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Sample records for potential mechanisms underlying

  1. Linking Pesticide Exposure with Pediatric Leukemia: Potential Underlying Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Hernández, Antonio F.; Menéndez, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Leukemia is the most common cancer in children, representing 30% of all childhood cancers. The disease arises from recurrent genetic insults that block differentiation of hematopoietic stem and/or progenitor cells (HSPCs) and drives uncontrolled proliferation and survival of the differentiation-blocked clone. Pediatric leukemia is phenotypically and genetically heterogeneous with an obscure etiology. The interaction between genetic factors and environmental agents represents a potential etiological driver. Although information is limited, the principal toxic mechanisms of potential leukemogenic agents (e.g., etoposide, benzene metabolites, bioflavonoids and some pesticides) include topoisomerase II inhibition and/or excessive generation of free radicals, which may induce DNA single- and double-strand breaks (DNA-DSBs) in early HSPCs. Chromosomal rearrangements (duplications, deletions and translocations) may occur if these lesions are not properly repaired. The initiating hit usually occurs in utero and commonly leads to the expression of oncogenic fusion proteins. Subsequent cooperating hits define the disease latency and occur after birth and may be of a genetic, epigenetic or immune nature (i.e., delayed infection-mediated immune deregulation). Here, we review the available experimental and epidemiological evidence linking pesticide exposure to infant and childhood leukemia and provide a mechanistic basis to support the association, focusing on early initiating molecular events. PMID:27043530

  2. Risk factors for pancreatic cancer: underlying mechanisms and potential targets

    PubMed Central

    Kolodecik, Thomas; Shugrue, Christine; Ashat, Munish; Thrower, Edwin C.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose of the review: Pancreatic cancer is extremely aggressive, forming highly chemo-resistant tumors, and has one of the worst prognoses. The evolution of this cancer is multi-factorial. Repeated acute pancreatic injury and inflammation are important contributing factors in the development of pancreatic cancer. This article attempts to understand the common pathways linking pancreatitis to pancreatic cancer. Recent findings: Intracellular activation of both pancreatic enzymes and the transcription factor NF-κB are important mechanisms that induce acute pancreatitis (AP). Recurrent pancreatic injury due to genetic susceptibility, environmental factors such as smoking, alcohol intake, and conditions such as obesity lead to increases in oxidative stress, impaired autophagy and constitutive activation of inflammatory pathways. These processes can stimulate pancreatic stellate cells, thereby increasing fibrosis and encouraging chronic disease development. Activation of oncogenic Kras mutations through inflammation, coupled with altered levels of tumor suppressor proteins (p53 and p16) can ultimately lead to development of pancreatic cancer. Summary: Although our understanding of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer has tremendously increased over many years, much remains to be elucidated in terms of common pathways linking these conditions. PMID:24474939

  3. Music and Memory in Alzheimer's Disease and The Potential Underlying Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Peck, Katlyn J; Girard, Todd A; Russo, Frank A; Fiocco, Alexandra J

    2016-01-01

    With population aging and a projected exponential expansion of persons diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD), the development of treatment and prevention programs has become a fervent area of research and discovery. A growing body of evidence suggests that music exposure can enhance memory and emotional function in persons with AD. However, there is a paucity of research that aims to identify specific underlying neural mechanisms associated with music's beneficial effects in this particular population. As such, this paper reviews existing anecdotal and empirical evidence related to the enhancing effects of music exposure on cognitive function and further provides a discussion on the potential underlying mechanisms that may explain music's beneficial effect. Specifically, this paper will outline the potential role of the dopaminergic system, the autonomic nervous system, and the default network in explaining how music may enhance memory function in persons with AD. PMID:26967216

  4. Simultaneous Measurement of [Ca2+]i and Membrane Potential under Mechanical or Biochemical Stimulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sano, Minoru; Imura, Katsuaki; Ushida, Takashi; Tateishi, Tetsuya

    In human umbilical endothelial cells (HUVEC), mechanical stress is known to induce transients of [Ca2+]i that lead to the regulation of vascular functions in vivo. The transmembraneous influx of Ca2+ is thought to be mediated by voltage-dependent ion channels or stretch-activated ion channels. In order to elucidate the correlation of [Ca2+]i and membrane potential under mechanical stress, the influences of mechanical or biochemical stimulation on endothelial cells stained with both fura-2 and DiBAC4(3) were studied in vitro, by constructing an imaging system that could capture four kinds of fluorescence images simultaneously at real-time. In the application of thrombin, [Ca2+]i transients were accompanied with preceding depolarization, while mechanical stress that were loaded on a single cell with a micropipette did not evoke dramatic changes of membrane potential. These results indicate that the signaling pathway initiated by mechanical stress could be independent of electrochemical activation, and different from that by biochemical stimulation in HUVEC.

  5. Potential mechanisms underlying ectodermal differentiation of Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cells.

    PubMed

    Jadalannagari, Sushma; Berry, Abigale M; Hopkins, Richard A; Bhavsar, Dhaval; Aljitawi, Omar S

    2016-09-16

    Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cells (WJMSCs) are being increasingly recognized for their ectodermal differentiation potential. Previously, we demonstrated that when WJMSC were seeded onto an acellular matrix material derived from Wharton's jelly and cultured in osteogenic induction media, generated CK19 positive cells and hair-like structures indicative of ectodermal differentiation of WJMSCs. In this manuscript, we examine the underlying mechanism behind this observation using a variety of microscopy and molecular biology techniques such as western blotting and qPCR. We demonstrate that these hair-like structures are associated with live cells that are positive for epithelial and mesenchymal markers such as cytokeratin-19 and α-smooth muscle actin, respectively. We also show that up-regulation of β-catenin and noggin, along with the expression of TGF-β and SMAD and inhibition of BMP4 could be the mechanism behind this ectodermal differentiation and hair-like structure formation. PMID:27501759

  6. Potential of wind power projects under the Clean Development Mechanism in India

    PubMed Central

    Purohit, Pallav; Michaelowa, Axel

    2007-01-01

    Background So far, the cumulative installed capacity of wind power projects in India is far below their gross potential (≤ 15%) despite very high level of policy support, tax benefits, long term financing schemes etc., for more than 10 years etc. One of the major barriers is the high costs of investments in these systems. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol provides industrialized countries with an incentive to invest in emission reduction projects in developing countries to achieve a reduction in CO2 emissions at lowest cost that also promotes sustainable development in the host country. Wind power projects could be of interest under the CDM because they directly displace greenhouse gas emissions while contributing to sustainable rural development, if developed correctly. Results Our estimates indicate that there is a vast theoretical potential of CO2 mitigation by the use of wind energy in India. The annual potential Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) of wind power projects in India could theoretically reach 86 million. Under more realistic assumptions about diffusion of wind power projects based on past experiences with the government-run programmes, annual CER volumes by 2012 could reach 41 to 67 million and 78 to 83 million by 2020. Conclusion The projections based on the past diffusion trend indicate that in India, even with highly favorable assumptions, the dissemination of wind power projects is not likely to reach its maximum estimated potential in another 15 years. CDM could help to achieve the maximum utilization potential more rapidly as compared to the current diffusion trend if supportive policies are introduced. PMID:17663772

  7. An insight into the gastrointestinal component of fibromyalgia: clinical manifestations and potential underlying mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Slim, Mahmoud; Calandre, Elena Pita; Rico-Villademoros, Fernando

    2015-03-01

    Fibromyalgia syndrome is characterized by chronic generalized pain accompanied by a broad symptomatologic spectrum. Besides chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances, headaches and cognitive dysfunction that are extensively described in the literature, a considerable proportion of patients with fibromyalgia experience gastrointestinal symptoms that are commonly overlooked in the studies that are not specifically dedicated to evaluate these manifestations. Nevertheless, various attempts were undertaken to explore the gastrointestinal dimension of fibromyalgia. Several studies have demonstrated an elevated comorbidity of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) among patients with fibromyalgia. Other studies have investigated the frequency of presentation of gastrointestinal symptoms in fibromyalgia in a nonspecific approach describing several gastrointestinal complaints frequently reported by these patients such as abdominal pain, dyspepsia and bowel changes, among others. Several underlying mechanisms that require further investigation could serve as potential explanatory hypotheses for the appearance of such manifestations. These include sensitivity to dietary constituents such as gluten, lactose or FODMAPs or alterations in the brain-gut axis as a result of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or subclinical enteric infections such as giardiasis. The gastrointestinal component of fibromyalgia constitutes a relevant element of the multidisciplinary pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying fibromyalgia that need to be unveiled, as this would contribute to the adequate designation of relevant treatment alternatives corresponding to these manifestations. PMID:25119830

  8. Potential underlying mechanisms for greater weight gain in massaged preterm infants.

    PubMed

    Field, Tiffany; Diego, Miguel; Hernandez-Reif, Maria

    2011-06-01

    In this paper, potential underlying mechanisms for massage therapy effects on preterm infant weight gain are reviewed. Path analyses are presented suggesting that: (1) increased vagal activity was associated with (2) increased gastric motility, which, in turn, was related to (3) greater weight gain; and (4) increased IGF-1 was related to greater weight gain. The change in vagal activity during the massage explained 49% of the variance in the change in gastric activity. And, the change in vagal activity during the massage explained 62% of the variance in the change in insulin. That the change in gastric activity was not related to the change in insulin suggests two parallel pathways via which massage therapy leads to increased weight gain: (1) insulin release via the celiac branch of the vagus; and (2) increased gastric activity via the gastric branch of the vagus. PMID:21570125

  9. PRGD/PDLLA conduit potentiates rat sciatic nerve regeneration and the underlying molecular mechanism.

    PubMed

    Li, Binbin; Qiu, Tong; Iyer, K Swaminathan; Yan, Qiongjiao; Yin, Yixia; Xie, Lijuan; Wang, Xinyu; Li, Shipu

    2015-07-01

    Peripheral nerve injury requires optimal conditions in both macro-environment and micro-environment for reestablishment. Though various strategies have been carried out to improve the macro-environment, the underlying molecular mechanism of axon regeneration in the micro-environment provided by nerve conduit remains unclear. In this study, the rat sciatic nerve of 10 mm defect was made and bridged by PRGD/PDLLA nerve conduit. We investigated the process of nerve regeneration using histological, functional and real time PCR analyses after implantation from 7 to 35 days. Our data demonstrated that the ciliary neurotrophic factor highly expressed and up-regulated the downstream signaling pathways, in the case of activated signals, the expressions of axon sprout relative proteins, such as tubulin and growth-associated protein-43, were strongly augmented. Taken together, these data suggest a possible mechanism of axon regeneration promoted by PRGD/PDLLA conduit, which created a micro-environment for enhancement of diffusion of neurotrophic factors secreted by the injured nerve stumps, and activation of molecular signal transduction involved in growth cone, to potentiate the nerve recovery. PMID:25934451

  10. Nanoscale copper in the soil–plant system – toxicity and underlying potential mechanisms

    SciTech Connect

    Anjum, Naser A.; Adam, Vojtech; Iqbal, Muhammad; Lukatkin, Alexander S.; Ahmad, Iqbal

    2015-04-15

    Nanoscale copper particles (nano-Cu) are used in many antimicrobial formulations and products for their antimicrobial activity. They may enter deliberately and/or accidentally into terrestrial environments including soils. Being the major ‘eco-receptors’ of nanoscale particles in the terrestrial ecosystem, soil–microbiota and plants (the soil–plant system) have been used as a model to dissect the potential impact of these particles on the environmental and human health. In the soil–plant system, the plant can be an indirect non-target organism of the soil-associated nano-Cu that may in turn affect plant-based products and their consumers. By all accounts, information pertaining to nano-Cu toxicity and the underlying potential mechanisms in the soil–plant system remains scanty, deficient and little discussed. Therefore, based on some recent reports from (bio)chemical, molecular and genetic studies of nano-Cu versus soil–plant system, this article: (i) overviews the status, chemistry and toxicity of nano-Cu in soil and plants, (ii) discusses critically the poorly understood potential mechanisms of nano-Cu toxicity and tolerance both in soil–microbiota and plants, and (iii) proposes future research directions. It appears from studies hitherto made that the uncontrolled generation and inefficient metabolism of reactive oxygen species through different reactions are the major factors underpinning the overall nano-Cu consequences in both the systems. However, it is not clear whether the nano-Cu or the ion released from it is the cause of the toxicity. We advocate to intensify the multi-approach studies focused at a complete characterization of the nano-Cu, its toxicity (during life cycles of the least-explored soil–microbiota and plants), and behavior in an environmentally relevant terrestrial exposure setting. Such studies may help to obtain a deeper insight into nano-Cu actions and address adequately the nano-Cu-associated safety concerns in the

  11. Shared cognitive and behavioral impairments in epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease and potential underlying mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Chin, Jeannie; Scharfman, Helen E.

    2014-01-01

    Seizures in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have been examined by many investigators over the last several decades, and there are diverse opinions about their potential relevance to AD pathophysiology. Some studies suggest that seizures appear to be a fairly uncommon co-morbidity, whereas other studies report a higher incidence of seizures in patients with AD. It was previously thought that seizures play a minor role in AD pathophysiology because of their low frequency, and also because they may only be noticed during late stages of AD, suggesting that seizures are likely to be a consequence of neurodegeneration rather than a contributing factor. However, clinical reports indicate that seizures can occur early in the emergence of AD symptoms, particularly in familial AD. In this case, seizures may be an integral part of the emerging pathophysiology. This view has been supported by evidence of recurrent spontaneous seizures in transgenic mouse models of AD in which familial AD is simulated. Additional data from transgenic animals suggest that there may be a much closer relationship between seizures and AD than previously considered. There is also evidence that seizures facilitate production of amyloid β (Aβ) and can cause impairments in cognition and behavior in both animals and humans. However, whether seizures play a role in the early stages of AD pathogenesis is still debated. Therefore, it is timely to review the similarities and differences between AD and epilepsy, as well as data suggesting that seizures may contribute to cognitive and behavioral dysfunction in AD. Here we focus on AD and temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), a particular type of epilepsy that involves the temporal lobe, a region that influences behavior and is critical to memory. We also consider potential neuro-biological mechanisms that support the view that the causes of seizures in TLE may be related to the causes of cognitive dysfunction in AD. We suggest that similar underlying

  12. Potential neural mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of early intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder

    PubMed Central

    Sullivan, Katherine; Stone, Wendy L.; Dawson, Geraldine

    2014-01-01

    Although evidence supports the efficacy of early intervention for improving outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the mechanisms underlying their effectiveness remain poorly understood. This paper reviews the research literature on the neural bases of the early core deficits in ASD and proposes three key features of early intervention related to the neural mechanisms that may contribute to its effectiveness in improving deficit areas. These features include (1) the early onset of intensive intervention which capitalizes on the experience-expectant plasticity of the immature brain, (2) the use of treatment strategies that address core deficits in social motivation through an emphasis on positive social engagement and arousal modulation, and (3) promotion of complex neural networks and connectivity through thematic, multi-sensory and multi-domain teaching approaches. Understanding the mechanisms of effective early intervention will enable us to identify common or foundational active ingredients for promoting optimal outcomes in children with ASD. PMID:25108609

  13. Spinal mechanisms underlying potentiation of hindpaw responses observed after transient hindpaw ischemia in mice

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Tatsunori; Sasaki, Mika; Komagata, Seiji; Tsukano, Hiroaki; Hishida, Ryuichi; Kohno, Tatsuro; Baba, Hiroshi; Shibuki, Katsuei

    2015-01-01

    Transient ischemia produces postischemic tingling sensation. Ischemia also produces nerve conduction block that may modulate spinal neural circuits. In the present study, reduced mechanical thresholds for hindpaw-withdrawal reflex were found in mice after transient hindpaw ischemia, which was produced by a high pressure applied around the hindpaw for 30 min. The reduction in the threshold was blocked by spinal application of LY354740, a specific agonist of group II metabotropic glutamate receptors. Neural activities in the spinal cord and the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) were investigated using activity-dependent changes in endogenous fluorescence derived from mitochondrial flavoproteins. Ischemic treatment induced potentiation of the ipsilateral spinal and contralateral S1 responses to hindpaw stimulation. Both types of potentiation were blocked by spinal application of LY354740. The contralateral S1 responses, abolished by lesioning the ipsilateral dorsal column, reappeared after ischemic treatment, indicating that postischemic tingling sensation reflects a sensory modality shift from tactile sensation to nociception in the spinal cord. Changes in neural responses were investigated during ischemic treatment in the contralateral spinal cord and the ipsilateral S1. Potentiation already appeared during ischemic treatment for 30 min. The present findings suggest that the postischemic potentiation shares spinal mechanisms, at least in part, with neuropathic pain. PMID:26165560

  14. Expression mechanisms underlying long-term potentiation: a postsynaptic view, 10 years on

    PubMed Central

    Granger, Adam J.; Nicoll, Roger A.

    2014-01-01

    This review focuses on the research that has occurred over the past decade which has solidified a postsynaptic expression mechanism for long-term potentiation (LTP). However, experiments that have suggested a presynaptic component are also summarized. It is argued that the pairing of glutamate uncaging onto single spines with postsynaptic depolarization provides the final and most elegant demonstration of a postsynaptic expression mechanism for NMDA receptor-dependent LTP. The fact that the magnitude of this LTP is similar to that evoked by pairing synaptic stimulation and depolarization leaves little room for a substantial presynaptic component. Finally, recent data also require a revision in our thinking about the way AMPA receptors (AMPARs) are recruited to the postsynaptic density during LTP. This recruitment is independent of subunit type, but does require an adequate reserve pool of extrasynaptic receptors. PMID:24298139

  15. Repeated ischaemic preconditioning: a novel therapeutic intervention and potential underlying mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Thijssen, Dick H J; Maxwell, Joseph; Green, Daniel J; Cable, N Timothy; Jones, Helen

    2016-06-01

    What is the topic of this review? This review discusses the effects of repeated exposure of tissue to ischaemic preconditioning on cardiovascular function, the attendant adaptations and their potential clinical relevance. What advances does it highlight? We discuss the effects of episodic exposure to ischaemic preconditioning to prevent and/or attenuate ischaemic injury and summarize evidence pertaining to improvements in cardiovascular function and structure. Discussion is provided regarding the potential mechanisms that contribute to both local and systemic adaptation. Findings suggest that clinical benefits result from both the prevention of ischaemic events and the attenuation of their consequences. Ischaemic preconditioning (IPC) refers to the phenomenon whereby short periods of cyclical tissue ischaemia confer subsequent protection against ischaemia-induced injury. As a consequence, IPC can ameliorate the myocardial damage following infarction and can reduce infarct size. The ability of IPC to confer remote protection makes IPC a potentially feasible cardioprotective strategy. In this review, we discuss the concept that repeated exposure of tissue to IPC may increase the 'dose' of protection and subsequently lead to enhanced protection against ischaemia-induced myocardial injury. This may be relevant for clinical populations, who demonstrate attenuated efficacy of IPC to prevent or attenuate ischaemic injury (and therefore myocardial infarct size). Furthermore, episodic IPC facilitates repeated exposure to local (e.g. shear stress) and systemic stimuli (e.g. hormones, cytokines, blood-borne substances), which may induce improvement in vascular function and health. Such adaptation may contribute to prevention of cardio- and cerebrovascular events. The clinical benefits of repeated IPC may, therefore, result from both the prevention of ischaemic events and the attenuation of their consequences. We provide an overview of the literature pertaining to the impact

  16. Potential mechanisms underlying the Runx2 induced osteogenesis of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Jiahai; Li, Zhanghua; Hou, Yudong; Fang, Weijun

    2015-01-01

    Bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) belong a type of pluripotent stem cells and can be induced to differentiate into osteoblasts (OB). Runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2) is an osteogenesis specific transcription factor and plays an important role in osteogenesis of BM-MSCs. It can promote the expression of osteogenesis related genes, regulate cell cycle progression, improve bone microenvironment and affect functions of chondrocytes and osteoclasts, which have involvement of a large amount of signal molecules including TGF-β, BMP, Notch, Wnt, Hedgehog, FGF and microRNA. In this paper, we summarize the mechanisms underlying the Runx2 induced osteogenesis of BM-MSCs. PMID:26885254

  17. Silver nanoparticles: their potential toxic effects after oral exposure and underlying mechanisms--a review.

    PubMed

    Gaillet, Sylvie; Rouanet, Jean-Max

    2015-03-01

    Because of their antimicrobial properties, the use of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) is increasing fast in industry, food, and medicine. In the food industry, nanoparticles are used in packaging to enable better conservation products such as sensors to track their lifetime, and as food additives, such as anti-caking agents and clarifying agents for fruit juices. Nanoemulsions, used to encapsulate, protect and deliver additives are also actively developed. Nanomaterials in foods will be ingested and passed through the digestive tract. Those incorporated in food packaging may also be released unintentionally into food, ending up in the gastrointestinal tract. It is therefore important to make a risk assessment of nanomaterials to the consumer. Thus, exposure to AgNPs is increasing in quantity and it is imperative to know their adverse effects in man. However, controversies still remain with respect to their toxic effects and their mechanisms. Understanding the toxic effects and the interactions of AgNPs with biological systems is necessary to handle these nanoparticles and their use. They usually generate reactive oxygen species resulting in increased pro-inflammatory reactions and oxidative stress via intracellular signalling pathways. Here, we mainly focus on the routes of exposure of AgNPs, toxic effects and the mechanisms underlying the induced toxicity. PMID:25556118

  18. Molecular mechanisms underlying the potential antiobesity-related diseases effect of cocoa polyphenols.

    PubMed

    Ali, Faisal; Ismail, Amin; Kersten, Sander

    2014-01-01

    Obesity and related metabolic diseases (e.g., type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and hypertension) are the most prevailing nutrition-related issues in the world. An emerging feature of obesity is their relationship with chronic inflammation that begins in white adipose tissue and eventually becomes systemic. One potential dietary strategy to reduce glucose intolerance and inflammation is consumption of polyphenol-rich cocoa-like cocoa or their by-products. In vitro as well as in vivo data indicate that cocoa polyphenols (CPs) may exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Polyphenols commonly found in cocoa have been reported to regulate lipid metabolism via inducing metabolic gene expression or activating transcription factors that regulate the expression of numerous genes, many of which play an important role in energy metabolism. Currently, several molecular targets (e.g., nuclear factor Kappa B, activated protein-1, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, liver X receptors, and adiponectin gene) have been identified, which may explain potential beneficial obesity-associated diseases effects of CPs. Further studies have been performed regarding the protective effects of CPs against metabolic diseases by suppressing transcription factors that antagonize lipid accumulation. Thus, polyphenols-rich cocoa products may diminish obesity-mediated metabolic diseases by multiple mechanisms, thereby attenuating chronic inflammation. PMID:24259381

  19. Potential molecular mechanisms underlying muscle fatigue mediated by reactive oxygen and nitrogen species

    PubMed Central

    Debold, Edward P.

    2015-01-01

    Intense contractile activity causes a dramatic decline in the force and velocity generating capacity of skeletal muscle within a few minutes, a phenomenon that characterizes fatigue. Much of the research effort has focused on how elevated levels of the metabolites of ATP hydrolysis might inhibit the function of the contractile proteins. However, there is now growing evidence that elevated levels of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS), which also accumulate in the myoplasm during fatigue, also play a causative role in this type of fatigue. The most compelling evidence comes from observations demonstrating that pre-treatment of intact muscle with a ROS scavenger can significantly attenuate the development of fatigue. A clear advantage of this line of inquiry is that the molecular targets and protein modifications of some of the ROS scavengers are well-characterized enabling researchers to begin to identify potential regions and even specific amino acid residues modified during fatigue. Combining this knowledge with assessments of contractile properties from the whole muscle level down to the dynamic motions within specific contractile proteins enable the linking of the structural modifications to the functional impacts, using advanced chemical and biophysical techniques. Based on this approach at least two areas are beginning emerge as potentially important sites, the regulatory protein troponin and the actin binding region of myosin. This review highlights some of these recent efforts which have the potential to offer uniquely precise information on the underlying molecular basis of fatigue. This work may also have implications beyond muscle fatigue as ROS/RNS mediated protein modifications are also thought to play a role in the loss of muscle function with aging and in some acute pathologies like cardiac arrest and ischemia. PMID:26388779

  20. Potential mechanisms underlying the role of chronic inflammation in age-related muscle wasting.

    PubMed

    Jo, Edward; Lee, Sang-Rok; Park, Bong-Sup; Kim, Jeong-Su

    2012-10-01

    Sarcopenia, an age-related condition characterized by progressive skeletal muscle degeneration, might exist as one of the primary clinical conditions underlying severe functional impairment as well as increased risk of co-morbidities in the elderly. Although the etiology of sarcopenia remains multifaceted, age-related chronic inflammation has been strongly implicated in muscle wasting and related sequelae during advanced age. Recent evidence suggests that aberrant, unresolved alterations in regular inflammatory processes during advanced age might ultimately operate as the link that drives skeletal muscle to become more degenerative and dysfunctional in nature. Such negative atrophic muscular outcomes might result from inflammation-induced disruption of central mechanisms regulating skeletal muscle morphology and remodeling. In addition, recent findings demonstrate an adverse confluence between sarcopenia and excessive adiposity (i.e. sarcopenic obesity), as the co-existence of such adverse alterations in body composition may exacerbate systemic inflammation and muscle wasting in the elderly. The following evidence-based review serves to examine sarcopenia from a mechanistic perspective with emphasis on chronic inflammation. PMID:22717404

  1. A potential biochemical mechanism underlying the influence of sterol deprivation stress on Caenorhabditis elegans longevity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To investigate the biochemical mechanism for sterol-mediated alteration in aging in Caenorhabditis elegans, we established sterol depletion conditions by treating worms with azacoprostane, which reduced mean lifespan of adult C. elegans by 35%. Proteomic analyses of egg proteins from treated and un...

  2. Comparison of acuity tests and pattern evoked potential criteria: two mechanisms underly acuity maturation in man.

    PubMed

    Spekreijse, H

    1983-10-01

    A comparative study of acuity tests and pattern evoked potential (EP) criteria was performed on a total of 307 subjects, 214 of them at an age between 2 months post-term and 12 years. All were examined ophthalmologically prior to testing. It was shown that both psychophysical and EP estimated acuity improve in the same way until puberty. From birth to about 6 months a rapid improvement is found. This fast phase can probably be attributed to retinal morphological maturation. During this period a fair estimate of acuity can be obtained by determining the checksize that yields the largest EP; a conclusion of practical importance for screening. The subsequent slow improvement phase, which ends around puberty, is reflected in the development of the waveform of the pattern onset EP. Since it correlates with the growth of a spatial contrast specific component of extrastriate origin in the EP, the slow improvement phase most likely reflects maturation of central processes. PMID:6639719

  3. Control of appetite and energy intake by SCFA: what are the potential underlying mechanisms?

    PubMed

    Chambers, Edward S; Morrison, Douglas J; Frost, Gary

    2015-08-01

    In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in the role of dietary fibre in obesity management. Much of this interest stems from animal and human studies which suggest that an increased intake of fermentable fibre can suppress appetite and improve weight management. A growing number of reports have demonstrated that the principal products of colonic fermentation of dietary fibre, SCFA, contribute to energy homeostasis via effects on multiple cellular metabolic pathways and receptor-mediated mechanisms. In particular, over the past decade it has been identified that a widespread receptor system exists for SCFA. These G-protein-coupled receptors, free fatty acid receptor (FFAR) 2 and FFAR3 are expressed in numerous tissue sites, including the gut epithelium and adipose tissue. Investigations using FFAR2- or FFAR3-deficient animal models suggest that SCFA-mediated stimulation of these receptors enhances the release of the anorectic hormones peptide tyrosine tyrosine and glucagon-like peptide-1 from colonic L cells and leptin from adipocytes. In addition, the SCFA acetate has recently been shown to have a direct role in central appetite regulation. Furthermore, the SCFA propionate is a known precursor for hepatic glucose production, which has been reported to suppress feeding behaviour in ruminant studies through the stimulation of hepatic vagal afferents. The present review therefore proposes that an elevated colonic production of SCFA could stimulate numerous hormonal and neural signals at different organ and tissue sites that would cumulatively suppress short-term appetite and energy intake. PMID:25497601

  4. Harmaline Tremor: Underlying Mechanisms in a Potential Animal Model of Essential Tremor

    PubMed Central

    Handforth, Adrian

    2012-01-01

    Background Harmaline and harmine are tremorigenic β-carbolines that, on administration to experimental animals, induce an acute postural and kinetic tremor of axial and truncal musculature. This drug-induced action tremor has been proposed as a model of essential tremor. Here we review what is known about harmaline tremor. Methods Using the terms harmaline and harmine on PubMed, we searched for papers describing the effects of these β-carbolines on mammalian tissue, animals, or humans. Results Investigations over four decades have shown that harmaline induces rhythmic burst-firing activity in the medial and dorsal accessory inferior olivary nuclei that is transmitted via climbing fibers to Purkinje cells and to the deep cerebellar nuclei, then to brainstem and spinal cord motoneurons. The critical structures required for tremor expression are the inferior olive, climbing fibers, and the deep cerebellar nuclei; Purkinje cells are not required. Enhanced synaptic norepinephrine or blockade of ionic glutamate receptors suppresses tremor, whereas enhanced synaptic serotonin exacerbates tremor. Benzodiazepines and muscimol suppress tremor. Alcohol suppresses harmaline tremor but exacerbates harmaline-associated neural damage. Recent investigations on the mechanism of harmaline tremor have focused on the T-type calcium channel. Discussion Like essential tremor, harmaline tremor involves the cerebellum, and classic medications for essential tremor have been found to suppress harmaline tremor, leading to utilization of the harmaline model for preclinical testing of antitremor drugs. Limitations are that the model is acute, unlike essential tremor, and only approximately half of the drugs reported to suppress harmaline tremor are subsequently found to suppress tremor in clinical trials. PMID:23440018

  5. Defective angiogenesis delays thrombus resolution: a potential pathogenetic mechanism underlying chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension

    PubMed Central

    Panzenboeck, Adelheid; Winter, Max P; Schubert, Uwe; Voswinckel, Robert; Frey, Maria K; Jakowitsch, Johannes; Alimohammadi, Arman; Hobohm, Lukas; Mangold, Andreas; Bergmeister, Helga; Sibilia, Maria; Wagner, Erwin F; Mayer, Eckhard; Klepetko, Walter; Hoelzenbein, Thomas J; Preissner, Klaus T; Lang, Irene M

    2015-01-01

    Objective Restoration of patency is a natural target of vascular remodeling following venous thrombosis that involves vascular endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells as well as leukocytes. Acute pulmonary emboli usually resolve within six months. However, in some instances, thrombi transform into fibrous vascular obstructions, resulting in occlusion of the deep veins, or in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). We proposed that dysregulated thrombus angiogenesis may contribute to thrombus persistence. Approach and Results Mice with an endothelial-cell-specific conditional deletion of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2/kinase insert domain protein receptor (VEGF-R2/Kdr) were utilized in a model of stagnant flow venous thrombosis closely resembling human deep vein thrombosis. Biochemical and functional analyses were performed on pulmonary endarterectomy specimens from patients with CTEPH, a human model of non-resolving venous thromboembolism. Endothelial cell-specific deletion of Kdr and subsequent ablation of thrombus vascularization delayed thrombus resolution. In accordance with these findings, organized human CTEPH thrombi were largely devoid of vascular structures. Several vessel-specific genes such as KDR, vascular endothelial cadherin and podoplanin were expressed at lower levels in white CTEPH thrombi than in organizing deep vein thrombi and organizing thrombi from aortic aneurysms. In addition, red CTEPH thrombi attenuated the angiogenic response induced by VEGF. Conclusions In the present work, we propose a mechanism of thrombus non-resolution demonstrating that endothelial cell-specific deletion of Kdr abates thrombus vessel formation, misguiding thrombus resolution. Medical conditions associated with the development of CTEPH may be compromising early thrombus angiogenesis. PMID:24526692

  6. Exploring Potential Mechanisms Underlying the Lack of Uncertainty Monitoring in Capuchin Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Perdue, Bonnie M.; Church, Barbara A; Smith, J. David; Beran, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    In a widely used animal-metacognition paradigm, monkeys are positively reinforced with food for correct classifications of stimuli as sparse or dense and punished with timeouts for incorrect responses, but they also have access to an “uncertainty” response that moves them to the next trial without either of these forms of feedback. Rhesus monkeys use this uncertainty response most often for trials on which they are at greatest risk for making an error, suggesting that they are monitoring their ability to make these classifications. Capuchin monkeys do not succeed to the same degree on these tasks—conceivably as a result of differential contingencies in place in all existing studies between the sparse/dense responses (food delivery or timeout) and the uncertainty response (avoidance of a timeout but also no chance for food reward). Here, we used a novel variation of this task in which the outcomes of the three response classes (sparse, dense, uncertain) were functionally equivalent. All responses simply determined the delay interval before presentation of a second task (matching-to-sample), and that task yielded potential food rewards. Overall, capuchin monkeys used the dense and sparse responses appropriately, including some animals that had no prior experience in performing this classification task. However, none used the uncertainty response appropriately even when it was placed on the same contingency plane as the dense and sparse responses. This suggests that the failure of capuchin monkeys to use an uncertainty response is not the result of that response producing a qualitatively different outcome compared to the dense and sparse responses. PMID:26985137

  7. Despair-associated memory requires a slow-onset CA1 long-term potentiation with unique underlying mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Jing, Liang; Duan, Ting-Ting; Tian, Meng; Yuan, Qiang; Tan, Ji-Wei; Zhu, Yong-Yong; Ding, Ze-Yang; Cao, Jun; Yang, Yue-Xiong; Zhang, Xia; Mao, Rong-Rong; Richter-levin, Gal; Zhou, Qi-Xin; Xu, Lin

    2015-01-01

    The emotion of despair that occurs with uncontrollable stressful event is probably retained by memory, termed despair-associated memory, although little is known about the underlying mechanisms. Here, we report that forced swimming (FS) with no hope to escape, but not hopefully escapable swimming (ES), enhances hippocampal α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR)-dependent GluA1 Ser831 phosphorylation (S831-P), induces a slow-onset CA1 long-term potentiation (LTP) in freely moving rats and leads to increased test immobility 24-h later. Before FS application of the antagonists to block S831-P or N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR) or glucocorticoid receptor (GR) disrupts LTP and reduces test immobility, to levels similar to those of the ES group. Because these mechanisms are specifically linked with the hopeless of escape from FS, we suggest that despair-associated memory occurs with an endogenous CA1 LTP that is intriguingly mediated by a unique combination of rapid S831-P with NMDAR and GR activation to shape subsequent behavioral despair. PMID:26449319

  8. Despair-associated memory requires a slow-onset CA1 long-term potentiation with unique underlying mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Jing, Liang; Duan, Ting-Ting; Tian, Meng; Yuan, Qiang; Tan, Ji-Wei; Zhu, Yong-Yong; Ding, Ze-Yang; Cao, Jun; Yang, Yue-Xiong; Zhang, Xia; Mao, Rong-Rong; Richter-Levin, Gal; Zhou, Qi-Xin; Xu, Lin

    2015-01-01

    The emotion of despair that occurs with uncontrollable stressful event is probably retained by memory, termed despair-associated memory, although little is known about the underlying mechanisms. Here, we report that forced swimming (FS) with no hope to escape, but not hopefully escapable swimming (ES), enhances hippocampal α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR)-dependent GluA1 Ser831 phosphorylation (S831-P), induces a slow-onset CA1 long-term potentiation (LTP) in freely moving rats and leads to increased test immobility 24-h later. Before FS application of the antagonists to block S831-P or N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR) or glucocorticoid receptor (GR) disrupts LTP and reduces test immobility, to levels similar to those of the ES group. Because these mechanisms are specifically linked with the hopeless of escape from FS, we suggest that despair-associated memory occurs with an endogenous CA1 LTP that is intriguingly mediated by a unique combination of rapid S831-P with NMDAR and GR activation to shape subsequent behavioral despair. PMID:26449319

  9. Meditation as a Therapeutic Intervention for Adults at Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease – Potential Benefits and Underlying Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Innes, Kim E.; Selfe, Terry Kit

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a chronic, progressive, brain disorder that affects at least 5.3 million Americans at an estimated cost of $148 billion, figures that are expected to rise steeply in coming years. Despite decades of research, there is still no cure for AD, and effective therapies for preventing or slowing progression of cognitive decline in at-risk populations remain elusive. Although the etiology of AD remains uncertain, chronic stress, sleep deficits, and mood disturbance, conditions common in those with cognitive impairment, have been prospectively linked to the development and progression of both chronic illness and memory loss and are significant predictors of AD. Therapies such as meditation that specifically target these risk factors may thus hold promise for slowing and possibly preventing cognitive decline in those at risk. In this study, we briefly review the existing evidence regarding the potential utility of meditation as a therapeutic intervention for those with and at risk for AD, discuss possible mechanisms underlying the observed benefits of meditation, and outline directions for future research. PMID:24795656

  10. Net mineralization of N at deeper soil depths as a potential mechanism for sustained forest production under elevated [CO2

    SciTech Connect

    Iversen, Colleen M; Hooker, Toby; Classen, Aimee T; Norby, Richard J

    2011-01-01

    Elevated atmospheric [CO2] is projected to increase forest production, which could increase ecosystem carbon (C) storage. However, sustained forest production will depend on the nutrient balance of the forested ecosystem. Our aim was to examine the causes and consequences of increased fine-root production and mortality throughout the soil profile under elevated CO2 with respect to potential gross nitrogen (N) cycling rates. Our study was conducted in a CO2-enriched sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.) plantation in Oak Ridge, TN, USA. We used isotope pool dilution methodology to measure potential gross N cycling rates in laboratory incubations of soil from four depth increments to 60 cm. Our objectives were two-fold: (1) determine whether N is available for root acquisition in deeper soil, and (2) determine whether increased inputs of labile C from greater fine-root mortality at depth under elevated [CO2] had altered N cycling rates. While gross N fluxes declined with soil depth, we found that N is potentially available for roots to access, especially below 15 cm depth where microbial consumption of mineral N was reduced. Overall, up to 60% of potential gross N mineralization, and 100% of potential net N mineralization, occurred below 15-cm depth at this site. This finding was supported by in situ measurements from ion-exchange resins, where total inorganic N availability at 55 cm depth was equal to or greater than N availability at 15 cm depth. While it is likely that trees grown under elevated [CO2] are accessing a larger pool of inorganic N by mining deeper soil, we found no effect of elevated [CO2] on potential gross or net N cycling rates. Thus, increased root exploration of the soil volume under elevated [CO2] may be more important than changes in potential gross N cycling rates in sustaining forest responses to rising atmospheric CO2.

  11. Alteration of Basaltic Glass to Mg/Fe-Smectite under Acidic Conditions: A Potential Smectite Formation Mechanism on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peretyazhko, Tanya; Sutter, Brad; Ming, Douglas W.

    2014-01-01

    Phyllosilicates of the smectite group including Mg- and Fe-saponite and Fe(III)-rich nontronite have been identified on Mars. Smectites are believed to be formed under neutral to alkaline conditions that prevailed on early Mars. This hypothesis is supported by the observation of smectite and carbonate deposits in Noachian terrain on Mars. However, smectite may have formed under mildly acidic conditions. Abundant smectite formations have been detected as layered deposits hundreds of meters thick in intracrater depositional fans and plains sediments, while no large deposits of carbonates are found. Development of mildly acidic conditions at early Mars might allow formation of smectite but inhibit widespread carbonate precipitation. Little is known regarding the mechanisms of smectite formation from basaltic glass under acidic conditions. The objective of this study was to test a hypothesis that Mars-analogue basaltic glass alters to smectite minerals under acidic conditions (pH 4). The effects of Mg and Fe concentrations and temperature on smectite formation from basaltic glass were evaluated. Phyllosilicate synthesis was performed in batch reactors (Parr acid digestion vessel) under reducing hydrothermal conditions at 200 C and 100 C. Synthetic basaltic glass with a composition similar to that of the Gusev crater rock Adirondack (Ground surface APXS measurement) was used in these experiments. Basaltic glass was prepared by melting and quenching procedures. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis indicated that the synthesized glass was composed of olivine, magnetite and X-ray amorphous phase. Samples were prepared by mixing 250 mg Adirondack with 0.1 M acetic acid (final pH 4). In order to study influence of Mg concentration on smectite formation, experiments were performed with addition of 0, 1 and 10 mM MgCl2. After 1, 7 and 14 day incubations the solution composition was analyzed by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) and the altered glass and formed

  12. Phytochemicals in regulating fatty acid β-oxidation: Potential underlying mechanisms and their involvement in obesity and weight loss.

    PubMed

    Rupasinghe, H P Vasantha; Sekhon-Loodu, Satvir; Mantso, Theodora; Panayiotidis, Mihalis I

    2016-09-01

    Excessive accumulation of fat as the result of more energy intake and less energy expenditure is known as obesity. Lipids are essential components in the human body and are vital for maintaining homeostasis and physiological as well as cellular metabolism. Fatty acid synthesis and catabolism (by fatty acid oxidation) are normal part of basic fuel metabolism in animals. Fatty acids are degraded in the mitochondria by a biochemical process called β-oxidation in which two-carbon fragments are produced in each cycle. The increase in fatty acid β-oxidation is negatively correlated with body mass index. Although healthy life style, avoiding Western diet, dieting and strenuous exercise are the commonly used methods to lose weight, they are not considered a permanent solution in addition to risk attenuation of basal metabolic rate (BMR). Pharmacotherapy offers benefits of weight loss by altering the satiety and lowering absorption of fat from the food; however, its side effects may outweigh the benefits of weight loss. Alternatively, dietary phytochemicals and natural health products offer great potential as an efficient weight loss strategy by modulating lipid metabolism and/or increasing BMR and thermogenesis. Specifically, polyphenols such as citrus flavonoids, green tea epigallocatechin gallate, resveratrol, capsaicin and curcumin, have been reported to increase lipolysis and induce fatty acid β-oxidation through modulation of hormone sensitive lipase, acetyl-coA carboxylase, carnitine acyl transferase and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1. In this review article, we discuss selected phytochemicals in relation to their integrated functionalities and specific mechanisms for weight loss. PMID:27288729

  13. Measurement of conduction band deformation potential constants using gate direct tunneling current in n-type metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors under mechanical stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lim, Ji-Song; Yang, Xiaodong; Nishida, Toshikazu; Thompson, Scott E.

    2006-08-01

    An experimental method to determine both the hydrostatic and shear deformation potential constants is introduced. The technique is based on the change in the gate tunneling currents of Si-metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETs) under externally applied mechanical stress and has been applied to industrial n-type MOSFETs. The conduction band hydrostatic and shear deformation potential constants (Ξd and Ξu) are extracted to be 1.0±0.1 and 9.6±1.0eV, respectively, which is consistent with recent theoretical works.

  14. Comparison of brain mechanisms underlying the processing of Chinese characters and pseudo-characters: an event-related potential study.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ting; Li, Hong; Zhang, Qinglin; Tu, Shen; Yu, Caiyun; Qiu, Jiang

    2010-04-01

    Most Chinese characters are composed of a semantic radical on the left and a phonetic radical on the right. The semantic radical provides the semantic information; the phonetic radical provides information concerning the pronunciation of the whole character. The pseudo-characters in the study consisted of different sub-lexical parts of real Chinese characters and consequently they also had the semantic radical and the phonetic radical. But they were not readable and had no actual meaning. In order to investigate the spatiotemporal cortical activation patterns underlying the orthographic, phonological and semantic processing of Chinese characters, we used event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to explore the processing of Chinese characters and pseudo-characters when 14 healthy Chinese college students viewed the characters passively. Results showed that both Chinese characters and pseudo-characters elicited an evident negative potential peaking around 120 ms (N120), which appeared to reflect initial orthographic distinction and evaluation. Then, Chinese pseudo-characters elicited a more positive ERP deflection (P220) than did Chinese characters 200-250 ms after onset of the stimuli. It was similar to the recognition potential (RP) and might reflect the integration processes of phonological and semantic processing on the basis of early orthographic information. Dipole source analysis of the difference wave (pseudo-characters minus characters) indicated that a generator localized in the left temporal-occipital junction contributed to this effect, which was possibly related to phonological and perceptual-semantic information integration. Between 350-450 ms, a greater negativity (N360) in pseudo-characters as compared to characters was found over midline fronto-central scalp regions. Dipole analysis localized the generator of N360 in the right parahippocampal cortex. Therefore, the N360 might be an N400 component and reflect the higher-level semantic activation on the

  15. A brief update on potential molecular mechanisms underlying antimicrobial and wound-healing potency of snake venom molecules.

    PubMed

    Samy, Ramar Perumal; Sethi, Gautam; Lim, Lina H K

    2016-09-01

    Infectious diseases remain a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. A wide range of diverse, novel classes of natural antibiotics have been isolated from different snake species in the recent past. Snake venoms contain diverse groups of proteins with potent antibacterial activity against a wide range of human pathogens. Some snake venom molecules are pharmacologically attractive, as they possess promising broad-spectrum antibacterial activities. Furthermore, snake venom proteins (SVPs)/peptides also bind to integrins with high affinity, thereby inhibiting cell adhesion and accelerating wound healing in animal models. Thus, SVPs are a potential alternative to chemical antibiotics. The mode of action for many antibacterial peptides involves pore formation and disruption of the plasma membrane. This activity often includes modulation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activation during skin wound healing. The NF-κB pathway negatively regulates the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1/Smad pathway by inducing the expression of Smad7 and eventually reducing in vivo collagen production at the wound sites. In this context, SVPs that regulate the NF-κB signaling pathway may serve as potential targets for drug development. PMID:26975619

  16. Examination of the cytotoxic and embryotoxic potential and underlying mechanisms of next-generation synthetic trioxolane and tetraoxane antimalarials.

    PubMed

    Copple, Ian M; Mercer, Amy E; Firman, James; Donegan, Gail; Herpers, Bram; Wong, Michael Hl; Chadwick, James; Bringela, Andreia D; Cristiano, Maria L S; van de Water, Bob; Ward, Stephen A; O'Neill, Paul M; Park, B Kevin

    2012-01-01

    Semisynthetic artemisinin-based therapies are the first-line treatment for P. falciparum malaria, but next-generation synthetic drug candidates are urgently required to improve availability and respond to the emergence of artemisinin-resistant parasites. Artemisinins are embryotoxic in animal models and induce apoptosis in sensitive mammalian cells. Understanding the cytotoxic propensities of antimalarial drug candidates is crucial to their successful development and utilization. Here, we demonstrate that, similarly to the model artemisinin artesunate (ARS), a synthetic tetraoxane drug candidate (RKA182) and a trioxolane equivalent (FBEG100) induce embryotoxicity and depletion of primitive erythroblasts in a rodent model. We also show that RKA182, FBEG100 and ARS are cytotoxic toward a panel of established and primary human cell lines, with caspase-dependent apoptosis and caspase-independent necrosis underlying the induction of cell death. Although the toxic effects of RKA182 and FBEG100 proceed more rapidly and are relatively less cell-selective than that of ARS, all three compounds are shown to be dependent upon heme, iron and oxidative stress for their ability to induce cell death. However, in contrast to previously studied artemisinins, the toxicity of RKA182 and FBEG100 is shown to be independent of general chemical decomposition. Although tetraoxanes and trioxolanes have shown promise as next-generation antimalarials, the data described here indicate that adverse effects associated with artemisinins, including embryotoxicity, cannot be ruled out with these novel compounds, and a full understanding of their toxicological actions will be central to the continuing design and development of safe and effective drug candidates which could prove important in the fight against malaria. PMID:22669474

  17. Snapping mechanical metamaterials under tension.

    PubMed

    Rafsanjani, Ahmad; Akbarzadeh, Abdolhamid; Pasini, Damiano

    2015-10-21

    A snapping mechanical metamaterial is designed, which exhibits a sequential snap-through behavior under tension. The tensile response of this mechanical metamaterial can be altered by tuning the architecture of the snapping segments to achieve a range of nonlinear mechanical responses, including monotonic, S-shaped, plateau, and non-monotonic snap-through behavior. PMID:26314680

  18. Quantum mechanics without potential function

    SciTech Connect

    Alhaidari, A. D.; Ismail, M. E. H.

    2015-07-15

    In the standard formulation of quantum mechanics, one starts by proposing a potential function that models the physical system. The potential is then inserted into the Schrödinger equation, which is solved for the wavefunction, bound states energy spectrum, and/or scattering phase shift. In this work, however, we propose an alternative formulation in which the potential function does not appear. The aim is to obtain a set of analytically realizable systems, which is larger than in the standard formulation and may or may not be associated with any given or previously known potential functions. We start with the wavefunction, which is written as a bounded infinite sum of elements of a complete basis with polynomial coefficients that are orthogonal on an appropriate domain in the energy space. Using the asymptotic properties of these polynomials, we obtain the scattering phase shift, bound states, and resonances. This formulation enables one to handle not only the well-known quantum systems but also previously untreated ones. Illustrative examples are given for two- and three-parameter systems.

  19. Neural Dynamics Underlying Event-Related Potentials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Ankoor S.; Bressler, Steven L.; Knuth, Kevin H.; Ding, Ming-Zhou; Mehta, Ashesh D.; Ulbert, Istvan; Schroeder, Charles E.

    2003-01-01

    There are two opposing hypotheses about the brain mechanisms underlying sensory event-related potentials (ERPs). One holds that sensory ERPs are generated by phase resetting of ongoing electroencephalographic (EEG) activity, and the other that they result from signal averaging of stimulus-evoked neural responses. We tested several contrasting predictions of these hypotheses by direct intracortical analysis of neural activity in monkeys. Our findings clearly demonstrate evoked response contributions to the sensory ERP in the monkey, and they suggest the likelihood that a mixed (Evoked/Phase Resetting) model may account for the generation of scalp ERPs in humans.

  20. Neural Mechanisms Underlying Breathing Complexity

    PubMed Central

    Hess, Agathe; Yu, Lianchun; Klein, Isabelle; De Mazancourt, Marine; Jebrak, Gilles; Mal, Hervé; Brugière, Olivier; Fournier, Michel; Courbage, Maurice; Dauriat, Gaelle; Schouman-Clayes, Elisabeth; Clerici, Christine; Mangin, Laurence

    2013-01-01

    Breathing is maintained and controlled by a network of automatic neurons in the brainstem that generate respiratory rhythm and receive regulatory inputs. Breathing complexity therefore arises from respiratory central pattern generators modulated by peripheral and supra-spinal inputs. Very little is known on the brainstem neural substrates underlying breathing complexity in humans. We used both experimental and theoretical approaches to decipher these mechanisms in healthy humans and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is the most frequent chronic lung disease in the general population mainly due to tobacco smoke. In patients, airflow obstruction associated with hyperinflation and respiratory muscles weakness are key factors contributing to load-capacity imbalance and hence increased respiratory drive. Unexpectedly, we found that the patients breathed with a higher level of complexity during inspiration and expiration than controls. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we scanned the brain of the participants to analyze the activity of two small regions involved in respiratory rhythmogenesis, the rostral ventro-lateral (VL) medulla (pre-Bötzinger complex) and the caudal VL pons (parafacial group). fMRI revealed in controls higher activity of the VL medulla suggesting active inspiration, while in patients higher activity of the VL pons suggesting active expiration. COPD patients reactivate the parafacial to sustain ventilation. These findings may be involved in the onset of respiratory failure when the neural network becomes overwhelmed by respiratory overload We show that central neural activity correlates with airflow complexity in healthy subjects and COPD patients, at rest and during inspiratory loading. We finally used a theoretical approach of respiratory rhythmogenesis that reproduces the kernel activity of neurons involved in the automatic breathing. The model reveals how a chaotic activity in neurons can

  1. In search of underlying mechanisms and potential drugs of melphalan-induced vascular toxicity through retinal endothelial cells using bioinformatics approach.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yang; Xing, Yiqiao; Liang, Chaoqun; Hu, Liya; Xu, Fei; Mei, Qi

    2016-05-01

    We aimed to explore molecular mechanism and drug candidates of vascular toxicities associated with melphalan after treating human retinal endothelial cells (RECs). GSE34381 microarray data was firstly downloaded and used to identify the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in human REC treated with melphalan vs. untreated cells by limma package in R language. The transcription network was constructed based on TRANSFAC database and the top five transcription factors (TFs) were select with a measure of regulatory impact factor, followed by the construction of function modules. Gene ontology enrichment analyses were performed to explore the enriched functions. Connectivity Map analysis was conducted to predict the potential drugs overcoming the melphalan's actions on REC. Totally, 75 DEGs were identified, including 70 up-regulated and five down-regulated genes. Transcription network with 1311 nodes and 1875 edges was constructed and the top five TFs were CREM, MYC, FLI1, NF-κB1, and JUN. Functional modules indicated that NF-κB1 and MYC were the important nodes. The upregulated genes as well as the genes involved in the modules mainly participated in biological process of immune response, cell proliferation, and cell motion. Five small molecules were predicted to be potential drug candidates, including doxorubicin, fipexide, daunorubicin, tiabendazole, and GW-8510. Based on these results, we speculate that NF-κB1 and MYC might involve in the molecular mechanism of vascular toxicity induced by melphalan through regulating their target genes. Five small molecules might be drug candidates to overcome the melphalan-induced vascular toxicity via targeting to MYC and JUN. PMID:26662105

  2. Scleral Mechanisms Underlying Ocular Growth and Myopia

    PubMed Central

    Metlapally, Ravi; Wildsoet, Christine F.

    2015-01-01

    In the regulation of ocular growth, scleral events critically determine eye size and thus the refractive status of the eye. Increased scleral matrix remodeling can lead to exaggerated eye growth causing myopia and additionally increased risk of ocular pathological complications. Thus, therapies targeting these changes in sclera hold potential to limit such complications since sclera represents a relatively safe and accessible drug target. Understanding the scleral molecular mechanisms underlying ocular growth is essential to identifying plausible therapeutic targets in the sclera. This section provides a brief update on molecular studies that pertain to the sclera in the context of ocular growth regulation and myopia. PMID:26310158

  3. Stochasticity intrinsic to coupled-clock mechanisms underlies beat-to-beat variability of spontaneous action potential firing in sinoatrial node pacemaker cells

    PubMed Central

    Yaniv, Yael; Lyashkov, Alexey E.; Sirenko, Syevda; Okamoto, Yosuke; Guiriba, Toni-Rose; Ziman, Bruce D.; Morrell, Christopher H.; Lakatta, Edward G.

    2014-01-01

    Recent evidence indicates that the spontaneous action potential (AP) of isolated sinoatrial node cells (SANC) is regulated by a system of stochastic mechanisms embodied within two clocks: ryanodine receptors of the “Ca2+ clock” within the sarcoplasmic reticulum, spontaneously activate during diastole and discharge local Ca2+ releases (LCRs) beneath the cell surface membrane; clock crosstalk occurs as LCRs activate an inward Na+/Ca2+ exchanger current (INCX), which together with If and decay of K+ channels prompts the “M clock,” the ensemble of sarcolemmal-electrogenic molecules, to generate APs. Prolongation of the average LCR period accompanies prolongation of the average AP beating interval (BI). Moreover, prolongation of the average AP BI accompanies increased AP BI variability. We hypothesized that both the average AP BI and AP BI variability are dependent upon stochasticity of clock mechanisms reported by the variability of LCR period. We perturbed the coupled-clock system by directly inhibiting the M clock by ivabradine (IVA) or the Ca2+ clock by cyclopiazonic acid (CPA). When either clock is perturbed by IVA (3, 10 and 30μM), which has no direct effect on Ca2+ cycling, or CPA ( 0.5 and 5μM), which has no direct effect on the M clock ion channels, the clock system failed to achieve the basal AP BI and both AP BI and AP BI variability increased. The changes in average LCR period and its variability in response to perturbations of the coupled-clock system were correlated with changes in AP beating interval and AP beating interval variability. We conclude that the stochasticity within the coupled-clock system affects and is affected by the AP BI firing rate and rhythm via modulation of the effectiveness of clock coupling. PMID:25257916

  4. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Pituitary Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Sapochnik, Melanie; Nieto, Leandro Eduardo; Fuertes, Mariana; Arzt, Eduardo

    2016-04-01

    During the last years, progress has been made on the identification of mechanisms involved in anterior pituitary cell transformation and tumorigenesis. Oncogene activation, tumor suppressor gene inactivation, epigenetic changes, and microRNAs deregulation contribute to the initiation of pituitary tumors. Despite the high prevalence of pituitary adenomas, they are mostly benign, indicating that intrinsic mechanisms may regulate pituitary cell expansion. Senescence is characterized by an irreversible cell cycle arrest and represents an important protective mechanism against malignancy. Pituitary tumor transforming gene (PTTG) is an oncogene involved in early stages of pituitary tumor development, and also triggers a senescence response by activating DNA-damage signaling pathway. Cytokines, as well as many other factors, play an important role in pituitary physiology, affecting not only cell proliferation but also hormone secretion. Special interest is focused on interleukin-6 (IL-6) because its dual function of stimulating pituitary tumor cell growth but inhibiting normal pituitary cells proliferation. It has been demonstrated that IL-6 has a key role in promoting and maintenance of the senescence program in tumors. Senescence, triggered by PTTG activation and mediated by IL-6, may be a mechanism for explaining the benign nature of pituitary tumors. PMID:26718581

  5. Neuroendocrine immunomodulation network dysfunction in SAMP8 mice and PrP-hAβPPswe/PS1ΔE9 mice: potential mechanism underlying cognitive impairment.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jian-Hui; Cheng, Xiao-Rui; Zhang, Xiao-Rui; Wang, Tong-Xing; Xu, Wen-Jian; Li, Fei; Liu, Feng; Cheng, Jun-Ping; Bo, Xiao-Chen; Wang, Sheng-Qi; Zhou, Wen-Xia; Zhang, Yong-Xiang

    2016-04-26

    Senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 strain (SAMP8) and PrP-hAβPPswe/PS1ΔE9 (APP/PS1) mice are classic animal models of sporadic Alzheimer's disease and familial AD respectively. Our study showed that object recognition memory, spatial learning and memory, active and passive avoidance were deteriorated and neuroendocrine immunomodulation (NIM) network was imbalance in SAMP8 and APP/PS1 mice. SAMP8 and APP/PS1 mice had their own specific phenotype of cognition, neuroendocrine, immune and NIM molecular network. The endocrine hormone corticosterone, luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, chemotactic factor monocyte chemotactic protein-1, macrophage inflammatory protein-1β, regulated upon activation normal T cell expressed and secreted factor and eotaxin, pro-inflammatory factor interleukin-23, and the Th1 cell acting as cell immunity accounted for cognitive deficiencies in SAMP8 mice, while adrenocorticotropic hormone and gonadotropin-releasing hormone, colony stimulating factor granulocyte colony stimulating factor, and Th2 cell acting as humoral immunity in APP/PS1 mice. On the pathway level, chemokine signaling and T cell receptor signaling pathway played the key role in cognition impairments of two models, while cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction and natural killer cell mediated cytotoxicity were more important in cognitive deterioration of SAMP8 mice than APP/PS1 mice. This mechanisms of NIM network underlying cognitive impairment is significant for further understanding the pathogenesis of AD and can provide useful information for development of AD therapeutic drug. PMID:27049828

  6. Mechanisms Underlying Inflammation in Neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    Glass, Christopher K.; Saijo, Kaoru; Winner, Beate; Marchetto, Maria Carolina; Gage, Fred H.

    2010-01-01

    Inflammation is associated with many neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and multiple sclerosis. In this Review, we discuss inducers, sensors, transducers, and effectors of neuroinflammation that contribute to neuronal dysfunction and death. Although inducers of inflammation may be generated in a disease-specific manner, there is evidence for a remarkable convergence in the mechanisms responsible for the sensing, transduction, and amplification of inflammatory processes that result in the production of neurotoxic mediators. A major unanswered question is whether pharmacological inhibition of inflammation pathways will be able to safely reverse or slow the course of disease. PMID:20303880

  7. Metacognitive mechanisms underlying lucid dreaming.

    PubMed

    Filevich, Elisa; Dresler, Martin; Brick, Timothy R; Kühn, Simone

    2015-01-21

    Lucid dreaming is a state of awareness that one is dreaming, without leaving the sleep state. Dream reports show that self-reflection and volitional control are more pronounced in lucid compared with nonlucid dreams. Mostly on these grounds, lucid dreaming has been associated with metacognition. However, the link to lucid dreaming at the neural level has not yet been explored. We sought for relationships between the neural correlates of lucid dreaming and thought monitoring. Human participants completed a questionnaire assessing lucid dreaming ability, and underwent structural and functional MRI. We split participants based on their reported dream lucidity. Participants in the high-lucidity group showed greater gray matter volume in the frontopolar cortex (BA9/10) compared with those in the low-lucidity group. Further, differences in brain structure were mirrored by differences in brain function. The BA9/10 regions identified through structural analyses showed increases in blood oxygen level-dependent signal during thought monitoring in both groups, and more strongly in the high-lucidity group. Our results reveal shared neural systems between lucid dreaming and metacognitive function, in particular in the domain of thought monitoring. This finding contributes to our understanding of the mechanisms enabling higher-order consciousness in dreams. PMID:25609624

  8. Mechanisms underlying Children's susceptibility to environmental toxicants.

    PubMed Central

    Faustman, E M; Silbernagel, S M; Fenske, R A; Burbacher, T M; Ponce, R A

    2000-01-01

    An important public health challenge has been the need to protect children's health. To accomplish this goal, the scientific community needs scientifically based child-specific risk assessment methods. Critical to their development is the need to understand mechanisms underlying children's sensitivity to environmental toxicants. Risk is defined as the probability of adverse outcome and when applied to environmental risk assessment is usually defined as a function of both toxicity and exposure. To adequately evaluate the potential for enhanced health risks during development, both child-specific factors affecting toxicity and exposure need to be considered. In the first section of this article, example mechanisms of susceptibility relevant for toxicity assessment are identified and discussed. In the second section, examples of exposure factors that help define children's susceptibility are presented. Examples of pesticide research from the newly funded Child Health Center at the University of Washington will be given for illustration. The final section discusses the importance of putting these considerations of children's susceptibility into an overall framework for ascertaining relevancy for human risk assessment. Images Figure 1 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 PMID:10698720

  9. Deformation Mechanisms of Gum Metals Under Nanoindentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sankaran, Rohini Priya

    Gum Metal is a set of multi-component beta-Ti alloys designed and developed by Toyota Central R&D Labs in 2003 to have a nearly zero shear modulus in the direction. After significant amounts of cold-work (>90%), these alloys were found to have yield strengths at a significant fraction of the predicted ideal strengths and exhibited very little work hardening. It has been speculated that this mechanical behavior may be realized through an ideal shear mechanism as opposed to conventional plastic deformation mechanisms, such as slip, and that such a mechanism may be realized through a defect structure termed "nanodisturbance". It is furthermore theorized that for near ideal strength to be attained, dislocations need to be pinned at sufficiently high stresses. It is the search for these defects and pinning points that motivates the present study. However, the mechanism of plastic deformation and the true origin of specific defect structures unique to gum metals is still controversial, mainly due to the complexity of the beta-Ti alloy system and the heavily distorted lattice exhibited in cold worked gum metals, rendering interpretation of images difficult. Accordingly, the first aim of this study is to clarify the starting as-received microstructures of gum metal alloys through conventional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and aberration-corrected high resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy with high-angle annular dark field detector (HAADF-HRSTEM) imaging. To elucidate the effects of beta-stability and starting microstructure on the deformation behavior of gum metals and thus to provide adequate context for potentially novel deformation structures, we investigate three alloy conditions: gum metal that has undergone solution heat treatment (STGM), gum metal that has been heavily cold worked (CWGM), and a solution treated alloy of nominal gum metal composition, but leaner in beta-stabilizing content (ST Ref-1). In order to directly relate observed

  10. Deformation Mechanisms of Gum Metals Under Nanoindentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sankaran, Rohini Priya

    Gum Metal is a set of multi-component beta-Ti alloys designed and developed by Toyota Central R&D Labs in 2003 to have a nearly zero shear modulus in the direction. After significant amounts of cold-work (>90%), these alloys were found to have yield strengths at a significant fraction of the predicted ideal strengths and exhibited very little work hardening. It has been speculated that this mechanical behavior may be realized through an ideal shear mechanism as opposed to conventional plastic deformation mechanisms, such as slip, and that such a mechanism may be realized through a defect structure termed "nanodisturbance". It is furthermore theorized that for near ideal strength to be attained, dislocations need to be pinned at sufficiently high stresses. It is the search for these defects and pinning points that motivates the present study. However, the mechanism of plastic deformation and the true origin of specific defect structures unique to gum metals is still controversial, mainly due to the complexity of the beta-Ti alloy system and the heavily distorted lattice exhibited in cold worked gum metals, rendering interpretation of images difficult. Accordingly, the first aim of this study is to clarify the starting as-received microstructures of gum metal alloys through conventional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and aberration-corrected high resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy with high-angle annular dark field detector (HAADF-HRSTEM) imaging. To elucidate the effects of beta-stability and starting microstructure on the deformation behavior of gum metals and thus to provide adequate context for potentially novel deformation structures, we investigate three alloy conditions: gum metal that has undergone solution heat treatment (STGM), gum metal that has been heavily cold worked (CWGM), and a solution treated alloy of nominal gum metal composition, but leaner in beta-stabilizing content (ST Ref-1). In order to directly relate observed

  11. Epigenetic mechanisms underlying cardiac degeneration and regeneration*

    PubMed Central

    Chaturvedi, Pankaj; Tyagi, Suresh C.

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications which are defined by DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNA mediated gene regulation, have been found to be associated with cardiac dysfunction and cardiac regeneration but the mechanisms are unclear. MicroRNA therapies have been proposed for cardiac regeneration and proliferation of stem cells into cardiomyocytes. Cardiovascular disorders are represented by abnormal methylation of CpG islands and drugs that inhibit DNA methyl transferases such as 5-methyl Aza cytidine are under trials. Histone modifications which include acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation, ADP ribosylation, sumoylation and biotinylation are represented within abnormal phenotypes of cardiac hypertrophy, cardiac development and contractility. MicroRNAs have been used efficiently to epigenetically reprogram fibroblasts into cardiomyocytes. MicroRNAs represent themselves as potential biomarkers for early detection of cardiac disorders which are difficult to diagnose and are captured at later stages. Because microRNAs regulate circadian genes, for example a nocturnin gene of circadian clockwork is regulated by mir122, they have profound role in regulating biological clock and this may explain the high cardiovascular risk during the morning time. This review highlights the role of epigenetics which can be helpful in disease management strategies. PMID:24636549

  12. Environmentally induced autoimmune diseases: potential mechanisms.

    PubMed Central

    Rao, T; Richardson, B

    1999-01-01

    Environmental and other xenobiotic agents can cause autoimmunity. Examples include drug-induced lupus, toxic oil syndrome, and contaminated l-tryptophan ingestion. Numerous mechanisms, based on (italic)in vitro(/italic) evidence and animal models, have been proposed to explain how xenobiotics induce or accelerate autoimmunity. The majority of these can be divided into three general categories. The first is those inhibiting the processes involved in establishing tolerance by deletion. Inhibiting deletion can result in the release of newly generated autoreactive cells into the periphery. The second mechanism is the modification of gene expression in the cells participating in the immune response, permitting lymphocytes to respond to signals normally insufficient to initiate a response or allowing the antigen-presenting cells to abnormally stimulate a response. Abnormal gene expression can thus disrupt tolerance maintained by suppression or anergy, permitting activation of autoreactive cells. The third is the modification of self-molecules such that they are recognized by the immune system as foreign. Examples illustrating these concepts are presented, and related mechanisms that have the potential to similarly affect the immune system are noted. Some mechanisms appear to be common to a variety of agents, and different mechanisms appear to produce similar diseases. However, evidence that any of these mechanisms are actually responsible for xenobiotic-induced human autoimmune disease is still largely lacking, and the potential for numerous and as yet unidentified mechanisms also exists. PMID:10502539

  13. Cognitive Mechanisms Underlying Second Language Listening Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hu, Guiling

    2009-01-01

    This dissertation research investigates the cognitive mechanisms underlying second language (L2) listening comprehension. I use three types of sentential contexts, congruent, neutral and incongruent, to look at how L2 learners construct meaning in spoken sentence comprehension. The three types of contexts differ in their context predictability.…

  14. Mechanical surface waves accompany action potential propagation.

    PubMed

    El Hady, Ahmed; Machta, Benjamin B

    2015-01-01

    Many diverse studies have shown that a mechanical displacement of the axonal membrane accompanies the electrical pulse defining the action potential (AP). We present a model for these mechanical displacements as arising from the driving of surface wave modes in which potential energy is stored in elastic properties of the neuronal membrane and cytoskeleton while kinetic energy is carried by the axoplasmic fluid. In our model, these surface waves are driven by the travelling wave of electrical depolarization characterizing the AP, altering compressive electrostatic forces across the membrane. This driving leads to co-propagating mechanical displacements, which we term Action Waves (AWs). Our model allows us to estimate the shape of the AW that accompanies any travelling wave of voltage, making predictions that are in agreement with results from several experimental systems. Our model can serve as a framework for understanding the physical origins and possible functional roles of these AWs. PMID:25819404

  15. Mechanical surface waves accompany action potential propagation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El Hady, Ahmed; Machta, Benjamin B.

    2015-03-01

    Many diverse studies have shown that a mechanical displacement of the axonal membrane accompanies the electrical pulse defining the action potential (AP). We present a model for these mechanical displacements as arising from the driving of surface wave modes in which potential energy is stored in elastic properties of the neuronal membrane and cytoskeleton while kinetic energy is carried by the axoplasmic fluid. In our model, these surface waves are driven by the travelling wave of electrical depolarization characterizing the AP, altering compressive electrostatic forces across the membrane. This driving leads to co-propagating mechanical displacements, which we term Action Waves (AWs). Our model allows us to estimate the shape of the AW that accompanies any travelling wave of voltage, making predictions that are in agreement with results from several experimental systems. Our model can serve as a framework for understanding the physical origins and possible functional roles of these AWs.

  16. Quantum mechanical streamlines. I - Square potential barrier

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hirschfelder, J. O.; Christoph, A. C.; Palke, W. E.

    1974-01-01

    Exact numerical calculations are made for scattering of quantum mechanical particles hitting a square two-dimensional potential barrier (an exact analog of the Goos-Haenchen optical experiments). Quantum mechanical streamlines are plotted and found to be smooth and continuous, to have continuous first derivatives even through the classical forbidden region, and to form quantized vortices around each of the nodal points. A comparison is made between the present numerical calculations and the stationary wave approximation, and good agreement is found between both the Goos-Haenchen shifts and the reflection coefficients. The time-independent Schroedinger equation for real wavefunctions is reduced to solving a nonlinear first-order partial differential equation, leading to a generalization of the Prager-Hirschfelder perturbation scheme. Implications of the hydrodynamical formulation of quantum mechanics are discussed, and cases are cited where quantum and classical mechanical motions are identical.

  17. Mechanical Surface Waves Accompany Action Potential Propagation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machta, Benjamin; El Hady, Ahmed

    2015-03-01

    The action potential (AP) is the basic mechanism by which information is transmitted along neuronal axons. Although the excitable nature of axons is understood to be primarily electrical, many experimental studies have shown that a mechanical displacement of the axonal membrane co-propagates with the electrical signal. While the experimental evidence for co-propagating mechanical waves is diverse and compelling, there is no consensus for their physical underpinnings. We present a model in which these mechanical displacements arise from the driving of mechanical surface waves, in which potential energy is stored in elastic deformations of the neuronal membrane and cytoskeleton while kinetic energy is stored in the movement of the axoplasmic fluid. In our model these surface waves are driven by the traveling wave of electrical depolarization that characterizes the AP, altering the electrostatic forces across the membrane as it passes. Our model allows us to predict the shape of the displacement that should accompany any traveling wave of voltage, including the well-characterized AP. We expect our model to serve as a framework for understanding the physical origins and possible functional roles of these AWs in neurobiology. See Arxiv/1407.7600

  18. Growth instabilities in mechanical breakdown under mechanical and thermal stresses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, S.-Z.; Louis, E.; Plá, O.; Guinea, F.

    1995-12-01

    A linear stability analysis is used to investigate crack growth in two dimensional elastic media, and under mechanical or thermal stresses. Although in most cases a circular geometry is considered, the instability of a planar crack is also discussed. Several boundary conditions and size effects are considered. The results indicate that the tendency towards instabilities in mechanical breakdown is stronger than in the case of growth in fields governed by the Laplace equation (diffusion or electrostatic fields), in line with the smaller fractal dimensions obtained in the first case. Instabilities under thermal stresses are shown to depend on the actual thermal gradients. Finally, a model previously investigated numerically is used to show that plasticity decreases the strength of the instability. (c) 1995 The American Physical Society

  19. Investigation of defect nucleation in titanium under mechanical loading

    SciTech Connect

    Zolnikov, Konstantin P. Kryzhevich, Dmitrij S.; Korchuganov, Aleksandr V.; Psakhie, Sergey G.

    2014-11-14

    The paper undertakes a study of plastic deformation in a titanium crystallite under mechanical loading (uniaxial tension and indentation) in terms of atomic mechanisms of its generation and development. The molecular dynamics method with many-body interatomic potentials is employed. It is shown that there is a threshold strain, at which a crystal reveals the generation of local structural transformations associated with changes in atomic configurations of the first and second coordination spheres. The onset of plastic deformation in a crystallite is accompanied by a stepwise decrease in potential energy. The effect of free surfaces and grain boundaries on the generation of local structural transformations in a titanium crystallite is investigated.

  20. MECHANICS OF CRACK BRIDGING UNDER DYNAMIC LOADS

    SciTech Connect

    N. SRIDHAR; ET AL

    2001-02-01

    A bridging law for fiber reinforced composites under dynamic crack propagation conditions has been derived. Inertial effects in the mechanism of fiber pullout during dynamic propagation of a bridged crack are critically examined for the first time. By reposing simple shear lag models of pullout as problems of dynamic wave propagation, the effect of the frictional coupling between the fibers and the matrix is accounted for in a fairly straightforward way. The solutions yield the time-dependent relationship between the crack opening displacement and the bridging traction. Engineering criteria and the role of material and geometrical parameters for significant inertial effects are identified.

  1. Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying muscular dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The muscular dystrophies are a group of heterogeneous genetic diseases characterized by progressive degeneration and weakness of skeletal muscle. Since the discovery of the first muscular dystrophy gene encoding dystrophin, a large number of genes have been identified that are involved in various muscle-wasting and neuromuscular disorders. Human genetic studies complemented by animal model systems have substantially contributed to our understanding of the molecular pathomechanisms underlying muscle degeneration. Moreover, these studies have revealed distinct molecular and cellular mechanisms that link genetic mutations to diverse muscle wasting phenotypes. PMID:23671309

  2. Protein under tension and mechanical unfolding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Tongye; Canino, Larry; Wolynes, Peter G.; McCammon, J. Andrew

    2003-03-01

    The mechanical properties of proteins are important for a wide variety of functions ranging from stabilizing cellular structures to the transduction of signals across the membrane. We examined changes in protein conformation under external force fields by simple theoretical methods and new simulation techniques. The theoretical model solved a Gaussian chain plus native contact residue-level model under approximations. The simulations used the force ensemble replica exchange method and all-atom stochastic dynamics with a generalized Born plus solvent accessible surface as the solvation model. We applied these methods to study the protein spectrin as well as the domains of titin. Both global properties (such as energy and extension) and local roperties (especially, the specific contacts maintained and the secondary structure) are shown as functions of external force.

  3. Synaptic mechanisms underlying persistent cocaine craving.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Marina E

    2016-06-01

    Although it is challenging for individuals with cocaine addiction to achieve abstinence, the greatest difficulty is avoiding relapse to drug taking, which is often triggered by cues associated with prior cocaine use. This vulnerability to relapse persists for long periods (months to years) after abstinence is achieved. Here, I discuss rodent studies of cue-induced cocaine craving during abstinence, with a focus on neuronal plasticity in the reward circuitry that maintains high levels of craving. Such work has the potential to identify new therapeutic targets and to further our understanding of experience-dependent plasticity in the adult brain under normal circumstances and in the context of addiction. PMID:27150400

  4. Environmental genotoxicity: Probing the underlying mechanisms

    SciTech Connect

    Shugart, L.; Theodorakis, C.

    1993-12-31

    Environmental pollution is a complex issue because of the diversity of anthropogenic agents, both chemical and physical, that have been detected and catalogued. The consequences to biota from exposure to genotoxic agents present an additional problem because of the potential for these agents to produce adverse change at the cellular and organismal levels. Past studies in genetic toxicology at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory have focused on structural damage to the DNA of environmental species that may occur after exposure to genotoxic agents and the use of this information to document exposure and to monitor remediation. In an effort to predict effects at the population, community and ecosystem levels, current studies in genetic ecotoxicology are attempting to characterize the biological mechanisms at the gene level that regulate and limit the response of an individual organism to genotoxic factors in their environment.

  5. Mechanical annealing under low-amplitude cyclic loading in micropillars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, Yi-nan; Liu, Zhan-li; Wang, Zhang-jie; Zhuang, Zhuo

    2016-04-01

    Mechanical annealing has been demonstrated to be an effective method for decreasing the overall dislocation density in submicron single crystal. However, simultaneously significant shape change always unexpectedly happens under extremely high monotonic loading to drive the pre-existing dislocations out of the free surfaces. In the present work, through in situ TEM experiments it is found that cyclic loading with low stress amplitude can drive most dislocations out of the submicron sample with virtually little change of the shape. The underlying dislocation mechanism is revealed by carrying out discrete dislocation dynamic (DDD) simulations. The simulation results indicate that the dislocation density decreases within cycles, while the accumulated plastic strain is small. By comparing the evolution of dislocation junction under monotonic, cyclic and relaxation deformation, the cumulative irreversible slip is found to be the key factor of promoting junction destruction and dislocation annihilation at free surface under low-amplitude cyclic loading condition. By introducing this mechanics into dislocation density evolution equations, the critical conditions for mechanical annealing under cyclic and monotonic loadings are discussed. Low-amplitude cyclic loading which strengthens the single crystal without seriously disturbing the structure has the potential applications in the manufacture of defect-free nano-devices.

  6. Mechanical buckling of veins under internal pressure.

    PubMed

    Martinez, Ricky; Fierro, Cesar A; Shireman, Paula K; Han, Hai-Chao

    2010-04-01

    Venous tortuosity is associated with multiple disease states and is often thought to be a consequence of venous hypertension and chronic venous disease. However, the underlying mechanisms of vein tortuosity are unclear. We hypothesized that increased pressure causes vein buckling that leads to a tortuous appearance. The specific aim of this study was to determine the critical buckling pressure of veins. We determined the buckling pressure of porcine jugular veins and measured the mechanical properties of these veins. Our results showed that the veins buckle when the transmural pressure exceeds a critical pressure that is strongly related to the axial stretch ratio in the veins. The critical pressures of the eight veins tested were 14.2 +/- 5.4 and 26.4 +/- 9.0 mmHg at axial stretch ratio 1.5 and 1.7, respectively. In conclusion, veins buckle into a tortuous shape at high lumen pressures or reduced axial stretch ratios. Our results are useful in understanding the development of venous tortuosity associated with varicose veins, venous valvular insufficiency, diabetic retinopathy, and vein grafts. PMID:20094913

  7. Mechanical Buckling of Veins under Internal Pressure

    PubMed Central

    Martinez, Ricky; Fierro, Cesar A.; Shireman, Paula K.; Han, Hai-Chao

    2010-01-01

    Venous tortuosity is associated with multiple disease states and is often thought to be a consequence of venous hypertension and chronic venous disease. However, the underlying mechanisms of vein tortuosity are unclear. We hypothesized that increased pressure causes vein buckling that leads to a tortuous appearance. The specific aim of this study was to determine the critical buckling pressure of veins. We determined the buckling pressure of porcine jugular veins and measured the mechanical properties of these veins. Our results showed that veins buckle when the transmural pressure exceeds a critical pressure that is strongly related to the axial stretch ratio in the veins. The critical pressures of the eight veins tested were 14.2 ± 5.4 mmHg and 26.4 ± 9.0 mmHg at axial stretch ratio 1.5 and 1.7, respectively. In conclusion, veins buckle into a tortuous shape at high lumen pressures or reduced axial stretch ratios. Our results are useful in understanding the development of venous tortuosity associated with varicose veins, venous valvular insufficiency, diabetic retinopathy and vein grafts. PMID:20094913

  8. Two distinct neural mechanisms underlying indirect reciprocity.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Takamitsu; Takezawa, Masanori; Nakawake, Yo; Kunimatsu, Akira; Yamasue, Hidenori; Nakamura, Mitsuhiro; Miyashita, Yasushi; Masuda, Naoki

    2014-03-18

    Cooperation is a hallmark of human society. Humans often cooperate with strangers even if they will not meet each other again. This so-called indirect reciprocity enables large-scale cooperation among nonkin and can occur based on a reputation mechanism or as a succession of pay-it-forward behavior. Here, we provide the functional and anatomical neural evidence for two distinct mechanisms governing the two types of indirect reciprocity. Cooperation occurring as reputation-based reciprocity specifically recruited the precuneus, a region associated with self-centered cognition. During such cooperative behavior, the precuneus was functionally connected with the caudate, a region linking rewards to behavior. Furthermore, the precuneus of a cooperative subject had a strong resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) with the caudate and a large gray matter volume. In contrast, pay-it-forward reciprocity recruited the anterior insula (AI), a brain region associated with affective empathy. The AI was functionally connected with the caudate during cooperation occurring as pay-it-forward reciprocity, and its gray matter volume and rsFC with the caudate predicted the tendency of such cooperation. The revealed difference is consistent with the existing results of evolutionary game theory: although reputation-based indirect reciprocity robustly evolves as a self-interested behavior in theory, pay-it-forward indirect reciprocity does not on its own. The present study provides neural mechanisms underlying indirect reciprocity and suggests that pay-it-forward reciprocity may not occur as myopic profit maximization but elicit emotional rewards. PMID:24591599

  9. Two distinct neural mechanisms underlying indirect reciprocity

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Takamitsu; Takezawa, Masanori; Nakawake, Yo; Kunimatsu, Akira; Yamasue, Hidenori; Nakamura, Mitsuhiro; Miyashita, Yasushi; Masuda, Naoki

    2014-01-01

    Cooperation is a hallmark of human society. Humans often cooperate with strangers even if they will not meet each other again. This so-called indirect reciprocity enables large-scale cooperation among nonkin and can occur based on a reputation mechanism or as a succession of pay-it-forward behavior. Here, we provide the functional and anatomical neural evidence for two distinct mechanisms governing the two types of indirect reciprocity. Cooperation occurring as reputation-based reciprocity specifically recruited the precuneus, a region associated with self-centered cognition. During such cooperative behavior, the precuneus was functionally connected with the caudate, a region linking rewards to behavior. Furthermore, the precuneus of a cooperative subject had a strong resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) with the caudate and a large gray matter volume. In contrast, pay-it-forward reciprocity recruited the anterior insula (AI), a brain region associated with affective empathy. The AI was functionally connected with the caudate during cooperation occurring as pay-it-forward reciprocity, and its gray matter volume and rsFC with the caudate predicted the tendency of such cooperation. The revealed difference is consistent with the existing results of evolutionary game theory: although reputation-based indirect reciprocity robustly evolves as a self-interested behavior in theory, pay-it-forward indirect reciprocity does not on its own. The present study provides neural mechanisms underlying indirect reciprocity and suggests that pay-it-forward reciprocity may not occur as myopic profit maximization but elicit emotional rewards. PMID:24591599

  10. Variation potential in higher plants: Mechanisms of generation and propagation

    PubMed Central

    Vodeneev, Vladimir; Akinchits, Elena; Sukhov, Vladimir

    2015-01-01

    Long-distance intercellular electrical signals, including variation potential (VP) in higher plants, are a potential mechanism of coordinate functional responses in different plant cells under action of stressors. VP, which is caused by damaging factors (e.g., heating, crushing), is transient depolarization with an irregular shape. It can include a long-term depolarization and fast impulse depolarization (‘AP-like’ spikes). Mechanisms of VP generation and propagation are still under investigation. It is probable that VP is a local electrical response induced by propagation of hydraulic wave and (or) chemical agent. Both hypotheses are based on numerous experimental results but they predict VP velocities which are not in a good accordance with speed of variation potential propagation. Thus combination of hydraulic and chemical signals is the probable mechanism of VP propagation. VP generation is traditionally connected with transient H+-ATPase inactivation, but AP-like spikes are also connected with passive ions fluxes. Ca2+ influx is a probable mechanism which triggers H+-ATPase inactivation and ions channels activation at VP. PMID:26313506

  11. Complex Classical Mechanics of a QES Potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhabani Prasad, Mandal; Sushant, S. Mahajan

    2015-10-01

    We study a combined parity (P) and time reversal (T) invariant non-Hermitian quasi-exactly solvable (QES) potential, which exhibits PT phase transition, in the complex plane classically to demonstrate different quantum effects. The particle with real energy makes closed orbits around one of the periodic wells of the complex potential depending on the initial condition. However interestingly the particle escapes to an open orbits even with real energy if it is placed beyond a certain distance from the center of the well. On the other hand when the particle energy is complex the trajectory is open and the particle tunnels back and forth between two wells which are separated by a classically forbidden path. The tunneling time is calculated for different pair of wells and is shown to vary inversely with the imaginary component of energy. Our study reveals that spontaneous PT symmetry breaking does not affect the qualitative features of the particle trajectories in the analogous complex classical model. Support from Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India under SERC Project Sanction Grant No. SR/S2/HEP-0009/2012

  12. Modulation of mechanical resonance by chemical potential oscillation in graphene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Changyao; Deshpande, Vikram V.; Koshino, Mikito; Lee, Sunwoo; Gondarenko, Alexander; MacDonald, Allan H.; Kim, Philip; Hone, James

    2016-03-01

    The classical picture of the force on a capacitor assumes a large density of electronic states, such that the electrochemical potential of charges added to the capacitor is given by the external electrostatic potential and the capacitance is determined purely by geometry. Here we consider capacitively driven motion of a nano-mechanical resonator with a low density of states, in which these assumptions can break down. We find three leading-order corrections to the classical picture: the first of which is a modulation in the static force due to variation in the internal chemical potential; the second and third are changes in the static force and dynamic spring constant due to the rate of change of chemical potential, expressed as the quantum (density of states) capacitance. As a demonstration, we study capacitively driven graphene mechanical resonators, where the chemical potential is modulated independently of the gate voltage using an applied magnetic field to manipulate the energy of electrons residing in discrete Landau levels. In these devices, we observe large periodic frequency shifts consistent with the three corrections to the classical picture. In devices with extremely low strain and disorder, the first correction term dominates and the resonant frequency closely follows the chemical potential. The theoretical model fits the data with only one adjustable parameter representing disorder-broadening of the Landau levels. The underlying electromechanical coupling mechanism is not limited by the particular choice of material, geometry, or mechanism for variation in the chemical potential, and can thus be extended to other low-dimensional systems.

  13. On the physical mechanism underlying asymptotic safety

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nink, Andreas; Reuter, Martin

    2013-01-01

    We identify a simple physical mechanism which is at the heart of Asymptotic Safety in Quantum Einstein Gravity (QEG) according to all available effective average action-based investigations. Upon linearization the gravitational field equations give rise to an inverse propagator for metric fluctuations comprising two pieces: a covariant Laplacian and a curvature dependent potential term. By analogy with elementary magnetic systems they lead to, respectively, dia- and paramagnetic-type interactions of the metric fluctuations with the background gravitational field. We show that above 3 spacetime dimensions the gravitational antiscreening occurring in QEG is entirely due to a strong dominance of the ultralocal paramagnetic interactions over the diamagnetic ones that favor screening. (Below 3 dimensions both the dia- and paramagnetic effects support antiscreening.) The spacetimes of QEG are interpreted as a polarizable medium with a "paramagnetic" response to external perturbations, and similarities with the vacuum state of Yang-Mills theory are pointed out. As a by-product, we resolve a longstanding puzzle concerning the beta function of Newton's constant in 2 + ɛ dimensional gravity.

  14. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Peritoneal EMT and Fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Strippoli, Raffaele; Moreno-Vicente, Roberto; Battistelli, Cecilia; Cicchini, Carla; Noce, Valeria; Amicone, Laura; Marchetti, Alessandra; del Pozo, Miguel Angel; Tripodi, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Peritoneal dialysis is a form of renal replacement alternative to the hemodialysis. During this treatment, the peritoneal membrane acts as a permeable barrier for exchange of solutes and water. Continual exposure to dialysis solutions, as well as episodes of peritonitis and hemoperitoneum, can cause acute/chronic inflammation and injury to the peritoneal membrane, which undergoes progressive fibrosis, angiogenesis, and vasculopathy, eventually leading to discontinuation of the peritoneal dialysis. Among the different events controlling this pathological process, epithelial to mesenchymal transition of mesothelial cells plays a main role in the induction of fibrosis and in subsequent functional deterioration of the peritoneal membrane. Here, the main extracellular inducers and cellular players are described. Moreover, signaling pathways acting during this process are elucidated, with emphasis on signals delivered by TGF-β family members and by Toll-like/IL-1β receptors. The understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying fibrosis of the peritoneal membrane has both a basic and a translational relevance, since it may be useful for setup of therapies aimed at counteracting the deterioration as well as restoring the homeostasis of the peritoneal membrane. PMID:26941801

  15. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Psychological Stress and Cancer.

    PubMed

    Shin, Kyeong Jin; Lee, Yu Jin; Yang, Yong Ryoul; Park, Seorim; Suh, Pann-Ghill; Follo, Matilde Yung; Cocco, Lucio; Ryu, Sung Ho

    2016-01-01

    Psychological stress is an emotion experienced when people are under mental pressure or encounter unexpected problems. Extreme or repetitive stress increases the risk of developing human disease, including cardiovascular disease (CVD), immune diseases, mental disorders, and cancer. Several studies have shown an association between psychological stress and cancer growth and metastasis in animal models and case studies of cancer patients. Stress induces the secretion of stress-related mediators, such as catecholamine, cortisol, and oxytocin, via the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis or the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). These stress-related hormones and neurotransmitters adversely affect stress-induced tumor progression and cancer therapy. Catecholamine is the primary factor that influences tumor progression. It can regulate diverse cellular signaling pathways through adrenergic receptors (ADRs), which are expressed by several types of cancer cells. Activated ADRs enhance the proliferation and invasion abilities of cancer cells, alter cell activity in the tumor microenvironment, and regulate the interaction between cancer and its microenvironment to promote tumor progression. Additionally, other stress mediators, such as glucocorticoids and oxytocin, and their cognate receptors are involved in stress-induced cancer growth and metastasis. Here, we will review how each receptor-mediated signal cascade contributes to tumor initiation and progression and discuss how we can use these molecular mechanisms for cancer therapy. PMID:26916018

  16. [Auditory evoked potentials under attentional lapses].

    PubMed

    Lazarev, I E; Bryzgalov, D V; Osokina, E S; Viazovtseva, A A; Antonenko, A S; Arkhipova, E A; Chernyshev, B V

    2014-01-01

    In order to study spontaneous attentional lapses the experimental task was used that created a moderately high attentional load and involved response choice based on stimulus feature conjunction. The participant's average correct response rate was 85.1%; they made errors in 9.6% trials and response omissions in 5.4% trials. Peak N1 of the evoked potential was consistent across all behavioral outcomes, while peak P2 amplitude was significantly greater before errors and response omissions compared to correct responses. The analysis of polygraphic indexes (ECG, EMG, SGR) did not reveal any arousal level reduction before attentional lapses. The proposed interpretation of the results obtained is based on the assumption that attentional lapses are mediated by the suppression of external stimuli information processing caused by the state of mind-wandering. PMID:25723016

  17. Turbine under Gulf Stream: Potential energy source

    SciTech Connect

    Venezia, W.A.; Holt, J.

    1995-09-01

    Turbine under the Gulf Stream (TUGS) is a project to design, build, and deploy the prototypes necessary to demonstrate the economic and technical feasibility of generating electric power from the Gulf Stream. The project is based in part on new generator designs and emerging materials technologies. Its successful completion would demonstrate the technology and produce prototype turbines that can be mass produced and sold with service support. Past research and experimentation indicates that energy can be generated from the Gulf Stream. Problems exist such as fluctuations in the current`s axis and inconsistency. Above all, the ocean is a difficult environment in which to work. Therefore, the question is not whether or not a generator can be put in the ocean to generate electricity, but rather can it be done in an economically and environmentally sound way and still be practical?

  18. Cellular mechanisms underlying eosinophilic and neutrophilic airway inflammation in asthma.

    PubMed

    Pelaia, Girolamo; Vatrella, Alessandro; Busceti, Maria Teresa; Gallelli, Luca; Calabrese, Cecilia; Terracciano, Rosa; Maselli, Rosario

    2015-01-01

    Asthma is a phenotypically heterogeneous chronic disease of the airways, characterized by either predominant eosinophilic or neutrophilic, or even mixed eosinophilic/neutrophilic inflammatory patterns. Eosinophilic inflammation can be associated with the whole spectrum of asthma severity, ranging from mild-to-moderate to severe uncontrolled disease, whereas neutrophilic inflammation occurs mostly in more severe asthma. Eosinophilic asthma includes either allergic or nonallergic phenotypes underlying immune responses mediated by T helper (Th)2 cell-derived cytokines, whilst neutrophilic asthma is mostly dependent on Th17 cell-induced mechanisms. These immune-inflammatory profiles develop as a consequence of a functional impairment of T regulatory (Treg) lymphocytes, which promotes the activation of dendritic cells directing the differentiation of distinct Th cell subsets. The recent advances in the knowledge of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying asthmatic inflammation are contributing to the identification of novel therapeutic targets, potentially suitable for the implementation of future improvements in antiasthma pharmacologic treatments. PMID:25878402

  19. Cellular Mechanisms Underlying Eosinophilic and Neutrophilic Airway Inflammation in Asthma

    PubMed Central

    Vatrella, Alessandro; Busceti, Maria Teresa; Gallelli, Luca; Calabrese, Cecilia; Terracciano, Rosa

    2015-01-01

    Asthma is a phenotypically heterogeneous chronic disease of the airways, characterized by either predominant eosinophilic or neutrophilic, or even mixed eosinophilic/neutrophilic inflammatory patterns. Eosinophilic inflammation can be associated with the whole spectrum of asthma severity, ranging from mild-to-moderate to severe uncontrolled disease, whereas neutrophilic inflammation occurs mostly in more severe asthma. Eosinophilic asthma includes either allergic or nonallergic phenotypes underlying immune responses mediated by T helper (Th)2 cell-derived cytokines, whilst neutrophilic asthma is mostly dependent on Th17 cell-induced mechanisms. These immune-inflammatory profiles develop as a consequence of a functional impairment of T regulatory (Treg) lymphocytes, which promotes the activation of dendritic cells directing the differentiation of distinct Th cell subsets. The recent advances in the knowledge of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying asthmatic inflammation are contributing to the identification of novel therapeutic targets, potentially suitable for the implementation of future improvements in antiasthma pharmacologic treatments. PMID:25878402

  20. Neural mechanisms and potential treatment of epilepsy and its complications

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Tao-Tao; He, Zhi-Gang; Tian, Xue-Bi; Xiang, Hong-Bing

    2014-01-01

    The factors underlying epilepsy are multifaceted, but recent research suggests that the brain’s neural circuits, which play a key role in controlling the balance between epileptic and antiepileptic factors, may lie at the heart of epilepsy. This article provides a comprehensive review of the neural mechanisms and potential treatment of intractable epilepsy from neural inflammatory responses, melanocortin circuits in brain and pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus. Further studies should be undertaken to elucidate the nature of neural circuits so that we may more effectively apply these new preventive and symptomatic therapies to the patient suffering from medically refractory seizures and its complications. PMID:25628775

  1. Understanding molecular mechanism of higher plant plasticity under abiotic stress.

    PubMed

    Shao, Hong-Bo; Guo, Qing-Jie; Chu, Li-Ye; Zhao, Xi-Ning; Su, Zhong-Liang; Hu, Ya-Chen; Cheng, Jiang-Feng

    2007-01-15

    Higher plants play the most important role in keeping a stable environment on the earth, which regulate global circumstances in many ways in terms of different levels (molecular, individual, community, and so on), but the nature of the mechanism is gene expression and control temporally and spatially at the molecular level. In persistently changing environment, there are many adverse stress conditions such as cold, drought, salinity and UV-B (280-320 mm), which influence plant growth and crop production greatly. Plants differ from animals in many aspects, but the important may be that plants are more easily influenced by environment than animals. Plants have a series of fine mechanisms for responding to environmental changes, which has been established during their long-period evolution and artificial domestication. These mechanisms are involved in many aspects of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, genetics, development, evolution and molecular biology, in which the adaptive machinery related to molecular biology is the most important. The elucidation of it will extremely and purposefully promote the sustainable utilization of plant resources and make the best use of its current potential under different scales. This molecular mechanism at least include environmental signal recognition (input), signal transduction (many cascade biochemical reactions are involved in this process), signal output, signal responses and phenotype realization, which is a multi-dimensional network system and contain many levels of gene expression and regulation. We will focus on the molecular adaptive machinery of higher plant plasticity under abiotic stresses. PMID:16914294

  2. Exploration of mechanisms underlying the strain-rate-dependent mechanical property of single chondrocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Nguyen, Trung Dung; Gu, YuanTong

    2014-05-05

    Based on the characterization by Atomic Force Microscopy, we report that the mechanical property of single chondrocytes has dependency on the strain-rates. By comparing the mechanical deformation responses and the Young's moduli of living and fixed chondrocytes at four different strain-rates, we explore the deformation mechanisms underlying this dependency property. We found that the strain-rate-dependent mechanical property of living cells is governed by both of the cellular cytoskeleton and the intracellular fluid when the fixed chondrocytes are mainly governed by their intracellular fluid, which is called the consolidation-dependent deformation behavior. Finally, we report that the porohyperelastic constitutive material model which can capture the consolidation-dependent behavior of both living and fixed chondrocytes is a potential candidature to study living cell biomechanics.

  3. Nanomaterial-modulated autophagy: underlying mechanisms and functional consequences.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Wei; Wei, Min; Li, Song; Le, Weidong

    2016-06-01

    Autophagy is an essential lysosome-dependent process that controls the quality of the cytoplasm and maintains cellular homeostasis, and dysfunction of this protein degradation system is correlated with various disorders. A growing body of evidence suggests that nanomaterials (NMs) have autophagy-modulating effects, thus predicting a valuable and promising application potential of NMs in the diagnosis and treatment of autophagy-related diseases. NMs exhibit unique physical, chemical and biofunctional properties, which may endow NMs with capabilities to modulate autophagy via various mechanisms. The present review highlights the impacts of various NMs on autophagy and their functional consequences. The possible underlying mechanisms for NM-modulated autophagy are also discussed. PMID:27193191

  4. The Mechanism Underlying Inhibition of Saccadic Return

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ludwig, Casimir J. H.; Farrell, Simon; Ellis, Lucy A.; Gilchrist, Iain D.

    2009-01-01

    Human observers take longer to re-direct gaze to a previously fixated location. Although there has been some exploration of the characteristics of inhibition of saccadic return (ISR), the exact mechanisms by which ISR operates are currently unknown. In the framework of accumulation models of response times, in which evidence is integrated over…

  5. White speck potential for mechanically harvested cottons

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper examines the white speck phenomena as seen in mechanically picked cottons based on HVI, AFIS and white speck fabric data. White specks are dye defects that can be inherent from the variety or can be caused by weather or other field conditions, and the fabric manufacturer is often caught ...

  6. Mechanisms underlying Phalaris aquatica "sudden death" syndrome in sheep.

    PubMed

    Bourke, C A; Carrigan, M J

    1992-07-01

    Twenty outbreaks of Phalaris aquatica "sudden death" syndrome in sheep were investigated between 1981 and 1991. Four were confirmed and one was suspected, to be a cardiac disorder; 5 were confirmed and 3 were suspected, to be a polioencephalomalacic disorder; the aetiology of the remaining 7 outbreaks could not be determined. Potentially toxic levels of hydrocyanic acid (20 to 36 mg/100 g) were measured in the 3 toxic phalaris pastures tested. The measurement of potentially toxic levels of nitrate nitrogen (2920 micrograms/g) in toxic phalaris pastures by others, was noted. It is suggested that phalaris "sudden death" syndrome could have as many as 4 different underlying mechanisms, and that these might reflect the presence in the plant of a cardio-respiratory toxin, a thiaminase and amine co-substate, cyanogenic compounds, and nitrate compounds. PMID:1445081

  7. Probiotics and Alcoholic Liver Disease: Treatment and Potential Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Li, Fengyuan; Duan, Kangmin; Wang, Cuiling; McClain, Craig; Feng, Wenke

    2016-01-01

    Despite extensive research, alcohol remains one of the most common causes of liver disease in the United States. Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) encompasses a broad spectrum of disorders, including steatosis, steatohepatitis, and cirrhosis. Although many agents and approaches have been tested in patients with ALD and in animals with experimental ALD in the past, there is still no FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved therapy for any stage of ALD. With the increasing recognition of the importance of gut microbiota in the onset and development of a variety of diseases, the potential use of probiotics in ALD is receiving increasing investigative and clinical attention. In this review, we summarize recent studies on probiotic intervention in the prevention and treatment of ALD in experimental animal models and patients. Potential mechanisms underlying the probiotic function are also discussed. PMID:26839540

  8. Potential Mechanisms of Cancer Prevention by Weight Control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Yu; Wang, Weiqun

    Weight control via dietary caloric restriction and/or physical activity has been demonstrated in animal models for cancer prevention. However, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Body weight loss due to negative energy balance significantly reduces some metabolic growth factors and endocrinal hormones such as IGF-1, leptin, and adiponectin, but enhances glucocorticoids, that may be associated with anti-cancer mechanisms. In this review, we summarized the recent studies related to weight control and growth factors. The potential molecular targets focused on those growth factors- and hormones-dependent cellular signaling pathways are further discussed. It appears that multiple factors and multiple signaling cascades, especially for Ras-MAPK-proliferation and PI3K-Akt-anti-apoptosis, could be involved in response to weight change by dietary calorie restriction and/or exercise training. Considering prevalence of obesity or overweight that becomes apparent over the world, understanding the underlying mechanisms among weight control, endocrine change and cancer risk is critically important. Future studies using "-omics" technologies will be warrant for a broader and deeper mechanistic information regarding cancer prevention by weight control.

  9. Developmental mechanisms underlying variation in craniofacial disease and evolution.

    PubMed

    Fish, Jennifer L

    2016-07-15

    Craniofacial disease phenotypes exhibit significant variation in penetrance and severity. Although many genetic contributions to phenotypic variation have been identified, genotype-phenotype correlations remain imprecise. Recent work in evolutionary developmental biology has exposed intriguing developmental mechanisms that potentially explain incongruities in genotype-phenotype relationships. This review focuses on two observations from work in comparative and experimental animal model systems that highlight how development structures variation. First, multiple genetic inputs converge on relatively few developmental processes. Investigation of when and how variation in developmental processes occurs may therefore help predict potential genetic interactions and phenotypic outcomes. Second, genetic mutation is typically associated with an increase in phenotypic variance. Several models outlining developmental mechanisms underlying mutational increases in phenotypic variance are discussed using Satb2-mediated variation in jaw size as an example. These data highlight development as a critical mediator of genotype-phenotype correlations. Future research in evolutionary developmental biology focusing on tissue-level processes may help elucidate the "black box" between genotype and phenotype, potentially leading to novel treatment, earlier diagnoses, and better clinical consultations for individuals affected by craniofacial anomalies. PMID:26724698

  10. Potential of isotope analysis (C, Cl) to identify dechlorination mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cretnik, Stefan; Thoreson, Kristen; Bernstein, Anat; Ebert, Karin; Buchner, Daniel; Laskov, Christine; Haderlein, Stefan; Shouakar-Stash, Orfan; Kliegman, Sarah; McNeill, Kristopher; Elsner, Martin

    2013-04-01

    Chloroethenes are commonly used in industrial applications, and detected as carcinogenic contaminants in the environment. Their dehalogenation is of environmental importance in remediation processes. However, a detailed understanding frequently accounted problem is the accumulation of toxic degradation products such as cis-dichloroethylene (cis-DCE) at contaminated sites. Several studies have addressed the reductive dehalogenation reactions using biotic and abiotic model systems, but a crucial question in this context has remained open: Do environmental transformations occur by the same mechanism as in their corresponding in vitro model systems? The presented study shows the potential to close this research gap using the latest developments in compound specific chlorine isotope analysis, which make it possible to routinely measure chlorine isotope fractionation of chloroethenes in environmental samples and complex reaction mixtures.1,2 In particular, such chlorine isotope analysis enables the measurement of isotope fractionation for two elements (i.e., C and Cl) in chloroethenes. When isotope values of both elements are plotted against each other, different slopes reflect different underlying mechanisms and are remarkably insensitive towards masking. Our results suggest that different microbial strains (G. lovleyi strain SZ, D. hafniense Y51) and the isolated cofactor cobalamin employ similar mechanisms of reductive dechlorination of TCE. In contrast, evidence for a different mechanism was obtained with cobaloxime cautioning its use as a model for biodegradation. The study shows the potential of the dual isotope approach as a tool to directly compare transformation mechanisms of environmental scenarios, biotic transformations, and their putative chemical lab scale systems. Furthermore, it serves as an essential reference when using the dual isotope approach to assess the fate of chlorinated compounds in the environment.

  11. Platelet Activation: The Mechanisms and Potential Biomarkers

    PubMed Central

    Yun, Seong-Hoon; Sim, Eun-Hye; Goh, Ri-Young; Park, Joo-In

    2016-01-01

    Beyond hemostasis and thrombosis, an increasing number of studies indicate that platelets play an integral role in intercellular communication, mediating inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities. Our knowledge about how platelets modulate inflammatory and immunity has greatly improved in recent years. In this review, we discuss recent advances in the pathways of platelet activation and potential application of platelet activation biomarkers to diagnosis and prediction of disease states. PMID:27403440

  12. Peripheral Receptor Mechanisms Underlying Orofacial Muscle Pain and Hyperalgesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saloman, Jami L.

    Musculoskeletal pain conditions, particularly those associated with temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMD) are severely debilitating and affect approximately 12% of the population. Identifying peripheral nociceptive mechanisms underlying mechanical hyperalgesia, a prominent feature of persistent muscle pain, could contribute to the development of new treatment strategies for the management of TMD and other muscle pain conditions. This study provides evidence of functional interactions between ligand-gated channels, P2X3 and TRPV1/TRPA1, in trigeminal sensory neurons, and proposes that these interactions underlie the development of mechanical hyperalgesia. In the masseter muscle, direct P2X3 activation, via the selective agonist αβmeATP, induced a dose- and time-dependent hyperalgesia. Importantly, the αβmeATP-induced hyperalgesia was prevented by pretreatment of the muscle with a TRPV1 antagonist, AMG9810, or the TRPA1 antagonist, AP18. P2X3 was co-expressed with both TRPV1 and TRPA1 in masseter muscle afferents confirming the possibility for intracellular interactions. Moreover, in a subpopulation of P2X3 /TRPV1 positive neurons, capsaicin-induced Ca2+ transients were significantly potentiated following P2X3 activation. Inhibition of Ca2+-dependent kinases, PKC and CaMKII, prevented P2X3-mechanical hyperalgesia whereas blockade of Ca2+-independent PKA did not. Finally, activation of P2X3 induced phosphorylation of serine, but not threonine, residues in TRPV1 in trigeminal sensory neurons. Significant phosphorylation was observed at 15 minutes, the time point at which behavioral hyperalgesia was prominent. Similar data were obtained regarding another nonselective cation channel, the NMDA receptor (NMDAR). Our data propose P2X3 and NMDARs interact with TRPV1 in a facilitatory manner, which could contribute to the peripheral sensitization underlying masseter hyperalgesia. This study offers novel mechanisms by which individual pro-nociceptive ligand

  13. Molecular mechanisms underlying alcohol-drinking behaviours.

    PubMed

    Ron, Dorit; Barak, Segev

    2016-09-01

    The main characteristic of alcohol use disorder is the consumption of large quantities of alcohol despite the negative consequences. The transition from the moderate use of alcohol to excessive, uncontrolled alcohol consumption results from neuroadaptations that cause aberrant motivational learning and memory processes. Here, we examine studies that have combined molecular and behavioural approaches in rodents to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that keep the social intake of alcohol in check, which we term 'stop pathways', and the neuroadaptations that underlie the transition from moderate to uncontrolled, excessive alcohol intake, which we term 'go pathways'. We also discuss post-transcriptional, genetic and epigenetic alterations that underlie both types of pathways. PMID:27444358

  14. Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying presynapse formation

    PubMed Central

    Chia, Poh Hui; Li, Pengpeng

    2013-01-01

    Synapse formation is a highly regulated process that requires the coordination of many cell biological events. Decades of research have identified a long list of molecular components involved in assembling a functioning synapse. Yet how the various steps, from transporting synaptic components to adhering synaptic partners and assembling the synaptic structure, are regulated and precisely executed during development and maintenance is still unclear. With the improvement of imaging and molecular tools, recent work in vertebrate and invertebrate systems has provided important insight into various aspects of presynaptic development, maintenance, and trans-synaptic signals, thereby increasing our understanding of how extrinsic organizers and intracellular mechanisms contribute to presynapse formation. PMID:24127213

  15. Mechanisms Underlying Induction of Tolerance to Foods.

    PubMed

    Berin, M Cecilia; Shreffler, Wayne G

    2016-02-01

    Oral tolerance refers to a systemic immune nonresponsiveness to antigens first encountered by the oral route, and a failure in development of this homeostatic process can result in food allergy. Clinical tolerance induced by allergen immunotherapy is associated with alterations in immune mechanisms relevant to the allergic response, including reduction of basophil reactivity, induction of IgG4, loss of effector Th2 cells, and induction of Tregs. The relative contribution of these immune changes to clinical tolerance to foods, and the duration of these immune changes after termination of immunotherapy, remains to be identified. PMID:26617229

  16. Ionizing radiation and genetic risks. XVII. Formation mechanisms underlying naturally occurring DNA deletions in the human genome and their potential relevance for bridging the gap between induced DNA double-strand breaks and deletions in irradiated germ cells.

    PubMed

    Sankaranarayanan, Krishnaswami; Taleei, Reza; Rahmanian, Shirin; Nikjoo, Hooshang

    2013-01-01

    While much is known about radiation-induced DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and their repair, the question of how deletions of different sizes arise as a result of the processing of DSBs by the cell's repair systems has not been fully answered. In order to bridge this gap between DSBs and deletions, we critically reviewed published data on mechanisms pertaining to: (a) repair of DNA DSBs (from basic studies in this area); (b) formation of naturally occurring structural variation (SV) - especially of deletions - in the human genome (from genomic studies) and (c) radiation-induced mutations and structural chromosomal aberrations in mammalian somatic cells (from radiation mutagenesis and radiation cytogenetic studies). The specific aim was to assess the relative importance of the postulated mechanisms in generating deletions in the human genome and examine whether empirical data on radiation-induced deletions in mouse germ cells are consistent with predictions of these mechanisms. The mechanisms include (a) NHEJ, a DSB repair process that does not require any homology and which functions in all stages of the cell cycle (and is of particular relevance in G0/G1); (b) MMEJ, also a DSB repair process but which requires microhomology and which presumably functions in all cell cycle stages; (c) NAHR, a recombination-based DSB repair mechanism which operates in prophase I of meiosis in germ cells; (d) MMBIR, a microhomology-mediated, replication-based mechanism which operates in the S phase of the cell cycle, and (e) strand slippage during replication (involved in the origin of small insertions and deletions (INDELs). Our analysis permits the inference that, between them, these five mechanisms can explain nearly all naturally occurring deletions of different sizes identified in the human genome, NAHR and MMBIR being potentially more versatile in this regard. With respect to radiation-induced deletions, the basic studies suggest that those arising as a result of the operation

  17. Mechanisms Underlying Early Medieval Droughts in Mesoamerica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharya, T.; Chiang, J. C. H.

    2015-12-01

    Multidecadal drought during the early Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA, 800-1200 CE) in Mesoamerica has been implicated in the demise of many pre-Columbian societies, including the Maya. The mechanisms behind these droughts, however, are poorly understood. Researchers most often interpret these records as tracking the mean position of the ITCZ, with a southward shifted ITCZ resulting in Mesoamerican drought. This is puzzling, however, because our dynamical understanding of the ITCZ and its role in interhemispheric heat transport would suggest a more northward shifted ITCZ during the MCA. Here, we evaluate two hypotheses to reconcile existing proxies and dynamics. First, we assess whether evidence for dry conditions during the MCA is robust across multiple Mesoamerican proxy records, focusing on the influence of radiometric dating uncertainty on estimates of drought timing. Second, we use control simulations of CCSM4 and HadCM3, as well as a broader synthesis of oceanic and terrestrial proxies, to explore the mechanisms responsible for long-term drought in Mesoamerica. Ultimately, we suggest that a temporary slowdown of the AMOC, either internally or externally forced, combined with local and regional land surface feedbacks can explain these droughts in Mesoamerica.

  18. Potential Mechanisms of Progranulin-deficient FTLD

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Michael Emmerson

    2013-01-01

    Frontotemporal lobar dementia (FTLD) is the most common cause of dementia in patients younger than 60 years of age, and causes progressive neurodegeneration of the frontal and temporal lobes usually accompanied by devastating changes in language or behavior in affected individuals. Mutations in the progranulin (GRN) gene account for a significant fraction of familial FTLD, and in the vast majority of cases, these mutations lead to reduced expression of progranulin via nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. Progranulin is a secreted glycoprotein that regulates a diverse range of cellular functions including cell proliferation, cell migration, and inflammation. Recent fundamental discoveries about progranulin biology, including the findings that sortilin and tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) are high affinity progranulin receptors, are beginning to shed light on the mechanism(s) by which progranulin deficiency causes FTLD. This review will explore how alterations in basic cellular functions due to PGRN deficiency, both intrinsic and extrinsic to neurons, might lead to the development of FTLD. PMID:21892758

  19. Vitamin D and Bone Health; Potential Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Laird, Eamon; Ward, Mary; McSorley, Emeir; Strain, J.J.; Wallace, Julie

    2010-01-01

    Osteoporosis is associated with increased morbidity, mortality and significant economic and health costs. Vitamin D is a secosteriod hormone essential for calcium absorption and bone mineralization which is positively associated with bone mineral density [BMD]. It is well-established that prolonged and severe vitamin D deficiency leads to rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Sub-optimal vitamin D status has been reported in many populations but it is a particular concern in older people; thus there is clearly a need for effective strategies to optimise bone health. A number of recent studies have suggested that the role of vitamin D in preventing fractures may be via its mediating effects on muscle function (a defect in muscle function is one of the classical signs of rickets) and inflammation. Studies have demonstrated that vitamin D supplementation can improve muscle strength which in turn contributes to a decrease in incidence of falls, one of the largest contributors to fracture incidence. Osteoporosis is often considered to be an inflammatory condition and pro-inflammatory cytokines have been associated with increased bone metabolism. The immunoregulatory mechanisms of vitamin D may thus modulate the effect of these cytokines on bone health and subsequent fracture risk. Vitamin D, therefore, may influence fracture risk via a number of different mechanisms. PMID:22254049

  20. Biophysical mechanisms underlying olfactory receptor neuron dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Nagel, Katherine I.; Wilson, Rachel I.

    2010-01-01

    Odor responses of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) exhibit complex dynamics. Using genetics and pharmacology, we show that these dynamics in Drosophila ORNs can be separated into sequential steps, corresponding to transduction and spike generation. Each of these steps contributes distinct dynamics. Transduction dynamics can be largely explained by a simple kinetic model of ligand-receptor interactions, together with an adaptive feedback mechanism that slows transduction onset. Spiking dynamics are well-described by a differentiating linear filter that is stereotyped across odors and cells. Genetic knock-down of sodium channels reshapes this filter, implying that it arises from the regulated balance of intrinsic conductances in ORNs. Complex responses can be understood as a consequence of how the stereotyped spike filter interacts with odor- and receptor-specific transduction dynamics. However, in the presence of rapidly fluctuating natural stimuli, spiking simply increases the speed and sensitivity of encoding. PMID:21217763

  1. Neural mechanisms underlying the evolvability of behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Paul S.

    2011-01-01

    The complexity of nervous systems alters the evolvability of behaviour. Complex nervous systems are phylogenetically constrained; nevertheless particular species-specific behaviours have repeatedly evolved, suggesting a predisposition towards those behaviours. Independently evolved behaviours in animals that share a common neural architecture are generally produced by homologous neural structures, homologous neural pathways and even in the case of some invertebrates, homologous identified neurons. Such parallel evolution has been documented in the chromatic sensitivity of visual systems, motor behaviours and complex social behaviours such as pair-bonding. The appearance of homoplasious behaviours produced by homologous neural substrates suggests that there might be features of these nervous systems that favoured the repeated evolution of particular behaviours. Neuromodulation may be one such feature because it allows anatomically defined neural circuitry to be re-purposed. The developmental, genetic and physiological mechanisms that contribute to nervous system complexity may also bias the evolution of behaviour, thereby affecting the evolvability of species-specific behaviour. PMID:21690127

  2. Cellular and circuit mechanisms underlying spinocerebellar ataxias.

    PubMed

    Meera, Pratap; Pulst, Stefan M; Otis, Thomas S

    2016-08-15

    Degenerative ataxias are a common form of neurodegenerative disease that affect about 20 individuals per 100,000. The autosomal dominant spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) are caused by a variety of protein coding mutations (single nucleotide changes, deletions and expansions) in single genes. Affected genes encode plasma membrane and intracellular ion channels, membrane receptors, protein kinases, protein phosphatases and proteins of unknown function. Although SCA-linked genes are quite diverse they share two key features: first, they are highly, although not exclusively, expressed in cerebellar Purkinje neurons (PNs), and second, when mutated they lead ultimately to the degeneration of PNs. In this review we summarize ataxia-related changes in PN neurophysiology that have been observed in various mouse knockout lines and in transgenic models of human SCA. We also highlight emerging evidence that altered metabotropic glutamate receptor signalling and disrupted calcium homeostasis in PNs form a common, early pathophysiological mechanism in SCAs. Together these findings indicate that aberrant calcium signalling and profound changes in PN neurophysiology precede PN cell loss and are likely to lead to cerebellar circuit dysfunction that explains behavioural signs of ataxia characteristic of the disease. PMID:27198167

  3. Changes of trabecular bone under control of biologically mechanical mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, C.; Zhang, C. Q.; Dong, X.; Wu, H.

    2008-10-01

    In this study, a biological process of bone remodeling was considered as a closed loop feedback control system, which enables bone to optimize and renew itself over a lifetime. A novel idea of combining strain-adaptive and damage-induced remodeling algorithms at Basic Multicellular Unit (BMU) level was introduced. In order to make the outcomes get closer to clinical observation, the stochastic occurrence of microdamage was involved and a hypothesis that remodeling activation probability is related to the value of damage rate was assumed. Integrated with Finite Element Analysis (FEA), the changes of trabecular bone in morphology and material properties were simulated in the course of five years. The results suggest that deterioration and anisotropy of trabecluar bone are inevitable with natural aging, and that compression rather than tension can be applied to strengthen the ability of resistance to fracture. This investigation helps to gain more insight the mechanism of bone loss and identify improved treatment and prevention for osteoporosis or stress fracture.

  4. Mechanisms underlying the antidepressant response and treatment resistance

    PubMed Central

    Levinstein, Marjorie R.; Samuels, Benjamin A.

    2014-01-01

    Depression is a complex and heterogeneous disorder affecting millions of Americans. There are several different medications and other treatments that are available and effective for many patients with depression. However, a substantial percentage of patients fail to achieve remission with these currently available interventions, and relapse rates are high. Therefore, it is necessary to determine both the mechanisms underlying the antidepressant response and the differences between responders and non-responders to treatment. Delineation of these mechanisms largely relies on experiments that utilize animal models. Therefore, this review provides an overview of the various mouse models that are currently used to assess the antidepressant response, such as chronic mild stress, social defeat, and chronic corticosterone. We discuss how these mouse models can be used to advance our understanding of the differences between responders and non-responders to antidepressant treatment. We also provide an overview of experimental treatment modalities that are used for treatment-resistant depression, such as deep brain stimulation and ketamine administration. We will then review the various genetic polymorphisms and transgenic mice that display resistance to antidepressant treatment. Finally, we synthesize the published data to describe a potential neural circuit underlying the antidepressant response and treatment resistance. PMID:25018708

  5. RPE and Choroid Mechanisms Underlying Ocular Growth and Myopia

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yan; Wildsoet, Christine F.

    2016-01-01

    Myopia is the most common type of refractive errors and one of the world’s leading causes of blindness. Visual manipulations in animal models have provided convincing evidence for the role of environmental factors in myopia development. These models along with in vitro studies have provided important insights into underlying mechanisms. The key locations of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and choroid make them plausible conduits for relaying growth regulatory signals originating in the retina to the sclera, which ultimately determines eye size and shape. Identifying the key signal molecules and their targets may lead to the development of new myopia control treatments. This section summarizes findings implicating the RPE and choroid in myopia development. For RPE and/or choroid, changes in morphology, activity of ion channels/transporters, as well as in gene and protein expression, have been linked to altered eye growth. Both tissues thus represent potential targets for novel therapies for myopia. PMID:26310157

  6. Understanding the Mechanism of Hepatic Fibrosis and Potential Therapeutic Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, Areeba; Ahmad, Riaz

    2012-01-01

    Hepatic fibrosis (HF) is a progressive condition with serious clinical complications arising from abnormal proliferation and amassing of tough fibrous scar tissue. This defiance of collagen fibers becomes fatal due to ultimate failure of liver functions. Participation of various cell types, interlinked cellular events, and large number of mediator molecules make the fibrotic process enormously complex and dynamic. However, with better appreciation of underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms of fibrosis, the assumption that HF cannot be cured is gradually changing. Recent findings have underlined the therapeutic potential of a number of synthetic compounds as well as plant derivatives for cessation or even the reversal of the processes that transforms the liver into fibrotic tissue. It is expected that future inputs will provide a conceptual framework to develop more specific strategies that would facilitate the assessment of risk factors, shortlist early diagnosis biomarkers, and eventually guide development of effective therapeutic alternatives. PMID:22626794

  7. Effects of interatomic potentials on mechanical deformation of glasses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Wei-Ren; Iwashita, Takuya; Egami, Takeshi

    2013-03-01

    Apparently glasses behave like an elastic solid, which shows a linear relationship between stress and strain in mechanical deformation. However the understanding of the mechanical response of glasses remains elusive because of structural disorder. Mechanical deformation of monatomic model glasses was studied using athermal quasi-static shear (AQS) simulation and with three different potentials. As the interatomic potentials we employed the 12-6 Lennard-Jones (LJ) potential, modified Johnson (mJ) potential, and Dzugutov (Dz) potential, respectively. For mJ and Dz glasses the shear modulus keeps constant below a critical strain, below which it decreases rapidly or discontinuously with strain. Such changes in shear modulus were mostly related to the change in local topology of atomic connectivity or anelasticity. In contrast LJ glass shows a gradual decrease in shear modulus in a continuous manner. The results indicated that the difference arises from the nature of the potentials if the topology of atomic connectivity can be clearly defined.

  8. Unraveling the Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Nasopharyngeal Bacterial Community Structure.

    PubMed

    de Steenhuijsen Piters, Wouter A A; Bogaert, Debby

    2016-01-01

    The upper respiratory tract is colonized by a diverse array of commensal bacteria that harbor potential pathogens, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae. As long as the local microbial ecosystem-also called "microbiome"-is in balance, these potentially pathogenic bacterial residents cause no harm to the host. However, similar to macrobiological ecosystems, when the bacterial community structure gets perturbed, potential pathogens can overtake the niche and cause mild to severe infections. Recent studies using next-generation sequencing show that S. pneumoniae, as well as other potential pathogens, might be kept at bay by certain commensal bacteria, including Corynebacterium and Dolosigranulum spp. Bomar and colleagues are the first to explore a specific biological mechanism contributing to the antagonistic interaction between Corynebacterium accolens and S. pneumoniae in vitro [L. Bomar, S. D. Brugger, B. H. Yost, S. S. Davies, K. P. Lemon, mBio 7(1):e01725-15, 2016, doi:10.1128/mBio.01725-15]. The authors comprehensively show that C. accolens is capable of hydrolyzing host triacylglycerols into free fatty acids, which display antipneumococcal properties, suggesting that these bacteria might contribute to the containment of pneumococcus. This work exemplifies how molecular epidemiological findings can lay the foundation for mechanistic studies to elucidate the host-microbe and microbial interspecies interactions underlying the bacterial community structure. Next, translation of these results to an in vivo setting seems necessary to unveil the magnitude and importance of the observed effect in its natural, polymicrobial setting. PMID:26838716

  9. Unraveling the Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Nasopharyngeal Bacterial Community Structure

    PubMed Central

    de Steenhuijsen Piters, Wouter A. A.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The upper respiratory tract is colonized by a diverse array of commensal bacteria that harbor potential pathogens, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae. As long as the local microbial ecosystem—also called “microbiome”—is in balance, these potentially pathogenic bacterial residents cause no harm to the host. However, similar to macrobiological ecosystems, when the bacterial community structure gets perturbed, potential pathogens can overtake the niche and cause mild to severe infections. Recent studies using next-generation sequencing show that S. pneumoniae, as well as other potential pathogens, might be kept at bay by certain commensal bacteria, including Corynebacterium and Dolosigranulum spp. Bomar and colleagues are the first to explore a specific biological mechanism contributing to the antagonistic interaction between Corynebacterium accolens and S. pneumoniae in vitro [L. Bomar, S. D. Brugger, B. H. Yost, S. S. Davies, K. P. Lemon, mBio 7(1):e01725-15, 2016, doi:10.1128/mBio.01725-15]. The authors comprehensively show that C. accolens is capable of hydrolyzing host triacylglycerols into free fatty acids, which display antipneumococcal properties, suggesting that these bacteria might contribute to the containment of pneumococcus. This work exemplifies how molecular epidemiological findings can lay the foundation for mechanistic studies to elucidate the host-microbe and microbial interspecies interactions underlying the bacterial community structure. Next, translation of these results to an in vivo setting seems necessary to unveil the magnitude and importance of the observed effect in its natural, polymicrobial setting. PMID:26838716

  10. Mechanisms underlying subunit independence in pyramidal neuron dendrites.

    PubMed

    Behabadi, Bardia F; Mel, Bartlett W

    2014-01-01

    Pyramidal neuron (PN) dendrites compartmentalize voltage signals and can generate local spikes, which has led to the proposal that their dendrites act as independent computational subunits within a multilayered processing scheme. However, when a PN is strongly activated, back-propagating action potentials (bAPs) sweeping outward from the soma synchronize dendritic membrane potentials many times per second. How PN dendrites maintain the independence of their voltage-dependent computations, despite these repeated voltage resets, remains unknown. Using a detailed compartmental model of a layer 5 PN, and an improved method for quantifying subunit independence that incorporates a more accurate model of dendritic integration, we first established that the output of each dendrite can be almost perfectly predicted by the intensity and spatial configuration of its own synaptic inputs, and is nearly invariant to the rate of bAP-mediated "cross-talk" from other dendrites over a 100-fold range. Then, through an analysis of conductance, voltage, and current waveforms within the model cell, we identify three biophysical mechanisms that together help make independent dendritic computation possible in a firing neuron, suggesting that a major subtype of neocortical neuron has been optimized for layered, compartmentalized processing under in-vivo-like spiking conditions. PMID:24357611

  11. Possible Mechanisms Underlying the Therapeutic Effects of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Chervyakov, Alexander V.; Chernyavsky, Andrey Yu.; Sinitsyn, Dmitry O.; Piradov, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an effective method used to diagnose and treat many neurological disorders. Although repetitive TMS (rTMS) has been used to treat a variety of serious pathological conditions including stroke, depression, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, pain, and migraines, the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the effects of long-term TMS remain unclear. In the present review, the effects of rTMS on neurotransmitters and synaptic plasticity are described, including the classic interpretations of TMS effects on synaptic plasticity via long-term potentiation and long-term depression. We also discuss the effects of rTMS on the genetic apparatus of neurons, glial cells, and the prevention of neuronal death. The neurotrophic effects of rTMS on dendritic growth and sprouting and neurotrophic factors are described, including change in brain-derived neurotrophic factor concentration under the influence of rTMS. Also, non-classical effects of TMS related to biophysical effects of magnetic fields are described, including the quantum effects, the magnetic spin effects, genetic magnetoreception, the macromolecular effects of TMS, and the electromagnetic theory of consciousness. Finally, we discuss possible interpretations of TMS effects according to dynamical systems theory. Evidence suggests that a rTMS-induced magnetic field should be considered a separate physical factor that can be impactful at the subatomic level and that rTMS is capable of significantly altering the reactivity of molecules (radicals). It is thought that these factors underlie the therapeutic benefits of therapy with TMS. Future research on these mechanisms will be instrumental to the development of more powerful and reliable TMS treatment protocols. PMID:26136672

  12. Potential therapeutic mechanism of K(+) channel block for MS.

    PubMed

    Baker, Mark D

    2013-10-01

    While the potential use of K(+) channel blockers in MS has been explored over many years, the approval in the US, and more recently in the UK, of fampyra (fampridine, 4-aminopyridine, 4-AP) as a symptomatic treatment for walking disability, has reawakened interest. Recent years have seen a real improvement in the treatment options for relapsing remitting MS, but the disease remains inadequately treated, with the progressive phase (characterised by irreversible functional loss) lacking any effective therapy. Whether the symptomatic relief afforded by 4-AP translates into neuroprotection, remains poorly investigated, although there is no clear reason why this would be expected. Importantly, future clinical studies may shed light on this question. This review includes an overview of axonal K(+) channel expression and pharmacology, and the logic of the use of K(+) channel blockers derived from observations in experimental studies of demyelination and synaptic transmission. It provides an insight into the probable biophysical actions of 4-AP, and how its action may aid in the symptomatic treatment of MS. The key message of this review is that 4-AP is a blocker of neuronal K(+) channels, and its administration is known to be of value in the symptomatic treatment of some patients. The details of the mechanism underlying the beneficial effects remain somewhat vague, and the molecular target has not been properly defined. The useful mechanism is likely to include an action on synaptic function, but whether it is the presynaptic terminal or the presynaptic axon that is the primary target is unknown. It is argued that because of the apparent inability of 4-AP to increase safety factor in experimental demyelination when clinically relevant concentrations are used, it cannot be the ideal pharmacological agent for treating demyelination by the widening of axonal action potentials. That said, it remains a possibility that the useful therapeutic effect of 4-AP may involve subtle

  13. Molecular Mechanics: The Method and Its Underlying Philosophy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyd, Donald B.; Lipkowitz, Kenny B.

    1982-01-01

    Molecular mechanics is a nonquantum mechanical method for solving problems concerning molecular geometries and energy. Methodology based on: the principle of combining potential energy functions of all structural features of a particular molecule into a total force field; derivation of basic equations; and use of available computer programs is…

  14. The Challenge of Characterizing Operations in the Mechanisms Underlying Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bechtel, William

    2005-01-01

    Neuroscience and cognitive science seek to explain behavioral regularities in terms of underlying mechanisms. An important element of a mechanistic explanation is a characterization of the operations of the parts of the mechanism. The challenge in characterizing such operations is illustrated by an example from the history of physiological…

  15. Students' Conceptual Difficulties in Quantum Mechanics: Potential Well Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozcan, Ozgur; Didis, Nilufer; Tasar, Mehmet Fatih

    2009-01-01

    In this study, students' conceptual difficulties about some basic concepts in quantum mechanics like one-dimensional potential well problems and probability density of tunneling particles were identified. For this aim, a multiple choice instrument named Quantum Mechanics Conceptual Test has been developed by one of the researchers of this study…

  16. Exactly Solvable Quantum Mechanical Potentials: An Alternative Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pronchik, Jeremy N.; Williams, Brian W.

    2003-01-01

    Describes an alternative approach to finding exactly solvable, one-dimensional quantum mechanical potentials. Differs from the usual approach in that instead of starting with a particular potential and seeking solutions to the related Schrodinger equations, it begins with known solutions to second-order ordinary differential equations and seeks to…

  17. Alveolar bone loss: mechanisms, potential therapeutic targets, and interventions.

    PubMed

    Intini, G; Katsuragi, Y; Kirkwood, K L; Yang, S

    2014-05-01

    This article reviews recent research into mechanisms underlying bone resorption and highlights avenues of investigation that may generate new therapies to combat alveolar bone loss in periodontitis. Several proteins, signaling pathways, stem cells, and dietary supplements are discussed as they relate to periodontal bone loss and regeneration. RGS12 is a crucial protein that mediates osteoclastogenesis and bone destruction, and a potential therapeutic target. RGS12 likely regulates osteoclast differentiation through regulating calcium influx to control the calcium oscillation-NFATc1 pathway. A working model for RGS10 and RGS12 in the regulation of Ca(2+) oscillations during osteoclast differentiation is proposed. Initiation of inflammation depends on host cell-microbe interactions, including the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway. Oral p38 inhibitors reduced lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced bone destruction in a rat periodontitis model but showed unsatisfactory safety profiles. The p38 substrate MK2 is a more specific therapeutic target with potentially superior tolerability. Furthermore, MKP-1 shows anti-inflammatory activity, reducing inflammatory cytokine biosynthesis and bone resorption. Multipotent skeletal stem cell (SSC) populations exist within the bone marrow and periosteum of long bones. These bone-marrow-derived SSCs and periosteum-derived SSCs have shown therapeutic potential in several applications, including bone and periodontal regeneration. The existence of craniofacial bone-specific SSCs is suggested based on existing studies. The effects of calcium, vitamin D, and soy isoflavone supplementation on alveolar and skeletal bone loss in post-menopausal women were investigated. Supplementation resulted in stabilization of forearm bone mass density and a reduced rate of alveolar bone loss over 1 yr, compared with placebo. Periodontal attachment levels were also well-maintained and alveolar bone loss suppressed during 24 wk of

  18. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Muscle Fiber Composition Under Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenthal, Nadia A.

    1999-01-01

    The overall goal of this project is to reveal the molecular mechanisms underlying the selective and debilitating atrophy of specific skeletal muscle fiber types that accompanies sustained conditions of microgravity. Since little is currently known about the regulation of fiber-specific gene expression programs in mammalian muscle, elucidation of the basic mechanisms of fiber diversification is a necessary prerequisite to the generation of therapeutic strategies for attenuation of muscle atrophy on earth or in space. Vertebrate skeletal muscle development involves the fusion of undifferentiated mononucleated myoblasts to form multinucleated myofibers, with a concomitant activation of muscle-specific genes encoding proteins that form the force-generating contractile apparatus. The regulatory circuitry controlling skeletal muscle gene expression has been well studied in a number of vertebrate animal systems. The goal of this project has been to achieve a similar level of understanding of the mechanisms underlying the further specification of muscles into different fiber types, and the role played by innervation and physical activity in the maintenance and adaptation of different fiber phenotypes into adulthood. Our recent research on the genetic basis of fiber specificity has focused on the emergence of mature fiber types and have implicated a group of transcriptional regulatory proteins, known as E proteins, in the control of fiber specificity. The restriction of E proteins to selected muscle fiber types is an attractive hypothetical mechanism for the generation of muscle fiber-specific patterns of gene expression. To date our results support a model wherein different E proteins are selectively expressed in muscle cells to determine fiber-restricted gene expression. These studies are a first step to define the molecular mechanisms responsible for the shifts in fiber type under conditions of microgravity, and to determine the potential importance of E proteins as

  19. The Intricate Interplay between Mechanisms Underlying Aging and Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Piano, Amanda; Titorenko, Vladimir I.

    2015-01-01

    Age is the major risk factor in the incidence of cancer, a hyperplastic disease associated with aging. Here, we discuss the complex interplay between mechanisms underlying aging and cancer as a reciprocal relationship. This relationship progresses with organismal age, follows the history of cell proliferation and senescence, is driven by common or antagonistic causes underlying aging and cancer in an age-dependent fashion, and is maintained via age-related convergent and divergent mechanisms. We summarize our knowledge of these mechanisms, outline the most important unanswered questions and suggest directions for future research. PMID:25657853

  20. Mechanical Modeling of a WIPP Drum Under Pressure

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Jeffrey A.

    2014-11-25

    Mechanical modeling was undertaken to support the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) technical assessment team (TAT) investigating the February 14th 2014 event where there was a radiological release at the WIPP. The initial goal of the modeling was to examine if a mechanical model could inform the team about the event. The intention was to have a model that could test scenarios with respect to the rate of pressurization. It was expected that the deformation and failure (inability of the drum to contain any pressure) would vary according to the pressurization rate. As the work progressed there was also interest in using the mechanical analysis of the drum to investigate what would happen if a drum pressurized when it was located under a standard waste package. Specifically, would the deformation be detectable from camera views within the room. A finite element model of a WIPP 55-gallon drum was developed that used all hex elements. Analyses were conducted using the explicit transient dynamics module of Sierra/SM to explore potential pressurization scenarios of the drum. Theses analysis show similar deformation patterns to documented pressurization tests of drums in the literature. The calculated failure pressures from previous tests documented in the literature vary from as little as 16 psi to 320 psi. In addition, previous testing documented in the literature shows drums bulging but not failing at pressures ranging from 69 to 138 psi. The analyses performed for this study found the drums failing at pressures ranging from 35 psi to 75 psi. When the drums are pressurized quickly (in 0.01 seconds) there is significant deformation to the lid. At lower pressurization rates the deformation of the lid is considerably less, yet the lids will still open from the pressure. The analyses demonstrate the influence of pressurization rate on deformation and opening pressure of the drums. Analyses conducted with a substantial mass on top of the closed drum demonstrate that the

  1. Calcium signalling in pancreatic stellate cells: Mechanisms and potential roles.

    PubMed

    Gryshchenko, Oleksiy; Gerasimenko, Julia V; Gerasimenko, Oleg V; Petersen, Ole H

    2016-03-01

    Hepatic and pancreatic stellate cells may or may not be regarded as stem cells, but they are capable of remarkable transformations. There is less information about stellate cells in the pancreas than in the liver, where they were discovered much earlier and therefore have been studied longer and more intensively than in the pancreas. Most of the work on pancreatic stellate cells has been carried out in studies on cell cultures, but in this review we focus attention on Ca(2+) signalling in stellate cells in their real pancreatic environment. We review current knowledge on patho-physiologically relevant Ca(2+) signalling events and their underlying mechanisms. We focus on the effects of bradykinin in the initial stages of acute pancreatitis, an often fatal disease in which the pancreas digests itself and its surroundings. Ca(2+) signals, elicited in the stellate cells by the action of bradykinin, may have a negative effect on the outcome of the acute disease process and promote the development of chronic pancreatitis. The bradykinin-elicited Ca(2+) signals can be inhibited by blockade of type 2 receptors and also by blockade of Ca(2+)-release activated Ca(2+) channels. The potential benefits of such pharmacological inhibition for the treatment of pancreatitis are reviewed. PMID:26960936

  2. Assessing Vulnerability of Electricity Generation Under Potential Future Droughts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, E.; Tidwell, V. C.; Wigmosta, M. S.

    2014-12-01

    In the past few decades, the western US experienced increased sever, frequent, and prolonged droughts resulting in significant water availability issues, which raised questions as to how electricity sector might be vulnerable to future droughts. To improve our understanding of potential risks of electricity generation curtailment due to drought, an impact analysis was performed with a series of modeling tools including climate downscaling, competitive water-use calculator, hydrologic model for various hydrologic processes, and power-plant specific models. This presentation will demonstrate the predicted effects of potential droughts on power generation at a local level of the USGS 8-digit watersheds and individual power plants within the context of current and future characteristics of power system and water resource system.The study identified three potential drought scenarios based on historical drought records and projected climate changes from the GFDL and the PCM global climate models, for greenhouse gas emission scenarios A1B, A2, and B1 defined by the IPCC. The potential impacts under these three drought scenarios were evaluated with a hydrologic model constructed for the Pacific Northwest River Basin and California River Basin. The hydrologic model incorporates competitive water uses, climate forcing data corresponding to each of drought scenarios, and all major reservoirs that are currently supporting water withdrawal for various sectors and hydroelectric power generation. The hydrologic responses to drought scenarios predicted for each of the USGS 8-digit watersheds and reservoirs are used as input to power-plant specific models to quantify potential risk of curtailment at each power plant. The key findings from this study will help to improve understanding of spatial distribution of vulnerable power plants and watersheds as well as the scale of potential reduction of electricity generation under various drought scenarios. Beyond impacts to the existing

  3. MRZ-99030 - A novel modulator of Aβ aggregation: I - Mechanism of action (MoA) underlying the potential neuroprotective treatment of Alzheimer's disease, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

    PubMed

    Parsons, Christopher G; Ruitenberg, Maarten; Freitag, Christine E; Sroka-Saidi, Kamila; Russ, Hermann; Rammes, Gerhard

    2015-05-01

    Therapeutic approaches addressing β-amyloid1-42 (Aβ1-42) aggregation represent a promising neuroprotective strategy for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma. MRZ-99030 is a dipeptide containing d-tryptophan and 2-amino-2-methylpropionic acid in clinical development for the topical treatment of glaucoma and AMD. MRZ-99030 is an Aβ aggregation modulator, previously reported to prevent the formation of soluble toxic oligomeric Aβ species. The present study confirmed that MRZ-99030 prevents the formation of oligomeric Aβ species using similar SDS-PAGE experiments. However, additional data from TR-FRET, DLS and AFM experiments revealed that MRZ-99030 does not directly prevent early protein/protein interactions between monomeric Aβ, but rather promotes the formation of large, non-amyloidogenic, amorphous Aβ aggregates and thereby reduces the amount of intermediate toxic soluble oligomeric Aβ species. The affinity of MRZ-99030 to Aβ1-42 determined by SPR was 28.4 nM but the ratio of compound to Aβ is also important: a 10-20 fold excess of MRZ-99030 over Aβ is probably required for effective modulation of protein/protein interactions. For example, in glaucoma, assuming a maximal Aβ concentration of 1-15 nM in the retina, up to 150 nM MRZ-99030 could be required at the protein target. In line with this consideration, MRZ-99030 was able to prevent Aβ-induced toxicity on PC12 cells, retinal ganglion cells and retinal pigment epithelium cells when present at a 10-20 fold stoichiometric excess over Aβ. Moreover, in vivo studies demonstrate the neuroprotective potential of MRZ-99030 after systemic and topical administration in animal models of Alzheimer's disease and glaucoma/AMD respectively. PMID:25634238

  4. Damage mechanisms in PBT-GF30 under thermo-mechanical cyclic loading

    SciTech Connect

    Schaaf, A. De Monte, M. Hoffmann, C.; Vormwald, M.; Quaresimin, M.

    2014-05-15

    The scope of this paper is the investigation of damage mechanisms at microscopic scale on a short glass fiber reinforced polybutylene terephthalate (PBT-GF30) under thermo-mechanical cyclic loading. In addition the principal mechanisms are verified through micro mechanical FE models. In order to investigate the fatigue behavior of the material both isothermal strain controlled fatigue (ISCF) tests at three different temperatures and thermo-mechanical fatigue (TMF) tests were conducted on plain and notched specimens, manufactured by injection molding. The goal of the work is to determine the damage mechanisms occurring under TMF conditions and to compare them with the mechanisms occurring under ISCF. For this reason fracture surfaces of TMF and ISCF samples loaded at different temperature levels were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy. Furthermore, specimens that failed under TMF were examined on microsections revealing insight into both crack initiation and crack propagation. The findings of this investigation give valuable information about the main damage mechanisms of PBT-GF30 under TMF loading and serve as basis for the development of a TMF life estimation methodology.

  5. Mechanical Isolation of Highly Stable Antimonene under Ambient Conditions.

    PubMed

    Ares, Pablo; Aguilar-Galindo, Fernando; Rodríguez-San-Miguel, David; Aldave, Diego A; Díaz-Tendero, Sergio; Alcamí, Manuel; Martín, Fernando; Gómez-Herrero, Julio; Zamora, Félix

    2016-08-01

    Antimonene fabricated by mechanical exfoliation is highly stable under atmospheric conditions over periods of months and even when immersed in water. Density functional theory confirms the experiments and predicts an electronic gap of ≈1 eV. These results highlight the use of antimonene for optoelectronics applications. PMID:27272099

  6. Neural Circuitry and Plasticity Mechanisms Underlying Delay Eyeblink Conditioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freeman, John H.; Steinmetz, Adam B.

    2011-01-01

    Pavlovian eyeblink conditioning has been used extensively as a model system for examining the neural mechanisms underlying associative learning. Delay eyeblink conditioning depends on the intermediate cerebellum ipsilateral to the conditioned eye. Evidence favors a two-site plasticity model within the cerebellum with long-term depression of…

  7. Mechanisms Underlying Language Acquisition: Benefits from a Comparative Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weiss, Daniel J.; Newport, Elissa L.

    2006-01-01

    One of the longstanding issues in language research has been the extent to which the mechanisms underlying language acquisition are uniquely human. The primary goal of this article is to introduce the reader to some of the recent developments in comparative language research that have shed new light on this issue. To appreciate the significance of…

  8. New Potentials for Old: The Darboux Transformation in Quantum Mechanics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Brian Wesley; Celius, Tevye C.

    2008-01-01

    The Darboux transformation in quantum mechanics is reviewed at a basic level. Examples of how this transformation leads to exactly solvable potentials related to the "particle in a box" and the harmonic oscillator are shown in detail. The connection between the Darboux transformation and some modern operator based approaches to quantum mechanics…

  9. Child Care Subsidy Use and Child Development: Potential Causal Mechanisms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawkinson, Laura E.

    2011-01-01

    Research using an experimental design is needed to provide firm causal evidence on the impacts of child care subsidy use on child development, and on underlying causal mechanisms since subsidies can affect child development only indirectly via changes they cause in children's early experiences. However, before costly experimental research is…

  10. Stabilization of solitons under competing nonlinearities by external potentials

    SciTech Connect

    Zegadlo, Krzysztof B. Karpierz, Miroslaw A.; Wasak, Tomasz; Trippenbach, Marek; Malomed, Boris A.

    2014-12-15

    We report results of the analysis for families of one-dimensional (1D) trapped solitons, created by competing self-focusing (SF) quintic and self-defocusing (SDF) cubic nonlinear terms. Two trapping potentials are considered, the harmonic-oscillator (HO) and delta-functional ones. The models apply to optical solitons in colloidal waveguides and other photonic media, and to matter-wave solitons in Bose-Einstein condensates loaded into a quasi-1D trap. For the HO potential, the results are obtained in an approximate form, using the variational and Thomas-Fermi approximations, and in a full numerical form, including the ground state and the first antisymmetric excited one. For the delta-functional attractive potential, the results are produced in a fully analytical form, and verified by means of numerical methods. Both exponentially localized solitons and weakly localized trapped modes are found for the delta-functional potential. The most essential conclusions concern the applicability of competing Vakhitov-Kolokolov (VK) and anti-VK criteria to the identification of the stability of solitons created under the action of the competing SF and SDF terms.

  11. Stabilization of solitons under competing nonlinearities by external potentials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zegadlo, Krzysztof B.; Wasak, Tomasz; Malomed, Boris A.; Karpierz, Miroslaw A.; Trippenbach, Marek

    2014-12-01

    We report results of the analysis for families of one-dimensional (1D) trapped solitons, created by competing self-focusing (SF) quintic and self-defocusing (SDF) cubic nonlinear terms. Two trapping potentials are considered, the harmonic-oscillator (HO) and delta-functional ones. The models apply to optical solitons in colloidal waveguides and other photonic media, and to matter-wave solitons in Bose-Einstein condensates loaded into a quasi-1D trap. For the HO potential, the results are obtained in an approximate form, using the variational and Thomas-Fermi approximations, and in a full numerical form, including the ground state and the first antisymmetric excited one. For the delta-functional attractive potential, the results are produced in a fully analytical form, and verified by means of numerical methods. Both exponentially localized solitons and weakly localized trapped modes are found for the delta-functional potential. The most essential conclusions concern the applicability of competing Vakhitov-Kolokolov (VK) and anti-VK criteria to the identification of the stability of solitons created under the action of the competing SF and SDF terms.

  12. Formation of the imidazolides of dinucleotides under potentially prebiotic conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sleeper, H. L.; Lohrmann, R.; Orgel, L. E.

    1978-01-01

    Imidazolides of dinucleotides such as ImpApA can be formed from the corresponding dinucleotides in a two-stage process, which gives up to 15% yields under potentially prebiotic conditions. First a solution of the dinucleotide and sodium trimetaphosphate is dried out at constant temperature and humidity. This produces polyphosphates such as p(n)ApA in excellent yield (greater than or equal to 80%). The products are dissolved in water, imidazole is added, and the solution is dried out again. This yields the 5'-phosphorimidazolides.

  13. Mechanisms of enhanced taurine release under Ca2+ depletion.

    PubMed

    Molchanova, Svetlana M; Oja, Simo S; Saransaari, Pirjo

    2005-10-01

    The sulfur-containing amino acid taurine is an inhibitory neuromodulator in the brain of mammals, as well as a key substance in the regulation of cell volumes. The effect of Ca(2+) on extracellular taurine concentrations is of special interest in the context of the regulatory mechanisms of taurine release. The aim of this study was to characterize the basal release of taurine in Ca(2+)-free medium using in vivo microdialysis of the striatum of anesthetized rats. Perfusion of Ca(2+)-free medium via a microdialysis probe evoked a sustained release of taurine (up to 180 % compared to the basal levels). The Ca(2+) chelator EGTA (1mM) potentiated Ca(2+) depletion-evoked taurine release. The substitution of CaCl(2) by choline chloride did not alter the observed effect. Ca(2+)-free solution did not significantly evoke release of taurine from tissue loaded with the competitive inhibitor of taurine transporter guanidinoethanesulfonate (1mM), suggesting that in Ca(2+) depletion taurine is released by the transporter operating in the outward direction. The volume-sensitive chloride channel blocker diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2'-disulfonate (1mM) did not attenuate the taurine release evoked by Ca(2+) depletion. The non-specific blocker of voltage-sensitive Ca(2+) channels NiCl(2) (0.65 mM) enhanced taurine release in the presence of Ca(2+). CdCl(2) (0.25 mM) had no effect under these conditions. However, both CdCl(2) and NiCl(2) attenuated the effect of Ca(2+)-free medium on the release of taurine. The data obtained imply the involvement of both decreased influx of Ca(2+) and increased non-specific influx of Na(+) through voltage-sensitive calcium channels in the regulation of transporter-mediated taurine release in Ca(2+) depletion. PMID:15982785

  14. The Potential Neural Mechanisms of Acute Indirect Vibration

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    There is strong evidence to suggest that acute indirect vibration acts on muscle to enhance force, power, flexibility, balance and proprioception suggesting neural enhancement. Nevertheless, the neural mechanism(s) of vibration and its potentiating effect have received little attention. One proposal suggests that spinal reflexes enhance muscle contraction through a reflex activity known as tonic vibration stretch reflex (TVR), which increases muscle activation. However, TVR is based on direct, brief, and high frequency vibration (>100 Hz) which differs to indirect vibration, which is applied to the whole body or body parts at lower vibration frequency (5-45 Hz). Likewise, muscle tuning and neuromuscular aspects are other candidate mechanisms used to explain the vibration phenomenon. But there is much debate in terms of identifying which neural mechanism(s) are responsible for acute vibration; due to a number of studies using various vibration testing protocols. These protocols include: different methods of application, vibration variables, training duration, exercise types and a range of population groups. Therefore, the neural mechanism of acute vibration remain equivocal, but spinal reflexes, muscle tuning and neuromuscular aspects are all viable factors that may contribute in different ways to increasing muscular performance. Additional research is encouraged to determine which neural mechanism(s) and their contributions are responsible for acute vibration. Testing variables and vibration applications need to be standardised before reaching a consensus on which neural mechanism(s) occur during and post-vibration. Key points There is strong evidence to suggest that acute indirect vibration acts on muscle to enhance force, power, flexibility, balance and proprioception, but little attention has been given to the neural mechanism(s) of acute indirect vibration. Current findings suggest that acute vibration exposure may cause a neural response, but there is little

  15. Linkages of plant-soil feedbacks and underlying invasion mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Inderjit; Cahill, James F

    2015-01-01

    Soil microbial communities and processes have repeatedly been shown to impact plant community assembly and population growth. Soil-driven effects may be particularly pronounced with the introduction of plants to non-native ranges, as introduced plants are not typically accompanied by transference of local soil communities. Here we describe how the mechanisms by which soil community processes influence plant growth overlap with several known and well-described mechanisms of plant invasion. Critically, a given soil community process may either facilitate or limit invasion, depending upon local conditions and the specific mechanisms of soil processes involved. Additionally, as soil communities typically consist of species with short generation times, the net consequences of plant-soil feedbacks for invasion trajectories are likely to change over time, as ecological and evolutionary adjustments occur. Here we provide an overview of the ecological linkages of plant-soil feedbacks and underlying mechanisms of invasion. PMID:25784668

  16. Dynamic performance of dissipative dielectric elastomers under alternating mechanical load

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Junshi; Chen, Hualing; Sheng, Junjie; Liu, Lei; Wang, Yongquan; Jia, Shuhai

    2014-07-01

    This paper presents a theoretical study about the effect of dissipation on the dynamic performance of a dielectric elastomer membrane subject to a combination of mechanical load and voltage. The thermodynamic dissipative model is given and the equation of motion is deduced by a free energy method. It is found that when the applied mechanical load and voltage are static, the membrane may reach a state of equilibrium after the viscoelastic relaxation. When the voltage is static but the mechanical load is sinusoidal, the membrane will resonate at multiple frequencies. The study result indicates that the viscoelasticity can reduce the natural frequency and increase the mean stretch of the dielectric elastomer. After the power source is cut off, the effect of current leakage on dynamic performance under alternating mechanical load is that the natural frequency increases and the mean stretch reduces.

  17. Thermal and mechanical response of PBX 9501 under contact excitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mares, J. O.; Miller, J. K.; Sharp, N. D.; Moore, D. S.; Adams, D. E.; Groven, L. J.; Rhoads, J. F.; Son, S. F.

    2013-02-01

    The thermal and mechanical responses of a cyclotetramethylene-tetranitramine-based explosive (PBX 9501) and two non-energetic mock materials (900-21 and PBS 9501) under high-frequency mechanical excitation are presented. Direct contact ultrasound transducers were used to excite samples through a frequency range of 50 kHz to 40 MHz. The mechanical response of each sample was approximated from a contact receiving transducer and trends were confirmed via laser Doppler vibrometry. The steady-state thermal response of the samples was measured at discrete excitation frequencies via infrared thermography. A maximum temperature rise of approximately 15 K was observed in PBX 9501, and the mock materials exhibited similar thermal characteristics. Temperature gradients were calculated to estimate the total heat generated within the samples due to the mechanical excitation. The active heating mechanisms were found to be highly dependent on the frequency of excitation. Possible mechanisms of heating at frequencies below 1 MHz are likely related to bulk motion. Above this frequency, the active heating mechanisms are likely related to particle-scale processes. The observed phenomena may prove useful in the aid of current trace vapor detection methods for explosives.

  18. A potential mechanism underlying atypical antipsychotics-induced lipid disturbances

    PubMed Central

    Cai, H L; Tan, Q Y; Jiang, P; Dang, R L; Xue, Y; Tang, M M; Xu, P; Deng, Y; Li, H D; Yao, J K

    2015-01-01

    Previous findings suggested that a four-protein complex, including sterol-regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP), SREBP-cleavage-activating protein (SCAP), insulin-induced gene (INSIG) and progesterone receptor membrane component 1 (PGRMC1), within the endoplasmic reticulum appears to be an important regulator responsible for atypical antipsychotic drug (AAPD)-induced lipid disturbances. In the present study, effects of typical antipsychotic drug and AAPDs as well as treatment outcome of steroid antagonist mifepristone (MIF) on the PGRMC1/INSIG/SCAP/SREBP pathway were investigated in rat liver using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and western blot analysis. In addition, serum triacylglycerol, total cholesterol, free fatty acids and various hormones including progesterone, corticosterone and insulin were measured simultaneously. Following treatment with clozapine or risperidone, both lipogenesis and cholesterogenesis were enhanced via inhibition of PGRMC1/INSIG-2 and activation of SCAP/SREBP expressions. Such metabolic disturbances, however, were not demonstrated in rats treated with aripiprazole (ARI) or haloperidol (HAL). Moreover, the add-on treatment of MIF was effective in reversing the AAPD-induced lipid disturbances by upregulating the expression of PGRMC1/INSIG-2 and subsequent downregulation of SCAP/SREBP. Taken together, our findings suggest that disturbances in lipid metabolism can occur at an early stage of AAPD treatment before the presence of weight gain. Such metabolic defects can be modified by an add-on treatment of steroid antagonist MIF enhancing the PGRMC1 pathway. Thus, it is likely that PGRMC1/INSIG-2 signaling may be a therapeutic target for AAPD-induced weight gain. PMID:26485545

  19. Potential Mechanisms Underlying Intercortical Signal Regulation via Cholinergic Neuromodulators

    PubMed Central

    Whittington, Miles A.; Kopell, Nancy J.

    2015-01-01

    The dynamical behavior of the cortex is extremely complex, with different areas and even different layers of a cortical column displaying different temporal patterns. A major open question is how the signals from different layers and different brain regions are coordinated in a flexible manner to support function. Here, we considered interactions between primary auditory cortex and adjacent association cortex. Using a biophysically based model, we show how top-down signals in the beta and gamma regimes can interact with a bottom-up gamma rhythm to provide regulation of signals between the cortical areas and among layers. The flow of signals depends on cholinergic modulation: with only glutamatergic drive, we show that top-down gamma rhythms may block sensory signals. In the presence of cholinergic drive, top-down beta rhythms can lift this blockade and allow signals to flow reciprocally between primary sensory and parietal cortex. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Flexible coordination of multiple cortical areas is critical for complex cognitive functions, but how this is accomplished is not understood. Using computational models, we studied the interactions between primary auditory cortex (A1) and association cortex (Par2). Our model is capable of replicating interaction patterns observed in vitro and the simulations predict that the coordination between top-down gamma and beta rhythms is central to the gating process regulating bottom-up sensory signaling projected from A1 to Par2 and that cholinergic modulation allows this coordination to occur. PMID:26558772

  20. Emotional responses to music: the need to consider underlying mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Juslin, Patrik N; Västfjäll, Daniel

    2008-10-01

    Research indicates that people value music primarily because of the emotions it evokes. Yet, the notion of musical emotions remains controversial, and researchers have so far been unable to offer a satisfactory account of such emotions. We argue that the study of musical emotions has suffered from a neglect of underlying mechanisms. Specifically, researchers have studied musical emotions without regard to how they were evoked, or have assumed that the emotions must be based on the "default" mechanism for emotion induction, a cognitive appraisal. Here, we present a novel theoretical framework featuring six additional mechanisms through which music listening may induce emotions: (1) brain stem reflexes, (2) evaluative conditioning, (3) emotional contagion, (4) visual imagery, (5) episodic memory, and (6) musical expectancy. We propose that these mechanisms differ regarding such characteristics as their information focus, ontogenetic development, key brain regions, cultural impact, induction speed, degree of volitional influence, modularity, and dependence on musical structure. By synthesizing theory and findings from different domains, we are able to provide the first set of hypotheses that can help researchers to distinguish among the mechanisms. We show that failure to control for the underlying mechanism may lead to inconsistent or non-interpretable findings. Thus, we argue that the new framework may guide future research and help to resolve previous disagreements in the field. We conclude that music evokes emotions through mechanisms that are not unique to music, and that the study of musical emotions could benefit the emotion field as a whole by providing novel paradigms for emotion induction. PMID:18826699

  1. Experimental Analysis of the Mechanism of Hearing under Water

    PubMed Central

    Chordekar, Shai; Kishon-Rabin, Liat; Kriksunov, Leonid; Adelman, Cahtia; Sohmer, Haim

    2015-01-01

    The mechanism of human hearing under water is debated. Some suggest it is by air conduction (AC), others by bone conduction (BC), and others by a combination of AC and BC. A clinical bone vibrator applied to soft tissue sites on the head, neck, and thorax also elicits hearing by a mechanism called soft tissue conduction (STC) or nonosseous BC. The present study was designed to test whether underwater hearing at low intensities is by AC or by osseous BC based on bone vibrations or by nonosseous BC (STC). Thresholds of normal hearing participants to bone vibrator stimulation with their forehead in air were recorded and again when forehead and bone vibrator were under water. A vibrometer detected vibrations of a dry human skull in all similar conditions (in air and under water) but not when water was the intermediary between the sound source and the skull forehead. Therefore, the intensities required to induce vibrations of the dry skull in water were significantly higher than the underwater hearing thresholds of the participants, under conditions when hearing by AC and osseous BC is not likely. The results support the hypothesis that hearing under water at low sound intensities may be attributed to nonosseous BC (STC). PMID:26770975

  2. Atypical Gaze Following in Autism: A Comparison of Three Potential Mechanisms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gillespie-Lynch, K.; Elias, R.; Escudero, P.; Hutman, T.; Johnson, S. P.

    2013-01-01

    In order to evaluate the following potential mechanisms underlying atypical gaze following in autism, impaired reflexive gaze following, difficulty integrating gaze and affect, or reduced understanding of the referential significance of gaze, we administered three paradigms to young children with autism (N = 21) and chronological (N = 21) and…

  3. The mismatch negativity: a review of underlying mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Garrido, Marta I; Kilner, James M; Stephan, Klaas E; Friston, Karl J

    2009-03-01

    The mismatch negativity (MMN) is a brain response to violations of a rule, established by a sequence of sensory stimuli (typically in the auditory domain) [Näätänen R. Attention and brain function. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum; 1992]. The MMN reflects the brain's ability to perform automatic comparisons between consecutive stimuli and provides an electrophysiological index of sensory learning and perceptual accuracy. Although the MMN has been studied extensively, the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the MMN are not well understood. Several hypotheses have been put forward to explain the generation of the MMN; amongst these accounts, the "adaptation hypothesis" and the "model adjustment hypothesis" have received the most attention. This paper presents a review of studies that focus on neuronal mechanisms underlying the MMN generation, discusses the two major explanatory hypotheses, and proposes predictive coding as a general framework that attempts to unify both. PMID:19181570

  4. Mechanical properties of graphynes under shearing and bending

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yi, Lijun; Zhang, Yingyan; Feng, Xiqiao; Chang, Tienchong; Wang, Ji; Du, Jianke; Zhou, Jianxin

    2016-05-01

    Graphynes are the allotrope of graphene. In this work, extensive molecular dynamics simulations are performed on four different graphynes ( α - , β - , γ - , and 6,6,12-graphynes) to explore their mechanical properties (shear modulus, shear strength, and bending rigidity) under shearing and bending. While the shearing properties are anisotropic, the bending rigidity is almost independent of the chirality of graphynes. We also find that the shear modulus and shear fracture strength of graphynes decrease with increasing temperature. The effect of the percentage of the acetylenic linkages on the shear mechanical properties and bending rigidity is investigated. It is shown that the fracture shear strengths and bending rigidities of the four types of graphynes decrease, while the fracture shear strain increases, with increasing percentages of the acetylenic linkages. Significant wrinkling is observed in graphyne under shear strain. The influence of the temperatures and percentages of the acetylenic linkages on the ratio of amplitude-to-wavelength in the wrinkles are examined.

  5. Cognitive interventions for addiction medicine: Understanding the underlying neurobiological mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Zilverstand, Anna; Parvaz, Muhammad A; Moeller, Scott J; Goldstein, Rita Z

    2016-01-01

    Neuroimaging provides a tool for investigating the neurobiological mechanisms of cognitive interventions in addiction. The aim of this review was to describe the brain circuits that are recruited during cognitive interventions, examining differences between various treatment modalities while highlighting core mechanisms, in drug addicted individuals. Based on a systematic Medline search we reviewed neuroimaging studies on cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive inhibition of craving, motivational interventions, emotion regulation, mindfulness, and neurofeedback training in addiction. Across intervention modalities, common results included the normalization of aberrant activity in the brain's reward circuitry, and the recruitment and strengthening of the brain's inhibitory control network. Results suggest that different cognitive interventions act, at least partly, through recruitment of a common inhibitory control network as a core mechanism. This implies potential transfer effects between training modalities. Overall, results confirm that chronically hypoactive prefrontal regions implicated in cognitive control in addiction can be normalized through cognitive means. PMID:26822363

  6. Analysis of Internal Crack Healing Mechanism under Rolling Deformation

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Haitao; Ai, Zhengrong; Yu, Hailiang; Wu, Hongyan; Liu, Xianghua

    2014-01-01

    A new experimental method, called the ‘hole filling method’, is proposed to simulate the healing of internal cracks in rolled workpieces. Based on the experimental results, the evolution in the microstructure, in terms of diffusion, nucleation and recrystallisation were used to analyze the crack healing mechanism. We also validated the phenomenon of segmented healing. Internal crack healing involves plastic deformation, heat transfer and an increase in the free energy introduced by the cracks. It is proposed that internal cracks heal better under high plastic deformation followed by slow cooling after rolling. Crack healing is controlled by diffusion of atoms from the matrix to the crack surface, and also by the nucleation and growth of ferrite grain on the crack surface. The diffusion mechanism is used to explain the source of material needed for crack healing. The recrystallisation mechanism is used to explain grain nucleation and growth, accompanied by atomic migration to the crack surface. PMID:25003518

  7. Analysis of internal crack healing mechanism under rolling deformation.

    PubMed

    Gao, Haitao; Ai, Zhengrong; Yu, Hailiang; Wu, Hongyan; Liu, Xianghua

    2014-01-01

    A new experimental method, called the 'hole filling method', is proposed to simulate the healing of internal cracks in rolled workpieces. Based on the experimental results, the evolution in the microstructure, in terms of diffusion, nucleation and recrystallisation were used to analyze the crack healing mechanism. We also validated the phenomenon of segmented healing. Internal crack healing involves plastic deformation, heat transfer and an increase in the free energy introduced by the cracks. It is proposed that internal cracks heal better under high plastic deformation followed by slow cooling after rolling. Crack healing is controlled by diffusion of atoms from the matrix to the crack surface, and also by the nucleation and growth of ferrite grain on the crack surface. The diffusion mechanism is used to explain the source of material needed for crack healing. The recrystallisation mechanism is used to explain grain nucleation and growth, accompanied by atomic migration to the crack surface. PMID:25003518

  8. Closure mechanisms of ventilated supercavities under steady and unsteady flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karn, Ashish; De, Rohan; Hong, Jiarong; Arndt, Roger E. A.

    2015-12-01

    The present work reports some interesting experimental results for ventilated supercavitation in steady and unsteady flows. First, a variety of closure modes obtained as a result of systematic variation in Froude number and air entrainment, are reported. The closure mechanisms were found to differ from the standard criterion reported in the literature. Further, the occurrence of a variety of stable and unstable closure mechanisms were discovered that have not been reported in the literature. Next, a hypothesis is presented to explain the cause behind these different closure mechanisms. The proposed hypothesis is then validated by synchronized high-speed imaging and pressure measurements inside and outside of the supercavity. These measurements show that the supercavity closure is a function of instantaneous cavitation number under unsteady flow conditions. (Research sponsored by Office of Naval Research, USA)

  9. An NMDA receptor-dependent mechanism underlies inhibitory synapse development

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Xinglong; Zhou, Liang; Lu, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Summary In the mammalian brain GABAergic synaptic transmission provides inhibitory balance to glutamatergic excitatory drive and controls neuronal output. The molecular mechanisms underlying the development of GABAergic synapses remain largely unclear. Here we report that NMDA-type ionotropic glutamate receptors (NMDARs) in individual immature neurons are the upstream signaling molecules essential for GABAergic synapse development, which requires signaling via Calmodulin binding motif in the C0 domain of the NMDAR GluN1 subunit. Interestingly, in neurons lacking NMDARs, while GABAergic synaptic transmission is strongly reduced, the tonic inhibition mediated by extrasynaptic GABAA receptors is increased, suggesting a compensatory mechanism for the lack of synaptic inhibition. These results demonstrate a crucial role for NMDARs in specifying the development of inhibitory synapses, and suggest an important mechanism for controlling the establishment of the balance between synaptic excitation and inhibition in the developing brain. PMID:26774487

  10. Mitophagy: Basic Mechanism and Potential Role in Kidney Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Chengyuan; He, Liyu; Liu, Jing; Dong, Zheng

    2015-01-01

    Background Mitochondria play fundamental roles in cellular metabolism, signaling, and viability. Disruption of mitochondria not only leads to dysfunction of the organelles but also activates mechanisms of cell injury and death, contributing to the pathogenesis of various diseases. Summary Removal of damaged mitochondria is therefore crucial for cellular homeostasis and survival. Mitophagy, the selective elimination of mitochondria via autophagy, is an important mechanism of mitochondrial quality control in physiological and pathological conditions. Defects in mitophagy have been implicated in a variety of human disorders, including both acute and chronic kidney diseases. However, the role and regulatory mechanisms of mitophagy in kidney cells and tissues remain largely unknown. Key Message This review provides updated information on mitophagy and suggests a potential role of mitophagy in renal pathophysiology.

  11. Fracture mechanics of hydroxyapatite single crystals under geometric confinement.

    PubMed

    Libonati, Flavia; Nair, Arun K; Vergani, Laura; Buehler, Markus J

    2013-04-01

    Geometric confinement to the nanoscale, a concept that refers to the characteristic dimensions of structural features of materials at this length scale, has been shown to control the mechanical behavior of many biological materials or their building blocks, and such effects have also been suggested to play a crucial role in enhancing the strength and toughness of bone. Here we study the effect of geometric confinement on the fracture mechanism of hydroxyapatite (HAP) crystals that form the mineralized phase in bone. We report a series of molecular simulations of HAP crystals with an edge crack on the (001) plane under tensile loading, and we systematically vary the sample height whilst keeping the sample and the crack length constant. We find that by decreasing the sample height the stress concentration at the tip of the crack disappears for samples with a height smaller than 4.15nm, below which the material shows a different failure mode characterized by a more ductile mechanism with much larger failure strains, and the strength approaching that of a flaw-less crystal. This study directly confirms an earlier suggestion of a flaw-tolerant state that appears under geometric confinement and may explain the mechanical stability of the reinforcing HAP platelets in bone. PMID:23500480

  12. Giant panda׳s tooth enamel: Structure, mechanical behavior and toughening mechanisms under indentation.

    PubMed

    Weng, Z Y; Liu, Z Q; Ritchie, R O; Jiao, D; Li, D S; Wu, H L; Deng, L H; Zhang, Z F

    2016-12-01

    The giant panda׳s teeth possess remarkable load-bearing capacity and damage resistance for masticating bamboos. In this study, the hierarchical structure and mechanical behavior of the giant panda׳s tooth enamel were investigated under indentation. The effects of loading orientation and location on mechanical properties of the enamel were clarified and the evolution of damage in the enamel under increasing load evaluated. The nature of the damage, both at and beneath the indentation surfaces, and the underlying toughening mechanisms were explored. Indentation cracks invariably were seen to propagate along the internal interfaces, specifically the sheaths between enamel rods, and multiple extrinsic toughening mechanisms, e.g., crack deflection/twisting and uncracked-ligament bridging, were active to shield the tips of cracks from the applied stress. The giant panda׳s tooth enamel is analogous to human enamel in its mechanical properties, yet it has superior hardness and Young׳s modulus but inferior toughness as compared to the bamboo that pandas primarily feed on, highlighting the critical roles of the integration of underlying tissues in the entire tooth and the highly hydrated state of bamboo foods. Our objective is that this study can aid the understanding of the structure-mechanical property relations in the tooth enamel of mammals and further provide some insight on the food habits of the giant pandas. PMID:27498423

  13. A mechanical wave system to show waveforms similar to quantum mechanical wavefunctions in a potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faletič, Sergej

    2015-05-01

    Interviews with students suggest that even though they understand the formalism and the formal nature of quantum theory, they still often desire a mental picture of what the equations describe and some tangible experience with the wavefunctions. Here we discuss a mechanical wave system capable of reproducing correctly a mechanical equivalent of a quantum system in a potential, and the resulting waveforms in principle of any form. We have successfully reproduced the finite potential well, the potential barrier and the parabolic potential. We believe that these mechanical waveforms can provide a valuable experience base for introductory students to start from. We aim to show that mechanical systems that are described with the same mathematics as quantum mechanical, indeed behave in the same way. We believe that even if treated purely as a wave phenomenon, the system provides much insight into wave mechanics. This can be especially useful for physics teachers and others who often need to resort to concepts and experience rather than mathematics when explaining physical phenomena.

  14. Comparing Chemical Mechanisms using Tagged Ozone Production Potentials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coates, J.; Butler, T. M.

    2013-12-01

    Tropospheric ozone (O3) is a short-lived climate forcing pollutant that is detrimental to human health and crop growth. It is produced by reactions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the presence of sunlight [Atkinson,2000]. The chemistry of intermediate species formed during VOC degradation show a time dependence and impacts the amount of O3 produced by the VOC [Butler et al., 2011]. Representing the intricacies of these reactions is not viable for chemical mechanisms used in global and regional models due to the computational resources available. Thus, chemical mechanisms reduce the amount of reactions either by lumping chemical species together as a model species, reducing the number of reaction pathways or both. As different chemical mechanisms use varying reduction techniques and assumptions especially with respect to the intermediate degradation species, it is important to compare the temporal evolution of ozone production obtained from differing chemical mechanisms. In this study, chemical mechanisms are compared using Tagged Ozone Production Potentials (TOPP) [Butler et al.,2011]. TOPPs measure the effect of a VOC on the odd oxygen family (Ox), which includes O3, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and other species whose cycling effect O3 and NO2 production. TOPP values are obtained via a boxmodel run lasting seven diurnal cycles and tagging all species produced during VOC degradation; this enables the Ox production to be attributed to the VOC. This technique enables the temporal evolution of a VOCs' Ox production to be compared between the mechanisms. Comparing the TOPP profiles of the VOCs obtained using different mechanisms shows the effect of reduction techniques implemented by the mechanism and also allows a comparison of the tropospheric chemistry represented in the mechanisms. [Atkinson,2000] Atkinson, R. (2000). Atmospheric chemistry of VOCs and NOx. Atmospheric Environment, 34:2063-2101 [Butler et al., 2011] Butler, T. M

  15. Electronic Properties of Low-Dimensional Materials Under Periodic Potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jamei, Mehdi

    In the quest for the further miniaturization of electronic devices, numerous fabrication techniques have been developed. The semiconductor industry has been able to manifest miniaturization in highly complex and ultra low-power integrated circuits and devices, transforming almost every aspect of our lives. However, we may have come very close to the end of this trend. While advanced machines and techniques may be able to overcome technological barriers, theoretical and fundamental barriers are inherent to the top-down miniaturization approach and cannot be circumvented. As a result, the need for novel and natural alternatives to replace old materials is valued now more than ever. Fortunately, there exists a large group of materials that essentially has low-dimensional (quasi-one- or quasi-two-dimensional) structures. Graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon, which has attracted a lot of attention in recent years, is a perfect example of a prime material from this group. Niobium tri-selenide (NbSe3), from a family of trichalcogenides, has a highly anisotropic structure and electrical conductivity. At sufficiently low temperatures, NbSe3 also exhibits two independent "sliding charge density waves"-- an exciting phenomenon, which could be altered by changing the overall size of the material. In NbSe3 (and Blue Bronze K0.3MoO3 which has a similar structure and electrical behavior), the effect of a periodic potential could be seen in creating a charge density wave (CDW) that is incommensurate to the underlying lattice. The required periodic potential is provided by the crystal ions when ordered in a particular way. The consequence is a peculiar non-linear conductivity behavior, as well as a unique narrow-band noise spectrum. Theoretical and experimental studies have concluded that the dynamic properties of resulting CDW are directly related to the crystal impurity density, and other pinning potentials. Therefore, reducing the overall size of the crystal could

  16. Embrittlement of a Duplex Stainless Steel in Acidic Environment Under Applied Cathodic Potentials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roychowdhury, S.; Kain, Vivekanand

    2008-10-01

    Hydrogen-induced degradation of mechanical properties of a duplex stainless steel in 0.1N H2SO4 solution has been studied under in situ cathodic charging conditions. Significant reductions in percentage of elongation, toughness, and time to failure were noticed due to the ingress of hydrogen into the material at various applied cathodic potentials in the range of -200 to -800 mV (SCE). Cleavage fractures were identified mainly in the ferritic phases. Crack growth was observed to be inhibited by the austenite phase. However, depending on the severity of the environment, both the ferrite and austenite phases could be embrittled. At less negative potentials, presence of surface film and low hydrogen fugacity seemed to control hydrogen ingress in the metal. Addition of thiosulfate to the acidic solution further degraded the mechanical properties of the steel at the applied cathodic potential.

  17. A novel mechano-enzymatic cleavage mechanism underlies transthyretin amyloidogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Marcoux, Julien; Mangione, P Patrizia; Porcari, Riccardo; Degiacomi, Matteo T; Verona, Guglielmo; Taylor, Graham W; Giorgetti, Sofia; Raimondi, Sara; Sanglier-Cianférani, Sarah; Benesch, Justin LP; Cecconi, Ciro; Naqvi, Mohsin M; Gillmore, Julian D; Hawkins, Philip N; Stoppini, Monica; Robinson, Carol V; Pepys, Mark B; Bellotti, Vittorio

    2015-01-01

    The mechanisms underlying transthyretin-related amyloidosis in vivo remain unclear. The abundance of the 49–127 transthyretin fragment in ex vivo deposits suggests that a proteolytic cleavage has a crucial role in destabilizing the tetramer and releasing the highly amyloidogenic 49–127 truncated protomer. Here, we investigate the mechanism of cleavage and release of the 49–127 fragment from the prototypic S52P variant, and we show that the proteolysis/fibrillogenesis pathway is common to several amyloidogenic variants of transthyretin and requires the action of biomechanical forces provided by the shear stress of physiological fluid flow. Crucially, the non-amyloidogenic and protective T119M variant is neither cleaved nor generates fibrils under these conditions. We propose that a mechano-enzymatic mechanism mediates transthyretin amyloid fibrillogenesis in vivo. This may be particularly important in the heart where shear stress is greatest; indeed, the 49–127 transthyretin fragment is particularly abundant in cardiac amyloid. Finally, we show that existing transthyretin stabilizers, including tafamidis, inhibit proteolysis-mediated transthyretin fibrillogenesis with different efficiency in different variants; however, inhibition is complete only when both binding sites are occupied. PMID:26286619

  18. Corrosion of breached aluminide fuel under potential repository conditions.

    SciTech Connect

    Kaminski, M. D.; Goldberg, M. M.

    2000-11-06

    Permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel is proposed in a repository located in the volcanic tuff beds near Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and it is the responsibility of the National Spent Nuclear Fuel Program (NSNFP) to provide the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) with information related to the release of fission products from the DOE-owned SNF resulting from SNF corrosion. Hydrologically unsaturated spent fuel tests (''drip'' tests) are designed to simulate and monitor the release of radionuclides from the spent fuel under potential exposure conditions in the repository. Of the priority fuels being tested under the NSNFP, the aluminum-based fuels are included because of their high relative volume and uranium enrichment. The Al fuel structure is composed of fissile and aluminum powders pressed and annealed between Al plates to form thin metallic plates. The most widely used fissile powder was the intermetallic compound aluminide UAl{sub x} (where x=2,3,4). As part of this testing program, preliminary corrosion tests using unirradiated UAl{sub x} were initiated to address experimental design, sampling, and analysis issues prior to conducting tests with spent fuels. However, during this program the decision was made by U.S. DOE to convert the aluminum-based fuels to safer enrichment levels by using the melt-dilute process at Savannah River. Nonetheless, the product ingot of the melt-dilute process resembles low enriched UAl{sub x} fuel and corrosion of the fuel is expected to be similar. This paper summarizes the preliminary testing results for the first year of the program and compares them to other corrosion testing results on aluminum fuels as well as other DOE fuel types.

  19. Peer influence: neural mechanisms underlying in-group conformity

    PubMed Central

    Stallen, Mirre; Smidts, Ale; Sanfey, Alan G.

    2012-01-01

    People often conform to the behavior of others with whom they identify. However, it is unclear what fundamental mechanisms underlie this type of conformity. Here, we investigate the processes mediating in-group conformity by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants completed a perceptual decision-making task while undergoing fMRI, during which they were exposed to the judgments of both in-group and out-group members. Our data suggest that conformity to the in-group is mediated by both positive affect as well as the cognitive capacity of perspective taking. Examining the processes that drive in-group conformity by utilizing a basic decision-making paradigm combined with neuroimaging methods provides important insights into the potential mechanisms of conformity. These results may provide an integral step in developing more effective campaigns using group conformity as a tool for behavioral change. PMID:23482688

  20. Mechanisms underlying astringency: introduction to an oral tribology approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Upadhyay, Rutuja; Brossard, Natalia; Chen, Jianshe

    2016-03-01

    Astringency is one of the predominant factors in the sensory experience of many foods and beverages ranging from wine to nuts. The scientific community is discussing mechanisms that explain this complex phenomenon, since there are no conclusive results which correlate well with sensory astringency. Therefore, the mechanisms and perceptual characteristics of astringency warrant further discussion and investigation. This paper gives a brief introduction of the fundamentals of oral tribology forming a basis of the astringency mechanism. It discusses the current state of the literature on mechanisms underlying astringency describing the existing astringency models. The review discusses the crucial role of saliva and its physiology which contributes significantly in astringency perception in the mouth. It also provides an overview of research concerned with the physiological and psychophysical factors that mediate the perception of this sensation, establishing the ground for future research. Thus, the overall aim of the review is to establish the critical roles of oral friction (thin-film lubrication) in the sensation of astringency and possibly of some other specific sensory features.

  1. Physical mechanisms underlying the strain-rate-dependent mechanical behavior of kangaroo shoulder cartilage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thibbotuwawa, Namal; Oloyede, Adekunle; Li, Tong; Singh, Sanjleena; Senadeera, Wijitha; Gu, YuanTong

    2015-09-01

    Due to anatomical and biomechanical similarities to human shoulder, kangaroo was chosen as a model to study shoulder cartilage. Comprehensive enzymatic degradation and indentation tests were applied on kangaroo shoulder cartilage to study mechanisms underlying its strain-rate-dependent mechanical behavior. We report that superficial collagen plays a more significant role than proteoglycans in facilitating strain-rate-dependent behavior of the kangaroo shoulder cartilage. By comparing the mechanical properties of degraded and normal cartilages, it was noted that proteoglycan and collagen degradation significantly compromised strain-rate-dependent mechanical behavior of the cartilage. Superficial collagen contributed equally to the tissue behavior at all strain-rates. This is different to the studies reported on knee cartilage and confirms the importance of superficial collagen on shoulder cartilage mechanical behavior. A porohyperelastic numerical model also indicated that collagen disruption would lead to faster damage of the shoulder cartilage than when proteoglycans are depleted.

  2. Ballistocardiogram: Mechanism and Potential for Unobtrusive Cardiovascular Health Monitoring

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Chang-Sei; Ober, Stephanie L.; McMurtry, M. Sean; Finegan, Barry A.; Inan, Omer T.; Mukkamala, Ramakrishna; Hahn, Jin-Oh

    2016-01-01

    For more than a century, it has been known that the body recoils each time the heart ejects blood into the arteries. These subtle cardiogenic body movements have been measured with increasingly convenient ballistocardiography (BCG) instruments over the years. A typical BCG measurement shows several waves, most notably the “I”, “J”, and “K” waves. However, the mechanism for the genesis of these waves has remained elusive. We formulated a simple mathematical model of the BCG waveform. We showed that the model could predict the BCG waves as well as physiologic timings and amplitudes of the major waves. The validated model reveals that the principal mechanism for the genesis of the BCG waves is blood pressure gradients in the ascending and descending aorta. This new mechanistic insight may be exploited to allow BCG to realize its potential for unobtrusive monitoring and diagnosis of cardiovascular health and disease. PMID:27503664

  3. Potential Molecular and Cellular Mechanism of Psychotropic Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Seo, Myoung Suk; Scarr, Elizabeth; Lai, Chi-Yu

    2014-01-01

    Psychiatric disorders are among the most debilitating of all medical illnesses. Whilst there are drugs that can be used to treat these disorders, they give sub-optimal recovery in many people and a significant number of individuals do not respond to any treatments and remain treatment resistant. Surprisingly, the mechanism by which psychotropic drugs cause their therapeutic benefits remain unknown but likely involves the underlying molecular pathways affected by the drugs. Hence, in this review, we have focused on recent findings on the molecular mechanism affected by antipsychotic, mood stabilizing and antidepressant drugs at the levels of epigenetics, intracellular signalling cascades and microRNAs. We posit that understanding these important interactions will result in a better understanding of how these drugs act which in turn may aid in considering how to develop drugs with better efficacy or increased therapeutic reach. PMID:25191500

  4. Mental Imagery in Depression: Phenomenology, Potential Mechanisms, and Treatment Implications.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Emily A; Blackwell, Simon E; Burnett Heyes, Stephanie; Renner, Fritz; Raes, Filip

    2016-03-28

    Mental imagery is an experience like perception in the absence of a percept. It is a ubiquitous feature of human cognition, yet it has been relatively neglected in the etiology, maintenance, and treatment of depression. Imagery abnormalities in depression include an excess of intrusive negative mental imagery; impoverished positive imagery; bias for observer perspective imagery; and overgeneral memory, in which specific imagery is lacking. We consider the contribution of imagery dysfunctions to depressive psychopathology and implications for cognitive behavioral interventions. Treatment advances capitalizing on the representational format of imagery (as opposed to its content) are reviewed, including imagery rescripting, positive imagery generation, and memory specificity training. Consideration of mental imagery can contribute to clinical assessment and imagery-focused psychological therapeutic techniques and promote investigation of underlying mechanisms for treatment innovation. Research into mental imagery in depression is at an early stage. Work that bridges clinical psychology and neuroscience in the investigation of imagery-related mechanisms is recommended. PMID:26772205

  5. Biochemical mechanisms of signaling: perspectives in plants under arsenic stress.

    PubMed

    Islam, Ejazul; Khan, Muhammad Tahir; Irem, Samra

    2015-04-01

    Plants are the ultimate food source for humans, either directly or indirectly. Being sessile in nature, they are exposed to various biotic and abiotic stresses because of changing climate that adversely effects their growth and development. Contamination of heavy metals is one of the major abiotic stresses because of anthropogenic as well as natural factors which lead to increased toxicity and accumulation in plants. Arsenic is a naturally occurring metalloid toxin present in the earth crust. Due to its presence in terrestrial and aquatic environments, it effects the growth of plants. Plants can tolerate arsenic using several mechanisms like phytochelation, vacuole sequestration and activation of antioxidant defense systems. Several signaling mechanisms have evolved in plants that involve the use of proteins, calcium ions, hormones, reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide as signaling molecules to cope with arsenic toxicity. These mechanisms facilitate plants to survive under metal stress by activating their defense systems. The pathways by which these stress signals are perceived and responded is an unexplored area of research and there are lots of gaps still to be filled. A good understanding of these signaling pathways can help in raising the plants which can perform better in arsenic contaminated soil and water. In order to increase the survival of plants in contaminated areas there is a strong need to identify suitable gene targets that can be modified according to needs of the stakeholders using various biotechnological techniques. This review focuses on the signaling mechanisms of plants grown under arsenic stress and will give an insight of the different sensory systems in plants. Furthermore, it provides the knowledge about several pathways that can be exploited to develop plant cultivars which are resistant to arsenic stress or can reduce its uptake to minimize the risk of arsenic toxicity through food chain thus ensuring food security. PMID:25637747

  6. Receptor mechanisms and circuitry underlying NMDA antagonist neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Farber, N B; Kim, S H; Dikranian, K; Jiang, X P; Heinkel, C

    2002-01-01

    NMDA glutamate receptor antagonists are used in clinical anesthesia, and are being developed as therapeutic agents for preventing neurodegeneration in stroke, epilepsy, and brain trauma. However, the ability of these agents to produce neurotoxicity in adult rats and psychosis in adult humans compromises their clinical usefulness. In addition, an NMDA receptor hypofunction (NRHypo) state might play a role in neurodegenerative and psychotic disorders, like Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Thus, understanding the mechanism underlying NRHypo-induced neurotoxicity and psychosis could have significant clinically relevant benefits. NRHypo neurotoxicity can be prevented by several classes of agents (e.g. antimuscarinics, non-NMDA glutamate antagonists, and alpha(2) adrenergic agonists) suggesting that the mechanism of neurotoxicity is complex. In the present study a series of experiments was undertaken to more definitively define the receptors and complex neural circuitry underlying NRHypo neurotoxicity. Injection of either the muscarinic antagonist scopolamine or the non-NMDA antagonist NBQX directly into the cortex prevented NRHypo neurotoxicity. Clonidine, an alpha(2) adrenergic agonist, protected against the neurotoxicity when injected into the basal forebrain. The combined injection of muscarinic and non-NMDA Glu agonists reproduced the neurotoxic reaction. Based on these and other results, we conclude that the mechanism is indirect, and involves a complex network disturbance, whereby blockade of NMDA receptors on inhibitory neurons in multiple subcortical brain regions, disinhibits glutamatergic and cholinergic projections to the cerebral cortex. Simultaneous excitotoxic stimulation of muscarinic (m(3)) and glutamate (AMPA/kainate) receptors on cerebrocortical neurons appears to be the proximal mechanism by which the neurotoxic and psychotomimetic effects of NRHypo are mediated. PMID:11803444

  7. Thermal and mechanical responses of PBX 9501 under contact excitation under various driving intensities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mares, J.; Miller, J.; Moore, D.; Groven, L.; Rhoads, J.; Son, S.

    2013-06-01

    The thermal and mechanical responses of a explosive (PBX 9501) and two non-energetic mock materials (900-21 and PBS 9501) under high-frequency mechanical excitation are presented with various driving intensities. Direct contact ultrasound transducers were used to excite samples through a frequency range of 50 kHz to 40 MHz. The mechanical response of each sample was approximated from a contact receiving transducer and trends were confirmed via laser Doppler vibrometry. The steady-state thermal response of the samples was measured at discrete excitation frequencies via infrared thermography. A maximum temperature rise of approximately 15 K was observed in PBX 9501, and the mock materials exhibited similar thermal characteristics. Temperature gradients were calculated to estimate the total heat generated within the samples due to the mechanical excitation. The active heating mechanisms were found to be highly dependent on the frequency of excitation. Possible mechanisms of heating at frequencies below 1 MHz are likely related to bulk motion. Above this frequency, the active heating mechanisms are likely related to particle-scale processes. The observed phenomena may prove useful in the aid of current trace vapor detection methods for explosives. Basic Research Challenge on ``Chemical decomposition in high energy density materials induced by coupled acoustic electromagnetic energy insult'' (through Grant No. N00014-11- 379 1-0466).

  8. Neural Mechanisms Underlying Anxiety-Chronic Pain Interactions.

    PubMed

    Zhuo, Min

    2016-03-01

    Chronic pain is a major medical problem that is resistant to conventional medical intervention. It also causes emotional changes such as anxiety and fear. Furthermore, anxiety or fear often enhances the suffering of pain. Based on recent studies, I propose chronic anxiety triggered by injury or chronic pain is mediated through presynaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a key cortical region for pain perception. Conversely, NMDA receptor-dependent postsynaptic LTP plays a more important role in behavioral sensitization in chronic pain. Thus, postsynaptic and presynaptic LTP in ACC neurons are likely the key cellular mechanisms for causing chronic pain and its associated anxiety, respectively. This suggests potential targets for treating chronic pain and related anxiety. PMID:26878750

  9. Study of mechanical properties of nanomaterials under high pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Jyoti; Kaur, Namrat; Srivastava, A. K.

    2015-08-01

    In the present work, the study of physical properties and behaviour of nanomaterials i.e. n-γ- Al2O3and n-Si3C4 under high pressure is done. For this purpose Murnaghan equation of state is used. The applicability of Murnaghan equation of state is fully tested by calculating mechanical properties of nano materials i.e. volume compression (V/Vo), bulk modulus (KT) and relative isothermal compression coefficient (α(P)/α0) at different pressures. The present calculated values of compression curve for the cited nanomaterials come out to be in reasonable good agreement with the available experimental data.

  10. Crystal nucleation mechanism in melts of short polymer chains under quiescent conditions and under shear flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anwar, Muhammad; Berryman, Joshua T.; Schilling, Tanja

    2014-09-01

    We present a molecular dynamics simulation study of crystal nucleation from undercooled melts of n-alkanes, and we identify the molecular mechanism of homogeneous crystal nucleation under quiescent conditions and under shear flow. We compare results for n-eicosane (C20) and n-pentacontahectane (C150), i.e., one system below the entanglement length and one above, at 20%-30% undercooling. Under quiescent conditions, we observe that entanglement does not have an effect on the nucleation mechanism. For both chain lengths, the chains first align and then straighten locally, then the local density increases and finally positional ordering sets in. At low shear rates the nucleation mechanism is the same as under quiescent conditions, while at high shear rates the chains align and straighten at the same time. We report on the effects of shear rate and temperature on the nucleation rates and estimate the critical shear rates, beyond which the nucleation rates increase with the shear rate. In agreement with previous experimental observation and theoretical work, we find that the critical shear rate corresponds to a Weissenberg number of order 1. Finally, we show that the viscosity of the system is not affected by the crystalline nuclei.

  11. Possibility and potential of clean development mechanisms in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Weijun; Zhou, Nan; Li, Haifeng; Kammen, Daniel M.

    2007-10-01

    China has become the world's second largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter behind the United States. It emits approximately three billion tons of CO2 equivalents every year. Its growing economy and large population are making a wealthier, more consumption-oriented country. Energy demand is expected to grow 5 10% per year through 2030. Therefore, a large potential of GHG emission reduction in China can be expected. The clean development mechanism (CDM) put forward in the Kyoto Protocol for reductions of GHGs can support the sustainable development of developing countries and help developed countries to achieve their emission reduction targets at low cost. However, there are still many disagreements to be resolved between developing and developed countries. In this letter, we try to introduce the current development of CDM projects in China and discuss its potential and opportunities in the future decades.

  12. Possibility and potential of clean development mechanisms inChina

    SciTech Connect

    Gao, Weijun; Zhou, Nan; Li, Haifeng; Kammen, Daniel

    2007-10-30

    China has become the world's second largest greenhouse gas(GHG) emitter behind the United States. It emits approximately threebillion tons of CO2 equivalents every year. Its growing economy and largepopulation are making a wealthier, more consumption-oriented country.Energy demand is expected to grow 5?10 percent per year through 2030.Therefore, a large potential of GHG emission reduction in Chinacan beexpected. The clean development mechanism (CDM) put forward in the KyotoProtocol for reductions of GHGs can support the sustainable developmentof developing countries and help developed countries to achieve theiremission reduction targets at low cost. However, there are still manydisagreements to be resolved between developing and developed countries.In this letter, we try to introduce the current development of CDMprojects in China and discuss its potential and opportunities in thefuture decades.

  13. Uncertainty Propagation in Nerve Impulses Through the Action Potential Mechanism.

    PubMed

    Torres Valderrama, Aldemar; Witteveen, Jeroen; Navarro, Maria; Blom, Joke

    2015-12-01

    We investigate the propagation of probabilistic uncertainty through the action potential mechanism in nerve cells. Using the Hodgkin-Huxley (H-H) model and Stochastic Collocation on Sparse Grids, we obtain an accurate probabilistic interpretation of the deterministic dynamics of the transmembrane potential and gating variables. Using Sobol indices, out of the 11 uncertain parameters in the H-H model, we unravel two main uncertainty sources, which account for more than 90 % of the fluctuations in neuronal responses, and have a direct biophysical interpretation. We discuss how this interesting feature of the H-H model allows one to reduce greatly the probabilistic degrees of freedom in uncertainty quantification analyses, saving CPU time in numerical simulations and opening possibilities for probabilistic generalisation of other deterministic models of great importance in physiology and mathematical neuroscience. PMID:26458902

  14. Is forebrain neurogenesis a potential repair mechanism after stroke?

    PubMed

    Inta, Dragos; Gass, Peter

    2015-07-01

    The use of adult subventricular zone (SVZ) neurogenesis as brain repair strategy after stroke represents a hot topic in neurologic research. Recent radiocarbon-14 dating has revealed a lack of poststroke neurogenesis in the adult human neocortex; however, adult neurogenesis has been shown to occur, even under physiologic conditions, in the human striatum. Here, these results are contrasted with experimental poststroke neurogenesis in the murine brain. Both in humans and in rodents, the SVZ generates predominantly calretinin (CR)-expressing GABAergic interneurons, which cannot replace the broad spectrum of neuronal subtypes damaged by stroke. Therefore, SVZ neurogenesis may represent a repair mechanism only after genetic manipulation redirecting its differentiation. PMID:25966955

  15. Coping styles and behavioural flexibility: towards underlying mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Coppens, Caroline M.; de Boer, Sietse F.; Koolhaas, Jaap M.

    2010-01-01

    A coping style (also termed behavioural syndrome or personality) is defined as a correlated set of individual behavioural and physiological characteristics that is consistent over time and across situations. This relatively stable trait is a fundamental and adaptively significant phenomenon in the biology of a broad range of species, i.e. it confers differential fitness consequences under divergent environmental conditions. Behavioural flexibility appears to be an important underlying attribute or feature of the coping style that might explain consistency across situations. Proactive coping is characterized by low flexibility expressed as rather rigid, routine-like behavioural tendencies and reduced impulse control (behavioural inhibition) in operant conditioning paradigms. This article summarizes some of the evidence that individual differentiation in behavioural flexibility emerges as a function of underlying variability in the activation of a brain circuitry that includes the prefrontal cortex and its key neurochemical signalling pathways (e.g. dopaminergic and serotonergic input). We argue that the multidimensional nature of animal personality and the terminology used for the various dimensions should reflect the differential pattern of activation of the underlying neuronal network and the behavioural control function of its components. Accordingly, unravelling the molecular mechanisms that give rise to individual differences in the coping style will be an important topic in biobehavioural neurosciences, ecology and evolutionary biology. PMID:21078654

  16. Continuous damage parameter calculation under thermo-mechanical random loading

    PubMed Central

    Nagode, Marko

    2014-01-01

    The paper presents a method on how the mean stress effect on fatigue damage can be taken into account under an arbitrary low cycle thermo-mechanical loading. From known stress, elastoplastic strain and temperature histories the cycle amplitudes and cycle mean values are extracted and the damage parameter is computed. In contrast to the existing methods the proposed method enables continuous damage parameter computation without the need of waiting for the cycles to close. The limitations of the standardized damage parameters are thus surpassed. The damage parameters derived initially for closed and isothermal cycles assuming that the elastoplastic stress–strain response follows the Masing and memory rules can now be used to take the mean stress effect into account under an arbitrary low cycle thermo-mechanical loading. The method includes:•stress and elastoplastic strain history transformation into the corresponding amplitude and mean values;•stress and elastoplastic strain amplitude and mean value transformation into the damage parameter amplitude history;•damage parameter amplitude history transformation into the damage parameter history. PMID:26150939

  17. Mechanical response of brain tissue under blast loading.

    PubMed

    Laksari, Kaveh; Sadeghipour, Keyanoush; Darvish, Kurosh

    2014-04-01

    In this study, a framework for understanding the propagation of stress waves in brain tissue under blast loading has been developed. It was shown that tissue nonlinearity and rate dependence are the key parameters in predicting the mechanical behavior under such loadings, as they determine whether traveling waves could become steeper and eventually evolve into shock discontinuities. To investigate this phenomenon, in the present study, brain tissue has been characterized as a quasi-linear viscoelastic (QLV) material and a nonlinear constitutive model has been developed for the tissue that spans from medium loading rates up to blast rates. It was shown that development of shock waves is possible inside the head in response to high rate compressive pressure waves. Finally, it was argued that injury to the nervous tissue at the microstructural level could be partly attributed to the high stress gradients with high rates generated at the shock front and this was proposed as a mechanism of injury in brain tissue. PMID:24457112

  18. Mechanisms underlying skin disorders induced by EGFR inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Holcmann, Martin; Sibilia, Maria

    2015-01-01

    The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a receptor tyrosine kinase that is frequently mutated or overexpressed in a large number of tumors such as carcinomas or glioblastoma. Inhibitors of EGFR activation have been successfully established for the therapy of some cancers and are more and more frequently being used as first or later line therapies. Although the side effects induced by inhibitors of EGFR are less severe than those observed with classic cytotoxic chemotherapy and can usually be handled by out-patient care, they may still be a cause for dose reduction or discontinuation of treatment that can reduce the effectiveness of antitumor therapy. The mechanisms underlying these cutaneous side effects are only partly understood. Important questions, such as the reasons for the correlation between the intensity of the side effects and the efficiency of treatment with EGFR inhibitors, remain to be answered. Optimized adjuvant strategies to accompany anti-EGFR therapy need to be found for optimal therapeutic application and improved quality of life of patients. Here, we summarize current literature on the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the cutaneous side effects induced by EGFR inhibitors and provide evidence that keratinocytes are probably the optimal targets for adjuvant therapy aimed at alleviating skin toxicities. PMID:27308503

  19. Cell Mechanisms of Bone Tissue Loss Under Space Flight Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodionova, Natalia

    Investigations on the space biosatellites has shown that the bone skeleton is one of the most im-portant targets of the effect space flight factors on the organism. Bone tissue cells were studied by electron microscopy in biosamples of rats' long bones flown on the board american station "SLS-2" and in experiments with modelling of microgravity ("tail suspension" method) with using autoradiography. The analysis of data permits to suppose that the processes of remod-eling in bone tissue at microgravity include the following succession of cell-to-cell interactions. Osteocytes as mechanosensory cells are first who respond to a changing "mechanical field". The next stage is intensification of osteolytic processes in osteocytes, leading to a volume en-largement of the osteocytic lacunae and removal of the "excess bone". Then mechanical signals have been transmitted through a system of canals and processes of the osteocytic syncitium to certain superficial bone zones and are perceived by osteoblasts and bone-lining cells (superficial osteocytes), as well as by the bone-marrow stromal cells. The sensitivity of stromal cells, pre-osteoblasts and osteoblasts, under microgravity was shown in a number of works. As a response to microgravity, the system of stromal cells -preosteoblasts -osteoblasts displays retardation of proliferation, differentiation and specific functions of osteogenetic cells. This is supported by the 3H-thymidine studies of the dynamics of differentiation of osteogenetic cells in remodeling zones. But unloading is not adequate and in part of the osteocytes are apoptotic changes as shown by our electron microscopic investigations. An osteocytic apoptosis can play the role in attraction the osteoclasts and in regulation of bone remodeling. The apoptotic bodies with a liquid flow through a system of canals are transferred to the bone surface, where they fulfil the role of haemoattractants for monocytes come here and form osteoclasts. The osteoclasts destroy

  20. Sound source mechanisms in under-expanded impinging jets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinibaldi, Giorgia; Marino, Luca; Romano, Giovanni Paolo

    2015-05-01

    Experiments on the aeroacoustics of an under-expanded supersonic jet impinging on a flat plate are presented and thoroughly discussed. A wide range of nozzle pressure ratios and of nozzle-to-plate distances has been analyzed with particular attention to the behavior of the discrete component of the noise. The investigation has been carried out by means of acoustic, particle image velocimetry and wall pressure measurements. The analysis of the relationship between the acoustic data and the fluid dynamic fields allows to examine the different source mechanisms of the discrete component of the noise and to evaluate the link between the jet flow structure and the acoustic tone features. Specifically, two ranges of nozzle pressure ratio have been observed showing different acoustic behaviors, characterized by distinct mechanisms of discrete noise generation. These regions are separated by a range of nozzle pressure ratios where impinging tones are not observed. The present experimental data extend previously published results, improving the analysis of the connection between fluid dynamic and acoustic fields and leading to a better comprehension of the impinging tone source mechanisms.

  1. Piezoelectric compliant mechanism energy harvesters under large base excitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Xiaokun; Trolier-McKinstry, Susan; Rahn, Christopher D.

    2016-09-01

    A piezoelectric compliant mechanism (PCM) energy harvester is designed, modeled, and analyzed that consists of a polyvinylidene diflouoride, PVDF unimorph clamped at its base and attached to a compliant mechanism at its tip. The compliant hinge stiffness is carefully tuned to approach a low frequency first mode with an efficient (nearly quadratic) shape that provides a uniform strain distribution. A nonlinear model of the PCM energy harvester under large base excitation is derived to determine the maximum power that can be generated by the device. Experiments with a fabricated PCM energy harvester prototype show that the compliant mechanism introduces a stiffening effect and a much wider bandwidth than a benchmark proof mass cantilever design. The PCM bridge structure self-limits the displacement and maximum strain at large excitations compared with the proof mass cantilever, improving the device robustness. The PCM outperforms the cantilever in both average power and power-strain sensitivity at high accelerations due to the PCM axial stretching effect and its more uniform strain distribution.

  2. Mechanisms underlying ICU muscle wasting and effects of passive mechanical loading

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Critically ill ICU patients commonly develop severe muscle wasting and impaired muscle function, leading to delayed recovery, with subsequent increased morbidity and financial costs, and decreased quality of life for survivors. Critical illness myopathy (CIM) is a frequently observed neuromuscular disorder in ICU patients. Sepsis, systemic corticosteroid hormone treatment and post-synaptic neuromuscular blockade have been forwarded as the dominating triggering factors. Recent experimental results from our group using a unique experimental rat ICU model show that the mechanical silencing associated with CIM is the primary triggering factor. This study aims to unravel the mechanisms underlying CIM, and to evaluate the effects of a specific intervention aiming at reducing mechanical silencing in sedated and mechanically ventilated ICU patients. Methods Muscle gene/protein expression, post-translational modifications (PTMs), muscle membrane excitability, muscle mass measurements, and contractile properties at the single muscle fiber level were explored in seven deeply sedated and mechanically ventilated ICU patients (not exposed to systemic corticosteroid hormone treatment, post-synaptic neuromuscular blockade or sepsis) subjected to unilateral passive mechanical loading for 10 hours per day (2.5 hours, four times) for 9 ± 1 days. Results These patients developed a phenotype considered pathognomonic of CIM; that is, severe muscle wasting and a preferential myosin loss (P < 0.001). In addition, myosin PTMs specific to the ICU condition were observed in parallel with an increased sarcolemmal expression and cytoplasmic translocation of neuronal nitric oxide synthase. Passive mechanical loading for 9 ± 1 days resulted in a 35% higher specific force (P < 0.001) compared with the unloaded leg, although it was not sufficient to prevent the loss of muscle mass. Conclusion Mechanical silencing is suggested to be a primary mechanism underlying CIM; that is

  3. Molecular mechanisms underlying the onset of degenerative aortic valve disease.

    PubMed

    Hakuno, Daihiko; Kimura, Naritaka; Yoshioka, Masatoyo; Fukuda, Keiichi

    2009-01-01

    Morbidity from degenerative aortic valve disease is increasing worldwide, concomitant with the ageing of the general population and the habitual consumption of diets high in calories and cholesterol. Immunohistologic studies have suggested that the molecular mechanism occurring in the degenerate aortic valve resembles that of atherosclerosis, prompting the testing of HMG CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) for the prevention of progression of native and bioprosthetic aortic valve degeneration. However, the effects of these therapies remain controversial. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying the onset of aortic valve degeneration are largely unknown, research in this area is advancing rapidly. The signaling components involved in embryonic valvulogenesis, such as Wnt, TGF-beta(1), BMP, and Notch, are also involved in the onset of aortic valve degeneration. Furthermore, investigations into extracellular matrix remodeling, angiogenesis, and osteogenesis in the aortic valve have been reported. Having noted avascularity of normal cardiac valves, we recently identified chondromodulin-I (chm-I) as a crucial anti-angiogenic factor. The expression of chm-I is restricted to cardiac valves from late embryogenesis to adulthood in the mouse, rat, and human. In human degenerate atherosclerotic valves, the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and matrix metalloproteinases and angiogenesis is observed in the area of chm-I downregulation. Gene targeting of chm-I resulted in VEGF expression, angiogenesis, and calcification in the aortic valves of aged mice, and aortic stenosis is detected by echocardiography, indicating that chm-I is a crucial factor for maintaining normal cardiac valvular function by preventing angiogenesis. The present review focuses on the animal models of aortic valve degeneration and recent studies on the molecular mechanisms underlying the onset of degenerative aortic valve disease. PMID:18766323

  4. Microcracking in composite laminates under thermal and mechanical loading. Thesis

    SciTech Connect

    Maddocks, J.R.

    1995-05-01

    Composites used in space structures are exposed to both extremes in temperature and applied mechanical loads. Cracks in the matrix form, changing the laminate thermoelastic properties. The goal of the present investigation is to develop a predictive methodology to quantify microcracking in general composite laminates under both thermal and mechanical loading. This objective is successfully met through a combination of analytical modeling and experimental investigation. In the analysis, the stress and displacement distributions in the vicinity of a crack are determined using a shear lag model. These are incorporated into an energy based cracking criterion to determine the favorability of crack formation. A progressive damage algorithm allows the inclusion of material softening effects and temperature-dependent material properties. The analysis is implemented by a computer code which gives predicted crack density and degraded laminate properties as functions of any thermomechanical load history. Extensive experimentation provides verification of the analysis. AS4/3501-6 graphite/epoxy laminates are manufactured with three different layups to investigate ply thickness and orientation effects. Thermal specimens are cooled to progressively lower temperatures down to {minus}184 C. After conditioning the specimens to each temperature, cracks are counted on their edges using optical microscopy and in their interiors by sanding to incremental depths. Tensile coupons are loaded monotonically to progressively higher loads until failure. Cracks are counted on the coupon edges after each loading. A data fit to all available results provides input parameters for the analysis and shows them to be material properties, independent of geometry and loading. Correlation between experiment and analysis is generally very good under both thermal and mechanical loading, showing the methodology to be a powerful, unified tool.

  5. Potential Role of Epigenetic Mechanism in Manganese Induced Neurotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    Tarale, Prashant; Chakrabarti, Tapan; Sivanesan, Saravanadevi; Naoghare, Pravin; Bafana, Amit; Krishnamurthi, Kannan

    2016-01-01

    Manganese is a vital nutrient and is maintained at an optimal level (2.5–5 mg/day) in human body. Chronic exposure to manganese is associated with neurotoxicity and correlated with the development of various neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Oxidative stress mediated apoptotic cell death has been well established mechanism in manganese induced toxicity. Oxidative stress has a potential to alter the epigenetic mechanism of gene regulation. Epigenetic insight of manganese neurotoxicity in context of its correlation with the development of parkinsonism is poorly understood. Parkinson's disease is characterized by the α-synuclein aggregation in the form of Lewy bodies in neuronal cells. Recent findings illustrate that manganese can cause overexpression of α-synuclein. α-Synuclein acts epigenetically via interaction with histone proteins in regulating apoptosis. α-Synuclein also causes global DNA hypomethylation through sequestration of DNA methyltransferase in cytoplasm. An individual genetic difference may also have an influence on epigenetic susceptibility to manganese neurotoxicity and the development of Parkinson's disease. This review presents the current state of findings in relation to role of epigenetic mechanism in manganese induced neurotoxicity, with a special emphasis on the development of Parkinson's disease. PMID:27314012

  6. Transient streaming potentials under varying pore-water ionic strength

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malama, B.

    2014-12-01

    Streaming potentials (SP) are generated when polar fluids such as groundwater flow through porous media that have charged mineral surfaces. This is due to the flow-shearing of the diffuse layer of the electric double layer (EDL), which is known to form in the fluid phase at the fluid-rock interface. Previous works have suggested that the EDL vanishes at high pore-fluid ionic strengths resulting in vanishing SP signals. However, recent observations in sea-water intrusion applications by Jackson and coworkers indicate that measurable SP signals are obtainable in flows of fluids with high ionic strengths through silica sand. We demonstrate the repeatability of these observations through a series of laboratory flow experiments performed on 98% silica sand in a falling-head permeameter with brines of concentrations ranging from 0.001M to about 5 M NaCl. The results of the experiments, which clearly show measurable SP signals even at the highest concentration of 5 M NaCl, are reported. They are also used to estimate the hydraulic conductivity and electrokinetic coupling coefficient. The linearity assumption for the relation between pressure and SP differentials is evaluated for high pore-water NaCl concentrations. Additionally, displacement of one brine by another of different NaCl concentration yields dramatic transient SP responses that may be harnessed in the development of early-detection/warning technologies for sea-water intrusion applications. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. This research is funded by WIPP programs administered by the Office of Environmental Management (EM) of the U.S Department of Energy.

  7. The effects of different size gold nanoparticles on mechanical properties of vascular smooth muscle cells under mechanical stretching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kieu, Tri Minh

    Nanotechnology is an emerging and promising frontier for medicine and biomedical research due to its potential for applications such as drug delivery, imaging enhancement, and cancer treatment. While these materials may possess significant possibilities, the effects of these particles in the body and how the particles affect the cells is not fully understood. In this study, vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) will be exposed to 5 and 20 nm diameter citrate AuNPs under mechanical conditions. The cytotoxicity properties of these particles will be investigated using LDH and MTT assays. Atomic force microscopy will be used to study how the size of the nanoparticles affect the mechanical properties of the VSMCs. Immunofluorescence staining for alpha actin will also be performed to enhance understanding of the phenotypic shift. The LDH and MTT cytotoxicity assay results demonstrated that neither 5 nor 20 nm diameter nanoparticles are cytotoxic to the cells. However, the mechanical properties and cell morphology of the VSMCs was altered. Under static conditions, both AuNP treatments decreased the mechanical properties of the cells. The size of the nanoparticles had a softening effect on elastic modulus of the cell and sign of a synthetic phenotype was observed. The VSMCs subjected to mechanical stretching exhibited higher elastic modulus compared to the static experimental groups. Again, both AuNPs treatments decreased the mechanical properties of the cells and signs of more synthetic phenotype was seen. However, the size of the nanoparticles did not have any influence on cell's elastic modulus unlike the static treated cells. The mechanical testing condition provided a better look at how these particles would affect the cells in vivo. While the nanoparticles are not cytotoxic to the VSMCs, they are altering the mechanical properties and phenotype of the cell.

  8. Mechanisms Underlying Mammalian Hybrid Sterility in Two Feline Interspecies Models.

    PubMed

    Davis, Brian W; Seabury, Christopher M; Brashear, Wesley A; Li, Gang; Roelke-Parker, Melody; Murphy, William J

    2015-10-01

    The phenomenon of male sterility in interspecies hybrids has been observed for over a century, however, few genes influencing this recurrent phenotype have been identified. Genetic investigations have been primarily limited to a small number of model organisms, thus limiting our understanding of the underlying molecular basis of this well-documented "rule of speciation." We utilized two interspecies hybrid cat breeds in a genome-wide association study employing the Illumina 63 K single-nucleotide polymorphism array. Collectively, we identified eight autosomal genes/gene regions underlying associations with hybrid male sterility (HMS) involved in the function of the blood-testis barrier, gamete structural development, and transcriptional regulation. We also identified several candidate hybrid sterility regions on the X chromosome, with most residing in close proximity to complex duplicated regions. Differential gene expression analyses revealed significant chromosome-wide upregulation of X chromosome transcripts in testes of sterile hybrids, which were enriched for genes involved in chromatin regulation of gene expression. Our expression results parallel those reported in Mus hybrids, supporting the "Large X-Effect" in mammalian HMS and the potential epigenetic basis for this phenomenon. These results support the value of the interspecies feline model as a powerful tool for comparison to rodent models of HMS, demonstrating unique aspects and potential commonalities that underpin mammalian reproductive isolation. PMID:26006188

  9. Multicomponent diffusion under general chemical potential gradients. Final report, July 1, 1981-June 30, 1984

    SciTech Connect

    Sato, H.; Kikuchi, R.

    1984-06-01

    Theoretical basis for identifying the origin of deterioration of high temperature materials by diffusion has been sought. The need for an appropriate form of irreversible statistical mechanics, rather than commonly utilized irreversible thermodynamics, to this problem was identified. The Path Probability method of irreversible statistical mechanics was thus adapted to diffusion problems and necessary modifications of the method suitable for transport problems in multicomponent systems were made. Thermal diffusion (diffusion which occurs under temperature gradient) was then formulated by the Path Probability method for the first time, and so far elusive concepts such as the heat of transport were thus microscopically identified. An example of demixing of originally homogeneous solid solutions under general chemical potential gradients was thus worked out.

  10. Theoretical foundations of the sound analog membrane potential that underlies coincidence detection in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Ashida, Go; Funabiki, Kazuo; Carr, Catherine E

    2013-01-01

    A wide variety of neurons encode temporal information via phase-locked spikes. In the avian auditory brainstem, neurons in the cochlear nucleus magnocellularis (NM) send phase-locked synaptic inputs to coincidence detector neurons in the nucleus laminaris (NL) that mediate sound localization. Previous modeling studies suggested that converging phase-locked synaptic inputs may give rise to a periodic oscillation in the membrane potential of their target neuron. Recent physiological recordings in vivo revealed that owl NL neurons changed their spike rates almost linearly with the amplitude of this oscillatory potential. The oscillatory potential was termed the sound analog potential, because of its resemblance to the waveform of the stimulus tone. The amplitude of the sound analog potential recorded in NL varied systematically with the interaural time difference (ITD), which is one of the most important cues for sound localization. In order to investigate the mechanisms underlying ITD computation in the NM-NL circuit, we provide detailed theoretical descriptions of how phase-locked inputs form oscillating membrane potentials. We derive analytical expressions that relate presynaptic, synaptic, and postsynaptic factors to the signal and noise components of the oscillation in both the synaptic conductance and the membrane potential. Numerical simulations demonstrate the validity of the theoretical formulations for the entire frequency ranges tested (1-8 kHz) and potential effects of higher harmonics on NL neurons with low best frequencies (<2 kHz). PMID:24265616

  11. Theoretical foundations of the sound analog membrane potential that underlies coincidence detection in the barn owl

    PubMed Central

    Ashida, Go; Funabiki, Kazuo; Carr, Catherine E.

    2013-01-01

    A wide variety of neurons encode temporal information via phase-locked spikes. In the avian auditory brainstem, neurons in the cochlear nucleus magnocellularis (NM) send phase-locked synaptic inputs to coincidence detector neurons in the nucleus laminaris (NL) that mediate sound localization. Previous modeling studies suggested that converging phase-locked synaptic inputs may give rise to a periodic oscillation in the membrane potential of their target neuron. Recent physiological recordings in vivo revealed that owl NL neurons changed their spike rates almost linearly with the amplitude of this oscillatory potential. The oscillatory potential was termed the sound analog potential, because of its resemblance to the waveform of the stimulus tone. The amplitude of the sound analog potential recorded in NL varied systematically with the interaural time difference (ITD), which is one of the most important cues for sound localization. In order to investigate the mechanisms underlying ITD computation in the NM-NL circuit, we provide detailed theoretical descriptions of how phase-locked inputs form oscillating membrane potentials. We derive analytical expressions that relate presynaptic, synaptic, and postsynaptic factors to the signal and noise components of the oscillation in both the synaptic conductance and the membrane potential. Numerical simulations demonstrate the validity of the theoretical formulations for the entire frequency ranges tested (1–8 kHz) and potential effects of higher harmonics on NL neurons with low best frequencies (<2 kHz). PMID:24265616

  12. Cap buckling as a potential mechanism of atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability.

    PubMed

    Abdelali, Maria; Reiter, Steven; Mongrain, Rosaire; Bertrand, Michel; L'Allier, Philippe L; Kritikou, Ekaterini A; Tardif, Jean-Claude

    2014-04-01

    Plaque rupture in atherosclerosis is the primary cause of potentially deadly coronary events, yet about 40% of ruptures occur away from the plaque cap shoulders and cannot be fully explained with the current biomechanical theories. Here, cap buckling is considered as a potential destabilizing factor which increases the propensity of the atherosclerotic plaque to rupture and which may also explain plaque failure away from the cap shoulders. To investigate this phenomenon, quasistatic 2D finite element simulations are performed, considering the salient geometrical and nonlinear material properties of diverse atherosclerotic plaques over the range of physiological loads. The numerical results indicate that buckling may displace the location of the peak von Mises stresses in the deflected caps. Plaque buckling, together with its deleterious effects is further observed experimentally in plaque caps using a physical model of deformable mock coronary arteries with fibroatheroma. Moreover, an analytical approach combining quasistatic equilibrium equations with the Navier-Bresse formulas is used to demonstrate the buckling potential of a simplified arched slender cap under intraluminal pressure and supported by foundations. This analysis shows that plaque caps - calcified, fibrotic or cellular - may buckle in specific undulated shapes once submitted to critical loads. Finally, a preliminary analysis of intravascular ultrasonography recordings of patients with atherosclerotic coronary arteries corroborates the numerical, experimental and theoretical findings and shows that various plaque caps buckle in vivo. By displacing the sites of high stresses in the plaque cap, buckling may explain the atherosclerotic plaque cap rupture at various locations, including cap shoulders. PMID:24491969

  13. The mechanisms underlying fructose-induced hypertension: a review

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Alice Victoria; Kiat, Hosen

    2015-01-01

    We are currently in the midst of an epidemic of metabolic disorders, which may, in part, be explained by excess fructose intake. This theory is supported by epidemiological observations as well as experimental studies in animals and humans. Rising consumption of fructose has been matched with growing rates of hypertension, leading to concern from public health experts. At this stage, the mechanisms underlying fructose-induced hypertension have not been fully characterized and the bulk of our knowledge is derived from animal models. Animal studies have shown that high-fructose diets up-regulate sodium and chloride transporters, resulting in a state of salt overload that increases blood pressure. Excess fructose has also been found to activate vasoconstrictors, inactivate vasodilators, and over-stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. Further work is required to determine the relevance of these findings to humans and to establish the level at which dietary fructose increases the risk of developing hypertension PMID:25715094

  14. Mechanisms underlying allergy vaccination with recombinant hypoallergenic allergen derivatives

    PubMed Central

    Linhart, Birgit; Valenta, Rudolf

    2015-01-01

    Hundred years ago therapeutic vaccination with allergen-containing extracts has been introduced as a clinically effective, disease-modifying, allergen-specific and long-lasting form of therapy for allergy, a hypersensitivity disease affecting more than 25% of the population. Today, the structures of most of the disease-causing allergens have been elucidated and recombinant hypoallergenic allergen derivatives with reduced allergenic activity have been engineered to reduce side effects during allergen-specific immunotherapy (SIT). These recombinant hypoallergens have been characterized in vitro, in experimental animal models and in clinical trials in allergic patients. This review provides a summary of the molecular, immunological and preclinical evaluation criteria applied for this new generation of allergy vaccines. Furthermore, we summarize the mechanisms underlying SIT with recombinant hypoallergens which are thought to be responsible for their therapeutic effect. PMID:22100888

  15. Mechanisms Underlying Development of Visual Maps and Receptive Fields

    PubMed Central

    Huberman, Andrew D.; Feller, Marla B.; Chapman, Barbara

    2008-01-01

    Patterns of synaptic connections in the visual system are remarkably precise. These connections dictate the receptive field properties of individual visual neurons and ultimately determine the quality of visual perception. Spontaneous neural activity is necessary for the development of various receptive field properties and visual feature maps. In recent years, attention has shifted to understanding the mechanisms by which spontaneous activity in the developing retina, lateral geniculate nucleus, and visual cortex instruct the axonal and dendritic refinements that give rise to orderly connections in the visual system. Axon guidance cues and a growing list of other molecules, including immune system factors, have also recently been implicated in visual circuit wiring. A major goal now is to determine how these molecules cooperate with spontaneous and visually evoked activity to give rise to the circuits underlying precise receptive field tuning and orderly visual maps. PMID:18558864

  16. Excess body weight during pregnancy and offspring obesity: potential mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Paliy, Oleg; Piyathilake, Chandrika J; Kozyrskyj, Anita; Celep, Gulcin; Marotta, Francesco; Rastmanesh, Reza

    2014-03-01

    The rates of child and adult obesity have increased in most developed countries over the past several decades. The health consequences of obesity affect both physical and mental health, and the excess body weight can be linked to an elevated risk for developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and depression. Among the factors that can influence the development of obesity are higher infant weights and increased weight gain, which are associated with higher risk for excess body weight later in life. In turn, mother's excess body weight during and after pregnancy can be linked to the risk for offspring overweight and obesity through dietary habits, mode of delivery and feeding, breast milk composition, and through the influence on infant gut microbiota. This review considers current knowledge of these potential mechanisms that threaten to create an intergenerational cycle of obesity. PMID:24103493

  17. Lifelong bilingualism and neural reserve against Alzheimer's disease: a review of findings and potential mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Gold, Brian T

    2015-03-15

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive brain disorder that initially affects medial temporal lobe circuitry and memory functions. Current drug treatments have only modest effects on the symptomatic course of the disease. In contrast, a growing body of evidence suggests that lifelong bilingualism may delay the onset of clinical AD symptoms by several years. The purpose of the present review is to summarize evidence for bilingualism as a reserve variable against AD and discuss potential underlying neurocognitive mechanisms. Evidence is reviewed suggesting that bilingualism may delay clinical AD symptoms by protecting frontostriatal and frontoparietal executive control circuitry rather than medial temporal lobe memory circuitry. Cellular and molecular mechanisms that may contribute to bilingual cognitive reserve effects are discussed, including those that may affect neuronal metabolic functions, dynamic neuronal-glial interactions, vascular factors, myelin structure and neurochemical signaling. Future studies that may test some of these potential mechanisms of bilingual CR effects are proposed. PMID:25496781

  18. Artificial Bee Colony Optimization of Capping Potentials for Hybrid Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Calculations.

    PubMed

    Schiffmann, Christoph; Sebastiani, Daniel

    2011-05-10

    We present an algorithmic extension of a numerical optimization scheme for analytic capping potentials for use in mixed quantum-classical (quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical, QM/MM) ab initio calculations. Our goal is to minimize bond-cleavage-induced perturbations in the electronic structure, measured by means of a suitable penalty functional. The optimization algorithm-a variant of the artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm, which relies on swarm intelligence-couples deterministic (downhill gradient) and stochastic elements to avoid local minimum trapping. The ABC algorithm outperforms the conventional downhill gradient approach, if the penalty hypersurface exhibits wiggles that prevent a straight minimization pathway. We characterize the optimized capping potentials by computing NMR chemical shifts. This approach will increase the accuracy of QM/MM calculations of complex biomolecules. PMID:26610125

  19. Tension moderation and fluctuation spectrum in simulated lipid membranes under an applied electric potential.

    PubMed

    Loubet, Bastien; Lomholt, Michael Andersen; Khandelia, Himanshu

    2013-10-28

    We investigate the effect of an applied electric potential on the mechanics of a coarse grained POPC bilayer under tension. The size and duration of our simulations allow for a detailed and accurate study of the fluctuations. Effects on the fluctuation spectrum, tension, bending rigidity, and bilayer thickness are investigated in detail. In particular, the least square fitting technique is used to calculate the fluctuation spectra. The simulations confirm a recently proposed theory that the effect of an applied electric potential on the membrane will be moderated by the elastic properties of the membrane. In agreement with the theory, we find that the larger the initial tension the larger the effect of the electric potential. Application of the electric potential increases the amplitude of the long wavelength part of the spectrum and the bending rigidity is deduced from the short wavelength fluctuations. The effect of the applied electric potential on the bending rigidity is non-existent within error bars. However, when the membrane is stretched there is a point where the bending rigidity is lowered due to a decrease of the thickness of the membrane. All these effects should prove important for mechanosensitive channels and biomembrane mechanics in general. PMID:24182074

  20. Implicit Misattribution as a Mechanism Underlying Evaluative Conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Christopher R.; Fazio, Russell H.; Olson, Michael A.

    2009-01-01

    Evaluative conditioning (EC) refers to the formation or change of an attitude towards an object following that object’s pairing with positively or negatively valenced stimuli. We provide evidence that EC can occur through an implicit misattribution mechanism in which an evaluative response evoked by a valenced stimulus is incorrectly and implicitly attributed to another stimulus, forming or changing an attitude towards this other stimulus. Five studies measured or manipulated variables related to the potential for the misattribution of an evaluation, or “source confusability.” Greater EC was observed when participants’ eye gaze shifted frequently between a valenced and neutral stimulus (Studies 1 & 2), when the two stimuli appeared in close spatial proximity (Study 3), and when the neutral stimulus was made more perceptually salient than the valenced stimulus due to its larger size (Study 4). In other words, conditions conducive to source confusability increased EC. Study 5 provided evidence for multiple mechanisms of EC by comparing the effects of mildly evocative valenced stimuli (those evoking responses that might more easily be misattributed to another object) to more strongly evocative stimuli. PMID:19379028

  1. Simulation of Electrical Transport in Rocks under Mechanical Action

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salgueiro da Silva, M. A.; Seixas, T. M.

    2015-12-01

    Rock's electrical properties can be changed by mechanical action, especially when deformation is accompanied by micro-fracturing processes. Knowing how electrical charge is generated in inelastically deformed rocks, the nature and properties of the generated charge carriers, and their spatial distribution and propagation is crucial to gain insight into the origin of seismo-electromagnetic signals. In this work, we describe briefly a model for the numerical simulation of electrical transport in rocks under mechanical action, assuming that high and low mobility charge carriers of opposite signs can be simultaneously generated by micro-fracturing processes and recombine, diffuse and drift across the sample rock. The electrical behavior can then be described using an adaptation of the formalism applied to semiconductors. We provide simulation results on a one-dimensional lattice using finite-difference discretization. Our results show that a large mobility contrast among charge carriers allows charge separation inside the deformation region, which leads to the formation of charged layers of alternate signs. Inside these layers, rapid electric field variations are observed which can lead to the emission of electromagnetic radiation. With proper positioning of current electrodes inside the deformation region, it is possible to collect electrical current even without any applied voltage. We discuss our results in the light of available experimental results on the generation of electrical and electromagnetic signals in deformed rocks.

  2. The Challenge of Characterizing Operations in the Mechanisms Underlying Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Bechtel, William

    2005-01-01

    Neuroscience and cognitive science seek to explain behavioral regularities in terms of underlying mechanisms. An important element of a mechanistic explanation is a characterization of the operations of the parts of the mechanism. The challenge in characterizing such operations is illustrated by an example from the history of physiological chemistry in which some investigators tried to characterize the internal operations in the same terms as the overall physiological system while others appealed to elemental chemistry. In order for biochemistry to become successful, researchers had to identify a new level of operations involving operations over molecular groups. Existing attempts at mechanistic explanation of behavior are in a situation comparable to earlier approaches to physiological chemistry, drawing their inspiration either from overall psychology activities or from low-level neural processes. Successful mechanistic explanations of behavior require the discovery of the appropriate component operations. Such discovery is a daunting challenge but one on which success will be beneficial to both behavioral scientists and cognitive and neuroscientists. PMID:16596967

  3. Mechanisms underlying the impacts of exotic plant invasions.

    PubMed Central

    Levine, Jonathan M; Vilà, Montserrat; D'Antonio, Carla M; Dukes, Jeffrey S; Grigulis, Karl; Lavorel, Sandra

    2003-01-01

    Although the impacts of exotic plant invasions on community structure and ecosystem processes are well appreciated, the pathways or mechanisms that underlie these impacts are poorly understood. Better exploration of these processes is essential to understanding why exotic plants impact only certain systems, and why only some invaders have large impacts. Here, we review over 150 studies to evaluate the mechanisms underlying the impacts of exotic plant invasions on plant and animal community structure, nutrient cycling, hydrology and fire regimes. We find that, while numerous studies have examined the impacts of invasions on plant diversity and composition, less than 5% test whether these effects arise through competition, allelopathy, alteration of ecosystem variables or other processes. Nonetheless, competition was often hypothesized, and nearly all studies competing native and alien plants against each other found strong competitive effects of exotic species. In contrast to studies of the impacts on plant community structure and higher trophic levels, research examining impacts on nitrogen cycling, hydrology and fire regimes is generally highly mechanistic, often motivated by specific invader traits. We encourage future studies that link impacts on community structure to ecosystem processes, and relate the controls over invasibility to the controls over impact. PMID:12737654

  4. Using Drosophila to discover mechanisms underlying type 2 diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Alfa, Ronald W.; Kim, Seung K.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Mechanisms of glucose homeostasis are remarkably well conserved between the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and mammals. From the initial characterization of insulin signaling in the fly came the identification of downstream metabolic pathways for nutrient storage and utilization. Defects in these pathways lead to phenotypes that are analogous to diabetic states in mammals. These discoveries have stimulated interest in leveraging the fly to better understand the genetics of type 2 diabetes mellitus in humans. Type 2 diabetes results from insulin insufficiency in the context of ongoing insulin resistance. Although genetic susceptibility is thought to govern the propensity of individuals to develop type 2 diabetes mellitus under appropriate environmental conditions, many of the human genes associated with the disease in genome-wide association studies have not been functionally studied. Recent advances in the phenotyping of metabolic defects have positioned Drosophila as an excellent model for the functional characterization of large numbers of genes associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Here, we examine results from studies modeling metabolic disease in the fruit fly and compare findings to proposed mechanisms for diabetic phenotypes in mammals. We provide a systematic framework for assessing the contribution of gene candidates to insulin-secretion or insulin-resistance pathways relevant to diabetes pathogenesis. PMID:27053133

  5. Neurosubstrates and mechanisms underlying the extinction of associative motor memory.

    PubMed

    Hu, Chen; Zhang, Li-Bin; Chen, Hao; Xiong, Yan; Hu, Bo

    2015-12-01

    Eyeblink conditioning is one of the most commonly used model systems to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying associative motor learning. It is well established that the acquisition and retention of conditioned eyeblink responses (CRs) involve neural plasticity in both the cerebellar cortex and deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN). Nevertheless, how learned CRs are extinguished remains relatively unclear. It has been suggested that extinguished CRs can recur spontaneously, can reappear by exposure to certain stimuli, and can be reacquired in fewer training trials than originally needed, indicating that associative motor memory is not merely erased by extinction training. Instead, the motor memory is preserved to some degree. Herein, we reviewed recent experimental findings demonstrating that the cerebellum subserves the preservation of learned CRs. In addition, several lines of evidence have suggested that forebrain structures (i.e., the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus) are involved in the CR extinction. We proposed possible mechanisms related to how preserved motor memory in the cerebellum is inhibited by the forebrain structures via the amygdalar complex. PMID:26209112

  6. Mechanisms underlying the social enhancement of vocal learning in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yining; Matheson, Laura E; Sakata, Jon T

    2016-06-14

    Social processes profoundly influence speech and language acquisition. Despite the importance of social influences, little is known about how social interactions modulate vocal learning. Like humans, songbirds learn their vocalizations during development, and they provide an excellent opportunity to reveal mechanisms of social influences on vocal learning. Using yoked experimental designs, we demonstrate that social interactions with adult tutors for as little as 1 d significantly enhanced vocal learning. Social influences on attention to song seemed central to the social enhancement of learning because socially tutored birds were more attentive to the tutor's songs than passively tutored birds, and because variation in attentiveness and in the social modulation of attention significantly predicted variation in vocal learning. Attention to song was influenced by both the nature and amount of tutor song: Pupils paid more attention to songs that tutors directed at them and to tutors that produced fewer songs. Tutors altered their song structure when directing songs at pupils in a manner that resembled how humans alter their vocalizations when speaking to infants, that was distinct from how tutors changed their songs when singing to females, and that could influence attention and learning. Furthermore, social interactions that rapidly enhanced learning increased the activity of noradrenergic and dopaminergic midbrain neurons. These data highlight striking parallels between humans and songbirds in the social modulation of vocal learning and suggest that social influences on attention and midbrain circuitry could represent shared mechanisms underlying the social modulation of vocal learning. PMID:27247385

  7. Generalized coherent states under deformed quantum mechanics with maximum momentum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ching, Chee Leong; Ng, Wei Khim

    2013-10-01

    Following the Gazeau-Klauder approach, we construct generalized coherent states (GCS) as the quantum simulator to examine the deformed quantum mechanics, which exhibits an intrinsic maximum momentum. We study deformed harmonic oscillators and compute their probability distribution and entropy of states exactly. Also, a particle in an infinite potential box is studied perturbatively. In particular, unlike usual quantum mechanics, the present deformed case increases the entropy of the Planck scale quantum optical system. Furthermore, for simplicity, we obtain the modified uncertainty principle (MUP) with the perturbative treatment up to leading order. MUP turns out to increase generally. However, for certain values of γ (a parameter of GCS), it is possible that the MUP will vanish and hence will exhibit the classical characteristic. This is interpreted as the manifestation of the intrinsic high-momentum cutoff at lower momentum in a perturbative treatment. Although the GCS saturates the minimal uncertainty in a simultaneous measurement of physical position and momentum operators, thus constituting the squeezed states, complete coherency is impossible in quantum gravitational physics. The Mandel Q number is calculated, and it is shown that the statistics can be Poissonian and super-/sub-Poissonian depending on γ. The equation of motion is studied, and both Ehrenfest’s theorem and the correspondence principle are recovered. Fractional revival times are obtained through the autocorrelation, and they indicate that the superposition of a classical-like subwave packet is natural in GCS. We also contrast our results with the string-motivated (Snyder) type of deformed quantum mechanics, which incorporates a minimum position uncertainty rather than a maximum momentum. With the advances of quantum optics technology, it might be possible to realize some of these distinguishing quantum-gravitational features within the domain of future experiments.

  8. Different Neurophysiological Mechanisms Underlying Word and Rule Extraction from Speech

    PubMed Central

    De Diego Balaguer, Ruth; Toro, Juan Manuel; Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni; Bachoud-Lévi, Anne-Catherine

    2007-01-01

    The initial process of identifying words from spoken language and the detection of more subtle regularities underlying their structure are mandatory processes for language acquisition. Little is known about the cognitive mechanisms that allow us to extract these two types of information and their specific time-course of acquisition following initial contact with a new language. We report time-related electrophysiological changes that occurred while participants learned an artificial language. These changes strongly correlated with the discovery of the structural rules embedded in the words. These changes were clearly different from those related to word learning and occurred during the first minutes of exposition. There is a functional distinction in the nature of the electrophysiological signals during acquisition: an increase in negativity (N400) in the central electrodes is related to word-learning and development of a frontal positivity (P2) is related to rule-learning. In addition, the results of an online implicit and a post-learning test indicate that, once the rules of the language have been acquired, new words following the rule are processed as words of the language. By contrast, new words violating the rule induce syntax-related electrophysiological responses when inserted online in the stream (an early frontal negativity followed by a late posterior positivity) and clear lexical effects when presented in isolation (N400 modulation). The present study provides direct evidence suggesting that the mechanisms to extract words and structural dependencies from continuous speech are functionally segregated. When these mechanisms are engaged, the electrophysiological marker associated with rule-learning appears very quickly, during the earliest phases of exposition to a new language. PMID:18000546

  9. Persistent organic pollutants & obesity: potential mechanisms for breast cancer promotion?

    PubMed Central

    Reaves, Denise K.; Ginsburg, Erika; Bang, John J.; Fleming, Jodie M.

    2015-01-01

    Dietary ingestion of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) correlates with developing obesity. Obesity alters metabolism, induces an inflammatory tissue microenvironment, and is also linked with diabetes and breast cancer risk/promotion of the disease. However, no direct evidence exists exploring the correlation among all three of these factors (POPs, obesity, and breast cancer). Herein, we present current correlative studies suggesting a causal link between POPs exposure through diet and their bioaccumulation in adipose that promotes the development of obesity and ultimately influences breast cancer development and/or progression. Furthermore, as endocrine disruptors, POPs can potentially interfere with hormonally responsive tissue functions causing dysregulation in hormone signaling and cell function. This review highlights the critical need for advanced in vitro and in vivo model systems to understand the complex relationship between obesity, POPs, breast cancer, and, more importantly, to delineate their multifaceted molecular, cellular, and biochemical mechanisms. Comprehensive in vitro and in vivo studies directly testing the observed correlations as well as detailing their molecular mechanisms are vital to cancer research and, ultimately, public health. PMID:25624167

  10. Investigating the mechanism(s) underlying switching between states in bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Young, Jared W; Dulcis, Davide

    2015-07-15

    Bipolar disorder (BD) is a unique disorder that transcends domains of function since the same patient can exhibit depression or mania, states with polar opposite mood symptoms. During depression, people feel helplessness, reduced energy, and risk aversion, while with mania behaviors include grandiosity, increased energy, less sleep, and risk preference. The neural mechanism(s) underlying each state are gaining clarity, with catecholaminergic disruption seen during mania, and cholinergic dysfunction during depression. The fact that the same patient cycles/switches between these states is the defining characteristic of BD however. Of greater importance therefore, is the mechanism(s) underlying cycling from one state - and its associated neural changes - to another, considered the 'holy grail' of BD research. Herein, we review studies investigating triggers that induce switching to these states. By identifying such triggers, researchers can study neural mechanisms underlying each state and importantly how such mechanistic changes can occur in the same subject. Current animal models of this switch are also discussed, from submissive- and dominant-behaviors to kindling effects. Focus however, is placed on how seasonal changes can induce manic and depressive states in BD sufferers. Importantly, changing photoperiod lengths can induce local switches in neurotransmitter expression in normal animals, from increased catecholaminergic expression during periods of high activity, to increased somatostatin and corticotrophin releasing factor during periods of low activity. Identifying susceptibilities to this switch would enable the development of targeted animal models. From animal models, targeted treatments could be developed and tested that would minimize the likelihood of switching. PMID:25814263

  11. Investigating the mechanism(s) underlying switching between states in bipolar disorder

    PubMed Central

    Young, Jared W.; Dulcis, Davide

    2015-01-01

    Bipolar Disorder (BD) is a unique disorder that transcends domains of function since the same patient can exhibit depression or mania, states with polar opposite mood symptoms. During depression, people feel helplessness, reduced energy, and risk aversion, while with mania behaviors include grandiosity, increased energy, less sleep, and risk preference. The neural mechanism(s) underlying each state are gaining clarity, with catecholaminergic disruption seen during mania, and cholinergic dysfunction during depression. The fact that the same patient cycles/switches between these states is the defining characteristic of BD however. Of greater importance therefore, is the mechanism(s) underlying cycling from one state - and its associated neural changes - to another, considered the ‘holy grail’ of BD research. Herein, we review studies investigating triggers that induce switching to these states. By identifying such triggers, researchers can study neural mechanisms underlying each state and importantly how such mechanistic changes can occur in the same subject. Current animal models of this switch are also discussed, from submissive- and dominant-behaviors to kindling effects. Focus however, is placed on how seasonal changes can induce manic and depressive states in BD sufferers. Importantly, changing photoperiod lengths can induce local switches in neurotransmitter expression in normal animals, from increased catecholaminergic expression during periods of high activity, to increased somatostatin and corticotrophin releasing factor during periods of low activity. Identifying susceptibilities to this switch would enable the development of targeted animal models. From animal models, targeted treatments could be developed and tested that would minimize the likelihood of switching. PMID:25814263

  12. [Mechanisms and potential of the therapeutic stimulation of arteriogenesis].

    PubMed

    Schirmer, S H; van Royen, N; Laufs, U; Böhm, M

    2009-02-01

    The stimulation of collateral artery growth (arteriogenesis) is a promising alternative approach to non-invasively treat arterial obstructive disease, such as coronary, peripheral or cerebral artery disease. Patients unable to undergo conventional revascularization strategies may benefit from adaptive arteriogenesis. Underlying mechanisms are experimentally validated and include an increase in shear stress after obstruction or occlusion of a major artery; monocyte adhesion, transmigration and perivascular accumulation, secretion of growth factors; and smooth muscle and endothelial cell proliferation and growth of pre-existent collateral arteries. Therapeutic stimulation of arteriogenesis with cytokines has been successfully performed in experimental models. Translation into clinical practice, however, has hitherto been problematic. Reasons for this include differences between the healthy laboratory animal and an often severely diseased patient, possible harmful effects of pro-arteriogenic therapies and unsuitable clinical endpoints for the detection of collateral artery growth. Recent investigations of human arteriogenesis demonstrate significant inter-individual differences and point towards the importance of anti-arteriogenic mechanisms in patients with impaired adaptive arteriogenesis and high cardiovascular risk factors. PMID:19197812

  13. Examining cassava's potential to enhance food security under climate change

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent advances in the biofortification of cassava, a substantial yield gap and cassava's potential for increased productivity and its inherent potential to respond positively to globally increasing CO2 are synergistic and encouraging in an otherwise bleak global view of the future of food security ...

  14. Potential mechanisms for low uric acid in Parkinson disease.

    PubMed

    Sampat, Radhika; Young, Sarah; Rosen, Ami; Bernhard, Douglas; Millington, David; Factor, Stewart; Jinnah, H A

    2016-04-01

    Several epidemiologic studies have described an association between low serum uric acid (UA) and Parkinson disease (PD). Uric acid is a known antioxidant, and one proposed mechanism of neurodegeneration in PD is oxidative damage of dopamine neurons. However, other complex metabolic pathways may contribute. The purpose of this study is to elucidate potential mechanisms of low serum UA in PD. Subjects who met diagnostic criteria for definite or probable PD (n = 20) and controls (n = 20) aged 55-80 years were recruited. Twenty-four hour urine samples were collected from all participants, and both uric acid and allantoin were measured and corrected for body mass index (BMI). Urinary metabolites were compared using a twoway ANOVA with diagnosis and sex as the explanatory variables. There were no significant differences between PD and controls for total UA (p = 0.60), UA corrected for BMI (p = 0.37), or in the interaction of diagnosis and sex on UA (p = 0.24). Similarly, there were no significant differences between PD and controls for allantoin (p = 0.47), allantoin corrected for BMI (p = 0.57), or in the interaction of diagnosis and sex on allantoin (p = 0.78). Allantoin/UA ratios also did not significantly differ by diagnosis (p = 0.99). Our results imply that low serum UA in PD may be due to an intrinsic mechanism that alters the homeostatic set point for serum UA in PD, and may contribute to relatively lower protection against oxidative damage. These findings provide indirect support for neuroprotection trials aimed at raising serum UA. PMID:26747026

  15. Microcracking in composite laminates under thermal and mechanical loading. Thesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maddocks, Jason R.

    1995-01-01

    Composites used in space structures are exposed to both extremes in temperature and applied mechanical loads. Cracks in the matrix form, changing the laminate thermoelastic properties. The goal of the present investigation is to develop a predictive methodology to quantify microcracking in general composite laminates under both thermal and mechanical loading. This objective is successfully met through a combination of analytical modeling and experimental investigation. In the analysis, the stress and displacement distributions in the vicinity of a crack are determined using a shear lag model. These are incorporated into an energy based cracking criterion to determine the favorability of crack formation. A progressive damage algorithm allows the inclusion of material softening effects and temperature-dependent material properties. The analysis is implemented by a computer code which gives predicted crack density and degraded laminate properties as functions of any thermomechanical load history. Extensive experimentation provides verification of the analysis. AS4/3501-6 graphite/epoxy laminates are manufactured with three different layups to investigate ply thickness and orientation effects. Thermal specimens are cooled to progressively lower temperatures down to -184 C. After conditioning the specimens to each temperature, cracks are counted on their edges using optical microscopy and in their interiors by sanding to incremental depths. Tensile coupons are loaded monotonically to progressively higher loads until failure. Cracks are counted on the coupon edges after each loading. A data fit to all available results provides input parameters for the analysis and shows them to be material properties, independent of geometry and loading. Correlation between experiment and analysis is generally very good under both thermal and mechanical loading, showing the methodology to be a powerful, unified tool. Delayed crack initiation observed in a few cases is attributed to a

  16. Vascular remodeling after ischemic stroke: mechanisms and therapeutic potentials

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jialing; Wang, Yongting; Akamatsu, Yosuke; Lee, Chih Cheng; Stetler, R Anne; Lawton, Michael T.; Yang, Guo-Yuan

    2014-01-01

    The brain vasculature has been increasingly recognized as a key player that directs brain development, regulates homeostasis, and contributes to pathological processes. Following ischemic stroke, the reduction of blood flow elicits a cascade of changes and leads to vascular remodeling. However, the temporal profile of vascular changes after stroke is not well understood. Growing evidence suggests that the early phase of cerebral blood volume (CBV) increase is likely due to the improvement in collateral flow, also known as arteriogenesis, whereas the late phase of CBV increase is attributed to the surge of angiogenesis. Arteriogenesis is triggered by shear fluid stress followed by activation of endothelium and inflammatory processes, while angiogenesis induces a number of pro-angiogenic factors and circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). The status of collaterals in acute stroke has been shown to have several prognostic implications, while the causal relationship between angiogenesis and improved functional recovery has yet to be established in patients. A number of interventions aimed at enhancing cerebral blood flow including increasing collateral recruitment are under clinical investigation. Transplantation of EPCs to improve angiogenesis is also underway. Knowledge in the underlying physiological mechanisms for improved arteriogenesis and angiogenesis shall lead to more effective therapies for ischemic stroke. PMID:24291532

  17. Ambient-Potential Composite Ewald Method for ab Initio Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Molecular Dynamics Simulation.

    PubMed

    Giese, Timothy J; York, Darrin M

    2016-06-14

    A new approach for performing Particle Mesh Ewald in ab initio quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) simulations with extended atomic orbital basis sets is presented. The new approach, the Ambient-Potential Composite Ewald (CEw) method, does not perform the QM/MM interaction with Mulliken charges nor electrostatically fit charges. Instead the nuclei and electron density interact directly with the MM environment, but in a manner that avoids the use of dense Fourier transform grids. By performing the electrostatics with the underlying QM density, the CEw method avoids self-consistent field instabilities that have been encountered with simple charge mapping procedures. Potential of mean force (PMF) profiles of the p-nitrophenyl phosphate dissociation reaction in explicit solvent are computed from PBE0/6-31G* QM/MM molecular dynamics simulations with various electrostatic protocols. The CEw profiles are shown to be stable with respect to real-space Ewald cutoff, whereas the PMFs computed from truncated and switched electrostatics produce artifacts. PBE0/6-311G**, AM1/d-PhoT, and DFTB2 QM/MM simulations are performed to generate two-dimensional PMF profiles of the phosphoryl transesterification reactions with ethoxide and phenoxide leaving groups. The semiempirical models incorrectly produce a concerted ethoxide mechanism, whereas PBE0 correctly produces a stepwise mechanism. The ab initio reaction barriers agree more closely to experiment than the semiempirical models. The failure of Mulliken-charge QM/MM-Ewald is analyzed. PMID:27171914

  18. Potential molecular, cellular and microenvironmental mechanism of sorafenib resistance in hepatocellular carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jiang; Jin, Renan; Zhao, Jie; Liu, Jinghua; Ying, Hanning; Yan, Han; Zhou, Senjun; Liang, Yuelong; Huang, Diyu; Liang, Xiao; Yu, Hong; Lin, Hui; Cai, Xiujun

    2015-10-10

    Sorafenib, an orally-available kinase inhibitor, is the only standard clinical treatment against advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. However, development of resistance to sorafenib has raised concern in recent years due to the high-level heterogeneity of individual response to sorafenib treatment. The resistance mechanism underlying the impaired sensitivity to sorafenib is still elusive though some researchers have made great efforts. Here, we provide a systemic insight into the potential molecular, cellular and microenvironmental mechanism of sorafenib resistance in hepatocellular carcinoma depending on abundant previous studies and reports. PMID:26170167

  19. Consumption of Red/Processed Meat and Colorectal Carcinoma: Possible Mechanisms Underlying the Significant Association.

    PubMed

    Hammerling, Ulf; Bergman Laurila, Jonas; Grafström, Roland; Ilbäck, Nils-Gunnar

    2016-03-11

    Epidemiology and experimental studies provide an overwhelming support of the notion that diets high in red or processed meat accompany an elevated risk of developing pre-neoplastic colorectal adenoma and frank colorectal carcinoma (CRC). The underlying mechanisms are disputed; thus several hypotheses have been proposed. A large body of reports converges, however, on haem and nitrosyl haem as major contributors to the CRC development, presumably acting through various mechanisms. Apart from a potentially higher intestinal mutagenic load among consumers on a diet rich in red/processed meat, other mechanisms involving subtle interference with colorectal stem/progenitor cell survival or maturation are likewise at play. From an overarching perspective, suggested candidate mechanisms for red/processed meat-induced CRC appear as three partly overlapping tenets: (i) increased N-nitrosation/oxidative load leading to DNA adducts and lipid peroxidation in the intestinal epithelium, (ii) proliferative stimulation of the epithelium through haem or food-derived metabolites that either act directly or subsequent to conversion, and (iii) higher inflammatory response, which may trigger a wide cascade of pro-malignant processes. In this review, we summarize and discuss major findings of the area in the context of potentially pertinent mechanisms underlying the above-mentioned association between consumption of red/processed meat and increased risk of developing CRC. PMID:25849747

  20. Emplacement mechanisms and trapping potential of gravity-driven allochthons

    SciTech Connect

    Pinney, R.B.

    1985-02-01

    Gravity-slide blocks of Paleozoic carbonate detached from the Snake River Range show evidence of episodic emplacement into the Salt Lake group (Mio-Pliocene) in the Palisades reservoir area near Alpine, Wyoming. The allochthons lie in a large graben system created by the Grand Valley listric normal fault, a reactivated thrust that soles into a ramp in the underlying Absaroka thrust. In the Alpine 7 1/2-min quadrangle, one of the detached blocks is 2 1/2 mi (4 km) by 1 mi (1.6 km) in map view and contains the Ferry Peak thrust as well as other Laramide structures. Structures and formations of the Alpine allochthon may be matched to those in the range to restore approximate predetachment position. Very low-angle westward translation at or near the surface moved the blocks across the Grand Valley fault into the graben. The current location and attitude of these allochthons are due to subsequent movement and rotation on the Grand Valley fault. The allochthons occur at different stratigraphic levels in the Salt Lake group, each level corresponding to the time of a specific emplacement event. Catastrophic emplacement of a fractured allochthon, a potential reservoir, into a lacustrine or other source rock depocenter creates a unique and potentially predictable type of petroleum occurrence. Paleogeographic reconstruction may explain anomalous occurrence of discrete allochthons in structurally low areas where it can be shown that a gravitational potential existed for detachment and sliding. The resulting trap would consist of allochthons encased in autochthonous source rock.

  1. Early life stress interactions with the epigenome: potential mechanisms driving vulnerability towards psychiatric illness

    PubMed Central

    Olive, Michael Foster

    2014-01-01

    Throughout the 20th century a body of literature concerning the long lasting effects of early environment was produced. Adverse experiences in early life, or early life stress (ELS), is associated with a higher risk for developing various psychiatric illnesses. The mechanisms driving the complex interplay between ELS and adult phenotype has baffled many investigators for decades. Over the last decade, the new field of neuroepigenetics has emerged as one possible mechanism by which ELS can have far reaching effects on adult phenotype, behavior, and risk for psychiatric illness. Here we review two commonly investigated epigenetic mechanisms, histone modifications and DNA methylation, and the emerging field of neuroepigenetics as they relate to ELS. We discuss the current animal literature demonstrating ELS induced epigenetic modulation of gene expression that results in altered adult phenotypes. We also briefly discuss other areas in which neuroepigenetics has emerged as a potential mechanism underlying environmental and genetic interactions. PMID:25003947

  2. Wind a potential mechanism of Mars gully formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yue, Z.; Xie, H.

    2007-12-01

    Since Mars gullies were first revealed with the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) in 2000, they rapidly became a hotspot in Mars studying in that some of them are very young features on Mars surface. The previous studies focused on their formation and erosion mechanisms. As a result, several mechanisms have been proposed. But none of them can interpret the formation of all gullies perfectly. High resolution HiRISE images give us a good opportunity to examine it. In this study, we propose that wind could play an important role in some of the gullies formation. Wind is the most important agent acting on Mars surface (Fenton, 2003) and produced many features on Mars surface, including ubiquitous dunes, yardangs, deflation pits, dust storms, and dust deposits. Similarly, wind can also affect the inner edge of craters and valleys, where the gullies have been found mostly. Under the erosion of wind, the small channel will turn to a big gully. Wind could be a major reason to explain (1) why gullies formed in one side of a crater wall, while small wind-blown sand deposits in the opposite side of the same crater, as found in the crater of this HiRISE image (PSP_001697_1390_RED.JP2) and (2) why two craters next to each other, but only the big one has gullies developed. The reason for this is that big crater can form a strong wind circulation. In another HiRISE image (PSP_001330_1395_RED.JP2), we found a rock in the lower end of a gully course in a crater wall, for which we explain this gully is in the process of formation. This rock could be moving down and carving in to form the course due to the wind force. Based on the common characteristics of wind abrasion mechanics (Greeley and Iversen, 1985), we propose the following processes of gully formation by wind: (1) Embryonic stage: one side of a crater wall or valley wall was "softened" by the wind storm and formed some irregular and V-shaped fractured channels. (2) Youthful stage: small impact pits formed

  3. Circadian Mechanisms Underlying Reward-Related Neurophysiology and Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Parekh, Puja K; McClung, Colleen A

    2015-01-01

    Evidence from clinical and preclinical research provides an undeniable link between disruptions in the circadian clock and the development of psychiatric diseases, including mood and substance abuse disorders. The molecular clock, which controls daily patterns of physiological and behavioral activity in living organisms, when desynchronized, may exacerbate or precipitate symptoms of psychiatric illness. One of the outstanding questions remaining in this field is that of cause and effect in the relationship between circadian rhythm disruption and psychiatric disease. Focus has recently turned to uncovering the role of circadian proteins beyond the maintenance of homeostatic systems and outside of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the master pacemaker region of the brain. In this regard, several groups, including our own, have sought to understand how circadian proteins regulate mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and neurotransmitter signaling in mesocorticolimbic brain regions, which are known to be critically involved in reward processing and mood. This regulation can come in the form of direct transcriptional control of genes central to mood and reward, including those associated with dopaminergic activity in the midbrain. It can also be seen at the circuit level through indirect connections of mesocorticolimbic regions with the SCN. Circadian misalignment paradigms as well as genetic models of circadian disruption have helped to elucidate some of the complex interactions between these systems and neural activity influencing behavior. In this review, we explore findings that link circadian protein function with synaptic adaptations underlying plasticity as it may contribute to the development of mood disorders and addiction. In light of recent advances in technology and sophisticated methods for molecular and circuit-level interrogation, we propose future directions aimed at teasing apart mechanisms through which the circadian system modulates mood and reward

  4. Circadian Mechanisms Underlying Reward-Related Neurophysiology and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Parekh, Puja K.; McClung, Colleen A.

    2016-01-01

    Evidence from clinical and preclinical research provides an undeniable link between disruptions in the circadian clock and the development of psychiatric diseases, including mood and substance abuse disorders. The molecular clock, which controls daily patterns of physiological and behavioral activity in living organisms, when desynchronized, may exacerbate or precipitate symptoms of psychiatric illness. One of the outstanding questions remaining in this field is that of cause and effect in the relationship between circadian rhythm disruption and psychiatric disease. Focus has recently turned to uncovering the role of circadian proteins beyond the maintenance of homeostatic systems and outside of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the master pacemaker region of the brain. In this regard, several groups, including our own, have sought to understand how circadian proteins regulate mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and neurotransmitter signaling in mesocorticolimbic brain regions, which are known to be critically involved in reward processing and mood. This regulation can come in the form of direct transcriptional control of genes central to mood and reward, including those associated with dopaminergic activity in the midbrain. It can also be seen at the circuit level through indirect connections of mesocorticolimbic regions with the SCN. Circadian misalignment paradigms as well as genetic models of circadian disruption have helped to elucidate some of the complex interactions between these systems and neural activity influencing behavior. In this review, we explore findings that link circadian protein function with synaptic adaptations underlying plasticity as it may contribute to the development of mood disorders and addiction. In light of recent advances in technology and sophisticated methods for molecular and circuit-level interrogation, we propose future directions aimed at teasing apart mechanisms through which the circadian system modulates mood and reward

  5. Molecular mechanisms underlying progesterone-enhanced breast cancer cell migration.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui-Chen; Lee, Wen-Sen

    2016-01-01

    Progesterone (P4) was demonstrated to inhibit migration in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), but to enhance migration in T47D breast cancer cells. To investigate the mechanism responsible for this switch in P4 action, we examined the signaling pathway responsible for the P4-induced migration enhancement in breast cancer cell lines, T47D and MCF-7. Here, we demonstrated that P4 activated the cSrc/AKT signaling pathway, subsequently inducing RSK1 activation, which in turn increased phosphorylation of p27 at T198 and formation of the p27pT198-RhoA complex in the cytosol, thereby preventing RhoA degradation, and eventually enhanced migration in T47D cells. These findings were confirmed in the P4-treated MCF-7. Comparing the P4-induced molecular events in between breast cancer cells and VSMCs, we found that P4 increased p27 phosphorylation at T198 in breast cancer cells through RSK1 activation, while P4 increased p27 phosphorlation at Ser10 in VSMCs through KIS activation. P27pT198 formed the complex with RhoA and prevented RhoA degradation in T47D cells, whereas p-p27Ser10 formed the complex with RhoA and caused RhoA degradation in VSMCs. The results of this study highlight the molecular mechanism underlying P4-enhanced breast cancer cell migration, and suggest that RSK1 activation is responsible for the P4-induced migration enhancement in breast cancer cells. PMID:27510838

  6. Molecular mechanisms underlying progesterone-enhanced breast cancer cell migration

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hui-Chen; Lee, Wen-Sen

    2016-01-01

    Progesterone (P4) was demonstrated to inhibit migration in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), but to enhance migration in T47D breast cancer cells. To investigate the mechanism responsible for this switch in P4 action, we examined the signaling pathway responsible for the P4-induced migration enhancement in breast cancer cell lines, T47D and MCF-7. Here, we demonstrated that P4 activated the cSrc/AKT signaling pathway, subsequently inducing RSK1 activation, which in turn increased phosphorylation of p27 at T198 and formation of the p27pT198-RhoA complex in the cytosol, thereby preventing RhoA degradation, and eventually enhanced migration in T47D cells. These findings were confirmed in the P4-treated MCF-7. Comparing the P4-induced molecular events in between breast cancer cells and VSMCs, we found that P4 increased p27 phosphorylation at T198 in breast cancer cells through RSK1 activation, while P4 increased p27 phosphorlation at Ser10 in VSMCs through KIS activation. P27pT198 formed the complex with RhoA and prevented RhoA degradation in T47D cells, whereas p-p27Ser10 formed the complex with RhoA and caused RhoA degradation in VSMCs. The results of this study highlight the molecular mechanism underlying P4-enhanced breast cancer cell migration, and suggest that RSK1 activation is responsible for the P4-induced migration enhancement in breast cancer cells. PMID:27510838

  7. Mechanism Underlying Levofloxacin Uptake by Human Polymorphonuclear Neutrophils

    PubMed Central

    Vazifeh, Doina; Bryskier, André; Labro, Marie-Thérèse

    1999-01-01

    The mechanism of radiolabeled levofloxacin ([3H]levofloxacin) uptake by human polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) was investigated by a classical velocity centrifugation technique. PMNs were incubated with levofloxacin for 5 to 180 min under various conditions before centrifugation through an oil cushion. Radioactivity was measured in the cell pellet to determine the amount of cell-associated drug. The uptake of levofloxacin was moderate with a cellular concentration/extracellular concentration ratio of about 4 to 6. Levofloxacin accumulated in PMNs parallel to the extracellular concentration, without saturation, over the range of 2.5 to 200 mg/liter (linear regression analysis: r = 0.92; P < 0.001). The activation energy was low (36 ± 7.2 kJ/mol). Levofloxacin uptake was increased in Ca2+-depleted, EGTA-containing medium by approximately 33% (P = 0.022), while Ni2+, a Ca2+ channel inhibitor, inhibited it in a concentration-dependent manner, with the concentration that inhibited 50% of control uptake being approximately 2.65 mM. Verapamil (an l-type Ca2+ channel inhibitor) and other pharmacologic agents which modify Ca2+ homeostasis did not modify levofloxacin uptake. Interestingly, Ca2+ and Mg2+ inhibited levofloxacin uptake in a concentration-dependent manner. EGTA, Ni2+, and verapamil did not modify levofloxacin efflux; thapsigargin, a Ca2+ pool-releasing agent, modestly increased the intracellular retention of levofloxacin. In addition, contrary to other fluoroquinolones, probenecid at 1 to 10 mM did not modify either levofloxacin uptake or efflux. These data are consistent with a mechanism of passive accumulation of levofloxacin in PMNs. Extracellular Ca2+ and Mg2+ may influence the structural conformation of levofloxacin or the lipophilicity of PMN membranes, thus explaining their effect on levofloxacin uptake. PMID:9925513

  8. Mechanisms underlying reduced fertility in anovular dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Santos, J E P; Bisinotto, R S; Ribeiro, E S

    2016-07-01

    Resumption of ovulation after parturition is a coordinated process that involves recoupling of the GH/insulin-like growth factor 1 axis in the liver, increase in follicular development and steroidogenesis, and removal of negative feedback from estradiol in the hypothalamus. Infectious diseases and metabolic disorders associated with extensive negative energy balance during early lactation disrupt this pathway and delay first ovulation postpartum. Extended periods of anovulation postpartum exert long-lasting effects on fertility in dairy cows including the lack of spontaneous estrus, reduced pregnancy per artificial insemination (P/AI), and increased risk of pregnancy loss. Concentrations of progesterone in anovular cows subjected to synchronized programs for AI are insufficient to optimize follicular maturation, oocyte competence, and subsequent fertility to AI. Ovulation of first wave follicles, which develop under low concentrations of progesterone, reduces embryo quality in the first week after fertilization and P/AI in dairy cows. Although the specific mechanisms by which anovulation and low concentrations of progesterone impair oocyte quality have not been defined, studies with persistent follicles support the involvement of premature resumption of meiosis and degradation of maternal RNA. Suboptimal concentrations of progesterone before ovulation also increase the synthesis of PGF2α in response to oxytocin during the subsequent estrous cycle, which explains the greater incidence of short luteal phases after the first AI postpartum in anovular cows compared with estrous cyclic herd mates. It is suggested that increased spontaneous luteolysis early in the estrous cycle is one of the mechanisms that contributes to early embryonic losses in anovular cows. Anovulation also leads to major shifts in gene expression in elongated conceptuses during preimplantation stages of pregnancy. Transcripts involved with control of energy metabolism and DNA repair were

  9. Mechanical properties and potential commercial applications of agricultural composites

    SciTech Connect

    Asadi, M.; Farokhi, S.; McCabe, S.L.

    1995-11-01

    This paper reveals information on the mechanical properties of the agricultural composites and their commercial potential as a substitute for plastics and woods leading to a lower cost for these products. Chopped and particulate agricultural co-products (hereafter referred to agro-fibers) such as wheat, brome hay, switchgrass, and corn were mixed at a ratio of 66:34 fiber/epoxy by volume to manufacture agricultural composites (hereafter referred to agrocomposites) using the hand lay-up molding technique. The manufactured composite samples were tested for their mechanical properties such as tensile stress, compressive stress, moisture absorption, and thermal expansion. According to results, chopped switchgrass agro-composite samples showed the highest tensile strength, yet less than that of soft woods and slightly higher than that of plastics (high density polyethylene known as HDPE). As a result, a second set of agro-composite samples using only chopped switchgrass was manufactured at 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50% agro-fiber content to obtain the optimal fiber/epoxy ratio for which agro-composite samples show the maximum tensile stress. The same procedure was followed for comprehensive strength, thermal expansion, and moisture absorption measurements. According to the obtained results, at 50:50, agro-composite samples showed the highest tensile stress at 2,925 psi compared to that of plastic at 2,000 psi and of soft wood at 6,600 psi. At 10:90 agro-fiber/epoxy, compressive strength of the agro-composite samples were 60% higher than that of plastic and 80% higher than that of soft woods. Thermal expansion and moisture absorption of the manufactured agro-composite samples showed better performances than both woods and plastics. Optimized agro-composite samples, due to their cost competitiveness and low weight, could replace woods and plastics in some applications. A small fraction of plastic and wood market wood lead to new source of revenues for farmers.

  10. Investigation of Mechanisms Associated with Nucleate Boiling Under Microgravity Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dhir, Vijay K.

    1996-01-01

    The focus of the present work is to experimentally study and to analytically/numerically model the mechanisms of growth of bubbles attached to, and sliding along, a heated surface. To control the location of the active cavities, the number, the spacing, and the nucleation superheat, artificial cavities will be formed on silicon wafers. In order to study the effect of magnitude of components of gravitational acceleration acting parallel to, and normal to the surface, experiments will be conducted on surfaces inclined at different angles including a downward facing surface. Information on the temperature field around bubbles, bubble shape and size, and bubble induced liquid velocities will be obtained through the use of holography, video/high speed photography and hydrogen bubble techniques, respectively. Analytical/numerical models will be developed to describe the heat transfer including that through the micro-macro layer underneath and around a bubble. In the micro layer model capillary and disjoining pressures will be included. Evolution of the interface along with induced liquid motion will be modelled. Subsequent to the world at normal gravity, experiments will be conducted in the KC-135 or the Lear jet especially to learn about bubble growth/detachment under low gravity conditions. Finally, an experiment will be defined to be conducted under long duration of microgravity conditions in the space shuttle. The experiment in the space shuttle will provide microgravity data on bubble growth and detachment and will lead to a validation of the nucleate boiling heat transfer model developed from the preceding studies performed at normal and low gravity (KC-135 or Lear jet) conditions.

  11. Investigation of Nucleate Boiling Mechanisms Under Microgravity Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dhir, V. K.; Qiu, D. M.; Ramanujapu, N.; Hasan, M. M.

    1999-01-01

    The present work is aimed at the experimental studies and numerical modeling of the bubble growth mechanisms of a single bubble attached to a heating surface and of a bubble sliding along an inclined heated plate. Single artificial cavity of 10 microns in diameter was made on the polished Silicon wafer which was electrically heated at the back side in order to control the surface nucleation superheat. Experiments with a sliding bubble were conducted at different inclination angles of the downward facing heated surface for the purpose of studying the effect of magnitude of components of gravity acting parallel to and normal to the heat transfer surface. Information on the bubble shape and size, the bubble induced liquid velocities as well as the surface temperature were obtained using the high speed imaging and hydrogen bubble techniques. Analytical/numerical models were developed to describe the heat transfer through the micro-macro layer underneath and around a bubble formed at a nucleation site. In the micro layer model the capillary and disjoining pressures were included. Evolution of the bubble-liquid interface along with induced liquid motion was modeled. As a follow-up to the studies at normal gravity, experiments are being conducted in the KC-135 aircraft to understand the bubble growth/detachment under low gravity conditions. Experiments have been defined to be performed under long duration of microgravity conditions in the space shuttle. The experiment in the space shuttle will provide bubble growth and detachment data at microgravity and will lead to validation of the nucleate boiling heat transfer model developed from the preceding studies conducted at normal and low gravity (KC-135) conditions.

  12. On the mechanical properties of tooth enamel under spherical indentation.

    PubMed

    Chai, Herzl

    2014-11-01

    The mechanical properties of tooth enamel generally exhibit large variations, which reflect its structural and material complexity. Some key properties were evaluated under localized contact, simulating actual functioning conditions. Prominent cusps of extracted human molar teeth were polished down ~0.7 mm below the cusp tip and indented by tungsten carbide balls. The internal damage was assessed after unloading from longitudinal or transverse sections. The ultimate tensile stress (UTS) was determined using a novel bilayer specimen. The damage is characterized by penny-like radial cracks driven by hoop stresses and cylindrical cracks driven along protein-rich interrod materials by shear stresses. Shallow cone cracks typical of homogeneous materials which may cause rapid tooth wear under repeat contact are thus avoided. The mean stress vs. indentation strain curve is highly nonlinear, attributable to plastic shearing of protein between and within enamel rods. This curve is also affected by damage, especially radial cracks, the onset of which depends on ball radius. Several material properties were extracted from the tests, including shear strain at the onset of ring cracks γ(F) (=0.14), UTS (=119 MPa), toughness K(C) (=0.94 MPa m(1/2)), a crack propagation law and a constitutive response determined by trial and error with the aid of a finite-element analysis. These quantities, which are only slightly sensitive to anatomical location within the enamel region tested, facilitate a quantitative assessment of crown failure. Causes for variations in published UTS and K(C) values are discussed. PMID:25034644

  13. Global hydropower potential during recent droughts and under changing climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Vliet, Michelle T. H.; Sheffield, Justin; Wiberg, David; Wood, Eric F.

    2015-04-01

    There is a strong dependency of world's electricity sector on available water resources for hydropower generation. Recent droughts showed the vulnerability of the electricity sector to surface water constraints with reduced potentials for hydropower generation in different regions worldwide. Using a global modelling framework consisting of the VIC hydrological model and a hydropower model, we assess the impacts of recent droughts and future climate change on hydropower generation potentials worldwide. Our hydrological-electricity modelling framework was optimized and evaluated for 1981-2010, showing a realistic representation of observed streamflow and hydropower generation. We assessed the impacts of recent droughts and future climate change for more than 25,000 hydropower plants worldwide. Our results show that hydropower production potentials were significantly reduced during severe recent streamflow droughts (including e.g. summer of 2003 in Europe and 2007 in the United States). Model simulations with bias-corrected CMIP5 general circulation model output indicate that in several regions considerable reductions in hydropower production potentials are projected due to declines in streamflow during parts of the year. Considering these impacts and the long design life of power plant infrastructure, adaptation options should be included in today's planning and strategies to meet the growing electricity demand in the 21st century.

  14. Understanding the Mechanisms Underlying Gambling Behaviour and Sleep.

    PubMed

    Loft, Marisa H; Loo, Jasmine M Y

    2015-12-01

    Problem gambling and sleep difficulty threaten health. Using the basis of self-regulatory theory, potential mechanisms for these problems were investigated. Fifty-nine treatment-seeking gamblers completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (sleep difficulty), the Sleep Hygiene Index (negative sleep habits), the Problem Gambling Severity Index and measures of self-regulatory capacity and arousability with data entered into regression analyses. Results supported the relationship between problem gambling and greater sleep difficulty (β = .18, t = 3.22, p < .01). Self-regulatory capacity mediated the relationship between problem gambling and sleep difficulty (R (2) change = .15, F(2, 57) = 12.14, β = -.45, t = -3.45, p < .001) as well as between problem gambling and negative sleep habits; R (2) change = .17, F(2, 57) = 13.57, β = -.28, t = -3.76, p < .001. Arousability predicted sleep difficulty (β = .15, t = 3.07, p < .01) and negative sleep habits (β = .40, t = 5.40, p < .01) but showed no relationship with problem gambling (r = .09, ns). Self-regulatory capacity represents an important mediator of the relationship between problem gambling and sleep-related behaviour and if targeted could reduce behavioural threats to health. PMID:25381635

  15. Psychophysiological mechanisms underlying response selection in multidimensional space

    PubMed Central

    Mückschel, Moritz; Beste, Christian

    2015-01-01

    In the outside world, response selection often requires the processing of information from different spatial dimensions. Yet, most neuroscientific approaches to the topic only employ variations in one dimension, namely the horizontal left-right axis. Hence, virtually nothing is known about the neuronal mechanisms underlying response selection in more than one dimension. We investigated this aspect with the help of a two-dimensional flanker task using EEG and source localization techniques. The data shows that response selection processes are differentially modulated across different dimensions. However, this modulation is restricted to conditions imposing increased demands on response selection. In such situations, a distributed fronto-parietal network mediates intensified conflict monitoring processes as well as response inhibition processes. In case response selection is carried out in the horizontal dimension, those brain areas are more active than during response selection in the vertical dimension. Attentional selection processes were not affected. The study's findings are of relevance to our understanding to everyday functioning where response selection is usually carried out in two or three dimensions and not a single dimension as usually investigated in cognitive neuroscience. PMID:25582443

  16. Molecular mechanisms underlying phosphate sensing, signaling, and adaptation in plants.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhaoliang; Liao, Hong; Lucas, William J

    2014-03-01

    As an essential plant macronutrient, the low availability of phosphorus (P) in most soils imposes serious limitation on crop production. Plants have evolved complex responsive and adaptive mechanisms for acquisition, remobilization and recycling of phosphate (Pi) to maintain P homeostasis. Spatio-temporal molecular, physiological, and biochemical Pi deficiency responses developed by plants are the consequence of local and systemic sensing and signaling pathways. Pi deficiency is sensed locally by the root system where hormones serve as important signaling components in terms of developmental reprogramming, leading to changes in root system architecture. Root-to-shoot and shoot-to-root signals, delivered through the xylem and phloem, respectively, involving Pi itself, hormones, miRNAs, mRNAs, and sucrose, serve to coordinate Pi deficiency responses at the whole-plant level. A combination of chromatin remodeling, transcriptional and posttranslational events contribute to globally regulating a wide range of Pi deficiency responses. In this review, recent advances are evaluated in terms of progress toward developing a comprehensive understanding of the molecular events underlying control over P homeostasis. Application of this knowledge, in terms of developing crop plants having enhanced attributes for P use efficiency, is discussed from the perspective of agricultural sustainability in the face of diminishing global P supplies. PMID:24417933

  17. Mechanism of magnetic moment collapse under pressure in ferropericlase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skorikov, N. A.; Shorikov, A. O.; Skornyakov, S. L.; Korotin, M. A.; Anisimov, V. I.

    2015-07-01

    We propose a new scenario for the magnetic collapse under pressure in ferropericlase (FP) (\\text{F}{{\\text{e}}1/4}\\text{M}{{\\text{g}}3/4} )O without the presence of intermediate spin state, which contradicts the mechanism proposed in (2013 Phys. Rev. B 87 165113). This scenario is supported by results of combined local density approximation + dynamical mean-field theory method calculations for the paramagnetic phase at ambient and high pressures. At ambient pressure, calculation gave (\\text{F}{{\\text{e}}1/4}\\text{M}{{\\text{g}}3/4} )O as an insulator with Fe 3d-shell in high-spin state. Experimentally observed high-spin to low-spin state transition of the \\text{F}{{\\text{e}}2+} ion in the pressure range of 35-75 GPa is successfully reproduced in our calculations. The spin crossover is characterized by coexistence of \\text{F}{{\\text{e}}2+} ions in high and low spin state but intermediate spin state is absent in the whole pressure range. Moreover, the probability of Fe ion {{\\text{d}}7} configuration with S=1 grows with pressure due to shortening of metal-oxygen distance. Also, no metal-insulator transition was obtained up to the pressure 140 GPa in agreement with experiment.

  18. Neural mechanisms underlying respiratory rhythm generation in the lamprey.

    PubMed

    Bongianni, Fulvia; Mutolo, Donatella; Cinelli, Elenia; Pantaleo, Tito

    2016-04-01

    The isolated brainstem of the adult lamprey spontaneously generates respiratory activity. The paratrigeminal respiratory group (pTRG), the proposed respiratory central pattern generator, has been anatomically and functionally characterized. It is sensitive to opioids, neurokinins and acetylcholine. Excitatory amino acids, but not GABA and glycine, play a crucial role in the respiratory rhythmogenesis. These results are corroborated by immunohistochemical data. While only GABA exerts an important modulatory control on the pTRG, both GABA and glycine markedly influence the respiratory frequency via neurons projecting from the vagal motoneuron region to the pTRG. Noticeably, the removal of GABAergic transmission within the pTRG causes the resumption of rhythmic activity during apnea induced by blockade of glutamatergic transmission. The same result is obtained by microinjections of substance P or nicotine into the pTRG during apnea. The results prompted us to present some considerations on the phylogenesis of respiratory pattern generation. They may also encourage comparative studies on the basic mechanisms underlying respiratory rhythmogenesis of vertebrates. PMID:25220696

  19. Metabolite Recognition Principles and Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Riboswitch Function

    PubMed Central

    Serganov, Alexander; Patel, Dinshaw J.

    2015-01-01

    Riboswitches are mRNA elements capable of modulating gene expression in response to specific binding by cellular metabolites. Riboswitches exert their function through the interplay of alternative ligand-free and ligand-bound conformations of the metabolite-sensing domain, which in turn modulate the formation of adjacent gene expression controlling elements. X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy have determined three-dimensional structures of virtually all the major riboswitch classes in the ligand-bound state and, for several riboswitches, in the ligand-free state. The resulting spatial topologies have demonstrated the wide diversity of riboswitch folds and revealed structural principles for specific recognition by cognate metabolites. The available three-dimensional information, supplemented by structure-guided biophysical and biochemical experimentation, has led to an improved understanding of how riboswitches fold, what RNA conformations are required for ligand recognition, and how ligand binding can be transduced into gene expression modulation. These studies have greatly facilitated the dissection of molecular mechanisms underlying riboswitch action and should in turn guide the anticipated development of tools for manipulating gene regulatory circuits. PMID:22577823

  20. CFRP Mechanical Anchorage for Externally Strengthened RC Beams under Flexure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ali, Alnadher; Abdalla, Jamal; Hawileh, Rami; Galal, Khaled

    De-bonding of carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP) sheets and plates from the concrete substrate is one of the major reasons behind premature failures of beams that are externally strengthened with such CFRP materials. To delay or prevent de-bonding and therefore enhancing the load carrying capacity of strengthened beams, several anchorage systems were developed and used. This paper investigates the use of CFRP mechanical anchorage of CFRP sheets and plates used to externally strengthen reinforced concrete beams under flexure. The pin-and-fan shape CFRP anchor, which is custom-made from typical rolled fiber sheets and bundles of loose fiber is used. Several reinforced concrete beams were casted and tested in standard four-point bending scheme to study the effectiveness of this anchorage system. The beams were externally strengthened in flexure with bonded CFRP sheets and plates and then fastened to the soffit of the beams' using various patterns of CFRP anchors. It is observed that the CFRP plates begins to separate from the beams as soon as de-bonding occurs in specimens without CFRP anchors, while in beams with CFRP anchors de-bonding was delayed leading to increase in the load carrying capacity over the un-anchored strengthened beams.

  1. Molecular mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disorders, ADHD and autism.

    PubMed

    Bădescu, George Mihai; Fîlfan, Mădălina; Sandu, Raluca Elena; Surugiu, Roxana; Ciobanu, Ovidiu; Popa-Wagner, Aurel

    2016-01-01

    Neurodevelopmental disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism represent a significant economic burden, which justify vigorous research to uncover its genetics and developmental clinics for a diagnostic workup. The urgency of addressing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder comorbidities is seen in the chilling fact that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood disorders, substance use disorders and obesity each increase the risk for mortality. However, data about comorbidity is mainly descriptive, with mechanistic studies limited to genetic epidemiological studies that document shared genetic risk factors among these conditions. Autism and intellectual disability affects 1.5 to 2% of the population in Western countries with many individuals displaying social-emotional agnosia and having difficulty in forming attachments and relationships. Underlying mechanisms include: (i) dysfunctions of neuronal miRNAs; (ii) deletions in the chromosome 21, subtelomeric deletions, duplications and a maternally inherited duplication of the chromosomal region 15q11-q13; (iii) microdeletions in on the long (q) arm of the chromosome in a region designated q21.1 increases the risk of delayed development, intellectual disability, physical abnormalities, and neurological and psychiatric problems associated with autism, schizophrenia, and epilepsy and weak muscle tone (hypotonia); (iv) interstitial duplications encompassing 16p13.11. PMID:27516006

  2. Cellular mechanisms underlying the interaction between cannabinoid and opioid system.

    PubMed

    Parolaro, D; Rubino, T; Viganò, D; Massi, P; Guidali, C; Realini, N

    2010-04-01

    Recently, the presence of functional interaction between the opioid and cannabinoid system has been shown in various pharmacological responses. Although there is an increasing interest for the feasible therapeutic application of a co-administration of cannabinoids and opioids in some disorders (i.e. to manage pain, to modulate immune system and emotions) and the combined use of the two drugs by drug abusers is becoming largely diffuse, only few papers focused on cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying this interaction. This review updates the biochemical and molecular underpinnings of opioid and cannabinoid interaction, both within the central nervous system and periphery. The most convincing theory for the explanation of this reciprocal interaction involves (i) the release of opioid peptides by cannabinoids or endocannabinoids by opioids, (ii) the existence of a direct receptor-receptor interaction when the receptors are co-expressed in the same cells, and (iii) the interaction of their intracellular pathways. Finally, the cannabinoid/opioid interaction might be different in the brain rewarding networks and in those accounting for other pharmacological effects (antinociception, modulation of emotionality and cognitive behavior), as well as between the central nervous system and periphery. Further insights about the cannabinoid/opioid interaction could pave the way for new and promising therapeutic approaches. PMID:20017730

  3. Molecular mechanism underlying promiscuous polyamine recognition by spermidine acetyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Sugiyama, Shigeru; Ishikawa, Sae; Tomitori, Hideyuki; Niiyama, Mayumi; Hirose, Mika; Miyazaki, Yuma; Higashi, Kyohei; Murata, Michio; Adachi, Hiroaki; Takano, Kazufumi; Murakami, Satoshi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Kashiwagi, Keiko; Igarashi, Kazuei; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi

    2016-07-01

    Spermidine acetyltransferase (SAT) from Escherichia coli, which catalyses the transfer of acetyl groups from acetyl-CoA to spermidine, is a key enzyme in controlling polyamine levels in prokaryotic cells. In this study, we determined the crystal structure of SAT in complex with spermidine (SPD) and CoA at 2.5Å resolution. SAT is a dodecamer organized as a hexamer of dimers. The secondary structural element and folding topology of the SAT dimer resemble those of spermidine/spermine N(1)-acetyltransferase (SSAT), suggesting an evolutionary link between SAT and SSAT. However, the polyamine specificity of SAT is distinct from that of SSAT and is promiscuous. The SPD molecule is also located at the inter-dimer interface. The distance between SPD and CoA molecules is 13Å. A deep, highly acidic, water-filled cavity encompasses the SPD and CoA binding sites. Structure-based mutagenesis and in-vitro assays identified SPD-bound residues, and the acidic residues lining the walls of the cavity are mostly essential for enzymatic activities. Based on mutagenesis and structural data, we propose an acetylation mechanism underlying promiscuous polyamine recognition for SAT. PMID:27163532

  4. [Molecular mechanisms underlying the formation of neuromuscular junction].

    PubMed

    Higuchi, Osamu; Yamanashi, Yuji

    2011-07-01

    The neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is a synapse between a motor neuron and skeletal muscle. The contraction of skeletal muscle is controlled by the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh), which is released from the motor nerve terminal. To achieve efficient neuromuscular transmission, acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) must be densely clustered on the muscle membrane of the NMJ. Failure of AChR clustering is associated with disorders of neuromuscular transmission such as congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS) and myasthenia gravis (MG). Motoneuronal agrin and muscle-specific receptor tyrosine kinase (MuSK) are known to play essential roles in the formation and maintenance of NMJs in the central region of each muscle. However, it had been unclear how agrin activates MuSK. Recent studies have elucidated the roles of several key molecules, including the cytoplasmic adaptor protein Dok-7 and LDL receptor-related protein 4 (Lrp4), in agrin-induced MuSK activation. Moreover, new evidence indicates that cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) regulates postsynaptic differentiation. In this review, we summarize the latest developments in molecular mechanisms underlying NMJ formation in vertebrates. PMID:21747134

  5. Mechanical degradation of fuel cell membranes under fatigue fracture tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khorasany, Ramin M. H.; Sadeghi Alavijeh, Alireza; Kjeang, Erik; Wang, G. G.; Rajapakse, R. K. N. D.

    2015-01-01

    The effects of cyclic stresses on the fatigue and mechanical stability of perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) membranes are experimentally investigated under standard fuel cell conditions. The experiments are conducted ex-situ by subjecting membrane specimens to cyclic uniaxial tension at controlled temperature and relative humidity. The fatigue lifetime is measured in terms of the number of cycles until ultimate fracture. The results indicate that the membrane fatigue lifetime is a strong function of the applied stress, temperature, and relative humidity. The fatigue life increases exponentially with reduced stresses in all cases. The effect of temperature is found to be more significant than that of humidity, with reduced fatigue life at high temperatures. The maximum membrane strain at fracture is determined to decrease exponentially with increasing membrane lifetime. At a given fatigue life, a membrane exposed to fuel cell conditions is shown to accommodate more plastic strain before fracture than one exposed to room conditions. Overall, the proposed ex-situ membrane fatigue experiment can be utilized to benchmark the fatigue lifetime of new materials in a fraction of the time and cost associated with conventional in-situ accelerated stress testing methods.

  6. Decompaction mechanism of deep crystalline rocks under stress relief

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorbatsevich, F. F.

    2003-07-01

    Within a geological massif in a stable geodynamical situation contacts on the grain boundaries in polycrystalline rocks at great depths are continuous and firm. The stress release of those rocks during drilling and excavation to the surface is accompanied by their disintegration (decompaction). The reason for the decompaction is generation of microcracks during stress release due to the difference between the elastic moduli of crystalline grains at their contacts. The mechanism of decompaction may occur not only in polymineral but in polycrystalline rocks as well. The method of decompaction evaluation of deep crystalline rocks under stress relief is presented. According to the calculations the initial manifestation of the decompaction effect in biotite gneisses will occur when they are extracted from the deep range of 0.8-1 km. The first microcracks arise on the grain borders between quartz-biotite and oligoclase-biotite. It is shown that the uplift of gneiss-granite varities of the rocks cut by the Kola superdeep borehole from depths exceeding 13-15 km will be possible in a form of separate mineral grains. Practical importance of the presented method is in an opportunity to evaluate the level of excavated decompaction. The method allow estimating the depth, from which the rock will be extracted only in a sludge form.

  7. Innate inflammatory responses in stroke: mechanisms and potential therapeutic targets

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jong Youl; Kawabori, Masahito; Yenari, Midori A.

    2014-01-01

    Stroke is a frequent cause of long-term disability and death worldwide. Ischemic stroke is more commonly encountered compared to hemorrhagic stroke, and leads to tissue death by ischemia due to occlusion of a cerebral artery. Inflammation is known to result as a result of ischemic injury, long thought to be involved in initiating the recovery and repair process. However, work over the past few decades indicates that aspects of this inflammatory response may in fact be detrimental to stroke outcome. Acutely, inflammation appears to have a detrimental effect, and anti-inflammatory treatments have been been studied as a potential therapeutic target. Chronically, reports suggest that post-ischemic inflammation is also essential for the tissue repairing and remodeling. The majority of the work in this area has centered around innate immune mechanisms, which will be the focus of this review. This review describes the different key players in neuroinflammation and their possible detrimental and protective effects in stroke. A better understanding of the roles of the different immune cells and their temporal profile of damage versus repair will help to clarify more effective modulation of inflammation post stroke. Introduction Stroke refers to conditions caused by occlusion and/or rupture of blood vessels in the brain, and is a leading cause of death and disability in the industrialized world. PMID:24372209

  8. Potential mechanisms of hepatitis B virus induced liver injury.

    PubMed

    Suhail, Mohd; Abdel-Hafiz, Hany; Ali, Ashraf; Fatima, Kaneez; Damanhouri, Ghazi A; Azhar, Esam; Chaudhary, Adeel Ga; Qadri, Ishtiaq

    2014-09-21

    Chronic active hepatitis (CAH) is acknowledged as an imperative risk factor for the development of liver injury and hepatocellular carcinoma. The histological end points of CAH are chronic inflammation, fibrosis and cirrhosis which are coupled with increased DNA synthesis in cirrhotic vs healthy normal livers. The potential mechanism involved in CAH includes a combination of processes leading to liver cell necrosis, inflammation and cytokine production and liver scaring (fibrosis). The severity of liver damage is regulated by Hepatitis B virus genotypes and viral components. The viral and cellular factors that contribute to liver injury are discussed in this article. Liver injury caused by the viral infection affects many cellular processes such as cell signaling, apoptosis, transcription, DNA repair which in turn induce radical effects on cell survival, growth, transformation and maintenance. The consequence of such perturbations is resulted in the alteration of bile secretion, gluconeogenesis, glycolysis, detoxification and metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, fat and balance of nutrients. The identification and elucidation of the molecular pathways perturbed by the viral proteins are important in order to design effective strategy to minimize and/or restore the hepatocytes injury. PMID:25253946

  9. Potential mechanisms of hepatitis B virus induced liver injury

    PubMed Central

    Suhail, Mohd; Abdel-Hafiz, Hany; Ali, Ashraf; Fatima, Kaneez; Damanhouri, Ghazi A; Azhar, Esam; Chaudhary, Adeel GA; Qadri, Ishtiaq

    2014-01-01

    Chronic active hepatitis (CAH) is acknowledged as an imperative risk factor for the development of liver injury and hepatocellular carcinoma. The histological end points of CAH are chronic inflammation, fibrosis and cirrhosis which are coupled with increased DNA synthesis in cirrhotic vs healthy normal livers. The potential mechanism involved in CAH includes a combination of processes leading to liver cell necrosis, inflammation and cytokine production and liver scaring (fibrosis). The severity of liver damage is regulated by Hepatitis B virus genotypes and viral components. The viral and cellular factors that contribute to liver injury are discussed in this article. Liver injury caused by the viral infection affects many cellular processes such as cell signaling, apoptosis, transcription, DNA repair which in turn induce radical effects on cell survival, growth, transformation and maintenance. The consequence of such perturbations is resulted in the alteration of bile secretion, gluconeogenesis, glycolysis, detoxification and metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, fat and balance of nutrients. The identification and elucidation of the molecular pathways perturbed by the viral proteins are important in order to design effective strategy to minimize and/or restore the hepatocytes injury. PMID:25253946

  10. Aldehydes: occurrence, carcinogenic potential, mechanism of action and risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Feron, V J; Til, H P; de Vrijer, F; Woutersen, R A; Cassee, F R; van Bladeren, P J

    1991-01-01

    Aldehydes constitute a group of relatively reactive organic compounds. They occur as natural (flavoring) constituents in a wide variety of foods and food components, often in relatively small, but occasionally in very large concentrations, and are also widely used as food additives. Evidence of carcinogenic potential in experimental animals is convincing for formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, limited for crotonaldehyde, furfural and glycidaldehyde, doubtful for malondialdehyde, very weak for acrolein and absent for vanillin. Formaldehyde carcinogenesis is a high-dose phenomenon in which the cytotoxicity plays a crucial role. Cytotoxicity may also be of major importance in acetaldehyde carcinogenesis but further studies are needed to prove or disprove this assumption. For a large number of aldehydes (relevant) data on neither carcinogenicity nor genotoxicity are available. From epidemiological studies there is no convincing evidence of aldehyde exposure being related to cancer in humans. Overall assessment of the cancer risk of aldehydes in the diet leads to the conclusion that formaldehyde, acrolein, citral and vanillin are no dietary risk factors, and that the opposite may be true for acetaldehyde, crotonaldehyde and furfural. Malondialdehyde, glycidaldehyde, benzaldehyde, cinnamaldehyde and anisaldehyde cannot be evaluated on the basis of the available data. A series of aldehydes should be subjected to at least mutagenicity, cytogenicity and cytotoxicity tests. Priority setting for testing should be based on expected mechanism of action and degree of human exposure. PMID:2017217