensions without compromising the physical essence of the problem. Solution method: See "Nature of problem". Reasons for new version: The basic theory underlying the new version is essentially the same as the previous one, while the special treatment to reduce the finite size effect on effective elastic coefficients at the ?-point is now realized in a physically meaningful manner. Finite size effects are an important issue in molecular dynamics simulations, particularly for GFMD, they result in a violation of the acoustic sum rule (ASR) for the effective elastic coefficients measured at the ?-point ( ?). In the previous implementation, the effective elastic coefficients measured at the ?-point were altered by setting their eigenvalues corresponding to the acoustic modes to zero. This scheme was found to work well for simple Bravais lattices as long as only atoms within the last layer were treated as Green's function atoms. However, it failed to function as expected in all other cases. We therefore adopt a new algorithm to enforce the ASR for ? (Kong, 2010 [3]) which is implemented in this revision. Summary of revisions: Assuming the lattice under study consists of surface unit cells with n basis atoms labeled by k=1,2,,n. When all atoms in the lattice are moved by the same amount, i.e., the crystal is rigidly translated, the force on any atom must be zero

  4. Real-time three-dimensional echocardiographic study of left ventricular function after infarct exclusion surgery for ischemic cardiomyopathy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Qin, J. X.; Shiota, T.; McCarthy, P. M.; Firstenberg, M. S.; Greenberg, N. L.; Tsujino, H.; Bauer, F.; Travaglini, A.; Hoercher, K. J.; Buda, T.; Smedira, N. G.; Thomas, J. D.

    2000-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Infarct exclusion (IE) surgery, a technique of left ventricular (LV) reconstruction for dyskinetic or akinetic LV segments in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy, requires accurate volume quantification to determine the impact of surgery due to complicated geometric changes. METHODS AND RESULTS: Thirty patients who underwent IE (mean age 61+/-8 years, 73% men) had epicardial real-time 3-dimensional echocardiographic (RT3DE) studies performed before and after IE. RT3DE follow-up was performed transthoracically 42+/-67 days after surgery in 22 patients. Repeated measures ANOVA was used to compare the values before and after IE surgery and at follow-up. Significant decreases in LV end-diastolic (EDVI) and end-systolic (ESVI) volume indices were apparent immediately after IE and in follow-up (EDVI 99+/-40, 67+/-26, and 71+/-31 mL/m(2), respectively; ESVI 72+/-37, 40+/-21, and 42+/-22 mL/m(2), respectively; P:<0.05). LV ejection fraction increased significantly and remained higher (0.29+/-0.11, 0.43+/-0.13, and 0.42+/-0.09, respectively, P:<0.05). Forward stroke volume in 16 patients with preoperative mitral regurgitation significantly improved after IE and in follow-up (22+/-12, 53+/-24, and 58+/-21 mL, respectively, P:<0.005). New York Heart Association functional class at an average 285+/-144 days of clinical follow-up significantly improved from 3.0+/-0.8 to 1.8+/-0.8 (P:<0.0001). Smaller end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes measured with RT3DE immediately after IE were closely related to improvement in New York Heart Association functional class at clinical follow-up (Spearman's rho=0.58 and 0.60, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: RT3DE can be used to quantitatively assess changes in LV volume and function after complicated LV reconstruction. Decreased LV volume and increased ejection fraction imply a reduction in LV wall stress after IE surgery and are predictive of symptomatic improvement.

  5. Improving social functioning in schizophrenia by playing the train game.

    PubMed

    Torres, Alejandro; Mendez, Laura P; Merino, Hipolito; Moran, Edgar A

    2002-07-01

    Social impairments have long been recognized as a core feature of schizophrenia. Poor social, self-care, and vocational functioning are criteria for a diagnosis of schizophrenia in most diagnostic systems. Consequently, improving the social behaviors of persons with schizophrenia has been a key target of psychiatric rehabilitation techniques. One such technique, social skills training, has demonstrated effectiveness in yielding skill acquisition, durability, and generalization (1) and has been recognized as a psychosocial treatment of choice for schizophrenia (2). Nevertheless, a number of limitations to the benefits that may be achieved through skills training have been described. For example, the cognitive impairments of persons with schizophrenia, such as poor sustained attention and verbal memory deficits, have been shown to limit the acquisition of social skills (3). Moreover, one study showed that patients with negative symptoms, such as apathy, anhedonia, and amotivation, have an impaired capacity to benefit from social skills training (4). However, the results of a more recent study suggest that only persons with primary, deficit-type negative symptoms-not those with negative symptoms secondary to positive psychotic symptoms, depression, or extrapyramidal side effects-are unable to benefit from conventional social skills training (5). Recognizing these obstacles to implementing a social skills training program for persons with schizophrenia, Torres and his colleagues have created a board game called El Tren (The Train). Several characteristics of El Tren make it ideal for use with this population. First, the game is behaviorally oriented and has an emphasis on positive reinforcement and shaping. Second, it is sensitive to the cognitive limitations of the participants, emphasizing repetition and procedural learning. Third, it is designed to overcome participants' negative symptoms by being entertaining and fun. In this month's column, these authors describe El Tren and present the results of a randomized controlled study of its efficacy. PMID:12096159

  6. Improving Sensorimotor Function and Adaptation using Stochastic Vestibular Stimulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Galvan, R. C.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Mulavara, A. P.; Clark, T. K.; Merfeld, D. M.; Oman, C. M.

    2014-01-01

    Astronauts experience sensorimotor changes during adaption to G-transitions that occur when entering and exiting microgravity. Post space flight, these sensorimotor disturbances can include postural and gait instability, visual performance changes, manual control disruptions, spatial disorientation, and motion sickness, all of which can hinder the operational capabilities of the astronauts. Crewmember safety would be significantly increased if sensorimotor changes brought on by gravitational changes could be mitigated and adaptation could be facilitated. The goal of this research is to investigate and develop the use of electrical stochastic vestibular stimulation (SVS) as a countermeasure to augment sensorimotor function and facilitate adaptation. For this project, SVS will be applied via electrodes on the mastoid processes at imperceptible amplitude levels. We hypothesize that SVS will improve sensorimotor performance through the phenomena of stochastic resonance, which occurs when the response of a nonlinear system to a weak input signal is optimized by the application of a particular nonzero level of noise. In line with the theory of stochastic resonance, a specific optimal level of SVS will be found and tested for each subject [1]. Three experiments are planned to investigate the use of SVS in sensory-dependent tasks and performance. The first experiment will aim to demonstrate stochastic resonance in the vestibular system through perception based motion recognition thresholds obtained using a 6-degree of freedom Stewart platform in the Jenks Vestibular Laboratory at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. A range of SVS amplitudes will be applied to each subject and the subjectspecific optimal SVS level will be identified as that which results in the lowest motion recognition threshold, through previously established, well developed methods [2,3,4]. The second experiment will investigate the use of optimal SVS in facilitating sensorimotor adaptation to system disturbances. Subjects will adapt to wearing minifying glasses, resulting in decreased vestibular ocular reflex (VOR) gain. The VOR gain will then be intermittently measured while the subject readapts to normal vision, with and without optimal SVS. We expect that optimal SVS will cause a steepening of the adaptation curve. The third experiment will test the use of optimal SVS in an operationally relevant aerospace task, using the tilt translation sled at NASA Johnson Space Center, a test platform capable of recreating the tilt-gain and tilt-translation illusions associated with landing of a spacecraft post-space flight. In this experiment, a perception based manual control measure will be used to compare performance with and without optimal SVS. We expect performance to improve in this task when optimal SVS is applied. The ultimate goal of this work is to systematically investigate and further understand the potential benefits of stochastic vestibular stimulation in the context of human space flight so that it may be used in the future as a component of a comprehensive countermeasure plan for adaptation to G-transitions.

  7. SVM-based classification of LV wall motion in cardiac MRI with the assessment of STE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mantilla, Juan; Garreau, Mireille; Bellanger, Jean-Jacques; Paredes, José Luis

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we propose an automated method to classify normal/abnormal wall motion in Left Ventricle (LV) function in cardiac cine-Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), taking as reference, strain information obtained from 2D Speckle Tracking Echocardiography (STE). Without the need of pre-processing and by exploiting all the images acquired during a cardiac cycle, spatio-temporal profiles are extracted from a subset of radial lines from the ventricle centroid to points outside the epicardial border. Classical Support Vector Machines (SVM) are used to classify features extracted from gray levels of the spatio-temporal profile as well as their representations in the Wavelet domain under the assumption that the data may be sparse in that domain. Based on information obtained from radial strain curves in 2D-STE studies, we label all the spatio-temporal profiles that belong to a particular segment as normal if the peak systolic radial strain curve of this segment presents normal kinesis, or abnormal if the peak systolic radial strain curve presents hypokinesis or akinesis. For this study, short-axis cine- MR images are collected from 9 patients with cardiac dyssynchrony for which we have the radial strain tracings at the mid-papilary muscle obtained by 2D STE; and from one control group formed by 9 healthy subjects. The best classification performance is obtained with the gray level information of the spatio-temporal profiles using a RBF kernel with 91.88% of accuracy, 92.75% of sensitivity and 91.52% of specificity.

  8. Structural and functional cardiac adaptations to 6 months of football training in untrained hypertensive men.

    PubMed

    Andersen, L J; Randers, M B; Hansen, P R; Hornstrup, T; Schmidt, J F; Dvorak, J; Sgaard, P; Krustrup, P; Bangsbo, J

    2014-08-01

    We investigated the effects of 3 and 6 months of regular football training on cardiac structure and function in hypertensive men. Thirty-one untrained males with mild-to-moderate hypertension were randomized 2:1 to a football training group (n = 20) and a control group receiving traditional recommendations on healthy lifestyle (n = 11). Cardiac measures were evaluated by echocardiography. The football group exhibited significant (P < 0.05) changes in cardiac dimensions and function after just 3 months: Left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic volume increased from 104 25 to 117 29 mL. LV diastolic function improved measured as E/A ratio (1.15 0.32 to 1.54 0.38), early diastolic velocity, E' (11.0 2.5 to 11.9 2.6 cm/s), and isovolumetric relaxation time (74 13 to 62 13 ms). LV systolic function improved measured as longitudinal displacement (10.7 2.1 to 12.1 2.3 mm). Right ventricular function improved with respect to tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (21.8 3.2 to 24.5 3.7 mm). Arterial blood pressure decreased in both groups, but significantly more in the football training group. No significant changes were observed in the control group. In conclusion, short-term football training improves LV diastolic function in untrained men with mild-to-moderate arterial hypertension. Furthermore, it may improve longitudinal systolic function of both ventricles. The results suggest that football training has favorable effects on cardiac function in hypertensive men. PMID:24903081

  9. An improved method of constructing binned luminosity functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Page, M. J.; Carrera, F. J.

    2000-01-01

    We show that binned differential luminosity functions constructed using the 1/Va method have a significant systematic error for objects close to the flux limit(s) of their parent sample. This is particularly noticeable when luminosity functions are produced for a number of different redshift ranges as is common in the study of AGN or galaxy evolution. We present a simple method of constructing a binned luminosity function which overcomes this problem and has a number of other advantages over the traditional 1/Va method. We also describe a practical method for comparing binned and model luminosity functions, by calculating the expectation values of the binned luminosity function from the model. Binned luminosity functions produced by the two methods are compared for simulated data and for the Large Bright QSO Survey (LBQS). It is shown that the 1/Va method produces a very misleading picture of evolution in the LBQS. The binned luminosity function of the LBQS is then compared with a model two-power-law luminosity function undergoing pure luminosity evolution from Boyle et al. The comparison is made using a model luminosity function averaged over each redshift shell, and using the expectation values for the binned luminosity function calculated from the model. The luminosity function averaged in each redshift shell gives a misleading impression that the model over predicts the number of QSOs at low luminosity even for 1.0< z<1.5, when model and data are consistent. The expectation values show that there are significant differences between model and data: the model overpredicts the number of low luminosity sources at both low and high redshift. The luminosity function does not appear to steepen relative to the model as redshift increases.

  10. Endothelial function and left ventricular diastolic functional reserve in type 2 diabetes mellitus

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Melissa; Phan, Victoria; Leung, Dominic Y

    2014-01-01

    Background Endothelial dysfunction is an early feature of vascular disease. Left ventricular (LV) diastolic reserve is the ability of the left ventricle to augment diastolic function with exercise and may be impaired in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). It is unclear if endothelial dysfunction is related to impaired LV diastolic reserve and diminished exercise capacity. Methods 96 patients with type 2 DM and 10 controls had brachial artery reactivity testing, followed by exercise echocardiography. The brachial artery diameter was measured at rest and during reactive hyperaemia. LV diastolic reserve was measured as ?e? with exercise and diastolic reserve index (?e?/rest e?). Exercise capacity was calculated by metabolic equivalents (METs). Results Compared with controls, patients with DM had lower rest e? (7 vs 9?cm/s, p=0.002), lower ?e?(1 vs 4?cm/s, p=0.023), lower ?e?/rest e? (0.20 vs 0.47, p=0.003) and reduced flow mediated dilation (FMD, 5 vs 15%, p<0.001). FMD was correlated with ?e? (r=0.65, p<0.001), diastolic reserve index (r=0.61, p<0.001) and post-exercise septal E/e? (r=?0.50, p<0.001), but not with rest e? (r=0.13, p=0.177). FMD was an independent predictor of ?e? (?=0.002, p<0.001, R2=0.47) and diastolic reserve index (?=0.030, p<0.001, R2=0.41). Younger age (p<0.001), male gender (p=0.014), lower body mass index (p<0.001), lower rest E/e? (p=0.042) and higher FMD (p=0.025) were independent predictors of higher METs (R2=0.52, p<0.001). Conclusions Patients with DM had impaired endothelial function and LV diastolic dysfunction. LV diastolic reserve and exercise capacity are linked to endothelial function. Targeting vascular risk factors to improve endothelial function may improve LV diastolic reserve and exercise capacity. PMID:25332819

  11. Weakly coupled hyperbolic systems modeling the circulation of FeLV in structured feline populations.

    PubMed

    Fitzgibbon, W E; Langlais, M

    2000-05-01

    Global existence and regularity results are provided for weakly coupled first order hyperbolic systems modeling the propagation of the Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV), a retrovirus of domestic cats (Felis catus). In a simple example we find a threshold parameter yielding endemic stationary states. PMID:10804261

  12. Novel MRI-derived quantitative biomarker for cardiac function applied to classifying ischemic cardiomyopathy within a Bayesian rule learning framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menon, Prahlad G.; Morris, Lailonny; Staines, Mara; Lima, Joao; Lee, Daniel C.; Gopalakrishnan, Vanathi

    2014-03-01

    Characterization of regional left ventricular (LV) function may have application in prognosticating timely response and informing choice therapy in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy. The purpose of this study is to characterize LV function through a systematic analysis of 4D (3D + time) endocardial motion over the cardiac cycle in an effort to define objective, clinically useful metrics of pathological remodeling and declining cardiac performance, using standard cardiac MRI data for two distinct patient cohorts accessed from CardiacAtlas.org: a) MESA - a cohort of asymptomatic patients; and b) DETERMINE - a cohort of symptomatic patients with a history of ischemic heart disease (IHD) or myocardial infarction. The LV endocardium was segmented and a signed phase-to-phase Hausdorff distance (HD) was computed at 3D uniformly spaced points tracked on segmented endocardial surface contours, over the cardiac cycle. An LV-averaged index of phase-to-phase endocardial displacement (P2PD) time-histories was computed at each tracked point, using the HD computed between consecutive cardiac phases. Average and standard deviation in P2PD over the cardiac cycle was used to prepare characteristic curves for the asymptomatic and IHD cohort. A novel biomarker of RMS error between mean patient-specific characteristic P2PD over the cardiac cycle for each individual patient and the cumulative P2PD characteristic of a cohort of asymptomatic patients was established as the RMS-P2PD marker. The novel RMS-P2PD marker was tested as a cardiac function based feature for automatic patient classification using a Bayesian Rule Learning (BRL) framework. The RMS-P2PD biomarker indices were significantly different for the symptomatic patient and asymptomatic control cohorts (p<0.001). BRL accurately classified 83.8% of patients correctly from the patient and control populations, with leave-one-out cross validation, using standard indices of LV ejection fraction (LV-EF) and LV end-systolic volume index (LV-ESVI). This improved to 91.9% with inclusion of the RMS-P2PD biomarker and was congruent with improvements in both sensitivity for classifying patients and specificity for identifying asymptomatic controls from 82.6% up to 95.7%. RMS-P2PD, when contrasted against a collective normal reference, is a promising biomarker to investigate further in its utility for identifying quantitative signs of pathological endocardial function which may boost standard image makers as precursors of declining cardiac performance.

  13. Improving Treatment Integrity through a Functional Approach to Intervention Support

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liaupsin, Carl J.

    2015-01-01

    A functional approach to intervention planning has been shown to be effective in reducing problem behaviors and promoting appropriate behaviors in children and youth with behavior disorders. When function-based intervention plans are not successful, it is often due to issues of treatment integrity in which teachers omit or do not sufficiently

  14. LV mass assessed by echocardiography and CMR, cardiovascular outcomes, and medical practice.

    PubMed

    Armstrong, Anderson C; Gidding, Samuel; Gjesdal, Ola; Wu, Colin; Bluemke, David A; Lima, Joo A C

    2012-08-01

    The authors investigated 3 important areas related to the clinical use of left ventricular mass (LVM): accuracy of assessments by echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR), the ability to predict cardiovascular outcomes, and the comparative value of different indexing methods. The recommended formula for echocardiographic estimation of LVM uses linear measurements and is based on the assumption of the left ventricle (LV) as a prolate ellipsoid of revolution. CMR permits a modeling of the LV free of cardiac geometric assumptions or acoustic window dependency, showing better accuracy and reproducibility. However, echocardiography has lower cost, easier availability, and better tolerability. From the MEDLINE database, 26 longitudinal echocardiographic studies and 5 CMR studies investigating LVM or LV hypertrophy as predictors of death or major cardiovascular outcomes were identified. LVM and LV hypertrophy were reliable cardiovascular risk predictors using both modalities. However, no study directly compared the methods for the ability to predict events, agreement in hypertrophy classification, or performance in cardiovascular risk reclassification. Indexing LVM to body surface area was the earliest normalization process used, but it seems to underestimate the prevalence of hypertrophy in obese and overweight subjects. Dividing LVM by height to the allometric power of 1.7 or 2.7 is the most promising normalization method in terms of practicality and usefulness from a clinical and scientific standpoint for scaling myocardial mass to body size. The measurement of LVM, calculation of LVM index, and classification for LV hypertrophy should be standardized by scientific societies across measurement techniques and adopted by clinicians in risk stratification and therapeutic decision making. PMID:22897998

  15. Event-free survival following CRT with surgically implanted LV leads versus standard transvenous approach

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Amy Leigh; Kramer, Daniel B.; Lewis, Eldrin F.; Koplan, Bruce; Epstein, Laurence M.; Tedrow, Usha

    2011-01-01

    Background While surgical epicardial lead placement is performed in a subset of CRT patients, data comparing survival following surgical vs. transvenous lead placement is limited. We hypothesized that surgical procedures would be associated with increased mortality risk. Methods Long-term event-free survival was assessed for 480 consecutive patients undergoing surgical (48) or percutaneous (432) LV lead placement at our institution from January 2000 to September 2008. Results Baseline clinical and demographic characteristics were similar between groups. While there was no statistically significant difference in overall event-free survival (p=0.13), when analysis was restricted to surgical patients with isolated surgical lead placement (n=28), event-free survival was significantly lower in surgical patients (p=0.015). There appeared to be an early risk (first ?3 months post-implantation) with surgical lead placement, primarily in LV-lead only patients. Event rates were significantly higher in LV-lead only surgical patients than in transvenous patients in the first 3 months (p=0.006). In proportional hazards analysis comparing isolated surgical LV lead placement to transvenous lead placement, adjusted hazard ratios were 1.8 ([1.1,2.7] p=0.02) and 1.3 ([1.0,1.7] p=0.07) for the first 3 months and for the full duration of follow-up, respectively. Conclusions Isolated surgical LV lead placement appears to carry a small but significant up-front mortality cost, with risk extending beyond the immediate postoperative period. Long-term survival is similar, suggesting those surviving beyond this period of early risk derive the same benefit as CS lead recipients. Further work is needed to identify risk factors associated with early mortality following surgical lead placement. PMID:21463344

  16. Different abilities of Friend murine leukemia virus (MuLV) and Moloney MuLV to induce promonocytic leukemia are due to determinants in both psi-gag-PR and env regions.

    PubMed Central

    Mukhopadhyaya, R; Richardson, J; Nazarov, V; Corbin, A; Koller, R; Sitbon, M; Wolff, L

    1994-01-01

    Moloney murine leukemia virus (M-MuLV) is capable of inducing promonocytic leukemia in 50% of adult BALB/c mice that have received peritoneal injections of pristane, but Friend MuLV strain 57 (F-MuLV) is nonleukemogenic under similar conditions. It was shown earlier that these differences could not be mapped to the U3 region of the virus long terminal repeat, indicating the probable influence of structural genes and/or R-U5 sequences. In this study, reciprocal chimeras containing exchanged structural genes and R-U5 sequences from these two closely related viruses were analyzed for differences in ability to induce disease. Results showed that two regions of F-MuLV, psi-gag-PR and env, when substituted for those of M-MuLV were dramatically disease attenuating. The 5'-most region, which is widely distributed, overlaps with the 5' end of the env intron and includes the RNA packaging region, psi, the entire gag coding region, and the viral protease coding region (PR) of pol. It was also found that reciprocal constructs having substitutions of both of these regions of M-MuLV in an F-MuLV background allowed full reestablishment of promonocytic leukemia. These leukemias were positive for c-myb rearrangements which are characteristic of M-MuLV-induced promonocytic leukemias. Neither region alone, however, was sufficient to produce disease with a greater incidence than 13%. Further studies demonstrated that the inability of viruses with psi, gag, PR, or env sequences from F-MuLV to induce leukemia in this model system was not due to their inability to replicate in hematopoietic tissue, to integrate into the c-myb locus early on after infection in vivo, or to express gag-myb mRNA characteristic of M-MuLV-induced preleukemic cells and acute leukemia. Images PMID:7518530

  17. Detection of antibodies to the feline leukemia Virus (FeLV) transmembrane protein p15E: an alternative approach for serological FeLV detection based on antibodies to p15E.

    PubMed

    Boenzli, Eva; Hadorn, Maik; Hartnack, Sonja; Huder, Jon; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina; Lutz, Hans

    2014-06-01

    The aim of this report was to investigate whether the diagnosis of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infection by serology might be feasible and useful. Among the various viral proteins, the FeLV env-gene product (SU) and the envelope transmembrane protein p15E were considered promising candidates for the serological diagnosis of FeLV infection. Thus, we evaluated p15E and three other FeLV antigens, namely, a recombinant env-gene product, whole FeLV, and a short peptide from the FeLV transmembrane protein, for their potential to detect FeLV infection. To evaluate possible exposure of cats to FeLV, we tested serum and plasma samples from experimentally and naturally infected and vaccinated cats for the presence of antibodies to these antigens by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). The serological results were compared with the p27 and proviral real-time PCR results. We found that p15E displayed a diagnostic sensitivity of 95.7% and a specificity of 100% in experimentally infected cats. In naturally infected cats, p15E showed a diagnostic sensitivity of 77.1% and a specificity of 85.6%. Vaccinated cats displayed minimal antibody levels to p15E, suggesting that anti-p15E antibodies indicate infection rather than vaccination. The other antigens turned out to be too unspecific. The lower specificity in cats exposed to FeLV under field conditions may be explained by the fact that some cats become infected and seroconvert in the absence of detectable viral nucleic acids in plasma. We conclude that p15E serology may become a valuable tool for diagnosing FeLV infection; in some cases, it may replace PCR. PMID:24696026

  18. Detection of Antibodies to the Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) Transmembrane Protein p15E: an Alternative Approach for Serological FeLV Detection Based on Antibodies to p15E

    PubMed Central

    Boenzli, Eva; Hadorn, Maik; Hartnack, Sonja; Huder, Jon; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this report was to investigate whether the diagnosis of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infection by serology might be feasible and useful. Among the various viral proteins, the FeLV env-gene product (SU) and the envelope transmembrane protein p15E were considered promising candidates for the serological diagnosis of FeLV infection. Thus, we evaluated p15E and three other FeLV antigens, namely, a recombinant env-gene product, whole FeLV, and a short peptide from the FeLV transmembrane protein, for their potential to detect FeLV infection. To evaluate possible exposure of cats to FeLV, we tested serum and plasma samples from experimentally and naturally infected and vaccinated cats for the presence of antibodies to these antigens by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). The serological results were compared with the p27 and proviral real-time PCR results. We found that p15E displayed a diagnostic sensitivity of 95.7% and a specificity of 100% in experimentally infected cats. In naturally infected cats, p15E showed a diagnostic sensitivity of 77.1% and a specificity of 85.6%. Vaccinated cats displayed minimal antibody levels to p15E, suggesting that anti-p15E antibodies indicate infection rather than vaccination. The other antigens turned out to be too unspecific. The lower specificity in cats exposed to FeLV under field conditions may be explained by the fact that some cats become infected and seroconvert in the absence of detectable viral nucleic acids in plasma. We conclude that p15E serology may become a valuable tool for diagnosing FeLV infection; in some cases, it may replace PCR. PMID:24696026

  19. Overview of solid particle LV seeding techniques used at UTRC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patrick, W. P.

    1985-10-01

    Due to the failure of existing seeders to meet the stringent specifications required for benchmark experiments in high pressure, high temperature, rapidly accelerating flowfields, an effort is made to improve an existing solid particle seeder. The goal is to produce a more monodisperse seed from the 0.3 micro alumina powder with more than 99 percent of the particles in the submicron range while maintaining a high seeding rate. Coiled-wire inserts are installed within the ends of the nitrogen injection lines in the primary seeder to produce swirling conical jets to vigorously agitate the seed bed. A secondary swirler, constructed from a 25 cm length of 3.8 cm ID steel pipe having threaded end caps, is connected to the output line of the primary seeder. The seeded nitrogen from the primary seeder is injected tangentially at near sonic velocity into the secondary swirler 9.4 cm above its base. Independently controlled auxiliary nitrogen used to increase the swirl in the secondary chamber is also injected tangentially 2.5 cm below the seeded nitrogen lines. Large seed particles are collected by bleeds in the swirler cap and directed overboard. The remaining seeded nitrogen is collected on the center line of the secondary swirler and ducted to the rig.

  20. Effects of a myofilament calcium sensitizer on left ventricular systolic and diastolic function in rats with volume overload heart failure

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Kristin; Guggilam, Anuradha; West, T. Aaron; Zhang, Xiaojin; Trask, Aaron J.; Cismowski, Mary J.; de Tombe, Pieter; Sadayappan, Sakthivel

    2014-01-01

    Aortocaval fistula (ACF)-induced volume overload (VO) heart failure (HF) results in progressive left ventricular (LV) dysfunction. Hemodynamic load reversal during pre-HF (4 wk post-ACF; REV) results in rapid structural but delayed functional recovery. This study investigated myocyte and myofilament function in ACF and REV and tested the hypothesis that a myofilament Ca2+ sensitizer would improve VO-induced myofilament dysfunction in ACF and REV. Following the initial sham or ACF surgery in male Sprague-Dawley rats (200240 g) at week 0, REV surgery and experiments were performed at weeks 4 and 8, respectively. In ACF, decreased LV function is accompanied by impaired sarcomeric shortening and force generation and decreased Ca2+ sensitivity, whereas, in REV, impaired LV function is accompanied by decreased Ca2+ sensitivity. Intravenous levosimendan (Levo) elicited the best inotropic and lusitropic responses and was selected for chronic oral studies. Subsets of ACF and REV rats were given vehicle (water) or Levo (1 mg/kg) in drinking water from weeks 48. Levo improved systolic (% fractional shortening, end-systolic elastance, and preload-recruitable stroke work) and diastolic (?, dP/dtmin) function in ACF and REV. Levo improved Ca2+ sensitivity without altering the amplitude and kinetics of the intracellular Ca2+ transient. In ACF-Levo, increased cMyBP-C Ser-273 and Ser-302 and cardiac troponin I Ser-23/24 phosphorylation correlated with improved diastolic relaxation, whereas, in REV-Levo, increased cMyBP-C Ser-273 phosphorylation and increased ?-to-?-myosin heavy chain correlated with improved diastolic relaxation. We concluded that Levo improves LV function, and myofilament composition and regulatory protein phosphorylation likely play a key role in improving function. PMID:25260618

  1. Hypnotic Relaxation and Yoga to Improve Sleep and School Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perfect, Michelle M.; Smith, Bradley

    2016-01-01

    Sleep insufficiency, defined as inadequate sleep duration, poor sleep quality, and daytime sleepiness, has been linked with students' learning and behavioral outcomes at school. However, there is limited research on interventions designed to improve the sleep of school-age children. In order to promote more interest on this critical topic, we…

  2. Neurofeedback Improves Executive Functioning in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kouijzer, Mirjam E. J.; de Moor, Jan M. H.; Gerrits, Berrie J. L.; Congedo, Marco; van Schie, Hein T.

    2009-01-01

    Seven autistic children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) received a neurofeedback treatment that aimed to improve their level of executive control. Neurofeedback successfully reduced children's heightened theta/beta ratio by inhibiting theta activation and enhancing beta activation over sessions. Following treatment, children's…

  3. Neurofeedback Improves Executive Functioning in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kouijzer, Mirjam E. J.; de Moor, Jan M. H.; Gerrits, Berrie J. L.; Congedo, Marco; van Schie, Hein T.

    2009-01-01

    Seven autistic children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) received a neurofeedback treatment that aimed to improve their level of executive control. Neurofeedback successfully reduced children's heightened theta/beta ratio by inhibiting theta activation and enhancing beta activation over sessions. Following treatment, children's

  4. Development and evaluation of a semiautomatic segmentation method for the estimation of LV parameters on cine MR images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazonakis, Michalis; Grinias, Elias; Pagonidis, Konstantin; Tziritas, George; Damilakis, John

    2010-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a semiautomatic method for left ventricular (LV) segmentation on cine MR images and subsequent estimation of cardiac parameters. The study group comprised cardiac MR examinations of 18 consecutive patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease. The new method allowed the automatic detection of the LV endocardial and epicardial boundaries on each short-axis cine MR image using a Bayesian flooding segmentation algorithm and weighted least-squares B-splines minimization. Manual editing of the automatic contours could be performed for unsatisfactory segmentation results. The end-diastolic volume (EDV), end-systolic volume (ESV), ejection fraction (EF) and LV mass estimated by the new method were compared with the reference values obtained by manually tracing the LV cavity borders. The reproducibility of the new method was determined using data from two independent observers. The mean number of endocardial and epicardial outlines not requiring any manual adjustment was more than 80% and 76% of the total contour number per study, respectively. The mean segmentation time including the required manual corrections was 2.3 0.7 min per patient. LV volumes estimated by the semiautomatic method were significantly lower than those by manual tracing (P < 0.05), whereas no difference was found for EF and LV mass (P > 0.05). LV indices estimated by the two methods were well correlated (r >= 0.80). The mean difference between manual and semiautomatic method for estimating EDV, ESV, EF and LV mass was 6.1 7.2 ml, 3.0 5.2 ml, -0.6 4.3% and -6.2 12.2 g, respectively. The intraobserver and interobserver variability associated with the semiautomatic determination of LV indices was 0.5-1.2% and 0.8-3.9%, respectively. The estimation of LV parameters with the new semiautomatic segmentation method is technically feasible, highly reproducible and time effective.

  5. Bayesian Estimation of Conditional Independence Graphs Improves Functional Connectivity Estimates

    PubMed Central

    Hinne, Max; Janssen, Ronald J.; Heskes, Tom; van Gerven, Marcel A.J.

    2015-01-01

    Functional connectivity concerns the correlated activity between neuronal populations in spatially segregated regions of the brain, which may be studied using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This coupled activity is conveniently expressed using covariance, but this measure fails to distinguish between direct and indirect effects. A popular alternative that addresses this issue is partial correlation, which regresses out the signal of potentially confounding variables, resulting in a measure that reveals only direct connections. Importantly, provided the data are normally distributed, if two variables are conditionally independent given all other variables, their respective partial correlation is zero. In this paper, we propose a probabilistic generative model that allows us to estimate functional connectivity in terms of both partial correlations and a graph representing conditional independencies. Simulation results show that this methodology is able to outperform the graphical LASSO, which is the de facto standard for estimating partial correlations. Furthermore, we apply the model to estimate functional connectivity for twenty subjects using resting-state fMRI data. Results show that our model provides a richer representation of functional connectivity as compared to considering partial correlations alone. Finally, we demonstrate how our approach can be extended in several ways, for instance to achieve data fusion by informing the conditional independence graph with data from probabilistic tractography. As our Bayesian formulation of functional connectivity provides access to the posterior distribution instead of only to point estimates, we are able to quantify the uncertainty associated with our results. This reveals that while we are able to infer a clear backbone of connectivity in our empirical results, the data are not accurately described by simply looking at the mode of the distribution over connectivity. The implication of this is that deterministic alternatives may misjudge connectivity results by drawing conclusions from noisy and limited data. PMID:26540089

  6. Bayesian Estimation of Conditional Independence Graphs Improves Functional Connectivity Estimates.

    PubMed

    Hinne, Max; Janssen, Ronald J; Heskes, Tom; van Gerven, Marcel A J

    2015-11-01

    Functional connectivity concerns the correlated activity between neuronal populations in spatially segregated regions of the brain, which may be studied using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This coupled activity is conveniently expressed using covariance, but this measure fails to distinguish between direct and indirect effects. A popular alternative that addresses this issue is partial correlation, which regresses out the signal of potentially confounding variables, resulting in a measure that reveals only direct connections. Importantly, provided the data are normally distributed, if two variables are conditionally independent given all other variables, their respective partial correlation is zero. In this paper, we propose a probabilistic generative model that allows us to estimate functional connectivity in terms of both partial correlations and a graph representing conditional independencies. Simulation results show that this methodology is able to outperform the graphical LASSO, which is the de facto standard for estimating partial correlations. Furthermore, we apply the model to estimate functional connectivity for twenty subjects using resting-state fMRI data. Results show that our model provides a richer representation of functional connectivity as compared to considering partial correlations alone. Finally, we demonstrate how our approach can be extended in several ways, for instance to achieve data fusion by informing the conditional independence graph with data from probabilistic tractography. As our Bayesian formulation of functional connectivity provides access to the posterior distribution instead of only to point estimates, we are able to quantify the uncertainty associated with our results. This reveals that while we are able to infer a clear backbone of connectivity in our empirical results, the data are not accurately described by simply looking at the mode of the distribution over connectivity. The implication of this is that deterministic alternatives may misjudge connectivity results by drawing conclusions from noisy and limited data. PMID:26540089

  7. Improved motion invariant imaging with time varying shutter functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webster, Steve; Dorrell, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    In motion invariant photography, blur is introduced by a structured movement of the camera during capture. The structured movement results in a uniform blur which simplifies deblur through post-processing for objects moving at different speeds in a single motion plane. However motion invariance depends on the camera speed exceeding the object speed (in the image plane) by a significant amount. This can lead to noisy image results and may be a problem for implementation of the method in practice. We propose the introduction of a time varying shutter transmittance to this recently proposed computational imaging method and demonstrate through simulation how this can improve both the degree of motion invariance and the reconstructed image quality, despite a reduction in optical efficiency. Improvements in the order 6dB are demonstrated for the reconstructed, deblurred images in the presence of moderate noise. The work has the potential to bring motion invariant photography closer to use in real camera product.

  8. Resynchronization therapy after congenital heart surgery to improve left ventricular function.

    PubMed

    Roofthooft, Marcus T R; Blom, Nico A; Rijlaarsdam, Marry E B; Bkenkamp, Regina; Ottenkamp, Jaap; Schalij, Martin J; Bax, Jeroen J; Hazekamp, Mark G

    2003-10-01

    This report describes the mid-term beneficial hemodynamic effect of biventricular pacing in an infant with congestive heart failure after congenital heart surgery, due to resynchronization of the left and right ventricle, optimization of the AV delay, and (partial) correction of the LV dyssynchrony. PMID:14516349

  9. Improved synthesis of DCDHF fluorophores with maleimide functional groups

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Zhikuan; Weber, Ryan; Twieg, Robert J.

    2008-01-01

    A group of dicyanodihydrofuran (DCDHF) fluorophores with thiol-reactive maleimide functionality has been synthesized. One of the methods involves aromatic nucleophilic substitution reaction between an arylfluoride containing DCDHF and an amine containing protected maleimide. An alternative and generally useful method involves combination of the Mitsunobu reaction of a DCDHF-OH with a furan or 2-methylfuran protected maleimide and then subsequent retro DielsAlder reaction. PMID:18584068

  10. Improved Blending-Function Algebraic Generation Of Grids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ching-Chung Luh, Raymond

    1993-01-01

    Method of algebraic generation of grids used in computing flows incorporates blending-function techniques to obtain high degree of orthogonality of each grid on its bounding surfaces and to blend grid smoothly, making it conform to all boundaries. Demonstrated in two dimensions, and applied in continuing development of software for real-time interactive generation of three-dimensional grids with color graphical displays. Software used routinely in generating grids for computing flows of practical interest.

  11. Work function measurements using an improved thermionic projection microscope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinrichs, C. H.; Mackie, W. A.; Cohen, Ira; Alin, Jack; Schnitzler, Don; Noel, Ian

    1994-12-01

    A quantitative thermionic projection microscope, employing computer image processing, is described. In this system, thermionic emission from a single-crystal hemispherical cathode is projected onto a phosphor screen and the resulting image is digitized by means of a video camera. Single-plane effective work functions for the highest emitting planes of the cathode may be measured to within a tenth of an electron volt.

  12. Prohibitin overexpression improves myocardial function in diabetic cardiomyopathy.

    PubMed

    Dong, Wen-Qian; Chao, Min; Lu, Qing-Hua; Chai, Wei-Li; Zhang, Wei; Chen, Xue-Ying; Liang, Er-Shun; Wang, Ling-Bo; Tian, Hong-Liang; Chen, Yu-Guo; Zhang, Ming-Xiang

    2016-01-01

    Prohibitin (PHB) is a highly conserved protein implicated in various cellular functions including proliferation, apoptosis, tumor suppression, transcription, and mitochondrial protein folding. However, its function in diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) is still unclear. In vivo, type 2 diabetic rat model was induced by using a high-fat diet and low-dose streptozotocin. Overexpression of the PHB protein in the model rats was achieved by injecting lentivirus carrying PHB cDNA via the jugular vein. Characteristics of type 2 DCM were evaluated by metabolic tests, echocardiography and histopathology. Rats with DCM showed severe insulin resistance, left ventricular dysfunction, fibrosis and apoptosis. PHB overexpression ameliorated the disease. Cardiofibroblasts (CFs) and H9c2 cardiomyoblasts were used in vitro to investigate the mechanism of PHB in altered function. In CFs treated with HG, PHB overexpression decreased expression of collagen, matrix metalloproteinase activity, and proliferation. In H9c2 cardiomyoblasts, PHB overexpression inhibited apoptosis induced by HG. Furthermore, the increased phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 was significantly decreased and the inhibited phosphorylation of Akt was restored in DCM. Therefore, PHB may be a new therapeutic target for human DCM. PMID:26623724

  13. Tetrahydrobiopterin Improves Endothelial Function in Cardiovascular Disease: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qiongying; Yang, Mina; Xu, Han; Yu, Jing

    2014-01-01

    Background. Tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) is a cofactor of nitric oxide synthase (NOS). Nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability is reduced during the early stage of vascular diseases, such as coronary artery disease, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and diabetic vasculopathy, and even throughout the entire progression of atherosclerosis. Methods. A literature search was performed using electronic databases (up to January 31, 2014), including MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), using an established strategy. Results. Fourteen articles were selected with a total of 370 patients. Ten of the fourteen studies showed a significant improvement in the endothelial dysfunction of various cardiovascular disease groups with BH4 supplementation compared with the control groups or placebos. Three studies showed no positive outcome, and one study showed that low-dose BH4 had no effect but that high-dose BH4 did have a significantly different result. Conclusions. This review concludes that supplementation with BH4 and/or augmentation of the endogenous levels of BH4 will be a novel approach to improve the endothelial dysfunction observed in various cardiovascular diseases. BH4 might be considered to be a new therapeutic agent to prevent the initiation and progression of cardiovascular disease. PMID:25548592

  14. Functional lipids and lipoplexes for improved gene delivery

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiao-Xiang; McIntosh, Thomas J.; Grinstaff, Mark W.

    2013-01-01

    Cationic lipids are the most common non-viral vectors used in gene delivery with a few currently being investigated in clinical trials. However, like most other synthetic vectors, these vectors suffer from low transfection efficiencies. Among the various approaches to address this challenge, functional lipids (i.e., lipids responding to a stimuli) offer a myriad of opportunities for basic studies of nucleic acidlipid interactions and for in vitro and in vivo delivery of nucleic acid for a specific biological/medical application. This manuscript reviews recent advances in pH, redox, and charge-reversal sensitive lipids. PMID:21621581

  15. Resistance to RadLV-induced leukemia: non-participation of splenic natural killer cells

    SciTech Connect

    St.-Pierre, Y.; Hugo, P.; Lemieux, S.; Lussier, G.; Potworowski, E.F.

    1988-08-01

    The phenotypic expression of genetically determined resistance to radiation leukemia virus (RadLV)-induced leukemia in mice has been shown to reside in the bone marrow. Because the bone marrow contains precursors of natural killer (NK) cells, known to play a role in retrovirally induced infections, and because these cells have been suggested as participating in resistance to radiation-induced leukemia, it was pertinent to establish whether their levels differed in strains of mice susceptible and resistant to leukemia. We therefore tested splenic NK cell levels in C57BL/Ka (susceptible) and B10.A(5R) (resistant) mice before viral inoculation, immediately after viral inoculation, and throughout the preleukemic period and showed that they were not different. This indicates that splenic NK cell levels have no bearing on the resistance to RadLV-induced leukemia and that other immune or non-immune mechanisms must be sought.

  16. FIV, FeLV, and FIPV: interpretation and misinterpretation of serological test results.

    PubMed

    Barr, M C

    1996-08-01

    Serological testing is a common method of diagnosis of felina viral infections, including feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline leukemia virus (FeLV), and feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV). Infections with these viruses can be difficult to diagnose by clinical signs alone and are sometimes clinically inapparent for months after initial exposure. Serological testing to confirm a tentative diagnosis or as a screening tool for infection can be invaluable. However, serological tests must be used only with a thorough understanding of the mechanisms and abilities of the tests, and with recognition of their potential inadequacies and misinterpretations. This report summarizes the assays available for FIV, FeLV, and FIPV, and discusses merits and pitfalls associated with each test. PMID:8942210

  17. Identification of LTR-specific small non-coding RNA in FeLV infected cells

    PubMed Central

    Forman, Lora W.; Pal-Ghosh, Ruma; Spanjaard, Remco A.; Faller, Douglas V.; Ghosh, Sajal K.

    2013-01-01

    The U3-LTR region of leukemia viruses transactivates cancer-related signaling pathways through the production of a non-coding RNA transcript although the role of this transcript in virus infection remains unknown. In this study we demonstrate for the first time that an LTR-specific small non-coding RNA is produced from a FeLV-infected feline cell line. RNA cloning identified this as a 104 base transcript that originates from the U3-LTR region. We also demonstrate that in in vitro assays this LTR RNA transcript activates NF?B signaling. Taken together, our findings suggest a possible role for this LTR transcript in FeLV pathogenesis. PMID:19336234

  18. Identification of LTR-specific small non-coding RNA in FeLV infected cells.

    PubMed

    Forman, Lora W; Pal-Ghosh, Ruma; Spanjaard, Remco A; Faller, Douglas V; Ghosh, Sajal K

    2009-04-17

    The U3-LTR region of leukemia viruses transactivates cancer-related signaling pathways through the production of a non-coding RNA transcript although the role of this transcript in virus infection remains unknown. In this study we demonstrate for the first time that an long terminal repeat (LTR)-specific small non-coding RNA is produced from a feline leukemia virus (FeLV)-infected feline cell line. RNA cloning identified this as a 104 base transcript that originates from the U3-LTR region. We also demonstrate that in in vitro assays this LTR-RNA transcript activates NF kappaB signaling. Taken together, our findings suggest a possible role for this LTR transcript in FeLV pathogenesis. PMID:19336234

  19. Adipsin is an adipokine that improves ? cell function in diabetes.

    PubMed

    Lo, James C; Ljubicic, Sanda; Leibiger, Barbara; Kern, Matthias; Leibiger, Ingo B; Moede, Tilo; Kelly, Molly E; Chatterjee Bhowmick, Diti; Murano, Incoronata; Cohen, Paul; Banks, Alexander S; Khandekar, Melin J; Dietrich, Arne; Flier, Jeffrey S; Cinti, Saverio; Blher, Matthias; Danial, Nika N; Berggren, Per-Olof; Spiegelman, Bruce M

    2014-07-01

    A hallmark of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is the development of pancreatic ? cell failure, which results in insulinopenia and hyperglycemia. We show that the adipokine adipsin has a beneficial role in maintaining ? cell function. Animals genetically lacking adipsin have glucose intolerance due to insulinopenia; isolated islets from these mice have reduced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Replenishment of adipsin to diabetic mice treated hyperglycemia by boosting insulin secretion. We identify C3a, a peptide generated by adipsin, as a potent insulin secretagogue and show that the C3a receptor is required for these beneficial effects of adipsin. C3a acts on islets by augmenting ATP levels, respiration, and cytosolic free Ca(2+). Finally, we demonstrate that T2DM patients with ? cell failure are deficient in adipsin. These findings indicate that the adipsin/C3a pathway connects adipocyte function to ? cell physiology, and manipulation of this molecular switch may serve as a therapy in T2DM. PMID:24995977

  20. Adipsin is an Adipokine that Improves ? Cell Function in Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Lo, James C.; Ljubicic, Sanda; Leibiger, Barbara; Kern, Matthias; Leibiger, Ingo B.; Moede, Tilo; Kelly, Molly E.; Bhowmick, Diti Chatterjee; Murano, Incoronata; Cohen, Paul; Banks, Alexander S.; Khandekar, Melin J.; Dietrich, Arne; Flier, Jeffrey S.; Cinti, Saverio; Blher, Matthias; Danial, Nika N.; Berggren, Per-Olof; Spiegelman, Bruce M.

    2014-01-01

    Summary A hallmark of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is the development of pancreatic ? cell failure, resulting in insulinopenia and hyperglycemia. We show that the adipokine adipsin has a beneficial role in maintaining ? cell function. Animals genetically lacking adipsin have glucose intolerance due to insulinopenia; isolated islets from these mice have reduced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Replenishment of adipsin to diabetic mice treated hyperglycemia by boosting insulin secretion. We identify C3a, a peptide generated by adipsin, as a potent insulin secretagogue and show that the C3a receptor is required for these beneficial effects of adipsin. C3a acts on islets by augmenting ATP levels, respiration and cytosolic free Ca2+. Finally, we demonstrate that T2DM patients with ? cell failure are deficient in adipsin. These findings indicate that the adipsin/C3a pathway connects adipocyte function to ? cell physiology and manipulation of this molecular switch may serve as a novel therapy in T2DM. PMID:24995977

  1. High prevalence of non-productive FeLV infection in necropsied cats and significant association with pathological findings.

    PubMed

    Suntz, M; Failing, K; Hecht, W; Schwartz, D; Reinacher, M

    2010-07-01

    Applying a combination of semi-nested PCR and immunohistology (IHC), the presence of exogenous feline leukemia virus infection was studied in 302 necropsied cats with various disorders. 9% showed the classical outcome of persistent productive FeLV infection which was represented by FeLV antigen expression in different organs. 152 cats (50%) harboured exogenous FeLV-specific proviral sequences in the bone marrow but did not express viral antigen. These cats were considered as horizontally but non-productively infected. Statistical evaluation showed a significant association of non-productive horizontal FeLV infection with a variety of parameters. Non-productively infected cats were statistically significantly older and more often originated from animal shelters than cats without exogenous FeLV infection. Furthermore, some pathological disorders like anemia, panleukopenia, and purulent inflammation showed significant association with non-productive FeLV infection. No significant association was found with lymphosarcoma, known for a long time to be induced by productive FeLV infection. PMID:20398945

  2. Envelope Proteins of White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) Interact with Litopenaeus vannamei Peritrophin-Like Protein (LvPT)

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Shijun; Zhang, Xiaojun; Zhang, Jiquan; Li, Fuhua; Xiang, Jianhai

    2015-01-01

    White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is a major pathogen in shrimp cultures. The interactions between viral proteins and their receptors on the surface of cells in a frontier target tissue are crucial for triggering an infection. In this study, a yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) library was constructed using cDNA obtained from the stomach and gut of Litopenaeus vannamei, to ascertain the role of envelope proteins in WSSV infection. For this purpose, VP37 was used as the bait in the Y2H library screening. Forty positive clones were detected after screening. The positive clones were analyzed and discriminated, and two clones belonging to the peritrophin family were subsequently confirmed as genuine positive clones. Sequence analysis revealed that both clones could be considered as the same gene, LV-peritrophin (LvPT). Co-immunoprecipitation confirmed the interaction between LvPT and VP37. Further studies in the Y2H system revealed that LvPT could also interact with other WSSV envelope proteins such as VP32, VP38A, VP39B, and VP41A. The distribution of LvPT in tissues revealed that LvPT was mainly expressed in the stomach than in other tissues. In addition, LvPT was found to be a secretory protein, and its chitin-binding ability was also confirmed. PMID:26692362

  3. Improved Memory Function 12 Weeks after Bariatric Surgery

    PubMed Central

    Gunstad, John; Strain, Gladys; Devlin, Michael J.; Wing, Rena; Cohen, Ronald A.; Paul, Robert H.; Crosby, Ross D.; Mitchell, James E.

    2010-01-01

    Background There is growing evidence that obesity is associated with poor neurocognitive outcome. Bariatric surgery is an effective intervention for morbid obesity and improves many comorbid medical conditions that are associated with cognitive dysfunction. The effects of bariatric surgery on cognition are unknown. Methods Prospective study total of 150 individuals (109 bariatric surgery patients enrolled in the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (LABS) project and 41 obese controls that did not undergo surgery) completed cognitive evaluation at baseline and 12 week follow-up. Demographic, medical, and psychosocial information was also collected to elucidate possible mechanisms of change. Results Many bariatric surgery patients exhibited impaired performance on cognitive testing at baseline (range from 4.6%23.9%). However, surgery patients were no more likely to exhibit decline on two or more cognitive tests at 12-week follow-up than obese controls [12.84% vs. 23.26%; ?2 (1) = 2.51, p = .11]. Group comparisons using repeated measures MANOVA showed surgery patients had improved memory performance at 12 week follow-up [? = .86, F(4, 147) = 5.88, p<.001], whereas obese controls actually declined. Regression analyses showed surgery patients without hypertension had better short delay recall at 12 weeks than those that did [? = 0.31, p = .005], though other demographic and medical variables were largely unrelated to test performance. Conclusion The current results suggest that cognitive impairment is common in bariatric surgery patients, though these deficits may be at least partly reversible. Future studies are needed to clarify underlying mechanisms, particularly longitudinal studies employing neuroimaging and blood markers. PMID:21145295

  4. High- and Moderate-Intensity Training Normalizes Ventricular Function and Mechanoenergetics in Mice With Diet-Induced Obesity

    PubMed Central

    Hafstad, Anne D.; Lund, Jim; Hadler-Olsen, Elin; Hper, Anje C.; Larsen, Terje S.; Aasum, Ellen

    2013-01-01

    Although exercise reduces several cardiovascular risk factors associated with obesity/diabetes, the metabolic effects of exercise on the heart are not well-known. This study was designed to investigate whether high-intensity interval training (HIT) is superior to moderate-intensity training (MIT) in counteracting obesity-induced impairment of left ventricular (LV) mechanoenergetics and function. C57BL/6J mice with diet-induced obesity (DIO mice) displaying a cardiac phenotype with altered substrate utilization and impaired mechanoenergetics were subjected to a sedentary lifestyle or 810 weeks of isocaloric HIT or MIT. Although both modes of exercise equally improved aerobic capacity and reduced obesity, only HIT improved glucose tolerance. Hearts from sedentary DIO mice developed concentric LV remodeling with diastolic and systolic dysfunction, which was prevented by both HIT and MIT. Both modes of exercise also normalized LV mechanical efficiency and mechanoenergetics. These changes were associated with altered myocardial substrate utilization and improved mitochondrial capacity and efficiency, as well as reduced oxidative stress, fibrosis, and intracellular matrix metalloproteinase 2 content. As both modes of exercise equally ameliorated the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy by preventing LV remodeling and mechanoenergetic impairment, this study advocates the therapeutic potential of physical activity in obesity-related cardiac disorders. PMID:23493573

  5. Changes in rest and exercise myocardial perfusion and left ventricular function 3 to 26 weeks after clinically uncomplicated acute myocardial infarction: effects of exercise training

    SciTech Connect

    Hung, J.; Gordon, E.P.; Houston, N.; Haskell, W.L.; Goris, M.L.; DeBusk, R.F.

    1984-11-01

    The effects of exercise training on exercise myocardial perfusion and left ventricular (LV) function in the first 6 months after clinically uncomplicated acute myocardial infarction (AMI) were assessed in 53 consecutive men aged 55 +/- 9 years. Symptom-limited treadmill exercise with thallium myocardial perfusion scintigraphy and symptom-limited upright bicycle ergometry with equilibrium gated radionuclide ventriculography were performed 3, 11 and 26 weeks after AMI by 23 men randomized to training and 30 randomized to no training. Peak cycle capacity increased in both groups between 3 and 26 weeks (p less than 0.01), but reached higher levels in trained than in untrained patients (803 +/- 149 vs 648 +/- 182 kg-m/min, p less than 0.01). Reversible thallium perfusion defects were significantly more frequent at 3 than at 26 weeks: 59% and 36% of patients, respectively (p less than 0.05), without significant inter-group differences. Values of LV ejection fraction at rest, submaximal and peak exercise did not change significantly in either group. The increase in functional capacity, i.e., peak treadmill or bicycle workload, that occurred 3 to 26 weeks after infarction was significantly correlated with the increase in peak exercise heart rate (p less than 0.001), but not with changes in myocardial perfusion or LV function determined by radionuclide techniques. Changes in myocardial perfusion or LV function do not appear to account for the improvement in peak functional capacity that occurs within the first 6 months after clinically uncomplicated AMI.

  6. The potential role and mechanisms of FeLV vaccine-induced neoplasms.

    PubMed

    Macy, D W

    1995-11-01

    Vaccine-induced sarcomas are reported to occur in 1 in 10,000 or less cats vaccinated with feline leukemia virus (FeLV) vaccines. The potential of local vaccine site adjuvant-associated inflammation plays in the pathogenesis of these tumors is probably significant. However, it is believed that the feline leukemia antigens contained within these vaccines also play an important role in malignant transformation. PMID:8820597

  7. Regular Football Practice Improves Autonomic Cardiac Function in Male Children

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes, Luis; Oliveira, Jose; Soares-Miranda, Luisa; Rebelo, Antonio; Brito, Joao

    2015-01-01

    Background: The role of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in the cardiovascular regulation is of primal importance. Since it has been associated with adverse conditions such as cardiac arrhythmias, sudden death, sleep disorders, hypertension and obesity. Objectives: The present study aimed to investigate the impact of recreational football practice on the autonomic cardiac function of male children, as measured by heart rate variability. Patients and Methods: Forty-seven male children aged 9 - 12 years were selected according to their engagement with football oriented practice outside school context. The children were divided into a football group (FG; n = 22) and a control group (CG; n = 25). The FG had regular football practices, with 2 weekly training sessions and occasional weekend matches. The CG was not engaged with any physical activity other than complementary school-based physical education classes. Data from physical activity, physical fitness, and heart rate variability measured in time and frequency domains were obtained. Results: The anthropometric and body composition characteristics were similar in both groups (P > 0.05). The groups were also similar in time spent daily on moderate-to-vigorous physical activities (FG vs. CG: 114 ± 64 vs. 87 ± 55 minutes; P > 0.05). However, the FG performed better (P < 0.05) in Yo-Yo intermittent endurance test (1394 ± 558 vs. 778 ± 408 m) and 15-m sprint test (3.06 ± 0.17 vs. 3.20 ± 0.23 s). Also, the FG presented enhanced autonomic function. Significant differences were detected (P < 0.05) between groups for low frequency normalized units (38.0 ± 15.2 vs. 47.3 ± 14.2 n.u (normalized units)), high frequency normalized units (62.1 ± 15.2 vs. 52.8 ± 14.2 n.u.), and LF:HF ratio (0.7 ± 0.4 vs. 1.1 ± 0.6 ms2). Conclusions: Children engaged with regular football practice presented enhanced physical fitness and autonomic function, by increasing vagal tone at rest. PMID:26448848

  8. Early Intervention to Improve Hand Function in Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy

    PubMed Central

    Basu, Anna Purna; Pearse, Janice; Kelly, Susan; Wisher, Vicki; Kisler, Jill

    2015-01-01

    Children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy often have marked hand involvement with excessive thumb adduction and flexion and limited active wrist extension from infancy. Post-lesional aberrant plasticity can lead to progressive abnormalities of the developing motor system. Disturbances of somatosensory and visual function and developmental disregard contribute to difficulties with hand use. Progressive soft tissue and bony changes may occur, leading to contractures, which further limit function in a vicious cycle. Early intervention might help to break this cycle, however, the precise nature and appropriateness of the intervention must be carefully considered. Traditional approaches to the hemiplegic upper limb include medications and botulinum toxin injections to manage abnormalities of tone, and surgical interventions. Therapist input, including provision of orthoses, remains a mainstay although many therapies have not been well evaluated. There has been a recent increase in interventions for the hemiplegic upper limb, mostly aimed outside the period of infancy. These include trials of constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) and bimanual therapy as well as the use of virtual reality and robot-assisted therapy. In future, non-invasive brain stimulation may be combined with therapy. Interventions under investigation in the infant age group include modified CIMT and action observation therapy. A further approach which may be suited to the infant with thumb-in-palm deformity, but which requires evaluation, is the use of elastic taping. Enhanced cutaneous feedback through mechanical stimulation to the skin provided by the tape during movement has been postulated to modulate ongoing muscle activity. If effective, this would represent a low-cost, safe, widely applicable early intervention. PMID:25610423

  9. Dynamics of a feline retrovirus (FeLV) in host populations with variable spatial structure.

    PubMed Central

    Fromont, E; Pontier, D; Langlais, M

    1998-01-01

    The predictions of epidemic models are remarkably affected by the underlying assumptions concerning host population dynamics and the relation between host density and disease transmission. Furthermore, hypotheses underlying distinct models are rarely tested. Domestic cats (Felis catus) can be used to compare models and test their predictions, because cat populations show variable spatial structure that probably results in variability in the relation between density and disease transmission. Cat populations also exhibit various dynamics. We compare four epidemiological models of Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV). We use two different incidence terms, i.e. proportionate mixing and pseudo-mass action. Population dynamics are modelled as logistic or exponential growth. Compared with proportionate mixing, mass action incidence with logistic growth results in a threshold population size under which the virus cannot persist in the population. Exponential growth of host populations results in systems where FeLV persistence at a steady prevalence and depression of host population growth are biologically unlikely to occur. Predictions of our models account for presently available data on FeLV dynamics in various populations of cats. Thus, host population dynamics and spatial structure can be determinant parameters in parasite transmission, host population depression, and disease control. PMID:9684375

  10. Dynamics of a feline retrovirus (FeLV) in host populations with variable spatial structure.

    PubMed

    Fromont, E; Pontier, D; Langlais, M

    1998-06-22

    The predictions of epidemic models are remarkably affected by the underlying assumptions concerning host population dynamics and the relation between host density and disease transmission. Furthermore, hypotheses underlying distinct models are rarely tested. Domestic cats (Felis catus) can be used to compare models and test their predictions, because cat populations show variable spatial structure that probably results in variability in the relation between density and disease transmission. Cat populations also exhibit various dynamics. We compare four epidemiological models of Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV). We use two different incidence terms, i.e. proportionate mixing and pseudo-mass action. Population dynamics are modelled as logistic or exponential growth. Compared with proportionate mixing, mass action incidence with logistic growth results in a threshold population size under which the virus cannot persist in the population. Exponential growth of host populations results in systems where FeLV persistence at a steady prevalence and depression of host population growth are biologically unlikely to occur. Predictions of our models account for presently available data on FeLV dynamics in various populations of cats. Thus, host population dynamics and spatial structure can be determinant parameters in parasite transmission, host population depression, and disease control. PMID:9684375

  11. 42 CFR 493.2001 - Establishment and function of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Establishment and function of the Clinical... LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS Consultations § 493.2001 Establishment and function of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee. (a) HHS will establish a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee...

  12. Viral Determinants of FeLV Infection and Pathogenesis: Lessons Learned from Analysis of a Natural Cohort

    PubMed Central

    Bolin, Lisa L.; Levy, Laura S.

    2011-01-01

    Detailed analysis has been performed over many years of a geographic and temporal cohort of cats naturally infected with feline leukemia virus (FeLV). Molecular analysis of FeLV present in the diseased tissues and application of those viruses to experimental systems has revealed unique isolates with distinctive disease potential, previously uncharacterized virus-receptor interactions, information about the role of recombinant viruses in disease induction, and novel viral and cellular oncogenes implicated in pathogenesis, among other findings. The studies have contributed to an understanding of the selective forces that lead to predominance of distinctive FeLV isolates and disease outcomes in a natural population. PMID:21994802

  13. Viral determinants of FeLV infection and pathogenesis: lessons learned from analysis of a natural cohort.

    PubMed

    Bolin, Lisa L; Levy, Laura S

    2011-09-01

    Detailed analysis has been performed over many years of a geographic and temporal cohort of cats naturally infected with feline leukemia virus (FeLV). Molecular analysis of FeLV present in the diseased tissues and application of those viruses to experimental systems has revealed unique isolates with distinctive disease potential, previously uncharacterized virus-receptor interactions, information about the role of recombinant viruses in disease induction, and novel viral and cellular oncogenes implicated in pathogenesis, among other findings. The studies have contributed to an understanding of the selective forces that lead to predominance of distinctive FeLV isolates and disease outcomes in a natural population. PMID:21994802

  14. Functionally gradient hard carbon composites for improved adhesion and wear

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narayan, Roger Jagdish

    A new approach is proposed for fabricating biomedical devices that last longer and are more biocompatible than those presently available. In this approach, a bulk material is chosen that has desirable mechanical properties (low modulus, high strength, high ductility and high fatigue strength). This material is coated with corrosion-resistant, wear-resistant, hard, and biocompatible hard carbon films. One of the many forms of carbon, tetrahedral amorphous carbon, consists mainly of sp3-bonded atoms. Tetrahedral amorphous carbon possesses properties close to diamond in terms of hardness, atomic smoothness, and inertness. Tetrahedral amorphous carbon and diamond films usually contain large amounts of compressive and sometimes tensile stresses; adhesive failure from these stresses has limited widespread use of these materials. This research involves processing, characterization and modeling of functionally gradient tetrahedral amorphous carbon and diamond composite films on metals (cobalt-chromium and titanium alloys) and polymers (polymethylmethacrylate and polyethylene) used in biomedical applications. Multilayer discontinuous thin films of titanium carbide, titanium nitride, aluminum nitride, and tungsten carbide have been developed to control stresses and graphitization in diamond films. A morphology of randomly interconnected micron sized diamond crystallites provides increased toughness and stress reduction. Internal stresses in tetrahedral amorphous carbon were reduced via incorporation of carbide forming elements (silicon and titanium) and noncarbide forming elements (copper, platinum, and silver). These materials were produced using a novel target design during pulsed laser deposition. These alloying atoms reduce hardness and sp3-bonded carbon content, but increase adhesion and wear resistance. Silver and platinum provide the films with antimicrobial properties, and silicon provides bioactivity and aids bone formation. Bilayer coatings were created that couple the adherence, biocompatibility, erosion resistance, and long term release of functional elements from hard carbon coatings with bioactive properties of nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite and short term drug release properties of resorbable poly (D,L) lactide-based materials. Finally, these hard carbon coatings have a variety of non-medical applications, including use in microelectronics packaging, sensors, flat panel displays, photodiodes, cutting tools, optical switches, and wear-resistant magnetic disks.

  15. An Improved Green's Function for Ion Beam Transport

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tweed, J.; Wilson, J. W.; Tripathi, R. K.

    2003-01-01

    Ion beam transport theory allows testing of material transmission properties in the laboratory environment generated by particle accelerators. This is a necessary step in materials development and evaluation for space use. The approximations used in solving the Boltzmann transport equation for the space setting are often not sufficient for laboratory work and those issues are the main emphasis of the present work. In consequence, an analytic solution of the linear Boltzmann equation is pursued in the form of a Green's function allowing flexibility in application to a broad range of boundary value problems. It has been established that simple solutions can be found for the high charge and energy (HZE) by ignoring nuclear energy downshifts and dispersion. Such solutions were found to be supported by experimental evidence with HZE ion beams when multiple scattering was added. Lacking from the prior solutions were range and energy straggling and energy downshift with dispersion associated with nuclear events. Recently, we have found global solutions including these effects providing a broader class of HZE ion solutions.

  16. An improved Green's function for ion beam transport

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tweed, J.; Wilson, J. W.; Tripathi, R. K.

    2004-01-01

    Ion beam transport theory allows testing of material transmission properties in the laboratory environment generated by particle accelerators. This is a necessary step in materials development and evaluation for space use. The approximations used in solving the Boltzmann transport equation for the space setting are often not sufficient for laboratory work and those issues are the main emphasis of the present work. In consequence, an analytic solution of the linear Boltzmann equation is pursued in the form of a Green's function allowing flexibility in application to a broad range of boundary value problems. It has been established that simple solutions can be found for high charge and energy (HZE) ions by ignoring nuclear energy downshifts and dispersion. Such solutions were found to be supported by experimental evidence with HZE ion beams when multiple scattering was added. Lacking from the prior solutions were range and energy straggling and energy downshift with dispersion associated with nuclear events. Recently, we have found global solutions including these effects providing a broader class of HZE ion solutions. c2004 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Silymarin improves vascular function of aged ovariectomized rats.

    PubMed

    Demirci, Buket; Dost, Turhan; Gokalp, Filiz; Birincioglu, Mustafa

    2014-06-01

    Both aging and estrogen depletion lead to endothelial dysfunction, which is the main reason of many cardiovascular diseases. Previous reports have shown that cell protective effect of silymarin (SM) depends on its antioxidant and phytoestrogenic properties. We investigated the effect of SM on vascular stiffness of aged menopausal rats and the involvement of estrogenic activity in this effect. Isolated rat aortas were obtained from 22-month-old rats, after 18 months of ovariectomy (OVX) follow-up. Each ring was incubated in tissue bath either with SM (50 mg/L) and 17β-estradiol (10 μM, E2) or in the presence of SM/fulvestrant (50 mg/L, 10 μM). Endothelium-intact rings were precontracted with phenylephrine (0.001-30 μM) or high potassium (40 mM); endothelium-dependent/independent relaxant responses were obtained using acetylcholine (0.001-30 μM) and sodium nitroprusside (0.0001-3 μM), respectively. While phenylephrine sensitivity was significantly increased in OVX rats, relaxations were significantly less in aged OVX rats compared with young rats. In spite of the presence of estrogen antagonist, immediate SM treatment restored the endothelial function and vascular tone better than estrogen replacement. Additionally, as a complementary and alternative medicine, it does not cause estrogenic side effects when taken acutely. PMID:24123505

  18. Therapeutic intraspinal microstimulation improves forelimb function after cervical contusion injury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasten, M. R.; Sunshine, M. D.; Secrist, E. S.; Horner, P. J.; Moritz, C. T.

    2013-08-01

    Objective. Intraspinal microstimulation (ISMS) is a promising method for activating the spinal cord distal to an injury. The objectives of this study were to examine the ability of chronically implanted stimulating wires within the cervical spinal cord to (1) directly produce forelimb movements, and (2) assess whether ISMS stimulation could improve subsequent volitional control of paretic extremities following injury. Approach. We developed a technique for implanting intraspinal stimulating electrodes within the cervical spinal cord segments C6-T1 of Long-Evans rats. Beginning 4 weeks after a severe cervical contusion injury at C4-C5, animals in the treatment condition received therapeutic ISMS 7 hours/day, 5 days/week for the following 12 weeks. Main results. Over 12 weeks of therapeutic ISMS, stimulus-evoked forelimb movements were relatively stable. We also explored whether therapeutic ISMS promoted recovery of forelimb reaching movements. Animals receiving daily therapeutic ISMS performed significantly better than unstimulated animals during behavioural tests conducted without stimulation. Quantitative video analysis of forelimb movements showed that stimulated animals performed better in the movements reinforced by stimulation, including extending the elbow to advance the forelimb and opening the digits. While threshold current to elicit forelimb movement gradually increased over time, no differences were observed between chronically stimulated and unstimulated electrodes suggesting that no additional tissue damage was produced by the electrical stimulation. Significance. The results indicate that therapeutic intraspinal stimulation delivered via chronic microwire implants within the cervical spinal cord confers benefits extending beyond the period of stimulation, suggesting future strategies for neural devices to promote sustained recovery after injury.

  19. Therapeutic intraspinal microstimulation improves forelimb function after cervical contusion injury

    PubMed Central

    Kasten, M.R.; Sunshine, M.D.; Secrist, E.S.; Horner, P.J.; Moritz, C.T.

    2013-01-01

    Objective Intraspinal microstimulation (ISMS) is a promising method for activating the spinal cord distal to an injury. The objectives of this study were to examine the ability of chronically implanted stimulating wires within the cervical spinal cord to (1) directly produce forelimb movements, and (2) assess whether ISMS stimulation improved subsequent volitional control of paretic extremities following injury. Approach We developed a technique for implanting intraspinal stimulating electrodes within the cervical spinal cord segments C6-T1 of Long-Evans rats. Beginning 4 weeks after a severe cervical contusion injury at C4C5, animals in the treatment condition received therapeutic ISMS 7 hours/day, 5 days/week for the following 12 weeks. Main Results Over 12 weeks of therapeutic ISMS, stimulus-evoked forelimb movements were relatively stable. We also explored whether therapeutic ISMS promotes recovery of forelimb reaching movements. Animals receiving daily therapeutic ISMS performed significantly better than unstimulated animals during behavioral tests conducted without stimulation. Quantitative video analysis of forelimb movements showed that stimulated animals performed better in the movements reinforced by stimulation, including extending the elbow to advance the forelimb and opening the digits. While threshold current to elicit forelimb movement gradually increased over time, no differences were observed between chronically stimulated and unstimulated electrodes suggesting that no additional tissue damage was produced by the electrical stimulation. Significance The results indicate that therapeutic intraspinal stimulation delivered via chronic microwire implants within the cervical spinal cord confers benefits extending beyond the period of stimulation, suggesting future strategies for neural devices to promote sustained recovery after injury. PMID:23715242

  20. Relationship between systolic and diastolic function with improvements in forward stroke volume following reduction in mitral regurgitation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Firstenberg, M. S.; Greenberg, N. L.; Smedira, N. G.; McCarthy, P. M.; Garcia, M. J.; Thomas, J. D.

    2001-01-01

    Efforts to improve mitral regurgitation (MR) are often performed in conjunction with coronary revascularization. However, the independent effects of a reduced MR area (MRa) are difficult to quantify. Using a previously developed cardiovascular model, ventricular contractility (elastance 1-8 mmHg/ml) and relaxation (tau: 40-150 msec) were independently adjusted for four grades of MR orifice areas (0.0 to 0.8 cm2). Improvements in forward stroke volume (fSV) were determined for the permutations of reduced MRa. For all conditions, LV end-diastolic pressure and volumes ranged from 7.3-24.2 mmHg and 64.8-174.3 ml, respectively. Overall, fSV ranged from 36.0-89.4 (mean: 64.2 +/- 12.8) ml, improved between 6.4 and 35.3% (mean: 15.6 +/- 8.1%), and was best predicted by (r=0.97, p<0.01) %delta(fSV)[correction of fVS]=34[MRa initial] - 46[MRa final] -0.5[elastance]. Reduced MRa, independent of relaxation and minimally influence by contractility, yield improved fSVs.

  1. Seismic Station Functionality Improvements of Seismic Network of Slovenia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sincic, Peter; Tasic, Izidor; Mali, Marko; Pancur, Luka; Vidrih, Renato

    2010-05-01

    The Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, the Office of Seismology and Geology is responsible for the fast and reliable information about earthquakes, originating in the area of Slovenia and nearby. The Seismic Network of Slovenia, which covers the entire Slovenian territory, involving an area of 20,256 km2, consists of 26 seismic stations equipped with broadband seismometers (CMG-40T, CMG-3ESPC, CMG-3T and STS2) and Quanterra Q730 data loggers. The seismic data is transmitted in real-time to the Data Center in Ljubljana (DCL). Leased lines, xDSL and satellite communication are used for data transfer from stations to DCL. When an event occurs main earthquake parameters (magnitude and the location of the epicenter) can be evaluated at sufficient accuracy only if data from several seismic stations is available. In case of temporary communication failure loss of important seismic data can occur. The duration of communication failure, which exceeds 2 hours can cause data loss. This is due to low memory storage of Quanterra Q730 acquisition unit. In this paper our solution for extending storage capabilities of particular seismic station to several months is presented (momentarily the storage capabilities of particular seismic station lies between 1 and 2 hours). To extend storage capabilities we used a special Industrial Computer (JetBox 8100), which runs on Linux. To collect seismic data from the Q730 unit the acquisition software SeiComP is used. The combination of Q730 and JetBox 8100 assures that in case of temporary communication failure there will be no data loss. Seismic data is simply retrieved from JetBox 8100 (from ring buffer that is generated by SeiComP acquisition software) after communication is once again established. Moreover, an advanced state of health system was build and installed on JetBox 8100, that makes identifying, predicting and solving of different problems quick and effective. With combining Q730 data logger and JetBox 8100 we did not only significantly improved the local storage capabilities but also made the whole seismic system more flexible and reliable.

  2. Rescue of arterial function by angiotensin-(1-7): towards improvement of endothelial function by drug-eluting stents

    PubMed Central

    Langeveld, B.E.; Henning, R.H.; de Smet, B.J.G.L.; Zijlstra, F.; Driessen, A.; Tijsma, E.; van Gilst, W.H.; Roks, A

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: To explore the hypothesis that stent placement decreases dilator function of various arteries outside the stented segment and that angiotensin- (1-7) improves this function, and to assess the contribution of dilator signal compounds. A further objective was to test the hypothesis that on-stent delivery of Ang-(1-7) reduces neointima formation and improves endothelial function. Methods: Abdominal aortic stenting or sham operation was performed in the rat four weeks after stenting and treatment with intravenous saline or Ang-(1-7) infusion (24 ?g/kg/h); vasomotor function in isolated thoracic aorta and brachial and iliac artery was measured in organ baths. Furthermore, Ang-(1-7)-eluting stents were designed and placed in rat abdominal aorta. Neointima formation and aortic function were tested after four weeks. Results: Relaxation of the thoracic aorta to metacholine was decreased after stenting compared with shams due to a decrease in nitric oxide-mediated response (67% reduction in maximal NO-dependent response). Ang-(1-7) restored the response mainly through increased prostaglandin- and possibly also endothelial-derived hyperpolarising factor-mediated relaxation. Relaxation in the brachial artery decreased after stenting (maximal response dropped by 50%), whilst contractions to phenylephrine increased. Ang-(1-7) normalised vasomotor function. Iliac artery function remained unaltered after stenting but Ang-(1-7) increased maximal relaxations by 65%. Delivery of Ang-(1-7) by means of a drug-eluting stent improved endothelial function. Conclusion: Stenting differentially affects dilator and contractile function in various arterial beds. Ang-(1-7) both improves dilator function and normalises contractile function. Delivery of protective peptides such as Ang-(1-7) from the stent is a new therapy option that merits further development and exploration. (Neth Heart J 2008;16:293-8.) PMID:18827872

  3. Improved Learning Performance of Hardware Self-Organizing Map Using a Novel Neighborhood Function.

    PubMed

    Hikawa, Hiroomi; Maeda, Yutaka

    2015-11-01

    Many self-organizing maps (SOMs) implemented on hardware restrict their neighborhood function values to negative powers of two. In this paper, we propose a novel hardware friendly neighborhood function that is aimed to improve the vector quantization performance of hardware SOM. The quantization performance of the hardware SOM with the proposed neighborhood function is examined by simulations. Simulation results show that the proposed function can improve the hardware SOM's vector quantization capability even though the function value is restricted to negative powers of two. Then, the hardware SOM is implemented on field-programmable gate array to find out the hardware cost and performance speed of the proposed neighborhood function. Experimental results show that the proposed neighborhood function can improve SOM's quantization performance without additional hardware cost or slowing down the operating speed. Due to fully parallel operation, the proposed SOM with 1616 neurons achieves a performance of 25 344 million connections updates per second. PMID:26484943

  4. Cellular entry via an actin and clathrin-dependent route is required for Lv2 restriction of HIV-2

    SciTech Connect

    Harrison, I.P.; McKnight, A.

    2011-06-20

    Lv2 is a human factor that restricts infection of some HIV-2 viruses after entry into particular target cells. HIV-2 MCR is highly susceptible to Lv2 whereas HIV-2 MCN is not. The block is after reverse transcription but prior to nuclear entry. The viral determinants for this restriction have been mapped to the HIV-2 envelope and the capsid genes. Our model of Lv2 restriction suggests that the route taken into a cell is important in determining whether a productive infection occurs. Here we characterised the infectious routes used by MCN and MCR using chemical compounds and molecular techniques to distinguish between potential pathways. Our results suggest that susceptible MCR can enter restrictive HeLa{sup CD4} cells via two pathways; a clathrin/AP2 mediated endocytic route that is sensitive to Lv2 restriction and an alternative, non-clathrin mediated route, which results in more efficient infection.

  5. Is blockade of the Renin-Angiotensin system able to reverse the structural and functional remodeling of the left ventricle in severe aortic stenosis?

    PubMed

    Helske-Suihko, Satu; Laine, Mika; Lommi, Jyri; Kaartinen, Maija; Werkkala, Kalervo; Kovanen, Petri T; Kupari, Markku

    2015-03-01

    : In experimental aortic stenosis (AS), blockade of the renin-angiotensin system attenuates AS-related left ventricular (LV) dysfunction and improves survival. We tested whether candesartan, an angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker, favorably influences LV structure and function and improves exercise capacity in AS patients. Fifty-one patients with severe AS were randomized to receive candesartan (target dose 16 mg/d) or placebo. Eight patients discontinued treatment and the remaining 43 patients underwent echocardiography, walking test, and measurement of plasma N-terminal B-type natriuretic peptide (Nt-proBNP) before and after an average of 5-month treatment. No statistically significant changes in LV diameters, mass, or function were seen. The median 6-minute walking distance decreased from 390 to 368 m with candesartan (P = 0.003) and from 380 to 370 m with placebo (P = 0.523), reflecting natural progression of AS. Concomitantly, median Nt-proBNP increased from 319 to 414 ng/L with candesartan (P = 0.170) and from 413 to 561 ng/L with placebo (P = 0.035). No change with candesartan was statistically significantly different from the corresponding change with placebo. In conclusion, candesartan was well tolerated but had no favorable effects on the LV or effort tolerance. The benefits found in experimental AS of blocking the renin-angiotensin system could not be reproduced in patients with severe AS. PMID:25469804

  6. Resistance Training Congruent With Minimal Guidelines Improves Function in Older Adults: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Gennuso, Keith P.; Zalewski, Kathryn; Cashin, Susan E.; Strath, Scott J.

    2016-01-01

    Background To examine the effectiveness of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA) resistance training (RT) guidelines to improve physical function and functional classification in older adults with reduced physical abilities. Methods Twenty-five at-risk older adults were randomized to a control (CON = 13) or 8-week resistance training intervention arm (RT = 12). Progressive RT included 8 exercises for 1 set of 10 repetitions at a perceived exertion of 5–6 performed twice a week. Individuals were assessed for physical function and functional classification change (low, moderate or high) by the short physical performance battery (SPPB) and muscle strength measures. Results Postintervention, significant differences were found between groups for SPPB—Chair Stand [F(1,22) = 9.14, P < .01, η = .29] and SPPB—Total Score [F(1,22) = 7.40, P < .05, η = .25]. Functional classification was improved as a result of the intervention with 83% of participants in the RT group improving from low to moderate functioning or moderate to high functioning. Strength significantly improved on all exercises in the RT compared with the CON group. Conclusions A RT program congruent with the current ASCM and AHA guidelines is effective to improve overall physical function, functional classification, and muscle strength for older adults with reduced physical abilities. PMID:23074076

  7. Determination of early diastolic LV vortex formation time (T*) via the PDF formalism: a kinematic model of filling.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Erina; Shmuylovich, Leonid; Kovacs, Sandor J

    2009-01-01

    The filling (diastolic) function of the human left ventricle is most commonly assessed by echocardiography, a non-invasive imaging modality. To quantify diastolic function (DF) empiric indices are obtained from the features (height, duration, area) of transmitral flow velocity contour, obtained by echocardiography. The parameterized diastolic filling (PDF) formalism is a kinematic model developed by Kovcs et. al. which incorporates the suction pump attribute of the left ventricle and facilitates DF quantitation by analysis of echocardiographic transmitral flow velocity contours in terms of stiffness (k), relaxation (c) and load (x(0)). A complementary approach developed by Gharib et. al., uses fluid mechanics and characterizes DF in terms of vortex formation time (T*) derived from streamline features formed by the jet of blood aspirated into the ventricle. Both of these methods characterize DF using a causality-based approach. In this paper, we derive T*'s kinematic analogue T*(kinematic) in terms of k, c and x(0). A comparison between T*(kinematic) and T*(fluid) (mechanic) obtained from averaged transmitral velocity and mitral annulus diameter, is presented. We found that T* calculated by the two methods were comparable and T*(kinematic) correlated with the peak LV recoil driving force kx(0). PMID:19964049

  8. Left Ventricular Diastolic Function in Hypertension: Methodological Considerations and Clinical Implications

    PubMed Central

    Palmiero, Pasquale; Zito, Annapaola; Maiello, Maria; Cameli, Matteo; Modesti, Pietro Amedeo; Muiesan, Maria Lorenza; Novo, Salvatore; Saba, Pier Sergio; Scicchitano, Pietro; Pedrinelli, Roberto; Ciccone, Marco Matteo

    2015-01-01

    The assessment of left ventricular (LV) diastolic function should be an integral part of a routine examination of hypertensive patient; indeed when LV diastolic function is impaired, it is possible to have heart failure even with preserved LV ejection fraction. Left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (LVDD) occurs frequently and is associated to heart disease. Doppler echocardiography is the best tool for early LVDD diagnosis. Hypertension affects LV relaxation and when left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) occurs, it decreases compliance too, so it is important to calculate Doppler echocardiography parameters, for diastolic function evaluation, in all hypertensive patients. The purpose of our review was to discuss about the strong relationship between LVDD and hypertension, and their relationship with LV systolic function. Furthermore, we aimed to assess the relationship between the arterial stiffness and LV structure and function in hypertensive patients. PMID:25584097

  9. An improved method for extracting matrix elements from lattice three-point functions

    SciTech Connect

    C. Aubin, K. Orginos

    2011-12-01

    The extraction of matrix elements from baryon three-point functions is complicated by the fact that the signal-to-noise drops rapidly as a function of time. Using a previously discussed method to improve the signal-to-noise for lattice two-point functions, we use this technique to do so for lattice three-point functions, using electromagnetic form factors for the nucleon and Delta as an example.

  10. Improved Displacement Transfer Functions for Structure Deformed Shape Predictions Using Discretely Distributed Surface Strains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ko, William L.; Fleischer, Van Tran

    2012-01-01

    In the formulations of earlier Displacement Transfer Functions for structure shape predictions, the surface strain distributions, along a strain-sensing line, were represented with piecewise linear functions. To improve the shape-prediction accuracies, Improved Displacement Transfer Functions were formulated using piecewise nonlinear strain representations. Through discretization of an embedded beam (depth-wise cross section of a structure along a strain-sensing line) into multiple small domains, piecewise nonlinear functions were used to describe the surface strain distributions along the discretized embedded beam. Such piecewise approach enabled the piecewise integrations of the embedded beam curvature equations to yield slope and deflection equations in recursive forms. The resulting Improved Displacement Transfer Functions, written in summation forms, were expressed in terms of beam geometrical parameters and surface strains along the strain-sensing line. By feeding the surface strains into the Improved Displacement Transfer Functions, structural deflections could be calculated at multiple points for mapping out the overall structural deformed shapes for visual display. The shape-prediction accuracies of the Improved Displacement Transfer Functions were then examined in view of finite-element-calculated deflections using different tapered cantilever tubular beams. It was found that by using the piecewise nonlinear strain representations, the shape-prediction accuracies could be greatly improved, especially for highly-tapered cantilever tubular beams.

  11. High-intensity functional training improves functional movement and body composition among cancer survivors: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Heinrich, K M; Becker, C; Carlisle, T; Gilmore, K; Hauser, J; Frye, J; Harms, C A

    2015-11-01

    This pilot study investigated feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a high-intensity functional training (HIFT) group-exercise programme among adult cancer survivors within 5years of last cancer treatment. Eight participants were assigned to a 5-week, 3days/week HIFT intervention with four testing sessions and 12 workouts along with mobility and stretching exercises. Feasibility was assessed by initiation, adherence, and acceptability. Efficacy was determined by changes from baseline to post-test in health-related quality of life, body composition and functional movement. The recruitment rate was 80% and the adherence rate was 75%. Significant improvements were found for emotional functioning (P=0.042) and body composition (lean mass +3.82.1kg, P=0.008; fat mass -3.31.0kg, P=0.001; body fat percentage -4.71.2%, P<0.001). Participants also significantly improved on five of seven functional movements: balance (P=0.032), carrying a weighted object (P=0.004), lower body strength and power (P=0.009), aerobic capacity and endurance (P=0.039), and perceived difficulty for flexibility (P=0.012). Five weeks of HIFT training was well-received and feasible for most cancer survivors, and effective for improving emotional functioning, body composition and functional movement. PMID:26094701

  12. Rodent Biocompatibility Test Using the NASA Foodbar and Epoxy EP21LV

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tillman, J.; Steele, M.; Dumars, P.; Vasques, M.; Girten, B.; Sun, S. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Epoxy has been used successfully to affix NASA foodbars to the inner walls of the Animal Enclosure Module for past space flight experiments utilizing rodents. The epoxy used on past missions was discontinued, making it necessary to identify a new epoxy for use on the STS-108 and STS-107 missions. This experiment was designed to test the basic biocompatibility of epoxy EP21LV with male rats (Sprague Dawley) and mice (Swiss Webster) when applied to NASA foodbars. For each species, the test was conducted with a control group fed untreated foodbars and an experimental group fed foodbars applied with EP21LV. For each species, there were no group differences in animal health and no statistical differences (P<0.05) in body weights throughout the study. In mice, there was a 16% increase in heart weight in the epoxy group; this result was not found in rats. For both species, there were no statistical differences found in other organ weights measured. In rats, blood glucose levels were 15% higher and both total protein and globulin were 10% lower in the epoxy group. Statistical differences in these parameters were not found in mice. For both species, no statistical differences were found in other blood parameters tested. Food consumption was not different in rats but water consumption was significantly decreased 10 to 15% in the epoxy group. The difference in water consumption is likely due to an increased water content of the epoxy-treated foodbars. Finally, both species avoided consumption of the epoxy material. Based on the global analysis of the results, the few parameters found to be statistically different do not appear to be a physiologically relevant effect of the epoxy material, We conclude that the EP21LV epoxy is biocompatible with rodents.

  13. Effect of endovascular stenting of aortic coarctation on biventricular function in adults

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Yat?Yin; Kaya, Mehmet G; Li, Wei; Mahadevan, Vaikom S; Khan, Arif A; Henein, Michael Y; Mullen, Michael

    2007-01-01

    Objective To investigate the effect of endovascular stenting of aortic coarctation on biventricular function in adults during intermediate?term follow?up. Methods 21 patients (age 34 (10)?years) were studied prospectively before and 14 (2)?months after coarctation stenting from year 2002 to 2005. Biventricular function and blood pressure measurements were made. The post?stenting results were compared with pre?stenting values (group 1), with 22 age? and sex?matched post?surgical repair patients (group 2) and 30 normal controls (group 3). Results The peak systolic gradient across the coarctation site fell (55 (15)?mm Hg to 18 (8)?mm Hg, p<0.001). Systolic, mean blood pressure and left ventricular (LV) mass dropped after stenting (p<0.05 for all). LV long?axis function improved at intermediate?term follow?up (tissue Doppler imaging lateral and septal systolic and diastolic velocities and E/Em ratios: LSm, 6.5 (1.4)?cm/s to 7.9 (1.7)?cm/s; SSm, 5.8 (1.2)?cm/s to 7.3 (1.6)?cm/s; LEm, 8.1 (1.3) to 9.4 (2.3)?cm/s; SEm, 6.7 (1.5)?cm/s to 7.8 (1.9)?cm/s; LE/Em, 11.2 (2.7) to 9.8 (2.8); SE/Em, 14.8 (5.3) to 11.8 (3.9); p<0.05 for all). No significant difference in LV ejection fraction, conventional LV diastolic measurements (E, A, E/A ratio, IVRT and DT) was found after stenting. No significant deterioration of right ventricular function was seen in stented patients. Both post?stenting and post?surgical repair patients had poorer LV long?axis function than controls (p<0.01 for all). Conclusions Endovascular stenting of aortic coarctation resulted in medium?term LV mass regression and long?axis function improvement that may provide insight into long?term outcome of the stented patients. The results support aortic stenting in patients with anatomically suitable defects, given the additional benefit of avoiding cardiopulmonary bypass. The clinical significance of subclinical myocardial dysfunction in patients with stented or repaired coarctation warrants further studies. PMID:17575331

  14. Does induction of plastic change in motor cortex improve leg function after stroke?

    PubMed

    Uy, J; Ridding, M C; Hillier, S; Thompson, P D; Miles, T S

    2003-10-14

    Combined peripheral nerve and brain stimulation ("dual stimulation") induces changes in the excitability of normal motor cortex. The authors sought to establish whether dual stimulation would also induce motor cortex plasticity and associated functional improvements in nine stroke patients with chronic stable hemiparesis. Following 4 weeks of daily dual stimulation, improvements were seen in some neurophysiological and functional measures. This technique may offer therapeutic opportunities in some stroke patients. PMID:14557574

  15. School Improvement: A Functional View of Enabling Equity of Opportunity. A Center Policy & Practice Brief

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA, 2011

    2011-01-01

    The ongoing dilemma for those expected to improve schools is how to meet our society's basic aims for public education in ways that level the playing field. The dilemma is exacerbated by the need to do more with less. This brief approaches these matters in the context of three direct functions that are essential to school improvement: (1)

  16. The FEATURE framework for protein function annotation: modeling new functions, improving performance, and extending to novel applications

    PubMed Central

    Halperin, Inbal; Glazer, Dariya S; Wu, Shirley; Altman, Russ B

    2008-01-01

    Structural genomics efforts contribute new protein structures that often lack significant sequence and fold similarity to known proteins. Traditional sequence and structure-based methods may not be sufficient to annotate the molecular functions of these structures. Techniques that combine structural and functional modeling can be valuable for functional annotation. FEATURE is a flexible framework for modeling and recognition of functional sites in macromolecular structures. Here, we present an overview of the main components of the FEATURE framework, and describe the recent developments in its use. These include automating training sets selection to increase functional coverage, coupling FEATURE to structural diversity generating methods such as molecular dynamics simulations and loop modeling methods to improve performance, and using FEATURE in large-scale modeling and structure determination efforts. PMID:18831785

  17. Comparative effects of propranolol and verapamil alone and in combination on left ventricular function and volumes in patients with chronic exertional angina: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, crossover study with radionuclide ventriculography

    SciTech Connect

    Johnston, D.L.; Gebhardt, V.A.; Donald, A.; Kostuk, W.J.

    1983-12-01

    With the use of equilibrium radionuclide ventriculography the effects on left ventricular (LV) function of 160 mg oral propranolol daily and 360 mg verapamil daily alone and in combination were compared in 18 patients with chronic exertional angina. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover protocol was used. The reduction in exercise rate-pressure product induced by the combination (118 +/- 28 mm Hg/min) was significantly greater than that by propranolol (135 +/- 27 mm Hg/min) or verapamil alone (163 +/- 28 mm Hg/min). In patients at rest, neither single nor combined therapy altered global or regional left ventricular ejection fractions (EFs). Verapamil, but not propranolol, increased cardiac volumes of resting subjects; used in combination, no further increase in LV volume occurred. With placebo, exercise global EF did not decrease from the level at rest and therefore no drug effect could be demonstrated for this parameter of LV function. By an evaluation of normalized regional EF measurements the combination was shown to reduce exercise-induced hypokinesis (placebo 52 +/- 20%, combination 61 +/- 23%. No significant improvement was noted with propranolol or verapamil alone; only the combination prevented a significant increase in end-systolic and end-diastolic volumes during exercise. Thus, propranolol and verapamil, used alone in moderate doses, exert no beneficial effect on exercise LV function as measured by EF and volume changes, and resting function deteriorates slightly with verapamil.

  18. Exposure of cats to low doses of FeLV: seroconversion as the sole parameter of infection

    PubMed Central

    Major, Andrea; Cattori, Valentino; Boenzli, Eva; Riond, Barbara; Ossent, Peter; Meli, Marina Luisa; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina; Lutz, Hans

    2009-01-01

    In felids, feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infection results in a variety of outcomes that range from abortive (virus readily eliminated and never detectable) to progressive infection (persistent viremia and viral shedding). Recently, a novel outcome was postulated for low FeLV infectious doses. Nave cats exposed to faeces of persistently infected cats seroconverted, indicating infection, but remained negative for provirus and p27 antigen in blood. FeLV provirus was found in some tissues but not in the bone marrow, infection of which is usually considered a necessary stage for disease progression. To investigate the impact of low FeLV doses on young cats and to test the hypothesis that low dose exposure may lead to an unknown pathogenesis of infection without involvement of the bone marrow, 21 cats were infected oronasally with variable viral doses. Blood p27, proviral and viral loads were followed until week 20 post-infection. Tissue proviral loads were determined as well. The immune response was monitored by measuring FeLV whole virus and p45 antibodies; and feline oncornavirus-associated cell membrane antigen (FOCMA) assay. One cat showed regressive infection (transient antigenemia, persistent provirus-positivity, and seroconversion) with provirus only found in some organs at sacrifice. In 7 of the 20 remaining cats FOCMA assay positivity was the only sign of infection, while all other tests were negative. Overall, the results show that FeLV low dose exposure can result in seroconversion during a presumed abortive infection. Therefore, commonly used detection methods do not detect all FeLV-infected animals, possibly leading to an underestimation of the prevalence of infection. PMID:19861115

  19. Exposure of cats to low doses of FeLV: seroconversion as the sole parameter of infection.

    PubMed

    Major, Andrea; Cattori, Valentino; Boenzli, Eva; Riond, Barbara; Ossent, Peter; Meli, Marina Luisa; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina; Lutz, Hans

    2010-01-01

    In felids, feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infection results in a variety of outcomes that range from abortive (virus readily eliminated and never detectable) to progressive infection (persistent viremia and viral shedding). Recently, a novel outcome was postulated for low FeLV infectious doses. Nave cats exposed to faeces of persistently infected cats seroconverted, indicating infection, but remained negative for provirus and p27 antigen in blood. FeLV provirus was found in some tissues but not in the bone marrow, infection of which is usually considered a necessary stage for disease progression. To investigate the impact of low FeLV doses on young cats and to test the hypothesis that low dose exposure may lead to an unknown pathogenesis of infection without involvement of the bone marrow, 21 cats were infected oronasally with variable viral doses. Blood p27, proviral and viral loads were followed until week 20 post-infection. Tissue proviral loads were determined as well. The immune response was monitored by measuring FeLV whole virus and p45 antibodies; and feline oncornavirus-associated cell membrane antigen (FOCMA) assay. One cat showed regressive infection (transient antigenemia, persistent provirus-positivity, and seroconversion) with provirus only found in some organs at sacrifice. In 7 of the 20 remaining cats FOCMA assay positivity was the only sign of infection, while all other tests were negative. Overall, the results show that FeLV low dose exposure can result in seroconversion during a presumed abortive infection. Therefore, commonly used detection methods do not detect all FeLV-infected animals, possibly leading to an underestimation of the prevalence of infection. PMID:19861115

  20. An improved nearly-orthogonal structured mesh generation system with smoothness control functions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper presents an improved nearly-orthogonal structured mesh generation system with a set of smoothness control functions, which were derived based on the ratio between the Jacobian of the transformation matrix and the Jacobian of the metric tensor. The proposed smoothness control functions are...

  1. NEW FUNCTIONAL FOOD INGREDIENTS FOR IMPROVING THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF ASIAN FOODS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The purpose of this study was to utilize new functional food ingredients containing soluble betaglucan fiber that could be used to improve the heatlh qualities of Asian foods. These functional food fibers were studied as replacements for coconut milk, butter, or saturated fat shortenings that are w...

  2. NEW FUNCTIONAL FOOD INGREDIENTS FOR IMPROVING THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF ASIAN FOODS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The purpose of this study was to utilize new functional food ingredients containing soluble beta-glucan fiber that could be used to improve the health qualities of Asian foods. These functional food fibers were studied as replacements for coconut milk, butter, or saturated fat shortenings that are ...

  3. Effects of verapamil and propranolol on left ventricular systolic function and diastolic filling in patients with coronary artery disease: radionuclide angiographic studies at rest and during exercise

    SciTech Connect

    Bonow, R.O.; Leon, M.B.; Rosing, D.R.; Kent, K.M.; Lipson, L.C.; Bacharach, S.L.; Green, M.V.; Epstein, S.E.

    1982-06-01

    To determine the effects of verapamil on left ventricular (LV) systolic function and diastolic filling in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), we performed gated radionuclide angiography at rest and during exercise in 16 symptomatic patients before and during oral verapamil therapy (480 mg/day). Twelve patients were also studied during oral propranolol (160-320 mg/day). LV ejection fraction at rest was normal in 13 patients, but abnormal diastolic filling at rest, defined as peak filling rate (PFR) < 2.5 end-diastolic volumes (EDV)/sec or time to PFR > 180 msec, was present in 15. During verapamil, resting ejection fraction decreased (control 50 + 10% ( + SD ), verapamil 45 + 12%, p < 0.005), but resting diastolic filling improved: PFR increased (control 1.9 + 0.6 EDV/sec, verapamil 2.3 + 0.9 EDV/sec, p < 0.005) and time to PFR decreased (control 185 + 38 mssec, verapamil 161 + 27 msec, p < 0.05). Exercise ejection fraction did not change during verapamil (control 42 + 13%, verapamil 43 + 12%. NS), but exercise PFR increased (control 3.1 + 0.9 EDV/sec, verapamil 3.6 + 1.1 EDV/sec, p < 0.05) and exercise time to PFR decreased (control 108 + 30 msec, verapamil 91 + 17 msec, p < 0.05). In contrast, propranolol did not alter ejection fraction, PFR, or time to PFR at rest or during exercise. Thus, LV ejection fraction is decreased by verapamil at rest but is unchanged during exercise. While LV systolic function is not improved by verapamil, LV diastolic filling is enhanced by verapamil, both at rest and during exercise. These mechanisms may account in part for the symptomatic improvement in many patients during verapamil therapy.

  4. Improving the work function of the niobium surface of SRF cavities by plasma processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tyagi, P. V.; Doleans, M.; Hannah, B.; Afanador, R.; McMahan, C.; Stewart, S.; Mammosser, J.; Howell, M.; Saunders, J.; Degraff, B.; Kim, S.-H.

    2016-04-01

    An in situ plasma processing technique using chemically reactive oxygen plasma to remove hydrocarbons from superconducting radio frequency cavity surfaces at room temperature has been developed at the spallation neutron source, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. To understand better the interaction between the plasma and niobium surface, surface studies on small samples were performed. In this article, we report the results from those surface studies. The results show that plasma processing removes hydrocarbons from top surface and improves the surface work function by 0.5-1.0 eV. Improving the work function of RF surface of cavities can help to improve their operational performance.

  5. Improving the work function of the niobium surface of SRF cavities by plasma processing

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Tyagi, P. V.; Doleans, M.; Hannah, B.; Afanador, R.; McMahan, C.; Stewart, S.; Mammosser, J.; Howell, M.; Saunders, J.; Degraff, B.; et al

    2016-02-06

    An in situ plasma processing technique using chemically reactive oxygen plasma to remove hydrocarbons from superconducting radio frequency cavity surfaces at room temperature was developed at the spallation neutron source, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. To understand better the interaction between the plasma and niobium surface, surface studies on small samples were performed. In this article, we report the results from those surface studies. The results show that plasma processing removes hydrocarbons from top surface and improves the surface work function by 0.5₋1.0 eV. Improving the work function of RF surface of cavities can help to improve their operational performance.

  6. A replication-competent feline leukemia virus, subgroup A (FeLV-A), tagged with green fluorescent protein reporter exhibits in vitro biological properties similar to those of the parental FeLV-A.

    PubMed

    Chang, Z; Pan, J; Logg, C; Kasahara, N; Roy-Burman, P

    2001-09-01

    We previously established that lymphoid tumors could be induced in cats by intradermal injection of ecotropic feline leukemia virus (FeLV), subgroup A, plasmid DNA. In preparation for in vivo experiments to study the cell-to-cell pathway for the spread of the virus from the site of inoculation, the green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgene fused to an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) was inserted after the last nucleotide of the env gene in the ecotropic FeLV-A Rickard (FRA) provirus. The engineered plasmid was transfected into feline fibroblast cells for production of viruses and determination of GFP expression. The virions produced were highly infectious, and the infected cells could continue to mediate strong expression of GFP after long-term propagation in culture. Similar to parental virus, the transgene-containing ecotropic virus demonstrated recombinogenic activity with endogenous FeLV sequences in feline cells to produce polytropic recombinant FeLV subgroup B-like viruses which also contained the IRES-GFP transgene in the majority of recombinants. To date, the engineered virus has been propagated in cell culture for up to 8 months without diminished GFP expression. This is the first report of a replication-competent FeLV vector with high-level and stable expression of a transgene. PMID:11507228

  7. A Replication-Competent Feline Leukemia Virus, Subgroup A (FeLV-A), Tagged with Green Fluorescent Protein Reporter Exhibits In Vitro Biological Properties Similar to Those of the Parental FeLV-A

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Zongli; Pan, Judong; Logg, Christopher; Kasahara, Noriyuki; Roy-Burman, Pradip

    2001-01-01

    We previously established that lymphoid tumors could be induced in cats by intradermal injection of ecotropic feline leukemia virus (FeLV), subgroup A, plasmid DNA. In preparation for in vivo experiments to study the cell-to-cell pathway for the spread of the virus from the site of inoculation, the green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgene fused to an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) was inserted after the last nucleotide of the env gene in the ecotropic FeLV-A Rickard (FRA) provirus. The engineered plasmid was transfected into feline fibroblast cells for production of viruses and determination of GFP expression. The virions produced were highly infectious, and the infected cells could continue to mediate strong expression of GFP after long-term propagation in culture. Similar to parental virus, the transgene-containing ecotropic virus demonstrated recombinogenic activity with endogenous FeLV sequences in feline cells to produce polytropic recombinant FeLV subgroup B-like viruses which also contained the IRES-GFP transgene in the majority of recombinants. To date, the engineered virus has been propagated in cell culture for up to 8 months without diminished GFP expression. This is the first report of a replication-competent FeLV vector with high-level and stable expression of a transgene. PMID:11507228

  8. Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus infections in cats in the Pisa district of Tuscany, and attempts to control FeLV infection in a colony of domestic cats by vaccination.

    PubMed

    Bandecchi, P; Dell'Omodarme, M; Magi, M; Palamidessi, A; Prati, M C

    2006-04-22

    The seroprevalence of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) in 203 apparently healthy domestic cats living in the district of Pisa, central Italy, was 11.3 per cent, and the prevalence of feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) was 8.4 per cent. The prevalence of FIV depended significantly on the lifestyle and age of the cats; cats living outdoors were more likely to be FIV-positive than cats living indoors, and the proportion of FIV-positive cats increased with age. In contrast, there was no significant relationship between these variables and the prevalence of FeLV. There was no significant relationship between the cats' seropositivity for FIV and FeLV. The results of a five-year field study to control FeLV infection by vaccination in a colony of 30 domestic adult cats naturally exposed to the infection suggest that the vaccination was effective in FIV-negative cats, but failed to protect FIV-positive cats against FeLV. PMID:16632529

  9. Identification of a mouse gene required for binding of Rauscher MuLV envelope gp70.

    PubMed

    Hilkens, J; Colombatti, A; Strand, M; Nichols, E; Ruddle, F H; Hilgers, J

    1979-01-01

    Mouse chromosome segregating somatic cell hybrids were established between a mouse thymic leukemai cell line (GRSL) and Chinese hamster E36 cells. The GRSL cells specifically bound purified Rauscher leukemia virus gp70 while the E36 cells exhibited no binding. The hybrids selectively bound Ruascher gp70 depending on the presence of a mouse cellular gene for the ecotropic murine luekemia gp70 receptor. A syntenic relationship was observed between the DIP-3 chromosome marker (on chromosome 5) and the gp70 receptor in primary clones and subclones of these hybrids; this was confirmed by chromosome analysis. The involvement of H-2 in the binding of Rauscher MuLV gp70 could be ruled out, because discordancies of the receptor presence and H-2 absence as well as of the receptor absence and H-2 presence type could be observed. Our results indicate that the Rec-1 (replication ecotropic MuLV) gene of Gazdar et al. (4) may well be the receptor gene for the ecotropic murine leukemia virus. PMID:432756

  10. Dynamics of two feline retroviruses (FIV and FeLV) within one population of cats.

    PubMed

    Courchamp, F; Suppo, C; Fromont, E; Bouloux, C

    1997-06-22

    We present a deterministic model of the dynamics of two microparasites simultaneously infecting a single host population. Both microparasites are feline retroviruses, namely Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV). The host is the domestic cat Felis catus. The model has been tested with data generated by a long-term study of several natural cat populations. Stability analysis and simulations show that, once introduced in a population, FIV spreads and is maintained, while FeLV can either disappear or persist. Moreover, introduction of both viruses into the population induces an equilibrium state for individuals of each different pathological class. The viruses never induce the extinction of the population. Furthermore, whatever the outcome for the host population (persistence of FIV only, or of both viruses), the global population size at the equilibrium state is only slightly lower than it would have been in the absence of the infections (i.e. at the carrying capacity), indicating a low impact of the viruses on the population. Finally, the impact of the diseases examined simultaneously is higher than the sum of the impact of the two diseases examined separately. This seems to be due to a higher mortality rate when both viruses infect a single individual. PMID:9225475

  11. Dynamics of two feline retroviruses (FIV and FeLV) within one population of cats.

    PubMed Central

    Courchamp, F; Suppo, C; Fromont, E; Bouloux, C

    1997-01-01

    We present a deterministic model of the dynamics of two microparasites simultaneously infecting a single host population. Both microparasites are feline retroviruses, namely Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV). The host is the domestic cat Felis catus. The model has been tested with data generated by a long-term study of several natural cat populations. Stability analysis and simulations show that, once introduced in a population, FIV spreads and is maintained, while FeLV can either disappear or persist. Moreover, introduction of both viruses into the population induces an equilibrium state for individuals of each different pathological class. The viruses never induce the extinction of the population. Furthermore, whatever the outcome for the host population (persistence of FIV only, or of both viruses), the global population size at the equilibrium state is only slightly lower than it would have been in the absence of the infections (i.e. at the carrying capacity), indicating a low impact of the viruses on the population. Finally, the impact of the diseases examined simultaneously is higher than the sum of the impact of the two diseases examined separately. This seems to be due to a higher mortality rate when both viruses infect a single individual. PMID:9225475

  12. Generation and role of defective proviruses in cytopathic feline leukemia virus (FeLV-FAIDS) infections.

    PubMed

    de Noronha, C M; Reinhart, T A; Mullins, J I

    1996-01-01

    Cytopathic feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infections of feline T-cell line (FeT-cell) cultures led to the accumulation and maintenance of threefold more proviruses with deletions within the polymerase gene (pol) than minimally cytopathic FeLV infections. Over 60% of the viral DNA from cytopathic infections bore deletions in pol. Characterization of DNA sequences adjoining the deletions revealed that the junctions were most often flanked by RNA splice donor and acceptor consensus motifs. A thymidine-to-cytidine mutation introduced at the +2 position of one RNA splice donor-like motif inhibited formation of the two most prevalent viral DNA species with deletions, confirming the origin of many proviruses with deletions from reverse transcription of aberrantly spliced viral RNA species. An example of deletion by misalignment was also characterized. Viral inocula obtained from cells recovered after cytopathic infections were attenuated in their ability to cause cytopathic effects (CPE) and were able to confer superinfection resistance to nave FeT-cells, despite maintaining envelope gene (env) sequences with full cytopathic potential. This suggested that viral genomes with deletions, rather than being required for cytopathicity, play a role in protecting cells from CPE. Indeed, expression of a molecularly cloned provirus bearing one of the characterized deletions attenuated CPE in FeT-cells caused by superinfecting cytopathic virus. PMID:8523548

  13. The Frequency of Occurrence and Nature of Recombinant Feline Leukemia Viruses in the Induction of Multicentric Lymphoma by Infection of the Domestic Cat with FeLV-945

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, Shamim; Levy, Laura S.

    2010-01-01

    During feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infection in the domestic cat, viruses with a novel envelope gene arise by recombination between endogenous FeLV-related elements and the exogenous infecting species. These recombinant viruses (FeLV-B) are of uncertain disease association, but have been linked to the induction of thymic lymphoma. To assess the role of FeLV-B in the induction of multicentric lymphoma and other non-T-cell disease, the frequency of occurrence and nature of FeLV-B was examined in diseased tissues from a large collection of FeLV-infected animals. Diseased tissues were examined by Southern blot and PCR amplification to detect the presence of FeLV-B. Further analysis was performed to establish the recombination junctions and infectivity of FeLV-B in diseased tissues. The results confirmed the frequent association of FeLV-B with thymic lymphoma but showed infrequent generation, low levels and lack of infectivity of FeLV-B in non-T-cell diseases including multicentric lymphoma. PMID:20451235

  14. The frequency of occurrence and nature of recombinant feline leukemia viruses in the induction of multicentric lymphoma by infection of the domestic cat with FeLV-945.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Shamim; Levy, Laura S

    2010-08-01

    During feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infection in the domestic cat, viruses with a novel envelope gene arise by recombination between endogenous FeLV-related elements and the exogenous infecting species. These recombinant viruses (FeLV-B) are of uncertain disease association, but have been linked to the induction of thymic lymphoma. To assess the role of FeLV-B in the induction of multicentric lymphoma and other non-T-cell disease, the frequency of occurrence and nature of FeLV-B were examined in diseased tissues from a large collection of FeLV-infected animals. Diseased tissues were examined by Southern blot and PCR amplification to detect the presence of FeLV-B. Further analysis was performed to establish the recombination junctions and infectivity of FeLV-B in diseased tissues. The results confirmed the frequent association of FeLV-B with thymic lymphoma but showed infrequent generation, low levels and lack of infectivity of FeLV-B in non-T-cell diseases including multicentric lymphoma. PMID:20451235

  15. Effects of remission speed and improvement of cognitive functions of depressed patients.

    PubMed

    Gudayol-Ferré, Esteve; Guàrdia-Olmos, Joan; Peró-Cebollero, Maribel

    2015-03-30

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) presents neuropsychological alterations which improve after the treatment, but it might be mediated by clinical variables. Our goal is to study whether the speed of remission of MDD bears any relation to the improvement of the patients' cognitive functioning after a successful treatment. We carried out clinical and neuropsychological assessments of 51 patients with MDD. After these procedures they underwent a 24-week treatment with fluoxetine, and were assessed again with the same battery used prior to treatment. They were arranged into three groups according to how rapid their symptoms remitted. The patients with a rapid remission presented improvements in working memory, speed of information processing, and some executive functions, unlike the other groups. Rapid remitters also improved in episodic memory and executive functions more than the other patients. PMID:25619432

  16. Heart failure: when form fails to follow function.

    PubMed

    Katz, Arnold M; Rolett, Ellis L

    2016-02-01

    Cardiac performance is normally determined by architectural, cellular, and molecular structures that determine the heart's form, and by physiological and biochemical mechanisms that regulate the function of these structures. Impaired adaptation of form to function in failing hearts contributes to two syndromes initially called systolic heart failure (SHF) and diastolic heart failure (DHF). In SHF, characterized by high end-diastolic volume (EDV), the left ventricle (LV) cannot eject a normal stroke volume (SV); in DHF, with normal or low EDV, the LV cannot accept a normal venous return. These syndromes are now generally defined in terms of ejection fraction (EF): SHF became 'heart failure with reduced ejection fraction' (HFrEF) while DHF became 'heart failure with normal or preserved ejection fraction' (HFnEF or HFpEF). However, EF is a chimeric index because it is the ratio between SV - which measures function, and EDV - which measures form. In SHF the LV dilates when sarcomere addition in series increases cardiac myocyte length, whereas sarcomere addition in parallel can cause concentric hypertrophy in DHF by increasing myocyte thickness. Although dilatation in SHF allows the LV to accept a greater venous return, it increases the energy cost of ejection and initiates a vicious cycle that contributes to progressive dilatation. In contrast, concentric hypertrophy in DHF facilitates ejection but impairs filling and can cause heart muscle to deteriorate. Differences in the molecular signals that initiate dilatation and concentric hypertrophy can explain why many drugs that improve prognosis in SHF have little if any benefit in DHF. PMID:26497163

  17. Novel Online Dimensionality Reduction Method with Improved Topology Representing and Radial Basis Function Networks

    PubMed Central

    Ni, Shengqiao; Lv, Jiancheng; Cheng, Zhehao; Li, Mao

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents improvements to the conventional Topology Representing Network to build more appropriate topology relationships. Based on this improved Topology Representing Network, we propose a novel method for online dimensionality reduction that integrates the improved Topology Representing Network and Radial Basis Function Network. This method can find meaningful low-dimensional feature structures embedded in high-dimensional original data space, process nonlinear embedded manifolds, and map the new data online. Furthermore, this method can deal with large datasets for the benefit of improved Topology Representing Network. Experiments illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. PMID:26161960

  18. Antibodies neutralizing feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) in cats immunized with the transmembrane envelope protein p15E.

    PubMed

    Langhammer, Stefan; Hbner, Janine; Kurth, Reinhard; Denner, Joachim

    2006-02-01

    The feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) vaccines that are currently in wide use are generally poor inducers of virus-neutralizing antibodies, although such antibodies appear after recovering from challenge. However, the presence of neutralizing antibodies in cats recovering from natural FeLV infection clearly correlates with resistance to subsequent infection and passive transfer of antibodies can protect other animals. After demonstrating the induction of neutralizing antibodies in rats and goats immunized with the transmembrane envelope protein p15E of FeLV, cats were immunized with the same antigen. High titres of neutralizing antibodies specific for FeLV were induced and epitope mapping revealed a pattern of recognition similar to that seen following immunization of rats and goats. These epitopes are highly related to epitopes recognized after immunization with porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) p15E and to epitopes recognized by neutralizing antibodies in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1. The ability of p15E to induce neutralizing antibodies in cats suggests that it should be included in the next generation of vaccines. In contrast, sera from FeLV-infected animals usually fail to recognize the neutralization-relevant epitopes in p15E. Since homologous epitope sequences are present in feline endogenous retroviruses, it appears that tolerance against these sequences is not induced. PMID:16423059

  19. Isolation of a novel subgroup B feline leukemia virus from a cat infected with FeLV-A.

    PubMed

    Boomer, S; Gasper, P; Whalen, L R; Overbaugh, J

    1994-11-01

    Proviruses were cloned directly from a cat that developed neurological disorders approximately 28 months after inoculation with a molecularly cloned, minimally pathogenic subgroup A feline leukemia virus (FeLV-A). In addition to FeLV-A proviruses that were nearly identical to the inoculated virus, we detected a subgroup B-like variant in brain, bone marrow, and lymph node that apparently had acquired the major portion of its extracellular envelope gene (gp70) from endogenous FeLV-related sequences. A similar recombinant was also detected, by PCR, at low levels in bone marrow from an early time postinfection (2.5 months). A full-length proviral variant with this recombinant structure cloned from brain tissue encoded a replication-defective virus. A chimera encoding the 5' gag-pol portion of FeLV-A and the 3' env-LTR portion of the defective brain-derived clone was replication-competent and had the extended host range properties of FeLV-B. PMID:7941350

  20. Antibodies neutralizing feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) in cats immunized with the transmembrane envelope protein p15E

    PubMed Central

    Langhammer, Stefan; Hbner, Janine; Kurth, Reinhard; Denner, Joachim

    2006-01-01

    The feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) vaccines that are currently in wide use are generally poor inducers of virus-neutralizing antibodies, although such antibodies appear after recovering from challenge. However, the presence of neutralizing antibodies in cats recovering from natural FeLV infection clearly correlates with resistance to subsequent infection and passive transfer of antibodies can protect other animals. After demonstrating the induction of neutralizing antibodies in rats and goats immunized with the transmembrane envelope protein p15E of FeLV, cats were immunized with the same antigen. High titres of neutralizing antibodies specific for FeLV were induced and epitope mapping revealed a pattern of recognition similar to that seen following immunization of rats and goats. These epitopes are highly related to epitopes recognized after immunization with porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) p15E and to epitopes recognized by neutralizing antibodies in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1. The ability of p15E to induce neutralizing antibodies in cats suggests that it should be included in the next generation of vaccines. In contrast, sera from FeLV-infected animals usually fail to recognize the neutralization-relevant epitopes in p15E. Since homologous epitope sequences are present in feline endogenous retroviruses, it appears that tolerance against these sequences is not induced. PMID:16423059

  1. A morphological control for ventricular pathology in man: a morphometric and morphologic assessment of LV myofibres in secundum ASD.

    PubMed Central

    Gregory, M. A.; Whitton, I. D.

    1990-01-01

    Ethical considerations preclude the biopsy of normal human myocardium. As a consequence, morphological investigations of diseased human heart muscle are hampered by a lack of suitable normal control tissue. The left ventricular (LV) myocardium of patients with isolated secundum atrial septal defect (ASD) is considered to be normal. This study was designed to investigate the possibility that the fine-structure of LV myofibres in hearts with ASD could be used as normal controls for myofibre pathomorphology. Wedge biopsies from the LV of four adults undergoing elective surgery for the repair of ASD were examined by light and electron microscopy. Bivariant myofibre morphometry showed that the LV myocardium of one specimen was 'normal' while three specimens exhibited varying degrees of hypertrophy. There was a correlation between the diameter (FD) and morphology of individual myofibres within and between specimens. In general, myofibres with FD less than 25 microns were similar in fine-structural appearance to those described as morphologically normal in animal models whereas those with FD greater than 25 microns exhibited hypertrophic features that increased in 'severity' with increase in myofibre size. It is proposed that although the LV myocardium in ASD may be mildly hypertrophied, myofibres with FD less than 25 microns are probably normal and may be used as fine-structural controls for myofibre pathomorphology in hearts suspected of disease. Images Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10 Fig. 11 Fig. 12 Fig. 13 PMID:2278821

  2. Improved Sensing Behaviors in Reduced Graphene Oxide Functionalized with Ni(OH)2 Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Na, Han Gil; Kwon, Yong Jung; Cho, Hong Yeon; Kang, Sung Yong; Jung, Taek Kyun; Lee, Hyo-Soo; Kim, Hyoun Woo

    2015-11-01

    In this paper, we detail improvements in the sensing properties of reduced graphene oxide (RGO), which were achieved through functionalization. The functionalization process utilizes graphene oxide suspensions, generating nanoparticles on the RGO surface mainly comprised of Ni(OH)2 phase. Raman spectra indicate that functionalization increases the degree of disorder in RGOs. NO2 gas sensing tests reveal an approximate increase of 154% in the sensor response of the RGOs after functionalization. Possible mechanisms for improving sensing responses via functionalization are discussed. The enhancement is due to the spillover effect, to the increase of the sensor surface by the catalytic particles, to the reduction of RGO conduction volume through the generation of depletion region, and to the resistance modulation of the heterojunctions. PMID:26726632

  3. Anxiety treatment improves physical functioning with oblique scoring of the SF-12 Short Form Health Survey?

    PubMed Central

    Niles, Andrea N.; Sherbourne, Cathy D.; Roy-Byrne, Peter P.; Stein, Murray B.; Sullivan, Greer; Bystritsky, Alexander; Craske, Michelle G.

    2013-01-01

    Objective No studies have found a positive effect of anxiety treatment on physical functioning, but recent investigations of the 12-item Short Form Health Questionnaire (SF-12), which is frequently used to assess physical functioning, have suggested that orthogonal scoring of the summary measure may distort representations of physical health. The current study reanalyzes whether anxiety treatment improves physical functioning using oblique scoring in the Coordinated Anxiety Learning and Management (CALM) randomized clinical trial for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Replication was tested in reanalysis of data from the earlier Collaborative Care for Anxiety and Panic (CCAP) randomized clinical trial for the treatment of panic disorder. Method The CALM study included 1004 primary care patients with panic, social anxiety, generalized anxiety or posttraumatic stress disorders. Patients received usual care (UC) or an evidence-based intervention (cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotropic medication or both; ITV). Physical functioning (SF-12v2) was assessed at baseline and at 6, 12 and 18 months. Oblique and orthogonal scoring methods for the physical functioning aggregate measure from SF-12 scale items were compared. Results In CALM, physical functioning improved to a greater degree in ITV than UC for oblique but not orthogonal scoring. Findings were replicated in the CCAP data. Conclusions Evidence-based treatment for anxiety disorders in primary care improves physical functioning when measured using oblique scoring of the SF-12. Due to this scoring issue, effects of mental health treatment on physical functioning may have been understated. PMID:23332608

  4. Improving Balance Function Using Low Levels of Electrical Stimulation of the Balance Organs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomberg, Jacob; Reschke, Millard; Mulavara, Ajitkumar; Wood, Scott; Serrador, Jorge; Fiedler, Matthew; Kofman, Igor; Peters, Brian T.; Cohen, Helen

    2012-01-01

    Crewmembers returning from long-duration space flight face significant challenges due to the microgravity-induced inappropriate adaptations in balance/ sensorimotor function. The Neuroscience Laboratory at JSC is developing a method based on stochastic resonance to enhance the brain s ability to detect signals from the balance organs of the inner ear and use them for rapid improvement in balance skill, especially when combined with balance training exercises. This method involves a stimulus delivery system that is wearable/portable providing imperceptible electrical stimulation to the balance organs of the human body. Stochastic resonance (SR) is a phenomenon whereby the response of a nonlinear system to a weak periodic input signal is optimized by the presence of a particular non-zero level of noise. This phenomenon of SR is based on the concept of maximizing the flow of information through a system by a non-zero level of noise. Application of imperceptible SR noise coupled with sensory input in humans has been shown to improve motor, cardiovascular, visual, hearing, and balance functions. SR increases contrast sensitivity and luminance detection; lowers the absolute threshold for tone detection in normal hearing individuals; improves homeostatic function in the human blood pressure regulatory system; improves noise-enhanced muscle spindle function; and improves detection of weak tactile stimuli using mechanical or electrical stimulation. SR noise has been shown to improve postural control when applied as mechanical noise to the soles of the feet, or when applied as electrical noise at the knee and to the back muscles.

  5. Influence of a quality improvement learning collaborative program on team functioning in primary healthcare.

    PubMed

    Kotecha, Jyoti; Brown, Judith Belle; Han, Han; Harris, Stewart B; Green, Michael; Russell, Grant; Roberts, Sharon; Webster-Bogaert, Susan; Fournie, Meghan; Thind, Amardeep; Reichert, Sonja M; Birtwhistle, Richard

    2015-09-01

    Quality improvement (QI) programs are frequently implemented to support primary healthcare (PHC) team development and to improve care outcomes. In Ontario, Canada, the Quality Improvement and Innovation Partnership (QIIP) offered a learning collaborative (LC) program to support the development of interdisciplinary team function and improve chronic disease management, disease prevention, and access to care. A qualitative study using a phenomenological approach was conducted as part of a mixed-method evaluation to explore the influence of the program on team functioning in participating PHC teams. A purposive sampling strategy was used to identify PHC teams (n = 10), from which participants of different professional roles were selected through a purposeful recruitment process to reflect maximum variation of team roles. Additionally, QI coaches working with the interview participants and the LC administrators were also interviewed. Data were collected through semistructured telephone interviews that were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was conducted through an iterative and interpretive approach. The shared experience of participating in the program appeared to improve team functioning. Participants described increased trust and respect for each other's clinical and administrative roles and were inspired by learning about different approaches to interdisciplinary care. This appeared to enhance collegial relationships, collapse professional silos, improve communication, and increase interdisciplinary collaboration. Teamwork involves more than just physically grouping healthcare providers from multiple disciplines and mandating them to work together. The LC program provided opportunities for participants to learn how to work collaboratively, and participation in the LC program appeared to enhance team functioning. PMID:25799255

  6. High Intensity Training Improves Health and Physical Function in Middle Aged Adults

    PubMed Central

    Adamson, Simon; Lorimer, Ross; Cobley, James N.; Lloyd, Ray; Babraj, John

    2014-01-01

    High intensity training (HIT) is effective at improving health; however, it is unknown whether HIT also improves physical function. This study aimed to determine whether HIT improves metabolic health and physical function in untrained middle aged individuals. Fourteen (three male and eleven female) untrained individuals were recruited (control group n = 6: age 42 8 y, weight 64 10 kg, BMI 24 2 kgm?2 or HIT group n = 8: age 43 8 y, weight 80 8 kg, BMI 29 5 kgm?2). Training was performed twice weekly, consisting of 10 6-second sprints with a one minute recovery between each sprint. Metabolic health (oral glucose tolerance test), aerobic capacity (incremental time to exhaustion on a cycle ergometer) and physical function (get up and go test, sit to stand test and loaded 50 m walk) were determined before and after training. Following eight weeks of HIT there was a significant improvement in aerobic capacity (8% increase in VO2 peak; p < 0.001), physical function (11%27% respectively; p < 0.05) and a reduction in blood glucose area under the curve (6% reduction; p < 0.05). This study demonstrates for the first time the potential of HIT as a training intervention to improve skeletal muscle function and glucose clearance as we age. PMID:24833513

  7. The effect of losartan and amlodipine on left ventricular diastolic function and atherosclerosis in Japanese patients with mild-to-moderate hypertension (J-ELAN) study.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Kazuhiro; Ozaki, Hitoshi; Takayasu, Ken; Akehi, Noriyuki; Fukui, Sugao; Sakai, Akihiko; Kodama, Mineo; Shimonagata, Tsuyoshi; Kobayashi, Keiji; Ota, Mitsushige; Horiguchi, Yasunori; Ebisuno, Shoji; Katsube, Yoshiki; Yamazaki, Tsutomu; Ohtsu, Hiroshi; Hori, Masatsugu

    2011-03-01

    This study was a prospective, randomized, open, blinded endpoint study to assess the effects of angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker, losartan, compared with calcium channel blocker, amlodipine, on left ventricular (LV) diastolic function and atherosclerosis of the carotid artery in Japanese patients with mild-to-moderate hypertension, LV hypertrophy, diastolic dysfunction and preserved systolic function. Fifty-seven patients were randomly assigned to losartan- or amlodipine-based treatment groups and were followed up for 18 months. Blood pressure was similarly reduced by both regimens. Losartan shortened the transmitral E-wave deceleration time, and amlodipine reduced LV mass index; however, there was no significant difference in the percent changes of these indices between the two groups. Mean carotid intima-media thickness (mean IMT) as well as plaque score significantly increased in the amlodipine-based regimen (pre: 1.050.26 mm, follow-up: 1.230.33 mm, P=0.0015), but not in the losartan-based regimen (pre: 1.080.35 mm, follow-up: 1.160.52 mm, P=non-significant). The percent increase in mean IMT in the amlodipine-based regimen tended to be large compared with the losartan-based regimen (amlodipine: 19.823.7%, losartan: 6.923.3%, P=0.06). Under similar reduction of blood pressure, losartan is likely effective in protecting the progression of atherosclerosis of the carotid artery compared with amlodipine. Losartan may improve LV diastolic function, and amlodipine may attenuate LV hypertrophy; however, this study cannot make consecutive remarks about the superiority of either treatment regimen in the effects on cardiac function and geometry. This study has been registered at http://www.umin.ac.jp/ctr/listj/ (identifier C000000319). PMID:21124328

  8. Effect of Intracoronary Delivery of Autolologous Bone Marrow Mononuclear Cells Two to Three Weeks Following Acute Myocardial Infarction on Left-Ventricular Function: The LateTIME Randomized Trial

    PubMed Central

    Traverse, Jay H.; Henry, Timothy D.; Ellis, Stephen G.; Pepine, Carl J.; Willerson, James T.; Zhao, David X.M.; Forder, John R.; Byrne, Barry J.; Hatzopoulos, Antonis K.; Penn, Marc S.; Perin, Emerson C.; Baran, Kenneth W.; Chambers, Jeffrey; Lambert, Charles; Raveendran, Ganesh; Simon, Daniel I.; Vaughan, Douglas E.; Simpson, Lara M.; Gee, Adrian P.; Taylor, Doris A.; Cogle, Christopher R.; Thomas, James D.; Silva, Guilherme V.; Jorgenson, Beth C.; Olson, Rachel E.; Bowman, Sherry; Francescon, Judy; Geither, Carrie; Handberg, Eileen; Smith, Deirdre X.; Baraniuk, Sarah; Piller, Linda B.; Loghin, Catalin; Aguilar, David; Richman, Sara; Zierold, Claudia; Bettencourt, Judy; Sayre, Shelly L.; Vojvodic, Rachel W.; Skarlatos, Sonia I.; Gordon, David J.; Ebert, Ray F.; Kwak, Minjung; Moy, Lemuel A.; Simari, Robert D.

    2013-01-01

    Context Clinical trial results suggest that intracoronary delivery of autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMCs) may improve left ventricular (LV) function when administered within the first week following myocardial infarction (MI). However, since a substantial number of patients may not present for early cell delivery, we investigated the efficacy of autologous BMC delivery 23 weeks post-MI. Objective To determine if intracoronary delivery of autologous BMCs improves global and regional LV function when delivered 23 weeks following first MI. Design, Setting, and Patients LateTIME is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute - sponsored Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN) of 87 patients with significant LV dysfunction (LVEF ? 45%) following successful primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Interventions Intracoronary infusion of 150 106 autologous BMCs (total nucleated cells) or placebo (2:1 BMC:placebo) was performed within 12 hours of bone marrow aspiration after local automated cell processing. Main Outcome Measures The primary endpoints were changes in global (LVEF) and regional (wall motion) LV function in the infarct and border zone from baseline to 6 months as measured by cardiac MRI at a core lab blinded to treatment assignment Secondary endpoints included changes in LV volumes and infarct size. Results 87 patients were randomized between July 2008 and February 2011: mean age = 57 11 yrs, 83% male. Harvesting, processing, and intracoronary delivery of BMCs in this setting was feasible and safe. The change from baseline to six months in the BMC group, when compared to the placebo group, for LVEF (48.7 to 49.2% vs. 45.3 to 48.8%; Difference = ?3.0, 95% CI ?7.0 to 0.9), wall motion in the infarct zone (6.2 to 6.5 vs. 4.9 to 5.9 mm; Difference = ?0.7, 95% CI ?2.8 to 1.3), and wall motion in the border zone (16.0 to 16.6 mm vs. 16.1 to 19.3 mm; Difference = ?2.6; 95% CI ?6.0 to 0.8) were not statistically significant. There was no significant change in LV volumes and infarct volumes decreased by a similar amount in both groups at 6 months compared to baseline. Conclusions Among patients with MI and LV dysfunction following reperfusion with PCI, intracoronary infusion of autologous BMCs compared to intracoronary placebo infusion, 23 weeks after PCI did not improve global or regional function at 6 months. PMID:22084195

  9. Transduction of feline hematopoietic cells by oncoretroviral vectors pseudotyped with the subgroup A feline leukemia virus (FeLV-A).

    PubMed

    Josephson, N C; Sabo, K M; Abkowitz, J L

    2000-07-01

    The domestic cat is an outbred species with many identified analogues of human genetic diseases. Therefore, it has the potential to serve as a large animal model for evaluating the feasibility of hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy. This study compared gene transfer rates into feline hematopoietic progenitors by oncoretroviral vectors pseudotyped with the subgroup A feline leukemia virus (FeLV-A), the gibbon ape leukemia virus (GALV), and the murine amphotropic virus. Gene transfer rates were superior with the FeLV-A pseudotypes, which were then tested for their ability to transduce a cat hematopoietic repopulating cell. At more than 1 year posttransplantation, persistent marking was seen in both lymphoid and myeloid lineages of a myeloablated domestic cat that had received autologous marrow cells transduced with an FeLV-A pseudotyped vector. PMID:10899828

  10. Impact of psychosocial factors on functional improvement in Latino older adults after Tai Chi exercise.

    PubMed

    Siu, Ka-Chun; Rajaram, Shireen S; Padilla, Carolina

    2015-01-01

    Increasing evidence underscores the health benefits of Tai Chi (TC), although there is limited evidence of benefits among racial and ethnic minorities. This study investigated the impact of psychosocial status on balance among 23 Latino seniors after a twice-a-week, 12-week TC exercise program. Functional status was measured at baseline, immediately after, and three months following the TC exercise program, using the Timed Up and Go Test and Tinetti Falls Efficacy Scale. Psychosocial status was measured at baseline by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale and Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire. Both measures of functional status improved and were sustained after three months of TC. Greater improvement was significantly related to a higher level of baseline social support. More depressed seniors reported less fear of falling after TC. Depression and social support are important moderators of functional improvement after TC among Latino seniors. PMID:24451550

  11. Direct evidence of lymphatic function improvement after advanced pneumatic compression device treatment of lymphedema

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Kristen E.; Rasmussen, John C.; Darne, Chinmay; Tan, I-Chih; Aldrich, Melissa B.; Marshall, Milton V.; Fife, Caroline E.; Maus, Erik A.; Smith, Latisha A.; Guilloid, Renie; Hoy, Sunday; Sevick-Muraca, Eva M.

    2010-01-01

    Lymphedema affects up to 50% of all breast cancer survivors. Management with pneumatic compression devices (PCDs) is controversial, owing to the lack of methods to directly assess benefit. This pilot study employed an investigational, near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence imaging technique to evaluate lymphatic response to PCD therapy in normal control and breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL) subjects. Lymphatic propulsion rate, apparent lymph velocity, and lymphatic vessel recruitment were measured before, during, and after advanced PCD therapy. Lymphatic function improved in all control subjects and all asymptomatic arms of BCRL subjects. Lymphatic function improved in 4 of 6 BCRL affected arms, improvement defined as proximal movement of dye after therapy. NIR fluorescence lymphatic imaging may be useful to directly evaluate lymphatic response to therapy. These results suggest that PCDs can stimulate lymphatic function and may be an effective method to manage BCRL, warranting future clinical trials. PMID:21258451

  12. Cardiac function is preserved following 4 weeks of voluntary wheel running in a rodent model of chronic kidney disease

    PubMed Central

    Kuczmarski, James M.; Martens, Christopher R.; Kim, Jahyun; Lennon-Edwards, Shannon L.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effect of 4 wk of voluntary wheel running on cardiac performance in the 5/6 ablation-infarction (AI) rat model of chronic kidney disease (CKD). We hypothesized that voluntary wheel running would be effective in preserving cardiac function in AI. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into three study groups: 1) sham, sedentary nondiseased control; 2) AI-SED, sedentary AI; and 3) AI-WR, wheel-running AI. Animals were maintained over a total period of 8 wk following AI and sham surgery. The 8-wk period included 4 wk of disease development followed by a 4-wk voluntary wheel-running intervention/sedentary control period. Cardiac performance was assessed using an isolated working heart preparation. Left ventricular (LV) tissue was used for biochemical tissue analysis. In addition, soleus muscle citrate synthase activity was measured. AI-WR rats performed a low volume of exercise, running an average of 13 2 km, which resulted in citrate synthase activity not different from that in sham animals. Isolated AI-SED hearts demonstrated impaired cardiac performance at baseline and in response to preload/afterload manipulations. Conversely, cardiac function was preserved in AI-WR vs. sham hearts. LV nitrite + nitrate and expression of LV nitric oxide (NO) synthase isoforms 2 and 3 in AI-WR were not different from those of sham rats. In addition, LV H2O2 in AI-WR was similar to that of sham and associated with increased expression of LV superoxide-dismutase-2 and glutathione peroxidase-1/2. The findings of the current study suggest that a low-volume exercise intervention is sufficient to maintain cardiac performance in rats with CKD, potentially through a mechanism related to improved redox homeostasis and increased NO. PMID:25059238

  13. Laminoplasty improves respiratory function in elderly patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy.

    PubMed

    Yanaka, K; Noguchi, S; Asakawa, H; Nose, T

    2001-10-01

    Respiratory insufficiency after acute cervical trauma is well documented, but the relationship between respiratory function and chronic lesions, such as cervical spondylosis, has received scant attention. This clinical study investigated the effect of cervical spondylosis on respiratory function in 12 patients over 65 years of age who underwent expansive laminoplasty. Functional and neurological status were assessed using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scale and Neurosurgical Cervical Spine Scale (NCSS). To assess the effect of laminoplasty on respiratory function in patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy, lung volumes including vital capacity, tidal volume (TV), inspiratory reserve volume, expiratory reserve volume, inspiratory capacity, and forced expiratory volume were measured by spirometer before surgery and 6 months after surgery. The arterial blood gas values were also measured before and after surgery. All patients showed functional improvement after surgery, and neurological examination 6 months after surgery revealed a significant improvement in both JOA scale and NCSS scores (p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in most lung volumes, but TV (p = 0.039) at 6 months after surgery showed a significant increase compared to before surgery. PCO2 also showed a significant reduction after surgery (p = 0.047). This limited study revealed that laminoplasty improved respiratory function in patients over 65 years of age with cervical spondylotic myelopathy. Lung volume measurement may be one method to estimate spinal cord function after a surgical procedure. PMID:11760383

  14. Identification and functional study of a shrimp Dorsal homologue.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xian-De; Yin, Zhi-Xin; Jia, Xiao-Ting; Liang, Jian-ping; Ai, Hua-Shui; Yang, Li-Shi; Liu, Xi; Wang, Pei-Hui; Li, Se-dong; Weng, Shao-Ping; Yu, Xiao-Qiang; He, Jian-Guo

    2010-02-01

    Rel/NF-kappaB transcription factors play central roles in induction and regulation of innate immune responses. Here, identification and functional analysis of LvDorsal, a Dorsal homologue from the Pacific white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei, were described. The full-length cDNA of LvDorsal is 2204bp with an open reading frame that encodes 400 amino acids. The deduced LvDorsal contains a conserved Rel homology domain (RHD), an IPT (Ig-like, plexins and transcription factors) domain and a nucleus localization signal, suggesting that it belongs to the class II NF-kappaB. RT-PCR analysis showed that LvDorsal mRNAs were expressed in all the tissues tested, including gill, epidermis, hemocytes, intestine, stomach, eyestalk, brain, hepatopancreas, muscle, heart and pyloric caecum. Immunofluorescence assay showed that recombinant LvDorsal was translocated into the nucleus of Drosophila S2 cells. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay illustrated that recombinant LvDorsal RHD from S2 cells bound specifically with D. melanogaster kappaB motifs. Additionally, the dual-luciferase reporter assays indicated that LvDorsal could transactivate the reporter gene controlled by the 5' flanking region of shrimp penaeidin-4 and Drosophila attacin genes, suggesting that LvDorsal can regulate the transcription of shrimp penaeidin-4 gene. Study of LvDorsal will help us to better understand shrimp immunity and may help to obtain more effective methods to prevent shrimp diseases. PMID:19723535

  15. A novel α4/7-conotoxin LvIA from Conus lividus that selectively blocks α3β2 vs. α6/α3β2β3 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Sulan; Zhangsun, Dongting; Schroeder, Christina I.; Zhu, Xiaopeng; Hu, Yuanyan; Wu, Yong; Weltzin, Maegan M.; Eberhard, Spencer; Kaas, Quentin; Craik, David J.; McIntosh, J. Michael; Whiteaker, Paul

    2014-01-01

    This study was performed to discover and characterize the first potent α3β2-subtype-selective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) ligand. A novel α4/7-conotoxin, α-CTxLvIA, was cloned from Conus lividus. Its pharmacological profile at Xenopus laevis oocyte-expressed rat nAChR subtypes was determined by 2-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology, and its 3-dimensional (3D) structure was determined by NMR spectroscopy. α-CTx LvIA is a 16-aa C-terminally-amidated peptide with 2-disulfide bridges. Using rat subunits expressed in Xenopus oocytes, we found the highest affinity of α-CTxLvIA was for α3β2 nAChRs (IC50 8.7 nM), where blockade was reversible within 2 min. IC50 values were >100 nM at α6/α3β2β3, α6/α3β4, and α3β4 nAChRs, and ≥3 μM at all other subtypes tested. α3β2 vs. α6β2 subtype selectivity was confirmed for human-subunit nAChRs with much greater preference (300-fold) for α3β2 over α6β2 nAChRs. This is the first α-CTx reported to show high selectivity for human α3β2 vs. α6β2 nAChRs. α-CTxLvIA adopts two similarly populated conformations water: one (assumed to be bioactive) is highly structured, whereas the other is mostly random coil in nature. Selectivity differences with the similarly potent, but less selective, α3β2 nAChR antagonist α-CTx PeIA probably reside within the three residues, which differ in loop 2, given their otherwise similar 3D structures. α4/7-CTx LvIA is a new, potent, selective α3β2 nAChR antagonist, which will enable detailed studies of α3β2 nAChR structure, function, and physiological roles.—Luo, S., Zhangsun, D., Schroeder, C. I., Zhu, X., Hu, Y., Wu, Y., Weltzin, M. M., Eberhard, S., Kaas, Q., Craik, D. J., McIntosh, J. M., Whiteaker, P. A novel α4/7-conotoxin LvIA from Conus lividus that selectively blocks α3β2 vs. α6/α3β2β3 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. PMID:24398291

  16. Novel invasion determinant of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli plasmid pLV501 encodes the ability to invade intestinal epithelial cells and HEp-2 cells.

    PubMed Central

    Fletcher, J N; Embaye, H E; Getty, B; Batt, R M; Hart, C A; Saunders, J R

    1992-01-01

    An Escherichia coli K-12 transformant carrying 96.5-kb plasmid pLV501 from enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) strain K798 is able to produce the same characteristic attaching-effacing lesions in a rabbit ileal biopsy explant model as its parent strain. Cloned EcoRI-SalI DNA restriction fragments from this plasmid failed to reproduce the attaching-effacing lesions, but one recombinant plasmid, pLV527, containing 4.5 kb of pLV501 DNA, conferred on E. coli DH1 transformants the ability to invade enterocytes in the rabbit explant model. DH1(pLV527) was also able to adhere to and invade HEp-2 cells. The relative invasive ability of DH1(pLV527) was quantified by recovery of internalized bacteria following gentamicin treatment of infected HEp-2 monolayers. DH1(pLV527) was 1,000-fold more invasive than DH1 carrying pBR322 or a recombinant plasmid which had no physiological effect on ileal biopsy explants but was less invasive than an enteroinvasive E. coli strain or a transformant carrying the cloned invasion genes of Shigella flexneri. Invasion by DH1(pLV501) could also be detected but occurred at a level 30 times lower than that by DH1(pLV527). Colony-hybridization of the pLV527 insert against a panel of 49 EPEC and related strains revealed that only 11 contained pLV527-hybridizing sequences; thus, the invasion determinant is not an essential component of the attachment-effacement pathogenic mechanism. One pLV527-hybridizing strain displayed both attachment-effacement and invasiveness in the rabbit ileal biopsy explant model. No significant hybridization was observed to non-EPEC invasive pathogenic enteric bacteria, indicating that the invasion determinant encoded on pLV527 is distinct from those used by these organisms. Images PMID:1587591

  17. The effectiveness of proprioceptive training for improving motor function: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Aman, Joshua E.; Elangovan, Naveen; Yeh, I-Ling; Konczak, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    Objective: Numerous reports advocate that training of the proprioceptive sense is a viable behavioral therapy for improving impaired motor function. However, there is little agreement of what constitutes proprioceptive training and how effective it is. We therefore conducted a comprehensive, systematic review of the available literature in order to provide clarity to the notion of training the proprioceptive system. Methods: Four major scientific databases were searched. The following criteria were subsequently applied: (1) A quantified pre- and post-treatment measure of proprioceptive function. (2) An intervention or training program believed to influence or enhance proprioceptive function. (3) Contained at least one form of treatment or outcome measure that is indicative of somatosensory function. From a total of 1284 articles, 51 studies fulfilled all criteria and were selected for further review. Results: Overall, proprioceptive training resulted in an average improvement of 52% across all outcome measures. Applying muscle vibration above 30 Hz for longer durations (i.e., min vs. s) induced outcome improvements of up to 60%. Joint position and target reaching training consistently enhanced joint position sense (up to 109%) showing an average improvement of 48%. Cortical stroke was the most studied disease entity but no clear evidence indicated that proprioceptive training is differentially beneficial across the reported diseases. Conclusions: There is converging evidence that proprioceptive training can yield meaningful improvements in somatosensory and sensorimotor function. However, there is a clear need for further work. Those forms of training utilizing both passive and active movements with and without visual feedback tended to be most beneficial. There is also initial evidence suggesting that proprioceptive training induces cortical reorganization, reinforcing the notion that proprioceptive training is a viable method for improving sensorimotor function. PMID:25674059

  18. The non-specificity of the left/right ventricular amplitude ratio (LV/RV) for mitral insufficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Preston, D.F.; Reinsel, M.S.; Martin, N.L.; Robinson, R.G.

    1984-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the specificity of the LV/RV for mitral insufficiency. One hundred and sixty patients underwent MUGA studies as part of their diagnostic evaluation. Phase analysis was performed. In the amplitude image, the LV/RV was measured. Patients were divided into 11 clinical groups based on chart review after adequate follow-up. The groups were compared by Duncan's Multiple Comparsion Test. Patients with mitral insufficiency (N = 12, mean LV/RV = 2.36), those with idiopathic myocardiopathy (8, 2.29) and those with normal hearts having lung disease on chest x-ray (22, 1.78) formed a group which at the p < .05 level were not different from one another. Patients with idiopathic myocardiography, normal hearts with lung disease on chest x-ray, normal hearts with lung disease (23, 1.71) formed a second group which partially overlapped with both the first and third groups. The third group consisted of normal hearts with lung disease, normal hearts not taking adriamycin (18, 1.53), normal hearts taking adriamycin (22, 1.50), congestive heart failure (19, 1.50), arteriosclerotic heart disease, normal hearts (15, 1.29), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and acute myocardial infarction. The LV/RV is not specific for mitral insufficiency. Idiopathic myocardiography, and normal hearts with lung disease on chest x-ray (metastases, cancer of the lung, infiltrates, fibrosis, and/or COPD) cannot be differentiated on a statistical basis. The mitral insufficiency group had the greatest values of LV/RV. It appears that decreased RV amplitude seen with diseases causing strain on the right ventricle will result in elevated LV/RV ratios.

  19. Rehabilitation and improvement of Guilin urban water environment: function-oriented management.

    PubMed

    Pei, Yuansheng; Zuo, Hua; Luan, Zhaokun; Gao, Sijia

    2013-07-01

    Economic development and population growth have deeply damaged the urban water environment of Guilin City, China. Main problems involved structural damage and functional deterioration of the urban waters. An integrated technical scheme was developed to rehabilitate the urban water environment and to enhance the waters' functions during 1998-2008. Improvement of waters' functions included water system reconstruction, water pollution control, water safety assurance, and aquatic ecological restoration. The water system was reconstructed to connect different waters and clean water supplies to the lakes. Moreover, water pollution was controlled to improve water quality by endogenous pollutant elimination and extraneous pollutant interception. In addition, ecological measures put in place serve to enhance water system functions and better benefit both nature and humans. The project has brought about sound ecological, economic and social benefits in Guilin City, which can potentially be extended to similar cities. PMID:24218862

  20. Myocardial Function Improved by Electromagnetic Field Induction of Stress Protein hsp70

    PubMed Central

    George, Isaac; Geddis, Matthew S.; Lill, Zachary; Lin, Hana; Gomez, Teodoro; Blank, Martin; Oz, Mehmet C.; Goodman, Reba

    2011-01-01

    Studies on myocardial function have shown that hsp70, stimulated by an increase in temperature, leads to improved survival following ischemia reperfusion (I-R). Low frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) also induce the stress protein hsp70, but without elevating temperature. We have examined the hemodynamic changes in concert with EMF preconditioning and the induction of hsp70 to determine whether improved myocardial function occurs following I-R injury in Sprague-Dawley rats. Animals were exposed to EMF (60Hz, 8T) for 30 minutes prior to I-R. Ischemia was then induced by ligation of left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) for 30 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of reperfusion. Blood and heart tissue levels for hsp70 taken at 10 minute intervals were determined by Western blot and RNA transcription by rtPCR. Significant upregulation of the HSP70 gene and increased hsp70 levels were measured in response to EMF pre-exposures. Invasive hemodynamics, as measured using a volume conductance catheter, demonstrated significant recovery of systolic contractile function after 30 minutes of reperfusion following EMF exposure. Additionally, isovolemic relaxation, a measure of ventricular diastolic function, was markedly improved in EMF-treated animals. In conclusion, noninvasive EMF induction of hsp70 preserved myocardial function and has the potential to improve tolerance to ischemic injury. PMID:18446816

  1. Antisecretory therapy with no improvement in functional level in Mnire's disease.

    PubMed

    Ingvardsen, Charlotte J; Klokker, Mads

    2016-03-01

    Conclusion Antisecretory factor-inducing (AF) specially processed cereals (SPC) were not shown to significantly improve the functional level in patients with MD. Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of AF-inducing SPC in patients suffering from Mnire's disease (MD). Methods A randomized double-blinded, placebo-controlled cross-over study was conducted. All patients had a 2 months intake of SPC and control cereal with a 2 months washout period in between. The severity of MD was classified according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AOO-HNS) functional scale, and the frequency of attacks was registered. Results Thirty-two patients completed the study. No carryover effect was found. In both functional level and frequency of attacks no significant effect of SPC was found. Seventeen patients showed improvement in functional level when treated with SPC (mean improvement?=?0.9 points) and 14 when treated with placebo (mean improvements?=?0.7 points). No patients showed worsening in functional level during treatment with SPC, but three showed worsening when treated with placebo. Seventeen patients reported fewer attacks when treated with SPC, and 22 when treated with placebo. Three patients reported more frequent attacks when treated with SPC, and three when treated with placebo. A non-parametric comparison and a parametric analysis supported the findings. PMID:26635204

  2. Molecular characterization of LvAV in response to white spot syndrome virus infection in the Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei).

    PubMed

    He, Shulin; Song, Lei; Qian, Zhaoying; Hou, Fujun; Liu, Yongjie; Wang, Xianzong; Peng, Zhangming; Sun, Chengbo; Liu, Xiaolin

    2015-07-01

    Litopenaeus vannamei is the most important farmed shrimp species globally, but its production is affected by several factors, including infectious disease. White spot syndrome virus (WSSV), in particular, causes significant shrimp losses. To understand the shrimp's immune response against WSSV, we cloned LvAV from L. vannamei and analyzed its expression pattern in different tissues, in addition to its expression following infection. We employed dsRNA and recombinant (r)LvAV to explore the potential role of LvAV in shrimp immunity when infected with WSSV. We find that LvAV is a C-type Lectin composed of 176 amino acids with a signal peptide and a specific C-type Lectin-type domain (CTLD). It shares 81% amino acid similarity with PmAV, an antiviral-like C-type Lectin from Penaeus monodom, and it is highly expressed in the hepatopancreas. Its expression is affected by infection with both WSSV and V. parahaemolyticus. Significantly, injection with rLvAV slowed WSSV replication, while injection with LvAV dsRNA initially led to enhanced virus propagation. Surprisingly, LvAV dsRNA subsequently led to a dramatic decrease in viral load in the later stages of infection, suggesting that LvAV may be subverted by WSSV to enhance viral replication or immune avoidance. Our results indicate that LvAV plays an important, but potentially complex role in the Pacific white shrimp's immune defense. PMID:25735872

  3. Seroprevalence of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV) in shelter cats on the island of Newfoundland, Canada.

    PubMed

    Munro, Hannah J; Berghuis, Lesley; Lang, Andrew S; Rogers, Laura; Whitney, Hugh

    2014-04-01

    Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV) are retroviruses found within domestic and wild cat populations. These viruses cause severe illnesses that eventually lead to death. Housing cats communally for long periods of time makes shelters at high risk for virus transmission among cats. We tested 548 cats from 5 different sites across the island of Newfoundland for FIV and FeLV. The overall seroprevalence was 2.2% and 6.2% for FIV and FeLV, respectively. Two sites had significantly higher seroprevalence of FeLV infection than the other 3 sites. Analysis of sequences from the FeLV env gene (envelope gene) from 6 positive cats showed that 4 fell within the FeLV subtype-A, while 2 sequences were most closely related to FeLV subtype-B and endogenous feline leukemia virus (en FeLV). Varying seroprevalence and the variation in sequences at different sites demonstrate that some shelters are at greater risk of FeLV infections and recombination can occur at sites of high seroprevalence. PMID:24688176

  4. Seroprevalence of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV) in shelter cats on the island of Newfoundland, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Munro, Hannah J.; Berghuis, Lesley; Lang, Andrew S.; Rogers, Laura; Whitney, Hugh

    2014-01-01

    Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV) are retroviruses found within domestic and wild cat populations. These viruses cause severe illnesses that eventually lead to death. Housing cats communally for long periods of time makes shelters at high risk for virus transmission among cats. We tested 548 cats from 5 different sites across the island of Newfoundland for FIV and FeLV. The overall seroprevalence was 2.2% and 6.2% for FIV and FeLV, respectively. Two sites had significantly higher seroprevalence of FeLV infection than the other 3 sites. Analysis of sequences from the FeLV env gene (envelope gene) from 6 positive cats showed that 4 fell within the FeLV subtype-A, while 2 sequences were most closely related to FeLV subtype-B and endogenous feline leukemia virus (en FeLV). Varying seroprevalence and the variation in sequences at different sites demonstrate that some shelters are at greater risk of FeLV infections and recombination can occur at sites of high seroprevalence. PMID:24688176

  5. Difficulties in demonstrating long term immunity in FeLV vaccinated cats due to increasing age-related resistance to infection

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) is a pathogen causing fatal illness in cats worldwide, and as such there is a high demand for products to protect against disease. The duration of immunity provided by an inactivated FeLV vaccine, Versifel FeLV, when administered to cats of the target age was determined. Kittens received two vaccinations when aged 7 to 9 weeks old, and were subsequently challenged up to 36 months later with the FeLV-A Glasgow isolate. Results In all studies, all of the younger aged control kittens showed persistent FeLV p27 antigenaemia confirming that the challenge virus was severe and efficacious. In contrast, the control cats did not show the required level of persistent antigenaemia, with a maximum of 45% cats affected in the middle duration study and only 10% in the longer study. However, apart from one animal in the short duration study, all of the cats vaccinated with Versifel FeLV were negative for persistent antigenaemia and can be considered treatment successes. Conclusion In conclusion, we have shown that although age-related resistance to infection with a virulent FeLV challenge is evident from as early as 10 months of age, vaccination with Versifel FeLV may aid in the protection of cats from FeLV related disease up to three years after primary vaccination as kittens. PMID:22839692

  6. Feline upper respiratory tract lymphoma: site, cyto-histology, phenotype, FeLV expression, and prognosis.

    PubMed

    Santagostino, S F; Mortellaro, C M; Boracchi, P; Avallone, G; Caniatti, M; Forlani, A; Roccabianca, P

    2015-03-01

    Lymphoma is the most common feline upper respiratory tract (URT) tumor. Primary nasal and nasopharyngeal lymphomas have been evaluated as distinct pathological entities; however, data on their differing clinical behavior are missing. A total of 164 endoscopic- guided URT pinch biopsies were formalin fixed and routinely processed. Imprint cytological specimens were stained with May Grünwald-Giemsa. Immunohistochemistry for anti-CD20, CD3, FeLVp27, and FeLVgp70 was performed. Prognostic significance of clinicopathological variables was investigated by univariate and multivariate analysis. Lymphoma was diagnosed in 39 cats (24%). Most cats with lymphoma were domestic shorthair (32 [82%]), were male (F/M = 0.56), and had a mean age of 10.3 years (range, 1-16 years). Lymphomas were primary nasal in 26 cats (67%), nasopharyngeal in 6 (15%), and in both locations (combined lymphomas) in 7 cats (18%). Neoplastic growth pattern was diffuse in 35 cases (90%) and nodular in 4 (10%). Epitheliotropism was observed in 10 cases (26%). Tumor cells were large in 15 cases, were small and medium in 11 cases each, and 2 had mixed cell size. Submucosal lymphoplasmacytic inflammation was observed in 23 cases (59%). Cytology was diagnostic for lymphoma in 12 of 25 cases (48%). A B-cell origin prevailed (34 [87%]). Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) p27 or gp70 antigen was detected in 21 lymphomas (54%). URT lymphomas were aggressive, with survival varying from 0 to 301 days (mean, 53 days). Epitheliotropism in 8 B-cell lymphomas (80%) and in 2 T-cell lymphomas (20%) correlated with prolonged survival. Age younger or older than 10 years had a negative prognostic value. Lymphoplasmacytic inflammation and FeLV infection may represent favoring factors for URT lymphoma development. PMID:24903757

  7. Structure and self assembly of a retrovirus (FeLV) proline rich neutralization domain.

    PubMed

    Fontenot, J D; Tjandra, N; Ho, C; Andrews, P C; Montelaro, R C

    1994-02-01

    The 60 amino acid proline-rich neutralization domain of the external surface unit glycoprotein of feline leukemia virus was chemically synthesized in total and in fragments. We examined the ability of these retroviral peptides to form ordered conformations using 1H-NMR, circular dichroism spectroscopy, and intrinsic viscosity measurements. One dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy revealed that the 60 amino acid peptide could form a stable, folded structure that was long-lived, as shown by the ability to protect amide-protons in D20. Peptides corresponding to the N-terminal 42, N-terminal 20 amino acids, and middle 20 amino acid sections could also form stable structures. The C-terminal segment did not protect any protons in D20. Interestingly, self assembly of the N-terminal 42 and C-terminal 16 amino acid peptides into a structure very close to that of the 60 amino acid domain was observed. The circular dichroism results reveals a large negative cotton effect at 198 nm that is characteristic of the proline-rich beta-turn helixes which consist predominantly of trans-proline. The intrinsic viscosity results suggest a non-random coil structure that is rod shaped. Our conclusion is that PRN60 forms a beta-turn helix and that this region of FeLV-gp70 is a separate folding domain of the retroviral surface unit glycoprotein. The unique conformational properties of PRN60 and its critical role as the predominant target for neutralizing antibody responses suggest that this peptide is a reasonable candidate for producing a synthetic peptide vaccine for FeLV. PMID:8204217

  8. ATP synthase subunit alpha and LV mass in ischaemic human hearts

    PubMed Central

    Rosell-Llet, Esther; Tarazn, Estefana; Barderas, Mara G; Ortega, Ana; Molina-Navarro, Maria Micaela; Martnez, Alba; Lago, Francisca; Martnez-Dolz, Luis; Gonzlez-Juanatey, Jose Ramn; Salvador, Antonio; Portols, Manuel; Rivera, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction plays a critical role in the development of ischaemic cardiomyopathy (ICM). In this study, the mitochondrial proteome in the cardiac tissue of ICM patients was analysed by quantitative differential electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) and mass spectrometry (MS) for the first time to provide new insights into cardiac dysfunction in this cardiomyopathy. We isolated mitochondria from LV samples of explanted hearts of ICM patients (n=8) and control donors (n=8) and used a proteomic approach to investigate the variations in mitochondrial protein expression. We found that most of the altered proteins were involved in cardiac energy metabolism (82%). We focused on ATPA, which is involved in energy production, and dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase, implicated in substrate utilization, and observed that these molecules were overexpressed and that the changes detected in the processes mediated by these proteins were closely related. Notably, we found that ATPA overexpression was associated with reduction in LV mass (r=?0.74, P<0.01). We also found a substantial increase in the expression of elongation factor Tu, a molecule implicated in protein synthesis, and PRDX3, involved in the stress response. All of these changes were validated using classical techniques and by using novel and precise selected reaction monitoring analysis and an RNA sequencing approach, with the total heart samples being increased to 24. This study provides key insights that enhance our understanding of the cellular mechanisms related to the pathophysiology of ICM and could lead to the development of aetiology-specific heart failure therapies. ATPA could serve as a molecular target suitable for new therapeutic interventions. PMID:25382018

  9. Exercise effects on cardiac size and left ventricular diastolic function: relationships to changes in fitness, fatness, blood pressure and insulin resistance

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, K J; Ouyang, P; Bacher, A C; Lima, S; Shapiro, E P

    2006-01-01

    Objectives To determine exercise training effects on cardiac size and left ventricular (LV) diastolic function and relationships of exercise induced changes in physiological and body composition parameters with cardiac parameters. Design Prospective, randomised controlled trial. Subjects Men and women (63.6 (5.7) years, body mass index 29.5 (4.4) kg/m2) with untreated hypertension (systolic blood pressure (BP) 130–159 or diastolic BP 85–99 mm Hg). Main outcome measures Cardiac size and LV diastolic function, peak oxygen uptake (Vo2), muscle strength, general and abdominal fatness, and insulin resistance. Interventions 6 months of exercise training versus usual care. Results When analysed by group at six months, cardiac size and LV diastolic function did not differ between exercisers (n  =  51) and controls (n  =  53), whereas exercisers had significantly higher peak Vo2 (28 v 24 ml/kg/min) and strength (383 v 329 kg), and lower fatness (34% v 37%), diastolic BP (73 v 75 mm Hg) and insulin resistance (quantitative insulin sensitivity check index 0.35 v 0.34) versus controls (all p ⩽ 0.05). By regression analysis, among six month changes, increased peak Vo2 and reduced abdominal fat were associated with increased cardiac size. Increased peak Vo2 and reduced abdominal fat, BP and insulin resistance were associated with improved LV diastolic function. r Values ranged from 0.20 to 0.32 (p ⩽ 0.05). Conclusions When examined by group assignment, exercise had no effect on cardiac size or LV diastolic function. When individual variations in six month changes were examined, participants attaining the greatest increases in fitness and reductions in abdominal fatness, insulin resistance and BP showed a modest trend towards physiological hypertrophy characterised by increased cardiac size and improved LV diastolic function. These results suggest that decreased abdominal fatness may have a role in improving cardiovascular health. PMID:16308413

  10. A decentralized mechanism for improving the functional robustness of distribution networks.

    PubMed

    Shi, Benyun; Liu, Jiming

    2012-10-01

    Most real-world distribution systems can be modeled as distribution networks, where a commodity can flow from source nodes to sink nodes through junction nodes. One of the fundamental characteristics of distribution networks is the functional robustness, which reflects the ability of maintaining its function in the face of internal or external disruptions. In view of the fact that most distribution networks do not have any centralized control mechanisms, we consider the problem of how to improve the functional robustness in a decentralized way. To achieve this goal, we study two important problems: 1) how to formally measure the functional robustness, and 2) how to improve the functional robustness of a network based on the local interaction of its nodes. First, we derive a utility function in terms of network entropy to characterize the functional robustness of a distribution network. Second, we propose a decentralized network pricing mechanism, where each node need only communicate with its distribution neighbors by sending a "price" signal to its upstream neighbors and receiving "price" signals from its downstream neighbors. By doing so, each node can determine its outflows by maximizing its own payoff function. Our mathematical analysis shows that the decentralized pricing mechanism can produce results equivalent to those of an ideal centralized maximization with complete information. Finally, to demonstrate the properties of our mechanism, we carry out a case study on the U.S. natural gas distribution network. The results validate the convergence and effectiveness of our mechanism when comparing it with an existing algorithm. PMID:22547458

  11. Thermal and rheological properties improvement of drilling fluids using functionalized carbon nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fazelabdolabadi, Babak; Khodadadi, Abbas Ali; Sedaghatzadeh, Mostafa

    2015-08-01

    The application of functionalized/unfunctionalized (multi-walled) carbon nanotubes (CNT) was investigated in the context of formulating nano-based drilling fluids from water/oil-based fluid templates. CNT functionalization was attempted by applying hydrophilic functional groups onto the surface of the nanotubes via acid treatment. Experimental data were collected for thermal conductivity, viscosity/yield point, and filtrate amount in all samples. The time evolution of thermal conductivity was studied, as well as the effects of temperature and CNTs volume fraction on the parameter. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to monitor CNTs dispersion quality. The thermal conductivity results unveil considerable enhancements, by as much as 23.2 % (1 % vol. functionalized CNT) in CNT-water-based case at ambient temperature, with extended improvement of 31.8 % at an elevated temperature of 50 °C. Corresponding results for the CNT-oil-based case exhibit an improvement in thermal conductivity by 40.3 % (unfunctionalized) and 43.1 % (functionalized) and 1 % volume fraction of CNT. The rheological results follow an analogous improvement trend. For the CNT-oil-based case, the filtration tests conducted at 138 °C and 500 (psi) show a 16.67 % reduction in filtrate amount (1 % vol. CNT). The time evolution of thermal conductivity was found to nearly equalize (at an amount of 9.7 %) after 100 h of sample preparation in both functionalized and unfunctionalized CNT-oil-based cases.

  12. Postnatal Estradiol Up-regulates Lung Nitric Oxide Synthases and Improves Lung Function in Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia

    PubMed Central

    McCurnin, Donald C.; Pierce, Richard A.; Willis, Brigham C.; Chang, Ling Yi; Yoder, Bradley A.; Yuhanna, Ivan S.; Ballard, Philip L.; Clyman, Ronald I.; Waleh, Nahid; Maniscalco, William; Crapo, James D.; Grubb, Peter H.; Shaul, Philip W.

    2009-01-01

    Rationale: Nitric oxide (NO) plays an important role in lung development and perinatal lung function, and pulmonary NO synthases (NOS) are decreased in bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) following preterm birth. Fetal estradiol levels increase during late gestation and estradiol up-regulates NOS, suggesting that after preterm birth estradiol deprivation causes attenuated lung NOS resulting in impaired pulmonary function. Objective: To test the effects of postnatal estradiol administration in a primate model of BPD over 14 days after delivery at 125 days of gestation (term = 185 d). Methods: Cardiopulmonary function was assessed by echocardiography and whole body plethysmography. Lung morphometric and histopathologic analyses were performed, and NOS enzymatic activity and abundance were measured. Measurements and Main Results: Estradiol caused an increase in blood pressure and ductus arteriosus closure. Expiratory resistance and lung compliance were also improved, and this occurred before spontaneous ductal closure. Furthermore, both oxygenation and ventilation indices were improved with estradiol, and the changes in lung function and ventilatory support requirements persisted throughout the study period. Whereas estradiol had negligible effect on indicators of lung inflammation and on lung structure assessed after the initial 14 days of ventilatory support, it caused an increase in lung neuronal and endothelial NOS enzymatic activity. Conclusions: In a primate model of BPD, postnatal estradiol treatment had favorable cardiovascular impact, enhanced pulmonary function, and lowered requirements for ventilatory support in association with an up-regulation of lung NOS. Estradiol may be an efficacious postnatal therapy to improve lung function and outcome in preterm infants. PMID:19151197

  13. Ventricular dyssynchrony of idiopathic versus pacing-induced left bundle branch block and its prognostic effect in patients with preserved left ventricular systolic function.

    PubMed

    Park, Hyo Eun; Kim, Ji-Hyun; Kim, Hyung-Kwan; Lee, Seung-Pyo; Choi, Eue-Keun; Kim, Yong-Jin; Oh, Seil; Cho, Goo-Yeong; Sohn, Dae-Won

    2012-02-15

    The extent of left ventricular (LV) dyssynchrony might not be comparable between right ventricular pacing-induced left bundle branch block (RV-LBBB) and idiopathic LBBB (iLBBB), despite the morphologic analogy on the electrocardiogram. The objectives of the present study were to elucidate the differences in the LV dyssynchrony index (LVdys) between RV-LBBB and iLBBB, and to assess the prognostic implication of LV dyssynchrony. The conventional echocardiographic parameters, LVdys, and LV end-systolic wall stress were evaluated in 20 healthy volunteers and 21 patients with iLBBB and 20 with RV-LBBB with preserved LV systolic function. Three types of LVdys were evaluated: LVdys-6, LVdys-2, and LVdys-standard deviation. The patients were clinically followed up for about 3 years. The prevalence of LV dyssynchrony was not rare in those with either iLBBB or RV-LBBB, but it was more prevalent in the patients with iLBBB than in those with RV-LBBB. The patients with iLBBB had greater LVdys than those with RV-LBBB (84 55 vs 55 50 for LVdys-6, 51 49 vs 31 40 for LVdys-2, 37 24 vs 24 22 for LVdys-standard deviation in iLBBB vs RV-LBBB). LVdys displayed significant correlations with QRS duration, LV volumes, LV ejection fraction, LV end-systolic wall stress, and mitral inflow E/mitral annular E' velocity ratio. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the LV end-diastolic volume and LV end-systolic wall stress were independent determinants of the presence of LV dyssynchrony. During follow-up, no cardiovascular death or hospitalization for heart failure was reported in either group. In conclusion, despite similarities in electrocardiographic morphology, the extent of LV dyssynchrony were greater in patients with iLBBB, with LV preload and afterload the main determinants. No association was found between the presence of LV dyssynchrony and prognosis. PMID:22133751

  14. Improved Serum Leptin and Ghrelin Following Bariatric Surgery Predict Better Postoperative Cognitive Function

    PubMed Central

    Alosco, Michael L.; Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Strain, Gladys; Devlin, Michael; Cohen, Ronald; Crosby, Ross D.; Mitchell, James E.

    2015-01-01

    Background and Purpose Bariatric surgery is associated with improved cognitive function, but the mechanisms underlying these gains remain poorly understood. Disturbed leptin and ghrelin systems are common in obese individuals and are associated with impaired cognitive function in other samples. Bariatric surgery has been shown to improve serum leptin and ghrelin levels, and these changes may underlie postoperative cognitive improvements. Methods Eighty-four patients completed a computerized cognitive test battery prior to bariatric surgery and at 12 months postoperatively. Participants also submitted to an 8-hour fasting blood draw to quantify serum leptin and ghrelin concentrations at these same time points. Results Baseline cognitive impairments and disturbed leptin and ghrelin levels improved at the 12-month follow-up compared to presurgery. Higher leptin levels were associated with worse attention/executive function at baseline; no such findings emerged for ghrelin. Regression analyses controlling for baseline factors and demographic characteristics showed that both decreased leptin and increased ghrelin following surgery was associated with better attention/executive function at the 12-month follow-up. These effects diminished after controlling for the postoperative change in body mass index (BMI); however, BMI change did not predict 12-month cognitive function. Conclusions Improvements in leptin and ghrelin levels following bariatric surgery appear to contribute to postoperative cognitive benefits. These gains may involve multiple mechanisms, such as reduced inflammation and improved glycemic control. Future studies that employ neuroimaging are needed to clarify the underlying mechanisms and determine whether the effects of bariatric surgery on leptin and ghrelin levels can attenuate adverse brain changes and/or risk of dementia in severely obese individuals. PMID:25628737

  15. Direct injection of kit ligand-2 lentivirus improves cardiac repair and rescues mice post-myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Higuchi, Koji; Ayach, Bilal; Sato, Takeya; Chen, Manyin; Devine, Sean P; Rasaiah, Vanessa I; Dawood, Fayez; Yanagisawa, Teruyuki; Tei, Chuwa; Takenaka, Toshihiro; Liu, Peter P; Medin, Jeffrey A

    2009-02-01

    Myocardial infarction (MI) and subsequent adverse remodeling cause heart failure. Previously we demonstrated a role for Kit ligand (KL) in improving cardiac function post-MI. KL has two major isoforms; KL-1 is secreted whereas KL-2 is predominantly membrane bound. We demonstrate here first that KL-2-deficient mice have worse survival and an increased heart/bodyweight ratio post-MI compared to mice with reduced c-Kit receptor expression. Next we synthesized recombinant lentiviral vectors (LVs) that engineered functional expression of murine KL-1 and KL-2. For in vivo analyses, we directly injected these LVs into the left ventricle of membrane-bound KL-deficient Sl/Sl(d) or wild-type (WT) mice undergoing MI. Control LV/enGFP injection led to measurable reporter gene expression in hearts. Injection of LV/KL-2 attenuated adverse left ventricular remodeling and dramatically improved survival post-MI in both Sl/Sl(d) and WT mice (from 12 to 71% and 35 to 73%, respectively, versus controls). With regard toward beginning to understand the possible salutary mechanisms involved in this effect, differential staining patterns of Sca-1 and Ly49 on peripheral blood (PB) cells from therapeutically treated animals was found. Our data show that LV/KL-2 gene therapy is a promising treatment for MI. PMID:19002160

  16. Systemic and coronary hemodynamic actions and left ventricular functional effects of levosimendan in conscious dogs.

    PubMed

    Harkin, C P; Pagel, P S; Tessmer, J P; Warltier, D C

    1995-08-01

    We examined the effects of levosimendan, a new myofilament Ca2+ sensitizer with phosphodiesterase (PDE)-inhibiting properties, on systemic and coronary hemodynamics and left ventricular (LV) systolic and diastolic function in conscious dogs with intact and blocked autonomic nervous system (ANS) reflexes. Twenty experiments were conducted in 10 dogs chronically instrumented for measurement of aortic and LV pressure, the peak rate of increase and decrease in LV pressure (+dP/dtmax and -dP/dtmin), subendocardial segment length, diastolic coronary blood flow (CBF) velocity, and cardiac output (CO). The slope (Mw) of the regional preload recruitable stroke work relation was used to assess myocardial contractility. Diastolic function was evaluated by -dP/dtmin, a time constant of isovolumic relaxation (tau), maximum segment lengthening velocity during rapid ventricular filling (dL/dtmax), and a regional chamber stiffness constant (Kp). Dogs were randomly assigned to receive levosimendan (0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 micrograms.kg-1.min-1) with or without ANS blockade. On separate experimental days, systemic and coronary hemodynamics and LV pressure-segment length diagrams and waveforms were recorded after 10-min equilibration at each dose in the conscious ANS-intact or ANS-blocked state. Levosimendan increased heart rate (HR), CO, mean and diastolic CBF velocity, and pressure-work index (PWI, an estimate of myocardial oxygen consumption) and decreased LV end-diastolic pressure (EDP), systemic vascular resistance (SVR), end-systolic and end-diastolic segment length, and mean and diastolic coronary vascular resistance (CVR) in dogs with intact ANS function. Levosimendan-induced increases in HR and PWI and decreases in SVR were attenuated by ANS blockade. Levosimendan caused equivalent dose-dependent increases in Mw in ANS-intact and ANS-blocked dogs, consistent with a positive inotropic effect independent of ANS activity. Levosimendan decreased tau (e.g., 35 +/- 1 ms during control to 29 +/- 1 ms at the high dose) and increased the magnitude of LV -dP/dtmin in dogs with intact but not blocked ANS reflexes, suggesting that relaxation was enhanced by favorable changes in systemic hemodynamics or ANS activation and direct effects of this drug on lusitropic state. Levosimendan also increased dL/dtmax to a greater degree in ANS-intact dogs, indicating that improvement of rapid ventricular filling was also partially dependent on ANS tone. No changes in Kp were observed in either experimental group. The results indicate that levosimendan decreases preload and afterload and has positive inotropic and lusitropic properties. The actions of levosimendan on diastolic function are largely mediated by the ANS. PMID:7475041

  17. Playing piano can improve upper extremity function after stroke: case studies.

    PubMed

    Villeneuve, Myriam; Lamontagne, Anouk

    2013-01-01

    Music-supported therapy (MST) is an innovative approach that was shown to improve manual dexterity in acute stroke survivors. The feasibility of such intervention in chronic stroke survivors and its longer-term benefits, however, remain unknown. The objective of this pilot study was to estimate the short- and long-term effects of a 3-week piano training program on upper extremity function in persons with chronic stroke. A multiple pre-post sequential design was used, with measurements taken at baseline (week0, week3), prior to (week6) and after the intervention (week9), and at 3-week follow-up (week12). Three persons with stroke participated in the 3-week piano training program that combined structured piano lessons to home practice program. The songs, played on an electronic keyboard, involved all 5 digits of the affected hand and were displayed using a user-friendly MIDI program. After intervention, all the three participants showed improvements in their fine (nine hole peg test) and gross (box and block test) manual dexterity, as well as in the functional use of the upper extremity (Jebsen hand function test). Improvements were maintained at follow-up. These preliminary results support the feasibility of using an MST approach that combines structured lessons to home practice to improve upper extremity function in chronic stroke. PMID:23533954

  18. Playing Piano Can Improve Upper Extremity Function after Stroke: Case Studies

    PubMed Central

    Villeneuve, Myriam; Lamontagne, Anouk

    2013-01-01

    Music-supported therapy (MST) is an innovative approach that was shown to improve manual dexterity in acute stroke survivors. The feasibility of such intervention in chronic stroke survivors and its longer-term benefits, however, remain unknown. The objective of this pilot study was to estimate the short- and long-term effects of a 3-week piano training program on upper extremity function in persons with chronic stroke. A multiple pre-post sequential design was used, with measurements taken at baseline (week0, week3), prior to (week6) and after the intervention (week9), and at 3-week follow-up (week12). Three persons with stroke participated in the 3-week piano training program that combined structured piano lessons to home practice program. The songs, played on an electronic keyboard, involved all 5 digits of the affected hand and were displayed using a user-friendly MIDI program. After intervention, all the three participants showed improvements in their fine (nine hole peg test) and gross (box and block test) manual dexterity, as well as in the functional use of the upper extremity (Jebsen hand function test). Improvements were maintained at follow-up. These preliminary results support the feasibility of using an MST approach that combines structured lessons to home practice to improve upper extremity function in chronic stroke. PMID:23533954

  19. Bovine colostrum improves intestinal function following formula-induced gut inflammation in preterm pigs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Only few hours of formula feeding may induce proinflammatory responses and predispose to necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in preterm pigs. We hypothesized that bovine colostrum, rich in bioactive factors, would improve intestinal function in preterm pigs following an initial exposure to formula feedi...

  20. Improved quasi-static nodal Green's function method for cylindrical geometry

    SciTech Connect

    Zhenjia, G.; Fu, L.; Yongming, H.

    2006-07-01

    Improved Quasi-static Nodal Green's Function Method for cylindrical geometry (IQS/CNGFM) is adopted to solve the multidimensional transient neutron diffusion equation. Numerical results demonstrate that the IQS/CNGFM method is feasible. Meanwhile, the paper provides the method to get physical adjoint flux and tests its calculation accuracy with definite differential method program CITATION to prove the method's feasibility. (authors)

  1. Improving Students' Representational Flexibility in Linear-Function Problems: An Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Acevedo Nistal, A.; Van Dooren, W.; Verschaffel, L.

    2014-01-01

    This study evaluates the effects of an intervention aimed at improving representational flexibility in linear-function problems. Forty-nine students aged 13-16 participated in the study. A pretest-intervention-posttest design with an experimental and control group was used. At pretest, both groups solved a choice test, where they could freely

  2. EXERCISE IMPROVES SEXUAL FUNCTION IN WOMEN TAKING ANTIDEPRESSANTS: RESULTS FROM A RANDOMIZED CROSSOVER TRIAL

    PubMed Central

    Lorenz, Tierney Ahrold; Meston, Cindy May

    2014-01-01

    Background In laboratory studies, exercise immediately before sexual stimuli improved sexual arousal of women taking antidepressants [1]. We evaluated if exercise improves sexual desire, orgasm, and global sexual functioning in women experiencing antidepressant-induced sexual side effects. Methods Fifty-two women who were reporting antidepressant sexual side effects were followed for 3 weeks of sexual activity only. They were randomized to complete either three weeks of exercise immediately before sexual activity (3/week) or 3 weeks of exercise separate from sexual activity (3/week). At the end of the first exercise arm, participants crossed to the other. We measured sexual functioning, sexual satisfaction, depression, and physical health. Results Exercise immediately prior to sexual activity significantly improved sexual desire and, for women with sexual dysfunction at baseline, global sexual function. Scheduling regular sexual activity significantly improved orgasm function; exercise did not increase this benefit. Neither regular sexual activity nor exercise significantly changed sexual satisfaction. Conclusions Scheduling regular sexual activity and exercise may be an effective tool for the behavioral management of sexual side effects of antidepressants. PMID:24754044

  3. A new function of rapid eye movement sleep: improvement of muscular efficiency.

    PubMed

    Cai, Zi-Jian

    2015-05-15

    Previously I demonstrated that the slow wave sleep (SWS) functioned to adjust the emotional balance disrupted by emotional memories randomly accumulated during waking, while the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep played the opposite role. Many experimental results have unambiguously shown that various emotional memories are processed during REM sleep. In this article, it is attempted to combine this confirmed function of REM sleep with the atonic state unique to REM sleep, and to integrate a new theory suggesting that improvement of muscular efficiency be a new function of REM sleep. This new function of REM sleep is more advantageous than the function of REM sleep in emotional memories and disinhibited drives to account for the phylogenetic variations of REM sleep, especially the absence of REM sleep in dolphins and short duration of REM sleep in birds in contrary to that in humans and rodents, the absence of penile erections in REM sleep in armadillo, as well as the higher voltage in EEG during REM sleep in platypus and ostrich. Besides, this new function of REM sleep is also advantageous to explain the association of REM sleep with the atonic episodes in SWS, the absence of drastic menopausal change in duration of REM sleep, and the effects of ambient temperature on the duration of REM sleep. These comparative and experimental evidences support the improvement of muscular efficiency as a new and major function of REM sleep. PMID:25770701

  4. Review of functional markers for improving cooking, eating, and the nutritional qualities of rice

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Wendy C. P.; Rafii, Mohd Y.; Ismail, Mohd R.; Puteh, Adam; Latif, Mohammad A.; Ramli, Asfaliza

    2015-01-01

    After yield, quality is one of the most important aspects of rice breeding. Preference for rice quality varies among cultures and regions; therefore, rice breeders have to tailor the quality according to the preferences of local consumers. Rice quality assessment requires routine chemical analysis procedures. The advancement of molecular marker technology has revolutionized the strategy in breeding programs. The availability of rice genome sequences and the use of forward and reverse genetics approaches facilitate gene discovery and the deciphering of gene functions. A well-characterized gene is the basis for the development of functional markers, which play an important role in plant genotyping and, in particular, marker-assisted breeding. In addition, functional markers offer advantages that counteract the limitations of random DNA markers. Some functional markers have been applied in marker-assisted breeding programs and have successfully improved rice quality to meet local consumers’ preferences. Although functional markers offer a plethora of advantages over random genetic markers, the development and application of functional markers should be conducted with care. The decreasing cost of sequencing will enable more functional markers for rice quality improvement to be developed, and application of these markers in rice quality breeding programs is highly anticipated. PMID:26528304

  5. Fluorescently Labeled Peptide Increases Identification of Degenerated Facial Nerve Branches during Surgery and Improves Functional Outcome

    PubMed Central

    Hussain, Timon; Mastrodimos, Melina B.; Raju, Sharat C.; Glasgow, Heather L.; Whitney, Michael; Friedman, Beth; Moore, Jeffrey D.; Kleinfeld, David; Steinbach, Paul; Messer, Karen; Pu, Minya; Tsien, Roger Y.; Nguyen, Quyen T.

    2015-01-01

    Nerve degeneration after transection injury decreases intraoperative visibility under white light (WL), complicating surgical repair. We show here that the use of fluorescently labeled nerve binding probe (F-NP41) can improve intraoperative visualization of chronically (up to 9 months) denervated nerves. In a mouse model for the repair of chronically denervated facial nerves, the intraoperative use of fluorescent labeling decreased time to nerve identification by 40% compared to surgeries performed under WL alone. Cumulative functional post-operative recovery was also significantly improved in the fluorescence guided group as determined by quantitatively tracking of the recovery of whisker movement at time intervals for 6 weeks post-repair. To our knowledge, this is the first description of an injectable probe that increases visibility of chronically denervated nerves during surgical repair in live animals. Future translation of this probe may improve functional outcome for patients with chronic denervation undergoing surgical repair. PMID:25751149

  6. Lactulose enhances neuroplasticity to improve cognitive function in early hepatic encephalopathy.

    PubMed

    Yang, Nan; Liu, He; Jiang, Yao; Zheng, Ji; Li, Dong-Mei; Ji, Chao; Liu, Yan-Yong; Zuo, Ping-Ping

    2015-09-01

    Lactulose is known to improve cognitive function in patients with early hepatic encephalopathy; however, the underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated the behavioral and neurochemical effects of lactulose in a rat model of early hepatic encephalopathy induced by carbon tetrachloride. Immunohistochemistry showed that lactulose treatment promoted neurogenesis and increased the number of neurons and astrocytes in the hippocampus. Moreover, lactulose-treated rats showed shorter escape latencies than model rats in the Morris water maze, indicating that lactulose improved the cognitive impairments caused by hepatic encephalopathy. The present findings suggest that lactulose effectively improves cognitive function by enhancing neuroplasticity in a rat model of early hepatic encephalopathy. PMID:26604907

  7. Lactulose enhances neuroplasticity to improve cognitive function in early hepatic encephalopathy

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Nan; Liu, He; Jiang, Yao; Zheng, Ji; Li, Dong-mei; Ji, Chao; Liu, Yan-yong; Zuo, Ping-ping

    2015-01-01

    Lactulose is known to improve cognitive function in patients with early hepatic encephalopathy; however, the underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated the behavioral and neurochemical effects of lactulose in a rat model of early hepatic encephalopathy induced by carbon tetrachloride. Immunohistochemistry showed that lactulose treatment promoted neurogenesis and increased the number of neurons and astrocytes in the hippocampus. Moreover, lactulose-treated rats showed shorter escape latencies than model rats in the Morris water maze, indicating that lactulose improved the cognitive impairments caused by hepatic encephalopathy. The present findings suggest that lactulose effectively improves cognitive function by enhancing neuroplasticity in a rat model of early hepatic encephalopathy. PMID:26604907

  8. Inhibition of Src Family Kinases Protects Hippocampal Neurons and Improves Cognitive Function after Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Sharp, Frank R.; Van, Ken C.; Ander, Bradley P.; Ghiasvand, Rahil; Zhan, Xinhua; Stamova, Boryana; Jickling, Glen C.; Lyeth, Bruce G.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is often associated with intracerebral and intraventricular hemorrhage. Thrombin is a neurotoxin generated at bleeding sites fater TBI and can lead to cell death and subsequent cognitive dysfunction via activation of Src family kinases (SFKs). We hypothesize that inhibiting SFKs can protect hippocampal neurons and improve cognitive memory function after TBI. To test these hypotheses, we show that moderate lateral fluid percussion (LFP) TBI in adult rats produces bleeding into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in both lateral ventricles, which elevates oxyhemoglobin and thrombin levels in the CSF, activates the SFK family member Fyn, and increases Rho-kinase 1(ROCK1) expression. Systemic administration of the SFK inhibitor, PP2, immediately after moderate TBI blocks ROCK1 expression, protects hippocampal CA2/3 neurons, and improves spatial memory function. These data suggest the possibility that inhibiting SFKs after TBI might improve clinical outcomes. PMID:24428562

  9. Increasing Muscle Mass Improves Vascular Function in Obese (db/db) Mice

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Shuiqing; Mintz, James D.; Salet, Christina D.; Han, Weihong; Giannis, Athanassios; Chen, Feng; Yu, Yanfang; Su, Yunchao; Fulton, David J.; Stepp, David W.

    2014-01-01

    Background A sedentary lifestyle is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and exercise has been shown to ameliorate this risk. Inactivity is associated with a loss of muscle mass, which is also reversed with isometric exercise training. The relationship between muscle mass and vascular function is poorly defined. The aims of the current study were to determine whether increasing muscle mass by genetic deletion of myostatin, a negative regulator of muscle growth, can influence vascular function in mesenteric arteries from obese db/db mice. Methods and Results Myostatin expression was elevated in skeletal muscle of obese mice and associated with reduced muscle mass (30% to 50%). Myostatin deletion increased muscle mass in lean (40% to 60%) and obese (80% to 115%) mice through increased muscle fiber size (P<0.05). Myostatin deletion decreased adipose tissue in lean mice, but not obese mice. Markers of insulin resistance and glucose tolerance were improved in obese myostatin knockout mice. Obese mice demonstrated an impaired endothelial vasodilation, compared to lean mice. This impairment was improved by superoxide dismutase mimic Tempol. Deletion of myostatin improved endothelial vasodilation in mesenteric arteries in obese, but not in lean, mice. This improvement was blunted by nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor l?NG?nitroarginine methyl ester (l?NAME). Prostacyclin (PGI2)? and endothelium?derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF)?mediated vasodilation were preserved in obese mice and unaffected by myostatin deletion. Reactive oxygen species) was elevated in the mesenteric endothelium of obese mice and down?regulated by deletion of myostatin in obese mice. Impaired vasodilation in obese mice was improved by NADPH oxidase inhibitor (GKT136901). Treatment with sepiapterin, which increases levels of tetrahydrobiopterin, improved vasodilation in obese mice, an improvement blocked by l?NAME. Conclusions Increasing muscle mass by genetic deletion of myostatin improves NO?, but not PGI2? or EDHF?mediated vasodilation in obese mice; this vasodilation improvement is mediated by down?regulation of superoxide. PMID:24965025

  10. PACAP improves functional outcome in excitotoxic retinal lesion: an electroretinographic study.

    PubMed

    Varga, Balazs; Szabadfi, Krisztina; Kiss, Peter; Fabian, Eszter; Tamas, Andrea; Griecs, Monika; Gabriel, Robert; Reglodi, Dora; Kemeny-Beke, Adam; Pamer, Zsuzsanna; Biro, Zsolt; Tosaki, Arpad; Atlasz, Tamas; Juhasz, Bela

    2011-01-01

    Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) and its receptors occur throughout the nervous system, including the retina. PACAP exerts diverse actions in the eye: it influences ocular blood flow, contraction of the ciliary muscle, and has retinoprotective effects. This has been proven in different models of retinal degeneration. The in vivo protective effects of PACAP have been shown in retinal degeneration induced by kainic acid, optic nerve transection and ischemia. We have previously shown by morphological, morphometrical and immunohistochemical analyses that intravitreal PACAP administration protects against monosodium glutamate (MSG)-induced damage in neonatal rats. The question was raised whether these apparent morphological improvements by PACAP administration also lead to functional amelioration in MSG-induced retinal damage. The aim of the present study was to investigate the functional consequences of MSG treatment and the subsequent PACAP administration using electroretinographic measurements. The histological and morphometrical analyses supported the earlier findings that PACAP protected the retina in MSG-induced excitotoxicity. ERG recordings revealed a marked decrease in both the b- and a-wave values, reflecting the function of the inner retinal layers and the photoreceptors, respectively. In retinas receiving intravitreal PACAP treatment, these values were significantly increased. Thus, the functional outcome, although not parallel with the morphology, was significantly improved after PACAP treatment. The present observations are important from the clinical point of view showing, for the first time, that PACAP treatment is able to improve the functional properties of the retina in excitotoxic damage. PMID:20567936

  11. Improving Correlation Function Fitting with Ridge Regression: Application to Cross-correlation Reconstruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matthews, Daniel J.; Newman, Jeffrey A.

    2012-02-01

    Cross-correlation techniques provide a promising avenue for calibrating photometric redshifts and determining redshift distributions using spectroscopy which is systematically incomplete (e.g., current deep spectroscopic surveys fail to obtain secure redshifts for 30%-50% or more of the galaxies targeted). In this paper, we improve on the redshift distribution reconstruction methods from our previous work by incorporating full covariance information into our correlation function fits. Correlation function measurements are strongly covariant between angular or spatial bins, and accounting for this in fitting can yield substantial reduction in errors. However, frequently the covariance matrices used in these calculations are determined from a relatively small set (dozens rather than hundreds) of subsamples or mock catalogs, resulting in noisy covariance matrices whose inversion is ill-conditioned and numerically unstable. We present here a method of conditioning the covariance matrix known as ridge regression which results in a more well behaved inversion than other techniques common in large-scale structure studies. We demonstrate that ridge regression significantly improves the determination of correlation function parameters. We then apply these improved techniques to the problem of reconstructing redshift distributions. By incorporating full covariance information, applying ridge regression, and changing the weighting of fields in obtaining average correlation functions, we obtain reductions in the mean redshift distribution reconstruction error of as much as ~40% compared to previous methods. We provide a description of POWERFIT, an IDL code for performing power-law fits to correlation functions with ridge regression conditioning that we are making publicly available.

  12. Towards improved local hybrid functionals by calibration of exchange-energy densities

    SciTech Connect

    Arbuznikov, Alexei V. E-mail: martin.kaupp@tu-berlin.de; Kaupp, Martin E-mail: martin.kaupp@tu-berlin.de

    2014-11-28

    A new approach for the calibration of (semi-)local and exact exchange-energy densities in the context of local hybrid functionals is reported. The calibration functions are derived from only the electron density and its spatial derivatives, avoiding spatial derivatives of the exact-exchange energy density or other computationally unfavorable contributions. The calibration functions fulfill the seven more important out of nine known exact constraints. It is shown that calibration improves substantially the definition of a non-dynamical correlation energy term for generalized gradient approximation (GGA)-based local hybrids. Moreover, gauge artifacts in the potential-energy curves of noble-gas dimers may be corrected by calibration. The developed calibration functions are then evaluated for a large range of energy-related properties (atomization energies, reaction barriers, ionization potentials, electron affinities, and total atomic energies) of three sets of local hybrids, using a simple one-parameter local-mixing. The functionals are based on (a) local spin-density approximation (LSDA) or (b) Perdew-Burke-Ernzerhof (PBE) exchange and correlation, and on (c) Becke-88 (B88) exchange and Lee-Yang-Parr (LYP) correlation. While the uncalibrated GGA-based functionals usually provide very poor thermochemical data, calibration allows a dramatic improvement, accompanied by only a small deterioration of reaction barriers. In particular, an optimized BLYP-based local-hybrid functional has been found that is a substantial improvement over the underlying global hybrids, as well as over previously reported LSDA-based local hybrids. It is expected that the present calibration approach will pave the way towards new generations of more accurate hyper-GGA functionals based on a local mixing of exchange-energy densities.

  13. Plasma gelsolin improves lung host defense against pneumonia by enhancing macrophage NOS3 function.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhiping; Chiou, Terry Ting-Yu; Stossel, Thomas P; Kobzik, Lester

    2015-07-01

    Plasma gelsolin (pGSN) functions as part of the "extracellular actin-scavenging system," but its potential to improve host defense against infection has not been studied. In a mouse model of primary pneumococcal pneumonia, recombinant human pGSN (rhu-pGSN) caused enhanced bacterial clearance, reduced acute inflammation, and improved survival. In vitro, rhu-pGSN rapidly improved lung macrophage uptake and killing of bacteria (Streptococcus pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, and Francisella tularensis). pGSN triggers activating phosphorylation (Ser(1177)) of macrophage nitric oxide synthase type III (NOS3), an enzyme with important bactericidal functions in lung macrophages. rhu-pGSN failed to enhance bacterial killing by NOS3(-/-) macrophages in vitro or bacterial clearance in NOS3(-/-) mice in vivo. Prophylaxis with immunomodulators may be especially relevant for patients at risk for secondary bacterial pneumonia, e.g., after influenza. Treatment of mice with pGSN challenged with pneumococci on postinfluenza day 7 (the peak of enhanced susceptibility to secondary infection) caused a ?15-fold improvement in bacterial clearance, reduced acute neutrophilic inflammation, and markedly improved survival, even without antibiotic therapy. pGSN is a potential immunomodulator for improving lung host defense against primary and secondary bacterial pneumonia. PMID:25957291

  14. Plasma Midregional Pro-Adrenomedullin Improves Prediction of Functional Outcome in Ischemic Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Gattringer, Thomas; Simmet, Nicole E.; Scharnagl, Hubert; Bocksrucker, Christoph; Lampl, Christian; Storch, Maria K.; Stojakovic, Tatjana; Fazekas, Franz

    2013-01-01

    Background To evaluate if plasma levels of midregional pro-adrenomedullin (MR-proADM) improve prediction of functional outcome in ischemic stroke. Methods In 168 consecutive ischemic stroke patients, plasma levels of MR-proADM were measured within 24 hours from symptom onset. Functional outcome was assessed by the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at 90 days following stroke. Logistic regression, receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve analysis, net reclassification improvement (NRI), and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis were applied. Results Plasma MR-proADM levels were found significantly higher in patients with unfavourable (mRS 3–6) compared to favourable (mRS 0–2) outcomes. MR-proADM levels were entered into a predictive model including the patients' age, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), and the use of recanalization therapy. The area under the ROC curve did not increase significantly. However, category-free NRI of 0.577 (p<0.001) indicated a significant improvement in reclassification of patients. Furthermore, MR-proADM levels significantly improved reclassification of patients in the prediction of outcome by the Stroke Prognostication using Age and NIHSS-100 (SPAN-100; NRI = 0.175; p = 0.04). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed a rising risk of death with increasing MR-proADM quintiles. Conclusions Plasma MR-proADM levels improve prediction of functional outcome in ischemic stroke when added to the patients' age, NIHSS on admission, and the use of recanalization therapy. Levels of MR-proADM in peripheral blood improve reclassification of patients when the SPAN-100 is used to predict the patients' functional outcome. PMID:23894342

  15. Functional recovery of hibernating myocardium after coronary bypass surgery: Does it coincide with improvement in perfusion

    SciTech Connect

    Takeishi, Y.; Tono-oka, I.; Kubota, I.; Ikeda, K.; Masakane, I.; Chiba, J.; Abe, S.; Tsuiki, K.; Komatani, A.; Yamaguchi, I. )

    1991-09-01

    To determine the relationship between functional recovery and improvement in perfusion after coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), 49 patients were studied. Radionuclide angiography was performed before, 1 month after, and 6 to 12 months after CABG to evaluate regional wall motion. Exercise thallium-201 myocardial perfusion imaging was done before and 1 month after CABG to assess regional perfusion. Preoperative asynergy was observed in 108 segments, and 74 of them showed an improvement in wall motion 1 month after CABG (segment A). Sixty-six of these segments (89%) were associated with an improvement in perfusion. Eight segments that had not improved 1 month after CABG demonstrated a delayed recovery of wall motion 6 to 12 months after CABG (segment B). However, seven of eight segments (88%) already showed an improvement in perfusion 1 month after CABG. A total of 82 segments exhibited functional recovery after CABG and were considered hibernating segments. In the preoperative study segment B more frequently had areas of akinesis or dyskinesis than segment A (75% vs 34%, p less than 0.05). The mean percent thallium-201 uptake in segment B was lower than that in segment A (74% {plus minus} 9% vs 83% {plus minus} 8%, p less than 0.05). Functional recovery of hibernating myocardium usually coincided with an improvement in perfusion. However, delayed functional recovery after reperfusion was observed in some instances. Severe asynergy and severe thallium-201 defects were more frequently observed in these segments with delayed recovery. Hibernating myocardium might remain stunned during those recovery periods.

  16. Treating Insomnia Improves Mood State, Sleep, and Functioning in Bipolar Disorder: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Harvey, Allison G.; Soehner, Adriane M.; Kaplan, Kate A.; Hein, Kerrie; Lee, Jason; Kanady, Jennifer; Rabe-Hesketh, Sophia; Neylan, Thomas C.; Li, Descartes; Ketter, Terence A.; Buysse, Daniel J.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To determine if a treatment for interepisode bipolar disorder I patients with insomnia improves mood state, sleep, and functioning. Method Alongside psychiatric care, interepisode bipolar disorder I participants with insomnia were randomly allocated to a bipolar disorder–specific modification of cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia (CBTI-BP; n = 30) or psychoeducation (PE; n = 28) as a comparison condition. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, the end of 8 sessions of treatment, and 6 months later. This pilot was conducted to determine initial feasibility and generate effect size estimates. Results During the 6-month follow-up, the CBTI-BP group had fewer days in a bipolar episode relative to the PE group (3.3 days vs. 25.5 days). The CBTI-BP group also experienced a significantly lower hypomania/mania relapse rate (4.6% vs. 31.6%) and a marginally lower overall mood episode relapse rate (13.6% vs. 42.1%) compared with the PE group. Relative to PE, CBTI-BP reduced insomnia severity and led to higher rates of insomnia remission at posttreatment and marginally higher rates at 6 months. Both CBTI-BP and PE showed statistically significant improvement on selected sleep and functional impairment measures. The effects of treatment were well sustained through follow-up for most outcomes, although some decline on secondary sleep benefits was observed. Conclusions CBTI-BP was associated with reduced risk of mood episode relapse and improved sleep and functioning on certain outcomes in bipolar disorder. Hence, sleep disturbance appears to be an important pathway contributing to bipolar disorder. The need to develop bipolar disorder–specific sleep diary scoring standards is highlighted. Public Health Significance This study suggests that an intervention to improve sleep and circadian functioning reduces risk of relapse and improves sleep and overall functioning among individuals who meet diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder. PMID:25622197

  17. Analysis and improvement of a chaos-based Hash function construction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Shaojiang; Li, Yantao; Xiao, Di

    2010-05-01

    The construction of a new Hash function attracts much attention recently. In Kwok and Tang (2005) [Kwok HS, Tang WKS. A chaos-based cryptographic Hash function for message authentication. Int J Bifurcat Chaos 2005;15:4043-50], a chaos-based Hash function has been proposed. In this paper, the potential flaws in the original algorithm are analyzed in detail, and then the corresponding improving measures are proposed. We enhance the influence that each bit of the final Hash value is closely related to all the bits of the message or key and a single bit change in message or key results in great changes in the final Hash value. Simulation results show that the proposed improving algorithm has strong diffusion and confusion capability, good collision resistance, extreme sensitivity to message and secret key.

  18. Marked functional improvement after combined chemoradiotherapy for cervical spine glioblastoma causing quadriparesis in an adolescent

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Peter Kar Han; Lee, Gabriel; Bynevelt, Michael; Nowak, Anna K

    2014-01-01

    Primary spinal glioblastoma (GBM) is a rare spinal tumour and is considered to have poor prognosis. We describe a case of a 17-year-old adolescent boy with a cervical spine GBM presenting with neck pain and right upper limb weakness. Initial spinal MRI demonstrated a 4.5?cm lesion extending from C2 to C5 suspicious for demyelination. Despite high-dose corticosteroids, his weakness progressed resulting in quadriparesis. Subsequent laminectomy and biopsy confirmed spinal GBM. Shortly after surgery the patient continued to deteriorate and was essentially bedbound. Standard chemoradiotherapy as per the Stupp protocol, together with multimodal rehabilitation, resulted in substantial functional improvement within 6?weeks of initiation. Continued functional improvement was observed for a period of 11?months. Although an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance score of 4 would normally preclude chemoradiotherapy, a prolonged response to treatment and return to independent function were observed. PMID:24518393

  19. Improved imaging with phase-weighted common conversion point stacks of receiver functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frassetto, A.; Zandt, G.; Gilbert, H.; Owens, T. J.; Jones, C. H.

    2010-07-01

    Broad-band array studies frequently stack receiver functions to improve their signal-to-noise ratio while mapping structures in the crust and upper mantle. Noise may produce spurious secondary arrivals that obscure or mimic arrivals produced by P-to-S conversions at large contrasts in seismic impedance such as the Moho. We use a Hilbert transform to calculate phase-weights, which minimize the constructive stacking of erroneous signal in receiver function data sets. We outline this approach and demonstrate its application through synthetic data combined with different types of noise, a previously published example of signal-generated noise, and a large data set from the Sierra Nevada EarthScope Project. These examples show that phase-weighting reduces the presence of signal-generated noise in receiver functions and improves stacked data sets.

  20. Conversion of human fibroblasts to tissue macrophages by the Snyder-Theilen feline sarcoma virus (ST:FeSV(FeLV)): productive infection by Leishmania major.

    PubMed

    Kopelovich, L

    1994-12-01

    The decisive role of macrophages in T-cell differentiation is best exemplified by cutaneous leishmaniasis. During infection, Leishmania attach to macrophages, the only site of replication for the parasite. We have recently demonstrated the conversion of human fibroblasts to tissue macrophages (TM) by transduction with the Snyder-Theilen feline sarcoma virus (ST:FeSV-(FeLV)). Since Leishmania have tropism only for macrophages, we have used the parasite to ascertain the functional phenotype of the ST:FeSV-induced TM. Here, we have demonstrated the productive infection of the ST:FeSV-induced TM by L. major. These results point to the utility of ST:FeSV-induced TM in studies that concern the role of human macrophages in T-cell differentiation during the course of infection by Leishmania. PMID:7721332

  1. N-acetylcysteineamide Preserves Mitochondrial Bioenergetics and Improves Functional Recovery Following Spinal Trauma

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Samir P.; Sullivan, Patrick G.; Pandya, Jignesh D.; Goldstein, Glenn A.; VanRooyen, Jenna L.; Yonutas, Heather M.; Eldahan, Khalid C.; Morehouse, Johnny; Magnuson, David S. K.; Rabchevsky, Alexander G.

    2014-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is becoming a pivotal target for neuroprotective strategies following contusion spinal cord injury (SCI) and the pharmacological compounds that maintain mitochondrial function confer neuroprotection and improve long-term hindlimb function after injury. In the current study we evaluated the efficacy of cell-permeating thiol, N-acetylcysteineamide (NACA), a precursor of endogenous antioxidant glutathione (GSH), on mitochondrial function acutely, and long-term tissue sparing and hindlimb locomotor recovery following upper lumbar contusion SCI. Some designated injured adult female Sprague-Dawley rats (n=120) received either Vehicle or NACA (75, 150, 300 or 600 mg/kg) at 15min and 6hrs post-injury. After 24hr the total, synaptic, and non-synaptic mitochondrial populations were isolated from a single 1.5cm spinal cord segment (centered at injury site) and assessed for mitochondrial bioenergetics. Results showed compromised total mitochondrial bioenergetics following acute SCI that was significantly improved with NACA treatment in a dose-dependent manner, with maximum effects at 300 mg/kg (n=4/group). For synaptic and non-synaptic mitochondria, only 300 mg/kg NACA dosage showed efficacy. Similar dosage (300mg/kg) also maintained mitochondrial GSH near normal levels. Other designated injured rats (n=21) received continuous NACA (150 or 300mg/kg/day) treatment starting at 15min post-injury for one week to assess long-term functional recovery over 6 weeks post-injury. Locomotor testing and novel gait analyses showed significantly improved hindlimb function with NACA that were associated with increased tissue sparing at the injury site. Overall, NACA treatment significantly maintained acute mitochondrial bioenergetics and normalized GSH levels following SCI, and prolonged delivery resulted in significant tissue sparing and improved recovery of hindlimb function. PMID:24805071

  2. N-acetylcysteine amide preserves mitochondrial bioenergetics and improves functional recovery following spinal trauma.

    PubMed

    Patel, Samir P; Sullivan, Patrick G; Pandya, Jignesh D; Goldstein, Glenn A; VanRooyen, Jenna L; Yonutas, Heather M; Eldahan, Khalid C; Morehouse, Johnny; Magnuson, David S K; Rabchevsky, Alexander G

    2014-07-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is becoming a pivotal target for neuroprotective strategies following contusion spinal cord injury (SCI) and the pharmacological compounds that maintain mitochondrial function confer neuroprotection and improve long-term hindlimb function after injury. In the current study we evaluated the efficacy of cell-permeating thiol, N-acetylcysteine amide (NACA), a precursor of endogenous antioxidant glutathione (GSH), on mitochondrial function acutely, and long-term tissue sparing and hindlimb locomotor recovery following upper lumbar contusion SCI. Some designated injured adult female Sprague-Dawley rats (n=120) received either vehicle or NACA (75, 150, 300 or 600mg/kg) at 15min and 6h post-injury. After 24h the total, synaptic, and non-synaptic mitochondrial populations were isolated from a single 1.5cm spinal cord segment (centered at injury site) and assessed for mitochondrial bioenergetics. Results showed compromised total mitochondrial bioenergetics following acute SCI that was significantly improved with NACA treatment in a dose-dependent manner, with maximum effects at 300mg/kg (n=4/group). For synaptic and non-synaptic mitochondria, only 300mg/kg NACA dosage showed efficacy. Similar dosage (300mg/kg) also maintained mitochondrial GSH near normal levels. Other designated injured rats (n=21) received continuous NACA (150 or 300mg/kg/day) treatment starting at 15min post-injury for one week to assess long-term functional recovery over 6weeks post-injury. Locomotor testing and novel gait analyses showed significantly improved hindlimb function with NACA that were associated with increased tissue sparing at the injury site. Overall, NACA treatment significantly maintained acute mitochondrial bioenergetics and normalized GSH levels following SCI, and prolonged delivery resulted in significant tissue sparing and improved recovery of hindlimb function. PMID:24805071

  3. DEVELOPMENT AND USE OF IMMUNOCHEMICAL METHODS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS AT THE U.S. EPA, NERL, HERB-LV

    EPA Science Inventory

    The HERB-LV has developed several immunoassay methods for environmental and human exposure studies. Immunoassays to detect low levels (<10 ng/mL) chlorpyrifos in track-in dirt and house dust have been developed for indoor exposure surveys. An immunoassay for the urinary metabol...

  4. Levomilnacipran Extended-Release Treatment in Patients With Major Depressive Disorder: Improvements in Functional Impairment Categories

    PubMed Central

    Gommoll, Carl P.; Chen, Changzheng; Greenberg, William M.; Ruth, Adam

    2015-01-01

    Objective: In this post hoc analysis, improvement in functional impairment in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) treated with levomilnacipran extended release (ER) was evaluated by assessing shifts from more severe to less severe functional impairment categories on individual Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS) subscales. Method: SDS data were pooled from 5 phase II/III studies conducted between December 2006 and March 2012 of levomilnacipran ER versus placebo in adult patients with MDD (DSM-IV-TR criteria). Proportions of patients shifting from moderate-extreme baseline impairment (score ? 4) to mild-no impairment (score ? 3) at end of treatment were assessed for each SDS subscale. Proportions of patients shifting from marked-extreme (score ? 7) baseline impairment to moderate-no (score ? 6) or mild-no impairment (score ? 3) at end of treatment, and shifts in which patients worsened from moderate-no to marked-extreme impairment, were also evaluated. Results: A significantly higher proportion of patients treated with levomilnacipran ER than placebo-treated patients improved from more severe categories of functional impairment at baseline to less severe impairment categories across all SDS subscales: work/school, social life, and family life/home responsibilities (P < .01). Depending on the SDS subscale, 48%55% of levomilnacipran ERtreated patients with moderate-extreme impairment at baseline improved to mild or no impairment, compared with no more than 40% of placebo patients on any subscale. Almost half (42%47%) of levomilnacipran ERtreated patients versus only about one-third (29%34%) of placebo patients improved from marked-extreme to mild or no impairment across functional domains. Conclusions: These results suggest that functional improvement was observed across the SDS functional domains. To our knowledge, this is the first such categorical analysis of functional improvement, as measured by the SDS, for an antidepressant. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifiers: NCT00969709, NCT01377194, NCT00969150, and NCT01034462 and EudraCT identifier: 2006002404-34 PMID:26644957

  5. Alterations in left ventricular diastolic function in conscious dogs with pacing-induced heart failure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Komamura, K.; Shannon, R. P.; Pasipoularides, A.; Ihara, T.; Lader, A. S.; Patrick, T. A.; Bishop, S. P.; Vatner, S. F.

    1992-01-01

    We investigated in conscious dogs (a) the effects of heart failure induced by chronic rapid ventricular pacing on the sequence of development of left ventricular (LV) diastolic versus systolic dysfunction and (b) whether the changes were load dependent or secondary to alterations in structure. LV systolic and diastolic dysfunction were evident within 24 h after initiation of pacing and occurred in parallel over 3 wk. LV systolic function was reduced at 3 wk, i.e., peak LV dP/dt fell by -1,327 +/- 105 mmHg/s and ejection fraction by -22 +/- 2%. LV diastolic dysfunction also progressed over 3 wk of pacing, i.e., tau increased by +14.0 +/- 2.8 ms and the myocardial stiffness constant by +6.5 +/- 1.4, whereas LV chamber stiffness did not change. These alterations were associated with increases in LV end-systolic (+28.6 +/- 5.7 g/cm2) and LV end-diastolic stresses (+40.4 +/- 5.3 g/cm2). When stresses and heart rate were matched at the same levels in the control and failure states, the increases in tau and myocardial stiffness were no longer observed, whereas LV systolic function remained depressed. There were no increases in connective tissue content in heart failure. Thus, pacing-induced heart failure in conscious dogs is characterized by major alterations in diastolic function which are reversible with normalization of increased loading condition.

  6. Alterations in left ventricular diastolic function in conscious dogs with pacing-induced heart failure.

    PubMed Central

    Komamura, K; Shannon, R P; Pasipoularides, A; Ihara, T; Lader, A S; Patrick, T A; Bishop, S P; Vatner, S F

    1992-01-01

    We investigated in conscious dogs (a) the effects of heart failure induced by chronic rapid ventricular pacing on the sequence of development of left ventricular (LV) diastolic versus systolic dysfunction and (b) whether the changes were load dependent or secondary to alterations in structure. LV systolic and diastolic dysfunction were evident within 24 h after initiation of pacing and occurred in parallel over 3 wk. LV systolic function was reduced at 3 wk, i.e., peak LV dP/dt fell by -1,327 +/- 105 mmHg/s and ejection fraction by -22 +/- 2%. LV diastolic dysfunction also progressed over 3 wk of pacing, i.e., tau increased by +14.0 +/- 2.8 ms and the myocardial stiffness constant by +6.5 +/- 1.4, whereas LV chamber stiffness did not change. These alterations were associated with increases in LV end-systolic (+28.6 +/- 5.7 g/cm2) and LV end-diastolic stresses (+40.4 +/- 5.3 g/cm2). When stresses and heart rate were matched at the same levels in the control and failure states, the increases in tau and myocardial stiffness were no longer observed, whereas LV systolic function remained depressed. There were no increases in connective tissue content in heart failure. Thus, pacing-induced heart failure in conscious dogs is characterized by major alterations in diastolic function which are reversible with normalization of increased loading condition. Images PMID:1601992

  7. Improving Balance Function Using Low Levels of Electrical Stimulation of the Balance Organs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomberg, Jacob; Reschke, Millard; Mulavara, Ajitkumar; Wood, Scott; Serrador, Jorge; Fiedler, Matthew; Kofman, Igor; Peters, Brian T.; Cohen, Helen

    2012-01-01

    Crewmembers returning from long-duration space flight face significant challenges due to the microgravity-induced inappropriate adaptations in balance/sensorimotor function. The Neuroscience Laboratory at JSC is developing a method based on stochastic resonance to enhance the brain's ability to detect signals from the balance organs of the inner ear and use them for rapid improvement in balance skill, especially when combined with balance training exercises. This method involves a stimulus delivery system that is wearable/portable and provides imperceptible electrical stimulation to the balance organs of the human body. Stochastic resonance (SR) is a phenomenon whereby the response of a nonlinear system to a weak periodic input signal is optimized by the presence of a particular non-zero level of noise. This phenomenon of SR is based on the concept of maximizing the flow of information through a system by a non-zero level of noise. Application of imperceptible SR noise coupled with sensory input in humans has been shown to improve motor, cardiovascular, visual, hearing, and balance functions. SR increases contrast sensitivity and luminance detection; lowers the absolute threshold for tone detection in normal hearing individuals; improves homeostatic function in the human blood pressure regulatory system; improves noise-enhanced muscle spindle function; and improves detection of weak tactile stimuli using mechanical or electrical stimulation. SR noise has been shown to improve postural control when applied as mechanical noise to the soles of the feet, or when applied as electrical noise at the knee and to the back muscles. SR using imperceptible stochastic electrical stimulation of the vestibular system (stochastic vestibular stimulation, SVS) applied to normal subjects has shown to improve the degree of association between the weak input periodic signals introduced via venous blood pressure receptors and the heart-rate responses. Also, application of SVS over 24 hours improves the long-term heart-rate dynamics and motor responsiveness as indicated by daytime trunk activity measurements in patients with multi-system atrophy, Parkinson s disease, or both, including patients who were unresponsive to standard therapy for Parkinson s disease. Recent studies conducted at the NASA JSC Neurosciences Laboratories showed that imperceptible SVS, when applied to normal young healthy subjects, leads to significantly improved balance performance during postural disturbances on unstable compliant surfaces. These studies have shown the benefit of SR noise characteristic optimization with imperceptible SVS in the frequency range of 0-30 Hz, and amplitudes of stimulation have ranged from 100 to 400 microamperes.

  8. Percutaneous Mitral Valve Repair in Mitral Regurgitation Reduces Cell-Free Hemoglobin and Improves Endothelial Function

    PubMed Central

    Rammos, Christos; Zeus, Tobias; Balzer, Jan; Kubatz, Laura; Hendgen-Cotta, Ulrike B.; Veulemans, Verena; Hellhammer, Katharina; Totzeck, Matthias; Luedike, Peter; Kelm, Malte; Rassaf, Tienush

    2016-01-01

    Background and Objective Endothelial dysfunction is predictive for cardiovascular events and may be caused by decreased bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO). NO is scavenged by cell-free hemoglobin with reduction of bioavailable NO up to 70% subsequently deteriorating vascular function. While patients with mitral regurgitation (MR) suffer from an impaired prognosis, mechanisms relating to coexistent vascular dysfunctions have not been described yet. Therapy of MR using a percutaneous mitral valve repair (PMVR) approach has been shown to lead to significant clinical benefits. We here sought to investigate the role of endothelial function in MR and the potential impact of PMVR. Methods and Results Twenty-seven patients with moderate-to-severe MR treated with the MitraClip® device were enrolled in an open-label single-center observational study. Patients underwent clinical assessment, conventional echocardiography, and determination of endothelial function by measuring flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery using high-resolution ultrasound at baseline and at 3-month follow-up. Patients with MR demonstrated decompartmentalized hemoglobin and reduced endothelial function (cell-free plasma hemoglobin in heme 28.9±3.8 μM, FMD 3.9±0.9%). Three months post-procedure, PMVR improved ejection fraction (from 41±3% to 46±3%, p = 0.03) and NYHA functional class (from 3.0±0.1 to 1.9±1.7, p<0.001). PMVR was associated with a decrease in cell free plasma hemoglobin (22.3±2.4 μM, p = 0.02) and improved endothelial functions (FMD 4.8±1.0%, p<0.0001). Conclusion We demonstrate here that plasma from patients with MR contains significant amounts of cell-free hemoglobin, which is accompanied by endothelial dysfunction. PMVR therapy is associated with an improved hemoglobin decompartmentalization and vascular function. PMID:26986059

  9. Development and validation of an evaporation duct model. Part II: Evaluation and improvement of stability functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Juli; Fei, Jianfang; Huang, Xiaogang; Cheng, Xiaoping; Hu, Xiaohua; Ji, Liang

    2015-06-01

    This study aims to validate and improve the universal evaporation duct (UED) model through a further analysis of the stability function ( ψ). A large number of hydrometeorological observations obtained from a tower platform near Xisha Island of the South China Sea are employed, together with the latest variations in ψ function. Applicability of different ψ functions for specific sea areas and stratification conditions is investigated based on three objective criteria. The results show that, under unstable conditions, ψ function of Fairall et al. (1996) (i.e., Fairall96, similar for abbreviations of other function names) in general offers the best performance. However, strictly speaking, this holds true only for the stability (represented by bulk Richardson number R iB) range -2.6 ⩽ R iB < -0.1; when conditions become weakly unstable (-0.1 ⩽ R iB < -0.01), Fairall96 offers the second best performance after Hu and Zhang (1992) (HYQ92). Conversely, for near-neutral but slightly unstable conditions (-0.01 ⩽ R iB < 0.0), the effects of Edson04, Fairall03, Grachev00, and Fairall96 are similar, with Edson04 being the best function but offering only a weak advantage. Under stable conditions, HYQ92 is the optimal and offers a pronounced advantage, followed by the newly introduced SHEBA07 (by Grachev et al., 2007) function. Accordingly, the most favorable functions, i.e., Fairall96 and HYQ92, are incorporated into the UED model to obtain an improved version of the model. With the new functions, the mean root-mean-square (rms) errors of the modified refractivity ( M), 0-5-m M slope, 5-40-m M slope, and the rms errors of evaporation duct height (EDH) are reduced by 21.65%, 9.12%, 38.79%, and 59.06%, respectively, compared to the classical Naval Postgraduate School model.

  10. Phenomenological and biological correlates of improved cognitive function in hospitalized elderly medical inpatients.

    PubMed

    Adamis, Dimitrios; Meagher, David; Treloar, Adrian; Dunne, Colum; Larvin, Michael; Martin, Finbarr C; Macdonald, Alastair J D

    2014-01-01

    Deterioration of cognitive ability is a recognized outcome following acute illness in older patients. Levels of circulating cytokines and APOE genotype have both been linked with acute illness-related cognitive decline. In this observational longitudinal study, consecutive admissions to an elderly medical unit of patients aged ?70 years were assessed within 3 days and re-assessed twice weekly with a range of scales assessing cognitive function, functional status and illness severity. Cytokines and APOE genotype were measured in a subsample. Improvement was defined as either a 20% or three points increase in mini mental state examination (MMSE). From the 142 participants 55 (39%) experienced cognitive improvement, of which 30 (54.5%) had delirium while 25 had non-delirious acute cognitive disorder. Using bivariate statistics, subjects with more severe acute illness, lower insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) levels and more severe delirium were more likely to experience a ?20% improvement in MMSE scores. When the criterion of cognitive improvement was a 3 point improvement in MMSE, those with more severe delirium, females and older were more likely to be improved. Longitudinal analysis using any criterion of improvement indicated that improvement was significantly (p<.05) predicted by higher levels of IGF-I, lower levels of IL-1 (alpha and beta), lack of APOE epsilon 4 allele, and female gender. In conclusion, cognitive recovery during admission is not exclusively linked to delirium status, but reflects a range of factors. The character and relevance of non-delirious acute cognitive disorder warrants further study. PMID:25189345

  11. 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

  12. Stretch-induced increase in cardiac contractility is independent of myocyte Ca2+ while block of stretch channels by streptomycin improves contractility after ischemic stunning

    PubMed Central

    Rhodes, Samhita S; Camara, Amadou K S; Aldakkak, Mohammed; Heisner, James S; Stowe, David F

    2015-01-01

    Stretching the cardiac left ventricle (LV) enhances contractility but its effect on myoplasmic [Ca2+] is controversial. We measured LV pressure (LVP) and [Ca2+] as a function of intra-LV stretch in guinea pig intact hearts before and after 15 min global stunning ± perfusion with streptomycin (STM), a stretch-activated channel blocker. LV wall [Ca2+] was measured by indo-1 fluorescence and LVP by a saline-filled latex balloon inflated in 50 μL steps to stretch the LV. We implemented a mathematical model to interpret cross-bridge dynamics and myofilament Ca2+ responsiveness from the instantaneous relationship between [Ca2+] and LVP ± stretching. We found that: (1) stretch enhanced LVP but not [Ca2+] before and after stunning in either control (CON) and STM groups, (2) after stunning [Ca2+] increased in both groups although higher in STM versus CON (56% vs. 39%), (3) STM-enhanced LVP after stunning compared to CON (98% vs. 76% of prestunning values), and (4) stretch-induced effects on LVP were independent of [Ca2+] before or after stunning in both groups. Mathematical modeling suggested: (1) cooperativity in cross-bridge kinetics and myofilament Ca2+ handling is reduced after stunning in the unstretched heart, (2) stunning results in depressed myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity in the presence of attached cross-bridges regardless of stretch, and (3) the initial mechanism responsible for increased contractility during stretch may be enhanced formation of cross-bridges. Thus stretch-induced enhancement of contractility is not due to increased [Ca2+], whereas enhanced contractility after stunning in STM versus CON hearts results from improved Ca2+ handling and/or enhanced actinomyosin cross-bridge cycling. PMID:26290532

  13. Plasma electrophoretogram in feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and/or feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) infections.

    PubMed

    Mir, G; Domnech, A; Escolar, E; Collado, V M; Tejerizo, G; De Las Heras, A; Gmez-Luca, E

    2007-05-01

    The electrophoretogram of 89 cats, including those infected by feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV+), feline leukaemia virus (FeLV+) and non-infected, showed statistically significant differences in several of the fractions. FIV+ cats had very high protein values (mean, 8.10 g/dl), mostly because of hypergammaglobulinemia (mean, 2.81 g/dl) as compared with non-infected animals and FeLV+. In addition, in these FIV+ animals, the albumin/globulins ratio (A/G) was very low (mean, 0.72). Statistically significant differences in A/G and alpha2-globulin fraction were observed in FeLV+ group (A/G mean, 0.88 +/- 0.08; alpha2-globulin, mean, 0.84 +/- 0.07 g/dl) when compared with non-infected group (A/G mean, 1.06 +/- 0.08; alpha2-globulin mean, 0.68 +/- 0.04 g/dl). The alpha1-globulin fraction was higher in double infected animals (FIV and FeLV positive, F-F) (3.55 g/dl), than in FeLV+ or FIV+ cats (3.10 and 3.07 g/dl respectively), but no statistical conclusions may be drawn from this fact because of the low number of F-F animals. This technique may help to assess the initial clinical status of retrovirus-infected cats, and the clinical course of these chronic diseases, specifically during and after suitable therapy. PMID:17493167

  14. A Piano Training Program to Improve Manual Dexterity and Upper Extremity Function in Chronic Stroke Survivors

    PubMed Central

    Villeneuve, Myriam; Penhune, Virginia; Lamontagne, Anouk

    2014-01-01

    Objective: Music-supported therapy was shown to induce improvements in motor skills in stroke survivors. Whether all stroke individuals respond similarly to the intervention and whether gains can be maintained over time remain unknown. We estimated the immediate and retention effects of a piano training program on upper extremity function in persons with chronic stroke. Methods: Thirteen stroke participants engaged in a 3-week piano training comprising supervised sessions (9??60?min) and home practice. Fine and gross manual dexterity, movement coordination, and functional use of the upper extremity were assessed at baseline, pre-intervention, post-intervention, and at a 3-week follow-up. Results: Significant improvements were observed for all outcomes at post-intervention and follow-up compared to pre-intervention scores. Larger magnitudes of change in manual dexterity and functional use of the upper extremity were associated with higher initial levels of motor recovery. Conclusion: Piano training can result in sustainable improvements in upper extremity function in chronic stroke survivors. Individuals with a higher initial level of motor recovery at baseline appear to benefit the most from this intervention. PMID:25202258

  15. Subliminal strengthening: improving older individuals' physical function over time with an implicit-age-stereotype intervention.

    PubMed

    Levy, Becca R; Pilver, Corey; Chung, Pil H; Slade, Martin D

    2014-12-01

    Negative age stereotypes that older individuals assimilate from their culture predict detrimental outcomes, including worse physical function. We examined, for the first time, whether positive age stereotypes, presented subliminally across multiple sessions in the community, would lead to improved outcomes. Each of 100 older individuals (age=61-99 years, M=81) was randomly assigned to an implicit-positive-age-stereotype-intervention group, an explicit-positive-age-stereotype-intervention group, a combined implicit- and explicit-positive-age-stereotype-intervention group, or a control group. Interventions occurred at four 1-week intervals. The implicit intervention strengthened positive age stereotypes, which strengthened positive self-perceptions of aging, which, in turn, improved physical function. The improvement in these outcomes continued for 3 weeks after the last intervention session. Further, negative age stereotypes and negative self-perceptions of aging were weakened. For all outcomes, the implicit intervention's impact was greater than the explicit intervention's impact. The physical-function effect of the implicit intervention surpassed a previous study's 6-month-exercise-intervention's effect with participants of similar ages. The current study's findings demonstrate the potential of directing implicit processes toward physical-function enhancement over time. PMID:25326508

  16. Arginine improves peroxisome functioning in cells from patients with a mild peroxisome biogenesis disorder

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Zellweger spectrum disorders (ZSDs) are multisystem genetic disorders caused by a lack of functional peroxisomes, due to mutations in one of the PEX genes, encoding proteins involved in peroxisome biogenesis. The phenotypic spectrum of ZSDs ranges from an early lethal form to much milder presentations. In cultured skin fibroblasts from mildly affected patients, peroxisome biogenesis can be partially impaired which results in a mosaic catalase immunofluorescence pattern. This peroxisomal mosaicism has been described for specific missense mutations in various PEX genes. In cell lines displaying peroxisomal mosaicism, peroxisome biogenesis can be improved when these are cultured at 30C. This suggests that these missense mutations affect the folding and/or stability of the encoded protein. We have studied if the function of mutant PEX1, PEX6 and PEX12 can be improved by promoting protein folding using the chemical chaperone arginine. Methods Fibroblasts from three PEX1 patients, one PEX6 and one PEX12 patient were cultured in the presence of different concentrations of arginine. To determine the effect on peroxisome biogenesis we studied the following parameters: number of peroxisome-positive cells, levels of PEX1 protein and processed thiolase, and the capacity to ?-oxidize very long chain fatty acids and pristanic acid. Results Peroxisome biogenesis and function in fibroblasts with mild missense mutations in PEX1, 6 and 12 can be improved by arginine. Conclusion Arginine may be an interesting compound to promote peroxisome function in patients with a mild peroxisome biogenesis disorder. PMID:24016303

  17. Chronic activation of a designer Gq-coupled receptor improves ? cell function

    PubMed Central

    Jain, Shalini; de Azua, Inigo Ruiz; Lu, Huiyan; White, Morris F.; Guettier, Jean-Marc; Wess, Jrgen

    2013-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has emerged as a major threat to human health in most parts of the world. Therapeutic strategies aimed at improving pancreatic ? cell function are predicted to prove beneficial for the treatment of T2D. In the present study, we demonstrate that drug-mediated, chronic, and selective activation of ? cell Gq signaling greatly improve ? cell function and glucose homeostasis in mice. These beneficial metabolic effects were accompanied by the enhanced expression of many genes critical for ? cell function, maintenance, and differentiation. By employing a combination of in vivo and in vitro approaches, we identified a novel ? cell pathway through which receptor-activated Gq leads to the sequential activation of ERK1/2 and IRS2 signaling, thus triggering a series of events that greatly improve ? cell function. Importantly, we found that chronic stimulation of a designer Gq-coupled receptor selectively expressed in ? cells prevented both streptozotocin-induced diabetes and the metabolic deficits associated with the consumption of a high-fat diet in mice. Since ? cells are endowed with numerous receptors that mediate their cellular effects via activation of Gq-type G proteins, our findings provide a rational basis for the development of novel antidiabetic drugs targeting this class of receptors. PMID:23478411

  18. Dejian Mind-Body Intervention Improves the Cognitive Functions of a Child with Autism

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Agnes S.; Sze, Sophia L.; Cheung, Mei-Chun; Han, Yvonne M. Y.; Leung, Winnie W. M.; Shi, Dejian

    2011-01-01

    There has been increasing empirical evidence for the enhancing effects of Dejian Mind-Body Intervention (DMBI), a traditional Chinese Shaolin healing approach, on human frontal brain activity/functions, including patients with autism who are well documented to have frontal lobe problems. This study aims to compare the effects of DMBI with a conventional behavioural/cognitive intervention (CI) on enhancing the executive functions and memory of a nine-year-old boy with low-functioning autism (KY) and to explore possible underlying neural mechanism using EEG theta cordance. At post-one-month DMBI, KY's inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and memory functioning have significantly improved from “severely-to-moderately impaired” to “within-normal” range. This improvement was not observed from previous 12-month CI. Furthermore, KY showed increased cordance gradually extending from the anterior to the posterior brain region, suggesting possible neural mechanism underlying his cognitive improvement. These findings have implicated potential applicability of DMBI as a rehabilitation program for patients with severe frontal lobe and/or memory disorders. PMID:21584249

  19. Enhanced response inhibition during intensive meditation training predicts improvements in self-reported adaptive socioemotional functioning.

    PubMed

    Sahdra, Baljinder K; MacLean, Katherine A; Ferrer, Emilio; Shaver, Phillip R; Rosenberg, Erika L; Jacobs, Tonya L; Zanesco, Anthony P; King, Brandon G; Aichele, Stephen R; Bridwell, David A; Mangun, George R; Lavy, Shiri; Wallace, B Alan; Saron, Clifford D

    2011-04-01

    We examined the impact of training-induced improvements in self-regulation, operationalized in terms of response inhibition, on longitudinal changes in self-reported adaptive socioemotional functioning. Data were collected from participants undergoing 3 months of intensive meditation training in an isolated retreat setting (Retreat 1) and a wait-list control group that later underwent identical training (Retreat 2). A 32-min response inhibition task (RIT) was designed to assess sustained self-regulatory control. Adaptive functioning (AF) was operationalized as a single latent factor underlying self-report measures of anxious and avoidant attachment, mindfulness, ego resilience, empathy, the five major personality traits (extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience), difficulties in emotion regulation, depression, anxiety, and psychological well-being. Participants in Retreat 1 improved in RIT performance and AF over time whereas the controls did not. The control participants later also improved on both dimensions during their own retreat (Retreat 2). These improved levels of RIT performance and AF were sustained in follow-up assessments conducted approximately 5 months after the training. Longitudinal dynamic models with combined data from both retreats showed that improvement in RIT performance during training influenced the change in AF over time, which is consistent with a key claim in the Buddhist literature that enhanced capacity for self-regulation is an important precursor of changes in emotional well-being. PMID:21500899

  20. Declining ambient air pollution and lung function improvement in Austrian children

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neuberger, Manfred; Moshammer, Hanns; Kundi, Michael

    Three thousand four hundred fifty-one Austrian elementary school children were examined (between 2 and 8 times) by spirometry by standardized methods, over a 5 yr period. The districts where they lived were grouped into those where NO 2 declined during this period (by at least 30 μg/m 3 measured as half year means) and those with less or no decline in ambient NO 2. In both groups of districts, SO 2 and TSP fell by similar amounts over this period. A continuous improvement of MEF25 (maximum exspiratory flow rate at 25% vital capacity) was found in districts with declining ambient NO 2. Populations did not differ in respect of anthropometric factors, passive smoking or socioeconomic status. A birth cohort from this study population which was followed up to age 18 confirmed the improved growth of MEF25 with decline in NO 2, while the improved growth of forced vital capacity was more related to decline in SO 2. This study provides the first evidence that improvements in the outdoor air quality during the 1980s are correlated with health benefits, and suggest that adverse effects on lung function related to ambient air pollution are reversible before adulthood. Improvement of small airway functions appeared to be more dependent on reductions of NO 2 than reduction in SO 2 and TSP.

  1. A preconditioning regimen with a PKC? activator improves islet graft function in a mouse transplant model.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Diana; Rugg, Caitlin; Davis, Nicolynn; Kvezereli, Manana; Tafti, Bashir Akhavan; Busque, Stephan; Fontaine, Magali

    2014-01-01

    Transplantation of islets isolated from deceased donor pancreata is an attractive method of ?-cell replacement therapy for patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D). However, the loss of islet cell viability and function during the peritransplant period is a limiting factor to long-term islet engraftment. Activation of the isoenzyme PKC? may improve islet survival and function. The current study assesses the effects of PKC? activation on islet graft function in a syngeneic streptozotocin-induced diabetic mouse model. Islets were isolated from wild-type BALB/c mice preconditioned with either a PKC? activator (??RACK) or a TAT carrier control peptide. Islets were further treated with the same agents during isolation, purification, and incubation prior to transplantation. Two hundred seventy-five islet equivalents were transplanted under the kidney capsule of streptozotocin-induced diabetic BALB/c mice. Islet function was assessed by measurement of blood glucose levels every 3 days for 42 days after transplant and through an intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (IPGTT). The time for return to euglycemia in mice transplanted with islets treated with ??RACK was improved at 14 6 days versus 21 6 days with TAT-treated islets. The IPGTT showed a 50% reduction in the area under the curve associated with an improved insulin response in mice transplanted with ??RACK-treated islets compared to TAT-treated islets. A preconditioning regimen using PKC? agonist before pancreatic recovery and during islet isolation improves islet graft function and resistance to high glucose stress after transplantation. PMID:23562311

  2. Using Low Levels of Stochastic Vestibular Stimulation to Improve Balance Function

    PubMed Central

    Goel, Rahul; Kofman, Igor; Jeevarajan, Jerome; De Dios, Yiri; Cohen, Helen S.; Bloomberg, Jacob J.; Mulavara, Ajitkumar P.

    2015-01-01

    Low-level stochastic vestibular stimulation (SVS) has been associated with improved postural responses in the medio-lateral (ML) direction, but its effect in improving balance function in both the ML and anterior-posterior (AP) directions has not been studied. In this series of studies, the efficacy of applying low amplitude SVS in 030 Hz range between the mastoids in the ML direction on improving cross-planar balance function was investigated. Forty-five (45) subjects stood on a compliant surface with their eyes closed and were instructed to maintain a stable upright stance. Measures of stability of the head, trunk, and whole body were quantified in ML, AP and combined APML directions. Results show that binaural bipolar SVS given in the ML direction significantly improved balance performance with the peak of optimal stimulus amplitude predominantly in the range of 100500 ?A for all the three directions, exhibiting stochastic resonance (SR) phenomenon. Objective perceptual and body motion thresholds as estimates of internal noise while subjects sat on a chair with their eyes closed and were given 1 Hz bipolar binaural sinusoidal electrical stimuli were also measured. In general, there was no significant difference between estimates of perceptual and body motion thresholds. The average optimal SVS amplitude that improved balance performance (peak SVS amplitude normalized to perceptual threshold) was estimated to be 46% in ML, 53% in AP, and 50% in APML directions. A miniature patch-type SVS device may be useful to improve balance function in people with disabilities due to aging, Parkinsons disease or in astronauts returning from long-duration space flight. PMID:26295807

  3. RNA Interference for Functional Genomics and Improvement of Cotton (Gossypium sp.)

    PubMed Central

    Abdurakhmonov, Ibrokhim Y.; Ayubov, Mirzakamol S.; Ubaydullaeva, Khurshida A.; Buriev, Zabardast T.; Shermatov, Shukhrat E.; Ruziboev, Haydarali S.; Shapulatov, Umid M.; Saha, Sukumar; Ulloa, Mauricio; Yu, John Z.; Percy, Richard G.; Devor, Eric J.; Sharma, Govind C.; Sripathi, Venkateswara R.; Kumpatla, Siva P.; van der Krol, Alexander; Kater, Hake D.; Khamidov, Khakimdjan; Salikhov, Shavkat I.; Jenkins, Johnie N.; Abdukarimov, Abdusattor; Pepper, Alan E.

    2016-01-01

    RNA interference (RNAi), is a powerful new technology in the discovery of genetic sequence functions, and has become a valuable tool for functional genomics of cotton (Gossypium sp.). The rapid adoption of RNAi has replaced previous antisense technology. RNAi has aided in the discovery of function and biological roles of many key cotton genes involved in fiber development, fertility and somatic embryogenesis, resistance to important biotic and abiotic stresses, and oil and seed quality improvements as well as the key agronomic traits including yield and maturity. Here, we have comparatively reviewed seminal research efforts in previously used antisense approaches and currently applied breakthrough RNAi studies in cotton, analyzing developed RNAi methodologies, achievements, limitations, and future needs in functional characterizations of cotton genes. We also highlighted needed efforts in the development of RNAi-based cotton cultivars, and their safety and risk assessment, small and large-scale field trials, and commercialization. PMID:26941765

  4. Use of global functions for improvement in efficiency of nonlinear analysis. [in computer structural displacement estimation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Almroth, B. O.; Stehlin, P.; Brogan, F. A.

    1981-01-01

    A method for improving the efficiency of nonlinear structural analysis by the use of global displacement functions is presented. The computer programs include options to define the global functions as input or let the program automatically select and update these functions. The program was applied to a number of structures: (1) 'pear-shaped cylinder' in compression, (2) bending of a long cylinder, (3) spherical shell subjected to point force, (4) panel with initial imperfections, (5) cylinder with cutouts. The sample cases indicate the usefulness of the procedure in the solution of nonlinear structural shell problems by the finite element method. It is concluded that the use of global functions for extrapolation will lead to savings in computer time.

  5. Improving Function in Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Randomized Clinical Trial

    PubMed Central

    Rovner, Barry W.; Casten, Robin J.; Hegel, Mark T.; Massof, Robert W.; Leiby, Benjamin E.; Ho, Allen C.; Tasman, William S.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose To compare the efficacy of Problem-Solving Therapy (PST) with Supportive Therapy (ST) to improve Targeted Vision Function in Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Design Single-masked, attention controlled randomized clinical trial with outcome assessments at 3 months (main trial endpoint) and 6 months (maintenance effects). Participants Patients with AMD (N = 241) attending retina practices. Interventions PST uses a structured problem-solving approach to reduce vision-related task difficulty. ST is a standardized attention control treatment. Main Outcome Measures Targeted Vision Function (TVF); National Eye Institute Vision Function Questionnaire - 25 plus Supplement (NEI VFQ); Activities Inventory (AI); and Vision-Related Quality of Life. Results There were no significant between-group differences in TVF scores at 3 months (p = 0.47) or 6 months (p = 0.62). For PST subjects, mean [standard deviation (SD)] TVF scores improved from 2.71 (0.52) at baseline to 2.18 (0.88) at 3 months (p = 0.001) and were 2.18 (0.95) at 6 months (change from 3 to 6 months, p = .74). For ST subjects, TVF scores improved from 2.73 (0.52) at baseline to 2.14 (0.96) at 3 months (p = 0.001) and were 2.15 (0.96) at 6 months (change from 3 to 6 months, p = .85). Similar proportions of PST and ST subjects had less difficulty performing a TVF goal at 3 months (77.4% vs. 78.6%, respectively; p = 0.83) and 6 months (76.2% vs. 79.1%, respectively; p = 0.61). There were no significant changes in the NEI VFQ or AI. Vision-related quality-of-life improved for PST relative to ST subjects at 3 months [F (4,192) = 2.46; p = 0.05] and 6 months [F (4,178) = 2.55; p = 0.05)]. PST subjects also developed more adaptive coping strategies than ST subjects. Conclusions We found that PST was not superior to ST at improving vision function in patients with AMD but PST improved their vision-related quality of life. Despite the benefits of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) treatments, AMD remains associated with disability, depression, and diminished quality of life. This clinical reality necessitates new rehabilitative interventions to improve the vision function and quality of life of older persons with AMD. PMID:23642378

  6. Virtual Reality Training with Cognitive Load Improves Walking Function in Chronic Stroke Patients.

    PubMed

    Cho, Ki Hun; Kim, Min Kyu; Lee, Hwang-Jae; Lee, Wan Hee

    2015-01-01

    Virtual reality training is considered as an effective intervention method of stroke patients, and the virtual reality system for therapeutic rehabilitation has emphasized the cognitive factors to improve walking function. The purpose of current study was to investigate the effect of virtual reality training with cognitive load (VRTCL) on walking function of chronic stroke. Chronic stroke patients were randomly assigned to the VRTCL group (11 patients, including 5 men; mean age, 60.0 years; post-stroke duration, 273.9 days) or control group (11 patients, including 2 men; mean age, 58.6 years; post-stroke duration, 263.9 days). All subjects participated in the standard rehabilitation program that consisted of physical and occupational therapies. In addition, VRTCL group participated in the VRTCL for 4 weeks (30 min per day and five times a week), while those in the control group participated in virtual reality treadmill training. Walking function under single (walking alone) and dual task (walking with cognitive tasks) conditions was assessed using an electrical walkway system. After the 4-week intervention, under both single and dual task conditions, significant improvement on walking function was observed in VRTCL and control groups (P < 0.05). In addition, in the dual task condition, greater improvement on walking function was observed in the VRTCL group, compared with the control group (P < 0.05). These findings demonstrated the efficacy of VRTCL on the walking function under the dual task condition. Therefore, we suggest that VRTCL may be an effective method for the achievement of independent walking in chronic stroke patients. PMID:26228205

  7. Improved prediction of accessible surface area results in efficient energy function application.

    PubMed

    Iqbal, Sumaiya; Mishra, Avdesh; Hoque, Md Tamjidul

    2015-09-01

    An accurate prediction of real value accessible surface area (ASA) from protein sequence alone has wide application in the field of bioinformatics and computational biology. ASA has been helpful in understanding the 3-dimensional structure and function of a protein, acting as high impact feature in secondary structure prediction, disorder prediction, binding region identification and fold recognition applications. To enhance and support broad applications of ASA, we have made an attempt to improve the prediction accuracy of absolute accessible surface area by developing a new predictor paradigm, namely REGAd(3)p, for real value prediction through classical Exact Regression with Regularization and polynomial kernel of degree 3 which was further optimized using Genetic Algorithm. ASA assisting effective energy function, motivated us to enhance the accuracy of predicted ASA for better energy function application. Our ASA prediction paradigm was trained and tested using a new benchmark dataset, proposed in this work, consisting of 1001 and 298 protein chains, respectively. We achieved maximum Pearson Correlation Coefficient (PCC) of 0.76 and 1.45% improved PCC when compared with existing top performing predictor, SPINE-X, in ASA prediction on independent test set. Furthermore, we modeled the error between actual and predicted ASA in terms of energy and combined this energy linearly with the energy function 3DIGARS which resulted in an effective energy function, namely 3DIGARS2.0, outperforming all the state-of-the-art energy functions. Based on Rosetta and Tasser decoy-sets 3DIGARS2.0 resulted 80.78%, 73.77%, 141.24%, 16.52%, and 32.32% improvement over DFIRE, RWplus, dDFIRE, GOAP and 3DIGARS respectively. PMID:26092374

  8. Nitric oxide-donating statin improves multiple functions of circulating angiogenic cells

    PubMed Central

    Mangialardi, G; Monopoli, A; Ongini, E; Spinetti, G; Fortunato, O; Emanueli, C; Madeddu, P

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Statins, a major component of the prevention of cardiovascular disease, aid progenitor cell functions in vivo and in vitro. Statins bearing a NO-releasing moiety were developed for their enhanced anti-inflammatory/anti-thrombotic properties. Here, we investigated if the NO-donating atorvastatin (NCX 547) improved the functions of circulating angiogenic cells (CACs). EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Circulating angiogenic cells (CACs) were prepared from peripheral blood monocytes of healthy volunteers and type-2 diabetic patients and were cultured in low (LG) or high glucose (HG) conditions, in presence of atorvastatin or NCX 547 (both at 0.1 M) or vehicle. Functional assays (outgrowth, proliferation, viability, senescence and apoptosis) were performed in presence of the endothelial NOS inhibitor L-NIO, the NO scavenger c-PTIO or vehicle. KEY RESULTS Culturing in HG conditions lowered NO in CACs, inhibited outgrowth, proliferation, viability and migration, and induced cell senescence and apoptosis. NCX 547 fully restored NO levels and functions of HG-cultured CACs, while atorvastatin prevented only apoptosis in CACs. The activity of Akt, a pro-survival kinase, was increased by atorvastatin in LG-cultured but not in HG-cultured CACs, whereas NCX 547 increased Akt activity in both conditions. L-NIO partially blunted and c-PTIO prevented NCX 547-induced improvements in CAC functions. Finally, NCX 547 improved outgrowth and migration of CACs prepared from patients with type 2 diabetes. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS NCX 547 was more effective than atorvastatin in preserving functions of CACs. This property adds to the spectrum of favourable actions that would make NO-releasing statins more effective agents for treating cardiovascular disease. PMID:21486281

  9. Evolution of the genetic code by incorporation of amino acids that improved or changed protein function.

    PubMed

    Francis, Brian R

    2013-10-01

    Fifty years have passed since the genetic code was deciphered, but how the genetic code came into being has not been satisfactorily addressed. It is now widely accepted that the earliest genetic code did not encode all 20 amino acids found in the universal genetic code as some amino acids have complex biosynthetic pathways and likely were not available from the environment. Therefore, the genetic code evolved as pathways for synthesis of new amino acids became available. One hypothesis proposes that early in the evolution of the genetic code four amino acids-valine, alanine, aspartic acid, and glycine-were coded by GNC codons (N = any base) with the remaining codons being nonsense codons. The other sixteen amino acids were subsequently added to the genetic code by changing nonsense codons into sense codons for these amino acids. Improvement in protein function is presumed to be the driving force behind the evolution of the code, but how improved function was achieved by adding amino acids has not been examined. Based on an analysis of amino acid function in proteins, an evolutionary mechanism for expansion of the genetic code is described in which individual coded amino acids were replaced by new amino acids that used nonsense codons differing by one base change from the sense codons previously used. The improved or altered protein function afforded by the changes in amino acid function provided the selective advantage underlying the expansion of the genetic code. Analysis of amino acid properties and functions explains why amino acids are found in their respective positions in the genetic code. PMID:23743924

  10. Coherent Functional Modules Improve Transcription Factor Target Identification, Cooperativity Prediction, and Disease Association

    PubMed Central

    Karczewski, Konrad J.; Snyder, Michael; Altman, Russ B.; Tatonetti, Nicholas P.

    2014-01-01

    Transcription factors (TFs) are fundamental controllers of cellular regulation that function in a complex and combinatorial manner. Accurate identification of a transcription factor's targets is essential to understanding the role that factors play in disease biology. However, due to a high false positive rate, identifying coherent functional target sets is difficult. We have created an improved mapping of targets by integrating ChIP-Seq data with 423 functional modules derived from 9,395 human expression experiments. We identified 5,002 TF-module relationships, significantly improved TF target prediction, and found 30 high-confidence TF-TF associations, of which 14 are known. Importantly, we also connected TFs to diseases through these functional modules and identified 3,859 significant TF-disease relationships. As an example, we found a link between MEF2A and Crohn's disease, which we validated in an independent expression dataset. These results show the power of combining expression data and ChIP-Seq data to remove noise and better extract the associations between TFs, functional modules, and disease. PMID:24516403

  11. Beneficial health properties of psyllium and approaches to improve its functionalities.

    PubMed

    Yu, Liangli Lucy; Lutterodt, Herman; Cheng, Zhihong

    2009-01-01

    Psyllium is an excellent dietary source for both soluble and insoluble fibers and has been used in supplemental and food products for its beneficial health effects. The strong water-absorbing and gelling capacities have made it a great challenge to incorporate psyllium in foods at the level needed to claim health benefits on the label. This review is focused on the approaches to improve the functionality, sensory property, and bioactivity of psyllium. Also included is a brief summary of the health beneficial effects of psyllium, along with its possible adverse effects. The information may be useful for those in psyllium research and functional food development. PMID:18772105

  12. Stratum corneum drying drives vertical compression and lipid organization and improves barrier function in vitro.

    PubMed

    Iwai, Ichiro; Kunizawa, Naomi; Yagi, Eiichiro; Hirao, Tetsuji; Hatta, Ichiro

    2013-03-27

    The stratum corneum dehydrates after exogenous hydration due to skincare or bathing. In this study, sheets of stratum corneum were isolated from reconstructed human epidermis and the barrier function and structure of these sheets were assessed during drying with the aim of improving our understanding of skincare. Water diffusion through the sheets of stratum corneum decreased with drying, accompanied by decreased thickness and increased visible light transmission through the sheets. Electron paramagnetic resonance revealed that the order parameter values of stratum corneum lipids increased with drying. X-ray diffraction analysis revealed increases in the diffraction intensity of lamellar structures, with an 11-12 nm periodicity and spacing of 0.42 nm for lattice structures with drying. These results suggest that the drying process improves the barrier function of the stratum corneum by organizing the intercellular lipids in a vertically compressed arrangement. PMID:23165657

  13. Avocado Oil Improves Mitochondrial Function and Decreases Oxidative Stress in Brain of Diabetic Rats

    PubMed Central

    Ortiz-Avila, Omar; Esquivel-Martínez, Mauricio; Olmos-Orizaba, Berenice Eridani; Saavedra-Molina, Alfredo; Rodriguez-Orozco, Alain R.; Cortés-Rojo, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Diabetic encephalopathy is a diabetic complication related to the metabolic alterations featuring diabetes. Diabetes is characterized by increased lipid peroxidation, altered glutathione redox status, exacerbated levels of ROS, and mitochondrial dysfunction. Although the pathophysiology of diabetic encephalopathy remains to be clarified, oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of chronic diabetic complications. Taking this into consideration, the aim of this work was to evaluate the effects of 90-day avocado oil intake in brain mitochondrial function and oxidative status in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats (STZ rats). Avocado oil improves brain mitochondrial function in diabetic rats preventing impairment of mitochondrial respiration and mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), besides increasing complex III activity. Avocado oil also decreased ROS levels and lipid peroxidation and improved the GSH/GSSG ratio as well. These results demonstrate that avocado oil supplementation prevents brain mitochondrial dysfunction induced by diabetes in association with decreased oxidative stress. PMID:26180820

  14. The Small Molecule Wnt Signaling Modulator ICG-001 Improves Contractile Function in Chronically Infarcted Rat Myocardium

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Cu; Kloner, Robert A.; Kahn, Michael

    2013-01-01

    The adult mammalian heart has limited capability for self-repair after myocardial infarction. Therefore, therapeutic strategies that improve post-infarct cardiac function are critically needed. The small molecule ICG-001 modulates Wnt signaling and increased the expression of genes beneficial for cardiac regeneration in epicardial cells. Lineage tracing experiments, demonstrated the importance of ?-catenin/p300 mediated transcription for epicardial progenitor contribution to the myocardium. Female rats given ICG-001 for 10 days post-occlusion significantly improved ejection fraction by 8.4%, compared to controls (P<0.05). Taken together, Wnt modulation via ?-catenin/CBP inhibition offers a promising therapeutic strategy towards restoration of myocardial tissues and an enhancement of cardiac functions following infarction. PMID:24069374

  15. Avocado Oil Improves Mitochondrial Function and Decreases Oxidative Stress in Brain of Diabetic Rats.

    PubMed

    Ortiz-Avila, Omar; Esquivel-Martínez, Mauricio; Olmos-Orizaba, Berenice Eridani; Saavedra-Molina, Alfredo; Rodriguez-Orozco, Alain R; Cortés-Rojo, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Diabetic encephalopathy is a diabetic complication related to the metabolic alterations featuring diabetes. Diabetes is characterized by increased lipid peroxidation, altered glutathione redox status, exacerbated levels of ROS, and mitochondrial dysfunction. Although the pathophysiology of diabetic encephalopathy remains to be clarified, oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of chronic diabetic complications. Taking this into consideration, the aim of this work was to evaluate the effects of 90-day avocado oil intake in brain mitochondrial function and oxidative status in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats (STZ rats). Avocado oil improves brain mitochondrial function in diabetic rats preventing impairment of mitochondrial respiration and mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨ m ), besides increasing complex III activity. Avocado oil also decreased ROS levels and lipid peroxidation and improved the GSH/GSSG ratio as well. These results demonstrate that avocado oil supplementation prevents brain mitochondrial dysfunction induced by diabetes in association with decreased oxidative stress. PMID:26180820

  16. Improving optical limiting of cw lasers with fullerene functionalized gold nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frare, Maria Chiara; Weber, Verena; De Filippo, Christian Corrado; Signorini, Raffaella; Maggini, Michele; Bozio, Renato

    2014-10-01

    In the attempt to improve optical limiting of cw lasers by exploiting the thermo-optic effect exhibited by gold nanostructures, we investigated two coupled systems consisting of either gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) or gold-silica core-shell (AuNSs), both functionalized with a thiolated-fulleropyrrolidine (C60Py). We measured the optical limiting behavior under cw illumination at 514 and 647 nm, resonant with the surface plasmon resonance at around 520 of AuNPs and at 650 nm of AuNSs, respectively. Temporal response analysis shows the variation of transmitted irradiance in a 300 milliseconds time interval, corresponding to the blinking time of the human eye. Comparing the present results we those previously obtained for AuNPs1 we demonstrate an improvement of the response of functionalized nanoparticles (AuNPs- C60Py) with respect to bare AuNPs.

  17. Improved immobilization of biomolecules to quinone-rich polydopamine for efficient surface functionalization.

    PubMed

    Luo, Rifang; Tang, Linlin; Wang, Jin; Zhao, Yuanchong; Tu, Qiufen; Weng, Yajun; Shen, Ru; Huang, Nan

    2013-06-01

    Polydopamine (PDA), a bio-inspired polymer, has been very attractive for diverse functional applications by immobilizing biomolecules. In this work, a novel approach of using PDA for improved biomolecule immobilization was developed. A thin PDA layer was strategically coated onto 316L stainless steel and thermally treated at 150C (PDA-Th150). Subsequently, amino-terminated polyethylene glycol (mPEG-NH2) or vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was immobilized onto PDA and PDA-Th150 surface. The results of attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) showed higher coverage of quinine on PDA-Th150 surface. The functionalized PDA-Th150 significantly improved its ability of immobilizing mPEG-NH2 or VEGF, as shown by platelet adhesion test and endothelial cell proliferation experiments. This novel approach may also be used for efficient immobilization of biomolecules on different metal devices. PMID:23434693

  18. Qiliqiangxin improves cardiac function and attenuates cardiac remodeling in rats with experimental myocardial infarction

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jingfeng; Zhou, Jingmin; Ding, Xuefeng; Zhu, Lingti; Jiang, Kun; Fu, Mingqiang; Wang, Shijun; Hu, Kai; Ge, Junbo

    2015-01-01

    Objective: It has been reported that Qiliqiangxin (QL), a traditional Chinese medicine compound, could inhibit cardiac hypertrophy and remodeling, and improve cardiac function. However, whether and how it reverses cardiac remodeling in rats post myocardial infarction (MI) remains unknown. This study aims to explore related mechanisms linked with cardiac function improvement and attenuation of cardiac remodeling by QL in rats with experimental MI. Methods: MI was induced by ligation of left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Rats with LVEF < 50% at four weeks after procedure were treated for another 6 weeks with placebo, QL and captopril. Echocardiography and plasma NT-proBNP were measured at the end of study, and histological studies were performed. Protein expressions of Neuregulin-1 (NRG-1), total-Akt, phospho-Akt (Ser473), hydroxy-HIF-1? (Pro564), VEGF, Bax, Bcl-2 and Caspase 3 were examined by Western blot. mRNA expression of NRG-1 and p53 was detected by real-time PCR. Results: Compared with the placebo group, QL improved cardiac function, reduced left ventricular dimension, inhibited interstitial inflammation and fibrosis, increased neovascularization, and attenuated cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Meanwhile QL significantly upregulated the expression of HIF-1?, VEGF, enhanced phosphorylation of Akt, decreased the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 and Caspase 3 expression. Furthermore, we observed upregulation of NRG-1 and downregulation of p53 after QL treatment. Conclusion: Our data suggest that the beneficial effects of QL on improving cardiac function and attenuating cardiac remodeling post MI are associated with angiogenesis enhancement and apoptosis inhibition, which may be mediated via activation of NRG-1/Akt signaling and suppression of p53 pathway. PMID:26261541

  19. Restriction of multiple divergent retroviruses by Lv1 and Ref1

    PubMed Central

    Hatziioannou, Theodora; Cowan, Simone; Goff, Stephen P.; Bieniasz, Paul D.; Towers, Greg J.

    2003-01-01

    The mouse gene Fv1 encodes a saturable restriction factor that selectively blocks infection by N-tropic or B-tropic murine leukemia virus (MLV) strains. Despite the absence of an Fv1 gene, a similar activity is present in humans that blocks N-MLV infection (Ref1). Moreover, some non-human primate cell lines express a potentially related inhibitor of HIV-1 and/or SIVmac infection (Lv1). Here, we examine the spectrum of retrovirus-restricting activities expressed by human and African green monkey cell lines. Human cells restrict N-MLV and equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV), but not HIV-1, HIV-2, SIVmac or SIVagm, whilst AGM cells restrict N-MLV, EIAV, HIV-1, HIV-2 and SIVmac. Remarkably, in each example examined, restriction of infection by a given retrovirus can be abrogated at least partially by saturation with another retrovirus, provided that it is also restricted but regardless of whether it is closely related. These data suggest that restriction factors in human and non-human primate cells are able to recognize and block infection by multiple, widely divergent retroviruses and that the factors themselves may be related. PMID:12554640

  20. Analysis of variability among endogenous ecotropic MuLV loci in laboratory mice.

    PubMed

    Nouvel, P; Philippe, H; Condamine, H; Panthier, J J

    1993-03-01

    We have isolated a molecular clone of an ecotropic murine leukemia virus from the ovaries of an SWR/J x RF/J hybrid female. The molecularly cloned virus, named pSR3, was demonstrated to induce virus production upon transfection into SWR/J immortalized fibroblasts and to promote germ line integration of proviruses in a fraction of the offspring germline when inoculated to neonate SWR/J females. Sequence analysis reveals that pSR3 is closely related to p623, a plasmid derived from Emv-11 (also referred to as AKV-1). Alignment of the pSR3 sequence with the partial nucleotide sequence of Emv-11 (an endogenous virus carried by BALB/c and C3H/He mice) together with p623 then allows a comparison between three viral sequences. Analysis of these data gives (a) an estimation of the natural divergence rate of MuLV genomes in the course of viral replication (1-5 x 10(-5) mutations per cycle and per nucleotide) and (b) molecular evidence for a recent origin through germ line infection of endogenous loci. From additional clues, Emv-11 appears to be the probable ancestor of at least some of these loci. PMID:8382408

  1. A new therapeutic effect of simvastatin revealed by functional improvement in muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Whitehead, Nicholas P; Kim, Min Jeong; Bible, Kenneth L; Adams, Marvin E; Froehner, Stanley C

    2015-10-13

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal, degenerative muscle disease with no effective treatment. DMD muscle pathogenesis is characterized by chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and fibrosis. Statins, cholesterol-lowering drugs, inhibit these deleterious processes in ischemic diseases affecting skeletal muscle, and therefore have potential to improve DMD. However, statins have not been considered for DMD, or other muscular dystrophies, principally because skeletal-muscle-related symptoms are rare, but widely publicized, side effects of these drugs. Here we show positive effects of statins in dystrophic skeletal muscle. Simvastatin dramatically reduced damage and enhanced muscle function in dystrophic (mdx) mice. Long-term simvastatin treatment vastly improved overall muscle health in mdx mice, reducing plasma creatine kinase activity, an established measure of muscle damage, to near-normal levels. This reduction was accompanied by reduced inflammation, more oxidative muscle fibers, and improved strength of the weak diaphragm muscle. Shorter-term treatment protected against muscle fatigue and increased mdx hindlimb muscle force by 40%, a value comparable to current dystrophin gene-based therapies. Increased force correlated with reduced NADPH Oxidase 2 protein expression, the major source of oxidative stress in dystrophic muscle. Finally, in old mdx mice with severe muscle degeneration, simvastatin enhanced diaphragm force and halved fibrosis, a major cause of functional decline in DMD. These improvements were accompanied by autophagy activation, a recent therapeutic target for DMD, and less oxidative stress. Together, our findings highlight that simvastatin substantially improves the overall health and function of dystrophic skeletal muscles and may provide an unexpected, novel therapy for DMD and related neuromuscular diseases. PMID:26417069

  2. A new therapeutic effect of simvastatin revealed by functional improvement in muscular dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    Whitehead, Nicholas P.; Kim, Min Jeong; Bible, Kenneth L.; Adams, Marvin E.; Froehner, Stanley C.

    2015-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal, degenerative muscle disease with no effective treatment. DMD muscle pathogenesis is characterized by chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and fibrosis. Statins, cholesterol-lowering drugs, inhibit these deleterious processes in ischemic diseases affecting skeletal muscle, and therefore have potential to improve DMD. However, statins have not been considered for DMD, or other muscular dystrophies, principally because skeletal-muscle-related symptoms are rare, but widely publicized, side effects of these drugs. Here we show positive effects of statins in dystrophic skeletal muscle. Simvastatin dramatically reduced damage and enhanced muscle function in dystrophic (mdx) mice. Long-term simvastatin treatment vastly improved overall muscle health in mdx mice, reducing plasma creatine kinase activity, an established measure of muscle damage, to near-normal levels. This reduction was accompanied by reduced inflammation, more oxidative muscle fibers, and improved strength of the weak diaphragm muscle. Shorter-term treatment protected against muscle fatigue and increased mdx hindlimb muscle force by 40%, a value comparable to current dystrophin gene-based therapies. Increased force correlated with reduced NADPH Oxidase 2 protein expression, the major source of oxidative stress in dystrophic muscle. Finally, in old mdx mice with severe muscle degeneration, simvastatin enhanced diaphragm force and halved fibrosis, a major cause of functional decline in DMD. These improvements were accompanied by autophagy activation, a recent therapeutic target for DMD, and less oxidative stress. Together, our findings highlight that simvastatin substantially improves the overall health and function of dystrophic skeletal muscles and may provide an unexpected, novel therapy for DMD and related neuromuscular diseases. PMID:26417069

  3. Inscapes: A movie paradigm to improve compliance in functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Vanderwal, Tamara; Kelly, Clare; Eilbott, Jeffrey; Mayes, Linda C; Castellanos, F Xavier

    2015-11-15

    The examination of functional connectivity in fMRI data collected during task-free "rest" has provided a powerful tool for studying functional brain organization. Limitations of this approach include susceptibility to head motion artifacts and participant drowsiness or sleep. These issues are especially relevant when studying young children or clinical populations. Here we introduce a movie paradigm, Inscapes, that features abstract shapes without a narrative or scene-cuts. The movie was designed to provide enough stimulation to improve compliance related to motion and wakefulness while minimizing cognitive load during the collection of functional imaging data. We compare Inscapes to eyes-open rest and to age-appropriate movie clips in healthy adults (Ocean's Eleven, n=22) and a pilot sample of typically developing children ages 3-7 (Fantasia, n=13). Head motion was significantly lower during both movies relative to rest for both groups. In adults, movies decreased the number of participants who self-reported sleep. Intersubject correlations, used to quantify synchronized, task-evoked activity across movie and rest conditions in adults, involved less cortex during Inscapes than Ocean's Eleven. To evaluate the effect of movie-watching on intrinsic functional connectivity networks, we examined mean functional connectivity using both whole-brain functional parcellation and network-based approaches. Both inter- and intra-network metrics were more similar between Inscapes and Rest than between Ocean's Eleven and Rest, particularly in comparisons involving the default network. When comparing movies to Rest, the mean functional connectivity of somatomotor, visual and ventral attention networks differed significantly across various analyses. We conclude that low-demand movies like Inscapes may represent a useful intermediate condition between task-free rest and typical narrative movies while still improving participant compliance. Inscapes is publicly available for download at headspacestudios.org/inscapes. PMID:26241683

  4. Robot-Assisted Reach Training for Improving Upper Extremity Function of Chronic Stroke.

    PubMed

    Cho, Ki Hun; Song, Won-Kyung

    2015-01-01

    Stroke, as a major risk factor for chronic impairment of upper limb function, can severely restrict the activities of daily living. Recently, robotic devices have been used to enhance the functional upper extremity movement of stroke patients. The purpose of the current study was to assess whether a robot-assisted reach training program using a whole arm manipulator (WAM) could improve upper extremity kinematic performance and functional movement for chronic stroke patients. Using a single-group design, this study followed 10 people with chronic stroke (6 men, 61.5 years; Mini-Mental State Examination score: 27.0; onset duration: 8.9 years). WAM with seven degrees of freedom for the shoulder, elbow, and wrist joints was used during robot-assisted reach exercises. Subjects participated in the training program for 40 minutes per day, 2 times a week, for 4 weeks. The main outcome measures were upper extremity kinematic performance (movement velocity) for three directions and functional movement (Action Research Arm Test). Upper extremity kinematic performance and functional movement measures were performed three times: at baseline, during intervention (at 2 weeks), and post intervention. Upper extremity kinematic performance and functional movement showed improvement after two weeks (P < 0.05) and four weeks (P < 0.05) of training compared to baseline. The findings of the current study demonstrated the positive effects of short-term robot-assisted reach training on upper extremity kinematic performance as well as functional movement in individuals with chronic stroke. In addition, the findings of the current study may provide valuable information for subsequent randomized controlled trials. PMID:26460793

  5. Executive Functions and the Improvement of Thinking Abilities: The Intervention in Reading Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    García-Madruga, Juan A.; Gómez-Veiga, Isabel; Vila, José Ó.

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a preliminary theory of executive functions that address in a specific way their relationship with working memory (WM) and higher-level cognition. It includes: (a) four core on-line WM executive functions that are involved in every novel and complex cognitive task; (b) two higher order off-line executive functions, planning and revision, that are required to resolving the most complex intellectual abilities; and (c) emotional control that is involved in any complex, novel and difficult task. The main assumption is that efficiency on thinking abilities may be improved by specific instruction or training on the executive functions necessary to solving novel and complex tasks involved in these abilities. Evidence for the impact of our training proposal on WM's executive functions involved in higher-level cognitive abilities comes from three studies applying an adaptive program designed to improve reading comprehension in primary school students by boosting the core WM's executive functions involved in it: focusing on relevant information, switching (or shifting) between representations or tasks, connecting incoming information from text with long-term representations, updating of the semantic representation of the text in WM, and inhibition of irrelevant information. The results are consistent with the assumption that cognitive enhancements from the training intervention may have affected not only a specific but also a more domain-general mechanism involved in various executive functions. We discuss some methodological issues in the studies of effects of WM training on reading comprehension. The perspectives and limitations of our approach are finally discussed. PMID:26869961

  6. Executive Functions and the Improvement of Thinking Abilities: The Intervention in Reading Comprehension.

    PubMed

    García-Madruga, Juan A; Gómez-Veiga, Isabel; Vila, José Ó

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a preliminary theory of executive functions that address in a specific way their relationship with working memory (WM) and higher-level cognition. It includes: (a) four core on-line WM executive functions that are involved in every novel and complex cognitive task; (b) two higher order off-line executive functions, planning and revision, that are required to resolving the most complex intellectual abilities; and (c) emotional control that is involved in any complex, novel and difficult task. The main assumption is that efficiency on thinking abilities may be improved by specific instruction or training on the executive functions necessary to solving novel and complex tasks involved in these abilities. Evidence for the impact of our training proposal on WM's executive functions involved in higher-level cognitive abilities comes from three studies applying an adaptive program designed to improve reading comprehension in primary school students by boosting the core WM's executive functions involved in it: focusing on relevant information, switching (or shifting) between representations or tasks, connecting incoming information from text with long-term representations, updating of the semantic representation of the text in WM, and inhibition of irrelevant information. The results are consistent with the assumption that cognitive enhancements from the training intervention may have affected not only a specific but also a more domain-general mechanism involved in various executive functions. We discuss some methodological issues in the studies of effects of WM training on reading comprehension. The perspectives and limitations of our approach are finally discussed. PMID:26869961

  7. A pilot study of an acupuncture protocol to improve visual function in retinitis pigmentosa patients

    PubMed Central

    Bittner, Ava K; Gould, Jeffrey M; Rosenfarb, Andy; Rozanski, Collin; Dagnelie, Gislin

    2014-01-01

    Background Patients with retinitis pigmentosa are motivated to try complementary or integrative therapies to slow disease progression. Basic science, clinical research and retinitis pigmentosa patients' self-reports support the hypothesis that acupuncture may improve visual function. Methods A prospective, case series, pilot study enrolled 12 adult patients with RP treated at an academic medical centre with a standardised protocol that combined electroacupuncture to the forehead and below the eyes and acupuncture to the body, at 10 half-hour sessions over two weeks. Pre- and post-treatment tests included Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study visual acuity (VA), Pelli-Robson contrast sensitivity (CS), Goldmann visual fields, and dark-adapted full-field stimulus threshold (FST)(n = 9). Scotopic Sensitivity Tester-1 (SST-1) dark-adaptometry was performed on the last two subjects. Results Six of 12 subjects had measurable, significant visual function improvements after treatment. Three of nine subjects tested with the FST had a significant 10.3 to 17.5 dB (that is, 13- to 53-fold) improvement in both eyes at one week after acupuncture, maintained for at least 10 to 12 months, which was well outside typical test-retest variability (95% CI: 33.5 dB) previously found in retinitis pigmentosa. SST-1 dark-adaptation was shortened in both subjects tested on average by 48.5 per cent at one week (range 36 to 62 per cent across 10 to 30 dB), which was outside typical coefficients of variation of less than 30 per cent previously determined in patients with retinitis pigmentosa and normals. Four of the five subjects with psychophysically measured scotopic sensitivity improvements reported subjective improvements in vision at night or in dark environments. One subject had 0.2 logMAR improvement in VA; another had 0.55 logCS improvement. Another subject developed more than 20 per cent improvement in the area of the Goldmann visual fields. The acupuncture protocol was completed and well tolerated by all, without adverse events or visual loss. Conclusions Acupuncture entails minimal risk, if administered by a well-trained acupuncturist and may have significant, measurable benefits on residual visual function in patients with retinitis pigmentosa, in particular scotopic sensitivity, which had not previously been studied. These preliminary findings support the need for future controlled studies of potential mechanisms. PMID:24773463

  8. Traditional Chinese Medicine Tongxinluo Improves Cardiac Function of Rats with Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Fang-Fang; Jiang, Ting-Hui; Jiang, Jin-Qi; Lou, Ying; Hou, Xu-Min

    2014-01-01

    The study aimed at testing the hypothesis that tongxinluo capsule might exert its cardioprotective effect by preventing ventricular remodeling and improving coronary microvascular function in a rat model of doxorubicin-induced dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Rats that survived DCM induction were randomly divided into three groups to be given 1.5 gkg?1day?1 (TXL-H, n = 9) or 0.15 gkg?1day?1 (TXL-L, n = 10) of tongxinluo, or normal saline at the same volume (DCM-C, n = 10) intragastrically. Age matched normal rats treated with normal saline were used as normal controls (NOR-C, n = 9). After four weeks of treatment, the DCM-C, TXL-H, and TXL-L groups exhibited significant cardiac dysfunction, left ventricular remodeling, and coronary microvascular dysfunction, compared with the NOR-C rats. However, myocardial functional parameters were significantly improved and microvascular density (MVD) increased in the TXL-H group compared with the DCM-C group (all P < 0.01). Left ventricular remodeling was prevented. There were close linear relationships between CVF and LVEF (r = ?0.683, P < 0.05), MVD and LVEF (r = 0.895, P < 0.05), and MVD and CVF (r = ?0.798, P < 0.05). It was indicated that high-dose tongxinluo effectively improved cardiac function in rat model of DCM. PMID:25614749

  9. Family history of Alzheimers disease limits improvement in cognitive function after bariatric surgery

    PubMed Central

    Alosco, Michael L; Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Strain, Gladys; Devlin, Michael; Crosby, Ross D; Mitchell, James E

    2014-01-01

    Background/Objective: Bariatric surgery can reverse cognitive impairments associated with obesity. However, such benefits may be attenuated in individuals with a predisposing risk for cognitive impairment such as family history of Alzheimers disease. Methods: In all, 94 bariatric surgery participants completed a computerized cognitive test battery before and 12 weeks after surgery. Family history of Alzheimers disease was obtained through self-report. Results: In the overall sample, cognitive function improved in memory and attention/executive function 12 weeks post-surgery. Repeated measures showed similar rates of improvements in attention/executive function between patients with and without a family history of Alzheimers disease. In contrast, only individuals without a family history of Alzheimers disease exhibited post-operative improvements in memory. A family history of Alzheimers disease was associated with greater post-surgery rates of cognitive impairment. Conclusions: Family history of Alzheimers disease may limit post-surgery cognitive benefits. Future studies should examine whether weight loss can modify the course of cognitive decline in patients at-risk for Alzheimers disease.

  10. Folic Acid Supplementation Improves Vascular Function in Professional Dancers With Endothelial Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Hoch, Anne Z.; Papanek, Paula; Szabo, Aniko; Widlansky, Michael E.; Gutterman, David D.

    2012-01-01

    Objective To determine if folic acid supplementation improves vascular function (brachial artery flow-mediated dilation [FMD]) in professional dancers with known endothelial dysfunction. Design Prospective cross-sectional study. Setting Academic institution in the Midwestern United States. Subjects Twenty-two professional ballet dancers volunteered for this study. Main Outcome Measures Subjects completed a 3-day food record to determine caloric and micronutrient intake. Menstrual status was determined by interview and questionnaire. Endothelial function was determined as flow-induced vasodilation measured by high-frequency ultrasound of the brachial artery. A change in brachial diameter of <5% to hyperemic flow stimulus was defined a priori as endothelial dysfunction. Subjects with abnormal FMD took 10 mg of folic acid daily for 4 weeks, and FMD testing was then repeated. Serum whole blood was measured for folic acid levels before and after supplementation. Results Sixty-four percent of dancers (n = 14) had abnormal brachial artery FMD (<5%) (mean standard deviation, 2.9% 1.5%). After 4 weeks of folic acid supplementation (10 mg/day), FMD improved in all the subjects (7.1% 2.3%; P < .0001). Conclusions This study reveals that vascular endothelial function improves in dancers after supplementation with folic acid (10 mg/day) for at least 4 weeks. This finding may have clinically important implications for future cardiovascular disease risk prevention. PMID:21715240

  11. Luteolin improves the impaired nerve functions in diabetic neuropathy: behavioral and biochemical evidences

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ming; Li, Qiang; Zhao, Qingsong; Zhang, Jinchao; Lin, Jiang

    2015-01-01

    Peripheral neuropathies are a major cause of morbidity in patients with diabetes mellitus. Up to now, drugs for improving the impaired nerve functions has been lacking for diabetic neuropathy. The antioxidant and neuroprotective effects of luteolin make it an attractive candidate for diabetic neuropathy. The present study was designed to investigate the putative beneficial effect of luteolin on diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic rats were intraperitoneally treated with daily luteolin (50 mg/kg, 100 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg) or vehicle for 3 weeks from the 28th day after streptozotocin injection. Behavioral, electrophysiological and biochemical studies were performed to evaluate the effect of luteolin on the impaired nerve functions in diabetic neuropathy. It was found that luteolin dose dependently alleviated abnormal sensation, improved nerve conduction velocities and nerve blood flow in diabetic rats. Biochanical analysis showed that luteolin significantly lowered the reactive oxygen species production and malondialdehyde level, as well as increased antioxidants activities in a dose dependent manner. In addition, luteolin significantly up-regulated the protein levels of nuclear factor-E2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in diabetic nerves. Taken together, luteolin is capable of improving diabetes-induced deficit in motor and sensory functions, which could be attributable, at least in part, to its Nrf2-dependent antioxidant capacity. The findings in the present study highlight the therapeutic value of luteolin for diabetic neuropathy. PMID:26617718

  12. Functional impairment in peripheral artery disease and how to improve it in 2013.

    PubMed

    McDermott, Mary McGrae

    2013-04-01

    Lower extremity peripheral artery disease (PAD) affects 8 million men and women in the United States and will be increasingly common as the U.S. population lives longer with chronic disease. People with PAD have poorer walking endurance, slower walking velocity, and poorer balance, compared with individuals without PAD. People with PAD may reduce their walking activity to avoid leg symptoms. Thus, clinicians should not equate stabilization or improvement in exertional leg symptoms with stabilization or improvement in walking performance in PAD. In addition, even asymptomatic PAD patients have greater functional impairment and faster functional decline than individuals without PAD. Of the 2 FDA-approved medications for treating claudication symptoms, pentoxifylline may not be more efficacious than placebo, whereas cilostazol confers a modest improvement in treadmill walking performance. Supervised treadmill walking exercise is associated with substantial improvement in walking endurance, but many PAD patients do not have access to supervised exercise programs. Unsupervised walking exercise programs may be beneficial in PAD, but data are mixed. PMID:23420443

  13. Thymosin-?4 prevents cardiac rupture and improves cardiac function in mice with myocardial infarction

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Hongmei; Xu, Jiang; Yang, Xiao-Ping; Dai, Xiangguo; Peterson, Edward L.; Carretero, Oscar A.

    2014-01-01

    Thymosin-?4 (T?4) promotes cell survival, angiogenesis, and tissue regeneration and reduces inflammation. Cardiac rupture after myocardial infarction (MI) is mainly the consequence of excessive regional inflammation, whereas cardiac dysfunction after MI results from a massive cardiomyocyte loss and cardiac fibrosis. It is possible that T?4 reduces the incidence of cardiac rupture post-MI via anti-inflammatory actions and that it decreases adverse cardiac remodeling and improves cardiac function by promoting cardiac cell survival and cardiac repair. C57BL/6 mice were subjected to MI and treated with either vehicle or T?4 (1.6 mgkg?1day?1 ip via osmotic minipump) for 7 days or 5 wk. Mice were assessed for 1) cardiac remodeling and function by echocardiography; 2) inflammatory cell infiltration, capillary density, myocyte apoptosis, and interstitial collagen fraction histopathologically; 3) gelatinolytic activity by in situ zymography; and 4) expression of ICAM-1 and p53 by immunoblot analysis. T?4 reduced cardiac rupture that was associated with a decrease in the numbers of infiltrating inflammatory cells and apoptotic myocytes, a decrease in gelatinolytic activity and ICAM-1 and p53 expression, and an increase in the numbers of CD31-positive cells. Five-week treatment with T?4 ameliorated left ventricular dilation, improved cardiac function, markedly reduced interstitial collagen fraction, and increased capillary density. In a murine model of acute MI, T?4 not only decreased mortality rate as a result of cardiac rupture but also significantly improved cardiac function after MI. Thus, the use of T?4 could be explored as an alternative therapy in preventing cardiac rupture and restoring cardiac function in patients with MI. PMID:25015963

  14. Exercise training improves vascular function in adolescents with type 2 diabetes.

    PubMed

    Naylor, Louise H; Davis, Elizabeth A; Kalic, Rachelle J; Paramalingam, Niru; Abraham, Mary B; Jones, Timothy W; Green, Daniel J

    2016-02-01

    The impact of exercise training on vascular health in adolescents with type 2 diabetes has not been previously studied. We hypothesized that exercise training would improve micro- and macrovascular health in adolescents with type 2 diabetes. Thirteen adolescents (13-21 years, 10F) with type 2 diabetes were recruited from Princess Margaret Hospital. Participants were randomized to receive either an exercise program along with standard clinical care (n = 8) or standard care alone (n = 5). Those in the intervention group received 12 weeks of gym-based, personalized, and supervised exercise training. Those in the control group were instructed to maintain usual activity levels. Assessments were conducted at baseline and following week 12. The exercise group was also studied 12 weeks following the conclusion of their program. Assessments consisted of conduit artery endothelial function (flow-mediated dilation, FMD) and microvascular function (cutaneous laser Doppler). Secondary outcomes included body composition (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, DXA), glycemic control (whole body insulin sensitivity, M) assessed using the euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp protocol, cardiorespiratory fitness (V˙O2peak), and muscular strength (1RM). Exercise training increased FMD (P < 0.05), microvascular function (P < 0.05), total lean mass (P < 0.05), and muscle strength (P < 0.001). There were no changes in cardiorespiratory fitness, body weight, BMI, or M. In the control group, body weight (P < 0.01), BMI (P < 0.01), and total fat mass (P < 0.05) increased. At week 24, improvements in vascular function were reversed. This study indicates that exercise training can improve both conduit and microvascular endothelial function and health, independent of changes in insulin sensitivity in adolescents with type 2 diabetes. PMID:26887327

  15. Mechanisms of Functional Improvement in a Two-Year Trial of Cognitive Enhancement Therapy for Early Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Eack, Shaun M.; Pogue-Geile, Michael F.; Greenwald, Deborah P.; Hogarty, Susan S.; Keshavan, Matcheri S.

    2013-01-01

    Background Cognitive rehabilitation has emerged as an effective treatment for addressing cognitive impairments and functional disability in schizophrenia; however, the degree to which changes in various social and non-social cognitive processes translate into improved functioning during treatment remains unclear. This research sought to identify the neurocognitive and social-cognitive mechanisms of functional improvement during a two-year trial of Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET) for early course schizophrenia. Method Patients in the early course of schizophrenia were randomly assigned to CET (n = 31) or an Enriched Supportive Therapy control (n = 27) and treated for up to two years. A comprehensive neurocognitive assessment battery and the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) were completed annually, along with measures of functioning. Mediator analyses using mixed-effects growth models were conducted to examine the effects of neurocognitive and social-cognitive improvement on functional change. Results Two-year improvement in neurocognition and the emotion management branch of the MSCEIT were found to be significantly related to improved functional outcome in early course schizophrenia patients. Neurocognitive improvement, primarily in executive functioning, and social-cognitive change in emotion management also mediated the robust effects of CET on functioning. Conclusions Improvements in neurocognition and social cognition that result from cognitive rehabilitation are both significant mediators of functional improvement in early course schizophrenia. Cognitive rehabilitation programs for schizophrenia may need to target deficits in both social and non-social cognition to achieve an optimal functional response. PMID:20860867

  16. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids improve brain function and structure in older adults.

    PubMed

    Witte, A Veronica; Kerti, Lucia; Hermannstädter, Henrike M; Fiebach, Jochen B; Schreiber, Stephan J; Schuchardt, Jan Philipp; Hahn, Andreas; Flöel, Agnes

    2014-11-01

    Higher intake of seafish or oil rich in long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-n3-FA) may be beneficial for the aging brain. We tested in a prospective interventional design whether high levels of supplementary LC-n3-FA would improve cognition, and addressed potential mechanisms underlying the effects. Sixty-five healthy subjects (50-75 years, 30 females) successfully completed 26 weeks of either fish oil (2.2 g/day LC-n3-FA) or placebo intake. Before and after the intervention period, cognitive performance, structural neuroimaging, vascular markers, and blood parameters were assayed. We found a significant increase in executive functions after LC-n3-FA compared with placebo (P = 0.023). In parallel, LC-n3-FA exerted beneficial effects on white matter microstructural integrity and gray matter volume in frontal, temporal, parietal, and limbic areas primarily of the left hemisphere, and on carotid intima media thickness and diastolic blood pressure. Improvements in executive functions correlated positively with changes in omega-3-index and peripheral brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and negatively with changes in peripheral fasting insulin. This double-blind randomized interventional study provides first-time evidence that LC-n3-FA exert positive effects on brain functions in healthy older adults, and elucidates underlying mechanisms. Our findings suggest novel strategies to maintain cognitive functions into old age. PMID:23796946

  17. Soybean and green tea polyphenols improve immune function and redox status in very old ovariectomized mice.

    PubMed

    Baeza, Isabel; De Castro, Nuria M; Arranz, Lorena; De la Fuente, Mnica

    2010-12-01

    In previous work we have observed that ovariectomy in rodents, a good model of mimicking human ovarian hormone loss, causes premature aging of the immune system. The prooxidative and inflammatory state that underlies the aging process is the base of that premature immunosenescence. It has been found that nutritional interventions with polyphenolic antioxidants constitute a good alternative to rejuvenate age-affected immune functions. In this study, we administered a diet supplemented with polyphenols (coming from soybean isoflavones and green tea) to sham-operated and ovariectomized mature mice for 15 weeks, until they reached a very old age. We have studied the effect of this supplementation on a broad range of parameters of immune function (in macrophages and lymphocytes) and oxidative stress (enzymatic and nonenzymatic antioxidant defences, oxidant compounds, and lipid peroxidation damage) in peritoneal leukocytes. The results showed that ovariectomy accelerates the age-related impairment of immune functions in very old mice as well as the oxidative and proinflammatory imbalance, and that the administration of soybean isoflavones and green tea improve the immune and redox state in these animals. Because the immune system is a good marker of health and a predictor of longevity, we suggest that an adequate nutritional treatment with polyphenols could be a highly recommended tool to fight against the detrimental effects of the lack of female sex hormones, through an improvement of the immune cell functions and redox state. PMID:20818935

  18. Subliminal Strengthening: Improving Elders Physical Function over Time through an Implicit-Age-Stereotype Intervention

    PubMed Central

    Levy, Becca R.; Pilver, Corey; Chung, Pil H.; Slade, Martin D.

    2015-01-01

    Negative age stereotypes that older individuals assimilate from their culture are associated with detrimental outcomes, including worse physical function. We examined for the first time whether positive age stereotypes, presented subliminally across multiple sessions in the community, would reverse this process. One hundred older individuals (aged 61-99, SD=10 years, M=81) were randomly assigned to an implicit-positive-age-stereotype intervention, explicit-positive-age-stereotype intervention, both, or neither. Interventions occurred at four one week intervals. As expected, the implicit intervention, in sequence, strengthened positive age stereotypes, strengthened positive self-perceptions of aging, and improved physical function. The improvement of physical function continued for three weeks following the last intervention session. Further, negative age stereotypes and negative self-perceptions of aging were weakened. For all outcomes, the implicit intervention's impact was greater than, and independent of, the explicit intervention's impact. The implicit physical-function effect surpassed a previous study's six-month-exercise intervention with similar-aged participants. These findings suggest the intervention served, in effect, as an implicit fitness center. PMID:25326508

  19. A simple way to improve anatomical mapping of functional brain imaging

    PubMed Central

    Villain, Nicolas; Landeau, Brigitte; Groussard, Mathilde; Mevel, Katell; Fouquet, Marine; Dayan, Jacques; Eustache, Francis; Desgranges, Batrice; Chtelat, Gal

    2010-01-01

    Background and purpose Advances in functional neuroimaging studies have led to the need for improved anatomical precision to face with more and more specific challenges. Nevertheless, functional MRI (fMRI) suffers from geometrical distortions which limit the matching between functional and anatomical data necessary to interpret fMRI results. The FieldMap method is the most widely used technique to correct for geometrical distortions but in some cases cannot be applied or provides unsatisfactory results. The objective of the present study is thus to provide a very simple alternative method for distortion correction and to demonstrate its efficiency. Methods This correction relies on the non-linear registration of Echo-Planar-Imaging (EPI) acquisitions onto their corresponding undistorted non-EPI T2Star volume, and was tested on two independent groups of subjects undertaking the same paradigm but scanned with distinct EPI sequences. Results This procedure was found to considerably decrease the mismatch between functional and anatomical data in both groups, as revealed through several quantitative and qualitative measures on both EPI volumes and activation maps. Conclusion The present study describes a simple, rapid, and easily implementable method to significantly improve neuroanatomical accuracy of fMRI results localization, which may be relevant for future neuroimaging studies. PMID:20331499

  20. Chondroitinase gene therapy improves upper limb function following cervical contusion injury

    PubMed Central

    James, Nicholas D.; Shea, Jessie; Muir, Elizabeth M.; Verhaagen, Joost; Schneider, Bernard L.; Bradbury, Elizabeth J.

    2015-01-01

    Chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans (CSPGs) are known to be important contributors to the intensely inhibitory environment that prevents tissue repair and regeneration following spinal cord injury. The bacterial enzyme chondroitinase ABC (ChABC) degrades these inhibitory molecules and has repeatedly been shown to promote functional recovery in a number of spinal cord injury models. However, when used to treat more traumatic and clinically relevant spinal contusion injuries, findings with the ChABC enzyme have been inconsistent. We recently demonstrated that delivery of mammalian-compatible ChABC via gene therapy led to sustained and widespread digestion of CSPGs, resulting in significant functional repair of a moderate thoracic contusion injury in adult rats. Here we demonstrate that chondroitinase gene therapy significantly enhances upper limb function following cervical contusion injury, with improved forelimb ladder performance and grip strength as well as increased spinal conduction through the injury site and reduced lesion pathology. This is an important addition to our previous findings as improving upper limb function is a top priority for spinal injured patients. Additionally great importance is placed on replication in the spinal cord injury field. That chondroitinase gene therapy has now been shown to be efficacious in contusion models at either thoracic or cervical level is an important step in the further development of this promising therapeutic strategy towards the clinic. PMID:26044197

  1. Inhibition of CXCL12 signaling attenuates the postischemic immune response and improves functional recovery after stroke.

    PubMed

    Ruscher, Karsten; Kuric, Enida; Liu, Yawei; Walter, Helene L; Issazadeh-Navikas, Shohreh; Englund, Elisabet; Wieloch, Tadeusz

    2013-08-01

    After stroke, brain inflammation in the ischemic hemisphere hampers brain tissue reorganization and functional recovery. Housing rats in an enriched environment (EE) dramatically improves recovery of lost neurologic functions after experimental stroke. We show here that rats housed in EE after stroke induced by permanent occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (pMCAO), showed attenuated levels of proinflammatory cytokines in the ischemic core and the surrounding peri-infarct area, including a significant reduction in the stroke-induced chemokine receptor CXCR4 and its natural ligand stromal cell-derived factor-1 (CXCL12). To mimic beneficial effects of EE, we studied the impact of inhibiting CXCL12 action on functional recovery after transient MCAO (tMCAO). Rats treated with the specific CXCL12 receptor antagonist 1-[4-(1,4,8,11-tetrazacyclotetradec-1-ylmethyl)phenyl]methyl]-1,4,8,11-tetrazacyclo-tetradecan (AMD3100) showed improved recovery compared with saline-treated rats after tMCAO, without a concomitant reduction in infarct size. This was accompanied by a reduction of infiltrating immune cells in the ischemic hemisphere, particularly cluster of differentiation 3-positive (CD3(+)) and CD3(+)/CD4(+) T cells. Spleen atrophy and delayed death of splenocytes, induced by tMCAO, was prevented by AMD3100 treatment. We conclude that immoderate excessive activation of the CXCL12 pathway after stroke contributes to depression of neurologic function after stroke and that CXCR4 antagonism is beneficial for the recovery after stroke. PMID:23632969

  2. Cortical Depth Dependent Functional Responses in Humans at 7T: Improved Specificity with 3D GRASE

    PubMed Central

    Muckli, Lars; Ugurbil, Kamil; Yacoub, Essa; Goebel, Rainer

    2013-01-01

    Ultra high fields (7T and above) allow functional imaging with high contrast-to-noise ratios and improved spatial resolution. This, along with improved hardware and imaging techniques, allow investigating columnar and laminar functional responses. Using gradient-echo (GE) (T2* weighted) based sequences, layer specific responses have been recorded from human (and animal) primary visual areas. However, their increased sensitivity to large surface veins potentially clouds detecting and interpreting layer specific responses. Conversely, spin-echo (SE) (T2 weighted) sequences are less sensitive to large veins and have been used to map cortical columns in humans. T2 weighted 3D GRASE with inner volume selection provides high isotropic resolution over extended volumes, overcoming some of the many technical limitations of conventional 2D SE-EPI, whereby making layer specific investigations feasible. Further, the demonstration of columnar level specificity with 3D GRASE, despite contributions from both stimulated echoes and conventional T2 contrast, has made it an attractive alternative over 2D SE-EPI. Here, we assess the spatial specificity of cortical depth dependent 3D GRASE functional responses in human V1 and hMT by comparing it to GE responses. In doing so we demonstrate that 3D GRASE is less sensitive to contributions from large veins in superficial layers, while showing increased specificity (functional tuning) throughout the cortex compared to GE. PMID:23533682

  3. Chemical abundances in the protoplanetary disc LV 2 (Orion) - II. High-dispersion VLT observations and microjet properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsamis, Y. G.; Walsh, J. R.

    2011-11-01

    Integral field spectroscopy of the LV 2 proplyd is presented taken with the Very Large Telescope (VLT)/FLAMES Argus array at an angular resolution of 0.31 0.31 arcsec2 and velocity resolutions down to 2 km s-1 pixel-1. Following subtraction of the local M42 emission, the spectrum of LV 2 is isolated from the surrounding nebula. We measured the heliocentric velocities and widths of a number of lines detected in the intrinsic spectrum of the proplyd, as well as in the adjacent Orion nebula falling within a 6.6 4.2 arcsec2 field of view. It is found that far-ultraviolet to optical collisional lines with critical densities, Ncr, ranging from 103 to 109 cm-3 suffer collisional de-excitation near the rest velocity of the proplyd correlating tightly with their critical densities. Lines of low Ncr are suppressed the most. The bipolar jet arising from LV 2 is spectrally and spatially well detected in several emission lines. We compute the [O III] electron temperature profile across LV 2 in velocity space and measure steep temperature variations associated with the red-shifted lobe of the jet, possibly being due to a shock discontinuity. From the velocity-resolved analysis the ionized gas near the rest frame of LV 2 has Te= 9200 800 K and Ne 106 cm-3, while the red-shifted jet lobe has Te? 9000-104 K and Ne 106-107 cm-3. The jet flow is highly ionized but contains dense semineutral clumps emitting neutral oxygen lines. The abundances of N+, O2 +, Ne2 +, Fe2 +, S+and S2 +are measured for the strong red-shifted jet lobe. Iron in the core of LV 2 is depleted by 2.54 dex with respect to solar as a result of sedimentation on dust, whereas the efficient destruction of dust grains in the fast microjet raises its Fe abundance to at least 30 per cent solar. Sulphur does not show evidence of significant depletion on dust, but its abundance both in the core and the jet is only about half solar. Based on observations made with ESO telescopes at the Paranal Observatory under programme 078.C-0247(A).

  4. Regulation of FeLV-945 by c-Myb binding and CBP recruitment to the LTR

    PubMed Central

    Finstad, Samantha L; Prabhu, Sudha; Rulli, Karen R; Levy, Laura S

    2004-01-01

    Background Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) induces degenerative, proliferative and malignant hematologic disorders in its natural host, the domestic cat. FeLV-945 is a viral variant identified as predominant in a cohort of naturally infected animals. FeLV-945 contains a unique sequence motif in the long terminal repeat (LTR) comprised of a single copy of transcriptional enhancer followed by a 21-bp sequence triplicated in tandem. The LTR is precisely conserved among independent cases of multicentric lymphoma, myeloproliferative disease and anemia in animals from the cohort. The 21-bp triplication was previously shown to act as a transcriptional enhancer preferentially in hematopoietic cells and to confer a replicative advantage. The objective of the present study was to examine the molecular mechanism by which the 21-bp triplication exerts its influence and the selective advantage responsible for its precise conservation. Results Potential binding sites for the transcription factor, c-Myb, were identified across the repeat junctions of the 21-bp triplication. Such sites would not occur in the absence of the repeat; thus, a requirement for c-Myb binding to the repeat junctions of the triplication would exert a selective pressure to conserve its sequence precisely. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated specific binding of c-Myb to the 21-bp triplication. Reporter gene assays showed that the triplication-containing LTR is responsive to c-Myb, and that responsiveness requires the presence of both c-Myb binding sites. Results further indicated that c-Myb in complex with the 21-bp triplication recruits the transcriptional co-activator, CBP, a regulator of normal hematopoiesis. FeLV-945 replication was shown to be positively regulated by CBP in a manner dependent on the presence of the 21-bp triplication. Conclusion Binding sites for c-Myb across the repeat junctions of the 21-bp triplication may account for its precise conservation in the FeLV-945 LTR. c-Myb binding and CBP recruitment to the LTR positively regulated virus production, and thus may be responsible for the replicative advantage conferred by the 21-bp triplication. Considering that CBP is present in hematopoietic cells in limiting amounts, we hypothesize that FeLV-945 replication in bone marrow may influence CBP availability and thereby alter the regulation of CBP-responsive genes, thus contributing to altered hematopoiesis and consequent hematologic disease. PMID:15507152

  5. IL-33 Independently Induces Eosinophilic Pericarditis and Cardiac Dilation: ST2 Improves Cardiac Function

    PubMed Central

    Abston, Eric D.; Barin, Jobert G.; Cihakova, Daniela; Bucek, Adriana; Coronado, Michael J.; Brandt, Jessica E.; Bedja, Djahida; Kim, Joseph B.; Georgakopoulos, Dimitrios; Gabrielson, Kathleen L.; Mitzner, Wayne; Fairweather, DeLisa

    2013-01-01

    Background Interleukin (IL)-33 via its receptor ST2 protects the heart from myocardial infarct and hypertrophy in animal models, but paradoxically increases autoimmune disease. In this study we examined the effect of IL-33 or ST2 administration on autoimmune heart disease. Methods and Results We used pressure volume relationships and isoproterenol challenge to assess the effect of recombinant (r)IL-33 or rST2 (e.g. soluble ST2) administration on the development of autoimmune coxsackievirus (CVB3) myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in male BALB/c mice. rIL-33 treatment significantly increased acute perimyocarditis (p=0.006) and eosinophilia (p=1.310?5), impaired cardiac function (maximum ventricular power p=0.0002), and increased ventricular dilation (end diastolic volume p=0.01). rST2 treatment prevented eosinophilia and improved heart function compared to rIL-33 treatment (ejection fraction, p=0.009). Neither treatment altered viral replication. rIL-33 increased IL-4, IL-33, IL-1? and IL-6 levels in the heart during acute myocarditis. To determine whether IL-33 altered cardiac function on its own, we administered rIL-33 to undiseased mice and found that rIL-33 induced eosinophilic pericarditis and adversely affected heart function. We used cytokine knockout mice to determine that this effect was due to IL-33-mediated signaling but not IL-1? or IL-6. Conclusions We show for the first time that IL-33 induces eosinophilic pericarditis while sST2 prevents eosinophilia and improves systolic function, and that IL-33 independently adversely affects heart function via the IL-33 receptor. PMID:22454393

  6. Improvement of liver function parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes treated with thiazolidinediones.

    PubMed

    Ono, Masaya; Ikegami, Hiroshi; Fujisawa, Tomomi; Nojima, Koji; Kawabata, Yumiko; Nishino, Masanori; Taniguchi, Hidenori; Itoi-Babaya, Michiko; Babaya, Naru; Inoue, Kaori; Ogihara, Toshio

    2005-04-01

    To increase our understanding of the effect of thiazolidinediones, a new class of antidiabetic drugs, on liver function as well as glycemic control, we investigated liver function before, during, and after treatment with troglitazone and pioglitazone. A total of 32 patients with type 2 diabetes were studied. Glycemic control and liver function were measured before, during, and after 4 to 12 weeks of treatment with troglitazone or pioglitazone. Glycemic control was assessed by fasting levels of plasma glucose, hemoglobin A 1c , and serum insulin, and liver function was assessed by asparatate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and gamma -glutamyl transpeptidase ( gamma-GTP). Homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance was used as an index of insulin resistance. During treatment with troglitazone, fasting plasma glucose and hemoglobin A 1c levels and homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance were significantly decreased. Serum AST, ALT, and gamma-GTP levels were significantly decreased during treatment (AST, -17.4%; ALT, -27.2%; gamma-GTP, -47.9%) and returned to pretreatment levels after 4 weeks of withdrawal of the drug. A similar tendency was observed during treatment with pioglitazone (AST, -4.7%; ALT, -16.4%; gamma-GTP, -30.8%). These data suggest that, in contrast to the deterioration of liver function reported in a small subset of patients treated with troglitazone, treatment with thiazolidinediones was associated with a decrease in serum transaminases in most patients. The improvement in liver function parameters known to be associated with fatty liver in the present study, together with an improvement in fatty liver reported for another class of insulin sensitizers, biguanides, suggests that thiazolidinediones may have a beneficial effect on fatty liver. PMID:15798962

  7. Integrated strategy for improving functional connectivity mapping using multiecho fMRI

    PubMed Central

    Kundu, Prantik; Brenowitz, Noah D.; Voon, Valerie; Worbe, Yulia; Vértes, Petra E.; Inati, Souheil J.; Saad, Ziad S.; Bandettini, Peter A.; Bullmore, Edward T.

    2013-01-01

    Functional connectivity analysis of resting state blood oxygen level–dependent (BOLD) functional MRI is widely used for noninvasively studying brain functional networks. Recent findings have indicated, however, that even small (≤1 mm) amounts of head movement during scanning can disproportionately bias connectivity estimates, despite various preprocessing efforts. Further complications for interregional connectivity estimation from time domain signals include the unaccounted reduction in BOLD degrees of freedom related to sensitivity losses from high subject motion. To address these issues, we describe an integrated strategy for data acquisition, denoising, and connectivity estimation. This strategy builds on our previously published technique combining data acquisition with multiecho (ME) echo planar imaging and analysis with spatial independent component analysis (ICA), called ME-ICA, which distinguishes BOLD (neuronal) and non-BOLD (artifactual) components based on linear echo-time dependence of signals—a characteristic property of BOLD signal changes. Here we show for 32 control subjects that this method provides a physically principled and nearly operator-independent way of removing complex artifacts such as motion from resting state data. We then describe a robust estimator of functional connectivity based on interregional correlation of BOLD-independent component coefficients. This estimator, called independent components regression, considerably simplifies statistical inference for functional connectivity because degrees of freedom equals the number of independent coefficients. Compared with traditional connectivity estimation methods, the proposed strategy results in fourfold improvements in signal-to-noise ratio, functional connectivity analysis with improved specificity, and valid statistical inference with nominal control of type 1 error in contrasts of connectivity between groups with different levels of subject motion. PMID:24038744

  8. Functional clustering drives encoding improvement in a developing brain network during awake visual learning.

    PubMed

    Podgorski, Kaspar; Dunfield, Derek; Haas, Kurt

    2012-01-01

    Sensory experience drives dramatic structural and functional plasticity in developing neurons. However, for single-neuron plasticity to optimally improve whole-network encoding of sensory information, changes must be coordinated between neurons to ensure a full range of stimuli is efficiently represented. Using two-photon calcium imaging to monitor evoked activity in over 100 neurons simultaneously, we investigate network-level changes in the developing Xenopus laevis tectum during visual training with motion stimuli. Training causes stimulus-specific changes in neuronal responses and interactions, resulting in improved population encoding. This plasticity is spatially structured, increasing tuning curve similarity and interactions among nearby neurons, and decreasing interactions among distant neurons. Training does not improve encoding by single clusters of similarly responding neurons, but improves encoding across clusters, indicating coordinated plasticity across the network. NMDA receptor blockade prevents coordinated plasticity, reduces clustering, and abolishes whole-network encoding improvement. We conclude that NMDA receptors support experience-dependent network self-organization, allowing efficient population coding of a diverse range of stimuli. PMID:22253571

  9. An Improved Instrument Table for Use in Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

    PubMed Central

    Schmitz, Pia M.; Gollnick, Iris; Modemann, Susanne; Rothe, Anja; Niegsch, Ralf; Strauss, Gero

    2015-01-01

    Background The clinical motivation for the current study was that various instrument tables are located far away from the patient’s head, and the only way for the surgeon to access an instrument is via a scrub nurse. Thus, the idea for this study was the development and evaluation of an improved and conveniently positioned instrument table. Material/Methods An improved instrument table (IT) was designed, built, and tested. We assessed its use in 150 surgeries from 1 October 2013 to 30 June 2014 (group A), and another 150 surgeries without use of the IT from 1 February 2013 to 31 October 2014 as a control group (group B). Results With use of the improved IT during functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), preparation-time was extended by 0.1 min and the SLOT-time was reduced by 19.6%. The number of different instruments (35.3%) used was reduced, as well as the number of manual interactions with instruments (7.8%) and the number of manual interactions with the scrub nurse (66.1%). In addition, the ergonomics with use of the IT improved by 40.0%. The only potential disadvantage was a reduction of working space and thereby a constraint of the scope. Compared to the benefits, this problem is minor. Conclusions Conclusively, the improved IT is of value for everyday use in surgery and offers a great benefit for FESS, and may be useful in other kinds of surgery (e.g., duraplasty). PMID:26098739

  10. Adeno-associated virus 9 mediated FKRP gene therapy restores functional glycosylation of α-dystroglycan and improves muscle functions.

    PubMed

    Xu, Lei; Lu, Pei Juan; Wang, Chi-Hsien; Keramaris, Elizabeth; Qiao, Chunping; Xiao, Bin; Blake, Derek J; Xiao, Xiao; Lu, Qi Long

    2013-10-01

    Mutations in the FKRP gene are associated with a wide range of muscular dystrophies from mild limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) 2I to severe Walker-Warburg syndrome and muscle-eye-brain disease. The characteristic biochemical feature of these diseases is the hypoglycosylation of α-dystroglycan (α-DG). Currently there is no effective treatment available. In this study, we examined the adeno-associated virus serotype 9 vector (AAV9)-mediated gene therapy in the FKRP mutant mouse model with a proline to leucine missense mutation (P448L). Our results showed that intraperitoneal administration of AAV9-FKRP resulted in systemic FKRP expression in all striated muscles examined with the highest levels in cardiac muscle. Consistent with our previous observations, FKRP protein is localized in the Golgi apparatus in myofibers. Expression of FKRP consequently restored functional glycosylation of α-DG in the skeletal and cardiac muscles. Significant improvement in dystrophic pathology, serum creatine kinase levels and muscle function was observed. Only limited FKRP transgene expression was detected in kidney and liver with no detectable toxicity. Our results provided evidence for the utility of AAV-mediated gene replacement therapy for FKRP-related muscular dystrophies. PMID:23817215

  11. Improved functional properties of glycosylated soy protein isolate using D-glucose and xanthan gum.

    PubMed

    Li, Ruiqi; Hettiarachchy, Navam; Rayaprolu, Srinivas; Davis, Mike; Eswaranandam, Satchithanandam; Jha, Alok; Chen, Pengyin

    2015-09-01

    Functional properties of the soy protein need to improve to have better applications in food industry. Alkali extracted and acid precipitated soy protein isolate (SPI) was glycosylated using D-glucose (G) and Xanthan gum (X) via Maillard reaction to improve solubility. The effects of SPI to G and SPI to X ratios (SPI:G = 2:1, 1:1, and 1:2; SPI:X = 100:1 and 10:1) and incubation time (0, 6, 12, and 24 h) on the solubility and functional properties of glycosylated SPI were evaluated. The SPI:G ratio of 1:2 yielded a maximum degree of glycosylation of 71.1 %. The solubility of SPI after glycosylation significantly increased (P < 0.05) at pH 4.0-8.0 compared to SPI alone. Although the emulsion stability of glycosylated SPIs has not significantly increased (P > 0.05), the emulsifying activity improved significantly (P < 0.05). Glycosylation with SPI-X at a ratio of 10: 1 showed maximum emulsifying activity of 191.6 m(2)/g (SPI alone: 66.3 m(2)/g). Moreover, the SPI:X (ratio of 100:1) showed the maximum foaming activity (205 mL) compared to SPI alone (155 mL). The foaming stability of SPI (2.6 %) increased to 5.5 and 8.2 % when using xanthan gum at the ratio of 100:1 and 10:1, respectively. Glycosylated SPI with enhanced emulsifying and foaming properties has potential to improve the functional quality of the food products. PMID:26345030

  12. Intracoronary endothelin receptor blockade improves endothelial function in patients with coronary artery disease.

    PubMed

    Bhm, Felix; Jensen, Jens; Svane, Bertil; Settergren, Magnus; Pernow, John

    2008-11-01

    Endothelin (ET)-1 receptor blockade improves endothelial function in the forearm of patients with atherosclerosis. The aim was to investigate whether intracoronary ET receptor blockade improves coronary endothelial function and increases blood flow in patients with coronary artery disease. Ten patients received a 60-minute infusion of either the selective ETA receptor antagonist BQ123 (40 nmol/min, n = 6) or BQ123 + the ETB receptor antagonist BQ788 (40 nmol/min, n = 4). In all patients, substance P, an endothelium-dependent vasodilator, did not increase baseline coronary flow reserve with thermodilution (CFRThermo) (0.71 +/- 0.14 s during NaCl versus 0.59 +/- 0.14 s during substance P) or baseline quantitative coronary angiography (QCA) (2.74 +/- 0.16 mm versus 2.83 +/- 0.20 mm). After ET receptor blockade, however, the response to substance P was significantly improved as determined both by CFRThermo (0.62 +/- 0.14 s during NaCl versus 0.48 +/- 0.10 s during substance P, p < 0.05) and by QCA (2.70 +/- 0.18 mm versus 2.85 +/- 0.19 mm, p < 0.05). In addition, ET blockade increased blood flow in all patients by 16% +/- 10% (n = 10, p < 0.05) and in the BQ123 group by 22% +/- 16% (n = 6, p < 0.05). Furthermore, ETA blockade increased blood flow significantly more than did dual ETA/ETB blockade (p < 0.05). These findings indicate that ET receptor blockade may be a new therapeutic strategy to improve coronary vascular function in patients with coronary artery disease. PMID:19011669

  13. Predictors of Improvement in Endothelial Function After Exercise Training in a Diverse Sample of Postmenopausal Women

    PubMed Central

    Weltman, Judith Y.; Patrie, James T.; Saliba, Susan A.; Gaesser, Glenn A.; Barrett, Eugene J.; Weltman, Arthur

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Background: Endothelial dysfunction measured via flow-mediated dilation (FMD) is associated with greater risk of future hypertension and cardiovascular events in postmenopausal women. Aerobic exercise training has been shown to improve endothelial function in Caucasian populations, but has not been evaluated specifically in African Americans. This has clinical importance due to the increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease in African Americans. Methods: In the present pilot study, 8 African American (age: 55.8±1.7 years, peak oxygen uptake [VO2 peak]: 21.0±3.9 mL/kg/minute, body mass index [BMI]: 30.1± 6.3 kg/m2) and 16 Caucasian (age: 57.2±5.9 years, VO2 peak: 21.8±3.7 mL/kg/minute, BMI: 29.3±5.2 kg/m2) sedentary postmenopausal women underwent brachial artery FMD measurements before and after 12 weeks of aerobic exercise training. FMD was quantified by comparing B-mode ultrasound images of the brachial artery at rest and following reactive hyperemia after 5 minutes of forearm occlusion. Participants performed aerobic exercise training 4 days per week for 12 weeks. Results: Despite improvements in fitness in both groups, aerobic exercise training did not significantly improve FMD in African American (5.8% to 5.7%, p=0.950) or Caucasian postmenopausal women (5.7% to 6.6%, p=0.267). In women with the greatest impairment in endothelial function at baseline (FMD<4.5%), a significant improvement in FMD was observed, independent of race, following exercise training (2.2% to 6.2%, p=0.007). Conclusion: The benefits of aerobic exercise training on endothelial function in postmenopausal women are most pronounced in women with endothelial dysfunction prior to training and do not appear to be affected by race. PMID:24299160

  14. Simvastatin treatment improves endothelial function and increases fibrinolysis in patients with hypercholestrolemia.

    PubMed Central

    Guven, Gulay S.; Atalar, Enver; Yavuz, Bunyamin; Beyazit, Yavuz; Kekilli, Murat; Kilicarslan, Alparslan; Sahiner, Levent; Oz, Gul; Ozer, Necla; Aksoyek, Serdar; Haznedaroglu, Ibrahim C.; Sozen, Tumay

    2006-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Statins reduce cardiovascular events by cholesterol-lowering as well as nonlipid-related actions. Thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI) is a recently identified independent risk factor of thrombosis. Endothelial dysfunction is also a strong predictor of cardiovascular events. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of simvastatin treatment on circulating TAFI concentrations and endothelial function in patients with hypercholesterolemia. METHODS: Thirty-five patients (19 female, mean age 48 +/- 7 years) with hyperlipidemia were recruited into the study. Simvastatin was administered, 40 mg daily, for eight weeks to all subjects. Study subjects did not receive any medication except for lipid-lowering therapy during the follow-up period. Endothelial function was evaluated by flow-mediated dilation (FMD) from the brachial artery of the patients. Plasma lipid parameters, TAFI levels and endothelial function were measured before and after simvastatin treatment. RESULTS: Treatment with simvastatin showed a significant decrement in plasma total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels (p<0.05). Plasma TAFI levels were also significantly decreased after simvastatin treatment [median 17.0 (range 0.4-93.7) mcg/mL versus median 6.9 (range 0.8-63.0) mcg/mL, p<0.001]. Mean FMD was measured 7.7 +/- 2.5% at baseline and significantly improved after treatment (13.0 +/- 1.4%) (p=0.001). CONCLUSION: Our findings of decreased TAFI levels may reflect the beneficial effect of simvastatin treatment on fibrinolysis, and improved endothelial function may suggest the improved future cardiovascular events in hyperlipidemic patients. PMID:16623076

  15. Delayed administration of a PTEN inhibitor BPV improves functional recovery after experimental stroke.

    PubMed

    Mao, L; Jia, J; Zhou, X; Xiao, Y; Wang, Y; Mao, X; Zhen, X; Guan, Y; Alkayed, N J; Cheng, J

    2013-02-12

    Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) inhibitors administered prior to or immediately after experimental stroke confer acute neuroprotection. However, it remains unclear if delayed treatment with a PTEN inhibitor improves long-term functional recovery after stroke. We addressed the issue in this study. Adult male mice were subjected to 1h of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) followed by treatment with a well-established PTEN inhibitor BPV or saline daily for 14 days, starting at 24h after MCAO. Functional recovery was assessed with behavioral tests and acute infarct volumes were analyzed histologically. Delayed BPV treatment did not reduce infarction during the acute phase, but significantly improved long-term functional recovery after MCAO. Since PTEN is a critical intrinsic inhibitory factor in axonal regeneration, we further examined BPV effects on axonal densities following MCAO using bielschowsky silver staining and immunohistochemistry with antibodies against myelin basic protein. Delayed BPV treatment significantly increased axon densities in the ischemic brain at 14 days after MCAO. Moreover, PTEN expression persistently remained high in the ischemic brain over 14 days after MCAO, and BPV treatment increased post-ischemic activation of Akt and mTOR in the ischemic brain. Akt and mTOR activation are the well-established cascades downstream to PTEN inhibition and have been shown to contribute to post-injury axonal regrowth in response to PTEN inhibition. Consistently, in an in vitro neuronal ischemia model, BPV enhanced axonal outgrowth of primary cortical neurons after oxygen-glucose deprivation and the enhancing effects were abolished by Akt/mTOR inhibition. In conclusion, delayed BPV treatment improved functional recovery from experimental stroke possibly via enhancing axonal growth and Akt/mTOR activation contributed to BPV-enhanced post-stroke axon growth. PMID:23219909

  16. Liguzinediol improved the heart function and inhibited myocardial cell apoptosis in rats with heart failure

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yu; Song, Ping; Zhu, Qing; Yin, Qiu-yi; Ji, Jia-wen; Li, Wei; Bian, Hui-min

    2014-01-01

    Aim: Liguzinediol is a novel derivative of ligustrazine isolated from the traditional Chinese medicine Chuanxiong (Ligusticum wallichii Franch), and produces significant positive inotropic effect in isolated rat hearts. In this study we investigated the effects of liguzinediol on a rat model of heart failure. Methods: To induce heart failure, male SD rats were injected with doxorubicin (DOX, 2 mg/kg, ip) once a week for 4 weeks. Then the rats were administered with liguzinediol (5, 10, 20 mgkg?1d?1, po) for 2 weeks. Hemodynamic examination was conducted to evaluate heart function. Myocardial cell apoptosis was examined morphologically. The expression of related genes and proteins were analyzed using immunohistochemical staining and Western blot assays, respectively. Results: Oral administration of liguzinediol dose-dependently improved the heart function in DOX-treated rats. Electron microscopy revealed that liguzinediol (10 mgkg?1d?1) markedly attenuated DOX-induced injury of cardiomyocytes, and decreased the number of apoptotic bodies in cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, liguzinediol significantly decreased Bax protein level, and increased Bcl-2 protein level in cardiomyocytes of DOX-treated rats, led to an increase in the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax. Moreover, liguzinediol significant